Book Launch–Luka’s Dawn by A.M. Manay

If you adore paranormal author A.M. Manay’s award-winning November Snow series, and were heartbroken like I was when it ended, you’re in LUCK!

At the very end of She Marches Through Fire, Manay gave us a tiny glimpse of what happens next.  Now, she’s released the first November Snow epilogue story, Luka’s Dawn.  Luka is nothing if not the bad boy you hate to love, and he’s back.   Along with all your favorite characters.  And it’s brilliant!  I know, because I read an ARC.

Here’s the description.

What’s a failed supervillain to do when the object of his obsession dies?
Luka Lazarri, vampire terrorist and would-be dictator, faces life without November Snow. He now inhabits a world in which he is utterly defeated, sick and living in hiding, jailed by his own family. He waits for November to be born again, clinging to the hope that he will have the chance to know her. Will the consummate survivor succumb to despair, or will he build himself a new life? And if the reincarnated psychic finally lays her eyes on him, will she see a monster, or a friend?

I don’t want to tell you much more than that, it’s a shortie, one you’ll devour in an afternoon, then beg for more.  And, once again, you’re in luck, because this is just Episode 1.  More are on the way.  Cue extreme happy dance, y’all!

AM Manay Luka's dawn pre release

Get your copy of Luka’s Dawn at this LINK.

WIP It Up Wednesday–Invisible

Ever have a wild-hare idea and you just knew you had to follow it?  That happens to me sometimes, usually when I’m busy trying to concentrate on something else.  But sometimes, a story just comes to you, or at the very least, a nugget of an idea.  If I can, I try to write it down before I forget.  Eventually, I plan to write the whole story.

This snippet comes from a project I’m tentatively calling Invisible.  My love is dying for me to finish this story.  One day…

invisible

Henry sat across the table watching her devour his hamburger and fries.  When he’d asked, she’d said she wasn’t hungry, but when his food arrived, she hadn’t been able to take her eyes off of it.
     The impromptu meal started when he’d asked if he could buy her a coffee.  It seemed a small thing, seeing how she’d rescued him from an embarrassing predicament.  He never should have tried to go after Joanne.  He’d been a fool.  She hadn’t just now decided to break up with him, it had been brewing for a while.
     He’d found himself trapped in the door of her building, the sleeve of his overcoat caught when it slammed shut.  He’d pulled and tugged, kicking at the door, but to no avail.  He couldn’t even manage to take the damn thing off and the driving rain was soaking him anyway.
     That’s when she’d appeared.  “Are you stuck?” she’d called to him up the steps.
     “No, I enjoy standing in the rain!” he’d fired back.
     She’d shaken her head and bounded up the steps, pulling her soaked black fleece hoodie tighter around herself.  “No reason to be an asshole,” she muttered. 
     She began pressing all of the buttons beside the door.  “Let me in!  It’s rainin’ out here!”  The door buzzed and he was free.  She gave an exaggerated bow and hurried down the steps, stopping under the awning of the building next door.
     Sheepishly, Henry followed, standing beside her under the awning.  She glanced down at him then resumed looking out at the rain.  “I’m sorry,” he said.  “I didn’t mean to be an asshole.”  She continued staring toward the street.  “Can I buy you a coffee?  My way of saying thanks.”
     She looked back at him again seeming to think for a moment.  Finally she sighed.  “I guess I’m not goin’ anywhere until it stops rainin’ anyways,” she said.  That was when he noticed her drawl.  She certainly wasn’t from around here.
     She must be homeless, he guessed.  He figured her to be in her early twenties, twenty-three tops.  She was pretty, too, as far as he could tell.  Her long wet hair was plastered to her head, but it seemed to be red.  She had huge blue eyes that were watchful, flitting all around the room as she ate.  He’d never seen a woman eat like that.  And she was skinny, too. 
     “I’m Henry, by the way,” he told her.
     She paused, french fry halfway to her mouth.  “I’m Shelby.”  She chewed thoughtfully and swallowed.  “What were you doing stuck in that door, Henry?”
     He looked down at his hands.  “Acting like a fool, I suppose.”
     She smiled knowingly.  “It was a girl,” she said definitely.  Henry declined to answer.  “So what do you do, Henry?”
     “I’m a professor of English Literature at Columbia,” he answered.
     Shelby’s already large eyes grew bigger.  “No shit?” she said softly, and she laughed to herself.
     Henry felt his temper rising.  Having been born with dwarfism, he’d faced ridicule all his life.  “What, is it so unbelievable that someone like me could be a university professor?” he demanded.
     Shelby stopped laughing.  “That’s a hell of a chip on your shoulder, there.  A chip that big ought to have its own name.”  She shook her head.   
     “What I meant was, who would have thought that someone like me would ever meet a professor, let alone sit and have dinner with him?”
     “What do you mean, someone like you?” he asked, realizing that he owed her another apology.
     She shrugged.  “I’m not very smart,” she said simply.  “I never finished the eighth grade.  I don’t even know anybody who went to college, let alone anybody who teaches there.”
     Henry let that thought sink in.  I’m not very smart.  “Where are you from, Shelby?”
     She shook her head, grinning.  “You never heard of it.”
  
     “Try me.”
     “I’m from Pine Grove, West Virginia,” she said, watching him carefully.
     Henry smiled slowly.  “You’re right, I never heard of it.”
     She laughed.  “Count yourself lucky, then.  It’s smack in the middle of nowhere.  Everybody there works in the Hastings plant, processing natural gas.  They actually have red lights to stop the cars about a mile away from the plant, just in case the shit hits the fan.”
     Henry nodded.  “Is that why you left?  You didn’t want to work in the plant?”
     Shelby looked him dead in the eye.  “I left in the middle of eighth grade because I was tired of getting fucked by my mama’s boyfriends.”  She paused.  “I figured if I was going to be doing it anyway, I might as well be getting paid for it.”
     Henry’s eyes widened.  “You’re a…” he stopped.
     She narrowed her eyes.  “Now who’s judgin’?” she asked.
     Henry backpedaled.  “No, I mean, I just…”

     “I don’t do that anymore.  I quit three years ago.  I have a new gig,” she said.  “I take pictures.”  Henry noticed that she pronounced it pitchers.  “I have a friend who sells postcards and shit to the tourists.  He sells my postcards and splits the profits with me.”

     “Really?” Henry said thoughtfully.
     “I have a nice camera,” she said, for the first time opening up her jacket to reveal a small camera bag.  She placed it on the table, opening it carefully.  “It’s mine, I bought it at a pawn shop,” she said, slightly defensively.
     Henry looked over the camera appreciatively before handing it back to her.  “It’s very nice,” he said.
     “That’s why I came uptown.  Somebody told me that I’d like to take pictures at Columbia.  Said there’s cool buildings there.  I was pissed off and not thinkin’ straight.  It was dark by the time I got here.  Plus I didn’t know it was going to rain.  I wasted a whole damn trip for nothing.”
     “Where do you live?” Henry wondered.
     Shelby rolled her eyes.  “Long story,” she said, “but when I’m in between places, I usually stay at Grand Central.”  He thought of the train station.  “It’s pretty clean, and you can leave your stuff in a locker for two weeks before you have to move it.  There’s a guy who lets me clear tables for a few dollars.  Plus, you can eat what people leave on the trays.  You wouldn’t believe how much food people just waste.”
     Henry listened, astounded.  He’d never known a moment when he didn’t know where his next meal was coming from.  “So you came uptown to take pictures at the university?”

     “Yeah,” she said around another mouthful.  “Kind of stupid, I guess.  It was too late to begin with and then when I came out of the subway, the bottom just fell out of the sky.”

     “So are you going to go back to Grand Central?” he probed.
     Shelby shrugged.  “I guess so.  I’d better hurry, though.  The good places get taken early.”
     Henry sat back in his seat, picturing Shelby stalking through the train station dripping wet, trying to find a good place to settle down for the night.  His own words surprised him.  “You could stay with me for the night.  I’ll take you to the university in the morning, give you a tour.”
     Shelby’s eyes narrowed.  “I don’t fuck for a place to sleep.”
     Henry blushed furiously.  “God, no!  That’s not what I meant at all,” he stammered.  “I just thought, you’re all the way here, you’re soaked, it’ll take you, what, another hour to get back to Grand Central.  What if you can’t find a place?”  He cleared his throat.  “I’m just saying you could stay on my couch, go with me to work tomorrow.  You can get your pictures and get back at a reasonable time.”
     Shelby popped the last bite of hamburger into her mouth, gazing steadily at
Henry.  “Okay,” she finally said.

Finishing this story isn’t on my radar at the moment,

but check out my Amazon Author Page for other great reads.

Bashing Romance Novels–Don’t Do It

In this terrific article from Bustle, author Sarah Maclean asserts that bashing romance novels is just another form of slut-shaming.  This image is from the article and I’ve included the link below…

https://www.bustle.com/articles/186881-sarah-maclean-bashing-romance-novels-is-just-another-form-of-slut-shaming

Romance, erotic romance, and erotica may not be your cup of tea.  But that doesn’t mean that those who enjoy it are somehow morally inferior.  It doesn’t mean that romance authors produce inferior work.  If you don’t like it, don’t read it.  Like a good friend of mine always says, ‘To each his own.’

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On Writing Great Characters

Couple IndoorsWhat is it that makes for a great romance story?  Interesting plot lines, right?  Sexy settings.  Hot love scenes.  All true.  But for me, I have to care about the characters if I’m going to get into a story.  I need to feel their emotions, to relate to their motivations.  And while we are sometimes invited into their thoughts, it’s really the words of characters that tell us about them.

So how do you write great characters?  Make them relatable, believable?  They have to have great dialogue.  I think the thing you have to do is to listen to people.  A lot.  Listen to conversations around you, listen to characters in movies and on television.  I’d bet that every character you write has his or her origin in someone you know.  Delve into the motivations of that person to give your characters believable reasons for what they do, what they say, and how they are.

Characters have back-stories, whether or not you include them in your book.  But those back-stories inform the way the characters are in the present.  Inhabit the minds of your characters, feel their emotions, then express them in the character’s own words.

I rehearse conversations between my characters before I ever write them.  I run lines while I’m in the shower.  I hold entire conversations while I’m driving through town.  I can only hope that other drivers think I’m singing along to the radio.

I always try to make sure that a character’s words are authentic to his or her personality.  Sometimes, characters have potty mouths.  You don’t plan it, it just turns out that way.  Maggie Flynn, from Rannigan’s Redemption, is like that.  And although it’s not the way I talk, day in and day out, I couldn’t shy away from it just because it’s not me.  It’s Maggie.  Backing off of that rings inauthentic.

Here’s an example from Book 1 of Rannigan’s Redemption, Resisting Risk:

It was noon when Maggie exited the elevator on the 50th floor.  She’d dressed in a purple turtleneck and charcoal slacks, a scarf with a purple paisley design accenting her neck.  Karen wasn’t at her desk.  Probably at lunch, Maggie thought, and she went directly to her office.

Opening the door, she started to toss her bag on the desk when she realized someone was sitting there.  Her arm stopped mid-swing, her eyes wide, and she looked back at the door, frowning.  “May I help you?” she asked.

The guy was about her age with brown hair and eyes.  He looked startled.  “Um, no, thanks.  I’m okay for now.”

Maggie raised an eyebrow.  “You’re in my office.”

“Oh, you must be Maggie,” he said.  “Mr. Rannigan said you wouldn’t be in until tomorrow.”

“And yet, here I stand today,” Maggie replied in an irritated tone.  She turned and marched down the hall to Michael’s office.  At his closed door she hesitated.  He might be with a client, she considered.  Fuck that!  Some dude is in my office. 

She threw open the door with enough force to swing all the way open and it crashed into the wall behind it.

Michael, seated at his desk and concentrating on his computer, jumped.

“What the fuck, Michael?!” Maggie demanded.

“And it’s nice to see you, too, Mags,” he replied with a grin.  “Welcome back.  We didn’t expect to see you until tomorrow.”  He met her at the door and ushered her into the reception area.

“I can tell you didn’t expect me until tomorrow.  I didn’t expect some guy to be in my office today,” Maggie ranted.

Michael put up both hands in defense.  “Calm down, Mags, everything’s okay.”

Maggie shook her finger in his face.  “Don’t you tell me to motherfucking calm down!  If you were going to fire me…”

“Fire you?” he frowned.

“You could at least have done it on Wednesday instead of waiting until I come in and find my office occupied by some…”

Michael continued to guide her down the hall.  “That’s Josh, we just brought him up from downstairs,” he explained calmly.

“I don’t care where he came from, he can just take his skinny little ass right back…”

“Mags…”

“Because as far as I know I still have a contract…”

“Maggie…”

“You can’t just push me out, I’ve worked way too hard…”

“Mary Margaret!  Stop talking,” Michael interrupted.  They’d stopped in front of the door to what used to be John Hemphill’s office.  He pushed it open.  “This is your new office.”

Maggie stopped mid-sentence.  She was looking into the most beautiful room she’d ever seen.  It was a confection of lavender and cream and eggplant.  On the far side of the room next to the floor to ceiling windows, there was a silver chandelier over a small ecru French desk.  On the desk was a white and purple orchid in a shallow lavender bowl.  Purple drapes and cream sheers framed the wall of glass.  Nearer the door there was a seating area with a cream sofa accented with lavender and purple pillows fronted by a glass coffee table.  On the other side of the room was a small glass conference table and four purple upholstered chairs.  The new pale hardwood floor was arranged in a herringbone pattern.

“It looks like an office in Paris,” Maggie breathed.  She crossed the room to examine a pair of large framed photographs.  Gasping, she looked back at Michael.

He smiled at her.  “Florence,” he said.  “This is why I wanted you to wait until tomorrow.  The furniture was delivered this morning.  We literally just got it finished.”

Maggie’s eyes were wide.  “I don’t understand,” she said.

“Let’s go to lunch.  We’ll talk about everything,” Michael said.

Great characters are believable.  You can relate to them because you understand their feelings and motivations.  And you gain that insight from meaningful, authentic conversations.

Resisting Risk is available everywhere for just .99.

books2read.com/ResistingRisk

But you can get it FREE when you subscribe to my Newsletter.

https://www.instafreebie.com/free/EvsRs

rannigan1

How Have I Lived This Long Without This Book?

Words and Phrases: Make Your Sex Scenes Sizzle by [Devonshire, Sabrina]I love reading and writing sexy romance.  You know those sweet little romance stories where love scenes end with a closed bedroom door?  Those really annoy me.  I know some folks are more comfortable with that kind of thing, but to me, we all know what’s going on.  Why cut the story?  It halts the flow of the story like screeching brakes.

On the other hand, writing hot love scenes can be tricky.  Obviously, you want to avoid ‘purple prose.’  No ‘throbbing manhood’, no ‘petals of lovliness’ for corn’s sake.  But sometimes, you run out of words.

Sabrina Devonshire, talented author of spicy romance has a new book out that will help.  It’s a reference book of sorts, a compilation of descriptive words and phrases that can help you write hot sex scenes readers will love!

Here’s my Amazon review:

This is a terrific resource for writers of spicy romance! As an erotic romance author, I know that I want to create sex scenes that transport the reader into the story. But after a while, I realize that I’m writing the same scenes over and over again. As I try to avoid ‘purple prose’ at all costs, the romance can get a little dry. It can be so frustrating when you want to paint a sexy love scene and you just can’t hit on the perfect word.

Enter talented author Sabrina Devonshire, who has compiled a collection of descriptive words and phrases, a resource for writers to use when they need just the right term to move their love scenes forward. Trust me, this will be at my side from now on. I highly recommend this book for anyone who writes sexy romance! 5 BIG STARS!!

So…  Are you a romance writer looking to up your game?  Here’s the link:

Words and Phrases: Make Your Sex Scenes Sizzle

Watch This Space–W. O. Cassity

dementia-praecox-book-cover-smallThis installment of Watch This Space is a change of pace.  ASPA author W. O. Cassity is a man of eclectic tastes and interests.  His debut novel, Heir of the Blood King was well-received.  Now, he’s writing a horror series called A Short Journey Into Darkness.  The first installment, Dementia  Praecox, releases today.

Here’s an excerpt:

Skulking over the ledger’s musty-scented pages, Dr. Livingston dipped the oversized quill into the emerald-green inkwell before penning the latest entry:

11 November 1877

Bethlem Royal Hospital Bedlam

London, England

Subject 41 expired at approximately 10:22 p.m., possibly due to cardiac arrest once again. I wait for my assistant Hensley to deliver and release the corpse to the hospital morgue. My only concern is that there may perhaps be further inquiry into the claw-like contusions upon the deceased’s forearms and along his facial cheeks. I still cannot fathom how the subject, who was restrained, managed to damage himself in such a way. Both Hensley and I agree that the peculiar wounds appeared to spontaneously appear across the patient’s flesh of their own accord.

Having witnessed this entire incident, I must admit that further precautions are still a necessity as I continue to push on toward a resolution to this condition. The screams of the patient still reverberate within my ears at those haunting terrors, which only existed in his tormented mind. My first assertion is that the patient’s experience became so vivid, he was somehow able to enact the subjective manifestations of his consciousness into literal lacerations upon his extremities. Perhaps Hensley and I are the first to witness the true potential of the human mind to inflict its falsely perceived stimuli upon the body during a controlled experiment. Mind over the material world indeed! This may warrant further exploration in the future after I have completed my current work toward a cure for dementia praecox.

When Hensley returns, he will prepare Subject 42 for her time in the chair. I will administer the new cocktail of ingredients according to the schedule after readjusting the chloroform and nitrous oxide levels for proper sedation during the procedure. Even though she’s much smaller than Subject 41, we still need to gauge the appropriate levels of anesthesia so Subject 42 will remain conscious yet controllable and programmable during the procedure.

As I understand it, Subject 42 has a peculiarly heightened state of hysteria, so perhaps this will allow us to mark any substantial improvements in her mental realignment using the electric resonating device with profound measure. It was difficult to identify the response from Subject 41 due to his condition’s tepid state and mannerisms.

Regardless of tonight’s setbacks, I have the utmost certainty that I can mitigate the issues Subject 41 experienced tonight. It is too soon for me to surrender now and too dangerous for me to stop. Questions are being asked already and if I do not have an answer to Annabelle’s condition soon, I may not be able to cure her ailment before they forcibly return me to New York if they discover what I have been doing. Certainly, they would shower me with accolades upon my substantial progress, but the board will need to see results and I need to save Annabelle if I am to marry her. She would definitively accept my proposal of marriage with a clear mind, for who else could liberate her from Dr. Kraepelin’s diagnosis other than the youngest fellow to be accepted by Bethlem Royal Hospital? At the age of thirty-seven, I will become renowned for such an achievement and therefore, Annabelle would accept me unconditionally.

  1. L., PhD

Edgar rested his quill in the inkwell and remained still as he pondered what outcomes awaited him in the final experiment of the evening. A rapping at the heavy oak study door rescued him from his reverie.

“Yes, what is it?” he asked.

“Dr. Livingston, Subject 42 is now prepped for the resonance procedure,” Hensley responded. “Should I start charging the apparatus?”

“Indeed, Hensley. I shall be there momentarily.”

I’m totally digging the creep factor here.  Intrigued?  Here is the buy link for Dementia Praecox.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KQVSSHE

Just who is W. O Cassity?   W.O. Cassity grew up in the Mississippi Delta Valley dreaming of new worlds fueled by his passions for writing and playing tabletop games with his friends. As an adult, he relocated to Nashville, Tennessee where he pursued a career in IT and Telecommunications, working for companies such as Dell Computer Corporation, Verizon Wireless and Asurion. Will returned to his childhood passions sharing those experiences with his children. He went on to release his debut novel, “Heir of the Blood King” which was well received. He also has an ongoing horror short story series, “A Short Journey Into Darkness”.  Will and his wife, Barbara, currently reside in Arkansas with their four children, three dogs and one very stinky cat.

Author W. O. Cassity was kind enough to answer Pandora’s Dirty Dozen.  Here’s what he said.

1. Describe your books and your writing style.

 I like to immerse the reader into vividly detailed environments with a real-time feel of what’s happening in the story to enrich the reading experience. My preferred point of view is 3rd Person, limited perspective and I generally tell my stories in the past tense.

2. Talk about your process. Where do you write? When do you write? Are you linear or do you write scenes and put them together later? Who are your muses and where do you get your best ideas?

 I try to write everyday and I do most of my writing in the bedroom in the morning while pouring through a cup of coffee. A good number of my stories are related to impressions I had while dreaming, so this writing routine allows me to capture that dreamlike feel in my stories.

3. Tell us about your latest release.

 My latest release is title Dementia Praecox and it explores a topic very dear to my heart: Mental illness. Dementia Praecox was the first clinical term used to describe the mental condition of schizophrenia, which plagued my maternal grandfather most of his life. I wanted to tell a story of a mad scientist in a gothic period story experimenting on patients in a cold, calculating manner. Obsessed with his goal to cure his beloved, the patients are treated like lab rats. In the end, Dr. Edgar Livingston accidentally succeeds in a way that unlocks the full potential of his patient’s mind, opening pathways that should remain closed in the real world.

4. What is your current project?

I’m working on a story tentatively titled, “A Guest In Solitude” with a poetry and prose inspired writing style similar to Poe’s “A Tell-Tale Heart”. It features an older man isolated in a rustic cabin whose solace is disrupted by a mysterious haunting voice whispering to him from under the front door.

5. Now about you… Very generally speaking, where do you call home?

 I grew up in the Mississippi Delta Valley and so, I’m a Southern by nature. I never quite fit into my community, so I have traveled and brought those experience back home.

6. As a reader… What genre do you most often read? What is your all-time favorite book, and why?

 I enjoy reading horror and fantasy stories, but my favorite novel is Frank Herbert’s Dune. The world building is immersive and the inner dialogue of the characters captured my imagination and left me with the feeling that I belonged in his beautiful, yet dark world.

7. What do you like to do when you’re not writing or reading?

 I enjoy gaming with my family and deep philosophical conversation, as well as spending time doing both with my wife and children.

8. We all have guilty pleasures. I enjoy boy bands. There, I said it. What is your guilty pleasure?

 Even though I have no guilt, my obsession is chocolate even though I know it isn’t good for me.

9. What superpower would you choose, and why?

 Flying. Even as a young child, I immersed myself in dreams and during my waking hours, I was fascinated. Lucid dreaming allowed me to take charge in those wayward nightmares to put me in control of the situation. I would usually fly to escape my nightmarish dilemmas. This process also help me escape the cruel realities that occurred in my traumatic childhood.

10. If you could live anywhere, you’d choose…

 Where isn’t as important as who I’m with. I want to be with my wife and children in a place that values freedom of expression.

11. I wish _________________ would read my book.

Neil Gaiman

12. In the airport, you overhear a heated argument between a husband and wife. You:

 politely ignore it.

Contact links for W. O. Cassity:

Author Blog:  www.wocassity.com
Author Twitter:  https://twitter.com/wocassity
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/wocassity

Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/wocassity         
Goodreads Author:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13834500.W_O_Cassity

 

Calling All Authors of Romance & Erotica

Black And White Photo Of Sexy Beautiful Couple

 STUFF YOUR eREADER CAMPAIGN!

December 7, 2016

Want loads of downloads for your book?
Then participate in the Scandalous Reads – Stocking Stuffers Giveaway & Download Deals Day!
Your book must be 99c or free erotica/romance/seasonal/holiday* on Wednesday, December 7, 2016. You need to be willing to promote the deal to your newsletter subscribers, social media fans and followers, etc.*P.S. Your book can be either erotica, romance, seasonal OR holiday.

Sound good? 
Then a one-time $5 participation fee will secure your spot!
A conservative estimate of our social reach in a past campaign is over 200,000.
The Scandalous Reads subscriber list alone has 15,000.
So we have plenty of readers out there for you, waiting to hear about your book!

What’s MORE–
For an additional $15 we have ten author newsletter subscriber spots available, on a first-come-first-served basis, for each genre-specific giveaway. We will be launching three genres to accommodate ten authors each this holiday season:
~ Contemporary ~ Erotica Paranormal ~
Want thousands of new readers subscribing to your mailing list? You’ve come to the right place! The participating authors will have their names featured on the giveaway page to increase their exposure and alert upcoming subscribers to the newsletters they will be receiving. This must be one of the cheapest author subscription services available on the market!

Interested?
Sign Up Here!

Please share this opportunity with fellow authors.
We’d love to get at least 50 – 100 book listings
to make this stuff your eReader campaign go down with a holiday-style bang!

** All participating authors will be required to share via their newsletters, Facebook or Twitter to ensure a successful campaign. Although the giveaway will be shared with over 200,000 Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest followers, downloads cannot be guaranteed. **