Amy Plum Latest News

YA Scavenger Hunt, Spring 2018 edition

YA_ScavengerHunt_WebBanner

Welcome to the

Spring 2018

 

YA Scavenger Hunt!

 

April 3 – April 8 (noon pacific time)

For you first timers, the YA Scavenger Hunt is an online blog hop created by the lovely and talented Colleen Houck. It’s a chance for you to see bonus material from your favorite YA authors as well as winning amazing prizes.

If you came here looking for my bonus material—a sneak peek of Chapter 17 of my upcoming YA horror novel NEVERWAKE —you’ll have to keep hunting!

In this post, you not only get access to exclusive content from an author, you also get a clue. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! And another will win a $50 Amazon gift certificate! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online until April 8!

Team

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GOLD TEAM–but there is also a BLUE, GREEN, RED, PINK, and PURPLE-each with 20 authors for several chances to win a whole different set of signed books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

(If you get stuck as you are moving through the hunt, click through to this page.)

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the gold team, and then add them up.

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by April 8, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

ARE YOU READY??? Here we go…

 

 

 

BONJOUR!!

 

I’m Amy Plum, and I live in Paris. The one in France. Not Texas.

Here I am on a French reality show with 2 famous French chefs holding my French books. Is that French enough for you?

Here I am on a French reality show with 2 French chefs (Norbert Tarayre+Jean Imbert) holding my French books. Is that French enough for you?

As my favorite French chefs are so kindly demonstrating, I’m the author of the DIE FOR ME series, a paranormal romance series set in Paris featuring supernatural beings of my very own making called “revenants.” My second series, AFTER THE END, is set all over America (because road trip) and is action, romance, adventure, with a little bit of magic and a lot of kick-assness. My third series, DREAMFALL, is YA horror. NEVERWAKE, the second book of the duology, will be released on August 7 by HarperTeen.

Now that I’ve introduced myself, I’m excited to tell you about the author I’m hosting today:

Rosalyn EVES

Rosalyn Eves is a part-time English teacher, part-time writer, and full time mom. She lives with her husband and three children in Southern Utah, where she enjoys watching BBC period pieces, hiking, and playing games with her family. She dislikes housework on principle. The first two books of her YA historical fantasy trilogy, BLOOD ROSE REBELLION and LOST CROW CONSPIRACY are currently available.

Find out more about Rosalyn on www.rosalyneves.com.

Rosalyn’s book THE LOST CROW CONSPIRACY just released March 27th!

Here’s what it’s about:

In the wake of a broken spell, central Europe is in turmoil, awash with monsters and conspiracies. In the midst of this, 17-year-old Anna Arden struggles to find her place in the unfolding political drama, and as her actions only disrupt a tenuous peace, she turns to the one person who can help: the King of Crows.

Today, I’m excited to give you Rosalyn’s EXCLUSIVE CONTENT for YASH:
a Bonus Scene (told in an alternate POV) for THE LOST CROW CONSPIRACY!!!

Are you ready? Here we go!

 

BONUS SCENE for

 

THE LOST CROW CONSPIRACY

 

This might be our easiest mark yet.

I was only a couple weeks into my newly minted career as a betyár (a preferable term, in my mind, to the more sordid “bandit”), but already I’d grown discerning about vehicles and their possibilities for wealth. There were the discrete conveyances of the upper nobility, well-appointed but not ostentatious. The shabby-genteel carriages of the sandal nobles, who had more titles than actual money, which we only stopped if desperate. The farmer carts that we generally ignored.

But the carriage rumbling towards us bore all the promising signs I’d learned to look for: glossy paint with bright gold trim; six matched greys chosen more for their looks than athletic prowess; and no coat of arms, which meant, most likely, a wealthy merchant. A single guard rode beside the coachman.

Beside me, Ákos’s lips twitched. He rubbed a hand over his bright red curls. “It’s like they’ve sent us an engraved invitation to meet them.”

The coachman knew it too. Even at this distance I could read the rigid way he held himself, the way his eyes continually scanned the roadside, as though he expected a trap. The guard merely looked bored.

We’d liven them up soon enough.

“Now,” Ákos whispered, and the three of us separated. Ákos fell back to circle behind the carriage. Beside me, Zhivka began humming under her breath as her skin began to luminesce, her glamour projecting toward the oncoming coachman.

The moment her glamour hit, the coachman lost his stiffness. The reins fell slack in his hands, and the horses slowed to a walk. The guard, slightly more resistant to the samodiva’s glamour, shot to his feet, gun already out. I concentrated for a moment, and the gun shifted. The guard stared at the branch clutched in his hand as though it might bite him, then flung it into the grass beyond the road.

Zhivka and I rode forward. The guard sagged back into his seat, his eyes turning glassy as Zhivka’s glamour took effect.

I smirked. It was almost too easy.

But before we reached the carriage, a small shape hurtled up out of the shallow ditch running alongside the road. “Stand and deliver!”

It was a boy, a small gun with silver inlay held steady in his hand. He couldn’t have been more than fifteen, slim and beardless, his voice a high, fluting tenor. He had the dark hair and eyes of the old Magyar families who’d first settled the Carpathian basin, though most of that hair was shoved under the slouched hat preferred by students and revolutionaries. (I should know, having been both.)

“What the devil?” I spurred my horse forward. This was our mark. Ákos galloped up the road behind the carriage, concern trumping our original plan for secrecy.

The carriage door flung open. I couldn’t see the occupants well, but I heard a querulous voice and the boy’s repeated insistence, “Stand and deliver!”

The boy glanced away from the open door, his dark eyes finding mine. Instead of fear, a kind of mulish stubbornness settled on his brow. What fool game was the child playing? I’d been willing to believe he hadn’t seen us, but his glower disabused me of that notion. The boy had the look of someone trying to prove something. But what? And to whom?

The coachman clambered down from the carriage and drifted across the road to Zhivka, his round-moon face rapturous. She only rolled her eyes and nudged her horse out of reach. “Hurry up,” she called.

A small purse appeared in the open doorway, held by a plump hand. The boy snatched it and stowed it inside his waistband. I slid down from my horse and stalked toward the boy, reaching for his shirt-sleeve. He twisted and ducked away—slamming into Ákos, who’d come up behind him.

“I’ll take that purse,” Ákos said, grabbing the boy’s arm and twisting it.

The boy looked at Ákos, then darted a glance back at me, his frown deepening. A curious light lit his eyes, and I was still trying to interpret it when the boy vanished, his clothes collapsing to the ground where he had stood a moment before. Ákos stooped to recover the purse from the pile of clothing, ignoring the high-pitched demands from the coach to know what in Heaven’s name was happening.

I wished I knew. There were Animanti who could turn invisible—but I’d never seen one disappear like that, leaving their clothing behind.

“Táltos,” Zhivka said, coming up beside me.

“What?” I demanded, more irritably than her question warranted.

She shook her head, pointing. “I think the child was táltos.”

I saw then what I’d missed: the tiny, dark speck of a bee flying across the field. It would have been an easy enough thing to shift, to crawl out of the clothes while we were caught off-guard by surprise. If I’d ever encountered another táltos before, I might even have suspected that.

But I’d never seen another táltos before—I’d been told the last táltos died decades ago. That I was the only shape-shifter left.

“One of yours, Crow King?” Ákos asked. “László won’t like it if you’re cheating him.”

“What kind of a fool do you take me for? Never mind. Don’t answer that.” The bee was out of sight now, but I’d stake my share of that fat purse that the peregrine falcon cutting through the sky was no falcon. I’d pick a peregrine too, if I were running. I’d done so before. I turned to Ákos. “Tell László I’ll be back shortly. And do something with them.” I waved my hand at the coachman and guard, who were trailing behind Zhivka like love-sick puppies.

Then I flung myself into the air, my clothes falling away as my limbs shrank, my bones hollowing out. I released a falcon’s scream as I tore after the táltos.

The air was my natural element, riding the currents, the wind screaming along my feathers. I preferred my crow’s cleverness to a falcon’s speed, but this morning, the thrill of the hunt hummed along my bones, and my wings cut through the air like a sharp knife through silk.

It did not take long to reach the fleeing falcon: the child was clearly newer to shifting than I was, his muscles not so adept at manipulating his new form. Plus, I was bigger. I drove the falcon down toward the ground, and he took cover in a grove of trees.

I followed, swinging deftly through the tangled limbs and branches. I wasn’t entirely sure what I’d do with the boy when I caught him, as I was torn between curiosity and outrage.

But there was no falcon hiding among the trees. No boy, either. Only a peasant girl, stuffing the ends of her blouse into a long skirt. She looked up as I landed on an overhanging branch, her dark eyes widening.

I recognized those eyes.

Surprise nearly knocked me from my perch. I tightened my grip, then shifted, careful to keep a screen of leaves between us. As a táltos herself, she was likely not so squeamish about nudity as most, but you never knew.

“Who are you?” I asked. Then, “You shouldn’t be robbing on Fekete László’s turf. He’ll make your life hell.”

“You mean he’ll send you after me?” She asked, eyes flashing. “I’m not afraid of you.”

I’d never been any young lady’s idea of hell before. My lips curled approvingly. “Good. Then perhaps you’ll tell me who you are?”

“No one,” she said, and then she shifted again. I caught the flicker of her mouse’s tail as she disappeared into the roots of the tree.

This time, though I tried to follow, I caught no further glimpse of her. This was her terrain, not mine. As night fell, I gave up and returned to the other betyárok, with only questions as a reward for my pains.

It would be months before I saw her again.

 

Does that sound amazing or what?!

To find out more about Rosalyn and THE LOST CROW CONSPIRACY, check out her website or follow her on Twitter or Facebook!

Order the book here!

And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Rosalyn Eves, and more authors! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 33. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the gold team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

My very own giveaway:

IMG_8317Win an Amy Plum prize pack including signed hardbacks of UNTIL THE BEGINNING and DREAMFALL, original art postcards by Len-Yan and 5 signed and dedicated Amy Plum bookplates (for the rest of your Amy Plum books!)

Just sign up for the Rafflecopter contest below!

The Amy Plum Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: to be eligible to win you also need to submit a valid entry for the YA Scavenger Hunt grand prize

Don’t stop here. CONTINUE THE HUNT!

To continue on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, A.M. Rose!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The new middle-grade book you MUST HAVE

The holiday season is the perfect time to announce the release of my friend Lori’s middle grade book PIERRE FRANÇOIS: 5th GRADE MISHAPS!

Paris friends by the Canal St. Martin

Paris pals at the Canal St. Martin

Besides being one of my all-time favorite people…

SMU pic Lori Ann Stephens Photo Credit to Jack Jewers copy

Lori Ann Stephens is the award-winning author of Young Adult novel SOME ACT OF VISION (ASD Publishing, September 2013), SONG OF THE ORANGE MOONS (Blooming Tree Press, Nov 2010), and several short stories and poems. SOME ACT OF VISION is the 2013 YA novel winner of the National Readers’ Choice Award, hosted by the Romance Writers of America, OK.

After winning the English National Opera Minioperas libretto contest in 2012, she’s recently found herself writing lyrics to operas…that have real composers and singers and everything. When she’s not writing or teaching writing, she reads, takes on DIY home remodeling adventures, and eats the best gourmet, home-cooked meals. She is usually not the cook. She lives in Texas with her family.

Her hilarious and heart-warming book PIERRE FRANÇOIS: 5th GRADE MISHAPS releases January 4!

Pierre François Mishaps front cover

Here’s a description: Ten-year-old Pierre François—otherwise known as Pierre the Fantastic Flying Fish and Pierre the Genius Brain—is an expert at signing his school papers with original names. He’s also good at extolling the greatness of France, using weird words like “extolling,” dissecting owl vomit, and avoiding The Stinky Chair in math class. What he’s not good at is a foolproof bladder. Accidents happen, although this is Top Secret Information.

So, when it’s time for the entire fifth grade to go to Adventure Camp, a two-night trip in the wilderness, Pierre would rather complain about the fifth-grade meanies, dream of mastering the spelling bee with Jedi skills, and devise ways to meet the fascinating new girl in school. But Adventure Camp is coming for him, along with a wet and icy cold front. Can Pierre muster all his courage and wit to survive nature’s onslaught of ice, rain, and other liquid fiascos?

Order Pierre-François on Amazon

Order Pierre-François directly from the publisher, Black Rose

Pierre François Mishaps full cover

Today I have an exclusive interview with Lori about the book! Ready? Here we go!

As a personal friend, I can’t help but noticing that there are some similarities between your family and that of Pierre François. How does Pierre’s family compare to yours?

Picture1Ha! Yes, I have to admit that Pierre’s family is a carbon copy of my own. Pierre’s father is all about French manners and compassion, Pierre’s mother is all about optimism and advice, and Pierre is a bundle of pride, embarrassment, longing, and incredible imagination. That’s a very familiar portrayal of us—to a comical degree.

 

What (or who) was your inspiration for writing Pierre François?

My son, Julien, was the original Pierre. He actually asked me to write a novel about his wacky fifth-grade year. Ten-year-olds are right at that age where cliques begin, old friends develop new interests, math gets really really hard (good Lord—parents know all about this), and the opposite sex suddenly becomes either dreadfully annoying or absurdly mesmerizing. Julien’s dinner conversations always had me in stitches, so when he asked me to write Pierre, I knew it would have to be a humorous book. The only part of the book that I was nervous about was Pierre’s secret. But Julien was thrilled about everything in the book—and read it fifteen or twenty times before the book was published.

Picture2

 

What age group are you hoping will read Pierre François?

I think the book is appropriate for second to sixth grade. I think it’s a good read-aloud book, especially for children who can’t read fluently yet. But the books speaks especially to children in 4th-6th grades (9-11 year olds).

 

How did you manage to rope in such a wonderful illustrator?

Ah! Trevor Yokochi is an incredible painter and mixed media artist based in Dallas. He happens to be my other son, and he graduated a few years ago from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Of course, the whole book is a family affair. Julien begged Trevor to make illustrations—there are over 80 in the book—and he came through with the perfect representations of Pierre and his world. I’m very lucky, and hope we can continue collaborating on future Pierre books.

TrevorYokochi

Trevor Yokochi (aka the author’s son)

 

Did you base any of the story on your own experiences as a child?

It’s funny: in all my other books, most of the characters are different sides of me or collections of my experiences parceled out into characters. But in Pierre, the events are entirely fictionalized or retellings of Julien’s own adventures in 5thgrade …fictionalized, of course. Ahem.

 

 

In your own experience, was fifth grade the worst grade of all?

Fifth grade wasn’t the worst, but it certainly wasn’t the best. Here’s a story that actually ended up in another novel: I had a crush on a boy named Miles. My first crush. At Christmas time, we did a gift swap, and everyone bought a gift and labeled it “for Boy” or “for Girl.” I had to buy a gift for a boy, but we were only allowed to spend a ridiculously small amount for it. I think it was a $2 limit or something. Even in the 70s, that was not much. Of course, I forgot about the buying the gift and had to scramble to buy one at the grocery store; I ended up buying a Matchbox car because it was the only thing within the price limit. Even as I paid the cashier, I was doubtful that any ten-year-old boy would want a tiny metal car for Christmas. Guess who picked my gift? Miles. I unwrapped a cool stationary packet; he unwrapped a car for “babies,” and spent the rest of the day begging his friends to trade with him. No one wanted the Matchbook car, and pretty soon, everyone was trying to figure out who’d bought the sorry gift for “babies.”  I was so embarrassed—of course, I wouldn’t admit that I’d bought it! Ah, fifth grade. I don’t really miss it. But I do miss art class.

Picture3

I love the relationship between the three friends. Pierre François’s anxiety about a change in their previous Three Musketeers vibe seems so right-on with what I remember happening with friends during the pre-teen and teenage years. Again…are you basing this on personal experience or any friendships you’ve observed?

Actually, I had exactly one friend in fifth grade. Lisa Wicherts, God bless her. I was stunned that she wanted to be my friend. And even more stunned when she invited me to her birthday party. I was enormously shy. The anxiety of shifting friendships I experienced was in 9th grade, when we all went to different high schools and joined different clubs. I was a late bloomer in the social butterfly department.

 

Does Adventure Camp really exist in Texas?

Yes. Plano Independent School District sends all its fifth graders to a sleep-away nature camp. It’s called Collin County Adventure Camp. Although I’ve heard of adventure camps in other states, I’m most familiar with Collin County’s because my son attends Plano ISD. It’s an incredible commitment on the part of the Plano School Board; they provide financial aid so that every child can attend. The camp is sort of “legendary,” and the children look forward to it from the time they enter kindergarten.

 

Picture4

How on earth did the stinky chair work its way into the story? Does it actually exist?  

Let’s just say that particular chair was the topic of many a dinner conversation when Julien was in fifth grade, and leave it at that.

 

After reading Pierre, I looked up bed-wetting in older children and found that not only it is much more common than I imagined, but there can be genetic factors. So, something that is sometimes blamed on the child, or for which the child blames themselves is actually just a natural part of some people’s genetic makeup. What was the reason you included this topic in the book?Picture5

I’ve heard so many stories of parents spanking their children for bedwetting episodes, and it’s terribly upsetting. Nocturnal enuresis is a physiological condition, not a result of laziness. It’s actually common, but because it’s a taboo topic, most people don’t realize that many children in second to fifth grades still privately struggle with it. I hope that Pierre’s humor, his experiences, his imagination, and his (sometimes overabundant) self-esteem bring awareness to—and empathy for—this common condition.

 

And now…for the GIVEAWAY!!!

Lori is giving away a free copy of PIERRE-FRANÇOIS: 5th GRADE MISHAPS to a lucky  winner. (US and Canada only, please!)  I will be drawing a winner from the “hat” on JANUARY 5th. What you need to do to apply is one or more of the following:

1. Follow Lori on Facebook

2. Follow Lori on Twitter

3. Follow Lori on Instagram

4. Visit Lori’s website

5. Tweet this:  “Check out the hilarious new middle-grade book by @loriannstephens : PIERRE-FRANÇOIS: 5TH GRADE MISHAPS http://www.amyplumbooks.com/?p=7002 and win a free book! ”

You get your name in the hat for each thing you do. Leave me a message below with the amount of points to give you and a way to contact you if you win. Good luck, and ENJOY!!!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Man Who Saved Paris

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to witness a truly historic event—one that wove together the 18th and 21st centuries using the threads of politics, family, history and one of those beautifully produced signs you see gracing many of Paris’s historical spots.

Photo Esplanade Martinez 3 (1)

Knowing my love of history and in particular the history of the Paris’s catacombs, my friend Gilles Thomas, who has published several seminal books on the subject, invited me to a truly special event: the dedication of a city esplanade to “the man who saved Paris,” Charles-Alex Guillaumot. It had been a project of Gilles for the last five years to gain recognition for the architect responsible for buttressing the network of limestone mines beneath Paris, and his work had finally paid off.

In previous posts, I describe at length the story of visiting the off-limit catacombs with Gilles, so let me summarize for you here. Before Paris existed as the city it is now, there were many mines on the outskirts…mainly for the limestone used to build the buildings you see in Paris today. At the time, that land was farmland, so no one thought about security. But as Paris grew, homes were built on top of land that had been hollowed out, and the more buildings perched atop these holes, the more dangerous it was.

This oblivious co-habitation of city and deep holes continued until 1774, when a whole street of apartment buildings and homes fell through the ground. Louis XVI named a commission to inspect, chart, and reinforce the mines. (The Inspection générale des carrières or IGC.) So Charles-Axel Guillaumot (the chief inspector) and his crew went around to all of these individual mines and made tunnels from mine to mine, connecting them. They raised their ceilings from the crouching height miners were forced to work in to a height that allowed men pushing wheelbarrows to get through. They reinforced the walls and ceilings and labeled them all as they made their way through.

During the French revolution, people didn’t like the idea of employing someone appointed by the king, and Charles-Axel was imprisoned in Versailles. They quickly realized how indispensable he was, however, as Guillaumot was back on the job a few years later, continuing his work until he died.

Hopping forward a couple of hundred years, Gilles Thomas, in his in-depth research on the catacombs, re-discovered the architect’s importance in the history of Paris, and went to visit Guillaumot’s ancestors in Toulouse. He discovered that a portrait of Guillaumot existed in the family home, and photographing it, he finally put a face to the name for historians. But crediting the architect in his books was not enough for Gilles. He started a campaign to dedicate a public place to the man who had, in the meantime, been christened “the man who saved Paris” by author and historian, Graham Robb.

CAG 28

An enlarged photo of the portrait of Charles-Axel Guillaumot graced the square during the dedication. (With the Deputy Mayor of Paris, Célia Blauel.)

This campaign took on two of the toughest bureaucratic entities in France: the public transport system and the mayor’s office. So on the evening of October 4th, 2017, representatives from both of those offices, as well as around one hundred of Guillaumot’s ancestors, gathered on the plaza just outside of the Denfert-Rochereau train station, next to the entrance of the Paris Catacombs (the Ossuary) and close to the location of the rue d’Enfer, where a house caved in the very day Guillaumot started his work on the mines.

I was met by Gilles Thomas, who was probably the only person who could identify all of the various attendees. He waved his hand over the majority of the group of Guillaumots, then said there were even a few descendants of Philibert Aspairt in attendance. (Aspairt is the only person properly buried in the catacombs, his body having been found in the caverns in 1804, eleven years after he went missing.)

Members of Philibert Aspairt's family.

Members of Philibert Aspairt’s family with a photo of his subterranean tomb.

Then Gilles introduced me to American author and fellow history-buff Cara Black, who was there to witness the historic moment. We watched the spectacle together, as Danièle Pourtaud, Conseillère of the 14th arrondissement, welcomed us all to the event. She pointed to all of the construction work being done on the Place Denfert-Rochereau behind us, saying that they were overhauling the entrance to the Catacombs’ Ossuary, and at the same time are creating, just in front of it, the future Museum of Paris Liberty.

Photo Esplanade Martinez 6

Hidden by trees, the building that will serve as the new entrance to the Ossuary as well as the Museum of Liberty.

Franck Avice, Director of the RATP (Paris’s transport system) then took the mic and explained the importance of the train system and of this particular spot, citing the astronomical number of people who used this one station every day. (I wasn’t taking notes, but it was something like 90,000.)

Célia Blauel

Célia Blauel, Deputy Mayor of Paris

Then the Deputy Mayor of Paris, Célia Blauel, took the mic and spoke of how the City of Paris jumped at the chance to honor its illustrious citizen.

IMG_6389Annie Laval-Duboul, one of Guillaumot’s descendants, took the stage and told the story of Gilles visiting their aunt, of her providing him with the family’s documentation and stories that had been passed down of their illustrious ancestor.

She called Gilles up to stand next to her as she told the story, and, in his regular self-effacing manner, stood next to her shrugging off the compliments and praise as it poured down on him. Her speech centered around how excited and grateful the family was that the ancestor who they had always been told saved Paris, was finally getting the recognition he deserved.

And finally, Arnaud de Jenlis, another Guillaumot descendant, took the stage and thanked many family members, several of whom held obvious inheritances from the man of the hour: they all seemed to be named Charles or Axel.

CAG 49

The unveiling of the sign. From left: Gilles Thomas, Arnaud de Jenlis, Annie Laval-Duboul, Célia Blauel, Danièle Pourtaud, and Franck Avice.

After that, the beautiful new sign was unveiled, and many photos taken. Cara and I slipped off before the drinks began pouring, leaving the major players in this important event to celebrate their success and toast to the historic day.

* A special thank you to Gilles Thomas for providing me with photos from the other spectators, since my phone was out of batteries!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------