Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Heading Into Summer

We're heading into summer and boy is it strange in Texas this year! It's been up and down and all around, but I think we're finally settling down to 80's and 90's, at least for the rest of the month! Makes me want to sit on the back porch with a glass of lemonade and a good book.

So, what are you guys planning on reading this summer? Anything fun? I know there will be a Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz, with some truly awesome books! You should totally check it out!

I'm busy working on writing several different projects, along with a summer job, so if I don't post as often, you know why.  I'm hoping to get at least a rough draft of the final chapter of Tarragon done by the end of summer, but we'll see. There's a lot going on. Here's hoping it's a productive summer!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Big Thank you

I'd like to offer a big thank you to all who have helped launch my newest book, Tarragon: Dragon Mage!


The winner of our last contest is Ashley Martinez, who has won a mystery prize. Ashley, please contact me for your prize.

And now I'd like to offer you the opportunity to win a signed copy of the book. Better hurry, though. The giveaway ends on May 1st!



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Tarragon Book Two by Karlie Lucas

Tarragon Book Two

by Karlie Lucas

Giveaway ends May 01, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Character Introduction for Dragon Mage: Anwen Porter

  Looks like no one knew who to suggest for our last two introductions. Well, that's okay. Here are last but decidedly not least. Let's learn a little more about our heroine.

Anwen Porter

Anwen Porter is the only child and daughter of James and Margo Porter. Descending from a long line of Key Keepers, she feels it her duty to fulfill her father's dying request to return to the Mountains of her ancestry. But there is a lot more to her than even she realizes, especially after her experiences with Tyler and Courtney in the Mountain of Tarragon.

Appearance: Anwen is of average build, standing about five foot four inches, (5'3.5", technically, but she likes to count that half inch as a whole) and doesn't consider herself very athletic. More of an introvert, she always felt more at home in a library than on any sports team.  Her auburn hair sets off hazel-green eyes and a clear complexion. She likes to wear comfortable but stylish clothes, though nothing too trendy. She likes to make her own style. And she always carries around the dragon pendant her father left her (aka the Key to Tarragon), wearing it on a chain around her neck, close to her heart.

Personality: Anwen is an introvert and tends to avoid confrontation when she can, though she is no stranger to hardship. Growing up, she was often teased by her peers, occasionally being bullied. She also witnessed her father's death, something that shook her to the core. In general, though, she is gentle, reserved, studious, and kind. She has a natural-born curiosity but is humble and trusting, perhaps too much at times. She also tends to downplay her own importance, often putting her needs and wants aside for those of others, even at high cost to herself. Some would call her masochistic because of this, but she hates to make people worry and tends to at least pretend a confident, self-assured nature where nothing phases her. She tends to internalize her emotions instead of letting them out, which gets her into trouble.

A Brief History: Anwen's family migrated from the city of North Hope to Pallose when she was a young child. There, she attended public school. When she was around eleven year's old, her father was murdered. Since then, she has devoted her life to filling his dying request, to one day return to the Mountains of her ancestry. With little else to go one than a journal of a great grandmother, she journeyed to the Village of Lindwyrm and met Tyler, who revealed her true heritage as a Key Keeper. Unfortunately, she managed to draw the attention of the Mage Circle, with one member in particular doing her best to kill her. But death doesn't come easy to those under dragon protection.

 

Let's see who you'd pick for our leading lady. Enter for a chance to win a mystery prize. 


Contest rules: Must be at least twelve to enter. Those under the age of 18 require parent/legal guardian permission to enter. All decisions are final. Prizes will be awarded to the author's pick. Any information collected to distribute said prizes will not be shared, rented, sold, or otherwise given to any other entity, nor will it be used by anyone else, or for any other purpose other than to deliver the prize to the winner of each week.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Character Introductions for Dragon mage Tyler and Courtney



Congrats to Ashley Martinez for her suggestions for Walter and Margo! 

Ashley suggested Shemar Moore for Walter and Kate Winslet for Margo. I could see that for both characters. 

Ashley, make sure you contact me with the information necessary to send your prize, a paperback copy Tarragon: Key Keeper!

Now for this week's characters. While Courtney and Tyler are old friends by now, I wanted to share a bit more about them this go around.

Tyler Durand

Tyler Durand is a hermit of sorts. At the apparent age of 17, he lives on his own, with no parents to speak of. He takes on the odd job in the Village of Lindwyrm, helping out those in need, and acting as a local guide to various historical attractions. At least he did until he met Anwen and decided to help her with her quest to figure out her family history. Turns out he's actually a dragon trying to save the rest of his people with only the help of an age-old prophecy.

Appearance: 

In mortal form, Tyler stands about five foot seven, with light brown hair and dazzling blue eyes (the color of Lake Wyvern), and is fit and athletic. Solid yet decidedly not overweight, Tyler prefers to wear casual and somewhat rugged wear. Perhaps this is due to his constant hiking and working with his hands. He is very expressive, and almost every single girl in the Village wishes he was hers. 
In dragon form, he resembles the majestic Western-style dragons, with silver-blue scales and a decidedly ridged back.

Personality: Tyler is caring and friendly. He's outgoing and likes to help others. But he is also perceptive and can read the intentions of others. He's very observant and idealistic.  He is also very loyal to those he considers his "family". And while he really doesn't care for snobbery and the small-mindedness of most people, he puts up with it with a smile. His patience seems to know no bounds. His personality allows him to socialize with ease, even in awkward situations, turning a phrase or joke to lighten any dark mood. He seems able to manipulate the very emotional atmosphere around him. Many in the Village consider him to be mysterious, mostly because they don't know much about his origins.

Brief History: Tyler belongs to the dragons of Tarragon, the only living dragon outside the sealed Mountain. He has lived several mortal life-times outside the mountain in search of the Key Keeper who will open the Mountain and restore the dragons to their rightful domain. Upon finding Anwen, he learns she's the Keeper he's been waiting for. With the help of Courtney, he takes Anwen on a crazy adventure to open the Mountain and free the dragons, revealing that he is the last dragon outside.

 

Courtney Willis

Courtney Willis was a rather flamboyant and self-centered teen of seventeen. A native to the Village of Lindwyrm, she considered herself an expert in the area, and loved to chase the boys, especially tourists. At least it was until she met Anwen. That's when she realized just how self-absorbed and shallow she really was. Since then, she's discovered there's more to who she is than she'd originally thought. Not only is she a dragon mage, but is now a champion for the last Key Keeper.

Physical Appearance: Courtney has blond hair of a medium length, and muddy-hazel eyes. She prefers to wear trendy clothes, the better to catch unsuspecting boys' hearts. Considered a bit of a beauty in the Village, she has a high concept of herself and her looks. Living in a mountain village, she is very fit, with good stamina and endurance.

Personality: Courtney starts out rather shallow. She grew up with a sense of privilege that has gone to her head. Tending towards pettiness, she hates competition and will often turn up her nose at anything she deems beneath her. She also can't understand why Tyler won't just succumb to her good looks and charms. She is easily jealous, especially when it comes to Tyler. Deep down, she's very insecure and unsure of herself. When she's not pretending to be something she's not, she's often off on her own, wishing things were different. All she really wants is to be accepted for who she is, but is afraid of showing that more sensitive and dependable side to her peers. However, once she meets Anwen, she discovers she has a greater sense of purpose in life and develops a sense of loyalty towards her new friends.

Brief History: Born of local parents, Courtney has spent her entire life in Lindwyrm Village. As a member of the elite, she gained a rather skewed vision of her importance in society. Wishing to be trained by the upper echelons of her class, she later changed her mind due to her mother's influence. When Anwen comes to the Village, she is quickly thrown into the mix, learning taht there is more to life than she originally realized. She decides to join the quest to wake the dragons and gives her loyalty to Anwen and Tyler.

Who would you pick to play these characters? Comment for your chance to win a an ebook copy of both Key Keeper and Dragon Mage!




Contest rules: Must be at least twelve to enter. Those under the age of 18 require parent/legal guardian permission to enter. All decisions are final. Prizes will be awarded to the author's pick. Any information collected to distribute said prizes will not be shared, rented, sold, or otherwise given to any other entity, nor will it be used by anyone else, or for any other purpose other than to deliver the prize to the winner of each week.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Character Introductions for Dragon Mage: Walter and Margo

Looks like no one wanted to win last week, or they just couldn't come up with an awesome casting. Either way, new week, new contest!


New to the club, we have these two interesting characters.


Margo Pack Porter


Margo is the wife of James Porter, but returned to her maiden name of Pack upon his death. She is the mother of Anwen Porter. She raised Anwen by herself after her husband died.

Physical description: Margo is slight of build with auburn hair. She likes comfortable clothes. She is deceptively skinny looking but is actually quite strong and fast.

Personality: Margo is a sort of no-nonsense type of individual. She has no problem taking charge of a situation and will often do so without thinking. She has a soft spot for her daughter but doesn't usually show it to anyone. She was/is a devoted wife and never remarried when her husband was murdered.

Brief History: Margo grew up outside of the Village of Lindwyrm, mostly due to her grandmother taking them away from the area to preserve their family line from being polluted by the Mage Circle. On the outside, she met James Porter and fell in love. They were married and brought Anwen into the world. After her husband died, she took on the responsibility of raising her child without the help of others while keeping secret her heritage on both sides of the family.

Walter Watkins

Walter Watkins is a native of the city of Blaucii. A bachelor of many years, he just hasn't found the right woman yet. He doesn't like zombies, believes in being prepared, and has no problem blowing things up.

Physical description: Walter is darker in coloring. His skin has been described as reminding people of milk chocolate. He likes to keep his hair cut to military regulation length, wears functional clothing that is easy to move in, typically jeans and button-down shirts or t-shirts.

Personality: Walter is loyal to his friends and kin. He is a good leader and is innovative in a pinch. Having served in a military capacity, he knows what war is like and suffers from the occasional bouts of PTSD. He loves to cook, doesn't mind organized chaos, and has a decided sense of humor.

Brief History: Walter comes from a small family. Early on, he knew he was meant to be a soldier so he enlisted in the Reserves and became a field medic. During one training exercise, he got separated from his platoon and was rescued by Tyler. He has never forgotten that and will do anything for his friend. Not having found a suitable girlfriend, he has no problem just minding his own business and doing his own thing.

Who would you pick to play these characters? Comment for your chance to win a signed paperback copy of Tarragon: Key Keeper!







Contest rules: Must be at least twelve to enter. Those under the age of 18 require parent/legal guardian permission to enter. All decisions are final. Prizes will be awarded to the author's pick. Any information collected to distribute said prizes will not be shared, rented, sold, or otherwise given to any other entity, nor will it be used by anyone else, or for any other purpose other than to deliver the prize to the winner of each week.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Character introductions for Dragon Mage: Daphne and Josef and Kira

Last week's winner is Ashley Martinez! She suggested Brandon Fraser for the role of James Porter, Anwen's departed father. I could go for that. 

Ashley, don't forget to contact me to claim your prize!

Now for this week's character introduction/re-introductions! (Warning, spoilers from Key Keeper. I hope you've already read that one!)

 

Daphne Millard

Daphne Millard is a popular girl in Lindwyrm Village. Daughter of one of the upper echelon families, she grew up with a lot of privilege. At eighteen, she is engaged to Josef Forster, another local teen. At least she was until she got buried beneath a ton of rock inside the halls of Tarragon. But she has a secret, aside from being a dragon mage. Not everyone who dies stays dead....

Physical appearance: Daphne has long, black hair. Her eyes are chocolate brown, and she's relatively thin, with a graceful body. She prefers to wear fashionable clothing and likes to wear her hair loose.

Personality: Daphne is a bit of a socialite. She snubs anyone she doesn't feel is on her level, including Courtney. Born into a wealthy family, she grew up with all the modern conveniences the Village had to offer. Because her father holds a place on the town council, she feels a sense of superiority towards the majority of its citizens, but seems mostly engrossed with her boyfriend.

Brief History: Daphne has lived in the Village all of her life, except for a brief jaunt away due to curiosity. Finding she didn't like life outside the Village, she returned to train in her family's trade. Childhood friends with Josef, it was only natural that they become engaged.She was "killed" inside the Mountain while attempting to destroy Anwen.


Josef Forster



 19-year-old native of Lindwyrm Village, Josef Forster is engaged to Daphne Millard. Josef is a relatively quiet individual. He lives to please Daphne, and would do anything for her.  . He maintains a day job in the Village, but spends most of his time with Daphne. He has no problem with showing a little PDA, but keeps it to a minimum.

Physical appearance: Tall, but not really lanky, Josef is fairly nondescript in appearance. His hair is dark and he likes to wear casual but rugged clothes, eyes are hazel in color

Personality: Josef is fairly easy going, but is overly devoted to his fiance, Daphne. When she goes missing, he refuses to take anything short of physical evidence to show she's really gone.Although on the introverted side, he likes a good joke and is easy to get along with. He has a sense of right and wrong but is, unfortunately, a bit easy to manipulate by any skilled dragon mage. Part of him wishes he'd been born a mage as well.

Kira


Not much is known about this character, but she plays a major role in the story.

Kira is a mysterious woman associated with the Mage Circle. Though she did not grow up in the Village of Lindwyrm, she has strong ties to it, through her aunt. She is deceptive and finds nothing beneath her, be it using others or betraying them. She is manipulative and calculating, but can act with the best of them. And above all else, she seeks power.

Generally, she wears whatever fits the role she's chosen to play, though she likes cloaks. She has black hair and dark eyes, is build like a model and has a decided sense of confidence in everything she does.



Don't forget to share your pick of actors for these characters for your chance to win a Bookmark for Tarragon: Dragon Mage!



Contest rules: Must be at least twelve to enter. Those under the age of 18 require parent/legal guardian permission to enter. All decisions are final. Prizes will be awarded to the author's pick. Any information collected to distribute said prizes will not be shared, rented, sold, or otherwise given to any other entity, nor will it be used by anyone else, or for any other purpose other than to deliver the prize to the winner of each week.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Character introductions for Dragon Mage: James and the child

Looks like, once again, no one has any suggestions for character casting, which is totally okay, but the contest is still open! This week, I'd like to introduce a new character and another old one.

The first introduction is just a reminder of this character, as he only shows up in flashbacks.

James Porter

James Porter is the husband to Margo Porter, and father to Anwen Porter. Descending from a long line of the same name, James was a devoted father, a dreamer, and a designer. A graphic artist by trade, he worked by commission on various projects, including illustrating books, designing maps, and occasionally spinning a few tales of his own.

Physical Characteristics: Not much is known about James' physical appearance. He was of average build, with brown hair, and wore glasses. He preferred comfortable clothes that were functional, and often had a studious air about him.

Personality: Though studious in his craft, James was easy to get along with. He loved to tease, but could be serious when needed. A devoted husband and father, James only wanted what was best for his family. He was dedicated, loving, and protective. Like his daughter, he was more than willing to give the shirt off his back to help another, often at the expense of himself. Perceptive and generally calm, he had a way of soothing over hurts and helping others see a broader perspective on life. He tended to bring the best out of people.

Brief History: James was born in New Hope to Nathan James and Jenna Loise Porter. After college, he met Margo, and they were married. Only a few years after Anwen was born, he felt compelled to move the family to Pallose, citing work as a reason. There, he worked various jobs to support his family, spinning fantastic tales to entertain his wife and daughter. When Anwen was around eleven, he died tragically. Before he died, he charged his young daughter to one day find their ancestral home and finish the work he'd started.

 

The Child (Emi)

Though not introduced by name, Emi is a mystery. A child of three to four years old, she visits both Tyler and Anwen at various different times.

Physical Characteristics: Emi is slight of build, almost elfin or Puck-ish in feature. She has darker red hair, like the dying embers of a fire. She also usually wears a long white dress of simple design. She is very active and agile.

Personality: Emi can be described as a bit of an imp and is decidedly playful. She likes to play but can be serious when she needs to be. She also likes being mysterious and is good at keeping a secret.

So, who do you think would be perfect to fill these roles? Enter for your chance to win an advanced copy of Tarragon: Dragon Mage! (ebook only) 




Contest rules: Must be at least twelve to enter. Those under the age of 18 require parent/legal guardian permission to enter. All decisions are final. Prizes will be awarded to the author's pick. Any information collected to distribute said prizes will not be shared, rented, sold, or otherwise given to any other entity, nor will it be used by anyone else, or for any other purpose other than to deliver the prize to the winner of each week.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Character Introductions for Dragon Mage the dragons

 

Greetings all!

Looks like no one wanted to enter last week's character casting contest, so we're offering the same prize for this week's contest. See below for contest details. Remember, to enter, you must comment with your pick of actor/actress, with a brief explanation of why you think they'd fit the role. Bonus for this week, share what you'd think the dragons look like for a chance to win as well!

This week, I'd like to introduce two of the dragons!

Kern Nurrim

Kern Nurrim is the oldest of all the dragons. He is also the head of the Dragon Council, the highest governing body of the dragons.

When in dragon form, Kern resembles the classic Western Style dragons of our world, with white scales. White symbolizes not only his age, but is associated with light, the sun, air, holiness, perfection, innocence, and purity.  He is also sometimes called, "One who creates".
When in "mortal form", Kern resembles an old man with white hair and a long beard. He typically wears Eastern style clothing in the form of a formal robe of white and silver.

Kern possesses several abilities, including the ability to manipulate matter, use Soul Sight, telepathy, and can transform his shape into anything he likes.

 

Callum Durand

Callum's appearance is similar to his brother, Tyler  His appearance, however, is different in that he has darker hair (think medium brown) and slightly taller (closer to six foot odd). He also tends to not show up often, only when he wants to make a point or bring bad news. Also, his eyes are a soft green in color. He's well built, but not overly muscled.

Not much is known about Callum, other then that he tends to be a bit of a prig, very stickler for rules, and has no problem letting other people know when they've done something they shouldn't.

Tyler's older brother (sort of), Callum has no problem lording over the younger boy. He considers himself very wise and powerful. He also does not like mortals at all. He thinks they are petty and dangerous.


So, who do you think might fit these roles? Enter for your chance to win an ebook copy of Tarragon: Key Keeper! 




Contest rules: Must be at least twelve to enter. Those under the age of 18 require parent/legal guardian permission to enter. All decisions are final. Prizes will be awarded to the author's pick. Any information collected to distribute said prizes will not be shared, rented, sold, or otherwise given to any other entity, nor will it be used by anyone else, or for any other purpose other than to deliver the prize to the winner of each week. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Character Introductions for Tarragon: Dragon Mage The Millards

Greetings all!


As I said in the previous post, the release of Tarragon: Dragon Mage is approaching. As such, I wanted to introduce you to a few new characters, as well as brush up on some of the characters from the first book, Key Keeper. I have created a page with the original character introductions from last year, in case you wanted to go take a look, but I plan on expanding on some of them between now and the release of Tarragon: Dragon Mage. You might find some of this information insightful.

As I did last year, I am offering some prizes for those who suggest the best actor for the character. There will be one or two character introductions/updates per week, to give you time to come up with your casting ideas. You may enter each week for a different prize. See below for contest details. Remember, to enter, you must comment with your pick of actor/actress, with a brief explanation of why you think they'd fit the role.

To start off, I would like to re-introduce the characters of Mr. and Madame Millard, who play a slightly larger role in this story.

Mr. Millard

Mr. Millard is the husband of Madame Millard and is her partner at the Dridi Inn in the Village of Lindwyrm. They are also both dragon mages in the Mage Circle. Mr. Millard is an older chap, with a cold heart he manages to hide from those who do not know him. He also is responsible for the death of many Key Keepers over the years, accidentally leaving one Key Keeper behind.

Personality: He is devoted to his wife and will do almost anything for her. He is also cold, calculating, and tends to keep to himself unless his particular skill sets are required. He is an avid hunter, tends to like scaring younger children, and has no qualms with "being the bad guy" in the relationship.

Appearance: Mr. Millard is of medium build, strong but not overly muscular. His hair has grayed over the years and his face is wrinkled from age and malice. He has sharp eyes but keeps well groomed.

Brief History: Mr. Millard grew up in the Village of Lindwyrm. A member of the "upper class" of the village, he generally associated with those of power, which is how he met his wife, Matilda Millard. When they were married, instead of having her take on his last name, he took on hers. Together, they started the Dridi Inn.

 Madame Matilda Millard

Madame Matilda Millard is the joint owner and proprietress of the Dridi Inn in the Village of Lindwyrm. Enjoying the status of the upper echelons of the elite class in the village, Matilda is quite the force to be reckoned with. A bit of a busy body, she is respected, and feared, by her peers. Not only is she a forbidding force in the Village hierarchy, but she also holds sway as the master mage of the Mage Circle, a group of dragon mages bent on either the destruction or domination of dragon kind. As such, she considers herself above pretty much anyone not included in the upper echelons of the Mage Circle, called the Inner Circle.

Physical appearance: Matilda is quite overweight, but is deceptively strong for her large girth. She is also a lot faster than most would give her credit for. She tends towards clothes that are comfortable and slightly out of fashion. She belongs to a somewhat older era. As an older woman, she has gray mixed in with her darker hair, with wrinkles from both age and scowling, with the occasional smile thrown in.

Personality: Matilda is fastidious. She likes things in an exact way, bordering on sever OCD. She holds a tight reign on her business, and over her husband. She is a puppet master with a bit of a malicious streak to her. Like the others of her "rank", she feels herself entitled to all the best in life and has no problem scoffing at those beneath her. She also has no problem going after those who she feels threatens her plans.

Brief History: Born into the upper class, Matilda always knew she was destined for greatness. As she aged, eventually married, and watched her siblings marry and have children, she felt some small regret that she couldn't have offspring. But she found comfort in knowing her niece more than made up for her lack of children by acting as a surrogate daughter.

So, who do you think might fit these roles? Enter for your chance to win an ebook copy of Tarragon: Key Keeper! 


 

Contest rules: Must be at least twelve to enter. Those under the age of 18 require parent/legal guardian permission to enter. All decisions are final. Prizes will be awarded to the author's pick. Any information collected to distribute said prizes will not be shared, rented, sold, or otherwise given to any other entity, nor will it be used by anyone else, or for any other purpose other than to deliver the prize to the winner of each week. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Upcoming Contest!


It's almost March and that means I will soon be posting up character introductions for Tarragon: Dragon Mage, as well as sharing other information regarding my newest book, which officially releases April 17th. But, where's the fun in just posting up about each character unless there's a contest involved? 

So......



Like last year, there will be one introduction a week, though more than one character might be introduced or re-introduced with more information. To enter, simply comment on that week's post your actor/actress pick for that character. Feel free to tell us all why you think he/she/it is a good choice, because not all the characters are "human", as it were. ;-)

I will pick the winner based off of how well I think your suggestions fit the character. There will be a prize for each week. Each prize will be different.  And yes, you can enter more than one image per character and more than just one week. You can enter every week as many times as you would like.  Just know that I will try to be fair with all entries. The winner for each week will be announced with the next character introduction, so keep checking in.

This contest will officially open March 1, 2017, which is when I will post the first character introduction(s), with a brief tidbit about each character. Some character descriptions will be more vague than others, so do your best. And feel free to share! The more entries the better the next prize likely will be! 

The winner for each week will be posted with the next character introduction the week after, so keep checking back to see who won and don't forget to enter again.

Contest rules: Must be at least twelve to enter. Those under the age of 18 require parent/legal guardian permission to enter. All decisions are final. Prizes will be awarded to the author's pick. Any information collected to distribute said prizes will not be shared, rented, sold, or otherwise given to any other entity, nor will it be used by anyone else, or for any other purpose other than to deliver the prize to the winner of each week. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A Little Housekeeping

Hey all! It's the end of January. Whew! We made it!

I know I haven't posted a whole lot lately. That's because I"m working on making all the really cool items that you can win when you participate in the blog tour and/or launch party for Tarragon: Dragon Mage, which will be happening in April.

Here's a reminder of what the cover looks like.


 

I hope you will participate in both events. The prizes are going to be awesome!

 

Don't forget, you can now also buy your copy of Bob the Littlest Dinosaur!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Allow me to introduce: Bob the Littlest Dinosaur

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great New Year and whatever Holidays you may have celebrated! I have some news for you.  I will be releasing my first children's book January 20th.

 

And here he is!



Tired of being the smallest dinosaur, Bob sets out on an adventure to change his appearance. After facing many obstacles, Bob decides that being small isn't as bad as he thought it was.