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review 2018-09-16 21:27
Truly, Madly
Truly, Madly - Heather Webber

This was just what I wanted to read. A light, paranormal mystery with a side of romance thrown in! See, Lucy is a Valentine and the Valentines have this ability/gift to see auras and match people together. There is also a curse; Cupid's Curse, that follows them around that prevents a Valentine from having everlasting love. When Lucy was 14 she was shocked and lost her ability to see auras. She developed a brand new gift: the ability to find lost objects. However this made her question her identity, her worthiness, and threw her into a tailspin.
Lucy finally found herself in this book. Her parents, Oscar and Judith, have a very unconventional relationship that works for them. I really liked all the characters. This book was funny, fun, and serious. I really enjoyed the mix of paranormal, mystery, and romance. I thought the mystery was a really good one.
Lucy is a very likable character. The same for Sean and Lucy's family and group of friends. I liked that she gave up her trust fund and put herself through college. It was even better when she started to see her gift as something that was unique and beneficial. I look forward to seeing where she can go and who can be helped!
I do think the curse isn't a Curse so much as a self-fulfilling one.
For Booklikes Halloween Bingo 2018, this is my cozy mystery pick.

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url 2018-09-11 00:15
My one hundred eighteenth podcast is up!
Rome Resurgent: War and Empire in the Age of Justinian - Peter Heather

My latest podcast is up on the New Books Network website! In it I interview Peter Heather about his book on Emperor Justinian's efforts to reconstruct the Roman empire in the west in the 6th century AD. Enjoy!

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text 2018-08-26 19:51
This has been on my library waitlist the longest of any book
It Takes a Witch (A Wishcraft Mystery #1) - Heather Blake

Finally came available to checkout this ebook.


A cozy paranormal mystery that just sounded fun based on dashboard here and other feeds.  


So, I added ebook to library holds.  More than a year ago it seems.


I almost always read library books first to shorten next person's wait, so I'll see for myself after finishing one more library borrow (Magic Slays).

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review 2018-08-12 14:31
Simplistic, observational, evocative
The Heather Blazing - Colm Tóibín

An elderly judge Eamon Redmond lives with his wife Carmel and travels to the fair city of Dublin everyday to fulfill his high court role. A quiet, thoughtful, deeply intellectual man Eamon often reflects on his life in the present and moments of his childhood that helped shape and create the person he is today. His childhood was a time of order, daily chores, and routine but always under the auspices of the only binding force in the community; the catholic church. A church that demanded allegiance and in return for such devotion and faith man could be saved from the evils of the world, but "without God’s help, we will all die in our sinful condition and remain separated from God forever". The truth of the situation was that the church offered few answers for a young man exploring his sexuality, trying to make sense of the often painful passage from boyhood to manhood. However politics and the allegiance to a particular party played a much more prominent role in the life of the citizens with its constant reminder of past struggles and romantic leaders most prominent of which was Eamon de Valera and the famous Easter rising of 1916 against British rule. As Eamon Redmond becomes immersed in the politics of the age he meets and falls in love with a young party worker Carmel who is equally smitten by her admirer's  oratory skills and his ambitions within the political arena.


The story is told in two parts a reflection, often romantic, view of childhood with its warmth and sadness at the passing of close relatives, and in contrast adulthood, responsibilities and complex decisions that constitutes the daily routine of a high court judge. To me The Heather Blazing celebrates the importance of family and how the youthful formative years impress and influence our decisions and mindset into adulthood. Colm Toibin is a great observe of daily routines and the Ireland he describes reminds me, as an Irishman, of my own childhood with simple family routines embedded forever in my mind....."They all settled around the fire, the women with glasses of sherry, the men with beer, the three boys with glasses of lemonade. Eamon watched as his father tipped his glass to the side and poured the beer in slowly, letting it slide softly down the edge of the glass"....The harsh beautiful untamed Irish landscape with wild unpredictable seas somehow compliments the simplistic yet deeply moving narrative of one of Ireland's finest authors.

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review 2018-08-12 02:17
Lift Your Light a Little Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop: Slave-Explorer - Heather Henson,Bryan Collier

This children's book is very well done. It details what is known about Stephen Bishop, a slave who conducted tours of Mammoth Caves. Told by him, the author and illustrator cover not only slavery and race laws pre-Civil War, but also do so in a beautiful and lyrical manner. There is a note at the end that details the known facts about Bishop

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