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review 2018-01-09 18:31
The Widow's Broom by Chris Van Allsburg
The Widow's Broom - Chris Van Allsburg

Title:  The Widow's Broom

Author:  Chris Van Allsburg

Genre:  Horror / Witches / Halloween 

Year Published: 1992

Year Read: 2010

Publisher:   Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+  (Intense Themes of Witchcraft)

 

Widow

“The Widow’s Broom” is a haunting story from the great mind of Chris Van Allsburg and it is about how a lonely widow named Minna Shaw finds a friend in a witch’s broom, but is threatened by the villagers to get rid of the broom because the know that it is witch crafted. “The Widow’s Broom” may have some controversial material about witchcraft, but it is a brilliant read for children who love haunting stories.

Chris Van Allsburg makes this story haunting yet memorable at the same time as it details the story of friendship between a widow and her broom and the bond that Minna Shaw and the broom share together will definitely show children about the importance of friendship even in the worse of times such as when the broom was being harassed by the villagers because it was witch crafted. Chris Van Allsburg’s illustrations are highly beautiful and haunting at the same time as the images are mainly in black and white giving the story a haunting and old fashioned feel since this story probably took place during the 1700s and the image that stood out the most was the image of the broom itself as its handle actually curves when it is doing the work for Minna and because the broom looks so innocent and friendly, many children would actually like the broom instead of fear it.

Widow

Parents should know that the theme of witchcraft in this book might be too sensitive to readers who do not approve of witchcraft, even though personally, this subject does not bother me so much since I am a huge fan of Harry Potter, but the broom in this book was friendly and he only threw up the Spivey boys and the dog because they were harassing the broom. Depending on your views on the subject on witchcraft, parents should talk about this book with their children and see how they handle the witchcraft theme.

“The Widow’s Broom” is a brilliant book about the importance of true friendship and will be an instant treat for children who love reading haunting books. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up due to the witchcraft theme might be scary for smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-12-13 01:23
WIDOW’S POINT Review
Widow’s Point - Richard T. Chizmar

As of late, I’ve become fascinated with video recordings of the explorations of abandoned places—psych hospitals, schools, shopping malls. There is a treasure trove of this type of thing on YouTube. (Dan Bell is my favorite, check him out!) Perhaps I am a little late to that particular party, but I have arrived all the same. Like most folks, I think the mystique of locations long forgotten is a powerful one, though I am too easily scared to explore such places in real life.

 

Widow’s Point, the upcoming novella by Richard Chizmar and son Billy Chizmar, plays on this interest: what if an acclaimed author of thirteen books about the supernatural were to spend three nights locked in the aged, possibly haunted Widow’s Point Lighthouse? And what if he were to record in real time his findings (or lack thereof)?

 

Due to an early camera malfunction, a good chunk of this story is told in first-person by author Thomas Livingston — he is using his trust audio recorder. Things are fine, uneventful . . . until they’re not. In the pages leading up to dizzying, throat-clenching climax Livingston informs whoever happens to hear his recordings when all is said and done of the lighthouse’s history: the murders that have happened there, the suicides, the vanishings, the possessions. The Chizmars do an excellent job of conveying the history of this lighthouse without getting bogged down in excessive detail or needless exposition. The weight and importance of this place, these possibly cursed grounds, are quite apparent from the first.

 

A rich and satisfying tale, Widow’s Point is a haunted ‘house’ story that utilizes the conventions of the genre while turning them on their heads, making for a totally original, frightening, and unforgettable tale of macabre, intrigue. No doubt will I revisit this nasty little bugger in the future.

 

Thanks to Richard Chizmar for the ARC, which was provided in exchange for an honest review. This is it.

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review 2017-12-11 22:32
Widow's Web / Jennifer Estep
Widow's Web - Jennifer Estep

Once an assassin, always an assassin. So much for being plain old Gin Blanco. With every lowlife in Ashland gunning for me, I don’t need another problem, but a new one has come to town.

Salina might seem like a sweet Southern belle, but she’s really a dangerous enemy whose water elemental magic can go head-to-head with my own Ice and Stone power. Salina also has an intimate history with my lover, Owen Grayson, and now that she’s back in town, she thinks he’s hers for the taking.

Salina’s playing a mysterious game that involves a shady local casino owner with a surprising connection to Owen. But they call me the Spider for a reason. I’m going to untangle her deadly scheme, even if it leaves my love affair hanging by a thread.

 

It really struck me as I was reading this volume of the Elemental Assassin series (number 7, if you’re counting) that Jennifer Estep is really working her way through all the relationship issues that a woman can have. The first couple of books revolve around being fixated on the wrong person—the one you’ve got chemistry with, but not necessarily shared values. The relationship that’s doomed from the start, but you’re still inexplicably drawn to (that would be detective Donovan Caine).

Then Gin meets Owen Grayson, someone she’s got things in common with—this is the stage where she’s found someone who could be compatible, but she’s not sure he’ll accept all of her, even the ruthless parts. They do the “do we really trust each other” dance for a couple of books, before seeming to settle into a pretty solid relationship.

The last book tested Gin’s commitment—bringing Donovan back into her life, seemingly anxious to reconcile. She passes on Mr. Caine, realizing that they still have polar opposite values and that it couldn’t possibly work. This book, its Owen’s turn, as his former fianceé Salina returns to Ashland, determined to get him back.

Things that I have complained about in earlier books—repetition, mostly—isn’t present in this installment. Estep seems to have either matured as a writer or found a much more stringent editor who doesn’t put up with it. As a result, the books are much more entertaining and my irritation quotient is dramatically reduced.

A nice little urban fantasy hit to keep my addiction alive!

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text 2017-12-07 15:22
How is it already December 7th?
Living with Shakespeare: Actors, Directors, and Writers on Shakespeare in Our Time - Susannah Carson
The Drowned and the Saved - Primo Levi
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (The crime club) - Agatha Christie
Magic's Promise - Mercedes Lackey
Widow's Web - Jennifer Estep
The Subtle Knife - Philip Pullman
Christmas Stories - Diana Secker Tesdell
Hercule Poirot's Christmas: A Hercule Poirot Mystery - Agatha Christie
Prince Caspian - C.S. Lewis

 

We're rapidly approaching the end of 2017 and I'm not ready.  Christmas is coming at warp speed it seems, and I have a family party on the 23rd and I'll spend Christmas Day at my niece's house, staying with my sister in between those two events.  Then on the 29th, I fly to the west coast to see my other sister and go to a family wedding on New Year's Eve.  I'm looking forward to all of this, but I'm wondering when I'm going to get my Christmas cards written, the food contributions prepared, and my suitcases packed.

 

And of course, I want to tie up the loose ends of this reading year, read some Christmas books, and prepare for 2018.  A bit of Peace on Earth.

 

Last weekend, I got my Christmas tree set up & decorated.  I'm enjoying the coloured lights, celebrating the upcoming solstice and the return of more light.  These days it feels like I go to work in the dark and go home in the dark--I feel like a mole!

 

I know I will get it all done.  I always do.  And if I don't, the world will not end.  Keep telling me that.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all. 

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review 2017-12-01 00:00
Daring Widow: Those Notorious Americans, Book 2
Daring Widow: Those Notorious Americans, Book 2 - Cerise DeLand There are three central characters to this knock your socks off love affair. Andre and Marianne would be nothing without the larger than life passion that puts them in each others arms. She's the widowed American with a heartbreaking past in search of her own independence. He's the notoriously sexy and stubbornly determined nobleman that speaks to a hunger in her soul. When lust turns to love, who will hold the winning hand? With a mysterious sensuality sets the hormones on fire and brings a heart to it's knees with Daring Widow.
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