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    Diamonds in the Shadow []  2020-1-21 23:51

    It was a heart felt take about a family who learned to love and work together. I absolutely adored this book and i am excited to see what the future holds for me with all the more wisdom and understanding that I have learned about family and true happiness. Though this book is only fiction, it was written so beautifully that anyone could believe it is non-fiction.

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    Diamonds in the Shadow []  2020-1-21 23:51

    Could have been a amazing book, but I was not a fan of the author and the method she wrote it.

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    Diamonds in the Shadow []  2020-1-21 23:51

    Its one of those books you cannot place down. You have to hold reading it to search out what is going to happen. I actually brought it for my nephew's reading assignment but read it myself.

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    Diamonds in the Shadow []  2020-1-21 23:51

    I read this book with my middle school students and the LOVE it! Caroline Cooney got it right again. She is so amazing at writing stories that are real to life and could be real but are still intriguing. This one has you on the edge of your seat till the very end. I always have students read about Blood Diamonds prior to reading the story to support the understand the characters behavior better. It opens their eyes a bit to what amazing lives they actually have and to become more aware of situations in other countries. I doubt that my students will ever downplay the slaughter and call them Conflict Diamonds after reading this.

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    Diamonds in the Shadow []  2020-1-21 23:51

    "Great book!"My 11 yr old said

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    Diamonds in the Shadow []  2020-1-21 23:51

    I had figured out what was event well before it happened and it frustrated me because of the choices that the characters were making.

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    Diamonds in the Shadow []  2020-1-21 23:51

    Product as described and delivered in a timely fashion at a amazing price

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    Diamonds in the Shadow []  2020-1-21 23:51

    An intriguing tale of unimaginable pains (physical and mental), friendship, and the learning of a fresh cultures. Highly recommended for all.

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    Diamonds in the Shadow []  2020-1-21 23:51

    My 13 year old son enjoyed this book.

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    Diamonds in the Shadow []  2020-1-21 23:51

    It started slow but picked up quickly. Amazing ending. Amazing for anyone who wants to educate their kid on worldly problems that affect the US.

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    Diamonds in the Rough []  2020-8-13 19:26

    Lew Freedman wrote one of the better books in baseball history as he traces the history of Alaskan baseball (bush league in its finest form) from the territorial days to the turn of the century. What create this book so interesting is that it also spotlights on a lot of of the players who used to played in Alaska during its short summer seasons who later on became huge time Major League players like Tag McGwire, Dave Kingman and Randy Johnson. But overall, the main focus of the book remains on baseball in Alaska, the history of the teams, players and coaches along with some of it more eccentric fans. It may be that some of the players we see in Anchorage today during the summer season, may be a future Hall of e book comes highly recommended for anyone interested in baseball history or enjoyed baseball in general.

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    Diamonds in the Rough []  2020-8-13 19:26

    Lots of pictures and stories

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    Diamonds in the Rough []  2020-8-13 19:26

    Before the Cape Cod League came to fame, the put for college baseball players to hone their skills in the summer was the Alaska Baseball League. Over 300 Major League Baseball players spent a season or more in the ABL, including guys like Tom Seaver, Dave Winfield and Tag McGwire. The ABL was the put to play, and the squads and the android games were terrific.Lew Freedman's book captures part of that glory, from the begin of the Fairbanks Goldpanners under Red Boucher in 1960 through the 2000 season. The ups, downs, stars, feuds, heroes and villains; Freedman does a amazing job and brings an informed perspective to a amazing story. The ABL was more or less "discovered" on the 100th anniversary of the Midnight Sun Android game back in 2006, when Sports Illustrated, ESPN and others came up to cover the game. The amazing story wasn't 100 years of android games played from 10:30 PM to 1:00 AM without artificial lights; the huge story was the awesome success across the decades of the ABL. But Freedman was there ry Bonds, Randy Johnson, three generations of Boones, Jason Giambi, John Olerud, Rich Aurilia; the list of former ABL players is long and distinguished. Kudos to Lew Freedman and Epicenter Press for telling the story well.

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    Diamonds in the Rough []  2020-8-13 19:26

    This is a very amazing book about various squads in the Alaska Baseball League. In talks about each squad and their players and also talks of the history of the league.

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    Man in the Shadow [Movie]  2017-10-13 21:50

    The Bingham County Bully. Man in the Shadow is directed by Jack Arnold and written by Gene L. Coon. it stars Jeff Chandler, Orson Welles, Colleen Miller, Ben Alexander, John Larch and Barbara Lawrence. Uncredited melody is by Hans J. Salter and Herman Stein, and cinematography by Arthur E. Arling. The cattle city of Spurline is ruled by Virgil Renchler (Welles), one man refuses to bow to his despotic rule - Sheriff Ben Sadler (Chandler). Obreos No Son Permitidos A Traves De Esta Cerca. The above statement means that field hands are not permitted beyond this fence, it's an opening salvo that greets viewers of this atmospheric and relevant CinemaScope picture, and it's something that perfectly sets up the unseemly tone of the story. The story is easy enough, a city is run by an unsavoury business man who thinks he and his cronies are above the law, the townsfolk think he is as well and tow the line, even in view of the overt racism and treatment to those of other ethnicity. When a murder is committed it brings in the upright and loyal to the law Sheriff, who as you might guess will have to stand alone versus tyranny. "Now you're shocked? All you decent people were shocked? For god's sake why? Because my name's Ben Sadler instead of Juan Martine, cuz I'm a tax payer instead of a drifter?" With mood established, both in narrative thrust and monochrome magic, movie is more concerned with political bile, the abuse of power and troubled consciousness than being an action piece. You may well know how this is all going to end, but it's told and performed in such a gripping fashion that it holds court from first frame til last. A number of striking photos would grace a lot of a movie noir, the night shots of the town, a dastardly crime perpetrated in the shadow of a swinging lamp, the ominous lighting of the Renchler Ranch, and then there's the potency of the criminal acts, which are admirably constructed. Both Arnold and Arling proving to have keen eyes for visual impact. Welles doesn't have to stretch himself but makes a telling tag as the huge bad, while Larch does a nice line in snarly henchmen villainy. Sadly where Miller is concerned, as Renchler's daughter it's a token role that any gal could have played, the role seemingly only serving to have her strip to her undies and be annoyed with her dad. Head and shoulders above everyone is Chandler, there are those who call him wooden (amongst over things), not a bit of it. The right role, such as this, showcases his worth, his subtleties, his physicality and a calming grace that makes one lament his too short career and life. Thematically this sort of piece has been done much better elsewhere, but this is laudable items all told and well worth discovering for potential first time viewers. 7/10

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    Man in the Shadow [Movie]  2017-10-13 21:50

    The Bingham County Bully. Man in the Shadow is directed by Jack Arnold and written by Gene L. Coon. it stars Jeff Chandler, Orson Welles, Colleen Miller, Ben Alexander, John Larch and Barbara Lawrence. Uncredited melody is by Hans J. Salter and Herman Stein, and cinematography by Arthur E. Arling. The cattle city of Spurline is ruled by Virgil Renchler (Welles), one man refuses to bow to his despotic rule - Sheriff Ben Sadler (Chandler). Obreos No Son Permitidos A Traves De Esta Cerca. The above statement means that field hands are not permitted beyond this fence, it's an opening salvo that greets viewers of this atmospheric and relevant CinemaScope picture, and it's something that perfectly sets up the unseemly tone of the story. The story is easy enough, a city is run by an unsavoury business man who thinks he and his cronies are above the law, the townsfolk think he is as well and tow the line, even in view of the overt racism and treatment to those of other ethnicity. When a murder is committed it brings in the upright and loyal to the law Sheriff, who as you might guess will have to stand alone versus tyranny. "Now you're shocked? All you decent people were shocked? For god's sake why? Because my name's Ben Sadler instead of Juan Martine, cuz I'm a tax payer instead of a drifter?" With mood established, both in narrative thrust and monochrome magic, movie is more concerned with political bile, the abuse of power and troubled consciousness than being an action piece. You may well know how this is all going to end, but it's told and performed in such a gripping fashion that it holds court from first frame till last. A number of striking photos would grace a lot of a movie noir, the night shots of the town, a dastardly crime perpetrated in the shadow of a swinging lamp, the ominous lighting of the Renchler Ranch, and then there's the potency of the criminal acts, which are admirably constructed. Both Arnold and Arling proving to have keen eyes for visual impact. Welles doesn't have to stretch himself but makes a telling tag as the huge bad, while Larch does a nice line in snarly henchmen villainy. Sadly where Miller is concerned, as Renchler's daughter it's a token role that any gal could have played, the role seemingly only serving to have her strip to her undies and be annoyed with her dad. Head and shoulders above everyone is Chandler, there are those who call him wooden (amongst over things), not a bit of it. The right role, such as this, showcases his worth, his subtleties, his physicality and a calming grace that makes one lament his too short career and life. Thematically this sort of piece has been done much better elsewhere, but this is laudable items all told and well worth discovering for potential first time viewers. 7/10

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    In the Shadow of Islam []  2020-1-22 21:52

    This is an autobiography of a young woman who was born ahead of her time. One who has created the life-choices that we only aspire to have the courage to parallel ourselves with today...Thank you

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    In the Shadow of Blackbirds []  2020-1-22 23:1

    Bottom line... This book is simply amazing. Even though it took me about the first 5% to obtain into it, once I did it was a straight shot to the end. Atmospheric writing, a special story combination, and enough twists to create me gasp in shock while reading all combined to make a truly wonderful reading experience.When Cat Winters set out to transport her readers to WWI and Spanish flu epidemic era California, she does it with aplomb. We literally live and breathe the setting, seeing the ghostly white flu masks as people go about their lives, white sheet covered bodies in household yards waiting for pick up, and thousands of people waiting for one latest portrait of their lost battle dead in spiritual photographs. Not only the historical setting does she capture with vivid imagery, but the whole subculture of Spiritualism at the turn of the century. You can just envision the incense-scented séances, the light-streaked photographs, and the eerie but heart breaking photo of Mary's lost mate lurking in dark corners, trying to communicate.If any of the story elements had been by themselves, I would be able to say that I've seen stories like them before. However, all the various elements are combined to make something truly unique. A study of PTSD, a horrifying portrait of America caught in the grips of WWI and one of the century's worst pandemics, a young girl coming of age and dealing with loss, a death mystery, a supernatural thriller, and family strife all come together to make a truly special and vivid story. A story with this a lot of layers is to be savored for years to e twists in the book were something else. The whole death mystery plot threw me for a loop. The actual respond to the mystery left my jaw on the floor as it was completely unexpected. Some of the happenings that happened as well were truly horrifying. More than once, I had tears in my eyes from what these characters went through on their life's journey. I really liked that the twists didn't all wait to the end, either, to happen. In the first fourth of the book, Mary has an happening happen to her that leaves the reader's jaws on the floor and that propels the rest of the story into a tailspin of suspense, horror, and a few moments of young love to break up the darkness a twists and twirls her readers from chapter to chapter, building up the suspense into something extraordinary. A book this rich, layered, and special heralds a real talent emerging into YA fiction. And while the ending wasn't what I was really yearning for, Cat Winters gives us a story for the ages that makes up for it. I eagerly await more from this debut author!

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    In the Shadow of Islam []  2020-1-22 21:52

    A very interesting book, which provides an insight into the globe of the colonial era under European influence.

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    In the Shadow of Blackbirds []  2020-1-22 23:1

    Personally, I had no idea that there were so a lot of problems floating around the amazing ol' US of A during 1918. Okay, I knew WWI was occurring and that there was the Spanish Influenza, but I never really thought about the fact that they were going on at the same time. Add the popularity of Spiritualism on top of everything else, and it's a rather interesting time to be alive. And by interesting I mean incredibly scary and heart wrenching. Mary Shelley - can I just say who much I love her name? - is sent to live with her Aunt Eva after her father is sent to prison for crimes versus the US. Reasoning behind this is that the weather in San Diego is warmer than Portland and therefore it is less likely she'll contract the Spanish Flu. Between that theory and that onions warded off the germs, I'm not sure which I search to be more ridiculous. Of course, they were scared and didn't know any better, so I can't fault them that. I do however like that Winters adds all these historical tidbits into her novel. It enhances the story and creates a realism and storyline outside of Mary Shelley being haunted. These small details, along with the focus on Spiritualism, creates a foreboding tone to the novel. It's not just a story about a ghost, but a story of survival in a terrifying time period. The desperation people felt in needing to know that there was an afterlife, that death wasn't the end. Men, women, children, babies are all dying of an airborne flu that came from nowhere (and left just as quickly). Soldiers are dying over seas. Any min could be your last. Whoa, I just went to a scary place, didn't I? But that's the feeling you obtain from this book! Mary Shelley has just lost the one boy she loved to this battle and as she's trying to with her loss, his ghost shows up in her bedroom. Repeatedly. I did not obtain enough of Mary Shelley and pre-ghost Stephen. His death hurts me as I can envision these two really having a future together. (Part of me thinks I am more angrier over his death than Mary Shelley, but that sounds silly. Right?) I found Mary Shelley to be a powerful and likable character. Once she realized that Stephen is being damage by something - or thinks he is - and cannot pass on, she is bound and determined to support him, despite not having any idea of how to do so. After a trip to the library to research war, life after death, among other things to support Stephen, she heads over to a Red Cross house to volunteer to support the wounded soldiers. I found this stage to be incredibly moving. Winters strong narration once again comes into play as she describes the scene. Solider with missing limbs, disfigured faces, some doped up on morphine, others staring into space, and one particular soldier who cannot stop crying over the horrors he has seen. I was extremely impressed with Mary Shelley's behavior while in the Red Cross building. My favorite part was when she starts reading Tom Sawyer to the soldiers as "the world's been getting the best of [her], too" (204) and she knows these men need something to distract their thoughts. The narration was strong, the characters believable, the setting perfectly chosen. I was sucked into the novel and flew through the latest 200-something pages because I could not place it down. I had to search out why Stephen wasn't passing on, why he was haunting Mary Shelley, and how everything was going to unfold. While this wasn't the horror novel I had been excepting, it in no method took away from my enjoyment. I wasn't up all night with the lights on, but I was definitely creeped out. There is something to be said for your dead boyfriend's ghost popping up in your bedroom in the middle of the night.

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    In the Shadow of Blackbirds []  2020-1-22 23:1

    There are so a lot of reasons to love this novel, but my top three were the pitch-perfect spooky atmosphere, the romance, and the mosphere: Winters really makes 1918 California come alive. You feel the fear of the Spanish Flu, the uncertainty brought about by the battle and the desperation of the people who went to the spiritualists to search out about the well-being of their loved mance: I fell hard for this novel because of the connection between Mary Shelley and Stephen. By the time the novel opens, Stephen has already been shipped off to war in Europe - so we mostly see their relationship develop via his letters (swoon!) and a flashback of their first kiss (double swoon!). And man .... I felt sooo poor for both of them. I ached for them to be back stery: Mary Shelley was so determined to set things right for Stephen - even if it cost her her life. I admire that kind of moxie and dedication. And that's how Winters manages to up the stakes even more - Mary Shelley has to solve a whole mystery involving Stephen. This mystery was so well plotted, too. I totally didn't see those reveals coming.Wonderful novel that I'll be recommending over and over again for years to come.

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    In the Shadow of Islam []  2020-1-22 21:52

    This volume of Isabelle Eberhardt's original Dans L'ombre Chaude de Islam "In the Warm Shadow of Islam" was penned in 1904. As a huge Eberhardt fan I still enjoyed reading this slim 1993 edition although it's lamely billed "In the Shadow of Islam". Translated by Sharon Bangert, the omission of this single word from the title, "Warm", quite neatly reverses its meaning. Thus the translator or publishers (Peter Owen Publishers) chose to slyly sabotage Eberhardt's empathic sympathetic notice about her chosen faith Sufism/Islam with a beckoning yet ominous tang. I suppose her original title, 'In the Warm Shadow of Islam', (emphasis mine) was too long and Islam-friendly for today's market?Thus, the publisher's choice perpetrates the ever famous anti-Islamic bent. That said, it's the brilliance of Eberhart's work that manages to shine through even a biased translation.Without ado, allow me provide some of my favorite quotes from In the Shadow of Islam:"To the extent that I feel myself saturated by ancient, unshaken Islam, which here seems to be the very breathing of the earth...And I understand that one could end one's days in the peace and silence of some southern zawiya, end in ecstasy, of yearnings, confronting only radiant horizons. " pg 114"I have jotted these reflections in the margin of a letter...Having written them, I relapse into my feeling of exile, wishing to bury myself even deeper in this hostile south, without any desire for the Paris I have known, where the newspaper's lip-service to feminism was even more repugnant to me than the Parisian coquettes.I have said nothing in my response worth reading. Why bother? One day paths separate, destinies crystallize. And this is so much more than having created a few friends. When they are amazing enough to invite us to share their foreign happiness, let's present them what's possible to a real fraternity of minds.Let's regret nothing, since our happiness and theirs will consist in letting ourselves go one day, into mysterious currents which will carry our souls adrift towards impossible shores. Then we'll have fun the intoxication of decadence and shipwreck; and wandering over the immense beaches of the night, we'll feel within us the seeds of suffering start to germinate." pg 70"...forgetting the principals of tolerance propounded by Islam at its purest..." pg 49It strikes me that prayer, and dreams, too, should never end." pg 60-61Please have fun this timeless piece of writing...still relevant and convincing.

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    In the Shadow of Blackbirds []  2020-1-22 23:1

    I am a fan of historical fiction novels but I have to admit that they usually revolve around some intrigue event in the Tudor court and not the Spanish Influenza. To be honest, it was the cover of this book that first caught my eye while browsing Netgalley, and once I read the blurb it was the addition of séances and spirit photographers that really created me request it. In truth, I started the book on a whim, and couldn’t place it ry Shelley Black is forced to live with her aunt in San Diego after her father is arrested. She isn’t completely fresh to the area, she spent a lot of time there as a child, and has a lot of memories there of herself and her childhood sweetheart, Stephen. Stephen has since left for the battle and it isn’t long after Mary Shelley arrives that she finds out that Stephen has died. As she struggles to overcome this heartache, Mary Shelley begins to be visited by Stephen’s tortured spirit. It seems that Stephen can’t move on until he comes to terms with his death, and he’s determined to use Mary to search out some the Shadow of Blackbirds has so a lot of layers that it is hard to start to describe its intensity. As stated above, it is a historical fiction novel, and Cat Winters did an perfect job in describing the austere and frightening time period in which people were struggling with the effects of battle and death. I found myself shivering at the thought of a flu outbreak and nearly sobbed over the info surrounding the war. Through this backdrop there is also a beautifully heartbreaking love story between Mary and Stephen. Though Stephen is only portrayed alive in Mary’s memories, his ethereal hero was very true and deeply moving. I found myself somewhat surprised at how much this relationship touched me and created my heart ache. The underlying plot of this novel is of course the mystery, and being an avid reader I am very rarely shocked while reading. Cat Winters leaves a lot of puzzle pieces throughout the novel and to be quite honest, I really thought I had it all figured out. As the novel climaxed and secrets were revealed I was stunned, horrified, and rather shaken to search that things were not at all what they is is not a particularly satisfied read, but it is glorious, in the end. It is hard to search a specific audience for this novel as I really believe that it is fitting for all. If you have fun layered novels, filled with historical fiction, mysterious, paranormal, and romantic elements, then this is the novel for you. This is a book that I am thinking about months after its conclusion. In the end, In the Shadow of Blackbirds will consume you, body and soul.

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    In the Shadow of Blackbirds []  2020-1-22 23:1

    I was thrilled to pick up a book set during the Spanish flu epidemic. Not enough authors have been bold enough to tackle this time this novel, we search teen heroine Mary moving in with her aunt Eva in San Francisco due to her father's arrest. The flu is everywhere, and dead bodies are out on lawns for ambulances to pick up. Mary's young love Stephen dies, and she is haunted by his spirit. Versus the pandemonium of the flu, Mary sets out to uncover what happened to Stephen. Throw in the subjects of spirit photography (also not covered by enough authors) and séances and blend with a small doubt regarding Stephen's family members and you have the ingredients for one dashing book.I loved how thoroughly researched the novel was. The home remedies and prevention methods were interesting to read about, and they were real to the time period. Winters did a marvelous job in unearthing info on the flu epidemic. She is such a well-rounded amateur historian that I hope she tackles some more unusual time periods in American history.I had problem connecting with Mary, the heroine. I liked her spunkiness and bravery. She would have to be powerful to survive such emotional tragedy as well as the trying time she lived in. Yet I thought her inconsistent. Her behavior was a small too affected at times for me to like her. The hero who truly shines is Julius, the darkest hero in the book. He was written so sharply that he felt like a true person to me.I also think the book had some issues with pacing as well as issues with repetition. Exactly how a lot of times did Mary need to outline what might have happened to Stephen? It was exhausting by the end of the book. I also found the love stage between Mary and spirit Stephen to be ridiculous. Some of the dialogue and narration were is is a amazing novel set versus one of the most interesting time periods our nation has experienced. The minor issues I listed should be taken into consideration before buying, but overall, I think most would have fun this book. I look forward to seeing what else Ms. Winters writes, but I hope she puts as much work into her characters as her meticulous research of the history.

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    In the Shadow of Blackbirds []  2020-1-22 23:1

    People always seem to speak of our current time in history as the worst the globe has seen, but consider 1918. Not only was the globe embroiled in a brutal battle that was killing thousands, but lives were also being lost to the Spanish flu, an outbreak so large and widespread it was labeled a pandemic. People wore gauze masks. They chewed cloves of garlic and hung them from their necks, and they died like flies anyway. The fear and grief that was spawned as a result, that must have hung in the air like a shroud, gave rise to a near frenzied interest in spiritualism, in ghosts, in ways to talk to the ones we love who have passed. It must have seemed that Armageddon had come. I felt that it had from the very first page of Cat Winter's beautifully written, eerily atmospheric debut novel, IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS. The story is categorized variously as horror and paranormal, and the reading audience is YA. But that seems too limiting for this novel's sweep. It has an almost "ripped from the headlines" kind of feel to it as if it could be event now, and all of it were true. It's a riveting read, and not just for kids, either. There's so much wisdom in the words, in the story that's developed on several levels. There's a lot to ponder. One of the lessons that seems clear, at least to me, is how indomitable the human spirit is. It comes through the wonderfully drawn main character, Mary Shelley. This is a novel that teaches about a long ago time in history, that has lessons for today. And the photographs that are included with the story are compelling and chilling, like iced frosting on an already scrumptious cake.

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    In the Shadow of Islam []  2020-1-22 21:52

    Just what I needed

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    In the Shadow of Blackbirds []  2020-1-22 23:1

    You know what I love? Books that are wholly special among all the ones I've read. Though In the Shadow of Blackbirds does remind me of a couple other books, it is clear and distinct and attractive in a method all its own. Cat Winters' debut blew me out of the water, teetering on the edge between realistic historical fiction and paranormal in a startling and compelling the Shadow of Blackbirds is one of those books that will be first up on my list of young adult books to recommend to those who look down on teen books. Cat Winters' debut has so much depth and heart. Winters writes beautifully, and I marked any number of passages that really moved me as I read. Nor is the topic matter in any method juvenile, as Mary Shelley Black, though but 16, is, in a lot of ways, on her own.Just the other day, I read a post by Winters on a blog about how she started out writing adult fiction and why she created the switch to YA. She mentioned that seeing through a child's eyes can an openness and honesty that you won't search in adults. It's a wholly various lens through which to view tragedies, like battle and plagues. This sense that a youth's perception is in no method less valuable or meaningful than an adult's really comes through, and is quite empowering. Winters highlights the things that a younger person can see that an adult might miss, all without talking down to her intended e historical elements are brilliantly done. Reading In the Shadow of the Blackbirds, I felt steeped in another time and place, California in 1918. Though Globe Battle II is a looming shadow in the background, the true horror in her life is the epidemic of the Spanish flu. People are dying left and right, and indulging in outlandish, superstitious methods to prevent catching the illness, like eating endless amounts of onion or burning sulfur (which smells like rotten eggs). Winters also, through the distant hero of Mary Shelley's father, shows the darker side of the patriotism of the era. He tried to support save young men from going to war in battle, and is branded a ters delves deeply into the spiritualism of the time. As young men died on battlefields in Europe, desperate family members turned to the occult in their desire to communicate with their lost loved ones: mediums, spirit photographers. Mary Shelley's love interest, Stephen, believes that ghosts are not real, merely a hoax perpetuated by dishonest men like his brother, Julius. Mary Shelley has no interest or belief in it, but her Aunt Eva, who she is staying with since her father is now in prison, subscribes to it and drags her along, with the promise of hearing news of Stephen, off fighting in Europe. Since I do not wish to spoil anything, I'll just say that there's some awesome, ghosty paranormal things that create the reader question just what is or is not event to Mary ry Shelley is a vibrant, headstrong, strong heroine. She wars for others as hard as she can, working to unravel the mystery that becomes apparent to her. In the face of the often fatal flu, she does not take insane risks, but she also refuses to lock herself up inside out of fear. She even volunteers her time to support wounded soldiers. I really love this girl, and the method that she chooses to live, and I feel poor for all of her struggles in a society that doesn't appreciate a woman being as forward-thinking as she the Shadow of Blackbirds is a masterfully-crafted debut. Those who enjoyed Libba Bray's The Diviners will most definitely wish to test Winters' book, which has a related strong blend of history and paranormal elements.

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    In the Shadow of Blackbirds []  2020-1-22 23:1

    I really thought I was going to fall in love with this book as everyone else seemed to do. But I knew from the firs twenty or so pages that I wasn't going to. I will admit, the story and writing got better as it progressed by leaps and bounds; I was worried that I was only going to give this one star at the e main issue that I had with this story was that there wasn't the feel of being "old". When I read amazing historical fiction, there seems to be a tone throughout the book, whether it's the description, the writing, or the voices of the characters. This book didn't have that at all. The only method I knew it was set in 1918 was because the main character, Mary Shelley, kept saying so or it said it in the letters. She sounded like a teenager of the day that was just plopped into 1918.I didn't really like any of the characters. I wasn't invested emotionally in them and didn't really give a damn about e author went overboard with trying making Mary Shelley quirky. For one, she was named Mary Shelley (and I never understood why they didn't just call her Mary), had her mother die in childbirth just like Mary Shelley's mother did, and was an inventor/curious/girl-ahead-of-her-time. I didn't it. She was just a bland hero who had a thin back story that tried to create her so the love story aspect was just blah for me. The letters that the love interest, Stephen, wrote were so obviously written by a woman author who thought that this is the best method for a man to write romantically to his love. But it didn't work and I was just thinking "Oh, for God's sake" when reading the letters.I think that if Victoria Schwab wrote this, it would have blown my mind, and that's really all I could think of when reading this as my disappointment grew.

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    In the Shadow of Islam []  2020-1-22 21:52

    At times both poignant and prescient, "In the Shadow of Islam" is the revelation of a brilliant mind. The book is, as one would expect from a trade paperback, well printed and bound.

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    In the Shadow of Blackbirds []  2020-1-22 23:1

    I’ve heard such awesome things about In the Shadows of Blackbirds but not being a large historical fiction fan, I’ve place off reading it for a while. I’m glad that I finally decided to give it a go though, because it’s such a special story. Mary Shelley Black lives in a time of battle and disease, it’s the fall of 1918 and the Spanish Influenza is in full swing taking the lives of most people who are unlucky enough to catch it. With people dying from the flu and soldiers dying in combat everyone is turning towards séances and spirit photographers. However, Mary Shelley doesn’t believe in all that stuff, until it comes knocking on her door in the form of her first love, Stephen. But the things that Stephen is telling her and the things she discovers doesn’t add up with what she told about his death, and it’s up to her to figure out what happened to Stephen so he can finally obtain the peace he deserves. Like I said above, this story is incredibly special and I don’t think I’ve read a ghost story quite like this one before as this was the first time I’ve ever even heard of spiritualist photographers. And while I may be just as skeptical as Mary Shelley when it comes to those type of photographers, I can see how in times of death, people would flock to them, searching for any shred of hope of life after death. Mary Shelley was an interesting character, I loved how stubborn she was and the fact that she would war for what she thought was right, no matter the cost to her. I want we could’ve gotten more of Stephen as I feel like it would have created his death more devastating for the reader, but alas we can’t always have what we want. In the Shadows of Blackbirds was a special read and while I enjoyed Mary Shelley’s story, this book didn’t blow me away like I was hoping based on all of the awesome reviews that I’ve seen but that could be because I’m not huge on historical fiction, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

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    In the Shadow of Blackbirds []  2020-1-22 23:1

    I loved In the Shadow of Blackbirds. The setting was an interesting one: 1918 America during Battle and the Spanish Flu. Death was hanging on everyone's doorstep in just about every way. The photographs that accompany the novel were excellent and the setting really wrapped itself around me like a haunting and massive cloak. But what I loved most is how the paranormal plot fit so nicely in the setting. I was afraid that with such a rich setting, the plot would be lost and fizz out, but I was definitely wrong. Mary Shelley Black was a unbelievable hero I really respected. She wasn't like your average 16 year old girl. She tinkered with little parts, had a healthy scientific curiosity, and wasn't afraid to be herself. She respected her father, even as he was arrested for his anti battle political views during a time where it wasn't okay to anything but unquestioningly patriotic. She was skeptical of the supernatural, too, which I liked. Stephen, her first love, went off to battle right before she moved in nearby with her Aunt. His brother, Julian, was dabbling in spiritual photography, hoping to capture glimpses of the dead, especially dead battle heroes. The paranormal plot took off the moment Mary Shelley Black agreed to do a image and Stephen's photo appeared in the photograph. Suddenly, he was everywhere and it was up to Mary Shelley Black to unravel the mystery and figure out what was real, fake, and what really happened. All while trying to avoid the flu and test not to dwell on the death all around her. I loved every aspect of the story. The mystery was difficult to unravel, the paranormal aspects were creepy without being obvious or cliché, the writing was elegant, the love story was sweet and really affected me, and the characters were well developed. The writing was beautiful. I loved the style and tone. The love letters between Stephen and Mary Shelley Black were so emotional and the photographs added into the text were excellent for the setting. I loved Mary Shelley Black so much as a character. I admired her. She studied everything, completely determined to obtain to the bottom of everything. She never gave up and I admired her even more when she volunteered her time with healing soldiers at The Red Cross House to support her search out more about what battle was like. I highly recommend In the Shadow of Blackbirds. It is a excellent fall read because of the supernatural aspects, but the writing and story is so good, it's really excellent any time of year. It was very well written and setting enveloped me, but I also think it could be too much for some. The time period is quite bleak and the plot doesn't leave much room for satisfied moments. The attractive moments are sometimes hard to read because of how tragic they are. It's not a long book, though, so I think if it's followed up by a light and entertaining book, it won't be an problem for most people!

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    In the Shadow of the Sun []  2020-4-2 19:26

    Begin with a very interesting point in history, mix in magic, intrigue, a lot of true players of that time, simmer and stir carefully. What results is a most interesting story, one that takes readers back to 1661 and drops them into palace intrigue they will enter the lives and inner thoughts of English princess Henriette, Louis, the King of France, Henriette's betrothed, Louis younger brother Phillippe, ladies in waiting, and more, before dragging them through murder, magic and suspense. When they're done, they'll have been on a remarkable ride, bonded with a hero or two and have a greater understanding/appreciation for that time in history. It's a very amazing choice for both school and public libraries.

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    In the Shadow of the Sun []  2020-4-2 19:26

    We were royals. Our happiness was irrelevant.” Castellan,Step into the stunning French royal life during 1661. A young English princess Henriette marries prince Philippe, the younger flamboyant brother to the newly crowned Sun King, Louis XIV of France. Henriette, must move through political intrigue, in lavishly, decadent court life. Seventeen years old Henriette has been an exiled English princess, newly reinstated when her brother King Charles II, was eventually able to be crowned King of are thrown right into a beautiful, vivid and established globe with fully fleshed out characters, with courtly drama and magical is book was so entertaining and extremely hard for me to place down. I raced through this one! With special descriptive prose, Castellan deftly weaves threads of historical iconic characters with a creative magical system that makes for a captivating gic requires three components:A wielder-magiciensA conduitAnd a sourceCastellan delivers a well-written, special and twisty read here that had me completely enthralled and questioning everything that was event within the pages of this book.  The method that the info were revealed to us was extremely well done and the setting was spellbinding. Hero development and complex relationships, and the setting and time period are brought to life with rich and special of my favorites by far, and I am excited for the next installment.#feiwelandfriends #macmillanbooks #intgeshadowofthesun #emcastellan

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    In the Shadow of the Sun []  2020-4-2 19:26

    As a reader, I have a hard time staying excited about current Young Adult fantasy trends. The themes often feel repetitve to me. And so, I comb through my stacks of to-be-read in find of a new twist. This book—with its subtle, glittery cover, and ambiguous title—might not have excited me if it weren’t for the name Castellan on the spine.E.M. Castellan has been turning out gripping historical fantasy and mystery stories for a amazing long while (check out her WattPad successes The Bright and the Lost, the Young and the Dark, and The Forbidden Room), so I had faith in the author and absorbed the ARC in a few the Shadow of the Sun is simply stunning. Not only well-researched, but gorgeously crafted as well. Not a sentence is wasted. Not a hero is forgettable. The magic system might sound familiar, but it had quite a new shine when channeled through the protagonist, whose first person voice is so honest and intimate that my curiosity held until I was immersed in her globe full of complex relationships, frustrating physical limits, and a desperate cause. Ah, the friendships…the more than/less than friendships…I cannot praise the author’s wonderful talent with hero depth and interplay enough. In only a few sentences, you can understand a motivation—in only a few paragraphs, be fascinated by a character’s whole outlook. And even with that clarity, some of the curves will still surprise you. It makes for a story that feels real, close, and like it could have happened yesterday instead of nearly five centuries is is what historical fantasy was meant to be. You’ll wish to place this author on automatic pre-order—she’s definitely on mine.

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    Shadow Box: An Amateur in the Ring []  2020-1-8 19:1

    The description of the book was misleading: it's about Ali more than about Plimpton getting into the ring. The sections on Ali might be good, but I've read enough about Ali recently that it didn't interest me.

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    Shadow Box: An Amateur in the Ring []  2020-1-8 19:1

    I thought that the book would be mostly his participatory journalism with boxing Archie Moore and got so much more on the history of boxing, idiosyncracies and then Ali...following Ali and writing on his comeback, time away from the ring and his matches was so amazing to read on and thanks for allowing us the experiences...R.I.P. George!

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    Shadow Box: An Amateur in the Ring []  2020-1-8 19:1

    Pound For Pound It's Right Up There On My ShelfThere is something so incredibly magical and almost supernatural about this time in boxing - when Muhammad Ali was THE man, when Joe Frazier was a machine - an honest to goodness machine - take 100 punches just to land that left hook. This was the time when Ken Norton was a riddle that Ali couldn't figure out...and when Huge George Foreman was simply concurring the globe - destroying myths, legends and knocking everything Plimpton captures that feeling - it's not thrown in your face, but you can feel e boxers and wars are slightly on the peripheral of the story he's sharing. It's mostly about him and his experiences with boxers, boxing and other writers, but it is about boxing and in the time when boxing was 's a amazing book for the boxing fan and a amazing book for the literary fan.Pound for pound one of the greats!

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    Assassin Ninja In The Shadow War [App]  2019-2-2 13:23

    stolen from ninja arashi

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    Shadow Box: An Amateur in the Ring []  2020-1-8 19:1

    This is, for my money, Plimpton's best book. Informative, funny, philosophical (there's a long section on the deaths of authors-- how they died, and how they'd _like_ to die), historical-- somehow it fits together beautifully, and amuses on every page. I've recommended this to a lot of friends, some of whom don't care for boxing; they share my enthusiasm for it. Plimpton seems to be living to a ripe old age-- he deserves a lot of more years of happiness for all the amazing writing he's done, especially here.

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    Shadow Box: An Amateur in the Ring []  2020-1-8 19:1

    Very good

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    Shadow Box: An Amateur in the Ring []  2020-1-8 19:1

    Plimpton at his very best. Witty, engaging and humorous storytelling disguised as "reporting". Plimpton takes us into the ring with him -hilarious chapter on his "bout" with middleweight knockout artist Archie Moore-, and to the ring side and training camps with Ali -from pre-Liston times to the Parkinson days- and his entourage. A full gallery of true and larger than-life characters chats, brags, barks and create readers laugh with sports and politics in a potent mix. Plimpton talks and interviews a broad range of voices -from Angelo Dundee and Dempsey to Malcom X and Eijah Muhammad and a feisty and testy Ernest Hemingway-.Boxing is just a pretext for first-class narrative and fiction flying far above sports eat reading for writers and reporters, boxing and/or literature buffs.

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    Shadow Box: An Amateur in the Ring []  2020-1-8 19:1

    my favorite boxing book, amazing stories, amazing humor, amazing characters like ali, hemingway, mailer, hunter s. thompson in zaire for rumble in the jungle...

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    Assassin Ninja In The Shadow War [App]  2019-2-2 13:23

    This android game is fake and stolen from the original android game ninja arashi

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    Shadow Box: An Amateur in the Ring []  2020-1-8 19:1

    Plimpton was the rarest of sports writer. Like an old loan-shark collector would say he 'put up or shut up,' meaning he place his where his mouth was. It's simple for someone as Plimpton did to pitch to a major league squad in an exhibition android game only to suffer embarrassment. But it is a totally various act of courage to train for a professional war and step into the ring with the likes of boxer Archie Moore who was instrumental in teaching the amazing Muhammad Ali the finer points of boxing. Plimpton risked maybe not life for this book but at-least limb. Bravo George.

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    Worlds of Shadow: Teaching with Shadow Puppetry: Shadow Puppetry in the Classroom []  2020-7-1 18:36

    We found this book very helpful in beginning to do shadow puppetswith children. Clear illustrations of how to create puppets, the theatre andto produce small plays. Hightly recommended.

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    Worlds of Shadow: Teaching with Shadow Puppetry: Shadow Puppetry in the Classroom []  2020-7-1 18:36

    Although this book is a wealth of information, it is most useful to someone who has access to an overhead projector. If you are a "regular" person who would like to do shadow puppets in your home for their children and grandkids, this may not be the book for you. The one amazing thing about the book is that there are some amazing patterns for shadow puppets. The book is advertised as a teaching aid, but I was unaware that the only projection system they recommend and explain in detail is the overhead projector.

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    Worlds of Shadow: Teaching with Shadow Puppetry: Shadow Puppetry in the Classroom []  2020-7-1 18:36

    Amazing book for anyone who teaches shadow puppetry or works in children's theatre/puppetry. There are fabulous ideas and examples within this book.

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    Worlds of Shadow: Teaching with Shadow Puppetry: Shadow Puppetry in the Classroom []  2020-7-1 18:36

    Amazing initial or elementary primer for the study of silhouettes, shadow puppetry, and their use through theatrical performance or in animation.

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    The Forgotten Duke (Diamonds In The Rough Book 5) []  2020-1-30 23:5

    Having read the rest of the series, I wasn't sure how the author was going to turn Carlton Guthrie into a hero, but it was actually quite easy. Who doesn't love a villain with a heart of gold? And Regina was a amazing match for him. I appreciated that she accepted him for who he was and she was no shrinking violet even though she also maintained her innocence and integrity. I can't wait to read what is next.

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    Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters Book 2) []  2020-1-26 22:56

    This is a really amazing book that I highly recommend! The characters are interesting and it easily kept my interest. My only complaint is that I [email protected]#$%! was longer! I would think the story was going in one direction and then it would end up somewhere else. Very entertaining.

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    Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters Book 2) []  2020-1-26 22:56

    Bonus - who knows

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    Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters Book 2) []  2020-1-26 22:56

    Lots of twisting and fun to read. I highly recommend it.

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    The Forgotten Duke (Diamonds In The Rough Book 5) []  2020-1-30 23:5

    When revenge driven for most of his life, what a man to do when a mean is offered on a plate but it may cost him more than he bargained ...As it is my first read in this series, everyone was fresh to me, so I was not influenced by their previous gina is a prim and proper miss, always the obedient daughter until she reached her rupture line and ran away to avoid her father scheme and the fate he had selected for her.While she has growing up and her own personality to draw, she is a sweet miss discovering a side of life and its edges when she has always been kept sheltered and unaware of what lies outside t, she shows a strength I did not expected from her, I imagined she would crumble in tears at every hardship when in fact she comes out even stronger every time. Sure, she is naive and innocent but she does not shy away for adversity and reality of life. She is begin and is accepting, ready to forgive when she knows someone’s right has been trampled, she is about justice whomever is the lton is much more complex, full of layers as his scheme and goal are very slowly revealed as the why. During a time, I was flying blind, as Carlton was called with the most poor adjectives, yet at any moment did he present an once of badness, he is a supporter of the weakest and the ill, his thirst for revenge while at the beginning looked like it consumed all his thoughts, soon became secondary when he was close to e awakens his deepest desires and dreams, makes him want for more, but he is certain there is no future between them as his plan is in motion.I loved the author took the time to portray the characters’ changes, the shift in their moods and feelings and with it, their hopes for a various outcome. And along the road, they encounter dents and holes, and from them they rise stronger.While I am not a amazing fan of revenge plot, so angsty and hurtful, Mrs Sophie Barnes managed to bring her characters to life with reason and cleverness, painting them with wits and sensibilities.5 starsI was granted an advance copy by the author through Netgalley, and preordered my own is my real and unbiased opinion.

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    The Forgotten Duke (Diamonds In The Rough Book 5) []  2020-1-30 23:5

    WHOA!!! What a suspenseful, tension filled, action packed romance. I loved this story. There are so a lot of twists and turns it literally had me inside out of my skin at times. The characters are amazing. They are fleshed out and well developed. The plot and subplots completely unexpected. There is even some laughable humor sprinkled in there. The innocence and naivete of the h never went to the point of exasperation. She was smart and extremely inquisitive. The situation she found herself in opened up a fresh globe to her and she embraced it without regard to rank or title or no title at all. She learned more and more about herself and the H. The H was a notorious St. Giles scoundrel popular for a lot of unsavory things. It was more hype than anything. But he liked it that way. At first the h was scared and intimidated by the H. Later when she understood why he did what he did. She was full of admiration and respect for him. There was more to this man than he allow on. The attraction grew between them but as much as the h was falling in love with the H but he was determined to allow her hold her innocence. When some of the facts of what the H was doing, most women would have spurned and shunned him. Not so with the h. She was damage but she declared her love and knew this was not the end of them. The h and her brother followed clues that led them to explore the H's hidden secret. But what they did not know was what the H had versus their father. Shocking!!!! You will love this book. It is impossible to be bored. From page one I was engaged and intrigued and could not place the book down. It is a page turner. I highly recommend it. I received a copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

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    The Forgotten Duke (Diamonds In The Rough Book 5) []  2020-1-30 23:5

    When informed of her impending marriage the day before, Lady Regina is surprised but resigned… until she meets the groom and discovers he’s a sickly 14-year-old who’s much more horrified by the idea of marriage than she is. Running away is the only escape option she has.Except it absolutely wasn’t, since she had a loving older brother who would totally have helped her out. Regina was the literal epitome of the too-stupid-to-live heroine and I wanted to strangle her beautiful much continuously throughout the book. She was naive and foolish, and not only that, totally disrespectful, repeatedly violating Guthrie’s privacy even after he’d asked her not to just because of her curiosity. I genuinely couldn’t imagine what a man in his thirties (Guthrie is 15 years older than Regina, who’s 18) would see in her. She was a burden he had to continually rescue, not a romantic interest, and I felt really icky about their age gap considering her childlike behaviour.What kind of nitwit tries on her wedding dress in the middle of the night and then decides to run away with it and absolutely nothing else? And then, weirdly, apparently she couldn’t obtain out of the dress on her own, even though she’d gotten INTO it on her own. This created about as much sense as the rest of the plot, also riddled with continuity errors and impossible, anachronistic events.I’ve enjoyed previous works by this author, but I really can’t recommend this one. Two stars.Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.

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    The Forgotten Duke (Diamonds In The Rough Book 5) []  2020-1-30 23:5

    Carlton Guthrie has waited twenty years to obtain his revenge. And the means to his revenge in the form of Lady Regina Berkly just stumbled into his arms. When Carlton discovers that Regina had ran away rather than forced into marriage with a mere boy he decides to his aid to hold her hidden. His is a method for him to hold Regina where he can use her as a pawn with her father, but also a method to insure her safety as he has no intention of actually harming her. He may be the Scoundrel of St. Giles and have a poor reputation but he's no abuser of women or children. And what better method to draw out the Earl of Hedgewick, the man who killed his father, than by using the daughter?As Regina comes to know Carlton she discovers that there is so much more to him than what his reputation lead her to believe. Carlton treats her with kindness and respect. As the days turn into weeks, Regina starts to fall for the Scoundrel of St. Giles. But there is a puzzle to be solved when it comes to Carlton. Although he acts like a commoner with all the rough edges, sometimes he slips and sounds more educated than what a mere commoner would lton is trying to hold Regina at arms length, but her appearance into his life is like a bonus from the sun, sent to brighten his days. She is gentle and kind and has an innate curiosity which he finds surprising from a genteel lady of society. As he learns more about her, he feels surges of guilt from his plans to use her versus her father. But he can not let his feelings for Regina stop his desire for revenge, even if she hates him in the end.I thought this was a amazing book and enjoyed reading it. There are a few scenes intimated but do not go into explicit detail.I received a copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

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    The Forgotten Duke (Diamonds In The Rough Book 5) []  2020-1-30 23:5

    The Forgotten Duke, by Sophie Barnes, is available through booksellers 1-28-20. Forgotten is book 5 in Ms Barnes Diamonds In The Rough series. I believe this is my first read of Ms Barnes work. I must say I'm impressed. I [email protected]#$%! were possible to rate in half stars, I'd give Forgotten a solid 4.5. I intend to backtrack and test out the first 4 stories. I'm curious if they'd stand up to my expectations of Ms Barnes writing (high). I've found most historical romance books to be a bit of entertaining fluff. I like fluff, eat it up, love it. But, a steady diet of fluff leaves me more appreciative of a complex emotional plot.Our hero, Carlton/Valentine has been dealt a rotten hand in life and lives for revenge. He's plotted it and thought about it ad nauseam. He doesn't seem to realize that he created his life so much more than only anger. His story moved me, the hurt, rage, longing, subterfuge, nature versus nurture. He's interesting and once I knew his background I became invested in his HEA. The balm to his soul arrives in one Regina Berkley. Her father has pledged her in marriage to an inappropriate teenager. That not good child is just as miserable as Regina at the though of what was to come. He's very sick & she is overcome with sympathy & actually runs away to save them both. Her father and his machinations created me damage & mad on her behalf. Regina is powerful & sassy & basically saves herself with only a bit of support from Carlton. Theres a excellent ending, it created me happy, was satisfying. I'm interested to see where the Diamonds series goes from here.#SophieBarnes #Netgalley #DiamondsInTheRough #TheForgottenDuke #historicalromance

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    The Forgotten Duke (Diamonds In The Rough Book 5) []  2020-1-30 23:5

    Carlton beautiful much runs St. Giles. He tries to create it safer for the people that live there, but he has earned his title of the Scoundrel of St. Giles. When he encounters a runaway bride, he her sanctuary in his club. But his motives are all altruistic. The runaway bride's father is the man that took everything from his 20 years ago. He sees this as an opportunity to finally obtain his gina's father has told her that she will be married. Not knowing what else to do, she runs away the day of the wedding and ends up in St. Giles. She knows who Carlton is, but with nowhere else to go, takes him up on his offer. She soon learns that there is much more to the man than the face that he shows the outside globe and soon falls for him. But what will happen when she learns that he is planning her father's downfall?I loved Carlton and Regina's story. While you don't have to have read the other books in the series to have fun this one, I think you will obtain more out of it if you do. We see Carlton throughout the series and having seen glimpses of the true him, was delighted to read his story. I loved watching Regina slowly break down Carlton's walls and seeing them fall in love. Carlton has intrigued me throughout the series and I was so satisfied to see him obtain his HEA!! I hope that Barnes in not done with this series as I have throughly enjoyed my venture into their world!!

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    Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters Book 2) []  2020-1-26 22:56

    Absolutely love these books. Even though they are very various from the others by this author, the characters are so relatable it’s ridiculous. Jumping from one sisters mind to the next in a linear fashion is a special twist in writing style. I’m also super excited to search out what happens with Savannah and Damien. Those two are super amusing to me.

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    Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters Book 2) []  2020-1-26 22:56

    My daughter is 12, she found the first book by random at the library and loved it. Couldn't place it down. She begged for weeks for me to this and the first. What mother can refuse her kid books? She has read both and is eager to obtain the 3rd when it comes out. Shipped to me in 2 days.

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    The Forgotten Duke (Diamonds In The Rough Book 5) []  2020-1-30 23:5

    When Carlton Guthrie, infamous as the Scoundrel of St. Giles, stumbles upon a runaway bride wandering the Dials at dawn, it turns out to be his lucky day. The runaway happens to be Lady Regina Berkly, daughter of the Earl of Sedgewick, the man on whom Carlton seeks to have revenge for his father's murder. Carlton support and shelter to Regina, but not out of the kindness of his heart. Using the daughter to obtain to the father seems excellent until Carlton begins to fall for gina's options are quite limited and her flight so fast that she has no true plan, though she certainly never would've thought to seek refuge with a crime lord. But the more she interacts with him, the more she begins to message that Carlton Guthrie's persona is very much a facade and that she could love and heal the damaged man beneath it, if only he would allow her close enough. Even if he does, their tentative feelings may not survive his revenge plans.I couldn't place this one down. Carlton was such a amazing tortured hero, almost an anti-hero really, with so a lot of layers. Regina was young and sheltered, but she showed a pleasantly surprising maturity and a willingness to alter her opinions. Both Carlton and Regina demonstrated a lot of hero growth and there was enough going on in this book to keep my attention while they got to know each other. There's really no steamy goodness here, which is usually a deal-breaker for me, but there was a amazing of sensuality and I liked the characters so much that this worked for me regardless. I'm glad we got Carlton's story and I hope this series continues with more.I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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    Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters Book 2) []  2020-1-26 22:56

    The second book in the Secret Diamond Sisters series was better than the first. The girls have started to settle into life as the know it now when everything gets turned on its head again. Mates betray friends, family secrets surface, fresh friendships are forged, and their old lives are getting left behind. I can't wait to see what happens in book three.

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    Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters Book 2) []  2020-1-26 22:56

    Interesting and fun read

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    Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters Book 2) []  2020-1-26 22:56

    Diamonds in the Rough By: Michelle Madow(The Secret Diamond Sisters Book 2) 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ******** May Include Some Spoilers ********I will test my absolute best to hold spoilers to a minimum or completely out of my review. Sometimes it can be hard to do so.Absolutely a unbelievable YA read.Oh my! I don't remember teenage girls being so mean. The plot thickens in this book. There are some serious twists I didn't see coming. Peyton gets nasty mean in this book. Madison is the typical mean girl. She was horrible in book 1, but life smacks her in the face. Madison's life is turned upside down. Peyton, Courtney, and Savannah's mother gets out of rehab. Things obtain crazy when the sisters visit mom. This book is full of drama, secrets, betrayal, and bets.•••••• I highly recommend this book! ••••••~~ I have Kindle Unlimited, and I used that service to read this book. ~~

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    Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters Book 2) []  2020-1-26 22:56

    If you liked The Secret Diamonds Sisters, obtain ready. Diamonds in the Rough takes things to whole fresh level. More drama, more secrets and lies, and more yton, Courtney, and Savannah are adjusting to life at their fresh school. Surprisingly Savannah is the one with the hardest time adjusting. I suppose when you think about Savannah’s personality though and how hard she tries to fit in, I guess it’s not actually that surprising. Peyton does grow a bit, but she’s still got a very long method to go and the same is real for Savannah. Courtney has always been a small adult, but I was satisfied to see her begin being a smidge more carefree. And then there’s Madison. If you hated her in book 1, be prepared for a more sympathetic and nicer Madison. Really love where Madow has taken her character!The best part of the novel is undoubtedly all of the drama. Holy crap! We’re really taking things to fresh heights here. The girls’ train wreck mother is more show in the novel and is probably the only hero that I just truly do not care for. We learn more about Adrian who has always been mysterious, and I really like his hero a lot. Happening though Peyton has slightly matured in this novel, she takes things in an unexpected and over-the-top direction when she decides to go all Cruel Intentions on us. It was tremendously uncool of her, but did add quite a bit to the storyline.High school is a b***h. In fact, high school could probably be a hero in this novel. The Juicy Campus/Gossip Girl like notice board that is sprinkled throughout the novel creates so a lot of issues for the Diamond sisters, and watching their reactions to it is quite interesting. It also further cements Courtney as my favorite hero in the in the Rough is a superb follow up. The characters have evolved nicely, the pacing is wonderful, and with all those hidden secrets it’s really hard to place this one down. Highly recommend this series for fans of Gossip Girl, L.A. Candy, All That Glitters, and The Princess Diaries.

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    Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters Book 2) []  2020-1-26 22:56

    Michelle Madow, has become on of my favorite Authors. After Reading The Secret Diamond Sisters, I couldn't wait to pick up Diamonds in the Rough. In the first book we obtain to know the Diamond sisters on the surface which was a amazing start, however we really obtain to know Savannah, Peyton and Courtney on such private level. I felt that this story was for sure an emotional coaster for me to read. I loved how the story evolved so much from the first book. There was so much mystery that unfolds in Diamonds in the Rough. The Diamonds Sister experience so much and grow so much through the heartaches and pains of their past. I felt that we as readers obtain to know Adrian and Rebecca More and they don't seem so distant anymore. Courtney learns a lot about her past, her kidnapping that she knew so small of from the first story, she also discovers who she can really trust and rely on. I absolutely love she and Brett's "Friendship" I place that in quotes because I don't wish to give too a lot of spoilers away lol! I also love how Courtney stayed real to herself and didn't change for anyone but for herself. Peyton who I still feel like is a lost soul but not as much as she was in the beginning of the story, she doesn't have a large chip on her shoulder as she once did, I hope she finds someone who will love her for her. I also enjoyed how she also evolved in this story. I feel that she is showing more trust to those who truly care and love her. To be honest her hero drove me crazy but I am liked her a lot more in Diamonds in the Rough. Savannah wow that girl has been on a roller coaster of craziness, with her friends, love life, her YouTube channel, and family situations. I feel that she has a lot more of a back bone in Diamonds in the Rough, then she did in The Secret Diamonds Sisters. It was fun to read about her best friendship with Evie and too see how Evie did with her current mates in which are so superficial, it is so ridiculous how superficial her volleyball mates are. Without giving too much away lets just say that Savannah gets some amazing time in the lime light. I hope that she gets some amazing happily ever time with her guy of choice and her blooming singing career. Madison as crazy as it sounds is growing on me. I still am not sure about her but she is not thinking all about herself as much as she was at the beginning,concerning some fresh info that has come to light that when it is revealed will change everyone's life. I hope that she stays this method and continues to evolve into more and more of a selfless character. Brett is seriously my favorite guy character. I want I had a guy in my life like him. Brett is the most caring loving selfless person. I loved all the Brett/Courtney moments. I loved how much his hero evolved in this story. Damien is turning out to be a method amazing guy I am really shipping he and Savannah at the moment. Oliver wow not much to say about him!! lol! I just hope the best for him.. I loved how Adrian is finally being more of a father to his daughters. In the first book he seemed so selfish and he didn't care about them. However my opinion of him has changed and I really like him, for now... This story had mystery, romance, scandal, teary-eyed moments, and what matters most, family. I loved this story to begin to finish. I loved how I felt that I was right there going to the Halloween Parties, Savannah's birthday party, which was wow I would love to have a party like that, family trips, shopping with the Diamond Sisters, and wanting to hug them when they required a shoulder to cry on. I loved it from begin to finish.. Lets just say that I had a huge smile on my face for a lot of reasons at the end of the story!!! I can't wait to read the next story!! I highly recommend this book!

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    The Forgotten Duke (Diamonds In The Rough Book 5) []  2020-1-30 23:5

    We met Carlton Guthrie, The Scoundrel of St. Giles, in the earlier books of the series and developed a love/hate relationship with him. Was he saint or sinner? Now, we obtain to meet the true man and we can decide for ourselves. There was a lot going on in this book and while I was left with questions about some things, none of them really had to do with the HEA, the mystery, or its resolution. You don’t have to have read the earlier books in the series to have fun this one, but it is a amazing series and I can’t imagine why you’d wish to miss out on those books – besides – you’ll obtain a better feel for Guthrie because he’s threaded throughout the lton has a lot of secrets and I’ll not share all of them with you – but – I mean – you did read the title of the book. Carlton’s one deep abiding goal for the latest twenty years has been to punish (meaning causing the death of) Charles Berkly, Earl of Hedgewick. The Earl is a wily fellow and has managed to guard himself well during that time – and Carlton has only had a couple of instances where he might exact his revenge. Sadly, none of those came to fruition. Then, the excellent revenge presents herself to him – almost on a silver platter. Who is he to say no to such a providential gift?Lady Regina Berkly has always been a biddable, dutiful daughter. She diligently studied the pianoforte though she disliked it, she learned to embroider, to manage a household, to speak correctly, to dance without flaw, all of those things at which her parents said she should excel. She knew it was her duty to marry and to marry well for the betterment of her family. She was fine with all of that. At least she was fine with it until her father returned one day and announced she was going to marry the Marquess of Stokes the following morning at eight AM. She was aghast! She had never even met this person and she was expected to marry him. Her father would not be dissuaded, but did tell her that the groom and his family would be coming over that evening for them to meet. Surprise, shock, dismay – all of those and a lot of more words could be used to describe her feelings upon meeting the potential groom. He didn’t wish this any more than she did – and he was still a child. She liked him and he would be a amazing man someday, but not the man for her. When she told Stokes that she’d obtain them out of the arrangement, he was grateful to gina spent most of that night thinking and thinking, but she couldn’t think of any method out – except to just leave – and that is what she did. Just before dawn she snuck out the door and began running – and running – until she was totally lost and not in the best part of town. She ran right into a wall – well – a man who seemed like a wall. He steadied her and she told him who she was and that she was running away. Then, she went on her method – only to run into dire trouble. Again, the man showed up to rescue her. He offered her sanctuary until she could decide where she wanted to go and then he’d support her. Reluctantly, she accepted his off to stay at The Black Swan in his accommodations – as long as he didn’t create any demands of her. Admirably, he didn’t – the tension was there on both sides – but he didn’t.“Who would have thought that she, the dutiful daughter of an earl, would be entertaining a bawd in a crime lord’s parlor?”Lots of things happen – from kidnappings to betrayals – and Guthrie and Regina manage to become closer and closer through it all. Each knows that they love the other, but neither feels to actually use the words. Then, when Regina is discovered and Guthrie’s deceit is revealed, Regina is devastated. Regina refuses to believe that her father has done what Guthrie says – but – she truly believes that Guthrie is honorable – so there must be another explanation. Can their relationship survive Guthrie’s deceit? Is her father guilty? If he is, can she hold Guthrie from exacting his revenge? Read the book to search out – you’ll love is was a well-written book and a very enjoyable story with characters that I came to really like as I got to know them. I could feel Regina’s determination to take control of her own life and I could sympathize with Guthrie’s need for revenge. They were truly a very well-matched pair. It was a busy story that kept me engrossed from the first page to last. It also nicely set up the next story featuring Ida Powerful and Fielding (from A Most Unlikely Duke). I assume Fielding will redeem himself in that book.I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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    The Forgotten Duke (Diamonds In The Rough Book 5) []  2020-1-30 23:5

    The trope is familiar. A strong man having come from nothing is now a force to be reckoned with in the infamous St lton Guthrie holds a lot of secrets and he's sworn to take his revenge for a dardastardly deed that destroyed his dy Regina Berkly, the daughter of the Earl of Hedgewick, flees from an unwanted marriage foisted on her by her usually doting father. Of course there's something havey cavey about the whole affair. Her future bridegroom is the Marquess of Stokes. He is fourteen and suffers from a continuing illness. I liked this young person whose life has been one of constant pain, who's just as much a pawn of his father's desperation for the family line to continue, as Regina is of her father's scheming. I was touched by Stoke's forthright words to Regina, "as I deteriorate with time, you will regret being my wife, just as much as I will regret ruining your life.” The wedding is to be quickly done, within a couple of days.Early on the day of her wedding, backed into a corner Regina bolts. Garbed in her bridal dress and bonnet, she runs away from Mayfair into unknown parts--St Giles. Where she literally stumbles into Guthrie, The Scoundrel of St. Giles. Guthrie seizes the possibility to avenge himself versus Hedgewick, 'the man who’d haunted [Carlton's] nightmares for two long decades, offering Regina sanctuary. The story flows from here as Regina and Carlton struggle with various purposes that in the end meld into one.Flawlessly executed and a scintillating read! Loved the cover BTW!An ARC from the author via NetGalley(Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.)

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    The Shadow in the North: A Sally Lockhart Mystery []  2020-1-14 19:40

    Fans of steampunk, Victoriana and unbelievable hero development, writing and plot are in for a treat with the Sally Lockhart Mysteries, especially The Shadow in the North and The Tiger in the Well, which are miles beyond the first book in the trilogy, The Ruby in the lly Lockhart is an orphan, now grown and entrenched in both her own business and her own circle of mates who function as family. Sally is a partner in her friend's photography business and runs her own business in financial consultant and it is from that business that the mystery arises. Sally is visited by one of her clients, a retired teacher who lost the Sally advised her to invest in shipping. Sally is appalled and sets out to search out why the company and the ship were sunk. The path leads her through the plight of women in Victorian society, the question of freedom and social control and human evil. There is a lot here, as in all of Pullman's books. Philip Pullman doesn't write young adult pulp (not that there is anything wrong with that), he writes fiction with profound questions about morality and hero that are more suited to older teens and adults. I think younger YA readers in the tween bracket might bog down in Pullman's world, as vividly drawn and exciting as it is. Parents might wish to read along with middle and older teens, not because there is anything wrong in Pullman's work, but because there is so much that is right that could raise discussions of how to cope with individual weakness in the self and in others and what happens when human weaknesses take on their inevitable societal aspects. As I said, there is a lot here.What is also here is a quick moving mystery, set in an ever so slightly altered Victorian London with steampunk touches that are sure to please. Pullman is a master of his craft and the writing, hero and plot are all top notch. Other reviewers have criticized Sally as anachronistic, but the feminist movement and a few individual women entering the professions was well advanced by the 1870s. Yes, these were exceptional women, but Sally is intended to be a portrait of just such an exceptional woman. Highly recommended as are all of Pullman's works to fans of mysteries, Victoriana, steampunk and high end Young Adult fiction.

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    The Shadow in the North: A Sally Lockhart Mystery []  2020-1-14 19:40

    I like this book!Its full of mystery and suspense! Couldnt stop reading it. What a i like is that the characters are like ordinary people, just like you or me.

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    The Shadow in the North: A Sally Lockhart Mystery []  2020-1-14 19:40

    I loved Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy so much, so I picked up his Sally Lockhart series to hold my glow going. They're really good; not quite as wonderful as the HDM books, but very interesting, engaging and suspenseful. I loved the first book in the series. This one, book 2, was a lot more confusing than book 1. I think there may have been too a lot of characters to hold straight; I kept confusing their names and agendas. That said, it still gripped me and held me in the story through the end.

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    The Shadow in the North: A Sally Lockhart Mystery []  2020-1-14 19:40

    Phillip Pullman introduced us to a completely fresh genre with the "His Dark Materials" stories about Lyra Bell'acqua, the Golden Compass and the Armoured Bears. These are children's stories which are so beautifully written that adults search them irresistable, too. And just as Harry Potter's hero has grown and matured to face stronger foes than bullies from the Sixth Form, Pullman's protagonists have evolved to lure us into fresh worlds of adventure, intrigue and deadly danger. Sally Lockhart has grown from an ingenuous sixteen-year-old trying to understand the circumstances of her father's untimely death, to an independent and resourceful young woman in the Victorian era. Following on from "The Ruby in the Smoke", we search Sally running her own financial management service while still forming an essential part of the Garland and Lockhart Detective Agency and the Garland's Photographic Studio. Sally's livelihood, her mates and ultimately her very life are threatened by a ruthless, manipulative and corrupt businessman of sinister eastern-European backgound. Bellmann's plot to manufacture and death-dealing weapons to tyrranical despots brings him into conflict with the Lockhart businesses, their ethics and their personnel, and sets up a confrontation which could cost Sally everything she values...I commend this book to even the most modern of young people, and to their parents, too. The writing style is balanced so cleverly, the language is set in the elegance of the Victorian era but the conflict translates readily to show times. The enemies of our private liberty are as evident today as a hundred or a thousand years ago, and the final struggle seems to arise from within ourselves, as this unbelievable story tells. Amazing reading, and well read by Anton Lesser!

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    The Shadow in the North: A Sally Lockhart Mystery []  2020-1-14 19:40

    Just like the DVD version, but with that small additional that keeps a person coming back to it! Recommend it to everyone young and old! A amazing book to read on a rainy day or snowy day! I'm still in the process of finishing it, and looking forward to each and every part. You feel like you are right there, and understand why the characters think the method they do. Love this book and can't wait to [email protected]#$%!!

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    In the Shadow of the Valley: A Memoir []  2020-4-2 18:0

    As I write this review during the coronavirus crisis, I search a book like this, which info one woman's journey from desperate circumstances in her childhood to success on her terms, to be uplifting and heartwarming, which is something I think we all need right now. She describes what happened to her with such honesty. Though the globe she describes might seem foreign to those of us who have never lived in such a put or with those problems, her depiction of it makes it very real, which of course it was for her. But not every author can describe what happened to them well; I think writing a memoir is one of the hardest things to do, especially when you have had a difficult past. But the author is amazing at just opening the vein, so to speak, and bringing us into her reality. Bobi Conn, I want you well in all of your future endeavors. You deserve it!

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    The Shadow in the North: A Sally Lockhart Mystery []  2020-1-14 19:40

    I'd read these novels in print when they came out, and they have just created perfect holiday reading. They're deliberately stylized to conform to Victorian "pot-boilers" and the drama is very much PG rated by today's standards. The characters are brilliantly written and engaging and the onboard dictionary on the kindle makes it possible to easily identify the meaning of the archaic terms sometimes employed. You can, once in a while, see tips of the writer's subsequent interests slipping through - the anti-clericalism and the desire to make really heroic female characters. Really amazing fun.

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    The Shadow in the North: A Sally Lockhart Mystery []  2020-1-14 19:40

    Liked this book for it kept me reading at all hours of the night. Will test to read more Sally Lockhart Mysteries although some sound a small strange.

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    The Shadow in the North: A Sally Lockhart Mystery []  2020-1-14 19:40

    I have bought all four of the Sally Lockhart mysteries. Pullman is one of my favorite authors and these books/stories do not disappoint. Well written, action packed, amazing characters! Well worth the money. Nicely packaged. Quickly shipped.

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    The Shadow in the North: A Sally Lockhart Mystery []  2020-1-14 19:40

    Like all of Phillip Pullman's books "The Shadow in the North" takes you back in time and into the lives of the vivid, and interestingly compelling characters that he creates. Although it is another time, Pullman draws you in and you feel as if you were there and can totally realte the circumstances. The Sally Lockhart mysteries are unbelievable books for all ages; quite related in it's appeal to adults as in the works of J.K. Rawling.

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    The Shadow in the North: A Sally Lockhart Mystery []  2020-1-14 19:40

    Amazing writer

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    In the Shadow of the Valley: A Memoir []  2020-4-2 18:0

    Because this First Reads book has neither reviews nor a "look inside" feature at this moment, I am going to write of my initial impressions. I have not finished the book, but I'll write more when I is book is an extremely well written captivating acc of the author's life growing up in Appalachia. If you liked Hillbilly Elegy, you will have fun this book, which is more of the same only grittier, more down-to-earth, with a feel of more immediacy and TOM LINE: Already, I can highly recommend this book as your First Reads choice.

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    In the Shadow of the Valley: A Memoir []  2020-4-2 18:0

    An absolutely beautifully written book that I couldn’t place down. Although heartbreaking, Bobi told a story that was completely raw and honest, I can’t even fathom some of the things she went through in her life. One of my favorite memoirs of all time!

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    In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History [Book]  2018-3-21 18:1

    A MUST READ for anyone interested in race relations in the U.S. and how they still affect us. My family is from Virginia and I had mixes feelings about taking down Confederate Statues, but this is a very open-hearted discussion about how deeply institutional racism still affects our country daily. I'm sure African Americans would not be surprised about any of this, but even Whites who consider themselves racially aware can be blind to the small things. And there are some really huge things here. I couldn't believe the blanket stonewalling he got from ALL OF THE CITY'S CONTRACTORS when he wanted to take down a statue. And Mitch Landrieus' writing is engaging and specific. Well done!

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