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Book a Week 2020 - BW44: Non Fiction November


Robin M
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Happy Sunday, my lovelies. Welcome to November and National Novel Writing MonthNative American Heritage monthNational Caregiver Appreciation month.   This week we celebrate National Author Day, so if you have some time this week thank an author for all their wonderful words via email, snail mail, facebook, or twitter. We are also observing Dio De los Muertos, voting on U.S. General Election Day, if you haven't already, as well as letting our Men Make Dinner Day, and if you are like me, having a Margarita with my Nacho's on  National Nacho Day

We are celebrating all things non fiction this month from the practical to the literary and creative. Fill your mind with facts and figures, history and geography, cultural and biographical, or learn something new from cooking to woodworking. There is a wide variety to appeal to most everyone.

 Annie Dillard on the Art of the Essay and the Different Responsibilities of Narrative Nonfiction, Poetry, and Short Stories

 25 great nonfiction essays you can read online for free

 Fiction v nonfiction – English literature's made-up divide

 A Reading List for Stronger Creative Non-Fiction

 Creative Nonfiction Magazine

 100 Great Narrative Nonfiction Books

 The Best Nonfiction Books of 2020

 The Best Celebrity Memoirs to Read

 50 Cookbooks We're Diving Into This Fall

 11 Nonfiction books that read like fiction

 Works of Nonfiction to Rival Any Great Thriller Novel

 

Have fun exploring through the world of nonfiction and following rabbit trails.  ~Cheers

 

 

Link to Week 43

Visit  52 Books in 52 Weeks where you can find all the information on the annual, mini and perpetual challenges, as well as share your book reviews with other readers  around the globe.

Edited by Robin M
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Did you all remember to set your clocks back for those where daylight savings time ended.  Yes, I'm up early and taking advantage of the quiet to write before the guys consume my day. Nanowrimo month and I'm being a rebel and editing versus starting something new.

Still working on Jordan's The Gathering Storm and McConaughey's Greenlights.  Rereading Brigg's Burn Bright. 

We watched Alien Covenant last night which was pretty good, although a bit gory. Lots of covering of the eyes. LOL! The androids were the best part of the movie. The humans were incredibly stupid if you think about it. Weren’t they supposed to be the smartest and the brightest sent to colonize a new planet? Dim bulbs. IMHO and now the guys want to debate and prove me wrong. LOL!

 

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  • Robin M changed the title to Book a Week 2020 - BW44: Non Fiction November

I ran into a non fiction book that has been on my list last week and added it to the stack knowing November was coming........The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and His Missing Corpse.  Quite a concept and sounds like it might be better than fiction!   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25622302-the-dead-duke-his-secret-wife-and-the-missing-corpse
 

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3 hours ago, Robin M said:

Did you all remember to set your clocks back for those where daylight savings time ended.  Yes, I'm up early and taking advantage of the quiet to write before the guys consume my day. Nanowrimo month and I'm being a rebel and editing versus starting something new.

I'm doing NaNo too. I'm attempting to not be a rebel but really I should be editing something rather than doing new words. What's your NaNo username?

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Does anyone remember my bold plans to read John The Witch Family last night? Show of hands who thought I was a little ambitious with that plan. Yeah. There was no reading to him last night, he was exhausted after trick or treating and passed out in bed before I could tuck him in. 

Our neighborhood was light on kids trick or treating but lots of houses were participating in safe ways. Either people had a bucket of candy on their front steps or they'd have a card table setup with candy and the resident would sit ten feet back in a lawn chair so kids could help themselves to candy. A few people did it the old fashioned way (knock on door style) and those people all wore masks along with the trick or treaters. 

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42 minutes ago, aggieamy said:

Does anyone remember my bold plans to read John The Witch Family last night? Show of hands who thought I was a little ambitious with that plan. Yeah. There was no reading to him last night, he was exhausted after trick or treating and passed out in bed before I could tuck him in. 

Our neighborhood was light on kids trick or treating but lots of houses were participating in safe ways. Either people had a bucket of candy on their front steps or they'd have a card table setup with candy and the resident would sit ten feet back in a lawn chair so kids could help themselves to candy. A few people did it the old fashioned way (knock on door style) and those people all wore masks along with the trick or treaters. 

I'm glad that trick or treating was a success for him 🙂 

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1 hour ago, aggieamy said:

Our neighborhood was light on kids trick or treating but lots of houses were participating in safe ways...

We had one, yes, ONE child trick or treating who came to our door. We'll be enjoying small candy bars for quite some time... how sad!

Regards,

Kareni

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I read LIFE: Queen Elizabeth: Britain's Longest Reigning Monarch - 5 Stars - I wouldn’t have thought that this special edition of “Life” magazine would count as a book, but since there’s quite a bit of reading involved, and not just pictures, and since Good Reads counts it as a book, I figured, “Why not add it to my books?”

I’ve always loved monarchy and the Queen. Let me correct that. I don’t just love her, I adore her. I’ve have seen her twice, once from up close.

This beautiful gift edition covers her life from childhood until 2018. The photos are amazing. I got this magazine two years ago and chose to re-read it once again, since my daughter and I are binge-watching “The Crown” on Netflix.

I'm laughing at the girl's pretty braid photobombing this, but that's what makes it even more memorable.

80s -20.jpg

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On non- fiction - The Salmon Sisters Cookbook

The Defector by Silva. I am still on that streak and can't seem to get off. I must be nearing the end though.

Murder on Bank Street by Thompson. As I said before she is good for audio. Not too complicated so I can follow along while weaving through traffic.

I have a couple work related books sitting around too but I am not too motivated to dive into those right now.

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Hello everyone, I think I missed the last week or two! Hard for me to keep up these days.

I'm starting a nonfiction book today - one I've read every November since I discovered it a few years ago: Thanksgiving: How to Cook it Well by Sam Sifton (of NY Times cooking). It's a fun little book. Very little of it actually applies to my Thanksgiving but I enjoy it and it always gives me a new idea or two, or at least inspiration. Here is a tiny snip:

You can go  your whole life and then wake up one morning and look in the refrigerator at this animal carcass the size of a toddler and think: I have to cook that today.  There is no need to worry. Thanksgiving does not have to be a drag. It does not have to involve dry turkey or scorched potatoes, chalky stuffing or a cousin in from Erie weeping in the hall. There is no need to argue. There is no need for fear. You can cook a great meal on Thanksgiving. You can have a great time. 

Other than that... last week I read Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak. I had a hard time getting into it, and would have abandoned it if I had not been reading it for a little discussion group. Then suddenly the writing style and story clicked and I really enjoyed it.  

I'm also reading The Warden by Anthony Trollope, for my little book group. I am familiar with the story from a BBC show but had not read it. It is the first book in the "Chronicles of Barchester" series; I had read the second (Barchester Towers) after reading somewhere that The Warden is dull and unnecessary for understanding the rest of the series. But, one of the 3 people in the book group suggested it, so... dull or not, I'm in.

 Also, The Swallows by Lisa Lutz. I'd read her book The Passenger and enjoyed it. This one is set in a boarding school with a dark secret... I'm always a sucker for boarding school novels. So far it's darkly amusing, and fast-paced. Switching off with Trollope is a good way to go. 

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I finished Catherine of Siena, the biography of St Catherine by Sigrid Undset. I think what I loved most in this book were the little insights into medieval life and thought -- the treatment of prisoners, for example, or the relationships between family members -- and the connections Undset made to her own time. She was writing just a few years after the end of WWII so her mind is very much on the horrors of war and the holocaust. There are just a few places where she refers to this, but they're memorable. She says that the horrors we've all been through should make us all draw closer to the medieval viewpoint, in which sin and goodness were shared by the whole community; this is instead of the modern model of personal success and personal effort. This way of looking at things struck me as so lovely, and also the polar opposite of, say, post-war existentialism.

Anyhow. I'm waiting for a few books to arrive and I don't know what I'm reading next! 

@aggieamyI'm totally jealous of your trick or treat experience. For us it was a flop. Most people in my neighborhood are in apartments, but usually most stores and home owners do give out candy, and in a normal year the streets are full of happy kids in costumes. This year, well, all the stores had signs saying they didn't have candy, and all the houses were dark...we walked around a little so that the kids could show off their costumes, and then we went home and made cookies. Fun, but definitely not the usual Halloween.

 

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4 hours ago, SereneHome said:

Oh my goodness, I actually am reading non fiction right  now  -Hetty, the genius and madness of the first female tycoon. Such a fascinating story, I don't think many people know who she was.

Here is to hiding away in books during this upcoming week 🙂

 A belated Happy Birthday and hope you had an awesome day!  Did you get any books to add to your stacks?

Birthday Cake GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

 

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2 hours ago, aggieamy said:

I'm doing NaNo too. I'm attempting to not be a rebel but really I should be editing something rather than doing new words. What's your NaNo username?

I'm Mytwoblessings. What's yours?

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Some bookish posts ~

Bill Bryson is retiring. Woe is us

https://www.hindustantimes.com/books/bill-bryson-is-retiring-woe-is-us/story-7LRKTDzLPj0rXiHsPj4HKK.html

A book review... Bones: Inside and Out by Roy A. Meals, MD

https://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/overall-b-reviews/b-plus-reviews/review-bones-inside-and-out-by-roy-a-meals/comment-page-1/#comment-910439

Five Empowering Retellings of “East of the Sun, West of the Moon”

https://www.tor.com/2020/10/26/five-empowering-retellings-of-east-of-the-sun-west-of-the-moon/

Regards,

Kareni

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I have not finished anything. It hasn't been a week for reading, as a previously difficult situation has gotten significantly more difficult. I may need to take a break from the boards for a while.

ETA: @aggieamy, I'm glad John got to have a normal trick-or-treat. Middle Girl and one of her friends put a card table on our porch, taped one of those social-distance-stand-here floor stickers to the walkway at a 6-foot distance, and used a pair of replica trebuchets to launch candy into small children's buckets (or heads). A good time was had by all. I sat inside with MG's friend's mom, a/k/a my friend, and talked to her about everything and drank the wine she thoughtfully brought. So that was all good.

Edited by Violet Crown
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4 hours ago, Violet Crown said:

I have not finished anything. It hasn't been a week for reading, as a previously difficult situation has gotten significantly more difficult. I may need to take a break from the boards for a while.

 

Hugs and prayers winging your way! 

 

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13 minutes ago, aggieamy said:

I just have to draw attention to @Violet Crown's signature because it's too clever.

MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO
for Consul
2020

"Pragmatist for the People"

😃

 

It tis!  I just had a friend call to let me know she voted and she wrote herself in for president.  🙄

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37 minutes ago, Robin M said:

It tis!  I just had a friend call to let me know she voted and she wrote herself in for president.  🙄

*removed*

Edited by aggieamy
I forgot that Margaret Thatcher is actually a controversial political figure and thought it would be best to keep politics off this thread. :)
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@Violet Crown - whatever it is you are going through - may it resolve quickly and with good outcomes

@Dreamergal - you listing all those books about queens...I have a question for you. If I am not mistaken, you are from India. I read Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran and really didn't like it. But I did wanted to read more about that part of history in India. Was wondering if you have any recommendation;ions. If you are not from India and I wrongly assumed, I am so sorry.

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I'm taking a little detour, as Elizabeth Hunter just released a new PWF series, so I'll start with that, otherwise I'm still working my way through the Blood on the Stars, I believe I'm currently on #12. Amazon describes them as space fleet science fiction, and  that is a reasonable explanation. They are military sci-fi in my best explanation. I ran across them on the kindle unlimited library when looking for a diversion, and they are suiting that purpose.  When I struggle with the reading I've been using the audible since I can get that for $1.99 add on, which helps while money is tight for extras like new books.

The first book is Duel in the Dark:  "The Confederation battleship Dauntless has spent ten months patrolling the border, alone, watching for an attack from the enemy Union. The crew is exhausted, and the aging vessel needs repairs. 

The fleet is mobilized, ready for the war it knows is coming. The forward bases are overloaded beyond capacity, and Dauntless is sent clear across the Confederation, to a base along the peaceful and sleepy sector known as the Far Rim.

But the quiet frontier isn’t quite what it seems, and a distress call from a mining colony at the edge of Confederation space, sends Captain Tyler Barron and his ship forward into the unknown.

Barron and his crew have their ship—and each other—but they can expect no reinforcements. His superiors believe that Union deceit is at play, that the attack is merely a diversion, intended to draw Confederation forces from the disputed border. Their orders are clear: no ships will be transferred from the main front. Stopping whatever is happening on the Far Rim is Barron’s responsibility, and his alone.

Barron is the grandson of the Confederation’s greatest hero, and his name has always carried great privilege, along with crushing responsibility. Now he must prove that he has inherited more than just a name from his famous ancestor. 

He must face the enemy, and win the victory.

Before the Confederation is caught between two enemies and destroyed."

@Karenithanks for asking.  Yes, I still struggle with retaining information I've read, but casual reading is much improved from the time of my injury.  Academic reading can still be more challenging, but I've adapted pretty well with sticky notes, screen shots, and highlighting. 🙂 

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15 minutes ago, melmichigan said:

@Karenithanks for asking.  Yes, I still struggle with retaining information I've read, but casual reading is much improved from the time of my injury.  Academic reading can still be more challenging, but I've adapted pretty well with sticky notes, screen shots, and highlighting. 🙂 

I'm glad to hear that things are much improved while sorry to learn that some aspects of reading are still challenging. I hope that your abilities will continue to improve with time.

Thanks for the information about Duel in the Dark. It seems I own it (always a happy thing), so I will give it a try.

Regards,

Kareni

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11 hours ago, Kareni said:

Bill Bryson is retiring. Woe is us

Oh no. I love his books, most especially his travelogues. I had a feeling that he would retire soon. At least I have all his books to re-read from time to time. His writing has often made me laugh to the point of tears. 

9 hours ago, Dreamergal said:

Since this month is non-fiction month and I am rather woefully in need of reading more, I decided to form one more 10X10 bingo comprising of books that increase my knowledge of America. The first book in that is one that is recommended by many

Thank you for the reminder to read the Howard Zinn book. Like you, I was an adult when I arrived to the U.S. I've been meaning to read a good and thorough history book. 

I'm adding "The Twentieth Wife" to my list. 

9 hours ago, Violet Crown said:

I have not finished anything. It hasn't been a week for reading, as a previously difficult situation has gotten significantly more difficult. I may need to take a break from the boards for a while.

I am so sorry. I hope and pray that the situation gets easier very soon. 

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@Violet CrownSending hugs.  I hope you are able to return soon!

i didn’t really post about my reading for the week.  I have a stack of spooky audiobooks that have arrived in my hold’s.........since I expect to need stress relief this week I will be working on a couple of fun quilts this week......today’s project are some reindeer and a couple of gnomettes.  Anyway I will hopefully get through several.......

I have also started Jennifer Estep’s Venum which I am enjoying.

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@Dreamergal I thought of you this morning because I ordered some of the Amar Chitra Katha books for my kids -- thanks for recommending them!

@Violet Crownsending you best wishes and I hope things get better soon.

None of my library books have arrived so I had to raid my own bookshelves for a new reading project. I settled on Les crusades cues par les Arabes (the crusades from the viewpoint of the arabs) by Amin Maalouf. I've tried this one in the past but never got far, mostly because of the French being tough for me. Still it feels like a natural choice after Saint Catherine and her support for the crusades. I found that unsettling. 

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I got my original recommendation here, so an update to let everyone know that the Alex Craft Series by Kalayna Price is supposed to finish with the seventh book, Grave War.  It's scheduled for release on November 24th. I've altered my plans to do a reread of the series in preparation.  The first book, Grave Witch is on sale for $2.99 for kindle.

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I just finished a book that I quite enjoyed. You'd need to read the series in order as this volume builds on its predecessors.

Boundary Haunted (Boundary Magic) by Melissa F. Olson

The author has a novella in this FREE multi-author collection which is set in the same world ~ The Witching Hour: 10 Enchanting Novels Featuring Witches, Wizards, Vampires, Shifters, Ghosts, Fae, and More!

Regards,

Kareni

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@Violet CrownI hope things smooth out for you.

@mumto2 Maybe I missed it, but did you comment on Piranesi? I see from Goodreads that you abandoned it. I just picked it up from the library, and am not sure that I really want to read it right now. I haven't heard any high praise for it yet. It is short, so I don't need to overthink it. But of course I do so anyway 🙂 

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Last night I read with pleasure the novella  Bloodsick: An Old World Tale by Melissa F. Olson. It's in the same world as the book I mentioned above, but it stands alone. 

"All her life, Sashi’s mother warned her not to get involved with werewolf problems. But Sashi, a witch who uses magic to heal sick and injured bodies, has never made a habit of ignoring trauma. When she meets an abused shapeshifter that no one else seems willing to help, Sashi will risk everything –including a budding romance with a human, Will – to save a woman who can’t save herself."

You can purchase the novella for $1.99 at the link in this post, or you can read it in this  FREE multi-author collection  ~ The Witching Hour: 10 Enchanting Novels Featuring Witches, Wizards, Vampires, Shifters, Ghosts, Fae, and More!

Regards,

Kareni

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1 hour ago, Penguin said:

@Violet CrownI hope things smooth out for you.

@mumto2 Maybe I missed it, but did you comment on Piranesi? I see from Goodreads that you abandoned it. I just picked it up from the library, and am not sure that I really want to read it right now. I haven't heard any high praise for it yet. It is short, so I don't need to overthink it. But of course I do so anyway 🙂 

I gave up on it maybe 40 pages in.  I just wasn’t following it well and it seemed pretty random. So I decided to stop and wait for someone else to read it first! 😉. I just didn’t have the concentration level to enjoy it.  I was also super disappointed to discover it really wasn’t anything like Jonathon Strange.  Can’t wait to hear what you think!

Edited by mumto2
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I will have to finish Dracula first. I read multiple books at once, but I can't do two fantasy novels at once. Dracula is taking me longer than I thought it would. It doesn't help that I am reading Norton's annotated edition, which I have mixed feelings about. I really enjoy the sidebars about things like the history of blood transfusions and explanatory notes about archaic terms. I despise what the editor did by creating "gentle fiction" wherein he pretends that the story is true. I'm ignoring almost all notes now anyway, otherwise I'll never finish the book!

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I just finished the contemporary romance You Lucky Dog by Julia London; it was entertaining and made me laugh aloud a few times.

"Carly Kennedy's life is in a spiral. She is drowning in work, her divorced parents are going through their midlife crises, and somehow Carly's sister convinces her to foster Baxter--a basset hound rescue with a bad case of the blues. When Carly comes home late from work one day to discover that the dog walker has accidentally switched out Baxter for another perkier, friendlier basset hound, she has reached the end of her leash.

When Max Sheffington finds a depressed male basset hound in place of his cheerful Hazel, he is bewildered. But when cute, fiery Carly arrives on his doorstep, he is intrigued. He was expecting the dog walker, not a pretty woman with firm ideas about dog discipline. And Carly was not expecting a handsome, bespectacled man to be feeding her dog mac and cheese. Baxter is besotted with Hazel, and Carly realizes she may have found the key to her puppy’s happiness. For his sake, she starts to spend more time with Hazel and Max, until she begins to understand the appeal of falling for your polar opposite."

Regards,

Kareni

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Several books that are FREE for Kindle readers ~

The Ostrich Race by Simon Birks

Runaway Road Devney Perry.

I liked these science fiction novels by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller:

Agent of Change (Liaden Universe Book 9)
amazon.com/dp/B00BSW2FG6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_60TOFbCDWDKJP

Fledgling (Liaden Universe Book 12)
amazon.com/dp/B00APAELRI/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_c2TOFb33WH54N

Regards,

Kareni

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I have two book reviews to add. I finished both of these last week:

The Icelandic novel (2011) Heaven and Hell by Jón Kalman Stefánsson was excellent. Now I know that it is the first of a trilogy. I will definitely plan to read on. The writing was A++. Bonus points that it fits both my around-the-world challenge and my Non-Tropical Islands category. 

Set in a remote part of Western Iceland in the late 1800s, life is hard, dangerous, and ruled by fishing. At times, the novel was very bleak and somewhat the Icelandic version of life-sucks-and-then-you-die. But it doesn't sink into despair. 

A book about the history of the Greensboro sit-ins far exceeded my expectations: Lunch at the 5 & 10 by Miles Wolff. My expectations were low because this was written in 1970 by a guy who is better known for his writings about baseball and for owning the Durham Bulls in the late 1980s. But I learned a lot, and it was a well-written popular history. Some of it is dated, but the fact that it was written quite close to the actual events gave it a freshness that a later retrospective would lack. When I went looking for a book about the sit-ins, I found shockingly little. I even thought about writing an email to the International Civil Rights Museum in GSO for a recommendation. I still might do that, but I was quite pleased with this narrative.
 

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Last night I finished a reread of Anne Bishop's  Lake Silence (The World of the Others); I enjoyed it once again.

"Human laws do not apply in the territory controlled by the Others--vampires, shape-shifters, and even deadlier paranormal beings. And this is a fact that humans should never, ever forget....

After her divorce, Vicki DeVine took over a rustic resort near Lake Silence, in a human town that is not human controlled. Towns such as Vicki's don't have any distance from the Others, the dominant predators who rule most of the land and all of the water throughout the world. And when a place has no boundaries, you never really know what is out there watching you.

Vicki was hoping to find a new career and a new life. But when her lodger, Aggie Crowe--one of the shape-shifting Others--discovers a murdered man, Vicki finds trouble instead. The detectives want to pin the death on her, despite the evidence that nothing human could have killed the victim. As Vicki and her friends search for answers, ancient forces are roused by the disturbance in their domain. They have rules that must not be broken--and all the destructive powers of nature at their command."

Regards,

Kareni

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