Talking Turkey

A little fowl fun. Turkey or goose?

While the old birds shopped for Christmas presents, Felix and Mort made their annual Black Friday visit to the local tavern to plan Christmas dinner. They’d taken charge of the cooking years ago, and ever since the first year – when they’d admittedly ruffled a few feathers – the girls happily had left them to it.

They pored over recipes and shared reviews while Phil, the barkeep, kept the bourbon flowing. Felix spread out his clippings and arranged them into piles. “Time to talk turkey.”

Phil leaned on the bar. “Having turkey this year?”

“Goodness no!” Mort shook his head so hard his chin wobbled. “Goose! We always recommend goose.”

Phil raised an eyebrow. “What about Christmas traditions?”

“I’ll have you know, goose has a very long history.” Felix searched for the magazine article. “All the way back to the ancient Egyptians. Did you know that Marco Polo reported seeing geese in China? And Queen Elizabeth ordered that goose be served every Michaelmas in honor of her victory over the Spanish Armada.”

“But what about Ben Franklin?” the barkeep pointed out. “He was a big fan of turkey.”

“A turkey if there ever was one.” The two cooks laughed. “He should have stopped at electricity.”

“Nothing beats goose,” Mort said. “Goose fat has a far better flavor than peanut oil. Some people even save it for cooking. Did you know you can buy pure goose fat on Amazon?”

Phil shook his head. “My wife hates all the grease.”

“Aah…” Felix said, taking Phil under his wing. “But everything about roasted goose tops turkey. The skin is crispy. A goose is juicier than a turkey, and its dark, succulent flesh has a distinctively rich flavor all its own, with just the right amount of gaminess. Most importantly, the meat isn’t dry; it flakes off the bone.”

Mort’s beady eyes turned dreamy. “Alongside the golden goose, I’m thinking airy potato dumplings, red cabbage, and a baked apple with lingonberries. And apple sausage stuffing.”

“And liver paté,” Felix added, waving a recipe like a flag.

Mort sifted through the piles. “Shredded confit! Or we can pack the meat into pastries for deep-fried goose spring rolls.”

Phil replenished their bourbon and slid a recipe from the pile nearest him. “Goose crown pink with celeriac and cranberries. I don’t even know what that means, but it sounds good.”

Felix sighed. “We need to make a decision and get our ducks in a row. How about classic orange and thyme-scented goose? With all Mort’s fixings.”

“Sounds perfect.” Mort beamed. “We should slow-roast for 4-5 hours at 120C. We’ll still get crispy skin, but the breast will stay tender. Then for the last half hour, we’ll turn the temperature up to 220C.”

“You’ve convinced me,” Phil said, topping off their glasses. “I’m trying goose this year.”

“Your wife will love it.” Felix grinned and swayed on his perch. “Oh, my. I’m feeling loose as a goose!” He rested a wing on the bar, holding himself up.

Phil helped them gather up their recipes. “Time for you two turkeys to head home or your gals are going to cook your gooses.”

With a laugh, the two strutted from the bar, wattles wagging and tail feathers fanned. “We did it,” Felix chortled. “Another successful convert.”

“It was easy.” Mort danced a little turkey trot. “He was a sitting duck.”

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate.

And to those who don’t, I wish you a week full of gratefulness, love, and laughter.

The Necromancer’s Daughter Book Tour: Day 28 (Last Stop!)

Welcome to Day 28 of The Necromancer’s Daughter’s Book Tour!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by along the way. I hope you’ve enjoyed:

~ My favorite books from my hosts’ lists, along with my reviews.

~ Something from or about The Necromancer’s Daughter.

~ Leave a comment on any of my hosts’ sites, and your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift certificate. The more tour sites, the more entries!

Day 28, the End of the Line!

D. G. Kaye’s Blog: D. G. Kaye Writer

Debby’s blog is a writer’s resource that occasionally ventures into the happenings in her life. She shares reviews, writer interviews, links to writing tips from all over the blogosphere, and some of her own poetry. Debby is a regular contributor to Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Blog with a variety of features from travel tips to her more recent discussion of spiritual awareness and personal growth.

Debby writes memoirs about different aspects of her life. From the conflicted relationships she navigated as a child to her journey of self-discovery, to the challenges of aging with those we love. From travel tips to the trials of menopause. Some are hilarious and some are poignant, and all are rich with advice for others facing similar situations.

Since losing the love of her life, Debby’s begun a series of podcasts on the topic of grief. As a previous grief counselor, I can say without hesitation that her podcasts are insightful, honest, moving, and full of gentle wisdom. Anyone interested in learning more about the human journey through grief can start here: Grief, the Real Talk, Episode One.

I’ve read all of Debby’s books. Here’s one of my reviews:

Twenty Years: After “I Do.”

My Review: Twenty years after her vows, author D. G. Kaye, looks back at the lessons learned about love, commitment, and aging. Kaye married a man twenty years her senior, already 58 at the time, and asked him for twenty years (at least) – thus the title of the book.

In a way, this memoir is a tribute to the man she dearly loves, a fact that comes through loud and clear. But it’s also about her journey as a partner, about the hurdles, insights, and growth along the way.

“In sickness and in health” is a major theme as bodies bend to the inevitable challenges of aging. Kaye shares her emotions and thoughts regarding her husband’s illnesses, but also some wisdom about preventative care, advocacy, and the adjustments needed to continue living a full life.

This is a poignant read to be sure, but full of practical advice too about laughter, travel, sex, communication, and preparation for the end of life. Most of all, it’s a memoir about love. An evening’s read and highly recommended.

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If you have a chance, head on over to join The Necromancer’s Daughter tour at Debby’s blog: D. G. Kaye Writer.

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Thank you!

The Necromancer’s Daughter Book Tour: Day 26 (2 stops to go)

Welcome to Day 26 of The Necromancer’s Daughter’s Book Tour!

I hope you enjoy:

~ My favorite book from my host’s list, along with my review.

~ Something from or about The Necromancer’s Daughter (follow the link below).

~ Leave a comment on my hosts’ sites, and your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift certificate. The more tour sites, the more entries!

Day 26, here we go!

Gwen Plano’s Blog: Reflections

Gwen’s blog is primarily a poetry blog as she participates in Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday syllabic poetry challenges. Her poetry is beautiful and serene and reflective of her beautiful and serene personality. If you want to take a deep breath and relaxing sigh, it’s a place to visit. Gwen also shares new book releases for fellow bloggers, and she’s a contributor to The Story Empire writer’s blog where she shares her writing experience and tips.

Gwen has written a lovely memoir “Letting Go Into Perfect Love” as well as a military paranormal thriller series that began as a collaboration with author John Howell. I’m two books into the series and can’t wait to dive into the third.

Here’s a review of the first in the series:

The Choice: the unexpected heroes by Gwen Plano

My Review: This is Book Two in the series and it follows two weeks on the heels of Book One, The Contract. The Contract ended with a foiled assassination attempt on the President of the USA from within the government. Global repercussions were avoided, but important lives were lost. The international plot has yet to be investigated and those accountable brought to justice. That’s the focus of this read.

Admiral Joseph Parker is joined by civilian Donna Tucker and Airforce Public Relations employee Jim Andersen at Begert Airforce Base to begin the investigation. A trustworthy team forms and most of the book focuses on tracking down clues and following leads. The investigation is complex but logical and easy to follow.

And it’s not all routine work as the guilty parties are still at large. As the investigation gets closer to discovering the depth and breadth of the conspiracy, anyone with information that might break open the case starts dying. A sense of urgency intensifies as the bodies stack up and the death threats zero in on the team. The third-person present tense POV adds to the sense of immediacy.

I liked all of the characters, particularly the team of protagonists. They’re smart, and they care deeply about what happened and about getting to the truth. Aside from the thrills, there are romantic subplots as well as a paranormal/spiritual element to the story. The book ends with a cliff-hanger, so readers should be prepared to read onward. Highly recommended to fans of military thrillers.

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If you have a chance, head on over to join The Necromancer’s Daughter tour at Gwen’s blog: Reflections.

The Necromancer’s Daughter Book Tour: Day 25 (3 stops to go)

Welcome to Day 25 of The Necromancer’s Daughter’s Book Tour!

I hope you enjoy:

~ My favorite book from my host’s list, along with my review.

~ Something from or about The Necromancer’s Daughter (follow the link below).

~ Leave a comment on my hosts’ sites, and your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift certificate. The more tour sites, the more entries!

Day 25, here we go!

Audrey Driscoll’s Author Blog

Audrey’s blog alternates between gardening tips (and glimpses of her beautiful flowers), and all sorts of information and tips about writing. She’s a member of Writers Supporting Writers and provides links to the group’s video discussions on different aspects of the craft, covering “topics related to writing, publishing, and everything in between.” She also shares some of her own writing-related projects, short stories, and books.

Audrey’s publishing list includes her popular Herbert West series and a duology set in Egypt that I thoroughly enjoyed. If you’re an armchair traveler, it’s worth the read for the adventure alone. Here’s my review:

She Who Comes Forth by Audrey Driscoll

My Review: France Leighton and her beloved cello, Eudora, arrive in Luxor, Egypt to take part in an archeological dig. It’s not quite the adventure she expected, but she hangs in there. After a cello performance, she meets the mysterious Adam Dexter, who turns out to be far more than she expected, and not in a good way. Egyptian mythology comes alive as France must find a way to save the world from destruction.

This book is well written, the kind of writing that disappears into the background and therefore leaves the reader fully immersed in the story. I loved the setting, the details about Egypt and its mythology, the elements of the dig, and France’s interest and reverence for the magnificent tombs. In the afterword, Driscoll points out that she’s never been to Luxor, but as a reader, you’d never know it. Her research shines.

Told in first person, the story is wholly France’s. She’s a rich and thoroughly believable character, and her struggles were relatable to me. Secondary characters are beautifully three-dimensional as seen through her eyes. I loved the advice of her “talking” cello and totally fell for the relationship.

The story moves at a moderate pace, a slow burn, with hints at something supernatural at play dropped here and there along the way. At the 75% mark, there’s a giant leap into the paranormal/occult that I wasn’t quite ready for, though in hindsight I could see the preparation. A compelling story that I highly recommend to readers of literary fiction and to those who enjoy a strong female protagonist.

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If you have a chance, head on over to join The Necromancer’s Daughter tour at Audrey’s blog: Audrey Driscoll.

The Necromancer’s Daughter Book Tour: Day 24

Welcome to Day 24 of The Necromancer’s Daughter’s Book Tour!

I hope you enjoy:

~ My favorite book from my host’s list, along with my review.

~ Something from or about The Necromancer’s Daughter (follow the link below).

~ Leave a comment on my hosts’ sites, and your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift certificate. The more tour sites, the more entries!

Day 24, here we go!

Martha Reynolds’ Blog: Martha Reynolds Writes

Martha’s blog focuses on book reviews. She reads a wide variety of genres and her reviews are wonderfully informative and well-written, so it’s easy to browse and find something that fits your mood and preference. She also shares her own writing news and partakes in blog challenges. She’s been participating in the A to Z challenge for 10 years and had covered a wide range of topics. This year was songs from 1981!

Martha’s books are award winners and best-sellers. Here’s my review of her Amazon #1 bestseller Bits of Broken Glass:

Bits of Broken Glass by Martha Reynolds

A twenty-fifth high school reunion is being planned for six months in the future, and for four characters it becomes an opportunity to think back on how those important years shaped them. For Kellie and Joe it stirs up old trauma. For Cherry, it’s an opportunity to make amends, and for Scott it’s an opportunity missed.

The actual reunion takes place in the last chapter, so the book is really about the lead-up to that event. Each character has a separate POV narrative, which begins to intersect with other characters as the day draws near. I enjoyed the way the author slowly revealed each character’s memories as well as how their lives had progressed. The healing that takes place was cathartic and touching. To me, it seemed that karma was in play, and that kindness bred kindness, as well as the other way around.

The characters were beautifully crafted, their actions and choices realistic and their emotions full of depth. Secondary characters had the same three-dimensional feel. The story unfolds in third-person with a little first-person mixed in. The pace was excellent, and I read the book in two days since it caught me and wouldn’t let go. Recommended to readers who enjoy women’s fiction, and stories about personal growth and rising above old hurts

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If you have a chance, head on over to join The Necromancer’s Daughter tour at Martha’s blog: Martha Reynolds Writes.

compliments of bang2write

The Necromancer’s Daughter Book Tour: Day 23

Welcome to Day 23 of The Necromancer’s Daughter’s Book Tour!

I hope you enjoy:

~ My favorite book from my host’s list, along with my review.

~ Something from or about The Necromancer’s Daughter (follow the link below).

~ Leave a comment on my hosts’ sites, and your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift certificate. The more tour sites, the more entries!

Day 23, here we go!

acflory’s Blog: Meeka’s Mind

Andrea’s forte is science fiction, so her blog includes cool science and technology articles, but that’s not all by any means. She also shares progress on her writing, book reviews, music she loves (often to write by), and commentary on some of the wise and less-than-wise human endeavors that are happening around the world. She has one of those inquisitive minds and shares what she finds.

I’ve read all of Andrea’s books, including her novels and her collection of short stories. I’ve been bugging her for another book from her alien Vokhtah series, which she’s diligently working on. It’s a story written entirely from an alien POV, which intrigues me no end.

Her Innerscape series is complete, and it’s riveting. Here’s a review:

Miira (Innerscape Book One) by acflory

My Review: What a beautifully written book. Innerscape is a science fiction story about a middle-aged woman Miira whose disease-ravaged body is dying. She decides to enter Innercape where her body will be pared down to her essential components and preserved while she lives out her life in a virtual world as a younger, healthy version of herself.

The first book in the series covers two aspects of her immersion in Innerscape – first, the preparation of her new body and the tests to prepare for her transition, and second, the transition into the VR world and her orientation. As a series, the story continues beyond the initial book, and Flory hooks the reader with the introduction of several challenging characters, corporate compromises, questionable ethics, and love.

The science is detailed and utterly entrancing, as well as completely understandable to the layperson. The premise and technology also seem entirely plausible, if not now, then in the not-so-distant future. Flory’s writing is meticulous and detailed, and the world she’s created held my fascination throughout.

And all that wasn’t even the best part! Set against the scientific backdrop, is an engrossing human story. Miira is reserved, sensitive, inquisitive, and vulnerable, a beautifully rendered human being undergoing a process that requires complete trust and a step into the unknown. The story is told primarily from her point of view and the immersion in her experience is complete. The Innerscape staff that supports her are multidimensional and believably flawed characters.

The pace is steady and yet I flew through the book because I could NOT put it down. Exquisite writing, gorgeous descriptions, high-tech science, and human pathos that grab the reader. I’m a fan and gladly recommend this book to readers of science fiction and anyone who enjoys an unusual human story.

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If you have a chance, head on over to join The Necromancer’s Daughter tour at Andrea’s blog: Meeka’s Mind.

The Necromancer’s Daughter Book Tour: Day 22

Welcome to Day 22 of The Necromancer’s Daughter’s Book Tour!

I hope you enjoy:

~ My favorite book from my host’s list, along with my review.

~ Something from or about The Necromancer’s Daughter (follow the link below).

~ Leave a comment on my hosts’ sites, and your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift certificate. The more tour sites, the more entries!

Day 22, here we go!

Miriam Hurdle’s Blog: Showers of Blessings

Miriam is one of the nicest bloggers around. She always has a kind word for her visitors and is happy to engage. She shares tidbits about her family and her latest projects – including raising endangered Monarch butterflies. How cool is that! Her posts are eclectic as she partakes in a number of writing challenges including poetry and flash fiction, and shares her photography and book reviews. She’s always willing to lend a hand when it’s time for a release.

Miriam is an eclectic writer too and has three published books: A poetry collection, a children’s book, and her just-released memoir about her battle with cancer, titled The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival.

The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival by Miriam Hurdle

My Review: I read this short book in an afternoon, the same day I picked up my husband after his cancer surgery. It struck a chord, and the author’s journey, though intensely personal, resonated.

Hurdle kept a diary from the time of her hysterectomy and the discovery of cancer, through her treatment, and onward to her recovery. Her cancer wasn’t only extremely rare, but her prognosis was bleak. She relates the events of her journey with a great deal of honesty and courage.

One of the important lessons I noted from reading her story is the need for patients (and their families) to advocate for themselves and their loved ones. For example, Hurdle describes long waits for information and finally driving to her physician’s office and refusing to leave the waiting room until she received the help she needed.

She also shares the kindness and competence of her treatment team, as well as the huge difference her church and community made in supporting her with rides, meals, and prayers. The love of her family and friends and her strong faith were important contributors to her emotional strength when her physical body was being devastated by the disease and treatment (intense chemo, radiation, and multiple surgeries).

This book is a worthwhile read for anyone supporting a cancer patient. And I highly recommend it to those brave souls who are facing their own diagnoses and are seeking strength and wisdom through another survivor’s story.

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If you have a chance, head on over to join The Necromancer’s Daughter tour at Miriam’s blog: Showers of Blessings.

The Necromancer’s Daughter Book Tour: Day 21

Welcome to Day 21 of The Necromancer’s Daughter’s Book Tour!

I hope you enjoy:

~ My favorite book from my host’s list, along with my review.

~ Something from or about The Necromancer’s Daughter (follow the link below).

~ Leave a comment on my hosts’ sites, and your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift certificate. The more tour sites, the more entries!

Day 21, here we go!

John Howell’s Blog: Fiction Favorites

John is a prolific blogger with almost daily posts. He’s also a contributor over at Story Empire where he shares his writing knowledge and experience. He posts daily on his personal blog, sticking to a set schedule including stream-of-consciousness and photo prompts, a visit to the goings-on in his neck of the woods, hilarious top ten lists, good news from around the world, and my favorite… conversations between his dogs, Lucy and Twiggy. They’re adorable.

Somehow, between all that blogging, John writes great books, including thrillers, paranormal suspense, and paranormal stories about life after death. I’ve read all of his fiction, and now my husband is hooked too. Here’s the book that kicked it all off:

My GRL by John W. Howell

My Review: John Cannon is on a sabbatical from his high-powered attorney job and decides to spend a year on Mustang Island off the coast of Texas working on his used 65’ boat. Then his friend ends up shot, and the sheriff suspects that he’s keeping secrets. Add to that, it turns out that terrorists want his boat.

This book moves along at a fast clip as John deals with the sheriff and then gets embroiled in the terrorists’ plot. He’s a dynamic character, and for me, he brought the book to life. He’s kind of an average guy, but he’s smart and resourceful (for the most part), and he has some attitude. I had a great time watching him deal with all the problems while completely out of his element.

The story didn’t bog down with description or backstory, and it had just the right amount of shipboard detail to lend authenticity to the setting, John’s capabilities, and the story’s resolution. I will definitely read more of this character and author. Though a thriller, the book was also a lot of fun. Highly recommended for readers of action novels and thrillers, and book-lovers who enjoy great characters.

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If you have a chance, head on over to join The Necromancer’s Daughter tour at John’s blog: Fiction Favorites.

The Necromancer’s Daughter Book Tour: Day 20

Welcome to Day 20 of The Necromancer’s Daughter’s Book Tour!

I hope you enjoy:

~ My favorite book from my host’s list, along with my review.

~ Something from or about The Necromancer’s Daughter (follow the link below).

~ Leave a comment on my hosts’ sites, and your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift certificate. The more tour sites, the more entries!

Day 20, here we go!

Shehanne Moore’s Blog: Smexy Historical Romance

Lady Furry

Shey is a delightful blogger, brimming with enthusiasm, and always willing to chat and laugh. On top of that, she’s a wonderful writer of regency romances. Her blog is a great place to learn about her books. It’s also a place to find The Dudes, a collection of hamsters (and a mouse) who have opinions on just about everything and don’t mind sharing them. They conduct interviews, share book reviews, and handle promotions. They frequently steal the show.

For fun, I made an image of Lady Furry (a hamster version of the title character in the book below). Head to Shey’s site to meet the rest of the rodents.

I’ve read a bunch of Shey’s books, and I get such a kick out of them. Her main characters are witty and vibrant, and they get into wild situations that just beg for humor. Here’s one of my reviews:

The Unraveling of Lady Fury by Shehanne Moore

My Review: This book was a hoot. Imagine a romance where the characters are blackmailing each other and yet contractually agree to produce an heir.

Lady Fury needs an heir if she hopes to keep the estate of her dead husband, who, by the way, is in a box in the cellar and starting to stink. Captain Flint Blackmoore is an old flame from years past, a privateer who dumped Fury on the docks and later lost his ship. He knows about the body in the cellar, and she knows his real identity. They’re stuck with each other.

The numerous clinical “rules” Fury imposes on Flint regarding the act of reproduction generate some one-upmanship, negotiation, and plenty of outrage. How exactly does one have sex without touching or removing one’s clothes? For the characters, the act of sex becomes an act of war. For the reader, it’s hysterical. And heaven forbid they fall in love.

Time is of the essence because of the decomposing body, and Fury demands repeat performances for as long as it takes. With all the wrangling and finagling, the initial installment of the contract takes the first 25% of the book, and it’s all entertaining as heck.

I loved the tight POV that allowed me to experience Fury’s running commentary up close and personal. Both she and Flint are sympathetic characters even when driving each other nearly insane with frustration. The pace whips along, the characters motivated, the flush of emotions rampant. Highly recommended to readers of romance, and readers who enjoy the fireworks when great characters are thrown together in a madcap plot.

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If you have a chance, head on over to join The Necromancer’s Daughter tour at Shey’s blog: Smexy Historical Romance.

The Necromancer’s Daughter Book Tour: Day 19

Welcome to Day 19 of The Necromancer’s Daughter’s Book Tour!

I hope you enjoy:

~ My favorite book from my host’s list, along with my review.

~ Something short and different from The Necromancer’s Daughter (follow the link below).

~ Leave a comment on my hosts’ sites, and your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift certificate. The more tour sites, the more entries!

Day 19, here we go!

Shagun Shukla’s Author Blog

Shagun is multi-talented. She has three blogs that are all worth visiting. Her main blog, Shagun Shukla, is a place to find links to the other two. It’s also a place to browse her poetry, books, and publication information. The Life in Pictures is a lovely blog where she shares her photography and image-inspired poetry. And finally, for those who enjoy beautiful writing and reflections on life, I recommend stopping by Twisted Fabric. You won’t be disappointed.

Shagun’s poetry appears in a two-volume anthology FRIENDS & FRIENDSHIP of The Poet, which includes 248 contributions from 175 poets in 46 countries on the topic of friendship. She also co-wrote a romantic thriller with nine other authors. I was intrigued! 

Altitudinis – Seekers, Sinners & Secrets (10-author collaboration)

My Review: Altitudinis is a serum under development that promises exceptional endurance at high altitudes. It will benefit India’s military as well as its businesses whose employees work in the mountains. But it hasn’t been tested on humans, and unwitting adventurers are targeted for trials. And there are unscrupulous thieves who would like to steal the research and sell it as their own.

Those are only two plot threads that run through this suspense/romance/family drama written by ten authors. The complexity of such a writing collaboration intrigued me, and it may be one reason why there was so much going on in the book with the plots and subplots. Overall, it was surprisingly cohesive and consistent, as if written by one author. That’s quite a feat.

The pace moves quickly. One of the challenges with so much plot-related action, as well as the number of main characters, is that there wasn’t much time to get deeply into the characters’ psyches, emotions, or backstories. Nikhil and Nirali were the exceptions with some time given to their relationship and romance. Because I got to know them personally, they were my favorites.

With the addition of an omniscient POV, this book struck me as a broad versus deep story. Readers looking for a character-driven book may find themselves wanting more depth and focus, but readers who enjoy action-driven stories that don’t get bogged down in messy emotions, description, and backstory, may have found just the thing to fill an afternoon of reading.

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If you have a chance, head on over to join The Necromancer’s Daughter tour at Shagun’s blog: Twisted Fabric.