Weaving Across Europe (Shadow of Night – A Book Review)

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Published: 2012

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated T for witchy time-tampering and tinkering.

 

In every ending there is a new beginning.

Diana and Matthew’s timewalk to Elizabethan London is a success. There, they meet more of Matthew’s friends and family, including his father who isn’t alive in their time. While the two move across England searching for a witch that can help Diana reach her full potential as a witch, they also discover they have a shot at seeing the Book of Life in its entirety.

They are quickly drawn into the world of the past, the historian in Diana living in a dream come true while Matthew tries to fix things he didn’t during this time. Caught up in the times, the two must be careful, for their actions may have consequences in the future. And where there is shadow there is light.

 

The All Souls Trilogy is a part of my New Year’s Resolution. This is book 2 of 3.

 

This story only gets better and better! I’m not much of a history buff, but this time travel was amazing! Harkness didn’t spare a single detail. I was utterly beguiled by the scenery and magic. It was so beautiful! From the dangerous encounters to all of the magic to the true love and endearing family, I am just so here for it. Meeting Phillipe, Matthew’s father, and Gallowglass, his nephew, was among my favorite! For vampires, they’re so lively and their loyalty was unyielding. Such admirable characters once again.

Side Note: They’re terrible at keeping secret that they’re from the future. LOL.

There were so many new characters! I was so excited. There were also some familiar ones like Christopher Marlowe, who by the way was an utter douchebag. Brilliant mind! Evil little snit. Many others of history made a cameo and it was so beautiful interwoven with this magical story.

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Matthew and Diana’s love still has me mesmerized. It’s complicated and tail-spinning and surprising. They’re unconventional and there’s the struggle of finding equal partnership as well as being able to let each other into each other’s lives. Of course, there were times I shook my head because they could get super lovey-dovey and it would come off strong and maybe a little cheesy. Diana and Matthew are such strong characters and put a lot of faith in one another. The obstacles they face in this book are mainly themselves and allowing themselves to open up and not let their faults get in the way of how they feel and to accept and move past these faults. My emotions were a-stirrin’.

Dead of Winter

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Overall

This trilogy has dragged me in further and further. Just complex and original. As such an avid lover of the paranormal, I’d started to wonder if I’d read and seen everything magic had to offer. This trilogy still blows me out of the water! Harkness’s way with words is poetic and filled with splendor. Also, I’ve caught the sneak peeks of season 2 of A Discovery of Witches on Twitter and I am so effing EXCITED!!!! I recommend all of it; the show and the books.

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Quotables:

“Giving a woman your whole life is meaningless without giving her your whole heart as well. You should pay more attention to the conclusion of that love token, not just the beginning.” (Phillipe to Matthew, p. 113)

“Mark me well, Diana: Lives will be lost because of your love for my son. Some will sacrifice themselves. Others will die because someone must, and it will be for you to decide if it is you or them or someone you love…” (Phillipe to Diana, p. 160)

“Whoever could have imagined that the lost Book of Life would stink to high heaven of death?” (p. 462)

“After all my searching, I discover that I am who I always was: Matthew de Clermont. Husband. Father. Vampire. And I am here for only one reason: To make a difference.” (Matthew to Diana, p. 469)

“Nightmares are like Master Harriot’s star glass. They are a trick of the light, one that makes something distant seem closer and larger than it really is.” (Matthew to Jack, p. 552)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Way Down We Go by Kaleo.

 

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It Begins… (A Discovery of Witches – A Book Review)

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Published: 2011

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated B for characters that bewitch you, bewilder you and make you melt into a massive puddle from swooning so hard.

 

It begins with absence and desire.

It begins with blood and fear.

It begins with a discovery of witches.

Diana Bishop, of the Bishop witches that date back to Salem, and also a young scholar of Oxford spends her days studying and researching alchemy in Oxford’s Bodleian Library while also resisting using her magic. Then one day she calls up a manuscript that hasn’t been seen in centuries. Witches, vampires, and daemons alike gather, waiting for her to call it again. More than anything she wants to be left alone.

Her entire world shifts when she meets Matthew Clermont, fellow doctor of Oxford and vampire, who like others, is very interested in the manuscript. What begins as a mission to get Diana to call up the manuscript soon turns into something much deeper, passionate, and filled with many discoveries than either of them intended. They’ll stand up to anything and everyone in their way to protect each other and the manuscript that may contain the most important answers to questions about their existence.

 

The All Souls Trilogy is a part of my New Year’s Resolution. This is book 1 of 3.

 

For the last twenty-four hours, I’ve been debating about how to begin this review. I’ll start where I began with this beautiful, mesmerizing series. The television show. I’d heard about it through a grapevine—I can’t remember which—and knew in my gut that I just had to watch it. I knew it wasn’t the typical broody supernatural show. There was both complexity and sophistication and so much beauty. I was blown away. So that’s where it began for me and then I just had to read the trilogy.

The book was long and deep, but I can honestly say that I feel like it didn’t drag. There’s purpose and a sense of longing and wonder with magic weaved in-between. Witch water and witch fire. Vampires as hunters. And daemons as overly intelligent and creative beings that dance on the line of sanity. I’m bewitched I tell you!

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Everything Horror

Diana and Matthew are drawn together through powerful passion, magic, and determination. The chemistry between the two of them is fire! I’m melting from the heat and certainly not complaining. I admire how stubborn they both are and how they stand up for what they believe in and how they feel. It’s so intense and incredible. It shook me, guys. And also, if you’ve read this already or watched the show, French bundling. LOL. I’ll never stop laughing like a moron at that. It’s so adorable, yet blush-worthy. The book made me feel intensely.

The surrounding characters were also phenomenal! I loved all of them! Well, except for Knox and Gerbert. They’re villainous dillholes. Ugh! So many dimensions and life and all-around loveable other characters. I especially loved when everyone was together under the Bishop roof. I especially loved how the Bishop witches are surprising, almost as if to say they’re the weirdos of their species. LOL.

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Tenor

And Marcus and Miriam, gah! Love them. They, along with Mathew, don’t come across as the typical type of vampire: broody and depressing. It’s refreshing. In fact, they take on a realistic facet, coming across as dominant creatures. Of course, coming across the Bishops created a great challenge.

There was so much to take in with this book. All good. All amazing. Completely mind-blowing. From the world building of Oxford to Madison to Sept Tours, it was all vivid and colorful and just gorgeous. The imagery was just stunningly realistic and added so much to the characters and swept me away.

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Overall

I honestly don’t have a bad thing to say about this book. Not a damn one. Finding the right words for this review was so difficult because this book was what I can only describe as ineffable and obviously rambling. It was in-depth and magical and splendid in how Diana and Matthew and all of the other characters worked my emotions. Praise from all angles from me. People told me this would be one of those ones that would become an obsession and it has! It’s just absolutely magnificent from head to toe, from magic to love, just absolute perfection. There’s so much more to this story than what the show gave, but they’re both so fantastic and leave me desperate for more. Never read anything like this. I need to start the next one!

 

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The Nerd Daily

 

Quotables:

“Aunt Sarah had always told me that magic was a gift. If it was, it had strings attached that bound me to all the Bishop witches who had come before me. There was a price to be paid for using this inherited magical power and for working spells and charms that made up the witches’ carefully guarded craft.” (Diana, p. 13)

“I want what I shouldn’t want, and I crave someone I can never have.” (Mathew, p. 106)

“A witch shouldn’t keep secrets from other witches. Bad things happen when she does.” (Gillian to Diana, p. 122)

“Did you know that a witch’s blood makes music? Like a siren who sings to the sailor, asking him to steer his ship into the rocks, the call of your blood could be my undoing—and yours.” ‘(Mathew to Diana, p. 175)

“Dying was nothing at all like I’d expected it to be. There was a moment of bone-deep quiet. A sense of parting and regret. Then nothing.” (p. 503)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? It Won’t Kill Ya by The Chainsmokers ft. Louane.

 

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Rules for Retribution (Half Bad – A Book Review)

Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy #1)
Author: Sally Green
Published: 2014

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

Rated P for parents who unknowingly and unwittingly put a shunning curse on their kid.

 

Wanted by no one. Hunted by everyone.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage. Son of the most infamous Black Witch, Marcus, he’s given rules and limitations, pushing him to the brink. His captors run him ragged and his only hope is to escape so that he may receive the three gifts that’ll bring him his magical powers. Only then can he go after his father and put an end to him. How can he do that when there’s nobody he can trust?

 

I’d heard such good things about this book, so when I saw a copy on sale I couldn’t help but grab it. And as much praise, as it’s gotten, I am in that small percentage that just didn’t enjoy it. Well, enjoy isn’t the word. I didn’t get hooked. I gave it my all, but it was just slow and lacked excitement for me.

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Giphy

 

Taking place in Europe, witches are divided between white witches and black witches. Nathan was unlucky to be borne by both, his mom being a white witch and his father, a white witch. Many rules/laws kept him from having any normal kind of life because it’s quickly assumed he’ll be just like his father, a killer and power snatcher of witches.

Visually pleasing, the world building was impeccable. It was wide open and also beautifully bleak. I really liked how exploratory it was with Nathan’s journey.

This wasn’t dreadful, and I’ve read a dreadful book and reviewed as so. The characters were actually pretty moving. They carried such heartache and darkness. It was heavy and raw and deep. With Nathan struggling as everything worked against him, it was amazing how strong he was. Those that revolved around him showed how outside factors can strongly influence one’s life. It was pretty dang tragic.

Scarlet Reader - Kissed by an Angel

I struggled with the POV the most to be honest. Nathan is sixteen, but the book starts off much younger than that. What really caught me up, was that Nathan’s tone throughout it came across much older. More so, the POV switched up with second-person POV and first-person POV. It was a little confusing and distracting.

 

Overall

Though the imagery is strong, I struggled around other bends. I love the paranormal genre and the YA genre. This one just didn’t capture my love and that stinks. So, this goes to my donation pile.

 

Quotables:

“The new trick is no easier than the old trick.” (Nathan, p. 156)

 

P.S. Song today? Halfway Gone by Lifehouse.

 

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Hanging Out at the Walgreens – (How to Hang a Witch – A Book Review)

How to Hang a Witch (How to Hang a Witch #1)
Author: Adriana Mather
Published: 2016

On Goodreads

How to Hang A Witch

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Being the new girl is tough. Being the new girl in Salem could be deadly.

Sam Mather is moved to Salem, Massachusetts—the home of the infamous Witch Trials. Being the new girl sucks, and it sucks worse when weird things start happening, all of them coming back to Sam. The Descendants—ancestors to witches—mark Sam like a leper because of her descendant to one of the Witch Trials’ major persecutors. As if her own checkered past wasn’t enough.

Eventually, they all must work together to break a centuries-old curse or else history may repeat itself.

As many have said, this is like Mean Girls meets history class, and they aren’t wrong. Emotions were high. While this book started bumpy at first, I got into it pretty quickly. Sam is such a spunky character on the outside and in, but also deeply caring. Her concern for her dad was incredibly heartwarming. I really loved all the memories she looked back on involving him. Though he wasn’t physically in the book, he has such a strong presence.

The use of the actual history was awesome! The Salem Witch Trials is one of my favorite subjects aside from Stonehenge, the pyramids, and everything strange. The way that this was so interwoven with the Trials really made me geek out. I really liked the way the story unraveled as a curse. Made more dark. The Descendants were more emo than I expected and came off a little cliché, but it was funny. I really found them to be entertaining. I feel the same about Elijah, the ghost of this witchy story. Rules were for ghosts really shocked me. While they can go through solid surfaces, they can also be touched and teleport? Very odd, but completely refreshing. I loved the dynamic between him and Sam. Him being formal and her being her awkward self.

awkard

Now, I know this has a sequel attached to it, but I feel like it could be a full-blown series. I just feel like there are so many possibilities, especially after reading the mini-bio of Adriana at the back. I really do hope that Haunting in the Deep isn’t the only book in this series.

This started out a bit rough for me. It was super awkward! Buuuut, then I remembered, I’m really freaking awkward, so my many grimacing, and cringing, moments aren’t because the book is terrible, because I enjoyed it immensely, but because I get it. Granted there were some rather silly moments that were odd, but nothing I couldn’t skip past, though it is part of the reason I can’t give it a full 5 bolts. Great and quick read.

Quotables:

“They really love their witches here.” (Sam to Vivian, p. 2)

“You never know in life when something unpredictable will happen.” (Elijah to Sam, p. 208)

“I can’t make friends at school, but I can with the dead. So at least I’ve got that.” (Sam, p. 254)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Cecilia and the Satellite by Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.

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Something Wicked Lurking in the Shadows (The Witching Hour – A Book Review)

The Witching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches #1)
Author: Anne Rice
Published: 1990

On Goodreads

Witching Hour

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

10/25

 

They call him the man, but Aunt Carl says he’s really the devil.

The history of the Mayfair witches is a long one, but the man-creature- Lasher that has followed the women of that line is even older. After the death of her biological mother, Rowan Mayfair come to New Orleans, home of the Mayfairs. With falling in love with Michael Curry and getting to know her family, Rowan feels like she’s finally home. Well, that is until Lasher, the man, makes himself known and seduces Rowan. As she falls prey, she refuses to acknowledge this thing. As a doctor, she is a believer of science not religion, so she finds it difficult to believe in this creature, but she should and she should be afraid. Something wicked this way comes…back.

This book marks 10 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I’ve seen the movies, but never read the books. I’ve heard so many great things that I was excited to read Anne Rice.

When it comes to the supernatural genre, I’m a lush. I love my paranormal novels and Anne Rice is one of the most revolutionary authors of the genre. Right up alongside Bram Stoker himself. She brings the supernatural into the eighties while keeping it’s gothic framing. I was surprised I enjoyed it as much as I did. It was beautiful, yet slightly on the scary side. She really combined the two elements well and left me feeling odd because I’ve never felt that way about writing. LOL.

Whoa, it’s big! I was stunned at what a whopper of a book this was. There was so much detail that my senses were in overload. So much of the book is back history though. That did bother me a little bit. All of that history, though very necessary, stalled the story for me. Pushing past all of it was so worth it! The ending totally blew my mind to a disturbed place! It was dark and grimy and I was wide eyed and freaked out.

ITBT

The characters blew me away. They’re rich and connected and I found myself holding my breath from time to time. There are no boundaries from the horrors and the romances that follow and surround them, especially for Michael and Rowan. I’ve never seen two people like these opposites before. Rowan is brash and her temper is easily flared while Michael-until he met her-is an introvert of sorts. I really liked how the characters came across. They have a long history that really is magical. My utmost favorite thing about them is whether you consider the Mayfairs good or bad.

The way that the Talamasca a is intertwined with this series and all of the history with the Mayfairs is astounding. They’re only known as those who watch. They don’t get involved with the supernatural, though of course you quickly learn that isn’t the case. They’re more involved and a part of the Mayfair witches than they’d like. I really like when a story can get so unexpectedly twisted like it did with these two branches.

Witching Hour

Anne Rice is mindblowing. She encompasses the magic of New Orleans, bringing its culture and lore out in a beautiful gothic style. I really love how upfront her writing was, too. There were no hidden meanings in my opinion. It was right there, up front.

I won’t lie, there were times I was ready to give up on this book, but there were so many parts that made it worth it. It was seductive, pushing and pulling. I swear she could compete with V.C. Andrews. While this book was incredibly steamy and I was totally engrossed, I was also highly disturbed. Rice really throws the shockers at you.

Quotables:

“We watch. And we are always here.” (p. 4)

“We are an old family, Father. We don’t even know how old. There is no one now who can identify some of the portraits you see around you.” (Carlotta to Father Mattingly, p. 81)

“You know, when I was in my twenties, falling in love with a person in one evening would have been damn near impossible. Least it never happened.  And when I was in my thirties? Well maybe, but again it didn’t happen, though now I’m in my late forties now, and I’m either more stupid than ever or I know enough finally that I can fall in love with a person in one day or one night.” (Michael to Aaron, p. 249)

“When I look into the future all I see is how weak most people are, and how little they do to fight fate or fortune.” (Mary Beth, p. 478)

“The dead are so close they can hear us.” (Rowan, p. 672)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Freak on a Leash by Korn.

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Eyes of Fire (Summer of Fear – A Book Review)

Summer of Fear
Author: Lois Duncan
Published: 1983

On Goodreads

Summer of Fear - SR

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt Full boltFull bolt

 

Rachel’s not jealous of her beautiful cousin. But she is afraid.

Cousin Julia comes to live with Rachel and her family after a terrible car accident. Slowly, inch by inch, Julia is taking over Rachel’s life. She takes her bedroom, her boyfriend, and soon enough her family. Everybody thinks Rachel is jealous, but that’s not it at all. There’s something dark about Julia, and Rachel’s terrified.

 

This book was a quick read. It is. Rather short. I finished it in three hours. I really enjoyed it even though a page was missing. LOL. I will never know what happened on the first page of chapter five. Kidding. I can probably buy a new copy of the book. This one I got out at a library sale. Those things are freaking gold mines. Anyway…a fantastic read. Classic, cult, and edgy from the same author of I Know What You Did Last Summer.

I know

Rachel is that ultimate final girl that—I hope I’m not the only one—you miss in horror movies these days. While everyone falls under Julia’s spell, she’s determined to get to the bottom of it. There’s heartbreak and even that panic inducing feeling. It wasn’t strong, but this dark and mystical story was a great page turner. Duncan does so well at building up to her great reveal. She always gets you with that twist. When everybody turns on Rachel, she fights back. And let me tell you, that was intense. That feeling of isolation that she gets trapped in is nothing compared to what could possibly happen to her.

I really clung on to the additional element of witch lore and magic. From having read a more horror novel last time, this was fresh to me. Witches of late have appeared more as agents of good, but not in this story. This book really touches on the bit that witches can be evil, too. There are upsides and dark sides of the supernatural and it was pretty cool to see the dark side.

Evil Witch

The attention to detail was wonderful. Not too much, but enough that the imagery was perfect, reminding me that this is set before the era of cell phones and DVDs. For many these days I’m sure your’e saying, “WHAT!?”. Yup, those days existed folks. After all, this was done in the eighties. Duncan’s writing really captured that without seeming overboard. I really liked it.

A favorite summer read of mine, but I believe Lois Duncan is great at creating a story like that. It’s the deadly story that gets you wanting summer. What kidn of story does that!? LOL. This one did, for me. Utterly original and, like I said already, classic. I’d really like to have the rest of the collection. So, do you read it because you like paranormal stories and horror? Yes! Do you read this because I say so? Well, that’d be cool, but I haven’t mastered the ability of manipulation so you’ll have to decid that for yourself.

 

Quotables

“It’s crazy, isn’t it, thinking you’ll never have anything but two brothers and then finally, at your age, getting a sister.” (Mike to Julia, p. 18)

“When you lose touch with youth, you grow old fast.” (Professor Jarvis to Julia, p. 56)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Summer Sunshine by The Corrs.

 

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From Mystic Falls to Night World (Night World No. 1 – A Book Review)

Night World No. 1
Author: L.J. Smith
Published: 2008 (for the version I read)

Night World

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

This book includes the first three books of the series: Secret Vampire, Daughters of Darkness, and Spellbinder.

“None of the Night People could fall in love with a human. The sentence for breaking the law was death.” (James, p. 33)

From the author of The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle, comes a series about the laws of the Supernatural: The Night World. It is forbidden for Night People to fall in love with a human, unthinkable, but when it’s your soulmate, you don’t have a choice. Follow James, Ash, and Thea was they are drawn to their soulmates like magnets. With trouble lurking in the dark, they go to extreme measures to protect, even breaking the most sacred of laws—telling humans about Night World.

Secret Vampire: Terminally ill, Poppy discovers her closest friend, James is in love with and more than that, he’s a vampire. He’ll go to extreme lengths to make her well, even break the laws of Night World.

Daughters of Darkness: Three new girls come to town to live with their grandmother, but when she ends up dead and Mary-Lynnette and her brother Mark discover they’re vampires. To make matter more complicated, their brother, Ash, shows up and instantly falls in love with Mary-Lynnette.

Spellbinder: Thea and Blaise, sisters, witches, have a crush on the same guy, Eric. Blaise is dangerous and her history with boys ends with stalkerish obsession because of the spells she uses on them. Feeling such a strong connection to Eric, Thea threatens to use her own magic on him to protect him from her. She didn’t expect to fall in love with him though. Who will win in this game of magic?

Night World

This series was originally published 1996-1998 with the final installment coming out back in 2012. This isn’t the first series to be re-released but L.J. Smith. The Vampire Diaries had also been re-released with additional books added on to the series.

The first installment of the Night World series is tender and gives a strong sense of life or death in every detail, showing how important it is that Night World remains in secret. This was a very easy read. The characters carry themselves with such distinct individuality, and I really enjoyed reading from each character’s POV. The level of emotion and drama was taken up to an eleven, making it seem like some of the reactions by the characters are over-done.

There are some points that seem vague, but I could easily fill those parts in with my own imagination. Plus, all of these short novels come together as a connected storyline.

This is definitely a series I recommend for those who are looking for their supernatural and romance fix. L.J. Smith does a lovely job of keeping up with the originality of the supernatural as well as bringing in some new details to it. The idea of a whole world completely unknown is a chilling, haunting dream brought to life and I want to be a part of it. I will certainly be looking for the remaining books to the series.

On a side note, I have to wonder if Night World will eventually make its TV debut like Secret Circle and The Vampire Diaries. I’m curious about who’d make up the cast. Thoughts?

Damon Salvatore

 

Quotables:

“You don’t love a girl because of beauty. You love her because she sings a song only you can understand…With the thought came a strong feeling of protectiveness.” (James, p. 68)

“When you’re soulmates, it hits you like lightning, and you know that’s the one person in the world you were meant to be with. You don’t think you’re soulmates; you just know it’s you destiny whether you like it or not.” (Kestrel, p. 362)

“Even when we’re apart, we’ll be looking at the same sky!” (Ash to Mary-Lynnette, p. 485)

“Maybe the old powers were waking and new times were coming. Maybe the world was about to change. Only one thing was sure. There were infinite possibilities.” (Thea, p. 729)

D+S

And I’ll leave this last adorable gif of the Salvatore brothers from The Vampire Diaries; books written by L.J. Smith.

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Dangerous Type by Letters to Cleo.