Summer Reads – Fiction Edition

summer reads

Happy summer, booknerds!

Hope you are all doing well and that the weather is beautiful. I told you I had a few extra lists this month. I’ve done the YA list already – which you can find here. This is the Summer Read Fiction Edition. I wanted to pick up a variety to attract a variety of you lovely readers as well as pique some new interests.

 

Circe
Author: Madeline Miller

Circe

This NY Times bestseller brings to life a new and more in depth tale about the daughter of the Titan, Helios: Circe, and how she became one of the most powerful witches in history. That she isn’t as evil as she’s made out to be and just wants to protect those she cares about. With the power to transform rivals into beasts and more, she’ll go against the gods and humans. I’m a big lover of Greek mythology, so this one is definitely on my to-read list. This also comes from the same author who wrote The Song of Achilles.

Amazon

 

The Outsider
Author: Stephen King

Outsider

If you’ve got horror in your bones and love a good paranormal-y twist then pick this up. On the NY Times Bestseller list, this story circles around the murder of a kid. While the authorities are sure they know who it is, the coach of the kid’s little league team, he has an alibi, and a good one, plus more people turn up dead. But, the killer looked like him? How? Get addicted to this brand new story by the King-man.

Amazon

 

Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline

Ready Player One

On and off the bestseller’s list, this action packed ride will have you hanging on. This is currently up on my reading queue and I can’t wait to read it. For gamers and anybody that loves clinging on to an adventure with a BIG endgame, read this. Exciting and fulfilling…so I hear. Also, a movie that’s recently come out this year.

Amazon

 

Noir
Author: Christopher Moore

Noir

If you love noir, dicks (private dicks…damn it, detectives, people), and hella good comedy then this is for you. I love Christopher Moore and I was really excited to hear about this novel. Love at first sight, a UFO, a plane crash, and the kidnapping of Cheese after a scheme gone bad. Sammy Tiffin, the bartender of a hopping gin joint, has his work cut out for him.

Amazon

 

Sinless
Author: Sarah Tarkoff

Sinless

Calling all dystopian lovers! Those who are good are graced with beauty while those who are considered bad suffer from disfigurement or death. When important information is stumbled upon battle breaks out and it becomes hard to distinguish the good from the evil.

Amazon

 

 

These are only a couple spanning the many genres to choose from as well as a few of the most popular I’ve heard about.

 

More to come soon…

 

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It’s a Very Popular Night to Leave Town – (“Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights” – A Book Review)

“Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights?” (All The Wrong Questions ?4)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Published: 2016

On Goodreads

WITN

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt Full bolt

 

Why are the snack so terrible? Why are we stopping? What’s the rest of the story?

A train ride! The big reveal! Librarians! Volunteers! A series finale! Lemony Snicket jumps on the train that run through the town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea where many familiar faces are also leaving town. Usually the train doesn’t stop until it reaches the city, but tonight it did. A murder is afoot and Lemony is hot on Hangfire’s trail. In this epic conclusion, will he finally discover who this villain is? Why is the Bombinating Beast important?

 

Before proceeding with this conclusion, here are a few other questions to consider:

  1. Do you think your curiosity might get you in trouble?

[ ] No.       [ ] What kind of trouble do you mean?

  1. If you are following someone and they go someplace dangerous, are you curious enough to keep following them?

[ ] Yes.     [ ] What do you mean by “dangerous”?

  1. If someone offers you an apple, should you take it?

[ ] That sounds familiar.     [ ] Bad apples are bad news.

  1. A train departs from Stain’d-by-the-Sea late at night and travels at top speed toward the city. When does it arrive?

[ ] Just in time for a crime to be committed.      [ ] Too late.

 

Lemony Snicket is in the thick of it when Hangfire kills somebody important and frames S. Theodora Markson for it. With the help of his allies, Lemony hopes to solve the case and stop Hangfire before the train reaches the city, and more importantly, before somebody else winds up dead.

 

Final books of a series make me sad. It means the end of a story and if it’s a really good one, like this one was for me, then you don’t want it to end. I tried to take my time with this book so that it would last, but there was no chance of that. This book, like the ones before it, moved fast from one moment to the next. It was a wild and unpredictable train ride. I couldn’t put this book down.

Many characters returned for this epic conclusion. From Sharon Haines of book three to Ms. Murphy the actress from book one. Like every great finale, there was nostalgia for the previous books. And that was really emphasized through the characters and their stories. I really enjoy when a finale can slip in things that remind me of its previous books. Its reiterates the journey that got me and the characters to this end game.

I really loved that Lemony wasn’t alone and that his friends: Moxie, Jake, Cleo, and Kellar were with him. However, every move he made toward finding Hangfire risked him losing them and that made me nervous. This series is fantastic for making you jittery with anticipation. I know I was.

The mystifying element that Lemony Snicket usually brings to his stories, like the poisonous fungus of The Grim Grotto, for example, is brought to life. Shocked and stunned, the mythical beast that Lemony has been surrounded by throughout the series isn’t so mythical, putting the people on the train in even further danger. It was actually a little scary. Lots of teeth and rather ugly.

WITN - Villains Wiki

All of the questions ever had are answered in this book. The simple answer is one I didn’t expect. It was heartbreaking and shattered everything I knew from the previous books, putting what I knew about the big cameos and Kit Snicket’s arrest together. I was mindblown.

mindblown

And yes, I imagine Milly Bobby Brown as a young Kit Snicket.

 

The end or is it? While the series ends with this book, it didn’t feel like the end at all. It was left trailing and I took it as only the beginning of something else. After all, this does take place before A Series of Unfortunate Events. This ended phenomenally with Lemony walking into the metaphorical sunset rather depressingly, but left me wondering what happens next. I wish there was more!

This was an epic conclusion to a fantastic series. Truly. I recommend it wholeheartedly for those who enjoy the smart, adventurous, yet perilous story of secrets that leads to questions that leads to an unhappy ending. Because, this story didn’t have that happy ending. Not a single tidbit. In fact, you’re left feeling like you were left out in the rain without an umbrella, but I hear people enjoy a good story like that. So, if you do, this one is for you.

 

Quotables

“We invited villainy aboard, I thought. And now its terrible mess was everywhere I looked.” (Lemony, p. 92)

“There is no point in delaying crying. Sadness is like have a vicious alligator around.” (Lemony, p. 147)

“Even the noblest of volunteers can associate with the wrong people.” (Lemony to Ellington, p. 200)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Demons by Imagine Dragons

 

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Get Scared Later (“When Did You See Her Last?” – A Book Review)

“When Did You See Her Last?” (All The Wrong Questions ?2)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Published: 2013

On Goodreads

WDYSHL

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Did you get the message? Who has the formula? What’s for breakfast?

There is a new mystery in the nearly inkless town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea. Cleo Knight has gone missing and S. Theodora Markson and her apprentice Lemony Snicket are on the case. While Markson believes this to be cut and dry, a term often meaning simple and to the point, Lemony thinks otherwise.

Is she a runaway? Or was she kidnapped? He seems to be asking all of the wrong questions. As he gets closer to figuring out what happened to Cleo, a bigger mystery unfolds, revealing something that could save Stain’d-by-the-sea. One that is dangerous and lead by the villainous Hangfire, who can mimic anyone’s voice.

But, before you go on to read this book and discover what more troubles Lemony is getting into, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Have you seen the missing girl?

                    [ ] No.                  [ ] Why would I tell you?

  1. Why aren’t her parent worried?

                    [ ]  That’s odd.            [ ] Well, some parents are like that.

  1. Can you read a note written in invisible ink?

                    [ ]  I’m not sure.        [ ] “         .”

  1. Is it safe to follow a suspicious woman through the streets of an empty town?

                    [ ] Probably not.                  [ ] Wait, where did she go?

Lemony Snicket is still reeling from Ellington Feint’s double-cross and can’t but wonder where she might be, and with the Bombinating Beast that she stole off with. Now, possibly a part of Hangfire’s scheme, which is still a mystery, a young woman, a chemist, named Cleo Knight has gone missing and S. Theodora Markson insists they go on the case. Along the way he discovers that Cleo was onto something that may just save this town. With the help of old and new allies, Lemony is on the case and determined to find out how a mythical beast ties into this ongoing mystery.

Ever since I read A Series of Unfortunate Events (and out of order, too, though it still made sense and was somehow even better that way), I’ve wanted to read more of Lemony Snicket, hence I’ve gotten my little fingers on All The Wrong Questions. He makes a mystery more than a mystery. It’s a curious, art piece of a puzzle that I wanted to put together. There’s more than just the who dun it. There’s all of the in-between, and there is a lot of that.

This is often the book when readers say, “This is a fragmentary plot.”, which here means that this book is a part of a much bigger plot that has yet to be reached. Ib other words, while you’re left hanging by the end, you’re also satisfied. A strange feeling that is. And freaking amazing. Book series that do this are exemplary. Working like puzzle pieces and creating a good long story, which is the beautiful point of a series! Just amazeballs.

mind blown

Lemony is still a mysterious as ever and leaving fun Easter eggs. While I can’t tell you about them because I hate being spoilery, I will say that there are some amazing mentions, and a cameo that really made me giddy. This series takes place before the Baudelaire orphans were born. A prequel of sorts, yet not at all. A beginning that’s not really a beginning.

This book took me deeper into the town and how it became drained of ink, its main source of income. It’s quite dreadful that the greed of this town lead to the extinction of a sea and its population of octopus, which painfully relates to the world and how greedy people are over similar resources. Delving into the history behind a story is always fun because it shows you more than what you’ve seen so far and just pulls you in that much deeper, making the imagery that much stronger. In the process of following every small lead Lemony gets to this mystery, he discovers Ellington Feint, and she’s got her own plan. A plan that he just can’t stay out of, proving he is a loyal and kind person, who’s almost thirteen.

Lemony meets Jake Hix, the young man who works at Hungry’s Diner and is in lover with the missing chemist, Cleo. This new ally, much like the Bellerophon brothers, the taxi drivers, and Moxie, the journalist, help him with this new mystery. Each character really encompasses something unique and so creative, that it makes you laugh out loud. I read this and thought, people don’t work like this and they certainly exist. They don’t hand out helping hands like this, and it leaves me hoping and wishing that they did. I just find these characters to be fascinating and filled with the extraordinary abilities of true heroes.

The artwork of this novel is something to behold. All done in the shade of one color-purple in this book-is both goofy while it edges on sophisticated and loud, capturing scenes perfectly. They’re crowded and truly give off the lighthearted feel for the book to show that it’s enjoyable on a level that isn’t overly frightening. Dangerous and humorous more than anything.

WDYLSH

After reading this, I was left wanting more. I’m so glad I bought the entire series before starting them. Clever plots and heroic allies within these pages kept me from putting this down until I’d finished it. There’s always something surprising around the corner and by the end you realize you’re left with more questions so you have to read the next one.

Quotables

“How could someone who was missing be in two places at once?” (Lemony Snicket, p. 1)

“Boredom is not black licorice, Snicket. There’s no reason to share it with me.” (Moxie to Lemony, p. 119)

“You’re chasing mysteries, Snicket, but you’ve been a mystery yourself since you arrived in town.” (Moxie to Lemony, p. 198)

“No reality has the power to dispel a dream.” (Associate to Lemony, p. 274)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Here’s To The Night by Eve 6.

 

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Is A Life Worth More Than a Book? (Smoke and Iron – A book Review)

Smoke and Iron (The Great Library #4)
Author: Rachel Caine
Published: July, 2018 (ARC)

On Goodreads

Smoke and Iron

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Knowledge is all!

Jess Brightwell and his friends are spread out across land and sea and must play a deadly game of spies and espionage. Shaky allies and betrayal threaten their rebellion against The Great Library. Each will have to be strong and take care not to take a step in the wrong direction or it could cost them their life.

The resistance continues to grow as Archivist of The Great Library begins to lose his grip. In his panic, he unleashes a weapon that can destroy cities. Something that Jess has seen before. With his friends, they will fight to take it down and finally save The Great Library.

 

I won this ARC on Goodreads. I received is a proofread copy, so the quotes that I supply could change. My feelings on the book, not at all. Onward, booknerd.

You can find the reviews for the previous books in the series here:

 

Ink and Bone

Ink and Bonehere

 

Paper and Fire

Paper and Ashhere

 

Ash and Quill - Goodreads

Ash and Quillhere

 

This series just gets better with each book. I’m serious! I’ve said it more than once and I’ll say it again. This book is unlike anything I’ve ever read. It’s smart, strategic, and fantastically worded. Every bit is so thought out and you don’t find that very often. It’s not unheard, but this take is to new lengths.

The rebellion is on! I’ve been WAITING for this! Wooo! This whole journey has led up to this and I was on the edge. When I read, most of the time I’ll pace. People ask me how I do it, but it’s just about the only way I get some serious focus. This time around, I was burning a trail into the floor from pacing so much. Haven’t done that since February when I read The Dark Calling (Book 5 of The Arcana Chronicles) by Kresley Cole. This was amazing!

There was a return of many incredible characters. The ballsy soldier, Troll, fearless smuggler Anit, and the tender-hearted assistant Neksa. Seeing these characters again is one of the most exciting things, especially since this war for The Library has officially begun. Everybody is picking their sides and all hell breaks loose.

Smoke and Iron

Emotions were bouncing everywhere. With the characters apart for a while during the book I was really nervous. Everything was balancing on a pin and one slip and it could all fall apart. Now, more than ever, you’re taken deep into their thoughts and emotions. I was crumbling apart right along with them. Pretty powerful writing and overwhelmingly captivating.

As far as surprises and heart wrenching shockers, this book surpassed all of them. There were losses and revelations that I wasn’t expecting. Some regarding the relationships of these characters I’ve grown WAY too attached to and am not willing to give up. Dario and Khalila’s relationship takes a sharp turn as does Jess and Morgan’s relationship. For one, I squeeed with complete joy, but for the other I whimpered. To find out more definitely read the book because that’s all your getting from that. LOL.

So, I weeped and squealed and gasped. A lot of noises.

Buffy - Once More with Extreme Prejudice

One of the biggest differences form the previous books was that this one split up into parts, following the characters while they were on their separate journeys. It was actually pretty great. This wasn’t just from Jess’s POV, but from Khalila’s, Wolfe’s, and Morgan’s. Each of their perspectives was incredible.

If you’ve kept up with my previous reviews, you know that there hasn’t been much I could say about each. The insight to how they saw this rebellion and their feelings toward their friends was just phenomenal because I’ve always wondered. Khalila is strong and brave, never letting anyone challenge her beliefs or ability to fight for them. Wolfe comes across as cold and unfeeling, but that’s not the case at all. It’s just about the opposite. Morgan’s precisely as Jess views her. Determined and will sacrifice everything for those she cares about. This was one of my favorite things about the book. I loved the insight. It was powerful and truly made the story that much better.

 

So, I’ve gabbed on longer than I planned. My bad, but not really, I could talk forever, though eventually I’d be spoilery. Don’t want that.

 

Now, as you noticed the book doesn’t get released until July. I’m so grateful to be able to read this advanced copy. As you know—well at this point I’d hope you’d know after the last few reviews—Rachel is one one my favorite series authors. She can really create a world beyond belief. I am always sucked into her books. This series hasn’t disappointed me once.

 

Quotables:

“We are in this to the end now.” (Khalila, p. 68)

“We’ve opened the gates of hell, you know. And what comes out now is our fault.” (Glain to Khalila, p. 195)

“There is a rot at the heart of what we love. It is not the knowledge or the preservation of it. It is the notion that only we can decide what is worthy, what is not, what is progress, and whether or not it should proceed.” (Khalila, p. 203)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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P.S. Song today? Hear You Me by Jimmy Eat World

 

Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.

Deep and Dark and Filled with Unknown (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – A Book Review)

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
Author: Jules Verne
Published: 1870

On Goodreads

 

20,000 Leagues

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Their ship sunk, Professor Aronnax, his servant Conseil, and Canadian harpooner Ned Land are captured by the terrifying yet enigmatic Captain Nemo and held captive on his submarine, the Nautilus. During the harrowing journey across seas and oceans, the professor witnesses and partakes in many dangerous missions. Large creatures never before seen. Shipwrecks with stranded people. Gold littering the sandy shores. Lost cities. Cold icebergs that threaten to crush them. The struggle for survival.

The group must play along with Captain Nemo if they have any hope of getting free of this prison.

 

First things first, I didn’t realize that this story was more scary than it was adventure. This was nothing like Journey to the Center of the Earth. The tone is so much graver in this book, since the character are a part of this journey against their will. Each new adventure that the Nautilus happened upon had a great build-up! Really got that feeling of uneasiness, like the music from JAWS right before the big ass shark bites the ass of a boat. I loved that feeling. It was eye-widening and sometimes

TLUTS

Following from Aronnax’s POV, each character was very well distinguished. The characters were all cramped together, but had their own independence from each other. Ned Land was going crazy in this submarine and wanted to escape even though that seemed like that opposite of what you think he’d want. Conseil’s greatest pleasure was helping his master, but he had his own opinions and thoughts along with doing his service to Aronnax. Aronnax is utterly mystified and swept up in all of this. He never expected that the creature taking down ships was this submarine.

The antagonist, Captain Nemo, was nothing like I originally thought. He was so intelligent and persuasive. So much so that sometimes I forgot that he was holding this group hostage, though he made them feel like they were a part of his crew. His lack of concern for the dangers

TLUTS

The scenery was amazeballs. So vivid and beautiful. The imagery is so powerful and moving. Verne has a way with words! It’s menacing, yet not. The ocean is a vast space filled with all kinds of wonders, but Verne doesn’t leave out there are a lot of dangers there as well. The balance is incredible.

 

This book was great. The was so much depth, both dark and bright with life and heavy feelings in regard to this journey. It worked my nerves a little here and there. I’m not going to say it’s my ultimate favorite though. It felt dragged out in some spots. And speaking of spots, if they would’ve gotten stuck in the Bermuda Triangle for a spell that would’ve been interesting, too. Do I recommend giving this a read? YES! Though, if you have a fear of the ocean then this may make a great horror story. LOL.

Read on precious bookworms!

 

Quotables:

“It is the end of the end!” (Ned Land, p. 59)

“A coral tomb makes a quiet grave; and I trust that I and my comrades will find no other.” (Captain Nemo, 85)

“We may brave human laws, but we cannot resist natural ones.” (Captain Nemo, p. 200)

 

more to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Long Way Down by The Goo Goo Dolls.

 

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There’s a Hole at the Bottom of a Volcano at the Center of the Earth…You Know the Song (Journey to the Centre of the Earth – A Book Review)

Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Author: Jules Verne
Published: 1864

on Goodreads

JTCE

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

6/25

 

What is darkness to you is light to me.

Go on a journey to the center of the earth where the crystals formed are beyond beauty’s imagination and the creatures there were thought to be extinct thousands of years ago. Professor Liedenbroek, his nephew, Axel, and their guide and hunter, Hans journey down a dormant volcano tube and find adventure, danger and wondrous things that you could only believe it you saw it for yourself.

 

This book marks 6 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I was glad to put this one on the list. I’ve been meaning to read more books that change my point of view.

 

At the beginning of science fiction there was Jules Verne. And this is sheer science fiction, down to the very measurements. Reading this book gave me a look at how the genre truly began. It wasn’t’ about flying spaceships and mega-aliens and mutating.

Journey

It was about true science and the magical places it could take me. And while reading this, I felt like all of this was possible.

The imagery and specifics were on point! There wasn’t an unanswered moment. Every part of this journey was so well-informed. Well-informed is the only word I can think of because this is mostly fact-based. Nothing matters but the intense adventure. It was all incredibly vivid and truly a wonder.

Journey

So many dangers! If it’s not the scary creatures that are pretty cool to see because they don’t exist on the surface, then it’s the possibility of starving to death. There’s no harrowing adventure without the life-threatening parts, right? It makes for a great story.

And this was a great story. I enjoyed it immensely. It’s nothing like the movie. NOTHING. There’s not a single woman on this trip, though Axel tried. And the book really put me on edge here and there.

But both of them are pretty great. I will say this; the writing isn’t your typical. There’s a lot of facts. It’s basically how book the is written and it’s why I struggled a little. I alos looked up a lot of the terms Verne used so that I could better understand the characters. It’s straight up a journey. There’s no romance or drama mixed into it. So, you’ll be there for the adventure and nothing else. And you know what? We all deserve a little adventure.

 

Quotables:

“I spent the whole night in one nightmare; in the heart of a volcano, and from the deepest depths of the earth I saw myself tossed up amongst the interplanetary spaces under the form of an eruptive rock.” (Liedenbroek to Axel, p. 63)

“The farther I go the more confidence I feel…” (Liedenbroek,, p. 74)

“Will there be an end? Is the atmospheric condition, having once reached this density, to become final?” (Axel, p. 142)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Monsoon by Tokio Hotel.

 

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Just Around the River Bend (Wind in the Willows – A Book Review)

The Wind in the Willows
Author: Kenneth Grahame
Published: 1908

On Goodreads

 Wind in the Willows

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

5/25

 

“Look, baby! There goes the great Mr. Toad! And that’s the gallant Water Rat, a terrible fighter, walking o’ long him! And yonder comes the famous Mr. Mole, of whom you so often have heard your father tell!”

In the Wild Wood, Mole, Water Rat, Badger, and the troublesome Toad with his need for speed on a motor car, go on harrowing and fantastical adventures. From a wintery night in the Wild Wood to escaping jail, these creatures whisk away its readers through a magical story. True friendship is experienced and tested with each new obstacle and they’ll rely on each other to make it through.

 

This book marks 5 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I really wanted to put some classics on this list to encourage and widen my interests. This was such a great choice.

 

Young. Old. It doesn’t matter. This is an amazing story for every age. Much like Winnie the Pooh, this story really personifies these bumbling animals, allowing them to act and do a lot of what humans do. The personification isn’t a lick out of place. Rather, it’s enchanting and felt completely natural, really sweeping me further away into this magical place with these characters.

Wind in the Willows

I must say, Toad is so troublesome! He’s inconsiderate, careless, and rather rude! He’s very lucky to have friends like Mole, Water Rat and Badger. I would’ve flung his slimy bum out in the snow. He truly wound me up and had me looking very angry. Crazy, amphibian…

The book isn’t very long. Definitely one you can read in one sitting. The description from the setting of the Wild Wood to how the animals speak is so beautiful. Every inch of this book is lush and beautiful and wondrous.

The writing is just…I’m seriously speechless. But, something has to be said for something so lyrical. There are songs and poems strewn throughout by the characters. The way each bit flows from the world of the Wild Wood to the homes of the animals to their speech, really swooned me. I could sway to Grahame’s language. Get lost and stay that way. It was just magnificent. So much depth, yet completely accessible.

I honestly don’t have a bad thing to say about this book. I laughed, I scowled, I enjoyed is so much. I always think that classics should be on everybody’s reading list. There are some you like more than others, of course. This one is one of those one I like the best.

 

Quotables:

“Beyond the Wild Wood comes the Wide World.” (Rat to Mole, p. 18)

“The poetry of motion! The real was to travel! The only way to travel! Here today – in next week tomorrow!” (Toad, p. 35)

“There seemed to be no end to this wood, and no beginning, and no difference in it, and, worst of all, no way out.” (Mole, p. 48)

“He sang as he walked, and he walked as he sang, ad got more inflated every minute, But this pride was shortly to have a severe fall.” (Toad, p. 154)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? A Place Called Home by Kim Richey.

 

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