Monthly Archives: October 2017

Lincoln and the Civil War Mark Twain read books online free

Lincoln and the Civil War
Mark Twain read books online free

Lincoln and the Civil War
Mark Twain read books online free

Lincoln and the Civil War
Mark Twain read books online free
The duties of a presiding officer, upon an occasion like this, are few and simple. Indeed, the duties are but two–one easy, the other difficult: he must introduce the Orator of the evening; then keep still and give him a chance. These duties are about to be strictly fulfilled–even the second one; not out of deference to duty, but to win admiration.

To tell an American audience who and what Col. Watterson is, is not in any way neccessary–the utterance of his name is enough; a name which is like one of these electric announcements on the Madison Square tower: the mention of it touches the button in our memory and his history flashes up out of the dark and stands brilliantly revealed and familiar: distinguished soldier, journalist, orator, lecturer, statesman, political leader, rebel, reconstructed rebel: always honost, always honorable, always loyal to his convictions, right or wrong, and not afraid to speak them out; and first, last, and all the time–wether rebel or reconstructed, whether on the wrong side or on the right–a patriot in his heart.

It is a curious circumstance that without collusion of any kind, but merely in obedience to a strange and pleasant and dramatic freak of destiny, he and I, kinsmen by blood for we are that–and one-time rebels–for we were that–should be chosen out of a million surviving quondam rebels to come here and bare our heads in reverence and love of that noble soul whom 40 years ago we tried with all our hearts and all our strength to defeat and dispossess–Abraham Lincoln! Is the Rebellion ended and forgotten? Are the Blue and the Gray one to-day? By authority of this sign we may answer yes; there was a Rebellion–that incident is closed.
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I was born and reared in a slave State, my father was a slave owner; and in the Civil War I was a second lieutenant in the Confederate service. For a while. This second cousin of mine, Colonel Watterson, the orator of this present occasion, was born and reared in a slave State, was a colonel in the Confederate service, and rendered me such assistance as he could in my self-appointed great task of annihilating the Federal armies and breaking up the Union. I laid my plans with wisdom and foresight, and if Colonel Watterson had obeyed my orders I should have succeeded in my giant undertaking. It was my intention to drive General Grant into the Pacific–if I could get transportation–and I told Colonel Watterson to surround the Eastern armies and wait till I came. But he was insubordinate, and stood upon a punctilio of military etiquette; he refused to take orders from a second lieutenant–and the Union was saved. This is the first time that this secret has been revealed. Until now no one outside the family has known the facts. But there they stand: Watterson saved the Union. Yet to this day that man gets no pension.

Those were great days, splendid days. What an uprising it was! For the hearts of the whole nation, North and South, were in the war. We of the South were not ashamed, for like the men of the North, we were fighting for what we believed with all our sincere souls to be our rights; on both sides we were fighting for our homes and hearthstones, and for the honor of the flags we loved; and when men fight for these things, and under these convictions, with nothing sordid to tarnish their cause, that cause is holy, the blood spilt for it is sacred, the life that is laid down for it is consecrated. To-day we no longer regret the result; to-day we are glad it came out as it did; but we are not ashamed that we did our endeavor; we did our bravest best, against despairing odds, for the cause which was precious to us and which our consciences approved: and we are proud–and you are proud-—the kindred blood in your veins answers when I say it–you are proud of the record we made in those mighty collisions in the field.

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A Defense of Enthusiasm Henry Theodore Tuckerman Read book online free

A Defense of Enthusiasm
Henry Theodore Tuckerman Read book online free

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A Defense of Enthusiasm

Let us recognize the beauty and power of true enthusiasm; and whatever we may do to enlighten ourselves and others, guard against checking or chilling a single earnest sentiment. For what is the human mind, however enriched with acquisitions or strengthened by exercise, unaccompanied by an ardent and sensitive heart? Its light may illumine, but it cannot inspire. It may shed a cold and moonlight radiance upon the path of life, but it warms no flower into bloom; it sets free no icebound fountains. Dr. Johnson used to say that an obstinate rationality prevented him from being a papist. Does not the same cause prevent many of us from unburdening our hearts and breathing our devotions at the shrines of nature? There are influences which environ humanity too subtle for the dissecting knife of reason. In our better moments we are clearly conscious of their presence, and if there is any barrier to their blessed agency, it is a formalized intellect. Enthusiasm, too, is the very life of gifted spirits. Ponder the lives of the glorious in art or literature through all the ages. What are they but records of toils and sacrifices supported by the earnest hearts of their votaries? Dante composed his immortal poem amid exile and suffering, prompted by the noble ambition of vindicating himself to posterity; and the sweetest angel of his paradise is the object of his early love. The best countenances the old painters have bequeathed to us are those of cherished objects intimately associated with their fame. The face of Raphael’s mother blends with the angelic beauty of all his madonnas. Titian’s daughter and the wife of Corregio again and again meet in their works. Well does Foscolo call the fine arts the children of Love. The deep interest with which the Italians hail gifted men inspires them to the mightiest efforts. National enthusiasm is the great nursery of genius. When Cellini’s statue of “Perseus” was first exhibited on the Piazza at Florence, it was surrounded for days by an admiring throng, and hundreds of tributary sonnets were placed upon its pedestal. Petrarch was crowned with laurel at Rome for his poetical labors, and crowds of the unlettered may still be seen on the Mole at Naples, listening to a reader of Tasso. Reason is not the only interpreter of life. The fountain of action is in the feelings. Religion itself is but a state of the affections. I once met a beautiful peasant woman in the valley of the Arno, and asked the number of her children. “I have three here and two in Paradise,” she calmly replied, with a tone and manner of touching and grave simplicity. Her faith was of the heart. Constituted as human nature is, it is in the highest degree natural that rare powers should be excited by voluntary and spontaneous appreciation. Who would not feel urged to high achievement, if he knew that every beauty his canvas displayed, or every perfect note he breathed, or every true inspiration of his lyre, would find an instant response in a thousand breasts? Lord Brougham calls the word “impossible” the mother tongue of little souls. What, I ask, can counteract self-distrust, and sustain the higher efforts of our nature but enthusiasm? More of this element would call forth the genius, and gladden the life of New England. While the mere intellectual man speculates, and the mere man of acquisition cites authority, the man of feeling acts, realizes, puts forth his complete energies. His earnest and strong heart will not let his mind rest; he is urged by an inward impulse to embody his thought. He must have sympathy; he must have results. And Nature yields to the magician, acknowledging him as her child. The noble statue comes forth from the marble, the speaking figure stands out from the canvas, the electric chain is struck in the bosoms of his fellows. They receive his ideas, respond to his appeal, and reciprocate his love.

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The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button F. Scott Fitzgerald Read book online free

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
F. Scott Fitzgerald Read book online free
As long ago as 1860 it was the proper thing to be born at home. At present, so I am told, the high gods of medicine have decreed that the first cries of the young shall be uttered upon the anaesthetic air of a hospital, preferably a fashionable one. So young Mr. and Mrs. Roger Button were fifty years ahead of style when they decided, one day in the summer of 1860, that their first baby should be born in a hospital. Whether this anachronism had any bearing upon the astonishing history I am about to set down will never be known.

I shall tell you what occurred, and let you judge for yourself.

The Roger Buttons held an enviable position, both social and financial, in ante-bellum Baltimore. They were related to the This Family and the That Family, which, as every Southerner knew, entitled them to membership in that enormous peerage which largely populated the Confederacy. This was their first experience with the charming old custom of having babies–Mr. Button was naturally nervous. He hoped it would be a boy so that he could be sent to Yale College in Connecticut, at which institution Mr. Button himself had been known for four years by the somewhat obvious nickname of “Cuff.”

On the September morning consecrated to the enormous event he arose nervously at six o’clock dressed himself, adjusted an impeccable stock, and hurried forth through the streets of Baltimore to the hospital, to determine whether the darkness of the night had borne in new life upon its bosom.

When he was approximately a hundred yards from the Maryland Private Hospital for Ladies and Gentlemen he saw Doctor Keene, the family physician, descending the front steps, rubbing his hands together with a washing movement–as all doctors are required to do by the unwritten ethics of their profession.
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Mr. Roger Button, the president of Roger Button & Co., Wholesale Hardware, began to run toward Doctor Keene with much less dignity than was expected from a Southern gentleman of that picturesque period. “Doctor Keene!” he called. “Oh, Doctor Keene!”

The doctor heard him, faced around, and stood waiting, a curious expression settling on his harsh, medicinal face as Mr. Button drew near.

“What happened?” demanded Mr. Button, as he came up in a gasping rush. “What was it? How is she” A boy? Who is it? What—”

“Talk sense!” said Doctor Keene sharply, He appeared somewhat irritated.

“Is the child born?” begged Mr. Button.

Doctor Keene frowned. “Why, yes, I suppose so–after a fashion.” Again he threw a curious glance at Mr. Button.

“Is my wife all right?”

“Yes.”

“Is it a boy or a girl?”

“Here now!” cried Doctor Keene in a perfect passion of irritation,” I’ll ask you to go and see for yourself. Outrageous!” He snapped the last word out in almost one syllable, then he turned away muttering: “Do you imagine a case like this will help my professional reputation? One more would ruin me–ruin anybody.”

“What’s the matter?” demanded Mr. Button appalled. “Triplets?”

“No, not triplets!” answered the doctor cuttingly. “What’s more, you can go and see for yourself. And get another doctor. I brought you into the world, young man, and I’ve been physician to your family for forty years, but I’m through with you! I don’t want to see you or any of your relatives ever again! Good-bye!”
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The Lees Of Happiness F. Scott Fitzgerald Read book online free

The Lees Of Happiness
F. Scott Fitzgerald Read book online free

If you should look through the files of old magazines for the first years of the present century you would find, sandwiched in between the stories of Richard Harding Davis and Frank Norris and others long since dead, the work of one Jeffrey Curtain: a novel or two, and perhaps three or four dozen short stories. You could, if you were interested, follow them along until, say, 1908, when they suddenly disappeared.

When you had read them all you would have been quite sure that here were no masterpieces–here were passably amusing stories, a bit out of date now, but doubtless the sort that would then have whiled away a dreary half hour in a dental office. The man who did them was of good intelligence, talented, glib, probably young. In the samples of his work you found there would have been nothing to stir you to more than a faint interest in the whims of life–no deep interior laughs, no sense of futility or hint of tragedy.

After reading them you would yawn and put the number back in the files, and perhaps, if you were in some library reading-room, you would decide that by way of variety you would look at a newspaper of the period and see whether the Japs had taken Port Arthur. But if by any chance the newspaper you had chosen was the right one and had crackled open at the theatrical page, your eyes would have been arrested and held, and for at least a minute you would have forgotten Port Arthur as quickly as you forgot Ch�teau Thierry. For you would, by this fortunate chance, be looking at the portrait of an exquisite woman.
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Those were tie days of “Florodora” and of sextets, of pinched-in waists and blown-out sleeves, of almost bustles and absolute ballet skirts, but here, without doubt, disguised as she might be by the unaccustomed stiffness and old fashion of her costume, was a butterfly of butterflies. Here was the gayety of the period–the soft wine of eyes, the songs that flurried hearts, the toasts and tie bouquets, the dances and the dinners. Here was a Venus of the hansom, cab, the Gibson girl in her glorious prime. Here was…

…here was you. Find by looking at the name beneath, one Roxanne Milbank, who had been chorus girl and understudy in “The Daisy Chain,” but who, by reason of an excellent performance when the star was indisposed, had gained a leading part.

You would look again–and wonder. Why you had never heard of her. Why did her name not linger in popular songs and vaudeville jokes and cigar bands, and the memory of that gay old uncle of yours along with Lillian Russell and Stella Mayhew and Anna Held? Roxanne Milbank-whither had she gone? What dark trap-door had opened suddenly and swallowed her up? Her name was certainly not in last Sunday’s supplement on the list of actresses married to English noblemen. No doubt she was dead–poor beautiful young lady–and quite forgotten.

The Lees Of Happiness
F. Scott Fitzgerald Read book online free

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Inaugural Address Barack Hussein Obama Read book online free

Inaugural Address
Barack Hussein Obama Read book online free

My fellow Americans, I stand before you today, humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices born by our ancestors.

I thank President Bush for his service to our nation [applause pause], as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

44 Americans have now taken the presidential oath. Words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity, and the still waters of peace. Yet every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds, and raging storms.

At these moments, America has carried on, not simply because of the vision or skill of those in high office, but because we, the people, have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents. So it has been, so it must be with THIS generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood.

Our nation is at war with a far reaching network of violence and hatred.

Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices, and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered, our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings brings new evidence that the way we use energy strengthens our adversaries and threatens our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable, but no less profound is the sapping of confidence across our land, a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.
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Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time, but know this America, THEY WILL BE MET! [applause pause]

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations, and worn out dogmas that for far too long have strangles our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.

The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit, to choose our better history, to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation, the God given promise that ALL are equal, ALL are free, and ALL deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

[longer pause for applause]

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given.

It must be earned.

Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less.

It has not been the path for the faint hearted, for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame, rather it has been the risk takers, the doers, the makers of things, some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

Inaugural Address
Barack Hussein Obama Read book online free

Inaugural Address
Barack Hussein Obama Click here to Read book online free

Inaugural Address
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Inaugural Address
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It read book online free

Cover of book It

Authors: Stephen King

Categories: Fiction » Horror

This is not a killer clown novel. Well, yeah it is. And thank you Uncle Stevie for ruining clowns- although to be quite honest I don’t really blame you, I blame Tim Curry. ::shudder::

But this novel is a kitten-squisher for a reason- it’s scary and creepy and definitely nightmare-inducing. The spider????? The blood in the drain? What happened to poor Georgie?

But details of the children and the friendships in this novel is what drives this book. SK writes children and the loss of childhood so brilliantly sad. He’s a genius.

I am so happy to have finally read this novel but I am so sad it’s over. Beep Beep.
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I’ve been in Derry, Maine the last few weeks since Stephen King has great talent for making you feel like you’re living the storyline. This coming of age/horror is the tale of 7 outcast kids who take it upon themselves to rid the town of the child devouring creature ( It) which dwells in buried sewer lines and morphs into the object of their own nightmares , then follows them when they are called back after 27 years to complete their task. I grew up staying up late of a weekend to watch good old Nightmare Theater on yes, a black and white TV and shopping at the local Woolworths, so although I liked most of the buildup story better than the creepy ending, I still enjoyed this as it’s just classic vintage King. Who else can get away with starting a chapter in the middle of a sentence ? It’s overlong ( 1116 pages) and not my favorite genre but hard to beat as pure escapist reading. 11 of 12 for SK Challenge 5 stars

Tulip Fever read book online free

Cover of book Tulip Fever

Authors: Deborah Moggach

Categories: Fiction » Historical Fiction

This really could’ve been so much more. The 17th century tulip fever and the art market are so interesting, but in this story they were just on the sidelines of some sort of soap opera. The constant dropping of names and ‘this painting will be at the Rijksmuseum in a few hundred years!” over and over again were pretty annoying.
Last thought: if you use Dutch words in your novel, that’s fine by me. Please make sure you use not just the dirty ones correctly but the others as well… hutspot is not stamppot. Don’t use plurals when it’s just one person. Thanks.

Review2:
I have mixed feelings about this book. I was really excited to read it, and it was kind of a letdown for me. The main thing I had a problem with was the plot. I thought the story would be more about the tulip mania which was something I had no prior knowledge of, and I was interested to learn about. The way it was handled in this book was not very well; it was sort of this background plot that wasn’t ever really explained. It also wasn’t until about the laugh half of the book before it was really explained, and even then it wasn’t explained very well. I still have no real idea about what it was about, and the title of the book insinuates that the book is supposed to be about this. It felt very unnecessary in the story, you could have eliminated all the tulip mania stuff and it wouldn’t have changed the story all that much. I was hoping to understand more about this period of time and I didn’t learn anything.

I also think there should have been a lot more to this book. It’s a very short book being as it is sort of a historical fiction novel. I think it should have been a much longer book to really expand on what tulip mania was and add more to the story. The book was very focused on the characters and the plot between a few of the characters. I had no real sense of the setting or other events going on during the time of the story because everything was about the characters, and this might not be a problem if I actually cared about the characters. I didn’t connect to any of the characters and didn’t really care when things didn’t work out for them. The story is told through multiple points of views, through many characters, so you never get enough time with one character to really know them or care about them. The chapters were short and along with the constantly changing point of views the story was a quick read, which was a negative aspect to me for the type of novel this is.

I did enjoy the writing and the way the author would construct a sentence. The writing was very beautiful at times, and it created a very good tone for the novel which I enjoyed. I did really enjoy the first hundred pages, but after that the story was very predictable and nothing surprised me; I could anticipate what was going to happen very quickly. I also felt like some of the characters were doing things that were very stupid and there was a much better way of doing it, but they didn’t do it that way which got frustrating. It was also strange to switch perspectives so often; in Sophia’s chapters we are given her thoughts through first person point of view, but all the other characters are told in third person which is also occasionally omniscient, and then we also got chapters told through inanimate objects through a third person omniscient view. This inconsistency was very distracting while reading and it always took me out of the story every time there was a change like this. I don’t really know the purpose of this or what it was meant to do, except point out that Sophia was our main character and the one character we knew more intimately.

Also the ending kind of bugged me. I felt like it worked out perfectly for most of the characters, almost too perfectly. I also didn’t understand the choice the main character, Sophia, made at the end of the novel; it kind of made sense for her character, but it also didn’t. Overall I felt like this story had a lot of potential, I just think there needed to be more to it. I did have a lot of problems, but it was a fast read and most of the time enjoyable, but kind of forgettable. This story left no lasting impression on me.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine read book online free

Cover of book Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Authors: Gail Honeyman

Categories: Fiction

Oh man. I ended up enjoying this one more than I initially expected to, but overall I did not love this as much as it seems almost everyone else on ReadAnyBook has…

Eleanor lives a quiet and simple life, finding joys in doing the crossword and keeping herself to herself. However one day when her computer breaks at work she meets the new IT guy, Raymond, and then her life starts to change.

I didn’t particularly dislike this, but I just wasn’t all that charmed by it either. It actually reminded me quite a bit of Whispers Through a Megaphone – a woman living a solitary life who eventually turns her life around after meeting a man (hmm). The writing style was a bit repetitive but I got used to it after a while. I did find myself rooting for Eleanor and the novel was quite readable, but all in all not one I would rush out to recommend to others.
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Eleanor Oliphant has earned a place on my Best Reads of 2017 and All Time Favorite Reads bookshelf. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” This quote perfectly describes Miss Eleanor Oliphant. She is woman with idiosyncrasies that others find odd and peculiar. She lives a life of solitude. The book explores her life and her journey to understand who she is and who she is choosing to become. If you are a fan of A Man Called Ove, you will fall in love with a younger female version of the cranky man we all fell in love with years ago. Grab your tissues and please go read this beautiful book.

Chasing Impossible read book online free

Cover of book Chasing Impossible

Authors: Katie Mcgarry

Series: Pushing the Limits (#5)

Categories: Fiction » Love & Romance

Hmmmm…this book is very hard to review, because I had such enormous expectations after reading about both Abby and Logan in the previous books. I liked it but it wasn’t fantastic. I felt like it could have been executed better.

I loved seeing all our old characters pop up again and Abby and Logan help each other work through their personal struggles but a big issue was the pacing. The whole plotline with the drugs and everything just felt very very slow. I did really like how Logan’s whole diabetes keeping it a secret was betrayed, it felt very very relatable.

Overall, while I still enjoyed the story and it was cute, it wasn’t the completely satisfying ending I was hoping for. Nonetheless I have loved reading this series so much! I’m so sad to have to say bye to the characters.

Take Me On read book online free

Cover of book Take Me On

Authors: Katie Mcgarry

Series: Pushing the Limits (#4)

Categories: Fiction » Love & Romance

Your rating: Rate

One of the many things that makes a great read for me is relatable characters. Katie McGarry has a real talent for creating a cast who feels real…dealing with real issues and who speak and think like most young adults do. In Take Me On, West Young is the main character in this story. If you remember, he was Rachel’s older brother in Crash Into You, and a little bit of a jerk. He clearly had the reputation of a scrapper, and that followed him into his own story.

There is a pattern with Katie’s characters too; I find that we get a glimpse of them in a previous story, but first impressions never seem to be accurate. There was Beth in Pushing the Limits–she was hard to warm up to in that initial story, but I loved her in Dare You To once I got to really know HER and her story. Same with Isaiah in Crash Into You…and now, same holds true with West. There is ALWAYS more than meets the eye.

As we know from the previous story, West comes from a privileged family that appears perfect on the outside…lives in a great big house, drives an Escalade, attends a private school, and always has more than enough food. But a humbling series of events sets in motion a wondrous character arc that was both real and yet almost unbelievable. I never thought I’d get behind West like I did, but did I ever love that boy by the end of the story. Just as I did with Beth in her story, and Isaiah in his.

Haley is the other perspective in this story. If ever two people were separated by having and not-having, it would be these two. Haley’s family has fallen on some really hard times, and these hard times, coupled with other awful things that have happened to her, had literally knocked her down for the count. But a happenstance meeting brings Haley and West together. But one of the many things that held them together was their common interest in fighting.

Haley was a Muay Thai kickboxing state title holder, but a series of bad luck and bad decisions have made this all a distant memory for her. Grappling to stay true to herself and maintain her sense of dignity while trying deal with some major self-esteem issues, Haley’s growth was also of epic proportions. I could totally understand West’s physical and emotional need of wanting to take care of her, yet I also wanted to see her do some things for herself…and she did not disappoint.

Some favourite characters from previous stories made some cameos…such as Rachel, Isaiah, Ethan, Mrs. Collins, West’s parents…and Abby! Abby is a real gem of a character who was introduced to us in Isaiah’s story as one of his questionable friends, and I would LOVE to read her story! She seems so complex and absolutely intriguing. I am SURE Katie McGarry has an amazing story to tell where she is concerned.

One of the other things I love about Katie’s writing, is her epic love stories. They are hot, intense and often bittersweet. I just get so wrapped up into it that I want more and more!

I also love the themes that serve as the anchor for each story. Art, baseball, cars, martial arts…they’re all just worlds that seem so intense and interesting.

So another great story by Katie has definitely marked her as one of my favourite authors. It all started with Echo and Noah in Pushing the Limits and her excellent story-telling has only gotten better! Keep’em coming, Katie! Can’t wait for more…