Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: The Nightjar's Promise (The F.I.G. Mysteries #4) by Barbara Casey

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for The Nightjar's Promise by Barbara Casey. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt for you as well as a guest post. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to check out the other stops on the book tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: The Nightjar's Promise
Series: The F.I.G. Mysteries #4
Author: Barbara Casey
Publisher: Hungry Goat Press
Publication Date: April 22nd 2020
Genre: Mystery
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Jennifer Torres, one of the three FIGs (Females of Intellectual Genius) who is a genius in both music and art, is the last to leave the closed rehearsal for her upcoming performance over Thanksgiving break at Carnegie Hall when she hears something in the darkened Hall. Recognizing the tilt of the woman’s head and the slight limp of the man as they hurry out an exit door, she realizes it is her parents who were supposedly killed in a terrible car accident when she was 15 years old.

Devastated and feeling betrayed, she sends a text to Carolina and the other two FIGs—THURGOOD. It is the code word they all agreed to use if ever one of them got into trouble or something happened that was too difficult to handle. They would all meet back at Carolina’s bungalow at Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women to figure it out.

As soon as they receive the text, because of their genius, Dara starts thinking of words in ancient Hebrew, German, and Yiddish, while Mackenzie’s visions of unique math formulae keep bringing up the date October 11, 1943. That is the date during World War II when the Nazis—the Kunstschutz—looted the paintings of targeted wealthy Jewish families and hid them away under Hitler’s orders. And as Carolina waits for the FIGs to return to Wood Rose, she hears warnings from Lyuba, her gypsy mother, to watch for the nightjar, the ancient name for the whip-poor-will.

As they search for “The Nightjar’s Promise” and the truth surrounding it, Carolina and the FIGs come face to face with evil that threatens to destroy not only their genius, but their very lives.

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EXCERPT:
The violin—European—was made from a Carpathian elm wood now extinct; the bow, made from the same wood, with horsehair strings and a silver frog. Near the delicate frog was a silk grip, aged and beautiful. Jennifer flipped her long blond ponytail back and forth, something she usually did whenever she felt a keen sense of accomplishment or unflappable determination, then carefully placed her violin and bow in the worn leather case next to her.

As she secured the latches, she became aware of an unfamiliar shuffling noise, a noise that somehow seemed out of place and intrusive in the stillness of the massive Hall. She glanced toward the exit door. With no warning the stone that she had been carrying around in her chest for as long as she could remember seemed to explode causing her to catch her breath. She wrapped her arms tightly around her body and bent over in her chair trying to breathe. The excruciating pain was made worse by the thought that someone had been listening to the closed rehearsal and watching her, and was now trying to slip away.

She didn’t understand why the rock came now. Things had been going so well. As the pain eased, she once again glanced at the exit door. When she did the black and white images that usually preceded the musical notes only she could hear flashed before her eyes. Violent, ugly, black, thick brush strokes—like one reversed “z” overlapping another.

It was happening again. This was the way it always started when a new musical composition was beginning to form in Jennifer’s mind. An image would come to her, black and white—like a charcoal or pencil drawing. Over time it would gradually change to color; and along with the color would come a beat—the cadence she called it; first softly, then pronounced, loud, and vibrating. When she felt the vibration of the cadence—after the black and white image had changed to color—it was then she knew she needed to capture its musical essence. This was when she wrote the notes on eight-stave musical paper as she heard them in her mind.

Her vision was blurred with tears as she stared toward the door leading from the Hall making it difficult to see. But she knew.

Even with the crushing pain in her chest, the confusion of black and white images dancing before her eyes, and the absence of light, she knew.

She heard the musical notes—indiscriminate and unformed—but that would soon change. Eventually she would hear the cadence; the images would become well defined and detailed. But now, instead, she saw the slight tilt of the woman’s head, the way the man walked favoring his left foot, and she knew.

The door opened, allowing the blinding brilliance of the late afternoon sunlight to stream into the darkened Hall that only moments earlier had been filled with music—her music, and she watched the man and woman vanish. The man and woman who had taken care of her and, she thought, had loved her. The man and woman who were dead—killed in a terrible car crash.

Jennifer knew.

And in that one brief instant in time, the unbearable feelings of grief, the overwhelming sadness, and the confusion she thought she had overcome and made go away suddenly consumed her as though they had never left; and the thick glass walls she had so carefully built around herself in order to survive suddenly shattered.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history. In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service. In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books, an independent nonfiction publisher of true crime, where she oversees acquisitions, day-to-day operations, and book production.

Ms. Casey has written over a dozen award-winning books of fiction and nonfiction for both young adults and adults. The awards include the National Association of University Women Literary Award, the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award, the Independent Publisher Book Award, the Dana Award for Outstanding Novel, the IP Best Book for Regional Fiction, among others. Two of her nonfiction books have been optioned for major films, one of which is under contract.

Her award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in both national and international publications including the North Carolina Christian Advocate Magazine, The New East Magazine, the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Sunday Telegram, Dog Fancy, ByLine, The Christian Record, Skirt! Magazine, and True Story. A thirty-minute television special which Ms. Casey wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories. Her award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in The Cosmic Unicorn and CrossTime science fiction anthologies. Ms. Casey's essays and other works appear in The Chrysalis Reader, the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, 221 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus Publishers), and A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation).

Ms. Casey is a former director of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida, where she served as guest author and panelist. She has served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003. In 2018 Ms. Casey received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and Top Professional Award for her extensive experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and three cats who adopted her, Homer, Reese and Earl Gray, Reese’s best friend.

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GUEST POST:
THE QUIET HEROINES OF THE HOLOCAUST
By
Barbara Casey

One of the main themes that runs throughout THE F.I.G. MYSTERIES is the Gypsy culture. As I was doing my research, I uncovered information about the brutal treatment of Romani or Gypsy women by the Nazis during World War II. The women I read about were true heroines, and I was able to touch on this subject in the final book in the series, The Nightjar’s Promise.

Orthodox Jewish women accompanied by children were especially vulnerable during the Holocaust, but non-Jewish women were vulnerable as well. The Nazis committed mass murder of Gypsy women at the Auschwitz concentration camp. German physicians and medical researchers used Jewish and Gypsy women as subjects for sterilization experiments and other unethical human experimentation.

Women like Sophie Scholl, Haika Grosman, Hannah Szenes, and so many others covertly worked to free the women who had been taken as prisoners at the risk of losing their own lives. In Poland, women secretly served as couriers who brought information to the ghettos. Many women escaped to the forests of eastern Poland and the Soviet Union and served in armed partisan units. They played an important role in the French (and French-Jewish) resistance as well. Other women were active in the aid and rescue operations of the Jews in German-occupied Europe. These were extremely dangerous times, and many lost their lives as a result of their courageous efforts to help other women.

In The Nightjar’s Promise, Jennifer not only discovers that her parents are not dead, but that she is Jewish with a direct connection to the horrors experienced by the Jews during World War II. It is Lyuba, Carolina’s Gypsy mother, a choovihni—a wise woman, who is able to warn Jennifer. And because she is a F.I.G., a Female of Intellectual Genius, and because she has the love and support of Carolina, Dara, and Mackenzie, she is able to overcome her sense of betrayal and understand “why” her parents deceived her.
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GIVEAWAY:
Barbara Casey will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter after the tour. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the tour each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

109 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for hosting me and for your interest in my latest book, THE NIGHTJAR'S PROMISE. I wish you and your bloggers my best. ~Barbara

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  2. Thanks for sharing your book and for the giveaway too.

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    1. You are welcome, James. Thank you for following my tour.

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  3. Would you ever like to see your book turned into a book or tv show?

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    1. I guess that is always a dream of any writer who has books published. I have been fortunate enough to have two of my nonfiction books optioned for major films. I would love to see The F.I.G. Mysteries made into a major film or TV series.

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  4. I had no idea that so many Gypsies were in concentration camps. I think there is a lot we don't learn about in school concerning certain time periods. Historical fiction has taught me a lot!

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    1. Christy, you make such a valid comment. I learn so much through researching my books. This part of the Gypsy history was new to me as well, and I found it fascinating. In Book 1 of this series - THE CADENCE OF GYPSIES - I came across an out-of-print book that talked about Gypsy medicines and their use of herbs, as well as how they were used in curses. It is something I use in Book 1 of The F.I.G. Mysteries.

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  5. I liked the excerpt, sounds good.

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  6. This sounds really interesting.

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    1. I hope you get a chance to read it. Thank you for commenting.

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    1. You are welcome, Victoria. Thank you for following my tour.

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  8. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win! There is a lot I don't know about this time period that this book could shed some light on.

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    1. There just isn't that much written about the abuse of Gypsies during the Holocaust, and the search for the precious art that was looted by the Nazis continues today. Thank you for commenting, and good luck in the drawing.

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  9. This sounds really exciting. I'm a musician and I absolutely love books about my biggest passion.

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    1. Mya, that is wonderful. Music is one of my passions as well. You will understand and appreciate the musical references throughout THE NIGHTJAR'S PROMISE if you get a chance to read it. Thank you for stopping by.

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  10. Sounds like a good book. I like the cover.

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    1. I love the cover, too. My publish is also a professional artist, and she designed it. The Kindle versions of all four books in the series have covers that tie the series together. The publisher is planning to reprint the first two books in the series with the new covers in print and hardcover as well as eBook. Thank you for your comment.

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  11. I like the cover. The title font is very nice!

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thank you, Ann. The font really does fit the story. I appreciate your comment.

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  12. I loved that excerpt, very nice.

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    1. Thank you, Judy. I have to admit, I cried while I wrote that. The idea that Jennifer had been deceived by her parents, making her think they were dead and putting her in an orphanage was terrible. The excerpt is the moment when Jennifer learned that her parents' death had all been a lie. Even now I get teary-eyed thinking about it. Thank you for commenting.

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    1. Thank you. I hope you get a chance to read the series.

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  14. Great blog post - sounds like a good story

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    1. I am glad you like it. The Gypsy theme runs through all four books. I am glad you stopped by.

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  15. Beautiful cover! Sounds like a page-turner!

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    1. I am glad you think so. It does have a lot of suspense, and the ending is a bit of a surprise as well. Thank you for stopping by.

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  16. Really awesome, haven't read a mystery in a while.

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    1. I hope you can read the series. Thank you for your comment.

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  17. Looks awesome! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I hope you get a chance to read it. Thanks for stopping by.

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  19. do you have an author that has heavily influenced your writing?

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    1. That is such a good question. I don't think I have been influenced by any one author because I read everything. I think my writing has been more influenced by my travels as a military brat when I was growing up, and the fact that I enjoyed "observing" people and events. Thank you for asking.

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    1. Thank you. It was interesting to write. I am glad you stopped by.

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  21. I love the cover! The colors and design are amazing!

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    1. I agree. In fact, the first two books in the series have new covers as e-Books, and the publisher is planning to reprint them in print and hard cover with the new covers so that they tie in better with Books 3 and 4. They are all simply beautiful. Thank you for commenting.

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    1. Thank you. I love what my publisher has created. I am glad you stopped by.

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  23. This sounds like a very interesting book.

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    1. Thank you, Sherry. I hope you are able to read it, as well as the other three books in The F.I.G. Series. Thank you for stopping by.

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  24. I have always been fascinated by this terrible evil time in history. Looking forward to reading

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    1. There is still so much we are learning. I always try to include something in my books that few people know about. That keeps the stories interesting and fresh. I appreciate your comment.

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  25. Thanks for the introduction to this book.

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    1. You are welcome. I hope you get a chance to read it. Thanks for commenting.

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  26. Enjoyed the post, sounds good!

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  27. Sounds like a wonderful story and beautiful cover.
    @tisonlyme143

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  28. thanks this sounds like a great book

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  29. Thank you for sharing the excerpt. I enjoyed reading it.

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    1. I am so glad you did. It is comments like yours that make me feel good about what I have written. Thank you.

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  30. Sounds like a book i would enjoy reading like the cover too.

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    1. I hope you do get a chance to read it. I love the cover as well. The first two books in the series have had their covers redesigned, so that now all four covers are connected in style. You can see them on Kindle. They will be released in print soon.

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  31. Nice cover. I liked the synopsis and excerpt. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

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  32. Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate it.

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  33. The book sounds intriguing. Love the cover!

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  34. This looks really good! I love the cover!!

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    1. Thank you. I hope you will get a chance to read the four-book series.

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  35. A question for the author: When you were a child and adolescent, what were your favorite authors, book series, and genres?

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Nancy, that is a terrific question. I am probably giving away my age now, but when I was growing up I loved reading Nancy Drew, the Bobsy Twins, mysteries in general. My tastes later turned to nonfiction, especially biographies. The summer I turned thirteen, I read everything I could about Emily Dickinson. Thank you so much for commenting.

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  36. I really like the cover, it's very eye catching!

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    1. Thank you, Julie. It is eye-catching, isn't it?

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  37. The cover looks great. Where is your favorite place to write? Thank you

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    1. My favorite place to write is in my home office. I am surrounded by so many of my favorite things, I can close the door for complete privacy, and I have three floor-to-ceiling windows on one wall that look out into the nearby woods. Thank you for asking.

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  38. I enjoy mysteries - a must read for me.
    The cover is amazing.
    Thank you for sharing this review.

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  39. Thank you so much for your kind comments.

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  40. The cover really draws my attention.

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    1. It is beautiful, isn't it? The other three books in this series also have amazing covers, all done by the same artist.

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  41. Replies
    1. Thank you. I am glad that you do. Thank you for commenting.

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  42. What is your favorite snack while you are writing?

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    1. I write in the early mornings, so I always have a cup of coffee on my desk, but I really don't snack while I write. Thank you for your comment and interest.

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    1. Well... I really don't listen to too much band music. I am pretty much a classical music person. Thank you for asking.

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  44. The cover is very nice. The storyline sounds intriguing and very unique and I hope to read it. Best wishes to the author on the novel.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it.

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  45. sounds like a fun one

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    1. It is a fun read, but it also will make you think. Thank you for your comment.

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  46. NFL - I also follow the ACC in college sports. Go Wolfpack!

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  47. My daughter would enjoy this book

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    1. I hope she will read the series. I think she would enjoy getting to know the FIGs and watch them work through their problems. Thank you for stopping by.

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  48. Where is the first place u want to visit after all this

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    1. I am originally from Illinois, and I haven't been back in a while to visit. I don't have much family left, but I do love to go back just to see where my grandparents and parents lived. So, maybe I'll do a little road trip to the past. Won't it be nice when we can go where we want again without worry about a virus?!

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  49. Besides writing.. WHAT COULD YOU SPEND ALL DAY TALKING ABOUT?

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    1. My goodness, I have never been asked that question before. Well...
      I am really a quiet person, and I don't even like to talk at length on the phone. So I can't imagine talking all day talking about something. However, I do tend to go on about my pets.

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  50. Replies
    1. Thank you. The artist has done a fantastic job on all 4 books in the series.

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  51. Thank you for sharing this information.

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  52. Replies
    1. I enjoy so many, and I tend to have favorite books rather than favorite authors, but I do like Dan Brown and Rosamunde Pilcher.

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  53. My daughter would enjoy this book

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  54. I hope she will read the series. She will love the FIGs.

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