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Llamas spit!

This was the 3rd and final book in short series about life on a Llama farm and how a woman reinvented herself – more than once when settled on it in deepest West Virginia.

Now West virginia is a place I have only heard of in terms of Hill Billies and I am aware that they have their form of speech and customs derived from being isolated from the mainstream culture and poverty. So I had to look up the term Melungeon when I read it in the book. It appears that it is a term unique to the Southern Appalachians and means a tri-racial mix of European, African and Native American blood in a person. Now why you need a special term for this I am not sure but there you are.

Llamas being used a guard animals was something new to me as well, as I had never seen that in english sheep farms, but it appears to be quite common as they have good hearing and once bonded with the herd, are fierce protectors. to me, it seems like an excellent idea – if you look after the llamas that is, as their wool is wonderful and can be shorn just like the sheep. It is free of lanolin and reputed to be allergen free too, but a little coarse so is usually mixed with ordinary wool when spun. Vicuna and Alpacas produce better wool, but I don’t know if they are used as guard animals.

This was an interesting story as I learnt quite a bit about the area and customs and geology and thus weather. Though realistically, if you live up a mountain you must expect to be cold and have lots of snow, but why move yet further up?

The behaviour of some of the people just reinforced what I had heard about Hill Billies unfortunately and I wonder how much this stereotype is true. I also found that it was rather difficult to follow the story at first as i had not read the previous books in the series. It took me a while to settle into the story and i needed more background earlier on.

In the end, the final decisions were to be expected and thus the story lacked some of the expected tension for me.

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And the magic word is?

Well not abracadabra of course… What a strange name, but of course, one that is very memorable.

So we have a cosy mystery novel set in a strange village with ghosts and witches and hidden secrets.

At times, I thought I was reading a book for teenagers or for US readers who wanted to have a traditional English village with all the traditional English characters in it. Including funny names and so on.

That said, it was an enjoyable and humorous tale with engaging lead characters – Amanda herself and her feline familiar and the detective who can’t know the real truth about witch-craft, but sort of knows about ghosts.

Very light reading but ..

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Naughty cats – and older women?

A fun story with lots of sniggers and a cherry on top!

I now know a lot more about Texas than I did before, not necessarily to its benefit of course, and oh Fire Ants! I suspect I have been a victim of these ants or their relatives in India when I once sat down in a woodland – certainly something nasty bit me several times on my behind! And it hurt…

This is ‘universe’ that I am not familiar with and it took a while to understand the creatures that inhabited it, and I must say that angels that are missing their heads sounds very creepy. Maybe the author was inspired by The Winged Victory of Samothrace  a famous statue where the head has been lost, or the fables that say that good deeds result in angels being born – but without heads, wings, faces etc. Whichever, I found their idea disconcerting.

That above, I liked the story and it was long enough to satisfy me, – a lot of these fantasy novels I find are rather short, but this was a good length which meant that several of the characters could be developed as well as the two main protagonists.

This was book 5 in the series and so I went back to book 1 –

Playing with Fire: A Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) 

by RJ Blain  (Author)

each book deals with different characters in this universe.

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Such a cute kitten

How do cats sucker us? Well, they have these cute eyes? and soft silky fur and they purr. And then we do anything for them… well

And then we need some swords, an elf – yes think very fast and deadly with a blade – angels without heads (how creepy is that?) and demons and…

You get the idea. Lots of different species and fighting and funny bits. RJ Blain likes cats – in fcat she writes a newsletter from her cats – the sneaky kitty critics regularly and they tell us readers just what is going on – with a side order of snark.

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Love the Cats!

Here we have a parallel world where magic exploded and the strange creatures came out to play.

I thought this was a good, feisty, female PI heroine. I really loved her Mum and as for Grandma! grandma is a witch who bespells marbles – which make good slingshot ammunition – but you never know what is going to happen when they hit their target…

Nice fun read with lots humour and cats…. purrfect.

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