Whitehall (Season 1 Episode 8): “Ambitions Which Climb Upwards”
Even the queens don’t always get their happy endings. No baby and heir to the thrown in her belly. The king taking up in his old bed of preference. Plus, a slew of others who want nothing more than to see her fail. Luckily, Catherine is not the quitting type and carries on to be the queen Charles and England want. Will it be enough and does she have enough people and time on her side to win?
Whitehall is a must read series that continues to keep you coming back for more. Episode 8 is no different. Catherine refuses to quit. Barbara continues to use her only talents of lying and persuasion to get what she wants. And each new character that comes along only makes the story juicer. Looking forward to episode 9!
Serial Box Publishing
Liz Duffy Adams, Delia Sherman, Barbara Samuel, Madeleine E. Robins, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Sarah Smith
The Witch Who Came in from the Cold – Episode 7
Intel Log: Episode 7- Radio-Free Trismegistus
Tanya and Gabe appear to have more parallel lives and problems than either of them realize. Gabe visits a hedge witch to find out what elemental hitchhiker is living in his head. Turns out mercury is the element of the hitchhiker’s choice. The question now is if knowing this will help Gabe. Later, Alvarez witnesses Gabe have an “episode” with the hitchhiker and seems to accept Gabe’s explanation. Can he be trusted? Sasha, Tanya’s boss, still has her radio, and it comes to light that not only is he a threat to her at the KGB, but he has ties to Flame. Desperate to achieve their goals, Tanya and Gabe continue to begrudgingly turn to each other for help. Gabe wants the hitchhiker gone, and Tanya wants her radio back. While setting up a plan during a clandestine meeting in a graveyard, Gabe sees tension between Tanya and Nadia and perhaps opportunity. Will be interesting to see. Plan to get the radio which appears to work- they think. Mercury, Flame, Ice, KGB, CIA, ANCHISES, hitchhikers, and transistor radios. Once again, all is not what it seems.
After a week without magic, this episode comes back with a magical bang. Episode 7 of The Witch Who Came In From the Cold brings Tanya and Gabe playing on the intensity between the two characters and leaves readers wondering which direction these two may take. Friend or foe, they know they need each other, and seeing each one use the other is intriguing. Trust is a huge issue in this episode as well. Characters you never thought would work together are, and other characters who appeared to be merely sideline characters are more deeply involved in the magical plot than first thought. It will be very interesting when Fire and Ice are fully explained and if all of the agencies (CIA, KGB, Fire and Ice) will ever end up colliding.
Catch up on episodes 1-7 and get ready for the rest of season one of The Witch Who Came In From the Cold.
Being a twin is hard. Being the twin brother to an overachieving sister can be even worse. Jack and Phoebe are twins who don’t exactly get along and are nothing alike. Phoebe excels at school, karate, and pretty much everything she does. Jack is an unmotivated, lazy, daydreaming, and sometimes disrespectful boy. It is a visit by a mysterious cloaked figure that sets events in motion that will change Jack’s life forever. In the novel Conductoid, the figure, a Master Veriator called Azan, tells Jack that he is a Conductoid with special powers that allow him to be transformed into animals and cross dimensions to save those in need. Jack is at first resistant and reluctant to learn from Azan, but the more lives he saves, his demeanor changes in school, at home, and as a Conductoid. When he is suddenly called upon to help Azan and rise to the challenge, he will call on all that he has, as well as people he didn’t know he needed, to try to do what needs to be done. Time, patience, and temperament all have to be on his side. Will he prevail or succumb to darker forces?
Author, M. B. Lehane, has written a fast-paced, thrilling young adult novel that will appeal to both boys and girls alike. Lehane does a fantastic job developing the characters in the story so that they are both easy to relate to as well as almost coming to life as you read. The sibling rivalry between Jack and Phoebe, the struggles Jack has talking to and tolerating his mother, Jack’s interaction with his best friend, Ty, and school bullies like Damon and Hartley, are well thought out and easy to picture or relate to because they are just like people in the world today. The addition of the corner store owners, the Dibbles, adds a touch of comic relief that is delightful. A great novel and a must read!
The Witch Who Came in from the Cold – Episode 10
Another host has been uncovered. Ironically, it is Dr. Sokolov, the scientist who is at the heart of the CIA’s ANCHISES, and Gabe has figured it out with the help of his hitchhiker, which he finally appears to be able to handle. The question Gabe now faces is who to trust, who not to trust, and how to accomplish his CIA mission by either using magic or relying on Josh to be on point. Dominic is beginning to show his true colors. Red, white, and blue patriotic or selfish? Tanya is picking up on some plan that is happening, but she’s not sure what. She is also wavering on her ability to trust, or at least tolerate, Gabe. Do they still need each other? Alestair — he has been a friend, but actions and interventions may appear to suggest otherwise. Meanwhile, Jordan and Nadia are still picking up on signals that the Flame is still trying to access magic either through the ley lines flowing under the city or by any other means they can. What it is, and how to stop it, has yet to be figured out. ANCHISES appears to be the goal tonight. The path to its completion will not be as easy as planned…or will it?
Episode 10 of The Witch Who Came In From the Cold brings the collision of the spy and magic worlds closer by the minute. The KGB, CIA, Flame, and Ice all appear in this episode working to accomplish their agendas. The CIA is clearly ANCHISES, but the other groups are unclear, and even the CIA seems to have more up their sleeves than meets the eye. It will be very interesting to watch as Gabe learns how to harness and use his hitchhiker and magic while he has access to them. The Cold War is heating up as we near the end of season one.
Catch up on any episode of The Witch Who Came In From the Cold . The excitement is building, and you don’t want to miss out on how this tug of war between governments and magic unfolds.
Rising from the Ashes
Rising from the Ashes tells a story of trauma and triumph with characters that will touch your heart and stay with you long after the last page. At age 17, Christina McIntyre suffers an unimaginable traumatic event that she physically survives but scars her deeply. After years spent healing and being guarded with the help of her parents, she suffers yet another tragedy. Blessed with a kind, caring, and understanding boss, Tina (the name she adopts after her first trauma) finds safety, friendship, and solace at work. At home, she finds these same things in a secure apartment with a full-time housekeeper and bodyguard who have become her family. Focused on her career and advancing in her company, Tina is thrown for a loop when her boss introduces her to Cliff, a contractor. As Tina learns more about Cliff’s character and strong belief in faith and family, she begins to let her guard down. After keeping men and personal relationships at a distance for so long, does Cliff hold the key to unlocking Tina’s heart and help her learn to love laugh and trust again?
Powerful and moving are the best words to describe Rising from the Ashes. Through her detailed and deliberate writing, she brings to life the horrific, healing, and ultimately wonderful events that Tina experiences throughout the book. While some scenes are graphic in nature and may make some feel uncomfortable, they have a purpose and are not simply gratuitous. It is clear that these scenes are necessary for readers to truly experience Tina’s journey. These scenes also give the book a tangible quality that will touch readers in many different ways. From anger and heartbreak, to compassion, faith and rejoicing, it is clear that Wells’ intention was not only to tell a story about a girl, but to invite her readers into the story so that they can experience and take this journey first with just Tina and then with both Tina and Cliff. This book is definitely one that should not be missed.
A New Leash on Life
Some people have a pet in their life that is the center of their world, or at least a major part of it. The pets are showered with unlimited love and attention when they are the only “baby” in the house. What happens though when your pet baby is replaced by a real baby? What happens when that real baby begins to grow up and explore the world around him or her (including the family pet)? These questions and more are raised and answered in the picture book A New Leash On Life written by Kara Hamilton and illustrated by Alexandria Gold. This book shows pet owners in this great big world, that gets bigger every day, there is plenty of room for everyone with two legs or more.
A New Leash On Life is a fantastic picture book that when first read, can be seen as a wonderful book for teaching children about how to behave around pets. However, author Kara Hamilton takes it a step further and turns it into an enjoyable story for children as well as an informational and instructional book for adults with pets who may be adding to their family. The beautiful illustrations done by Alexandria Gold are very engaging and will easily capture the attention of young audiences.
This is beneficial to the book not only for entertainment purposes but also because it shows children what the story is saying so they are able to see what the right and wrong ways are to interact with pets. I especially like the portion at the end of the book geared specifically towards adults. Many times, books like these are written with the hope the adult will learn along with the child, and unfortunately, sometimes books like this turn into just another story book. The information provided outlines step-by-step the introduction of a new family member to a pet, how to teach a child to interact with their own or other people’s pets and more. Very well written, great message, and the addition of the donation of a portion of the profits from the book being donated to The Humane Society of the United States puts this book over the top for me. Well done!