Miss Scarlet and the Duke, my thoughts

I’ve just seen the 2nd episode of “Miss Scarlet and the Duke” and I am really enjoying it. The program plays on my local PBS channel on Sunday nights. Sadly, it seems to be limited to a season of only six episodes.

After the death of her private investigator Father, a penniless Eliza Scarlet ( played by Kate Phillips ) must struggle to make her fame and fortune in the male-dominated Victorian era. She is aided by a stern growling William Wellington ( played by Stuart Martin ) who tries to dissuade her career as a private investigator.

On the downside, I am a little tired of x, y, z happened “because I’m a woman” line. At some point, we need to move on because that horse has been beaten to death. We get it. Get back to the story. While a foggy night is great, the hazy, smoky, fog atmosphere is overdone and a distraction.

On the plus side, the acting, writing, and costumes were top-notch. It was an entertaining story.

All in all, I’ve enjoyed the first two episodes and I look forward to more. I highly recommend “Miss Scarlet and the Duke.

Review: Haunted Surry to Suffolk

Haunted Surry to Suffolk: Spooky Locations Along Routes 10 and 460

By Pamela K. Kinney

Product description:

Take a journey along Virginia’s scenic Routes 10 and 460 eastbound to enjoy the lovely countryside and metropolises that spread around these two roads. Most of all, discover that some historical houses, plantations, battlefields, parks, and even the modern cities, have more than touristy knickknacks, ham, and peanuts to offer. Many have ghosts!

Bacon’s Castle has spirits haunting it since the 1600s. Stay in a cabin overnight at Chippokes Plantation State Park and you might find you have a spectral bedfellow. The city of Smithfield has more to offer than the world’s oldest ham; it also has some very old phantoms still stalking its buildings. Take a ghost tour of Suffolk and see why the biggest little city is also one of the spookiest. Discover the myths and legends of the Great Dismal Swamp and see what phantoms are still haunting the wildlife refuge. And if that’s not enough, Bigfoot and UFOs are part of the paranormal scenery. These and other areas of southeastern Virginia are teeming with ghosts, Sasquatch, UFOs, and monsters. See what awaits you along 460 south and 10. No matter which road you take, the phantoms can’t wait to SCARE you a good time.

My thoughts:

Haunted Surry to Suffolk was very hard for me to put down, because I love this kind of book. Kinney takes us on another ride to haunted locations and this book was an entertaining as her last book Paranormal Petersburg, Virginia, and the Tri-Cities Area.

I have to say that almost all of the ebook was interesting but the chapter Bigfoot and UFO Encounters from Surry to Suffolk was excellent. It was just packed with dozens of legends and stories. I wish that Kinney had spent more time on them.

Those who live in the area and tourists who visit claim they see wispy white things, especially around the lake, but no doubt what they saw could be foxfire, a substance given off when certain fungi decay wood. Again, maybe they did see something. The place can be eerie, especially if shrouded in fog or mist. And besides spirits, you might run into Bigfoot or fairies. Do take care and don’t strike out alone in the woods and head off the designated trails, for you never know who or what you might meet. You might encounter more than animals and birds in the Great Dismal Swamp, and the haunts and Bigfoot are waiting to welcome you, even if it means taking the portal to Hell.

The pictures are excellent but I didn’t see the anomalies that she circled. I guess it’s just part of my doubting nature. As I understand it, the pictures will be in black and white, as opposed to the free review copy provided to me from the author, which were in color. Sadly, that will take a little something away from the reader’s experience.

I’m giving Haunted Surry to Suffolk: Spooky Locations Along Routes 10 and 460 4 1/2 stars out five. If you live in the area or plan to travel there, this book is a must-have.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Pamela K. Kinney. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

My thoughts of Spider-man Noir

I am a big fan of retro, steampunk, dieselpunk, atompunk, etc.. Give me a little dark noir, some dieselpunk, with a murder mystery and you have the makings of a hit with me. Marvel has taken one of it’s popular superheroes and placed him in New York City in 1939.

This noir-treatment isn’t new, it’s been done before in both Marvel and DC and Spiderman has had the noir-treatment before. You may remember seeing the Spider-man Noir in the Spiderverse and Spider-man Noir in Webwarriors.

I loved the art. The story is excellent and hooked me almost from the start. I can’t wait to see where this goes …

Review: Practical Astrology for Witches and Pagans

practical-astrologyPractical Astrology for Witches and Pagans: Using the Planets and the Stars for Effective Spellwork, Rituals, and Magickal Work

by Ivo Dominguez Jr.
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Weiser Books
ISBN-10: 1578635756
ISBN-13: 978-1578635757

Product description:

Learn How to Use the Planets and Stars in Your Magickal Work

More often than not, people think of astrology as a tool for divination or the exploration of one’s personality. Astrology is considerably more than that. It is a sacred science, a highly descriptive symbolic language, and it is also a technology that can be applied to ritual, herbalism, the use of crystals, and much more.

But it can be daunting to take on the study of Astrology. After all, it’s a field so huge it would take several lifetimes to master it. And that’s why Ivo Dominguez, Jr., wrote this book–to provide practitioners of magick with a Pagan perspective on Astrology and the core concepts of Astrology that are most useful to building rituals and creating effective magick.

When we look at an astrological chart, what we are actually looking at is a map of the multiple planes of existence summarized and flattened into an understandable diagram–a kind of magickal cartogram. Now, what to do with this map? How can we best use it in our magickal work? That’s precisely what you’ll discover in the pages of this concise, focused, and expertly presented book.

My thoughts:

All in all, Practical Astrology for Witches and Pagans comes in at slightly less than two hundred pages. It sports several charts in it’s six Appendixes. You’ll find a number of charts throughout the 17 chapters of the book.

While I found some of it to be very interesting, I found much of the book to be dull, dull, dull, and did I mention that it is dull? That wasn’t my biggest problem with the book. I don’t  remember one footnote in the book. No footnotes, no Bibliography, no Index, no suggested reading.

With the lack of footnotes, I had to wonder about the accuracy of almost everything that was written. If I want to do my own research where do I start? Who made the Astrology charts? Did Dominguez draw them? Did he get them from a Google search? How do these charts compare to other charts? Where is the work? Where did HE get this information?

No Index? Really? Make sure that you have plenty of bookmarks if you want to return to this book to glean something.

The man has a good reputation in the Pagan community, but I really can’t recommend this book. It comes off as dry and unfinished. I’m giving Practical Astrology for Witches and Pagans 2 stars out of 5. I’d give this one a pass and I suggest Planets for Pagans: Sacred Sites, Ancient Lore, and Magical Stargazing instead…

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Weiser Books I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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