Wordless Wednesday (a.k.a. where I wish I was right now)

Fall in Tuscany (credit found here)


Review: The Virgin's Daughters by Jeane Westin

The Virgin's Daughters
by Jeane Westin

Rating:  4 / 5

Summary: The Virgin’s Daughters tells the story of Katherine Grey and Mary Rogers, two ladies-in-waiting for Queen Elizabeth I. Both women were close to their monarch, though they served at different times and ultimately their tales would end very differently.

Lady Katherine Grey is sister of the infamous Nine Day’s Queen, Jane Grey, and cousin to Elizabeth. As stated in King Henry VIII’s will, Katherine is next in line for the crown, however her ambition towards the throne is pretty much non-existent. She has seen what ambition cost her family with the execution of her sister and she will in no way be a pawn for those seeking to replace the Queen.

Katherine Grey

Katherine’s quiet contentedness with her role in life is blown to smithereens when she meets and falls in love with Edward Seymour (Ned), nephew of Jane Seymour (Henry VIII’s 3rd wife). Elizabeth is quick to let them know that there is no way she will ever consent to their marriage – they both have strong claims to the throne and should they conceive of a male heir Elizabeth’s crown could be in great danger from those wanting to depose the Protestant Queen.

Ned and Katherine defy the royal orders and marry in secret, an action that leads them both to the Tower. To say that Elizabeth is enraged would be putting it mildly. For one thing, she is in fear of losing the crown she fought so hard for and for another, since she can’t have the man of her dreams, neither can her ladies. But in the end, will Elizabeth join sides with love and give her blessing to the marriage?

Mistress Mary Rogers has been dreaming of the day when she would be a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth and finally joins the Queen’s household towards the end of Elizabeth’s reign. As a child she had heard tales of Elizabeth’s Court from her father’s ward, Lady Katherine Grey and is now ready to put those lessons to test. As Mary reluctantly falls head over heels for John Harington, the Queen’s godson, she realizes that she is headed the way of Lady Grey, but true love chumps all and the couple is left with quite a dilemma. Will Elizabeth concede to the union? Now that the monarch is ailing, has her heart softened to love or will her bitterness reign until the end?

My thoughts: I confess to not being totally geeked out about another novel on Elizabeth I, even if she is my favorite monarch. But to my surprise, I rather enjoyed it. The writing is good – not quite Sharon Kay Penman writing – but fluid, insightful and entertaining. I personally feel that Elizabeth wasn’t the total bitch as she was portrayed here, but she makes a great villain (if not exaggerated). As to Katherine and Mary, I am glad to have read the stories of these two obscure, but interesting women of history.

Recommended to any historical fiction or Tudor lover!

Aquired by:   Berkely / NAL, Penguin  Thanks Kaitlyn!


October Releases in Historical Fiction


New Giveway: Lucia: A Venetian Life in The Age of Napoleon

Due to poor research before an unexpected trip to the bookstore, I am pleased to announce my newest giveaway!!

Lucia: A Venetian Life in The Age of Napoleon by Andrea Di Robilant.  This is a non-fiction book about the author Robilant's ancestor.  I am currently half-way through this book and finding it a great read!

SYNOPSIS:  From the acclaimed author of A Venetian Affair comes the vivid and dramatic story of the fall of Venice and the rise of a new age during the tumultuous Napoleonic period, as seen through the eyes of his great-great-great-great-grandmother.

In 1787, Lucia, the beautiful sixteen-year-old daughter of a prominent Venetian statesman, is married off to Alvise Mocenigo, scion of one of the most powerful Venetian families. But their life as a golden couple will be suddenly transformed when Venice falls to Bonaparte. As the larger events unfolding around Lucia mingle with her most personal concerns, we witness—through her letters to her sister and other primary sources—her painful series of miscarriages and the pressure on her to produce an heir; her impassioned affair with an Austrian officer and its stunning results; the glamour and strain of her career as a hostess in Hapsburg Vienna and lady-in-waiting at the court of Napoleon’s stepson, Prince Eugène de Beauharnais, as well as her intimate relationship with the Empress Joséphine; and her amazing firsthand account of the defeat of Napoleon in Paris in 1814. In her later years, Lucia, regal and still beautiful and a bit battle-hardened herself, was Byron’s landlord during the poet’s stay in Venice. In a fitting finale to this sweeping drama, Lucia stands as a relic of a lost golden age: she created, in part, the aura that gave rise to the Romantic view of Italy and its culture that we still nourish today.

With the brave and articulate Lucia at the center of his re-creation of this remarkable historical period, Andrea di Robilant has once again reached across the centuries, and deep into his own past, to bring history to rich and vivid life on the page.

Giveaway 411:

* Giveaway ends on October 15th. Winner will be announced on October 16th.
* Open to all domestic and international entries.
* For 5 additional entries sign up as a follower; if you already are a follower you will automatically get this.
* For another additional one entry: post, sidebar, facebook or twitter about this giveaway.



the US Release of Elizabeth Chadwick's The Scarlet Lion

US Release Date:  March 1, 2010

*The Scarlet Lion is the sequel to The Greatest Knight.

SYNOPSIS:  Following early beginnings as a knight in the English royal household and a champion of the tourneys, William Marshal's prowess and loyalty have been rewarded by the hand in marriage of Isabelle de Clare, heiress to great estates in England, Normandy and Ireland. Now a powerful magnate, William has weathered the difficult years of King Richard's absence on crusade and is currently serving him on campaign in Normandy while Isabelle governs their estates. All the stability William and Isabelle have enjoyed with their young and growing family comes crashing down as Richard dies and his brother John becomes King. Rebellion is stirring throughout the Angevin domains and although John has created William Earl of Pembroke, the friction between the two men leads William and Isabelle to distance themselves in Ireland. The situation escalates, with John holding their sons as hostages and seizing their English lands. The conflict between remaining loyal and rebelling over injustices committed, threatens to tear apart William and Isabelle's marriage and their family.



Two Important Announcements!

I was inspired by Marie from The Burton Review (www.theburtonreview.com) today and got my own domain!  Yep, Passages to the Past is now it's own website.  Woo Hoo!! 

Please update your bookmarks to:


In other news, Passages to the Past now has a store on Amazon.com!  You can find my link on the left sidebar.  My purpose in creating this store is two-fold;  I wanted to create a store where Historical Fiction reigns, a site where you can find the genre's "must reads" and find reading suggestions.  I'll also be creating Listamanias.  The second reason I started this store is to help support my site...when you click and purchase an item from my store I receive a sort of pay-per-click percentage.  It's a little uncomfortable for me to be speaking to you about this kind of thing and believe me I am not soliciting....I just figured that if you were ordering a book that happens to be on my store it's a win/win situation.

Also, anyone can set up their own store on Amazon, so if you set one up please let us know so we can all support each other!  All hail book bloggers!

The Passages to the Past Amazon store:  http://astore.amazon.com/passagestothepast-20


Wordless Wednesday

Swallow's Nest Castle, Crimea's South Coast (near Yalta)


New Giveaway: The Killing Way by Tony Hays

Author Tony Hays has graciously offered up to the readers of Passages to the Past, an Autographed, First Edition copy of his novel, The Killing Way!

SYNOPSIS:  It is the time of Arthur, but this is not his storied epic. Arthur is a young and powerful warrior who some would say stands on the brink of legend. Britain’s leaders have come to elect a new supreme king, and Arthur is favored. But when a young woman is brutally murdered and the blame is placed at Merlin’s feet, Arthur’s reputation is at stake and his enemies are poised to strike. Arthur turns to Malgwyn ap Cuneglas, a man whose knowledge of battle and keen insight into how the human mind works has helped Arthur come to the brink of kingship. 

Malgwyn is also the man who hates Arthur most in the world.

After the death of Malgwyn's wife by Saxon hands, he became Mad Malgwyn, killer of Saxons and right-hand lieutenant to the warrior Arthur. Right hand, that is, until a Saxon cut his sword arm off and left him to die on the battlefield. Arthur rescued him. Now a one-armed scribe and a heavy drinker, Malgwyn rejects the half-life that his liege gave him. But loyalty is sometimes stronger than loathing…and Malgwyn is pulled toward a puzzle that he can’t walk away from.

Think CSI: Medieval: gritty, powerful, and with the true ring of historical perspective and a character who sees more than those around him. The Killing Way is the first in a mystery series that is sure to be a hit with both mystery readers and historical fans alike.      

Tony Hays is a journalist and novelist. He has covered topics as varied as narcotics trafficking (earning his newspaper the Tennessee Press Association award for Public Service in 2000), political corruption, Civil War history, and the war on terror. His short fiction has appeared both in the United States and Japan, and he is the author of three novels. He resides in Tennessee. 
Links:   Tony Hays' website | Buy at Amazon | Buy at Amazon.uk

Giveaway 411:

* Giveaway ends on October 13th. Winner will be announced on October 14th.
* Open to all domestic and international entries.
* For 5 additional entries sign up as a follower; if you already are a follower you will automatically get this.
* For another additional one entry: post, sidebar, facebook or twitter about this giveaway.


books that make you go hmmm...

Books that make you go hmmm....is a feature where I post about a novel I stumbled across that I'm not quite sure about - novels that can either be really great or really crappy.

This is actually a re-print of the first novel in the Poldark series written by Winston Graham.   There are 12 novels in all and I really hope they re-print all of them...I'm a sucker for a good series! The reviews on Amazon are all 5 stars.

There was also a BBC series in the 70s based on the books. 

Has anyone read the books or seen the BBC series?

Release Date:  November 1, 2009

SYNOPSIS: Ross Poldark returns to Cornwall from war, looking forward to a joyful homecoming with his family and his beloved Elizabeth. But instead he discovers that his father has died, his home is overrun by livestock and drunken servants, and Elizabeth, having believed Ross dead, is now engaged to his cousin. Ross must start over, building a completely new path for his life, one that takes him in exciting and unexpected directions…

Thus begins an intricately plotted story spanning loves, lives, and generations. The Poldark series is the masterwork of Winston Graham, who evoked the period and people like only he could, and created a world of rich and poor, loss and love, that readers will not soon forget.


Godmother Giveaway!

SYNOPSIS:  Lil is an old woman who spends her days shelving rare books in a tiny Manhattan bookstore and lonely nights at home in her apartment. But Lil has an intriguing secret. Tucked and bound behind her back are white feathery wings–the only key to who she once was: the fairy godmother responsible for getting Cinderella to the ball to unite with her Prince Charming.

But on that fateful night, something went terribly and beautifully wrong. Lil allowed herself the unthinkable: to feel the emotions of human beings and fall in love with the prince herself, going to the ball in place of Cinderella in her exquisitely gorgeous human guise. For her unforgivable mistake, she was banished to live among humans, far from her fairy sisters and their magical underwater world. But then one day she meets Veronica–a young, fair-skinned, flame-haired East Village beauty with a love of all things vintage and a penchant for falling in love with the wrong men–and suddenly it becomes clear to Lil that she’s been given a chance at redemption. If she can find a soul mate for Veronica, she may right her wrong and return to the fairy world she so deeply longs for. . . .

Giveaway 411:

* Giveaway ends on October 12th. Winner will be announced on October 13th.
* Open to all domestic and international entries.
* For 5 additional entries sign up as a follower; if you already are a follower you will automatically get this.
* For another additional one entry: post, sidebar, facebook or twitter about this giveaway.


Mailbox Monday!

Mailbox Monday is where we share the literary goodies that came to our mailboxes and here are mine.  I made out pretty well this week I'd have to say - a bundle of historical fiction deliciousness!


Pendragon's Banner (Book Two of the Pendragon's Banner Trilogy) by Helen Hollick

The Madness of Queen Maria: The Remarkable Life of Maria I of Portugal by Jenifer Roberts

Royal Affairs: A Lusty Romp Through the Extramarital Adventures That Rocked the British Monarchy by Leslie Carroll

Sand Daughter by Sarah Bryant

The Boleyn Wife by Brandy Purdy

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.


PTTP is Literate Housewife approved!!

Passages to the Past has been given the seal of approval from Jennifer at The Literate Housewife Review!  In recognition of BBAW week, Jennifer spotlighted blogs that made her own personal shortlist and I am so geeked out to have been chosen.  Look at that cute button!!

Here is what she had to say about moi...

If there is one blogger out there who does the most damage to my wallet and my TBR pile, it’s Amy.  I first found Amy’s blog through LibraryThing and it has been a favorite destination for me ever since.  Not only does she write wonderful reviews, she regularly highlights upcoming historical fiction releases.  I just love it!
Here are a few of my recent favorite posts from Amy:

This award means a lot to me - Jennifer has been an inspiration of mine since I started this blog and I can't thank her enough for her support and encouragement.  If you've not been to her site yet, please do so....Jennifer is an excellent reviewer and one of the nicest women you'll meet!

Thank you Jennifer!


HF Round Table - Week in Review

There has been so much yummy stuff happening this week in connection with The Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table and I wanted to make sure you didn't miss a thing!

We've got reviews, blogger interviews, guest posts from HF authors and some of the coolest HF reads up for grab!  Ch-ch-check it ou!


Autographed copy of Philippa Gregory's The Constant Princess at Hist-Fic Chick.  Click HERE to enter.

Copy of The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory at Historically Obsessed.  Click HERE to enter.

Copy of The Raucous Royals by Carlyn Beccia at Enchanted by Josephine.  Post also includes reviews.  Click HERE to enter.

Copy of The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory (I'm sensing a pattern here...) at All Things Royal.  Click HERE to enter.

Hardcover copy of A Separate Country by Robert Hicks at The Burton Review.  Click HERE to enter.

Autographed, hardcover copy of Michelle Moran's Cleopatra's Daughter at The Burton Review.  Click HERE to enter.

Autographed, paperback copy of The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran at The Burton Review.  Click HERE to enter.

Copy of The Murder of King Tut by James Patterson at The Burton Review.  Click HERE to enter.

Copy of Face-Down in the Marrow-Bone Pie by Kathy Lynn Emerson (Kate Emerson) at The Burton Review.  Click HERE to enter.

Copy of Royal Panopoly by Carolly Erickson at Enchanted by Josephine.  Click HERE to enter.

Copy of William's Wife by Jean Plaidy at Plaidy's Royal Intrigue.  Click HERE to enter.


Lizzy J @ Historically Obsessed interviews Marie from The Burton Review, plus a guest post by Marie:  Me & Anne Boleyn.  

Marie @ The Burton Review interviews Allie from Hist-Fic Chick, plus a guest post by Allie:  Mary, Queen of Scots: A Queen Without A Country.

Michelle Moran's guest post at The Burton Review:  Traveling as Inspiration.

Kathy Lynn Emerson (Kate Emerson) guest post at The Burton Review:  My little sixteenth-century hobby. . . or is it an obsession?

Ms. Lucy @ Enchanted by Josephine interviews Heather from The Maiden's Court, plus guest post by Heather:  Fact or Fiction - The Death of Cleopatra.

Heather @ The Maiden's Court interviews Arleigh from historical-fiction.com, plus guest post by Arleigh:  Eleanor of Aquitaine: Mother of a Dynasty.

Allie @ Hist-Fic Chick interviews Amy from Passages to the Past.

Arleigh @ historical-fiction.com interviews Lizzy J from Historically Obsessed, with guest post:  Catherine Howard: The Rose Without A Thorn.

Amy @ Passages to the Past interviews Ms. Lucy from Enchanted by Josephine, plus guest post:  The Royal Granddaughter: Another Josephine.

Guest post at Hist-Fic Chick from Amy at Passages to the Past:  Elizabeth & Robin.

Special post at The Lady Gwyn's Kingdom:  Who Would You Want to Be? by Robinbird.


Arleigh's review of The Revolt of the Eaglets by Jean Plaidy at Plaidy's Royal Intrigue.

Heather's review of The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory at The Maiden's Court.

Once again, I'd like to send a HUGE thank you to Marie from The Burton Review for devising this delicious idea.  And to Ms. Lucy from Enchanted by Josephine for her assistance with planning.  I had a wonderful time this week learning more about my favorite bloggers, reading guest posts, signing up for the most excellent of giveaways and in general, just talking about my favorite subject...HISTORICAL FICTION.

P.S.  If I've missed a post that you would like to see included, please let me know and send me the link!  Thanks!


non-fiction release on Sophia of Hanover

Release Date: November 1, 2009

SYNOPSIS:  Sophia, Electress of Hanover (1630 1714), grand-daughter of James I and mother of George I, is best remembered as the link between the Houses of Stuart and Hanover. But, above all, she was a gifted and prolific chronicler and her detailed memoirs and letters give us an insider s view of life for the top echelons of society in the 16th century. A true European, Sophia spoke English, French, German, Dutch and Italian fluently, she was open minded and intellectually curious. Her writings cover an astonishing variety of subjects: religion, philosphy, international gossip, household hints, poltics and the details of her family life. Josephine Duggan has translated Sophia s memoir and thousands of letters to paint a remarkable portrait of a woman who deserves to be known by modern-day Europeans.


Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table, Featuring Ms. Lucy from Enchanted by Josephine with Guest Post

For today's HISTORICAL FICTION BLOGGERS ROUND TABLE event I have been given the honor of hosting one of my blogger BFF's, Ms. Lucy from the scrumptiously delicious blog, Enchanted by Josephine!!! 

What is it about Empress Josephine that makes you so “enchanted”?

Josephine is many faceted which makes it easy for women of different classes, personalities and backgrounds to relate to her. Just think of the incredible changes that happened during the 18th c in terms of the monarchy, the revolution and the aftermath of it all and that Josephine lived through all of it-adapting as best she could. She had to have encompassed many roles necessary to survive it all. In Josephine, one could relate to her as a mother, loving wife, divorced wife, cheated-on wife, devoted friend, business partner, animal lover, fashionista, party-goer, confidante, botanist- spiritual-yet not fanatical, and finally, always hopeful until the end (imagine that she was almost beheaded!) It’s no wonder that anyone who ever met her thought she was an incredibly understanding and caring person. In Josephine, one could find a good friend and listener who was always there to help. Her charms and adaptability to any situation rendered her much grace and class. She seems to have experienced it all and there is this quality of strength, mixed with love and compassion that makes her so endearing. From a care-free young Martinique girl, to a lowly prisoner in France, to then ascend to Empress and finally be revered as a Royal grandmother whose lineage still carries on…talk about a journey.

What made you first want to start writing a book review blog?

I think the fact that I love reading history and historical fiction, as well as always talking about the books I read, has a lot to do with how I started a History-Book Blog. I found myself repeating suggestions to friends and co-workers through email and sending them to other great sites for information on great books I loved. So, when I started researching online to see what was out there, I was excited to find like-minded people who were doing just exactly what I wanted to do J By reading up on other great sites, such as Amy’s Passages to The Past, being one of the very first excellent sites out there, I was inspired to do the same- I wanted to share my love for history, reading, writing and reviewing.

What historical time periods interest you the most and why?

I especially love the 16th through 18th centuries for the great movements and advancements in thought, fashion, culture, beliefs and customs. So much happened within those times. I’m absolutely nuts about French and Italian history -the 18th c in particular; which would explain my fascination with Josephine, Bonaparte and Marie Antoinette. My absolute favourite kings to read about in the 17thc are Charles II, Louis XIV- and I do find GeorgeIV quite entertaining as well. Venetian history appeals to me especially and I’m therefore quite taken with the events and people of the 16th c, such as the Doges and courtesans of the times. But I’m not limited to these periods alone. Right now I’m completely swept away by Michelle Moran’s books which deal with a totally different period and region. I guess I would have to say that, if it happened over 200 years ago, I’m interested and I’m reading it!

Do you prefer historical fiction that sticks mostly to the known facts, or do you like it when an author gets creative with history?

Because I read so much non-fiction history, I find it important to read creativity with a strong mix of historical accuracy. I prefer when an author takes off with a fact and uses her creativity to make it all the more engaging to read. The accuracy should remain, however, as we all know, in history there is often more than one perspective. So when an author can show this through his-her character, then it makes the story seem that more real…even if it may somewhat modify the facts as we already know them. I find that perfectly ok because this gives us a different take based on the character’s circumstances and perceptions at the time.

Your reading travels have taken you all over the world (in your mind), what are the top places you would like to visit for real?

Do you have a couple of hours? I’ll try to narrow it down then…The last time I was in Paris was on a historical tour while on college break. (I should have been more enthused by the whole thing but let’s just say that at the time cafés and disco hopping were more my thing…)Now, I would love to be able to go to see more than Versailles- to visit Malmaison is my dream. This might actually come true since we’re planning a visit for my 25th wedding anniversary in 2 years! Corsica is also on my list, for obvious Napoleonic reasons). Another place I’d love to go to is Russia. I’m not so familiar with the country’s rich history and I’m completely fascinated and intrigued by Tsar Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra’s dynasty that I’d love to visit the place one day.

Thanks Amy for having me on your terrific site- I LOVE this place!

The Royal Granddaughter…another Josephine, by Lucy Bertoldi
How interesting that the almost ethereal Empress Josephine should be a direct ancestor to royal families …and not through any royal connection to Napoleon…but rather, through both of her own children.

Today I’d like to write about Josephine’s granddaughter, Josephine- eldest daughter of Eugene de Beauharnais (link:  http://enchantedbyjosephine.blogspot.com/2009/09/josephines-son-eugene-de-beauharnais.html

Princess Josephine Maximiliane Eugenie Napoleonne de Beauharnais (March 14, 1807- June 7, 1876)

Born in Italy and already named a princess by Napoleon, Princess Josephine of Bologna was very close to her parents and absolutely loved her grandmother; whom she was named for. She showed great enthusiasm when hearing news from her and receiving her thoughtful gifts. The Empress always made sure to send the most original finds to be sure to interest and amuse her grandchildren.

According to proud Eugene, his mom’s first granddaughter, Josephine, a kind and demure child, was exactly like the Empress.  Already at a young age she showed an interest for the arts and especially for gardening.  Who knows how much closer the young Josephine would have been to her grandmother had she been older than only seven, at the time of her grandmother’s passing.

Some years later Josephine would be betrothed to Oscar I and by the age of sixteen they were married.  Because of the laws and rules of the time in Sweden, the Crowned Prince and Princess could not consummate their marriage until Josephine turned eighteen.  Nonetheless, the couple shared great times together and got along very well.  They had similar interests in the arts and their conversations were lively- they had very compatible personalities.  Oscar however, was somewhat of a lady conqueror; a fact well kept from Josefina (as she was now called in Sweden).

When she finally caught on to his winding love affairs, Josefina was completely destroyed.  Her happiness turned into a total disillusion which she confided in her daily diary (another thing in common with her granny). Although they still went on to have five children, it is said that eventually the couple ‘unofficially’ separated for a number of years where Josefina kept busy through her charity work and involvement with the arts. She also found great comfort in her close friendship with Princess Sophia Albertine, who was always there to encourage her in her endeavours.  She was actually the one who first introduced her to the arts. From there Josefina would discover an outlet in the artistic world to help appease her qualms. That and her passion for gardening kept her going through an especially difficult time (some coincidence…).

Claiming a change of pace, the people were absolutely thrilled when in 1844, the couple became King and Queen of Sweden and Norway.  It hardly mattered at all that their new queen was not of their same faith.  Although Josefina raised all her children as Lutherans, she herself remained a staunch Catholic until the very end. In fact, even before her ascension, she had a Catholic church built first in Stockholm and then followed suit in Gotheburg and on. Josefina had her own private chapel, chaplain and confessor, granted by the Pope. 

Like her grandmother, Josefina was an absolute people magnet.  She charmed them and they took an immediate liking to her; surpassing her predecessors in maintaining the harmony of her court and her people.  Her passion for the arts was obvious and she lovingly gave much of her time and effort to promoting artists and their causes along with those of the underprivileged…much as the previous ‘Good Empress’ did in France. 

Fortunately, for the country and everyone at stake, by the time of the Royal couple’s ascension, the two had mended their differences and became a united item once again.  This was especially important since Josefina became the King’s major confidante.  It is said that a lot of the negotiations were held behind closed doors…prior to the King making any official declaration…Until the very end, Josefina was instrumental in the emersion of several of the country’s important treaties.  She had a personal hand in the development and advancement of equality laws and reforms. 

The gentle Queen Josefina moved with grace, subtlety, charm and great determination throughout a period of change and reform…much like the Josephine the world had known half a century before her.

Tid-bit of Interest:  Josefina’s mother-in-law was Queen Desirée…The Clary Desirée, who was once engaged to Napoleon Bonaparte (prior to Josephine)

First being ditched by Napoleon and then having your son marry your rivals granddaughter…hmmm…I can just imagine the stir.  Oh well, it seems like some things are just meant to be.

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