What is the Fascination of the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son? Do Seven Daughters Count?

The Seventh Son of a Seventh Son - Is it Magic?

Yes! The fascination of the seventh son of a seventh son! Is it more than folklore? More than the 1988 Iron Maiden album that stemmed from the folklore? I suspect there may have been more seventh sons born last century than this, but still, it conjures powerful visions of mystical or even biblical significance, doesn’t it? According to Wikipedia, it can go so far as to be broken down by regions:

  1. Ireland – believed to be a healer
  2. France – believed to have curative properties
  3. Latin America – believed to be a werewolf
  4. Italy – believed to be a charmer of snakes
  5. U.S. – believed to garner riches

Well, that last was borne of a book written in the year 1807-08 by Edward Kendall regarding his visit to the Newgate copper mine. Indeed, a radio drama aired in 1980 on the CBS Mystery Theatre called “The Iron Horse” by Sam Dann played off that account of mining discoveries. Jimmy Stewart starred in a 1940 movie called “The Philladelphia Story” that noted the legend and as recently as 2014 the fantasy-adventure film Seventh Son has as the main character a seventh son of a seventh son that featured Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore. (Gees, never heard of it!)

Theatrical poster for Seventh Son from Wikipedia

To be authentically a seventh son of a seventh son, however, there must not be a female sibling separating the numbers. (Therefore, singer Perry Como could not legitimately claim the distinction. Lyle Lewis Aley, radio announcer was an unproven seventh, and Len Dawson, quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs claimed the distinction without acknowledging where his dad stood in the family line. Como, however, could make musical magic with the best of them.)

Still, there are many books written that include the folklore theme as a plot–all fiction in the fantasy or science fiction genres, so who is to say it may or may not magically bestow super-human properties, cause I could find no non-fiction references.

Several popularly noted fiction books with the theme include:

harry potterAnd, of course, the granddaddy, blockbuster of them all–the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowlings, including Deathly Hallows (#7) 2009, which includes the 7th child of the 7th child (Ginny Weasley), a girl! (And the females have magical powers of their own.) These books were written for the 9-12 years age group. That’s fine–it got ALL ages to reading again!

  • And if you really want to have some goosebumps, try Comic book superhero Johnny Thunder who obtained his magical birthright by virtue of being the seventh son of a seventh son and was also born at 7 am on July 7 (the seventh day of the seventh month), 1917. Unfortunately, it didn’t have quite the fire of the Potter series.

With all the time and research, however, I was not able to find one non-fictional account of a real seventh son biography, memoir, or story. Still, we do love our folklore and stories handed down and wonder how the stories got started. If you’ve come across some true accounts, I’d love to hear them!

©2018 V Williams (Photo attribution for title pic: Pexels, Theatrical poster for Seventh Son from Wikipedia)V Williams

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Horizontal Line(s)

Cee’s Photography runs a weekly Fun Foto Challenge. This week’s challenge is Horizontal Line(s) This challenge is basically self-explanatory. Pictures are taken with my little (very old) Galaxy cell phone. Click on her website and check it out. It’s a very simple procedure. Have fun and let’s see how creative you can be on this challenge!

Cee's Fun Foto Challenge

 I’ve chosen several widely differing horizontal line concepts, the first being the architectural lines at the Ft. Wayne Library in Indiana where we went to research through their Genealogy Department.

Ft. Wayne IN Library

The horizontal lines on our back deck also includes the lines of the roof and rail.

Back deck

The horizontal lines of the rear window defroster taken on the last total solar eclipse–cloudy day also created a halo.

Solar eclipse viewed from mid-Indiana.

These challenges run from Tuesday through Monday. Next week’s subject is diagonal lines, and I have just the picture for it! Tune in next week and look for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge to check out more of what this challenge is about!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Columns and Vertical Line(s)

CFFCCee’s Photography runs a Fun Foto Challenge. This week’s challenge is  Columns and Vertical Line(s) This challenge is basically self-explanatory. (The following photo was taken with a [cheapie] camera–not my cell phone). Go click on Cee’s website and check it out. It’s a very simple procedure. Have fun and let’s see how creative you can we can be on this challenge!

Back when I was still riding my motorcycle, the internet group of girls with which I’d become acquainted after I got my license formed a group we called the West Coast Gathering (WCG). Every year, we’d pick a destination, usually somewhere in the geographical center of those attending. We rode to Walla Walla, Washington in 2014.

WCG ride to Walla Walla Washington 2014

Walla Walla building detailDowntown underwent a preservation project beginning in 2001, beautifying Main Street. While we were exploring, I turned to see this magnificent façade of the hand-carved sandstone 1902 Henry Osterman building, where in 2010 the gorgeous “Windows on the Past” display was installed.

“Each window is made using a porcelain enamel-on-steel process.” (It is both extremely durable and low maintenance.)

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Reading on the #Cozy Side with a Little #Sci-Fi, #K-9, or #HistFic for Spice

#TBR - #Cozies

It’s not true that I’ve gone to the Cozy side, but sometimes it does appear that way, huh.

Take for instance these five on my current #TBR pile. It would appear at least four are cozy, and you’d be part right. Obviously, however, Bad Time to be In It by David Burnsworth is a Blu Carraway mystery, actually classified by Amazon as “hard-boiled.” You may remember I used that term in the discussion on Family Noir.

A Souffle of Suspicion by Daryl Wood GerberThat would leave three with the cozy, women sleuth, and amateur sleuth designation, because (**surprise**) Soufflé of Suspicion by Daryl Wood Gerber has the additional distinction of also being classified as culinary. (Do you see more recipes in my future? The cover even SAYS “Includes Recipes.” But Nope!)

I really do enjoy a cozy mystery or two, particularly between heavier genres, such as the Irish historical fiction I recently reviewed or the sci-fi, or even the hysterically funny, campy, and definitely unique Ray vs the Meaning of Life by Michael F Stewart. If you missed it, see my review here.

At most, there may be a conceived pattern. If you detect the upcoming pattern is filled with food or decadent desserts, it would appear that food or desserts are a necessary ingredient for the genre. But please, no more recipes for me, unless it includes a pleasing classic cocktail.

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint #Reviews – May Recap

Review Recap

June is heating up here in NWI! (OMG, did it turn hot!–from freezing to frying!) It was a semi-productive May month with books taking a back seat to the yard and garden while I could. News reports Chicago land received record-setting rainfall this year. We must have missed all that as I’ve had to water my slow-growing vegetables. The fairy garden, on the other hand, has been overrun with WEEDS far exceeding any bushes I planted, many of which are unidentifiable. Fortunately (knock on wood) no poison ivy (or ticks), so far. I’ve hit it with shovels, saws, and clippers, but the fairies are winning! Stay tuned…

In May I took part in spotlights, book blasts, and book tours during the month resulting in ten book reviews. 

  

(May) 2 – Micromium-Clean Energy from Mars 4 – Better Off Read 6 – The Mirror Shop 8 – Pick and Chews 13- Go Home, Afton 18-Dying Truth 20-Area 51: Redemption 22- Charlie Mac 27-Ray vs the Meaning of Life 29-Confessions of a Red Herring

My associate, The CE, read several and we accommodated five author requests in addition to Spotlights and #ThrowbackThursdays. Many of the book tours included Giveaways in which I hope you participated! Several of these titles stretched my reading chops and proved absolutely outstanding and will eventually go on a “Favorites” list I’ve yet to begin.

So what book tours can you anticipate coming in the near future? Here’s just a few (in hue compatible colors, of course). Please let me know if you are reading one of these as well! 

Upcoming Blog Tours

And just a little ditty I wrote for one of  my blogger buddies (who’d also spent a busy month):

Grab a cup, corral the pup, and set the puter churning,

then lift the book, correct the specs, and start the pages turning!

As always, I welcome my new followers, and sincerely appreciate the ones who continue to read and comment! Thank you! ©2018 V Williams V Williams

Dying Truth – a #BookReview

Dying Truth by Angela MarsonsTitle: Dying Truth (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Series Book 8) by Angela Marsons

Genre: Currently #36 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense, Crime, Serial Killers, and #47 in Mystery/Police Procedurals, AND an Amazon Author ranking of #4 in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Police Procedurals

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication Date: Happy Publication Day – May 18, 2018

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Dying TruthDark, compelling

OMG, maybe it’s good I’ve never been wealthy! In this, the 8th in the DI Kim Stone series, the reader is introduced to life for the super elite school child. These privileged kids go to Heathcrest Academy. Education for uber snobs–maybe, but not all of them–there are some who have not been enrolled in money. And kids can be cruel. But I digress… Continue reading “Dying Truth – a #BookReview”

There is a Difference Between 5 Stars on Amazon vs Goodreads

Goodreads vs Amazon Stars

Back in April 2017, I originally wrote this post regarding the difference in star rating definitions between Goodreads and Amazon. Perhaps little has changed.

There is certainly a difference between most of the major book retailers (and I’ve since taken note of the star rating definitions in Barnes & Noble as well as Kobo). As I’m sure you’ve no doubt noticed if you’ve ever moused over the stars on Amazon and Goodreads–there is a difference in the star ratings between the two. Are you one who thinks the star rating is equivalent to personal perception? Or have you read and understood the star definitions of both? I’ve run up against this before, debating what to do; set my star ratings the same on both websites–or change to more closely indicate my objective opinion on each.

A Goodreads five star indicates you thought the book “amazing.” I don’t consider that the same as, “I love it.” So what is the difference between the two? Note the graphic above.

Goodreads

Star Rating

1  Did not like it

2  It was okay

3  I liked it

4  I really liked it

5  It was amazing

Amazon

Star Rating

1  I hate it

2  I don’t like it

3  It’s okay

4  I like it

5  I love it

Really, neither of the two asks your opinion regarding the plotting, dialogue, characterization, grammar, or level of typos. It’s a matter of how much you liked the book–what did you like–what did you dislike. Perhaps that makes sense considering the reading levels of the average reader.

Does the average reviewer actually use the website assigned stars or simply judge based on the use of their own system?

In a 2015 study by McGill University, it was found that Amazon has higher average ratings compared to Goodreads and Goodreads users gave four stars more often than Amazon users (36.26%). That translation bears exactly how I would interpret the meaning behind the stars of those two websites as well. How many times does a conscientious book reviewer look for a compromise and assign a half point–4.5 stars, but are then forced to round up or down–well, THAT’s subjective then, not objective!

They maintain, therefore, that the Goodreads ratings fall in the range of 3 to 4 stars while Amazon ratings fall between 4 and 5 stars. Their argument extends to a higher average for some genres (i.e., biographies) on Amazon than are found on Goodreads. Makes sense if you consider Goodreads basically shifts one point lower, making only one a negative, one a neutral, and three more positive. That makes your four-star rating on Goodreads equivalent to Amazon five.

Their additional argument extends further in the propensity of Amazon reviewers to help “sell” the book, whereon Goodreads tends to more journalistic attributes, concentrating on the book’s content.

Also surprising, the study found that Amazon reviews tend to be a greater length, which flies in the face of that which I was taught–keep it short on Amazon–expand on the description on Goodreads–and just have fun with it on your own website. Indeed, I’ve been asked to keep my reviews short on Amazon to allow for more visible reviews on the landing page.

Kristen Twardowski in her recent WordPress post, “What to do with Goodreads,” says “Goodreads is the largest book review website on the internet.” She goes on to cite April 2017 statistics that show over 55 million members wrote an astounding 50 million reviews.  (And you thought your book was being buried on Amazon!) A quick search on Amazon shows print title totals vary, although if we use Amazon best sellers rank numbers, there are over 13 million–and over 800,000 ebook titles.

Amazon gobbled up Goodreads in March 2013. There have been a number of arguments regarding the star ratings disparity since then. Wikipedia noted, “Some authors, however, believe the purchase means that the “best place to discuss books is joining up with the best place to buy books.”

The updates to the Kindle app requesting a star rating at the end of the book you are reading begs an additional argument. If you hit the star rating link without consideration of the rating definition differences and the site links to Amazon as well as Goodreads, in my mind, the ratings become skewed.

I like the breakdown that Greg Zimmerman showed on his blog post appearing in June 2011 in which he whittled it down further: 4 and 5 stars==liked it, 3 stars=neutral, and 1 and 2 stars=don’t like it. He then compares Amazon stats to Goodreads stats and in the end concluded there’s a good reason for Goodreads reviews being lower. There continues to be skepticism for Amazon reviews on many of the forums, which agrees with my own perception and that I posted here. Two of my favorite reads this year (reviewed on this blog) with 15 or more ratings in GR’s also reflect McGill’s consensus.

The Fifteenth of JuneThe Fifteenth of June

Amazon – 15 ratings (average 4.7) 94% 4 stars or better

Goodreads – 24 ratings (average 4.0) 80% 4 stars or better

So Much Owed-#1 Amazon BestsellerSo Much Owed

Amazon – 268 ratings (average 4.7) – 94% 4 stars or better

Goodreads – 616 ratings (average 4.29) 86% 4 stars or better

There is credibility with Goodreads reviews. As a reader, have you performed review searches on Goodreads? Did you find they closely followed your own opinions? Did you compare the two? Judging by the number of review requests I receive, it would appear authors are still seeking strong Amazon authentication. I get it–lots of five stars on your Amazon book helps to spread the word (not so much the algorithm, which is based on sales). I hope you feel good about your Goodreads reviews and continue to press for Amazon reviews as well. Do you search for reviews before you purchase?

©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!