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Jul 28, Kate rated it it was amazing. Really heartwarming story and it centers on the various meanings of gemstones and how they effect people. Sweet and interesting, it's a quick read that is delightful! Jun 16, Cybercrone rated it it was ok. Not at all up to the standards of Arthur Pepper!! You can only push 'willing suspension of disbelief' so far, and the initial premise that any responsible adult could have an unknown 16 year-old female stranger land on their doorstep one night claiming to have lost purse, phone and passport, and not immediately call parents, police and passport office was trying to push it about a mile too far for me.

Arthur Pepper was about love and loss and an important journey. This was just sappy. This book is Not at all up to the standards of Arthur Pepper!! This book is what happens when an author or musician has a hit and then their agents push them for a repeat way too fast. Books and music - or good ones at least, take their time to percolate and be ready to appear. No agent can make this so any earlier by pushing or by contract. Mar 11, Sidney rated it it was amazing.

Another good one by Phaedra Patrick. Loved Arthur Pepper and now have a big crush for Benedict Stone. This will be the next big book club read. I was utterly delighted by the author's debut book, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper so when I saw that the author released another book and retained the same wonderful narrator, I had to get it without even looking at the blurb. As with the first story, a man has reached a crisis point in his life and must now go on a personal journey to recover something that has been lost. Benedict Stone is a caregiver and a provider. He knows no other way and his biggest dream is to have his own children s I was utterly delighted by the author's debut book, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper so when I saw that the author released another book and retained the same wonderful narrator, I had to get it without even looking at the blurb.

He knows no other way and his biggest dream is to have his own children so as a family they can carry on tradition. His parents died hunting their precious gemstones when he was a very young man and he took on the care of his brother and the running of the family jewelry making shop. Years later, he is slovenly, overweight, pining for the wife who moved out because she feels pressured by their infertility, yearning for the brother who left never wanting to see him again, discontent with his work, and ripe for it all somehow to be made right.

Into this dreary life of Benedict's comes his precocious teenage niece, Gemma. Slowly this odd pair grow close of their shared loved of the gem stones and the family traditions. Gemma's vitality and the secret pain he sees in her awakens Benedict and he is ready to make drastic changes and fight for what he really needs.

This was a slow-paced and subtle piece set in a small Yorkshire village. The author allows the reader to see and feel the effort that Benedict puts in. He has set backs, painful mistakes, and some triumphs as he works at changing things. It was sweet to see that while Gemma was wonderful for Benedict that he was also what she needed. The reader catches on to things before Benedict about Gemma's secrets and even what must happen for Benedict to freely live his life.

The gem stones are a major part of the story, literally and symbolically, as they help catalogue Benedict and Gemma's journeys. Each chapter is introduced by a different gem from Benedict's dad's journal with its properties and the significance attached to the gems. I spent a great deal of time curious about what was really going on with Gemma and what dreadful thing Benedict did to cause his brother to leave and cut him off. I suspected on both counts and I was mostly right.

The author was not afraid to present a flawed hero, but I loved her Benedict and I was rooting hard for him to succeed on all counts. James Langton was a supreme success once again. He voices the range of characters, including most of the village, and their quirks so well. His sense of timing and emotion were spot on. All in all, this was another fabulous book and I look forward to more from the author. Apr 13, Bobbi rated it really liked it. I adored Arthur Pepper and imagined coming across him in my travels.

Now I feel the same way about Benedict Stone! When Gemma, the teenaged daughter of his estranged brother, arrives unannounced from America and shows up on the doorstep of Benedict's home in a quiet English village, she shakes up his mundane life. He and his wife are separated, his jewelry shop business has declined, and Gemma provides the spark to get things moving again. The author deals with the serious, heartbreaking issue of I adored Arthur Pepper and imagined coming across him in my travels.

The author deals with the serious, heartbreaking issue of childlessness in a deft, understanding manner, communicating the frustration, stress, and range of emotions experienced by couples dealing with it. Patrick also writes so well about family relationships: the separated husband and wife, the estranged brothers, Gemma's relationship with her father and his new wife, who are expecting a child, and how Gemma's transatlantic journey affects all of those relationships.

Her lovely style reminds me of Maeve Binchy's work.

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The information about various gemstones was fascinating. The book will be available on May 16, Jun 27, Jeimy rated it it was amazing. In this one, the titular Benedict, a clueless Brit, is trying to win his wife back. Estelle has left him because their marriage is in a rut and she wants to continue evolving as a person and as an artist. Benedict's life becomes more complicated when his niece Gemma, daughter of his estranged brother Charlie, shows up at his doorstep unannounced.

It is clear that Gemma is hiding something, but Benedict is blind to her faults beca Another hit for the author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper! It is clear that Gemma is hiding something, but Benedict is blind to her faults because she is a ray of sunshine in their dreary town by the York moors. As the novel progresses we learn the events that caused the brothers to stop speaking, see what Benedict does to win Estelle back, and witness how the Stone family's love for gems rejuvenates an entire town.

Excellent book This is just a feel good story.


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It's full of loveable characters and set in a quaint English village. It's a really good, relatable story and you really feel like you know the characters. Jun 11, Kathryn rated it liked it Shelves: This book was light, fun, funny, heartwarming and had the added little history behind different gems. This is a perfect summer read. May 27, Debbie rated it really liked it Shelves: net-galley-books , ebooks. This poor, sad character, Benedict Stone. All he really cares about is his wife, Estelle, and having a family which even more sadly, is not going to happen. So Benedict eats and eats and eats.

His life is mundane and sad, very sad. Then Estelle leaves him. Then he becomes really sad. Benedict is so sad that I almost did not want to continue reading this book. He is such a loser, but there is something about him that makes you want to read on.

Then Gemma comes into his life. The daughter of his br This poor, sad character, Benedict Stone. The daughter of his brother, the only living family members he has left. And, things begin to change. The story then took a new twist with Gemma learning and teaching about the meaning of gemstones and handing them out to people with hopes to better their lives. Gemma is hiding a huge secret, but then so is Benedict.

Even Estelle doesn't know Benedict's secret and she knows everything about him. When this story was all said and done, I was so sorry that I thought of Benedict as a loser. He's not a loser.

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He just needed a push, something to get him out of his misery and his sadness of not being able to have a family. A beautiful, entertaining and enjoyable read! Thanks to Harlequin and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. This book was sweet and endearing; I miss the characters already! Sep 29, Nicolette Molina rated it it was amazing. Such a wonderful and happy book. I love that this book dealt with infertility, there simply isn't enough of it out there and it is a very real thing many people deal with.

Love love love! May 20, Sharon May rated it it was amazing. The author has the ability to write about relationships in a heartwarming way that just pulls you into the story and the lives of these characters. Benedict is a jeweler in a little England town.

His wife has just left him for some time to think about the state of their marriage, his business has dwindle Thanks so much to NetGalley, Park Row Books and Phaedra Patrick for the opportunity to read and review this book! His wife has just left him for some time to think about the state of their marriage, his business has dwindled to almost nothing, and he eats to escape his problems. Enter Gemma, with a knock on the door in the middle of the night. His year-old niece who he had never met, the daughter of his estranged brother, suddenly appears at his door with a story of wanting an adventure but losing her cellphone and passport along the way.

Benedict is wary of her story and tries to contact his brother, but meanwhile Gemma starts making big changes in his life. This story is just charming and sweet while it explores relationships, childlessness, family and passion for life in such wonderful ways. You will fall in love with these characters and be cheering them on until the end! In the vein of The Language of Flowers, each chapter is titled with the name of a gemstone along with the meaning behind the power of the stone which I thoroughly enjoyed. Highly recommended! Jun 04, Frosty61 rated it liked it.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. For more information on this topic, we recommend listening to an interview with European History Richard Weikart, who discusses the religious beliefs of Adolph Hitler. In that exhibit, only the back of the kneeling supplicant is visible.

In earlier displays of Him at art galleries around the world, visitors usually approached the praying figure from the back and received a jolt when they walked around to the front and recognized the face: a youthful rendition of Adolph Hitler. There is certainly no evidence he ever sought forgiveness from God, for he was convinced to the end of his life that he was obeying his God.

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However, in his unreliable memoir, Mein Kampf , Adolph Hitler claimed he did kneel in prayer, at least on one occasion. To atheists, they argue that what Hitler believed in was Christianity. He wanted people to see him as a kneeling, devout supplicant. Some people still believe in the image of Adolph Hitler the Pious and use it as a weapon against religion, while others recoil in horror at the thought that Hitler could have been religious. Dawkins insisted that Hitler was not an atheist but a Catholic who sincerely believed in God.

Hitler is an atheist. In , Pope Pius XI condemned the Nazi regime, not only for persecuting the Catholic Church and harassing its clergy, but also for teaching ideology that conflicted with Catholic doctrines. When he says peace he means war and when he most sinfully names the name of the Almighty, he means the force of evil, the fallen angel, Satan. And yet, Hitler was incredibly popular during the Third Reich, almost to the very end. Most Germans who voted for Hitler or joined his party considered themselves good Christians, and many of them hailed Hitler as a protector of Christianity from the godless communists.

Some Protestant pastors and Catholic priests joined the Nazi Party and cheered Hitler on, and some internationally respected Protestant theologians climbed aboard the Nazi juggernaut, too. By the mids, about , German Protestants had joined the German Christian movement, which synthesized Nazi ideology and liberal Protestant theology.

In , Hitler publicly promoted the German Christian candidates in the Protestant Church elections, giving encouragement to those who hoped for an amalgamation of Christianity and Nazism. Some argue that what Hitler believed in were more nefarious beliefs. The conflicting views of Hitler as atheist or Hitler as devout Christian are further complicated by the widespread view of Hitler as a disciple of the occult. Myriads of books and films purport to prove Hitler was a follower of the black arts. So what did Adolph Hitler believe in? Was he an atheist, a Christian, or an occultist? He was none of these three.

He was not an atheist, because he sincerely believed in the existence of God. He was not an occultist, because he overtly rejected occult beliefs and mystical practices. What Adolph Hitler believed in was pantheism—or, if not pantheism, at least close to it. He believed that nature, or the entire cosmos, is God.

But to suppose this would be a mistake. Whatever conformed to the laws of nature was morally good, and whatever contravened nature and its ways was evil.

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These laws included human biological inequality especially racial inequality , the human struggle for existence, and natural selection. In the Darwinian struggle for existence, multitudes perish, and only a few of the fittest individuals survive and reproduce. Thus, in his twisted vision of religion, Hitler believed he was serving his God by annihilating the allegedly inferior humans and promoting the welfare and prolific reproduction of the supposedly superior Aryans.

There are some historians who interpret Nazism as a purely political movement and thus question the analytical helpfulness of the idea of political religion. On the other extreme, historians insist that Nazism was not merely quasi-religious or pseudo-religious, but a full-blown religion. What Hitler did believe in was the use of religious symbols. There is no doubt Hitler and the Nazi Party appropriated religious symbols, terminology, and emotions in their speeches, mass rallies, and ceremonies. For instance, at the Nuremberg Party Congress, about , political leaders in the party gathered at the Zeppelin Field on Friday night.

One hundred fifty powerful spotlights arranged in a rectangle around the crowd shined heavenward, creating pillars of light. From the Nazi perspective, the beauty of this minimalist confession of faith in the outdoor cathedral was that it could potentially appeal to anyone who believed in any kind of God, whether Christian or anti-Christian, theist, deist, or pantheist.

Indeed, the Nuremberg Party Rally continued through the weekend, and when it came time for the normal Sunday morning worship services for the Christian God, Adolph Hitler and the Nazi hierarchy conspicuously participated in Nazi Party festivities instead of going to church. He first rehearsed the way that Germany had risen up from its position of weakness and degradation since he had come to power four years earlier. Ley used an altered version of that saying when he introduced Hitler to about , Nazi political leaders:.

How often in the last decade and above all in the last years has this call of all Germans resounded upward again and again. This battle cry of all Germans is jubilation and joy for some, confession and faith for others, and pride and power for the entire German nation. By , the confession of faith did not even mention God and seemed to imply that Hitler was now filling His shoes.

To be sure, Adolph Hitler likely never thought he was God. But as many historians have suggested, he reveled in Messianism and often portrayed himself as the man chosen by Providence to liberate Germany and lead it to greatness. Half plebeian, half God! Actually the Christ or only John [the Baptist]? We follow not Christ but Horst Wessel, Away with incense and holy water. The church can be taken away from me,. Not only was this a clear expression of a desire to replace Christianity with Nazism, but it also exalted Hitler to a position that the Christian churches gave Jesus, who is often called the Mediator in the Bible and Christian theology.

However, is this enough for Nazism to qualify as a religion, a political religion, or a secular religion, all terms used at times to describe Nazism? Moreover, what did Adolph Hitler believe in regarding Nazism as a religion? This is easier to decipher, since he explicitly answered this question more than once. In Mein Kampf , he explicitly rejected the idea that he should become a religious reformer, insisting that Nazism was a political, not a religious movement. In fact, throughout his career, Hitler urged neutrality on purely religious questions, and he tolerated a variety of views about religion within the Nazi Party.

Some leading Nazis considered themselves Christians, while others were staunchly and forthrightly anti-Christian. Some Nazis embraced occultism, while others scoffed at it. Some promoted neo-paganism, while others considered pagan rites and ceremonies absurd.

Hitler really did not care what they believed about the spiritual realm as long as it did not conflict with Nazi political and racial ideology. In October , in the midst of a diatribe against the Christian churches, Hitler admitted that Nazism could never be a complete substitute for religion because it did not offer anyone a coherent position on metaphysics.

Thus he counseled toleration for those who had a heartfelt desire for religion. He remarked that someone feeling a need for metaphysics cannot simply be handed the Party Program. Though Adolph Hitler dismissed the idea that Nazism was a religion, he did consider it more than just a political party or movement. He often presented Nazism as a fundamental worldview that provided a foundation for his political ideology and policies.

Hitler expressed the kernel of this worldview in one of these chapters:. The folkish worldview [i. In the state it sees in principle only a means to an end and construes its end as the preservation of the racial existence of man. Thus, it by no means believes in an equality of the races, but along with their difference it recognizes their higher or lesser value and feels itself obligated, through this knowledge, to promote the victory of the better and stronger, and demand the subordination of the inferior and weaker in accordance with the eternal will that dominates this universe.

Thus, in principle, it serves the basic aristocratic idea of Nature and believes in the validity of this law down to the last individual. It sees not only the different value of the races, but also the different value of individuals. But it cannot grant the right to existence even to an ethical idea if this idea represents a danger for the racial life of the bearers of a higher ethics.

This racial worldview attempted to explain the essence of human existence and the meaning of history, while also providing moral guidance. Therefore, what did Hitler believe in regarding pantheism? Hitler recognized this problem, maintaining in Mein Kampf that a worldview such as his own must be intolerant toward any other worldview that conflicts with it—and here he specifically mentioned Christianity as a rival.

He knew that converting Germans to his worldview of what Hitler believed in would not leave the religious landscape unchanged. What did Adolph Hitler believe in regarding secularism? This is hotly debated. The roots of Nazi ideology, he thought, were found in Darwin, Nietzsche, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, and Oswald Spengler, whose ideas he considered products of secularization. Scholars and especially popular works on Hitler, in fact, have identified him with just about every major expression of religion present in early twentieth-century Germany: Catholic Christianity, non-Catholic Christianity, non-Christian monotheism, deism, pantheism, occultism, agnosticism, and atheism.

One reason for this confusion is that Hitler consciously obfuscated his position whenever he thought he could gain political capital needed to secure power or retain popularity. While many of his long-term goals were fixed, he was flexible about short-term policies, and he was not averse to concealing his goals if he knew they would not be popular.

Some wrongly assume that because Rosenberg or Himmler embraced neo-paganism, this must have been the official Nazi position. However, there was no official Nazi position on religion, except perhaps for the rather vague and minimalist position that some kind of God existed. See main article: Was Hitler a Christian? Was Adolph Hitler a Christian? This question has been asked by historians and World War Two aficionados for decades. In , Arthur Szyk, a Polish Jew living in the United States, drew a caricature of Hitler as the Antichrist bringing death and destruction to humanity.

Many Christian leaders in the s and s, both within and outside Germany, recognized Hitler was no friend to their religion. The Swedish Lutheran bishop Nathan Soderblom, a leading figure in the early twentieth-century ecumenical movement, was not so ecumenical that he included Hitler in the ranks of Christianity. They rarely asked if Adolph Hitler was a Christian. Aside from those who saw him as a Messiah worthy of veneration and maybe even worship, many regarded him as a faithful Christian.

Rumors circulated widely in Nazi Germany that Hitler carried a New Testament in his vest pocket, or that he read daily a Protestant devotional booklet. Though these rumors were false, at the time many Germans believed them. Indeed, savvy politician that he was, Hitler often cultivated the image of being a Christian. The gloves are coming off, some of the dark stuff you could tell from two books ago was coming does arrive, some of that gets solved, but plenty of heavy bits still will pester our heroes. And there's a strong reliance on the secondary characters, both as internal motivations to Alex and as folks who can talk wisdom to him.

Deftly written. How nice to have a series that does not lose it's vim as it progresses. The main storyline in Marked was pulling enough with Alex's way of acting and helping Anne. But I'm partly sick that he is always in a role of a bad guy, whome everyone wants to kill. Plot is in general starting to get weak and partly boring. I hope for fresh sub plots and something more from this series. I wanted to give this more stars but about a third into the book it was clear this was a setup book for the next in the series.

Jul 08, Jean rated it it was ok Shelves: gave-up , disappointing. Alex is tired. Ann is tired. Arachne is tired. Actually Alex is insufferably superior while afraid of his tormentor. Everybody just squabbles as they fight deadly duels. Love interest takes a depressing step. Too afraid to get involved. Author needs to wrap this up as he is obviously tired of dreaming up new powers while putting off the big battle with Richard.

Maybe he can't find a solution grand enough to justify taking 10 books to defeat the big bad. Jul 08, Neha Goyal rated it it was ok. Very meh, nothing new happened, largely seemed like a rehash of previous books and action sequences. It never gets any easier. Alex is busy trying to stay alive and do his "job" on the Council as a junior member. He is working to retrieve artifacts which were stolen from the Vault.

He also makes an effort to keep as many alive as he can on either side. But he is also trying to figure out a way to give himself more power of some sort to keep himself and his friends safe. While the Council has been very slow to do anything about Morden, eventually he will be sentenced and then his position is precarious to say the least. He is working with the dreamstones, worried about what has happened with Anne because of the jinn. In the background, there is always the worry for other mages and more so for the sensitives and adepts who have no power and can be hurt badly, as he knows from experience.

The Council comes up with a plan to try to capture Richard. Alex knows it has little chance of succeeding and he tells them so and why. But they decide to do it. When it inevitably blows up, at least Alex is able to minimize the deaths. But the result is still a more daunting struggle for his life ahead. On the plus side, he outwardly commits to Anne. He was devoted to her, and really all his friends, before but he now admits they are all clearly a team, for better or worse.

They may help each other or they may be each other's downfall. It remains to be seen. No matter how he tries to work on strategies, nothing is certain for the long term. Alex is clearly committed to Anne and his friends, but that could make it harder since they can be used against him. It's always been true but now he is more clearly admitting it. Are there any good guys? Neither Light nor Dark is honorable. They are just all about their own power. I said this before but it is worth repeating Richard doesn't seem to make many mistakes.

This is very frustrating to me.

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Anne's questions from Bound: What other strategies will Alex develop to protect himself and his friends? Will he ever manage independence for himself and others again? Alex has a brief reprieve of sorts being a junior council member. It gives him some limited power. Will Alex ever be able to do anything about the cruel practices of dark mages? Will there be a romance for Alex? Robin When will Alex and Anne get together? Alex and Anne will be together, although it may be dangerous for both of them..

Will Alex ever be able to contact Starbreeze again, or find her? KC Will vampires be a future subject since it is hard to know if they are really all gone? KC Will humans become a bigger threat, particularly to monsters and dark mages? Robin Did Richard have anything to do with what happened to Anne with the Lightmages in this book? It seems like he did.

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He is using her through the dreamstones. Robin Can Alex get better at the long Game? Robin How will Anne change after what happened in the Vault? Anne's questions from Marked: What other strategies will Alex develop to protect himself and his friends? Will he have to choose a side for overall protection? Will Alex try to get a junior council position on his own now with Morden gone?

After all, they know him and what to expect, and he does have talents. Or will the death sentence be back? Will people find out more and blame him for Morden? Will the Council and Guardians continue to try to use him to get to Richard? Will Anne be able to keep control of herself now? Will Richard try to force them back to him in exchange for life? Sep 30, Nikki rated it really liked it. Marked felt like a bit of a stronger book than the last in this series, and I really enjoyed getting to find out what happened next.

I also liked seeing Alex settle into being on the junior council more, and realising that he can affect cha Marked felt like a bit of a stronger book than the last in this series, and I really enjoyed getting to find out what happened next. It felt like less of a fight against him in this book, and more Alex trying to figure out a situation. Luna, Anne and Vari all continue to be awesome, and I especially like where it ends with Anne.

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Her story line was good here, even if I do foresee trouble in her future. I did love what little we did see though - very intriguing! All in, a great continuance to the series. Oct 01, Lindsay rated it really liked it Shelves: urban-fantasy. With Alex Verus growing into his role on the Light Council and showing a deft hand at leading other wizards, both in combat and within the Council itself, he gets to confront a few home-truths about moving on from his previous life.

On top of that there's dealing with the consequences of what happened to Anne in the Vault at the end of the previous book and how that plays into Richard Drahk's plans. This is back to formula in the Verus series with only an incremental move forward from the previou With Alex Verus growing into his role on the Light Council and showing a deft hand at leading other wizards, both in combat and within the Council itself, he gets to confront a few home-truths about moving on from his previous life.

This is back to formula in the Verus series with only an incremental move forward from the previous book even though Alex's new situation as a Council member is a novel one. It's nice to see that the basically decent Alex is still present even after being given some legitimate power, although in this one he does get to face some facts about himself and his moving on from his old life. Solid entry in an excellent series. Mar 19, drk rated it it was ok.

It was then that I discovered that I could not recall a single one of the plot lines or distinguish between any one of the titles. And therein lies the problem with this series. Alex, Luna, Varium and Ann were great characters initially but they have never developed over the nine books. I was really excited to read this after binge reading literally the entire beginning of the series but it felt like it was lacking a lot of depth and some of that world-building that we got in earlier novels. Things progressed slowly but surely but sometimes these books throw me because each one has a different sort of feel based on the setting or theme.

There was a lot more character development here, especially involving Anne, and I did enjoy that. This was a great addition to the series with some wonderful about time moments. I look forward to where it looks like the series is headed. May 23, Melanie Mel's Bookland Adventures rated it really liked it.

Not quite as good as book 7 and 8, but still good. Jul 09, Vinay Badri rated it liked it Shelves: read. I think the Alex Verus books are really like the shows you put on backburner as you do other stuff. An almost filler if you will. Books 7 and 8 in the series really shook up the series and kind of forced it to show some kind of for the lack of a better word ambition and a sense of end game. Book 9 is back to the one step forward, 3 steps sidewards narrative. I mean on the whole, its a good piece of entertainment and I fairly breezed through it but I still keep wondering what more, what else.

T I think the Alex Verus books are really like the shows you put on backburner as you do other stuff. There are indicators to the long game that Drakh is playing and Verus does come up as a very credible competitor in figuring out Drakh's motives if not his moves but these glimpses are just that - glimpses.

Wish we had a really solid installment on the upcoming conflict sooner than later Aug 18, Kevin rated it it was amazing. So many options for future books from here. Listened to the audiobook and it was very well-done! Readers also enjoyed. About Benedict Jacka. Benedict Jacka. Other books in the series. Alex Verus 10 books. Books by Benedict Jacka. Trivia About Marked Alex Veru No trivia or quizzes yet.