Life and Things
Well, I’ve started my special dietary guidelines, and been faithful for going on five days. My body keeps trying to tell me I’m hungry because it wants sugar. My brain, on the other hand, keeps insisting we need salt, like it’s an addiction. I’m thankful I’ve not had headaches from withdrawal. Some crankiness.
Bloodwork came back with tentative diagnosis of lupus, autoimmune hepatitis. More bloodwork, and the biopsy, will help things. I had had concerns for a long time that I actually has lupus.
I did manage to walk over three miles three days in a row. Paying more attention to my Fitbit tells me I average around a mile and a fourth each day.
Books read, reviewed, and posted/scheduled this past week:
Haunted Britain by JG Montgomery, 3*
Surfer Dude by Lois Szymanski, 4*
Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller, 4*
Realm of Wolves by Thomas Parrott, DNF
Favourite read of the week:
Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller
“Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, the first book in this new duology features a compelling gender fluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast-paced action.
Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class—and the nobles who destroyed their home.
When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand—the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears—Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.
But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.“
The Brightest Fell by Seanen MacGuire
“New York Times-bestselling October Daye faerie series • Hugo Award-winning author Seanan McGuire • “Top of my urban-paranormal series list!” —Felicia Day
Contains an original bonus novella, Of Things Unknown!
Things are slow, and October “Toby” Daye couldn’t be happier about that. The elf-shot cure has been approved, Arden Windermere is settling into her position as Queen in the Mists, and Toby doesn’t have anything demanding her attention except for wedding planning and spending time with her family.
Maybe she should have realized that it was too good to last.
When Toby’s mother, Amandine, appears on her doorstep with a demand for help, refusing her seems like the right thing to do…until Amandine starts taking hostages, and everything changes. Now Toby doesn’t have a choice about whether or not she does as her mother asks. Not with Jazz and Tybalt’s lives hanging in the balance. But who could possibly help her find a pureblood she’s never met, one who’s been missing for over a hundred years?
Enter Simon Torquill, elf-shot enemy turned awakened, uneasy ally. Together, the two of them must try to solve one of the greatest mysteries in the Mists: what happened to Amandine’s oldest daughter, August, who disappeared in 1906.
This is one missing person case Toby can’t afford to get wrong.”
Amazon Wisdom Keeper by Loraine Y Van Tuyl
“With captivating lyricism, Amazon Wisdom Keeper transports us into the multicultural upbringing and transformation of Loraine Van Tuyl, a graduate psychology student and budding shamanic healer who’s blindsided by startling visions, elusive drumming, and her inseverable mystical ties to the Amazon rainforest of her native Suriname.
Is she in the wrong field, or did her childhood dreams, imaginary guides, and premonitions somehow prepare her for these challenges? Did Suriname’s military coup and her family’s uprooting move to the US rob her from all that she knew and loved at thirteen to help reveal her soul’s purpose, or is she losing her mind by entertaining far-fetched questions and hunches that can’t be answered or proven—like wondering if her perplexing life story is shedding light on the double-binds in her field on purpose, and suspecting that her soul’s daunting blue print was plotted long before she was even born? Van Tuyl wrestles with these questions and more as she embarks upon her risky quest, enduring test upon test in search of her true self and calling while enrolled in a rigorous academic program that regards intuitive healing methods as unscientific—and even unethical.“
A few egalleys. My faves include:
A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne
“From the author of The Iron Druid Chronicles, a thrilling novel that kicks off a fantasy series with an entirely new mythology—complete with shape-shifting bards, fire-wielding giants, and children who can speak to astonishing beasts
MOTHER AND WARRIOR
Tallynd is a soldier who has already survived her toughest battle: losing her husband. But now she finds herself on the front lines of an invasion of giants, intent on wiping out the entire kingdom, including Tallynd’s two sons—all that she has left. The stakes have never been higher. If Tallynd fails, her boys may never become men.
SCHOLAR AND SPY
Dervan is an historian who longs for a simple, quiet life. But he’s drawn into intrigue when he’s hired to record the tales of a mysterious bard who may be a spy or even an assassin for a rival kingdom. As the bard shares his fantastical stories, Dervan makes a shocking discovery: He may have a connection to the tales, one that will bring his own secrets to light.
REBEL AND HERO
Abhi’s family have always been hunters, but Abhi wants to choose a different life for himself. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, Abhi soon learns that his destiny is far greater than he imagined: a powerful new magic thrust upon him may hold the key to defeating the giants once and for all—if it doesn’t destroy him first.
Set in a magical world of terror and wonder, this novel is a deeply felt epic of courage and war, in which the fates of these characters intertwine—and where ordinary people become heroes, and their lives become legend.”
This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada
“3 billion lives at stake. 2 people who can save them. 1 secret hidden in their DNA. A breathtaking debut series about one girl’s quest for answers in a genetically and technologically advanced future. There’s no gene for RUN LIKE HELL. When a lone soldier, Cole, arrives with news of Lachlan Agatta’s death, all hope seems lost for Catarina. Her father was the world’s leading geneticist, and humanity’s best hope of beating a devastating virus. Then, hidden beneath Cole’s genehacked enhancements she finds a message of hope: Lachlan created a vaccine. Only she can find and decrypt it, if she can unravel the clues he left for her. The closer she gets, the more she finds herself at risk from Cartaxus, a shadowy organization with a stranglehold on the world’s genetic tech. But it’s too late to turn back. As the pieces fit together it’s clear there is one final secret that Cat must unlock. A secret that will change everything. With the pace and twists of a thriller, an emotional sucker-punch, the exquisite world-building of the best fantasy, and an imagined future that sci-fi fans will love, This Mortal Coil has all the ingredients to become the next phenomenon in YA.”
Stella Maris by Marita A Hansen
“At her first Confirmation lesson, Catherine Lovich is given a beautiful rosary known as the Stella Maris. Unaware of the danger attached to it, she accepts the gift, soon discovering that each bead on the rosary holds a unique power, powers that only Merges can use. Descended from angels and demons, Merges have the innate ability to manipulate the elements as well as bring the past to the present through dreams.
After meeting Christopher Laboure on her first day back at Agnaru High, Catherine learns that the arrogant but heavenly-looking boy is a Merge—like herself. But unlike Catherine, Christopher is a Seraph, a Merge who controls the fire beads.
When a heated kiss goes wrong, Christopher finds out that Catherine is wearing the Stella Maris—the water rosary his grandfather wants to destroy.
Along with its owner.
Stella Maris will transport you into a realm where nothing is what it seems and everything holds hidden danger.”