Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I had the third procedure done on my neck and I am having a reaction, again, to the oxygen during anesthesia. The first time I thought I had caught something at the hospital as I was really sick for three days after I got home. This time isn't quite as bad - I just feel like I have to sneeze 24/7 and when I do it is enough to take the roof off! My eyes are watering and my nose is running. The doc's office called today and they assured me it would settle down "in a day or two" and it happens to some people. Oh joy!

It may be April, but I am always in the Christmas spirit and found Sherryl Woods A Chesapeake Shores Christmas at Borders. Our local one went out of business last weekend and I stocked up on Christmas books and other fun stuff I wouldn't normally buy. What a sweet Christmas story about a large family with the grown siblings having concerns, especially the one who became a divorce lawyer, about their parents getting back together years after their mother left for New York. From what read in the introduction there are 3 previous titles about the O’Brien family in the Chesapeake Shores series and a new series to come about the son who became a divorce lawyer. It is his infant son who helps bring him around to supporting his parents’ remarriage. With all the horrible natural events and other bad news we hear and read on a daily basis, a sweet, quiet family story/romance like this one is just what one needs sometimes.

I may have already written about Awakened by P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast, mother and daughter writing team. The House of Night is my all time favorite YA vampire series as it features a strong will female main character, Zoey, who is part Native American. You don’t see this kind of character in YA literature very often. Stevie Rae, her blonde haired, rural Okie sounding, best friend is a key character in some of the titles – this one as well. Stevie Rae's relationship with Rephaim, the Raven Mocker, has taken a turn for the better and even his father has stood up to the nasty Neferet, but I am sure her evil doings are far from over. This 8th book in the series is as interesting reading as the first one, even more so when I think about it as I’ve developed a character/reader relationship with the characters in the series and find myself thinking about them as “real people” – which is fine praise for a series about fledgling vampires and High Priestesses!

Most of us know at least one of the versions of the story of the kind and not so nice sisters who encounter a goddess, witch, etc. Heather Tomlinson’s Toads and Diamonds is version set in a fictional India – the Hundred Kingdom. Diribani meets the goddess at the well while on a trip for water and is blessed with speaking flowers and precious jewels. One would think this would be a wonderful gift, but like all people with wealth, she has to wonder - are they loved for who they are or what they have? What happens to Dirabani is opulent captivity. What stayed with me more so is the strength of the sister, Tana, whom the goddess blesses with speaking snakes and toads. Tana has the intellect to turn what appears to be a curse into a blessing of sorts, saving the kingdom and herself in the end. Tomlinson weaves a land that fascinated me as a reader and created strong female characters, though very different from teens of today, ones whom they may well see themselves in as they compare the sisters' responses in this magical kingdom to situations in their own lives.

I am hoping I get to blog some of the many books sitting here on my desk that I've read when I haven't been feeling well enough to do much else. I am actually taking the summer off from teaching to see if I can get back on healthier footing. I hope I'll catch up on some of the blogging of books and sleep until I cannot sleep anymore. I think I've become a cat - my body wants to sleep more hours than it is awake and when it is awake, it is weird hours of the day and night. Please excuse any wonky wording in these blogs. My brain seems to be doing weird things as well!!