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A Stack of Books, Part 18

Hey everyone! First off, I want to apologize for the lack of a post last week — I’m so sorry! We went down to Virginia to celebrate Thanksgiving with my brother’s family (which was totally great, by the way, so good to see them in person and play with my little acorn! (aka, niece)). I brought my laptop along so that I could work on and post the blog while we were down there and then — this is really embarrassing — forgot my admin password!

I know, I know. But I’d recently had to change it. Like, twice, for security reasons, and I hadn’t quite mastered the thing before we went down. So I was locked out of my own site until we got back. So, yeah . . . And this past week as been a blur of work and CHRISTMAS SHOPPING❤️ and preparing for our homestead’s little holiday open house going on today (stop by if you’re in the area!) and cleaning up a story to submit to Havok and navigating Instagram and Facebook events for two book releases coming up!

Wow, I’m exhausted just listing all that stuff . . .

Prismatic: Havok Season Five (Havok Flash Fiction Book 5)

There’s a lot going on! One of the book releases is the long awaited Havok Season 5 anthology PRISMATIC, which contains one of my own humble pieces *cue thrilled squeals*. The launch party was last night, but the book officially comes out on Wednesday, the 8th. Preorders for the ebook are still open, and the paperback will be available a little bit after release day. I am so excited about this book! Not only is the cover gorgeous and the stories inside a wild collection of spec fiction full of color, but I am still just gobsmacked that one of my own was selected to join the ranks of such great stories by such amazing authors!

All this in mind, and considering that we’re still coming off the summer/harvest craziness, I have not been doing a whole lot of reading. This time of year I usually fall behind on my reading goals real hard. But I have read some great books, so lets take a look!

Of Fire and Ash by Gillian Bronte Adams

Of Fire and Ash — This new series is called the Fireborn Epic, and it is aptly named. It’s flaming awesome. Adams really turns up the heat in this sweeping tale of courage, perseverance, and sacrifice with thundering action, heartrending failures, and a cast of amazing characters that are an absolute riot. I was thoroughly invested from page one and just settled in deeper the further I went. Each of the three point of view characters struggled with somewhat different, but equally relatable issues that I resonated with (if not as a person, then with what my own characters are juggling, so I have to say that the timing of this book is a Godsend on a personal level). The pacing snowballs into a blazing culmination of confrontations and twists that had me up way too late positively squealing. Really, it’s embarrassing. But I am STOKED for more. Job well done. 

Note: I was able to get my hands on an ARC (advanced reader copy) of this book before its release - which is this coming Tuesday, the 7th! I don't think I've been so excited about a book release, and if you're at all interested in epic fantasy, snark, humor, and firebreathing horses (or flying horses, or literal sea horses, or ninja horses) then this is totally a book for you. There'll be an Instagram Live event at 8 EST (7CT) on the 7th to celebrate the release, with Q&A, stories, and sweet giveaways, so come check it out!
In the Region of the Summer Stars by Stephen R. Lawhead

In the Region of the Summer Stars — Y’all, I remember when this book came out, and I was super excited for it because it’s Lawhead, who is one of my favorite authors. And then I proceeded to sit on my excitement for a couple years until I found an actual hard copy at an actual bookstore. All excuses were rendered moot. All I can say is that at least now I don’t have to wait for the next books to come out, because this story is amazing. It’s got all the fantastical, rustic Celtic charm I fell in love with in Song of Albion, with fresh characters and a poignant story of honor, courage, friendship, and patriotism. So good. 

When Ravens Fall by Savannah Jezowski

When Ravens Fall — I don’t read enough Norse inspired stories, complete with the lore and mythos of that culture, and this one was fun to explore as a fantastical spin on a beloved fairy tale with grit and unexpected twists! Even though the book is short it explores vast themes of tragedy and betrayal, triumph and redemption, selfishness and sacrifice in a beautiful way. And now I am totally invested in Munin. And Hugin. Because brothers + raven boys = all the YES. Bonus: My copy of this book (this super cool special edition) came with two short stories related to the same world, Well of Fate and Trickster Rising. Both were romping adventures through Norse lore with silver tongued squirrels, daring escapes from death, and child Loki — what’s not cool about that?

The Kitchen Knight by Margaret Hodges

The Kitchen Knight — I learned about this little picture book through another Instagram Live event celebrating the release of another great story (book 2 in the Knights of Tin and Lead series). I haven’t dug into that book yet, but the first one is great: Arthurian legend in the western frontier with dragons. Anyhoo, this book was mentioned as a favorite of the author’s, so I checked it out at the library. The art is beautiful, and a simple digest of one of the stories about Arthur’s knights.

The God of the Garden by Andrew       Peterson

The God of the Garden—I brought this book along on what was supposed to be a nine hour drive but turned out to be more like twelve and a half. Prospects weren’t high that I’d be able to read much, since I get queasy in the car, but I did better than I thought I might and actually managed to finish it! This book was a balm to my soul, a breath of fresh air. Honestly, in reading Peterson’s story I recognized much of my own experience, similarities that brought a relieved sense of “Oh, I’ve felt that, too. It’s good to know I’m not alone in this.” Some parts gave me laughter while others brought me to tears, moving me through an almost allegorical journey of place, purpose, and love, woven throughout by one of God’s most magnificent creations: trees. This book is a work of art that tells the story behind the story with an achingly beautiful vulnerability that speaks to the lost children in all of us, reminding us not to lose hope—for ourselves, for a place to call home, and for this garden of a world that we share.

Trigun Maximum Volume 1 by Yasuhiro Nightow

My current read: Trigun , the manga/anime that opened the door to science fiction and westerns for me. I love this story so much, and now that I’ve managed to collect all sixteen volumes I am on a reread of the series (interspersed with other novels) that has so far been just an absolute blast. It’s a story of brothers and the battle of ideals between peace and destruction with wild adventures, epic gunfights, and two of the most intrepid insurance agents I have ever met.

What have you been reading of late? Have you read any of these, or do any of them interest you? Which ones? Are there any upcoming books that you’re absolutely stoked about? Can you guess which of my Havok stories from earlier this year was selected for the anthology? (Hint: I had 2 eligible, LAST HOPE and MOOD SWINGS)

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