Books & Blog: July 1, 2019

  • Rewind, Catherine Ryan Howard
  • Sapphire Flames, Ilona Andrews
  • Brave the Tempest, Karen Chance
  • The Ninth House, Leigh Bardugo
  • Brightfall, Jaime Lee Moyer

None of these books are on the market yet. I was fortunate enough to get to read them early.

Rewind is a complicated story told in a complicated way, but it’s compelling and suspenseful. Natalie O’Connor, an editor of a lifestyle blog, mysteriously rents a remote cottage from peculiar Andrew. She doesn’t know that Andrew has put a camera in the rental cottage and that he has quite the odd secret life. But that camera will record Natalie’s death. Who wanted pretty Natalie dead? Why did she show up in the remote small town? There are many revelations to come in Catherine Ryan Howard’s novel. It’s a satisfying thriller. THIS BOOK WILL BE OUT IN SEPTEMBER.

I can hardly wait for Ilona Andrews’ books to come out, and in this case, I didn’t have to. Sapphire Flames is one of the duo’s Hidden Legacy novels. In this one, the focus is on Catalina Baylor, not Nevada, her older sister. Nevada and her husband Mad Rogan are traveling, and now Catalina is the Head of House Baylor. She’s forcing herself to be a woman she is not, and she’s doing a good job until Alessandro Sagredo, her teenage idol, appears. Catalina’s seen pictures of him modeling sunglasses, waterskiing, breaking engagements . . . doing anything but what he’s really doing, which is killing people. Why is he forcing himself into her life? What are the distorted creatures who are trying to kill her? You have to read the book to find out, and then (if you’re like me) you’ll just want the next one. THIS BOOK WILL BE OUT AUGUST 27.

Cassie Palmer’s life continues to be non-stop action. Karen Chance is a master at this, and Brave the Tempest doesn’t fail . . . though Cassie’s life has gotten so complicated I have a hard time keeping track of it. Now Cassie is the Pythia, a powerful witch/leader in the supernatural world, and everyone wants to use Cassie in the upcoming war. The vampire senate is under attack, and her former lover Mircea wants a huge favor from her. Cassie has no one to rely on in her court, her lover Pritkin is gone, and she gets dragged through time once again. You just have to keep rooting for her. THIS BOOK WILL BE OUT AUGUST 6.

Leigh Bardugo has written an adult book, her first, and it’s amazing. The protagonist, Alex, is a former druggie rescued from jail by a man who wants her for a specific purpose. Instead of being in jail in California, Alex finds herself out of the drug world and attending Yale. The nine houses of Yale are secret societies that perform different kinds of magic; Alex’s house, the ninth, to which she’s been recruited, supervises the rituals. Alex’s talent is that she can see ghosts, without magical aid. But Alex’s mentor disappears in a horrible way, and Alex and one other house member are all that’s left to bring him back, and to keep the other houses from breaking the rules. The Ninth House is a book you should read, I promise you. THIS BOOK WILL BE OUT OCTOBER 1.

If you enjoyed Naomi Novik’s retelling of fairy tales, you are the market for Brightfall, Jaime Lee Moyer’s reimagining of the story of Maid Marian and Robin Hood.  Moyer’s story begins when old friends of Robin’s begin dying in awful ways. Marian, a witch with two children by Robin, is summoned by Friar Tuck to help stop the deaths. Robin himself has refused to set foot out of the monastery where he’s been living. But he has to go with Marian, in the end, on a journey that will change both of them. THIS BOOK WILL BE OUT IN AUGUST.

 

Blog

 I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here, but our daughter is getting married in November. That’s shaded an amazingly large part of the year (she got engaged in December).  We’re not even doing the planning, she and her fiancée are. So you’d think it would be easy. We’d just show up.

Not so! Everyone in the family will be in the wedding. Our two sons will be ushers, our daughter in law is a bridesmaid, and our grandchildren, Gavin and Devin, will be ring bearer and flower girl, respectively, along with two other children from her fiancee’s family.

This is going to be a logistical challenge, to get everyone to the venue in the proper clothes on the proper day, including out of town guests who may fly in and not have a car at their disposal. The nearest hotels are a good ten or twenty minutes away from the venue.

Like every other wedding in the history of weddings, I’m sure something will go wrong, but we can hope that most things will go right. Our daughter found her dress in February and sure enough, it is supposed to take six months to get here, which puts the dress arriving next month sometime. Then it’s supposed to take two months to do the alterations. Which means it’ll be ready the month before the wedding. Thank God I watch “Say Yes to the Dress,” because I knew it might take that long. They’ve hired the photographer, the caterer, the dj, and (not sure on this) the flower person. And they’ve reserved the venue, did that first thing of all.

Mostly I’m relaxed, but I have moments when I suddenly imagine I should be asking a thousand questions. I’m trying to back off and be chill. Everything will be fine, right? Right?

Charlaine Harris