Heat Wave Reading

The sun had yet to rise on this Saturday morning and already the thermometer read 81° in Tallahassee, Florida. With a predicted high of 100° – and that’s without factoring in humidity – it’d be a good day to stay inside and read.

Need a few suggestions? Happy to oblige. Now I’m the kind of reader that makes Amazon’s algorithms shake their weary heads. If algorithms only had heads. There’s no one genre that dominates my wish list. One day, sci-fi. Another day, steamy romance. Yet another day, some deep tome on what it means to be human. So pay attention.

1) I’m currently reading Hunted, the second installation in Scott Walker’s Little Yokai urban fantasy series, and loving it. His protagonist, Keiko Miller, is a detective in the Los Angeles branch of the Bureau of Souls – an agency that polices yokai, supernatural beings that crossed a rift in the veil between our world and theirs thirty years ago. Keiko’s keeping a literal life and death secret from the bureau, while still being a badass detective and a loving and dutiful daughter. Here’s a link to book one because you really should start at the beginning. Caged: The Little Yokai Series Book 1 https://a.co/d/isIXOtC

2. Dear Dana: That time I went crazy and wrote all 580 of my Facebook friends a handwritten letter, by Amy Weinland Daughters, is one of those books that makes one happy to be human. It’s the true tale of the author’s quest to form a real connection with people beyond the confines of social media. The book is touching and funny and inspirational, and I highly recommend it. http://Dear Dana: That time I went crazy and wrote all 580 of my Facebook friends a handwritten letter https://a.co/d/awAFGw5

3. If you like something on the steamier side, I recommend Ivy Nelson’s dark romance series, Club Exposure, beginning with book one, Hidden. Hidden: An enemies to lovers dark romance https://a.co/d/i7WG5Ou. Honestly, my husband wishes I’d read these books and nothing else. Too much information? Sorry!

4. Heather Kindt’s Eternal Artifacts series, beginning with The Green Door, takes the reader on a roller coaster of an adventure in which the stakes are high, but the characters’ curiosity and ambitions keep them coming back for more. This book is aimed at Young Adult readers, but I totally enjoyed it. http://The Green Door (The Eternal Artifacts) https://a.co/d/aXWW7SG

5. A cozy mystery fan? Lori Roberts Herbst has one of the best series out there. I love the mountain setting where snow looms on the peaks. Perfect for summer reading. Currently there are three books in her Callie Cassidy mystery series, with a fourth one on the horizon. http://Suitable for Framing (Callie Cassidy Mysteries) https://a.co/d/jduVxpP

I could go on and on, but five is my lucky number. Let Amazon chew on that.

Peace, people.

Why’d it have to be Owen Wilson?

Friends, I’m 63 years old. Post-menopausal. Almost out to pasture. 😉

Last night though, I had the damnedest dream about a steamy (and I do mean STEAMY) romp with Owen Wilson.

The two of us couldn’t keep our hands off one another. I’m blushing even as I write about it.

The question is “why him?” I mean, he’s adorable and goofy, and a Texan to boot, but I’ve never even entertained a mildly romantic fantasy about Owen, let alone a full-blown x-rated one. Now, Huey Lewis is a totally different, and age appropriate, matter.

The heart of rock and roll is still beating, you know.

Peace, people.

Beetles and Spiders and Wasps. Oh My!

Studly Doright is tired of hearing me talk about the series of books I just finished reading, but I’m not through talking about them. That’s bad news for my readers, so feel free to tune out any time. If you enjoy the sci-fi/fantasy genres, though, you might want to stick around for just a minute or two.

The series in question is Adrian Tchaikovsky’s epic “Shadows of the Apt” told in ten novels and followed up in three, soon to be four, companion books of short stories.

The first book in the series, Empire in Black and Gold, introduces readers to a world in which humans have evolved not from apes, but from various insects, arachnids, mollusks, and other species. Their evolutionary process is relatively young, and some species are more evolved than others. Indeed, some humans, such as those evolved from beetles and wasps, are apt, in this case meaning that they understand mechanical processes and have developed machines similar to our automobiles and airplanes.

Other humans, or kinden, in this world cannot operate a simple doorknob. These species are inapt. Spider-kinden, moth-kinden, and butterfly-kinden fall into this category.

Individual members of each kinden develop arts inherited from their species. For example, wasp, bee, fly, and moth kinden can all fly. Some kinden have excellent night vision. Spider-kinden are adept at deception, and scorpion-kinden are fierce warriors.

I must admit that at the beginning I was somewhat put off by the kinden tag, but soon it seemed natural as the story and characters developed. And Tchaikovsky is a master at developing a universe of characters and juggling multiple story lines.

Without giving too much away, the wasp-kinden have grand plans to dominate the world, and it falls to a loose coalition of other kinden to attempt to prevent this from happening with varying degrees of success and failure. As one might imagine there are barriers to peaceful coexistence between the varied kinden. Prejudices against, and preconceived notions about different kinden make for delicate negotiations. There are traitors and spies, turncoats and heroes among all the kinden.

Tchaikovsky writes battle scenes that make one feel as if they are right there in the middle of the action, too. I’m not a particularly violence-prone person, but the author made me believe that I might be able to go toe to toe with a wasp, as long as I stayed beyond the range of his vicious sting.

I came to care about so many of these characters: Cheerwell Maker, a young beetle-kinden, and her uncle Stenwold,; Thalric, a conflicted wasp-kinden; and Taki, an amazing fly-kinden. My only complaint is that there aren’t more books in the series.

As I read “Shadows of the Apt” I couldn’t help but wonder which kinden I’d be. A purposeful beetle? Maybe. A sensual spider? Hardly. A graceful butterfly? Hahaha! A war-like wasp? Could be. Chances are, I’d be a slug; although, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You’ll have to read the series to discover why.

Peace, and happy reading, people.

Long Night

He stood inside the circle of light, hat in hand, a glorious fedora. 

She stumbled in the dark, caught her heel on a paving stone, stifled a giggle.

Crickets and frogs and hoot owls witnessed their coming together.

He dropped his hat, she kicked off her shoes, their lips met unerringly.

“This feels like a movie,” she whispered.

“You feel like a tree,” he sighed.

“CUT!” Called the director. “For the hundredth time, its dream. ‘You feel like a dream!’ Sheesh, it’s gonna be a long night.”

Land of Giants

I was tiny. A speck on a ladybug’s spot. While all about the giants clomped and stomped

Trampling every blade of tender grass in their wide flung paths. Hey oh! They sing as they

Go, trundling hither and yon. And this speck hunkered down behind an oak leaf blown to

Ground by a fierce passing storm. Any port in a tempest, any leaf in a wind. Hide ye sweet

Speckled bairns. And live to breathe yet another sweet day outside of the giants’ bold gaze.

artwork by Fabian Rensch

FrogSong

I never knew I was a fan of frogs’ singing
until I moved into a home by a
lake.
Rough voices color the night while
mingling
with lights dancing off of the water’s
face.

   
In unison the choir stops to admire the
stars,
to imagine the sound of joined voices in
space
A whisper bounces back from galaxy’s
edge
ribbit! ribbit! echoing through the Milky Way.

A Real Prince of a Guy

When I was a little girl

Many years ago

I dreamed of finding

A handsome prince 

And making him my beau.

But I grew into a plain lass

Tall with gangly limbs

And no prince deigned to

Take my hand and

Realize my whims.

So I nurtured imagination

Focused on my brain

Some considered 

Me odd as I grew,

Ever against the grain.

Then Studly came

Into my life and 

Took on the role of prince

And even through our

Ups and downs

I’ve been so happy since. 

 

I’m already missing my Studly who’s holding Doright Manor together in my absence.

%d bloggers like this: