May list...

The month of big books and big news

Hello! May started out slow, and then all of a sudden it’s almost June. I think that’s the nature of May in our house though. We have a birthday, Mother’s Day, anniversary, and now that there’s kiddos in school, there’s end of the year school activities (not too much for us, since our kids aren’t making any major transitions)

This month I have a couple of newsy-type updates: 

I’m participating in a local author fair in Northwest Houston on Saturday, May 29! I know that affects very few of you reading this, but I’m excited about the opportunity to introduce You Again to more readers, and it felt like something fun to share.

In honor of summer break and the author fair, the You Again e-book will be on sale for $1.99 the whole month of June! I know I’m biased, but I think it would make a great easy-breezy summer read if you haven’t read it yet. And if you have (thank you!) it’s the perfect time to recommend it to a friend.

Last, but not least, I finished the first draft of Novel Number 2 this week! I’m not exactly sure what this book’s path to publication looks like, but this is the first major step. 

Now, on to the lists…

What I’m reading…

Behind the Lens by Jeannee Sacken was a fast-paced, engaging story about a photojournalist who returns to Afghanistan year after a devastating experience with the Taliban. Annie is a compelling character dealing with guilt over her career choice and its impact on her daughter, and PTSD from her experience as a sole survivor of a Taliban attack. Her return to Afghanistan is at the request of one of her oldest friends who has started a school for girls in a relatively safe corner of the country. Of course, not everything goes quite according to plan. The book is intense, but there are threads of hope and humanity. The author’s love for Afghanistan and the Afghan people also came through very clearly through the story, and it added a depth that I really enjoyed.

Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith

This is the fifth of the Cormoran Strike detective novels by Robert Galbrait (aka, J.K. Rowling), and it has all the things I love about the Strike novels: a layered mystery, immersive setting, and lots of character development. The only caveat: if you’re not familiar with this series, these novels tend toward the graphic and gruesome, so if that is something you avoid, they won’t be for you. (I did a bit of skimming, myself).

Rhythm of War, by Brandon Sanderson

This fourth book in Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series started out a little slow for me, but that may have been more of a reflection of what I had been reading. That said, it’s a fantastic installment in this epic series, and the ending was big, bold, and left me quite anxious about finding out what happens next! There’s not much to say really when talking about the fourth book in a series; but if you like to read sweeping, intricate epic fantasy with fantastic world building, and you’ve never picked up the Stormlight Archive, it’s a great series. Also worth noting: I mostly listened to this one on audio, partly because the narrators Michael Kramer and Kate Reading do an amazing job.

What I’m listening to…

Faithful: Go and Speak is a new album that I have been absolutely loving. A group of female musicians and writers collaborated on the album, including some of my favorites (Ellie Holcomb, Sandra McCracken, Sally Lloyd-Jones, and many others). It’s a really hopeful, lovely album and I think it will be on repeat for a while.

Something I’m grateful for…

The first thing I’m grateful for is getting to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary this month! Not only is it really special to just recognize what feels a bit like a milestone of being with my favorite person, we were also able to celebrate with a delightful weekend away (thank you grandparents for staying with the kids!).

I’m also grateful that this is the last week of school. It’s weird to say that for a couple of reasons: first off, summer is tough because I don’t necessarily thrive in the heat and humidity. Second, I really do like the structure and rhythms of the school year. However, I am looking forward to being able to move at a more relaxed pace, to revisiting our local farm stand for fresh summer fruits and vegetables, and I’m grateful on behalf of my kiddos who are definitely ready for a school break. So I’m going to remind myself to hold on to the gratitude for the season change as long as possible.

What’s on your list these days?

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