An Ordinary Day

I am grateful to have an ordinary day.

As a not so ordinary week comes to an end, I found myself looking forward to a bit of normalcy today. The kind of normalcy where I tell my children more than once to get themselves dressed. The normal morning where I nearly forget essentials like earrings or coffee. Or the normal work day morning routine where the boys squabble over who gets the first hug as I’m on my way out the door. Normal. Ordinary.

This week has been one of those roller coaster type rides I think most parents anticipate, but are never quite prepared for.

It started with registering my youngest son for kindergarten. Come September, all three of my children will now be enrolled all day in formal education. I’m sure most parents can relate to the storm of emotions this event can trigger. The bittersweet milestones as we watch our children grow up.

Now there are no more babies. No more cuddly, little boys who need their mama. No more being the center of the universe. Now their peers will become the most important influence in their lives. Have I given them all they need to move successfully into this next phase of their lives?

As if this emotional trauma wasn’t enough, I no sooner returned to work after completing this task when I got the call no parent wants to get from the school. “We have your son here in the office. There’s been a fall on the playground. Can you come right away?” Of course, I dropped everything—including my uneaten lunch—and went straight to the school.

I arrived to find emergency vehicles outside in the parking lot. The principal met me at the front door. Inside, was my middle son, his arm very obviously broken, scared and in pain, but holding it together pretty well, all things considered. We spent the next several hours in the ER waiting for x-rays, waiting for doctors, waiting for results of x-rays, and so on.

My son hadn’t had his lunch either, having fallen during recess which comes right before they eat. So, between the pain and discomfort of his injured arm, the pain of hunger and being denied food because he had to be sedated for treatment, and the pain of sheer boredom, it was a lengthy ordeal for both of us. One I hope I never have to repeat.

I’m a mother of three active little boys, and there’s always been a sense of inevitability about this sort of thing. I wondered when the first incident would come. Which of my three boys it would be.

The inevitable has happened. After three days of adjusting to life with one useable arm, of having to help my son dress himself or use the bathroom and of doing my best not to allow my other two children to feel neglected in the wake of their brother’s obvious need, I am exhausted. Both physically and emotionally.

Today, I am grateful for a normal, ordinary day. A day filled with ordinary things. Normal things such as reminding my children more than once to get dressed, forgetting essentials like earrings and the daily squabble over who gets the first hug as I’m on the way out the door for work.

Necromancer Falling, by Nat Russo: A Review

Necromancer Falling, by Nat Russo joined my 2017 Reading Challenge list as #24, a self-published book. It also falls very neatly into my “Year of the Series” theme as book two of the Mukhtaar Chronicles.

Reading this book is a direct result of well done social media advertising. I don’t remember precisely how I first encountered Nat Russo on Twitter, but I found his tweets interesting and began following him. He also has a blog that I have enjoyed reading.

I’d seen ads for his book Necromancer Awakening (book one of the Mukhtaar Chronicles) for some time, but I didn’t pick it up right away. And in all honesty, I picked it up during a free promotion when book two, Necromancer Falling, was released. I don’t regret acquiring the first book, and I enjoyed it so much that I bought the second book.

Necromancer Falling picks up where the first book left off. More or less. (There’s some spoilery type things involved here, I won’t ruin for you should you decide to read the book!) The scope of the story has broadened to include more characters that weren’t in the first book. More is revealed about what is really going on. And Russo takes the reader on a wild ride across his imagined world.

It opens with the main character, Nicolas Murray, returning to the world of Erindor, this time with his girlfriend, Kaitlyn. I was a little annoyed at first that Nicolas regressed to his former state of completely freaked out by circumstances. Freaked out to the point of refusing to listen to anything those around him are trying to say. Thankfully, this phase doesn’t last terribly long.

Russo’s style is engaging, and his ideas on magic are unique and interesting. The story moves at a great pace, drawing the reader on through the perspectives of not only Nicolas, but of Mujahid (Nicolas’s first teacher in necromancy) and Aelron, a character new to this book. A huge army is poised to invade, and it is up to Nicolas to find a solution.

The invasion may not be all that is threatening the realm, as there is a deeper malevolence at work. But will Nicolas and the others find this out in time?

I’m not sure I like the way this book ended. I knew going in, it is book two of a trilogy, and that it wasn’t the end of the story. Even still, it ended with nothing resolved, with everything still in question. Necromancer Falling includes some twists and turns I wasn’t expecting, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the story is resolved in the next book.

Nat Russo is among the first authors I’ve picked up since venturing into the realm of ebooks and indie authors. I can honestly say I’ve not been disappointed.

Windwitch, by Susan Dennard: A Review

This book is #23 from my 2017 Reading Challenge, a “book with an appealing cover.” I was first drawn to this series last year when the first book, Truthwitch, joined my reading list. It was the book’s beautiful cover that first captured my attention, and book two is just as lovely.

SDennardBooks

Jacket art on both books is by Scott Grimando.

In Windwitch, Susan Dennard continues the story she started with Truthwitch. A deeper threat emerges as the four main characters, Safiya, Iseult, Aeduan and Prince Merik each struggle to survive in a world devolving rapidly into massive war. Where we got only a glimpse of the darker forces at work in book one, more is revealed in this book.

While Windwitch follows the ongoing adventures of Safi, Iseult, and Aeduan, the focus is on Prince Merik, a Windwitch. Throughout this book Merik is presumed dead after the ship he commanded was destroyed. His crew, his family, and his entire nation believes him dead. Disfigured from the fires that destroyed his ship, Merik becomes a creature of the shadows as he tries to uncover who is responsible for the attack.

The story broadens out in this book, as it should as the series progresses. We are introduced to more characters such as Vivia, Merik’s sister. Merik is convinced that Vivia is the one behind the attack, and he sets about trying to prove this is true.

Dennard writes with a breathtaking intensity. Each chapter comes to an end in such a way as to compel the reader forward. This book is very difficult to put down.

And so, while the cover may have initially attracted me to this series, the beautiful characters and the outstanding action and suspense are what keep me coming back for more. I am now eagerly awaiting book three and the rest of the series, which according to Ms Dennard’s website, will ultimately have five books. The next book, Bloodwitch, is due out in the fall of 2018. (Can I do a little fangirling here? Aeduan is my favorite!)