We had a plan: fly down to NC on Thursday for two days of fun at my brother-in-law's lake house, all cousins and grandparents in attendance. However, thirty minutes before we left our house, we learned the airline cancelled our flight. What?
Image source: Sean MacEntee: Airport Departure Delays
All was not lost. They rescheduled us to fly out the next morning at, wait for it, 5:45 a.m. That meant a 2:30 a.m. wake-up call. Ouch. At the check-in kiosk, I noticed some of our tickets had Boston, MA on them. Confusion. We were connecting through New York's JFK. Right?
Image source: Aaron Tait, Jet Blue, Finally
Not so fast. The drive to the lake house came with no less than three construction delays. By the time we reached our destination, we got to swim maybe fifteen minutes before the sky started to grumble. Thunderstorms rolled in. Blast it.
Whatever. We were completely wiped anyway. Time to find the hotel in the driving rain. After a few u-turns and one extremely dangerous bit driving the wrong way down a divided highway, we found the right hotel and collapsed into bed.
The one bright light in this traveling nightmare? HarperTeen's YA fantasy Assassin's Heart by blogger Sarah Ahiers. Escaping into a world where killers-for-hire wore self-made masks of bone was a great antidote for stress.
Book Cover from Amazon.com
All day I was grumped out about missing half our vacation. But my travel snafu was nothing compared to Lea Saldana's plight. While I sat in my padded chair, cruising the skies with a bottle of water and a bag of chips in my lap, that girl was riding a horse across the plains with a pack of assassin's behind her, a hoard of angry, body-stealing ghosts around her, and an arrow through her bod.
As my family vegged with their respective books or screens, Lea's family was dead, lost in a horrific fire set by a rival assassin (or clipper) clan. To make matters worse, Lea suspects her love interest, who belongs to this conniving clipper family, was just using her to get a key to her family's secret home, making Lea partially responsible for her family's demise.
Image Source: Venetian Carnival Mask - Maschera di Carnevale - Venice Italy - Creative Commons by gnuckx
Authors are supposed to give their characters hell, but Ahiers is especially harsh, which makes for a great read. Ahiers' world is a blend of Venetian Renaissance featuring cloaks, masks, and Italian-like names along with the medieval flare of warring families, unique gods, and a culture of assassins that brings to mind Arya Stark and the House of Black and White.
Overall, Assassin's Heart is a potent mix of action, a unique setting, and a tough, but human character who goes on quite a journey both physically and emotionally. Fans of YA fantasy or Game of Thrones will probably dig it.
In other news, author Karen Walker at Following the Whispers is putting together a collection of essays/stories on aging and is looking for contributors over 50 to get involved. Go here for more details.
The response to my call for help in publicizing Heart Stopper and Other Stories has been incredible. I'm talking instant book tour. Last Friday, Pat Garcia at Everything Must Change, Diana Wilder at ...about myself, by myself... , and Susan Gourley at Susan Says promoted the book cover and blurb through various outlets. By Monday, I'd received my first Amazon review.
This Friday I'll be a guest blogger for M.J. Fifield at My Pet Blog, where I'll share some spooktacular baby monitor tales. Next Monday (July 18), Stephanie Faris, Children's Author, is hosting me and my article on Rodents and Your Car: A Recipe for Disaster.
And that's just the beginning. The IWSG rocks. Super-glad I acknowledged Alex and this group in my book.
Are you familiar with these talented blogger/authors? Love Game of Thrones or a YA fantasy series? Any travel nightmares to share?