After a chain of events, life is getting back to normal. They weren’t bad events, but they did disrupt my free time most vexingly.

First, I had my post-vacation illness, which I have already noted.

Then, I had jury duty on Monday, during which time I was selected for a trial. Sitting all day on those hard chairs and benches really wiped me out, especially since I was still sick. Tuesday and Wednesday passed in a blur.

Then, I had to sit on the jury. And so I did on Thursday. I was all ready to get in there and start deliberations, when I learned that I was the alternate juror. So I was excused.

On Friday, I recovered.

Which brings us to today.

I am now ready for life to return to normal. While all this was going on, I’ve received some books! In fact, I’ve received some of these as early as January. Here they are, with my impressions:

With Great Power . . . edited by Lou Anders, looks great fun. I don’t often receive short story collections, but this is one of two I have for this post.

This is the other, Diana Comet and other Improbable Stories by Sandra McDonald. She lives nearby, so she makes sure I get copies of all her books.

Tor sent me Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal. Publicist information has been redacted. I was very excited to receive this book so far ahead of publication date, and I look forward to reading another Jane Austen fantasy.

Small Beer Press sent me these two very slender volumes, Meeks by Julia Holmes and Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord. Both are somewhat experimental for me.

I read the opening chapters of Shadow Blade by Seressia Glass, and it’s pretty good. But I decided it was better off in the hands of a true urban fantasy fan, so off to Deb it goes.

Same goes for Embers by Laura Bickle. Both of these are by Juno/Pocket, and both show a lot of originality, but they are better off in Deborah’s hands than mine.

Black Blade Blues by J. A. Pitts is the last one going to Deb. Tor sent this one, and I redacted the publicist info.

Shadows in the Cave by Caleb Fox (aka Win Blevins) is in an envelope, ready to go to Raven. If she doesn’t like it, that’s alright because the publisher (Tor) actually sent me two copies, so I have a backup. I enjoyed Zadayi Red, which is the first novel in this series of connected stand-alones, but this is a case where the second book came out too soon for me.

Raven is also getting Empire by David Dunwoody, which is a sort of zombie science fiction novel. It looked quirky and I would have read it if Raven had not wanted to. I know! Me, reading a zombie novel! This author has been published many times.

The Golden Spiral by Lisa Mangum is the sequel to The Hourglass Door, which I reviewed last year at Fantasy Debut. I think it will be a nice change of pace for me.

I am also still working on Canticle by Ken Scholes, and I have finished reading The Magicians and Mrs. Quent, which has already been reviewed here, but I’ll post my thoughts, too. Right now, I’m actively reading The King’s Gambit by John Maddox Roberts, a mystery set in Rome, and I hope to finish that this week.

Any of these look good to you?