Posted in Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Staff Picks, Uncategorized

A Series of Love Affairs

Dear reader, I have a confession. Until several months ago I have never read a romance book. But then, I bought this magical thing called a Kindle and ever since then I’ve been reading books I never would have before…like romance! This is my first Kindle so I don’t know if this phenomenon has happened to other people, or is it just me? Something about reading books on that little screen has opened up a portal into new authors and genres.

The romance series I’m going to be talking about today popped up in the Kindle store. It includes a strong female heroine raised by mercenaries, a handsome and chivalrous male lead, dragons, magic, swords, and sarcasm! What more could you want, right? Immediately hooked, I downloaded it and have now devoured three books in the 12 book series. It is definitely one of those series where the romance bits give you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. ‘Twas perfect reading for our extended winter!

What series is this? Well, I’m glad you asked! It is The Nine Kingdoms series by Lynn Kurland. It follows Morgan as she rises from an orphan trained as a lethal wielder of a sword to a woman who just might contain the only power needed to save the nine kingdoms! Along the way she discovers startling revelations about her family, the man she slowly falls in love with, and herself.

Star of the Morning by Lynn Kurland

Darkness covers the north, since the black mage has begun his assault on the kingdom of Neroche. Legend has it that only the two magical swords held by Neroche’s king can defeat the mage. Now the fate of the Nine Kingdoms rests in the hands of a woman destined to wield one of those blades…

In this land of dragons and mages, warrior maids and magical swords, nothing is as it seems. And Morgan will find that the magic in her blood brings her troubles she cannot face with a sword-and a love more powerful than she has ever imagined.

If you love slow-burn romances, then this book – and series – is for you! Are you ready to fall in love with the characters of the nine kingdoms?

Continue reading “A Series of Love Affairs”
Posted in Adult, History, Nonfiction

Winter Is Still Here, So Why Not Make The Best Of It?

I have lived in Wisconsin my entire life yet by the end of March I always find myself in a sour mood that winter is still here. But, I tell myself, at least it’s staying lighter out longer now and, more importantly, the frequency of sunny days is increasing!

However, if you’re tired of winter but still want to experience it, read on to learn about a book that will fulfill your wishes! From the comfort of your warm and cozy chair you can travel to the hostile Weddell Sea where the Endurance22 Expedition team experienced temperatures as low as -40°C. In danger several times of becoming icebound themselves they managed to accomplish what no one else has, that is finding Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance, under the ice in 10,000 feet of water.

Shackleton set out for Antarctica during the Heroic Age of Exploration. This was an era in exploration that began at the end of the 19th century and ended after the First World War. During this time there were 17 major Antarctic explorations of scientific and geographical significance. The “heroic” label, bestowed later on the era, spoke to the limited nature of the resources available at the time and also to the adversities which had to be overcome. Not all who set out on these expeditions survived. They set out to a land barely recorded on maps, experienced the horrors of scurvy, not knowing what it was or how to treat it, and were holed up in icebound ships while outside was three months of constant, complete darkness.

The Ship Beneath the Ice by Mensun Bound

On November 21, 1914, after sailing more than ten thousand miles from Norway to the Antarctic Ocean, the Endurance finally succumbed to the surrounding ice. Ernest Shackleton and his crew had navigated the 144-foot, three-masted wooden vessel to Antarctica to become the first to cross the barren continent, but early season pack ice trapped them in place offshore. They watched in silence as the ship’s stern rose twenty feet in the air and disappeared into the frigid sea, then spent six harrowing months marooned on the ice in its wake. Seal meat was their only sustenance as Shackleton’s expedition to push the limits of human strength took a new form: one of survival against the odds.

Continue reading “Winter Is Still Here, So Why Not Make The Best Of It?”