Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Shadow of Colossus

I braved the horrible roads this morning to finish up my Christmas shopping in Shawano. I needed to do my shopping for Jesse, plus pick up a few last minute gifts. I wanted to get Jesse some jeans, because his are getting pretty ragged, but he wears an odd length. I went through every pair of jeans in all of Wal-Mart trying to find just one pair for him, some sections I went through two and three times, and I did not find a single pair of pants in his size! Talk about frustrating! I spent half an hour looking for something that apparently doesn't exist! LOL The rest of the trip was much easier.

We're hoping to go to church tonight, but Mia spiked a fever of 104 last night, and her stomach has been bothering her all day, so I'm not sure that we will make it. Poor baby! It's an awful thing to be sick for Christmas! I bought her a nutcracker ornament to comfort her and as a toy. Last year, I bought her a nutcracker ornament because she was obsessed with the ballet. Ever since we put up the tree this year, she's been bugging me to play with it, but I want it to be a keepsake. The one I bought today I fully expect to get broken, but she was so happy when I brought it home, she said that "tears of joy" filled her eyes. Hopefully everyone tomorrow will be equally pleased with their gifts.

Shadow of Colossus by T.L. Higley is the first book in her Seven Wonders series. In the week before the earthquake that shook Rhodes and brought the famed Colossus to its knees, Tessa, the city's most famous courtesan, is in a fight for her life and her freedom. She has served as the mistress of Glaucus for years, becoming known for both her beauty and her wit upon the upper echelons of the city's government, but all of that is threatened by the machinations of Spiro, another government official who not only wants to rule Rhodes, but to own Tessa as well. Into this tumultuous situation comes Nikos, a mysterious man who is posing as a house slave and quickly works his way into Glaucus' home and Tessa's trust. When Glaucus is accidentally killed, Tessa and Nikos work together to keep his death a secret long enough for Tessa to escape the island and her servitude. Higley packs in a ton of historical detail, fascinating political schemes, powerful faith, and passion into this novel. Tessa has lived most of her life being hurt by others, so she has tried to lock up her heart to protect it from pain. But she learns from Nikos and Simeon, a Jewish servant, that in order to experience joy in life, you have to take pain along with it. It's a compelling message in a terrific book.

And Higley is such a wonderful person, as well as an author, if you go to her website and sign up for her email newsletter, she'll let you download a complete novel called Marduk's Tablet. Very cool!

Today's picture is of two of the ornaments I bought the kids for Christmas this year. I found these in a catalog and thought they were perfect! Molly has one too, but I couldn't find hers on the tree. The reaction as the older two opened the boxes was hilarious. Doogie shouted, "Alright!" and Molly just nodded as though it was just confirming something she always knew. Then when they compared ornaments, they both yelled at me. Mia didn't quite get the joke, but she thought her little elf was very cute.