With the recent snow days, I had grand plans of getting lots of things accomplished: writing, cleaning house, organizing files. But I made one critical mistake -
I picked up Cynthia Leitich Smith's new release, Blessed.
Pretty much everything else had to wait until I'd finished reading the whole thing.
The book is the third set in an alternative universe that includes vampires, angels, werewolves and other shape shifters - including werearmadillos and wereoppossums. The first, Tantalize, focused on Quincie, a teen coping with running an Austin restaurant while being wooed by a charismatic vampire. But what she really wants is to find romance with longtime friend (and half werewolf) Kieren.
In the second installment, Eternal, Guardian Angel Zachary tries to save the lovely Miranda from losing her soul to the Vampire King - in Chicago. In Blessed, the casts of the two books are united against an even greater evil.
At this point, you are probably thinking, "just what we need, another teen vampire novel." But these books are about a lot more than just fangs and fondling.
Smith doesn't pull any punches in tackling gender power issues, religion and the idea of differences uniting or dividing us. She also openly acknowledges Bram Stoker, the original creator of vampires, as well as literary and pop culture references appealing to a diverse group of readers.
At its core, Blessed is the story of second chances and going on when all seems lost. I found the story inspiring and I bet you will too.
Here is the trailer for Blessed.