Present, part one
It arrived last night, just in time for a decent escape from reality, and just what I need at the time: The Paladin by C. J. Cherry. From the description at Amazon: "Swordmaster Shoka bids farewell to court intrigue after the death of the old Emperor. Taizu, who is determined to become a swordwoman, seeks out Shoka and begs his help to exact revenge upon the evil tyrant Lord Ghita. Soon, Shoka and Taizu become the stuff of legends." This has nothing but good stuff for me: Intrigue, evil tyrants, a tired beaten not-so-heroic hero and an extremely stubborn young heroine.
It's a present from Lisbeth, Susana, Anja, Jill and Hanne-Lovise, and I have to say: it's perfect! The roses I got from you haven't wilted YET, and the lucky bamboo is sprouting roots - I'll plant it when the roses give in, and I am happily reading "The Paladin and you'll never settle for another ordinary sword-swinging female."