Sunday Post – 12th June

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Sunday Post

This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.

My editing marathon is grinding inexorably onward. I’m now line editing Breathing Space before letting it loose on my long-suffering beta-readers. Debbie has completed reading through Dying for Space for me and has handed it onto Sarah.

This week hasn’t been quite so frenetic. It was lovely to resume my Creative Writing classes on Monday and Tuesday and catch up with everyone after the half-term break. On Wednesday evening our writing group met up and discussed each others’ work amid tea and laughter. During Thursday evening I attended the monthly West Sussex Writers’ meeting to hear Jane Lythell, who has written the successful psychological thrillers The Lie of You and After the Storm. She talked to eve-of-war-sample-2-639x1024the group about her journey to being published and also discussed characterisation and how she crafted her protagonists. It is always fascinating to hear how different authors approach their work and Jane was a fluent, articulate speaker with plenty to say – including some intriguing details about her upcoming new release, Woman of the House, which is more of a contemporary novel about a woman coping with a demanding job and increasing commitments at home.

 

I’ve also now received a copy of the cover for the anthology Eve of War, in which my short story ‘Miranda’s Tempest’ will appear. Isn’t it gorgeous? The release date is 20th June.

 

As regards reading – I’m coming to the end of a hefty tome that almost stopped me in my tracks…

The Passage – Book 1 of The Passage trilogy by Justin Cronin
Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old and her mother thinks she’s the most important person in thepassagethe whole world.
She is.
Anthony Carter doesn’t think he could ever be in a worse place than Death Row.
He’s wrong.
FBI agent Brad Wolgast thinks something beyond imagination is coming.
It is.
THE PASSAGE.
And there you have the blurb of this apocalyptic, science fiction vampire book that runs to 766 pages. The first section, where it all goes to hell in a handcart, was something of a slog – not because there was anything wrong with the book, indeed, the writing is remarkable and engrossing. However, I hadn’t appreciated that it starts in our world before it all slides away, which I always find a bit of a problem. Fortunately, just as I was on the verge of giving up, the section ended and we were plunged into the future, post-apocalyptic world. I will be reviewing it sometime in the next week.

My posts last week:
Sunday Post – 5th June

* NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Cursed – Book 2 of The Soulseer Chronicles by Sue Tingey

Teaser Tuesday – The Passage – Book 1 of The Passage trilogy by Justin Cronin

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger

* NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Annihiliation Score – Book 6 of The Laundry Files by Charles Stross

Friday Faceoff – All That is Gold Does Not Glitter featuring Empire of Black and Gold – Book 1 of The Shadow of the Apt series by Adrian Tchaikovsky

2016 Discovery Challenge – May Roundup

Other interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week, in no particular order:

Juliet E. McKenna’s interesting article on the similarities between aikido and writing when breaking new ground – http://www.julietemckenna.com/?p=2172

Which Zodiac Sign Fits Your Protagonist Best? This is a really nifty getting-to-know your main character exercise by Sara Letourneau. https://saraletourneauwriter.com/2016/06/09/zodiac-signs-and-character-traits/

This is a lovely slice of photo journaling through India. The Road Goes Ever On… – https://indigodrift.wordpress.com/2016/06/08/the-road-goes-ever-on/

How realistic do you want injuries to be in books? Kristen Burns writes about this in her excellent article. http://blog.kristenburns.com/realism-in-books-injuries/

Lovely examples of space art, brought to us by Steph P. Bianchini – http://earthianhivemind.net/2016/06/08/space-art-nasa/

100_4927The weather has finally woken up to the fact it is nearly mid-June and we’ve had a lovely week of warm days and nights, so that suddenly everything in the garden is going mad. It’s frankly something of a jungle, but amongst the weeds and mayhem, my echium spires are taller than ever, this year, thanks to the mild winter. I’ve enclosed the pic to show the scale – those canes I’m holding are 6 ft long.

These foamy white bracts of flowers are on a spiky-leaved plant 100_4943I’ve owned for about a decade – and this is only the second time it’s flowered. The garden is full of the lily-like smell and it is crawling with bees – dozens of them. If I leave the back door open, the scent suffuses the kitchen, leaving me light-headed and happy. Summer… at last!
Once more, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my blog and I hope you can find the time and, maybe, a sunny nook where you can get lost in a book. Happy reading, everyone!

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20 responses »

  1. Whoa, those echium spires are some cool plants! And the flowery plant sounds interesting, though I tend to get headaches and whatnot from floral smells, so maybe not a plant for me lol. That’s wonderful that you got to hear the talk you wanted to hear 🙂 It is always interesting learning how other people do things, how different it is from your methods. Good luck with your continued editing, and have a great week! And thanks for sharing my post!

    • They are amazing, aren’t they? I bought two plants back in 2005 on a trip to Cornwall and they have been in the garden ever since. Though if we have a hard winter, they die off before they get a chance to flower.
      I’m – finally – getting to see daylight at the end of the editing tunnel:)

  2. Even if your week was less frenetic, it sounds quite busy! Your writing class sounds like it was really good!
    I’m like Kristen, strong flowery smells, and especially lilies make me sneeze a lot, so I have to be carful with what plants and trees we have in the garden.
    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading.

  3. The Passage sounds like one for me and I’m due for another lengthy read. Just wrapping up a 600+ one. LOL I have a small tree, not sure what it is, that is blossoming these aromatic purple blossoms. My back yard smells so good! Beautiful yard you have!

    • Thank you for your kind words – though, the garden is very neglected this year. I simply haven’t had the time to devote to it – but I do love aromatic plants. Doesn’t it make you feel wonderful just to step outside and smell the scent? Have a great week:)

  4. The plants are amazing! I’m glad you are enjoying your sunshine…ours is a bit too much, but we’re used to it. And we have a few cooler days now and then (80-90).

    Thanks for visiting my blog, enjoy your books, and have a great week.

    • Thank you Laurel – yes… I love the warmer weather, unlike my husband – but I think even I would struggle in those temperatures you are enduring. I hope that you, too, have a great week.

  5. The Passage sounds like a read I’d enjoy. I’ll have to add it to my ever-growing TBR. The flowers are so pretty and such a treat when they bloom 😀 Hope you have a wonderful week!
    My Sunday Post

    • I know what you mean about the expanding TBR – it is difficult when you’re surrounded by all these great books, though… You have a great week as well, Lillian and thank you for swinging by.

  6. I have had a copy of The Passage since it first came out, but have yet to read it. I do want to read it, but am not in a hurry to do so, even though I think I will really like it. I look forward to reading your review.

    I’m not familiar with Jane Lythell, but I imagine her talk was very interesting. I’m bot much of a writer, but I do love hearing about an author’s process.

    Such a lovely garden! Mine’s so bare. I am not much for gardening, I’m afraid, but I enjoy the results. 🙂

    I hope you have a wonderful week!

    • Thank you for your kind words:) Sadly the garden is rather weedy and neglected these days – it has to look after itself! But those echiums are exceptional, which is why I wanted to share them. Many thanks and I hope you, too, have a great week.

  7. The Passage trilogy is one of my favorites…enjoy. Look how tall they are. Recent rain sent things into overdrive, but the intense heat has stifled things this week. Happy gardening and reading!

    • I’m afraid gardening is off the agenda – they just grew that way! It’s to do with the mild winter and wet spring that has caused everything to be so lush. Yes… The Passage is certainly an intense experience. Hope it all gets a bit cooler in your next of the woods sometime soon!

  8. It is always nice to hear writers talk about their journey and how they craft stories. And thanks for sharing the outdoor stuff- I love the way everything grows although it can be hard to keep up with everything. And The Passage sounds very interesting.

  9. The smell of your backyard sounds absolutely heavenly! It’s rewarding when you start to see the fruits of all your hard gardening work and the weather cooperates, isn’t it?

    I got back from another Cape visit a few hours ago. My parents’ front yard is coming along, with all the flowers they’ve planted over the past several weeks. But what fascinates me most is how many different bird species we’ve seen at their birdbath and bird feeder. Purple finches, orioles, blue jays, cardinals, robins, sparrows, doves, grackles – and that’s just for starters!

    Sounds like you had another good, productive week on all fronts. And thanks for sharing my zodiac signs post! 🙂

    • We’ve lived here for over 20 years and there were 3 plants in the garden when we got here. We’ve added everything else… Right now it’s something of a wilderness – I simply don’t have time for the weeding, etc – but the basic structure is still there and the echiums self seed themselves. I’ve gardened organically ever since we moved here and you’re right – we have lots of birds visit here. Sadly, I can’t risk a birdbath or feeder – the neighbourhood cats tend to hang out in our garden. But we have lots of established large shrubs and insects, so we get a lot of birds visiting. We also get smoothsnakes, frogs and hedgehogs in the the garden and foxes are regular visitors. But my favourite visitor are bees – I love them:). And both these plants are nectar bars. As for your zodiac signs post – it’s a great article that plenty of writers could find really helpful…

  10. My first thought was: what a beautiful cover! Congratuliations again on the anthology :). And also, on a beautiful garden. I’m not much of a gardener myself (not that I ever had a chance to try really, having spent most of my life in apartments and rented places), but I appreciate beautiful greens. 🙂

    • Thank you! I have to say – I LOVE the cover. As for the garden… this year I have done NOTHING in there – my husband is keeping the weeds at bay under strict instruction, but a lot of the shrubs and bushes are well established and the echiums self seed themselves. However during normal years, it is a great source of joy:).

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