Sunday Post – 26th February 2017

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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.

It’s been my turn to have a week off, as it’s half term. That said, I’ve been hard at it – last week I suddenly had a breakthrough with how to move forward with Miranda’s Tempest so this week I’ve cracked on with the rewrite and finally completed it Friday afternoon. The relief is staggering – I’d begun to think this was the one that would defeat me… I still have to go through it a couple more times to tidy up the prose and catch those stray pronouns – I’ve changed the viewpoint from first person to third – but hopefully I’ll have it in a readable state before Easter.

Other than that – I’ve read. A lot. It’s amazing just how much more mental energy I have when I’m not teaching or trudging through the inevitable pile of admin that comes with it. Both the Fitstep and Pilates sessions went well this week and I am still thrilled at the progress I’m making fitness-wise. Next week, back into the hurly-burly but I’m still on a high at having completed my rewrite – yay!

This week I have read:

The Mercy of the Tide by Keith Rosson
Riptide, Oregon, 1983. A sleepy coastal town, where crime usually consists of underage drinking down atthemercyofthetide a Wolf Point bonfire. But then strange things start happening—a human skeleton is unearthed in a local park and mutilated animals begin appearing, seemingly sacrificed, on the town’s beaches. The Mercy of the Tide follows four people drawn irrevocably together by a recent tragedy as they do their best to reclaim their lives—leading them all to a discovery that will change them and their town forever.

This book is definitely on the literary end of the speculative fiction spectrum, with a nod to alternative history and magic realism. It is a study of loss and grief. A car crash months before the story starts has killed two women and not only does their death massively impact the main protagonists in the story – it also appears to set off a chain of events that have recurred on this site before.

 

Demon Hunting in Dixie – Book 1 of the Demon Hunting in Dixie series by Lexi George
demonhuntingindixieAddy Corwin is a florist with an attitude. A bad attitude, or so her mama says, ’cause she’s not looking for a man. Mama’s wrong. Addy has looked. There’s just not much to choose from in Hannah, her small Alabama hometown. Until Brand Dalvahni shows up, a supernaturally sexy, breathtakingly well-built hunk of a warrior from – well, not from around here, that’s for sure. Mama thinks he might be European or maybe even a Yankee. Brand says he’s from another dimension. Addy couldn’t care less where he’s from. He’s gorgeous. Serious muscles. Disturbing green eyes. Brand really gets her going. Too bad he’s a whack job. Says he’s come to rescue her from a demon. Puh-lease. But right after Brand shows up, strange things start to happen. Dogs talk and reanimated corpses stalk the quiet streets of Hannah.

This is not my normal fare – I freely admit it. But this was just plain fun. While the insta-love was more about insta-lust, I was prepared to go with the flow as Addy is just so much fun. I enjoyed the fact that she was still concerned about what the neighbours thought and was very mindful of her mother’s opinion even after all the life-changing adventures.

 

Clean Sweep – Book 1 of The Innkeeper Chronicles by Ilona Andrews
On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in cleansweepa small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is…different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, “normal” is a bit of a stretch for Dina. And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night… Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved.

Dina is a thoroughly engaging protagonist. Impulsive, brave and with an over-developed sense of responsibility, she immediately plunges into this adventure when she feels the caretaker of this territory is not doing enough. I really enjoyed her character, particularly as she also has a vulnerability that pulled me further onto her side.

 

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
allthebirdsintheskyPatricia Delfine talks to trees and birds in the hope they will answer back, as they did one amazing day when she was little… Laurence Armstead invents a two-second time machine in his bedroom. Unsurprisingly, they are both targets for the bullies at school who make their lives hell. So under duress, they become unlikely friends. A friendship that is tested and often found wanting as their lives both spin off in amazing directions…

What I won’t be doing is telling you that this is a fantasy or science fiction book, because it’s a little bit of both. After all, one of the major protagonists is a nerdy scientist and the other is a witch. And what Anders is doing throughout this highly readable, roller-coaster adventure is exploring the space between the magical, natural world and the high-tech, scientific community.

 

Very Important Corpses – Book 3 of the Ishmael Jones series by Simon R. Green
The Organisation has despatched Ishmael and his partner Penny to Coronach House on the shores of veryimportantcorpsesLoch Ness where the secretive but highly influential Baphamet Group are holding their annual meeting. The Organisation believes an imposter has infiltrated the Group and they have instructed Ishmael to root him or her out. It s not Ishmael s only mission. The first agent sent by the Organisation has been found dead in her room, murdered in a horribly gruesome manner. Ishmael must also discover who killed his fellow agent, Jennifer Rifkin and why. Dismissive of rumours that the legendary Coronach Creature is behind Jennifer s death, Ishmael sets out to expose the human killer in their midst. But he must act fast before any more Very Important People are killed.

I’ve done my usual trick of dropping into the middle of a series, but while I was aware there was something of a backstory that I didn’t know, most of the action and focus was on the current situation so it wasn’t an issue. Ishamael is certainly an intriguing figure. Endowed with superhuman powers, he is used to dealing with the nasties coming from other dimensions.

 

The Demonic Arctic Expedition – Book 4 of the Skycastle series by Andy Mulberry
thedemonicarcticexpeditionFast-paced, action-packed and funny, perfect for reluctant readers. The Demonic Arctic Expedition is the fourth in a series of MIDDLE GRADE books for fantasy-adventure loving readers. This book contains a scowling demon, an ancient weapon, an adorable Hound of Hell, a sort of angel, a dragon, an ordinary boy and an extraordinary castle. And a not so cuddly polar bear…

Yes… the plot is every bit as surreal and whacky as it sounds. There is also an enchanted sword and a dragon, who spends most of the time coating the dungeon in dragon snot as he has a cold, which he has given to the guardian angel… Mulberry has a trick of pulling in all sorts of classic characters and themes from fantasy and subverting them in her Skycastle adventures. Great fun!

My posts last week:

Sunday Post – 19th February 2017

NEW RELEASE SPECIAL – The Mercy of the Tide by Keith Rosson

Teaser Tuesday featuring Clean Sweep – Book 1 of The Innkeeper Chronicles by Ilona Andrews

Discovery Challenge 2017 and Tackling my TBR

Review of The Vanishing Throne – Book 2 of The Falconer series by Elizabeth May

Friday Face-off – Little Green Men… featuring The Tar-Aiym Krang – Book 1 of the Pip and Flinx series by Alan Dean Foster

NEW RELEASE SPECIAL – Review of The Demonic Arctic Expedition – Book 4 of the Skycastle series by Andy Mulberry

 

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

Point of View Blows Up in My Face (or the end of the “Normal’s Menace” experiment)
https://jeanleesworld.com/2017/02/23/point-of-view-blows-up-in-my-face-or-the-end-of-the-normals-menace-experiment/ Jean’s blog is always worth a visit – she is a passionate, talented and searingly honest writer, but this experiment in writing viewpoint is a MUST for anyone who struggles with it.

10 of the Best Poems about Dreams and Dreaming https://interestingliterature.com/2017/02/24/10-of-the-best-poems-about-dreams-and-dreaming/ I love this site – and once more it delivers a series of excellent poems about this mysterious thing we all do…

Space Features of the Week http://earthianhivemind.net/2017/02/23/space-features-week-23-february/ Once more Steph delivers an excellent roundup about what’s going on in space. And plenty is…

Photolicioux – untitled https://photolicioux.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/untitled-98/ It may be untitled but I’ll guarantee it’s burn out your visual cortex if you focus on it for too long.

Using Speech-To-Text Software as an Editing Tool http://writershelpingwriters.net/2017/02/using-text-to-speech-software-as-an-editing-tool/ The marvellous Sara Letourneau has set out very clearly in this excellent article how to save your voice and your sanity by getting your computer to read back your work to you during the editing phase.

Thank you for visiting and taking the time and trouble to comment – and may you have a wonderful reading and blogging week.

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34 responses »

  1. Congrats on finishing the rewrites! That kind of project is definitely time-consuming, and a delicious kind of release follows completion.

    Enjoy your books…I am curious about The Mercy of the Tides. None of these are books I would normally read…but that one drew me in because of the era and the setting.

    Thanks for sharing…and for visiting my blog. Enjoy your break before you tackle your next project.

    • It is an intriguing book that slightly defies being put in a box. The writing is good and I have found myself thinking about it a fair bit since I finished it, which is always the sign of a strong read…

  2. Yeah! Your mojo defeated the empass in wriitng. LOL I can just imagine your relief, Sarah. Some good books this week too. Got to go grab Demon Hunting In Dixie. I’m a southern gal and must have it!

    My Sunday Post

    • Thank you, Laura – yes… this one was major. This project matters enormously to me – it has haunted me for years and I really want to get it to the point where it’s the best I can make it. I’m delighted that you are getting Demon Hunting in Dixie – I’m looking forward to hearing what you make of it:). Have a great week and many thanks for visiting.

  3. Well done on your breakthrough! It sounds awesome! And also the fitstep and Pilates!

    Glad you had a wonderful reading week. I’ve been in such a slump lately that my reading has been next to none. 😦 I really hope I’m out of it soon!

    Hope you have another awesome week even if you’re back to ‘normal’!

    • Thank you, Di – it certainly feels huge to have managed to get to the end of this project:). So sorry to hear about your reading slump – it’s such a grim feeling… I hope this is the week where it all turns around.

  4. It sounds like you’ve made good use of your week off. It must have been a huge relief to make a breakthrough with your writing. Six books is a lot to read in one week and they all sound interesting – I love the sound of All the Birds in the Sky so will look out for that one.

  5. The Mercy of the Tide has me intrigued… I’m afraid I’m easy pickings for atmospheric books with coastal towns and mysterious happenings. 🙂 If that’s what this is about. And glad to hear you had a breakthrough w/ the writing! Great news!!

    • Thank you, Greg – it’s a great feeling that I’ve managed to prevail with the writing, though it needs a LOT of tidying up:). There is certainly mysterious happenings and atmosphere in The Mercy of the Tide- it was one of those where what exactly about came together right at the end. Have a great week, Greg.

    • Thank you, Kristen – it’s been such a buzz to get on top of this project. Yes – I’m reviewing All the Birds in the Sky next on my blog as I loved it. I hope you, too, have a great week.

  6. Congratulations BIG TIME. What a feeling that must be! I know it was frustrating to hit a speed bump, but now you are up and over, and practically published. Yay! Congrats again. You make all the books sound interesting. I already have Mercy on my TBR list and after reading your review of Birds the other day, will add it too. Thanks for a good start to MY week. I love it when friends get ahead or accomplish something.

    • Thank you for your kind encouragement, Rae:). There’s still a LOT more work to do on Miranda’s Tempest in the way of tidying it up and ensure it’s completely readable – but at least I’ve completed the rewrite! And then there’s submitting it – in the past I’ve been really BAD at this and very half hearted about regrouping and persevering after an initial rejection. However, I have pulled myself together and during the last couple of years become far more professional and proactive regarding this part of the process. Hopefully, it will pay off!

  7. I was just about to comment when I realized you linked to my WHW post. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing it AND for turning me on to TTS software for editing in the first place.

    Congrats on finishing your edits on Miranda’s Tempest! It must be a huge relief, to have that draft out of the way now.

    For me, last week was… meh. (Most of February was like that, to be honest.) I came down with a head cold, so I was congested, tired, and miserable until the weekend. But I did read two amazing books recently: Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, and Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale.

    • I’m sorry you’re suffering – I’ve also gone down with a cold in the last few days. I’m glad you were comforted by American Gods and The Bear and the Nightingale – which I wish I’d requested on Netgalley, now. As for the TTS – my pleasure:) You wrote an excellent article on it which just made plain sense to share. And yes… I’m so relieved to have got Miranda’s Tempest squared away.

      • :/ Sorry to hear you’ve had a cold, too. (It’s unfortunately that time of year, isn’t it?) And yes, do read The Bear & The Nightingale if/when you have a chance. I haven’t read many brand new books for 2017 yet, but I already have a feeling that one will be high on my list come December.

      • Thank you for your kind concern – fortunately, I seem to be throwing it off reasonably quickly, thank goodness! As for The Bear and the Nightingale – that’s one heck on an endorsement and I know our tastes are sufficiently similar that I will be adding this one to my TBR pile – thank you!

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