Sunday Post – 12th March 2017

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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 as if half-term never happened… I’m right back in the swing with my Creative Writing courses and also busy getting Tim ready for his exams in June. I have had a fortnight without Fitstep and Pilates and now very much looking forward to getting back to it on Monday as I am now really missing my exercise. On Thursday, Mhairi came over and we caught up – it seemed a very long time since we last talked over our writing problems and worked together. In the evening we attended the monthly West Sussex Writers’ meeting where Vanessa Gebbie talked about how to go about selecting short stories for collections and then after the tea break, she set us a crazy and enjoyable timed writing challenge. It was another successful meeting.

I had a hectic and exciting Saturday on a venture, which I’m hoping to talk more about later in the year… Other than that, I’ve been busy editing and beta-reading. The days are now getting steadily longer and Spring flowers are springing up everywhere. Have a lovely week!

This week I have read:

The Collapsing Empire – Book 1 of The Collapsing Empire series by John Scalzi
Our universe is ruled by physics and faster than light travel is not possible — until the discovery of The Flow, an extra-dimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transport us to other worlds, around other stars. Humanity flows away from Earth, into space, and in time forgets our home world and creates a new empire, the Interdependency, whose ethos requires that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It’s a hedge against interstellar war — and a system of control for the rulers of the empire.
I loved the idea that dark matter includes The Flow which allows humanity to escape from Earth and colonise space. The Interdependency is a nifty idea that has managed to – more or less – keep the empire from fracturing and allows an elite to make a very, very good living, with the rest more or less managing. In other words, capitalism is alive and kicking – and then there is a gamechanger and a new ruler all at the same time…

 

Amunet by Robert Harkess
Amunet has a unique talent; she can talk to the dead. She had been told all her life that this is the key to rescuing her mother, who has been taken by mysterious and powerful forces. To unlock her mother’s prison, all she has to do is find the Locksmith. Posing as a Medium, she scours Europe for the one person who can help her. Harry and his father are investigators, employed by the Church to hunt down Mediums and hand them over to the mercies of the Inquisition. Harry has always believed he, and the Church, were doing the right thing. Until now.
This one immediately pulled me in – the writing style is punchy and readable and I really enjoyed Amunet. She is at once entitled and vulnerable, clever and very unworldly with an upbringing you wouldn’t wish on a dog, along with a burning drive to track down her mother, thanks to the person in her head guiding her. Harry has a parallel life in many ways, given he also lost his mother early in his life, but whereas Amunet’s guide and mentor is a voice in her head, Harry’s role model is his own father.

 

The Drafter – Book 1 of The Peri Reed Chronicles by Kim Harrison
Detroit 2030: Double-crossed by the person she loved and betrayed by the covert government organization that trained her to use her body as a weapon, Peri Reed is a renegade on the run. Don’t forgive and never forget has always been Peri’s creed. But her day job makes it difficult: she is a drafter, possessed of a rare, invaluable skill for altering time, yet destined to forget both the history she changed and the history she rewrote.
I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Peri has an extraordinarily rare talent – she can shift through Time and alter outcomes. This ability surfaced when as a child she suffered a fatal accident on a swing – then got up and walked away from it. This ability is called drafting and each precious drafter has to have an anchor, who works alongside them and helps them keep sane by filling in the memory blanks and expunging conflicting timelines that otherwise cause catastrophic mental breakdown. But what if your anchor is wiping a lot more than occasional drafting? And who do you become if your memory keeps getting wiped? Oh yes… this twisty near-future thriller is great fun.

 

My posts last week:

Sunday Post – 5th March 2017

Review of Clean Sweep – Book 1 of The Innkeeper Chronicles by Ilona Andrews

Teaser Tuesday featuring Amunet by Robert Harkess

Review of Twelve Kings – Book 1 of The Song of the Shattered Sands by Bradley Beaulieu

Review of After Atlas – Book 2 of the Planetfall series by Emma Newman

Friday Face-off – I never let schooling interfere with my schooling… featuring Ender’s Game – Book 1 of Ender’s Saga by Scott Orson Card

Discovery Challenge 2017 and Tackling my TBR – February Roundup

 

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

Reptile Dysfunction https://anaslair.wordpress.com/2017/03/11/reptile-dysfunction/ Something to put a smile on your face…

10 of the Best Poems about Depression https://interestingliterature.com/2017/03/10/10-of-the-best-poems-about-depression/ Once more this awesome site comes up trumps with this collection of poems. One of the worst things about this illness is the terrible sense of isolation it engenders – and hopefully, knowing it has not only afflicted people through the ages, but caused them to write about it, might just lessen that disabling loneliness a tad…

Inspirational Ray Bradbury Quotes http://www.logicalquotes.com/ray-bradbury-quotes/ This site features quotes from a range of great writers and I particularly loved this collection from one of my literary heroes.

Healing the Silent Hurts https://apricotsandadmiration.com/2017/03/02/healing-the-silent-hurts/ This is a lovely, salutary article about how children’s lives can be affected by what goes on in the classroom other than learning to read and write…

50 Word Stories: Unwished For https://richardankers.com/2017/03/09/50-word-stories-unwished-for/ Yet another one of Richard’s quirky unsettling stories sunk its hooks into me…

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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31 responses »

      • I’m (finally) starting to get some relief. I’m crediting that to visits to the clinic for treatment, the TENS machine (TY), and prayers from friends. I am also being such a good girl it’s sickening as far as staying off my feet and not going anywhere I don’t absolutely have to goes. TY for asking. You are a true friend.

      • Well, I’m relieved you’re being sickeningly good about staying off your feet! Even a whirlwind of energy like you needs downtime to mend:). And delighted to hear that the pain is starting to abate and that the TENS machine is helping. It isn’t an overnight fix – it wasn’t for me. But using it regularly whenever that old too-familiar nerve pain kicked in would knock it down to bearable levels and then reduced it some more. The last time I needed to use it at all was just after Christmas when we had done a lot of travelling in the car, sleeping in strange beds and sitting on other people’s chairs… I will go on thinking and praying for youx

  1. The Scalzi book is up next for me! I’m in a race to catch up as I have committed to two review dates with publishers next week. Wish me luck! It’s been very warm here as well, we’re having bursts of flowers too. A nice change from all the rain:-)

    • Best of luck with the Scalzi book – I just hope your arc copy is better than mine which was riddled with formatting errors that made reading it a head-thumping chore:(. A pity as I enjoyed the story! Have a great week, Tammy:).

  2. It’s good to get back into our routines. Sounds like you’ve had a great week, and hopefully the next one will be even better.

    Your books look interesting…and are probably not for me, but I hope you are loving them.

    Thanks for sharing…and for visiting my blog. Enjoy the spring flowers!

    • Oh I shall, Laurel. I have two vases FULL of daffodils – they are my favourite cut flower by a long country mile as I am so HUNGRY for their golden cheerfulness at this stage of the year…

  3. It sounds like you’ve had a busy week! It must have been nice to catch up with your friend and to talk about writing. Hope you can make it to your exercise class this week. I really miss doing Pilates – I’ve been looking into finding a program that would work for me but so far it’s not proving easy. Hope you read some good books this week 🙂

    • Thank you, Hayley. Yes – it was great catching up with Mhairi, who is a really great writing buddy I met at Fantasycon in 2011. Yes – I do have some solidly good books lined up to enjoy – and I hope you have a great week:)

  4. Oops…Peri Reed Chronicles are written by Kim Harrison, not Armstrong..although she rocks too. I hope your Saturday gig works out, and look forward to hearing more. I am waiting for it to warm up, so I can walk again. Have a wonderful week!

    • Thank you Kimber! And that will teach me to post at 2 am in the morning! I’ll fix it AT ONCE. What a stupid mistake to make… I hope you, too, have a great week:).

  5. You’ve been very busy and making progress, Sarah. I’ve been busy with some editing and beta reading too. Just wrapped up the last book and enjoying a break from it. I’m liking all of your books this week. The Drafter is a good one. I have the original cover for it. Every time I see a book I own with a new cover, I want to garb it too. Imagine having copies of every book with each new cover. Where would I put them all. LOL

    My Sunday Post

    • I know what you mean about the covers! Especially if I think the other cover is PRETTIER than the one I’ve got… And we ran out of space for books a while ago, sadly!

  6. Sounds like a nifty week! Good kind of busy, right?
    Glad you are going back to your exercise tomorrow. Makes all the difference, huh?
    I read Lock In by John Scalzi and enjoyed it. Sounds like The Collapsing Empire is a cool beginning to a sci-fi series.
    Thank you for the post mention and I hope next week is even better!

    • Thank you, Ana. I’m really glad you liked Lock In – I also thoroughly enjoyed it. The Collapsing Empire is a really strong start to this space opera epic. I hope you, too, have a great week.

    • Thank you, Kristen:). Yes, it’s been a good week – and I know you, also had a productive week with your writing. Let’s hope the coming week is also a good one for both of us!

  7. I’m seeing green pop up here now too in the last week- and it’s nice. Glad that things are going well. The Collapsing Empire sounds good- anytime an SF book gets around the FTL problem in a thoughtful way I like to at least take a look. And I’ve never read Scalzi.

    The Drafter definitely sounds like it would be up my alley.

    • This is a very solid start to a new epic space opera, which I thoroughly enjoyed:). I’ll be reviewing it in just over a week when it is due to be released. The Drafter is also a cracking read – very twisty and enjoyable and raises some interesting questions about who we are if we don’t have our memories to call upon.

  8. Glad to hear you had a good week last week and are starting to see signs of spring where you live. We’re supposed to get pummeled by another snowstorm tomorrow – about 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 centimeters) of white stuff. :S

    • Oh good grief! That’s horrible… I very much hope it doesn’t hang around too long. I don’t need to ask if your temperatures have significantly risen recently – clearly not! But have your days started lengthening yet?

      • They’ve actually downgraded the forecast since I commented, down to 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters) and changing to rain at some point. But it’s also supposed to get windy this afternoon. Fingers crossed that we won’t lose our power…

        But yes, the days have started getting longer. And the sunshine is getting warmer, too. So that’s a good sign. 🙂

      • It was nasty, but not as bad as they had originally predicted. I think we got about 6 inches (15 centimeters) before it turned to sleet and then rain. It was windy for a couple hours, too, and the power / lights flickered a couple times. But it never got worse than that, thank goodness.

      • I hope it warms up and turns sunny for you very soon. We had a lovely bright day here, but are paying the price tonight with thick fog. I’ve just driven back from Worthing in it and it wasn’t nice:(.

  9. Sounds like you had a good week. I like seeing the spring flowers in bloom outside. It’s nice to see those signs of spring approaching. And it seems you had a good reading week as well! Amunet sounds like a good one! I hope this week was a good one too!

    • Thank you, Lola – yes, it’s been a cracking week. And Amunet is a great read, particularly if you like your plots twisting and action-packed. I hope that you, too, have had a great week:).

  10. It seems like you’ve been quite busy… and still managed to read quite a few books. Hats off!
    I hope that your “busy time” will continue to be of the enjoyable sort, not the stressful one.

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