Sunday Post – 27th August 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.

The news with my sister continues to be good. By some miracle she has managed to avoid any eye injury as last week the eye clinic gave her the thumbs up. Now we just have to get the allclear with the heart clinic… The bruising continues to fade and she continues to recover. Thank you everyone who wished her well and/or prayed for her – you clearly made a difference!

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I was busy grannying as the children returned from their trip to Disneyland Paris, full of enthusiasm and excitement about their wonderful holiday. As ever, they were a joy – I just wish the weather had been less uncertain. Typically, from the moment they returned home, it brightened up! Thursday I spent lazing around after having painfully pulled a muscle in my shoulder – I was also quite tired so gave myself permission to read and sleep throughout the morning, though I did get up later to do some writing and answer emails.

On Friday, my sister and I went shopping for wool – I have to knit a Dr Who scarf for Tim’s film and rehearsals will be resuming at the start of September, which is closing at the speed of an oncoming train. I went online and found a really good knitting pattern produced by the BBC for Tom Baker’s first Dr Who scarf. However, as well as wool, we got a bit sidetracked and I found myself returning home from an ad hoc shopping spree with a couple of storage jars, two sets of lovely towels and a very nice jacket. We only went out for some balls of wool and a row counter! We’ve agreed that we need to ration our shopping habit as we are clearly a bad influence on each other. Though it was huge fun.

This week I have read:
The Lost Steersman – Book 3 of The Steerswoman series by Rosemary Kirstein
How do you find someone? How, if you have never seen him, never heard him described, did not know where he lived? How, if he wished not to be found? And how, most especially, if he were the most powerful wizard in the world? The steerswoman Rowan has discovered that the fall of the Guidestar and the massacre of Outskirter tribes were caused by one man: the secret master-wizard, Slado. But until now, no steerswoman had known of his existence, nor knew that the wizards answered to any single authority. Now, Rowan must find him. She comes to the seaside town of Alemeth, where centuries of records might help her find clues for her search. Then, an unexpected encounter with a lost friend: Janus, a steersman who had resigned his membership in the Steerswomen, giving no explanation. Now Rowan has hope for help in her search — but Janus has changed. The bright intellect is shrouded in a dark, shattered spirit…
This wonderful series just keeps on delivering. I thought I was on one kind of adventure – and turned around twice to find it was something completely different. I love it when that happens! Utterly engrossing, this third book in the series is a joy.

 

Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones
When Andrew Hope’s magician grandfather dies, he leaves his house and field-of-care to his grandson who spent much of his childhood at the house. Into this mix comes young Aidan Cain, who turns up from the orphanage asking for safety. Who he is and why he’s there is unclear, but a strong connection between the two becomes apparent.
I spotted this one in the library – and it was a no-brainer that I’d scoop it off the shelves. Once more this wonderful writer has woven a fantasy tale that drew me in with her magical mix of mayhem, humour, darkness and magic… I didn’t want to put this YA offering down until I reached the last page.

 

Death Shall Come – Book 4 of the Ishmael Jones series by Simon R. Green
Death shall come on swift wings to whoever desecrates this tomb … Ishmael Jones and his partner Penny have been summoned to remote Cardavan House, home of the world’s largest private collection of Ancient Egyptian artefacts, for the unveiling of George Cardavan’s latest acquisition: a bone fide Egyptian mummy. When a bloodstained body is discovered beside the empty sarcophagus, Ishmael is dismissive of the theory that the mummy’s curse is to blame. Instead he sets out to uncover the human killer responsible. But how can Ishmael explain the strange, shuffling footsteps that creep along the corridors? Who is playing games with them … and why?
This is the class country house murder – right down to the Egyptian curse surrounding some unique ancient artefacts. However, this isn’t set back in the 1920s when these affairs were all the rage – Green has set this one here and now with a paranormal twist and lots of gritty action. Great fun!

 

Spirit Witch – Book 3 of The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic by Helen Harper
Barely recovered from her brush with necromancy, Ivy is flung once more into a world of intrigue, adventure and potential death and disaster. It’s not her fault – it just so turns out that she’s now the only person in the entire world who can communicate with the dead. And they’re a chatty bunch with a list of demands. When the ghosts offer information about a witch-hating mass murderer in return for Ivy’s help, she has no choice but to get involved. She might be getting herself into more trouble than she realises though – and that’s even before she’s dragged to Sunday dinner so she can meet Winter’s family…
Another wonderful offering that helped to continue this year’s marvellous string of thoroughly enjoyable reads – there has never been a better time to be a book-lover! This is the latest and supposedly last in this hilarious urban fantasy series – but I’m hoping that Helen Harper will listen to the pleas from her fans to consider at least one more helping of Ivy, Rafe and Brutus, the talking cat. Pretty please with sprinkles on the top!

 

The Heir to the North – Book 1 of Malessar’s Curse series by Steven Poore
“Caenthell will stay buried, and the North will not rise again until I freely offer my sword to a true descendant of the High Kings—or until one takes it from my dying hands!”
With this curse, the Warlock Malessar destroyed Caenthell. The bloodline of the High Kings disappeared and the kingdom faded into dark legend until even stories of the deed lost their power. But now there is an Heir to the North. Cassia hopes to make her reputation as a storyteller by witnessing a hardened soldier and a heroic princeling defeat Malessar and his foul curse. But neither of her companions are exactly as they appear, and the truth lies deep within stories that have been buried for centuries. As Cassia learns secrets both soldier and warlock have kept hidden since the fall of Caenthell, she discovers she can no longer merely bear witness. Cassia must become part of the story; she must choose a side and join the battle.
The North will rise again.
I got hold of this book by fellow Grimbold author, Steven Poore, with the firm intention of reading it – and somehow it got trapped in a holding pattern on my TBR pile. Until I decided I wanted some epic fantasy in my life… I’m so glad I did! I really loved this one.

My posts last week:

Sunday Post – 20th August

Review of Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice – Book 4 of The Austen Project by Curtis Sittenfeld

Teaser Tuesday featuring Death Shall Come – Book 4 of the Ishmael Jones series by Simon R. Green

Review of One Fell Sweep – Book 3 of The Innkeeper Chronicles by Ilona Andrews

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Real-Town Murders – Book 1 of The Real-Town Murders series by Adam Roberts

Friday Face-off – If I be waspish, best beware my sting… featuring Lord of the Flies by William Golding

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Spirit Witch – Book 3 of The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic by Helen Harper

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

Lola’s Ramblings: Birthday Party Book Tag http://lolasreviews.com/lolas-ramblings-birthday-party-book-tag/ This was great fun and particularly appropriate as it happened to turn up on Lola’s blog near her birthday… Happy Birthday, Lola😊

Brief Memories of Brian Aldiss http://www.julietemckenna.com/?p=2741 Fantasy author Juliet E. McKenna has written a lovely tribute to Brian Aldiss, who I had the honour to meet at my very first Fantasycon back in 2011. I grew up reading his amazing worlds and to have the chance to talk to him was magical. While it was only a passing conversation, I can echo Juliet’s comments on just what a generous man he was. He will be missed…

Good venues for microfiction http://earthianhivemind.net/2017/08/24/good-venues-microfiction/ Once again, Steph has provided a really useful article for those of us who write short shorts…

Finding and Losing Time https://thenaptimeauthor.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/finding-and-loosing-time/ I loved this one. It sums up the dilemma of parenthood – and I happen to think Anne has made the right choice…

#WhenDreamsComeTrue with author Alice Castle @ DDsDiary https://mychestnutreadingtree.wordpress.com/2017/08/20/whendreamscometrue-with-author-alice-castle-ddsdiary/ I really enjoy reading how various authors come to write and publish their books, so wanted to share my love for this series.

Thank you very much for taking the time and trouble to visit, like and comment on my site and may you have a great week.

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36 responses »

  1. You’re knitting a DW scarf! I knit one for my boyfriend like… something around a week ago. He loved it. I loved knitting it too!
    I’m glad your sister is also feeling well.
    And it seems you got some nice books too. Have a great week 🙂

    • Thank you – yes, I’m enjoying knitting it. I just wish I’d started it sooner as I’m having to blast through it as fast as I can. Thank you for your good wishes regarding my sister and it was a really great reading week. I hope you, too, have a great week:)

    • I absolutely adore having the grandchildren around – but sometimes juggling the writing, lesson preparation and looking after them catches up with me… So bunking off from the computer for nearly two whole days was very naughty, but nice:)

  2. Glad your sister is doing well, that is fantastic news. And glad you had a good week. Hope your shoulder is feeling better…

    I’ll have to go look at those thoughts on Brian Aldiss. I just read one of his books recently and enjoyed it, and I should read more.

    • Thank you for your good wishes, Greg. My shoulder made a rapid recovery – I think I was just very, very tired. It’s been quite a hard summer, what with one thing and another… Yes – Juliet is a lovely writer and her insights about Brian Aldiss make great reading. I was also lucky enough to meet and talk to him at Fantasycon 2011.

  3. It’s wonderful to hear your sister continues to recover so well, Sarah. And it sounds like you had a busy yet fun week. Good for you on relaxing too:) I see I missed a couple of posts this week. I had my days all screwed up. LOL

    • Oh, it’s not meant to daunt anyone! I tend to read very fast – which isn’t necessarily a good thing. It’s a bad habit I picked up at college when we had a crazily long reading list and I learnt to skimread *shudders*. It took YEARS to slow down and sufficiently enjoy books I read for pleasure. It’s why I enjoy writing reviews so much – it forces me to read mindfully if I then have to write about the book afterwards! But yes – I have been reading some really enjoyable books. Death Shall Come is an arc which won’t be released until 1st Sept, however the others are all available:)

      • It’s not a negative ‘daunting’ if that makes sense 🙂 I’ve just been avoiding fiction since I tend to get nothing else done when I dive into a new book- and I want to get reading again! Instead of daunt, I’ll say encourage! 🙂

      • That’s okay:)). I tend to be the same if the book is really exceptional. I’ve started writing, so my reading rate should start tailing off quite dramatically…

  4. Glad to hear about your sister’s progress. I hope she will get all clear soon. You seem to have had a pretty good week with your family. I hope this week is the same. Have a wonderful week and happy reading, my friend. 😁❤️

  5. PTL your sister’s outcome was so good. God is sure good, isn’t He? We are dealing with Hurricane Harvey’s flooding. New furniture is up on sawhorses as a precaution, and so far, no water in house. I am cooking like a madwoman at 5:00 a.m. in case we lose power again. We are supported wth prayers from friends and family in Virginia and North Carolina and I have peace in my heart. Pray for Texas. Things are bad.

    • Oh no, Rae:( I’m so very sorry. I shall certainly pray for you. I’ve seen the news footage and it didn’t occur to me that you were caught up in all the misery… Hugsxxx

    • Thank you – yes, it’s wonderful to see the speed at which she is recovering. I still can’t quite believe she has managed to escape with such little longterm damage… I hope you, too, have a great reading week:)

  6. That’s so, so good about your sister. I hope she continues to recover well and receive good news as she continues to check in with her doctors. And have fun with knitting the Doctor Who scarf!

    Things are going fairly well here. The NYC trip was fantastic in every way: the conference, the concert, the company… The only downside was I came down with a cold the day I came home. :/ But it’s almost gone now.

    • Ah… yes – I call it the Conference Cold! It happens to me, too. I’m glad you had such a fabulous time and look forward to reading about it in due course – when you’ve had a chance to catch your breath!

      • It’s weird, though. I’ve always been exhausted for a couple days after a conference, but this was the first time I’d gotten sick. I didn’t even catch a cold during my trip to Iceland! But it’s almost gone at this point, and I’m feeling a lot better. 🙂

  7. Wow – I’m so glad to hear that your sister is healing so well. I raced through the following Sunday Posts to get updates since I missed so many! How lucky she was to avoid any major damage to her eyes and that must have been so scary for you both.

    Glad you have been getting lots of reading done and it looks like mostly good books! Hope you’re having a good week this week!

  8. I’m so glad to hear your sister is improving! That’s fantastic news. I’m actually surprised you didn’t go yarn shopping and end up with ten times the amount of yarn you went for… which… ahem… is what usually happens to me. Lol. I’m knitting another shawl right now, as is typical for me. I have a feeling it will be a cold winter here, so it won’t go to waste!

    • That sounds really useful. I have a hand-knitted shawl I use to drape around my shoulders in the winter when I’m working at the computer – it’s lovely and warm!

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