Sunday Post – 3rd December 2017

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

I’m now ready for the upcoming blog tour for Dying for Space and busy working on the notes for next term’s Creative Writing course entitled, What’s the Time and is it Raining? Setting and why it Matters. I’ve also started my major rewrite of Miranda’s Tempest again as I’m beginning to turn into the witchbitch from Hell due to not writing creatively. The signs are all there – difficulty sleeping because my brain is itching… short-tempered… suddenly finding myself wanting to cry inappropriately – at a dance on Strictly for instance… So I had better start writing something more than blog articles and teaching notes before Himself decides to spend Christmas sorting out the loft.

On Friday, my granddaughter Frances turned thirteen. She has had her hair cut into a bob and donated her thick, curly, waist-length hair to the Little Princess Trust which makes wigs from donated hair for children who have lost their hair with cancer treatment. She looks beautiful, now taller than me and turning into a feisty teen full of opinions, which is brilliant. We went for a meal at The Dragon in Rustington with her parents and my sister to celebrate, then took the grandchildren home with us. Yesterday they helped us decorate the house for Christmas – we haven’t yet quite finished as all our lights seem to have disappeared, as we apparently put them a very safe place last year. Or they have been transported into another dimension by a being that needed lights, but not baubles, a tree, nativity scene and yards and yards of tinsel…
Today is the Wrap Party to celebrate the end of the filming with the cast and technical crew of Tim’s film Hoodwinked 3. Frances and I will be attending and we’re really looking forward to it.

This week I have read:

The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross – Book 2 of the Curious Affair series by Lisa Tuttle
“Witch!” cries the young man after stumbling unexpectedly into the London address of the consulting-detective partnership of Mr. Jasper Jesperson and Miss Lane. He makes the startling accusation while pointing toward Miss Lane . . . then he drops dead. Thus begins the strangest case yet to land—quite literally—on the doorstep of Jesperson and Lane.

According to the coroner, Charles Manning died of a heart attack—despite being in perfect health. Could he have been struck down by a witch’s spell? The late Mr. Manning’s address book leads Jesperson and Lane to the shrieking pits of Aylmerton, an ancient archaeological site reputed to be haunted by a vengeful ghost. There they sift through the local characters, each more suspicious than the last: Manning’s associate, Felix Ott, an English folklore enthusiast; Reverend Ringer, a fierce opponent of superstition; and the Bulstrode sisters, a trio of beauties with a reputation for witchcraft. But when an innocent child goes missing, suddenly Jesperson and Lane aren’t merely trying to solve one murder—they’re racing to prevent another.
I couldn’t put down this well-written, engrossing Victorian mystery with a twist of fantasy and will be hunting down the first book in this series in the new year.

 

Deadly Dance – Book 1 of the D.I. David Vogel series by Hilary Bonner
The discovery of the partially-clothed body of a teenage girl in the heart of Bristol’s red light district indicates a tragic yet familiar scenario. But this marks the start of a baffling murder investigation where nothing is as it first appears. Fourteen-year-old Melanie Cooke told her mother she was visiting a school friend. Who was she really going to meet? Detective Inspector David Vogel is led towards three very different principal protagonists, each of whom grows increasingly chilling. But are they what they seem? And is any one of them capable of murder?
This twisty psychological thriller was a real page-turner and the denouement was a complete surprise – I’ll be remembering this one for a while.

 

Bound – Book 8 of the Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka
Alex Verus can see the future. But he never thought he’d see this day. Manoeuvred by forces beyond his control, the probability mage has made a terrible choice: he’s agreed to work for his old master once more. Richard Drakh, the sadistic dark mage Alex escaped as an apprentice, has him in his clutches again. And this time, he won’t let go so easily.
Another cracking read about this well-written prescient mage, whose life just doesn’t get any easier…

 

Blue Shift – Book 1 of the Second Species series by Jane O’Reilly
The Earth is cold, dead and divided. The rich hide away from reality while the rest will do anything to survive. Humanity have only one hope: reaching a habitable planet. But getting there means travelling in large numbers through alien-held space, something that’s politically nearly impossible. Yet for some, fighting their way through space is just a way of life . . . Jinnifer Blue is a rich girl on the run. An expert pilot, she apprehends criminals on behalf of the government and keeps her illegal genetic modifications a closely guarded secret. But when a particularly dangerous job goes south, leaving her stranded on a prison ship with one of the most ruthless criminals in the galaxy, Jinn realises that the rich and the powerful are hiding more than she’d ever guessed. Now she must decide if she can trust her co-prisoner – because once they discover what the prison ship is hiding, she definitely can’t trust anyone else . . .
I really enjoyed this entertaining space opera. Jinn is an engaging protagonist with some hard options ahead of her – along with the rest of humanity – and I’ll be keeping an eye out for the sequel as I want to know what happens next.

My posts last week:

Sunday Post – 26th November, 2017

Review of Mother of Eden – Book 2 of the Dark Eden series by Chris Beckett

Teaser Tuesday featuring Bound – Book 8 of the Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka

Can’t-Wait Wednesday featuring Fade Out – by Patrick Tilley

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross – Book 2 of the Curious Affair series by Lisa Tuttle

Friday Face-off – The pen is mightier than the sword featuring Assassin’s Apprentice – Book 1 from The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The River Keepers by Michael F. Stewart

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

8 Years Ago Today https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/8-years-ago-today/ Bloggers occasionally write about things that are very personal – and when they are passionate and effective with words, the result can be humbling and awesome…

The Stag and the Dragon II https://inesemjphotography.com/2017/12/02/the-stag-and-the-dragon-ii/ Now we are deep into winter, the magic of a beautifully crafted photographic tour is even more appreciated.

#Bookreview: A Ragbag of Riches by James Chilton https://rathertoofondofbooks.com/2017/12/01/bookreview-a-ragbag-of-riches-by-james-chilton/ With Christmas around the corner, I’m on the lookout for books that would delight the word nerd in your life – and this looks like a real gem…

A Story of Snow https://zenandtheartoftightropewalking.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/a-story-of-snow/ Articles by this talented author are always worth reading – and this one is no exception.

Weekly Writer Wisdom: Ursula K. Le Guin’s National Book Award Acceptance Speech https://saraletourneauwriter.com/2017/11/28/weekly-writer-wisdom-ursula-le-guin/ These wonderful words from one of the most famous authors in the SFF community are worth listening to…

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. I am very impressed by your selfless granddaughter…she proves that teens can be wonderful. I think it’s great when the grandchildren help with the decorating. Mine did when they were younger, and it was fun.

    Your books look tempting. I like the look of Deadly Dance.

    Enjoy your week…and here’s to Creatively Writing! Thanks for visiting my blog.

  2. I love the sound of The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross. I am glad you enjoyed it, Sarah. It sounds like your granddaughter had a lovely birthday. That was so nice of her to donate he hair like that! I hope you are feeling better soon, Sarah. Enjoy your week!

    • Oh yes – The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross is a cracking read and I think you’d like this one, too, Wendy:). Yes, I think she had a good birthday – she certainly loves having short hair. Thank you for your good wishes, I hope I’m soon a nicer, saner version of myself, too…

  3. Good luck with the blog tour and also with finding your lights! I can’t stand it when ornaments or whatever just “disappear” lol- it’s like, really?? And that’s awesome too what your granddaughter did- it’s wonderful how selfless teens can be.

    • I know! We have taken the house apart AND rootled around in the loft in distinctly chilly temperatures trying to find the flipping lights, though I can’t shed the feeling we’ll probably stumble across them in mid-July while urgently trying to track down the fans we use when it’s too hot… As for Frankie – she’s a diamond. Have a great week, Greg:)

  4. How thoughtful of your granddaughter, Sarah. I used to have hair so long you could sit on it. I donated it when I chopped it off too:) Curious Affair looks like a series I’d enjoy. Have to check it out.

    • Oh my goodness – no… she couldn’t sit on her hair, but I’m so RELIEVED it’s now short as I used to dry it for her and it was so long and thick it used to take forever. And good for you for donating it! Curious Affair is definitely a series I think you’d appreciate. Have a great week, Laura:)

  5. I literally laughed out loud about your poor missing lights. My god, there’s another dimension absolutely FULL of stuff I have put “in a safe place.”

    • Yes… there would be a lifetime’s supply of pencils, biros and odd socks in that dimension. I’m just relieved I don’t possess a set of false teeth, yet. Otherwise they’d be a contender for turning up in the other dimension, too. Have a great week, SJ:)

    • Kudos to you for having gone to the trouble of doing this and thank you for your kind good wishes towards my granddaughter. I hope you, too, have a wonderful week.

  6. Oh dear. I can empathize with your lack of writing time right now. Then again, it IS the holiday season, and this is only temporary. I always count on December being my least productive month of the year, and having that mindset helps to a degree. Because once the holidays are over, then I know I’ll be able to reclaim some of that writing time. Remember – it’s only temporary. 😉

    Glad to hear your granddaughter enjoyed her birthday, and what a thoughtful, generous thing she did by donating her hair. And thanks for linking to the UKLG video I shared earlier in the week!

    • You’re welcome, Sara – what an inspirational and thought-provoking speech!

      Yes… I know it’s temporary – but I’ve been a while since I’ve been truly writing and while I can cope for a period of time without that release, there comes a time when I simply can’t. And now is that time *sigh*. Hopefully, getting back to Miranda’s Tempest will help. Thank you for swinging by and I hope you have a great week.

  7. Describing setting is one thing I still feel I need to learn so I should be checking out some courses too! Glad to hear you are ready for Dying for Space blog tour! haha your witchbitch from Hell comparison made me smile 🙂 though I feel bad you are feeling this way. #writerslife! deep breath! 🙂 Good luck with your writing and your blog tour! creatively. Your granddaughter Frances is a sweetheart!

    • Thank you for your kind good wishes:). And I’m hoping to make more time for writing over the weekend. I hope you have a great week and many thanks for swinging by.

  8. Wow! Busy busy! And I had to have a laugh about Christmas in the loft. 🙂 I hope you find time to get your outlet soon!

    I think it’s great that your granddaughter has such amazing strong opinions – probably not so great for her parents though. 🙂 Happy belated birthday to her!

    Can’t believe that the Christmas decorations are all going up all over the place! I love Christmas though so I’m excited. And my LO is loving Christmas even more this year since she will be four in a couple of months!

    Looks like some interesting books this week! I’m going to check them out a little more!!!

    Hope you have a lovely week

  9. That’s fantastic what your granddaughter did with her hair! I bet she does look so much more grown up with a shorter cut and how rewarding to know it’s going to such a good cause! I think a few Christmas decorations always have to hide each year and lights seem to always misbehave. What works perfectly one year is completely shot the next. Drives me crazy! Good luck finishing up with the decorating and have a great week!

  10. You must be so very proud of your granddaughter. I know that our future is in good hands.
    Delighted to learn about Dying For Space blog tour. I absolutely loved your Out Of Space book and wondered about the sequel. Sci-Fi is a soul of our generation. We grew up thinking about the Universe on a regular basis 🙂 I am still very disappointed that I will never buy a ticket for an interstellar tour – as I truly expected 🙂 Best of luck with your new book!

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