Sunday Post – 7th January, 2018


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

And there it is – the Christmas celebrations all over. Was New Year’s Eve only last week? The grandchildren and my sister were all sleeping over and for the first time, the children stayed up with us to see the new year in. So we were very lazy on New Year’s Day. When we all eventually surfaced, I took my sister home and the children and I slumped on the sofa together and binge-watched Harry Potter films – I’d forgotten how good they were…

On Tuesday, I took them to the local leisure centre so they could have a go at Clip and Climb – there are a series of different climbing walls which they tackled. My granddaughter has been several times before, but it was the first time for my grandson. They both thoroughly enjoyed themselves and then we went shopping, despite the shocking weather. The following day, they returned home as they were due to start school again on Thursday.

I needed to get down to some serious work, but before I did, we took down the Christmas decorations and all the lights. It’s a chore I hate, as the house always looks sad and bare without all the tinsel and bright coloured lights banishing the gloom of the long nights and short, rainy days.

I was back teaching on Friday – it was lovely to see Tim and catch up on his Christmas. We had a great lesson – and then yesterday, I was busy finalising the paperwork and getting all my files organised for teaching my Creative Writing classes at Northbook. I’m delighted to be running three courses this term with only a few vacancies left on the Tuesday evening session.

Today, Mhairi is due to come round for the day and we’ll be working alongside each other and catching up with our writing.

This week I have read:

Subversive by Paul Grzegorzek
London, 2123. A century after ebola-bombs decimated the population, PC Sean Weaver of the Combined Police Force is a drone operative tasked with enforcing the Government’s dictatorial rule. Nearly anything and everything is considered Subversive and the people huddle behind ever-watched walls, under threat of forced labour on The Farms for the smallest infraction. Trust is nearly impossible to come by and terrorists could be anywhere. Trapped within this oppressive regime, Sean has to make do with small, secretive acts of rebellion lest he end up on The Farms himself. Until, that is, the day he witnesses the mass murder of hundreds of civilians. Events quickly spiral out of control, propelling him into a bloody and brutal conflict where he finds himself faced with the ultimate choice. Accept his fate and bury the truth, or fight back and become… Subversive.

This was a foot-to-the-floor sci fi adventure, with a twisting plot that kept producing yet another surprise just when I figured I knew what was going on. I thoroughly enjoyed this dystopian thriller that, in places, reminded me of Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series. I’ll be reviewing this one in due course.


The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor
1917: When two young cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright from Cottingley, England, announce they have photographed fairies at the bottom of the garden, their parents are astonished. But when the great novelist, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, endorses the photographs’ authenticity, the girls become a sensation; their discovery offering something to believe in amid a world ravaged by war.
One hundred years later… When Olivia Kavanagh finds an old manuscript and a photograph in her late grandfather’s bookshop she becomes fascinated by the story of the two young girls who mystified the world. As Olivia is drawn into events a century ago, she becomes aware of the past and the present intertwining, blurring her understanding of what is real and what is imagined. As she begins to understand why a nation once believed in fairies, will Olivia find a way to believe in herself?

I loved this one. The novel is woven around an actual story about two young girls who took some pictures of fairies – for years they were deemed real and caused a sensation. I recall seeing the special programme that Nationwide ran in the 1970s about it. This version flips between the story told through the viewpoint of Frances, one of the girls, and Olivia, a young woman at a crucial point in her life. Gaynor is clearly a very able writer, with a strong lyrical style that worked with this delightful story.

My posts last week:

Sunday Post – 31st December 2017

Shoot for the Moon 2017 Challenge – How Did I Do?

Teaser Tuesday – 2nd January 2018 featuring Subversive by Paul Grzegorzek

Can’t-Wait-Wednesday featuring Keeper of the Watch – Book 1 of the Dimension 7 series by Kristen L. Jackson

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Liar in the Library – Book 18 of the Fethering Mysteries by Simon Brett

Friday Face-off – I must go down to the sea again… featuring Goddess of the Sea – Book 1 of the Goddess Summoning series by P.C. Cast

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Shadow Weaver – Book 1 of the Shadow Weaver series by MarcyKate Connolly


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

How to Self Publish; Or, We Should Be Writing This excellent article is a real help to those of us a bit overwhelmed with the business of trying to engage in all the marketing we indie authors have to get involved in

Have You Heard Of Libib? It’s the Online Book Cataloguing Website of my Dreams! I really like the sound of this one – and as Tammy explains how it can help those of us whose books need sorting out

2018 – what to look forward to (space-wise) An excellent round-up by Steph of a number of exciting developments that will continue to unfold during the coming year

2018 – Are You Happy? In the middle of all our resolutions and goal setting, Becca asks this important, fundamental question

A New Reading Challenge In amongst all the reading challenges coming at readers and book bloggers, this one particularly caught my eye because it is just SO simple. Read books from your shelf…

Thank you very much for taking the time and trouble to visit, like and comment on my site and wishing you all a happy, successful 2018!

34 responses »

  1. It is sad taking decorations down, but I also feel a sense of relief. A month + of Christmas fun is just too much for me, lol. And thanks for the shout out on my post! For some reason it’s one of my most popular posts ever, even though I wrote it on a whim😊

    • The house always looks so bare and drab without all the pretty sparkly stuff scattered about… So far so good regarding 2018 – so long as it doesn’t get any colder!

  2. Taking down the decorations is always kinda sad to me, but it also means I can put everything back where it belongs. Like my bookshelves. 😉 Enjoy your week ahead and happy reading.

    Thank you for stopping by earlier.

  3. I always hate the task of putting away the decorations…which is why I seem to bring out fewer decorations each year…LOL. I have a lot of color, including red, in my normal decor…which helps me feel cheery even without them.

    Binge-watching movies is a great New Year activity. Enjoy your New Year…and thanks for visiting my blog.

  4. Subversive looks quite good and I rather like that cover! Cool idea. And I hear you on the decorations coming down- it is kind of sad to see the lights and everything go away for a year. 🙂

    The Cottingley Secret looks really interesting too- I remember hearing about that a few years ago, and then I saw the movie they made about, I think it was called Fairy Tale? Not sure but it was definitely intereting!

  5. Thanks so much for the “publicity” for my Jan.-Feb. challenge involving TBR shelves/stacks. Another blogger friend told me about one I may try out at the end of February. She is reading titles on an alphabet basis. She goes first to her TBR shelf/stack. If I have nothing for a letter of the alphabet that is next, I’m going to improvise and go to the public library and read something to fill in the “hole.” Again, I’ll be concentrating on whittling down and providing more space (for more books, of course!)

  6. That’s nice your granddkids could stay up for the first time for new years eve. We re-watched the Harry Potter movies last year, they really are great. Our Christmas decorations are still up, not sure yet when I take them down, for now I am still enjoying the lights. Subversive sounds like a good read. I hope you’ll have a great week!

    • Yes – weren’t they all cute in those early films? It was fascinating watching them all grow up throughout the series of films:). Thank you for your best wishes regarding the course – I’m really looking forward to getting back into the classroom as I do miss my students during the holidays…

  7. Happy New Year! I am glad you were able to ring in the new year with family. My daughter has been wanting to watch the Harry Potter movies again, but then she gets distracted. We may have to watch one or two this coming weekend again. Clip and Climb sounds like a lot of fun!

    I really want to read The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor (and all her other books). I am so glad you enjoyed it!

    I hope you have a great week, Sarah!

    • Thank you so much, Wendy:). And a very happy and healthy 2018 to you, too!

      Yes – the Harry Potter films are quite long, I was quite surprised when watching them again – I hope you enjoy your helping of Harry goodness during the comings weekend:).

      I’m glad that Clip and Climb was such a hit with both children – it’s only a couple of miles up the road which is a bonus when the weather is so grotty.

      I highly recommend The Cottingley Secret – I’ll be posting my review of it shortly. I was delighted with the quality of the writing and the way she handled such a potentially tricky subject. Thank you for swinging by and I hope your week is turning out to be a good one, Wendy:)

  8. I can watch Harry Potter whenever – they’re the sort of films I can just have on in the background, I love them. Sounds like a lovely New Years Day.
    Happy 2018.
    Lynn 😀

  9. I know what you mean about after taking down the decorations. My house echoes. LOL Sounds like you’re off to a good start in the new year, Sarah:)

    • Yes… grim, isn’t it? I STILL haven’t got used to all the drabness! I’m wondering if anyone will notice if I sneak the lights back up again… Other than that, it’s been good so far. Hope you are also having a strong start to 2018 and that your weather is getting warmer!

  10. I agree, it’s a little sad to take down Christmas decorations. But by New Year’s, I’m also itching to get back into some semblance of normalcy, including getting all the decorations out of my living room so it’s not so crowded. So I put away my tree and decorations on New Year’s Eve (or was it New Year’s Day? I don’t remember now…). And after going to my first yoga class of the year last night (and in the past 3 weeks – she cancelled the previous ones due to the holidays), I feel more at ease and less discombobulated now. 🙂

    Glad to hear you enjoyed your New Year’s and also the time with your grandchildren. And wouldn’t you know – one of my TV stations aired a Harry Potter movie marathon on New Year’s Day, too!

    • I’m still really missing the lights:(. We’ve had a series of gloomy days and I just loved all my coloured lights, but it’s bad luck to keep the decorations up after 6th Jan and I don’t want to risk it! Ah… I’m not surprised Harry Potter features in the Christmas schedules – great family films:)

  11. We’ll be taking down most of our Christmas decorations today, actually. Christmas tree pickups all this month are on Wednesdays, so I’d like to get this out of my house and get my space back. 🙂

    • We have a tradition that all Christmas decorations have to be down by twelfth night, which is 6th January, otherwise you are risking bad luck, apprently. Though the local council clearly haven’t had the memo on that one – our Christmas decorations are still adorning the High Street, although they are not lit up. Let’s just hope Littlehampton isn’t prone to any bad luck, it has enough problems as it is!

  12. Our tree is the last standing remnant of the holidays. All of the decorations are off, but the actual tree still needs to be hauled out to the curb. It is sort of sad when the holiday comes to an end, but it sounds like you had a wonderful time. I hope that you enjoy your reading this week. Your book choices sound fantastic. 🙂

    • Thank you! We use an artificial one – I’m still rather torn, but I can’t get a real tree to survive the experience of being brought indoors and then returned to the garden. I hope you, too, had a good Christmas and I’m wishing you a wonderful, book-filled 2018:)

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