Sunday Post – 4th March, 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.

It’s certainly been a different week… I loathe the snow – particularly driving in it, so was very relieved when Northbrook announced on Tuesday morning that it would be cancelling the afternoon and evening classes. In the event, the weather cleared up and there was bright sunshine, but throughout the week we had flurries and then blizzards, though fortunately it never snowed long enough to create any real depth or the drifts that afflicted other parts of the country. What was miserable was the bitterly cold easterly which howled through the cracks in our double-glazed windows and revealed just what a shoddy job the installers did when fitting them. Shame on you Anglian Windows! After I sellotaped over the cracks, I couldn’t believe the difference it made to the temperature in the house.

I was very lucky to be able to stay indoors for the duration of the sub-zero temperatures and when we woke up yesterday to the significant rise in temperature and everything once more snow and ice-free, I did a happy dance. My heart goes out to those who were stranded, or homeless and those families who are running out of supplies.

The only damage we sustained was that the tap in the outbuilding sheared off after the water pipe was frozen, creating a stream of water shooting across shed and soaking me as I attempted to put on the washing machine for the first time in three days.

Writing-wise, it has been a week where I’ve slowed down to take stock and ensure I’m on the right track, but I’m hoping now to be able to get the final third of Miranda’s Tempest rewritten this month.

This week I have read:

Blunt Force Magic – Book 1 of the Monsters and Men trilogy by Lawrence Davis
Janzen Robinson is a man lost between two worlds. Five years removed from a life as an apprentice to a group of do-gooding heroes who championed the fight against supernatural evils, the once-promising student is now a package courier going through the daily grind, passing time at a hole-in-the-wall bar and living in a tiny, run-down apartment on the south side of Cleveland, Ohio.

Then fate (or a case of bad timing) brings him face to face with a door that’s got his old life written all over it. From the ancient recesses of unyielding darkness known as the Abyss, a creature has been summoned: a Stalker, a predator whose real name is forbidden to be spoken aloud. It’s a bastardization of the natural order, a formidable blend of dark magic and primal tenacity. Its single-minded mission? Ending the life of a fiery, emerging young witch.

I loved this! Attracted by that amazing cover, I had thought I was getting an epic fantasy, swords and sorcery adventure – but this is firmly in the territory of urban fantasy, which plenty of gritty action and an intriguing, sympathetic protagonist. I shall be reviewing this one in due course.


The Bitter Twins – Book 2 of The Winnowing Flame trilogy by Jen Williams
The Ninth Rain has fallen, the Jure’lia have returned, and with Ebora a shadow of its former self, the old enemy are closer to conquering Sarn than ever.

Tormalin the Oathless and the Fell-Witch Noon have their hands full dealing with the first war-beasts to be born in Ebora for nearly three hundred years. But these are not the great mythological warriors of old; hatched too early and with no link to their past lives, the war-beasts have no memory of the many battles they have fought and won, and no concept of how they can possibly do it again. The key to uniting them, according to the scholar Vintage, may lie in a part of Sarn no one really believes exists, but finding it will mean a dangerous journey at a time of war…

Meanwhile, Hestillion is trapped on board the corpse moon, forced into a strange and uneasy alliance with the Jure’lia queen. Something terrifying is growing up there, in the heart of the Behemoth, and the people of Sarn will have no defence against these new monsters.

I have included the entire blurb for this one – something I rarely do – as this time, it was a shame I didn’t read it before I plunged into the novel. It was a while since I’d read The Ninth Rain and this book picks up immediately from the end of the last one, without any kind of pause or roundup to give readers a chance to rebond with the main characters and recall exactly what was going on. And as you can see – a lot is going on… So it took me a while to get back into the fray. However, once I became immersed in the story once more, I thoroughly enjoyed the action. Aliens and dragons in the same adventure – what’s not to love?

My posts last week:

Sunday Post – 25th February 2018

Review of Split Feather – Book 1 of The Daughter of the Midnight Sun series by Deborah A. Wolf

Teaser Tuesday featuring Blunt Force Magic – Book 1 of the Monsters and Men trilogy by Lawrence Davis

Can’t-Wait Wednesday featuring Meet Me in the Strange by Leander Watts

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Into the Fire – Book 2 of the Vatta’s Peace series by Elizabeth Moon

Friday Face-off – The king is dead, long live the king… featuring The King Must Die – Book 1 of the Theseus series by Mary Renault

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Hyperspace Trap by Christopher G. Nuttall


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

Explorer Chick Adventure Co., The Perfect Reason To Get Outside and Play For those of you in the process of compiling your bucket list…

Melfka’s Birthday Week: The Sweet Tooth Witch As Joanna gleefully lists her favourite guilty pleasures, other than chocolates, of course – it got me wondering what the rest of you lovely folks like eating from the sweetie aisle in the supermarket…

Little Walter: 50 Years Dead but he will never be gone! The King of the Blues Harmonica Do yourselves a favour and click on some of these recordings – you will never have heard harmonica playing quite like it before – unless you’re already a fan of this extraordinary musician.

Wrting Microfiction: The Sometimes Stellar Storyteller Six Word Story Challenge Sometimes, short can be very sweet…

#Snowmaggedon And if you don’t happen to live this side of the pond and have been wondering what the fuss is about regarding the weather – put this hashtag into the Twitter searchbox and take a look at what we’ve all been obsessing about this week…

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

46 responses »

  1. I’m glad to hear the weather seems to have gotten back to normal there. I don’t like trying to drive in snow and ice either so I would have stayed indoors too. I’m looking forward to your full review of Blunt Force Magic!

    • Yes… I’m hoping to get to it this week, although I am a tad behind on my reviews:). I’m glad I’m not the only one whose instinct is to hibernate indoors when it snows!

    • It’s a really unusual twist on an epic fantasy tale, where an unusual encounter turns it into something quite different. It’s really clever and well told.

      I hope you have a lovely week, Laurel:)

  2. I would kill for some snow in Los Angeles! We had a freak snow about 6 years ago and it was so cool! But I’m sure it can be a pain, I’ve never lived in it so it’s hard to imagine.❄❄

    • It looks amazing for the first few hours, but (and I’m aware this sounds really obvious) it’s COLD and walking in it soon get to be something of a nightmare as when it gets packed down it soon turns icy and an ugly mucky colour – and then it’s just a flipping nuisance! As well as VERY dangerous to drive in and properly messes up transport systems and the kitchen floor…

  3. I hate winter/snow/ice. I am riding out the storm that took out our power at a friends. So surreal looking at all the downed trees and power lines cut in half. They say we won’t have power to our area till Wednesday!! Have a good Sunday!

    Mary #SundayRoundup #8

    • Oh my goodness – I’m so sorry – let’s profoundly hope that guestimate about when they will hook up your power again turns out to be unduly pessimistic! So I’m wishing a good, POWERFUL week for you!

  4. We have had freezing temperatures here, but luckily no snow. I have been a bit worried about ice though when driving to work in the mornings. I am not a fan of the cold. Hopefully your weather will warm up soon. Blunt Force Magic looks like a lot of fun! I am glad to hear you enjoyed it. I hope you have a great week, Sarah!

    • Thank you Wendy:). Yes, I’m hoping that’s the last of the bitterly cold weather. At least I had Blunt Force Magic for a chunk of the week to cheer me up:). I hope your week is also a good one!

  5. That’s too bad about the windows! Yeah, the weather has been nasty where we live too – lots of snow, and also -22C. But where we live, we’re usually more prepared for that, cause this is a relatively normal winter for us (the last two years it has been warm, and this year it’s finally more like the normal kind of weather). Not that I like it at all xD unfortunately, only little kids get to skip school at -20C, and high school can skip at -25C. No universities and workplaces ever cancel at any temperature xD it’s really a good thing I mostly work from home 😀

    • Oh well, most schools closed… businesses and offices shut, shops were emptied of staff and goods… trains, buses and planes were cancelled… We really are only set up for drizzle in this country.

  6. Like Deb said (We live near each other) we have had enough cold weather. I believe Spring has sprung as of yesterday. It was rainy off and on, and very humid, but it got up to 79 degrees and my plants are blooming. My neighbor’s redbud is very impressive and cheers me every time I walk out to get the paper or the mail.

    • I’m very glad to hear there are corners of the world out there where everything in the garden isn’t looking cold and shrivelled – I think I’ve lost alll my echiums, which were set to make an amazing display this year – they really don’t like sub-zero temperatures:(

      • How sad. All my amaryllis froze, but I cut back all the dead parts, mulched and let the stormy weather water and weeded (some) and they are poking their heads up again. There is hope. 🙂

  7. Growing up I lived in the house my great-grandparents built (and my parents still do). It has the original windows and it gets extremely cold. My bunk bed used to be in a corner right next to a window, and I could feel the cold wind blowing in or seeping in. We finally covered it with heavy duty plastic, and then I could hear it flapping in the wind! I’m sorry your installers did such a shoddy job. I would definitely like to stay inside and cuddled up in that type of weather. We’ve just had rain all week. Two days of sunshine and semi-spring temps and now we’re back to gray and cold.

    • Yes – we’re right down in on the south coast, but a lot of the country is still experiencing this weather.

      You have my profound sympathy regarding the window situation – and yes, I’m really fed up regarding the job they did – they are supposed to be one of the better firms and charge accordingly!

  8. Quite the weather you’ve had this week! Glad the worst seems to be over though, thank goodness. Windows do make a huge difference, no doubt.

    the Bitter Twins sounds interesting. And snowmageddon lol- I love that phrase. 🙂

  9. I’m with you about the snow. I just find it annoying and inconvenient. It looks lovely of course just after the snow has fallen, and it’s pure white, then it turns into hard packed ice of grey slush – nope.
    The Bitter Twins did take a little time for me to get into – like you said above, I think a recap would have been useful but it’s all clicked now. I’m 30% in and also reading my other book which is also very good.
    Lynn 😀

  10. Sorry you’ve been under such a cold spell, Sarah. We’ve been 80s and sunny here with a wee cool down to 70 this weekend. Everything is so green and had to mow for the first time this weekend. I like the look of both books and haven’t read them so on my list they go:)

    My Sunday Post

    • It’s been dire, though I’m very aware that we have escaped very lightly in comparison to the rest of the country – which doesn’t alter the fact that I’m ALLERGIC to the cold. Delighted that your weather is at last warming and everything is greening nicely. Hopefully that will be us in a few weeks! Oh, I’m glad you are considering the books – they are both wonderful:)

  11. The snow has thawed on the roads today which is letting us get out to the shops for emergency supplies of Pringles and chocolate! I hope the temperatures go up a bit though as even indoors it still feels cold. At least we didn’t lose power so I’m glad for that. The first double glazing we got in was a shoddy job too so you’ve got my sympathy there-and that was the local council.

    • So sorry to hear that you are still in the throes of the freeze:(. Down here on the southern edge of the country it is merely dank and gloomy. The thing that annoys me is that we paid a premium rate for these wretched windows, as they are SUPPOSED to be one of the best in the business! Needless to say any guarantee ran out years ago… But until those sub-zero winds started whistling in, I had no idea what a lot of cracks there were!

  12. It’s crazy how much snow and cold weather y’all got over there! I’ve been watching the weather news for Europe and getting caught up on all the happenings. We’re big EPL football (soccer) fans here in this house and it was interesting to see the snow piled up to the sides of the fields on Saturday and Sunday. That’s something we don’t see often!

    • Yes… it’s been a bit of a shock – and now, apparently, parts of London and the south-east are short of water because of all the burst pipes now the thaw has set in *sigh*

    • Yes… we have sorted out our missing tap and so we are now okay. I’m just hoping now that the Spring can start properly – I am MISSING the sun’s warmth sooo much! Have a great week, Katherine:)

  13. I heard about your snow and cold on my local news! And as a fellow snow-hater and a New Englander who deals with winter weather like that every year, I feel your pain. We had a nasty storm (rain, thankfully) that was awfully windy and led to power outages where I live and where my parents live. My parents went without electricity for 2 days; my condo building, for 1 day – but then it went out again for a couple hours Monday morning. It actually went out while I was showering to get ready for work. :S

    Anyway, I hope it’s less snowy and getting warmer in the UK. And good luck with your work on Miranda’s Tempest this week!

    • Thank you, Sara:) Yes… last week was one I’d like not to have to endure any time soon. Fortunately, this week the weather is far more normal for the time of year. As for Miranda’s Tempest – I very much appreciate your good wishes… I’m needing every scrap of luck I can get with the wretched thing right now!

  14. We had a few days of really cold weather as well, but it’s warming up again now. I am glad you could stay inside for the most part during the cold weather and that it’s warming up where you live as well now. I hope your writing went well this week!

    • Thank you for your good wishes, Lola – yes… the weather is behaving more or less normally for the time of year, thank goodness! As for the writing… it is FINALLY beginning to fall into place…

  15. I’m with you on snow, especially driving in it. We have a four-wheel drive truck, so it’s not that horrible, but whenever it snowed back in Arizona, I was eager to have Inq drive.
    And shoveling the snow… Ugh.
    I like to look at snowy things against the blue sky and shining in the sun, but that’s pretty much it. 😉

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