#Sunday Post – 10th June, 2018 #Brainfluffbookblog

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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.

Firstly, a profound apology for the lack of any interaction, but after struggling to stay in touch using my laptop and my sister’s rather slow broadband speeds when our own internet wasn’t working, I decided last week that Life was too short to take so long to achieve so little… The good news is that I am now connected! And feeling an idiot. The new router that arrived on Saturday of last week didn’t get connected up, as I’d inadvertently plugged in the old, lightning-struck router instead! No wonder it wasn’t working and no one could figure out why…

On Friday, after teaching Tim, Himself and I drove up to Oxford to Waterstones’ book store for the launch of not just one, but three anthologies from Grimbold Publishing. My story, ‘A Dire Emergency’, is in Holding On By Our Fingertips, an anthology of stories written just twenty-four hours before the apocalypse – mine features an angry alien who has gone native… We decided to stay over and found a lovely hotel just a mile away from the centre of the city. It was a warm, sunny evening, with a number of readings from each anthology and it was lovely to meet up with the folks from Grimbold and I was particularly delighted to get a chance to chat to Jessica Rydill, author of Children of the Strange. I also met Lucy Hounsom, who was reading an extract from Charlotte Bond’s gripping story ‘Retreat’. They both produce the podcast Breaking the Glass Slipper which particularly features women within the SFF genre. I’ll be tracking it down, as one of my targets for the latter half of the year is to make time for listening to audiobooks and podcasts.

On Saturday, we wandered around Oxford, enjoying the amazing architecture and spent a long time in Blackwells, the famous book store. I resisted buying any books, though Himself bought one…

During the rest of the week, I bought a new car on Tuesday as borrowing my sister’s made us realise just how much extra time Himself spends at work when the shift-end doesn’t coincide with a train home, so we found a little white Ka I’ve named Twinkle. On Wednesday, I went to Chichester Theatre with a lovely friend to see a performance of The Chalk Garden starring Penelope Keith. It was a wonderful production and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s been Himself’s summer holiday, so we’ve also been working in the garden, hacking at the overgrown shrubbery and reclaiming the two main beds which are now looking colourful in shades of orange and bronze. Himself has been busy shredding some of the smaller branches from our severely pruned olive tree and we’re hoping to get the whole garden back into shape before the end of the summer.

This week I have read:

The Tethered Mage – Book 1 of the Swords and Fire series by Melissa Caruso
Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that threatens the entire empire.

Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations. But fate has bound the heir and the mage.

This is one of the books I treated myself to when I had some Amazon vouchers to spend – and I’m so glad I did. I love the idea that powerful magic-users either become unpleasant tyrants or serve the interests of the state by being magically shackled and used as necessary… I’ll be reviewing this one in due course.

 

Windswept – Book 1 of the Windswept series Adam Rakunas
Labor organizer Padma Mehta is on the edge of space and the edge of burnout. All she wants is to buy out a little rum distillery and retire, but she’s supposed to recruit 500 people to the Union before she can. She’s only thirty-three short. So when a small-time con artist tells her about forty people ready to tumble down the space elevator to break free from her old bosses, she checks it out — against her better judgment. It turns out, of course, it was all lies.

This rollicking space colony adventure is packed with incident and punchy, enjoyable writing – I do enjoy Angry Robot’s books… I’ll be reviewing it in due course and hunting down the second book in the series

 

Time Was by Ian McDonald
Struggling second-hand book dealer, Emmet, is trying to survive in an increasingly difficult near future – and then comes across a small poetry collection called Time Was which includes a love letter from Tom to Ben, set in WWII. It sets him out on an astonishing search to discover who Tom and Ben are – a search that takes him to a tucked-away corner of England where odd stories abound about the seas catching fire…

This is a gem. I absolutely loved it. It’s one of my favourite reads of the year so far – I got to the end with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat…

 

The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin
In the world of A Song of Ice and Fire the ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember.

I didn’t initially realise that this novella tired in with Martin’s famous fantasy series until I read the blurb. It is an entertaining story, but as far as I’m concerned, it takes a while to get going and then the ending is far too abrupt. I do hate it when novellas end too suddenly…

 

Ancell’s Quest by Tony Main
To his dismay, Ancell, a timid, dreaming hedgehog, is called to sail in search of someone in terrible trouble, who keeps calling to him in his dreams. Someone whose plight cannot wait – which leads him to the capable sea otter captain of the schooner, ‘Misty Dawn’ – and a whole series of adventures. At first the frightened landlubber finds life upon the waves difficult, but he soon learns to trust the crew and face the various dangers alongside them…

This adventure-filled tale held my attention throughout and I was genuinely sorry when I reached the end. I’ll be reviewing it in due course…

And that’s it… I didn’t visit any blogs and other than last week’s Sunday Post, I haven’t produced anything else on my blog, this week. This week, normal service will be resumed. Thank you very much for taking the time and trouble to visit, like and comment on my site – and I promise to get back to you as soon as I can!

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38 responses »

    • Thank you, Tammy! It really is lovely to be back… Yes – I think you would love this one. I was intrigued to see it was quite different from his other work, but so clever and beautifully crafted. I would love to get your take on it.

  1. So glad that you figured out your connections! Sometimes we stumble upon the answers…and all is well again.

    Great looking stories and books! Congrats on your story in the anthology.

    Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

    • Thank you, Katherine. Apart from anything else – I was reduced to gibbering fury at the snails pace everything was happening… it quite startled my poor sister, who was rather taken aback at my ill temper and simply couldn’t understand where it was coming from. So I decided to walk away and simply wait. Yes, I could be prouder of myself if I hadn’t bought 8 books the previous week!

  2. It really is annoying and goes slowly when you work with slow internet, makes sense to just wait till your own internet is back. Glad to hear your interest was fixed. Sorry to hear about that mishap. reminds of a time when my internet wasn’t working and we couldn’t figure out why until after awhile we realized the cable wasn’t plugged in.

    Congrats on the launch of that anthology that contains one of your stories. Sounds like a fun outing to attend the launch and stay at a hotel close by.

    That’s neat you bought a new car. I really like public transport, but at the same time it can be difficult at times when the timing doesn’t work out or when you have to switch trains and such very often.

    Sounds nice you got some gardening in. It sure is the right weather for it nowadays. Sounds like you had some good reads this week. Too bad about the abrupt ending of that novella and that you didn’t realize it tied in with a series at first. Have a great week!

    • Thank you, Lola:). I think this week is already set to be a good one, given I am now connected again. Himself is a train driver, so when it all works out, he can get a train back to our town – but if his train terminates at Barnham, then he sometimes can wait for nearly an hour, or for me to come and get him and with the current road works that can take some 40 minutes. And as I am now working extra classes at Northbrook, it means I’m not around so much.

      I hope you, too, have a great week and many thanks for swinging by.

    • Thank you, Jenea – what a lovely thing to say:). I’m just buzzing at being back connected to the internet and back in touch with everyone, again. I hope you, too, have a good week. I’m thinking of your daughter and hope the news is good.xx

  3. I am so glad you were able to get the new router working! You must be relieved. Your time in Oxford sounds like fun! I will have to check out the podcast you mention. I generally don’t listen to podcasts, but that one sounds like one I would like. Time Was sounds wonderful. I will have to check that out. I have The Tethered Mage on my wish list and look forward to reading your review of it.

    Have a great week, Sarah!

    • Thank you, Wendy – a shame I couldn’t have got the correct one connected a week earlier. But at least I’m back!

      Oxford was absolutely beautiful – I had been aware it was special, but visiting it was lovely and being part of a Waterstones book launch was a blast, too.

      Time Was is a joy – and yes… I’ll also be reviewing The Tethered Mage soonish, too – though I’m horribly behind with my blogging schedule right now! I hope you, too, have a lovely week, Wendy:)

  4. Yeah for being back in business. I can relate to having to drive around to find wifi. LOL Twinkle sounds like a cute car and it also sounds like you’ve been enjoying time away from the internet. Welcome back, Sarah:)

  5. Yippee! So glad to have you back on the blogging trail, Sarah. 🙂

    Your nickname for your new car is absolutely precious. I actually name my cars, too. My previous one was Baby, since it was the first car I bought on my own. And my new one, which bought at the end of April this year, is Sweetie.

    I’ve been interested in The Tethered Mage for a while and seen nothing but positive comments on it so far. So maybe I should keep my eye out for it on future book-shopping trips…

    • Thank you, Sara:). It’s LOVELY to be back – I’ve sorely missed everyone. Yes… I looked at her and she really was a Twinkle:). I love the name Sweetie – we clearly think along the same lines:) But then I knew that, anyway…

      I really liked the premise – it makes absolute sense and the execution was slick and very readable, too. Maybe you can order it at the library?

  6. Sounds like you had a nice week! And congrats on having the anthology story published! I like that premise, stories taking place 24 hours before an apocalypse. Sounds fun!

    Did you find that the Martin novella explicitly tied into ASoIaF, or was it more of a vague kinship? I’m just wondering since I’ve heard there’s a connection but it’s fairly tenuous? I haven’t tackled it myself yet…

    Hope you have a lovely week!

    • Thank you for your kind good wishes:). Yes, it was the funky premise for this one that stirred me to write ‘A Dire Emergency’…

      No… it was definitely a vague connection, Greg. Though perhaps those with more knowledge of the Song of Ice and Fire would have had more ‘aha’ moments. It wasn’t until I looked it up after reading it, the blurb informed me it was part of the same world. Up to that point, I’d been blissfully unaware.

  7. Glad you are back online. Slow internet is – I think – worse than no internet. I’ve been pretty absent myself – catching up with review books versus blogging. It’s quite nice actually. Have a good week x

    • Thank you, Emma – yes… I came to the same conclusion when I morphed into a foul-mouthed vixen when sitting at my sister’s dining room table. During my absence I have discovered a book for us to share:)). I’ll drop you a line via email!

  8. Ooooooooo, congratulations on the anthology! We must connect about some guest blogging. I did that same nonsense with our router, too. I had the whole thing hooked up, got really frustrated with why it wasn’t working….completely forgetting I never had my computers hunt for the new router. Oops!

    • I felt such a fool…
      Thank you for your kind congratulations – thumbing through a book to read my story in print never grows old, I find:). My life is about to get a lot less hectic, as today I finished one of my part-time teaching posts for the summer and in another 6 weeks, I’ll have finished the other. Can I touch base with you in July to discuss the details, then, Jean? I’m going to be drowning slightly in end of term admin for a while… And if I don’t mention it, don’t be afraid to dig me in the ribs to remind me! Virtually, of course…

  9. Yay for being back online! It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend. I’d love to stroll around Oxford someday if I ever make it back to England. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on The Tethered Mage since I enjoyed that one when I read it. Have a great week!

    • Thank you Suzanne – yes… I feel a tad ashamed I hadn’t visited the lovely city since I was a teenager – far too long ago! I hope you, too, have a lovely week:)

  10. I don’t think we quite appreciate how much we rely on the internet until its not working! That being said, it is nice sometimes to have a break even if it’s not intentional.
    I love the sound of Time Was.
    Lynn 😀

    • Thank you! It was horrible – I don’t think I would have panicked quite so much if it had happened during the holidays, but I did feel very cut off and didn’t appreciate not being able to use the internet to get hold of teaching resources!

  11. Yay! The internet is back! I’d say “that was quick”, but it’s only quick from the perspective of reading two blog posts in a row. 😉
    Congratulations on your car purchase. I hope it’ll serve you well! 🙂

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