Sunday Post – 14th October, 2018 #Brainfluffbookblog #SundayPost


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

Once again, I went AWOL as I disappeared off into the wilds of Somerset for a week at a writing retreat with part of my writing group, organised by the fabulous Sarah Palmer, who also invited along other writing colleagues. We stayed in a converted barn tucked away near the tiny hamlet of Roadwater on Exmoor. The countryside is beautiful and the weather was fabulous – we had one cloudy day and bright sunshine the rest of the time.

I was working on Mantivore Prey, the second book of The Arcadian Chronicles – about a telepathic alien whose involvement with the humans colonising his planet gets more complicated and problematical. I didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped, but at least I’m on the right track and it was utter luxury to be able to simply focus on my writing.

I returned home last Friday and was welcomed back by Himself, my sister and the grandchildren who were staying. It was lovely to see them and catch up on how they’re getting on at school. I drove them back to Brighton where I stayed last Sunday, in order to do the school run on Monday, accompanied by my lovely sister. After duly delivering the children on time while slogging through the Brighton rush-hour, we felt we deserved a hearty breakfast before returning home.

This week has been back to college and teaching Tim. It’s been something of a scramble to catch up after having been away, so apologies for the lack of engagement and commenting on blogs, reviews, etc…

This week I have read:
Charmcaster – Book 3 of the Spellslinger series by Sebastien de Castell
‘I was getting almost as good at running away from enemies as I was at making them in the first place. Turns out, I wasn’t running nearly fast enough.’
Kellen has begun to master his spellslinging and the Argosi tricks for staying alive, and he and Reichis have found a career that suits them both: taking down mercenary mages who make people’s lives miserable. But Ferius is concerned that Kellen is courting disaster . . .
Great fun with plenty of adventure and emotion to go with it. I’m delighted to see that this series hasn’t lost its bounce as it progresses. Review to follow.



Strange the Dreamer – Book 1 of the Strange the Dreamer series by Laini Taylor
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.
I love, love, LOVED this one… One of my favourite reads of the year so far – I think it’s even better than her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. Review to follow… though whether the world really needs another review of this gem is debatable, given there are well over 8,000 on Goodreads.


Athena’s Champion – Book 1 of the Olympus series by David Hair and Cath Mayo
Prince Odysseus of Ithaca is about to have his world torn apart. He’s travelled to the oracle at Pytho to be anointed as heir to his island kingdom; but instead the Pythia reveals a terrible secret, one that tears down every pillar of his life, and marks him out for death. Outcast by his family, hunted by the vengeful gods, Odysseus is offered sanctuary by Athena, goddess of wisdom, and thrust into the secret war between the Olympians for domination and survival. Only his wits, and his skill as a warrior, can keep him ahead of their power games – and alive.
I can’t recall who recommended this one – because I’d definitely namecheck them, as I’ve LOVED it. I’m a sucker for Greek myth retellings anyway and this one is brilliantly done. Review to follow on release.

So as you can see, it’s been a fabulous reading week…

My posts last week:

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of A Muddle of Magic – Book 2 of the Fledgling Magic series by Alexandra Rushe

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Select Few – Book 2 of the Select series by Marit Weisenberg

Face-off Friday – Last night I dreamt I went to Manderlay again… featuring Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Lethal White – Book 4 of the Strike Cormoran novels by Robert Galbraith

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

Rolling Stones, Bob and Earl: The Harlem Shuffle Once again Thom Hickey weaves his magic of poetical prose and passion for music in the wonderful article…

Sci Fi/Fantasy Scenes I Can Never Get Enough Of I thoroughly enjoyed this interesting article – and found myself nodding in agreement throughout. What about you – do you need these aspects in your favourite SFF reads?

The Man Himself, Eric Carle Those of us who raised children on the likes of The Very Hungry Caterpiller will enjoy reading this one.

Six Female Poets Whose Poetry Has Been Forgotten Once again this fabulous site has informed me about writers whose work I know nothing about – brilliant…

7 reasons why you need listicles as part of your content marketing strategy This lovely article reminded me all over again just how useful and readable listicles can be – thank you Shruti!

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

45 responses »

  1. It sounds like your writing retreat was great plus a great area to go to. And nice to come home to a family group. So good to read so many good books, too. I’ve read quite a few good books recently, too. Such a great feeling! Hope you have a good week.

    • Thank you, Jan – yes, I used to live in Somerset in a small village and loved it. So the countryside really speaks to me… And yes – it really was a bumper week for reading – I can’t recall the last time when I read 2 ten out tens in a row! I hope you, too, have a wonderful week.

  2. Sounds like you had a lovely writing retreat and that’s great you had some good weather too most days. That’s nice you got some progress done on your telepathic alien book. Seems you had an awesome reading week as well. Have a great week!

  3. Oh, but what a lovely reason to be away from the blog! Not to mention your second writing retreat this year. 🙂 It sounds like you had a wonderful time away, and I’m glad to hear you’re getting back on track with your WIP.

    Take your time with catching up on things (visiting friends’ blogs, etc.). And please do write a review for Strange The Dreamer! I’d love to know your thoughts on it, especially since I’m planning to read its sequel soon. So maybe your review will help me refresh my memory on the first book beforehand. 😉

    • Yes – I’m hoping to sit down and write the review today as it happens! I do love her writing – and I think she has improved since the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series.

      Yes… I’ve been very spoilt this year with writing retreats. And having the second one has allowed me to a really strong start to Mantivore Prey, which is brilliant.

  4. Glad you had a good retreat! Nice weather to go with is like icing on the cake, I imagine. 🙂 Looks lovely. And Strange the dreamer sounds fabulous- I really need to try Laini Taylor at some point.

    • Oh yes – the wonderful weather was cream and icing on the cake, though my friend was hoping the rain would lash down and we’d be cocooned cosily in front of the wood burner… I’m not sorry it didn’t turn out that way, though.

      Yes – I highly recommend Laini Taylor, and particularly this one as it’s even better than her first series.

  5. Oh wow. A writing retreat! I’d love to do that someday! It’s sounds just lovely. Glad to hear you got some work done and you were able to focus while you were there. 🙂

  6. I need a retreat–not a writing one but a personal one to get away from it ALL. I am challenging myself to take a day, a whole day off from technology, from responsibilities and job-related activities just to reflect on how blessed I am in so many ways. When this will happen, I have no idea, but happen, it will.
    p.s. I live in the Somerset subdivision of my little town, where all the streets have English names. The main drag in is Somerset Drive (I live on the corner of Somerset Drive and Somerset Court). Neighbors and friends live on Charnoc, Heathrow, Sully, Merriweather, Kenington, and Slade Ben.

    • Oh yes – I think the really important aspect was the fact we couldn’t easily access the internet, which made it much easier to focus on the writing – and freed me from dealing with my emails and blog! I highly recommend cutting yourself off from the everyday and take yourself off somewhere away from all your daily pressures:)

      Somerset, Heathrow, Sully and Slade are all UK places – and Charnock and Kennington are the spellings here and Merriweather is an established family name, but I can’t find any place with that name – I’d love to live there, though!

    • You’re welcome! Yes… I’ve been unbelievably lucky this year with my wonderful writing retreats.

      Oh yes – do track down Strange the Dreamer – I’d love to hear what you think about it:)

  7. You’ve had a great week, and been incredibly busy. So glad to see you loved the Laini Taylor book – I’d definitely like to read that one so I’ll keep an eye out for your review.
    Lynn 😀

      • I have already saved the link 🙂 There are a few books I have to read first, but I haven’t been reading much lately. I am sure I will love the duology. Thank you for your reviews, they are always very good and helpful.

  8. That writing retreat sounds wonderful! I hope you get to do it again at some point (or maybe you already did? I’m so behind). In a way, catching up is exciting as I can see what you’ve been up to :).

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