Sunday Post – 24th March, 2019 #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.

This week was the last week of the Spring Term at Northbrook, so I am now on Easter holiday until 23rd April… The final sessions went well on Monday and Tuesday – it’s always a pleasure having a one-on-one tutorial with each student to discuss their writing progress. On Wednesday, Mhairi and I got together – they actually moved to Lincolnshire on Thursday, so we had lunch together in Haskins and spent the afternoon talking. She will be coming to stay next Tuesday, so it wasn’t too much of a wrench, thank goodness…

On Thursday and Friday, I got up late and pottered a bit – did some really pressing admin and answered urgent emails, etc. But other than doing a bit of tidying – nothing much, other than listening to Jonathan Stroud’s The Screaming Staircase which was gripping and fun. On Friday night, I had some amazing dreams and woke up fizzing with creative energy. So after posting my blog, I got down to work and wrote a couple of shorter pieces – one life writing article about our holiday in Venice, back in 2015; and a short story set on Mars and then tucked into the novel. It went reasonably slowly, but I’m pleased with what I wrote – and that’s the main thing.

After a week of gloomy, dank weather, today is glorious, so Himself is outside, painting the fence. Spring is finally here – thank goodness!

Last week I read:
Starseers – Book 3 of the Fallen Empire series by Lindsay Buroker
The mysterious and powerful Starseers have Captain Alisa Marchenko’s daughter, and she will do whatever she must to get her back, even if it means traveling to their stronghold and confronting them personally. Unfortunately, her strongest ally, the cyborg Leonidas, may become a liability since the cyborgs and the Starseers have a long history of hating each other. It doesn’t help that Leonidas and Dr. Dominguez have a mission of their own, one that could jeopardize all that Alisa is fighting for.
I am thoroughly enjoying this series – I like the fact that the narrative powering the story is Alisa’s hunt for her lost daughter. There is plenty of action and snark in this entertaining space opera adventure and I look forward to read the next book very soon.


The Porpoise by Mark Haddon
A newborn baby is the sole survivor of a terrifying plane crash. She is raised in wealthy isolation by an overprotective father. She knows nothing of the rumours about a beautiful young woman, hidden from the world. When a suitor visits, he understands far more than he should. Forced to run for his life, he escapes aboard The Porpoise, an assassin on his tail…
This is a retelling of the tale of Pericles – I’m glad I didn’t know the original before I read this, because in many places it follows the story quite closely. Review to follow.



Knight: A Chronicle of the Sibyl’s War by Timothy Zahn
Nicole Hammond was just trying to survive on the streets of Philadelphia, then she and her partner Bungie were abducted by a race of mysterious moth-like aliens and taken to a strange ship called the Fyrantha. Now she is a Sibyl, a special human that has the ability to communicate with the aliens and their ship, and no one is happy.
And that’s putting it mildly. It is the classic story of the underdog, where an outmatched outsider somehow has to prevail and put right a lot of injustices with insufficient information… I quickly got pulled into the story and really enjoyed it. I’m going to go back and get hold of the first book, Pawn.


AUDIOBOOK – The Screaming Staircase – Book 1 of the Lockwood and Co series by Jonathan Stroud
For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions. Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.
This may be presented as a children’s book, but the writing and premise kept me gripped throughout – and it was quite creepy enough, thank you very much… I’m delighted that I already have the second book in this excellent series to tuck into. Review to follow.

My posts last week:

Sunday Post – 17h March 2019

Review of Satellite by Nick Lake

Review of Bloodfire – Book 1 of the Blood Destiny series by Helen Harper

Review of Nimbus – Book 3 of the Psi-Tech novels by Jacey Bedford

Friday Face-Off featuring Death of Kings – Book 6 of The Saxon Stories series by Bernard Cornwall

Review of Dreadnought – Book 2 of the Lost Colonies series by B.V. Larson

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

The Art of the Book Event: 9 Tips I’d like to think that authors take this on board – to avoid disappointing long-suffering book fans and so that they, too, enjoy these events…

Midspring And why wouldn’t we celebrate the coming back to life of the countryside with Inessa’s fabulous photos?

Shiver Me Timbers! A Series Shake-Down – Part 1 As the Cap gives a rundown on outstanding book series, I’m sure we can all relate. How do you handle it when you realise you have started faaar more series than you can ever complete?

A Short Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s ‘Wild Nights! Wild Nights’ A poem I didn’t know from this accomplished poet…

Throwback Thursday: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgeson Burnett I really like the sound of this meme. We spend a lot of time discussing new books or more recent releases – I love the idea that we can now also highlight and celebrate gems we read years ago that someone else might also like…

Many thanks for taking the time to comment, like and visit my blog – I am still trying to catch up – thank you for your patience. In the meantime, have a wonderful week!

43 responses »

  1. You’re so lucky to have a nice long break! Our schools here in the US only get a week off for spring. I’m very curious to read your review of The Porpoise, it sounds very different😁

    • Oh the schools haven’t broken up yet! They don’t break up for another fortnight and they will get a fortnight off for Easter. I am part of the Adult Learning and Community Dept and we have a quite a different timetable. And yes… The Porpoise is very different!

    • Yes – I’m very glad to get this long break. Thank you for your kind good wishes regarding the writing – I’m hoping to get lots done, too, Jan:)). And yes – all the books were entertaining, enjoyable reads, though very, very different. I will be reviewing most of them in due course:)

    • lol… what a good question Deb! I’ve always had vivid dreams throughout my life – and the one I had on Friday night wasn’t particularly nice, but it certainly fired me up and gave me loads of rather weird ideas… What I DID do, was have a couple of days of doing nothing in particular – and I do think that was what gave me the impetus.

    • You’re welcome, Laurel. The Screaming Staircase is wonderfully written, with interesting layered characters in a well depicted world with just the right amount of creepiness to keep me on my toes.

  2. I hope you’ll enjoy your Easter holiday! Sounds like you had a decent week and how nice you got to write things after waking up in a creative mood. I am glad we’ve had some sunny days here too, it’s really welcome after all the gray weather. I hope to get to Lindsay Buroker’s Fallen Empire series eventually too, it sounds like a great one and I just finished one of her books this week too. Have a great week!

    • Thank you, Lola:). Yes, I noticed you’d read and enjoyed the Lindsay Buroker book – I am looking forward to continuing with this one, happy to know she’s written plenty of other books:))

    • Thank you, Anne – I intend to have a wonderful week! Yes… I’m really lucky this year – and to be honest, this time around I really, really need the break:).

  3. Ahoy there! Thanks for the shout-out. Part two be up on Wednesday. It be a bit exhausting to do these series posts but I will be glad when everything is accounted for. As for yer week, I be sooo very glad that ye be listening to the Jonathan Stroud series. The whole thing is fantastic and I wish more folks would read them. Hope yer break and week go by swimmingly. Arrrr!
    x The Captain

    • Thank you Cap! It’s an ongoing problem, keeping track of series – and I’m impressed with your honest confrontation of the issue. I am looking forward to seeing what other series you are following:). And yes… isn’t the Lockwood & Go series an absolute gem? I loved the Bartimaeus Trilogy, too – though found the ending very, very moving.

      • When I listened to the ending of the Bartimaeus trilogy again recently, it actually made me want to cry. I teared up and had to take several deep breaths. And I already knew what was going to happen. Now that’s good writing.
        x The Captain

      • Oh yes – that’s the thing about Stroud… his writing is top quality! Not surprised you teared up – I rarely weep over books these days, but I wept at the end of that one…

  4. I hope you enjoy your long Easter break! I’m also glad to hear that you’re finally getting some good weather. We had a lovely weekend here as well and spent a lot of time outside enjoying it.

  5. Sounds like we are clicking along at a good pace–both of us. I, personally am trying to slow down which involves deleting plans and trying to use downtime for relaxing things like listening to music and reading instead of trying to catch up. This frantic activity seems to generate MORE frantic activity. No wonder I am having b.p. issues. What works for you to force yourself to relax?

    • Hm… I’m finding it quite difficult – but listening to my body and when I’m really tired, no longer pushing through it and sitting down at the computer, anyway:). And it’s working!

      • I was doing so much better, then out of nowhere, I felt awful for a couple of days, and I was not “pushing” or overdoing either. Go figure. Today and yesterday we had a real sudden cold snap in the middle of days up to 80, and I ache all over with arthritis which makes me irritable and slow.

      • Urg! I’m so sorry, Rae! I hope that you are now feeling better again. There’s no defence against temperature swings of that enormity:(.

  6. This week has been so lovely! I’m glad spring has landed. Although, you mention painting of fences and that’s one of the things we need to do to the garden as the new fencing was untreated when we moved in. Not looking forward to that!

    Enjoy your Easter break!

  7. Here I am, leaving my comment over a year too late but all the same enjoying your mention of creative energy – in a way, it’s contagious and affecting my own creativity. 🙂

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