This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.
Last week my sister and I spent the weekend at the Chewton Glen hotel having a series of spa treatments to celebrate her 60th birthday. And yes… it was every bit as fabulous as it sounds!
This week, I didn’t have much time to muse on my wonderful experience as Monday and Tuesday was taken up with teaching at Northbrook and catching up with admin, while on Tuesday night, writing buddy Mhairi made the five-hour drive up from Lincolnshire to stay over until Thursday. Once again, it was lovely seeing her and catching up on her writing progress – and I was pleased to be able to mention that so far this month I have written over 18,000 words towards Mantivore Prey and am now working on the penultimate chapter. The days flew by so that no sooner had I hugged her hello, then I seemed to be hugging her good-bye again. However, it is only temporary as she will soon be coming down again – and in July I will be travelling up to stay with her as we fill in our tax returns together.
I attended a funeral on Friday – a terribly sad affair where a sudden death out of the blue leaves two young sons without a father and a wife suddenly widowed. On Saturday, I was asked along as a number of my sister’s friends arranged a surprise birthday party for her. It was a lovely, relaxed affair, full of jokes, laughter and affection. I’m so glad and proud of her for battling through her serious illness and a long, unhappy relationship, to be able to get to this stage – she is a star!
I keep waiting for the boring middle age I was promised – surely Life is supposed to slow down and get more tedious as I get older, rather than ever more varied and demanding?
Last week I read:
Cleon Moon – Book 5 of the Fallen Empire series by Lindsay Buroker
Now that she’s retrieved the Staff of Lore, Captain Alisa Marchenko can finally dedicate herself and her ship to finding her kidnapped daughter. Her scant clues lead her to Cleon Moon. Unfortunately, since the fall of the empire, mafia clans have taken over the domed cities on the harsh moon, and exploring there isn’t easy. Even with the cyborg Leonidas at her side, Alisa struggles to survive vengeful mafia clans, rogue Starseers, and genetically engineered predators. If Alisa can’t navigate the moon’s chaos, she may lose her only chance to catch up with her daughter.
This is yet another entertaining episode in this enjoyable, action-packed space opera series. I’m looking forward to getting hold of the next book in the series… Review to follow.
Across the Void by S.K. Vaughn
It’s Christmas Day, 2067. Silent Night drifts across the ruins of a wrecked spaceship, listing helplessly in the black. A sole woman, May, stirs within – the last person left alive of a disastrous first manned mission to Europe, a moon of Saturn.There is only one person who can help her – her ex-husband Stephen, a NASA scientist who was heading up the mission back on Earth. Until, that is, she broke his heart and he left both her and the mission.
Rarely has a book reduced me to such fury – and yes, I completed it and have written a thoroughly ranty review as a result.
The First Time Lauren Pailing Died by Alyson Rudd
Lauren Pailing is a teenager in the eighties, becomes a Londoner in the nineties. And each time she dies, new lives begin for the people who loved her – while Lauren enters a brand new life, too. But in each of Lauren’s lives, a man called Peter Stanning disappears. And, in each of her lives, Lauren sets out to find him.
In stark contrast to the previous book, this one turned out to be a delightful surprise – both at the quality of the writing and the effective way in which Rudd evokes the 70s and 80s. Review to follow.
My posts last week:
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Porpoise by Mark Haddon
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Poison Song – Book 3 of The Winnowing Flame trilogy by Jen Williams
Friday Faceoff featuring The Red Knight – Book 1 of The Traitor Son Cycle by Miles Cameron
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Children of Ruin – Book 2 of the Children of Time series by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last few weeks, in no particular order:
Trees and Insecurity
https://chechewinnie.com/forests-and-insecurity/ This apparently innocuous title hides a gripping and shocking tale of survival because of trees – please read it. It will put your own problems into perspective…
Why Read Women Writers? An Interview with Bill Wolfe https://www.janefriedman.com/why-read-women-writers-bill-wolfe/ I thoroughly enjoyed this thoughtful review by the great Jane Friedman…
The Best Examples of Metaphysical Poetry in English Literature https://interestingliterature.com/2019/05/15/the-best-examples-of-metaphysical-poetry-in-english-literature/ Once more, this enjoyable information site delivers the goods…
The Power of Writerly Kindness https://writerunboxed.com/2019/05/15/the-power-of-writerly-kindness/ We so often hear of writers being envious of each other – it’s always a tonic to hear the other side of the story…
Top 5 Wednesday – BFFs in Fantasy (plus musings about intimacy, society expectations, and friendships in western vs eastern media) https://pagesbelowvaultedsky.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/top-5-wednedsay-bffs-in-fantasy-plus-musings-about-intimacy-societal-expectations-and-friendships-in-western-vs-eastern-media/ And yes… this excellent article is every bit as interesting as it sounds.
Many thanks for taking the time to comment, like and visit my blog – I will catch up with you as soon as I can, so thank you also for your patience. In the meantime, have a wonderful week!
I can tell you right now, from my position on the other side, that middle age is not a time for life slowing down. Just to warn you, it doesn’t slow down after retirement either.
You’ve made great progress on your book. I’m very happy for you.
Thank you, Deb. I had a suspicion that it would all just keep accelerating and in many ways I love the sound of that – I just wish I had another 12 hours a day to fit it all in! Thank you for your kind words regarding the novel, I’m very glad that I’ve regained my writing mojo:)).
Waiting for life to get boring huh? 😀 I hope it doesn’t, although I can relate to what you’re saying about wanting to slow it down 🙂
Well, interesting doesn’t necessarily mean comfortable or particularly enjoyable… There are definitely elements in my life I’d love to calm down a bit!
And yes… it would be great for it to slow down. Just a tad. Occasionally…:)
I’m glad you enjoyed some time with your sister, and as I look at your books, I am curious and intrigued about The First Time Lauren Pailing Died.
Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.
You’re welcome, Lauren. I think you’d enjoy The First Time Lauren Pailing Died – I was so very impressed with the quality of the writing.
I can hardly wait for your ranty review of Across the Void! I’ve been curious as I’ve seen it pop up on some UK sites I visit. People are comparing it to The Martian…I’ll be waiting for your review!
Yes… I’ve also seen comparisons to The Martian – they were clearly reading a different version of the book to the one that I read. OR they only read the first half of Across the Void. Yes – I generally don’t do ranty, as you know. But this one is the exception!
It sounds like your sister’s birthday was a big success – both at the spa and the party with her friends 🙂
Isn’t it strange how time always seems to move faster when we’re with people we love spending time with? I’m glad you’ll be able to see your friend again soon.
Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading.
Oh yes – it’s certainly been a wonderfully memorable birthday! Yes – Time certainly picks up its skirts when we’re with people we love. I hope you, too, have a lovely week, Lexxie:)
You’ve had quite a week. Chewton Glen is definitely on my bucket list – perhaps for my 50th if I hint enough to Hubby. Lots of parties but a sad funeral too, it’s tragic when families are left bereft of a parent.
I don’t think life slows down – not these days, anyway. Hope you have a great week. x
Thank you, Flora:). Oh yes – it really has been a week and a half… And I think you’re right about Life simply not slowing down much, these days.
Thank you for swinging by and I hope that you, too, have a wonderful week.
I’m glad you had a lovely week with your sister, and friend, and also sorry for your loss.
The First Time Lauren Paling Died sounds interesting, have a great reading week
Thank you, Shelleyrae for your kind good wishes:). And yes – The First Time Lauren Pailing Died is a fascinating read – I’m looking forward to be able to discuss with someone else who has finished it…
Congrats on 18,000 words- that’s awesome! And nice that your story is coming along well. also- happy birthday to your sister. Funny how life has a way of staying interesting, isn’t it haha?
Sorry to hear about Across the Void though- sounds like that one didn’t entirely work. 🙂
Thank you, Greg. Yes – I’m very pleased that the writing is coming together:). And yes… I was sorry about Across the Void, too!
So happy you got a little sister time, and that’s great news about your book! I’ve my own updates I need to be emailing your way sometime soon…
Thank you Jean – I’ve read your email:((. And replied… Sending hugs in your direction!
Thank you! I’ll respond soon. Lots to ponder this weekend. sigh….
I’m sorry I couldn’t be more help:(((.
Oh it’s okay. Part of me should have seen this coming…sigh…
Nope. Don’t see how. These things may sideswipe us from time to time – and it surely feels devastating at the time – but you can’t and shouldn’t now feel responsible for somehow not sensing that it was in the wind…
Because if every time you get a breakthrough, you are busy planning for a similar setback, you’ll end up crawling under the bed and chewing on the dust bunnies…
Ah, I know. Bo was telling me that very thing last night.
I’ll be blogging about this somehow. I’ve gotta. It explains why Book 2’s not out, for starters. I just need to make sure the post is civil and…magnanimous, I suppose.
Yes… I think the term you’re looking for is “eat crow”:((. I’m more than happy to continue playing Devil’s advocate at any time, my friend…
sigh…thanks!…uffdah, today’s going to be a hard drafting day…
Thinking postive thoughts and cunning words in your direction.xxx
I need all the support I can! xxxxx
Sent you another emailxxx
and I sent my official letter. got an official response. ‘Tis done, and civilly enough. x
Oh well done!xxx
If you think middle age is busy, not boring, wait until you hit retirement age! Busier than ever, with little energy and more aches and pains to do things with! Haha!
Ah… I was thinking that MIGHT be the case! Thank you for the confirmation… I think:))
The hesitation you gave WAS waranted! haha.
Across the Void looks so good. I am very sorry for the young families lost.
So sorry, I didn’t proofread before I posted. I am so sorry for the young family’s loss.
No worries, Kimberly – your kind good wishes are very much appreciated, anyway:))
The time is flying by isn’t it – you had a good week by the sounds of it and I look forward to reading your ‘ranty’ review.
Oh I know! And I always promised myself I wouldn’t – but this book made me so CROSS!
Sounds like you had a good week with friends and events to attend. And now I’m going to look for that rant review. Lol.
I haven’t published it yet, SJ:)). It’s a Netgalley arc, so I’ll be posted it around when the book is due out.
Wow, you had a busy week! That’s great that you got so much writing done. That had to feel good. 🙂
Yes, it was great to get so much done. Especially as my writing mojo has been in abeyance over the last year…
It sounds like that week was quite a bittersweet to you, but I was delighted to see that you still keep in touch with your friend even after she’d moved further away. Long distance friendship for the win!
Oh yes – she was due to come and stay at the end of March, but clearly that one went out fo the window! We still Skype at least once a week – but we both miss each other terribly…