Sunday Post – 14th July, 2019 #Brainfluffbookblog #SundayPost

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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.

Annddd – it’s been yet another manic week. Last Sunday we had a small get-together at our house to celebrate my sister’s 60th birthday which occurred earlier in the year. The theory in having it during July would be that we would be more likely to be able to have the party in the garden, given that our house isn’t all that big. The weather during most of June and July has been amazingly sunny and warm – until last Sunday, when it rained until the early afternoon. And no – it hasn’t rained since. However the rain wasn’t sufficient to dampen the warmth of the gathering, which spent most of the time laughing…

On Monday and Thursday, Sally and I worked on her book – we are now on the last lap, which is exciting. On Tuesday I was asked to run two Creative Writing sessions at the annual College Conference, so that other staff members could get a taster for the subject. It was initially a bit nerve-racking delivering my presentation to my peers, but I soon got caught up in the subject and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. On Thursday evening, I made it to the West Sussex Writers’ meeting for the first time since April and found it really interesting to hear a number of members’ writing experiences.

We are still trying to get the house organised – the kitchen is now looking a lot better and I am still putting the finishing touches to the bathroom. However, we have had yet another blow – the concrete canopy over the back door is badly cracked and needs taking down and the back door replaced, which is going to cost thousands of pounds. Again… Given we are still reeling after having had the roof replaced, we would ideally like to be able to put this project in the Pending box – but we can’t. It’s dangerous, as if the cracking around the corner continues, a large chunk of concrete would break away and fall. So work is due to start on Monday week. Didn’t I pick a good time to resign from my job at Northbrook?

Last week I read:

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own. Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room – and opens it…
That’s as much of the chatty blurb I’m willing to reveal – but this Cinderella-type story set within the Mexican pantheon is a delight. No one else writes quite like Moreno-Garcia and I will be reviewing this book in due course.

 

The Garden Club Murder – Book 2 of the Tish Tarragon series by Amy Patricia Meade
Literary caterer Letitia ‘Tish’ Tarragon is preparing her English Secret Garden-themed luncheon for Coleton Creek’s annual garden club awards, but when she is taken on a tour of some of the top contenders with the garden club’s president, Jim Ainsley, Tish is surprised at how seriously the residents take the awards – and how desperate they are to win. Wealthy, retired businessman Sloane Shackleford has won the coveted best garden category five years in a row, but he and his Bichon Frise, Biscuit, are universally despised. When Sloane’s bludgeoned body is discovered in his pristine garden, Tish soon learns that he was disliked for reasons that go beyond his green fingers. Have the hotly contested awards brought out a competitive and murderous streak in one of the residents?
This was great fun with plenty of prospective suspects and enjoyable characters – but I’ll be honest, the denouement had me scratching my head. Unless justice works very differently on the other side of the Pond, I can’t see quite how the ending would work… I will be reviewing this one in due course.

 

Till Sudden Death Do Us Part – Book 7 of the Ishmael Jones series by Simon R. Greene
Although he hasn’t seen Robert Bergin for 40 years, Ishmael feels duty bound to respond when his old friend calls for help. Robert’s daughter Gillian is about to be married, and he is afraid she’ll fall prey to the ancient family curse. Arriving in rural Yorkshire, Ishmael and his partner Penny learn that the vicar who was to perform the ceremony has been found dead in the church, hanging from his own bell rope. With no clues, no evidence and no known motive, many locals believe the curse is responsible. Or is someone just using it as a smokescreen for murder? With the wedding due to take place the following day, Ishmael has just a few hours to uncover the truth. But his investigations are hampered by sudden flashes of memory: memories of the time before he was human. What is it Ishmael’s former self is trying to tell him … ?
Those of you who follow my blog will know that this series is a long-running favourite for me. I thoroughly enjoy Green’s tongue-in-cheek humour in this quirky science fiction whodunit. I particularly enjoyed this one as we learn quite a bit more about the non-human aspect of Jones… Review to follow.

My posts last week:

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The First Time Lauren Pailing Died by Alyson Rudd

Friday Faceoff featuring wraparound cover Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.R. Rowling

Review of INDIE Ebook Scavenger Blood – Book 2 of the Exodus series by Janet Edwards

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

Soundcloud interview with the cast from LOOT (including my son, Robbie Jarvis)
https://soundcloud.com/betterlemons/loot It’s lovely to hear Rob talking with such enthusiasm about his current project – I would have loved to go and see it, but it simply isn’t possible, given the distance involved and the cost of getting there…

The Best of Early Wyndham https://interestingliterature.com/2019/07/05/the-best-of-early-wyndham/ This marvellous site once more has come up trumps. I loved John Wyndham’s writing – and Oliver Tearle’s informative article discusses some of his early work before he became deservedly well known.

Monday Chuckles, reblogged from the Bluebird of Bitterness… https://blogging807.wordpress.com/2019/07/03/monday-chuckles-3/ We always need something to make us smile on Mondays…

Trying to Make Your Story “Unique”? Beware of These Common Pitfalls https://www.janefriedman.com/pitfalls-of-unique-stories/ This is required reading, not just for writers but also for readers, who will probably be nodding in frantic agreement at some of the points Jane makes.

Blog Maintenance https://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/2019/07/blog-maintenance.html One of the most effective and prolific book bloggers I know gives a series of tips on how to keep our blogs user friendly and looking spiffy.

Thank you for visiting, reading, liking and/or commenting on my blog – I hope you have a wonderful week…

37 responses »

  1. I’m sorry about the repairs. I truly empathize as I need a new hot water heater and had AC troubles just a week after moving into the new house. I read Green’s Deathstalker series and may move on to the Ishmael Jones at some point. Have you read Deathstalker?

    Have a good week and let’s hope both of us have repairs which go well and we can enjoy some reading.

    Anne – Books of My Heart Here is my Sunday Post   

    • Thank you, Anne – yes… it’s always a question of having to prioritise these ongoing repairs – I just wish we could put this one off for a while – but it simply isn’t an option.

      I haven’t read the whole series, but I did enjoy the couple that I did read, which is why I picked up this series. And I hope you, too, have a lovely reading week:)

    • Thank you, Nicci. Yes – horrified nicely sums up how we were feeling when we realised we needed to tackle this one urgently, too. I hope you have a great week:)

  2. I’m terribly sorry to hear about your additional problems with your house. You must be feeling frustrated. Here’s hoping this is the last thing you have to deal with.

    It sounds like you had a great time at the college conference. You have lots of fun when you teach writing.

    I’m off to see if I can find Gods of Jade and Shadow. I’m always on the lookout for books with Hispanic themes.

    I hope you have a good week.

    • Thank you, Deb – yes, I’m feeling a tad fed up about the whole business regarding the house.

      I am going to certainly miss teaching Creative Writing – it is a joy, but I simply don’t have enough time to get done all I need to do. And now it becomes vital I earn more money!

      I am delighted that you are tracking down Gods of Jade and Shadow, although it isn’t going to be released just yet as I have an advanced reader copy. I’d love to hear what you think of it. Have a wonderful week, Deb.

  3. About four weeks ago we had a water pipe break and the entire basement was flooded. Was the third time within a year that we had to deal with water down there. It is no fun going through that and I hate it when such things happen. They are always so expensive. Have a great new week and happy reading.

    • Oh no! Water is SO destructive – I hope that third episode is the last one… And you’re right about the expense! I hope you, too, have a lovely reading week:)

  4. Oh, I groan at the thought of house repairs…I’ve been through that in the past. But now I’m just settling in to my new space and feeling grateful that any repairs belong to the owners. LOL.

    Enjoy your week…and your garden party sounded wonderful.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

  5. What a nightmare with your house repairs, I really feel for you. It’s so stressful when you have things go wrong at the same time and it’s things that can’t be put off. I hope you can get it sorted.
    I’m glad you were able to have a lovely time celebrating your sister’s birthday, and that the rain didn’t spoil it.

  6. Oh no- sorry to hear about the rain! But glad to hear it didn’t dampen the occasion. And the writers conference sounds lovely. I hope the repair work isn’t too onerous for you guys. It’s always something with homes, right?

    The Garden Club Murder sounds fun, even if the end was a bit iffy.

    • Thank you, Greg – right now the repairs are causing some financial pain, but hopefully that will sort itself out in time…

      Yes – I did enjoy The Garden Club Murder, mostly. The God of Jade and Shadow is awesomely good. Have a great week, Greg:)

  7. I’m glad to hear that the rain didn’t put a damper on the party for your sister. Happy belated birthday to her! I’m really looking forward to your review of Gods of Jade and Shadow. I picked this book as my July Book of the Month selection but haven’t read any reviews for it yet. The synopsis just sounded irresistible.

  8. I’m glad that the rain didn’t affect your celebrations, and I’m sorry about the additional home repairs needed, we have a few issues we are going to have to deal with sooner rather than later.

    Have a great reading week

  9. I find that the best way to guarantee anything is to plan for something else to happen. Want it to snow? Don’t buy that snow blower, and it will. Be sure to water your garden because that will bring on the rain! Same with parties. Need a lovely day? Don’t plan a party for it! Lol. I’m glad to hear that it was still a success. 🙂

    • Yes – I think you’re right, SJ:) The only bonus is – and as it happens, it’s a major one – we worked really hard to make the garden tidy and attractive, so we now get the benefit of that!

    • You’re absolutely right – and no… we’d already decided that we would attach bunting and balloons to the scaffolding if it didn’t come down in time, but in the event it did:)). We are now bracing ourselves for the next instalment of upheaval and mess… And expense!

  10. I am glad you had a good party for your sister, it sounds like the week started off well. I am very sorry that you have problems with the house. Home repairs are always unwelcome and can be costly, I hope this is not as bad as you anticipate. Enjoy the rest of the week and happy reading and writing.

    • Thank you, Carla. Sadly I think the repairs are going to be every bit as expensive as feared:(. Still, we just need to tighten our belts and get on with it! I hope you also have a great week, at least it is lovely and sunny:)

  11. Your gathering sounds lovely – pity we can’t book in the nice weather for our events isn’t it – they have a canny way of being gorgeous right up to the day! Sods Law.
    I feel for you with your repairs – houses, the inevitable money pits.
    Lynn 😀

    • Thank you, Lynn. Yes – I’m relieved we don’t have anyone visiting this Sunday, because that means the sun will probably shine allll day:)). As for the house – we are frantically doing the sums and bracing ourselves…

  12. That’s bad timing it rained precisely that one Sunday in the month when you hoped to have an outdoor party. Sorry to hear about the door needing replacing. It seems you have one thing happening after another and it all costs a lot of money too. I am glad to see you had some good reads at least.

  13. Oh no! That sucks on so many levels, Sarah. I’m glad you were able to have a joyful time with family, but yeah, when something on the house busts…well. You know I know the feeling. Prayers the repair is speedy and solid, and that financing isn’t too bruising for too long. xxxxxx

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