This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.
On Monday, my daughter came over to pick up my grandson and take him back home – the house seemed a lot emptier without him, as it always does when the grandchildren first go home.
So I got down to work. It’s been a really good week. I’ve been sending out arc copies of Netted after revealing the wonderful cover that superfriend and fellow writer Mhairi designed. I then completed formatting the updated paperback version of Dying for Space, uploaded it and am currently waiting for the proof copy. Hopefully this time around the spacing on the spine will be perfect.
I then started work on the revisions for Mantivore Prey, bracing myself for all sorts of major plot anomalies… poor characterisation… clunky dialogue – and to my delighted surprise, apart from some small alterations necessary to ensure one of the main antagonists is already suitably sneaky right from the start of the book, it read quite smoothly. It took me two days to work through the manuscript, fixing any major problems and by then I was sufficiently fired up to start work on the plot outline for Mantivore Warrior. I’d known the character and some of the main plotpoints, as well as more or less where I wanted the book to end. Now I’ve worked out the whole narrative arc, who all the major characters are and the beginning, the middle and the end. It’s been wonderful to know that this creative upsurge is not going to be hampered by having to break off and produce Creative Writing handouts for the coming term. In fact, it’s going so well, I am seriously considering bringing forward my soft launch of Mantivore Dreams, the first book in the series, to the last week in August.
Yesterday, I took a break from all this work to meet up my sister and have a coffee together and a catchup. Though we didn’t go walking along the beach as it looked like rain – again… The long hot spell we’d enjoyed all through July is a distant memory. The wind and rain we’ve had throughout the week finally snapped off the top two feet of my tallest echium, though fortunately it has more or less finished flowering – I’m grateful that is the only damage we sustained!
Last week I read:
Bright Shards – Book 2 of the Vardeshi Saga by Meg Pechenick
Linguist Avery Alcott has spent three months proving herself to her Vardeshi companions and earning their respect. She arrives at Arkhati, the space station halfway between Earth and Vardesh Prime, eager to continue her adventure. But the next stage of her mission brings its own challenges. In the months to come, new alliances and old friendships will be tested. Avery will question her purpose and her place among the Vardeshi, and she will discover that the most memorable journeys are the ones we can’t predict.
I loved the first book in the series, which I’ve reviewed this week, and this sequel doesn’t disappoint.
The Empty Grave – Book 5 of the Lockwood & Co series by Jonathan Stroud
After the dramatic events of The Creeping Shadow, the Lockwood team (plus Quill Kipps) deserve some well-earned rest. So naturally they break into the Fittes Mausoleum, on a perilous mission to discover the truth about London’s top ghost-hunting agency, and its sinister leader. What they discover will change everything.
But there’s little time to ponder. A near-miss at a haunted fairground is only the start – as the Fittes agency closes in on the team, an epic struggle commences. With the help of some unexpected, and rather ghostly, allies, Lockwood & Co must battle their greatest enemy yet, as they move ever closer to the moment when the earth-shattering secret of ‘the problem’ will finally be revealed.
I’ve been putting this one off… Because once it’s over, I will have finished this cracking paranormal ghost-busting series which has been one of my listening highlights of the year.
Cage of Souls by Adrian Tchaikovsky
The Sun is bloated, diseased, dying perhaps. Beneath its baneful light, Shadrapur, last of all cities, harbours fewer than 100,000 human souls. Built on the ruins of countless civilisations, surviving on the debris of its long-dead progenitors, Shadrapur is a museum, a midden, an asylum, a prison on a world that is ever more alien to humanity.
Bearing witness to the desperate struggle for existence between life old and new, is Stefan Advani, rebel, outlaw, prisoner, survivor. This is his testament, an account of the journey that took him into the blazing desolation of the western deserts; that transported him east down the river and imprisoned him in verdant hell of the jungle’s darkest heart; that led him deep into the labyrinths and caverns of the underworld. He will treat with monsters, madman, mutants. The question is, which one of them will inherit this Earth?
As ever, the sheer versatility of this gifted author impresses as this grim, dystopian vision of a dying society struggles to come to terms with itself held me right to the end.
My posts last week:
Review of INDIE Ebook Ascending – Book 1 of the Vardeshi Saga series by Meg Pechenick
Friday Faceoff featuring The Devil’s Feathers by Minette Walters
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Warehouse by Rob Hart
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Heart of the Circle by Keren Landsman
Teaser Tuesday featuring Bright Shards by Meg Pechenick
Sunday Post – 11th August 2019
Interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last few weeks, in no particular order:
What is a K-drama? https://perspectiveofawriter.com/2017/08/03/k-drama-primer/ Perhaps you already know what a K-drama is – I didn’t and this excellent, entertaining article told me all about it…
Top Ten Tuesday: Book characters I’d Befriend https://hamletsandhyperspace.wordpress.com/2019/08/13/top-ten-tuesday-characters-id-befriend/ I thoroughly enjoy reading the various TTT articles – but this one was particularly entertaining – though Sarah’s choice of Reichis, a certain squirrelcat had me scratching my head. And she wasn’t the only one to choose the ferocious little beast!
Favorite Books A-Z – Male Writers http://booksbonesbuffy.com/2019/08/13/favorite-books-a-z-male-writers/ A great list – and in the interests of fairness, I would add that at the top of the article, Tammy also adds the link to her list of Female Writers, too.
Short Story Review: THE DEAD, Michael Swanwick https://spaceandsorcery.wordpress.com/2019/08/13/short-story-review-the-dead-michael-swanwick/ And I make absolutely no apologies for including a link to this site two weeks running – for here is another marvellous, mind-bending short story to wrap your head around…
Frozen Wavelets – summary of July submissions https://earthianhivemind.net/2019/08/11/frozen-wavelets-summary-of-july-submissions/ For those of you who read and enjoy short stories and those of you who write them – spare a thought for the hapless editor who had to wade through all those submissions…
Thank you for visiting, reading, liking and/or commenting on my blog – I hope you have a wonderful week…
Hahaha! Thanks for the shoutout- glad you enjoyed it. Reichis is the very entertaining sidekick of the MC in Spellslinger. It’s YA which isn’t usually my thing, but still lots of fun.
Also- Cage of Souls is by Tchaikovsky? You aren’t kidding when you say his versatility and volume of work is amazing.
You’re welcome, Sarah:). Oh yes – I know alll about Reichis – I’ve been reading the Spellslinger series, too:). Which is why I’m a tad perplexed as to why ANYONE would want him as a friend…
Yes – he is extremely versatile. And prolific! Have you read it?
I have sadly only read one Tchaikovsky. But I plan to read more!
As for Reichis- I think he’s really a good friend. On the inside. Lol
Yeah… deep DEEP on the inside!!
As for Tchaikovsky – he really is a fascinating writer – ironically the only books of his I simply can’t get on with is his Shadows of the Apt series, but then I’m not a huge fan of classic epic fantasy (can’t get through Song of Ice and Fire, either – although I LOVED the TV dramatisation).
Ha- I feel lukewarm about the GoT tv show but otherwise enjoyed the book (although it’s far from a favorite).
I tend to prefer my stories played out on a smaller canvas so the characterisation is sharper and there’s less dotting about… But it is entirely a personal thing – I’m aware it takes a great deal of skill to write.
No doubt about that- it’s like magic to me!
We are having here in Germany more or less rainy weather too. Doesn´t feel like summer more like April. But August is not finished yet … Enjoy your writing process and happy reading.
It’s not quite that cool here – but it certainly doesn’t feel like August at the moment! I hope we get another blast of warmth and sunshine before the winter closes in, that’s for sure. Thank you for your good wishes regarding the writing progress, Vi – I hope you, too, have a wonderful reading week:)
Thank you for the shout out! It sounds like you’ve had an incredibly productive week. And I love that glimpse into your garden, how beautiful!
Thank you, Tammy! The echium is sadly looking a bit more battered right now – but that is the tallest spire we have ever had, I think.
What a lovely week you had! I wish the heat was a distant memory here. It will be about 30C again all this week. If it would just drop a little it would be fine, hot but not stifling. Have another great week with some good books!
Anne – Books of My Heart Here is my Sunday Post
Oh yes! And that is just too hot. I’m just yearning for something in the mid-twenties…
Glad to hear the weather there is starting to get more comfortable. We had a few cooler days last week but are now right back to sweltering heat again. I’m so ready for fall!
Oh, I’m sure you are – our temperatures don’t come near to what you are enduring and to be honest, I’m one of those who would love to see more sunshine and heat, rather than the cool, rainy weather we’re currently experiencing. But saying that – I’d be feeling the same as you if I was coping with your conditions!
Winter is ending here, I’m hoping for a mild Sprung.
Have a great reading week:)
Yes… it is always something of a shock to recall the weather is doing something completely different in another part of the world:))
I must admit that I’m okay with the rain at the moment… The heat got a bit too much July/early August. The current weather is getting me all excited for Autumn. 🙂
I’m glad to hear your writing is going well! I hope the creative surge continues for you.
Thank you, Nicci. I am feeling really delighted at the way the writing/editing is going at present.
Yes – my husband is also much happier at the moment, too. I think folks either love the heat or hate it.
I received my copy of Netted and so excited to read it, Sarah! Thanks so much. And your echium is gorgeous. I’d love to be able to grow one here.
I’m glad it has safely arrived, Laura and very much hope you enjoy reading it. I would think that echiums would grow in your climate – it’s quite wet and warm with you, isn’t it? Though it doesn’t tolerate long periods of cold.
A very productive week! Glad to hear you are happy with the cover.
Thank you, Inessa:). Yes, I’m thrilled with the cover – it is a tricky book to actually pin down so the cover was a difficult one to design. The publishers had quite a struggle to find one that worked.
Cannot wait. Love your books.
Thank you so much:)
It is always weirdly quiet when children leave the house. Not always bad but definitely different! Sounds like you’ve been super productive! Have a great week!
Thank you, Katherine – yes… you’re right that it isn’t always bad, but I do always feel a bit sad when they go back home, again:)
Hooray for catching up with family! And I’m so excited for your stories coming along so well. With school starting in two weeks I’m itching to get back to the writing business, too. 🙂 xxxxxxx
Oh yes – it’s been so much fun – especially as normally about this time of the year I have to pull away from my own writing and make a start on the course notes for Northbrook. Which isn’t happening this year!
Sounds like retirement is going to agree with you. You certainly are getting a great deal read.
Thank you, Rae – and the awesome part is how well the writing is also going:).
Glad to hear the writing is going well. That’s always a plus!
Thank you, SJ – yes, I’m feeling really pleased with that.
I love your picture and your garden Sarah – it sounds like you’ve had a great week.
Thank you – it was a wonderful week creatively!
I’ve been under the weather this week so I didn’t get over here as quick as I normally would. But thank you so much for sharing my post!! Hahaha I always love to enlighten others about k-dramas. ❤️ It sounds like your books are proceeding well!! I’m also interested in Cage of Souls. I never know if I’m going to like an AT book for not.
I thought it an outstanding article, Dani:)). Thank you – yes, I’m really happy that Mantivore Dreams is finally going to be let loose on the world…
And that’s the thing with the Tchaikovsky canon – the one thing you can guarantee is that they are different:).
I feel so late… You mention here the outline for Mantivore Warrior, and this book is already out (probably for a while now, isn’t it?). I can’t believe I’ve fallen so far behind!
But it is exciting to catch up and see what you’ve been up to.
It came out at the end of last month so you are not so far behind. And I did find the outline really helped my writing process.