Sunday Post – 29th September, 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.

It’s been the type of nose-to-the-grindstone, locked-onto-the-computer-screen sort of week, helped along by the company of a trusted friend. I attended the aerobics and Pilates sessions this week, resulting in my hobbling around like an old lady who hasn’t exercised enough over the summer… The pain was leavened by my lovely writing buddy, Mhairi coming to stay. And the wonderful news was that she was able to extend her visit so that she only went home today. We work so well together and she and I are very good at helping each other out with various writing problems, even though we write such different genres. I miss her so! I’m campaigning to have Lincolnshire towed southwards and tucked in behind Brighton… We have decided to Skype each other more often – and she is returning next month as we are going to Bristolcon together. Yippee!

As for that work I’ve been doing – I’d got to a point in Mantivore Warrior when I needed to firm up the narrative time in Mantivore Prey, so decided to produce my timeline edition at this stage, given that I’m now well along my edits for the book. I have also made a start on another paid editing project, as well as continuing my teaching duties. It seems odd to think that this time last year, I was up to my neck in Northbrook admin as I embarked on a new academic year with my Creative Writing students – where did I find the time?

Last week I read:
Lady of the Ravens by Joan Hickson
My baptismal name may be Giovanna but here in my mother’s adopted country I have become plain Joan; I am not pink-cheeked and golden-haired like the beauties they admire. I have olive skin and dark features – black brows over ebony eyes and hair the colour of a raven’s wing…

When Joan Vaux is sent to live in the shadow of the Tower of London, she must learn to navigate the treacherous waters of this new England under the Tudors. Like the ravens, Joan must use her eyes and her senses, if Henry and his new dynasty are to prosper and thrive.
I loved this one. The worldbuilding is detailed and entirely convincing and Joan was an engaging, intelligent protagonist who I gave my heart to in the opening pages. Review to follow.


Akin by Emma Donoghue
Noah Selvaggio is a retired chemistry professor and widower living on the Upper West Side, but born in the South of France. He is days away from his first visit back to Nice since he was a child, bringing with him a handful of puzzling photos he’s discovered from his mother’s wartime years. But he receives a call from social services: Noah is the closest available relative of an eleven-year-old great-nephew he’s never met, who urgently needs someone to look after him. Out of a feeling of obligation, Noah agrees to take Michael along on his trip.

Much has changed in this famously charming seaside mecca, still haunted by memories of the Nazi occupation. The unlikely duo, suffering from jet lag and culture shock, bicker about everything from steak frites to screen time. But Noah gradually comes to appreciate the boy’s truculent wit, and Michael’s ease with tech and sharp eye help Noah unearth troubling details about their family’s past. Both come to grasp the risks people in all eras have run for their loved ones, and find they are more akin than they knew.
Another stormingly good read – I’ve had an amazing reading week. I absolutely loved the spiky, unsentimental relationship between the elderly professor and the damaged boy. This one will stay with me. Review to follow.


Deeplight by Frances Hardinge
For centuries the gods of the Undersea ruled the islands of the Myriad through awe and terror: they were very real, and very dangerous. Sacrifices were hurled into the waters to appease them, and every boat was painted with pleading eyes to entreat their mercy. They were served, feared and adored. Then, thirty years ago, the gods rose up in madness and tore each other apart. Now, none remain. The islands have recovered and the people have patched their battered ships and moved on. On one of these islands live Hark and his best friend Jelt. To them, the gods are nothing but a collection of valuable scraps to be scavenged from the ocean and sold. But now something is pulsing beneath the waves, calling to someone brave enough to retrieve it.
And the joy goes on… This was another marvellous book with a story that swept me up and held me in its watery embrace until the very end. Review to follow.

My posts last week:

Review of Changeling – Book 1 of the Sorcery and Society series by Molly Harper

Friday Faceoff featuring The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon

Review of AUDIOBOOK The Whispering Skull – Book 2 of the Lockwood & Co series by Jonathan Stroud

Teaser Tuesday featuring Deeplight by Frances Hardinge

Review of Queenslayer – Book 5 of the Spellslinger series by Sebastien de Castell

Sunday Post – 22nd September 2019

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

The Poorhouse (1) Jean’s posts are deceptive – these apparently gentle photo-posts featuring doors around Ireland can pack a punch. Like this week’s…

10 of the Best Poems About Despair I have always found poetry and prose about despair enormously comforting for two reasons. Firstly, they often sum up the enormity of my bleak feelings far better than I can; secondly, that terrible sense of isolation arising from those dark emotions is alleviated when I can read of someone else’s pain…

Space News – update It was a joy to see the resumption of the roundup by Steph…

Greta Thunberg to World Leaders… ‘How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood…!!’ I generally don’t mention the current political situation. Mostly because it tends to have me heading towards those poems about despair I mentioned earlier – but this one caught my attention. I wrote a sci fi thriller, currently lining the loft, about catastrophic climate change back in 1995. So I’m aware of exactly what young Greta is talking about, sadly.

My Adventures – Pictorial Visit to Connecticut, Boston and Cape Cod #CapeCod #BostonRedSox And on a much lighter note, Sherry of Fundinmental posted these glorious photos of a holiday by the sea – and those sunsets are stunning…

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

20 responses »

  1. Greta Thunberg just signed a two book deal with Penguin, so I’m glad she’s making such an impact. On to the books, I’m very curious about Deeplight. I’m not sure there is a U.S. edition yet, but I’m looking forward to your review😁

  2. It’s so wonderful when you find someone you can connect and work with so well. I am happy for you! I know I was working almost full-time last year and I wonder how I found time to do the blog but I didn’t do any of the household things I am able to do now and I was so busy packing and now unpacking as I am doing in 2019. I hope 2020 I will be done unpacking and can just work on my reading, sewing, knitting, exercising etc. So I hope you have a great week and enjoy your time to do all the things.

    Anne – Books of My Heart Here is my Sunday Post   

    • Thank you, Anne! While it’s been wonderful to have more time for writing, I am aware that I spend a great deal more time in front of the computer and less time with friends. So spending time with Mhairi was lovely.

      You’re right – working under such pressure is enormously draining. I do hope you will soon be properly settled in and able to do the things you enjoy:).

  3. Glad you get to spend more time with your friend and writing partner soon! Bristolcon sounds fun. And isn’t that funny about time? How sometimes we’re like “how did we ever have time for that”?

    I heard about Greta’s remarks, and need to go read them more closely. Also, I’ve been enjoying Fundinmental’s pics as well. 🙂

    Have a wonderful week!

    • Oh Bristolcon is my favourite con – by far the friendliest. And this time around, I shall be having a blast – because I am involved in a book launch where an anthology is being released which includes my Roman steampunk story:))

  4. Glad you got some good writing time in and had a lovely extended visit with your writing buddy!

    I hobble around after exercise and I have no reason/excuse beyond having the knees of an arthritic 80yo despite being in my 30’s! At least you’re keeping active and know it’ll ease off as you get back in the swing of it. 🙂

    • Thank you, Nicci:). I’m hoping that I soon will be feeling less wiped out after each exercise session VERY soon!

      Sorry to hear about your knees – I used to suffer terribly with sore knees until I cut my sugar intake right down. Don’t know if that might help at all? Have a great week!

  5. Bristolcon sounds so exciting! I’m excited for where your series goes, too. 🙂 Will you be able to see the grands for trick-or-treating? I know that we Yanks have blown Halloween out of proportion, but it can be so much fun. 🙂

      • Aw! But you’re probably right. Blondie is having a couple friends over for trick-or-treating this year…but first, we trick-or-treat in Grandma’s neighborhood, where all the families are CRAZY for Halloween. Some fill their yards with balloons, they’re handing out chili and cider and even the occasional beer–to the adults, for the record! 🙂 But yeah, in a few years all this will change. sigh….

      • That’s a lovely, lovely custom. Oh my goodness! It didn’t occur to me to think of handing out ADULT snacks and beverages to keep them going… It’s a lot more low key here, though.

      • LOL! Yeah, my mom’s neighborhood takes Halloween VERY seriously. Our own neighborhood is very low-key, too. No adults with wagons bearing sandwiches and a keg around here!

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