Sunday Post – 13th October, 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 another busy week. Last Sunday evening we had a microwave mishap. Himself wanted to defrost a delicious apple pudding he’d made with the apples from my daughter’s garden the week before, but instead of defrosting it for ten minutes, it was on full power. The plastic container was set alight and I awoke to the whole house filled with thick choking smoke… Thankfully, Mr Google provided the answers to the urgent question – how do you get rid of the stench of burnt plastic? As well as dumping the microwave, we were boiling lemons, washing down all surfaces, cleaning the carpets, burning scented candles and filling containers with distilled vinegar. And by Wednesday, it was nearly gone so that I was able to teach Tim safely.

I attended Pilates again on Wednesday and on Thursday, I looked after Baby Eliza on my own for the first time as my daughter and her partner celebrated his birthday together. We had a lovely day – she is a real sunshine baby. I took a couple of pics, but it was the only time she was shy and so I put the camera away and just played. Though I felt it the following day! Every joint ached as trudging up and down stairs with her was a whole lot harder than it had been fourteen years ago with her teenage sister – where do the years go? On Saturday, I joined my sister as she measured up her new place for furniture and discussed new colour schemes for when she moves in.

On the writing front, I’m making good progress with Mantivore Warrior – I’m going to be blogging about that tomorrow. And I have now completed the editing pass on Mantivore Prey, which I am planning to release on 30th November.

Last week I read:

The Rithmatist – Book 1 of The Rithmatist series by Brandon Sanderson
More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing—kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood…
This one has been hanging around on my Kindle for far too long – it was a cracking read. I hope the second book will be written at some stage. Review to follow.


Bringing Stella Home – Book 1 of the Gaia Nova series by Joe Vasicek
The New Gaian Empire is crumbling. An undefeatable enemy from the outer reaches is sweeping across the frontier stars, slagging worlds and sowing chaos. Soon, they will threaten the very heart of civilized space. James McCoy never thought he would get caught up in the Hameji wars. The youngest son of a merchanter family, he just wants the same respect as his older brother and sister. But when the the Hameji battle fleets conquer his home world and take them away from him, all of that is shattered forever. No prisoner has ever escaped from the Hameji alive, but James isn’t going to let that stop him. He’ll do whatever it takes to save his family-even if it means losing everything in the process.
This is one I picked up during the last promo sale run by Book Funnel I participated in. I thoroughly enjoyed this kidnap adventure played out within a space opera setting. Review to follow.


The Mysterious Howling – Book 1 of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood
Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.

Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies.

But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the vast forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners and socially useful phrases in time for Lady Constance’s holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?
Recommended to me by the Cap from the excellent book blogging site, Captain’s Quarters, I was immediately swept up into this enjoyable, quirky adventure. Review to follow.


Starship Alchemon by Christopher Hinz
Far from Earth, the AI-guided vessel Alchemon discovers a bizarre creature whose malignant powers are amplified by the presence of LeaMarsa de Host, a gifted but troubled Psionic.The ship is soon caught in a maelstrom of psychic turbulence that drives one crewmember insane and frees the creature from its secure containment. Now Captain Ericho Solorzano and the survivors must fight for their lives against a shrewd enemy that not only can attack them physically, emotionally and intellectually, but which seeks control of their sentient ship as a prelude to a murderous assault on the human species.
I was delighted to be approved for an arc of this intriguing space opera adventure featuring an alien encounter in deep space, which never seems to end well. Review to follow.


Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Audio Collection narrated by Stephen Fry
Ever since he made his first appearance in A Study In Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes has enthralled and delighted millions of fans throughout the world. Now Audible is proud to present Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection, read by Stephen Fry. A lifelong fan of Doyle’s detective fiction, Fry has narrated the complete works of Sherlock Holmes – four novels and five collections of short stories. And, exclusively for Audible, Stephen has written and narrated nine insightful, intimate and deeply personal introductions to each title.
I’ve finally completed this listening marathon, interspersed with other audio treats to further prolong this absolute pleasure – all 71+ hours of it… It would have gone on for another 70 hours, if I’d had my way… Review to follow.


My posts last week:

Review of Lent by Jo Walton

Friday Faceoff featuring Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

Can’t-Wait-Wednesday featuring Body Tourists by Jane Rogers

Teaser Tuesday featuring Starship Alchemon by Christopher Hinz

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

Sunday Post, 6th October 2019


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

Update: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CCXXVI (Philip K. Dick, Tanith Lee, Paul Park, Gorden Eklund, and Poul Anderson) I often pop by this fascinating site – the covers on many of these books are simply amazing…

10 of the Best Poems for the Weekend This is also a regular favourite of mine – I often swing by here to discover poems or books I haven’t yet encounters, along with thoughtful, readable analysis of them.

The Magic of Swamps I’m a tad late in catching up with this one, but I just loved these pics of a wonderful, wonderful place…

Halloween: Tricks & Treats for Learning I’m in the privileged position of being able to teach one-to-one and harness a student’s own enthusiasms and interests as opportunities for learning, so I know how brilliantly it works.

Writers Injuring Characters Jacey Bedford, successful author of the Psi-Tech trilogy, makes a valid point in this thoughtful article…

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

42 responses »

  1. Wow!! Sorry to hear about the microwave mishap! But I’m glad it worked out. Sounds scary!!
    Have a great week and happy reading!

  2. I’m curious about The Mysterious Howling….spooky! Enjoy your reads.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, and I do recall you had that leaping problem. I fixed mine last time, but now, even with my plugged in mouse, it plays with me. On Google, they say we need to disable the touchpad, which I was able to do last time. But now, none of the settings will let me fix that. Which means I need a conversation with the Geek Squad. LOL

    Have a great week.

    • Glad I saw this. I also have this leaping issue! I can lower the sensitivity of the touchpad, but don’t see an option to disable. This makes me more aware, though, to avoid brushing my touchpad accidentally…

    • Urg! I get the strongest impression that many of the ‘upgrades’ and ‘improvements’ we end up having to endure don’t make life easier, but complicate it, instead! Best of luck with the Geek Squad, Laurel:)).

      The Mysterious Howling is a delight if you enjoy reading MG fiction.

    • If you like reading Middle Grade fiction, The Mysterious Howling is a delight.

      How extremely annoying! It seems a lot of these ‘upgrades’ and ‘improvements’ we get these days are nothing of the sort. I find myself dreading every flipping major update… Best of luck with the Geek Squad, Laurel!

  3. Oh no, your microwave fiasco sounds like something I’d do. I once set a toaster on fire by heating up a pop tart on the highest setting by mistake🤣 Hope you have a lovely week!

    • Thank you, Tammy. Yes… I’m sure it’s an easy mistake to make, though I was a bit fed up with Himself initially. The fact he doesn’t have a very good sense of smell was a major problem.

  4. Oh my goodness! It might even be dangerous to smell that burned plastic. I would worry about those fumes. Glad you are setting things to rights.

    I wonder if the Sherlock Holmes series is available here. My husband is a huge fan.

    I’ve been wanting to try The Incorrigibles, but for the oddest reason…I adore illustrator Jon Klassen. I wonder if the story is worthy of his art….

    Have a lovely week!

    • Yes, the fumes were certainly toxic, Deb. I was ill the following day and we had all the windows and doors open, even while it was raining. Fortunately, there was also a wind blowing which helped things along.

      I got the Sherlock Holmes collection on audible, so I think it should be available – it only cost 1 credit, so it’s marvellous value.

      Oh do take the plunge with The Incorrigibles! The first book, in particular, is a delight and you can read it on Kindle Unlimited.

      I hope you, too, have a wonderful week, Deb:)

  5. My 2 year old microwave died last week, I’m annoyed because I had a microwave that last almost 20 years and in the last 10 years I’ve had to buy three!
    I’m looking forward to grandkids but I think it will be some way off.

    Wishing you a great reading week

    • Thank you, Shelleyrae. Oh yes – there is definitely a thing going on… I had a washing machine that lasted 16 years and four moves. Unheard of these days, I believe they delibrately design them to break after their warranties have come to an end.

  6. The microwave situation sounds like a nightmare! OMG, I’d have freaked and just the thought of all the scrubbing, cleaning and smellies required to get rid of the burnt plastic smell makes me feel exhausted! Thankfully it wasn’t worse for you though.

    I hope this week is mishap free!

    • Thank you for your kind good wishes. To be honest, Himself set too and did most of the donkey work, bless him. And you’re right – it could have been so much worse. I hope you also have a great week:)

  7. Glad you were able to get the smell of burnt plastic out of your home. That does not sound like a fun experience at all but I’m glad it wasn’t more serious. Hope this week is a good one for you!

  8. Oh no sorry to hear about the microwave mishap! Glad it wasn’t more serious even though I bet the smell was awful for a while.

    The Mysterious Howling looks promising!

    Hope your week ahead is a good one. 🙂

    • Thank you, Greg. It was a truly terrible smell and the worst of it was that when I left the house, I could still smell it… Fortunately, it was quite windy so opening all the doors and windows helped a lot, as did boiling the lemons, which really shifted it.

    • Thank you, Maddalena:). To be honest, I haven’t been worrying overmuch about the loss of the apple pudding. Losing the microwave and battling with the smell took higher priority… However, he now owes me ANOTHER delicious apple pudding!

    • Thank you, Laura – yes, we were relieved that it wasn’t worse. And you’re right – major amounts of cleaning needed doing. Cleaning the stair carpet finally sorted out the residual stink… And you’re right – I’m going to remember that boiling lemons again in the event of having to deal with any nasty pongs in the future:)

  9. Oh my! It reminds me of that time when we warmed the glass choco container while it still had som aluminium from the top on it! Sparks everywhere and the fright of our lives!!!!

  10. I’m surprised we have had more mishaps with our microwave I’m glad you could figure it out. It’s good to hear your writing and editing is coming along nicely. I am a big Sherlock Holmes fan so I may have to get that collection I have one from Tantor which was a freebie when they still sold direct, which contains 10 stories, narrated by Simon Prebble Have a wonderful week!

    Anne – Books of My Heart Here is my Sunday Post   

    • Thank you, Anne:). Yes – I’m really relieved the writing and editing is going well. And as for the Sherlock Holmes collection – I highly recommend it. Apart from anything else, it is excellent value.

  11. That microwave drama sounds awful – and burnt plastic is definitely not a good aroma although, similar to your husband, my sense of smell is not acute so it probably wouldn’t have bothered me as much. It was a bugbear at work though if people microwaved fish for lunch – omg – the smell lingered for days.
    I like the sound of the Holmes audio books – I should pick those up, I even have credits.
    Lynn 😀

  12. Thank heaven it was just the microwave and not more of the house! Glad you two are okay…and now living in a super-clean home. 🙂 Our house is a sty, but for good reason: Bo managed to clean out the garage of all our basement stuff from last summer. We can park our cars again! Yippee!

    Course, that just leaves the half dozen or so tubs of stuff for me to go through someday…

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