Sunday Post – 28th June, 2020 #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.

It was my birthday on Friday – and I was dreading it. While we had arranged to go for a picnic at Borde Hill Garden, near Haywards Heath, I was all too aware we were in the hands of the weather. What I couldn’t do was have my customary family birthday party. So I woke up on Friday morning not feeling all that excited. Yet it turned out to be one of the loveliest birthdays… While it was still very warm, the promised thunderstorms didn’t materialise and Borde Hill Garden is a gem. My daughter had put together a yummy vegan picnic, including the most delicious cake and the pics this week are all from Borde Hill Gardens. We then had our older grandchildren to stay for the weekend – they went home this morning. It was so much fun spending time with them again, and although we couldn’t take them swimming or scootering along the foreshore due to the constant high winds and rain showers on Saturday – we had a hilarious Game of Thrones monopoly game, instead.

On Wednesday, we went to Elmer Beach with the family on one of the sunniest days of the year. Though it was busy, we were able to observe social distancing throughout the afternoon. The boys swam, while little Eliza was engrossed with stones on the beach and afterwards, they were occupied flying a kite in the onshore breeze. So it has been a busy week, socially!

On the writing front, the release of Picky Eaters went very well. Thank you so much to those of you who spread the word – and those of you who bought the book.

Last week I read:
Entangled Secrets – Book 3 of the Northern Circle Coven series by Pat Esden
Pregnant and alone at twenty-one, Chandler Parrish sought refuge within the Northern Circle coven’s secluded complex. Never revealing the identity of her child’s father, Chandler has raised her now eight-year-old son, Peregrine, in peace, and used her talent as an artist and welder to become a renowned metal sculptor. But her world is shaken to the core when Peregrine shows signs of natural faerie sight—a rare and dangerous gift to see through faerie glamour and disguises that could only have come from his father’s genes. Worse yet, the boy has seen a monstrous faerie creature trailing Lionel Parker, a magic-obsessed journalist determined to expose the witching world.

But the very man who threatens the witches’ anonymity may also be key to healing Chandler’s long broken heart. As dangerous desires and shocking secrets entangle, new faerie threats and demonic foes close in on the coven and High Council. Loyalties will be tested. Fierce magics will be called upon. And Chandler will have to face her past to save all she holds dear: her coven, her child—and perhaps even her own soul.
Despite crashing midway into this series, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Chandler proved to be a gutsy, sympathetic protagonist and I loved her fierce protectiveness towards her young son, which nicely nocked up the ongoing tension throughout a fair chunk of the story. Review to follow.


Perilous Hunt – Book 7 of the Fallen Empire series by Lindsay Buroker
After failing to catch up with her daughter Jelena so many times, Alisa’s optimism is battered, but her determination has never waned. She, Leonidas, and their eclectic crew are hunting down a Starseer research station in the heart of the Kir Asteroid belt—Jelena’s supposed location. Alisa vows that she will find her daughter if she has to search a million asteroids to do so.

But Jelena and her close friend, Prince Thorian, have attracted the interest of many factions, and the Star Nomad isn’t the only ship on the hunt…
Alisa has been searching for her daughter now through six action-packed books – so I wondered whether once again Buroker could deliver the goods such that once again I’d be sucked back into this intriguing world. But she absolutely did. I really enjoyed this penultimate adventure of this series. Review to follow.

TUYO – Book 1 of the Tuyo series by Rachel Neumeier
Raised a warrior in the harsh winter country, Ryo inGara has always been willing to die for his family and his tribe. When war erupts against the summer country, the prospect of death in battle seems imminent. But when his warleader leaves Ryo as a sacrifice — a tuyo — to die at the hands of their enemies, he faces a fate he never imagined.
The author contacted me and asked if I would be interested in a review copy of TUYO – and I immediately agreed. After all, Neumeier wrote the fabulous Griffin Mage trilogy – one of my all-time favourite reads. I’m so glad I did – this one handles the issue of mind sorcery brilliantly and I inhaled this book, unwilling to put it down. Review to follow.


The Calculating Stars – Book 1 of the Lady Astronaut series by Mary Robinette Kowal
On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process.

Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too.

Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.
This one has been enthusiastically recommended by many of my book blogging buddies – and now I’ve had a chance to tuck into it, I understand what the fuss is about. I loved the way the alternate history strand was handled – with care and attention to the details that made this timeline work. Review to follow.


My posts last week:

Review of AUDIOBOOK Longbourn by Jo Baker

Friday Face-off featuring The High Window by Raymond Chandler

Three MURDER MYSTERY Mini-Reviews: The Case of the Missing Servant, Dying Fall and The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing

Can’t-Wait-Wednesday featuring Scarlet Odyssey – Book 1 of the Scarlet Odyssey series by C.T. Rwizi

Tuesday Treasures – 1

Review of Broken Flyght – Book 2 of The Flyght series by S.J. Pajonas

Picky Eaters is now available!

Review of The Boy, the Mole, Fox and the Horse by Charlie Macksey

Sunday Post – 21st June 2020


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

End of the School Year https://jenniefitzkee.com/2020/06/26/end-of-the-school-year/ This is always an emotional business – particularly for the little ones, but what a marvellous way to manage it so that the children have closure!

Book Mail! https://coffeeandcatsblog.wordpress.com/2020/06/24/book-mail/ For those of you who love the idea of getting books through the post…

The “WOULD YOU RATHER…” Tag https://spaceandsorcery.wordpress.com/2020/06/23/the-would-you-rather-tag/ Maddalena is on something of a roll – and I really like this one, too😊.

The Hack’s Guide to Writing While the Kids are at Home https://writerunboxed.com/2020/06/20/the-hacks-guide-to-writing-while-the-kids-are-at-home/ Bill is always worth reading for a laugh – and a guide as to how not to go about it…

Picky Eaters is Live Today https://twitter.com/AMhairiSimpson/status/1275003664558690309 A huge thank you to those of you who spread the word about Picky Eaters’ publication day on Monday – I was thrilled at the response. I’ve chosen Mhairi’s tweet, seeing as she also included her first sketch of Castellan, as she donated the book cover for free…

Thank you for visiting, reading, liking and/or commenting on my blog – I hope you and yours have a peaceful, healthy week. Take care.

52 responses »

  1. Okay, first of all happy belated birthday! Secondly, thank you for the wonderful pictures. It not only sounds like you´ve had a great birthday, it also looks that way too. I am so glad that you could enjoy some quality time with your family. Stay safe and well and happy reading & writing!

    • Thank you, Vi! It was a lovely, lovely day:)). And yes – it was just in time that we have been allowed to fully integrate a part of our family, although we are still not allowed to have a full gathering of the clan indoors from a number of different households. I hope that you, too, manage to stay safe and have a wonderful reading week…

  2. Happy birthday! I am glad to hear you had a lovely birthday even though you couldn’t celebrate with a party like usual. That garden you visited looks lovely and that’s so nice your sister made you a vegan picnic. And good timing with the thunderstorms not hitting until later. And that’s great you could have a socially distanced beach day as well. Looks like you had some good reads this week. I also enjoyed Perilous Hunt, I just recently finished the 8th book in the series. Have a great week!

    • Thank you, Lola. Yes, it was a wonderful birthday, despite not being able to have the usual family party:))). The garden was wonderful and it was so nice having the grandchildren to stay again – we’ve missed them so much! I am looking forward to reading the 8th book in the series – but probably won’t rush to read it, as I don’t really want the fun to stop… I hope you have a week free of headaches.

    • Thank you, Shelleyrae:). It was a wonderful family week – such a treat to touch base with them all:)). And I hope my run of wonderful reads continues…

    • Thank you for your kind good wishes, Anne. I hope you don’t feel shame – each one of us blogs as the mood takes us. That’s the joy of it – there is only the structure that we choose to make:)).

    • Thank you, Yvonne:)). I hope it will be a great week, too, seeing as we are in the middle of Himself’s annual holiday. Needless to say – it’s a staycation this year…

  3. Those gardens look amazing- especially that first pic! Wow I want to go there now. And glad you had a good birthday!!!! You never know with the weather but glad the worst held off. And Game of Thrones Monopoly sounds fun too. 🙂

    Hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

    • Oh yes – the gardens are a real gem – we will return, seeing as little Eliza was in her pushchair for a part of the time and there were areas that weren’t all that easy to access. And looking at the weather we’ve had since – I was VERY lucky!

    • The Calculating Stars certainly lived up to all the fuss about it – I’ve just burned through the 2nd book! Thank you for your kind good wishes and I hope you have a lovely week:)

  4. Happy birthday! Your story about your birthday made me cry. We want what we had, we think, but it is lovely when we are surprised by the joy we can find in the new ways we are having to live.

    I’m glad that the release of Picky Eaters is going so well. Wonderful.

    I wonder what percentage of authors write true science fiction? I am curious.

    • I hadn’t considered it before – but I think you are right, Deb… As my birthday approached, I was aware that it couldn’t be the same – that nothing is the same and frankly, I don’t know if it will ever be quite the same again in my lifetime. But I’m going to hold onto that delight. Because we are still who we were – and we still have the same people around us who care. And really – that’s all that matters, in the end. I think that’s what I took away from wandering around those beautiful gardens – and what made me so happy.

    • Ooo… true science fiction?? As opposed to the fun stuff where people whizz around space, blithely ignoring that even with faster-than-light technology, it will still take a long time to get there… Relatively few!

    • Thank you, Katherine – and I am now embracing the unusual:)). Yes – discovering another wonderful garden within an easy drive is also a major bonus!

  5. The Calculating Stars was my favorite book of last year. Absolutely enjoyed it. What a lovely birthday for you and your family!

    • It is certainly one of my outstanding reads of the year – and I love The Fated Sky, too:)). And yes… it was the loveliest day. Apart from anything else – I was extremely lucky with the weather, which has been miserable ever since.

    • What with the launch of Picky Eaters going so well at the start and the way the whole week went – it was absolutely fabulous. And to think I’d been looking forward to the whole week with dread! I’d got into a proper tailspin over Picky Eaters – worrying how I’d feel if everyone hated it, given it’s so different from what I usually write!

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