Sunday Post – 12th July, 2020 #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.

And here we are in high summer – when did that happen? On Monday we travelled to Ringwood to visit Himself’s parents, catching up with them both. By the afternoon, the weather had brightened up sufficiently that we were able to pop in to see my mother and father and sit in their garden for a chat before coming home, again. It was lovely to see both sets of parents – and hear the news that my stepfather has decided to fully retire after 59 years working. Himself returned to work on Wednesday, after our very quiet, uneventful staycation, which was just what he needed after working throughout the craziness of the full lockdown.

On Friday, I drove to Brighton to have lunch with my daughter and the family. We took the children to the swing park and I was amazed at how adventurous Eliza is at two – and was reminded all over again at Frankie’s tendency to climb, as he disappeared up an oak tree… I brought Oscar back with me and we’re having a lovely time with him. I’ve discovered he is amazingly helpful when shopping, as he has nailed the process of disinfecting of the trolleys.

The pics this week are from the garden. By now most of the native plants have flowered, although my little patio rose is still delivering the goods. The echiums are over their best, but I do love the fluffy look they get after most of the flowers have gone. The oregano shouldn’t really be in flower, but it’s so very pretty and as you can see, the bees love it. My bronze fennel is just coming into bloom, too. And those fuchsias will go on producing flowers until the first frosts – I love them!

Last week I read:

Scarlet Odyssey – Book 1 of the Scarlet Odyssey series by C.T. Rwizi

Magic is women’s work; war is men’s. But in the coming battle, none of that will matter.
Men do not become mystics. They become warriors. But eighteen-year-old Salo has never been good at conforming to his tribe’s expectations. For as long as he can remember, he has loved books and magic in a culture where such things are considered unmanly. Despite it being sacrilege, Salo has worked on a magical device in secret that will awaken his latent magical powers. And when his village is attacked by a cruel enchantress, Salo knows that it is time to take action.
This African-based epic fantasy drew me in and held me. I loved Salo and how his story steadily unspools throughout the book, while the richness of the worldbuilding and interesting, savage magic system worked really well. I am definitely going to want to read the second book in this accomplished series.

Skin Game – Book 15 of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day…
Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful.
He doesn’t know the half of it…
Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains—led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone—to break into the highest-security vault in town, so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever…
As the first half of the rather chatty blurb makes clear, this book is all about a heist poor old Harry is forced to take part in. It was a reread for me, as with Peace Talks coming out next week, I wanted to ensure I got the best out of the book before tucking into it. So glad I took the time to reacquaint myself with Harry Dresden’s doings – it reminded me all over again why we still love this series.

AUDIOBOOK The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens.
The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.
This has taken me quite a while to get through, given that it is 800+ pages and I set my audiobooks on 1.5x slower. But overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it. A pity that the narrator – who handled the range of characters extremely well with a pleasing variety of voices – then mispronounced bow throughout, along with a sprinkling of other odd words. Mini-review to follow…

My posts last week:

The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

Castellan the Black and his Wise Draconic Musings

Friday Face-off featuring Tunnel in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Scarlet Odyssey – Book 1 of the Scarlet Odyssey series by C.T. Rwizi

Can’t-Wait-Wednesday featuring Chaos Vector – Book 2 of Th Protectorate series by Megan E. O’Keefe

Tuesday Treasures – 3

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Entangled Secrets – Book 3 of the Northern Circle Coven series by Pat Esden

Sunday Post – 5th July 2020

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

Author Spotlight: S.J. Higbee Jay, whose cosy crime series is a delight, has posted a review of Mantivore Dreams, an excerpt of the book and an interview with me…

The Cabinet of Calm: Words for Worrying Times I really love the sound of this one – so I’ll probably get a copy

Goodbye to an Old Friend There always comes a time, doesn’t there? Unless, like me – you’re a coward who cannot face such partings…

Small Restbites of Relief – or thank god, I don’t have to think for a minute I love her view of the world – and if you get a chance to see Six at any stage, I second her recommendation…

The Libraries Re-Opened! Another step towards civilisation – which personally matters more to me than the pubs opening up again…

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

42 responses »

  1. How nice that both sets of parents are so close to you. As always, your flowers are so pretty! I’ve heard so many mixed thoughts about The Priory of the Orange Tree, so I’m curious to hear more of your thoughts if you write a review 😁

    • Yes – it was one of the first conversations we had… Fancy your parents and mine living so close! Yes… I was initially going to write a mini-review of The Priory, but I have quite a lot to say about it – so it’s probably going to grow into something more:))

  2. Sounds like you had a lovely week. That’s great that you were able to visit with so many family members. 🙂 I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the audiobook of The Priory of the Orange Tree. After seeing just how enormous the book itself is, I’m planning to go the audio route as well, haha.

    • Yes, it was really great to be able to touch base with so mnay family members – it’s been really hard not being able to see them for such a while… And yes – I’m very glad I was able to listen to The Priory – I tend to look for longer books as they work really well for me.

  3. The Priory must have been huge to listen to!!!! I tried last year but so far, no success… And again your garden is amazing!

  4. Wonderful you were able to visit family and that’s great your stepfather is retiring. 59 years is impressive. Beautiful garden pictures and have a wonderful week!

    • Thank you, Katherine:)). Yes – someone mentioned that it was a shame he couldn’t have held out for a round 60 years – but I think he’s earned the right to stop now, in his 70s! I hope your coming week is a positive one and that Will keeps on responding well to his treatments. Thinking of you and sending healing thoughts in your direction!

  5. What a lovely week with family. It’s great he’s retiring! I’m still enjoying your plant photos. I’m excited for my daylilies to bloom and I only planted them maybe 4 weeks ago but some definitely are going to bloom.

    I love Harry Dresden and Peace Talks was fantastic! I’m so excited we get Battle Ground in September!!!!!

    Have a wonderful week and stay well!

    Anne – Books of My Heart Here is my Sunday Post   

    • Thank you, Anne – I know what you mean about the day lilies – they always look so beautiful. I’m looking forward to starting Peace Talks this week:)). I hope you, too, have a lovely week and keep weel:))

  6. Glad you had a good staycation! I rather like those. 🙂 And awesome that you got to see both sets of parents as well! Yay for that!

    Love the garden pics as well!

    Take care and be well this week!


    • Thank you, Greg – yes, it was lovely to be able to see both sets of parents. It was the first time since lockdown since we’ve seen them other than online and it was a huge relief.

  7. Oh I love your garden – very beautiful! And so nice that you could spend some time with the family.
    A great week for books too 😀 I am certainly looking forward to continuing my journey with Harry Dresden!

    • Thank you, Proxy – our garden isn’t bandbox by any stretch. It’s quite weedy, in fact… But I do love my plants:). And I’m also looking forward to diving back into Harry’s world, too!

  8. How great that you had family time and enjoyed the garden. Your books look good, and I’m curious about The Priory of the Orange Tree. I love that cover!

    Enjoy your week and your books, and stay safe.

    • The Priory is an epic beast of a book that encompasses a wide-ranging fantasy story including dragons and pirates – and political shenanigans… Have a good week, Laurel:)

  9. Love your colorful garden. The Priory of the Orange Tree is one I want to attempt again as I did not set aside enough time to properly get into it before it was due back at the library. It is a chunkster.

  10. Those fuchsias are beautiful, my one regret when I moved house many years ago was not bringing some of the fuchsias from my garden. It annoys me every time I walk past my old house.

    It’s good things are starting opening up, I just wish the whole UK was covered by the same rules, it can be so confusing.

    It sounds like you have had some lovely family time.

    Have a good week.

    • Oh I feel your pain regarding the fuchsia, but fortunately they are easy to obtain at gardening centres. I cannot cope without at least one in my garden! It’s a must-have plant.

  11. It sounds like your stepfather has certainly earned a retirement. That’s a lot of time on the job.

    Being around family is an instant mood enhancer for me. I’m glad you got to see so many members of your family last week.

    I’ve been curious about Orange Tree. If it’s that long, it better be that good.

    Your garden is magnificent. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Thank you, Deb. Yes, 59 years is a real achievement, isn’t it? And yes – Orange Tree is good, but I’m glad that I listened to it, rather than read it…

    • I’m hoping to post my review shortly – though I’m very aware I’ve got a bunch of reviews stacking up and need to be posting a more frequently!

  12. One-on-one time with a grand is always so special–both for the Nan and the grand. 🙂 I’m just waiting for the tree-climbing genes to kick in with the twins. All it takes is the right tree to get them started, and I’ve only see one…where was it…oh! The beach. Perhaps God felt I didn’t need a heart attack too early in life, and politely put all the climbing trees out of the boys’ reach for the time being, lol xxxxxxx

    • Lol… not an issue in our part of the world. We don’t have the kind of countryside where there are plenty of trees for children to scramble up. There are plenty of trees, you understand – just now available to children… So that is one heart attack I was spared:)). Glad God gave you a break on that one, too.xxxx

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