Sunday Post – 19th July, 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.

Most of the week slid by routinely – until Friday. I was due to meet up with my sister for the first time in a while. But while getting ready, I had news from my father that my mother had been taken to hospital after becoming ill early in the morning. After an anxious wait, it transpired that she has very high blood pressure. I spent part of that wait with my sister, who has been enjoying a week’s holiday, catching up over a sticky bun and cup of tea. And on returning home, my lovely daughter had just arrived with a bunch of roses for me, knowing that I’d be worried about Mum, after hearing the news that she’d been taken ill. We sat in the garden together for a while, enjoying the sunshine before she drove back to Brighton.

On the blogging front – I’m still stubbing my toes on block editor and its irritating limitations, which I’ve found time consuming and unsatisfactory. Writing-wise, I’ve been updating the front matter on my books, which has taken a surprising amount of time, as well as continuing the editing process of Mantivore Warrior. Mhairi has now completed the cover design, needless to say I’m delighted with it. I’m aiming to have the book ready for publication by the end of August.

The pics this week are featuring the different types of foliage I have in the garden. While I’ve been snapping the flowers, I love plants with coloured leaves, ranging from my black-leaved elderflower, the red-leaved robinia, the little black-leaved grass and my lovely tradescantia.

Last week I read:

Velocity Weapon – Book 1 of the Protectorate series by Megan E O’Keefe

Sanda and Biran Greeve were siblings destined for greatness. A high-flying sergeant, Sanda has the skills to take down any enemy combatant. Biran is a savvy politician who aims to use his new political position to prevent conflict from escalating to total destruction. However, on a routine maneuver, Sanda loses consciousness when her gunship is blown out of the sky. She awakens later on a ship to find herself in an unimaginable situation…
Whatever you do, don’t read the blurb which ruins the amazing opening in this entertaining space opera. I’m currently reading the second book in this series.

End Game – Book 8 of the Fallen Empire series by Lindsay Buroker

Alisa Marchenko has reunited with her daughter, and even though she hasn’t figured out how to get Jelena to accept Leonidas yet, she dreams of the three of them starting a new life together. They can return the Star Nomad to its original purpose of running freight and staying out of trouble (mostly). Before that can happen, Alisa must fulfill the promise she made to Jelena: that she and her crew will retrieve young Prince Thorian, the boy who has become Jelena’s best friend. But Thorian was kidnapped by the rogue Starseer Tymoteusz, the man who wants to use the Staff of Lore to take over the entire system—and the man who may have the power to do it. Alisa doesn’t know why he kidnapped Thorian, but Tymoteusz once promised to kill the prince, so she fears they don’t have much time.
It was with some sadness that I picked this one up – my ongoing adventure with Alisa and her eccentric crew was coming to an end. And I was also a bit worried in case the ending was a letdown – but Buroker nailed it. I’ll definitely be reading more of her books. Review to follow.


Peace Talks – Book 16 of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

When the Supernatural nations of the world meet up to negotiate an end to ongoing hostilities, Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, joins the White Council’s security team to make sure the talks stay civil. But can he succeed, when dark political manipulations threaten the very existence of Chicago–and all he holds dear?
I was very glad that I’d read Skin Game last week, as this one hits the ground running. My firm advice is that if you haven’t read Skin Game recently, then refamiliarize yourself with it before you pick this one up. Review to follow.


My posts last week:

Series I’ve Completed So Far in 2020

Friday Face-off featuring The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Three SPACE OPERA mini-reviews: Record of a Spaceborn Few; Arkadian Skies and Record of a Spaceborn Few

Can’t-Wait-Wednesday featuring Ink and Sigil – Book 1 of the Ink and Sigil series by Kevin Hearne

Tuesday Treasures – 4

Review of AUDIOBOOK Ancestral Night – Book 1 of the White Space series by Elizabeth Bear

Sunday Post – 12th July 2020


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

A Short Analysis of Robert Frost’s ‘Birches’ https://interestingliterature.com/2020/07/robert-frost-birches-analysis/ Yet another interesting article from this informative site…

Where I Ought to Be: A Writer’s Sense of Place https://writerunboxed.com/2020/07/13/sense-of-place/ I found this a fascinating article – and realised that place is also important to me, both as a reader and writer…

Kindergarten Means ‘Garden of Children’ https://jenniefitzkee.com/2020/07/11/kindergarten-means-garden-of-children/ Another uplifting and profound post by wonder-teacher Jennie…

#lessonslearnedfrom #AgathaChristie: one #narrative #pov does not fit all #stories https://jeanleesworld.com/2020/07/15/lessonslearned-from-agathachristie-one-narrative-pov-does-not-fit-all-stories/ I love it when Jean shares her thoughts about writing…

Fang Cap Mask https://africanhomage.com/fang-cap-mask/ This is a lovely site with some amazing art inspired by African influences and is worth a visit…

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

67 responses »

  1. Hi there Sarah! I’m so sorry that your mom fell ill. High Blood Pressure is a nasty one. I have the same problem and it’s something that you have to watch very carefully. It tends to sneak up on you!

    I should still read any of the Dresden Files. I know my husband has one on his kindle. He won’t easily read something if I haven’t read it first. Weird guy…. But I still love him.

    Hope your week will be good and that you get to clear all your frustrations with the blog!

    Here’s my The Sunday Post

    • Hi Mareli – thank you for your kind concern. Yes, I’m on bp tablets – but I was a bit shaken that they insisted on immediately admitting her to hospital, something they don’t lightly do these days. Very relieved that it is something that can be easily fixable. I hope you have a good week:)

    • Thank you, Becky – I am on bp medication and I know how efficiently it is controlled, so I’m sure they will sort her out.

      Glad you liked the leaves – I’ll be featuring more on Tuesday:))

  2. Sorry to hear about your mom. I hope she will be okay soon. I know how scary it can be with high blood pressure. My mom has it too and we once had to spend the night at the hospital because her pressure was so high and wouldn’t go down.
    I have the Dresden Files books on my TBR. I want to try them since I keep hearing about them.

    • Thank you, Zezee – I’m very much hoping that she’ll continue responding to the medication and will be feeling fine, soon. Up to know, she’s enjoyed really good health, apart from dodgy knees. I hope your mother is now sorted out?

      The Dresden Files is such an enjoyable series, though it does get a bit grim in the middle… But it’s picked back up again and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last two books. Give them a go if you want something escapist and action-packed.

      • Yep, my mom’s all good now and back to her usual loud self, lol 🙂
        I’ll def check out those Dresden books.

      • Glad to hear that she is back to her normal self – I couldn’t POSSIBLY comment on the loudness or otherwise of someone else’s mother:)). And yes – it’s lovely to see the Dresden Files back on track:)

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your mum, best wishes for a speedy recover. I think you can change your editor back to classic, have you tried that? Maybe I’ve asked that question before. I’m dreading the day WP stops supporting the classic editor, but I’m clinging to it as long as I can!

    • Thank you for your kind wishes for Mum’s recovery.

      And yes – I can roll back to Classic, but I have to pay a LOT for doing so, and they won’t be supporting the Classic editor after next year. Mostly, it’s okay and in many ways, it is an improvement. There are a couple of MAJOR issues that really irk me, as they work with no problem in Classic. I suppose I’ll just have to get used to it…

  4. I hope your mum improves quickly. It was nice to enjoy some tea with your sister, though.

    I had hoped the block editor had finally caved in and turned workable…but I guess not! I hope I’m never required to use it, as the little bit I encountered while trying to resize photos made me want to scream. Hate it!

    I don’t get why they make changes that are so frustrating…and at the same time, they are touting it as an “easy method.”

    Enjoy your books and your week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

    • Thank you, Laurel for your kind concern over my mother – hopefully it will be a relatively quick fix:).

      As for the block editor, mostly, I’m on top of it. But there are a couple of issues that are winding me up – I’ve looked on all the tutorials and I simply cannot wrap text around images in the way I used to. And I also hit a big problem as I wanted to use an image in the gallery to link to a post – nope. Won’t do it. SAYS it will – but half the images didn’t work and there was no rhyme or reason to it. I wasted a whole morning on the wretched thing. Grrr!

  5. I really hope that your mom will be all right!!! This is so scary going to the hospital in these times. But that was also so sweet of your daughter to bring you flowers!

    • Thank you, Sophie – I was really worried about her having go to hospital, too. But I know they are really careful at present. And yes – wasn’t it lovely of my daughter – so thoughtful!

  6. I am always glad you have family close for support. I hope your Mum is better soon and won’t have to stay at the hospital for long. I really loved Peace Talks and can’t wait for more.

    Have a lovely week! Stay safe and be kind.

    Anne – Books of My Heart Here is my Sunday Post   

    • Thank you, Anne for your kind concern. Yes, she’s now out of hospital and doing well. It just gave us all something of a fright. I’m looking forward to the next book, which is due before the end of the year.

    • Thank you for your kind concern, Heather – it was lovely to catch up with my sister – and to unexpectedly see my daughter, too.

      Oh yes – I’m very happy to have reconnected with the Dresden Files:)). Have a great week.

  7. Oh I’m so sorry to hear about your mum, Sarah! Wishing her a very speedy recovery!

    I’m very much looking forward to reading your review for Peace Talks – I will definitely be catching up with The Dresden Files soon! Good luck with the editing and have a great week 🙂

    • Thank you, Proxy – hopefully once the medication starts to kick in, she should be starting to feel a lot better very soon.

      Yes, I’m hoping to post my review of Peace Talks in the coming week – do read Skin Game first though, or you’ll be floundering. And thank you for your good wishes regarding the edits – I’m glad that I’ve gone through the tricky part where I’m pruning and evaluating the plotting and characterisation. I’m now hunting down all those silly mistakes – typos, double and missing words – the fiddly bits!! It takes time and concentration.

      • Oh I will definitely be floundering – I have three others to catch up on first!! I think I might prioritise getting them this year so I don’t get left too far behind!

        I’m sure it does! It must feel like a tremendous accomplishment once complete though! 😀

      • Yeees… I have a bit of a problem with series – I emotionally don’t like letting them go. Which is why I gave myself a good talking-to at the start of the year:))

      • I hear that! I always long for series to continue forever… which is obviously impossible and rarely done successfully long-term. I like your idea though of listing out all my unfinished series this year and ploughing through them!

      • I tag all my ongoing series, so I can use the Find function to select them, which makes it really simple to work out where I am and which one I need to read next…

  8. I am sorry to hear about your mom. I hope she’s doing better soon. That must’ve been quite the fright. How nice of your daughter to send you roses and that you could catch up with your sister while waiting for news.

    I’ve had to use the block editor a few times for client’s sites and while I could use it, I find the old editor much easier to use. Luckily the plugin for the old editor is still working for self hosted wordpress sites. Good luck getting the hang of the block editor!

    I hope your edits for Mantivore Warrior are going well! How exciting it will probably ready for publication end August.

    Lovely pictures from your garden as always. I also like different colored leaves and they provide some nice variety of you have a lot of plants.

    I also enjoyed End Game and thought it was a great ending. I am hoping to pick up the spin off series about Jelena soon. Have a great week!

    • Thank you, Lola for your kind good wishes for Mum – you’re right, it was a huge fright. She has enjoyed good health and it was a nasty reminder that she isn’t immortal… Yes, my tussles with block editor are ongoing – mostly I’m reasonably happy with using it. If only they could fix the business of wrapping text around images successfully, I’d be a happy bunny!

      Yes! I’m looking forward to tucking into the spinoff series with Jelena, too:)). And thank you – glad you liked the foliage for a change – it’s foliage I generally pay attention to, rather than flowers…

      And yes – I’m on the last lap with the edits of Mantivore Warrior, which consists of picking up as many of the niggling little mistakes as I can. I hope you, too, have a great week, Lola:)

  9. I hope your mom is okay! I’m glad you got to catch up with your sister though and see your daughter!

    I haven’t attempted the block editor. I have heard such horror stories!

    Hope you have a good week!

    • Thank you, Samantha – yes, she is recovering, thank goodness it wasn’t a more tricky issue.

      Block editor is a funny one – once you get into the mindset, it is reasonably straightforward and there are, indeed, some improvements on the Classic editor. But there are some issues that really niggle. I hope that you, too, have a great week:)

    • Thank you for your kind good wishes, AJ – oh yes, it gave me the fright of my life. I still think of her as immortal… But hugely relieved that it is something so easily fixable. I hope that you, too, have a wonderful week:))

    • Thank you, Suzanne. Thankfully, it seems to be straightforward – and they are very efficient at sorting out bp, which I know from personal experience…

  10. I hope your mom’s blood pressure issues are resolved soon. It is worrying to hear about parental health problems. What a kind gesture from your daughter.

    I wish you lived around the corner and could come by and help me with my garden. When we walk each morning, we pass one yard that appears like a jungle. My husband turned to me this morning, as we passed this yard, and said, “That looks like our house.” He is right. We need help.

    I sincerely hope Chicago’s only professional wizard is able to save the city. My son and daughter-in-law live there.

    And I love the article on kindergartens. As a person who worked for many years with young children, I wish everyone, especially administrators, especially governmental education decision makers, knew about the needs of young children.

    Have a good week and take care.

    • Lol… oh dear, Deb – I don’t think I’d be much help with your garden – ours is terribly jungly, too. It’s absolutely packed with plants and some are seriously running out of control. Thing is… I quite like it like that!

      Lol – the way things are going in Harry’s Chicago – I’m glad it’s in an alternate world, because otherwise I’d be advising your family to pack up and head for the hills:)).

      And yes! Wouldn’t it be MARVELLOUS if said adminsitrators and governmental education decision-makers knew the FIRST THING about how children best absorb information and the right kind of environment they need??? Not that I’m passionately fed up about their shortcomings. At all!!!

      I hope the coming week is a kind one, Deb. And that your books can help keep the rest of the world at bay!

    • Lol… I’m delighted to report that the slugs aren’t quite so rapacious these days:)). I think gardening organically for the last 26 years has meant the creatures that predate upon slugs have now had a chance to thrive, too!

      Thank you so much for your kind good wishes for my mother’s recovery. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that when she next sees the dr, she will get the medication she needs:).

      • Well slugs are vegan, and now, thanks to you, they became organic, so they must taste delicious… Since you are so passionate (:o)) about gasteropods, please take a look at the snails series by Addé on africanhomage.. Please keep us informed about your mother’s health.

      • Lol… I hadn’t thought about the taste of the slugs – they certainly aren’t as huge as they used to be, which is a relief! And I’ll definitely check out the snails. Mum is talking to the Dr tomorrow about her appropriate medication, and feeling a lot better. Thank you so much for your kind concern:))

  11. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom but hopefully she is feeling better and responding well to treatment? It sounds like you had very nice visits with your sister and daughter so hopefully that was calming.

    • Thank you, Katherine for your kind good wishes. Yes, she is now scheduled to see the dr later this week after monitoring her own bp for the last few days.

      And yes – seeing my sister and daughter was a real plus during a fairly stressful day:))

  12. Sorry to hear about your mum! I assume they managed to get the bp under control?
    I’m glad you got to have a catch up with your sister over a cake and a cuppa though… Even if the circumstances could have been a million times better!

    Looking forward to seeing the cover art! 🙂

  13. Yeah, I will not be upgrading the blocks when I update my website in the fall. No thanks. I use it on another website, and I don’t like it AT ALL. Lol. Glad to hear your mom is okay!

    • Thank you, SJ – it’s a huge relief to know that she isn’t seriously ill. Given that she is now in her 80s, I cannot take anything for granted…

      As for block editor – I’m rubbing along with it, but I haven’t fallen in love with it, that’s for sure!

    • Thank you for your kind concern – Mum’s bp is being monitored and she is waiting to find out what medication she’ll need, but happily she has recovered completely from her initial medical emergency.

      • Yes – she was a bit poleaxed as throughout her life she has always had impressively low bp. But I’m glad it’s been spotted before anything nasty happened.

  14. I MADE THE LIST! WOOHOO! (insert little jig of joy here) I hope things are better now for your Mum, and it is good you could spend some much-needed time with family, too. AND you’re publishing this month. HUZZAH!

    • Glad I’ve managed to make you jig:)). Yes – Mum is now a lot better, thank goodness. And I’ve been able to regularly spend time with the family – such a treat since lockdown when I missed them fiercely. And yes – I’m turning Mantivore Warrior loose on the world, too:)).

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