Sunday Post – 1st November, 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.

I was just looking forward to re-emerging having tucked myself away for a fortnight, after suffering a heavy cold. And then our Prime Minister last night announced the country is going into a month-long lockdown, starting on Thursday… My thoughts are with teachers and other key workers (including Himself) who once more will be facing the world, while the infection rate goes on rising. And for all of you, who are staying at home and coping with hard financial difficulties… Meanwhile, I’m going to retreat back to Wyvern Peak and the adventures of Castellan the Black – I’m now on the final lap of writing Picky Eaters, Part 2.

My photos are from the last night we spent at Bexhill – and the sunset that roared across the sky…

Last week I read:

AUDIOBOOK The Labyrinth Index – Book 9 of The Laundry Files by Charles Stross
The arrival of vast, alien, inhuman intelligences reshaped the landscape for human affairs across the world, and the United Kingdom is no exception. Things have changed in Britain since the dread elder god Nyarlathotep ascended to the rank of Prime Minister. Mhari Murphy, recently elevated to the House of Lords and head of the Lords Select Committee on Sanguinary Affairs (think vampires), finds herself in direct consultation with the creeping chaos, who directs her to lead a team of disgraced Laundry personnel into the dark heart of America. It seems the Creeping Chaos is concerned about foreign relations.

A thousand-mile-wild storm system has blanketed the midwest, and the President is nowhere to be found. In fact, for reasons unknown the people of America are forgetting that the executive branch ever existed. The government has been infiltrated by the shadowy Black Chamber, and the Pentagon and NASA have been refocused on the problem of summoning Cthulhu. Somewhere, the Secret Service battle to stay awake, to remind the President who he is, and to stay one step ahead of the vampiric dragnet that’s searching for him.
This one is told in multiple pov, with the main protagonist being Mhairi Murphy, a British Government secret service vampire, who is sent on a crazy mission. Lots of mayhem and rather dark fun, though perhaps with not the tension of The Delirium Brief. Review to follow.

Crackle and Fire – An Angela Hardwicke sci fi mystery by Russ Colchamiro
Angela Hardwicke isn’t just any private eye. She’s a PI from Eternity, the cosmic realm responsible for the design, creation, and maintenance of the Universe.

When accountant Gil Haberseau hires her to find an intern with stolen corporate files, Hardwicke soon finds herself embroiled in a deadly case of lies, intrigue, and murder, clashing with vengeful gangsters, MinderNot rallies, and a madman who’s come a long way to get what he wants.

Bonus story included! The AI-themed Angela Hardwicke murder mystery, “The Case of Jarlo’s Buried Treasure”
An entertaining sci fi mystery thriller. There were plenty of plot twists in this whodunit, and Angela is a sympathetic protagonist that kept me turning the pages – but I wasn’t wholly convinced about the wider worldbuilding. Review to follow.

My posts last week:

Castellan the Black and His Wise Draconic Sayings

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Map’s Edge – Book 1 of The Tethered Citadel by David Hair

Friday Face-off featuring Hatchet – Book 1 of Brian’s Saga by Gary Paulsen

Covet the Covers aka Cover Love – featuring the covers of Charles Stross

Can’t-Wait Wednesday featuring Dead Lies Dreaming – a Laundry Files novel by Charles Stross

Interview with Jean Lee Regarding Her Writing Process and Her Books

Tuesday Treasures – 17

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Fallen Princeborn: Chosen – Book 2 of the Fallen Princeborn series by Jean Lee

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Ministry For the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson

Sunday Post – 25th October 2020

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

SPFBO: Finalist announcement Lynn, excellent book blogger and all-round good egg is one of the judges of this ambitious and long-running contest, which give indie fantasy writers a chance to get their books more recognition. And having waded through 30 books and kept us abreast of all her decisions in a series of blogs, this is it – her final choice…

Little Free Library Celebrates Milestone 100,000th Library What a fabulous achievement – I know several wonderful book bloggers who are part of this scheme. And at such a difficult time, we know what a comfort books can be – so this is so very important.

Five 20th century science fiction books I love Jan’s list brought back some lovely reading memories in this stormingly good list…

MANTIVORE DREAMS by S.J. Higbee: a review I had a lovely surprise when I came across Rae’s review of the first book in my Arcadian Chronicles series. How kind of her to take the trouble to post her thoughts on it!

Halloween or not I enjoyed this well written article from a parent who didn’t even consider Trick or Treating – and has other options to offer families in the new normal…

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

59 responses »

  1. What a gorgeous sunset !! Thanks for sharing, it’s raining and windy here, and we’re on lockdown again, lol ! Have a peaceful week too 😉

    • Yes! It’s windy and raining here, too. I took this series of photos while I was staying in Bexhill at the beginning of October – what a difference a few weeks makes!

  2. Those sunsets are gorgeous! I hope you stay safe, Sarah. I’m worried about whats going to happen over the upcoming holidays with covid cases on the rise…

    • Yes… our PM is wanting to promise that we’ll be out of lockdown by Christmas – but given how slowly our numbers responded last time, I don’t see how he can… They have announced this step because the scientists all agreed if they didn’t, our NHS would be overwhelmed by the number of hospital cases sometime between the end of November and middle of December *sigh*. No one wants that…

      And yes – that is the same single sunset. I’m going to be posting more pics of it on Tuesday – the skies were an astonishing colour and just kept on changing from moment to moment… It felt like Bexhill was giving us our own personal glorious farewell!

  3. I am sorry to hear your cases are on the rise as well and you’re going back into full lockdown. We probably will go into full lockdown again soon too. Those are some pretty sunset pictures you shared! I hope you’ll have a good week!

    • Thank you, Lola:). Yes – that sunset was wonderful and it was a real comfort to share it on a fairly bleak Sunday… I am hoping this is the week when I finally finish the first draft of Picky Eaters 2, which will make it a special one for me!

  4. I got the first book in the Charles Stross series and look forward to reading it. Crackle and Fire looks interesting, too. I’m sorry Great Britain is locking down again. I hope it works to slow Covid. And that your husband and others who have to continue to work stay safe. We are having the same problem here in the U.S. with cases spiking and no consensus on what to do. My husband and I are retired so we see very few people and wear masks when we do. So many difficult things to get through in 2020.

    I hope you have a good writing and reading week, Sarah.

    • Thank you, Jan. Trying times! But I do feel those of us who have the comfort of reading and/or writing to turn to are very lucky… I just wish I could protect the rest of the family! I hope, you too, have a good week.

  5. Your first paragraph describing Labyrinth Index sounded startlingly real and as if it could be happening now! Looks like a good one.

    Sorry about another lockdown…I’ve never left our original one here, but since we’re “older people,” we are kept safe inside, and I’m grateful. But also curious about what the world out there might look like…someday.

    Stay safe and enjoy your week and your month, and thanks for visiting my blog.

    • Yes, given that this book has been out for a couple of years, it does sound startlingly prescient, doesn’t it? I do love this series!

      And for the lockdown – it’s going to be hard. I’ve been travelling over to see the grandchildren and we also have some other relatives that we can no longer support in any way physically at a crucial time for them.

      Glad that you are being so securely shielded, though, Laurel:)).

  6. I just read your shout out for my blog post, Sarah. Thank you! I skipped over it the first time, because sometimes if I read too closely I click on a link and then never get back to comment on your blog! I have a short attention span sometimes!

  7. Oh dear. A month-long lockdown? It sounds difficult, but honestly it would be nice to live in a country where I would be able to trust my government leaders to do what is difficult to help others.

    And writing is a great place to retreat, I think. I’ve been doing lots of writing and drawing.

    What wonderful shots of sunsets! Magnificent.

    Thanks for the shout out for the Little Free Libraries. They offer such an easy way to share with others.

    • It was my pleasure to celebrate the Little Free Library scheme – such a very good idea! And I hope the month is long enough – but we’ll just have to see. I’m very lucky with having the writing to get lost in. And if I had any kind of artistic gift, I’d be drawing and painting, too!

      Have a great week, Deb. And Happy Birthday!

  8. At least your Prime Minister is listening to doctors and scientists and deciding based on what’s right for the country, as opposed to satisfying small or selfish interests. Lockdowns are so hard – but it would be great if everyone (or at least most people) followed along then there would be a bigger impact.

    Those photos are gorgeous!

    • Yes… though there are those who feel it would have been preferable if the PM had listened a bit harder and started the lockdown during half term. And yes – I’m heartily sick of seeing people wandering around with no masks on, too!

      Glad you like the photos:)). Have a good week, Athira.

  9. As a teacher, I am nervous about the rise in cases. My students could take the virus home and infect their elderly family, or they could infect me and I could infect my family. Its a level of stress that is just daunting.

    • It is a real worry about the level of infections running in schools – but I also get why the governments are so keen for children to remain in the classroom, especially when I see how much my grandchildren suffered in the first lockdown by now being in school… But I fully appreciate how difficult it is for you! Take care.x

  10. I’m so glad to hear you are feeling better. We have chosen to stay locked down since March regardless of the state or national mandates. I do go out but there are so many who don’t follow the rules or wear masks. smh If people would wear masks, wash and distance, it would end much more quickly. So we remain careful. I have enough projects to do and books to read I would be fine for many years. But I do want to travel more. Someday. Have a safe and happy week!

    • Thank you, Anne. Yes – I gathered that you were keeping yourselves tucked away – and I don’t blame you. As Himself is a key worker and has to be out there day after day, I generally don’t get out much, anyway. I hope you have a safe week, too!

  11. Beautiful sunset pictures. Thanks for sharing them. As a teaching assistant in a primary school, I’ll be continuing to work (safely) through lockdown. We had thought it would be announced and take place during half-term… oh, well.
    I hope you have a good week and stay safe. x

    • Yes… I think a number of us thought it should have come sooner, before the numbers started rising so sharply. And best of luck in school – I think you folks are heroes! I hope you manage to keep safe, too, Flora.

      • Aww, thank you. Until we have a vaccine, I think Covid numbers will keep popping up in droves as soon as restrictions relax. A virus doesn’t just go away if people stay indoors.
        Hope you stay safe too. Have a great week. x

  12. What a beautiful sunset Sarah. I am sorry to hear that the cases are rising to much that you have to go back into lockdown. I hope you all stay safe. Good luck finishing up Picky Eaters 2.

    • Thank you, Carla:)). Yes – it’s a blow that our cases are rising so much. And thank you for your good wishes regarding Picky Eaters 2 – it’s been so much fun writing it… I hope you have a great week, too.

    • Thank you, Kimberly. I hope the lockdown stops the numbers going up – we aren’t too badly affected in our area, but in the North numbers are climbing close to where they were in April. I love looking at those pictures, too – they make me feel at peace and happy. We need that in our lives right now, don’t we? I hope you and yours stay safe – have a great week.

  13. I’m sorry to hear you’re going into lockdown again. So discouraging. And of course the virus is not going well over here either. Best of luck to Himself and all the others who have to go out.

    Take care this week and be well!

    • Yes, it is discouraging. But while I hate the thought of it, I don’t know what else they can do to keep the death toll down. At least we know a lot more about it and they are working hard on a vaccine…

      Thank you for your kind good wishes for Himself – I think everyone who continues to go out there is so courageous. I hope that you and yours continue to stay well – have a lovely week, Greg:)

  14. Nice that you were able to enjoy a beautiful sunset away before the lockdown goes into effect. Our numbers are rising in the States, but not sure our state will impose more lockdowns here in California. We’re have a steady rate of cases here, but our increases are not as bad as some of the other states, IMO. It seems the rises are in those states were maybe they haven’t been as conscientious about wearing masks. I guess we’ll see what happens. Like your husband, I still have to go to work (hospital/essential worker here) whether on lockdown or not. Although, it hasn’t been that bad at our hospital lately, thank goodness! Take care and stay safe! 🙂

    • Thank you, Rachel – yes, it was a golden moment… that sunset, in fact more like a series of golden moments and I’m so glad I was able to capture as the sky went on changing.

      The big concern is the fear of overwhelming our NHS resources, we are a small, densely populated island so are vulnerable to such a scenario. And you are one of the heroes – so glad to hear that your hospital isn’t being innundated and may that state of affairs continue. I hope that you, too, keep safe:))

  15. We were watching Great British Bake-Off the other night (well it’s British Baking Show here because of some kind of trademark issue) and they were talking about Bexhill and I thought of you and your lovely pictures from your writing retreat. Prayers for Himself and all the other key workers. And I hope you have a lovely week.

    • Thank you, Katherine – very much appreciated:)). Ah – it’s funny, isn’t it? You hear about a thing or a place, and then it crops up! Great British Bake-Off (and you’re right – there was a HUGE fuss about the name, which was why the BBC lost the franchise) is still a drop of wonderful normality right now. I hope your week is a quiet, peaceful one, too:)

    • Thank you, vvb:). It was a glorious treat at the end of a wonderful writing retreat. So far, this is working out to be a good week with lots of writing going on. I hope your week is working out well, too:))

  16. I’m sorry to hear that you guys are going into lockdown again. I hope it’s the last one for some time. We could use some lockdowns here in the States, but we have to deal with our election first. Such joy. Sigh.

    • Yes – the worry here is that our NHS system may become overwhelmed if we don’t take action to reduce the infection rate.

      I hope you guys are okay and that the elections go smoothly. Take care, SJ.

  17. I was just reading that you were going into another lockdown because of rising COVID cases. With the way ours are going, I feel like we should be right there with you. I hope you and your hubby stay safe and that you’re able to get lots of writing done while you’re home.

    • Thank you, Suzanne:). Yes, it feels rather depressing – more because I’m worried about various family members than ourselves. But yes… I am getting loads of writing done!

  18. I’m glad to hear you’ve been feeling better after your cold. I’m sorry you guys are back in lockdown again too.. Here things are getting worse too. And in the hospital things are just going crazy.
    Stay safe and happy reading.

    • Yes, it’s the concern that our hospitals may be overwhelmed here that is driving the lockdown. Do take care – I am so impressed at the courage of everyone working in health systems around the world. And that, of course, includes you! Have a safe, happy week, Maureen.

  19. Thanks for the shout out for LFLs. Mine is definitely a gift that keeps on giving. Also thanks for mentioning my review of your Picky Eaters Part 1. I can hardly wait for Part 2. Bring it on…

    • Oh yes. I’m not going to moan about any of it, anymore. Well… not all that much. I’m only too aware that other folks are really suffering and have had horrible experiences:(.

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