This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.
We weren’t around last Sunday, hence my absence. It’s been a busy week. On Tuesday night we helped celebrate my grandson’s 11th birthday – I can’t quite believe it… Where has the time gone? My writing club had a Zoom get-together on Wednesday, where I read out my very lame lyrics of an imaginary 1980s pop song, and we chatted about our writing projects. And tried to recall what it was like when we used to sit around a real kitchen table, eating cake and downing mugs of tea. On Thursday, I gave a short presentation via Zoom, again, to the West Sussex Writers’ meeting on the results of the Non-Fiction Competition, which I’d been judging. It was lovely to see many familiar faces, including a number of former Creative Writing students. And on Friday, I went over to look after little Eliza while my daughter listened to a lecture on… you guessed it – Zoom! We brought the boys back here to stay overnight and took them back home yesterday.
I am loving Sci Fi Month – thank you so much to Imyril at There’s Always Room for One More and Lisa at Dear Geek Place for hosting this marvellous event. On the writing front, I’m still working on Picky Eaters 2 – though it’s turning out to be rather too long to be a quick, easy read, so I’m probably going to be splitting up Castellan’s adventures.
My photos this week are from a rather soggy garden…
Last week I read:
The Thief on the Winged Horse by Kate Mascarenhas
The Kendrick family have been making world-famous dolls since the early 1800s. But their dolls aren’t coveted for the craftmanship alone. Each one has a specific emotion laid on it by its creator. A magic that can make you feel bucolic bliss or consuming paranoia at a single touch. Though founded by sisters, now only men may know the secrets of the workshop.
Persephone Kendrick longs to break tradition and learn the family craft, and when a handsome stranger arrives claiming doll-making talent and a blood tie to the Kendricks, she sees a chance to grasp all she desires.
This quirky fantasy with a difference was an engrossing, enjoyable read, while the story went off in unexpected directions.
Angel Six Echo by Robert Appleton
Armed with a fabled combat suit left to her by a dying warrior race, Gabby Rojas enters the deadliest standoff of the war as a rogue sniper with one goal: to keep her husband alive at all costs. Dalton is a high school teacher, not a soldier, but he’s volunteered to fight for the good of the colonies, against her advice. Gabby, on the other hand, is a black-ops prodigy who turned her back on the military years ago. The consequences of re-entering the fray alone like this, wielding the power of her extraordinary armoured suit, could tip the balance of power in the galaxy.
This military sci fi adventure, featuring a super-soldier wife who goes rogue to rescue her clever, geeky husband, who ill-advisedly joins up, is an entertaining, action-packed read. I just couldn’t figure out exactly why happily married Dalton wanted to join up in the first place… Review to follow.
AUDIOBOOK The Son of Neptune – Book 2 of The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
PERCY IS CONFUSED. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn’t know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn’t ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.
HAZEL IS SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD. When she lived before, she didn’t do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem—when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her “gift” for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn’t say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wishes she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.
FRANK IS A KLUTZ. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn’t see it. He doesn’t even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery—although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely—enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.
Beginning at the “other” camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.
This spinoff from the Percy Jackson series delivers the same witty, action-packed adventures that made the original series so much fun to listen to – and I’m delighted we’ve more Riordan goodness stored on my Kindle. Mini-review to follow.
My posts last week:
Castellan the Black and His Wise Draconic Sayings
Review of Hammered – Book 1 of the Wetwired series by Elizabeth Bear
Friday Face-off featuring Synners by Pat Cadigan
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Thief on the Winged Horse by Kate Mascarenhas
Covet the Covers featuring the Vorkosigan Saga covers by Lois McMaster Bujold
Can’t-Wait Wednesday featuring The Expert System’s Champion by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Review of INDIE Ebook Even Stranger – Book 2 of the Strange series by Marilyn Messik
Tuesday Treasures – 19
Review of The Fated Sky – Book 1 of the Lady Astronaut series by Mary Robinette Griffiths
Thank you for visiting, reading, liking and/or commenting on my blog – I hope you and yours have a peaceful, healthy week. Take care.
Your garden looks lovely, even in the rain. And happy birthday to you grandson! Hope you have a good week, and stay safe😁
Thank you, Tammy:)). Our garden is terribly untidy and overgrown right now – but as soon as Himself gets a day off, it pours with rain! I hope you have a great week, too.
Sounds like you’ve been busy indeed! That’s great you’re making progress on the next Picky Eaters book, hopefully splitting it in two might work. Your garden pictures look great, although it looks just as soggy there as it is here. That’s nice you had some good reads too this week. I hope your next wee is a good one too!
Thank you, Lola:). Picky Eaters was intended to be a novella of around 30,000 words, so it wouldn’t take too much effort to read – so now that it is coming out at over 100,000 words rather defeats that notion! Let’s hope we both have great reads in the coming week:))
I do love a 1980’s pop song 🙂
I’m quite intrigued by the premise of The Thief on the Winged Horse
Zoom is both a blessing and a curse I guess.
Wishing you a great reading week
One of our group is writing a play about a 1980s pop duo and so I made up some lyrics for one of their cheesie hits… Oh, The Thief on the Winged Horse is a very interesting read. And Zoom is a blessing – I know it is – but it also sums up all that we can’t do, too!
Hi Sarah! I don’t do sci-fi at all, so I’ve requested a sci-fi book for review. Will let you know how I feel about it.
Congrats with your grandson’s birthday. Yes, time do fly by quickly! This year felt long, but it actually flew by in a wink. Life’s been hectic here as well. Looking forward to December and just winding down a bit. And perhaps get a few blog posts pre-scheduled. I haven’t done a Friday post in weeks, just no time!
Hope you are well otherwise Sarah.
Have a wonderful week ahead.
The Sunday Post #18
Yes, I’m keeping well – though we’re dealing with some fairly hefty family stuff right now. I’m looking forward to hearing how you get on with the sci fi read, Mareli. And I know what you mean about the year flying by in a blink – I cannot believe that Christmas is just around the corner! Have a great week:))
Happy birthday to your grandson! And I’m so sick of Zoom. I had a literacy training this week via zoom and I’m just done with it.
Thank you, Samantha! Oh yes… I found I was very nervous about giving my presentation via Zoom, whereas I’ll happily stand up in front of a hall full of people and talk without any problems…
I do have fond memories of 1980s pop songs. They were the soundtrack of my life back then…happy moments.
Your books look good. Enjoy your week and thanks for visiting my blog.
You’re welcome, Laurel. I know what you mean about the soundtrack of your life… Though I spent most of the 80s knee deep in babies, prams and nappies!
We’ve had some lovely weather since the last hurricane blew through. Lovely photos of your garden. And mine are all a bit messy too. LOL Time for the winter prepping:)
I LOVE your garden pictures! My garden is still a mess with all the plain soil now visible. But that happens when you have to get out a huge amount of ivy…. Happy reading and stay safe and well.
Ah… yes… ivy. I a hedge of it in the front, but it does need controlling! I hope you have a great week, Vi:))
They may be soggy but they’re beautiful. I’m glad you had some family time. They grow up so quickly. I am not doing a good job with scifi month but hope to rectify that in the latter half of the month. Happy reading and stay well!
Thank you, Anne – we’ve had a lot of rain over the last few days! It was lovely to see the family again. I hope you have a good week – you’re certainly still really busy. And keep well:))
Even soggy your garden looks great. We have a lot of meetings via Zoom too. It’s become so common for my family now. The Thief on the Winged Horse has such a catchy title. Have a great reading week.
Thank you, Laura! Yes, Zoom is a great way for families to keep in touch. And The Thief on the Winged Horse is a really clever title – and an interesting read… I hope you, too, have a lovely week.
Hello… you’ve had a busy week Sarah! Happy Birthday to your grandson. The garden looks lovely, and it’s nice your writing group can still meet via zoom. Have a fab week!
Thank you, Kimberly. I’m very grateful we have the technology to keep touch. It stops us all going even crazier, I think… I hope you, too, have a lovely week:))
If it were not for video conference software, we would all be a far sadder lot, world-wide: the possibility of seeing each other, of looking each other in the eye while communicating is something that makes the enforced distance much more bearable. I love technology… 😉
Oh yes… I fully agree – it would be utterly miserable without Zoom. But it does change the dynamic, particularly in family get-togethers – you can’t have the quiet chats and catch-ups you have when you meet up. I’m good at those… I’m also good at talking to an audience of people. Talking to boxes of heads on a screen? Not so much!
But unfortunately those… boxed heads will have to be the new normal for a while… (((SIGH)))
Yes – and I had a conversation with my son a couple of nights ago. And in the nicest possible way, he told me to pull myself together and get used to it. Utilise my speaking skills and work on adapting them to projecting through a camera, instead of retreating. And he’s absolutely right, of course…
Beautiful pics as always. Sounds like you have a lot going on. So many great looking books too. I hope you have a great week!
Thank you, Yvonne – it was a busy week! I’m hoping for a quieter one, so I can finish Picky Eaters 2! I hope you have a lovely week.
I just finished a poetry writing class on Zoom. It would be lovely to have a writing group that meets there.
Where would we be without Zoom, I wonder.
I wish Sci Fi Month wasn’t in November. So much goes on this month, I think.
A new Percy Jackson! Hurray!
I belong to an ad hoc group of writers that have now been meeting up once a fortnight for over a decade. We’re all very different, but it’s lovely to share writing and discuss each other’s work. Zoom has been our lifeline – but we do miss seeing each other!
The Percy Jackson book is part of Riordan’s The Heroes of Olympus series – I’m thoroughly enjoying it! Have a great week, Deb. I hope you don’t feel too adrift after your holiday:))
I didn’t realize it was Scifi month – I’ll need to check out the posts and get some ideas. Although I don’t read enough scifi, I do love the genre and am always looking for more. Happy belated birthday to your grandson! They do grow up fast! I haven’t heard of The Thief on the Winged Horse but will be looking it up – it sounds fantastic!
Thank you, Athira – it’s worth browing that Master Schedule, particularly the review spreadsheet, as it packed with sci fi reviews… A lovely resource I’m looking forward to tucking into when things ease up a bit! And yes – I recommend The Thief on the Winged Horse, as it’s something different and very enjoyable. Have a great week!
Zoom meetings really became life savers these last months! And yes, kids are growing so fast! Have a great week!
Thank you, Sophie. Yes – Zoom is definitely part of everyday Life now. I think it will be with us for time to come:))
Lovely photos (as always), and I enjoy your sci-fi posts.
Thank you, Jennie – glad you enjoy the pics. And it’s always fun to share an ongoing joy – I love well-written science fiction:)))
Yes, it is! You’re welcome, Sarah.
Does your writing group operate with prompts or assignments or did you feel a craving to write those lyrics?
Lol… one of the group is writing a play about two women who were a 1980s pop duo and we’d been playing about with the concept of one of them jumping around the house, singing to her own hit single. We were going to have a Christmas meeting where we cobbled together said lyrics – but I woke up one night with these sad puppies swirling in my head, so got them down on paper and then embarrassed myself by reading them to the group!
What a cute story. Pretty sure they weren’t as bad as you suggest.
Lol… oh, they are!!!
It seems like you’ve had a lovely week – I hope the forthcoming is just as good.
Thank you, Lynn:)). It was very busy – I’m hoping the coming week is going to be more peaceful!
Happy birthday to your grandson. Have a great week!
Thank you, AJ – I hope you, too, have a wonderful week:)
Thank goodness for Zoom! What would we do without it in these trying days? And glad you got to see some family as well. That makes the weeks worthwhile.
I hope you have a wonderful week and be healthy!
Thank you, Greg:). Yes – Zoom is a wonderful tool to keep us linked up. My husband’s guitar lessons are now by Zoom, too… And seeing family is always a bonus:))
Your garden is still looking lovely! How nice to have something like that even at this time of year. Pretty much everything is dead here. Sigh. I already can’t wait for spring!
My primroses, mahonia and rosemary is in flower – and a few summer bedding plants that I OUGHT to have replaced by winter bedding are still doing the business:)). But so far, it’s been unseasonably mild, if very, very wet! Like you – I’m looking forward to Spring!
Your garden might be soggy, but it’s beautiful ! And what would we do without zoom nowadays ? Well, my daughters at least, because I don’t use it, but I hear everybody does. Have a great week-end 🙂
Thank you, Izabel for your kind words:)). Yes – Zoom is a real gift. It’s particularly handy for work meetings – and my son did sit me down and point out that I should get on top of my nerves when using it, as it will be part of lives for a while, yet. And he’s right! I hope that you, too, have a lovely weekend:)).