Sunday Post – 29th 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.

The week started overcast and dull, but the last couple of days has been brighter and sunnier – and doesn’t that make a difference? Himself has been on annual leave and we planned to clean, tidy and declutter. The great news is that we have made a bit of progress! The kitchen and the lounge are now looking a LOT better. Yay! My eldest grandson is now out of quarantine and returns to school this week to his Drama exam, so I am very relieved. And in this week’s links below, I have included Tim’s mix of the song ‘Let It Go’ using 103 clips from films and TV programmes, which he has also edited himself – I think he’s done a magnificent job. Do nip along and check it out…

I have now successfully disentangled my monster manuscript and have the complete first draft of Picky Eaters 2, which is now called Flame & Blame. I also have two-thirds of the next book written, entitled Trouble With Dwarves and I’ve been working on completing the plan for that one and the next book in the series, which will be entitled, A Conspiracy of Dragons. So enough to keep me happily occupied for the rest of the year and into 2021…

I have also been loving Sci Fi Month and I’m very sorry that it’s coming to an end – but I’ve picked up so many recommendations for exciting new sci fi reads. A huge thank you to thank you so much to Imyril at There’s Always Room for One More and Lisa at Dear Geek Place for all their hard work and if you are looking for more science fiction goodness in your life – here’s the link to the Master Schedule for a quick browse.

The photos this week come from a rather soggy walk along the beach with Himself, when we talked through the plans for Trouble With Dwarves. Notice the shingle and seaweed up across the sea front after a recent storm…

Last week I read:

Fallen – Book 10 of the Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka
Once Alex Verus was a diviner trying to live quietly under the radar. Now he’s a member of the Light Council who’s found success, friends…and love. But it’s come with a price–the Council is investigating him, and if they find out the truth, he’ll lose everything.

Meanwhile, Alex’s old master, Richard Drakh, is waging a war against the Council, and he’s preparing a move that will bring Alex and the life mage, Anne, under his control. Caught between Richard and the Council, Alex’s time is running out. To protect those he cares for, Alex will have to become something different. Something darker…
I was delighted to dive back into this excellent Brit-based urban fantasy adventure, which is one of the smartest I’ve come across. Needless to say, Verus is in a bucketful of trouble and things are steadily getting worse… I’ve an arc for the next book, which I’m looking forward to, after an intriguing ending. Review to follow…

Lifelode by Jo Walton
Lifelode is the Mythopoeic Award Winning novel from Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award winning author Jo Walton. It was published in hardcover in 2009 by NESFA Press and is now available for the first time as an ebook.

At its heart, Lifelode is the story of a comfortable manor house family. The four adults of the household are happily polygamous, each fulfilling their ‘lifelode’ or life’s purpose: Ferrand is the lord of the manor, his sweetmate Taveth runs the household, his wife Chayra makes ceramics, and Taveth’s husband Ranal works the farm. Their children are a joyful bunch, running around in the sunshine days of the harvest and wondering what their own lifelodes will be.

Their lives changed with the arrival of two visitors to Applekirk: Jankin the scholar and Hanethe, Ferrand’s great grandmother and the former lord of the manor, who has been living for many generations in the East, a place where the gods walk and yeya (magic) is so powerful that those who wield it are not quite human.
Walton is one of my all-time favourite authors, so I was thrilled to discover this gem that I hadn’t yet read. As ever, it’s a masterpiece… Review to follow.

The Dark Archive – Book 7 of The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Gogman
Irene is teaching her new assistant the fundamentals of a Librarian’s job, and finding that training a young Fae is more difficult than she expected. But when they both narrowly avoid getting killed in an assassination attempt, she decides that learning by doing is the only option they have left – especially when the assassins keep coming for them, and for Irene’s other friends as well…

In order to protect themselves, Irene and her friends must do what they do best: search for information to defeat the overwhelming threat they face and identify their unseen enemy. To do that, Irene will have to delve deeper into her own history than she ever has before, face an ancient foe, and uncover secrets that will change her life and the course of the Library forever.
It was a real treat to get hold of the arc of this latest offering in this engaging portal fantasy. Irene is one of my favourite protagonists – cool, clever and generally in command of the situation. I loved the major plot twist, but I’m not too sure about that Epilogue… I’m hoping it isn’t a massive misstep! Review to follow.

My posts last week:

Review of The Sculpted Ship by K.M. O’Brien

Castellan the Black and His Wise Draconic Sayings

Friday Face-off featuring Embers of War – Book 1 of the Embers of War series by Gareth L. Powell

Great Science Fiction Series I’ve Discovered in 2020

Review of A Memory Called Empire – Book 1 of the Teixcalaan series by Arkady Martine

Can’t-Wait Wednesday featuring A Desolation Called Peace – Book 2 of the Teixcalaan series by Arkady Martine

Review of Stranger Still – Book 3 of the Strange series by Marilyn Messik

Covet the Covers 12 – featuring the sci fi covers of Elizabeth Moon

Two mini-reviews: Embers of War by Gareth L. Powell and Ribbonworld by Richard Dee

Sunday Post – 22nd November 2020

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

Crotty’s Lake I Inese’s fabulous photos capture the wonderful landscape and wildlife – such a treat at this time…

Frozen’s ‘Let It Go’ Sung by 103 Movies and TV Shows And here is Tim’s rendition of ‘Let It Go’ – one of his recent projects… Though I teach him – I want to make it clear that I had nothing to do with this achievement. This is his own talent and hard work shining through!

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Sci Fi Month edition: My Top Ten Sci-Fi tv series – #SciFiMonth Someone else joining in the Sci Fi Month jollity – reading this list brought back some very happy memories – as well as a reminder to get stuck into The Expanse…

The Tale of Two (or more) Rockets I always enjoy Steph’s articles about what is happening in the world of science…

Top Ten Tuesday: Reading in a time of COVID… Lynn provides a list of the books that provided her with comfort during this difficult year – have you changed your reading habits during 2020?

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

51 responses »

  1. A walk on a blustery beach sounds perfect for blowing out cobwebs and clearing the mind.
    I’m with you on the housework – I always go into overdrive at this time of year – a winter (as opposed to a spring) clean. I think it’s because I’m thinking about putting up the Christmas decorations so a clean and declutter is a good thing.
    Happy reading for the forthcoming week Sarah.
    Take care.
    Lynn 😀

    • Thank you, Lynn! Yes – a walk along the beach is a great place to talk over plotpoints and narrative arcs. And Himself is brilliant for bouncing ideas off… As regarding the housework – it had just got beyond the pale and we managed to roll up our sleeves and make some real progress. I hope that you, too, have a great reading week:))

  2. Oh so glad to hear about your grandson! And wow neat beach pics! The sea really can throw a lot onshore after a storm, huh? I love windy conditions by the sea though, it can be so refreshing if a little exhausting! 🙂

    I love that title A Conspiracy of dragons!

    • Thank you, Greg – I was very relieved to hear the news that Frank was fine! And yes – a walk along the beach at this time of the year can be invigorating. We managed to talk through the story – and I’m glad you like the title A Conspiracy of Dragons. I always enter prospective titles in Goodreads and Amazon to ensure there isn’t a long, long list of other books with the same title… I hope you have a great week, too.

    • Thank you, Laurel – I’m really pleased at the way the Picky Eaters series is going at present. And as ever, I always enjoy reading your blog – and I hope that you, too, have a peaceful, happy week:))

    • Thank you for checking out Tim’s video, Tammy:)). I was SO impressed when I saw how he’d constructed it. I absolutely loved Lifelode and I’m hoping to write the the review of it later today:)). I hope you have a great week!

  3. Glad you grandson is well again. And glad to hear that you are making such great progress with your writing *yay* Keep going! Thank you for the beautiful pictures. You and your husband look happy. Stay safe and well and happy reading and writing.

    • Thank you for your kind good wishes, regarding Frank – I was so very relieved… And yes – it’s been such a comfort being able to get lost in amongst a bunch of dragons with the writing during this crazy year! I hope you, too, have a great week, Vi.

  4. The First Mate and I loved Tim’s video. He and I saw that movie in the theatres on a date. Not only was the movie great fun but it was a joy to watch the kids get so happy and dance around in the theatre. I don’t always want to be around the littles but they enriched that particular movie.
    x The Captain

    • Ah… that sounds like a delight, seeing children dancing along to a film – what a treat! And thank you for taking the time to look at Tim’s video – I may be a bit biased, but I think his mixing and editing skills are remarkable…

      I hope you have a great week, Cap:))

  5. Here the week was similar weather wise and the sunnier days really make a difference, especially with it being dark so early, it’s nice to have some sun when it’s light outside. That’s great you make some progressing with cleaning and decluttering. That’s awesome you made some progress on your book too and successfully disentangled it into two books. It sounds like a fun series. Looks like you had some good reads this week and yay for discovering a book you hadn’t read yet by one of your favorite authors. I hope you’ll have a great week!

    • Oh, having the sunnier weather does make a massive difference, doesn’t it, Lola? Yes – my house doesn’t know itself – getting a bit of extra attention cleaning-wise:)).

      Oh yes – I’m delighted that I’ve managed to make sense of my overlong manuscript and tease it apart. And yes – discovering Jo Walton’s book was a huge treat! I hope that you, too, have a lovely week – hopefully free from headaches!

    • Thank you, Shelleyrae for taking the time to check out Tim’s video. Yes… but apparently (I wouldn’t know) he works incredibly fast once he gets going on these sorts of projects.

      I hope you have a great week – and stay cool!

  6. SJ, I am so pleased to hear your grandson will be out of quarantine this week, in time for his drama exam, I wish him all the very best. Also great to hear enjoyed spending some time with your better half: walking and getting things sorted around the house and taking part in Sci-Fi Month. Like you, I really enjoyed taking part in Nonfiction November and Novellas in November, and will be sad to see them end! Take care and happy reading in the coming week. 🙂

    • Thank you, Jessica – I’m delighted he is returning to school on Monday, given it’s his GCSE year.

      And yes – it’s been great having Himself around for a while. He is always brilliant at talking through my writing – and proof reading for me, too! I hope you, too, have a good reading week:))

  7. Science Fiction Month is over, but I still plan to read one of the classics of science fiction next month. It’s The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester (known as Tiger, Tiger in the UK). I’m looking forward to it.

    Congratulations on getting your first draft finished!

    The walk along the beach looks very nice. And cold, I bet.

    Loved Let It Go. Such a marvelous accomplishment.

    • Ooo… I have The Stars My Destination as a paperback, patiently waiting for my attention! So I may bump it up my TBR pile:).

      Thank you for your kind congratulations on completing the first draft of Flame & Blame – I’m really delighted at how it’s turned out.

      Actually, it was a dull, rainy day and not unduly cold – which was great, because it means we could focus on our discussion, rather than shivering too much!

      And thank you for taking the time to nip across and check out Tim’s Let It Go:). I hope you have a lovely week, Deb.

  8. Oh wow!! That Let it Go YouTube video is AMAZING!!! I am going to save it. Seeing that “let it go” is basically my blog-theme, I’m sure I can use it somewhere. You are an amazing teacher Sarah.

    Hope you will have a wonderful week!

    • Ah, thank you so much Mareli:)). Though I really cannot take any credit for Tim’s talent with his remixes. I’ve been teaching him English and History one to one since he was 13 and he’s now turned 18. Such a lovely young man… I hope that you, too, have a fabulous week:))

    • Thank you, Samantha – yes, so pleased that Frank is back at school, as it’s his GCSE year. And I’m thrilled with the way my writing is going at present – long may it continue:))

  9. What a rich and interesting post! Where to start? Well, first with the very good news that your grandson is out of the woods, that must be a huge relief; then your huge progress with your writing – congratulations! The video you linked is nothing short of amazing, particularly taking into account the sheer number of works from which the clips were taken: it must have been an incredible feat of putting together the clips, but it resulted in a very professional-looking vid. Young Master Tim is very talented indeed 🙂
    And thanks for the shout-out, of course. I hope you might find the time to “get stuck into The Expanse” as you say: I can’t wait to hear what you think about the tv series…

    • Thank you, Maddalena:)). Yes – so pleased to hear that Frank can return to school! And I appreciate that you took the time to check out Tim’s work – I was blown away when I saw it, too.

      You’re very welcome – I generally post links to articles I think others folks would like to see… And I’m hoping over Christmas to get a chance to watch The Expanse, when there’s nothing else on, except yet another rerun of The Grinch…

    • I highly recommend the series. Of course, there are slight variations in quality, as in all series – but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the variety of adventures that Irene finds herself dealing with:))

  10. I love the pictures of your walk along the beach, that must have been some storm. Great news that your grandson is out of the woods. I listened to the Let It Go movie. Wow, that must have taken a lot of time, but was well done. Have a great week Sarah.

    • Thank you so much, Carla:)). Yes – I’m glad we weren’t down on the sea front during the storm, as we’d have got soaked. And I appreciate you making the effort to check out Tim’s mix of ‘Let It Go’. Yes… it did take him a while, though probably not quite as long as you might think – he works very fast on such projects. I hope that you, too, have a lovely week, Carla.

  11. Congratulations on finishing your manuscript and being so far done with the next book. You have a nice head start on 2021.

    I am just emerging from my politic hangover and looking toward 2021 with hope. My Sunday Post

    • Lovely to hear from you, Anne:)). I quite understand about your hangover – I wonder how satirists make a living these days, because frankly, you couldn’t make it up!

      I hope you have a peaceful, book-crammed week…

    • Thank you, Anne – yes, it was a good week. I just wish Himself had a bit more time off. But all good things must come to an end… I hope you enjoy The Dark Archive – I’m hoping to post my review this week.

  12. I’m so glad to hear your grandson is out of quarantine! And wow, the beach debris is far from the water! That must have been one heck of a storm.

    • Thank you, SJ – I’m vastly relieved he is now out of quarantine. And yes… the shingle and seaweed were flung well up the beach and across the pavement, but when we get the really violent storms, the sea comes over the road…

    • You’re welcome, Inese:)). And thank you for your kind congratulations. Yes, I’ve now completed The Arcadian Chronicles – though at some stage I’d like to go back to that world. But right now I’m very busy writing about a grumpy old granddad dragon who is something of a trouble magnet…

      • I didn’t read much for a long time now. My bad year began 6 months before the pandemic. Don’t want to abandon the blog though. Just doing what I can do. I have checked your Author’s profile, and it came out I have all of your Kindle books. Looking forward to reading the grumpy granddad’s story:)

      • Oh thank you so much, Inese. I’m so sorry to hear that times are tough for you:(. And when you do feel up to picking up the books, I very much hope they take you to a different place. I specifically extended the story about Castellan, my grumpy dragon to provide a bit of an escape from everything going on around us. And I’m now working on the trilogy…

  13. Wow, Tim’s mix is impressive, it must have taken a whole lot of work and research ! You have me intrigued with the Dark archive. I’ll gladly take a look at the review – and given the time when i leave this comment, it must be published by now…

    • Thank you for taking a look at Tim’s mix – it did take a lot of work, but he does have an amazing memory for phrases from films and programmes, which must be a help. And yes – The Dark Archive review is now up:))

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