Sunday Post – 24th January, 2021 #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.

I was expecting another quiet week, but my daughter was suddenly unwell and needed us to step in and look after the younger two children on Friday morning. As we are part of her support bubble, we were able to do so. To add to the pressure, little Eliza had the previous day been diagnosed with asthma and needed to get to grips with the medication – she’s two… Suddenly I was talking about the birds in the garden… the sun going to bed… our chiming clock – which fascinates Eliza… Basically having a ringside seat as a small person grapples with learning about the world around her. It’s a joy and a privilege, though I do need to get fitter! My steps counter on my phone went from 437 steps on Thursday to over 6,500 on Friday and recorded 15 flights of stairs…

The pics this week are of a bitterly cold trip to the beach on early Saturday morning with little Eliza. Right now we have the eldest, Frank, staying for a couple of days as the younger two went home last night. I’m glad to say that my daughter is now feeling a lot better.

Mantivore Dreams, the first book in my Arcadian Chronicles trilogy, is now free for the rest of the day – just click on the link or the cover in the sidebar, if you’d like a copy. It is an adventure based on a colony planet featuring a teenager whose harsh life is softened by a pretend friend – an ancient alien who offers comfort when things get tough…

Last week I read:

By the Pact – Book 1 of the Pacts Arcane and Otherwise series by Joanna Maciejewska
When Kamira, a once high mage student turned arcanist, discovers an imprisoned demon in underground ruins, she is forced into a pact that grants her powerful magic, but also ties her to the very demon that once devastated the continent… and Veranesh wants his freedom.

With one friend by her side, Veelk, a mage killer bound on protecting her, Kamira will have to outwit the archmages, other demons, and possibly her own demonic benefactor to survive. Her chances are slim, but with Veelk’s ever-present sarcastic repartee, Kamira might just pull through.

Plots and schemes, power and means—sometimes the price for victory is choosing which friend will die, but when you only have one friend, the choice is… easy?
This is a packet of fun! I have a real weakness for good sand and sorcery tales so sniggering at the snark between Veelk and Kamira, while ferocious demons scheme and plot in the background was a wonderful treat. I’m now really looking forward to reading the next book Scars in Stone, which is due to be released later this year.

The Night Parade of 100 Demons – a novel in A Legend of the Five Rings World by Marie Brennan
A thrilling epic fantasy adventure in the astonishing realm of Legend of the Five Rings, as two rival clans join forces to investigate a lethal supernatural mystery

Chaos has broken out in the isolated Dragon Clan settlement of Seibo Mura. During the full moon, horrifying creatures rampage through the village, unleashing havoc and death. When the Dragon samurai Agasha no Isao Ryotora is sent to investigate, he faces even greater danger than expected. To save the village, he must confront his buried past – not to mention an unexpected Phoenix Clan visitor, Asako Sekken, who has his own secrets to hide. The quest to save Seibo Mura will take the two samurai into the depths of forgotten history and the shifting terrain of the Spirit Realms… and bring them face to face with an ancient, terrifying evil.
I hadn’t been aware that this riveting fantasy story in a Japanese setting was also in the world of a popular role play game Legend of the Five Rings until I sat down to write the review. And frankly, I’m only tossing that info-nugget at you as a matter of interest, because as far as I’m concerned it doesn’t make a blind bit of difference. The book is one of the best I’ve read of the year so far, as Brennan weaves her usual magic. Review to follow.

Murder at the Ritz by Jim Eldridge
August 1940. On the streets of London, locals watch with growing concern as German fighter planes plague the city’s skyline. But inside the famous Ritz Hotel, the cream of society continues to enjoy all the glamour and comfort that money can buy during wartime – until an anonymous man is discovered with his throat slashed open.

Detective Chief Inspector Coburg is called in to investigate, no stranger himself to the haunts of the upper echelons of society, ably assisted by his trusty colleague, Sergeant Lampson. Yet they soon face a number of obstacles. With the crime committed in rooms in use by an exiled king and his retinue, there are those who fear diplomatic repercussions and would rather the case be forgotten. With mounting pressure from various Intelligence agencies, rival political factions and gang warfare brewing either side of the Thames, Coburg and Lampson must untangle a web of deception if they are to solve the case – and survive.
This was another highly enjoyable read. DCI Coburg is an engaging protagonist battling to do his job during one of the most difficult, stressful times in London’s history. I loved the confident evocation of WWII and the nicely twisty plotting. Review to follow.

My posts last week:

Castellan the Black and His Wise Draconic Sayings

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of By the Pact – Book 1 of the Pacts Arcane and Otherwise series by Joanna Maciejewska

Friday Face-off featuring Bloodhype – Book 2 of the Pip and Flinx series by Alan Dean Foster

Covet the Covers featuring Robert A. Heinlein

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Black Sun – Book 1 of Between Earth and Sky series by Rebecca Roanhorse

Can’t-Wait Wednesday featuring Murder at the Ritz by Jim Eldridge

Tuesday Treasures – 23

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Shadow in the Empire of Light by Jane Routley

TWO Fantasy Mini-Reviews: A Dragon of a Different Colour by Rachel Aaron and Of Dragons, Feasts and Murder by Aliette de Bodard

Sunday Post – 17th January 2021

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

Mantivore Dreams is free today! https://mybook.to/MDJan21 The first book in my Arcadian Chronicles trilogy is free today on a giveaway that ends at midnight. Just click on the universal link above or the cover on the sidebar which will take you to your local Amazon store.

Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day https://bluebirdofbitterness.com/2021/01/21/happy-squirrel-appreciation-day-3/ This is more cartoon nonsense to bring a smile to your face…

Coumshingaun Lough https://inesemjphotography.com/2021/01/18/coumshingaun-lough/ Ireland is one of those places I’ve never been to that is on my bucket list. And these stunning pics, along with Inese’s chatty, informative prose only sharpens that wish…

Samantha by Zoe Sparkes https://soundcloud.com/zoe-ann-sparks/samantha And now for a treat for the ears. Tammy of Book’s Bones and Buffy mentioned her daughter’s new release – it’s beautiful… Swing by and just listen.

Wrap Up: 2020 Reading Statistics… https://ajsterkel.blogspot.com/2021/01/wrap-up-2020-reading-statistics.html?spref=tw As you probably know, I also produce a series of pie charts on my reading year – but AJ’s attention to detail is awesomely impressive!

Thank you for visiting, reading, liking and/or commenting on my blog. I hope you had a peaceful, healthy week – and do take care. x

52 responses »

  1. Oh no- I hope the little one is doing better with her asthma. Poor thing!

    I love the pic of the sea.

    Murder the Ritz sounds like a good one. The London setting and wartime era sound very evocative.

    • Thank you, Greg. She was much calmer about taking her medicine, bless her – and that terrible cough that had been plaguing her was a lot easier, thank goodness.

      Murder in the Ritz was a cracking read – I’ll be reviewing it during the coming week:)). I hope you have a wonderful week.

  2. It sounds like you had a very busy week. I hope your granddaughter is doing better. My grandson has asthma and has to use a puffer every morning and evening. Mind you, he is a bit older, but they do adapt. I already have you book, but that is a wonderful giveaway. I really need to put it in my queue to read. Have a great week Sarah.

    • Thank you, Carla – it was having to wear the mask that was making her panic, as she is too little to use the puffer. But she got happier with it during the time she was with us, thank goodness. As you say – they are very adaptable at that age.

      I’m glad that you have Mantivore Dreams, Carla and I hope you get a chance to read it at some stage, though I know only too well what it’s like to juggle the dreaded TBR:)). I hope you have a great week, too.

  3. You’re so sweet to link up Zoe’s song, thank you Sarah😁 I’m not sure I could handle a bitterly cold day at the beach, even your photos make it look cold! Hope you have a good week😁

    • You’re very welcome, Tammy – I fell in love with the song and thought others would like to hear it, too… It was perishing on the beach – but we weren’t there long and it did help to blow the cobwebs away:)). I hope your week is shaping up well, too.

  4. Wow, your steps really went up with all that child minding! Good exercise, but you must have been tired at the end of that day.

    Murder at the Ritz looks tempting. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog. Enjoy your week.

    • You’re very welcome, Laurel! Murder at the Ritz proved to be a cracking read – I’ll be reviewing it sometime this week. I hope your week is a great one, too.

  5. Thank you for the mention, Sarah!
    So glad to hear that your daughter is getting better. Hope little Eliza has learned how to take her medicines. Best of luck to you all X

  6. What fun to spend time with your grandchildren. I believe it can be tiring, but it’s worth it!

    Murder at the Ritz seems really good, I will take a look.

    I hope you get a lot of downloads for Mantivore Dreams.

    Have a wonderful week and thanks for stopping by earlier.

    • Thank you, Mareli:)). Murder at the Ritz was a really enjoyable read – and yes, I got a really heartening number of downloads for Mantivore Dreams:)).

      I hope that you, too, have a lovely, peaceful week.

  7. I hope your daughter and Eliza will feel better. I had asthma so I definitely can relate. I outgrew it and the medications are way better now. Hmm I used to normally get 8K-10K steps without any effort or special planning. I bet I’m only getting a few hundred now if that many. Your daughter is lucky to have you nearby. Stay well!

    Anne – Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

    • Yes – the catch is that she has to have a mask over her face to receive the medication. And she hates it… But she was very, very good about it, once I bribed her with something she’s fond of eating after each puff…

  8. Having a 2-year old to take care of does indeed require a great deal of exercise, because they seem to possess inexhaustible energy that goes hand in hand with their curiosity of the world, so I’m not surprised that your fitness stats went on a steep upward curve! But a fun one, I’m certain… 🙂

    • Oh yes – I can kid myself that I’m not doing too badly for my age. Until Tiddlypush comes to stay – and then by the end of the day, I’m hobbling around like an old lady:)). But she is such fun to be with!

  9. Oh no, sorry about the illnesses this week – hope they have passed and everyone is feeling good. How wonderful that you are close enough (and in the support bubble) to help out! I know what you mean about your steps — they truly have us on our toes all through the day right?

    • Oh yes – I very recently discovered that my phone counted my steps – I didn’t know it did that! And I’m a bit appalled at how few steps I generally do a day… So I think I need to get more active, anyway!

  10. Whew. You had your hands full this week. I know that whenever we take care of our two grandchildren we are exhausted. In a good way, but totally exhausted. I hope your daughter is feeling better.

    The beach looks lovely. One of these days we will return to ours.

    I like the look of Murder at the Ritz. Anything set in England is such fun for me.

    I hope you have a calmer week!

    • Thank you, Deb… Yes, it is exhausting – I’m glad that I’m still able to do it! With a 14 year gap between the eldest and youngest, it can be a challenge:)

      Murder at the Ritz was great fun – Jim Eldridge wrote the brilliant BBC4 radio series King Street Junior about an inner city primary school, which I used to love listening to. I hope you have a peaceful, healthy week:))

    • Oh I’m sure she was – we looked after the older two a great deal when they were younger. Eliza less so when she was a baby, as my daughter was able to give up work before she was born. So she is still finding her feet at our house, but so far her stays have been very happy ones. I hope you have a great week.

  11. Sounds like a very busy week. I hope your daughter feels better soon. And how nice that you guys are able to help your daughter out like that.
    Have a great week and happy reading.

    • Yes – we are about half an hour’s drive away when the roads are clear, though in the summer it can take a lot longer. So within relatively easy striking distance… I hope you have a lovely week, Maureen:)

    • Thank you, Shelleyrae:)). Though I don’t spoil the grandchildren all that much – I have them too often! But they are all an absolute delight – I’m so very lucky that they are all well behaved, considerate and great company:))).

      I hope you have a wonderful reading week, too!

  12. I am so glad you were able to spend time with your granddaughters. I am glad your daughter is feeling better! I hope you have a great week!

    • Thank you, Suzanne. Yes, it was a real treat to be able to spend time with them, again. I’m so lucky that we are part of their support bubble so that we do get to see them regularly.

    • Yes it is lovely to have her close enough to see her and the family regularly. And I’m aware how blessed I am – though I would like to be even closer, so I could help more with school runs, etc. But I’m just that bit too far away to be able to be there reliably, given the traffic.

  13. Hope your daughter is feeling better and how wonderful that you were able to take the kids. I’m sure she really appreciates being able to get real rest and know that they are well cared for! I was diagnosed with asthma when I was a little older then Eliza and it is scary and hard for to understand but I think I had an easier time overall once I got older because I had just always had it. I hope Eliza has a similar experience and is able to figure out how best to control it. Hope you’re having a great week!

    • Thank you for your kind words of reassurance, Katherine – I really appreciate them. There is asthma in the family, although both had it as children and then grew out of it later, so we are keeping our fingers crossed! She is now coping much better with the mask and her cough has already noticeably eased up which is a relief as it was horrible to hear, particularly during the night.

      My daughter isn’t fully recovered, but she was able to rest up and look after herself. It’s hard going dealing with children aged 16, 11 and 2… though they are all absolute poppets and so very good. I hope your week is also going well.

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