Sunday Post – 4th April, 2021 #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.

If you are celebrating, Happy Easter!

I’ve been away for a while, because Himself and I went down with Covid just after my last Sunday Post and we were both very poorly. Himself narrowly escaped being admitted to hospital due to his breathlessness and I was coping with aching joints and slept more or less round the clock. Thank goodness we are now on the road to recovery, though I’m still struggling with my energy levels and Himself has been left with a nasty cough.

We are part of a study whereby we take a Covid test every month. On Thursday, the monthly event rolled around again – and this time, they also asked us for a blood sample. They want around 5 ml and the catch is that we have to administer the procedure ourselves. It was a hoot stabbing my finger and squeezing the blood out, then encouraging it to drop into the little phial. By the time we got the hang of it, the first little cut had clotted and both of us had to start again with another finger! By the time we’d finished the whole procedure, we were giggling hysterically. Hopefully by next month, we’ll get the hang of it with only one stabbed finger…

I have no photos this week, as sadly, I haven’t yet made it outdoors since I was ill. Maybe next week…

Last week I read:
To Fire Called – Book 8 of the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper series by Nathan Lowell

Captain Ishmael Wang finally gets the Chernyakova out of the yard and embarks on a voyage into the Toe-Holds where the Confederated Planets Joint Committee on Trade has no authority. Where the law is whatever you say it is as long as you can enforce it. Where he learns that some will do anything to hide their secrets and everybody has a secret.
This is a space opera series that I tore into while we were ill, which is highly readable and provided escapism without too much darkness or gore. As you see, I found it difficult to leave it alone… Mini-review to follow.

The Invitation by A.M. Castle
Thirteen guests. One killer. No escape. On an island on the coast of Cornwall, cut off from the mainland by the tides for most of the day, thirteen old friends meet at Tregowan Castle for a weekend of revelry. By the next evening only twelve are still alive.

Amongst them is a killer – but who? As a storm traps them on the island and past betrayals and grievances are revealed, nerves fray and friendships begin to fracture.

But with no escape and no way of calling for help it’s only a matter of time before the killer strikes again. And when everyone is keeping secrets, anybody could be the next victim…
I thoroughly enjoyed this locked room murder mystery set on a fictionalised version of St Michal’s Mount. There was plenty of dramatic tension and the denouement was well done – I’ll be reading other books by this accomplished author.

AUDIOBOOK The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves
A female cop with her first big case
A brutal murder
Welcome to…
The Thursday Murder Club

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case. As the bodies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late?
While this one took a while to get going, I ended up really enjoying this murder mystery featuring four elderly protagonists. Kudos to Osman for not patronising them in any way, providing plenty of food for thought and some poignant moments, along with the crimes and a mostly thoroughly likeable cast of characters. Review to follow.

The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne – Book 1 of The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne series by Jonathan Stroud
Set in a fragmented future England, The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne introduces us to a world where gunfights and monsters collide, and where the formidable outlaw Scarlett McCain fights daily against the odds. When she discovers a wrecked coach on a lonely road, there is only one survivor – the seemingly hapless youth, Albert Browne. Against her instincts, Scarlett agrees to escort him to safety.

This is a mistake. Soon, new and implacable enemies are on her heels. As a relentless pursuit continues across the broken landscape of England, Scarlett must fight to uncover the secrets of Albert’s past – and come to terms with the implications of her own.
This YA offering set in post-apocalyptic England is a rip-roaring adventure full of drama, with some shafts of humour and lots of tension. I inhaled this one, loved it and am now very much looking forward to the next one. Review to follow.

By Darkness Forged – Book 9 of the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper series by Nathan Lowell
Profits. Coffee. Extortion.
All in a day’s work.

When Ishmael takes the Chernyakova back into Toe-Hold space, he finds a lot more than profit. A quick pass through the Telluride system reveals the answer to one question but leaves him docked without a cargo until the owner of Dark Knight Station makes him an offer he can’t refuse.
I’m not sure – but this book has a real feel of the final book of the series. While Lowell doesn’t generally go in for foot-to-the-floor action, this time around there was plenty of tension and danger, which worked really well. Review to follow.

My posts last week:

Castellan the Black and His Wise Draconic Sayings

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Invitation by A.M. Castle

Friday Face-off featuring Trains and Lovers by Alexander McCall Smith

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Fall of Koli – Book 3 of the Rampart trilogy by M.R. Carey

Can’t-Wait Wednesday featuring The Best Thing You Can Steal – a Gideon Sable novel by Simon R. Green

Tuesday Treasures – 30

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

April is Autism Acceptance Month, April 2nd is Autism Awareness Day Carla’s excellent article provides valuable information about this issue. And given that in our daily lives, we are bound to encounter both adults and children on the autism spectrum, it is worth reading.

#WriterProblems: #StoryEndings and #LooseEnds (Also, a Defense of #EarwigandtheWitch) Jean Lee once more provides us with excellent writing advice, in one of her wonderful, quirky articles. It was lovely reading this after have been away so long…

Author Interview: Ilona Andrews I am a huge fan of the Innkeeper Chronicles and have always been fascinated to discover how this husband and wife writing team work together. So this was a solid treat – especially as the questions and answers are excellent…

Book Buying Habits Tag Maddalena has once again provided one of her lovely book tags. I’m always intrigued to find out how other book addicts manage their habit, so this was a must-read for me…

Top Ten Tuesday – Books Set in Places I’d Love to Live Now that we’re all stuck in one place, especially as Himself and I have been self-isolating for a chunk of March, I find myself increasingly dreaming of other places with longing – and books are a great way to escape. So I really enjoyed this article…

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

54 responses »

  1. I’m glad you’re on the road to recovery. I’m getting my first vaccination this week and I’m very hopeful about it. I’m curious to read your review of the Jonathan Stroud book, I’ve had my eye on it but haven’t seen any reviews yet. Have a good week, Sarah!

    • Thank you, Tammy. I’m delighted that you are getting your first vaccination this week and I hope it all goes smoothly without any side-effects. I’ll be posting my review of The Outlaws this coming week. Have a good week!

    • Thank you so much, Anne. I’m trying to be patient and not push through it. I hope we go on improving – and I’m just grateful that we didn’t end up in hospital:)).

  2. Oh, I am glad you are on the mend; I wondered about you when you went “missing in action” here! The blood pricks sound a little nerve racking, but looks like you will manage it like a trooper now that you’ve practiced thoroughly. LOL

    I like the look of your books…especially that locked room murder mystery.

    Have a safe and strengthening week…and here are my WEEKLY UPDATES

    • Thank you for your kind concern, Laurel. Yes, we really went down hard and I wouldn’t wish this terrible illness on my worst enemy.

      Yes – The Invitation is a really enjoyable read and I found it a thoroughly entertaining read, which has been extremely important! Have a great week.

    • Oh, I’m so very sorry! The big tip I can pass on is KEEP DRINKING THE WATER. Himself stopped for about 24 hours and he very rapidly became so much worse, it was terrifying to see.

      I’m sending you huge dollops of virtual hugs and healing energy – and put Easter on hold and then celebrate properly once you feel a whole lot better. xxx

  3. OMG that must have been scary! I am glad that you are both alright or at least recovering. I don’t know how I’d fare stabbing my fingers to get the blood. I hope this week gets smoothly for you!

    • Thank you, Sophie. Yes – I’m hoping the finger-stabbling business goes more smoothly next month, as we’ve signed up to go through this process for the next year:). And I hope that you, too, have a smooth, enjoyable week.

  4. I’m glad to know you are continuing to recover your strength, I’m sure it’s a frustrating process though.
    I loved Osmonds book, I’m hoping to get my hands an an ARC of the next in the series.

    Wishing you a great reading week, and take care of yourself

    • Thank you, Shelleyrae – and you’re right, I do get rather frustrated at times. But I’m trying to step away from those feelings, because it isn’t helping.

      Yes – it’s great news that Osman’s completed the first draft of the next book. And getting the arc would be just the ticket! I hope that you, too, have a wonderful reading week:)).

  5. At least you were both able to find some humor in your self-stabbing activities! 😀
    I don’t know if I could have managed, since I always have to turn my head every time someone drives a needle in my arm for a blood sample… You should be granted a Bloody Award! TSK! 😉

    • It was hilarious – I was trying to scoop up the blood running down my finger and into my sleeve, until I realised I should have turned my hand the other way up, so it was dripping off my fingertip. Duh!

      By then, I was in fits of laughter… But then, I haven’t been getting out much, so I’m a bit starved of entertainment:))).

  6. Sooooo sorry you caught the virus. We practically had a mini-case of it when we had a reaction to the second shot. Things are better now, and I hope they are better for you soon!

    • Oh yes – I know several people who have had some severe reactions to the vaccinations – my daughter was ill in bed for several days. If it’s any consolation, your reaction should provide you with a nice lot of antibodies to fight off the real thing:)).

      As for us, we are getting better, but I am finding I’m having to take it slowly.

  7. I hope you feel much better very soon! I think that finger stabbing is worse than when they use a needle to get blood; I don’t think I could do it. I’m glad to hear you enjoy the Thursday Murder Club; I also loved it once I got going.

    • Thank you, Anne. We both felt a bit daunted by the finger-stabbing business and might have ducked out of it, if we hadn’t just had the illness and realised just what a terrible thing it can be.

      Yes, I did enjoy The Thursday Murder Club, but I also found it took a while to get going:)).

  8. I have been worried about you. I’m so sorry that you and your husband have had to experience Covid, but I’m very glad your husband didn’t have to be hospitalized, and that you are both on the mend. I hope you will be able to take it easy until you have fully recovered.

    The Thursday Murder Club sounds like great fun. My favorite characters are often the elderly.

    Have a good week and rest, if you can.

    • Thank you so much for your kind good wishes, Deb. Yes, it was a horrible experience, but I’m aware that we have been very luck, nonetheless. And yes, I’m also fortunate in that I am able to rest and look after myself until my energy levels return to normal.

      The Thursday Murder Club is great fun and I really enjoyed the fact the protagonists are elderly. I hope you have a wonderful week:).

    • Thank you, Emma. While I’m aware a lot of people have had the asymptomatic version – I’m here to say that when Covid hits hard, it is frightening how fast you go down. And oh yes to a healthier, happier April!xx

    • Thank you, Samantha – yes, I was very relieved that Himself avoided ending up in hospital, but it was a close-run thing… I hope you, too, have a good April! I think we’re all due some luck to go our way:)))

  9. I am very sorry to hear you and your hubby have been so poorly with Covid, but relieved to hear you are both on the mend now and I pray you will feel better soon. Take care and happy reading in the coming week. 🙂

  10. I’m sorry to hear you both were ill with covid but I’m very happy that you’re on the mend now and that you avoided being hospitalised… So scary!
    I wish you both a speedy recovery and hope that symptoms don’t linger!

    • Thank you, Nicci. We are taking time to recover, but then we were both quite poorly. We are taking lots of vitamin supplements (we should rattle…) and getting plenty of rest.

  11. I’m glad you and your husband are still feeling better, Sarah. I read The Thursday Murder Club last fall and loved it. The Nathan Lowell series sounds great and I’ve added it to my list to read!

    Have a good week!

    • The Nathan Lowell series is something of an acquired taste – it could be argued that not much happens except the discussion on the merits of various meals and coffee. But there is just something about his writing that I find irresistible…

  12. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear you and your husband came down with Covid, but I’m glad to hear you are both on the road to recovery. What an awful experience! Take care of yourselves.

  13. Hey, you’re back and moving at your own pace, plus helping others by being a part of a study. That is wonderful! (That and I’m always selfishly ecstatic to make your Sunday cut, as you well know, lol.) A blessed and HEALTHY Easter to you and yours! xxxxxxxx

    • Ah – thank you for all your awesome support! It was wonderful reading your article. And I hope that you and your family also have a fabulous Easter – you’ll be shocked to know that ours is a very quiet affair this year:)).

      • Hey, nothing wrong with a quiet affair! We visited some family before Easter, so the day itself was quiet indeed. Just me hiding eggs of candy all over the place and my kids playing “mad scientist” with the egg dye 🙂

  14. I’m so sorry to hear both of you were sick but glad you’re feeling better and that your husband didn’t end up going to the hospital. We were told by the doctors at St Jude that your lungs are still vulnerable after infection and that it was important to get lots of rest because it is easier for them to become inflamed which while isn’t necessarily dangerous is definitely not lots of fun so keep getting lots of rest! Thursday Murder Club sounds like a book I need to add to my TBR. Have a restful and very good week!

    • Thank you, Katherine – I’ll relay your very useful information to Himself, who is chafing a bit at not having the energy to do all the things he wants to.

      And yes – I think you’d enjoy The Thursday Murder Club. Just be aware that it takes a while to properly get going. I hope the coming week is a kind one and that your back improves.

  15. Oh I’m sorry you both had Covid! I’m glad to hear you’re recovering though. I know when I had it I had intense fatigue for a few days and slept constantly too, so I feel your pain. I hope every day is better and better for you guys!

  16. OMG I’m so sorry to hear you both got Covid. I’m so glad your husband managed to avoid the hospital. I have a friend who just got released from the hospital because she was breathless with Covid too. It all sounds scary. Rest up!!

  17. Oh my gosh! So sorry you both got sick. But let me tell you that I could never do that blood thing myself. I’d have passed out as soon as I got any blood out. Hope this week is a good one for recovering.
    Lisa Loves Literature

    • Thank you so much, Lisa. I’ll be honest, it if had been just me on my own I think I would have panicked a bit when it went all wrong. But having Himself there was a huge comfort – he always makes me braver!

  18. I’m so sorry to read you’ve been down with COVID. I’m glad you’re feeling better though. I hope you’ll be able to go outside again soon.
    Have a greaat week and happy reading.

    • Thank you, Maureen:)). Yes, we’re definitely both on the road to recovery, though I did a bit of housework today and then had to go back to bed, again!

  19. I am so glad you are both on the mend. I am sorry you have had to deal with COVID. That’s too funny about the self-blood tests. I don’t know if I would be very good at that. I hope you are enjoying your week and reading, Sarah! Take care.

    • Thank you for your kind good wishes, Wendy. We continue to steadily improve, which is a huge relief, given that at one point I was really worried that we were both facing long covid…

      As for the blood tests, I’m hoping we do better next month! I am enjoying having a bit more energy and as ever, I’m also reading a lovely selection of books:)). I hope you are also having a great week.

  20. I just saw this post, I am trying to catch up. That blood gathering escapade sounds like something I would do, Glad it is not too much that you have to send in. Thank so much for including my post here Sarah. The more we know, the easier acceptance and support is.

    • Yes… gathering the blood – the highlight of my month so far:)).

      And it was my pleasure to include your post, Carla – I thought it was excellent and as you say, knowledge and subsequent understanding is vital to enable those on the spectrum to be effectively supported.

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