Sunday Post – 4th July, 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.

A very happy Fourth of July to all my American friends – I hope you have a lovely day.

It’s been an odd week. On the plus side, we celebrated little Eliza’s birthday on Wednesday – I can’t quite believe that she is already three years old – where has the time gone? My daughter arranged for her to have a session at Outward Bound, where there is a huge soft play area. Her brothers crawled through tunnels with her, helped her up steps and ushered her down slides, while she duly bossed them around and generally had a wonderful time. I was able to drive myself there, as it is only ten minutes up the road from where I live. Now I have a walking stick, I was able to get out of the car and walk across the endless acreage of the car park without any help. Though it’s surprising how much BIGGER everywhere seems when you move at the speed of a dozing snail. It was lovely being able to see the birthday girl and give her a present and card (a batgirl dress in black and gold netting, with mask), and also see the rest of the family, who I really miss. The pics this week show Eliza and her brothers on their birthday outing, and more wilderness scenes from my overgrown garden.

The rest of the week, I’ve been watching Wimbledon and trying – and failing – to do more than move between the bed and the settee. I’m aware that I’ve so much to be grateful for – but this week, I’ve found it tough. My life is on hold and I’ve no idea when I will become well enough to resume my former busy schedule. Or if I will ever recover sufficiently to do so. I need to cling to the fact that I am able to occasionally write reviews and post them. Though depressingly my wordage for June didn’t even make 10,000 words, which is the lowest I’ve recorded since I started keeping track of my annual wordcount in 2013. When is a writer not a writer – when she doesn’t write!! Thank goodness for books. If I couldn’t regularly escape between the covers of a variety of lovely reads, I’d be a gibbering wreck by now.

Last week I read:

Patterns in the Dark – Book 4 of the Dragon Blood series by Lindsay Buroker
Everyone knows dragons have been extinct for over a thousand years. Everyone is wrong. At least one dragon remains, and military scientists from the Cofah Empire are experimenting with its blood, using the magical substance to power deadly new weapons that could be used to bring the world to its knees.

That’s a concern for Zirkander, Cas, and the rest of the Iskandians, but all Tolemek wants is to find his missing sister. The last time he saw her, their father had locked her in an asylum because of a mental illness with no cure. Now the military has taken her. What use the Cofah have for her, Tolemek can only guess, but he is certain she is in danger. He must save her before it’s too late. But her fate is inexplicably tied to the dragon’s, and he must find it to find her.
I’m working my way through this series far too fast! And that’s because it’s becoming addictive, as Buroker keeps on delivering books full of action, enjoyable characters and quirky humour. The big bonus in this one is that we finally come face to face with a dragon – yay! Unsurprisingly, Buroker is now one of my favourite authors – and I’m delighted to see that she’s written a LOT😊.

Assassin’s Orbit by John Appel
On the eve of the planet Ileri’s historic vote to join the Commonwealth, the assassination of a government minister threatens to shatter everything. Private investigator Noo Okereke and spy Meiko Ogawa join forces with police chief Toiwa to investigate – and discover clues that point disturbingly toward a threat humanity thought they had escaped.

A threat that could destroy Ileri and spark an interplanetary war… unless the disparate team can work together to solve the mystery.
This was another enjoyable, action-packed read, full of incident and appealing characters. I loved the nuanced, political world. And I really loved that the main characters were of a certain age – though still willing and able to mix it up with the wrong-headed youngsters. Review to follow.

Paladin’s Grace – Book 1 of The Saint of Steel series by T. Kingfisher
Stephen’s god died on the longest day of the year…

Three years later, Stephen is a broken paladin, living only for the chance to be useful before he dies. But all that changes when he encounters a fugitive named Grace in an alley and witnesses an assassination attempt gone wrong. Now the pair must navigate a web of treachery, beset on all sides by spies and poisoners, while a cryptic killer stalks one step behind…

And yet, ANOTHER lovely, entertaining read – this one had me howling with laughter during some of the romance scenes. I love it when an author successfully highlights just how funny passion can be😊. And yet, there is also plenty of adventure and tension, too. And I’m delighted to note that there are two more books in this series, so I now know where some of my birthday money is going…

The Daydreamer Detective Opens a Tea Shop – Book 3 of the Miso Cosy Mystery series by Steph Gennaro
Mei Yamagawa’s bad luck is almost at an end…

Her tea shop is a week away from opening, she and Yasahiro have planned a trip away, and the future is looking bright and hopeful. But when Yasahiro’s ex-fiancée, Amanda, shows up unexpectedly, demanding his time and presence, all of their plans dissolve…
Annoyingly, it wasn’t until I’d nearly finished this one that I realised I’d read Books 2 and 3 out of sequence. However, that didn’t prevent me from thoroughly enjoying this cosy contemporary murder mystery set in Japan. I really like Mei’s character – and I’ve edited the blurb somewhat, because I didn’t bother to read it before tucking into the book. And got a real shock when I discovered who exactly had been murdered… A charming, engrossing read that has me keen to return to this quirky and different world. Review to follow.

My posts last week:

Castellan the Black and his Wise Draconic Tips on Life

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Stranding by Kate Sawyer

Friday Face-off featuring Dragonfly in Amber – Book 2 of the Outlander series by Diane Gabaldon

Review of NETGALLEY arc Willow – Book 1 of The Pepper Lane Club by Grace Parks

Can’t-Wait Wednesday featuring Antiques Carry On – Book 15 of the Trash n’Treasures series by Barbara Allan

Tuesday Treasures – 34

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Artifact Space by Miles Cameron

Unfortunately, I haven’t been online enough to recommend any blogs or articles. And neither have I been visiting my fellow bloggers all that much, either… I’m very sorry. Thank you for those of you who continue to visit and comment – I really do appreciate you taking the time and effort to do so😊. I hope you all have a happy, healthy week.

49 responses »

  1. Recovery is indeed a process that requires time and patience, and is bound to plunge us into depression when it does not progress at the speed we would like. All you have to keep in mind is that the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel is NOT a mirage, and that you will get there.
    My best wishes!

    • Thank you, Maddalena! My problem is that I now feel less able to write creatively than I did in May or April – so I’m not even holding my own, but going backwards… I’m aware that being in the middle of this and it being so drawn-out it’s difficult to judge. But the words don’t lie – and I’m steadily writing less and less. And for me – that’s a terrible prospect.

  2. I hope your recovery will continue, and that you’ll feel like your ‘old’ self as soon as possible, Sarah! It must feel a bit frustrating to not be able to do the things you want to do and are used to do.
    Your birthday outing looks so very nice! I’m glad you got to spend some time with your family this weekend.
    Have a lovely week ahead and happy reading.

  3. It is good to “see” you here again, and I’m glad you are getting out and about, albeit slower than you would like. I do recall 2019, when I was struggling with a walker and then a cane. Now I am walking pretty normally, although I still have to do a lot of stretches to get out of bed in the morning without pain!

    The birthday party sounds great…and yes, the kids do get older so fast!

    The little Miso Cosy series looks cute. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

    • The Miso Cosy mysteries are great fun, Laurel. I’m very drawn to more upbeat reads at present:). And it’s a comfort to know that physically my chances of recovery are very good – I just wish I was as confident in regaining my writing ability, as time goes by…

  4. How nice that you got together with your family for Eliza’s birthday. Do take care, Sarah! I’m glad you have so many good books to keep you company😁

  5. I’m glad you were able to enjoy her birthday! I relate to this as I spent earlier in the year much the same from bed to desk chair and not much else. I am finally feeling normal sometimes and only get twinges from time to time. I didn’t really improve until I started doing daily exercises from physical therapy. It makes me wonder if the cold I had around the time this began was actually a version of Covid. We weren’t going out then but who knows. I hadn’t had a cold in 18 years before the one this winter though. I wish you the best and I’m so happy to have your Sunday post and update. I hope you feel able to do the normal soon. It’s taken 6 months but I am nearly there.

    Anne – Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

    • So glad to hear that you have finally made a solid recovery, Anne – I recall reading of your struggles to get through your daily routine as you battled to recover. And this peculiar illness takes so many forms, I think it’s quite likely that you picked up up Covid. I’m going to contact my GP again this week and see if I can get some more support.

  6. May I ask what has happened to you? It sounds really bad. But I am glad that you could joyn your granddaughters birthday. She looks very energetic in the picture. Get well soon and take care of yourself and yours. Best wishes to you.

    • I’m suffering from Long Covid, so I get muscle weakness, dizzy spells, brain fog and overwhelming fatigue – and it’s stopped me in my tracks… And my hair is falling out… So it was a bonus to be able to take part in my granddaughter’s birthday celebration:)).

  7. SJ, it is lovely to hear you were able to join your little granddaughter and family to celebrate her birthday and that you have found plenty of entertaining books to lose yourself in. I pray for your continued healing and that bit by bit you will be able to write more, too. Take care 🙏❤🙂

  8. Aww happy birthday to Eliza! Glad you were able to have a wonderful celebration. I hope you’re feeling better soon physically- sending lots of healing and good wishes vibes your way.

    Daydreamer detective looks fun. 🙂

    Take care and be well this week.

    • Thank you for your kind good wishes and healing vibes, Greg. I’ve woken up this morning feeling a lot positive, as a minor back injury has now disappeared – yay!

      And yes – the Daydreamer Detective series is great fun – well written and refreshingly different:)).

  9. Happy birthday to Eliza. They really do grow up too fast, don’t they? I am sorry you are still struggling. I imagine it is quite frustrating. I hope you continue to recover and remember to be gentle with yourself. Paladin’s Grace sounds like a lot of fun. I need more books in my life that will make me laugh. Take care, Sarah. I hope you have a great week!

    • Thank you, Wendy – I’m feeling happier this morning, thank goodness! And yes, Paladin’s Grace has been marvellous fun. I’ve been very lucky to have managed to unearth so many upbeat, humorous books, recently:)). I hope you, too, have a lovely week.

  10. Happy Birthday to Eliza! Wow, she’ll be in school before you know it. I’m so sorry to hear that the effects of Covid are still lingering. Hopefully you’ll turn a corner soon and be able to resume more of your favorite activities, especially your writing. Sending healing thoughts your way!

    • Thank you, Suzanne – I’m feeling more positive this morning and less despairing. I’ve been dealing with a sore back all week, and I hadn’t realised just how much that was impacting my overall mood and wellbeing – until I woke up this morning to discover that it’s gone:)).

  11. Sarah, I am so very sorry to hear that you are still having all these awful lingering effects of Covid. It’s a horrible sickness. I send prayers and good thoughts to you.

    I’m glad you were able to join in for Eliza’s birthday. It looks like you had a fabulous time.

    I know exactly what you mean about how difficult it is when a writer can’t write. It’s like part of you is gone. But you are a marvelously strong person and I know things will get better.

    • Thank you so much for your kind good wishes, Deb. And you’re right – I do feel like a really vital part of me has been ripped away. That said – this morning I’m feeling a whole lot better:). I hope you have a lovely reading week!

  12. I had a rather stubborn case of pneumonia a couple of years ago and can understand how you feel a little bit. It’s so frustrating but rest is so important. It’s hard to be grateful all the time when its impacting your life so much so hopefully you’re not giving yourself to hard of a time. I am glad you were able to go to Eliza’s birthday! I hope you have a good week.

    • Thank you, Katherine. Most of the time, I’ve been able to get out of my own way in my recovery process – but I have also been struggling with a sore back over the last week, which rather zapped my resiliance. Fortunately, I’ve woken up this morning without feeling like I’ve been trampled by a slow-moving herd of bison:). It was a real treat to be able to take part in Eliza’s birthday treat. I hope that this a good week for you, too.

  13. I’m really sorry you are having such a tough time Sarah, Long Covid is proving to be very debilitating and it’s not getting enough attention. I’m grateful I was finally able to book in for a vaccination given the outbreak of Delta in my state, my first dose will be July 11.
    I’m glad you were able to share in Elizas birthday celebration though!

    Wishing you a great reading week

    • Thank you for your kind good wishes, Shelleyrae – and you’re right, I do feel that I’m on the verge of vanishing despite being one of many thousands struggling in the same way. I’m delighted to hear that you have your first vaccination booked. And I hope that you, too, have a wonderful reading week:)).

  14. Oops! I’m sorry to hear that you read the Daydreamer books out of sequence. And I’m also sorry to hear that you are injured. I think I missed some news somewhere along the way. I just went back through some of your Sunday Updates and I don’t see anything. I hope you’re okay.

    • Hi SJ – no worries – it’s down to the brain fog and it certainly didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the book.

      I’m suffering with long covid and last week I got a bit overwhelmed with misery of being unable to write. While I can manage book reviews and the blog – I find it incredibly hard to work on the WIP, which I find really hard. Thank goodness, I am able to read and get some comfort and escape from other people’s stories!

  15. So sorry life has been tough, but yay for celebrating the small things! Getting some blog posts written and making it to the birthday party and both amazing when you aren’t feeling well. Have a great week!

  16. Sending you lots of sunny thoughts and happiness. I know it’s hard to see this, but we are all here cheering for you and your recovery. Everything little thing is something to appreciate as it should be.

    Sorry your word count wasn’t too high, but only one way to go from here right? Hope you bash your own record next month!

    • Thank you, Athira for your kind, encouraging words – and it helps enormously to know so many folks out there are thinking of me:)). And I know I just have to be patient – even though there are times when that patience runs out!

  17. So sorry that you’ve been struggling – it is hard trying to get over an illness, thankfully you have a lovely family and lots of good books. I hope you’re doing better.
    Lynn 😀

    • Thank you, Lynn:)). I’m very, very slowly improving – but I am still needing to rest for a lot of the time. At least I’m not in any chronic pain, for which I’m truly grateful!

  18. Hey, you are making progress! You get to see the little grands, and that is HUGE. The journey of recovery never ever goes as fast as we wish or as far as we wish, but you ARE able to read and you ARE able to write–not as much as you once were, sure, but once in a while is still something! Just a few sentences a day is progress, just one chapter a day is progress. You’ve wonderful loved ones with you every step, every word, every line. Praying this journey continues forward! xxxxxx

    • Thank you, Jean:)). You are right – although I am stuck in this limboland and feel like I’ve been here forever – I have so much to be very grateful for! And I am still on the path to recovery, even if it feels slow and very uneven.

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