This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books they’ve read and share what they have got up to during the last week.
Oscar is now back at school and so we have returned to our usual busy routine. He has been cycling in on the days when the weather is good, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect him to sit in wet clothes throughout the school day on the days when it’s raining, as it’s a 3-mile ride. We had a couple of days like that last week, and as the weather continues to cool and worsen, I’m expecting we’ll need to give him lifts more often. I am still worried about Ethan’s cough, which hasn’t eased up all that much despite having had a course of antibiotics, so I think we will need another trip to the doctor. He is also working very hard, so doesn’t rest all that much.
When I took Oscar to the gym on Wednesday, I managed to have a chat with the trainer who takes the classes for people recovering from Long Covid. She was so kind and encouraging, and assured me that she would be able to help me get back to my former fitness – to the extent that I found I was nearly in tears. It was only then that I realised how much I’ve been worrying that I’d never regain my previous condition. I’ve also been writing my account of my Long Covid journey this week – it’s a long, long piece, but I’ve broken it up into sub-headings. It was difficult to write, as it brought back a host of unhappy memories, but I do want to set out my own experiences and how I dealt with them, in the hope that someone else might find at least some of it useful.
Last weekend, Strictly Come Dancing returned to our screens and the first show was simply amazing. For starters, it’s the first time since the pandemic they’ve had a full studio audience, so the atmosphere was buzzing – and the standard was astounding, given it was the very first show of the series. I watched the dancers with a huge grin on my face – it has to be the most joyful programme on TV and has brought a lovely glittery shaft of light into my life😊.
Last week I read:-
Becoming Crone – Book 1 of The Crone Wars series by Lydia M. Hawke
For Claire Emerson, there is nothing ordinary about turning sixty. First, there are the crows. Then, a pendant that unlocks a gate to a house in the woods–which comes with a snarky gargoyle, an entirely too-sexy wolf shifter claiming to be Claire’s protector, and a legacy that turns her reality upside down.
Because divorced, menopausal grandmothers with creaky hips and hot flashes? They don’t just randomly discover they’re next in a long line of powerful women protecting the world from the dark magick of Mages.
Claire’s first instinct is to turn tail and run back to the safety of baking cookies and reading bedtime stories. But when it becomes clear the Mages have targeted her, she may have no choice but to accept her calling. There’s just one problem: she never got the lifetime of training she was supposed to have, and her magick is… well, unreliable would be an understatement. With the Mages threatening everything she loves, can Claire learn what she needs to in time to become Crone? Or will she be the one to lose an ancient war—and her life?
This entertaining urban fantasy adventure is a great deal of fun. I particularly liked Claire, who is both convincing and funny, which prevented her from turning into too much of a victim. I’m looking forward to tucking into the next book in the series. 8/10
A Killer’s Kiss – Book 6 of the Firebrand series by Helen Harper
A twisted killer is making his mark in London, leaving a trail of blood and devastation in his wake. It’s not only humans who are being targeted. Vampires, werewolves and pixies are in mortal danger too.
I’ve been called in to help with the investigation but I can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to the murders. Someone is playing a very sick game – and it’s up to me to put a stop to it.
I love this series! Helen Harper is one of my favourite authors and supernatural detective Emma is one of my favourite protagonists. Set in London, this urban fantasy is punchy, fast-paced and packed with enjoyable characters. But whatever you do, don’t start here – go back to the first book, Brimstone Bound, to get the maximum enjoyment out of this entertaining murder mystery. 9/10
AUDIOBOOK – The Grief of Stones – Book 2 of The Cemeteries of Amalo series by Katherine Addison
Celehar’s life as the Witness for the Dead of Amalo grows less isolated as his circle of friends grows larger. He has been given an apprentice to teach, and he has stumbled over a scandal of the city—the foundling girls. Orphans with no family to claim them and no funds to buy an apprenticeship. Foundling boys go to the Prelacies; foundling girls are sold into service, or worse.
At once touching and shattering, Celehar’s witnessing for one of these girls will lead him into the depths of his own losses. The love of his friends will lead him out again.
I think I actually squealed with joy when I encountered this one. The Goblin Emperor and The Witness For the Dead are both on my Outstanding Books list, so I was thrilled to see this is the sequel to The Witness For the Dead. And it didn’t disappoint, especially as Liam Gerrad’s wonderful narration only added to the quality of an exceptional listen. Very highly recommended for those who like their murder mysteries with a fantastic twist. 10/10
AUDIOBOOK – Eye of Truth – Book 1 of the Agents of the Crown series by Lindsay Buroker
After 10 years at war, Jev Dharrow looks forward to hanging up his sword, relaxing with a cool mug of ale, and forgetting that the love of his life married another man while he was gone. But when his ship sails into port, a beautiful woman wearing the garb of an inquisitor from one of the religious orders waits to arrest him. His crime? He’s accused of stealing an ancient artifact with the power to start another war. Jev would gladly hand over the artifact to stop more suffering, but he has no idea where it is or even what it looks like. The inquisitor woman definitely has the wrong person.
Inquisitor Zenia Cham grew up with nothing, but she has distinguished herself as one of the most capable law enforcers in the city, and she’s next in line to become archmage of the temple. All she has to do is find the Eye of Truth, and her superiors are certain Jev has it.
He tries to charm her with his twinkling eyes and easy smile, but she’s not letting any man get between her and her dreams. Especially not a thief.
If Jev can’t convince Zenia they’re on the same side, find the artifact, and clear his name, his homecoming will turn into a jail sentence. Or worse.
Nobody works this dynamic with more humour and adventure than Buroker. I was delighted to discover this enjoyable start to the series tucked in amongst my audiobooks and sniggered throughout, even while wondering where the next twist was going to take the story. And I was delighted at the unexpectedness of the main antagonist. If you’re looking for a thoroughly engaging fantasy adventure with a splash of romance, then this one comes very highly recommended. 9/10
My posts last week:
Review of NETGALLEY arc Becoming Crone – Book 1 of The Crone Wars series by Lydia M. Hawke
Review of KINDLE arc Sol 2781 – Book 4 of the Drago Tell Dramis series by Janet Edwards
Can’t-Wait-Wednesday featuring And Justice for Mall – Book 4 of the Jersey Girl series by E.J. Copperman
Sunday Post – 25th September, 2022
Wishing you all a happy, health week😊.
Writing down your Long Covid experience is certainly stressful, but it might also offer a form of catharsis – putting those bleak moments down on paper could very well be a way of getting rid of them. And the prospect of getting back to form through exercise sounds really good 🙂
Thank you, Maddalena:). Yes – I expect you’re right and that I will find it ultimately positive. I wanted to write it all down for those still struggling in the middle of it and I’m slightly reeling at the slew of very unhappy memories it has stirred up. However, once I’ve knocked it into shape and posted it – I’m hoping that I’ll find it has provided some catharsis:)).
You sound very busy and happy, I can tell by your post that things are looking up, even if your energy isn’t quite what it was. Have a wonderful week😁
Thank you, Tammy:)). Oh yes – I’m sure the feeling will wear off, but I’m still at the stage where I am just thankful that I’m largely able to lead a normal life. Though I do still get very, very tired!!
It’s brave of you to write about your personal experience with Long Covid. I don’t believe this whole things is over and we are still very careful. I’m glad you are able to get back to your usual activities and hope for more improvements.
Anne – Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post
Thank you, Anne. Yes… I’m very conscious that covid is still out there – relatives of mine are currently recovering from their second illness. It’s important to me to write my own experiences, as when I was looking online for any help or information – it was other people’s accounts that I wanted to read to find out how they got through it.
I’m sure writing about your long covid experience is both painful and cathartic. I hope I’ll get to read it someday! And I do hope you’ll get back to your former fitness. I have a good feeling that you will.
I’m sure you are right – that in the end it will prove to be cathartic. I was just really shocked in writing it down at how much I’d actually been through. And it also revived some really dark memories that I’m slightly struggling to process. But I’m trusting that in the end, it will be a positive move! As for getting back my former fitness, I am carefully listening to my body and reminding myself that only two months ago, I was still spending 13 or 14 hours a day in bed. So I need to be patient and take it slowly.
The weather has been turning here too- although today it felt like summer but I think it will get cool again. I’m glad that getting your thoughts on your Long Covid experience down is helping. I feel like sharing things like that can be cathartic- and like you mention, of help to others, to know they’re not alone.
Killer’s Kiss sounds good- I like a good urban fantasy that involves pixies and fae creatures as well.
Yes – we have been having a run of mild, dry weather unusual for the time of year. But there will come a time when it gets colder – I’m just happy that I haven’t had to turn on the heating yet, given the huge hike in our energy bills:). And yes – Helen Harper’s urban fantasy is all great fun and I particularly enjoy this series, which is set in London.
How exciting to have such a promising conversation with the trainer. I think working with a professional to regain your strength is such a smart idea. We have Dancing with the Stars here which is similar but they’ve made a host change that I don’t love so I haven’t watched the last season. I wish we could get Strictly Come Dancing here. Have a wonderful week!
Thank you, Katherine. I felt really empowered after my chat. I just need to gain a bit more stamina, as I’m still feeling very, very tired at the end of the day. As for Strictly – while we have had some changes of judges, etc over the years, I’ve enjoyed all the people who have taken over and the hosts are a duo who work fabulously well together. I hope that you, too, have a wonderful week:).
Sarah, I am so happy that you are continuing to gain strength and have a plan to move forward after your trials with long covid. I can only imagine what reliving that through your writing will bring back to you. I’m sure it will end up being a positive experience to see what you have gone through and that you are getting stronger and healthier all the time. I love that you are getting back to reading again, I know it was so hard for you for so long. I hope the doctors can sort out what is causing Ethan’s cough so they can give him whatever he needs to shake up. Have a wonderful week.
Ah, thank you, Carla! Yes, we are hoping to get Ethan to the dr soon. I hope that you, too, are having a great week:).