Sunday, 2 October 2011

September 2011 Recap & why you won't be seeing me online much at the moment

I have to admit that September has been a bit of a hellish month for me.  If you follow me on Twitter then you've quite possibly seen most of the drama already but just in case you don't I thought I'd give you a quick re-cap and let you know why I'm a bit quiet online at the moment!  It started when I came home from my holiday at the end of August to find my kitchen had been flooded by water thanks to a burst pipe in the empty house next door.  It had caused quite a mess and had obviously been going on for some time but coming through under my floor boards where I couldn't see it.  When they came to have a look at it they confirmed that they would need to replace the floor boards and that it would take some time to dry out the wall where the houses are joined.  Not the end of the world though so I wasn't too worried. 

Then when I'd been home for a week I came downstairs one morning to discover that my kitchen floor was covered in raw sewage (that really wasn't a pleasant thing to see or smell I can tell you!).  It turns out there was an open drain inside a kitchen cupboard (that isn't supposed to be there) and that's where it all came from.  The drain guys came out very quickly but it took them 3 days to fix the problem - there were broken pipes between my house and both neighbours houses and they had to dig up my patio to fix it - but they only cleaned the floor of sewage, it is still under and inside the cupboards, under the flooring and underneath all my white goods (cooker, washing machine, tumble dryer, fridge freezer & dishwasher).  It took about 10 days for the landlord to get the industrial cleaners out to clean everything but after investigating they confirmed that I need all the white goods replaced, all of my cupboards, floor boards, the sink unit and even most of the walls removing before they can clean the kitchen.  Basically I'm looking at a complete kitchen re-build!  They also confirmed that under no circumstances was it safe to stay living there and that I should move out immediately.

The landlord has put me into a Bed & Breakfast which is where I've been living now for the last 3 weeks.  This week I have been told that it will take anywhere between 3-6 months to get my house back into a livable condition again and they are currently trying to rent a flat for me to move into in the meantime.  I've been lucky in that the B&B is nice and the landlady there is lovely but it's not the same as being in my own home so I'm sure you can imagine I'm quite stressed out at the moment.  I also have practically no mobile phone signal and no Internet access there so I'm not able to get online anywhere nearly as much as I would like to.  I'm managing to get some blog posts written at my Mum's house but until I'm a bit more sorted I'm afraid you won't see much of me on Twitter (perhaps that's a good thing!) and I'm not getting a chance to read many blog posts.  As soon as I'm settled into wherever I'll be living for the next 3-6 months hopefully things will start to get back to normal around here but I hope you'll bear with me in the meantime.  There has been one advantage to having no phone or Internet though - I'm getting plenty of time to read (now I just need to catch up on my reviews lol)

Here is the list of books I read & or reviewed in September: (The links will take you to my reviews)

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J.K. Rowling (read in July, reviewed in September)
  2. Hunting Lila - Sarah Alderson (read in August, reviewed in September)
  3. Too Small to Fail - Morris Gleitzman (read in August, reviewed in September)
  4. Eternal Rider - Larissa Ione (read in August, reviewed in September)
  5. Dragon Bound - Thea Harrison (read in August, reviewed in September)
  6. The Soft Edge of Midnight - Stella & Audra Price (read in August, reviewed in September)
  7. Wolf Tracks - Vivian Arend (Novella) (read in August, reviewed in September)
  8. Touched by an Alien - Gini Koch (read in August, reviewed in September)
  9. Dearly Departed - Lia Habel (read in August, reviewed in September)
  10. Crypt: The Gallows Curse - Andrew Hammond (read in August, reviewed in September)
  11. Send No Flowers - Sandra Brown (This review was only posted on Goodreads & is not on my blog)
  12. Rip Tide - Kat Falls (review coming soon)
  13. Angelic - Kelley Armstrong (Novella) (This review was only posted on Goodreads & is not on my blog)
  14. Velvet - Mary Hooper
  15. The Adventures of the New Cut Gang - Philip Pullman
  16. Lover Enshrined - J.R. Ward
  17. Black Gold - Vivian Arend
  18. Zola's Pride - Moira Rogers (Short Story)
  19. Deadlock - Moira Rogers
  20. Bloodlines - Richelle Mead
  21. Stealing Phoenix - Joss Stirling
  22. Darker Still - Leanna Renee Hieber (review coming soon)
  23. Blood Rights - Kristen Painter (review coming soon)
  24. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern (review coming soon)
  25. The Other Countess - Eve Edwards (review coming soon)
  26. The Search for WondLa - Tony DiTerlizzi (review coming soon)
  27. Alien Tango - Gini Koch (review coming soon)
  28. A Long, Long Sleep - Anna Sheehan (review coming soon)
  29. Adrian's Lost Chapter - Richelle Mead (Short Story)
  30. Bound to Shadows - Keri Arthur (review coming soon)
  31. One Grave at a Time - Jeaniene Frost (review coming soon)
September Guest Reviews:
  1. The Shadowing: Hunted - Adam Slater (reviewed by 12 year old Kain)
  2. Burning Secrets - Clare Chambers (reviewed by 12 year old Kain)
September Books of the Month:
(Choices are made from books reviewed this month)

My top YA reads in September:
Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson (read my review here)
Stealing Phoenix by Joss Stirling (read my review here)

My top adult read in September:
Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch (read my review here)

Event Reports:
  • While we were in America I was so excited to attend the Author's After Dark convention in Philadelphia.  I had the chance to meet some of my favourite authors (Lara AdrianLarissa Ione!!), authors I've come to know and love through Twitter (Stella Price & Jaime Saare) and a lot of fabulous new to me authors (Dakota Cassidy, Leanna Renee Hieber, Lia Habel plus many, many more) and I even got to meet some of my favourite international bloggers.  It really was an amazing experience and I'll be doing a full write up soon to tell you all about it.
  • On the 21st of September I was invited to the Bloomsbury offices for a chance to meet Mary Hooper, I loved her books Falling Grace and Velvet so it was great to meet her and we had a fantastic time.  I'll be posting my write up next week so make sure you keep an eye out for it.
  • Later the same day a group of us also got to go to an event organised by OUP to meet authors Joss Stirling and Dave Cousins.  I have met Joss before and she was just as lovely as she was the first time, I absolutely love her Finding Sky series (the second book Stealing Phoenix is one of my YA books of the month for September) so it was great to be able to ask her about where the series goes from here.  Dave is a debut author and his first novel 15 Days Without a Head is released in January, we got to listen to Dave do a reading from the book and I have to tell you it's already my most anticipated 2012 release so I can't wait to pick up the copy we were given!  You can read my full event write up here
  • I was also lucky enough to get to attend an event at Foyles with authors & illustrators Tony DiTerlizzi and Chris Riddell.  They are both extremely talented illustrators and we got to watch them doing drawings as we listened to them talk about their books.  I was very lucky to get to go out to dinner with both of the authors and some of the staff from Simon & Schuster at The Groucho Club afterwards.  Amazing food and fab bookish conversation - what more could a girl ask for?  I'll be doing my write up of the event soon to fill you in on all the details.
Author's Animal Antics:

The Author's Animal Antics feature is kind of on hold at the moment, I am planning on bringing it back as a more regular feature soon but I just don't have as much time to organise it right now.  If you are an author who is interested in taking part though please get in contact (you can find out more about the feature here).

Challenge Updates:

So these are the challenges I've decided to sign up for in 2011 (I may well end up adding others as the year goes on but we'll see what happens)

2011 100+ Reading Challenge - Read 100/100 COMPLETE
2011 Debut Author Challenge - Read 12/12 COMPLETE
2011 New Author Challenge - Read 50/50 COMPLETE
NAC Mini Challenge - Steampunk (Feb 2011) - Read 2/5 COMPLETE (This challenge was to read up to 5 steampunk books in February, I knew I wouldn't have time to read 5 so I'm happy with my total of 2)
NAC Mini Challenge - TBR Newbies (April & May 2011) - READ 6/6 COMPLETE (I actually managed to read 8 books for this challenge but only the first 6 count)


  1. Wow Sarah - it really sounds like you've had a hell of a month! I hope it all works out well, but it sucks at the moment - I bet you really need some de-stress time now! Best wishes for you.

  2. Oh Sarah, I do hope it gets sorted soon for you. I am impressed by the amount of books you have read but I wish that it was under better circumstances for you.

  3. Fingers crossed they move you into a new flat very soon, Sarah!

  4. I really hope October will be a much better month for you and that they find a great place for you to live in the interim. Good luck with everything!

    You did read quite an impressive number of books. I am currently reading Dearly, Departed so I'll have to check out your review to see what you thought of it.

  5. Poor you! What a nightmarish story! I very much hope you'll get settled into a lovely flat as soon as possible and they'll sort your house in the shortest time they can. Absolutely best regards and my good wishes sent your way x

  6. That sounds like you've been having an awful time of it. I really hope everything gets sorted sooner than expected!

  7. Oh no! Sounds horrible!
    Really hope everything is sorted for you soon.

  8. Thanks everyone, September was definitely an interesting month lol! I'm happy to say that I moved into a temporary flat on Friday which is so much better than being in the B&B. I'll be staying there until at least January so I'm just hoping that the landlord hurries up and starts work fixing my kitchen :o)



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