An #INSPY Audiobook Review | Jorie was smitten by the cheeky Contemporary INSPY humour of Bethany Turner within the pages of “Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish”! [Started during #CFSRS20]

Posted Monday, 21 September, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I have been participating in the Christian Fiction & Clean Reads Reading Safari readathon for the past three years now. I have found the readathon to be personally enriching as it is a wonderful month of respite for book bloggers who want to focus on reading outside their blog schedules and tuck into the gentler side of fiction which is Inspirational Fiction (ie. INSPY). A portion of INSPY is Christian Fiction however, INSPY overall encompasses all faiths and religious backgrounds as it is faith-inspired literature. As a participant of the readathon – each reader moves through the event at their own pacing – seeking stories to read, authors to get to know socially online and reading the stories which interest them throughout the readathon. As you participate there is a chance you can win a book or several throughout the month. This year I am reading a mixture of stories I’ve won during past CFSRS readathons, stories I’ve won through bookaways with Christian Fiction authors or bloggers as well as stories on my shelf from my personal library as well as borrowing INSPY stories in print and audio from my local libraries.

In May 2020, I was hosting a few promotional tours and social blitzes for JustRead Publicity Tours – one of those tours was the ‘Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish’ Takeover Tour – wherein I received a complimentary print copy of the novel in exchange for posting promotional content on social media featuring my own book photography. Whilst the audiobook edition for “Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish” was included in my Scribd membership which I use to regularly listen to audiobooks. However, I finished listening to the audiobook via CloudLibrary which is a service through my library for listening to audiobooks. I was not obligated to post a review on behalf of this novel and have elected to do so for my own edification as well as continuing to share my bookish and readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read this story:

You’d have to understand my affection and addiction to watching *celebrity chefs!* first and foremost – as I entered into my years of cooking a bit late in the game compared to most women. In fact, I took after Julia Child and I was wickedly overjoyed knowing that she didn’t get invested into cooking or the cookery arts until well into her thirties – wherein I happily beat her by a few years myself when I started to find that I enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen, too!

Prior to those years of my late twenties, I was resolved that perhaps when it came to cooking my real gift was for baking – as I just did not catch onto the buzz round using fresh farmer market ingredients and sorting out which vegetarian and/or vegan dish I wanted to create by using different cookbooks and/or vegan/veg blogger recipes online until after assisting Mum as her sous chef – I started to notice I was enjoying ‘going off the recipes’ and sorting things out on my own. It was a personal reckoning of joy and I was thrilled to bits about this new adventure I was undertaking.

This also lead us to requesting copious amounts of cookbooks & baking books at our local library and happily kept the Acquisitions Library well supplied with titles for vegans and vegetarians alike! Over the years we had to take a break from focusing on vegetarian foods and are more omnivores at the moment who are anxious to return back to living through the seasons with vegetables and grains. At the same time, I was no longer finding Food Network & the Cooking Network to be on the boring side of the ledger as half the time I felt a lot of that stuff flew over my head quite a bit.

I’m all-in now – from having personal favourite celebrity chefs to having series on Food Network I am wicked thrilled over seeing new episodes for whenever I’m able to see them to realising that it could take another lifetime to *bake!* like they do on the Great British Bake-Off! I even love a murder mystery series via Hallmark Movies & Mysteries called: “Morning Show Mysteries”. The title is elusive as she runs a restaurant and has a cooking segment on a tv show.

Thus, when I read the premise for “Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish” I thought how wicked wonderful one of today’s INSPY Contemporary novelists’ is taking a personal hobby following the lives of celebrity chefs and spinning it into a compellingly realistic story!

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Graphic created in Canva by Jorie. Hadley Beckett's Next Dish novel Photography Credit: © jorielovesastory.com.

Hadley Beckett's Next Dish
by Bethany Turner
Source: Borrowed from local library's CloudLibrary, Direct from Publisher, Scribd | Audiobook Subscription
Narrator: Aimee Lilly

Get ready for a heaping helping of humor, romance, and second chances

Celebrity chef Maxwell Cavanagh is known for many things: his multiple Michelin stars, his top-rated Culinary Channel show, To the Max, and most of all his horrible temper. Hadley Beckett, host of the Culinary Channel's other top-rated show, At Home with Hadley, is beloved for her Southern charm and for making her viewers feel like family.

When Max experiences a very public temper tantrum and is sent packing, his only chance to get back on TV and in the public's good graces is to work alongside Hadley. As these polar-opposite celeb chefs begin to peel away the layers of public persona and reputation, they will not only discover the key ingredients for getting along but also learn the secret recipe for unexpected forgiveness . . . and maybe even love.

In the meantime, hide the knives.

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Cookery, Foodie Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Southern Lit, Women's Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780800735234

ASIN: B087JZQCC3

Published by Revell

on 5th May, 2020

Format: Audiobook | Digital, Trade Paperback

Pages: 352

Length: 8 hours and 40 minutes (unabridged)

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The novels of Bethany Turner:

The Secret Life of Sarah HollenbeckWooing Cadie McCaffrey by Bethany TurnerHadley Beckett's Next Dish by Bethany Turner

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck (2017)

Wooing Cadie McCaffrey (2019)

Hadley Becket’s Next Dish (2020)

Published by: Revell (@RevellBooks)

an imprint of Baker Publishing Group

Audiobook Published by: Oasis Audio (@oasisaudio)

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook (Digital & CD) and Ebook

Converse via: #Contemporary #ChristianFiction, #INSPYRomance, #INSPYbooks,
as well as #HadleyBeckettsNextDish and #HadBeck

About Bethany Turner

Bethany Turner

Bethany Turner is the award-winning author of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck and Wooing Cadie McCaffrey and the director of administration for Rock Springs Church in Southwest Colorado. A former bank executive and a three-time cancer survivor (all before she turned 35), Bethany knows that when God has plans for your life, it doesn't matter what anyone else has to say. Because of that, she's chosen to follow his call to write. She lives with her husband and their two sons in Colorado, where she writes for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight.

Photo Credit: Photo by: Emilie Hendryx © EA Creative Photography

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #CFSRS20
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Posted Monday, 21 September, 2020 by jorielov in #CFSRS20, #INSPYSundays, 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Chefs and Sous Chefs, Christianity, Contemporary Romance, Cookery, Foodie Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Library Catalogues & Databases, Library Find, Love Books Tours, Modern Day, Nashville, New York City, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Reading Challenges, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Sociological Behavior, Sweet Romance, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Women's Fiction

#TopTenTuesday XVI | Top Ten DiverseLit stories Jorie felt deeply connected to whilst reading! All of which are #mustreads!

Posted Tuesday, 8 September, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , 6 Comments

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I decided to give this week’s topic a bit of a SPIN – instead of focusing on the STORIES I gravitated towards as a child | teen, I wanted to participate in a *special!* tour stop on the *Tour the World in 30x Books Blog Tour!* which is directly supporting & helping a library stateside to increase their selections of diverse reads! The stories I am recommending might be choices for teens who read eclectically as much as adults – truly, there are no boundaries or barriers in literature! And, coincidentally some of the these *are!* releases in YA! 😄

Top Ten Tuesday blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

#TopTenTuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl
Topic of the Week: Top Ten Books to my Younger Self

Jorie’s #TopTenTuesday DiverseLit
stories Jorie felt deeply connected to whilst reading! 📖✨

[ UPDATE: 15th September:
LOOK for the genie! Those stories were selected to be placed on the Library’s Wishlist! I am humbled 5x of these were selected to be shelved! Now, I await the good news someone granted these #bookwishes! ]

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The Language of Hoofbeats by Catherine Ryan HydeThe Language of Hoofbeats 🧞
by Catherine Ryan Hyde

*LGBTQIA, at-risk youth, foster care & social services, unconventional families & found families as well as a beautiful f/f marriage at the centre of the story

An introduction to the characters | one family of blended hearts:

Quinn is the adopted son of Paula and Jackie, whose happy-go-lucky attitude gives his family an anchor of normalcy as much as a bit of insight in how to work through the flow of life as it arrives. Except his anxiety for having Jackie and Paula absent on any given day gives his anxiety a workout; after hearing of his past, the anxiety is natural yet heart-wrenching as it is not easily overcome.

Star is a typical teenager whose vent of angst and anguish inflicts on anyone within her personal sphere of being can become touched by it’s flames. Her emotional leverage of insight into Comet barters on the foreknowledge of knowing how well children (and adults) can benefit from being around an animal who is high strung and/or hyperactive. Sometimes emotionally hyper persons and animals who are equally hyper (even if in a different way) can cancel each other out; thereby giving each of them a more peaceful mood.

Armando is deeply attached to his birth family but wants to attempt to have a measure of independence in his life. He doesn’t quite feel as though he fits inside the family itself but at the same time he doesn’t want to leave. He’s caught in-between and is simply doing the best he can to handle the everyday. When he befriended the barn owl, I had to smile inwardly because he, too, had found an animal he could listen too and draw a breath of empathy for just like Star!

Jackie has an incredible gift for putting people at ease, especially her children of whom are still developing the trust she hopes they will have to know they are safe and loved. Her main flaw is regretting what she doesn’t do and not trusting her own  instincts to handle situations which arise out of the blue. She has a lot to give but a part of her questions if how she is being a mother is enough to cause an effect of change for the children.

Paula has the personality of a Mom who listens more than she talks; she processes a lot of things internally, trying to root out a way to not only find the peace in the rougher moments but to sort out the best way through what happens. Her spirit is not easily agitated but being a Vet it goes without saying she has learnt the ability to be calm under pressure and how to fuse her thoughts into her feelings.

Comet, the horse has a temperament you would not necessarily feel drawn too, but I have observed animals for most of my life, and I have the insight to realise the animal never fails to recognise who is need of a friend. Even if the horse such as Comet has a personality quirk not as agreeable to being safe around him, sometimes I think it is this intuition on behalf of the horse which can cause the most healing to occur.

(quoted from my review of The Language of Hoofbeats)

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Posted Tuesday, 8 September, 2020 by jorielov in Bookish Memes, Top Ten Tuesday

#SaturdaysAreBookish Audiobook Review | “Jesse’s Girl” by Tara September, narrated by Verla Bond

Posted Saturday, 19 September, 2020 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Starting in August 2020, I started hosting for Random Things Tours as a new book blogger working with them to either review and/or host guest author features on behalf of their authors. I was thankful to join their book blogger team and look forward to joining the tours which are highlighting the stories I actively enjoy reading and discovering. I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Jesse’s Girl” from Random Things Tours in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On why “Jesse’s Girl” felt like a good fit for a Contemporary Romance:

I love second chance romances and stories of redemption – I have a preference for slow burning romances and getting the chance to have a new relationship repair the angst of a past relationship which seemed to be the case with ‘Jesse’s Girl’ as Gwen was finding her life completely erased from the life she had with Jesse once Jesse left her and his daughter for a fling with a colleague.

What appealled to me the most was the shortness of the story itself – as this was an audiobook under five hours and I felt that was a good length for me at this time to listen too. The shorter audiobooks are fast becoming my new ‘favourites’ and when it comes to Contemporary Romances, I am still navigating the genre to root out who my new favourite voices are for this genre. Having said all that, as you will see on my review, I reached a point in the narration where I could not move forward and what I had hoped to have found in the story was not quite the experience I was given. Despite that, I have some strong observations to relate to my readers who can hopefully discern if this is a romance better fitted to them and their readerly habits.

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#SaturdaysAreBookish Audiobook Review | “Jesse’s Girl” by Tara September, narrated by Verla BondJesse's Girl
by Tara September
Source: Direct from Author via Random Things Tours
Narrator: Verla Bond

“I wish that I had Jesse’s Girl”

Successful Texas lawyer, Reade Walker, curses that damn song every time it plays, all too aware of the irony of its lyrics. After all, he has been secretly and painfully enamored with Jesse’s girl, Gwen, for nearly a decade. It was love at first sight for him, but sadly she’s not his girl. She belongs to the one man who betrayed him and knows Reade’s hidden family secret. Yet Reade can’t seem to love anyone except the one woman he can't have. Or can he make her mine?

When Gwen Clark’s senator husband runs off with his intern and all their money, the ensuing scandal turns her life upside down. Deserted, penniless and desperate to provide for her six-year-old daughter, Gwen has no one to turn to but Reade Walker. The one man her heart desperately wants, but her pride dreads having to ask for help. Despite welcoming them into his home, it seems like Reade can barely stand being in the same room with her anymore, let alone under the same roof—in the same bedroom. But Gwen is determined to get her life back on track. It is past time to rediscover her own dreams…if only she can keep her aching heart from breaking all over again.

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy (Rom Com), Short Story or Novella


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Heat Factor for Romance
three-flames

ISBN: 9781093176131

ASIN: B07XBWTWNJ

Published by Plus It Up

on 6th September, 2019

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 3 hours and 37 minutes (unabridged)

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Published by: Plus It Up

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance, #RomCom or #Romance and #JessesGirl
as well as #audioreads, #audiobook or #loveaudiobooks

About Tara September

Blogger and former PR executive for The Walt Disney Company, Tara holds a Master’s degree in journalism & communications from New York University. She also spent a semester abroad during her undergrad at Queen Mary University in London. For over a decade before publishing, Tara has penned a popular lifestyle, travel and parenting blog at TaraMetBlog.com.

Always an avid romance reader, she has been daydreaming about being an author since school. Dozens of bad dates, four cities and adventures later, she still finds it impossible that she met her husband on a New York City subway. They now live in sunny Florida with identical twin boys and four cats underfoot/on her laptop/everywhere. Fueled by an IV of green tea and sometimes Champagne, she's finally writing the happily ever after tales she's been dreaming about.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Saturday, 19 September, 2020 by jorielov in 21st Century, Audiobook, Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, Motherhood | Parenthood, Random Things Tours, Romance Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Vulgarity in Literature

A special #EnterTheFantastic #FolkloreThursday | Jorie’s affinity for stories set in and round ‘Cinderella’ come together in H.L. Burke’s new release “Ashen”!

Posted Thursday, 17 September, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Guest Contributor and/or Reviewer of JLAS banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!!

Welcome to my [special] Enter the Fantastic guest feature rooted in the lore and appeal of ‘Cinderella’ which happily befits #FolkloreThursday! I cannot recollect how old I was when I first drew a close connection to Cinderella – both the character and her story, however, as a teenager, the actress I’ve realised this week could have been my elder sis, respun this lovely tale into the beauty of what became ‘Ever After’. I can never tire of that adaptation due to the brilliant way in which Drew Barrymore gave life and depth to Danielle as much as how the film honoured both the character of Cinderella and re-told the tale in such a Feminist driven plotting – you cannot help but take stock of *everything!* contained within it!

I am, unfortunately a day late and a dollar short as they say – I was meant to feature this lovely guest post by an author I first ‘met’ during #WyrdAndWonder 2019 – wherein I read this wickedly wonderful Fantasy Romance! My first! And, it sealed the deal I wanted to be reading more of her stories – (do yourself a favour and find out what drew me into her world of the fey) as I happily featured her during my bookish chat @SatBookChat as well!

The key reason I wanted to host her this September on this unexpected blog tour (thank you, Ms Burke for announcing it in your author’s newsletter!) is because I had already slated myself to finally dive back into the first novel in her duology “Daughter of Sun, Bride of Ice” – a unique Fantasy storyline I had hoped to listen and review last year, but had to keep pushing it forward until I could lay heart and mind into the storyline. I requeued this for #SelfPubFantasyMonth (my first year to join the celebrations!) during September as I’ve been wanting to re-explore Fantasy and the fantastical realms I love being a traveller ever since Wyrd And Wonder concluded this year and I fell short of my end goals. (courtesy of my neverending chronic migraines which love to rage during *May!* the height of pollen season! OY!)

Let me give a short recap of my ‘Wednesday’ which ought to have been a proper ‘manic Monday’ instead – woke by 630a, wherein a two hour appointment turnt into seven whilst the whole day round was one near disaster after another and all told, I didn’t get back home til after 10p! The key reason this post was delayed wasn’t due to my insane Wednesday – it was due to the fact my connectivity went fully wonk yesterday afternoon shortly after receiving confirmation about this lovely guest post as this blog tour was assembled quite fast compared to other tours I’ve hosted wherein I had more than half a day to prep to share it. I didn’t get on til after midnight rounding out my day to a full 18+ hours!!

Ergo, forgive the delay but let’s celebrate why you’ve landed on Jorie Loves A Story! I could not have done more if I desired it and I shared this as quick as I could wherein having my connectivity resolved was one nightmaric obstacle I was thankful I didn’t have to worry over for another day!

If you love CINDERELLA, wait til you meet the characters within ASHEN –

Ashen Quote graphic provided by Uncommon Universes Press and is used with permission.

And yet, before we can do that, we need to better understand how ASHEN was bourne! Brew yourself a lovely cuppa, dear hearts and let’s drink in Ms Burke’s words together about how she cobbled together a story which was sparked out of the COLD!

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A special #EnterTheFantastic #FolkloreThursday | Jorie’s affinity for stories set in and round ‘Cinderella’ come together in H.L. Burke’s new release “Ashen”!Ashen
by H.L. Burke

Stealer of warmth, bringer of death. What if Cinderella had a secret that kept her locked away?

Unable to make her own body heat, foundling Lizbete survives in the tavern kitchen, drawing warmth from the fires, the sun—and sometimes, other living beings. Her days are spent cooking alongside the tavern owner and avoiding the suspicious gazes of the villagers in her small northern town. While she quietly longs for the handsome Brynar, she knows she has no chance with the mayor’s son, even if he invites her to the First Frost festival.

When sudden earthquakes strike Brumehome, blame falls upon Lizbete, and not even her friendship with Brynar can protect her. She finds shelter in the dangerous caverns of nearby Ash Mountain. There she discovers mysterious people with her same ability to draw heat—and a fiery doom in the mountain that slowly awakens with every quake.

Now the festival Lizbete thought to avoid is her only chance to warn the villagers. Yet even with Brynar at her side, can the strange girl dubbed the Ash Lizard hope to save the town that fears her?

A rugged YA Cinderella retelling set in a fantasy world with light steampunk elements.

Genres: After Canons, Classical Literature, Fairy-Tale Re-Telling, Fantasy Fiction, Inspired by Stories (Author/Book), Re-telling &/or Sequel


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B08CZZFKKX

Also by this author: To Court A Queen

Published by Uncommon Universes Press

on 22nd September, 2020

Published by: Uncommon Universes Press (@UncommonUnivers)

Genre(s): Folklore & Fairytales, After Canon Stories, Reinventing Cinderella

Converse via: #FolkloreThursday, #Mythothon and #Cinderella
as well as #Ashen, #Fantasy and #Classics

About H.L. Burke

H.L. Burke

Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and was always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

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So, the inspiration for Ashen. (Cracks knuckles)

Heidi was Cold and had NO MARINE so she wrote an MC that couldn’t get cuddles to take it out on her. The end.

K, I’m done. I can has cookie … wait, no, apparently this post needs more words. Um, hmm ….

In early 2019, a knee injury made it impossible for my husband to continue his military career. While he started separation paperwork (from the military, not us, but … yeah, spoilers, the military kept us separated off and on for almost a year), the plan was for me to move up to Oregon with the girls, look for a house, get them started in school, and then he’d join us once his retirement was finalized.

We left for Oregon in May. Matt didn’t join us (except for short visits) until March of 2020.

In the meantime, I did get a house: an older one that I love for it’s quirkiness and personality, but yeah … in the winter it’s drafty.

So there I was, in a house that could get fairly cold at night, with no husband to snuggle up against, and I started thinking about a protagonist whose primary issue is that she’s cold. Why is she cold? Maybe she can’t get near people because she takes their heat. She’s a heat vampire. Maybe it can get to the point where she can accidentally freeze someone to death if she touches them for too long …

And from that sprang Lizbete, a lonely little sad floof who just wants to connect with others but is afraid to because her need to draw heat from external sources makes her a danger to those closest to her.

Then she started hanging out in the ashes by the fire, and I was like, “Dang, people are going to think that’s a Cinderella reference … maybe it IS. Oh gosh … this is a Cinderella retelling.”

My husband is home now, by the way (thanks for asking). And (without being too spoilery), I promise Lizbete also gets her happy ending.

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Ashen Quote graphic provided by Uncommon Universes Press and is used with permission.

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I, admit, when I learnt where the Burke’s were living right now, I shuddered because my heart, my very soul has been so dearly attached to newsfeeds via streaming news services out of Oregon for the past fortnight (at least!) that I feel as if I’m going through the whole atrocity with them! My heart was in full grief that for the second time this year the environment, the landscape and the lives of the persons living in the path of wildfires were being irrevocably affected by what the fires are afflicting on the wildlife and on the humans who are falling victim to the fire.

I’ve been to Oregon – I LOVED Oregon and the whole Pacific Northwest (PNW) as the climate was so much more gentler than were I am myself – you couldn’t find the sun if you tried back then (in the late 90s) and blessedly it was not humid, nor hot and in the middle of June it was a blustery environ of oceanic breezes and the chilly comfort of overcast grey skies with a chill in the air as the natural thermostat was in the low 50s! It was my own bit of Heaven,…

This makes it even more special I think to help book boost an author whose living there and dealing with such a heavy load – not just the wildfires of today, but as you’ve read, she had to shoulder the relocation *and!* the adjustment of waiting out her husband’s retirement! The strength that takes and the toll it can have on your person is incredible. I am full of gratitude for her sacrifices and for his service.

I didn’t understand the theme of the post at first – let’s just blame my inability to see her cheekified humour on soldiering through a bluster of a migraine this week, too much personal IRL stress and a newfound joy of finding out I can BAKE a SCONE. Okay, that last bit? That’s the bright rainbow of joyfulness that marked a turning of tides this week, wells, til you know, Wednesday arrived and you would have found me at sixes and sevens – running round ragged and pushing through heat exhaustion because you know, Summer has a wrath of the volcanic on you! Throw in a few birds of prey, a real bonefide rainbow and some unexpected blessings today and it rounded out to a lovely day despite the angst and the afflicted way in which I felt the day would never end.

I finally caught on to her humour and it was a refreshing look into how she approaches her craft of writing whilst giving out a personal antidote from the life behind the books as Ms Burke has somehow managed to achieve what I haven’t yet – write and continue to develop her writerly craft whilst living through circumstances that would give the impression you might not feel as creatively inclined to accomplish anything at all. I give full credit to all creatives who can push through that kind of incredible weight of stress and circumstance and produce wicked incredible stories – Ms Burke is one author to keep your eyes on — she’s going to surprise you and I hope you’ll find the stories she’s penning as entertaining as I do!

Meanwhile, despite the rocky start to hosting for this lovely Indie Press, I am hopeful they’ll forgive my delay to post as I’d love to continue to work with them on future blog tours. I love championing Indie Publishers & Press as much as Indie & Self published authors – as throughout the past seven years on Jorie Loves A Story, those are the creative economists and storycrafters I take great pride in discovering, reading and being a book cheerleader for as I expand my literary horizons.

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A reader’s thoughts on behalf of ASHEN:

Although this Cinderella retelling twists them into something quite different, it retains most of the traditional elements of the story; the girl given a nick-name due to being covered in ashes, the cruel guardian, the “ball” attended in disguise, shoes of glass and the giant lava-dwelling fire octopus.

OK, so that last one isn’t usually part of the story but it really ought to be. The story flows easily from the first page effortlessly drawing you in and keeping you enthralled right through to the end. -LJ

I don’t usually share a quote by another reviewer, however, in this particular case I could not miss the chance to share this one – as I felt she captured it brilliantly how attached we insta-feel towards Burke’s writings. I know I felt that way last year! And, of course, I cannot wait to read ASHEN but it might take me a bit before I can bring a copy of it home. I definitely hope to fetch a copy via my library but for now, I’m wicked happy I can champion it on the blog tour!

Am I the only one who WISHED the octopi was real?

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This guest feature is courtesy of: Uncommon Universes Press

Ashen and Met By Midnight Blog Tour Banner provided by Uncommon Universes Press and is used with permission.

Kindly seek out more travellers of the fantastical to gain more insight off this lovely blog tour – whilst finding yourself wickedly delighted by what you find! As you click through the tour banner, you will find links to guide your route! Plus, you’ll find a link to the Facebook Launch Party – I can’t go as I’m on #bookTwitter but GO if you are on Facebook!

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#EnterTheFantastic banner created by Jorie in Canva.

This guest feature is part of my continuous journey to #EnterTheFantastic!

Visit my full archive for ALL my #EnterTheFantastic wanderings!
– or take a walkabout through my archive for everything deemed wickedly fantastical!

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “Ashen”, book synopsis, author guest post, promo quote badges for “Ashen”, blog tour banner as well as the review extract were all provided by the publisher Uncommon Universes Press and are used with permission. The author photo and biography were previously provided by H.L. Burke and are used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Guest Posts and Reviews banner, #EnterTheFantastic banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

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Posted Thursday, 17 September, 2020 by jorielov in After the Canon, Author Guest Post (their topic), Blog Tour Host, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight, Classical Literature, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Re-Told Tales, Uncommon Universes Press

An #EnterTheFantastic Book Spotlight with Notes + Extract | featuring “Tree Magic” (Tree Magic series, Book One) by Harriet Springbett

Posted Monday, 14 September, 2020 by jorielov , , , 7 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I have had a firm attachment to the natural world ever since I was a young girl – growing up with a fascination and wonderment about nature, wildlife and especially of trees! This is why when I first saw this blog tour being announced, I was super giddy about participating on the tour because any writer who can celebrate and champion the natural world in a pro-positive way is an author I would love to feature on Jorie Loves A Story!

I could immediately connect with the premise with this novel which is why I am trying to seek out a copy of this in print through my local library – there is something quite magical about how trees are the guardians within the natural habitats we visit whilst hiking or walking in natural landscapes; they know things and they remember everything. This is partially why it is soul-crushing whenever there are huge wildfire seasons like the ones that are affecting the Western United States right now and/or the fires in Australia at the turning of the New Year. Nature grieves for the losses those fires bring to those habitats but I oft felt the trees especially are full of the grief of what could not be protected and what fell at their feet due to how the forests have not been able to withstand fire as they had in the past. I still remember hearing about the old growth forests of the Redwoods recently and of how achingly hard it was to see them aflame.

I have regularly spoken about the natural world on Jorie Loves A Story – from the stories I am reading to the context of the stories which seek to bring an ecological mindset and heart for conservation onto my blog because I believe strongly those stories are necessary for today’s world. Not just due to the climatic changes we’re all experiencing but to help re-connect readers with the knowledge about the natural ecosystems they might overlook and not be as familiar with as I have become myself. Knowledge is the first step towards change and to remain connected to the connectivity of how the natural world and our world intersect is one step closer to finding better balance in how to keep Earth a healthier place.

Today, I am wicked thankful I can bring you a short extract from “Tree Magic” whilst I am also supporting the author again in October with an interview when “Tree Slayer” the sequel to this lovely novel goes on tour. I look forward to conversing with you then about the series whilst today serves a preview of how the series begins! If you love fantastical stories featuring Magical Realism plots and the curious connections between nature and humans, I think this might be a good fit for you as a reader as I feel it is for myself.

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An #EnterTheFantastic Book Spotlight with Notes + Extract | featuring “Tree Magic” (Tree Magic series, Book One) by Harriet SpringbettTree Magic
by Harriet Springbett
Source: Chapter Sampler

Thirteen-year-old Rainbow discovers she can communicate with trees.

But that’s just the beginning. Her magic hands can shape trees at her will, but her gift is dangerous and has fatal consequences. An accident that leaves Rainbow unconscious leads her mother to make a confession that will change Rainbow’s life forever. Are her abilities a gift or a curse? Can Rainbow really trust her mother? From England to France, through secrets, fears and parallel worlds, Rainbow’s journey to understand her powers takes her beyond everything she’s ever known.

To find the truth, she must also find herself.

Genres: Magical Realism, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1-911293-63-7

ASIN: B087MCBT53

Published by Impress Books

on 11th August, 2020

Format: Chapter Sampler | Online

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Published by:

Available Formats: Trade Paperback* and Ebook

NOTE: Although this title was released into print, I am having trouble sourcing where it is currently available to be purchased as it is listed as being out of stock. However, I am going to try to source this through my local library’s ILL services – perhaps through inter-library loan I can fetch a copy? This is being newly released digitally and the pub date reflected is for the ebook.

Further Enquiries: I was thankful the author updated me on the new ISBN for the print edition of this novel – I’ve updated the listing for this post to reflect the ISBN for the August 2020 print edition of “Tree Magic” – however, the only bookstore online I can find this listed on is Book Depository. Thereby it is still a bit harder for me to source and I am going to try to get this either by way of the older edition via ILL at my local library or hopefully through a new purchase request through one of my regional libraries. I shall keep my readers updated on my progress. The link for LibraryThing has been updated to reflect the new ISBN however I left WorldCat’s link to route to the older edition in case other readers like me need to seek the book through inter-library loans.

Converse via: #YALit, #Trees and #Magic, #MagicalRealism, #YAFantasy
as well as #LoveBooksTours & #TreeMagic

About Harriet Springbett

Harriet Springbett

Harriet Springbett’s childhood on a small farm in West Dorset gave her an early exposure to nature, which continues to inspire her writing.

She qualified as an engineer but, during a Raleigh International expedition in Chile, she realised she preferred words to numbers. She abandoned her profession, moved to France, studied French and then worked as a project manager, feature writer, translator and TEFL teacher. She now lives in Poitou-Charentes with her French partner and their teenage children.

Since her first literary success, aged 10, her short stories and poetry have been published in literary journals and placed in writing competitions, including a shortlisting in the 2017 Bath Short Story Award.

Harriet leads writing workshops, has judged the Segora international short story competition.

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Posted Monday, 14 September, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Coming-Of Age, Indie Author, Love Books Tours, Magical Realism, Young Adult Fiction