10 Bookish (& Not-Bookish Thoughts) No.1: from the BBC to @ChocLitUK to Indie #SFF & a dash of #HistFic; this #bookblogger is celebrating quite a heap! Including a special note of gratitude to her #library in regards to the #SRC2015!

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Week of Thursday, 30th of April thru 7th 14th of May, 2015 | Hostess List

I’ve honestly wanted to start participating in this weekly meme in 2014, however, I would always seem to get distracted during the hours leading up to Thursdays OR completely forget to compose my thoughts for this meme until into the weekend; at which point, the time had come and gone. I like the fact we can exchange thoughts percolating in our minds that run the gambit of the bookish world, creative outlets, or thoughts we want to share that might show a bit more about who we are behind the bookish blog we maintain. I am going to attempt to thread the journal of my 10 Bookish / Not Bookish Thoughts by order of the entries arrival into my life rather than a preference of 1-10.

NOTE: This list was originally meant to publish on the 7th of May, however, due to unforeseen reasons which delayed it’s posting, I had intended to share it on the 14th of May when I came down with a migraine, thus taking me away from finishing the edits as I found out a few things earlier in that second week I had not known originally on the 7th. I am back-posting this on the 14th (today) on the 19th of May, as that is the day it belongs hereafter to be seen. A new list will be generated for this upcoming Thursday, the 21st!

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No. 1 | Borrowing the BBC through my local library

One of my favourite joys of being a regular library patron is the access to the BBC through either direct  purchases made by my local library OR the ability to ILL serial dvd collections for mini-series, tv serials, or motion pictures! For the past two to three weeks, I’ve had the incredible joy of being able to catch up with one of my favourite BBC serials: Foyle’s War! I have a soft spot for war dramas and for mystery series because I truly grew up on murder mysteries on tv!

Michael Kitchen plays the title lead as Foyle, and it is such a convicting narrative of stories pulled out of research by the series creator and writer Anthony Horowitz. I knew of his works previously through Alex Rider, as I watched the motion picture hoping there would be more installments; however, this was a bit like hoping the latest Nancy Drew film would have sequels starring Emma Roberts. I cannot even express how much I celebrated there is a Series 7 and a Series 8, except to say, it equaled the joy I had in realising there is a Series 3 for Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries!

You’re taking back to the world wars of the early 20th Century going straight through to the start of the Cold War; the transition in Series 6 to 7 is impressive because Horowitz has amazing continuity by giving his audience the pleasure of staying with characters they are attached too and seeing them move forward with their lives. The only characters I regretted not seeing come forward were Foyle’s partner Paul Milner and of course, Foyle’s son Andrew. Andrew was portrayed by singer Julian Ovenden and his exit I believe was nearly predicted by the fact his career took off. I was thankful I could participate in a live chat with him via PBS last year, and he even answered one of my questions! This was not in reference of Foyle’s War but for his guest starring role on Downton Abbey.

To see Honeysuckle Weeks return as Sam and Foyle to be back as the moral backbone of MI5 is such a true delight of authenticity, I can only hope others are seeking out Foyle as much as I am! He has become such a delight to watch, my family hopes like I do that we have much more Foyle yet to come! It is definitely a series where fans are helping guide the series forward, as it was cancelled and revived!

After Foyle, I wanted to keep the joy of selecting to see new BBC serials, (either newly released or past releases still unknown) which is why I selected to watch Last Tango in Halifax. A drama about two families that are on the verge of coming together due to the fact their Mum and Dad have fallen in love with each other after reuniting after living 60 years apart! It’s such a tragic opening to the story, where a lost letter does not get delivered and they each went their separate ways!

They find each other on social media and as they meet-up for the first time after all these decades, learnt that they are still very much as important to each other as they were then. However, the drama of what ensues is both honest and representative of a families in transition and shifting in/out of difficulties that arise whilst life continues to carry on. The last episode of the 1st Series nearly put me under, because of what happens to Alan, but thankfully, we read up a bit about the series finding that as this is based on a real-life couple who found each other and wedded after a 60 year absence, the series is thriving on fans in the UK who love the show! Already in it’s 3rd Series and moving towards it’s 4th, I can say we devourted the 1st and are about to embark on the 2nd!

This is another example of how smashing my library is for staying ontop of the latest coming out of the BBC and knowing that a lot of us have basic cable and thereby, no access to BBC America.

Foyle’s War | Official Site | Anthony Horowitz

Julian Ovenden | Twitter

Last Tango in Halifax | On the BBC

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Between my original composition of this post [ 7th of May ] and my edits to run it on the [ 14th of May ] I can honestly admit as I had during this past Saturday’s #ChocLitSaturday chat as you watch ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ it is the perfect blend of bittersweet drama with comedy. The series is both heart-warmingly gutting intermixed with comedic moments which break the tension. I can also say, having seen the second serial now, I am quite anxious for the August release of Series 3!

Whereas Series 8 of ‘Foyle’s War’ has become acquired by my library and I cannot wait for my hold position the queue line to bring this set home! I daresay, I do hope Foyle will continue onwards a bit further, perhaps rounding out to 10 series? Dare, I hope!? Now, if Miss Fisher Series 3 becomes available before the end of the year or the early bits of 2016, I shall be properly elated!

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No. 2 | Having a ChocLit book mail day!

For those who have been following my blog, you already know how much I love and appreciate the relationship-based Romances the authors of ChocLitUK put out on a continuous basis! For those of you who are new to following my blog, you might want to check out what I wrote about ChocLitUK below the celebratory excitement of the release of the second Coorah Creek novel The Wild One.

When it comes to reading ChocLit, I love being able to duck in/out of the historical past, whilst curating a newfound appreciation for contemporary life and take a chance on the paranormal and/or time benders the novelists behind ChocLit like to put in front of us. For this next batch of ChocLit loveliness, I decided to switch it up a bit, combining my go-to tendency for a historical to be paired with two contemporaries and a time bender! For this, I went back to one of the original authors I had had the pleasure of interacting with on Twitter, Sue Moorcroft and elected to start her trilogy

The new lovelies for me to read:

Starting Over by Sue MoorcroftFool's Gold by Zana BellThe Untied Kingdom by Kate Johnson

I had requested a fourth novel, The Wedding Cake Tree except that it is not yet available here in the states, so I am awaiting it’s arrival. In-between my readings of these lovelies, I am going to be reading my Courtenay novels, thereby I’m starting with Starting Over and following it up with Trade Winds as I have a special preference for trilogies and series where characters move forward whilst introducing us to new settings and supporting casts. Untied Kingdom will be read before Fool’s Gold as I will then return to Courtenay with Highland Dreams. To say May and June will be happily spent tucked inside ChocLit is putting it mildly!

Whenever ChocLit arrives in the Post, I get a burst of happy blossoms of bookish joy because I know going in per each new title and author who writes a ChocLit novel, I’m going to find a wickedly thought out narrative with realistic settings and characters who inhabit a Romance novel in a way that is not oft found in other styles of the genre. I sought out a publisher of Romance for many a moon, and when I found ChocLit, I felt like I found the breadth of what I love Romance to be and an identity of a genre (i.e. ChocLit in lieu of ChickLit) I could call my own. It felt nice to finally find writers who ‘get it’ and a publisher who allows their writers to write the stories we, as readers, are seeking to find!

For those of you who are itching to know which ChocLit novels have made my ChocLit Next Reads List, be sure to hop over to my Riffle List! Under my top menu ‘My Bookish Life’ you will find my Riffle Lists separated into two categories: Bookish Lists & Next Reads to provide a sampling of what you will find on Riffle curated by yours truly! I will be expanding my presence on Riffle this Summer, as I want to dart back inside the newly formed ‘Discussions’ (this is the beta test I referenced during my 1st Bloggiesta!) as much as I want to publish more of my Riffling Lists of Bookish Joy!

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No. 3 | Discovering a new Speculative Fiction publisher: World Weaver Press! Along with a new weekly chat #SFFLunch!

I started to notice there was a lot of chatter happening on my Twitter feeds on the 21st of April, right in the middle of an ordinary afternoon — imagine my happy bliss to find science fiction & fantasy readers, writers, editors, and the bookish who love to convo on Twitter were meeting up for a lively convo hosted by a new-to-me publisher! I had discovered *World Weaver Press* shortly before the chat itself, and had put in a request to read FAE, an anthology collection of stories which whet a thirst of interest for me to read after having read my first anthology collections of stories about the fae via Seventh Star Press.

FAE promo badge by World Weaver Press

World Weaver Press definitely understands the needs of book bloggers who enquire about their back/front list titles, as they have a whole section devouted to Press Kit Materials inasmuch as interviews or special features to help us decide if we want to request a book for review. It was an interview on their blog that truly captured my attention by one of the writers of the anthology, which drew my eye to focus on FAE. As my regular readers and most visitors who drop by whilst I am blogging on a blog tour will have noted is my focus on Equality and Diversity in the stories which wisk us away into the worlds writers leave behind for us to follow their lead into realms that we might not have imagined ourselves without their stories as a guide. When I saw the beauty of what was encased inside Kristina Wojtaszek’s story, I knew I wanted to enter that world in particular!

I have been wanting to participate in Janet Ursel’s #WeReadDiverseBooks Reading Challenge this year, however, the tides of my life have been as upturnt as they could be, giving me less hours to read and less time to blog in-between blog tours and/or other scheduled features. I decided to start a bit late and make headway by reading 7 selections by the end of July. Her categories are as follows:

FAE I believe will fall under the challenge for February (as I am starting with the story Wojtaszek wrote), although originally I hadn’t even realised it fit a category on Ursel’s challenge as I fell in love with the story before I realised it dealt with a thought-provoking narrative piece which highlights how each of us are our own normal because we’re all given certain attributes and a breath of light to share with everyone else. Normalcy is simply to be yourself and live true to who you are at your core. I’ll post more about Ursel’s challenge in forthcoming weeks, but I simply wanted to highlight her challenge in case other book bloggers were seeking a ‘read at your own pace’ reading challenge you can pick up during 2015.

Receiving FAE in the Post was quite a bookish moment of bliss for me, and despite the hours wicking away from me, I keep trying to alight inside it’s pages, because what intrigues me the most is what I will find awaiting me. I’m closer to being able to share my thoughts on what I am finding, but I wanted to celebrate the publisher and the work they are doing to give informative links and information about their novels and collections to readers and book bloggers alike.

I, unfortunately missed the #SFFLunch chat for May, as the last time I checked the homepage it had mentioned the April date, therefore I do quite happily look forward to June’s meet-up!

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No. 4 | Celebrating the Summer Reading Challenge by BookSparks and finding the authors whose books perked an interest to read

BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge 2015

Last year, I stumbled across the Summer Reading Challenge a bit late, although I did try to jump on board at the last moment as I did select stories I would love to read if there were review copies left to be received. Here are the selections I made last year:

Serenade by Emily Kiebel – It took me a bit to get into mythology, but the story of the Sirens was one that always interested me because I always felt there was more to the Sirens than what was perceived to being. This is an interesting take on the classic myth and pulls it into the modern world. I love when mythology bleeds into the modern era in a re-telling that makes it feel tangible. This is why I enjoyed “Uncovering Cobbogoth” this past week.

Elly in Bloom by Colleen Oakes – I love stories of Diversity & Equality in Lit, as I was participating in the #WeNeedMoreDiverseBooks dialogue movement on Twitter as much as I blogged about it on my blog for the #AtoZChallenge for Letter E. (Equality in Lit) I love stories where the lead character has to go on a journey towards sorting out their life and putting everything back on track even when things derailed outside of their ability to prevent them from becoming a bit chaotic. One of my favourite Hallmark movies right now is the one about the florist!

Wild Within by Melissa Hart – I love stories of adoption & recovery, for wild animals! I am a self-taught nature & wildlife photographer and although I have not come across owls in the wild as of yet, I do spend a lot of time with Red Shouldered Hawks! My family and I always rescued wild animals whenever a moment arose to do so, including baby squirrels and adult turtles! This would be a true delight because I love how the adoption & rescue can lead to transforming the person and the family who is a part of it! Wow. Impressed.

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This year, however, as I was approached to be on the blog tour The Shepherdess of Siena, I was able to join the Summer Reading Challenge on time this year! With only one small wrinkle in my plans, as I somehow misread or misunderstood one key component of the challenge this year: only a select handful of participants are able to receive the books in print from Book Sparks and the rest of us either have to borrow the books through our local libraries and/or purchase them. Considering that my upcoming relocation is a massive one and the price checking I did online confirms my inability to purchase the books at this time, I’m trying to sort out how I can stay a part of the challenge if I didn’t get the chance to receive the books.

I remember I signed up as quick as I could within an hour to an hour and a half after receiving the notice for the Challenge itself, but in the book world, that might have already sealed my fate to be outside the window of chance as these things tend to go quite quickly! The best I can do is hope my library will purchase some of the books this Summer and offer to host Book Spotlights or a Guest Author feature for the books I do not get to read. I want to stay a part of this Challenge to the best of my ability but unfortunately I cannot make up the difference and buy the books outright.

I was so wicked excited initially that I had been able to join the challenge itself, I was tweeting each author the joy of being a part of the tour itself. The dates you see after the author’s names are the dates in which I will be blogging my reviews for the blog tour during the Summer Reading Challenge! I have added the books individually to my Riffle List of ‘Want to Read’ however, I will be adding them to a proper List whilst I chart my blog posts for the Challenge itself!
The Grown Ups by Robin Antalek (26 June) | Synopsis on Riffle

Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wiscoff (29 June) | Synopsis on Riffle

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave (2 July) | Synopsis on Riffle

Worthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde (13 July) | Synopsis on Riffle

It’s You by Jane Porter (15 July) | Synopsis on Riffle

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid (3 August) | Book Synopsis

The Road Home by Kathleen Shoop (7 August) | Synopsis on Riffle
{ oh dear, I hadn’t realised this was No.2 of a series! REQ by ILL No.1: ‘The Last Letter’! }

The Witch of Bourbon Street by Suzanne Palmieri (10 August) | Synopsis on Riffle

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica (14 August) | Synopsis on Riffle

Satisfaction by Andee Reilly (1 September) | Synopsis on Riffle

Booksparks Summer Reading Challenge badge

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Open Letter of Gratitude to my local library:

It is true I did offer to host guest features by the authors involved in the reading challenge, however, I hadn’t heard back from BookSparks in regards to that enquiry when I decided that perhaps my mistake wasn’t quite a mistake as it was originally seen. I thought long and hard about this whole situation and although I knew my heart was in the right place by joining the reading challenge, my oversight in understanding how to participate might honestly do a bit of good for my library moreso than even giving myself the proper chance to read the stories ahead of other readers.

Therefore on the 10th of May, I decided to write an honest note of explanation to my library’s Acquisitions Librarian via our Purchase Request system. I submitted five requests, as I was still under the impression our limit per month is five and I apologised if I were mistaken. I had noticed the library had purchased a copy of The Grown-Ups by Robin Antalek, therefore I submitted individual purchase requests for the next five novels I was marked down to read for the reading challenge blog tour.

I gave footnotes on behalf of each of these titles as to why I wanted to read them as much as I had expressed that perhaps this whole experience had a greater meaning behind it than one lone book blogger participating in a Summer Reading Challenge. When I logged into my account within that first week of my requests being submitted, I was quite gobsmacked by what I found on my hold queue page! Each and every title I requested was on my account! EACH ONE! I felt like crying I was so overcome by the kindness of my local library! I never imagined — I understand the budgets my library system has and if anything I had hoped for a few of the 9 titles I would be requesting between May and June (to spilt them by order of when I was meant to read them); but I never imagined, *all five!* of the first batch of titles would be inbound to our library!

I am collecting the first novel The Grown-Ups this week (of the 18th of May) as it’s arrived! My blog tour stop with #SRC2015 is on the 26th of June, which is when I will reveal my full thoughts and ruminations; ahead of that date, you will see blog posts about the reading challenge, updates on when the books start to arrive at my library, and a heap of joyful tweeting as I support the book bloggers & readers alike who are joining me on this journey!

I am no longer worried about books arriving by Post (if they do, I will consider it serendipitous) because my local library just gave me the ability to read, blog, and tweet throughout the first half of the Summer Reading Challenge! As we are encouraged to share pictures of the books and our reading adventures with them, I will have to put my thinking cap on and see what I can do to share book photographs of the novels I’ll be reading for the challenge! I imagine a bit of ‘nature’ will be seen in my pictures and I cannot wait to get started as this is the first ‘greenlight’ to post pictures of books I’m reading as I blog!

The most incredible thing is that other patrons in my county who love to read will get to read them after I do, and therefore I have just expanded the joy to thousands rather than a small few. My library is the most popular destination in my county, as my library system fills the needs for everyone who loves to read and openly continue a pursuit of life-long learning.

I will be forever grateful to my local library for giving me the beautiful grace of knowing I can participate in a reading challenge without further worry my misunderstanding would eclipse my ability to participate. Each blog and tweet I contribute will be a note of gratitude to them and a joyous celebration of how sometimes an errant mistake is not a mistake at all but a path towards helping others you may never meet discover a book that touched your own mind’s curiosity to read.

Thank you, local library, this patron appreciates you.

With a special nod of gratitude to the Acquisitions Librarian:

You’re dedication to listening to patron requests and consideration for emerging new authors (both published by Major Trade and Indie Publishers) is a refreshing glimpse of forward leaderships within public libraries I personally love to celebrate. Thank you, for giving this reader such a wicked sweet joy throughout the year — by what you personally add to our collection and making available the joy of ILL’ing books and AV materials via libraries around the United States. You rock, and I hope you know how grateful we are to have you.

I love sharing my surplus of joys with those of whom I meet or interact with in the twitterverse, but I have a special soft spot for tweeting out my love of #libraries using: #library or #librarylife or #librarylove as often as I can. Here’s to all the libraries who uplift a reader’s world with the books they provide for us to read and cherish a multitude of times.

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No. 5 | Celebrating a debut author by crossing their path on Twitter

When I reviewed Scent of Triumph by Jan Moran I elected to bring to the surface my incredible gratitude for authors who find me on Twitter; not just as a possible connection to host them or to review their novels, but to become introduced to their works and writerly life. I appreciate the connections I am making on Twitter with writers because I know there will always be a margin of unknown of which authors are publishing each year vs. the authors whose stories I will be able to discover on my own. I enjoy these serendipitous meet-ups as it gives me a lot of joy knowing what is out there and what I can potentially read at some point down the road. To read my thoughts, please direct your attention to the top half of my review on behalf of Moran’s war drama!

I do try to visit and interact with all of my followers, especially those who are writers, except that the timing is not as keen as I’d prefer it to be each week, to where I know I’m missing out on the chance to get to know my followers on a regular basis. With a relocation on the horizon, my hours are slipping past me even faster than they were before now, but evenso, I do try to go through the list to see which writers I’d like to get to know in the future, by saving their Twitter account to my folder “Writers Who Found Me” as a method of sorting through who finds me vs. whom I want to read.

On 27th April, Carolyn Menke found me whilst I was composing my thoughts on behalf of The Residence which was such an impressive living history of the White House! Here is the synopsis that left me wanton for knowing more about this debut novelist and her story:

Return to Me by Carolyn Menke

Eighteen-year-old Sadie Stark, raised by the governor of Pennsylvania, has the world on a string. She doesn’t need the mother who left her any more than she needs the fiance who promises to change. What she needs is to finish college, and keep her wits about her.

When war-bound James Pasko returns her stolen clutch, and shows her what’s missing in her life, she gains the courage to search for the truth about her past.

What Sadie uncovers rattles her to the core. But James’ steadfast love gives her hope for the future—for the first time ever—even as the war tears them apart.

When James disappears over enemy lines and Sadie makes a startling discovery, she must decide to follow in the footsteps of the mother who gave her away, or face a life of hardship like she’s never known.

I sent her several tweets in succession: on why I followed her back, to nearly mistaken her novel for a beloved film, to expressing joy over the synopsis, and thrilled to bits to have found her novel! I tweeted out a s/o of joy on behalf of her upcoming release and thanked Ms Shoop for her words on behalf of the novel as it helped me gather a good feeling for how the novel would read! From here, we talked a bit via DMs and we each returnt to what we were doing.

I have to confess, I haven’t stopped thinking about Return to Me since that day, because to me it felt like everything I had expressed on my review for Scent of Triumph as to the kinds of war dramas I am seeking out and the dramas which knit inside my heart. This one simply felt like a story I would champion as a classic, and for this, I had a heart full of gratitude, Ms Menke sought me out on Twitter! She re-iterated why I wrote the top half of my review on Moran’s novel the way in which I had, as Twitter truly does help unite readers with writers; giving us a window into the stories we may or may not have the chance to meet if the first encounter hadn’t been made.

The cover art for her debut novel compliments the synopsis in my mind, and what is so very compelling about it is how it serves as a catalyst for the time setting in which the story is set. I read war dramas set during the World War era quite regularly; and there is something about this cover design that brings to the surface exactly what you hope to find inside a story set during war that will pull you inside it’s throes so convictingly as to leave a piece of itself behind.

The best bliss for me is finding a story I desire to read is equally matched and complimented by a cover artist who knows how to capture the novel’s heart. This is true artistry and one that I admire as too often stories are being misrepresented on novels; this one is part of the mastery I appreciate finding.

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[ a footnote addition on the 19th of May ]

As a follow-up to mentioning how I appreciate the writers who find me on Twitter, a new follower of mine I had earmarked to visit as soon as time would allow is Lilo Abernathy, of whom tweeted out this s/o to me today. Contained within was a link to a blog post on her author’s blog about the conjoined benefit of book bloggers and authors supporting each other in the twitterverse. By extension, this matches my own thoughts on the subject, as it nearly matches point to face what I was expressing on my review about Moran.

I would like to do more on Twitter than I have been able to give over the past half year, as I used to visit those of whom I have placed on *Lists* far more regularly than it would appear I do now. I had to take a step back from a lot of what I used to do but I’m re-emerging back into a groove that works for me, a balance of what I can give and still have a heap of joy in being able to support the authors I already love to read with the authors I am itching to read next! I have noticed authors do re-tweet my tweets (whether I am tweeting about a blog post or simply something I felt like sharing in the moment of a tweet) or they favourite them as well; each interaction with an author (or a recording artist, actor or actress, executive producer, publisher, or publicist — as I tend to interact with those in the Entertainment and Book Industries regularly) is a cherished joy for me. I appreciate their time and I appreciate their conversations if they have time for an impromptu convo.

On her blog post she was mentioning about how readers find stories, and I highlighted a bit about my own path towards this as well — finding Ms Menke and Ms Moran are two examples, however, there are others, such as Ms Krupa (of Safe & Sound (review) and On the Edge (announcement), Ms Durham (of Asher’s Mark (guest post), Glynis Astie (of the French Twist series), Laura Brown (of Lila’s Choice), Carolyn Eide (of Like There’s No Tomorrow), Sandra Danby (of Ignoring Gravity), Kristy Woodson Harvey (of Dear Carolina) and Rebecca Mascull (of The Visitors). I had the pleasure of crossing paths with Mary Volmer (of Crown of Dust) and Tracy Guzeman (of The Gravity of Birds) via the quarterly newly established @HistoricalFix chat on Twitter created by Erin Lindsey McCabe (of whom wrote I Shall Be Near to You (review) which is how my path crossed with the author’s originally by being on her blog tour).

All of the stories and authors mentioned will be coming to my blog over the Summer, as I am in the process of reading their novels. However, more to the point is to mention each time my path has crossed with author on Twitter, I have smiled a breath of joy for being able to interact with them a bit before I read their stories as much as I found it helped me determine if I could read their stories, as the case had been with Lynn Carthage (interview). If I make a connection on Twitter, even if I cannot read the story (due to a digital first release and/or content in the novel itself) I will still follow and support the author, as I will share a story about this during my next #BookishNotBookish post!

As a side note on her suggestion of hashtags, I have recently started to use #bookbloggers when I want to talk to the community of book bloggers I belong too (as we’re all individualistically unique to what we are doing) however I opt to use #bookblogger if I want to make the distinction of talking about ‘myself’. I do try to remember to use the tags #bookreview or #blogtour; however I do know there is a small minority who avoid blog tour book reviews (for reasons they have yet to prove substantial to me), and this is why I tend to use tags that refer to the type of book I’m reviewing (i.e. #histfic (historical fiction); #ChristFic, #INSPY, or #LDS (for Inspirational Fiction); and all other variants).

As I do not use automated (selection) services I cannot relate to that part of the blog post – each tweet, re-tweet, favourite, or individual tweet originates from me. IF I need to pre-schedule tweets to help promote my blog and the book showcases I’d like to generate a bit more traffic on, I will use TweetDeck, however, again, I am personally composing those tweets. I do not auto-follow back either, but that’s a different subject altogether.

I do agree by finding authors on Twitter ourselves or by having authors find us, it helps bring the bookish world closer together. I do try to tweet the people I follow so they will know why and how I found them, however, it’s a time issue for me most of the time (of late), but at some point, when I get my ducks in a row, I do go back to tweet the author — letting them know if I found their book at my local library or if I was participating on their blog tour (there are other ways I can read their stories but these are the most frequent). Sometimes I follow conversations about upcoming new releases by the Publishers I’ve added to my Press & Publishers List — encouraging me to check out the author’s Twitter feeds. I do randomly send tweets to those authors as well or respond to a tweet they’ve posted that asks a question to a reader, a book blogger, or to the twitterverse in general. Oft-times this is how many of my most beloved Twitter convos have started!

The only issue I have is if an author’s feeds run more adverts than convo or inter-related content. I understand the need to promote their novels, as I use Twitter to promote my blog, but it’s nice to get to know the author outside that promotional vein as well. This is one reason I like to duck inside regularly hosted Twitter chats, to interact with writers and to talk about their stories; unless I am engaging as a writer, as that is the other ‘hat’ I wear.

The best advice I have though is to engage with the book blogger your following on Twitter; not every author who follows me has started up a conversation; in fact, most of the convos I have initiated myself. The interactions are great (i.e. favouring or re-tweets) but unless we know you honestly are *enjoying!* our tweets and/or the blog posts your RT/Favouring it’s a bit harder to know if your just seeking like-minded content to re-advert to your followers or if your genuinely wicked happy about what we’re putting into our book blogs and tweets.

Don’t be afraid to leave us a comment on our blogs too, especially if other book bloggers like myself have allowed the ease of comments to be added whilst your logged into Twitter! All you have to do is authorise WP to leave your comment via your Twitter account, however, if you leave a comment by email you’ll get a copy of my response. I do copy the tweet into the blog posts where someone leaves me a comment on Twitter, but I simply wanted to say, you can add comments to the blog as well.

Most importantly the only thing that convinces me to read a work of fiction or non-fiction is the premise of the story contained within the pages. Not even the cover-art will sway me if the synopsis itself doesn’t draw in my heart and imagination. Even a healthy curiosity of intrigue on what could be found whilst being on the fence if I should read it, might tip the scales but getting to know authors on Twitter is a sweet blessing, of course, but it’s not going to convince me to read their novels if the story inside their novels isn’t my cuppa tea.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

No. 6 | Finding out I’m a ‘character’ inside of a novel I’m reading!

Robin's Reward by June McCrary JacobsI don’t believe there is a great joy in finding something quite unexpected as the fact your namesake is a bonefide character inside an INSPY Romance novel! I had the startling pleasure of finding *Jorie* was a friend of the lead character Robin in Robin’s Reward! I explained a bit more about this discovery on my review for the novel, but what I wanted to say now is that I am still wicked happy for having a reading experience a bit heightened by seeing how the personality of fictional Jorie mirrored or differed from myself!

I was so overjoyed with this discovery, I couldn’t help but share it with my dear ChocLitSaturdayers!

I even left the tweet I had posted as a proper shout-out (s/o) of my glee for the duration of the time I was blogging about the book itself! I tend to use the ‘pin tweet’ option when I have something I want to highlight or share — sometimes those pinned tweets stay up for a few hours or a few days; you just never know what I’ll feel like ‘pinning’!

To find I had inspired an author to insert me into one of their novels is a measure of happiness I shall not soon! It was quite incredible to soak inside the novel once the surprise had washed away and the novel’s heart had emerged, as I truly wanted to see the story that I was reading without allowing the joy of the moment overtake my ability to experience Robin’s life. It was an incredible read start to finish, and I especially enjoyed the simple joys which were expressed to have the most weight in our lives, because I think sometimes we can over-think things.

Ms Jacobs gave me such a sweet gift because I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember but I never found a character who felt quite a heap like ‘me’ until I met the character she named ‘Jorie’.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

No. 7 | Conversing with E. Chris Garrison about two upcoming releases this Summer!

Blue Spirit (A Tipsy Fairy-Tale) | Add to Riffle

I like quirky characters, and Blue is definitely a quirky character, as she gave me more than a belly full of laughs whilst I read her adventures inside the Seelie Court anthology! The following is the convo exchanged between Ms Chris and I on Twitter as I started to enquire about the new release:

On how I know E. Chris Garrison:

I first discovered Garrison’s style of story-telling when we both appeared on the Star Chamber Show, which is a weekly podcast on BlogTalkRadio sponsored by the publisher Seventh Star Press. Since our first encounter with each other, we’ve developed a friendship I am blessed to have and I appreciate getting to know a bit more about an author whose not only developing a unique style in the world of Fantasy but is receptive to the thoughts readers have as they gain impression by reading the stories themselves.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Garrison through our respective blogs, the twitterverse, the podcast world, and privately. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. I included this showcase for my own edification and with limited knowledge by the author as it was a surprise.

We chatted a bit more via DMs, as there are times where I find DMs are a bit more freeing to ask questions and form my thoughts without having to sort out how to thread it all through my feeds. The nice bit is finding out that Blue Spirit is rated PG-13 for language, etc. and Trans-Continental: Girl in the Gears is rated PG. This is a happy day of joy for me, as per my previous hesitation of reading the Road Ghosts series. Ms Chris surprised me with a ‘clean edition’ of Sinking Down wherein all the truly naughty words are gone from my eyes and I can happily read this portion of the series without worry! It’s one of the books I am going to be reading this Summer, too! I’ve only itched to read it since Sci Fi November!

Ms Chris has been one of the more open-minded authors I’ve encountered (Mr RJ Sullivan, Ms Erin Lindsay McCabe and Ms LG O’ Connor are among them) who listen to reader feedback on content and language inclusions. I find the writers who respect the reader’s impressions of their collective works are the ones who truly are a blessing to get to know, as they take our input and sometimes will end up surprising you with a future release that you can drink in without hesitation!

Whilst I was encountering so much vulgarity and explicit content issues in stories, I composed what has been anchouring my Story Vault out of vexation and frustration; it was my way of venting where I stand on the issue but also by acknowledging that what works for me might not work for everyone else. To find authors who embrace positive, neutral, and negative reactions to their stories when those of us who are giving them this kind of feedback validate our reasons behind our commentary; it gives more depth to the circle of connection between writers and readers. We cannot always appreciate the stories we want to read but on the same token, I think it’s our right as readers to let writers know what works for us and what doesn’t; especially if they hadn’t realised they were missing out on having readers read their stories due to a few hiccups on the grounds of content.

I share this to give a bit of a back-story on how much wicked happy joy I had realising there were going to be two new releases by Ms Chris that I could honestly read without being worried about what I’d find on the pages! To me this is readerly (using this word is a wink of a nod to Christine!) bliss given by a writer who understands they have two different audiences: one who prefers the harder core of more intensely written narrative and those of us who prefer a bit of a softening of the edges.

Is there a greater joy for me knowing I get to read an expanded story past a short I already recognised as having liked!? No. I don’t believe there is!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blue Spirit: A Tipsy Fairy-Tale Book Trailer via via Chris Garrison

Book Synopsis:

A Tipsy Fairy Tale! Gamer girl Skye MacLeod can see fairies, but only when she’s tipsy. More Grimm than enchanting, some of these fairies are out to ruin her life, wreaking havoc with her job, her home, and her relationships.

With the help of her tiny fairy friend Minnie, Skye has to protect her vampire wannabe gamer friends from all-too-real supernatural threats only she can see. Can she keep it together and hold fast against a wicked fairy Queen’s plot?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Trans-Continental: Girl in the Gears | Cover Reveal on Author’s Site

Interview about Steampunk debut

| Features the world of ‘Reality Check’ | Synopsis on Riffle

Trans-Continental: Girl in the Gears Teaser Trailer via Chris Garrison

Book Synopsis:

Actress Ida Stillwell may have been born her father’s son, but she rejected the role society cast her in. With the North American Republics on the brink of war, Ida flees her home and joins a carnival to pursue her dreams.

There she meets tomboy steam engine mechanic Duffy Hollowood. Though they become fast friends, Duffy has her own secrets. As their troubled pasts catch up with them, will Ida and Duffy make an escape together, or will they take their chances alone?

“What do you get when you cross Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with Thelma and Louise? Our heroines, Ida and Duffy. They put the ‘team’ back in ‘Steampunk’.” – Moxie Anne Magnus

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When Ms Chris starting talking about her self-published Steampunk story Girl in the Gears, I quickly thought about SC Barrus and his Gin Thief series (of which I am betareading) — mostly because when it comes to Steampunk, I have a limited arm of stories I can sink myself inside without feeling a bit oppressed or exhausted by the content. If you were following me since my jaunts for Sci Fi November the past two years, you might have caught me referencing this post about finding Steampunk at my library. I have also written about a Book Showcase on Steampunk, and a lovely author interview for a Month9Books release. I had previously reviewed a release by Xchyler Publishing, a Seventh Star Press series first novel, and participated in the Clockwork Carnival giving my first review for a Steampunk novel; all whilst remaining a bit hopeful to find others I could call ‘my own personal niche of Steam’.

Not easy for a girl who’s not into overt violence, explicit vulgarity or dark undertone story-lines!

I had come across Reality Check somewhere between my first encounter with Ms Chris and late 2014, as I remember thinking to myself — now this seems like a title I could enjoy reading! I have a penchant for Indie writers and publishers, which is why most of the science fiction and fantasy I’ve reviewed on my blog are either by Indie Press / Pub or Self-Pub author releases! I used to read a heap of Major Trade authors in SFF, however, since I’ve been a book blogger, a joyful tweeter, and an author blog reader, my world has enlarged it’s scope to cast a net which includes a wider expanse of stories.

I love the quirkiness to the book trailers for both stories, as I think they add a bit of whimsy to the story-lines and the characters we’ll all find inside them! And, you cannot go wrong by including ‘trains’ when it comes to Steampunk! I look forward to having a chance to read Girl in the Gears in it’s print edition come June! And, it’s my hope Blue Spirit will be amongst the new blog tours hosted by TCM: Tomorrow Comes Media, as they take care of the publicity for Seventh Star Press authors.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

No. 8 | Discovering T.S. Krupa has a new release upcoming this Summer!

On the Edge by TS Krupa

On how I know T.S. Krupa:

In the time since I hosted Ms Krupa last year until now [May 2015], our paths have separated a bit as I wasn’t able to return too frequently to #ChickLitChat nor interact as much as I had hoped to with her via the twitterverse. I lost touch for more than half a year to be honest, and when her beautiful note arrived into my Inbox about her sophomore release, I felt truly blessed our paths had crossed at the publication of her debut novel. She’s definitely an author I consider a blessing to have known and I look forward to following her literary career.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her ahead of reading her début novel. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. This is also true when I follow-up with them on future releases and celebrate the book birthdays that come after their initial publication.

I participated in the Cover Reveal on behalf of her sophomore release On the Edge, wherein I had the celebrated joy of talking about why I was wicked happy to read her next novel! It was shortly thereafter I received my ARC copy of the novel in the Post, and boy! was I excited to see it up close! I have been eagerly awaiting Krupa’s next novel ever since I discovered her realistic and modern story-telling style in her debut novel Safe & Sound! Talk about a day to do a happy dance — because guess what I discovered as soon as I pulled out the ARC!?

This is one author who knows book bloggers who accept ARCs for review have one small wish to find on the ARC itself: the Cover Art! I might not decide to read books based on the art, but I must confess, when I get ARCs which are missing the artwork they feel a bit ‘naked to me’ as they are not entirely ‘dressed’ as they will be on Pub Day! I like to read ARCs whether they are ‘dressed or naked’ but it’s a special treat for me when I find an ARC with the ‘full art’ included on the cover! Go Krupa!

I honestly cannot wait to get caught up inside an X-Games’ish story as this one has a snowboarder at the center of the novel! And, who doesn’t *LOVE!* to watch snowboarding events on television!?!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

No. 9 | Loving the second series for When Calls the Heart on Hallmark Channel!

I became quite intrigued with When Calls the Heart last year during it’s first season, however, I came into the series a few episodes after the premiere as for whichever reason I missed the first couple of episodes. I became so entranced by this series, as I love the style of story-telling Hallmark does with historicals as I have been a long-term appreciator of their series of Love Comes Softly films! There are other stand-alone Westerns and historicals they have produced over the past 16 years I have appreciated as well, but they are in the midst of a segue from films to serials to episodic tv.

Last year, as I was on Twitter I started to cultivate the habit of tweeting alongside other #Hearties (fans of the series) and had a heap of joy of communicating with the cast and crew; especially Mr Bird. I look forward to tweeting this second season, and watching the series continue to grow from the seedling of a series it was during it’s 1st Season. This year holds a lot of promise as the series is gaining new footing as it adjusts and re-develops the established cast whilst giving us new characters to add either a bit of friction (good for drama!) or comedic relief!

Here is what I had to say after seeing the 2nd Series debut:

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

No. 10 | Loving my ‘first’ CSI series; Cyber truly knows how to grab an NCIS girl’s attention!

If you were to ask anyone in my inner circle, the first series they would hands-down tell you I avoided like the plague would be CSI! Not kidding! Even though I love Crime & Mysteries series on television and in books, the one thing I cannot handle is the method of how CSI delivers their stories. I barely made it past the original pilot opening sequence much less lasted long enough to see more than three minutes of an actual episode! I found my heart attached to NCIS, as I truly love seeking out family dramas, and despite the fact NCIS is a crime drama, anyone who knows NCIS knows it’s a ‘family’ of characters who have bonded and strive to survive the world in which they live.

When I first caught sight of Cyber, three actors held my attention and I knew at that point, I was hooked! Peter MacNichols is an actor I’ve been watching off/on since I was a child who saw Ghostbusters and an eighteen year old who saw Ally McBeal. I loved him in Numb3rs, and couldn’t wait to see what he would do next! Van der Beek of course entered my life via Dawson’s Creek, and I haven’t had the chance to watch Patricia Arquette as of  yet, but I know of her and have watched her sister’s body of work too.

The whole idea behind this series appealed to me, and within five short episodes I learnt far more than I ever thought I would have especially in regards to ‘metadata’ and how to stay safe online! Mostly in regards to selfies (of which I never take) and on how not to upload your entire life in pictures! I was so inspired by what I had learnt, I added a comment about this on a recent Southern Belle View post that talked about ‘to shelfie or not to shelfie’.

I love the tech of the series as much as the heart; this one won me over! I can only hope the ratings continue to increase and it stays as long as NCIS! It’s a bit strange I never saw Medium because I love Ghost Whisperer! CSI is like Criminal Minds; I just cannot get into it. However, I have watched about seven episodes of Criminal Minds and understand the entire cast & story despite the fact I haven’t watched it start/finish. IF Criminal Minds was more like those seven episodes on a regular basis, I might have been tempted to watch it regularly! The last of which was when Jennifer Love Hewitt’s adopted daughter was abducted along with her best friend out of vengeance; the episode aired 6th of May, 2015.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Favourite Tweets

(the order of which are a bit out of whack because Twitter was being unkind this Thursday and kept most of my tweets of the past week either hidden or threaded out of order! I should also mention since I wrote a special anchour to my review for ‘Robin’s Reward’ I did not thread the library tweets or the convo which lead to the tweeting to save libraries on this post.)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on everything I’ve shared!
Especially if we share a common interest!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

{SOURCES: The banner for 10 Bookish & Not So Bookish Thoughts was made by Jorie in Canva. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Cover art for “Starting Over”, “The Untied Kingdom” and “Fool’s Gold” is used with permission of ChocLitUK to blog and talk about the books as I read the titles for review. Cover art for “Return to Me” and the book synopsis were provided by the author Carolyn Menke and used with permission. FAE promo badge used with permission of World Weaver Press to blog and talk about the anthology as I read the title for review. BookSparks Summer Reading Campaign Banner & Badge provided by BookSparks for book bloggers to cross-promote their participation in the challenge via their blogs and social media networks; used with permission of BookSparks publicity. Book synopsis for “Blue Spirit” and “Trans-Continental: Girl in the Gears” were provided by E. Chris Garrison and used with permission. The book trailer for “Blue Spirit” and “Trans-Continental: Girl in the Gears” had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded due to the codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie


Posted Thursday, 14 May, 2015 by jorielov in #SRC2015 | BookSparks, 10 Bookish (& Not-So-Bookish Thoughts), Blogosphere Events & Happenings, CSI: Cyber, Foyle's War, Last Tango in Halifax, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, NCIS, When Calls the Heart

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2 responses to “10 Bookish (& Not-Bookish Thoughts) No.1: from the BBC to @ChocLitUK to Indie #SFF & a dash of #HistFic; this #bookblogger is celebrating quite a heap! Including a special note of gratitude to her #library in regards to the #SRC2015!

    • Thank you for the lovely welcome, Christine! :)

      I am planning to start making my rounds — simply haven’t had the proper chance whilst I am attempting to post my next #BookishNotBookish on the morrow! :) I truly love the meme you’ve started and look forward to getting to know everyone in the circle!

      Cheers to you! :)

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