Blog Book Tour | “Worlds of Ink and Shadow” by Lena Coakley The Brontes arrive on #JLASblog, in this aptly atmospheric and wicked emotionally dramatic inspired-by young adult novel!

Posted Sunday, 24 January, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Chapter by Chapter, where I receive opportunities to host Cover Reveals & Author Guest Features on behalf of the Indie Publisher Month9Books. I began hosting another Indie Publisher: Rebelight Publishing of whom I love the stories by their Middle Grade & YA authors during 2015.

This time around, it’s a new publisher who offered the chance to read an exciting new young adult novel inspired by the Brontë siblings: Charlotte (of whom I’m reading ‘Jane Eyre’), Branwell (of whom I never knew existed!), Emily and Anne. I am appreciating the diversity of choices being offered through Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours, as I am not only getting the chance to become introduced to new Indie Publishers but new writers of wicked good fiction for young readers! This is most inspiring as I love re-connecting with this generation of stories directly being crafted to readers of MG & YA from a Prospective Adoptive Mum and current Auntie of nieces/nephews point of view; inasmuch as a reader who found herself re-inspired by what she found inside the novels!

I received a complimentary copy of “Worlds by Ink and Shadow” direct from the publisher Amulet Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

A note about Charlotte and why I love Gothic Lit:

For a girl who has not yet finished her proper first reading of Jane Eyre it might seem a bit shocking to learn that Charlotte Brontë is amongst my favourite Classical authors to read! I appreciate a wide spectrum of literature as a rule, however, when it comes to the structure of Gothic Literature (both in Classical Lit and in Southern Gothic Lit) there is an undertone of suspense that lends itself towards the psychological analysis of fear and what can be perceived as fear by those who are placed inside a story whose narrative is meant to surprise it’s reader in more than one vein of thought.

I appreciate Mystery, Suspense, Thriller and Psychological Suspense (including those stories that are bent more readily towards Cosy Horror) in equal measures due to the nature of how intricate the writers who craft stories inside these layers of genre endeavour to take you on a visceral journey you may or may not imagine outside of their own vision. Gothic Lit for me is quite well suited to my appreciation for the mysterious and to be suspended inside a story that brokers itself to be equal parts fantastical and psychologically spellbinding.

I like to see where writers will take a Gothic tale – will they yield to the suspense within the hidden in-between or will they break my tolerance levels and go a bit too hard into the visual realms? I am quite Hitchcockian in wanting to keep quite a bit outside of view and fully feel the emotional anguish and the undercurrents of suspense by what can only be imagined. It isn’t oft I am in a position to explore a work of Gothic Lit, which is why each time I am able to pick up a work of narrative that befits this arm of literature, I am beyond delighted for the respite inside it’s story.

Notation about the Cover Art: I’ve blogged and actively tweeted about how ‘cover art’ by itself doesn’t sway me one way or another to read a novel; to be honest, if the premise of a story isn’t fetching in of itself, the cover art will not be the swing vote to convince me to read it. I have to feel something before I read a story: be that curiosity or a perk of interest towards seeing where the journey of a character takes me, *something!* must yield a flickerment of earnest desire to ‘know’ what happens as I open the pages of a novel. Stories are such personal experiences – however, I normally do not cross-compare a cover to another cover. Except to say, I truly much prefer this one on the Canadian edition over the American one I received:

Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley

Simply because I think it warms you to the spirit of the character of whom it’s based upon; Charlotte is such a well-known authoress who has inspired readers throughout centuries of literary wanderings. It provides a proper rooting of the narrative’s voice; and goodness! how clever too, with the dual portraits within the whole of the frame? I love cross-overlays and curious nods to narratives! The cover art on the American one is a bit too vague, but I do give them full props of gratitude for making the interior pages so very enticing to turn! Especially if your a writer who appreciates old world things such as ink wells, parchment paper, wax seals and those blessed ‘ink splotches’ from quill pens!

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Blog Book Tour | “Worlds of Ink and Shadow” by Lena Coakley The Brontes arrive on #JLASblog, in this aptly atmospheric and wicked emotionally dramatic inspired-by young adult novel!Worlds of Ink and Shadow
Subtitle: A Novel of the Brontes
by Lena Coakley
Source: Publisher via Chapter by Chapter

Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne. The Brontë siblings have always been inseparable. After all, nothing can bond four siblings quite like life in an isolated parsonage out on the moors. Their vivid imaginations lend them escape from their strict upbringing, actually transporting them into their created worlds: the glittering Verdopolis and the romantic and melancholy Gondal. But at what price? As Branwell begins to slip into madness and the sisters feel their real lives slipping away, they must weigh the cost of their powerful imaginations, even as their characters—the brooding Rogue and dashing Duke of Zamorna—refuse to let them go.

Gorgeously written and based on the Brontës’ juvenilia, Worlds of Ink & Shadow brings to life one of history’s most celebrated literary families.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781419710346

Genres: Canadian Lit, Cosy Horror, Genre-bender, Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Metafiction, Suspense, Time Slip and/or Time Shift, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Amulet Books

on 5th January, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 352

Published By: Amulet Books

an imprint of Abrams (@abramskids)

a division of La Martiniere Groupe

Cross-released with HarperCollins Canada (@HarperCollinsCa)

Converse via: #WorldsOfInkAndShadow & #YALit OR #CanLit
Available Formats: Hardcover and Ebook

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About Lena Coakley

Lena Coakley

Lena Coakley was born in Milford, Connecticut and grew up on Long Island. In High School, Creative Writing was the only course she ever failed (nothing was ever good enough to hand in!), but, undeterred, she went on to study writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She lives in Toronto, Canada. Witchlanders was her debut novel.

Photo Credit: Emma-Lee Photography

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On creating atmosphere and a knowing sense of ‘this England’:

Coakley has underwrit such a strong presence of place and setting, you can feel the etchings of her atmospheric world; it’s a proper exploration of a particular part of England that is well-known for those of us who love reading Classical Lit. This knowing sense of ‘this England’ is fully at large before your eyes as you soak inside Worlds of Ink and Shadow especially if the fog and the classic rules of society are part of the bits you fancy the most.

Coakley gently guides you further into the folds of her narrative, but she allows a bit of distance between narration and character-led direction; where I found myself the most charmed. I appreciated the bits of metafiction included, too, as who wouldn’t want to see writers talking ‘writerly’ about the craft? She gives you a foreboding sense there is ‘more to this world’ than what I have allowed you to see of it, but she leans on your patience to see the inter-workings of what is tempting your conscience to examine the ever present ‘why and hows’.

For those of us who like to dip back through the centuries to a particular ‘England’ whereupon it become such a welcoming respite to soak back inside, Coakley achieves a resonation that warms a reader’s heart.

My review of Worlds of Ink and Shadow:

There is something altogether imploring about how Worlds of Ink and Shadow begins – as most writers will attest, whilst your caught inside the funneling cloud of your writerly muse, your most at home with your creative voice. Coakley explores this presumption quite aptly by casting us into the shadowplay of where Charlotte and her dear eccentrically brilliant brother Branwell are anxious to take us! If you blink, you nearly miss what is being revealled in this opening chapter; I nearly missed it myself due to the personal grief I was transitioning out of, as it took four turns of the words to truly root inside the novel and allow it’s story to take hold of me. Yet. Right at the cusp of a bit of suspense arriving out of ink and bits of narrative, I daresay, I was becoming hooked on this ‘world’ of Coakley’s; whose impression of the Brontë’s felt fittingly honest somehow.

As we are following Charlotte on her journey both inward (of her writerly muse) and outward (stepping inside her creative world), we are embarking on quite an interesting footpath as her words are being lifted out of their ink splotches and brought to life to such a full extent as to be breathable and whole. Such an enticing perception of how we can noodle out our own creative intentions and see our characters so wholly full of life as if to purport ourselves directly into their life as if it were as simple as travelling by carriage or rail.

Each of the siblings take their turns, as Branwell and Charlotte are exploring their co-created world where different characters are being highlighted (the differences between good and evil between them) their sisters Emily and Anne are sneaking a look-see at their papers whilst they are gone. Anne is perceptive and Emily attempts to fain her sister’s precognitive insights but when it comes to Emily; Anne sees her best. Anne is dearly introspective but full of light; Emily is a bit more daringly borderline of light and dark; leaving Charlotte and Branwell besotted by their own characters, casting deep wells of ink at each turn of their mind’s intentions committed to page.

As we transition further into their situation, we discover Branwell and Charlotte are keeping a greater secret (one that is not readily shared; not to sibling nor reader alike) but it’s how their choice to keep their sisters (Emily and Anne) outside this realm whose cost is quite apparently not without it’s risks would effectively affect the coming tides where sibling rivalry and jealousy might be too great to circumvent without further discourse. The stories on their own are benign, but it’s how the stories are brought to life that begs to ask the question: when is creativity in of itself a viable asset and when does an action out of creativity become a lesson in caution? Coakley encourages her reader to decide – right alongside her own living representations of the Brontës.

To whom would you align more directly? Cautious and mindful Charlotte who only wants the best for her siblings but fails short in knowing how to give them a future they can desire rather than one of necessity? Bold and reckless Emily whose impulsive nature befits the desire of her heart but not necessarily yields to reason? Or would you find yourself more closely hugged to Branwell or Anne? Each of whom are at fault for not having enough courage to find voice to their thoughts and to take a stand for something they are passionate about until such a time arrives where they are faced with acting or remaining silent?

I found it quite curious how Charlotte and Emily have the most in common with each other and how Branwell and Anne do as well. The four siblings have their differences, but what is most interesting is how similar they are to each other at the same time! Charlotte does share Branwell’s obsession with writing and in creating a world meant to be shared with others; but outside of this, Branwell is not quick to action, nor is he confident in response when in a group of his peers. Anne on the other hand, is inherently introverted and numbingly shy to where she cannot even address her siblings if a moment arises where she feels remorse lateron for having not said a word. Emily would like to believe she’s defined outside of Charlotte’s personality, but Emily’s strength is equally matched to Charlotte’s guidance; where she falters is owning her limits and that of what should be true for all of them.

The descending spiral of the Brontës fate bent against the will of their created worlds is quite the alarming realisation; where is the line drawn between the hand which dips the ink out of a well spilting it onto a page and the actuary knowledge of what is fictional vs reality in the measure of a character’s mind? How far is one willing to go to yield to their muse and to live through their imagination if only to find remorse on the opposite end? It is in such a state of disconcerted affairs we find the four Brontës as each in their turn, realise how much they will lose if they continue this discourse.

Shifting points of view between the siblings and anchouring the narrative both within their environs at their father’s parsonage against the ink black worlds in which they thrive (as each of them has a darker side that is only revealled in small spurts at first), the Brontës come to find regret moreso than inspiration in their pursuits. The suspense holds your breath in some turns and frustrates you in others, as once it’s unveiled to ‘whom’ the siblings gave their due to harness this portal between a living reality and an invented reality; one starts to wonder how the catalyst of both worlds will resolve.

There was one mark of anguish and of regret I found most befitting of this tale, which could be seen in the colours of Emily’s dress. It’s a clever marking of how one woman’s soul was being visually seen as the afflictions of her internal conscience twisted in and out of itself as the events of the story tucked themselves into a bit of a darkening void of desolation. Coakley used visual clues to guide us down her rabbit hole but also, quite smartly used the Brontës themselves to point out clear signs of good and evil dancing round each other as if caught inside of a breach of ethics.

Being this is my first ‘origin tale’ and one so ingeniously interwoven betwixt and between the fictional lives of the living persons who once lived, I must commend Coakley for drawing together a riveting cautionary tale whose harbinger of an ending poetically justified the story. I was nearly fearful to read the ending chapters, because Coakley could have taken more than one avenue of thought with this story; instead she brilliantly surprised me by keeping a biographical step ahead of me and endearing me to the Brontës forevermore!

I love time slip, but this is a bit of a different portal altogether:

Coakley uses a very curious portal of transportation within the chapters of her novel, wherein I must say, I was quite riveted to the page – I did not want to draw my eyes out of it’s story once I was able to put sorrow behind me and truly focus on where this novel was taking me. It took me a fair bit to get back into a rhythm of reading, I must confess, as my emotional stress simply exhausted all the joy to read in general, much less find words to fill up a blog post or review. By the time I took my fourth go-round of the opening chapters, Coakley’s words were seen, tasted and found to be genuinely curious by my own imagination as her words guided me to the possibility of what happens when a writer inks out a way to live inside their own world?

Tempting fate a bit perhaps, but also, the boundaries between writing and creating a niche of a world that is meant to live by it’s set perimeters only to realise some worlds have a way of self-generating their own self-awareness; thus giving any writer a length of pause to re-think what is worth creating if the creation itself starts an insurrection against it’s creator? The last time I entreated into a world set similar to this where the metafiction angle truly drove to the heart of the internal balance of a writer’s mind verse the freedom of creativity was when I read Dean Koontz’s Mr. Murder. I am uncertain now which tale is scathingly scarier to read!

I understand now, this was meant to be read prior to my final readings of ‘Jane Eyre’ and definitely ahead of my first readings of my second after canons of Eyre. It is best to understand the writer of whom whose canon gives you such joy, but outside of biographies, the next best choice is to read a biographical fiction wherein the author is so bemused by her inspiration to grant you an experience you will never soon forget and feel blessed to have had read.

I daresay, I’ve found my first ‘unputdownable’ read of [2016] !

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A note about my delayed participation on this blog tour and the joy of hosting another Canadian author:

When you experience a disruption in your personal life, blogging and reading take a backseat. When you experience an unexpected tragic loss, you have to fight to right the sails of balance and re-emerge stronger as you move through the shadows of grief and sorrow. For a full disclosure of what kept me from blogging about this beautiful new release, please direct your attention to this post which I released on Sunday.

Anchoured to a tragedy is the joyous moment for me to read a new Canadian release and to celebrate the happiness in hosting HarperCollins, a publisher I grew to love through their imprint: William Morrow and their lovely P.S. Editions. Except to say, I had the enjoyment of reading the original American edition by Amulet Books which is an imprint of Abrams. I was a bit confused at first how HarperCollins Canada was involved, but quickly realised this is an American-Canadian cross-release!

Click through to follow the rest of the tour!

Worlds of Ink and Shadow Blog Tour via Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours

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This marks my first Canadian author blog tour in [2016] courtesy:

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An unexpected and quite curiously discovered reading challenge for 2016:

As I will be disclosing on my forthcoming *End of the Year Survey: 2016*, I am pulling back a bit from reading challenges and blog tours of a frequency I maintained for the first two years of Jorie Loves A Story. Retreating instead back inside my own personal reading challenges and/or the reading challenges I’ve re-defined as ‘self-directed’ which originally began as readalongs and/or proper book blogosphere challenges wherein the time given to them evaporated before I could properly appreciate participating. I caught sight of this particular challenge quite by accident, as I was looking up the Twitter account for HarperCollins Canada in order to share the link with my readers on this review.

I did not get to progress as much as I had hoped to last year during the Canadian Bingo Challenge hosted by @RandomHouseCA as [2015] marked the first year where I was focusing directly on Canadian Fiction & Non-Fiction. I made a few inroads towards reading more Canadian authors and stories, but throughout [2016] I would like to take it up a notch and consume even more. I am appreciating my journey as it emerges and when I saw this reading challenge by a beloved publisher of mine (if you visit my Story Vault by order of Publishers you’ll understand!) how could I not join in on the bookish fun? It will be a good diversion for me, too, considering recent events.

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Reader Interactive Question:

What motivates your own readerly heart to dissolve inside a Gothic tale of suspense!?

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{SOURCES: Book Cover of “Worlds of Ink and Shadow” (American & Canadian), the Chapter by Chapter badge, the Book Synopsis and the Author Biography were provided by Chapter by Chapter and used by permission. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Comment box badge created by Jorie in Canva. Tweets embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2016.

I’m a social reader | I tweet as I read:

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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

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Posted Sunday, 24 January, 2016 by jorielov in 19th Century, After the Canon, Anne Bronte, ArchDemons or Demonic Entities, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Bookish Discussions, Branwell Bronte, Brothers and Sisters, Canadian Literature, Castles & Estates, Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours, Charlotte Bronte, Childhood Friendship, Classical Literature, Coming-Of Age, Cosy Horror, Crime Fiction, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Emily Bronte, England, Fantasy Fiction, Father-Daughter Relationships, Folklore, Good vs. Evil, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Haunting & Ethereal, Historical Fiction, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Metafiction, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, Suspense, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, the Victorian era, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction




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