Blog Book Tour | “Lona Chang: A Superhero Detective Story” (Book Two: #AwesomeJones series) by AshleyRose Sullivan This is the #SuperheroFiction series Jorie has eagerly awaited new installments and found the latest just as brilliant as the first!

Posted Tuesday, 13 March, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a stop on the “Long Chang: A Superhero Detective Story” Superhero Fiction release tour from Seventh Star Press. The tour is hosted by Tomorrow Comes Media who does the publicity and blog tours for Seventh Star Press and other Indie and/or Self Published authors. I am a regular blog tour host with Tomorrow Comes Media and have been an avid fan of the #AwesomeJones series since it first debuted. I was overjoyed the second installment in the series is now releasing and that I could participate in it’s blog tour.

I received a complimentary copy of “Lona Chang: A Superhero Detective Story” direct from the publisher Seventh Star Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I love reading the #AwesomeJones series:

Lona Chang took Awesome by surprise, not only for her growing affection and respect of his character, but for being endeared to him as a companion. The two took to each other quite readily, but it was how they fit into each other’s pocket that I felt bemused about the most whilst reading the story! You see, they were the near-identical half of the other, and I refer to it being ‘near-identical’ as although they each read the newsprint release of breaking news, they differed on a category or two. Little unbeknownst differences out of a sea of common threads which helped knit Awesome Jones and Lona Chang together in the bliss of conjoined living. She was quite methodical herself, yet Awesome took the cake for exacting out his observations, and for being near computeristically perfect in his actions. Whilst the two were together, they not only complimented each other in synced harmony but they cancelled each other out on their eclecticism.

Lona and Awesome were intricately entwined by their common share of loss, as they respectively never knew their proper origins. They were each raised by loving parents who adopted them as their own when their biological parents had died. They attempted in their own way to resurrect a connection fate did not allow to solidify whilst their parents were alive. In their shared ambiguous loss, they each sought ways in which they could formulate a way to connect themselves through a passion of their parents; even if the only true connection they had were fragmented pieces of their parents personal effects. These tangible reminders were a weight of a burdened yoke which toyed with their emotional well-being.

When Awesome Jones grapples with the choice between the life he’s formed together with Lona and the life he’s dreamt of living, they each have to put to test the strength of their love for each other. I sided with Captain Lightning (one of the main superheroes focused on in the story) on the outdated rules and regulations of The Guild (apparently superheroes are organised more than you realise!). He’s put in a most difficult position because as you can well imagine, he goes from knowing a scant amount about his ancestry and then, in one large dose of revelation he gets far more than he bargained to learn! I would imagine that if you wake up one day and your entire essence of who you are as a person is chucked out for this alternative version; a version you knew nothing of and had no idea of how to accept, there would be a period of adaption to adjust!

This is when I found myself reading at such a lightning clip as to beg my eyes to move faster down the page, as I had my hand at the ready for turning into the next scene! Again, I love the pace of Awesome Jones as you get to the point where you want to see him succeed. You want him to develop self-confidence and believe in his own truth. There are always forces against you in life, and there is always a chance that your going to falter in your confidence on your own behalf, but part of what endeared me to this story is that the main characters believed in each other. It did not matter what the outcome of their lives would be as far as where their place in the world would fit, as if they had each other they could overcome just about anything crossing their path.

-quoted from my review of Awesome Jones: A Superhero Fairy Tale

Ever since I finished reading #AwesomeJones and took to Twitter to announce my findings within the first novel of the series, I’ve wanted to return. To become re-swept into the vision Ms Sullivan has created for her superhero world and to find out more of what she’s envisioned for her heroes. She has such a strong voice in this wicked hybrid of novelling a comic book story-line – wherein she’s created her own wonderful niche of how you can bend a novel to the will of your own pen. She’s given credence towards following your own instincts towards how a story can be told and she breaks barriers of code by how a novel can be written. In essence, she’s a rebel in her own right and I love her for it.

It is hard to pin down exactly what drew me closer to Awesome himself and to Lona’s story-line which hugs so close to our lead hero. There was a moment as I was first reading #AwesomeJones where I just felt this was a wholly original story, told in a unique manner of delivery where narrative and comic illustrations merged beautifully together to tell a poignant story. You become so dearly involved and entranced by her style, you nearly forget how wicked awesome it is to find someone who is re-setting the heights of where a story like this take a reader.

A bit like how we all have our preferences in superhero motion pictures and televised adaptations – I have the tendency to shy away from the leading crowd of options and seek out the ones who stand out to me. For instance, my favourite upcoming release at the moment is the sequel of The Incredibles – similar to this series, you could say they broke the rules on how superheroes can have a strong base of family and even their children can have hidden talents which can develop alongside their parents.

I truly love the vision of this series – not to mention the fact it’s a joy to be reading!! You don’t have to worry about anything too shocking taking place – even if there are hard-hitting threads within the series, I just meant, this is less intensive than reading traditional Crime Dramas. The beauty though is watching how Ms Sullivan crafts her stories together – as your hardest instinct to overcome is not to read this so fast that you miss the nuances along the way! There are little nudges of insight into the wider world as it’s evolving but mostly, I love the hugged close to her characters’ points-of-view the most! You feel so personally engaged with their line of sight and how they are internalising their own adventures – it’s truly a remarkable series!

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Blog Book Tour | “Lona Chang: A Superhero Detective Story” (Book Two: #AwesomeJones series) by AshleyRose Sullivan This is the #SuperheroFiction series Jorie has eagerly awaited new installments and found the latest just as brilliant as the first!Lona Chang: A Superhero Detective Story
by AshleyRose Sullivan
Illustrator/Cover Designer: AshleyRose Sullivan
Source: Publisher via Tomorrow Comes Media

When one of the world's greatest superheroes dies in her arms, Lona Chang takes it upon herself to investigate his murder. Armed only with a power she barely understands and a mysterious coded book, Lona begins a quest for answers that leads her down a dark rabbit hole of secrets--secrets the ancient organization known as the Guild is determined to keep hidden at all costs.

Meanwhile, when a new threat descends upon Arc City, Lona's soulmate (and freshly minted superhero) Awesome Jones defies the Guild, dons the cape and cowl of his father and finds a group of unlikely allies. But can Awesome trust them--or himself? He'll have to fight his own demons first if he has any hope of defending the town-and the people-he loves.

As tensions rise between the Guild, Lona, Awesome, his allies and Arc City's criminal underground, Lona realizes that life, and the answers to its questions, are never as simple as they seem in comic books.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 978-1941706640

Also by this author: Guest Post (Awesome Jones) by AshleyRose Sullivan, Silver Tongue

Also in this series: Awesome Jones


Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Adoption & Foster Care, Amateur Detective, Genre-bender, Superhero Fiction


Published by Seventh Star Press

on 30th August, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 323

Published By: Seventh Star Press (@7thStarPress)
Available Formats: Softcover and Ebook

The Awesome Jones series:

Awesome Jones by AshleyRose Sullivan

Awesome Jones | Book One (see also Review)

Long Chang | Book Two

Converse on Twitter: #AwesomeJones + #LonaChang & #7thStar

About ashleyrose sullivan

AshleyRose Sullivan

Originally from Appalachia, AshleyRose Sullivan lives, writes, and paints in Los Angeles with her husband and their many imaginary friends. Her work has been published in places like The Rumpus, Barrelhouse, and Word Riot and her novels, Awesome Jones: A Superhero Fairy Tale and Silver Tongue are available from Seventh Star Press.

my review of lona chang: a superhero detective story:

Even though its been a few years between Awesome Jones and Long Chang – the closeness I originally felt within the series itself hasn’t wavered. As soon as I picked up this novel, opened to the very first page and started to re-settle myself into Awesome and Lona’s lives, I felt as if there wasn’t a gap between the first novel and this sequel. I credit this to how Ms Sullivan approached re-aligning us with Awesome and Lona – as they are quite domestic in the beginning – getting ready for their wedding day, going about their own affairs and happily enjoying their morning.

The air of regret about how things turnt out for them lingers slightly but doesn’t take root as they each respect the choices they had made in the past. Things are the way Awesome hoped they would have been – as officially his life was altered from the path he had hoped to follow but within this new life of his, he had the love of his life by his side, a home full of love and true friends who had his back. In essence, they had what was important and it was more than enough – you can see this as you observe them in their apartment. There are little gestures of their love and how within the ordinary they are quite happy indeed – especially considering how extraordinary their lives truly are lived.

As soon as you see the action shift off of Awesome and Lona (and their gathered small party for their wedding) to what is happening outside their own experience at the court house, things get interesting quite quickly! Not only are we involved in a high stakes pursuit of a super-charged villain but we are privy to the craftiness of someone who looks rather demure and uninteresting take the spotlight on how crime isn’t entirely for those who look like their up to something nefarious. Sometimes the person who takes the most from society can blend into the background of a crowd and quietly take their departure.

I love the subtlety of Lona’s super-gift – she can see things others cannot but it’s how she can see what she sees that is truly beautiful. My favourite scene of how she can use this gift happened early-on – when she was at the library – where of course, it would be a favourite scene for me to observe, because how oft do I wish for a book to speak to me about being read? In other words, for those who are bookish – despite knowing exactly what we want to read, there are other quieter moments where we still enjoy the pursuit of the unknown. Of seeking out a story or an author we’ve not yet found and there lies the true adventure – how to find singular book in a row of library stacks? If we all had Lona’s gift, we’d surely find a delightful joy in going to the library without feeling as if the weight of finding a book in the sea of choices to be as daunting as it regularly feels!

I do love how Ms Sullivan’s heroes are self-learners and they constantly find ways to renew their knowledge – here, Lona is trying her best to develop her understanding of cryptography whilst feeling frustrated she still cannot understand her father’s coded secrets. If part of the clue lies in the detective novels she’s checked out, I will surely be smirking as it reminds me how I had to read A Wrinkle in Time in order to ‘see’ the beauty of Flatland. We’re treated to selections from the series to become peppered throughout her own readings – almost as if we were doing a buddy-read with her as she gained further traction into the series itself.

As Neima was explaining about how her super-gift was currently on hiatus, I felt like the reason given was quite plausible – as so much is connected to our emotions and our state of wellness. If we feel ‘off’ even in a slight way, it can throw us off-centre completely. In this way, Ms Sullivan finds new ways to keep he characters humble about their gifts but also, about the realities of how limited they are to use them if other things are blocking how they access them. Neima was now the roommate and caregiver for Julia whose delicate state and long-term recovery had given Neima purpose and direction. They were Lona’s dearest friends but you can see how the strain of events which led Julia and Neima to this newfound partnership was taking it’s toll. They both had lost more than should be allowed but together, they at least had found strength to carry-on.

Yet, Neima had her own demons to slay. A lot of the undertone of the novel is about self-care and about respecting that sometimes you can’t recover from injuries that go unseen as quickly as you would hope you could. It’s about finding the balance between owning the hurts of the past, finding positive ways to move forward and allowing yourself the time to resolve what has happened to you. The story also examines how all of this is a process – you can’t just automatically find a solution to your afflictions but at the same time, it is better to recognise you need others to lean on. There are moments where secrets are kept and it’s within this context, we recognise how despite their superhero trade, at the heart of who they are are vulnerable humans who inherited abilities beyond their understanding. It is only through patience and due diligence do they better understand how to approach their talent and the balance they need for self-care and wellness.

One of my favourite scenes is truly the one where Lona goes home to speak to her adoptive parents, the Chang’s and to enquire if she’s taken after her father. Their response is truly one which gives you a lift of joy to be reading because it’s such an unexpected moment of revelation for Lona! A critical piece of discovery for her to better understand herself but also, to feel closer to her father, someone she misses dearly.

“Is your ability at work presently, dear?”

Lona swallowed hard and looked again at her hands then back at her adopted mother.

“Yes, why?”

“Just the look on your face. It’s the same as Humphrey’s when he could see the secrets.”

“The secrets?”

“Your father, when observing the world around him, could see secrets. I can only describe it the way he told us. He said that he might not always know the secret. But he could always tell when one was present and usually, what kind.”

The dust swirled up around her arms and across her chest. The Changs may not have been able to picture but Lona could. The manifestation of her abillity was so difficult to explain and yet she felt, instinctively, that she knew what her father had seen.

“He was a true detective.”

– quoted from Lona Chang: A Superhero Detective Story by AshleyRose Sullivan;

used with permission of the publisher

You can tell how close the Chang’s are to Lona in how they are respectful of her questions about her father but of how they genuinely care about her self-discovery as well. I appreciate seeing pro-positive examples of adoptive families in fiction and seeing how the Chang’s helped Lona find answers about her paternal heritage is heart-warming. They also inspired her to better understand her super-gift – as she was struggling to accept her place within the world of superheroes – mostly as her search for truth and understanding on behalf of her father has taken more of her focus. The Chang’s are the kind of family who not only love unconditionally but they support their child in whatever endeavours bring the most personal joy to pursue.

Shortly after this exchange, I felt as if I had a plate and chair at the table alongside Awesome, Lona and Captain Lightning – as lately, I feel drawn into the foods of the stories I am reading. I’m a food-centric girl but lately? I just feel as if I can smell what is being cooked as I read – perhaps an extension of a renewal of enjoying too cook again with vegetables fresh from a new farmer’s market. Either that, or I am starting to crave the foods the characters are eating – which is a new level of insight into the stories I’m reading! Despite having to defer the fish to the others, what grabbed my appetite the most was homemade fried green tomatoes (ooh, their lovely when their cooked right!) and cornbread – is there a better combination? I think not!

Shifting focus, the discussion Captain Lightning is having with Awesome and Lona felt altruistically connected to our own current events even without having to connect the dots or hint at it directly. The heart of this series and the fuller purpose of why there are superheroes within it is eloquently expressed by Captain Lightning – though his heartfelt explanation is also concurrent to why all of us reach out to help our neighbours and communities. It is what gives us purpose but more than that, it is what should be commonplace – of goodness in humanity to be as natural as breathing and more popular than harmful events.

Awesome wasn’t having an awesome experience lately – each time he tried to go out and assist his community someone else had beaten him to the punch. His confidence in doing what he was compelled to do was dissolving – as what was the point in trying to act heroic if you couldn’t even get to the scene? You can also sense a growing ominous feeling behind his friend Captain Lightning’s masked words – almost as if there is something big brewing; something which Awesome and Lona might not feel ready to encounter.

I hadn’t expected who dies to die – in fact, it was such an unsettling scene to unfold – not just due to the lingering somberness of sudden loss but due to how the person died. Awesome and Lona were there – to offer comfort in the emergency but it was their swift manner of handling the crisis which gave them the grace to overlook how dire it was at the same time. When they realised the truth of that horrid moment – of having to let go of someone they loved and cared about – the weight felt oppressively uncomfortable. You just felt for them – for their grief, for the shock of it all and for the way in which the person had died.

Despite herself, Lona was finding traction of comfort through reading the Kraker novels (detective stories) she had found at the library. So much so, she was surprised by how much she wanted to read the whole collection – until Awesome kindly reminded her about how comic books had helped him better understand himself. It speaks to how sometimes, there are unexpected paths for inspiration which help us better engage with our chosen paths. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to be open to the signs and clues which are presented whilst acknowledging why they are important to be present as they are found.

Meanwhile, after the sudden death of an important figure of the Cape defenders of the city, Awesome strives to make sure Lona was better equipped to handle the increase in criminal acts after a close encounter where she was nearly compromised herself. Neima’s affliction continues to grow – as the more her own super-gift is suppressed from use, the more toxic it seems to become for her to try to compensate for it’s absence. This is something which upsets Lona, as she used to be able to be a more critical part of Neima and Julia’s lives… until fate had altered everything between them.

The city in shambles to be honest. As the Capes are not able to keep the city safe, we see a new kind of hero and heroine emerge from the shadows: the Sheets! I had a good laugh over the alternative name for this new kind of superly gifted set of protectors – mostly as it was keenly observant of everyone’s childhood! In this segue, we find a new underground movement of people like Awesome who can’t officially rise in their superness to defend the city without having to take other means in order to do so. There is a power struggle in the background of the story – where the collective known as the Guild tries to control all superheroes, regulate what is allowed and what isn’t whilst giving everyone a lot of grief who either falls outside their lines of order or goes their own way.

As we get to peel back the covers on what is being hidden from both Capes and Sheets, we start to see something quite foul emerge from the darker shadows trying to overtake their world. In fact, the enemy all along is closer to home than even I realised possible! Though, in the context of its revelation, all the pieces were aligning to make plausible sense – it’s just disheartening at the same time when you finally realise who is behind it all. In this incredibly layered sequel, we tuck closer to Awesome and Lona; shift further into the dynamics between official ‘Capes’ and the discredited ‘Sheets’ – whilst finding ourselves a bit on edge to see who is going to outwin the battle! As they have a common enemy but their worst obstacle thus far is learning to stand together!

I am truly eager for the third (and potentially the last) installment of this series – each one builds on the previous one – giving you a wicked brilliant read! I love how I can easily alight into each story-line, feel the heightening tension and get swept into this world of superheroes who have a humbleness about them which is awe-inspiring! Also, on the other hand – you do have empathy for the other side as well – there are pawns who are being placed in critical positions against their will and you truly just want everyone to be allowed to be ‘free’ even if true freedom can’t be theirs in the end. I cannot wait to see what happens next – although a part of me thinks this might have an epic showdown in the end which might require a few hankies! Brace yourself! It’s going to be wickedly exciting from here on out!

On why i love ms sullivan’s superhero fiction:

Felt like coming home, reading Lona Chang as Ms Sullivan’s signature style of telling superhero stories within her #AwesomeJones series never fails to make me smile. She has wonderful continuity within the series itself but the tone of the series is what I love the most. You truly feel as if you’re a part of Awesome and Lona’s lives, picking up the pace with where you’ve last left them and feel as close to them as you had before you parted company to await a new chapter of their adventures together.

Ms Sullivan’s unique style of story-telling is partially rooted in narrative fiction and partially exhibits comic book styling – this is why I love reading this series as much as I do. There is a particular way of approach in how she tells the stories, from how the text is arranged to the insertion of the graphics and illustrations. The pace is quick but telling – you feel pulled into each of her sections with the apt attention they deserve as she brings each scene fully to life and develops the growing back-story in such a way as to feel as if you’ve lived it beside her characters. Even when the elements of what makes her superheroes quite fantastic feels authentic and not overly super-dimensional because she’s found a way to draw on their humanity which gives them the roots of humbled pride.

A note about Equality in Lit:

As someone who is pursuing adoption in the future, one of the tenderest moments of a positive adoption placement is the close-knit relationship Lona shares with the Chang’s. It is one of the best adoptive story-lines I’ve come across so far in fiction, as I do try to seek out new stories featuring non-traditional families as oft as I can find them; however, there is a sequence in the novel where your heart just feels warm for how Ms Sullivan conceived it to be written.

One thing I have admired about Ms Sullivan’s writing is how inclusive her writings are to showcase different kinds of characters and their backgrounds. Her characters reflect our own society’s melting pot and it’s beautiful. One of the more touching couples of interest in Lona Chang are Eleanor and Catherine – two women who are caught in a romance but betwixt and between their way of life. Both of them live on the opposite side of the law, though as you find their story expanding, it wasn’t entirely by choice. There is such sincerity in how we are told of their relationship but also, the softer and gentler side of how theirs is one which is pending the arrival of a ‘good-bye’.

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

 Tomorrow Comes Media Logo badge provided by Tomorrow Comes Media.I am overjoyed by seeing where this series is leading us! I can’t wait to find out what happens next, as Ms Sullivan has left the door open for an exciting conclusion!

Follow the rest of the blog tour for wicked insightful reviews & more guest features:

Lona Chang blog tour via Tomorrow Comes MediaFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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{SOURCES: Book Covers of “Awesome Jones: A Superhero Fairy Tale” and “Lona Chang: A Superhero Detective Story” as well as the author photograph of AshleyRose Sullivan, author biography, book synopsis, blog tour badge, TCM Host badge and Seventh Star Press badge were provided by TCM (Tomorrow Comes Media) and used with permission. Quotations from “Lona Chang: A Superhero Detective Story” were selected by Jorie as she read the book and is being used with permission of Seventh Star Press. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets are inserted due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna and the Comment Box Banners.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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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)

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Posted Tuesday, 13 March, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Doctor Who, Fantasy Fiction, Genre-bender, Good vs. Evil, Horror-Lite, Indie Author, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Speculative Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Tomorrow Comes Media, Urban Fantasy, Urban Life, Vulgarity in Literature, Zombies




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