#SatBookChat Spotlight | featured guest H.L. Burke returns to #JLASblog in this featured introduction of her #Fantasy worlds & is discussing them during #SatBookChat!

Posted Saturday, 25 January, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

#SatBookChat 25 January 2020 banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Remember last year during #WyrdAndWonder, I read this delishly spunky Fantasy Romance I truly felt entertained by & lovingly had a wicked sweet time reviewing? The title of this beaut of a novel was “To Court A Queen” and it hit every mark I could have hoped for in a Fantasy Romance novel! I was dearly impressed, awestruck by the world-building and rounded out my review layering in all the lovelies we, who read Fantasy, love finding in our fantastical worlds! It was full of intrigue, a slow burn romance and the kind of cheeky humour which leaves me in stitches!!

You might have already recognised through my bookish showcases & reviews for the first two years of #WyrdAndWonder – I’m quite the discerningly particular reader of Fantasy Fiction! I *love!* certain kinds of world-building and there is a definitive style of Fantasy narrative I am seeking that I do not always find available when I go hunting for a new author | series | story to read. Hence why discovering Ms Burke through #ReviewPit was such a cornerstone of joy during #WyrdAndWonder! She truly has honed in on what we want to seek out, what Fantasy readers can appreciate about spinning a world out of our hopeful imaginations & give us a wicked good read in the process!

To Court A Queen by H.L. Burke

A Fairy Tale Romance

He doesn’t want to get married, but he wants to be a frog even less.

Knight errant, Devin, takes a shortcut through the woods, only to be captured by fairy forces. The fairy queen has run out of breathing males to fight for her hand, and Devin, while not ideal fairy stock, is breathing–for now.

Telling a vain fairy queen you’d rather not be her one true love is a ticket to life on a lilypad, so the knight agrees to face three challenges to win Queen Agalea’s hand. When a clever servant girl offers to help him navigate the trials in order to stop the constant bloodshed of the courtship ritual, Devin jumps at the chance. However, as he balances “flirting” with his “beloved” and overcoming tasks specifically designed to kill him, he finds his heart drawn to his new partner in survival.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This novel & author were also a part of

my Top Favourite #NewToMeAuthors of 2019!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

If you’ve missed my previous ruminations about “To Court A Queen” let me share this ahead of #SatBookChat this Saturday morning:

I truly found this #IndieAuthor to be #unputdownable because Burke understands what I personally *love!* to seek out of a Fantasy Romance! Not just that – it is how she layered you into the world-building, gave you two characters who despite being individually quirky worked well together as a team – whilst having this set in an unsuspecting place which was wondrously created by Burke’s eye for fantastical detail.

I will be looking forward to collecting more of her stories & taking new journeys into where her imagination leads me to follow!

In regards to the world being built within this world of the fey:

Uniquely, there is a running shortage of approachable and available men who are willing to do the Queen’s bidding – by taking a stake of claim towards her consort position and find a way not to get killed in the process! Whilst she’s holding court, you can see the different kinds of fey who are represented – by their style of dress, their hair colour and the ways in which they dress, braid their hair and otherwise present themselves.

Winged hounds were a new creature for me to experience! I love when that happens – as it is such a special treat to come across a new fantastical species or creature you haven’t yet had the joy in becoming acquainted previously!

The background texture of the story is lush and vibrant; from the way the rooms are outfitted to the design of the aesthetic for the Queen’s residence hall(s). There is a lot of attention to the finer details here and I loved tucking close to the descriptive details.

on the fantastical musings of speculative novelist h.l. burke:

In the author’s own words she’s declared the following about “To Court A Queen”: Enjoy a Fairy Tale Romance that’s like “The Princess Bride” combined with “Ella Enchanted” plus a LOT of snark, a cat-elf, & a knight who is way too Han Solo for his own good!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

And, here are my thoughts about how to best describe her fantastically humourous writing style which brokers on the edge of satire and envelopes itself into a bit of snark round the edges!

One of the descriptive attributes Burke wrote into her story is where Devin compares himself to a moth to the distaste of the Queen as she sees his humanness to be a detriment but not to the extent she will remove him from her Court or from testing him as potential consort to her throne! There are a lot of tongue-in-check exchanges with a pulse of satire threading through the dialogue – something I was looking forward to each step of the way because Burke’s characters have a light-heartedness about them. They believe strongly in their lives and the causes they wish to champion but at the same time there is a threading of nonchalance and full-on sarcasm which isn’t lost on me.

I had a feeling the comedic timing to the discussions is partially to cover over the fact the Queen has a decidedly different end game for those who fail her miserably! I know the evil side of the fey as you don’t have to look too hard to uncover that side of their nature – whilst there are a few who walk in the Light, most of the fey side with the Dark. Even if it is under the benign covering of seeking a mate who’d be in equal status of the Queen, you had to think there was something quite nefarious happening at the same time. Why would a Queen simply agree to ‘any odd male’? That you had to wonder about the most whilst you continued to watch Devin grow deeper into this quagmire he caused for himself!

I even liked how she created this species of elves (ie. thus known as ‘cat-elves’ by Devin who likes to get a rile of ire out of them!) who are less than gracious about being referred to as ‘cat-elves’ as I suppose from their perspective that might not be a very endearing name to be called? It was still clever though because it added another layer to this world wherein she’s built a whole society of fey and fairy – where Sevaine represents another part of this kingdom and where the Queen represents the other half. Uniquely there are also loop holes of how those who are ingenious enough can outwit the Queen – though, I had suspected that might be a false-safety on their part as after awhile wouldn’t she wise up to their plottings?

Want to know something keenly ironic? I didn’t really feel this was a snarky story! In fact, I saw it more laden with satire and wicked brilliant humour than I did the snark? There are just some Speculative Fiction novelists out there who are writing stories which work well with my own sense of humour apparently – I now consider H.L. Burke, Leanne Leeds (from #ReviewPit alum) joining the ranks of Ms Chris (E. Chris Garrison), AshleyRose Sullivan, RJ Sullivan and Jennifer Silverwood in my admiration society for comedic and dramatic Fantasy which happily makes me blissfully happy to reside inside!

-a quote from my review of To Court A Queen

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

As I was setting up the conversation for #SatBookChat today, I wanted to give a well-rounded introduction to the collective worlds & storycrafting style of Ms Burke similar in vein to how I encaptured the stories & series of Vivian Conroy during her initial chat with @SatBookChat!

Ms Burke doesn’t limit herself to Fantasy Romance – she likes to carve out a niche of Fantasy which does strike a romantic balance within her story-lines but overall, she’s a multi-focused Fantasy novelist who is crafting worlds of wonderment which also parlay into such niches of focus to treat your readerly delights like flavourings of Steampunk, Historical Theatre Sci-Fantasy, Sorcery & Magic and of course, short stories which spark your curiosity to seek out her larger works! There is a bit of fey and a dash of whimsical – you only have to visit her website & blog to seek out the ‘right read’ for your Speculative heart to enjoy discovering!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

I hope you’ve brewed a cuppa to enjoy the information on this spotlighted post in conjunction with @SatBookChat whilst taking time to visit our past chats archived via the Moments on the chat’s feeds via Twitter. This chat will be archived after it concludes and a bit lateron from there to allow everyone the chance to interact, share and respond.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Without further adieu,
I give you the latest #SatBookChat spotlight
wherein you can learn a bit more about the author & her story.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Magician's Rivalry by H.L. Burke

Cross-released across ALL platforms: print, ebook & audio!

The synopsis for the Spellsmith & Carver series:

Academy trained Auric Spellsmith and small town apprentice Jericho Carver couldn’t be more different, but that doesn’t stop them from wanting the same thing.

When Auric left his rural home and his father’s magic shop to study with the great magicians of the republic, he never expected to be replaced, let alone by the barely educated nephew of the local carpenter. Returning home to find his rightful inheritance in jeopardy—and his beloved baby sister flirting with his new rival—Auric knows he has to prove to his father that he’s the better magician—and the better man.

Jericho scratched his way out of poverty and abuse, and he’s not going to let some bookish city boy send him running back to his boards and hammers. With his future, and his ability to court the woman of his dreams, at stake, he’s ready to play dirty … or at least sit back and let the impulsive and temperamental Auric set himself on fire trying to do basic magic Jericho could do with his eyes closed.

Their rivalry might burn Spellsmith Manor down around them … or it might prove the key to unlocking a long held family secret and saving a world that doesn’t even realize it’s in danger.

A three book gaslamp fantasy series with friendship, humor, and adventure, Spellsmith & Carver takes the Buddy Comedy to magical new heights.This collection includes all three books of the series plus two additional short stories.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

My immediate thoughts after listening to the audiobook sampler:

Part of me felt this was a good bridge between Sci-Fantasy, Steampunk & the kind of intrigue I loved finding within the earlier seasons of “Murdoch Mysteries” – especially when Murdoch would team up with the quirky inventor Pendrick! He was always pushing the limits of what Murdoch would accept as believable Science & compelling suspense of the unknown! I immediately thought of those two because there are a lot of keen elements of these kinds of stories threading into the background of this Canadian series. In some ways, it was the absence of that kind of continuity and the increasing violence which left such a bad taste in my opinion of the latter seasons & why I opted to withdraw watching them.

The narrator has a very interesting approach to narrating the story – I would consider this spoken narrative with some exchanges of theatrical inserts as he is introducing you to the fantastical elements whilst giving you a bit of a glimpse into how he alternates from male to female to narrative sections of the novel. It is the Science within the Fantasy which perked my ears in my headphones – as Burke whispered those elements into the background, almost as if they are so innate and organic to this world (and the story herein) that you could almost blink and miss something keenly interesting!

This one isn’t featuring a female in the cast per se as it is from a very dominately male POV – however, I wanted to include it for two reasons: to show the depth of what Burke is producing in her collective works & secondly, to give readers who might want to switch off reading romantic plots to have something heartier to chew on such as a relationship between two male friends. Of course, it also helped realising this is one of Burke’s own favourites she’s written!!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This series has a special discount throughout January, 2020!

Spellsmith and Carver boxed set sale banner provided by H.L. Burke and is used with permission.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Heart of the Curiosity by H.L. Burke

Cross-released in ebook & print; audio forthcoming!

The Synopsis for Heart of the Curiosity:

The secret lies with the Heart. Born with a magical knack allowing her to manipulate emotions, Leodora’s determined to make her talented little sister a star. With her abilities she’s secured her sister a place in the chorus, and herself a job as a professional audience member, swaying the crowd’s mood with her magic. The girls have a home for the first time in their lives: The Curiosity, the biggest and brightest theater in the Republic.

But then a tragic accident casts a shadow over the theater. With a greedy businessman blackmailing Leo and financial woes threatening to close the show forever, The Curiosity’s only hope lies in a mythical power source, the Heart. With the help of her friend Paxton, Leo must navigate the secrets of the old building before her blackmailer makes good his threats, barring her from The Curiosity, and her sister from the stage, forever.

However, disaster follows Leo and Paxton’s search. Mysterious figures, cryptic clues, and deadly traps stand between the friends and the mysterious Heart. When secrets in Leo’s past are revealed, driving a wedge between her and her theater friends, will the curtain fall on the Curiosity forever?

Enter a world reminiscent of The Greatest Showman, with a puzzle worthy of Sherlock Holmes in this new Steampunk Fantasy from H. L. Burke.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What initial thoughts about this novel & why it was appealled to me:

I love reading Historical Fiction – this isn’t something I can hide – just this Friday (er, yesterday!) whilst browsing for necessary grocery items at a discovnt store guess who causally walked past books on display and spied an work about Cleopatra’s Ancient Egypt? And, guess who came home with said novel? I hadn’t seen the description about this relating to “The Greatest Showman” – however, being a family who generally always purchased dvds before the days they leaned harder on their local libraries to watch the latest releases – it ought to be known, this is one dvd we *immediately!* purchased to ‘cut the line’ at the library as we knew it was going to be *wicked brilliant!* and wanted to savour the experience for ourselves!

Similar earlier in the afternoon on Friday, I had the joyful pleasure of being surprised by YouTube with the pilot for “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” arriving on my channel selection in lieu of a regular ‘advert’. Talk about one emotionally convicting hour I spent consumed by a story which had a profound impact on my own situation with my Dad! This Sunday I’ll explain more in #TheSundayPost which as been dearly overdue returning to Jorie Loves A Story. For now – know that as soon as it ended I immediately said “if this were released *right!* now on dvd I’d buy the first season! Based off the *pilot!* dear hearts!!

My point? My spin on this novel is that it has the elements I love from Phantom of the Opera intermixed into a historical background of old school theatre communities with a keenly suspenseful underplotting of thrilling fantastical magic! It wasn’t a hard sell – in fact, depending on the narrator for this beauty, I might be tempted to listen to the story vs reading it in print! As for me – it all boils down to choices in narrators – they really can either make/break a story for me and/or convince me to revert back to print! (big smiles)

Seriosuly though – who wouldn’t want to entreat into this world of the Curiosity?!

Remember my previous foray into theatrical magic and the world of alchemy?

Whilst at the same time it wasn’t too long ago I read a re-spun tale of Phantom!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What do you think?

Do you love reading a variety of Fantasy stories which cross & bend genre?

What are you hoping to seek out your next Fantasy read?

What implores you to seek out Steampunk, Fey Romance
& Speculative stories full of cheeky humour and epic world-building?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comAnd, the new story I’ve found I’m keenly curious about,…

just happens to be a duology & new release!

And, you know how smitten I am by duologies!


Daughter of Sun Bride of Ice by H.L. Burke

Synopsis for Daughter of Sun, Bride of Ice:

It’s a tale of forbidden love, fated magic, and cat-owls.

To save a kingdom, she must lose her heart. Born a princess in a land where the sun never sets, Arynne longs for the freedom to use her inborn magic. When an emissary from the dark side of the world requests an alliance sealed by marriage, Arynne jumps at a chance to escape the rules of her homeland, even if it means marrying a prince she’s never met and never seeing the sun again.

The starlit kingdom of Frorheim believes that only a marriage of a Solean Sun Princess to their Star Prince will thwart the return of a feared sorcerer. Arynne meets the qualifications, but the journey is perilous. Even more dangerous to Arynne, however, is her growing attraction to the roguish Frorian soldier, Kajik.

In the throes of true love, Arynne rues her betrothal to the unknown prince. Can she follow her heart knowing that if she forsakes her vow, Frorheim is doomed, and herself along with it?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Prince of Stars Son of Fate by H.L. Burke

The synopsis for the sequel might spoilt the first novel if you’ve not yet read it – therefore I am hiding this synopsis behind a *spoiler!* cut; read at your discretion!

Note to readers – this was the author’s own advisement on her blog!

View Spoiler »

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

My immediate thoughts after listening to the audiobook sampler:

I must admit, when it comes to audiobooks, I go by the narrators and how their voices are translating the story to me. The narrator I felt truly intrigued to ‘hear more’ from was Rena Gail!

I like the premise of this duology and I have a hankering for a good arc through a duology; plus, this kind of switching of focus through climate or where light and darkness are traded off in different parts of the overall world. She pulls me into the story the same way I felt as I was reading “To Court A Queen”.

It is the kind of Fantasy I was hoping to have found within another novel during #WyrdAndWonder but sadly found it fell a bit short for me. You can hear how instincts for setting you into the world-building in the sampler but you also gain only a slight inclination of understanding the depth of the world itself. There is a lot going on in this world – not limited to the key issues as we arrive but the further reaching complications about origins of birth and rites of duty.

I *love!* accents and I found this narrator was going to delight me with hers as she trades off how she articulates different characters; some of whom have a lovely new accent for me to enjoy listening too! There is just enough inclusive to the preview sampler to encourage your curiosity and being it is a world set apart from others I’ve visited, these are the reasons why I felt readily intrigued to hear it narrated vs attempting to read it in print.

Keep your eyes peeled on my ruminative thoughts
about “Daughter of Sun, Bride of Ice” in March!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

I hope as you enter into seeking out the collective works of H.L. Burke, this post will serve as an introductory guide – hopefully you’ve gleamed a few new tidbits & insights through the convo we’ve shared during #SatBookChat today. It is a wonderful opportunity to chat with authors & to ask them questions about their writing process, their style of storycrafting and the elements of what makes their stories their own.

If you weren’t able to join us today – I look foward to seeing you join us on a future Saturday. Kindly note – you are welcome to read through our #SatBookChat feeds, adding new responses to the chat’s topic & the conversation at hand – be sure to remember to add our tag (#SatBookChat) to your tweets so they will *thread into the convo and everyone who seeks the convo out can find your additions.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This H.L. Burke Spotlight is connected with the chat I hosted via @satbookchat featuring this lovely author on 25th January, 2020!

The press Materials are courtesy the author.

About H.L. Burke

H.L. Burke

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

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

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

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

View the archived chat via Moments

To Court A Queen promotional banner provided by HL Burke and is used with permission.

(will update link after #SatBookChat!)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com
This marks our third #SatBookChat for 2020!
Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com
#SatBookChat Guest Authors badge for 2020 created by Jorie in Canva.
Set your calendar & join us this 2020 to chat with our featured guests!
On 8th of February, we are chatting with Clare Chase @ClareChase_!
Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com
NOTE: Similar to blog tours wherein I feature book reviews, book spotlights (with or without extracts), book announcements (or Cover Reveals) – I may elect to feature an author, editor, narrator, publisher or other creative person connected to the book, audiobook, Indie film project or otherwise creative publishing medium being featured wherein the supplemental content on my blog is never compensated monetarily nor am I ever obligated to feature this kind of content. I provide (98.5%) of all questions and guest topics regularly featured on Jorie Loves A Story. I receive direct responses back to those enquiries by publicists, literary agents, authors, blog tour companies, etc of whom I am working with to bring these supplemental features and showcases to my blog. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them: I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers. Whenever there is a conflict of connection I do disclose those connections per post and disclose the connection as it applies.
Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

{SOURCES: Book covers for “To Court A Queen”, “Daughter of Sun, Bride of Ice”, “Prince of Stars, Son of Fate”, “Heart of the Curiosity” and “Magician’s Rivalry”, synopsis for the novels as well as the author biography and promo banner were all provided by the author H.L. Burke and are used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #SatBookChat H.L. Burke banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life

Comments via Twitter:

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 Saturday, 25 January, 2020 by jorielov in #SatBookChat, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

All posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary!
I try to visit your blog in return as I believe in ‘Bloggers Commenting Back
(which originated as a community via Readers Wonderland).

Comments are moderated. Once your comment is approved for the first time, your comments thereafter will be recognised and automatically approved. All comments are reviewed and continue to be moderated after automated approval. By using the comment form you are consenting with the storage and handling of your personal data by this website.

Once you use the comment form, if your comment receives a reply (this only applies to those who leave comments by email), there is a courtesy notification set to send you a reply ticket. It is at your discretion if you want to return to re-respond and/or to continue the conversation established. This is a courtesy for commenters to know when their comments have been replied by either the blog's owner or a visitor to the blog who wanted to add to the conversation. Your email address is hidden and never shared. Read my Privacy Policy.

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)