#TheSundayPost VIII | From the misery of a cold to a revival of random bookish joy! [with a bit of an #unboxing reveal for #FindingEsme!]

Posted Sunday, 1 March, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 14 Comments

The Sunday Post badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

[Official Blurb] The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog. This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little. Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies. Link up once a week or once a month, you decide. Book haul can include library books, yard sale finds, arcs and bought books..share them!

  • Enter your link on the post-
  • Sundays beginning at 12:01 am (CST) (link will be open all week)
  • Link back to this post or this blog
  • Visit others who have linked up
  • Read this week’s #TheSundayPost!

A note about the format I am using to journal #TheSundayPost:

I am finding I like being able to give my readers who cannot visit my blog each time a new post, review or guest feature goes live a digest journal of what is happening on #JLASblog each week! If you are familiar with the style in which I journal my readerly adventures via #WWWednesdays (see also Archive) you’ll know why I like this journalled style for #TheSundayPost!

It’s a way of talking about what is bookishly on my mind whilst sharing where my travels in Fiction & Non-Fiction took me through the last seven days! Quite stellar – so very thankful I was encouraged to participate as I love being able to think about which stories settled into my heart and which of the stories I am most eager to see arrive by postal mail and/or via audiobook! It’s a bit of a lovely way to journal your bookish life and have a weekly reminder of the experiences of you’ve gathered and love to remember!

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From the misery of a cold to a revival of random bookish joy,…

IF I had to speculate how my February would have concluded on a sour note of a severely intensive Winter cold which not only rendered me undone by a severely crippingly migraine (as it was unfortunately attached to said cold) but also incredibly *sore!* ears (wherein it affected ALL attempts at listening ot audiobooks previously highlighted via my last Sunday Post!), a throat which felt like strep and at the very end of it all – I nearly lost my voice just like Mum! She had it for just under a week and a half – whilst I’ve barely squeaked out of it under a fortnight but as its still ‘with me’ that’s not exactly conclusive yet!

I found myself getting down quite a bit about it – normally I can ride out a cold with reading but this one was unrelenting with side issues and a heap of unwelcomed fatigue; so in essence, unless it was a streaming television series (here’s looking @ Star Trek: Enterprise & Zoey’s Playlist!) odds are in great favour I passed the hours of the final weeks of February without many stories in my hands or arriving inside my headphones. The one audiobook I attempted to read didn’t work out very well and I regret I had to postpone listening to it. I’ve already requeued it to be heard this March.

Meanwhile, I also learnt a harder truth about expectations and failed inspirations in regards to Star Trek: Picard (see also my last #BookishNotBookish – updated that section!) and on a happier note, we had a ‘second chance’ Wintry weather spurt which left me wickedly happy despite how real the struggle was to embrace brisk winds (with sore ears, throat and a migraine!) and colder than ice temperatures – a part of me was trying to remember why I love grey skies, cold Wintry days and how good it felt to have a vacation from the Sun! Colds like this one muddle your senses and your ability to enjoy everything you normally *love!* – but despite that, there was one day where Mum took me out for cinnamon bagels and hot tea which reminded me to anchour into small joys and random serendipity rather than feeling curtailed by a situation I had zero control.

In the midst of feeling quite unwell, I did have a turning bit of tide in regards to how I recaptured some bookish JOY this week! I had to stack all my #bookpost into different piles – flat parcels together, bundled boxes together and it became a bit of a tricky situation as I wasn’t sure if any of the short piles would fall! lol I definitely have drawn a bit of curiosity from postal workers lately and I can’t wait to reveal a few thoughts of joy to the one who enquired about a few recent arrivals. She’s one of the few who enjoy chatting to me and hearing snippets of my life as a book blogger – which makes getting #bookmail ever more exciting when you can talk about it with others.

There was a keenly hidden SURPRISE though this week as I entered a bookaway whilst I was taken ill and to be quite honest, had FORGOTTEN all about it! I was visiting with a bookish friend of mine whose also an author of the stories I enjoy reading in her Speculative worlds of interest: Jennifer Silverwood (via her blog) when I noticed a curious review about a Middle Grade Fantasy novel called: Finding Esme! Wait til you discover the happiness this #bookmail brought into my life! I mean, talk about a total 360 experience from feeling taken under by the cold and being lifted in pure joy by what the author sent me!! I can’t remember getting quite a bookaway like this before except for one which I won from Jane Porter prior to being a book blogger.

Whilst I have some bookish updates regarding being an influencer and book ambassador with the Once Upon A Book Club subscription box service! Further updates are arriving this Tuesday and next Tuesday respectivefully! I also might have another bit of news to share next Sunday in regards to a new opportunity which came into my life this weekend – however, mum’s the word as I am still finalising the details.

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Parajunkee Designs

*UPcoming!* blog & Twitter milestones:

(celebrating my 7th Year as a book blogger and joyful tweeter : dates to remember!)

I created my blog on the 31st of March, 2013 – my blogoversary!

I launched it LIVE to the world on 6th August, 2013 – my blog’s birthday!

I waited til the 13th of November, 2013 to join Twitter – my #twitterversary!

To help celebrate my #blogoversary @ the end of the month – I’ll be tweaking, blogging and finishing my edits for my *End of the Year Survey, 2019* – thereby allowing me to dig into the past years which were unable to be featured previously and will be time capsules of the recent past about the stories and authors I loved discovering, reading and spending time with as a reader! Due to stay tuned for this special post arriving on 31.March!

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Some updates about where my bookish adventures took me this final week of February and what I am planning to do my first week of March as a bit of a renewal of resuming where I left off with the stories and books themselves. I feel like I lost so many *hours!* and yet, despite that well of inactivity I had quite a busy week overall! Even though technically speaking you’ll find that my #bookpost stacked up a bit to where I had the joy of revealling a heap of loveliness all at once!

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Callisto Publishing Club : what Jorie requested in February

Will be reading this coming week:

  • The Story of Frida Kahlo: A Biography Book for New Readers by Susan B Katz
  • The Easy 5 Ingredient Vegan Cookbook: 100 Healthy Plant Based Recipes by Nancy Montuori
  • Super Green Smoothies: Veggie-Based Recipes to Boost Your Health and Well-Being by Danielle Omar
  • → [arriving this week] Essential Vegetable Fermentation: 70 Inventive Recipes to Make Your Own Pickles, Kraut, Kimchi, and More by Kelly McVicker

Sort of goes without too much saying that when your under the weather as severely as I was (and of which the main details are not shared!) reading or viewing food isn’t exactly going to be your top priority! I could barely eat most days be as it were! However, within the last day or so I’ve started to go through my #bookpost and I’ve had the joy of rediscovering these Callisto books which arrived! I am overjoyed truly because the cookbooks are beyond budget friendly and the biography is awe-inspiring on so many levels – plus I love the graphic design and bright colours they used to illuminate Frida’s life as a young girl.

The one which is still enroute is the Veg Fermentation – I have my eye on the kimchi section as I’ve heard such good things about that over the years. Plus, if I can finally slay the mystery of fermenting my own foods I’m one step closer to my self-sufficiency goals as I eventually want to harvest my own garden of fruit, veg, herb and cut flowers whilst canning for Winter, etc. I have appreciated the concept of eating macrobiotically since my early twenties and fermented foods are a part of that lifestyle. I’m definitely leant more towards a macro-vegetarian vegan and GF lifestyle any other way of eating as those are the foods which I have found help my health and wellness the most. Thereby you’ll be seeing me requeue my #TheBookishFoodie sections on Jorie Loves A Story as we move into Spring and I can start reviewing cookbooks again!

I think my great-grandfathers are winking their approvals – I come from a long line of living off the land and being resourceful as farmers who took care of their land, their community and their neighbours alike. I love the slow food movement but more to the point, I love being in balance with the natural world and with Mother Earth. This is why I wish my locality hadn’t destroyed the local hiking trails by redevelopment projects and took away the natural environment and appeal of being out in nature. Why they felt they had to put a human stamp on that habitat is beyond me – it was natural for a reason! However, more to the point, I know I thrive best on farm to table foods – either cooked and prepped myself and/or found in the local community. There is a beautiful cycle to it – eating through the seasons and honing in on what uplifts your own wellness.

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It should go without saying, I took a short hiatus from Bookish First, LibroFM’s ALC February audiobooks and NetGalley’s audiobook extracts. I also recently found a heap of lovelies FREE via Audible – short interviews with well-known authors or illuminaries in their respective fields, topical audiobooks in Non-Fiction and other odds/ends which I found quite delightful; yet I was unable to hear any of them per the condition I mentioned with my ears as an after effect of the cold!

Likewise, I had planned to reveal my #TopNextListens in Audio during one of the #TopTenTuesdays for February, which are a combination of free Audible audiobooks and selected purchases – but similar to why I had to withhold my #TopNextReads in INSPY Romance (for the Valentine’s freebie prompt), this particular one never reached my readers either. I’m not too worried – although I have a good schedule for this series to run in March, there are certain prompts I noticed coming up I’ll switch out and add-in one from February!

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Jorie's Box of Joy badge created by Jorie in Canva.

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#BookPost Photo for 1st March, 2020. Photography Credit: © jorielovesastory.com.
#BookPost Photo for 1st March, 2020. Photography Credit: © jorielovesastory.com.

(all of the following are for review)

  • The Dream Horse Adventure series by Susan Count (ie. Mary’s Song (audiobook), Selah’s Sweet Dream, Selah’s Painted Dream and Selah’s Stolen Dream (print)
  • Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody (Suzy Spitfire series, Book One) by Joe Canzano
  • The Prince and the Wedding Planner by Jennifer Faye
  • The Baroness of New York by Anja Silverthrone
  • The Hidden Girl by Ken Liu
  • Super Green Smoothies: Veggie-Based Recipes to Boost Your Health and Well-Being by Danielle Omar
  • → [Not for Review] Five Brides by Eva Marie Everson

I first learnt of the Dream Horse Adventures series when it was offered as a featured blitz spotlight via JustRead Publicity Tours which I was thankful to get a confirmation to join (my stop is the 6th!). However, shortly thereafter I received word from Lola’s Book Tours this series was being offered for review – both during the review tour and afterwards; both print and audiobooks were available to request! You guessed right if you think I IMMEDATELY requested to join the blog tour!

I put in a request to receive “Mary’s Song” on audio and to receive the other three in print. When I listened to the sampler for the audiobook, I was quite taken by how the narrator was enticing me to hear the fuller story about Mary and it felt like a good foundational lead-in to the overall series. I’ll be disclosing my long history reading and appreciating horse fiction and horse dramas this week on my spotlighted post with extracts from the stories themselves! This isn’t one to miss if you love reading about horses and the ways in which horses positively affect our lives.

Now, when I opened up the bookpost containing #SuzySpitfire, I admit, (why not?) I was wicked giddy! I mean, the NAME alone was ENOUGH to have me request the novel *but!* there was just something about Suzy Spitfire herself which was calling me to read her story! I’m on the spotlight blitz lateron in the month to highlight the sequel but until then, I’ve been spending the weekend curled up in this first novel and appreciating the chance to warm up to Suzy herself! She just has a cleverly writ voice and I look forward to seeing where this adventure takes me! IF you saw this tweet of mine you know it was a well-timed book for me to receive in the post!

I’ve been reading the collective works by Jennifer Faye for the past few years now – I love receiving her #bookmail because she tucks in extras for book bloggers – such as bookmarks, a pen, a small art card of her cover art and she inscribes her books; she also lets readers who follow her blog tours request a bookmark by US Postal Mail (not open for International readers due to postage costs). I’ve been meaning to take a picture of her pink parcels of bookish joy – as she places everything into a pink see-through baggie and that includes the copy fo the book! I loved when my first such parcel arrived and how taken I was by her thoughtfulness and the ways in which she wants you to enjoy your experience reading one of her stories. The bookmarks come in quite handy!

Thus, whenever I see one of her books going on a blog tour – I immediately request to join because I know I’ll appreciate meeting her new characters and finding out where their story will take me!

“The Baroness of New York” is another prime example of how enriched my life has become through reaching out to authors on Twitter OR having them reach out to me! I love whenevere these random encounters happen because you just never know what they shall lead into next – a bookish convo (definitely!), a chance to review one of their stories? (perhaps) or an opportunity to have them guest on my blog or during #SatBookChat!? (equally plausible!) In this instance, Ms Silverthrone was open for a review of an ARC copy of her debut Historical Multicultural Romance and will be a guest during #SatBookChat as well!! I was smitten by the premise of the story straight-off and was most delighted I could request a copy in print! Blessedly she understood my life as a migraineur which was equally nice for me as I was having such a struggle this month getting over my health afflictions. I haven’t had the chance to even open the book yet – this is definitely the week I get back into my regular groove!

“The Hidden Girl” is one of those Speculative Fiction novels you’re not expecting to get approved to review – at least, not me! I don’t usually get pegged out for those kinds of releases – however, a bit ago I started to get requests from an outside Head of Zeus publicity team (rather than dealing with HOZ directly as I regularly do for Women’s Fiction, Saga and Romance) who brought this story to my attention. I was overjoyed by the premise and taken with how the concept for this novel tucked into that part of my Science Fiction wanderings that give me a burst of joy to discover. I just started to read this the other day (ahead of the weekend) as my cold was starting to wind down – giving me the break I needed to read and I must say I was wholly intrigued by what I was reading! I am sharing my full ruminations on the 3rd (its quite the busy day!) and I can’t wait to discuss it with you!

“Five Brides” was the novel I ‘won’ of sorts through Reader Rewards – wherein you do certain tasks and receive points in return for those tasks (generally its for surveys) – this is my second time I could request a book and it happened to be the one I was ‘given’ during the Valentine’s Day Quiz! It said that this book in particular ‘suited me’ best in regards to the type of romantic soul that I am due to my appreciation for heirlooms, family legacies, antiques and living histories! If you ask me – it was custom writ for me!! This will be my first reading by this author and I am wicked happy its a new INSPY author at that!

I had to wait a considerable amount of time to start reading my cookbooks – this latest one thankfully arrived towards the ‘end’ of my cold finally losing its ‘grip’ on me – giving me the chance to appreciate the colour coded layout of the cookbook itself! The author broke the book down into types of smoothies you’d want to focus on making per the prompts she used in the book and blessedly there are also ones that are meant to be either an extra meal or meal replacement which interested me a great deal. I’m hoping to dive harder into this during the week as I want to start planning out which of the recipes I want to focus on gathering ingredients for for this and the Five Ingredient Vegan!

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as well as a few audiobooks: (all of which are for review)

  • [forementioned] Mary’s Song by Susan Count (Middle Grade Horse Drama)
  • Donn’s Hill by Caryn Larrinaga (Paranormal Suspense Thriller)
  • Two Thousand Years by M. Dalto (Historical Fantasy)

I truly love hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions, however, recently my listens of the audiobooks have been a bit hit/miss due to my colds – first in December I wasn’t able to finish hearing Realm of Knights and now in February, my second cold within three months derailed my attempts to hear Winterdream! I am definitely going to be finishing both – however, this March I found two interesting titles – “Donn’s Hill” and “Two Thousand Years”.

I am a bit particular with the kinds of Fantasy stories I like to read or listen, however, this particular one just spoke to me as some stories do and being that we’re only a fixed two months out from #WyrdAndWonder – you could say “Fantasy!” overall has been on my mind lately! I felt I’d take a chance on this one and I liked the hours were on the lower end which helps me whenever I feel that the longer audioreads might be a bit too much to tackle.

Whilst at the same time, I can’t deny that I love a wicked good Paranormal Suspense plotting and this series which starts off with “Donn’s Hill” felt like a wicked good fit! I’ll be updating further on these selections next week as I’ll be starting to hear them this week – those darn ears! I still am miffed my ears were attacked during the cold because I just never experienced that previously and its been a proper bone of contention! Oy!

This week will be a busy week for me in audioland as I’m trying to resume where I left off with the #audioreads I talked about during my Sunday Post, too!

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Once Upon A Book Club confirmation banner for monthly shipment provided by Once Upon A Book Club and is used with permission.

I could hardly *believe!* the NEWS!!

I was selected to receive the February Box for #onceuponabookclub!

When I first read the email alerting me to receiveing the ADULT February Box I must admit, I was wickedly overjoyed – even with a cold and a migraine in my life at that moment, the JOY I had realising that the month I was accepted as a book ambassador & influencer as a member of the #bookclubVIP team was the *same!* month I’d be receiving my FIRST ever book subscription box!

I never had the chance to purchase one from another service and this was going to be mark my FIRST ever #unboxing experience with a box which combines a book and curated gifts which interrelate to the story! I was on pins of eager anticipation to receive the BOX and I admit, for a brief moment my cold melted away and all I could think about was “what is IN the box?” You know how that goes – your curiosity simply gets the best of you and you can’t stop thinking about what you’ll see revealled to you once you start to OPEN the box on arrival!

The February ADULT box I mentioned previously involves a Historical Magical Realism plot – as that wasn’t a spoiler as this was revealled on the HINTS page for February. And, that dear hearts is part of the enthused joy I was experiencing because of the two boxes for February, my heart was leaning a bit more towards the Adult box than the YA. I would have been thrilled to receive either one – but sometimes when you love a certain genre (ie. Historical Fiction combined with Magical Realism) like I do – you can’t help your initial reaction to just want to jettison off into that wicked world to fully immerse yourself in the author’s vision!

Guess who received her BOX!? Ooh, yes Jorie did!

I can’t share too much right now as I’m working on a scheduled reveal for TUESDAY, 3rd of March – two more sleeps before I can post and share and cheer myself silly about what I *discovered!* in this lovely book box of delight – until then, you’ll just have to be swept up in the curiosity I had about what might be arriving and let your imagination do a walkabout how those two genres can become wickedly entwined into one beautiful story!

Expect LOTS of gushing this Tuesday whilst I try to hold it together before sharing my total experience on the 10th of March – wherein honestly I am going to BURST! Be sure to check my Twitter feeds as I’ll be microblogging and my blog for *special!* #ouabookclub posts!!

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REMEMBER: if you’d like to try out #onceuponabookclubbox, you can visit their website and use my coupon code [JORIELOVES10] to save on your purchase. I am an influencer with them but I do not use affliate links; I am only sharing a coupon code whilst blogging and tweeting my experiences with their book suscription services. Socially engage with them via their tags #ouabookclub, #onceuponabookclub OR #onceuponabookclubbox via your channels of choice.

Each month you can choose between the YA & the Adult shipments. They also offer special limited edition shipments – such as their currently adverted “Blind Date with a Book”!

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Finding Esme bookaway photo Photography Credit: © jorielovesastory.com.
Finding Esme bookaway photo Photography Credit: © jorielovesastory.com.

The author truly BLEW ME AWAY with her incredible kindness!

I’ll mention most of what was included but a few extras are seen in the photo I took!

I remember when I was first opening the priority box this bookaway was enclosed inside and wondering what possibly could have been contained therein as I hadn’t remembered what the bookaway involved! (colds, grr!) However, NOTHING prepared me for what I opened! The beauty of this BOOK BOX is #beyondwords – it was an INCREDIBLE experience and I was thankful I shared it with Mum. We’ve both been under the weather for half the month and she recently was put on leave from work to recover from the cold herself – I thought it was benefit us both to have a proper lift of spirits by seeing what was included in this beautiful box of bookish JOY!

When we first pulled out the #FindingEsme box – this lovely turquoise box which held all the lovely gifts you see pictured (except for the trivia cards as it was harder to get those into frame!) was a wonderment of its own! The quote itself from the story “when you find it you will know” was beautifully captured on EVERYTHING. It must relate to Esme’s character’s journey and to what this journey leads us as readers to better understand over the course of the novel.

I can’t remember the exact order of what I pulled out of the box – however, it had this quirky grass paper I LOVED using myself whenever I used to put together bundles of mail for my friends – as you can get it in different colours; this one was a lovely shade of brown and I love how CRINKLY it is – just another element of happiness really for a girl who used to send loads of postal mail! Brought back happy memories seeing that it was included – as the author used it as a ‘nest’ to hold everything in place with the white tissue paper being used as a buffer for better shipping and handling. Those are little tricks of postal mail I used to employ myself plus they have a particular aesthetic for the receiver too!

The *bookmarks!* were lushly made and wickedly glossy – they really capture the BRIGHT colours of the design and branding for this book – there were two different versions of them, too. I personally NEVER TIRE of receiving #bookmarks because of how cleverly designed they’ve become to either represent the author’s writing style, their series or succession of one-offs OR they are individually specific to the books you’re receiving by #bookpost! These of course tickled my fancy because they play off the thematic of #FindingEsme!

The art card was a special find – I believe its really a postie (ie. postcard) but for this bookish girl it’s going to become a BOOK ART CARD she’s going to FRAME for her wall!! It’s such a wonderful representation of the cover art and in a way you can have it round you in your bookish niche of space without having to literally frame the cover itself! I love finding out what can be used to display cover art or illustrative art for stories and this one is just a treasured find inside an unexpectedly beautiful BOOK BOX of JOY.

See those tins!? Those are scented candles which liquefy!! I loved the scents too – I haven’t burnt them yet but I will be as I start to enter into this fantastical world! I will be reading this during #MiddleGradeMarch (which I will be announcing participating in officially lateron in the week) however, I already knew I wanted to feature this during #WyrdAndWonder – so let’s just say, you’ll be hearing me talk about my experiences with #FindingEsme during [March + May] !! I haven’t burnt candles or incense in many, many moons but they both used to be a regular presence in my life; perhaps the incense moreso than the candles? As it was hard to track down candles that burn down without inflicting your airspace with toxicity. These are going to be enjoyed and the scents – despite what their named smelt differently to me – which is why I’ll withhold talking about what they ‘smell’ like until I actually burn them to see if there is a stark difference from being lit to unlit.

Two pins! We received TWO BOOK PINS!! I am always a bit envious (okay, not the best trait, eh!) of the book bloggers who get these enamel pins and other book related pins which I see in their #bookstagram feeds and/or on their blogs or #bookTwitter updates. Half the time I am AMAZED by the details of the pins and the other half of the time I’m trying to figure out where they sourced them! This time round… I can honestly say, I am wicked happy to have a micropin (see in front of the candle tins!) and a regular standard pin! Those badge pins were the kinds I collected as a kid and that brought back all kinds of lovely memories! I also realised how geeky that sounds but which bookish kid didn’t have multiple geekified collections?! lol

The BOOK. Let me just say it is STILL intact – with one minor difference, as I was taking down the photo scene a little sound came from the BOOK. Something had shifted and as I was inserting one of the bookmarks to use as I read, I noticed something I had OVERLOOKED. There was a NOTE. I LOVE notes dear hearts. Notes from readers. Notes from editors, publicists, whomever! If someone takes the time to INCLUDE a hand-written note (or a typed one, not particular!) with a book I’m receiving it means the world to me as much as finding INSCRIPTIONS in the books themselves because it makes this journey as a book blogger (or in this case, a happy-go-lucky reader who is in LOVE with Middle Grade Fantasy) much, much more PERSONAL. I never understand why books are absent of those notes or inscriptions as I truly cherish each author whose every included them. They become the treasured gold of sparkled memories intermixing with the story and characters and world I’ve read.

Now, I’m unsure if the book is inscribed – dear hearts, I didn’t want to OPEN the book until I could READ the book!! When you’re recovering from a severe Winter cold you really want to CHERISH those #nextreads and this one… ooh my dear sweet ghouls – I wanted to be fully PRESENT with this one! Notwithstanding the fact that Ms Silverwood lamented about how this story was meant to be read by Jorie – as she not only wrote an Urban Fantasy novel I am in LOVE with but she also understands my own readerly wanderings and my bookish soul! We’re bookish soul sisters in other words!

Which brings me back to centre – if I hadn’t been visiting her blog (Silverwood’s) that one particular night and if I hadn’t caught side of the title #FindingEsme (which let’s be real, that’s what pulled me towards that review!) I might not be one of the receivers of this beautiful BOOK BOX of Magical JOY!

Whenever I win a bookaway like this one I feel overwhelmed by the serendipitous nature of how the STORIES find me – I am humbled by the books I win and in this case, happily giddy about what was included because it encouraged the wonderment and curiosity I have always felt as a reader of Speculative Fiction and Magical realms of intrigue!

I LOVE finding stories like #FindingEsme because they help us reconnect with those portions of our younger selves who weren’t as caught up in the world’s events nor in the politico of our lives – but rather, they tuck into the innocence of growing up and growing into ourselves – of remaining curious about life and of gaining new perspectives through *experiences* and *adventures*. They are the charming reminders of why Literature is such a special treat of joy for those of us who are CAPTURED by STORIES and charmed into happiness by the writers who give us a breath of joyfulness for having found.

This is how I felt as I opened my #FindingEsme box – I wasn’t a fortysomething book blogger opening it – I was a little girl again, captured by Esme’s presence and the world she resides inside which I soon would be discovering for myself,.. I cannot THANK Ms Crowley ENOUGH because she’s truly given me a gift of perpetual bookish JOY. And, how can you equate that kind of thankfulness into a sentence or a word which encaptures the fuller experience you had when you received a beautiful box like this one?

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[ Posts I’d like to re-highlight ]

Longbourn Dragon Entail by Maria Grace (audiobook)Netherfield Rogue Dragon by Maria Grace

Longbourn: Dragon Entail –  Review (Book Two: #JaneAustensDragons)

I had a feeling the dragons would be most vocal about their discontent for Mr Collins – I don’t believe any person or dragon alike could find something agreeable about him. He just has the kind of repelling personality that you are thankful to be removed from as soon as he takes his leave from you or you take it from him! I found him to be the most disagreeable character in the original canon and happily he continues the tradition in this series!

In the last installment, there was talk about how Dragon Keepers and their dragons are dictated to by the order of dragon world – as there are rules about their relationships as much as their are rules regulating the order of how things work between humans and dragon society. The interesting bit is that there is a wave of change moving through this world – where there are new rules being discussed (if not outwardly disclosed) about how these established relationships can work and if there are reasons to alter the ways in which what has been expected of each party should change to allow more freedom of choice within their respective roles. Interestingly further is how there is an option emerging where a Dragon Keeper can become replaced if it is not fitting for them to continue their role to their dragon. It is very well organised by Ms Grace – how this world maintains itself and how there are processes involved in order to effectively change established rule.

Lizzie is still sorting out how she feels about Mr Darcy – for he causes her the kind of vexations she doesn’t wish to indulge. Yet, she’s still under the spell of Mr Wickham who has the way of manipulating how people view him and of revealling his past histories in a way which puts a charm on others who might not realise the lies of his tongue. With April nearby Lizzie, she has the unfortunate knowledge of how there is a shortage of fairy dragons in the vicinity which directly impacts April – as how can she find her own mate if there are no males to choose from? I had a good chuckle at this as just when Lizzie thinks she’s resolved all the concerns of the dragons and has humoured her family with social obligations she doesn’t fully enjoy – she is fraught with a new entanglement which doesn’t appear any easier to resolve than the ones she’s recently solved.

Concurrently Mr Collins is directing his presence on Lizzie – be as it may, their entailed estate has this be-muddling issue of how they are interconnected for the sake of the family. Yet, you can hear in Lizzie’s voice and reactions (especially towards her father, Mr Bennett) how exasperated she has become with the tradition of inheritance. Yet, despite all this anguish happening round them, Darcy is bewitched and enchanted by watching over young Pemberley – as he was not as accustomed to being a keeper of dragons as Lizzie had been herself; she was raised with dragon culture and the ways of how dragons need to be watched over by humans – for him, it was a wholly new experience without the foreknowledge he readily believes would have benefited him greatly. Pemberley is definitely the dragon who caught Darcy off-guard and in many ways is a fitting reminder about how off-guard he can become round strong women! As I felt this might have been a set-up for a metaphor about Darcy as he relates to Lizzie, desptie himself and his initial bouts of pride and prejudice against her and her family.

Ironically or not, I loved the conflict with having Pemberley insisting on seeing Lizzie – it overrode her sensibilities when it came to interacting with other humans. Pemberley has her own mind and chooses to speak it even if it is not proper for her to be this outspoken which of course left me in smirks because isn’t that what you’d expect about the influence of Lizzie on Pemberley? I was enjoying to see who would win out in the end – would Darcy be able to soften Pemberley a bit to understand she had certain duties in front of his family and relations as much as she could assert herself if the times were right to do so? Seeing her as a juvenile shows the growth all the characters are taking as to raise a dragon properly requires far more patience than you would be eluded to believing possible!

What really infuriates your own ire though is the complete disrespect Mr Collins has for dragonkind! He doesn’t fit in their society because he has a complete aversion to their species – as dictated through his actions! I could definitely respect April for wanting to defend Lizzie’s actions to share dragon stories with children due to the insanity of how Collins was trying to erase their knowledge of dragons due to his own stubborn ignorance! He just doesn’t understand half of what the rest of the family does and it was further ironic that this is the man meant to carry-on the family lineage in regards to Longbourn directly! Daresay, Ms Grace surely knew how to throw down the gauntlet on the original canon and re-inspire the grievances we all have against Collins!

Pemberley is such a curious little dragon – as she discovers her environment and the life she has with Darcy, I noticed how he couldn’t deny the knowledge Lizzie still could impart about keeping dragons and knowing their biological needs. If anything she was similar to a large species Vet in our world – understanding more about dragons than most of her peers which I felt was starting to be a rub of irritation between them. I think Darcy wasn’t quite sure what to make with Lizzie – for she was lower bourne (in his eyes) and her station in life was a fixed issue (irregardless of her wits, talent with dragons and intellect therein) he could not rectify. This led back into their traditional bout of disagreements with the added layers of dragonkind in this world.

Netherfield: Rogue Dragon – Review (Book Two: #JaneAustensDragons)

There is a lot of affection between the dragon companions and their humans – similar to our companions in fur (ie. cats and dogs) these dragons can empathically understand when their presence is needed and how a nudge of love is most welcome. This was especially true as Lizzie was learning about what her options were as a soon to be married woman (as her marriage is now becoming a state of convenience than one of love) and yet, she was much more concerned about the status of how the estate dragons are being placed in danger by others who do not respect their place in their lives. Even more confounding is how Lydia was working with Wickham to cause duress to her family longer than they first realised. This is another moment in the series were coded messages and/or older languages have become a key component towards highlighting the suspense behind the timeline of the regular events.

I loved learning about how the dragons maintain their records and how important it is for them to have not just a spoken language but one that is written. They are very advanced society except not everyone understands their fuller histories nor understand how to write their own language. This became a note of curiosity to me – as I was trying to sort out why for all their progress, they were still self-discovering their own lineage and their own cultural heritage. I was curious if that is part of what was fuelling their structural and entailed rules about how dragons and humans are forced into contracted relationships generationally constrained.

Hearing Longbourn’s aggressive defensive voice did not surprise me in the least! He had such a firey reaction when Lizzie was speaking on her own behalf in front of the Dragon Concave and that didn’t suit him at all. They have had an uneasy connection since then and thus, hearing his voice booming again to give the impression he has not forgiven her even now was rather fitting with what was previously disclosed of his nature. Longbourn has a very distinct reaction to when he feels he’s lost trust with humans – thus, it is hard to move forward with him because there is no reasoning against his own thoughts and his own opinions on the events that occurred between them.

There is a beautiful thread of continuity with Lizzie’s appreciation for dragonart and how this artwork has led her to sleuth out what those pieces of art could connect with in overall arc of what has been going on ‘behind the Pride and Prejudice‘ timeline. On a curious note, despite loving the creative energy put into the art itself, she is confounded by what first inspired the art being created – it led her to find more encouragement in sorting through Lydia’s coded messages and this is where we see how she loves to use her mind towards intellectual pursuits. Darcy for his part, appreciated this about Lizzie because he saw the beauty of who she is whereas others only see something they can lay fault on her shoulders; Darcy by contrast likes to lift her in praise rather than continue to subject her to criticism which I think he even realises was a bit ill-placed.

The reunion of the sisters (Lydia and Lizzie) was a favourite scene of mine because of how it presented a reason for the sisters to speak openly with each other. We get to see how Lydia has been processing her experiences with dragonkind what kind of impact that has had on her own experiences. I especially enjoyed seeing Netherfield – each of the titles in this series are relating to the estate dragons and Netherfield is quite an unusual dragon in how he is a bit more soft spoken and he has a voice which isn’t as confident as Longbourn but he has quite his own mind about things which doesn’t quite align with the Dragon Concave’s rules either!

Winter Dream by Chantal GadouryMerchants of Milan by Edale Lane

Winterdream – Audiobook Spotlight

There was a moment of a glimpse into Winterdream – of this hidden world only Clara seems to be given the chance to become familiar with ahead of the story itself from being revealled. It was there we also saw her hesitation – Clara has the will to be a rebel but does she have the strength to do what her heart desires? I was questioning this as I was hearing her story as it was being narrated – as Ms Lewis did a good job at articulating the accents of the characters but also of alternating between them. The best friend had a far haughtier voice than Clara – apparently secure in her choice to wed and carry on with the life her family would expect her to find appeasing. Whereas Clara’s voice sounds like someone still trying to figure things out – to process what is happening right now in her life and to either take flight away from it or find another plausible excuse to avoid the events from crowding in on her as she couldn’t handle the pressures of this society.

Merchants of Milan – Review (Book One: Night Flyer Trilogy)

This is written within the background of 16th Century Italy – wherein Lane inserts some of the historical data behind where her characters are moving about their lives in the present timeline of her series. It was interesting in many regards, as whilst time travelling into the historic past, despite the lack of forensics and other investigative procedures, there were always rudimentary criminal processing of evidence and of investigative procedurals – however, this is the exception to that rule, where apparently in this part of Italy, nothing existed to excise a family’s right to know what happened to their loved ones who were either attacked or brutally taken prematurely from their lives. This is in effect what was launching Florentina’s mission and why she was taking great lengths to not just protect her interests but also her identity after she started to launch her plan(s).

When you get to see what Florentina has learnt from da Vinci – in regards of his flying apparatus it is truly a feast of wonder! I can tell why Florentina is happy whenever she is in flight – as it would be such a rush of joy just to take off and to feel the air beneath you but without the fear of simply dropping out of the sky! It was a true piece of craft, Lane has inserted into the story whilst at the same time, she treats you to a bit of back-history where da Vinci and Florentina shared a past and the revelations of what he was learning through his experiments. You quickly realise she was equally influenced by his curiosity of crafting new objects and new engineering marvels as much as she had been influenced by her father; both men were far ahead of themselves and it was what they had learnt through tinkering which had encouraged her own heart to chase after what inspired her own curiosity.

Lane inserted such a beautiful scene wherein the children of Maddie, Florentina and her childhood friend discussed how da Vinci painted The Last Supper, noting the techniques he used in the paint choices, the ways in which he used perspective to draw your eye towards a particular section of the painting itself and what this representation of the scene he painted reflected on himself as a painter, an artist and a man of faith. This isn’t the first inclusion of Medieval thoughtfulness on religious discourse in the novel – where Lane has bridged the gap between known history and religious history as it would be anchoured into this background given the age of where enlightenment first began and how openly curious those persons were who lived in the age of the Renaissance. It was a time of rebirth but also of intellectual curiosity – where pursuing knowledge was the mainstay of those were intellectually adventurous.

This first installment sets down the foundation of how Maddie and Florentina must join forces in order to seek the truth of what is happening in the shadows of Milan’s powerful houses. There is something untoward going on whilst the rest of the city is going about its business as usual. If the Night Flyer hadn’t started to make appearances and seek out truth from the shadows of night, they might not have learnt as much as they had now. It was only when they each started to question certain truths in their own lives did they start to discover the levels of deceit in their lives. The hardship of course is what to do with all the information once it is learnt? This became a bit of a battle of wills for the women as neither of them felt they would have anything to gain but vengeance and peace of mind for their actions.

10 #BookishNotBookish Thoughts: From #StarTrekPicard to #ZoeysPlaylist

I was hoping for some feedback on this post – especially as I was weirdly surprised to find (gobsmacked might be a better word of reaction!) that *most!* of the Zoey’s Playlist fans on Twitter haven’t ever mentioned how much truism in on the show for cares & caregivers within families? This is what honestly attracted me into the series – second only towards the dramatic story arc of how insightful a musical telepathic skill can open doors into interpersonal relationships (at work, in your everyday life) and third how wicked talented this cast is for musical theatrical numbers! The music for me is a bonus because the hear of this series struck a personal chord of relevancy and yet no one mentions it. *le sigh*

Also one of my favourite characters outside of Zoey and Joan (ie. Lauren Graham) is Mo! Of whom I hadn’t picked on being non-binary and gender queer as I honestly thought she was quite the awesome neighbour for Zoey as it was two girls uniting over their mutual love of music (even if Zoey isn’t as adept at knowing which artist is whom) whilst finding out they share much more in common than musical interludes! I guess I took Mo @ hallo and for me she was a beautifully lovely girl owning her identity and gender expression whilst trying to step outside a zone of comfort and help Zoey through a personal crisis.

I’m unsure if the right pronoun is they/them/their or she/her – as I’ve been using the first one whenever I tweet about Mo on Twitter as I picked up on how their storyline is about pro-positive rep and for giving LGBTQ+ a better shine of light on a network tv series – therefore I wanted to be respectful of this new information even if previously I accepted her as a woman as that is how I interpreted her gender expression.

I think that says more about how the show can resonate with a viewer more than anything else because of how well its written and acted. Its one of my top favourites of all-time and the third episode hasn’t even aired yet! I still maintain if this drops on seasonal dvd I need to sort out a way to pre-order it!

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[ Recently featured guests ]

Edale Lane – my 2nd Author Vlog Interview!

Heather Rose Jones – Interview encompassing her Alpennia world!

I LOVED being able to feature and focus on two authors who are writing their own variants of Historical Fantasy within a Feminist driven f/f perspective of serial narrative. I had plans to read and review more selections during #FFFebruary | #FFFeb however, with the cold – I was simply overjoyed I could pull of these two special guest author features! Esp as Ms Jones was a delayed reveal! I’ll be seeking out “Floodtide” via my local library (as a purchase request) and hope to talk about it during our forthcoming 3rd Year of #WyrdAndWonder! Likewise, if you can give the video a view or leave a comment on these interview posts – I will be letting the authors know of your feedback!

The two main selections I regretted not getting to during #FFFeb was Trans-Continental: Girl in the Gears by E. Chris Garrison (on audiobook) which is a re-listen for me and the previously mentioned Stanley Park (on audiobook) from my last Sunday Post.

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Jennifer Kincheloe – Discussing the Anna Blanc Cosy Historical Mysteries

Jaye Elliot – in conversation about her novel “No Chance Meeting”

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[ Sat Book Chat March ]

#SatBookChat Guest Authors badge for 2020 created by Jorie in Canva.

  • 7th March – Christina Courtenay feat. “Echoes of the Runes”
  • → [rescheduled] 14th March – Emma S. Jackson feat. “The Devil’s Bride”
  • 21st March – Lisa Harris feat. her INSPY Suspense novels

I thankfully announced my guest authors for *March!* during my last Sunday Post – however, what is most important to note today is the fact I had to reschedule (something I do not regularly do!) one of my February guests – Ms Jackson into March due to the cold and the migraine! I knew I would be rendered useless to host a proper Twitter chat and I didn’t want her chat to be affected by my health. She thankfully understood and we’ll be reconvening on the 14th instead of the previously scheduled date of 22nd February.

Further I’ll be sharing a review for The Devil’s Bride in the early morning hours of the 14th whilst I’ll also be choosing which novel by Ms Harris I want to review ahead of her guest spot as well on the 21st! I haven’t had the chance to bring one of her novels to my blog and this will be a delight of joy for me as a reader! As previously I only shared my thoughts via my LibraryThing!

Remember – EVERYONE is welcome to join us! Kindly follow our tag #SatBookChat and hover round the tag @ 10:45a day of chat as we kick-off the discussions by 11a NYC | 8a LA | 4p UK.

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Where I am with my reading challenges & goals for 2020:

I would say, for the most part my reading goals for 2020 took a firm hiatus during [February!] to the brink that I just removed the February Bingo Card as honestly I never even had the chance to look it over and pick out which stories would befit the squares! Why give myself the further angst of reviewing what I didn’t get to accomplish? I’d rather focus on the positives moving ahead! Especially as despite the late hour now of 1st of March, I’ve discoverd a NEW Bingo Card challenge hosted by none other than Imyril! Ooh, and I’m wicked excited over this one as I could definitely relate to the merits of why she’s hosting the challenge!

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Historical Fiction Reading Challenge hosted every year by Amy Bruno @ Passages to the Past

Alas, I haven’t been able to focus much on reading,…

  1. Longbourn: Dragon Entail by Maria Grace (variant after canon for Jane Austen)
  2. Netherfield: Rogue Dragon by Maria Grace (variant after canon for Jane Austen)
  3. Merchants of Milan by Edale Lane (Night Flyer Trilogy, Book One)

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Audiobook Challenge for 2020

Eh. This was a bit hit/miss for me this past week – mostly as I lost most of my confidence in being able to translate my listening reactions into reviews for the last two sequences of the Jane Austen Dragons series – if you take a moment to read those kindly leave me a note – I’d love to know if despite the ill effects of the cold and the migraine, somewhere in those reviews my reactions were able to be understood and hopefully resonated with readers? I was having trouble breaking down my thoughts and reassembling them to cross-apply to a serial overview of the series – in essence, its hard to think straight when your unwell.

Similarly, I could only offer a short, er, brief insight? into why I was enjoying Winterdream!

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#ArmedWithABingo Challenge 2020

I happily found my SECOND square: A BOOK PUBLISHED IN 2020 went to Adequate Yearly Progress! I was initially going to mark this down for BOOK PUBLISHED IN FEBRUARY of the Bookish First Bingo Challenge monthly card but since February took a nosedive for me, I redirected where this story can fit within my bookish challenge goals.

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Here’s how I’m entering March with my #BookBingo Bookish First selections:

New To You Author: Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody by Joe Canzano

Trans-Woman Protagonist: Trans-Continental: Girl in the Gears by E. Chris Garrison

Memoir by a Woman of Colour: The Bold World by Jodie Patterson

I do know which will be for Set in New Orleans but I had forgotten that would spoilt a SURPRISE!

I have some high hopes about #SuzySpitfire! I am hoping my instincts are right about her because so far within the first few pages I am definitely *hooked!* Whilst I can finally get myself back inside Girl in the Gears as this is a re-listen for me as I’ve been wanting to review this properly for over a year now since I first listened to it during Sci Fi November, 2018! I also want to get the archives on my blog for the #SatBookChat from this past November wherein the author was a featured guest! We happily discussed this series and I never had the chance to release the blog post about it!

In regards to The Bold World this is one of my LibraryThing ER selections dearly overdue to be read, reviewed and enjoyed! Hence why I asked the library to purchase the audiobook – as I needed a way to transition back into the memoir. Plus as an added bonus I love finding authors who narrate their own stories!

Overall, I am going to be taking it one day and one week at a time this March – I have loads of stories I want to get into reading and a heap of lovelies which are scheduled to be reviewed for either reviews direct from publishers and/or authors OR are happily a part of an organised blog tour. I want to find my balance this month and just ease back into reading and blogging overall – as that cold just drained me dearly of a lot of my energies! Ironically, if my cats hadn’t gone bonkers this early Sunday morning I wouldn’t be releasing this post until later in the evening hours! Oy. I decided to use the unexpected hours watching over my cats to blog out my final thoughts on February!Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Joining two bookish readathons for March:

One is to recapture the joy of my #WitchyReads leftover from #SpooktasticReads in October, 2019 – wherein being ill for a month didn’t forebear well for those goals! I had meant to do this in February for #FebruWitchy as that just felt like a good fit for me as reader – however, all things considered I do like the idea of #WitchAthon even though it would appear I don’t have any selections which fit into the challenge categories which is why I put in a request to see if I can still join the fun if I’m reading outside the challenge prompts. *le sigh* Either way, I feel in the mood to read these lovelies and I’ll be enjoying them throughout March

Meanwhile, I stumbled across #MiddleGradeMarch – a concentration of reading Middle Grade Fiction – since I have both MGLit and YALit on my bookblogger’s backlogue list I’ve decided this is a good time to read 7x of those in order to help reduce the backlogue! I’m ONLY two months behind my original goal of knocking off titles on this list per month but I digress.

For the life of me, I can’t remember if there are other readathons or challenges happening in March, so I might add-on a few or await the ones for April. I thought there was one for Hamilthon and/or Revolutionary War era stories but I could be mistaken?! I’ll have to confer with Louise @foxesfairytale as that’s her brainchild along with @Mythothon. I didn’t get past the TBR List last year for #Hamilthon sadly – it was a lovely list and if this is resuming this month I’ll see what I can put into queue to be read or heard.

UPDATE: Whilst I was still writing this post, Louise answered my Q about #Hamilthon! For all the details for this March’s readathon be sure to visit her announcement post with the prompts! I have a feeling I’ll be #TeamAaronBurr,… can’t wait to reveal WHY. OR did you spy it out on this Sunday Post?!

Are you joining any wicked lovely challenges or readthons this month?

Any you think I’d be keen to know about and possibly join!?

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Library Loot badge created by Jorie in Canva.

This used to run separately but I am going to include it with my #TheSundayPost in 2020!

End of Year 2019 & New Year 2020 Purchase Requests:
[ the ones currently borrowed ]

  • A Bottle of Rum (A Spider John Mystery, Book Three) by Steve Goble
  • Throne of Grace by Cecily Wolfe
  • A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews
  • Death Comes to Call (Tara Thorpe Mysteries, Book Three) by Clare Chase
  • The Girl I Left Behind by Andie Newton

New Year Interlibrary Loan(s):

  • Masquerade by Gayle Lynds
  • The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen by Cass Grafton
    (from the San Francisco Public Library!)

Currently borrowed Books:

  • Never Let Go by Elizabeth Goddard (*my Mum’s purchase request)
  • Dig Your Grave & Desert Remains by Steven Cooper
  • (*) withheld which INSPY authors I borrowed as it would spoilt a future #TopTenTuesday!

Currently borrowed Audiobooks:

  • The Lost History of Dreams by Kris Waldherr
  • The Time Collector by Gwendolyn Womack
  • I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott
  • My Last Continent by Midge Raymond
  • The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander
  • The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper
  • The Bold World by Jodie Patterson
  • The Witch of Little Italy by Suzanne Palmieri
  • Emma by Jane Austen, narrated by Juliet Stevenson

I lost a few of the titles I was hoping to read in [February] though thankfully I was able to go back on hold for them. Those were a mix of print & audio – I’ll just update once they come back round to me. I was overjoyed in one regard – this week brought in quite a few of my purchase requests from the library – technically two of them [Death Comes to Call and The Girl I Left Behind] were previously checked out but I never had the chance to read them due to health reasons. I’m looking forward to diving into each of these lovelies whilst also focusing on the other check-outs which are a mixture of purchase requested audiobooks (in bold), new INSPY authors to read, a Thriller re-read [Masquerade] and several which are actually for review purposes which I’ll explain as I get into them in forthcoming weeks.

Emma is a RAL with a fellow book blogger and I’m hoping I can start this on Monday as my ears were too sore to listen to anything these past two weeks I battled through the cold.Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comAnd, in closing:

I decided to give LinkTree a trial run – mostly as I previously felt this was ONLY for use by bookstagrammers as I thought it was linked solely to Insta however I read the website and it also said it is a good way to promote your links as a blogger, an influencer and as someone trying to refer others to different routes of interest. I felt this fit me quite well – I sorted out my first batch of links and I’ve routed it via my profile on Twitter.

I added in my coupon code for Once Upon A Book Club and my referral link for Scribd; as the latter is something I am asked about every so often by fellow book bloggers and readers. I felt having it linked on that page would make it easier on everyone in case someone wanted to try out Scribd for audiobooks (and ebooks) as I exclusively use it for the audioreads. I will be adding a referral code for LibroFM as well this week.

Do you use LinkTree or do you use a landing page off your socials? I used to route everything through my own landing page but for reasons I’ve yet to understand that page confounds people!

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→ The ONE story I most want to get into this next week is the one I highlighted previously:

The novel I didn’t get to read last year from a beloved series is “Ghost of the Bamboo Road” by Susan Spann. This marks the seventh installment of my favourite 16th Century Japan Cosy Historical Mystery series – wherein I get to walk again alongside Father Mateo and Hiro Hattori as they take me on a wonderfully brilliant adventure! I am heart attached to their journey – as Spann has this beautiful vision of how to give us a full presence of the politics and uprisings of this part of Japanese History combined with a thought-provoking crime solving plotting with two unlikely best friends at the heart of the series! I am going to be reading this over the next week and I cannot wait to just soak into the world she continues to engage us all inside!

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Despite appearances and my initial reflections on February IRL – I have had a better sense of perspective working on this Sunday Post! I thought most of the month was lost due to the cold and in some ways that is still true but when I sat down to think about it overall – from the bookmail I received to the new opportunities giving me new experiences in book world to the lovely guest features I was able to host this month – I realised that February despite a few afflictions in health wasn’t such a bad month! I am definitely looking ahead now to March but I can close the door on February with a bit of a nod towards appreciating what I could do and celebrate the moments I could enjoy rather than focusing on the lost hours and missed chances to read, blog or engage with my fellow book bloggers.

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My adventures within the blog hop for #TheSundayPost:

This list is being generated | this is a WIP list

The STORIES I cannot wait to READ myself as found via the blog hop!

  • Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
  • The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey *own on audiobook!
  • Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
  • Crochet and Cauldrons by Nancy Warren
  • Oona Out of Order *part of my February LibroFM ALC
  • To Be Taught if Fortunate by Becky Chambers

And, the POSTS I loved finding via this lovely meme’s route!

[making my way through the bloggers – this week I’m hoppin’ round in an nonsensical way to where I’m not going from beginning to end nor end to beginning! It’s a random route I’m going to take this week!!]

last update: 1 MARCH 2020 | finding blogs and leaving comments

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What have you been up to these first two months of 2020?
Read through my archives for #TheSundayPost

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I am sharing this post through two other weekend link shares:

Stacking the Shelves | The Sunday Salon

Whilst also including this in some monthly recap link shares:
[ as this is a post where I ‘let go’ of February and started to ’embrace’ March ]

Monthly Wrap-Up via Feed Your Fiction Addiction *need to add my link!

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{Sources: ALL Book Photography Credit: © jorielovesastory.com. All book covers were provided by publishers, authors and/or blog touring companies of whom encourage me to mention them outside my reviews or featured posts. All of the Press Materials are being used with permission. Specifically the “Longbourn: Dragon Entail” & “Netherfield: Rogue Dragon” and “Winterdream” audiobook covers were provided by Audiobookworm Promotions whereas the book cover for “Merchants of Milan” was provided by Tomorrow Comes Media. Blog News banner provided by Parajunkie Designs and is used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Once Upon A Book Club confirmation banner for monthly shipment provided by Once Upon A Book Club and is used with permission. Blog graphics created in Canva: The Sunday Post badge using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Hope House Press, Denise Chan and Pacto Visual as well as Jorie’s Box of Joy banner, #SatBookChat badge, #LibraryLoot banner and the Comment Box banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

I’m a social reader | I share my bookish life 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)

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14 responses to “#TheSundayPost VIII | From the misery of a cold to a revival of random bookish joy! [with a bit of an #unboxing reveal for #FindingEsme!]

    • Hallo, Hallo Naida,

      It has been a slower recovery than I had originally hoped for – this past week I’ve been fighting it from relapsing and my energies have been at a stellar low however, despite the hiccups in getting over the cold, I still strived to focus on what made me happy. Mostly I’ve been binge watching “Star Trek: Enterprise” and just awaiting feeling well enough to start reading again. This weekend, I’m settling back into stories and trying to get back into the audiobooks I have been pushing forward to listen to as my ears took longer to heal as well.

      Thank you for enjoying my #bookpost reveals! I had a lot of fun putting them together for this post.

      I’ll be reading Rememberance this weekend as well, which I am quite excited over as I finally get to find out what is enclosed in those little parcels!! I’ll be posting again about this on Tuesday. Honestly, I cannot wait! Especially as I want to see how the enclosed gifts relate back to the story.

  1. Oh I hate it when your throat feels like strep (I had a sore throat recently so bad it felt like swallowing glass) and losing your voice! I hope most of that is in the rear view mirror for you now! And good luck with your new opportunity! I hope it goes well- sounds exciting. :)

    I like how you focus on small joys though. So true… and it helps to be reminded of that sometimes. Thanks for sharing!

    I’m looking forward to the latest Chambers book as well.

    • Hallo, Hallo Greg,

      I wanted to surprise you and add a comment to your own Sunday Post this week, however, I wasn’t able to as the comments for Name/URL weren’t activated. I apologise I can only interact with you through my blog but I did visit over the weekend. That is quite accurate how you described my throat! I never had strep and this was the first time I felt ‘well, maybe,…’ – I felt better the past few days but I woke up this morning and was curious why I still ‘feel’ like the cold is with me. I have a feeling its one of those diehard viruses that just takes ‘half of forever’ to get rid of and in the end you wonder why it was so hard to ‘lose’. You know, one of those three weekers or month long nightmares? At least my days are easier without the main issues affecting me but gosh, I’d love to say my throat was fully healed! So, yes, most is in the rearview mirror but just a few leftover remnants yet to leave,…

      If I didn’t focus on my small joys I think sometimes life would get to be too adverse to trudge through. We all have things that pop up into our lives that are unexpected but sometimes, just the everyday grind of life can be intense and that is why I try to remember to tuck into the kinder moments which give me a bit of happiness as those are the moments which lift us the most. I am thankful you saw this on this post and that it helped you find your own joys to re-highlight, too.

      Ah, yes, Chambers novella – I need to sort out if my libraries have that one,.. ooh! They do! I never overlooked it because I forgot the cover art would be different from the UK (which is the version I always see!). Thanks for nudging me, I kept forgetting to look! lol

      Thank you for your encouraging support on the new opportunity! I am hoping I can share some news about it next Sunday – it was such an unexpected chance to do something and focus on something I love (bookishly inclined of course!) – I’ll enjoy dishing on the details!

      Bless you for your lovely note and for visiting with me this week.

      • I’m sorry you weren’t able to comment on my blog! I know once or twice before people have had trouble and I always wish i was more technically adept so i could fix whatever the problem is haha. I appreciate you coming by though either way. And yay I’m so glad you’re feeling better, even if there ae still lingering traces and it’s a long slog.

        I think the small joys are what get us through sometimes, like you point out! You’re right about that daily grind and how it can wear us down. I like that you always seem to have a positive outlook and I think that resonates w/ people and helps others who may be struggling.

        And can’t wait to hear the details if and when you can share! Take care this week!!!

        • Hallo, Hallo Greg —

          Wells, you’ll be happy to know I’ve resolved the issue with commenting on your lovely blog! (big smiles) I received a wonderful 7th Blog Year gift from Mum (a tablet) which has helped me do a lot of things I didn’t think I’d be able to do. One of them is being able to comment on blogger’s blogs again – as that is why I originally set-up my second domain as back then you needed OpenID! lol The second of which is what I disclosed on your blog tonight – about how much easier it is to stream music and listen to audiobooks! Plus, the added bonus is being able to review for NetGalley this Summer with all those lovely audiobooks I’ve been receiving now that the programme is live!

          The small joys were what I held onto this year… I never would have suspected I’d be at the ER six times since last November; the latest of which was this past Saturday!! I honestly can say I don’t wish to go back for at least a few more years now! I’ve had my full!!! My migraines are starting to reduce again – as they spiked from May to August, which is something I was hoping would happen as I didn’t want to see them extending into Autumn. Summer is a horrid season for me every year (volcanic insanity) but Autumn and Winter; those are my months! I can’t remember what I had promised to share – I’ll have to read over our convo here on the post and see if I ever followed up with that thought or if it fell by the wayside. I know I planned to write so many Sunday Posts this year and they each went out the proverbial window!

          Aye. I’m just thankful I finally sorted out how to put notes on your blog tonight. That was a mystery in of its own.

          • I was so happy to see your comment on my blog, and that you are still blogging. And I hope this transition into fall relieves any issues you having with headaches…

          • Hallo, Hallo Greg,

            Yes, I have somehow managed to keep blogging. There were many months along the way this year where I am unsure if I knew if I could keep moving forward with Jorie Loves A Story but after everything settled and shifted forward again, blogging became fun again. I’ve had several of those starts/stops this year, but each time I’ve come through it all with a renewed since of awe and wonder for the stories which are giving me wicked good reads whilst uplifting the authors who wrote them. I’ve lamented in the past that my blogging life is a saving grace and it continuously rings true. It gives me an outlet – a way to redirect myself off my own adversities and to focus on others instead. You’ll find a lot in the archives in the sidebar – you can go month by month and spy out what I’ve been focusing on. Some of the readathons fell short this year, but the INSPY one in July restored my spirits and since then, I’ve steadily have been reading and finding my footing with blogging again. Now I’m sorting out how to start visiting with everyone and sorting out how to leave comments on their blogs.

            So far, so good in regards to seeing my migraines reduce. Let’s hope its a good Autumn for us all.

            It was good to see back on my blog tonight and I look forward to visiting with you more now that I know I can leave you notes on yours!! I have appreciated your kind support over the years.

  2. Goodness, what a week! I’m sorry you’ve been feeling poorly and hope you’re doing better. I am glad you’re looking into fermented veggies as I believe they’ve really made a difference for my immune system. They are not really that hard to make — traditional kimchi is a bit involved so I haven’t tried that, but sauerkraut is super simple and so are other vegetables, with delicious and healthy results. I wish your book turns out to be a good guide to get you started.

    • Hallo, Hallo Lory!

      You might see a slight mistake on your blog – I was thinking whilst typing out my response and hadn’t realised I put your name in the wrong field! If you could edit that to reflect “Jorie” and put “Lory” in the comment section, I’d be forever grateful! *le sigh* Some days I do wonder,…

      I was most encouraged by your note!! I was hoping this might be the case – I’ve equally heard positive results about getting into fermented foods and I especially found myself more kinetically balanced eating macrobiotically rather than traditionally veg or vegan without that added addition of how to combine your foods. Its a living process of sorting out what is right for us metobolically as much as which foods and combinations of food work best with our own system. Ah,.. I had a feeling kimchi was complicated but that’s why I was encouraged with this book – I honestly can’t wait to read that recipe and see if she breaks it down a bit more in layman’s terms of how an ordinary person can attack making it without feeling like we’re against a steep learning curve! I’ll have to keep you updated on that progress!

      The fog is lifting finally… I started to notice on Friday the grip (of the cold) was starting to shift and yesterday it felt like it was lifting away. Today, despite being a bit exhausted (cats drove me bonkers all night long – hence why I wrote this post earlier than planned!) I do feel renewed in the sense that I think I’ve turnt that corner we all hope to find where our illness starts to ebb away. It was wrecking I admit but I’m just thankful I’m through the worst of it now.

      Thank you for visiting with me and encouraging me to get into fermentation!

      • Update made, no worries!

        I do not think kimchi is really so difficult, but it requires a few more ingredients and steps than the simpler things. And rubber gloves (you don’t want the hot peppers on your skin). It would be good if I could make it because it is impossible to buy the good stuff in Switzerland. I was lazy about it when I could just buy it in the store. Anyway, good luck and have fun boosting your immune system!

  3. I’m terribly sorry that February ended so poorly for you. It certainly sets us back when we are ill.

    Lots of lovely books have arrived for you. I hope you enjoy them all. I’m especially taken with the subscription box. I’ve often wanted to do that.

    Have a good week.

    • Ooh Deb, sitting on news about the subscription box has been so hard! Especially as I’m writing up the post which is going to be featuring the February box!!! Eek. I am on pins til Tuesday – as I simply can’t wait to reveal what this box is all about!! I’ll have to remember to tag you when the post goes live as I think you’d enjoy seeing what I’ll have to share!

      Thanks for letting me know it sparked your interest! Let’s hope the rest of Spring is a better season of wellness for all of us.

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