#TheSundayPost X | After August, a renewed appreciation for Austen and the return of #Mythothon in my life!

Posted Sunday, 5 September, 2021 by jorielov 6 Comments

#TheSundayPost banner created by Jorie in Canva.

[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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I’ve had the honour of writing my 2nd Austen in August Guest Post,…

Once in [2017], I tackled my journey discovering Jane Austen,

whilst four years later, I’ve written about my renewing interest

and appreciation in seeking Austen on Audio!

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AUGUST. It was meant to be the first month wherein I could finally announce my goals for #MyYASummer for 2021 and begin a bit of a hand-selected journey back into reading stories about and centred round Jane Austen’s canon. I have long held a fierce appreciation for her stories – both in the original manner in which they were written and in the visions of those who have stepped forward after her own life to re-tell and re-spin her characters’ lives in such a way which both pays homage to Austen and renews our appreciation for the Regency overall.

On that note, I’ve had a passionate eye on reading Regency & Victorian stories since I first picked up my first Romance story at the age of nine – it wasn’t a full length novel but rather two anthological collections of Christmas Romances: one set in the Regency, one set in the Victorian era. From those early readings, I was definitely on a path towards embracing Austen as well as Historical Romances which tucked me back into both eras of interest. In the ensuing years of being a book blogger I’ve come to love reading about the Edwardian era as well which is a new timescape of interest which blessedly goes hand-in-hand with stories set from the early 1900s into the late 1940s. I consider that the capstone years in my readerly life as its a nice block of time to journey into through Historical Fiction and/or through Historical Romance.

When it comes to Austen directly, as you will see in my guest post this year – I’ve entertained a few different variants of interest now as a Janeite which I might have previously avoided. For instance, to put Austen’s world into a fantastical setting might have felt a bit too far forward for me earlier in my adventure seeking out her collective works and after canons. These days? It seems quite fittingly brilliant and having seen how two different authors are approaching it, I am thankful to see two different lens into the same entreaty of blending Austen and Fantasy (with dragons!) together. The latter of which is a new release this year and one I am hopeful to pick up before @SatBookChat in November, 2021.

However, I’m getting a bit far afield,… before I resume chattering about what I was able to do during the #AustenInAugustRBR event, I wanted to go back over what I was able to do as a book blogger this August, which sadly, was a bit less than I expected to accomplish overall. It was definitely the footnote on Summer being one of the worst of the last eight years and a bit of a disappearing block of hours which led to little reading and less blogging.

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And, now, how I fared in August:

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August Blog Calendar banner created by Jorie in Canva.


  • The Twin Stars by Bridgette Dutta Portman (see also Review) *my first #MyYASummer read!
  • The Texas SEAL’s Surprise by Cari Lynn Webb (see also Review)

The Twin Stars by Bridgette D. PortmanThe Texas SEAL's Surprise by Cari Lynn Webb

If someone were to tell me how lean of a readerly month I’d have in August, coming off of June and July, I would have felt it would be quite impossible to continue through Summer without the ability to read and blog my bookish life to the same level I’m used to sharing. However, August on a whole was quite a hard month both personally and professionally; whilst it also brought its own share of strife and adverse circumstances to work through. To be honest? I’m wicked grateful the month is OVER and September has now begun! It is best to walk forward than to stay waddling through the quagmire of chaos, eh? I’m also grateful a lot of the stressful bits were worked through and with a new month, comes new possibilities of where perhaps Autumn might become a kinder season than Summer which truly sought to take my ever last nerve.

Therefore, to walk out of a month like August and have two lovely reads behind me – felt like an accomplishment of its own! The first, was meant to launch my showcases and featured stories for a little event I’ve created called #MyYASummer, which this year was meant to be co-hosted by Peyton @ Word Wilderness. I’m not sure if either of us succeeded this Summer. Though I still am hopeful to read at least 4x of the books on my list for #MyYASummer this September before folding the rest into 2022’s event.

When I first found out about The Twin Stars, I was truly overly curious how the author would handle the narrative – from the presumption this world was set a bit like the world inside The Neverending Story wherein the lead character is reading and/or creating the world in which they will one day experience was quite the clever twist on a Fantasy novel. Once I entreated inside this world, I had quite strong reactions to both the world itself and the characters within it. The ending and the last 25% of the novel were the hardest for me to read through – mostly as I hadn’t quite agreed with the direction of the story and series at that junction nor did I feel one of the characters had had a justified conclusion to that part of their own storyline. It was immensely hard to reconcile and I left the book a bit on the fence about how I felt overall because of how hard the end of it was for me. It became a very emotional read in other words and although there are very strong reasons why I loved it, there are a few reasons why I’m worried about the sequel.

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Portman changed the pace of the novel in the last quarter of the story to reflect a second transition point where Olive, Bel and Jambol go on a bit of an adventure of their own. Bel is the daughter of the woman who provided refuge for Olive, Jambol and Nestra when they had to escape the Musing Moon but it was Bel’s fortitude and courage which helped lead them into the underground where Bel was reunited with her long-lost Aunt. Although I had missed the journey being co-joined with Nestra as I felt a strong connection between Olive and her grandmother with Olive and Nestra, I knew it was important for Olive to branch out on her own – not just to wrestle out some of what was weighing on her mind and heart, but to tackle a challenge that she needed to see through for her own well being. When the teens went off on their own, it helped re-pivot the story and allowed us to learn more about the histories of Lyria, especially in the different regions of the world where even Olive herself knew less than she realised.

There is a lot of symmetry and overlays with the title of the first installment of this series – there are twin stars in Lyria but the concept of twins and of siblings plays out in different ways as you read the story. This affects the perception of how Olive views herself and her own personal identity which is attached to a portion of her life before birth and how she sees herself in the current timeline of the story as well. It also reflects an interesting ying and yang effect – of how to have a measure of Light in a world you also have to reflect on the Darkness as well. I love finding hidden layers with stories as much as I love a wicked wonderful foundation of an evolving series – The Twin Stars happily kept me both entertained and museful of where we’d venture next within the pages of The Silver Sail. As I had a feeling it might be a clue towards how Lyria’s surviving people will have to travel offworld in order to survive in the long-term.

Portman and Foster also used water as the catalyst of how their portals work in connecting both the world as we know it through their lead character’s life into their otherworld where their characters meet people they never felt would be possible to know and be amongst. It is an interesting mechanism to use as a travelling method because it can be used in two different ways – Foster used a more traditional route of how water can fuse one world to another whilst endeavouring us to take a leap of faith about how water can become a transport of time and worlds whilst Portman evoked her portal through intentional thought and a transitional watery transportation. Uniquely, I loved how both of them eclipsed the science behind their portals and presented their worlds to us.

-quoted from my review of The Twin Stars

You can find out more about what I disclosed on my review for The Twin Stars, in regards to the inclusions of the fantastical elements and why I felt this was a work fitting of my designation #EqualityInLit as it openly discusses topics such as mental health and anxiety. There are a lot of layers in this story – it is a most unique novel and as said, there was quite a heap about it which I truly enjoyed and loved reading. I just had a few issues about the resolutions at the conclusionary chapters and of course what ‘might be coming next’ for these characters.

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My second read of the month was The Texas SEAL’s Surprise which is one of the first Harlequin Heartwarming stories I’ve been able to finish this year. I’ve had a difficult time reading off/on since January and I’ve been doing a lot of #25PagePreview posts as a result of those circumstances, but this time round – somehow the storms (ie. lightning) were absent and I was able to simply soak into a Contemporary Romance novel with a lot of joy and goodwill!

I’ve even come to like the new setting Ms Webb introduced us to throughout her Three Springs, Texas debut – as it is a small community with a heap of heart! The kind of community where people look after each other, people know who is whom in towne and there is a fierce sense of loyalty amongst neighbours. It also has a bit of lore and legend attached to its own history and that my dear hearts is why I loved reading this so much! It was lovely to disappear into a Heartwarming world and just feel like you had a hug of joy reading the story in front of you to discover.

I was truly grateful to have the chance to read this first story of Ms Webb’s new series. She had wonderful layers to the novel, tucking us closer to the mindset and internal worlds of her characters – whilst she allowed them the space they needed to work through their emotional strife and the past hurts which sought to destroy their chances for a better tomorrow. In other words, there is plenty of life happening on these pages and each challenge had its own set of resolutions. My favourite though was the message from Abby’s grandmother – about life, about love and about what makes the years of your life worth living. It was solid advice but it held such a lot of sage truths within it as well. It was these kinds of inclusions and discoveries which made Three Springs a lovely respite for me as a reader whose been a bit weathered by her own storms in life this Summer.

Fireside stories are wonderful ways to hear history and also a wonderful way to connect to others. I loved Webb for including the meet-up with the community members we had met in the story, whilst giving us a bit of a back-history glimpse into the surrounding area. The Herring gang and the residents of Hollow Brook added lovely dimension to the story. Plus, it was interesting peering into everyone’s private thoughts and/or reactions, especially in regards to Wes. He was always slowly brooding over something or another, and in this aspect, it was his brother he couldn’t shake out of his head or his soul for that matter. I did question if he could ever forgive his brother’s faults and the pain he had caused Wes. It wasn’t an easy solution by far but the further Wes was from healing the more painful the memories were evoking their anguish on his heart.

What truly anchours you into this story though is the unconditional love this community has for each other – it is even evident in the letter by Abby’s grandmother, which she wrote to Abby to encourage her on her new path towards finding out if Three Springs is the right fit for her as it had been for her grandparents. Sometimes life leads you in different places than your expecting to find yourself but those places are the right place to find your life. This is why I loved seeing this story develop and endeavour to paint the larger portrait of the towne of Three Springs. There are so many lovely characters here to draw your eye towards them and to have a piece of your heart left behind in a community who truly feels its more one extended family than a community of neighbours. These people care about each other, about welcoming in new visitors and residents alike and in finding common ground in which to build a solid future. All of us would be blessed to find the same in our world, too.

-quoted from my review of The Texas SEAL’s Surprise

I have a big heart of appreciation for FAMILY in Contemporary Romances – (or Historicals, let’s be real!) wherein it doesn’t matter if your family is blood related, adopted, or found – whomever you choose to call family and however which way you became a family is wicked brilliant in my book! Stories which seek to showcase family, friendship and community – where neighbours are just friends or family you haven’t yet met and where a closeness of goodwill can be found in a towne, wells, lets just say those are my favourite kinds of story to read!

I felt Webb did a great job at introducing us to her Three Springs community whilst laid the foundation of where the series can continue to grow from this first installment. I know I’m wicked thankful the second book is already scheduled to release this October, how about you!?

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Stealing Her Best Friend's Heart by Tara RandelIn A Grove of Maples by Jenny KnipferComing Home to Mercy by Michelle De Bruin

All of the stories I spotlighted this month I regretted losing hours to read outright or listen to directly. Especially, the Historical audiobook In A Grove Of Maples because I had the pleasure of listening to The Fall of Mrs Parsons (see also Review) earlier in the Summer and how much I had felt attached to Ms Lee’s narration styling therein! I also felt I had let down the Audiobook Empire a bit too, as this was the first time I received a review copy from the audiobook publisher and I just ran out of the hours I needed to fully appreciate hearing this story – which is evident on the spotlight I shared as I just didn’t get to get far enough into the story to even write a proper showcase for the audio blog tour. Ms Lee’s narration of course was a welcome sound to my ears – she is a narrator who puts a lot of her own heart/soul into her performances and is on my long list of favourites! If you haven’t heard her yet, try one of the stories I’ve listened to now and see if one is a fit for you as a listener, too!

I definitely have stored months of guilt with the inability not to read all the Heartwarming novels in full this year. I’ve always looked forward to those arriving in the Post and getting to tuck into familiar series or begin new ones – either already in-progress before I receive a novel to read on a blog tour or whether or not, I’ve been reading it since it started or I was able to make up the distance and get current with a series in short order such as I had with Ms Carol Ross’s Seasons of Alaska series. Her latest I am reading this week actually as I’ve just received it post-deadline for the review tour.

I am trying to sort out how to get back into all the Heartwarming novels this Autumn and Winter, as I know it will take me a bit to read them but also to find my way with those series their attached. It will be a romantic readathon I’ll enjoy but one which feels a bit daunting from the outside looking into it as I just lost my path with those stories and I regret I couldn’t give more to them at the times they first arrived. This happened again in August, when I attempted to read Ms Randel’s novel Stealing Her Best Friend’s Heart.

What I loved most though is how this story picks up the threads about Golden, Georgia which I previously loved reading about in her other novels Trusting Her Heart and His Honour, Her Family. As you might infer by what I typically gravitate towards reading, small townes are amongst my top favourites to soak inside because of the girth of what you find in them! Loads of characters, different kinds of settings and of course, the potential to re-examine the towne from different perspectives and angles as the series progress. Hence why I’m a lover of serial fiction overall! lol

What was more interesting to me is their connection to each other – when Gayle Ann mentioned how she had hired Alveda as a cook but soon found a true friend and confidante in Alveda. The two women were meant to be in each others’ lives – that much was certain but I’m not sure either of them knew how important they would become to each other as well. I loved being a bug on the wall and just listening to them theorise why this is the best for Reid and Heidi – how neither of them want to see a potential couple miss the chance to have someone to walk through life with together but also, how cheekily happy this plan was making the two women too as I had a feeling for whichever reason, they felt they were losing their purpose and worth in life. I think meddling into the romantic affairs of those they knew in Golden was one way of staying relevant in their community but also finding new purpose in trying to inspire others to live a good life in the only way they knew how to encourage that inspiration!

There is nothing worse than having your heart smashed by someone else’s actions – in this case, I understood why Heidi was aggrieved by Reid purchasing the house she wanted for herself. It happens whenever you are seeking a new place to live and the market is so firecracker hot it is hard to pin down a listing because everyone is courting the realtors so quickly that it makes your head spin twice as fast to find one listing you can afford to put in an offer! The ways in which Heidi found out about Reid’s purchase felt ironic as well – a daily ritual to check on the house itself led her to finding it sold. Of course that might prove a bit of tall task of the matchmakers to get Heidi to see Reid in a positive light – I’d imagine she might not feel as readily inclined to pursue him romantically now that he technically owned the house she felt was her ‘dream house’ which in effect was her way of finding roots to put down in Golden!

Ooh! If I could be a bug on the wall hearing what Gayle Ann & Alveda would say about this ripple of news once they’ve learnt of it themselves! I can’t wait to keep turning the pages as Randel has set us back into Golden quite expertly and given us a charming story to read!

-quoted from my preview review of Stealing Her Best Friend’s Heart

This new novel pivots from the previous series and begins its own sequence of stories which I found quite brilliant!! I look forward to re-reading this lovely and seeing where the series continues to take me as new installments are released.

When it came time for me to read Coming Home to Mercy, I was a bit apprehensive as this was an author I had read in the past (see also Review) which I didn’t quite feel was a good fit for me. This time round, I wanted to give her a second chance with a new book and see if I might feel differently about her writerly style. This time round, although some of the plot was a bit predictable what she was giving me to read in that short expanse of space was something that intrigued me to continue forward with the novel and in effect, I definitely wanted to see how her research into aviation and the history of air flight had inspired those inclusions into the story as well. I am hopeful I can finish this one soon and share my expanded thoughts on its behalf.

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The capstone post for me was #TheSundayPost (see also Post) wherein I address the first two quarters of 2021 and felt remarkable lighter in spirit as a reader and as a book blogger! I found it to be extraordinary cathartic to just write down what was on my mind and to re-examine the year thus far along and in the end it offered me a different perspective than the one I had when I first started putting the post together. Which is why you’ll be seeing more of these posts moving forward as I can’t say if they will be weekly or monthly endeavours but they will be regularly appearing as best I can write them.

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And, July was as sombering as June!

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July Blog Calendar banner created by Jorie in Canva.


Inventing Vivian by Jennifer Moore

The patriarchy of unjust prejudice towards women in Science is well displayed – as soon as Vivian started to curate her entry into the exposition of Science and Industry – the warts of the past came out to roost! It clearly shows how hard women have had to fight to stand amongst their male peers and to be taken seriously rather than dismissed out of hand. The mere idea that no woman could possess the ability to understand STEM topics of research is ridiculous (both then and now) and it is wonderful to see how well Moore treated these sections of the novel. I loved how her instincts to show the contradictions in the men’s perspectives and the well versed ways her fierce Blue Orchid women fought against those injustices proves well the long fight we’ve had to be treated and respected as equals.

Moore expertly interweaves Benedict and Zhang Wei’s friendship into the plot – they are key assets to the storyline as well. I appreciated how everything from their diet of choice (ie. vegetarianism) to their principled disciplines of study (ie. mediation and kung fu) and their attention to personal growth were all aptly described and attached to their characters’ development within the plot itself. Their friendship and the ways in which they interacted with society was a true delight as each man remained true to themselves despite the awkwardness this proposed to others in society. There was a kind scene wherein Vivian gave a kindness to the two gentleman at a dinner party and I felt it was one of the best ways to eclipse her growth as well in remembering not to pre-judge someone simply based on a past experience but to endeavour to let them impress her now in the present.

I had it in mind to credit a connection between the Blue Orchid Society series and the Lady Darby series earlier when I first started reading about Vivian — however, it slipped past me until now of course, where the plot has taken such a wonderful turn into the suspense behind sleuthing out the true culprits of a crime! Now, I understand how this Historical Romance series has twinges of intrigue set behind their plots and how all of the Blue Orchids close ranks to benefit others for the common good of seeking justice and finding answers to crimes which even baffle the authorities. In this instance, it is also a harder case to resolve – as there is a conspiracy plot behind the theft and the murder itself is being pinned on an innocent bystander who many are prejudiced against. The complications abound but I loved how Moore handled the situation and how she gave Vivian the encouragement to ‘think outside the box’ when it came to ferreting out information which could not be contested!

My heart was full of delight and joy by the time I came to the concluding chapters of Inventing Vivian! As this happily became one of my most cherished #unputdownable reads this year — for a year that has been fraught with disconnections in my readerly life to claim this as a beloved read is a wonderful moment of joy for me as a reader! I loved how the story was told, the words used and the descriptive narrative as the backdrop for the dramatic story Moore told which united us into the series of the Blue Orchid Society as much as it allowed us to entreat into the lives of Lord Benedict and Vivian! Each page turn led me closer to these characters and they truly became companions I ache to return back too as soon as Ms Moore finishes more installments of this lovely series. I am grateful to have had the pleasure of reading this novel as it was such a wicked celebration of romance, Science and being true to yourself even if only a handful of people accept you just as you are – because whomever understands you and ‘gets you’ without having to defend yourself – those are your true friends, partners in crime and found family. Family is everything and sisterhood friendships are quite rare – if you have one or both in your life, you’re tenfold blessed as much as Vivian is herself. This is a story for all of us who live nonconventional lives and have had the support of family rallying behind us – encouraging us and giving us the freedom to be ourselves.

-quoted from my review of Inventing Vivian

The JOY I had in writing this review and sharing my ruminations with the readers of my blog and those following the blog tour itself was a wealth of happiness for me! I had so much to say, so much to observe and take stock of – it was hard to know where to end the review itself! I loved every inch of this novel and of course, I knew quite immediately I wanted to purchase the rest of the series – both the stories which are published (and are in print!) as much as the next installments not yet released! This is one of those series which just speaks to you as a reader – so much so – you don’t want to forsake anytime between the installments and how time will be kind to you and allow you a short absence rather than a longer drawn out wait-time to see them reappear into your life!!

I was completely consumed by this world and its characters – it is such a wonderful series, and coming in on it has I had, I did fully regret not being able to source the first novel or the prequel of the series ahead of reading this installment directly. However, despite those wrinkles of angst as you will see from my review – I truly found myself captivated by Moore’s style of writing as much as how she anchoured us into the Blue Orchid Society itself. It is one of those series you are just wicked grateful to have the chance to find and cannot wait to read more of it! At least, that is what happened to me. One of the bright lights of joy this Summer, 2021!!

On the flipside of this reading though was Love Blooms and despite a few takeaways of enjoyable reading of its story, I must admit, overall, I felt the story failed me. I’ve been struggling with Faye’s writings for awhile now and I’ve chosen to omit reading further of her releases as each time I think I’ll recapture the joy I once had reading her stories, I find myself disappointed. I’d rather yield to other readers who can continue reading her collective works and just continue to enjoy the original ones I had read myself. With one exception, there is a third novel in one of her series I loved reading and if I can get a copy of that novel, to finish that series out before the end of 2021, I’ll continued myself blessed indeed. The novel in question is entitled: Fairytale Christmas with the Millionaire. (see also the book’s page via FantasticFiction.com)

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The Cowgirl's Sacrifice by Tina Radcliffe

One of the reasons I love reading the Hearts of Oklahoma series are the lovely back-histories Ms Radcliffe gives us for her characters. Within only a few pages, you immediately understand Kate and what is weighing on her heart as we enter into her life. She’s trying to put on a brave face to take stock of her life and to re-group after a major injury but part of her is determined not to let her guard down which is why I knew seeing her ex-boyfriend so early-on into her arrival back into Rebel is what truly was affecting her more than anything else. The shock of seeing him a decade after they broke-up might jolt anyone but it was the circumstances of why he’s returnt himself which I felt had a more numbing effect on Kate.

Kate struck me as the type of woman who didn’t like to lean on others when she needed help but would rather sort out her own troubles herself. Which in this case was a bit impractical considering she has a wonderful set of brothers who love her dearly and have missed having her nearby. Her homecoming to Rebel was immediately greeted by both Mitch and Reece; the two brothers I’ve been coming to know most as I’ve read the series. Mitch and Reece are quite protective of Kate but she’s more about being independent and self-supportive of her own affairs than letting her brothers try to give her a reason to let them care after her whilst she recovers from her injuries. There is a bit of unspoken angst between them as well – Kate is a hard nut to crack in other words. She has a loving family ready to be by her side but something in her continues to buck and bolt whenever her family tries to overstep their help and advice.

The ranch itself has expanded tenfold and it was clever I felt how Radcliffe wrote into the plot how all the siblings would share in the wealth of the holdings and operations. Wherein per each new endeavour they tackle, there is a mutual benefit for the siblings as it is run as a whole company rather than separate entities spread throughout the town of Rebel. I even loved the idea of the ranch which serves as both a working ranch and equine facility but also a guest ranch with a cosy Bed and Breakfast renovated next door. It is a clever approach to where you can spilt your profits between the large expanse of a guest ranch and the more intimate setting of a B&B for different kinds of visitors who want to experience something unique which suits their own needs.

Ms Radcliffe has created this wonderfully large family drama set in Rebel, Oklahoma – where readers who appreciate Western Contemporary Romances will soon want to lay their hat and heart inside this series. It is a curiously addictive series to read as you can’t wait to learn more about each of her characters per each new installment of the series itself. In this installment, you are caught inside the emotional interior conflicts of Kate – she is definitely a rebel suits for Rebel – as she wants to live on her own terms even if that means she’s sacrificing things left and right. The worst part is that I believe her brothers wanted to do more for her but she has this way about her where if she can’t do it herself or prove her own worth, she doesn’t want their assistance. Which of course is most likely why it rubbed her wrong where a job she was considering went to her ex-boyfriend though in truth, as her brothers mentioned, she’d stay out of communication for so long it was hard to know the way her mind was thinking about anything much less the job itself.

Radcliffe pulls you back and forth into the dramas of this family – each character we’ve previously greeted has a role in each of the installments wherein I am in love with the continuity of the series. She has a way of peering into their lives with an empathsis on where they are in their lives and where we can see them improve their lives moving forward. Each of the siblings has undertaken a period of growth and I’ve especially enjoyed following after them seeing whose charmed their hearts and has won over their respect. These are the kind of romances I love most – built on strong relationships and with the realism of our everyday world intersecting into their lives.

-quoted from my preview review of The Cowgirl’s Sacrifice

I have the whole series waiting for me to re-begin this Autumn and I cannot wait! When I first started reading this story, I was a fit of guilt because the hours just escaped me this year. I admit working full-time since February has been a challenge of its own and why there have been gaps in regularity here on Jorie Loves A Story. Though in truth, for the most part, Summer (ie. June-August) was plagued by intensive lightning storms which derailed me offline more than anything else – except to say, my work life has been hard in of itself as well as I work daily double shifts and I’ve had to pick up evening shifts on the weekends rather than strictly having all of Saturday & Sunday off which was helping me feel less exhausted. Again, its a work-in-progress to find that work/life balance but on behalf of this series, I was full of anguish because of all that happening in the foreground of my life which was trucking me away from my readerly life as well.

Reading is such a wonderfully kind respite from life and also a way to endeavour to peer into someone else’s imagination and heart. I love the journey into stories and I love what you gain after you read a story which uplifts both your heart and your soul. This series is wondrously set and beautifully written. I have a soft spot for INSPY Romances and especially for Love Inspired though I know more about the Suspense side of their line and the former Historical INSPY side of Love Inspired too. On the Contemporary part of the imprint I am not as well read but I have become an immediate appreciator of Ms Radcliffe’s stories!

You’ll be finding me reading loads of her stories this Autumn as much as you are going to be seeing me read Butterfly Harbour by Ms Stewart with their Heartwarming imprint. Sometimes I feel especially blessed to have crossed paths with these authors from Harlequin who have the same sensibility as I do as a reader and are writing the stories which celebrate family, community and friendship in ways that enrich all of our lives to read.

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Continuing to celebrate my LOVE of Austen:

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#AustenInAugustRBR 2021 banner created by Jorie in Canva.


  • Persuasion by Jane Austen (print & audiobook: narrated by Mike Read)
  • Before the Season Ends by Linore Rose Burkard


I had to say ‘attempted to read’ this time round because in all honesty, I barely scratched the surface of what I was hoping to read! I spent ages set inside Persuasion, trying to find the Austen I love and enjoy reading and finding myself unamused and disinterested in the story overall. It was quite the new experience as previously whenever I have attempted to read one of her novels, I find myself entrenched inside the story and enjoy my stay in the novel itself. This time round? Not as much. So much so, I took to Twitter to ask a question of other readers (see also Tweet) but no one responded. Either this is one book of Austen’s which is everyone’s Achilles heel as much as it has become one for me OR I’m in a small minority of readers who find it unilluminating to read.

Whereas I was hoping to finish reading Before the Season Ends last Sunday and run it as my latest #INSPYSundays review as this was an author who was a previous guest via @SatBookChat. However, all was quite lost when I realised I wouldn’t be able to finish it in time to run it that night. Realising too, that last weekend was ebbing out the last hours of Austen in August, I decided to look ahead and see how I could bring more Austen to Jorie Loves A Story before the close of 2021.

As I visited Roof Beam Reader’s previous posts about Persuasion and his recent post released this past August on the novel’s behalf, I had a feeling this might be one novel we both agree is just simply not our cuppa tea! I am going to continue forward reading it through Mike Read’s narration as I have a NEW goal in mind with the book itself: to understand where Austen set her characters and establish the initial groundwork for where the after canons can take flight afterwards. As not only do I have Quill Collective short stories to listen to via audiobook *but!* Mr Fife, the narrator of the Jane Austen Dragons series SURPRISED me with 3x audiobooks in the series!

As mentioned on my essay (which I’ll be sharing in a moment) I listened to the first three novels of this series last year. I had fully intended to follow the series as it released into audio but between life and tides, it just slipped past me. I tagged him on Twitter, finding that he is now available on #booktwt as previously he wasn’t present there – and this led into a convo about the series whilst I also invited him to join me during #SatBookChat as well. I am going to finish listening to Persuasion first as guess what!? The next books in sequence of Maria Grace’s series evokes a re-examination of the original but set in this fantastical Jane Austen’s Dragons world! Isn’t that wicked timing!?

We began in the pages and context of Pride and Prejudice (my overall favourite!) and now are moving into Persuasion. So you see, in order to best understand how she merged the two together, I must somehow get through the original and take stock of her characters and then, sit back and let the after canon novelists guide me through their visions and hopefully give me a better chance to champion those characters in those new stories where they are different than they were previously.

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My FAVOURITE part of Austen in August this year was actually writing a guest post for Adam @ Roof Beam Reader!! I had this concept of an idea to explore wherein I would talk about both my love for audiobooks and my joy of finding Jane Austen on audiobook! Both her original canon and her after canons – as those are the ones I am gravitating towards myself as a reader and I felt, others might be able to relate to my own journey therein. It is a post which developed as I wrote it and I tried to insert quotations from reviews I’ve shared on Jorie Loves A Story as well. Adam didn’t put those in quoted blocks so to speak, so you’ll have to read the post carefully to see where and when I shared those reflections on behalf of those listens but I think the way in which it is written you’ll find everything just fine!

If you’ve not had a chance to read the guest post, kindly click-over to Adam’s blog and let me know  your thoughts – especially if you’re also seeking Austen on Audio and have your own reflections to share about her stories as you’ve heard them and/or which narrators you’ve found which truly give the listen such a wicked wonderful experience for you!!


I’ve decided to continue onward with my readings, as I previously announced & selected them for this lovely event (see also Post) as I’m going to put together an array of posts & features this December and call it #Austentide. I love bringing a sense of Christmastide to my blog every year but this particular season of my readerly life, I’ve chosen to focus on Jane Austen. Therefore, I’m curbing reviewing my reviews for both of these novels I’m still reading/listening until December, 2021.

I had the idea a few years ago when again I had experienced difficulty in focusing on Austen in August (oyy) but never quite pulled it off to fuse into reality. This year, I’m keenly itching to read these stories and to also talk about topics surrounding those readings, so for me, I feel December will be a lovely respite from hosting blog tours (I don’t currently have any slated, that could change?) and hone in on both Austen and other reads which I feel befit the start of the Wintry season I personally love seeing arrive every year. I might not get to experience a full throttling of blizzards and snowy weather patterns, but Winter such as it is is a kind exit from a heated wrath of Summer and an unkind warmer Autumn.

In other words, stay tuned to December, as I might break my tradition of focusing on Christmas stories and their authors and focus instead on a Classical author who bewitches me! Ha!! Although, don’t be surprised if a few Christmas stories sneak onto my blog, too, as I have a few in mind I wish to read this Christmas as well! Laughs.

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Looking ahead to a new MONTH:

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September Blog Calendar banner created by Jorie in Canva.


  • The Secret Santa Project by Carol Ross *new Seasons of Alaska novel
  • Audiobook Review: in A Grove of Maples by Jenny Knipfer
  • Audiobook Review: Trans Witch by E. Chris Garrison *part of #SelfPubFantasyMonth
  • Esme’s Gift by Elizabeth Foster *1 of 2 final #WyrdAndWonder reviews
  • Into the Heartland by Jack Casey
  • A Rush of White Wings by Pamela Ford *sequel to To Ride A White Horse
  • The Becky Wade stories: Misty River series: Take A Chance On Me & Let It Be Me
  • The Artist Colony by Joanna FitzGerald *14th September
  • The Limits of Limelight by Margaret Porter *4th October: guest post on 29th September

Here is a bit of curious news: I’ve found I’ve misplaced a few books recently, which if you knew how I organise my shelves and my books, it would sound more extraordinary than it does on the surface of it! Everything has its place even if that place is only known to me – and yet, when I went to pull two books for #Mythothon this year (a note about this shortly!) I am finding the books absent from my shelf! Oy. Secondly, I have finally come to the conclusion I have completely forgotten where I last sat my copy of To Ride A White Horse which is the first novel of the Out of Ireland series. I have had the sequel a bit longer on my shelf than I would have preferred but something kept taking me away from reading it – A Rush of White Wings is a story I’ve ached to read ever since I first read the first novel and this month, whether or not I’ve re-discovered where I put the first novel or not, I’m going to journey inside this sequel at long last. I’ll simply have to hope the notes I’ve left behind for myself on the original review will satisfy any lapses in memory within the story!

I’ve received The Secret Santa Project past the deadline to read it for the review tour which is why I’ll be reading and featuring it this coming week instead of by the 31st of August. This is the latest in the Seasons of Alaska series and one I am looking forward to reading. I have come to love Ross’s series and her stories are always a great joy in my life. It will also mark my return to reading Heartwarming more regularly.

I’m requeuing In A Grove of Maples as I never had the proper chance to hear the story whilst I am re-reading Esme’s Wish in order to better read the sequel Esme’s Gift which is one of my last reads I had slated for this year’s #WyrdAndWonder. The second of which is Trans Witch which fits in lovely with my goals for #SelfPubFantasyMonth!! Sadly, Into the Heartland was meant to be read in June as it arrived post-tour this late Spring and I just never had any chance to dive into the narrative until now. I kept trying to find a way to read it but Summer was full of enough grief for me to where I chose to hold off until life settled back down again for me. Likewise, I’ve had Ms Wade’s stories since May and I never knew when I could could re-open that door, as I’ve completely forgotten what I read in the first novel (courtesy of my migraines) and I knew I wanted to have enough time to read all the stories rather than try to recapture what I had forgotten as I moved forward. So a bit of a reading this September for me as I move into new installments for different series!

The other stories: The Limits of Limelight and The Artist Colony are for Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tours which I love hosting and regularly have hosted since my first year as a book blogger. I am thankful I’m not hosting too many tours this month as I had a lot of stories I wanted to focus on as a reader but also as a book blogger whose missed blogging to where I think less tours this month will help me re-align back into my reading life now that the storms are starting to abate. We still have enough storms to drive me a bit batty but at least, there are hours on my downtime where I can either read, tweet or blog and not feel like the lightning is going to kill my computer! Ha!

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#Mythothon banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Returning to Mythology this September:

This September, I am returning to a readathon I have previously enjoyed immensely which is a celebration of chasing after Mythos and seeing it re-defined by writers who are exploring Mythology in today’s literary world. You might remember seeing this Announcement of mine during the first Year of Mythothon OR you might have spied this post where I chased after another round of Mythothon and sorted out a passageway into those reads! Whichever of my posts you’ve seen in past years whilst I’ve attempted to read stories set round Greek or Norse Mythologies, this year, I’m attempting to read stories inter-related to “The Odyssey” whilst tackling the original story itself through a new translation narrated by Claire Danes.

You’ll have to remain a bit more patient to see the full disclosure of what I’m reading though – as I’ve scheduled the post to go LIVE on my blog @ noon Wednesday! Until then, here’s the teaser for it by showing you the graphic I made for my posts!!

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#SelfPubFantasyMonth 2021 banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Endeavouring to read Self Pub Fantasy this September:

  • Trans Witch by E. Chris Garrison, narrated by Danielle Muething
  • The Ghosts of Wonky Inn by Jeanne Wycherley, narrated by Kim Bretton
  • Daughter of Sun, Bride of Ice by H.L. Burke, narrated by Rena Gail
  • The Beauty Thief by Rachael Ritchey
  • A King’s Bargain by J.D.L. Rosell
  • Realm of Knights by Jennifer Anne Davis, narrated by Kim Bretton
  • A Shroud of Darkness by Richard Storry, narrated by Jake Urry
  • Anni Moon and the Elemental Artifact by Melanie Abed

This September, I will also be re-examining my love of Self Published authors by reading a select list of reads by authors who are writing Self Published Fantasy. As you might have noticed in past #WyrdAndWonder years, each May I’ve showcased either Indie or Self Published authors of Fantasy & Speculative Fiction as those happen to be my top favourites when it comes to finding fantastical worlds to both read and explore. This month, I’m going back into those selections I’ve made previously for Wyrd And Wonder and decided to re-focus on them during a month others in the book blogosphere are equally chasing after their own route into Self Published Fantasy!

I started reading and listening to Trans Witch during #WyrdAndWonder this past May, whilst I loved hearing The Ghosts of Wonky Inn last year. Similar to how I loved listening to Trans-Continental: Girl in the Gears by E. Chris Garrison but didn’t get the chance to re-listen to it in order to due justice to sharing a review. On both counts, I hope to make amends this year at different intervals of time as I’ve re-scheduled the other story to run during this year’s @SciFiMonth.

Realm of Knights ended up on my backlogue along with the other stories when I couldn’t listen to it in full during the time of the audio blog tour. I’ve attempted to re-settle into the story but this felt like a better month to do that. Whilst I have never had the chance to finish listening to Jake Urry’s narrations for Mr Storry’s series and this month, I’d love to listen to the last installment of this series I currently have to listen too – though I have to double check if this concludes the series or not. 

I have a few ideas for guest features as well and I am hoping I can bring those to my blog as well. For now, are there any stories on my list of reads and listens (as a few are audiobooks!) which are of interest to you, as well!?

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*blog milestone reached:

I launched my blog 8 years ago on the 6th of August, 2013!

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As you all know, I created my blog Jorie Loves A Story on the 31st of March, 2013 but I did not launch it LIVE to the world as it is now until the 6th of August, 2013. I needed those months to sort out how to blog as much as how to write a blog post and of course, all the Admin work that goes behind maintaining an active blog as well! I had to find my feet in other words before I could fly and those were the growing months for me as I developed what I wanted to blog about and how I wanted to take this journey into the book blogosphere.

My 8th Blog’s Birthday was a quieter one than in past years as it was quite unnoticed by me as I was at work this year whereas in the past, my parents have surprised me with a party or with a bookish gift, etc. This year we had so much happening – the day was known but it was sort of lost in a sea of adversity to where we chose to keep it as a celebration for a later date. For me, I was just thankful I was able to hold onto my blog and to my readerly life – both this year in 2021 as I segued back into the work force and last year during the medical emergencies of my parents which overrode any sense of hardship or inconvenience the shortages due to the pandemic caused. In essence, the pandemic was easier to handle than our own personal adversities for the past year and a half now.

I’ve missed blogging regularly and engaging with everyone on Twitter as well but as I find my new route as a working book blogger aggrieved by lightning storms – I am also grateful to my readers who are allowing me the time and space I need to create new content for them to enjoy themselves. Thank you for staying with me through two quite difficult years where I wasn’t able to be as active as I would prefer but also stay with me to celebrate what I can read, what I can post and continue to share our bookish lives with each other. Here’s to a wonderful new year for us all as book bloggers and writers who are navigating our own readerly adventures behind our very active lives!

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An update about [ Sat Book Chat 2021 ]

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

  • 25th SEPTEMBER – Anna J. Stewart feat. Butterfly Harbour series
  • 6th NOVEMBER – Stephanie Burgis feat. “Scales and Sensibility” (Regency Dragons)
  • TBA – Benjamin Fife narrator of the Jane Austen Dragons series by Maria Grace
    *see also my Review for Books 1-3

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I am actively seeking guests for @SatBookChat right now. I have a few authors I’m still in the process of contacting to see if they have dates available between now and the end of November; whilst I have two confirmations to share with you today. Mr Fife and I are still discussing the dates and what is involved with the chat itself but I’m hopeful I can announce he’s chosen a date as well. Otherwise, I hope I can feature him on my blog via a guest feature after I listen to Books 5-7 of the Jane Austen Dragons series. 

I have plans to grow the chat past its current situation as well in future. Until those plans take shape, I want to thank everyone who joins us to discuss the stories and to happily interact with the authors who have been featured. I’m also in the process of archiving posts relating to our past #SatBookChat hosts and their stories as well as fully establishing the transcripts to be archived via Moments on the @SatBookChat feeds.

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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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#MyYASummer badge created by Jorie in Canva.

I haven’t quite kicked off this year’s event in the method of arrival I would have preferred but I still intend to feature a few YA stories this September before I call it quits. I want to feature at least 4x YA reads I had slated to read this Summer for this event which I felt inspired to host in June and never was able to launch off the ground the way I had discussed with Peyton. I hope she’s fared better than I have in this regard.

Moving forward, I’ll resume this idea next Summer in 2022 with renewed gusto as I’ll be writing and scheduling my posts ahead of June, 2022. What truly derailed my efforts this year were the intensity of the lightning storms and my inability to get online whilst balancing working full-time. There just weren’t enough downtime hours to ensure I’d have enough time to pursue this idea I had and for that, I regret what was lost. However, I’m encouraged by the prospect of the idea of featuring YA during the Summer and I’m hopeful, in 2022 I can finally see this idea of mine fully realised.

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What I gained by this week’s #TheSundayPost:

I am finding it is helping me keep grounded in realising that despite what little I feel I’m accomplishing lately, I’m actually doing a bit more than I might realise overall. I am finding this new format of how I am composing my Sunday Post updates to be a better fit for me and I look forward to writing more of them in the future. I might shift between weekly and monthly showcases but for now, I’m grateful I’ve shared two between August and September. It also helps me look back to see what I’ve attempted to read whilst taking stock of what I can attempt to read next. In a similar way as I appreciate writing #WWWednesday posts – which might start to resume soon as well.

I definitely get a lot of JOY out of writing these now as it is a kind reminder of despite not having as much time to read and blog, I am still able to carve out time to do both. I just had to re-adjust how I was approaching it all. I’m still sorting all that out — but I think if I can spend a bit of time each day working towards reading a book or listening to an audiobook or even writing a blog post… I’ll find my path again into being an active book blogger as for whichever reason, this Summer, I felt nearly inactive by the lack of time I was able to find to approach blogging. That took a bit of a soul drain on me as I have always enjoyed blogging my bookish life. Blessedly, I’ve had some lovely moments to share with you from the past two months and likewise, I hope your Summers haven’t been as fraught with adversity and time away from your bookish delights as it had become for me.

Here’s to rekindling our joys in pursuing the world of story and finding ways to celebrate those worlds and characters on our blogs and other bookish spaces online.

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What did you attempt to read & what did you love this August?
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

NOTE: There was a change of where Stacking the Shelves is hosted in 2021!

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{Sources: 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. “In A Grove of Maples” audiobook cover was provided by Audiobookworm Promotions. Book cover for “The Twin Stars” provided by Lola’s Book Tours and is used with permission. Book cover for “The Paris Dressmaker” as well as the author photo of Elizabeth Adams were provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and is used with permission. The book covers for “The Texas SEAL’s Surprise”, “Stealing Her Best Friend’s Heart”, “Coming Home to Mercy”, “The Cowgirl’s Sacriface” and “Inventing Vivian” were provided by Prism Book Tours and are used with permission. Blog News banner provided by Parajunkie Designs and is used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. 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; all monthly banners (July-September) as well as #AustenInAugustRBR 2021 banner, #Mythothon banner, #SelfPubFantasyMonth banner, #MyYASummer badge, #SatBookChat badge and the Comment Box banner.}

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About jorielov

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

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

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Posted Sunday, 5 September, 2021 by jorielov in #Unboxing BookMail, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Birthdays & Blogoversaries, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Memes, JLAS Update Post, Jorie Loves A Story, Photography of Jorie, Spontaneous Musings, Stories of Jorie, The Sunday Post

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6 responses to “#TheSundayPost X | After August, a renewed appreciation for Austen and the return of #Mythothon in my life!

  1. I’m so glad to see that writing your posts was a cathartic and helpful experience. It’s tricky figuring out how to balance blogging with other activities in life sometimes.

    I love the look of the books you are reading. I hope you enjoy them!

  2. Hi Jorie! I have an appreciation for melding Austen with more fantastical elements too, even though I haven’t read Austen (I have watched some of the adaptations and I imagine it’s only a matter of time before I dip into the books). In the past I would have probably declined to mix the two, but now I’m more open to such things. :)

    I LOVE the idea of your mythology thon!!!

    • *waves!* Hallo, Hallo Greg,

      It has been a proper age since I’ve been on your blog and I know my posts have been a bit on the lean side of the ledger this year which took me awhile to resolve. I like how you had the same thoughts I had about Austen and dragons and/or fantastical mergers of Austen’s worlds/characters! It is interesting how our opinions can change through the years and how we sometimes become more accepting of rather extraordinary mashes of genre! lol If you’ve watched the adaptations, you’re definitely an Austenite because you gleam so much through those especially if you’re watching the BBC editions? I haven’t progressed through all of those yet myself but hopefully one day will. I have this wild idea of reading Classics during a blizzard filled Winter and watching the BBC adaptations of those novels. First of course, I have to relocate to where blizzards are commonplace! Laughs. I’ll keep you posted!

      Lou is a fantastic creator and encourager of readerly adventures – she assembled Mythothon a year I wasn’t even sure what those stories would be like to read and I’ve just fallen in love with those subniches of Lit!! I cannot wait to disclose my reading list for the event today because I’m quite chuffed by the selections I’ve made and what I’ll be focusing on this September. I just have to locate 2x books and I’ll be all set to release my checklist of titles!! Maybe you’ll find a new story/author to read once I can get it live. Meanwhile, I’ll be round your lovely blog as soon as I can!!

      Thanks for staying with me and enjoying what I’ve been able to share.

      • No problem! Things do get complicated in life. :) And YES! I find myself much more open to genre mash ups now than I did in the past, for sure.

        That sounds like a great idea! Read the classics and then watch the adaptations. I’d particularly like to do that since sense and Sensibility (the Thompson adaptation) was one I really enjoyed. How much more so if I read the book!

        Can’t wait to see what you decide :)

    • Hallo, Hallo Eustacia,

      Thank you for reading my Sunday Post! I am quite eager to get started on my #Mythothon reads, as I was slightly delayed in that regard the past few days. I also am hoping to find the missing two books I’ve misplaced which I pegged to read this month, as well. If you like immersive Fantasy, I think you will find “The Twin Stars” to be a good fit for you. It has a lot of layering in the story and in the central characters’ journeys. Loads of things to contemplate as your reading it but also layered in with realistic topics and subjects which everyone can appreciate seeing as a strong component of the author’s style of storytelling.

      Ooh boy! I am hoping when I write the Sunday Post for late September/early October, I’ll have a heap to share about where my Mythothon reads took me and what I took out of dissolving in the world of “The Odyssey” after such a long absence! You should join us. I’ll be revealling my reading list today and I can’t wait to see what everyone else has chosen to read.

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