Wyrd and Wonder is an annual celebration of the fantasy genre. Sign up to join the party as we explore worlds of myth and magic, re-imagine traditional tales, cheer on heroes (prefer villains? Sure, we won’t judge you) and discover the secret doors that lead from familiar streets to adjacent realms where a discourtesy or a misstep may land you in hot water. We’ll be reading books, watching movies, playing games and sharing our thoughts online through blog posts and social media with as many like-minded adventurers as care to join us – there’s always room by the fire for a newcomer with a tale to share. (official 2022 blurb)
Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!!
You might have seen my signal boosting for #WyrdAndWonder a bit EARLY this year – as the five of us collectively ANNOUNCED our 5th Year of Wyrd And Wonder is arriving this May, 2022! This year, along with getting our ducks in a row even earlier than usual whilst expanding our lovely team to a Power of Five, we’re also wickedly happy starting new traditions & new ways of celebrating the JOY of #WyrdAndWonder, which is why Annemieke and I are sharing duties bringing special content to the blogosphere every other Saturday whilst featuring posts & revelations from the first four years of #WyrdAndWonder.
In particular, on my Saturdays I’ll be sharing content from the Power of Five – the posts, reviews and other showcases we’ve shared during the years whilst sometimes dipping outside of Wyrd And Wonder (the event) to re-feature posts from our blogs which are fantastically highlighting a part of Fantasy we individually either consumed and loved OR gushed about in a discussion post!
The inspiration behind this series of #TopFiveSaturday on Jorie Loves A Story is giving participants (new and old) a new chance to get to ‘know’ the hosts and team behind #WyrdAndWonder whilst allowing everyone the chance to re-visit our blogs and see content they might not have had the chance to see as it originally published. As let’s face it – May comes quick and furious every Spring and we’re all balancing loads of life behind our blogs and social spheres online whilst participating in an event which brings us all together for 31 fantastical days. It would make sense at some point – some posts could be missed in the shuffle.
Now is your chance to see them with a fresh perspective and hear why I’ve chosen the posts I have during this limited series of #TopFiveSaturday focused concentrations featuring the Power of Five: Imyril, Lisa, Jorie, Annemieke and Ariana! Although, expect more during our lovely event where I select topics everyone else can join in on as well!
Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.
What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.
I received a complimentary copy of “Love At Last” direct from the authors Michelle Helen Fritz and E.A. Shanniak in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
On why I appreciate the Regency:
I’ve been reading Regency Romances since I was either eight or nine, as honestly I cannot remember my exact age when I was shifting from reading Agatha Christie & Nancy Drew into the anthological Christmas Regency Romances which set my mind aflame with stories about the Regency — from the balls & the propriety of society to the ton and everything that came from that particular era of manners & etiquette.
The appeal of course were the details and depictions of the Regency; the glamour of the style and the structure of the society. There were different rules of propriety back then and it was a curious adventure to see how each new author I was reading (from childhood to my life as a bookblogger) would elect to feature this generation as everyone had their own approach as much as their own individual influences. Generally speaking it was either Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer or the two of them together. For me personally, I am a Janeite and haven’t quite sorted out Heyer, as she tends to remain an author I simply find not my cuppa.
I love getting caught inside the dramas of the Regency and the gaiety of its celebrations whilst I love finding realistically drawn characters who are multi-layered without being too predictable and one-dimensional. I like the joy of feeling surprised and entertained whilst carting myself back to one of the eras I prefer to read a Historical Romance – the second being the Victorian. For these reasons and others, Regencies for me are a lovely light of joy but having said that – I am also quite discerning and particular about the tone & execution of how a Regency Romance can reflect both the timescape and its flare within its genre of presence. The last Regency I loved reading was An Unlikely Duchess which was a beautiful presentation of the era and wickedly kept me feeling enraptured by the drama of the characters’ situations. For me, that’s when Regency lifts my heart and grants me immeasurable #bookJOY.
As the Parson’s daughter, Mariah Morten has spent much of her life inside the stone walls of Bramley Hall. Before tragedy struck, she had fond childhood memories made alongside her two brothers and the Earl’s son: Harrison Pembroke.
Years later, she has done her best to ignore the yearning of past memories and futile dreams of becoming the next countess. If only she could secure her own happiness and let her heart have it’s one true desire.
Harrison Pembroke is the seventh Earl of Bramley. He’s spent the last four years trying to reconcile his heart after being jilted so that he can focus his energy on those under his care. Except no matter how much he wishes to keep his walls up, the draw he feels toward a certain set of sparkling sapphire eyes can’t be ignored.
An invitation arrives, sweeping Mariah and Harrison into the midst of balls, soirees, family meddling, and one memorable night under the stars. Will outside forces keep them separated forever, or will their own wants persevere allowing them to find Love At Last?
Love At Last is a clean Regency Romance and the first book in a three-story series that will entertain and delight you with its swoon-worthy heroes and the compelling leading ladies that capture their hearts. Each book can be read as a standalone, but are best read in release order.
Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov as well as #BramleyHall
+ #Regency, #RegencyRomance or #HistRom and #HistoricalRomance
as well as #HFVBTBlogTours
Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook
About E.A. Shanniak
E.A. (Ericka Ashlee) Shanniak is the author of the successful fantasy romance series – A Castre World Novel. She is hobbit-sized, barely reaching over five feet tall on a good day. When she wears her Georgia Romeo’s not only does she gain an inch, she is then able to reach the kitchen cabinets. Ericka loves to write at her desk that her daughter’s cat destroyed. Fortunately for everyone, she can see over it.
Michelle Helen Fritz was born and raised in Maryland and Arizona with lots of traveling throughout the States. She began her literary career as a personal assistant to Indie authors and loves to see the process of an idea turn into a finished book. Michelle loves to write about dashing heroes, and the compelling women that tempt them, with a dash of intrigue, an abundant amount of romance, and scenes that hopefully make her reader’s swoon. She is the mother of four children whom she homeschools and currently resides in Maryland with her own jaunty hero who makes all of her dreams come true.
Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of , having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquired about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.
I received a complimentary copy of “His Hometown Yuletide Vow” direct from author Carol Ross in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
On where I left the Pacific Cove series:
In so many regards, Second Chance for the Single Dad is a potboiler of a drama waiting to reach the point where all the parties involve have to take a firm look at each other and decide what is the best course of action to take knowing all the details of what brought them together. You have one family pitted against another due to a custody battle and on the other hand, you have a woman whose trying to em-better her future by what she can achieve in the present. Both situations require a bit of dexterity and gumption because neither side wants to yield – Camille is fiercely independent and is working actively towards her own personal goals whilst Rhys has a reason to be protective of his private life and affairs. It is how Ross chooses to take you through their lives and to show how resolution can come in unexpected ways which gives you the best uplift of all to read the story!
Carol Ross is one of the Harlequin Heartwarming authors I’ve felt connected to through her stories – as she has such a keenly realistic styling about her series; from the way she crafts the back-histories of her characters, to the settings she chooses and the ways in which she gives you an emotional tug of narrative. I was not surprised to find myself bemused by Rhys and wanting to find a way to distract Camille off the disappointments of having to have multiple jobs just to make ends meet or at least the illusion of it. Camille definitely needed a few more friends to commiserate with and Rhys just needed a firm nudge to get himself out of his own headspace for awhile!
What I loved about how Ms Ross paced this novel is how she let you get into Rhys and Camille’s lives – Camille is holding back a bit from Rhys and he’s befuddled in such a cleverly keen way because he doesn’t understand what is holding Camille back – that in of itself was ingenious because Rhys has this personality for being single-minded and all-inclusive to himself. It would be fitting for him to be set-up in this way (so to speak) if only to teach him a lesson about sociability and how to properly interact with others which is definitely his downfall.
Ross expertly moves through the trickier parts of grief and the long reaches of how grief can affect people’s judgement of each other. At the heart of this story is the tragic loss of a young woman’s parents and how that has a ripple effect on those left behind. It is a story rooted in having a convicting belief in doing the right thing and knowing you are the right person to step into the shoes of those who have passed on in order to rise through the adversities of their absence to be of a benefit to the child they left in your care. What I felt was beautiful about how Ross approached telling the story is how muddling it is to sort yourself out in the process of trying to do the right thing and be the person someone else can lean on as you both find a path towards healing after such difficult loss.
Derrick Bright’s baseball career may be over, but his brother’s is just starting—until a scandal threatens to end things. PR specialist Anne McGrath hasn’t spoken to Derrick since he left her eleven years ago. But she agrees to help for his brother’s sake. Escaping the press in Pacific Cove allows them to reconnect. Will she accept Derrick’s vow and make his Christmas dreams finally come true?
A bit of a note about Rhys McGrath (the lead character)
Although I first suspected Second Chance for the Single Dad was part of Ross’s series Pacific Cove, I couldn’t get a lead-line on this online. The only clue I did uncover is from the novel itself wherein Ms Ross acknowledged she wanted to involve a story about Rhys after having written Keeping Her Close. (*) Read more about this on my Second Chance for the Single Dad book review wherein I explain the order of the series.
*Harlequin has the luxury of offering Regular, Large & Larger Print editions which I personally can attest are lovely to be reading! Especially after a migraine or when my eyes are fatigued.
Converse on Twitter via: #ContemporaryRomance & #HarlequinHeartwarming
About Carol Ross
USA Today bestselling author Carol Ross grew up in small town America right between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains, in a place where you can go deep sea fishing in the morning and then hit the ski slopes the same afternoon. The daughter of what is now known as free range parents, she developed a love of the outdoors at a very early age.
As a writer, Carol loves to breathe the life she has lived into the characters she creates, grateful for the “research material” that every questionable decision, adrenaline-charged misstep, and near-death experience has provided.
[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)
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 or thirty 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! Each Sunday Post might differ from another – wherein, I might spend a bit more time talking about ‘life behind the blog’ or about my current reads or anything that is bookishly inclined or otherwise. In other words, each Sunday Post is a snapshot of what I felt was worth sharing with my readership and visitors alike – of which, I hope is enjoyed by those who read them.
A New Year, A New Readerly Approach
I’ve been trying to tackle my #backloguereviews,
for quite a LONG while now,
and yet, THIS year feels like the right year to achieve my goals!
In regards to my blog and readerly life:
As you will see by this LIST of #backloguereviews, I’ve amassed quite the list of stories in need of reading and reviewing; it became a bit of a downward spiral in the first few years which is why its as long as it has become now – meanwhile, I had forgotten there were a few I had to add-on to the list for the years from 2019-2021 which of course felt nearly self-defeating until I realised nothing is ever impossible unless you begin to THINK it’s UNACHIEVABLE. Which is why last year, in the early bits of January I believe I developed my own dice game to ‘roll my genres and sort out which stories’ to be read ‘next’ rather than having me stare at my shelves and feel as if I cannot read my way out of this black hole of #backloguereviews!
You know what its like – sometimes you think, it’s not as bad as it LOOKS. You can get current – it just takes a bit of self-determination. Of course, I have that in spades — what I have struggled with is getting myself connected and/or reconnected to certain stories and if I can’t feel my way back into those stories, I get disappointed and then, like most readers I flounder a bit to find my way into a new story and to find that immersive joy I have as a reader. Thereby, although I had attempted this during my 8th year as a book blogger, it’s my 9th year which gives me the best hope to use the dice and the books on my shelves to chart my bookish life this New Year, 2022!
My first selections are already made which takes the pressure off of “what is Jorie reading next” whilst giving me a lot of leeway with genres and series and authors! It is a bit of a random selection with a roll of dice and it was inspired by other book bloggers and booktubers who have adopted similar styles of choosing their backlist or backlogue books to be read and/or reviewed. As some do it as a personal readerly challenge and others have tried to adopt it as a way to challenge their way through their backlogue. A lot of us fall behind in a variety of ways – from blog tours to NetGalley to ARCs and aren’t I a winner? I am behind on all THREE. Laughs.
I never give up on a story but sometimes I’ve found myself unable to read a story at the time in which it first reached me to be read. Maybe your in the same boat yourself? How long did it take you to erase your own backlogue? Hopefully I’m not in the minority whose taken *years!* rather than *months!* to erase her backlogue but if so, maybe I’ll be encouraging to those who are long haulers to read the backlogue and find renewed joy in the journey. Thereby, this 2022 I’m predominately going to be reading my backlogue and seeking limited blog tours to host as I read my way off my shelves and into a renewed sense of bookish redemption.Read More