#WWWednesday No. XVII | Dipping my toes back into reading this January, 2023!

Posted Wednesday, 18 January, 2023 by jorielov 0 Comments

#WWWednesdays graphic created by Jorie in Canva.

I ♥ the premise of this meme {WWW Wednesdays} due to the dexterity it gives the reader! Smiles. Clearly subject to change on a weekly rotation, which may or may not lead to your ‘next’ read providing a bit of a paradoxical mystery to your readers!! Smiles. ♥ the brilliance of it’s concept!

This weekly meme was originally hosted by Should Be Reading who became A Daily Rhythm. Lovingly restored and continued by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Each week you participate, your keen to answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading!?
  • What did you recently finish reading!?
  • What do you think you’ll read next!?

After which, your meant to click over to THIS WEEK’s WWWWednesday to share your post’s link so that the rest of the bloggers who are participating can check out your lovely answers! Score! Perhaps even, find other bloggers who dig the same books as you do! I thought it would serve as a great self-check to know where I am and the progress I am hoping to have over the next week!

Join the Convo via: #WWWWednesday

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About time to start dipping me toes back into reading
& sorting out
how to be a ‘thriving reader’ again!

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One of the things in my life that I simply had to ‘leg go of’ these past several months since October was the ability to read and blog. My emotional upheavals (ie. the death of my cats, my father’s ongoing medical emergencies and crises) prevented me from the kind of focus one needs to enjoy reading and/or interacting with other readers who are fellow book bloggers. I ached to do something to divert my attention anywhere else than work, grieiving and advocating for my Dad but sometimes, you get so consumed by LIFE itself, anything EXTRA is just a bit too much to tackle. For me, this is why reading just started to slip through my fingers.

Although, as you’ll see in this small recapture of what I did accomplish during that drought of interest was a bit of joy in the rains of darkening clouds. I am thankful I can begin anew this January and find my way again with stories and authors alike One goal of mine is continuing the idea I had written about previously – about focusing on the stories on my shelves, curing my backlogue of reviews and sorting my way with borrowing audiobooks and/or listening to the ones I already own. I definitely want to be more proactive in seeking out the stories off my shelves that truly interest me to read right now and not focus on when those stories originally arrived in my life. Stuff happens, life derails and at some point, we realign ourselves.

Whilst Mum had fallen in love with crochet, I want to return back to knitting. I used to love getting lose in the stitches and rhythms of knitting. It has been an age since I’ve even worked on the prayer shawls I started so many years ago now. It was one of those things that just fell away and I never was able to restart despite several attempts. I think knitting would be a calm companion right now alongside looking forward to adopting an emotional support cat in February. I never understood crochet and being a dyslexic knitter on the onset, you could say, I’d rather not overcomplicate fibre arts because I’m just thankful I learnt how to knit at all. I’m proud of Mum though – she has the ability to self-learn through video tutorials and that is one avenue that throws me off as everything appears backwards to me.

So, I am hopeful in one of my next updates — I’ll have resumed two passions of mine: knitting and reading alike! I do know I will be seeking out as many audioreads as I can this year as I’m noticing that my pacing with reading books in print has slowed down quite a heap and I know listening to audiobooks will be a more enjoyable choice for me. It has been shifting towards this since [2016] when I first fell in love with audiobook narrations. Honestly, let’s face it – that first voice that hooked me into them was Jake Urry! (see this Review)

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What Jorie is currently reading:

WWWWednesday photo collage made by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: jorielovesastory.com

The Brass Key (prequel) & Death on the Boardwalk by Caleb Wygal
(*) the thin book above “Death on the Boardwalk” is “The Brass Key”

A Light in the Window by Julie Lessman (*re-read & continuation)
: a favourite author of Jorie’s and one of the first authors she interacted with in the book blogosphere before she became a book blogger herself (circa 2012/13)

→ My first #HistoricalMondays for 2023
The Other Side of Certain by Amy Willoughby-Burle

→ listening to the audiobooks for the Blackstone Legacy:
Carved in Stone (book one) & Written on the Wind (book two)
in preparation for reading Hearts of Steel (book three) : for the blog tour!

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I can thankfully start reading Wygal’s stories due to having received the prequel “The Brass Key” and for my mind/heart to finally be able to focus on his quirky Cosy Mystery series. I had to keep pushing my readings of this series forward as previously blogged about for differing reasons. The latter delays I believe are established enough without having to restate them again. I have been wanting to get back into reading Mysteries, Suspense and Thrillers for awhile and I am hopeful this kicks me off into the right direction to where I can weekly or monthly re-establish myself into those genres as I have personal copies of stories to read as well as backlogued review copies, too. Sometimes it is nice to tuck into a Cosier side of the Mystery genre as well as it gives you what you’re seeking in Mystery but is more gently told if your not ready to embrace the grittier side where Cosy becomes a bit more Hard-boiled.

In that respect, I am not a full-on gritty Cosy Crime reader but I do appreciate some stories of Crime Fiction that are more intensive than Cosy would generally allow and I move between Historical and Contemporary settings as well. The hardest series I would say for grit is the #KayHunter series and on the opposite end of it would be stories similar in nature to Miss Marple by Agatha Christie. Again, I look forward to resuming my wanderings in Crime Fiction this 2023.

Many, many moons ago, I discovered the collective works of Julie Lessman via my local library. This was long before I was even considering becoming a book blogger and even, a bit before I realised there was a book blogosphere. At that point in time, I was simply a library reader who was actively looking up actors who had websites or of whom were being interviewed on book blogs – either by readers or by fellow authors. It was circa 2012 and it was a whole different blogosphere back then, too. This also predates the prequel as “A Light in the Window” as published after the first trilogy was released for the O’Connors.

I’ve been intending to read the series anew starting with the prequel and shifting through all the trilogies which are attached to the O’Connors saga. It is an interesting told series from that perspective as Lessman created individual trilogies which encapsulate one family’s life’s story told from the point of view of different characters who are part of the family. She started with Faith one of the sisters and then, each new story tucks you back into the family through another voice of the O’Connors who can give forward motion into their evolving saga. I cannot wait to re-journey back into this world and find myself reanchoured to a famliy I have loved for such a long time. I’ll be blogging my reactions as I move through the books and I am hopeful it will be a year-long project to where I can start this January and conclude the series in December, 2023.

I was supposed to read “The Other Side of Certain” for its blog tour but with the sorrows of Autumn, it was a story I had to push forward to read. There wasn’t any other reason why I didn’t get to read it and I’m thankful I can now focus on it. I decided it would be a good starting point to getting caught up with my reads for HFVBTs as they were one of the touring companies I have been hosting for the longest as I started reading Historical Fiction with gusto and discovering new authors within the expansive genre in [2013]. It was always a keen interest of mine even prior to becoming a book blogger but it just exploded into my shelf space post-blogging! Laughs.

As I knew my life was off-tilt with everything happening with my Dad and the death of my cats, I chose not to overbook my blog for 2023. Especially within the first three months of the New Year. I only have 3x blog tours booked right now and that is one per month from January to March. I felt wicked happy with myself as usually I would try to book more dates and tours to spread out activity on my blog but this New Year, I’m approaching that all quite differently due to evolving personal circumstances and full work life ontop of it all.

The first blog tour to be featured will be for “Hearts of Steel” by Elizabeth Camden. Previously I read another series of hers (ie. The Empire State series, see also Review) The fully irony is that I also received the third novel in that series and listened to the previous installments by audiobook. The only difference is that I paused my Scribd membership this month due to the fact it autorenewed in December and I never had the chance to listen to one book as a result of my father’s declining health and multiple emergencies which boomeranged him back and forth to the hospital. Ergo, I checked my local library’s CloudLibrary and blessedly they have the first two novels in audiobook!

Their quite long too and I am hopeful I can get through them before the final week in January as that is when my stop on the blog tour will be for “Hearts of Steel” which I’ll be reading in print. I am curious if others binge listen to stories within a series before proceeding with the end of a trilogy or quartet? I have a personal preference of reading stories in sequencing of order and I have found audiobooks to be a brilliant stop-gap in not feeling unmoored from the sequencing or with continuity as sometimes series installments build on each other. Other series are not that directly anchoured through common characters but evenso, I like to move story to story if I am in a position to where I can read them in order.

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What Jorie recently read &/or finished reading:

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An Unbidden Visitor by Diane Ascroft (audiobook)

Dead as a Dodo by Jeannie WycherleyThe Myrtle Wand by Margaret Porter

An Unbidden Visitor by Dianne Ashcroft (see also Q&A)
(*audiobook) via Audiobookworm Promotions blog tour – eh, not a favourite
I listened to this audiobook via Scribd during #SpooktasticReads 2022

Dead as a Dodo by Jeannie Wycherley (*audiobook) via Audible – LOVED!
→ my top favourite #SpooktasticReads 2022 read!

The Myrtle Wand by Margaret Porter – (see also #25PagePreview)

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You could say, I barely blinked into stories from October 2022 to January 2023 and that is a fair assessment. The first story I want to talk about is “The Unbidden Visitor” by Ashcroft. For whichever reason, I was not expecting that story to end the way it had nor did I foresee that I would be left quite indifferent to having listened to the audiobook! It was one of those moments where I felt I was left with this cliffhanger of an ending and nowhere to go next to sort out the rest of it!! I even researched it a bit online as it is based on living lore and a real family’s story — sadly, their IRL tale is just as sombering as the fictional one Ashcroft put to pen and sadly, that is where you find yourself caught between History and Fiction. You’re left with so many QUESTIONS and so many THOUGHTS that you simply NEED MORE. And, yet, there isn’t anything left to be found or answered.

The narrator pulls you into the story itself and despite the lightness in length, it hold’s your attention. It is simply how Ashcroft chooses to end the story which left a sour note for me as a listener. I understood why she had to do it that way if you look at the historical records and the evidence left behind by the IRL family but I suppose for my own inclinations and prerogative I would have preferred a more rounding out of the story. Even if that meant taking liberty with the IRL tale and merging fact with fiction. Just something ‘more’ for the listener would have made it a better audioread because otherwise, you’ll get to the very end of it and feel disappointed like I had.

I felt it befit #SpooktasticReads because there is a haunting narrative inside the short story and you have to sort out for yourself what is causing it. Interestingly enough, the haunting isn’t limited to one particular place or location and tends to plague the family wherever they go rather than being limited in scope and access. From that angle, it was an intriguing tale because you were trying to noodle out how that could happen and what the ultimate cause behind those hauntings was being triggered by in respects to something paranormally inclined or was it the case of poltergeist tauntings?

Now then, when it came to shouting my JOY for having listened to “Dead as a Dodo”, I did that in a very special ending post for #SpooktasticReads on our Insta feeds officially naming this audiobook and story my Top Favourite Read of the event! It was the first time I could steam an audioread during my commutes and it was the first time where Mum and I enjoyed devouring it together as we shared commute time back in the Autumn. The brilliance of attaching yourself into this world comes from the heart and mind of its author, Jeannie Wycherley who has done it again and betwitched me with a whole new world in the Wonderland Detective Agency!

This first foray into Alyce’s life is wicked brilliant and as it will become a re-listen of mine this February, I am eagerly looking forward to resuming where I left off with the sequel. I want to get back into the habit of listening and journalling my reactions as these are wicked awesome audiobooks and I’d love to be a book cheerleader for them on my blog. As you know, I love her instincts for telling stories and especially how she interweaves the paranormal into the backbone of both the Wonky Inn series featuring Alf and now the Wonderland Detective Agency series which has a very unique fabric of suspense inside it with a loving attachment to the Wonderland aesthetic.

In regards to Porter’s novel, I had planned to restart reading the last novel I recieved by her for a blog tour and sadly, both of the novels I now have of hers where unable to be completed. Not due to lack of interest but due to life circumstances which took me away from their pages. It is one of my intentions to read and review both her novels this Winter/Spring as I am intending to get current on the blog tour reads I had to abandon and only highlight through #25PagePreviews. This particular story I feel might be a more emotional read for me than her former novel but only time will tell.

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What Jorie is reading next:

Prison Break Hostage by Anna J. StewartSweep of Stars by Maurice BroaddusThe Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor by Anna J. Stewart Silver Hollow by Jennifer Silverwood

Prison Break Hostage by Anna J. Stewart (5th Novel of Honour Bound series)
: (see also Reviews) (*review team member)

The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbour by Anna J. Stewart
(1st Novel of Butterfly Harbour series) : (see also Review) (*review team member)

→ My first #SciFiSundays for 2023
Sweep of Stars by Maurice Broaddus

→ For #HistoricalMondays in February:
Dead Heat to Destiny by J.B. Rivard (see also Review)

Silver Hollow by Jennifer Silverwood (*re-reading!) : (see also Review)

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I have had a bit of a hard-won start to diving into the collective works of Anna J. Stewart since I first joined her review team. I was truly blessed and honoured to become a part of it, but as life seemed to distract and derail my efforts to read her novels, I feel this New Year of 2023 will be a better year for me to read her novels overall. I am wicked happy to reattach myself into this series as I wanted to continue reading the stories ever since the second novel (see also Review). I had attempted to read the third before I realised I needed more information from the first novel The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbour. Which of course, as I’ve announced previously is ONLY in ebook format. I told Mum about it and she said “Why don’t I read that one aloud and we can both enjoy it?” So, that’s the gameplan!

Mum has a tablet of her own (as she purchased one for herself when she gifted one to me several years ago along with Dad as a way for me to strictly use it for hearing audiobooks and/or streaming music on Spotify) but she’s never had the proper chance to use it! She was thrilled when she learnt that our library has a copy of the novel and she’s going to use that as her first ebook borrow to see how she likes using the tablet and if all goes well, she can start using it to read ebooks. She doesn’t have the same issues I do and thereby can read digitally whereas I have to lean on print and audiobooks as methods of reading.

She’s excited too because she has been listening to me GUSH about the Heartwarming authors for years now and she knows how much I’ve loved discovering their authors. This also felt like a good way for us both to get back into reading as we used to regularly devour the Love Inspired Suspense novels together which are published by the same publisher as Heartwarming. Thereby, two of my #mustreads will be diving back into the Honour Bound series and Butterfly Harbour series! I am wicked happy to announce there is a sixth novel for Honour Bound coming out on the 24th of January, too – entitled: “The PI’s Deadly Charade”. This series has two more forthcoming titles that I know about and it is a series that continues to keep me on my toes and push me into dramatic Romantic Suspense which become emotional reads due to the circumstances the characters have to survive by the end of the novels!

I’ve been wanting to shift back into Science Fiction since #SciFiMonth, however, that particular month was the starting point of my father’s health crises and emergencies. In case you missed my latest #TheSundayPost, due read back through that post and you’ll be current with what has been going on with my Dad. Also, there will be a follow-up post to that one this coming Sunday as well. Ergo, some of the stories I slated to read by November or before are being re-shifted to be read in 2023. One of those stories was “Sweep of Stars” which I had the pleasure of receiving for review consideration wayy ahead of Sci Fi Month! I had hoped to have read it during #SciFiSundays in 2022 but as the weeks and months clicked past me, I had thought to read it for Sci Fi Month instead.

Those became my best laid plans, of course, and it is only now that I can re-attach myself into the storyline as I was only within the opening bridge of the novel! I found an audiobook copy of it at my library which I’ll be streaming as I read as well. I am finding my way back into certain stories is taking me a bit longer to feel attached and one of my hat tricks as a reader is listening to the audio version whilst reading the print! Sometimes I just need that little ‘extra’ nudge and I find myself tracking better into a narrative. I believe this time round, as it isn’t an issue of reading post-migraine (which blessedly have been at bay since September!) — my detachments in reading are definitely connected to my emotional and mental state after going through the advocacy for my Dad with Mum these past few months. I have to remain patient with myself and take things at a slower pace to get back to where I was before it all happened. This is one reason I love celebrating audiobooks as even if I listen to them without the print copy — there is something wicked magical about how a narrator can pull you into the author’s vision of their story.

I am hoping if I can settle into Sweep of Stars, I can then move back into the other selections I made for Sci Fi Month and graduate out their focuses on my blog throughout Winter/Spring 2023 during my #SciFiSundays features whilst keeping the stories by E. Chris Garrison to run during Sci Fi Month 2023 this forthcoming November.

In regards to J.B. Rivard — I first discovered his style of writing in [2017] when I read his novel Illusions of Magic which left such a profound effect on me as a reader. I oft wanted to see if he had published more stories when I received an email about his latest release which is Dead Heat to Destiny. This was whilst I was going through things with Dad and it felt like a good diversion of focus for me. I have since asked for an extension to read and I’m slating it to be featured in February rather than January. This one is another uniquely told Historical narrative and has a foothold into the World War era as well. I don’t want to say too much about it as I haven’t even begun reading it yet but I am hopeful that I will be as anchoured into this new story as I had with his previous one. He is definitely the kind of writer a Historical Fiction reader would love to read.

I have been wanting to continue reading the Borderlands Saga by Jennifer Silverwood for a long time now and each time I’ve felt I was in the right frame of mind to read this series, something shifted my focus and I was detached before I could feel anchoured inside it again. Thereby, I am taking a different approach this year and will be re-settling into it at a slower pace and taking my time to fully absorb back into Silverwood’s vision of the world and enjoying the re-visitations with her world-building overall. It was such a brilliant start to the series and having the sequel on hand as well to read will make this re-reading such a sweet start to my Fantasy readings this 2023!

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Before you leave —

I just wanted to say, that I am not withholding myself to finishing stories this year every week like I had in the past. I had more time where I could devout to reading stories within one sitting or two back then, and as I realised over the score of the past year — that just isn’t realistically possible for me right now. Thereby, if it takes me a few weeks or just a week and a half – I’m okay with that now! Thereby my WWWeds post will reflect this new pace of reading as I might still be reading the same stories or I have shifted which ones I’m reading week to week. I decided it would be a good barometer for me to try to maintain these updates throughout the year (as best I can) to see how I am progressing and what I’ve been able to accomplish week to week and month to month.

I look forward to finding out what your first reads are for January and 2023 overall. Let me know if you’ve read any of these yourself and what your thoughts/impressions were on their behalf or route me to your blog if you’ve left your commentary there as well.

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{Sources: Promo badge for “An Unbidden Visitor” provided by Audiobookworm Promotions and is used with permission. Book cover for “The Myrtle Wand” provided by HFVBTs and is used with permission. Book cover for “Sweep of Stars” was provided by TOR and is used with permission. Book cover for “Silver Hollow” was provided for by Jennifer Silverwood and is used with permission. Book cover for “Dead as a Dodo” provided by the author Jeannie Wycherley and is used with permission. Book covers for “Prison Break Hostage” and “The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbour” provided by the author Anna J. Stewart and is used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #WWWWednesdays, the photo collage for #WWWednesday 18th January, 2023 (photo credit: jorielovesastory.com) and the Comment Box banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2023.

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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)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie


Posted Wednesday, 18 January, 2023 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Memes, JLAS Update Post, Jorie Loves A Story, WWW Wednesdays

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