Category: Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review | Hero’s Best Friend: an Anthology of Animal Companions {edited by} Scott M. Sandridge

Posted Sunday, 20 May, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I am a reviewer for Tomorrow Comes Media and Seventh Star Press – whilst I participated on the blog tour in [2014] for this title, I was unable to read the stories for review until this year [2018]. I received a complimentary copy of “Hero’s Best Friend” direct from the publisher Seventh Star Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What originally drew me into wanting to read this lovely anthology:

Hero’s Best Friend

What I appreciate the most about this particular collection of stories is having each of them capture the essence of a genre-bending sphere of literary delight! They are representative of their actual genres, but they sound as though they give a bit more than what those branches of literature might usually encompass at the very same time! I love fiction that takes on new meanings and new depths, whether I am soaking into a book, a short story, or even whilst immersed into the latest Doctor Who episode I am discovering for the very first time! I find that the series is the epitome of ‘genre-bending’ and brilliance of execution on captivating a person’s attention at the jump-start beginning!

Sandridge and I share a common ground for appreciating animal companions, as his top three choices match my own, as I quite literally rented “Benji: the Hunted” from the rental shoppes so often they nearly gave me the VHS tapes for free! I say ‘nearly!’ as they never could seem to get permission from corporate to do so! Oy! I was simply captivated by Benji, for the same reasons I loved “The Adventures of Natty Gann” in which Natty’s companion is a wolf; “The Neverending Story” who as the wickedest dragon on the planet! (another film in common, he mentions this elsewhere on the tour!); the Mountain Family Robinson trilogy where Crest protected the family; previously I have mentioned my affection for “Pete’s Dragon”; and many others I am failing to draw to memory today! What I appreciate about Jack London is his ability to get your heart attached to a wolf in a way that is different than Natty Gann but is a bit similar to “Due South”; a tv series which features a deaf wolf who takes interest in protecting a Mountie!

From our beginnings of noting animal companions and animals in fiction, we differ a bit on our paths after childhood because I am suspecting the video games are not the ones I’d personally play myself! I’m always going to have half a step and foot on the family and children side of the ledger, not only because I’m a future foster-adoptive Mum, nor even because I’m an Auntie at present, but because I tend to like the innocence in stories for younger generations. I’d wrap myself into a family film far quicker than I would an intense video game! I am a gamer, a title I apparently acquired at three, as I’ve been playing games on the computer since I first started using one! Wayy back when Atari was all the rage and long before Nintendo or the ability to borrow my neighbourhood friend’s Sega Genesis so I could play with Sonic, the quirky hedgehog!

The best news of all, no matter how we gather our passions for animal companions, nor where we wander to find the companions that mean the world to their masters, we each have our own ‘coveted niche’ in the genres we appreciate reading and watching! And, I for one will always celebrate the uniqueness of our individual passions if we can sometimes draw a common thread towards each other and celebrate the love of story-telling which ignites a fever pitch passion for our imaginations!

-quoted from my Spotlight on behalf of Hero’s Best Friend

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#WyrdAndWonder Book Review | Hero’s Best Friend: an Anthology of Animal Companions {edited by} Scott M. SandridgeHero's Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions
by (Editor) Scott M. Sandridge, Herika R. Raymer
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Enggar Adirasa
Source: Direct from Publisher

How far would Gandalf have gotten without Shadowfax? Where would the Vault Dweller be without Dogmeat? And could the Beastmaster been the Beastmaster without his fuzzy allies? Animal companions are more than just sidekicks. Animals can be heroes, too!

Found within are twenty stories of heroic action that focuses on the furries and scalies who have long been the unsung heroes pulling their foolish human buddies out of the fire, and often at great sacrifice-from authors both established and new, including Frank Creed, S. H. Roddey, and Steven S. Long.

Whether you're a fan of Epic Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, Science Fiction, or just animal stories in general, this is the anthology for you! So sit back, kick your feet up, and find out what it truly means to be the Hero's Best Friend.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1937929510

Also by this author: , Hero's Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, Gifts of the Magi

Series: Anthologies from Seventh Star Press


Also in this series: Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy, , A Chimerical World, Hero's Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions


Genres: Fantasy Fiction


Published by Seventh Star Press

on 12th February, 2014

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 472

Published By: Seventh Star Press (@7thStarPress)
Available Formats: Trade paperback & Ebook

Genres: Short Story | Fantasy | Animals in Fiction

Converse on Twitter: #HerosBestFriendAntho & #7thStar

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Stories inside: Hero’s Best Friend:

Joy Ward: “Toby and Steve Save the World”

Frank Creed: “Dusk”

Cassie Schau: “The Hunter’s Boy”

Steven Donahue: “Grit”

Jason Cordova: “Hill 142”

Herika R. Raymer: “Dook”

Essel Pratt: “Brothers”

Lisa Hawkridge: “Ezra’s Girl”

S. H. Roddey: “Look What the Cat Dragged In.”

Steven S. Long: “The Wolf Sentinel”

Laura Anne Ewald: “Memorandum”

Cindy Koepp: “The Hat”

Ian Hunter: “Scarheid in the Glisting”

Steven Grassie: “The Masterless”

David Wright: “Wind of Change”

Renee Carter Hall: “The Emerald Mage”

Nick Bryan: “The Violet Curse”

Lillian Csernica & Kevin Andrew Murphy: “The Restless Armadillo”

Douglas J. Ogurek: “Stuck on the Squigglybounce”

Sheila Deeth: “Passage”

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About (Editor) Scott M. Sandridge

Scott M. Sandridge Photo Credit: Stephen Zimmer, taken on a book convention floor.

Scott M. Sandridge is a writer, editor, freedom fighter, and all-around trouble-maker. His latest works as an editor include the Seventh Star Press anthologies Hero’s Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, and the two volumes of A Chimerical World, Tales of the Seelie Court and Tales of the Unseelie Court.

Photo Credit: Stephen Zimmer, taken on a book convention floor

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Sunday, 20 May, 2018 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, Action & Adventure Fiction, An Editor Point of View, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Anthology Collection of Stories, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Convention, Bookish Discussions, Fantasy Fiction, Genre-bender, Imaginarium, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Science Fiction, Seventh Star Press, Short Stories or Essays, Speculative Fiction, The Writers Life, Tomorrow Comes Media, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Writing Style & Voice

Author Guest Post | Jorie shares her bookishly geeky personality whilst celebrating the Bard, MacBeth and giving a hearty glow of light on an after canon author (James Hartley) whose re-inventing how to read #Shakespeare!

Posted Thursday, 22 March, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo my dear hearted Classical Shakespearean bookish mates!

(yes, this is a s/o to my lovely #theclassicsclub geeks!)

Says the girl whose all but suffered an EPIC FAIL for her first journey into said Classics Club whilst still attempting to right the stars on her fate of being seriously the most under-read of all clubbers in the Classical stacks! I appear, on the surface of things – wickedly in LOVE with Classical Lit but in the bare bones of trying to *read!* Classical stories – I seem to have opted for the after canons & re-tellings moreso than the original canons – naughty, Jorie! Except, I will soon be making enroads towards fixing this as I have a happy *surprise!* to share with my dear hearted readers of Jorie Loves A Story.. you’ll have to keep a keen eye for my latest #BookishNotBookish post,… that’s all I can disclose at this time!

When it comes to the Bard, I fell hard for his style of Literature as a frustrated freshman (in h.s. you guys, let’s just get that out of the way!) – it was refreshingly brilliant. I was seeking harder lit at the time, having graduated out of my childhood authors & shifting forward straight into a swirling pot of stories from contemporaries such as Clancy (Jack Ryan – OM sweet ghouls, right?); Crichton (the bloke who left hardly a hair on me head from the terror of his thrillers! yet, inspired my LOVE for Science & all things Ian Malcolm! Let’s face it – between the Genetic codes & Chaos Theory I was swooning!) and Grisham (who crushed my soul every single time!) – I was ready for a cosmic shift in my literary choices.

Similar to my lifelong appreciation on behalf of *Jane Austen!* prior to reading her stories – I had a fever of excitement over William Shakespeare. Let’s face – the *language!* and mannerisms of his choices in words & wordplay is enough to convince my younger self his stories would one day touch my heart with fierce admiration. I wasn’t wrong either – except it wasn’t the traditional love affair for Romeo which swooned my heart – instead it was the politico intrigue inside Julius Caesar & the dramatic undertone of Macbeth.

Mind you, I *devoured!* Caesar’s story & I helped the seniors ace their final exams for the latter – without reading the whole play, I only had a single layout (two pages) of the text in which I examined the context & eloquently explained it. I just tapped into the soul of Macbeth – ever since then, I’ve kept the play at an arm’s length. Mostly as whenever you feel so deeply connected to a story or a character – do you dare re-visit it?! I’ve had mixed feelings about this as I’ve previously re-examined stories from the past,..

I leapt into this blog tour before I fully examined the construction of the series Mr Hartley was building because I was wicked impressed by the components he was pulling together – so much so, this was my first reaction after finding out about the tour itself:

I pray I’m in time to join this blog tour — two words: Shakespeare & Macbeth overtures are right up my alley plus this is meant to be an introduction to the Bard for younger readers?! Ooh, my yes! It mentioned there are paperbacks to review on this tour, does that extend to the States?! If so, I’d love to join for a *review!* and a guest feature – I just finished reading “The Seven Sisters” – I sat down at six thirty last night and it’s now nearly 9am…

I love how he’s bringing each play to life through a boarding school setting,…

Shortly hereafter, my paths crossed with Mr Hartley in the twitterverse, however, that particular story will be saved for a latter date! As this post is meant to give him the chance to explain what inspired him to re-direct his own museful creativity into the collective works of the Bard we all know, trust & love as much as readers have for half a millennia. I simply wanted to give a bit of a back-story into how I came to *love!* the Bard myself and why this particular tour held such a strong appeal for becoming a part of as a book blogger.

Find a cosy comfortable place to alight, sip your favourite cuppa tea or java & ENJOY this essay – about a writer who found inspiration within the text & symbolism of MACBETTH.

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Author Guest Post | Jorie shares her bookishly geeky personality whilst celebrating the Bard, MacBeth and giving a hearty glow of light on an after canon author (James Hartley) whose re-inventing how to read #Shakespeare!The Invisible Hand
Subtitle: Shakespeare's Moon : Act 1
by James Hartley

The Invisible Hand is about a boy, Sam, who has just started life at a boarding school and finds himself able to travel back in time to medieval Scotland. There he meets a girl, Leana, who can travel to the future, and the two of them become wrapped up in events in Macbeth, the Shakespeare play, and in the daily life of the school.

The book is the first part of a series called Shakespeare´s Moon. Each book is set in the same boarding school but focuses on a different Shakespeare play.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781785354984

Also by this author: The Invisible Hand

Genres: After Canons, Children's Literature, Classical Literature, Young Adult Fiction


on 27th February, 2017

Published By: Lodestone Books (@JHPChildren)

an imprint of John Hunt Publishing (@JHPFiction)

The series thus far along :

Hartley’s Shakespearean 5 act Quintet (after canon) series ‘Shakespeare’s Moon’

Heart of Winter | prequel to ‘The Invisible Hand’ (Synopsis) → previously an audiobook

The Invisible Hand | inspired by ‘MacBeth’

PlayFight | a short story within the series | Read via Wattpad

Cold Fire | inspired by ‘Romeo & Juliet’ (Synopsis) → #PubDay is 31.Aug.18

Converse via: #Shakespeare #Macbeth & #theclassicsclub

Find out why Mr Hartley claims to have been ‘betwitched’

by the muse behind ‘An Invisible Hand’ + ‘Heart of Winter’.

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Topic I Proposed to Mr Hartley:

How did you develop your hauntingly ethereal Gothic style of re-interpreting Shakespearean plays? As your stories hone in on the elemental and atmospheric aspects of psychological suspense – what were your inspirations for writing these kinds of after canon sequels on behalf of the Bard? Likewise, is there one of his stories which stands out as being your ultimate favourite?

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Posted Thursday, 22 March, 2018 by jorielov in After the Canon, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Children's Literature, Classical Literature, England, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Literature for Boys, Rachel's Random Resources, Re-Told Tales, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, The Writers Life, Writing Style & Voice

Author Guest Post | Lara Temple visits Jorie whilst sharing a bit of insight into “Lord Ravenscar’s Inconvenient Betrothal”

Posted Tuesday, 27 February, 2018 by jorielov , 0 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

As you might have noticed, I have become a bit smitten with Mills & Boon Historicals lately – in fact, my first introduction to to the infamous line of Romance novels was through my readings of The Captain’s Disgraced Lady wherein I found myself quite keenly thrilled for the chance to finally read my first Mills & Boon Historical Rom! I’m quite familiar with Harlequin as both of these publishers (as they are one of the same) are equally well-known irregardless of which side of the ‘Pond’ you live on – what caught my eye this particular year are the story-lines and the writers who are writing them.

I am thankful I started hosting with Rachel in order to bring spotlights about these stories but also, having the chance to read a few of them as well. For this particular tour, I had the pleasure of crafting together a topic I felt would inspire my regular readers & blog tour visitors alike to feel better acquainted with Ms Temple and the series she has started to create wherein this novel is the second entry! As you know, I recently have floundered a bit with my Harlequin & Mills and Boon stories – in relation to ‘order of sequence’ for the series themselves – despite that small hurdle, what will be a happy affair is chasing down copies of the stories! As I learnt via Mills & Boon DM on Twitter – the stories themselves are only offered for a limited print run before they are ‘retired’; ergo, it shall be a treasure map of joy once I sort out where they all went in used book channels!

This particular series is a bit of a step outside my usual wanderings – as sometimes I like to do that – pick something rather random which has elements of what is familiar to me and read about a character who may or may not be considered a charming gentleman but perhaps he has a few coveted secrets of his own he’s trying to hide? In other words, I am not generally the girl who regularly seeks out the ‘bad boys’ of Romance – yet every so often, I find myself attracted to a story like this one which has ‘something’ inside it which intrigues me. I think it’s healthy to read in and out of our comfort zones – seeking stories we might overlook otherwise & taking the risk to see if something new might warrant a refreshingly new interest into the writers we might not have known otherwise.

Similar of course, to the theory of thought behind Ms Temple’s response – of how even she, as a writer likes taking her characters outside their own elements of comfort – seeing how they will react & if they will take a leap of faith to find where they will fall afterwards. After all, life without a bit of risk is a bit too boring and I, for one, agree with Ms Temple – spicing up our lives a bit by daring to read or experience something which intrigues us is what gives us a hearty jolt of joy.

I personally love the depth and breadth of these characters she’s created – I can tell I shall be wholly engaged with their journey and most likely, on pins to see how it concludes! What do you say dear hearts!? Do you like to push the envelope a bit on your readerly endeavours? Seeking stories you might have overlooked if only to see if you can find a writer who writes not only with conviction but gives such a firm rounding of scope for their characters your thankful you took the risk to wander outside your normal literary realms of interest?!

I look forward to seeing your comments & thoughts on behalf of this novel or any of the lovely Mills & Boon stories you’ve found to your likely. I look forward to seeing what you’ll be sharing – and may you leave some notes for Ms Temple, too! She left behind a wicked brilliant introduction to this novel! Til next time – enjoy a hearty cuppa of your favourite brew & may your reading adventures fill you with blissitudes!

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Author Guest Post | Lara Temple visits Jorie whilst sharing a bit of insight into “Lord Ravenscar’s Inconvenient Betrothal”Lord Ravenscar's Inconvenient Betrothal
by Lara Temple

“Women either ran from Lord Ravenscar or ran to him.”

A Wild Lords and Innocent Ladies story

Alan Rothwell, Marquess of Ravenscar, is furious when unconventional heiress Lily Wallace refuses him purchase of her property. He can’t even win her over with his infamous charm. But when fever seizes him and they’re trapped together, horrified, Alan realizes Lily’s attentions will compromise them both! His solution: take Lily as his betrothed before desire consumes them completely…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780263932737

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


on 1st March, 2018

Published By: Mills & Boon (@MillsandBoon)
an imprint of HarperCollins UK + Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.

Wild Lords & Innocent Ladies Series:

Lord Hunter’s Cinderella Heiress | Synopsis

Lord Ravenscar’s Inconvenient Betrothal

Formats Available: Mills & Boon Historical paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #HistFict + #HistRom or #MillsAndBoon #Historical

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Topic I selected to ask the Author:

“I personally love the lead-in to the plot behind “Lord Ravenscar’s Inconvenient Betrothal” because there is a measure of realism in how it builds round the ‘unexpected jolt of being placed together’ which leads into a romance no one was expecting to happen. What inspired you most by telling the story in this manner and by taking both your lead characters off-guard in such a dramatic way?”

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Posted Tuesday, 27 February, 2018 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Rachel's Random Resources, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author

Author Guest Post | On re-writing and re-inventing adventures of Sherlock Holmes by the author William Todd

Posted Tuesday, 20 February, 2018 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts,

I have had an appreciation for Sherlock Holmes – both in canon and outside of it – for quite a long time now. I am particular about which stories outside the canon of Doyle I seek out to read – as previously I came to love Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series and the Enola Holmes series by Nancy Springer. What I look for when sourcing out new after canon sequels &/or re-tellings of Classical Literature are the writers who not only pay homage to the original creator of the stories but of whom have truly created their own ‘voice’ of those characters in such a style as to give credence to why their stories are being told.

The interesting bit of course, is how each writer in turn chooses to enter into the realms of where the original canon of Doyle has left off and where new enroads towards telling new stories of Sherlock & Watson still remain. One thing I noted about Ms King’s approach was to place Sherlock in his retirement years whereas Mr Todd has chosen to gain entry through the portal given by Watson himself – when he had mentioned not every case might not be known of which had a hand of sleuthing aided by Holmes. In this, it makes for a plausible entry to re-join Sherlock & Watson directly.

As I was listening to the sampler of “A Reflection of Evil”, I noticed strong influences out of the canon itself and thus, was quite intrigued to listen to the whole story – seeing how Mr Todd interwove his story next to the ones we all know of being ‘Holmes’. Therefore, when I set to mind which topic I wanted to ask the author for the tour, I chose to focus on how he made the transition into voicing Holmes and giving us an authentic re-entry therein.

On the morrow, I’ll be sharing my ruminative thoughts about this audiobook – whilst today, I am hopeful for those of you who enjoy a wicked good story of Sherlock Holmes, perhaps this story or the other ones Mr Todd is creating might be of interest to you as well. As that is one thing about being a book blogger which is quite keenly splendid – we all get to help inform each other of the stories which are percolating on the horizon which could be of mutual interest to seek out!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about the premise behind this story as well as if you have an appreciation for Holmes – either in stories, motion picture (my personal favourite is Basil Rathbone) or television (such as Benedict Cumberbatch’s series, which I enjoyed until S3).

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Author Guest Post | On re-writing and re-inventing adventures of Sherlock Holmes by the author William ToddGuest Post about A Reflection in Evil
by William Todd

After months of inactivity, Holmes and Watson have two cases thrust in their lap in a single day. First, a mysterious woman from Swansea, Wales, seeks Holmes' help finding her husband who has disappeared in the middle of the night. As soon as she leaves, Holmes receives word that there has been a prison riot with several dead and a few inmates missing. Lestrade is asking for his services.

Holmes believes the two cases are not a coincidence, but he has no idea who is behind it and to what end. They go to Swansea in what could be either a wild goose chase or a setup. Will Holmes unravel the mystery before they get to Swansea? If not what will be in store for them when they step off the train?

Places to find the book:

ASIN: B078SC6TCM

Also by this author: Sherlock Holmes in a Reflection in Evil

Genres: Crime Fiction


on 5th January, 2018

Self Published Audiobook

William Todd’s Sherlock Holmes stories:

Sherlock Holmes in A Reflection of Evil

Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Broken Window

Formats Available: Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

About William Todd

William Todd

I have been writing online since the early 2000’s, primarily writing horror stories in the style of Poe and Lovecraft. I was the 2nd most popular author on the website storiesbyemail.com for two years before moving on.

I had my first book, a Victorian era horror compilation called Bumps in the Night, published by Mystic Moon Press just a week before they closed their website and never saw my hard work pay off. Afterwards I took publishing into my own hands, became an Indie author and haven’t looked back. My first self-published book was Dead of Night, another compilation of Victorian horror stories, published September 2016 by Createspace and on Kindle by KDP.

After its publication I left my comfort zone for mystery and wrote a short story about Sherlock Holmes in the Conan Doyle style. I loved it so much I then did a longer story A Reflection of Evil, both published in 2017 through Createspace and KDP. I have just released Beyond the Gossamer Veil, another compilation of both Victorian and modern supernatural/horror stories and am in the beginning stages of my third Sherlock Holmes installment.

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Posted Tuesday, 20 February, 2018 by jorielov in After the Canon, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Crime Fiction, Detective Fiction, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Self-Published Author, Sequel Authors