Category: Author Guest Post (their topic)

#SciFi Guest Post | Julie E. Czerneda gives a nod of gratitude for the 20 years she’s spent within the world of The Clan Chronicles! This is the FINALE tour!

Posted Saturday, 7 October, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , 10 Comments

Guest Contributor and/or Reviewer of JLAS banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Today is a special day on Jorie Loves A Story, as I am hosting Ms Czerneda on the final leg of the FINALE tour for a beloved series The Clan Chronicles! When I was approached to feature a guest post this year, I could not even conceptionalise what I wanted her to write about as ‘how do you say ‘goodbye’ to a seriously wicked classic series?’ I haven’t even been able to address my own emotions about the series (as a whole) nor found a way to recognise there is soon a parting of spirit between me and the Clan!

Ergo, I simply said,

I’ll let you pick the Guest Post Topic — I wouldn’t even know where to start to think about a topic to culminate the ending of the Clan Chronicles — I’m so close to the story and the heart of the series, I’ll yield to a topic you’d love to write about and this will be a part of the tour to help celebrate the work you’ve passionately given all of us throughout the epic trilogies which have become so very beloved.

I cannot wait to see what you write!”

And, what you have before you now, is a post I think I might have telepathically inspired into being! Honestly, when I sat for a short spell after firming together this guest feature with the author, I started to muse about what she might potentially talk about – this post, is a full realisation of what I had hoped she might conceive for today’s post!

There is so much to celebrate – the memories of the stories themselves, of how the characters knitted themselves into our soul and curated so many different evocative emotions throughout their journeys to last a lifetime and of course, the community of readers – of whom, each of us in turn found the Clan and found the same breadth of depth Ms Czerneda knits into each of her collective works – she leaves something quite special for a reader to soak inside and discover insight into not only our humanity but the essence of life and the meaning behind why we’re all alive.

I hope you find this post a burst of joyfulness as I did – I am dearly wicked happy to share it with you and to open up the comment threads to celebrate the author & the Clan!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

To Guard Against the Dark by Julie E CzernedaThe Clan Chronicles is set in a far future where a mutual Trade Pact encourages peaceful commerce among a multitude of alien and Human worlds. The alien Clan, humanoid in appearance, have been living in secrecy and wealth on Human worlds, relying on their innate ability to move through the M’hir and bypass normal space. The Clan bred to increase that power, only to learn its terrible price: females who can’t help but kill prospective mates. Sira di Sarc is the first female of her kind facing that reality. With the help of a Human starship captain, Jason Morgan, himself a talented telepath, Sira must find a morally acceptable solution before it’s too late. But with the Clan exposed, her time is running out. The Stratification trilogy follows Sira’s ancestor, Aryl Sarc, and shows how their power first came to be as well as how the Clan came to live in the Trade Pact. The Trade Pact trilogy is the story of Sira and Morgan, and the trouble facing the Clan. Reunification concludes the series, answering these question at last.

Who are the Clan?
And what will be the fate of all?

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The Unexpected

by Julie E. Czerneda

In my next and final blog post of this tour, I’ll talk about how it feels to end the Clan Chronicles, something I’d planned to do all along and, thus, expected.

Cover Art Credits: Reap the Wild Wind, Riders of the Storm, Rift in the Sky, A Thousand Words for Stranger, Ties of Power and To Trade the Stars is credited to Luis Royo. This Gulf of Time and Stars, The Gate to Futures Past and To Guard Against the Dark is credited to Matthew Stawicki.

In this post?

(Thanks, Jorie, for hosting.)(the honour is mine) Read More

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Posted Saturday, 7 October, 2017 by jorielov in Author Guest Post (their topic), Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Science Fiction

Guest Post | “How I Came to Write ‘Meeting Lydia'” by Linda MacDonald whilst talking about bullying, internet relationships & midlife

Posted Monday, 13 February, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Guest Contributor and/or Reviewer of JLAS banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, dear hearts! To be perfectly fair – when it came time to start to host ‘Meeting Lydia’, I had completely forgotten I had signed on to host a guest (author) feature, until of course, the day arrived where my particular guest feature was arriving by email! This intriguingly current topical essay landed in my Inbox, much to my chagrin – as how was it possible I was receiving a guest feature, I honestly had no memory of sending off to be responded too? I must confess – somewhere between November and now, my memories are a bit ‘altered’ by circumstance(s).

Quite pleasantly, as I was reading over the proof of the draft sent to me, I noticed the author touched on some key cornerstones of not only her life but the life of Lydia, her lead protagonist. I did not quite agree with some of the sentiments shared as being someone who was bullied in school and outside of it, I had different takeaways – for instance, I came out of being bullied a bit differently. If anything part of what inspired me forward to graduating as early as I could was to be free of the confines of school, where in effect bullies can thrive because it’s a ‘closed shoppe’ of situations limited in scope to the school grounds. It’s much easier to ‘walk away’ when you have freedom of movement and accessibility of exit options. I never felt due to being bullied, I was ‘less than’ my peers – if anything, the words stung, the assaults on my character hurt my soul (how could they not?) but throughout the bad days, I had two wicked fierce supporters in my corner: my Mum and Dad. They picked me up when life dragged me into the gutters of emotional anguish and angst – they gave me a renewed sense of self and they helped me dodge my worst aggressors by changing schools or districts. In essence, they were my advocates before I gained the strength to voice my own advocacy and stand up for the rights I knew were innate and inherent to all.

Each of us who is bullied has a different response mechanism and each of us is bullied in different ways. I still have moments where bullies find me and try to find a way to erode my serenity… even online, you will find bullies who seek to destroy you (as I have found since being a book blogger and tweeter); however, the key is always to strive to live your own personal truth, own your truth and not to let others change your perspective on who you are nor the worth you have within you to share to the world. I can only hope those who are bullied can find strength in their selves as I have over the years, and may they have a blessed supportive network of friends and/or family such as I have as well.

As a side note, I was one of the first girls who integrated into an all-boys secondary school – it turnt out to be the best year of my life, because the boys and I respected each other to the degree of learning more during our 6th Year than any year which came after it straight through high school graduation. I realise this might sound unique – but for me, the co-ed classrooms were in their infancy and due to the gradual way in which girls’ were being added to the student body, allowed us a bit more flexibility to find our wings to fit in with our peers. It wasn’t without it’s hurdles, mind you, as it was a large campus and entertained seven different grade levels – however, for my own personal sphere and grade, it was heaven. I felt bad when I learnt of the author’s own experiences – as apparently, the school she attended was going through more growing pains with the transitional period than my own.

Also, I never heard of ‘bullying’ being a rite of passage – if anything, it was the unspoken, often ‘unaddressed’ behaviour of childhood. Similar to learning difficulties being cast aside for the attempt to mainstream children without addressing their individual learning needs and/or help them learn at a pace which befitted their own intellectual abilities. The old standby of ‘one method of learning’ for everyone never sat well with me. I find it heart-warming and remarkable, the author found a cathartic self-ending resolution to her years being bullied – to turn inward and outward within the vein of writing a novel had to be quite remarkable seeing the words light up the pages – turning personal strife into a release of positive energy to touch other lives and tell a portion of her own story in the process. Writers are fuelled by personal experiences, memories and the internalisation of everything we can breathe through our souls whilst we live our lives – to find a way to use transformative narrative to set a back-story for a character is writerly bliss – especially if it taps into something a lot of people can relate too, even if circumstances differ – we can all be empathic to the shared reality.

I hadn’t realised the story-line was going to delve into bullying – as at the time I signed on for the tour, I was focusing on the two other aspects of it’s narrative: midlife, second chance romance and the hormonal changes a woman goes through during menopause. Mostly as I grew up watching “The Golden Girls”, ached to watch “Maude”, cheered for Diane Lane in “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “Must Love Dogs” and have found mid-life stories and second chance romances of characters past thirty-ten to be some of my most beloved finds as both a reader and a film appreciator. Not everyone has the chance to meet their true love or find their true happiness in both life or life at a younger age where longevity in marriage might feel either daunting or an exciting adventure. 

To have the story layered through strife and self-esteem issues is an interesting angle to dissect. I also appreciated the author taking the lead on this essay and giving me a though-provoking ‘start’ to share with everyone following the blog tour. I look forward to your comments in the threads below – especially if you can relate to the topic today and/or are interested in listening/reading the story. If you’ve already read the story, I’d be keen to know your reactions to the author’s guest post. Due return in a few short days, as I’ll be revealling my own impressions on how ‘Meeting Lydia’ resonated with me. Until then, brew a cuppa and enjoy the author’s revelations about how she approached writing this novel.
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Meeting Lydia by Linda Macdonald

Edward Harvey. Even thinking his name made her tingle with half-remembered childlike giddiness. Edward Harvey, the only one from Brocklebank to whom she might write if she found him.”

Marianne Hayward, teacher of psychology and compulsive analyser of the human condition, is hormonally unhinged. The first seven years of her education were spent at a boys’ prep school, Brocklebank Hall, where she was relentlessly bullied. From the start, she was weak and frightened and easy prey for Barnaby Sproat and his gang. Only one boy was never horrible to her: the clever and enigmatic Edward Harvey, on whom she developed her first crush.

Now 46, when Marianne finds her charming husband in the kitchen talking to the glamorous Charmaine, her childhood insecurities resurface and their once-happy marriage begins to slide. Teenage daughter Holly persuades her to join Friends Reunited, which results in both fearful and nostalgic memories of prep school as Marianne wonders what has become of the bullies and of Edward Harvey. Frantic to repair her marriage, yet rendered snappy and temperamental by her plummeting hormones, her attempts towards reconciliation fail. The answer to all her problems could lie in finding Edward again… But what would happen if she found what she seeks?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

School Bullying, Internet Relationships and Midlife Love

How I came to write Meeting Lydia

Guest post by Linda MacDonald

When I was 5 years old and living on the edge of England’s Lake District, my parents sent me as a day girl to a boys’ private boarding school. They thought it would be less rough than the local elementary. They were wrong. Girls were scattered thinly throughout the school and from the age of 9 to 10, I was the only girl in the class. I was bullied. It was the usual stuff: name-calling, stealing equipment, being left out. No single incident was what you might call ‘serious’, but it happened every day. And if someone makes fun of you often enough, you begin to believe it.

In the past bullying was accepted as a rite of passage, even ‘character building’. But does it really help children to cope better as adults? The Kidscape children’s charity thinks not. In a survey of 1000 adults, they found early bullying experiences often led to a lack of self esteem. Some reported depression, shyness, and less likelihood of success in education, the workplace or in social relationships. Most said they felt bitter and angry about their experiences. Read More

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Posted Monday, 13 February, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Author Guest Post (their topic), Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Dating & Humour Therein, Indie Author, Modern Day, Realistic Fiction, Sociology, Women's Fiction

SFN Guest Post | Julie E. Czerneda introduces her Web Shifters series which is blessedly quirky with a heap of sci-fi quirks! #RRSciFiMonth

Posted Tuesday, 15 November, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 2 Comments

Guest Contributor and/or Reviewer of JLAS banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Welcome everyone who is following the wicked joy of Sci Fi November courtesy of #RRSciFiMonth, this lovely November! Today, I have a special guest for you to introduce you to her newly re-released Web Shifters series Ms Julie E. Czerneda! Last November, I was introduced to the series which I happily continued reading at the end of this Summer: The Clan Chronicles. This time around, her quirky and delightful series focusing on those interesting “Quebits” is the focus of the hour today!

I haven’t read this particular series, as I am starting her Fantasy series which begins with A turn of Light. The interesting part about this particular series is how much it reminded me of why I loved reading A Wrinkle in Time and Flatland due to how dimensional space and the proponents of a person’s biometrics and biomass can be altered or affected by proportional controls! It sounds rivetingly quirky with a new lead character who has her own issues to work through whilst giving us a unique perspective of her world in the process!

I am delighted to bring several excerpts from the novels today along with a companion piece by the author who explains the heart of the Web Shifters series to each of you! If this is your first time hearing of the author or if your a lover of her collective works, I look forward to hearing your commentary after you’ve read the guest feature!

On a personal note, I am *loving!* the artwork all over again by Mr Royo!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Concerning Quebits

by Julie E. Czerneda

Creating aliens is fun. When it comes to my Web Shifters series? It’s hilarity. These books and short stories are such a treat to write, I consider them my vacation.

Some of you are familiar with the main character: Esen-alit-Quar, Esen between friends, Es in a hurry. The semi-immortal blue blob of goodness who, with diligent effort, can alter her physical structure into that of another sentient species’. Unless or until she blows up from stress. Which happens.

Before then, Esen grants me—and readers—a singular perspective: the alien from the inside-out. Her inner self remains constant and true, you see, but she’s different. Different senses. Different patterns of thinking, ways of feeling. New appetites and even esthetics. Manners or lack of—all right in the open where she must struggle and we get to chuckle, as often as not.

(I love my life. And Esen’s.)

Many know the effort I put into my alien and world-building. In fact, most of the weirder alien senses and behaviours Esen has to deal with come straight from real life biology. I collect every strange but true bit I can find, just for her.

That said, not all my alien-building starts with the same rigour. Far from it. For #RRSciFiMonth, I invite you to journey back with me to a time when I’d sold my first novel, and was writing the second.

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Posted Tuesday, 15 November, 2016 by jorielov in Author Guest Post (their topic), Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction

Guest Post | “Storytelling through Poetry” by Sweta Srivastava Vikram (a special feature on the “Saris & a Single Malt” blog tour!

Posted Saturday, 20 August, 2016 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

I definitely enjoy hosting a wide variety of guest features on Jorie Loves A Story, as it helps to establish a common thread of creative expression and the conjoined joy of seeing how creatives fuse their creative voice to the works they are creating for us all to appreciate finding! This is why sometimes I yield to the author’s selection of topics, however, in this particular case I cannot remember if I picked this topic or if Ms Vikram surprised me! To be honest, I had so much happening at the time when this essay first came into my Inbox, I’ve completely forgotten!

I am delighted I could host her for a second time on the blog tour, as I found her poetry to be simply emotionally evicting of her topic of choice: the gutting reality of unexpected loss & the aftermath of putting the pieces of your heart back together whilst accepting a loved one’s ending chapter from your life. It was beyond powerful and it was underlit by hope, faith and a bent towards acceptance out of the raw emotions that consume all of us in the height of our tangible grief.

It was an honour and a pleasure to be on a blog tour to celebrate the brave hours where Ms Vikram’s pen did not fail her nor did the words fail to etch out her emotional warring heart to come to terms with letting go of ‘Mum’. It’s such a difficult transitional period for a daughter to ‘let go’ of her supportive best mate and partner. I felt she not only honoured the relationship and love both her and her mother shared but she found a way to write a truism caught inside that chaotic moment of death and loss that all daughters can personally identify as being a part of their own journey. To that end, she wrote a collection of poems we can all fuse directly into our hearts, minds and souls.

Let us take a step back from the poems, and listen to how she approaches crafting a story out of poetry of which she eloquently has found a way to communicate with us.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Saris and a Single Malt by Sweta Srivastava Vikram

Saris and a Single Malt is a moving collection of poems written by a daughter for and about her mother. The book spans the time from when the poet receives a phone call in New York City that her mother is in a hospital in New Delhi, to the time she carries out her mother’s last rites. The poems chronicle the author’s physical and emotional journey as she flies to India, tries to fight the inevitable, and succumbs to the grief of living in a motherless world. Divided into three sections, (Flight, Fire, and Grief), this collection will move you, astound you, and make you hug your loved ones.

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Posted Saturday, 20 August, 2016 by jorielov in Author Guest Post (their topic), Blog Tour Host, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Equality In Literature, India, Indie Author, Literature of India, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, New York City, Poetic Book Tours, Poetry, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author