Category: Book Spotlight of E-Book (ahead of POD/print edition)

Book Spotlight: “A Flower for the Queen” by Caroline Vermalle by German publisher Bastei Lübbe!

Posted Thursday, 4 September, 2014 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Book Spotlight

I am highlighting a novel I would like to read in the future which is being released by a new-to-me German publisher, Bastel Lübbe! I came across this lovely publisher through one of the tour companies I work with regularly (JKS Communications), and ever since I marked myself down to host for this blog tour, I’ve been wholly consumed by the publisher’s listing of historical fiction novels found over here on their Foreign Rights Page. I’ve even resorted to ‘stalking’ Barnes & Noble’s website in the pure wish of finding either this novel or the one I am going to be highlighting next a bit lateron in September! I found two delightfully intriguing novels which whet a thirst of interest to read, yet it is quite unfortunate the only copies available to read on the tour were digital / ebooks. I am therefore in hopeful anticipation for a print book to be released and one day I’ll be able to drink in the narrative which has enchanted me!

Book Synopsis:

Flowers for the Queen by Caroline Vermalle & Ryan von RubenOriginally written in English, this adventure story is about the venturesome life of a planthunter set in the South African tropical forests. It combines the thrilling hunt for a precious flower with unique characters, a cunning intrigue and a heart-rending love story.

Read an Excerpt of the Novel:

“If I write one more obituary, I swear it will be the death of me,” said Jack Grant, the corners of his young, purple-lipped mouth turned downwards in a petulant frown.

The travelling coach and its team of horses rumbled and snorted in reply to the coachman’s whip, ripping a tear through the bleached silence of a November morning on the road from Montréal to Pointe-Claire.

The coachman, sunk down in his greatcoat, watched the road for potholes and signs of ice whilst his two passengers buried themselves in their blankets and mufflers, the interior of the coach offering scant protection from the Canadian winter outside.

Jack gazed across at his father, trying to measure his mood and wondering just how far he could press his point.

Title in German: Eine Blume Für Die Königin

Written by the Author Team: Caroline Vermalle & Ryan von Ruben

Caroline Vermalle & Ryan von Ruben

{ an expanded synopsis is on Riffle }

Author Connections:

Caroline Vermalle: Site | Blog (in French)| @cvermalle | Facebook | YouTube

{ I highly encourage you to visit her YouTube page! I love watching her videos even though there are posted without English sub-titles and I’m at a loss to know what she is speaking about directly, but she has such a vibrant energy about her; she’s filled with the light of a creative who is happy in their art and represents their joy of what they create by the pulse of energy and passion in their voice! Brilliant! }

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Publisher: Bastei Entertainment, an imprint of: Bastei Lübbe (@bastei_luebbe)

YouTube & Facebook

 Genres: Historical Fiction | Adventure | Romance

An interview with the authors @ Novelicious (@novelicious)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What drew my eye into this particular novel and the offerings of the German Publisher:

Being that I am always *excited!* to discover something new in the literary realms, I wasn’t just keen on reading “A Flower for the Queen” but other titles like this one: The Song of the Waterfall *of course its a trilogy, so it would have to be read in order! I was as giddy as a child let loose in a candy shoppe – all the lovely choices of wicked historical stories with heart, depth, and world-building narratives that felt as real as the any lived experience you could hope to alight on your journey! I loved the diversity of choices, the engaging premise per story which gave me an feather of an inkling of what was inside them, and the surge of excitement for finding a new publisher who was contributing the wicked sweet quality of story I find so exhilarating to read! Ironically or not, a lot of their titles were originally published in English, yet scour the internet as much as I do, I’ve yet to find a ‘book shoppe’ on this continent or another who has any copy of these novels in English! Outside of the few I’ve found on the forementioned Barnes & Noble website! I even tried to find them at Powells (my favourite Indie online)!

Here is my initial reaction in a nutshell: I am encouraged finding out about this publisher! Wow. How did we not know about them sooner in the States? Books from England are imported all the time, it is like a hidden well of literature! :) Do you know which online bookshoppes will carry the titles in print? Powells or Barnes & Noble perhaps? I wonder if my library could order them in print!? Apparently in Germany my favourite category is “Landscape Novel” which I think is their equivalency of our ‘epic saga’ or ‘historical fiction’!? 

I was thrilled to peach pie I could offer a small ‘excerpt’ of A Flower for the Queen, as I have dreamt of what I’d find inside the pages of the novel for months now! Within this small section of the novel itself, I found myself wanting so much more of where the story is heading and where this excerpt aligns — is this the opening chapter or towards the middle!? And, ooh what delightful fancy – it is set in Canada! I have been wanting to seek out novels set in Canada for a long while now, and this one happily has found my interest!

The Book Cover Art: has such a measure of eloquence and artistry attached to it that I cannot help but gather the sense the heart of the story inside its covers not only matches the artwork but the artwork is a symbol of what a reader can find inside the novel itself! An unexpected grace and expedition of literary delight not always found in the historical fiction genre! 

My journey towards securing this novel I’m highlighting today, and the one lateron this month continues! Until then, I hope I have inspired another reader to seek out their mirth of narrative and the joyous discovery of finding ‘new’ historical fiction authors emerging out from a publisher we might never have known about previously!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Video about Bastei Lubbe as a Publisher (in English)
Bastei Lübbe – Wir stellen uns vor by Bastei Lübbe

Inspired to Share: I am always most happy to find a curious & cheeky video uploaded on YouTube by book shoppes (such as the one I shared previously for an Indie in Canada), as much as I’m rather keen to find a publisher creatively using visual media to explain their mission and their publishing interests such as the one Bastei Lübbe has produced here! The vibe in the video is set to the bookishly happy and the quirky bits add a bounce to the publisher’s intent. I might be a traditionalist as far as reading print books in lieu of jumping on the bandwagon for digital, but even I have to give them merit for creating such a gem of a film that introduces English speakers to their publishing house! Cheers, to Bastei Lübbe!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com
This blog tour stop is courtesy of:
JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm

Bastei - Publisher Blog Tour via JKS Communications

Discover what I am hosting next by visiting:

Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva

Reader Interactive Question:

Have you ever stumbled across an author OR publisher whose first language is not your native one and therefore it provides a bit of a language barrier? I remember when I first signed up for this blog tour, I contacted the author & the publisher via Twitter. I had not realised at the time the author spoke primarily in French, and of course, I knew the publisher was German, yet I had hoped one or both of them might know a bit of English and/or have a translator to help them with English-speaking readers contacting them. I never before felt my desire to become fluent in German was ever more important than facing an incompatible way of communicating with a publisher of whose titles I most want to read!

Alas, for French, I might one day learn to interpret the words audibly but to speak French? *le sigh* A feat my dyslexia shall not allow to be! I have an easier time understanding German and learning how to pronounce the words than I do French. French blessedly is a Romantic language and thus, a bit out of reach for me to learn! 

Secondly, if I were to learn to ‘read’ in French & German, I could simply order copies of their books in either language and *celebrate!* What blessed joy the day shall be if I reach that point of understanding! Is there a language you read regularly other than the native language you grew up using the most!?

{SOURCES: Cover art of “A Flower for the Queen”, author photographs, book synopsis, book excerpt, and the tour badge were all provided by JKS Communications and used with permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. This video by Bastei Lübbe had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for this opportunity to share such an imaginative exploration with you.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Thursday, 4 September, 2014 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Spotlight of E-Book (ahead of POD/print edition), Bookish Films, Canada, Debut in United States, Historical Fiction, Inspiring Video Related to Content, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm

+Book Cover Reveal+ A Book Spotlight on #NewAdult Contemporary Romance Release: “Asher’s Mark” by Amy Durham

Posted Tuesday, 15 July, 2014 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

}: Book Spotlight: New Adult Contemporary :{

Asher’s Mark by Amy Durham
Published BySelf-Published by Author, TBA August 2014
Official Author WebsitesSite@Amy_Durham | Facebook | GoodReads
Converse on Twitter: #AshersMark or #AmyDurham

Available Formats: E-Book, Paperback
Page Count: approx. 300 Read More

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Posted Tuesday, 15 July, 2014 by jorielov in 21st Century, Author Found me On Twitter, Blog Tour Host, Book Cover | Original Illustration & Design, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight, Book Spotlight of E-Book (ahead of POD/print edition), Bookish Discussions, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Life Shift, Modern Day, New Adult Fiction, Self-Published Author, Tattoo Art & Design, The Writers Life, Young Adult Fiction

#ChocLitSaturdays Author Guest Post featuring Liz Harris on how Wyoming stole her romantic heart!

Posted Saturday, 31 May, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , 3 Comments

Guest Post by ParajunkeeLiz Harris

Proposed Topic: You have a certain flair for writing Western Romance set on American shores, specifically within the heart of Wyoming! What is it about our Western state nestled into the Rockies which draws you back time and again to  stir our emotions and set a Romance afire in this particular location?

One of my earlier ChocLitUK novels to have consumed and readily enjoyed was A Bargain Struck by Liz Harris! I had selected it to read initially as it has been a bit too long since I’ve dipped back into my Western roots and read a novel set in the Old West about a couple living on the frontier! I have always been drawn into stories about the Old West, especially sagas of those who forged West from the East during the height of the pioneer days, as much as soaking into a novel about a working ranch with a heap of cowboys wrangling cattle or horses alike! I love the freshness of the air and the adventure of the spirit of the West woven into the backdrop of the stories! The West is not like any other place in the United States, as it is one of those unique locales where you can draw in a deep breath and feel as though you have stepped into a new place entirely!

I’ve lived off the recollection and memories of my Mum, and my grandparents for most of my life as they were the ones in the family who were able to spend the most time exploring that part of the country! The lushness of the wild bits of the forest against the untame portions of the rock outcroppings of the Rockies themselves always left a sense of wonder inside me! Of course, being a girl who was a budding horsewoman in her younger years did stoke and stir the appeal as well! Once you’ve gained the pleasure of being in the saddle, astride a horse and appreciate the connection between the rider and the mount, there is no going back! Dreaming about riding on the open ranges is enough to ache for a ride similar to those seen in the film Flicka. I still get a hitching of excitement inside me when I find new writers who write about the West in a way that is tangible, real, honest, and a strong representation of where it is set. When I read A Bargain Struck I knew I had found a Romance writer who was writing after my own heart’s tug and pull to go there one day in person!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A Western Heart by Liz Harris

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

}: How Liz Harris

found a passion for Wyoming! :{

Photo Credit: Liz Harris, taken whilst on a research trip to Wyoming
Photo Credit: Liz Harris,
taken whilst on a research trip to Wyoming

YES, IT’S BACK TO WYOMING AGAIN. I JUST CAN’T KEEP AWAY!

“A WESTERN HEART”

A Choc Lit Lite novella, published as an e-book in May 2014

First of all, many thanks for inviting me to be a guest on #ChocLitSaturdays, Jorie. I’m very much looking forward to meeting you and others this Saturday afternoon, 31st May.

There seems to be a common theme in some of my books: A Bargain Struck is set in Wyoming 1887, A Western Heart in Wyoming 1880, and Golden Tiger, the novel I’m writing at present, in Wyoming in the 1870s and early 1880s.

Why am I so fascinated by Wyoming, you might wonder.

Is it because they were streaks ahead of the rest of the US in the rights they gave to women and I appreciate this?

For example, women were given the right to vote in 1869, making Wyoming Territory the first in the US to do so. Women served on juries in Wyoming from 1870, and in the same year, a female court bailiff was appointed, and also the first female justice of the peace in the US. In 1924, Wyoming became the first state to elect a female governor. Owing to its civil-rights history, the nickname of Wyoming is ‘The Equality State’, and the official state motto is ‘Equal Rights’. Is that the reason, you might ask.

No, that isn’t why I’ve set several novels in Wyoming.

I’ve done so because I’ve always loved the history of the American West and because I had such a fabulous time when I visited Wyoming in 2012. Wyoming is the heart of an historical period that’s so romantic, so exciting, so inspiring.

As a child I used to dream that I was a pioneer who’d travelled west in a covered wagon and was living on a homestead, surrounded by horses and a host of other animals. When I grew up, the dream slightly changed: I was still in the American West and I’d arrived on a wagon, but I was riding into a glorious sunset, a tanned, handsome cowboy at my side.

A Bargain Struck by Liz HarrisThe American West was an inevitable choice of background when I decided to write a historical romantic novel, and A Bargain Struck was born.  Connor (yes, tanned and handsome) is looking for a wife to help on his homestead, look after his young daughter Bridget and provide him with an heir, whereas Ellen is just looking for somewhere to call home after a tragedy in her life.

When Ellen arrives, it’s clear she hasn’t been entirely honest with Connor, but for reasons of his own, he goes ahead with what is a business agreement – one that was pretty commonplace at that time – and marries her. I set A Bargain Struck in the Savery area, 100 miles south of the railroad, in the shadow of the beautiful Sierra Madre mountains. For A Western Heart, I wrote about two ranches north of the Overland Trail. My story is about the rivalry of two sisters, and finding one’s heart’s desire.

Rose McKinley, the daughter of a successful ranch owner, and Will Hyde, the heir to a neighbouring ranch, (yes, tanned and handsome again), have grown up like brother and sister. It’s understood by their family and friends that one day they’ll marry and unite their two ranches. Rose is certain that nothing will stop that from happening. But then a handsome stranger rides in.

As for Golden Tiger … No, it’s too soon to talk about that yet.

I look forward to talking some more on Saturday, both generally and about my books and those written by others, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to say hello beforehand. Thank you, Jorie.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comAuthor Connections:

 Personal Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Converse via: #ABargainStruck, #AWesternHeart, & #ChocLit

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The pleasure is all mine, Ms. Harris! I have been wanting to host you on my blog ever since I read A Bargain Struck, which pre-dates when I complimented my blog feature of #ChocLitSaturdays with the happy chatterment of the twitterverse chat hosted through Twubs! Saturdays have become a fond day for me, and I appreciate that you not only took the time to explain why Wyoming draws you into its embrace in literary pursuits, but that you will be with us as we converse about the topic as well lateron this morning!

Of all the tidbits of information my Mum and grandparents shared with me about the West and about Wyoming specifically, I do not recollect they knew about it being rich in Civil Rights nor on the forefront of Women’s Rights! Two causes that I advocate for myself, and am happy to have found a state that I find inspiring from the point of view of being in awe of its natural beauty, has such a wonderful legacy to impart in other ways! I loved how your dream as a child shifted perspectives as you grew older, but how you kept a bit of who you were then in the dream you have now! We apparently grew up with similar dreams, as I was always darting off into a Western saga of some sort, including reading a healthy amount of horse dramas which included The Black Stallion series, The Saddle Club, and the Throroughbred series. I did not even realise it was called ‘Cowboy Fiction’ for the romance novels set in and around life on the larger ranches which involved the horsemen I loved to read about so much as I grew older.

As far as living on the frontier itself or near the prairies, I have to thank Little House on the Prairie both the book series and the television series for making me question whether or not I could handle life in the 1800s frontier! There were aspects of it that I still appreciate now such as the self-sufficiency of raising your own fruit and veg to curating the love of old world arts and crafts! I especially would be keen to learn how to can and preserve properly as well!

You have me most curious now about reading A Western Heart, but alas, I will have to await either this novella to be placed inside of a collection in a print copy or tucked into a future release of yours as a ‘bonus’ extra surprise! As I know sometimes e-novellas can be printed into forthcoming releases by authors I enjoy reading! Ooh! Is it me, or was I the only one hoping for a kernel of insight into Golden Tiger? The name alone eludes to so many different avenues of where you could take the story, I am properly intrigued without knowing which direction to ponder! Alas! It will simply be my ‘next Liz Harris read’ to eagerly await and happily celebrate once it’s released! OR at the very least within the nearing of publication and can be spoken about outside of its whispering origins!

How wicked then, that we each have such a deep appreciation for Western Romance!?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This Author Guest Post is courtesy of ChocLitUK,

ChocLitUK Reviewercheck out my upcoming bookish event and mark your calendars!

Previously I reviewed “A Bargain Struck

& coming up next is “The Road Back” by Liz Harris.

This Guest Feature has an accompanying chat today | Join us!?

#ChocLitSaturdays Twitter Chat & Blog Feature of Jorie Loves A Story
#ChocLitSaturdays Twitter Chat & Blog Feature of Jorie Loves A Story

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

And, here is a bit of news I found whilst preparing this Guest Feature today, as a wicked round of Congratulations is long since overdue on my behalf:

{SOURCES: Author photograph, Book Covers for “A Western Heart” & “A Bargain Struck”, as well as the cowboy picture were provided by Liz Harris and were used by permission. Guest Post badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. #ChocLitSaturdays Twitter Chat Badge created by Jorie in PicMonkey. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded from codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Saturday, 31 May, 2014 by jorielov in 19th Century, American Old West, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight of E-Book (ahead of POD/print edition), Bookish Discussions, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Romance Fiction

+Author Guest Post+ “On writing the “In the Land of Magnanthia” series by B.R. Maul

Posted Thursday, 27 March, 2014 by jorielov , , , 11 Comments

Guest Post by Parajunkee

Proposed Topic for B.R. Maul: As my first impression of “Passages, Portals, & Pathways” B.R. Maulreflected this statement of excited anticipation: “Even before the reference to “The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe” (of which, I prefer the film over the book! ironically or not!) and “The Lord of the Rings” (on my Classics Club list of books to read!), I was simply hooked into the idea of Simon being chosen as a Guardian! I love stories which are stitched together like this, as I still remember being rapt in awe over “The Seeker: The Dark is Rising” (motion picture again – hadn’t realised it was a book!)!!” Therefore I knew I had to simply ask Mr. Maul about what prompted the impetus for his new Young Adult Fantasy series as much as the inspiration to tell the story therein!

I am thrilled as peaches to welcome B.R. Maul back to Jorie Loves A Story, after spotlighting a book showcase revealing all the important bits of information on his wicked keen début novel! As you most likely have garnished from my piece yesterday, his novel resonated with me as being one story I am most apt to read as soon as it goes into print! Which as they say, could very well be on the fringe of happening sooner than we all might realise! Due lend your support of which edition of preference you’d like to read his collective works within the comment threads on either post!  Otherwise, tweet Mr. Maul directly, as that would be most kind on his inaugural blog tour! Let me yield now to his creative ear whilst he gives us an insight into his writer’s road towards publication!

}: Book Synopsis :{

Portals, Passages, & Pathways by B.R. MaulWhen a portal to another world cracks open just outside the small town of Riverside, it sets off a series of events forever changing the lives of two boys; one boy is chosen to lead a world to peace while the other one is chosen to tear it apart.

Simon Whittaker lives an ordinary teenage life. That is until the most powerful ring in the land of Magnanthia chooses him to become its guardian. Overnight, Simon has had to flee from something trying to kill him, seen magical spells he had only read about in stories, and stepped into the most majestic world ever imagined.

Swept away to the fantastic world that’s in the midst of a brutal war, Simon must place his life in the hands of four unlikely travelers, a swordsman, ranger, cleric, and wizard, sent to lead him down the right path. While King Elderten has ordered death to Magnanthia’s nine guardians, the group he believes is responsible for the kingdom’s devastation, Simon remains the only hope for those who believe the guardians are innocent.

Meanwhile, Jak Jakobsin has been pulled through a portal by two of Bedlam’s undead scouts. Bedlam’s overlord plans to use Jak, along with his army of undead, goblins, and trolls, to build a force so powerful that Magnanthia will be his forever. “Portals, Passages & Pathways” is a story of our greatest journey, to discover our purpose in this life, and the consequences of the choices we make to get there. “In the Land of Magnanthia” is the first novel in the series and is complete just under 115,000 words. It’s told from the alternating viewpoints of Jak and Simon.

 

}: World-Building – The Land of Magnanthia :{

Magnanthia was pieced together, named, and expanded upon almost seven years ago. But her creation started over three decades ago. There is no mistaking it; Magnanthia is a compilation of my favorite fantasy worlds mixed together and then molded into a figment of the imagination.

The first time I was introduced to C. S. Lewis was between the pages of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. As a little boy I fell in love with an idea, an idea that walking through a wardrobe, a portal, could take me to a world where animals talked and magic was real. From that day forward, my childhood was filled with adventure! Every closet and closed-door was potentially a portal leading to a world of wizards, castles, and lost treasures. That’s all I had to do was find the portal and step into it.

I slowly side-stepped the narrow, fantasy fiction isle in my elementary school’s library. I was looking for a book to read. That’s when I stumbled upon J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. I opened the worn cover and looked at the table of contents. Chapter five’s title grabbed my attention; I had to know why it was so cleverly named “Riddles in the Dark.” I checked the book out of the little library and brought it home with me. Middle Earth, a world filled with dwarves, elves, hobbits, goblins, giant spiders, dragons, creatures of all kinds, and of course magic, began its contribution to the making of Magnanthia.

The discovery of a fantasy world where worthy travelers could become heroes exploring haunted castles, goblin-infested dungeons, and finding hidden gold and magic items, became my favorite pastime. My older brother took me and a good friend of ours into the spellbinding world of Dungeons & Dragons. My favorite character to play was a magic-user.

Later in life, years of working to pay the bills disconnected me from the beautiful gift of imagination. It was finding my way into the Great Hall at Hogwarts with Harry Potter that rekindled my love of stories and my passion for magical adventures. I found it refreshing Harry Potter and his friends lived in contemporary times, cloaked in a medieval backdrop with magic and wonderment mixed into the works. Harry, Hermione, and Ron were about midway into their schooling at Hogwarts when I realized what I had and what I needed to do. Magnanthia was almost tangible in my mind, along with a handful of characters who had already made Magnanthia their home. I needed to create; I needed to write the story.

In 2007, the year the Harry Potter series ended, Portals, Passages & Pathways was born. I love that parts and pieces of Lewis, Tolkien, and Rowling are embedded within the fabric that is weaving Portals, Passages & Pathways together. I hope readers around the world find it as easy as I have to fall in love with the characters, and are exhilarated in the land of Magnanthia!

Author Connections:

Site | Blog | @BRMaul_author | Facebook | GoodReads
Converse on Twitter: #LandofMagnanthia
& #BRMaul

I must confess, the one fantasy novel I had difficulty in soaking into was the precise fantasy series which inspired you to write Magnanthia! The Lion, The Witch, & the Wardrobe for me was greater appreciated in its motion picture adaptation over the printed word in which C.S. Lewis left behind! It was one of the first times where I noticed that I had trouble shifting into the heart of a narrative I already knew I would enjoy! Perhaps an early nod to realising that not every story is tangible to our hearts through our eyes, and that sometimes we have to seek out an adaptation of the story in a new medium in order to allow the merit of why the story was left behind to resonate with us fully.

On a similar vein, I was experiencing a reader’s rut (I am sure this will make most of my dear readers gaff with disbelief!) during the years of Harry Potter’s epic adventures at Hogwarts, yet I was the happy spirited twenty-something who felt as though she had a renewed childhood whilst wandering off into the local movie-houses on release days, weekends, and even at midnight releases! Ah, yes, young Harry Potter will forevermore hold a special niche in my heart! His stories I know I will appreciate on long cold Wintry nights, where the blizzards are howling and the warmth of his character and friends will guide me from one book straight-through to the startling conclusion! These are the types of fantasy series I long to unearth and discover,… as I was reflecting yesterday fantasy gives us such a beautiful window into fantastically honest worlds where characters are able to do things that modern contemporaries are oft-times limited in achieving. Fantasy of today are the fables, folk, mythological stories of an ancient age. Sage advice wrapped inside a heroic adventure!

The fact that your sharing the kernels and seeds of inspiration behind Magnanthia is a credit to your own character and bold confidence as a writer, as often you will find new authors a bit hesitative about discussing their craft and progress towards getting the words onto paper rather than being stored inside their imaginations! I always felt that the best gift the writing community has given all writers through the generations is the ability to reach out and connect with each other! The sharing of knowledge, of strife and of joy, all the tools in which are needed to encompass a novel’s birth and straight-through back over the day-to-day journey of what a writer on the verge of discovery is experiencing! Bless you for being open and responsive!

Alas, I kept Tolkien for my concluding thoughts, because I fear before I sit myself down to read Middle Earth (in the Order of Middle Earth — inclusive of the Histories!), I am always going to be on the brink of relaying my total thoughts as once more, I yielded to the adaptations, this time through the grace and eloquence of Peter Jackson whose capturing finesse for the extraordinary world which is Middle Earth left me forever changed afterwards! The depth of the narrative is hard to not lay a pensive thought upon each installment’s endings, and yet, it’s the capstone of what pulls each of us into our own stories. By allowing us not to limit our potential or the girth of the final draft, in which lies our epic tales!

The genre-bender aspects of Harry Potter were not lost on me either, and I only had hoped in some of the bits of the films (as I presumed they were reflective of the stories) they could have held the tradition of their clothes a bit more, but I respected the fact that it was a modern story lit inside as you say a world of yesterday! Being a Dragon Master and player you might want to read my recollections of gaming on my Virtual Blue review! Congratulations for holding onto your world and for being daring enough to build the story in the hours and moons long after it was originally breathed into life!

This Author Guest Post is courtesy of:

In the Land of Magnanthia by B.R. Maul Blog Tour with JKS Communications Literary Publicity FirmBe sure to scope out my Bookish Upcoming Events

to mark your calendars!!

Be sure to drop by my Book Spotlight Showcase

on “Portals, Passages, & Pathways”!

Similar to blog tours, when I feature a showcase for an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog.
Kindly post notes in both B.R. Maul comment threads, discussing what you enjoy about Young Adult Fantasy series! Leave behind a reflection of how you started to read fantasy series and novels, and what you are hopeful to find inside this new one by a Mid-West writer! All comments are welcome, short or long! I look forward to reading your thoughts & engaging with you afterwards! Remember to come back to see my responses! And, the author himself might surprise you with a reply as well!

+ Open Invitation for Book Discussion +

+ 28 March, 2014 +

Author B.R. Maul has expressed a desire to converse with readers who pick up “Portals, Passages, & Pathways” to return to Jorie Loves A Story giving all of us a hearty discussion about the life lessons & attributes of each of the character’s arc which translated directly into the reader’s heart! I am hoping to read a print copy of the story myself one day, and therefore, this is an Open Discussion Post where the comment threads will be waiting for you to return & share your experiences & thoughts about the story as you read it! I look forward to hearing your recollections & to dig a bit deeper into the heart of the narrative!!

{SOURCES: Book Cover art for “Portals, Passages, & Pathways”, B.R. Maul photograph and book synopsis were provided by JKS Communications Literary Publicity Firm and used with permission. I requested an Author Guest Post via Samantha Lien at JKS on behalf of B.R. Maul’s new Young Adult Fantasy series Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Thursday, 27 March, 2014 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight of E-Book (ahead of POD/print edition), Bookish Discussions, Bullies and the Bullied, Debut Novel, Fantasy Fiction, Heroic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Passionate Researcher, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Self-Published Author, The Natural World, The Writers Life, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Style & Voice, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

+Book Spotlight & Announcement+ B.R. Maul [debut author] of “Portals, Passages, & Pathways”, a YAFantasy selection of epic proportions!

Posted Wednesday, 26 March, 2014 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

}: Book Spotlight & Announcement :{

Portals, Passages, & Pathways by B.R. Maul
Published BySelf-Published by Author, 11 March 2014
Official Author WebsitesSite | Blog | @BRMaul_author | Facebook | GoodReads
Converse on Twitter: #LandofMagnanthia
& #BRMaul
Available Formats: E-Book
Page Count: approx. 478

 

Portals, Passages, & Pathways by B.R. Maul

}: Book Synopsis :{

When a portal to another world cracks open just outside the small town of Riverside, it sets off a series of events forever changing the lives of two boys; one boy is chosen to lead a world to peace while the other one is chosen to tear it apart.

Simon Whittaker lives an ordinary teenage life. That is until the most powerful ring in the land of Magnanthia chooses him to become its guardian. Overnight, Simon has had to flee from something trying to kill him, seen magical spells he had only read about in stories, and stepped into the most majestic world ever imagined.

Swept away to the fantastic world that’s in the midst of a brutal war, Simon must place his life in the hands of four unlikely travelers, a swordsman, ranger, cleric, and wizard, sent to lead him down the right path. While King Elderten has ordered death to Magnanthia’s nine guardians, the group he believes is responsible for the kingdom’s devastation, Simon remains the only hope for those who believe the guardians are innocent.

Meanwhile, Jak Jakobsin has been pulled through a portal by two of Bedlam’s undead scouts. Bedlam’s overlord plans to use Jak, along with his army of undead, goblins, and trolls, to build a force so powerful that Magnanthia will be his forever. “Portals, Passages & Pathways” is a story of our greatest journey, to discover our purpose in this life, and the consequences of the choices we make to get there. “In the Land of Magnanthia” is the first novel in the series and is complete just under 115,000 words. It’s told from the alternating viewpoints of Jak and Simon.

}: Author Biography :{

B.R. Maul

A fan of fantasy fiction since he was a child, B.R. Maul has always enjoyed a good story, whether it came in the form of books or role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. Maul has lived in the heart of the Red River Valley for most of his life. He was born in Fargo, N.D. in 1974. A house fire changed his family’s course when he was a child, and in the early ‘80s, his parents took over a small family business in Moorhead, MN, where he remained for his school years.

Maul holds an undergraduate degree in secondary English education with an emphasis in creative writing. He spent a few years working as a substitute teacher, and since fall 2013, he has dedicated all of his time to writing. Maul’s first novel, “Portals, Passages & Pathways Part 1: In the Land of Magnanthia” debuts March 25. The book is the first installment in a fantasy series. Maul lives in Fargo with his wife and two kids. The couple is expecting their third child in March.

}: Jorie’s Thoughts on Behalf of B.R. Maul :{

I initially signed up for this particular blog tour wholly enthused and genuinely excited! to participate in Maul’s literary début! I had hoped to read and review “Portals, Passages, & Pathways” as its the first installment of an epic fantasy series which perked my attention due to the story-line and depth of where Maul is choosing to take his characters! A journey into a new fantasy world where imaginations are lit with anxious anticipation! An appreciator of fantasy fiction for over 17 years, I am on a Quest to seek out wicked new emerging writers in the craft as a genre; due to the enormity of how far the market has endevoured to give the hearty reader a choice in narrative, style, and voice!

Realising this novel would not release in print! or POD formats, I opted instead to showcase Maul on Jorie Loves A Story, because I had a strong belief in his novel and in his approach of the writer’s craft. I wanted to feature his début in order to help spread the word of his remarkable world taking flight into the hands of readers world-wide via e-book and e-reader release! Although, I am not able to read those formats myself, I will at times continue to feature e-book authors of whom I feel could garnish a larger net of readers (such as myself) once their able to get their stories into a printed and bound copy!

Maul is a self-published author who is going to make a nice splash in the Young Adult Fantasy arena, for providing his young readers with a golden opportunity to dig into a soundly built world full of magical intrigue and a character arc which will give all of us (irregardless of age!) the promise of what is yet to come next in the sequels! One of the key reasons I appreciate fantasy series is due to being able to re-visit the characters we’ve become attached too whilst seeing where their next chapters within their lives lead them to venture next! The cinemascope appealment of seeing all the action and heart develop through your mind’s eye with such a reel of precision to have it feel tangibly real as its read is my singular hope for each new novelist I discover!

Although billed as ‘young adult fantasy’, you might have realised by now that I, Jorie, of Jorie Loves A Story appreciates a wide spectrum of literature and one of my greatest joys is highlighting positive innovators of Children’s Literature who paint a stroke of positivity inside their stories! May Maul have a wonderful success in stitching together a readership who will be just as on pins as I am to soak into the Land of Magnanthia!

}: Author Q&A :{

{ in the Land of Magnanthia,

through the eyes of the writer }

“Portals, Passages & Pathways” is billed as “a story of our greatest journey, to discover our purpose in this life, and the consequences of the choices we make to get there.” How did you get started writing this series?

We all have a purpose in life. We just need to take time to discover what that purpose is. Mine, I learned, is storytelling. When I was a teenager I remember thinking that it sounded ridiculous to wait until the end of my life to do what my heart longed for. Unfortunately, like the majority of people, I bought into the lie I was supposed to pick a “real” career, make as much money as I could, and then retire. After fifteen years of making, spending, and chasing money, something happened. People dear to me were struck down from terminal illness, and some died. I came to realize I was on the wrong path…but, like all paths, it would still lead me to the inevitable, my own death. I’d been arrogant, and naïve, assuming I knew what tomorrow was going to bring and that there were going to be enough tomorrows so I could retire and live purposefully. I quickly got off that path while I still could and started down the right path. I began writing.

I could not agree more about our individual journey in life involving not only the acceptance of our individual gifts to partake with us as we head off in life to pursue our dreams, but in the ability to recognise that it’s the arrival of where we’re meant to be can only be lessened by the path in which we traversed to get there! All our experiences leading up to understanding our full potential and our innate gift to share with others is what makes living such a great joy! You have to remain open and cognizant of the truths which alight on your shoulders, knowing how and when to trust your instincts as much as allowing your heart to guide you!

For each door which is closed for reasons we are never quite sure of, windows start to emerge out of the ether giving us a new opportunity to pursue our innermost desire and aspirations. Sometimes it takes a ‘wake-up call’ in life to re-assert the hidden truths we always were keenly aware of but perhaps lacked the confidence to shift forward towards. Sorrow, grief, and death of loved ones enlightens us on our mortality but also, the breadth of everything we are endowed to learn whilst we live. Life as it’s lived is the greatest adventure, and keying into who we are and who we want to be whilst we’re alive is the greatest discovery we can make! Next to love, of course! Love knits together Hope; whereas Faith emboldens us to Believe in the Light of our Dreams!

As a reader, it’s easy to get lost in the world of Magnanthia. For people who haven’t read your book yet, can you describe the setting?

Magnanthia is enchanting and extremely beautiful. The spiritwood trees almost glow their colors are so vibrant, and the intricate design of sea silk, a.k.a. blue quagmire, is miraculous. Magnanthia is also monumental. Shiftwood trees grow hundreds of feet high with girths bigger than houses, and Paramount Peak is so large they say all the other mountains in Magnanthia could fit into it. The indigenous life is spectacular…and mysterious. The land has energy of its own. It’s also foreboding. A small part of it has spread like cancer to outlying lands creating a chaotic environment where glamour and wasteland collide.

My soul and spirit regenerate whilst walking in the lushness of nature, where the balance of life itself is represented in such wonderful splendor as to give us a portal in which to walk through where time itself can stand still! Our eyes can alight and adjust to the balance of the natural world’s beauty whilst endeavouring ourselves to seek a way to see the muted and bright colours which make all of nature quite majestic and lovely! Ancient trees too wide in girth to properly hug, lest to pull back our heads to see where their canopies end or begin is a world in which I long to become familiar with myself! A land in and out of harmony and in conflict against itself is surely a story which proves the full breadth of what a fantasy reader is hoping to find inside its chapters!

Simon and Jak are such divergent characters, but what are some ways that they are similar to each other?

Simon and Jak both feel segregated from the rest of the world. They don’t fit in with their peers and have a hard time relating to others. They are also both bullied. However, how they respond to feeling segregated and to being bullied are completely different.

I will always champion writers who take a bold step towards addressing, highlighting, and ruminating about the state of bullies and the bullied. I have already featured two wonderful Children’s Lit novels which give a unique perspective of not only those who find themselves bullied but the point-of-cause of how a bully starts the behaviour to negatively address their situations and emotions. The books were “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio & “The Pact” by Mitchell S. Karnes, of whose sequel will be reviewed in June 2014. I will look forward one day to seeing how you have stitched this sequence of our living reality into your story!

What do you think makes them so relatable?

They’re genuine. Simon and Jak may have different backgrounds and circumstances, but they have the same kinds of feelings, emotions, and reactions to their problems like the rest of us. They, too, want to love, be loved, be happy, and find their place in this world. And like you and me, Simon and Jak make their share of mistakes along the way.

I oft find the best way to guide and teach children (especially teens) is to give them an honest and real portrayal of real-life events or events which could develop in real-life yet presented in fictional form as an outlet and plausible platform for the heart of the messages to sink into their minds. Giving them something to grow pensive about and hopefully realise the proper ways in which to react and cope with negativity and strong emotions which effectively can lead to choices they may regret. As much as I hope it can show how strong you have to be within your own spirit and shoes to rise above the tides when bullies enter your life.

What drew you to the fantasy genre when you were a kid, and why do you think that genre has stuck with you all these years?

The adventure! There’s something about dragons, castles, heroic knights, journeys to faraway places, creatures and monsters, spells, magical items, and lost treasures that whisks me away from the endless grind of reality, straight into the depths of the wondrous imagination. The fantasy genre has stuck with me for so long because it had the greatest impact on my childhood, and for that reason, the rest of my being.

Oh, dear my, yes! That is precisely why I have been entrenched into the fantasy genre myself! I still remember being wickedly excited to see “Willow” on the silver screen in a darkened theater! The excitement of renting “Pete’s Dragon” from the video store giving me a joyous heart for ‘long weekends’! I garnished an appreciation for fantasy novels by seeking out fantasy in motion pictures; which is quite the opposite way of doing it, even though I did read a limited amount of science fiction & fantasy as a child! As I grew, I took my love of everything you’ve mentioned whilst being mindful of finding wordsmiths and world-builders who could leave me in a state of ‘awe’ and ‘inspiration’! Re-lighting our passion for our imaginations is the best gift a writer can be given by a story!

Did growing up in the Red River Valley influence your writing at all?

The Red River Valley has a unique way of growing at its own pace, almost untouched from the rest of the nation. It’s the last place to catch onto trends, fashions, and movements, if at all. I’d have to say I grew up with a rather wholesome perspective morally, spiritually, and culturally. I believe this may have influenced the fact I enjoy reading and writing young adult fiction. Our teenage years are full of first-time moments that sculpt us into the adults we eventually become. And as a writer, I find it more challenging to bring a reader into an intense moment without using obscene or abrasive language.

Whilst travelling through the Mid-West, one of my favourite stop-overs was Fargo, North Dakota & Moorhead, Minnesota, which is precisely where you hail from and create your fantasy worlds! I believe there are certain enfolds of townes and communities within our country who have chosen to forestall time a bit to keep the softer side of living intact. To go back to community stronghold of neighbourly kindness, local events where friends outweigh outside visitors, and where the pace of living is not set against a clock or a time-stamp, but rather the enjoyment of the days, the hours, and the way in which life ebbs at its own rate of arrival! Despite living in a metropolis, I believe I achieved a similar background of childhood & growing years by having a family who was rooted in the timeless belief that children deserve to have innocence and freedom to learn and grow in an environment where the outside world takes a backseat for a number of years!

You might find a curious notation of an indexed category on Jorie Loves A Story, entitled simply as “Fly in the Ointment”, which is my cheeky and clever way of speaking about what I am propelled to be turnt off inside the books I read and choose to showcase on my blog! The number one vexation I have is the abrasive and explicit use of vulgarity in literature. I’m not a prude, but if the level of its usage is bent-on shock rather than language, I am not going to be content to let it pass. Personally, the writers who endear me long-term have stories which never even think of broaching a harsher word than ‘hell’ or ‘damn’ in their novels! IF you can sort out how to keep the innocence inside your stories but reflect the stronger emotions without resorting to vulgarity, you’ll not only win me over but all readers who are gentle in spirit!

}: Author Quotation :{

“There is also much to be said about the fantasy realm
where Magnanthia is located,” Maul says. “The realm holds
true to the traditional sense of fantasy worlds, and there
are some fun and exciting new creatures
and magical
items.”

This Book Spotlight & Announcement is courtesy of:

In the Land of Magnanthia by B.R. Maul Blog Tour with JKS Communications Literary Publicity Firm

Be sure to scope out my Bookish Upcoming Events to mark your calendars!!

Return on the morrow, to read Mr. Maul’s Author Guest Post!

Similar to blog tours, when I feature a showcase for an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog.

Kindly leave a note for Mr. Maul in the comment threads about how this spotlight encouraged you to seek out his début novel! And, I want to open the comment threads in relating what you seek first and foremost out of a new release in fantasy!? What kinds of stories whet your palette of interest and are you attracted to high fantasy tales where characters have epic adventures set with a magically beautiful setting and world!? Which Young Adult Fantasy novelists do you feel are bridging the gaps for Children’s Literature to give a hearty & true story, but without the harshness or dark undertones of the adult releases!? What stood out to you about Maul’s approach to his craft!?

+ Open Invitation for Book Discussion +

+ 28 March, 2014 +

Author B.R. Maul has expressed a desire to converse with readers who pick up “Portals, Passages, & Pathways” to return to Jorie Loves A Story giving all of us a hearty discussion about the life lessons & attributes of each of the character’s arc which translated directly into the reader’s heart! I am hoping to read a print copy of the story myself one day, and therefore, this is an Open Discussion Post where the comment threads will be waiting for you to return & share your experiences & thoughts about the story as you read it! I look forward to hearing your recollections & to dig a bit deeper into the heart of the narrative!!

{SOURCES: Book Cover art for “Portals, Passages, & Pathways”, B.R. Maul photograph, book synopsis, author biography, author quotation & author Q&A (taken from the Press Kit) were provided by JKS Communications Literary Publicity Firm and used with permission. Although, the Author Q&A was provided for me to incorporate into my Book Spotlight, I chose to do so because the Questions were similar to ones I would have pitched to the author myself had I elected to host a separate Author Interview &/or Author Q&A. My replies are given to highlight a bit more insight into why I am quite eager to read this novel in print! Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Wednesday, 26 March, 2014 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Book Spotlight of E-Book (ahead of POD/print edition), Bookish Discussions, Bullies and the Bullied, Debut Novel, Fantasy Fiction, Heroic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Self-Published Author, The Natural World, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction