Category: Book Spotlight

An Indie Fantasy #25PagePreview | “The Living Waters” (Book One: Weirdwater Confluence series) by Dan Fitzgerald

Posted Wednesday, 1 December, 2021 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: During my 3rd Year of co-hosting @WyrdAndWonder, I was able to participate on my first blog tour with Storytellers on Tour which was featuring the author Brianna Sugalski on her “Disenchanted” blog tour. What I appreciated about Storytellers on Tour is their dedication to Indie Authors of Speculative Literature and their ability to find authors who are telling stories in Fantasy which intrigue me to read. Fantasy has been a challenging genre for me to explore even a bit moreso than Science Fiction – which is why I feel blessed to be on their blogger team. Whilst some of their tours I might seek out a book to consider for review, I also actively enjoy hosting creative content using book photography and/or featuring their authors in conversation (ie. interviews) or giving them the breadth of joy to write a guest post based on a topic of my choosing. Overall, Storytellers on Tour are dedicated to creating community and for championing those of us who are choosing to share our readerly lives each day we bring content to our book blogs. 

I received a complimentary copy of “The Living Waters” direct from the author Dan Fitzgerald in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I admit, today is a bit of a somber day for me to be hosting for Storytellers on Tour – as this lovely touring company I’ve been hosting for the past few years now is closing its doors by the end of 2021. I won’t be able to host for them moving forward into 2022 and that is quite a sad reality for me – as I have truly loved being a Roadie (part of their book blogging team) all the years I’ve hosted for them and have come to appreciate the authors, stories and series they’ve hand-selected to feature within the Speculative realms of Indie Publishing.

For those who follow me throughout the years, you’ll already note I love focusing on Indie Fantasy storytellers myself every #WyrdAndWonder (annually in May; follow us socially on Twitter via @WyrdAndWonder) – which I briefly mention at the end of this post. The reason I love Indie Speculative Fiction is because the writers of those stories are happily giving me wicked good stories to ruminate over and enticingly intriguing worlds to explore.

This year I’ve tried to juggle working full-time (now with two jobs since the end of October) and maintaining my blogging and online life. I recognise that I’ve not quite struck the proper balance between the two but I’ve tried to keep surfacing on my blog and social channels – despite the fact I completely missed #SpooktasticReads and #SciFiMonth this year – hopefully, by the time next October and November come round in 2022, I’ll have more to share with everyone! I’ll be sharing a bit more about this during my next #TheSundayPost but for those followers and readers of Jorie Loves A Story who’ve wondered about the reduction in my presence online, it is due to limited days off and a heavier work load now that I’m balancing two jobs full-time as well as the fact my Mum has been having some health issues recently herself.

I am just thankful I could join one of the last blog tours for Storytellers on Tour and be a part of their final tours before they close their doors. The author surprised me with a lovely piece of the artwork (its a art photograph I believe!), two bookmarks and a lovely bookplate when he sent me the book! I was so thankful to receive them as my copy arrived damaged from the post office – to find those enclosures still with the book was quite the blessing indeed! I cannot wait to frame the artwork, too!

As a result of having limited reading hours recently, I had to scale back my post from a full review to be featured today to a #25PagePreview wherein I share my thoughts about the first twenty-pages instead. It is my goal to share a fuller review before the close of the blog tour this week.

Until then,

Brew yourself a cuppa and let’s find out more about “The Living Waters”!

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An Indie Fantasy #25PagePreview | “The Living Waters” (Book One: Weirdwater Confluence series) by Dan FitzgeraldThe Living Waters
Subtitle: Weirdwater Confluence : Book 1
by Dan Fitzgerald
Source: Author via Storytellers on Tour

When two painted-faced nobles take a guided raft trip on a muddy river, they expect to rough it for a few weeks before returning to their life of sheltered ease. But when mysterious swirls start appearing in the water, even their seasoned guides get rattled.

The mystery of the swirls lures them on to seek the mythical wetlands known as the Living Waters. They discover a world beyond their imagining, but stranger still are the worlds they find inside their own minds as they are drawn deep into the troubles of this hidden place.
 
The Living Waters is a sword-free fantasy novel featuring an ethereal love story, meditation magic, and an ancient book with cryptic marginalia.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Portal Fantasy, Fantasy Romance



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8493260940

Published by Shadow Spark Publishing

on 9th October, 2021

Format: Paperback Edition

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The Weirdwater Confluence series:

Artwork from The Living Waters novel by Dan Fitzgerald featuring Gilea and Temi. Provided by Storytellers on Tour and is used with permission of the author Dan Fitzgerald.
Artwork from The Living Waters novel by Dan Fitzgerald
featuring Gilea and Temi.

a duology featuring:

The Living Waters (Book One)

& The Isle of a Thousand Worlds

← *forthcoming January, 2022!

NOTE: It is independent from the Maer Cycle trilogy, but there are a few points of contact, and both are part of a planned larger universe called the Copper Circle, which will include a trilogy called the Time Before, set 2,000 years before the Maer Cycle. Found this sidenote about the duology from the author’s website and felt it was relevant to share in case others are keen on reading serial fiction with the foreknowledge of how different duologies, trilogies and universes in an author’s collective works interconnect.

Published by: Shadow Spark Publishing (@ShadowSparkPub)

Converse via: #Fantasy, #SpeculativeFiction and #FantasyRomance
as well as #storytellersontour & #EnterTheFantastic as #JorieReads

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About Dan Fitzgerald

Dan Fitzgerald

Dan Fitzgerald is the fantasy author of the Maer Cycle trilogy (character-driven low-magic fantasy) and the upcoming Weirdwater Confluence duology (sword-free fantasy with unusual love stories). The Living Waters comes out October 15, 2021 and The Isle of a Thousand Worlds arrives January 15, 2022, both from Shadow Spark Publishing.

He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, twin boys, and two cats. When not writing he might be found doing yoga, gardening, cooking, or listening to French music.

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Posted Wednesday, 1 December, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Storytellers on Tour

Book Spotlight | “Big Dreams for the West End Girls” by Elaine Roberts

Posted Tuesday, 8 June, 2021 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am happy to spotlight a Historical novel this morning which is a different kind of Historical war drama in the effect that this one is meant to uplift your heart whilst your reading it! I know for a long, long time in my readerly life I was much more consumed with the ‘other’ half of war dramas, but for me, as a reader, I’m happily finding myself more keen on seeking out stories like this one! The good news for readers like me who are more traditional (ie. reading either print or listening to audiobooks), the paperback for this lovely releasses this September whilst those who can read ebooks, happily you get to dive in this June!

This is a #newtomeauthor I’ve earmarked to want to read for quite awhile now. Sometimes there has been a gap in release dates between the UK and getting books stateside whilst other times I’ve not been able to seek out the stories I’d love to read by this publisher on the timeline of the pub dates but have a ready list of books and authors I’m still attempting to read through my local and regional libraries. This year, as my local library has resumed their purchase requests, I’m hoping I might be able to add a few titles into their collection.

This series [The West End Girls] began with the novel “The West End Girls” and continues now with Big Dreams for the West End Girls. I love reading serial Historicals and I am going to see if my library can acquire the first novel first and then, I’ll request the sequel (today’s featured book) lateron in Autumn at time of release.

The full list of book bloggers taking part in this lovely blog tour is at the foot of this post. Kindly make your loop through the route to find all the reactions to the story and the content assembled for the tour. I know I’m eagerly on pins awaiting my chance to dive into Ms Roberts novels – are you!?

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Let me know if this inspiringly uplifting Historical war drama is on your TBR!

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Book Spotlight | “Big Dreams for the West End Girls” by Elaine RobertsBig Dreams for the West End Girls
Subtitle: Nothing Will Stop Her... Not even the war!
by Elaine Roberts

Nothing will stop her – not even the war!

1914. Working in a bustling café on London's Shaftesbury Avenue, Joyce Taylor dreams of opening her own restaurant. But when the man she loves enlists in the war, and a surprise request comes through from her dying grandmother, Joyce's life gets turned upside down.
Struggling to keep the café afloat with her new-found responsibilities, it's not long before Joyce starts to feel the pressure might be all too much. Luckily, her supportive friends Annie and Rose are on hand to help. Despite all the madness, can Joyce find a way to make her dreams come true? And will her love story have a happy ending?

Annie, Rose and Joyce are three girls with very different dreams – but the same great friendship. From the author of the Foyles Bookshop series, Big Dreams for the West End Girls is a charming and uplifting WW1 saga, perfect for fans of Daisy Styles and Rosie Hendry.

Genres: Historical Fiction, War Drama, Historical Women's Fiction



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1800246096

ASIN: B08L88LMYK

Published by Aria Fiction

on 1st September, 2021

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Published By: Aria Fiction (@Aria_Fiction)
a Digital First imprint of Head of Zeus (@HoZ_Books)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook
→ 3rd June ebook release | 1st September paperback release

Converse via: #WestEndGirls, #WomensFiction and #HeadOfZeus

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Posted Tuesday, 8 June, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Head of Zeus, Historical Fiction

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Spotlight & Discussion | “The Other Times of Caroline Tangent” by Ivan D. Wainewright

Posted Thursday, 27 May, 2021 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Many of us who participate in Wyrd And Wonder have a secondary passion which is Science Fiction – hence why a lot of us cross-participate in @SciFiMonth! Today I am featuring a story which isn’t entirely a fantastical story per se in the context of how it was written as it is much more of a Speculative Fiction narrative as it moves through a time travelling narrative. For me, time travel is one of those niche areas of SpecFic which can either work wonderfully or fall a bit flat for my own curiosities.

I had intended to read The Time Traveller’s Wife ahead of the film adaptation but in the end opted to see the film in lieu of reading the novel. It was one of those soul-crushing films and stories which nearly did me in whilst watching it – similar to how my soul crumbled into oblivion at the end of The Notebook. Some stories grip you so wholly whole you feel as if pieces of you have been left behind in the wake of them. Time travelling stories take a lot out of me as there is such a lot of drama and life being lived inside them that sometimes they can become a bit soul consuming. Not that I mind, as that is part of what I enjoy about them but I have to temper how oft I enter into those worlds and lives as well.

As I love focusing on Indie Fantasy storytellers myself every #WyrdAndWonder – I was thankful I would have a chance to showcase this author during our 4th Year. The reason I love Indie Speculative Fiction is because the writers of those stories are happily giving me wicked good stories to ruminate over and enticingly intriguing worlds to explore.

Sometimes the lines between the fantastical and the science fictional can blend and merge and crossover into each other. As I haven’t read the full story within this novel and have only the chapter sampler to go by – I am not sure if it merges into some elements of Fantasy vs Science Fiction or if it holds true to its niche of being a time travelling story start to finish.

Either which way this story travels into its own journey, the concept of it is what was most alluring to feature during Wyrd And Wonder as isn’t it a bit of a wonderment how time travelling can exist and how despite the challenges therein, we still speculate on how it can happen and of course, of the consequences if the threads of time are altered by our own interferences? I wonder if that is also explored — as it had been in The Time Traveller’s Wife. Along with the concept of course of how limited are you as you travel? Which is one reason I enjoyed the adventures of Dr Samuel Beckett throughout the years of Quantum Leap.

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A #WyrdAndWonder Book Spotlight & Discussion | “The Other Times of Caroline Tangent” by Ivan D. WainewrightThe Other Times of Caroline Tangent
by Ivan D. Wainewright
Source: Author via Storytellers on Tour

If you could travel back in time to see any concert, who would you go to see?

Caroline Tangent’s husband, Jon has invented a time machine so they can visit iconic gigs in history: Woodstock, David Bowie, Edith Piaf in 1930’s Paris – an inexhaustible bucket-list. But they can’t tell anyone they’re doing so; Caroline’s life as an artist in North London goes on with her friends and family, and their concerts remain a secret.

As their trips to the past continue, they begin to realise how Jon’s invention could change a devastating moment from their own past. And for Caroline, it’s clear that she and Jon don’t want the same outcome.

Until, on a trip to 1978, one of them does something unthinkable which will change both their lives forever.

For fans of Matt Haig, Audrey Niffenegger, Stephen King’s 11/22/63 – or anyone who likes time travel or music!

Please note the CW: Miscarriage, Abortion, Death/Dying, Racism, Sexism, Violence, Disease

Genres: Science Fiction, Time Travel Fiction



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781838367008

on 17th May, 2021

Format: Chapter Sampler | Online

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Converse via: #SpeculativeFiction or #SpecFic and #TimeTravel
as well as #storytellersontour & #WyrdAndWonder as #JorieReads

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Thursday, 27 May, 2021 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Storytellers on Tour, Time Travel, Time Travel Adventure, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

A #WyrdAndWonder Top Five Saturday | Top Five Secrets of Travelling within the Verin Empire | Guest Post featuring William Ray who wrote the uniquely fantastically clever “Shadow Debt” (Tales of the Verin Empire, Book Three)

Posted Saturday, 15 May, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#TopFiveSaturday meme badge created by Jorie in Canva.

#TopFiveSaturday is a meme hosted by Devouring Books

The blogger has been on a bit of a hiatus, thereby this respun meme was inspired by the book blogger who originated a theme base Top Five meme! Usually the host will suggest a theme wherein bloggers can list books associated with the theme they feel honours the topic of choosing their Top Five for that Saturday. I’ve decided to go a different route this Saturday by featuring an Indie Fantasy author’s series.

I asked a dear friend, Louise @foxesfairytale (hostess of @Mythothon) to help me find a Top Five meme and I was grateful she knew about #TopFiveSaturday! I might have to participate once the host of this meme resumes her themed schedules.

Jorie’s topic for William Ray:
Top Five Secrets of Travelling within the Verin Empire ??

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

As you know, I positively love Indie (Press and Publishers) and Self Published Speculative Fiction storycrafters who are giving me wicked good literary wanderings within Cosy Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy.

I’ve been sitting on this lovely guest post by Mr Ray since I originally hosted his blog tour with Storytellers on Tour – a blog touring company whose championing Indie Storytellers and giving us all a lovely chance to feature their collective works. I originally hosted a Top Ten Tuesday respun meme for him and this guest post was kicked out during the tour, as I knew I wanted to showcase him during #WyrdAndWonder.

We’ve amassed our largest gathering of adventurers this Wyrd And Wonder – we’re 100x strong this year, imagine!? And, next year is our 5th Year!! I know a lot of adventurers are seeking series and novels to put on their TBR and I’m hoping the Verin Empire might tempt you to add it to yours! I, for one am trying to source copies of the novels myself through my local library – including submitting a purchase request this May to see if I can start reading them myself.

I am hoping you will feel a part of this world, as you take a sneak peek of it through the illustrative artwork and the cheekiness of the humour which you can see through how Mr Ray approached writing this guest post! Welcome to your #TopFiveSaturday welcoming you into the Verin Empire!

Brew yourself a cuppa and let’s go on a Wyrd And Wonder adventure!

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A #WyrdAndWonder Top Five Saturday | Top Five Secrets of Travelling within the Verin Empire  | Guest Post featuring William Ray who wrote the uniquely fantastically clever “Shadow Debt” (Tales of the Verin Empire, Book Three)Shadow Debt
Subtitle: A Tale of the Verin Empire
by William Ray

Glynn Sorley is sheriff of Keat’s Field, a tiny settlement in an otherwise lawless frontier. With the discovery of diamonds, her town is flooded with fortune-hunters looking to strike it rich. It’s also a target for competing colonial powers, savage goblin tribes, and outlaws.

A rustler on the run from the law stumbles across his father’s mysterious legacy – a weapon of immense magical power. He uses it to ravage across the territory as the notorious outlaw Gentleman Jim.

But the weapon’s power comes at a terrible cost, and Keat’s Field may just have to pay the price…

This third Tale of the Verin Empire returns us to the world of Gedlund and The Great Restoration. It explores a frontier trapped between competing nations, where goblins reign and a lone sheriff fights to keep the peace.

Drawing inspiration from L’Amour’s Comstock Lode, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and our own late 19th century, Shadow Debt continues William Ray’s bold, critically acclaimed reinvention of classic fantasy in a world of memorable characters and unique perspectives, and features sketches from acclaimed illustrator Tom Parker.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Blackpowder Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Gaslight Fantasy, Paranormal Urban Fantasy, Noir Crime Drama, PI (Private Investigator)



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8681940616

ASIN: B08JF16LBM

Also by this author: Shadow Debt (Guest Post)

Published by Self Published

on 17th September, 2020

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The stories of the Verin Empire:

Gedlund by William RayA Case of Eager Heirs by William RayThe Great Restoration by William RayShadow Debt by William Ray

 

Illustration Credit for Book Covers: Ramona Marc

Connect with the illustrator Tom Parker via @papagaeioFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Gedlund (book one) : Blackpowder Fantasy

A Case of Eager Heris (short story) :
Gaslight / Urban Fantasy | Private / Noir Detective

The Great Restoration (book two) :
Gaslight / Urban Fantasy | Private / Noir Detective

Shadow Debt (book three) : Weird West | Western Fantasy

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Top Five Secrets of Travelling within the Verin Empire

William Ray's Verin Empire illustration provided by Storytellers on Tour and is used with permisison.
William Ray’s Verin Empire series illustration provided by William Ray
and is used with permisison. Art Illustration Credit: Tom Parker.

Martin’s Guide — Touring the Frontier

Readers wishing to venture into these strange lands can find them chronicled in Tales of the Verin Empire, by William Ray.

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Posted Saturday, 15 May, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Spotlight, Bookish Memes, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Storytellers on Tour