Category: Blogosphere Events & Happenings

#Blogmas | feat. #FantasyForChristmas19 showcases | “Tales from Parallel Worlds: A Collection of Faerie Tales and Adventure Stories” (an anthology of Steampunk, Paranormal Adventure and Fantasy stories) By Jes Drew

Posted Wednesday, 4 December, 2019 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

#blogmas 2019 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I recently had a chance to help promote the publication of this lovely anthology – however, as I took ill throughout October – my mind, heart & hours were elsewhere distracted from being socially engaged with the bookish world & community via the blogosphere and #bookishTwitter. I was overjoyed finding this title was included during #FantasyForChristmas19 as there is something magically addictive about *anthologies!* and being able to disappear inside them – to enchant your mind & your bookish heart with a vision of a story which is told in shorter format from novels and with the loveliness of being able to tuck closer to authors you might never have discovered otherwise if they hadn’t been included in an anthology!

I have the tendency of leaning towards reading Speculative Fiction anthologies (across the genres of interest which include: Cosy Horror, High Fantasy & Low Fantasy, Science Fiction (esp Space Opera or other side-niches), Steampunk & other murmurings along the realms of re-told tales from Fairy Tales to Legends & Lore or any variant of Mythological Stories as well – although, I technically also collect anthologies for INSPY stories, too. These just happen to be the genres my readers & followers will recognise as being previously reviewed & featured on Jorie Loves A Story!

The reason this one drew my eye was for two reasons: a) it has the lovely social conscience of donating funds to a charity and b) it appears to have a bountiful collection of stories which gives you something to chew on from a multitude of Speculative angles of interest! I love anthologies which re-carve a path into what is plausible through Speculative worlds which tuck you into situations that you can appreciate as being inspired by our IRL lives but as such are played out in fantastical realms instead of our contemporary modern reality!

Curiously – what kinds of anthologies do you love yourself? And, are you gravitating towards Speculative Fiction anthologies like I am? If so, which are your favourite publishers? So far, I’ve enjoyed 7th Star Press, World Weaver Press & Xchyler Publishing.

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Tales from Parellel Worlds by Jes Drew

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This is a self-published anthology!

Converse via: #FantasyForChristmas19, #FantasyAvengers and #Steampunk

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Published: 26th October, 2019 | ISBN: 978-1694397775

An illustrated collection of faerie tales and adventure stories from two worlds parallel to each other. One is a world filled with fae folk and monsters, and the other is place of clockwork and alchemy.

Both are brimming with magic, mystery, and mortals who must find their places within. Between the pages of these worlds, a boy learns his childhood friend is a dyrad, a lady must sneak away from her own ball to provide the cure to a plague-infected village, a siren has to solve a murder, and more.

Also includes an exclusive short story from the Howling Twenties series, involving the enchanted forest, a wedding day, and a blood moon.

Be swept away in tales of wonder-with all profit going to Polaris so girls and boys can have a chance to live their own faerie tales and adventures in freedom.

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Posted Wednesday, 4 December, 2019 by jorielov in #blogmas, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Steampunk

#Blogmas | feat. #FantasyForChristmas19 showcases | The Ravenwood Saga by Morgan L. Busse

Posted Tuesday, 3 December, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , 0 Comments

#blogmas 2019 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Last year was my first #blogmas where I could focus on hosting the #FantasyForChristmas authors who were writing Fantasy narratives which keenly drew my interest into their series, stories and characters – some were INSPY Fantasy storycrafters, such as today’s featured author Morgan L. Busse.

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Let me share my thoughts about her writing style:

When it comes to High Fantasy (ie. Epic Fantasy), Portal Fantasy and Quest Fantasy – I almost could presume to realise that Ms Busse was about to encompass everything I love from this triple threat of fantastical worlds due to how she places you inside her world. It isn’t just the fact this world feels older than the initial pages you’ve read, it is how she has chosen to let her characters peer at us from their regular habits – they are living their life and we’re observing their life from the outside. I love when writers have this authentic nature about their world-building to where you feel like you’ve slipped the veil and have re-emerged elsewhere; settling into a step with characters you dearly want to know more about and a world which although slightly curious round the edges has its own share of darkness.

Busse does a wonderful job of building the suspenseful arc surrounding the Ravenwood women’s predestined gifting – she has granted the reader an introspective viewing of what happens when you are not willing to blindly accept your fate but rather, with a thoughtful concern for what that fate might imply against your own better nature – to examine it and to sort out where your own allegiances lie within the sphere of the world you were bourne.

She makes you compelled to read the story if only to see where each of the characters are going to take their own stands because this isn’t a fate that you would wish upon yourself or anyone else. It is a question of morality and ethics, too – of what you might be willing to do for the sake of your family but if it goes against an inherent belief of yours? If it crosses that line in the sand where your conscience cannot justify the means of the gift – what do you do then? Its a good plotting to think over and to turn round on yourself whilst your examining the will of Busse’s characters to do the same even if they previously had just succumbed to what they were pushed to do.

I never would have realised her series would be offered on a blog tour during the coming New Year 2019 nor that I would have been selected to host her tour giving me the chance to read the first two novels in the series Mark of the Raven and Flight of the Raven – which I celebrated during our 2nd Year of Wyrd And Wonder.

It is a true honour and joy to re-visit this series for my readers whilst highlighting a few of the reasons why I enjoyed reading the series thus far along and why I have expectations about where the series will be heading from here.

Especially considering being a selection of INSPY Fantasy, I was most interested in seeing how Busse would handle the overtures of a faith-based Fantasy world and how those would interconnect to traditional INSPY narratives which either are Historical or Contemporary in scope.

This story deals with a lot of different themes and topics – from physical violence against women to the implications of manipulating people’s dreams whilst they are in REM sleep. The key elements of the story of course are threading through a lens of INSPY narrative – wherein you know the story is anchoured through a prism of light rather than the darkness afflicting its nature onto the characters as they each must choose which destiny they will either accept, refute or alter given the course of their own conscience choice in the matter affecting their lineage legacies.

You have to seek out the patterns of inspiration to see how this is an INSPY Fantasy novel as it has the markings of a traditional Quest and High Fantasy story arc – wherein the main question permeating through the novel is what choices will Selene make now that her destiny’s out in the open and the layers of its reach are known to her and her mother? It is not overtly INSPY in that there are distinct cross-overlays between Christianity and this fantastical world – there is a hint and a nod towards religion but it isn’t omnipresent in the narrative itself. Except for the concept of the soul and the journey of the soul – wherein is the most spirituality you’ll see as you walk through the story itself.

It is more of a thinking novel about the concepts of spirituality and the concepts of living against your moral fibre as a sentient being who has the conscience walk of the soul within you. The greatest battle of course is between the Dark Lady and the Light – of which you can draw your own conclusions about whom their representing and I loved Busse for giving readers that option of choice.

In direct regard to the INSPY threads of spirituality and faith running in the background of the series – I believe this would appeal to those who have their own spirituality which can be defined or those who are still seeking a path towards knowing where their spirituality lies within their own belief systems. As a Protestant and spiritualist myself, I found it wicked fascinating how she pulled ancient truths together within the framework of this world (only wish I knew what to ‘call this world!’) whilst she layered it within the individual walk her characters must take to not just root out their own legacies within their ancestral lines but to seek out where they each draw their own allegiances between the Light and the Dark Lady. For that is most important of all – here and in our own realities.

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What I found was a very broad overview within the world with a few specific nudges of insight towards how this world has a firm foundation of faith running in the background of how the characters live their lives. In some places, I had hoped they might be a bit more empathise on this side of the story but it is how lush Busse describes this world, the sequencing on focusing on her character’s central arc of growth and the angst that goes with being a warrior – all of that was the beautiful boiling pot towards developing a dramatic thread of a story you simply want more to read as each installment only pulls you so far forward inside their lives. I do go into more details about my takeaways and conclusions on how faith is infused into the series on my reviews for Mark of the Raven & Flight of the Raven as this was just an excerpt from what I previously shared.

This was a series of Fantasy which took me by surprise and hugged me close into its world – I am most eager to see where we transition from here within the pages of Cry of the Raven – which is why today I am thankful to feature an extract from Flight of the Raven to continue to introduce my readers to what I found wicked fascinating about the Ravenwood Saga!

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Mark of the Raven by Morgan BusseFlight of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse

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Published by: Bethany House Publishers (@bethany_house)

an imprint of Baker Publishing Group

The Ravenwood Saga:

Mark of the Raven (book one) | add to LibraryThing

Published: 6th November, 2018 | ISBN: 978-0764232220

Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person’s dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.

As she discovers her family’s dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family’s legacy–a legacy that supports her people–or seeking the true reason behind her family’s gift.

Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.

One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?

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Flight of the Raven (book two) | add to LibraryThing

Published: 30th April, 2019 | ISBN: 978-0764232237

Selene Ravenwood, once the heir to House Ravenwood, is now an exile. On the run and free of her family’s destiny, Selene hopes to find the real reason her family was given the gift of dreamwalking. But first she must adapt to her new life as wife to Lord Damien Maris, the man she was originally assigned to kill.

While adjusting to her marriage and her home in the north, her power over dreams begins to grow. As the strongest dreamwalker to exist in ages, her expanding power attracts not only nightmares but the attention of the Dark Lady herself.

With a war looming on the horizon and a wicked being after her gift, Selene is faced with a choice: embrace the Dark Lady’s offer, or search out the one who gave her the gift of dreamwalking. One path offers power, the other offers freedom. But time is running out, and soon her choice will be made for her.

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Cry of the Raven (book three) | add to LibraryThing

Published: 4th February, 2020 | ISBN: 978-0764232244

Lady Selene Ravenwood has come into her full power as a dreamwalker just as the war with the Dominia Empire begins.

Working with the other Great Houses, Selene and Damien use their gifts to secure the borders and save those devastated by the war. But conflict, betrayal, and hatred begin to spread between the Great Houses, destroying their unity as the empire burns a path across their lands.

At the same time, Damien Maris starts to lose his ability to raise the waters, leaving the lands vulnerable to the empire’s attacks.The only one who can unite the houses and restore her husband’s power is Selene Ravenwood. But it will require that she open her heart to those who have hurt her and let go of her past, despite the one who hunts her and will do anything to stop her power.

Will Selene survive? Or is she destined to fall like the dreamwalkers before her?

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Converse via: #FantasyForChristmas, #FantasyNerd and #EpicFantasy

About Morgan L. Busse

Morgan Busse

Morgan L. Busse is a writer by day and a mother by night. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series, the Carol Award-winning steampunk series, Soul Chronicles, and the Ravenwood Saga, a new fantasy series from Bethany House coming November 2018. During her spare time she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel.

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Posted Tuesday, 3 December, 2019 by jorielov in #blogmas, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours

#Blogmas | A #bookblogger celebrating the stories *and!* story-tellers this December with a keen focus on Non-Fiction, Fantasy, Witchy Reads, Ghost Stories and Mysteries!

Posted Sunday, 1 December, 2019 by jorielov 0 Comments

#blogmas 2019 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

You might be surprised to see my #blogmas posts originating on my blog ahead of my #SciFiMonth posts which have become a bit backlogged due to migraines, a father’s medical crisis and just life in general which wrecked the last few weeks of November to where I still have several posts to release for Sci Fi November whilst we move into the #blogmas season!

As previously hinted towards – I’ll be borrowing Hermonie’s timewinder to where I can bend time a bit on Jorie Loves A Story – releasing certain posts & bookish showcases which were meant to go live in the latter half of November for the Sci Fi geek in all of us whilst as December begins to prod along towards Christmas, I’ll be highlighting new Fantasy novelists (and a few beloved writers!) who are intriguing me this #blogmas whilst also focusing on highlighting new authors of Sweet Romance – as both are guilty pleasures when it comes to my readerly life! Smiles. I had a lot of fun last December with the #FantasyForChristmas spotlights and features and this year, I am thankful to be hosting the special event for the 2nd Year via Prism Book Tours!

Counter to my postings for these two events, I am re-queuing a few reading lists I’ve been struggling to focus on for a few readathons these past months – specifically the #SpooktasticReads, the #HoHoHoRAT and the #ThanksgivingReadathon – wherein the hours flew off the clock and my focus on the stories themselves was less than stellar! I never had the chance to properly dive into those lovelies and as #cloakanddaggerchristmas is starting to kick-off this December as well – I decided to combine the stories I dearly want to read before New Year’s into a reader’s bliss of #blogmas loveliness – focusing of course on Non-Fiction (especially for inspiring memoirs, inspiring topics & Science narratives), works of Fantasy alongside #WitchyReads, Ghost Stories and Mysteries!

If you want to know which stories I’ll be reading – I suggest visiting the posts I’ve linked in this post as I’ve recently shared quite a heap about the selections themselves and the reasons why I’ve been thrilled to bits to focus on reading them this year.

Today, I simply wanted to introduce my goals for #blogmas and give a shout-out to both the #FantasyForChristmas19 selections I’ll be focusing on throughout the first half of December and the Mysteries I specifically want to read before the clock counts down to midnight New Year’s Eve!

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Posted Sunday, 1 December, 2019 by jorielov in #blogmas, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours

A dash of blog news + the #ThanksgivingReadathon | Wherein one #bookblogger re-tackles her #ChristmasReads *and!* delights herself silly with #SciFiMonth selections!

Posted Tuesday, 26 November, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

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DETAILS: Read as many books as you can in the 7 days of the readathon which are 25th November – 1st December. Use the hashtag #ThankgivingReadathon via your social accounts to help celebrate the readathon and/or share it! Publish a Sign-Up Post between November 1st and November 30th. Publish a Wrap-Up post between December 1st and December 7th. Participate in the Bookstagram Challenge or in theory you could do those posts via #bookishTwitter. Link Up your sign-up and wrap-up posts. Comment on all the wonderful #ThanksgivingReadathon blog posts, Twitter updates, and Instagram photos from all the participants!

Hosted by: Death by Tsundoku | @DeathByTsundoku

Official Sign-Up Page & Where you Add your Links!

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My Reading List for #ThanksgivingReadathon [2019]:

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A Light in the Window by Julie Lessman

Sleigh Bells Ring (anthology)

Christmas Kisses by Alison May (anthology)

Christmas at Pemberly by Regina Jeffers

In Love by Christmas by Cari Lynn Webb

The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen (a non-Christmassy selection!)

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→ (*as well as my purchase requests at the library*) →

A Family by Christmas by Viv Royce

Christmas Once Again by Jina Bacarr

(see also #SatBookChat featured Spotlight w/ link to archived chat)

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→ and a few extras for good measure via audiobook →

Yuletide: A Jane Austen Inspired Collection of Stories by the Quill Collective focusing on “Pride & Prejudice” narrated by Harry Frost

One Magical Christmas by Berni Stevens, narrated by Willow Nash

Mr Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva, narrated by Euan Morton

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Whilst reading a selection of Science Fiction & Magical Realism which are found via my #SciFiMonth TBR post – these lovelives will be alighting onto my blog’s archives during this readathon and through 7th of December to re-write history a bit & bend time per losing hours with my migraine & the crisis of my father’s BP spike as microblogged.

The ones I’m specifically looking forward to finishing are as follows:

  • The Renaissance Club (Time Travel) by Rachel Ducas
  • Far Orbit: Apogee (edited by) Bascomb James (Space Opera anthology)
  • The Case for Space (Non-Fiction) by Robert Zubrin
  • The Robot in the Next Cubicle (Non-Fiction) by Larry Boyer
  • The Time Key (Time Travel) by Melanie Bateman
  • Little Computer People (Speculative Sci Fi) by Galen Surlak-Ramsey
  • The Dream Keeper’s Daughter (Magical Realism) by Emily Colin
  • The Fighter of Aldea (Alt. Earth Spec Fict Fantasy) by Kira Weston
  • Heaven’s Edge Novella Series (Space Opera, the Rims) by Jennifer Silverwood
    (see also #SatBookChat featured Spotlight w/ link to archived chat)
  • Trans-Continental: Girl in the Gears (Steampunk) by E. Chris Garrison
  • Failure to Communicate (First Contact, Space Opera) by Kaia Sønderby

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If you love reading #ChristmasReads and/or #HolidayReads – which befit the following genres of interest – kindly leave me notes on this post – Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction or INSPY Lit.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #ThanksgivingReadathon 2019
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Posted Tuesday, 26 November, 2019 by jorielov in Blogosphere Events & Happenings, RALs | Thons via Blogs