Category: A to Z Challenge

+Blog Book Tour+ The Leland Dragon series by Jackie Gamber, a book blogger’s recollection of a beloved #dragonfiction trilogy!

Posted Sunday, 14 September, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , 9 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

 Trilogy Tour with Jackie Gamber & H. David Blalock via Tomorrow Comes Media

Featuring the Creative Works of Indie Authors from Seventh Star Press!

I’m focusing on Jackie Gamber’s the Leland Dragon series as I was given the amazing opportunity to discover the beauty within Gamber’s YA Fantasy series last Autumn; whereupon I received Redheart in exchange for an honest review ‘off-tour’. From the very first moment I broached the covers of this novel of #dragonfiction, I *knew!* I had stumbled across a writer who breathed her heart and spirit into her literary exploits. This was a special story for me to read, as I always wanted to read about dragons in fiction, inasmuch as I was a bonefide reader of Science Fiction & Fantasy since I was quite young until my reading wanderings took an abrupt stop in my late teens.

Author Biography: Jackie Gamber

Jackie Gamber

As an award winning author, Jackie writes stories ranging from ultra-short to novel-length, varieties of which have appeared in anthologies such as Tales of Fantasy and Dragons Composed, as well as numerous periodical publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, The Binnacle, Mindflights Magazine, Necrotic Tissue, and Shroud. She is the author of the fantasy novels Redheart, Sela, Reclamation and writing an alternate history time travel novel. She blogs professionally for English Tea Store.com, where she reviews classic science fiction and fantasy novels and pairs them with the ideal tea-sipping companion.

Jackie is a member of the professional organizations Science Fiction Writers of America and Horror Writers Association. She was named honorable mention in L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Award, and received a 2008 Darrell Award for best short story by a Mid-South author. She is the winner of the 2009 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award for Imaginative Fiction for her story The Freak Museum, a post-apocalyptic tale that looks closely at perceptions and outward appearances and how they affect the way we see ourselves. Jackie Gamber was co-founder and Executive Editor of Meadowhawk Press, a speculative fiction publisher based in Memphis. One of their novels, Terminal Mind by David Walton, won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award in 2009. Jackie also edited the award winning benefit anthology, Touched By Wonder. She has been a guest lecturer at Memphis Options High Schools, and is a speaker at writers’ conferences from Michigan to Florida. Jackie is also the visionary behind the MidSouthCon Writers’ Conference, helping writers connect since 2008.

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Wordsmiths are my favourites next to research enthusiasts:

Ms. Gamber has a way of weaving the opening bits of this tale in such a way that your hungry for each new sentence that alights in your mind! She has a way of showing the interactions between a freaked out of her skull human and a disgruntled and reclusive dragon as though this were an ordinary tale, set in an ordinary time, and one that would easily be taken as ‘written’ and ‘true’. Her ease of giving the reader the chance to soak into her narrative is brilliant when you consider this is an epic fantasy, with a world created fully unknown to the reader who picks up the book!

Next to (writers who are) research enthusiasts, my next favourite writer is the wordsmith! The one who uses a palette of words to paint the portraits of what evolves into the stories that light up our imaginations with such a vigorous intensity! They use words in a fashion that infuses emotion, heart, and observation in a way that is both poetic and brilliantly unique. And, being emotional beings (dragons), I would wager could lead to disappointments, misunderstandings, and grievously difficult emotional keels! She eclipses the depth of their personality with deft skill! Soulful! Dragons to me, have always come across as being ‘soulful’, filt to the brim with an ageless wisdom and a mission to seek out understanding in things that they do not always understand at first.

– quoted from my review of Redheart

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The Leland Dragon series :
A Book Blogger’s Retrospective on a Trilogy

Discovering a touring company (Tomorrow Comes Media) whilst browsing the book blogosphere last September and seeing this curiously purple & black logo winking at me in the sidebar of one of my click through visits changed my life as I couldn’t sign-up to be a Tour Hostess fast enough! My first blog tour to host for TCM (I always smile at the initials because I am always thinking of Turner Classic Movies when I use it!) was for “The Boxcar Baby” by J.L. Mulvihill where I tackled a Dystopian Steampunked world for the first time. My review for The Boxcar Baby posted on 29th of September whereas Redheart followed on 30th of October, making it my fourth novel from Seventh Star Press and my fourth Indie Science Fiction or Fantasy author to be read of all-time. As even though I always grativated towards Indie Press & Publishers as much as I did Self-Published authors — there was never an easy route to seek them out on a regular basis. By becoming a book blogger not only was I discovering how wide of a net the Indies encompass nowadays but I was able to cross paths with more writers like me who think outside the box of the traditional paradigm of the world of publishing. Being in a position to ‘host!’ the author and their stories was both an honour and an absolute incredible blessing!

Redheart had such a strong effect on me, as the world within where Kallon Redheart lives is such an intricately created world with layered dimensions at every turn. The fact that I *devoured!* this novel rather than slowly soaked into its heart, is an understatement!

I was so new to hosting for TCM when I posted my review for Redheart I didn’t have the official author’s biography for Gamber nor did I realise I could have posted the Book Synopsis! I was still in the opening months of understanding how I wanted to blog and share my reading adventures as much as defining myself as a Blog Book Tour Hostess. I’ve kept my archives as true to my posts as they were posted originally with only updating font, size of typography, and/or updating badges or post dividers. I wanted an honest recollection of my journey and of the materials I had at my disposal when I was blogging about the books as I met them. I still remain true to how I started, however, in that I am always seeking permission to use Press Kit Materials on behalf of novels & their authors. To me it is not only a courtesy but a rule of thumb as a book blogger.

I truly need to re-read and re-visit the entire trilogy of which I reflected recently and even included my ‘dream setting’ in which to do it:

Read More

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Posted Sunday, 14 September, 2014 by jorielov in #HorrorOctober, A to Z Challenge, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Cover | Original Illustration & Design, Book Trailer, Bookish Films, Cliffhanger Ending, Dragon Fiction, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Father-Daughter Relationships, Good vs. Evil, Indie Art, Indie Author, Light vs Dark, Nature & Wildlife Photography Antidotes of Jorie, Retrospective Memories of a Series, Sci-Fi November, Seventh Star Press, YA Fantasy

_+ #atozchallenge _+ 26 Days | 26 Essays [epic journey] Today is Letter “E”. Hint: The World is a Melting Pot

Posted Saturday, 5 April, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 8 Comments

A to Z Challenge Day 5 Letter E I am involved in a world-wide globally connected blogosphere challenge where each blogger who signs into the participant linky is quite literally confirming their express desire to blog straight [except on Sundays!] for *26 Days!* whilst writing *26!* most intriguing & thought-producing alphabet essays! Or, to be comically inspiring, randomly cheeky, and otherwise delightfully entertaining! The bloggers who have signed into the challenge are from all walks of blogosphere life: book bloggers united alongside lifestyle gurus; writers of all literary styles nudged up against travelogues; the gambit runs the full course of each and every theme, topic, subject, and genre you could possibly light your heart with joy to broach in a blog! And, the curious bit to the journey is where your posts lead you as much as where other blogger’s posts inspire you! It’s this fantastic community to celebrate the spirit within the blogosphere as much as the spirit of connection amongst the bloggers who might not have crossed paths with each other otherwise. After all, the road map for blogs is as wide and large as the actual world outside the nethersphere of websites, pixels, and memes! Walk with us whilst we discover a bit about ourselves, our blog, & each other!

I am blogger #552 out of 2279!

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{ should be noted: @aishacs posted a multi-post Interview
on the blog Story & Chai
about diversity in literature; Part II, Part III, Part IV }

Originally I was going to focus on E P I C F A N T A S Y for Letter E, except to say, that throughout the twitterverse and the book blogosphere I was finding encouragement to draw light on another equally as important discussion of interest E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E! I grew up in a moderately sized city to the extent that the world was outside my door, the essence of the melting pot in vivid colours and dimensions was all around me. I loved the multicultural heritages I grew up near and I enjoyed the conversations I had with those who could help me understand traditions, cultures, and religions outside of my own. I have many fond memories speaking to Native Americans for instance whether I was at a bookshoppe or at an arts & crafts festival. I loved finding ways to engage with people who could dynamically shift my point of view and endear me to how our differences bridge the gap to how we are all interconnected and related.

Although I grew up in a house full of European descent (for the most part; mostly Briton though), the inertia of connectivity of other cultures was always encouraged and sought out. When you live in a city of any size, you get to see a beautiful cross-section of everyone who lives within the city itself. Whilst your riding the bus or walking down the boulevard you are greeting people as you come across them, accepting them as you speak to them, and within those brief moments of conversation you begin to grow curious about their own stories. Stories in which they grew up sharing within their own families and stories in which they grew up reading inside the books they cherished as bedtime companions.

I always celebrated then when I found multicultural characters in the stories I was personally reading as well as settings outside the norm of the net in which is regularly cast. E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E does not end nor begin on having different perspectives in ethnicity or nationality, as it also is inclusive of the ideal for a balancing of all characters and the lives in which they lead. This can include single | divorced | grandparent | foster parenting, adoptive or step-parent families, LGBT families and individuals; learning difficulties as well as those who are living with a medical handicap, illness, or affliction. Immigrant stories of people and families changing their stars for a life in a new country; biracial and multi-ethnic families. Whilst going further to extend past religious differences and spirituality freedoms to include a cross-section of all representations of a person’s beliefs as much as the differences in how we live, eat, and breathe. Full equality is giving the writer the will to focus on the characters they can personally identify with and as thus, can endear the reader to draw connection with as well. For every well-written story there is a reader who is aching to read a story which has transcended the living reality mantra of the earth being a melting pot and has taken the theory into practice in literature. I hint about my views about all of this under “My Bookish Life“.

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E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E for me is reading the world through the lens in which we live. Our world is a beautiful melting pot of cultures, traditions, religions and individualism. Why not celebrate those differences by painting living testaments of our lives as a portrait through the characters we breathe to life in novels? Giving back a bit of the grace in which we are free to live?
by Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story

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Access to Different Kinds of Literature via Color in Colorado

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Books on the Underground; Books on the Subway; Jorie Loves A Story: Booking the Rails

I recently reviewed a book for my Booking the Rails Feature where I highlighted Wonder by R.J. Palacio who wrote this beautiful book about a boy whose face is altered from other children yet the light of his heart uplifts everyone who meets him. The beauty of the novel itself is showing the grace of living your life as true to who you are on the inside as to reflect back to those who perceive you through prejudicial eyes the joy in being authentically yourself. The barriers people build up between each other can be brought down one by one if we endeavour to understand what alienates us and be determined to draw out empathy and compassion as a first response rather than fear, ignorance, and indifference.

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August has a keen philosophical intuitiveness about himself, the dynamics of his family, and his personal living environment around him. He seeks to find solace out of uncertainty and squalls chaos with simplistic truths which etch out the stigmas of which society oft-times places on individuals who are in some shape or form ‘different’ from the ‘norm’. And, the sad truth is that normalcy is in the eye’s of the beholder! To be normal is quite definitively the ability to be wholly true to yourself, your internal resolve of spirit, and in knowing who you are without the prejudgements and negative thoughts of others assembling into your heart. August has instinctively dry humour to convey his thoughts about life, dispelling any unease to meet him because he breaks the ice by simply being himself! He draws you into his sphere by engaging you in a way you were not expecting! No pretense. He’s simply ‘August’, who prefers to go by ‘Auggie’, the brother of Via and the boy who wants to live like a regular ten-year old entering fifth grade!

– quoted from my review of Wonder by R.J. Palacio

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Each book I am selecting to highlight as part of my Booking the Rails feature will be a story which will challenge convention and/or the ideals of story-telling and branch out into new horizons for both my readers and those who find the books on the trains. I want to start a conversation on those posts of giving dialogue and conversation to topics and subjects that will benefit from having a light shined on them. It’s my own wink and a nod to creating a new pathway back into the culture of being ‘bookish’ and ‘conversational’ with each other. Rather than merely nodding in agreement or staying silent altogether. More of my thoughts on this are contained on my visit to The Star Chamber Show : Episode 16. (archived & easy to listen too)

Carol Antoinette Peacock & Pepper
Carol Antoinette Peacock & Pepper in the author’s office. Peacock Family Album.

Previously, I showcased the adoptive story of Carol Antoinette Peacock whereupon her story entitled: Red Thread Sisters embarks on the journey of adopting children from China. This is one of many yet to appear on Jorie Loves A Story, as one of my sub-focuses on my blog will be positive adoptive stories for those who are considering foster adoptive options as well as international, open, and other avenues towards adopting children into their family home. I wanted to find authors who give a positive testament of the emotional keel a child or teen experiences prior to adoption as much as the transitional period after they are adopted. (if the story broaches both time periods) What I appreciated about Ms.  Peacock’s writings are her honesty in leading with her heart and her own adoptive story in which the Red Thread Sisters stems from at its core.

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There are two sayings throughout “Red Thread Sisters”, as well as in the personal letter attached in the afterword by the author herself,… one is a meditative pause of ‘light reflected as brightly lit as lunar lanterns’, and the second is the poignancy behind the entitlement of the book itself, ‘of the delicate red thread that unites all of us in a shared common bond, where those who cross our path are meant to be in our lives, and despite the appearance of the thread’s nature, will hold steadfast and strong perpetually’. The book gives pause to any woman considering motherhood through adoption and any father choosing his path of fatherhood through adoption, because it touches on the raw emotions that are silently withheld from the adoptive parents, by children who live in constant fear that something they do or say or not do even will be grounds for them to return back from whence they came. To become un-adoptable simply because they didn’t live up to the adoptive parents expectations. It’s also a book that examines adoption from the reflections of the children themselves, as they struggle to yield and bend with a new rhythm completely different from the one they were used too whilst at an orphanage, group home, or foster home. They have to learn its okay to make mistakes, to learn and grow through their experiences, and that a forever family isn’t co-dependent on perfection but rather with honesty, heart, emotion, and love. May we always keep ourselves lit from within with a light of hope as powerful and strong as lunar lanterns, to advocate for adoption and the expansion of our hearts and worlds when a child in need of a family, finds one in those of us willing to open our hearts and homes to them.

– quoted from my review of Red Thread Sisters

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One author where I found a strong sense of giving E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E a new definition of purpose is Laura Resau. Her blog is linked to my sidebar where the RSS feeds join the mixture towards the bottom. I have been making purchase requests for her books at my local library each chance that I can as well. The tricky bit is to remember which book of hers I read first: What the Moon Saw OR The Indigo Notebook!? I have taken it upon myself to read all of her novels, but I am still in the middle of accomplishing this goal! I have also read Star in the Forest.

Laura Resau
Photography Credit: Tina Wood Photography

Laura Resau is the award-winning author of seven highly acclaimed young adult and children’s novels– What the Moon Saw, Red Glass, Star in the Forest, The Queen of Water, and the Notebooks series (Delacorte/Random House). She draws inspiration from her time abroad as a cultural anthropologist, ESL teacher, and student. Loved by kids and adults alike, her novels have garnered many starred reviews and honors, including the IRA YA Fiction Award, the Américas Award, and spots on Oprah’s Kids’ Book Lists. Praised for its sensitive treatment of immigration and indigenous people’s issues, Resau’s writing has been called “vibrant, large-hearted” (Publishers’ Weekly on Red Glass) and “powerful, magical” (Booklist on What the Moon Saw). Resau lives with her husband, young son, and beagle in Fort Collins, Colorado. She donates a portion of her royalties to indigenous rights organizations in Latin America.

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The Indigo Notebook Book Trailer by the Author Laura Resau

The Indigo Notebook Page on Laura Resau’s site

[ after the 1:00 mark the song continues to be enjoyed by audience ]

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The Indigo Notebook by Laura ResauResau has the natural ability of fusing the indigenous culture of Mexico and Ecuador into her novels in such a wonderfully skilled way, that whilst I was reading The Indigo Notebook I instantly flashed back to my own memories of traversing through the interior of Mexico in and around the Federal District and the Yucatán Peninsula! One of these days I want to collect her books for my own personal library, but what I appreciated about my local library is being open to bring in authors who write multicultural stories for a young audience who could benefit from the life lessons and story contained within her pages! As I start to re-read over the books I have already read and progress forward into the ones I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading, I will be writing down my thoughts on my blog! I am always hopeful that through the sharing of my own lamentations about the writers and books which speak to me to the point of being moved emotionally, I will in one small way impact another reader’s life.

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E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E : A sampling of Books to Read

{ books I have predominately found through my local library }

UPDATE: per rifflebooks.com errors I’ve moved this list to my #LibraryThing
(as I will be reading these selections throughout [2019] part of my #BeatTheBacklist challenge)

E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E : New Authors on the Horizon

A full list of the book covers & stories is on Riffle: (share at will!)

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Equality in Literature & Diversity in Literature : walk hand in hand – July 2014

Reaching past our own heritages and our own living environments gives us a wider world view and depth of understanding. We become wholly in-tune with the harmony of the world’s spirit by embracing all the lovely and unique differences which shape our identities. We grow out of love and we give back love each time we endeavour to forge a bridge between our culture and the culture of someone else. We give our spirit a bit of a lift by the joy of celebrating the history of people who live as passionately as we do and whose traditions are as rooted in their culture and families as much as our own. Lessons of connectivity and of friendship will always abound when two souls are willing to make a connection.

One of the books I have oft spoken about online via my blog and my Twitter feeds is “The Golem and the Jinni” by Helene Wecker, which is an atmospheric enriched narrative which crosses the divide between mythology and immigration. She digs deep into the setting of her novel to shift between New York City and the old world in which the Golem and the Jinni originated from. She has a deft hand in revealing human emotions and convictions out of characters who are everything except human! What endeared me to the text is her gift of story-telling to not only enchant you with a magical kinetic plausibility but to give you a full score of characters who are each on their own individual journey towards self-discovery. It’s in this inherent quest to understand both origin and worth in a world set against the tides of where their destinies are taking them, Wecker infuses her narrative with a connection of heart.

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Each were set on a course to learn and grow out of their experiences in a place neither expected to be. They each succumb to their inherent natures, but I feel only one of them is able to change the other for the good. Because one of them is stronger than the other as far as knowing how to make good on what has been turned for the bad. Their journey leads not to a resolution of sorts to overcome their individual obstacles towards true freedom, but rather too a junction point that leads them to question everything they felt they knew thus far along. And, in that conclusion the reader has to sit back and ponder the true meaning behind “The Golem and the Jinni”, for was it a journey of theirs that you took or an inward journey of understanding the limitations of humanity?

– quoted from my review of “The Golem and the Jinni” by Helene Wecker

I am hopeful that more readers will seek out E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E by choosing titles by all authors of all backgrounds who celebrate our united spirit within the global society of nations and nationalities.

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Not enough multicultural books? via Color in Colorado

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Thank you for joining me on DAY 5 | A to Z Challenge!

I am a girl named Jorie who loves a story!
I am a bookish library girl on a quest for literary enlightenment!
I am predominately self-taught and library educated!
I am Mademoiselle Jorie!
Thank you for joining me on this journey!

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This marks my fifth post for the:

A to Z ChallengeFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Which authors do you feel reflect the beauty of E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E? Which authors who are newly published OR have books which will soon be forthcoming would you recommend to be added to the “on the horizon” category of this post!? Which books have captured your heart whilst enveloping you in another person’s shoes and culture?! How do you feel progress has been made to give ever writer a voice and each story the gift for expanding our horizons?

UPDATE: 1 May, 2014: In the weeks since this post was first published I have participated in #diverselit & #WeNeedDiverseBooks movements on Twitter. I also created the tag #EqualityInLit to reflect my personal view and feelings towards diversity and equality in literature. You will denote a new category indexed on Jorie Loves A Story E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R Ewhich speaks to the heart of how this blog post inspired me to make my views a bit more well-known.

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{SOURCES: A to Z Challenge Participant & Letter C Badge provided by the A to Z Challenge site for bloggers to use on their individual posts & blogs to help promote the challenge to others.The photograph of Carol Antoinette Peacock was given to me by the author and used with permission. Laura Resau photograph, author biography & book cover for The Indigo Notebook used with permission by the author. The book trailer by Laura Resau had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portals to this post, and I thank them for this opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers provided by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Related Articles:

Diversity Solutions with Sherri L. Smith (author of “FlyGirl”) – (mayaprasad.com)

Why I Write About India – (mayaprasad.com)

Diversity in Kid’s Books – (nytimes.com)

Booklist 2014 (for multicultural literature) – (campbele.wordpress.com)

Exploring Diversity Through Children’s & Young Adult Books: Background Reading – (cynthialeitichsmith.com)

Embracing Diversity in YA Lit – (slj.com)

Comments via Twitter:

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Posted Saturday, 5 April, 2014 by jorielov in A to Z Challenge, Adoption, Book Cover Reveal, Book Trailer, Booking the Rails, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Whimsy, Brothers and Sisters, CFHS The Society, Children's Literature, Coming-Of Age, Conservation, Cultural Heritage, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut in United States, Debut Novel, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Fantasy Fiction, Genre-bender, Guest Spot on Podcast, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Interviews Related to Content of Novel, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction, Memoir, Meteorology, Nanowrimo 2008, Non-Fiction, Orphans & Guardians, Quaker Fiction, Readerly Musings, Septemb-Eyre, Siblings, Sociology, Southern Belle View Daily, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, The Dystopia Challenge, The Rocketeer, The Typosphere, Time Travel, Time Travel Adventure, Travel Narrative | Memoir, Vignettes of Real Life, Wicked Valentine's Readathon, Writes of Passage, Wuthering Heights, Young Adult Fiction