The Questions for the 2020 End of the Year Survey are posted by Jaime @ the Perpetual Page Turner, who created this survey as a personal reflection of her year of bookish wanderings and readings, and never thought it would turn into a book blogosphere yearly event! I am thankful she encourages us all to participate even though over the past five years I haven’t had the best track record of joining in on the community in which she’s curated to share a summation of our readerly lives.
*Please be Advised:*
This *End of the Year Survey* first landed on Jorie Loves A Story in  whilst celebrating the previous year of  and I made a determined effort to bring it back in  except those plans are still in my Drafts folder for #JLASblog! Smiles. I have decided to create #timecapsule posts this Happy New Year 2021 to re-explore what my top favourites were as a book blogger for the *missing years!* of the Survey itself! Stay tuned for some bookish revelations,… whilst I have decided this year to bring back the Survey in its rightful place of cheerfully championing a signal of #booklove as one year exchanges itself for a new one – rather than withhold my responses til my next blogoversary as I had done in year’s past on the 31st of March.
As you already realise if you’re a ready reader + follower of Jorie Loves A Story – these posts become EPIC and MASSIVELY descriptive as I reveal my final thoughts, ruminations and musings about the STORIES which truly left the impressions this survey attempts to reveal about our past twelvemonths as a reader and inquistive book blogger.
This being said – this post is a full balance OF all the stories I’ve read and discovered giving a fuller scope of how I ended my 2020 as a reader who happily is blogging her life as a book blogger. As well bringing myself back to centre with my ruminations – allowing me the chance to re-think about the stories I’ve read and to put to rest the final thoughts I’ve had on behalf of the stories themselves.
Be sure to brew yourself a cuppa joy as you sit, read and ponder which of my #BestOf2020Reads need to seriously become added to your own #TBR!
If you’ve filled something out like this survey (OR this actual one!) – be sure to share your link to your post(s) in the *threads below this post so I can take a gander at which stories | authors | series | genres joyfully intrigued you throughout 2020! As I would like expand my own TBR with the stories you’ve read yourself which could be a wicked good fit for me.
REMEMBER: if a story wasn’t my cuppa it could be one better suited for you and vice versa if you had a story which you felt fell short of your own expectations and might resontate with me better. Reading is subjective to our individual experiences within the stories themselves and all our reactions are valid and important as they are markers of our readerly lives.
Let’s break this down a bit, shall we?
You can use this as a ‘preview guide’ of how to use my Story Vault. <— fully updated!
I’ve honestly wanted to start participating in this weekly meme in 2014, however, I would always seem to get distracted during the hours leading up to Thursdays OR completely forget to compose my thoughts for this meme until into the weekend; at which point, the time had come and gone. I like the fact we can exchange thoughts percolating in our minds that run the gambit of the bookish world, creative outlets, or thoughts we want to share that might show a bit more about who we are behind the bookish blog we maintain. I am going to attempt to thread the journal of my 10 Bookish / Not Bookish Thoughts by order of the entries arrival into my life rather than a preference of 1-10.
A list of 10 Thoughts on exploring Astronautics & Space Science | Hostess List
*waves!* to my fellow Sci Fi Geeks who are embarking on their own literary and cross-media journey this Sci Fi November! I decided to break the mould of how I am announcing my #SciFiMonth adventures here on Jorie Loves A Story by creating my second #SciFiMonth book tag as I truly enjoyed doing this last year and I feel its become a NEW tradition for me during the event!
Ever since I was a Young Astronaut as a kid you could say I’ve had this long seeded appreciation for the Cosmos, Astrophysics, Astronomy, Cosmology and Astronautics. When it comes to sorting out which stories I want to endeavour to read during #SciFiMonth every year, I get wicked giddy about seeking out Space Opera stories and all the lovely sub-genres which pull us into the further reaches of space and the explorations we can seek out the universe.
This was more aptly seen when I was reading through the 3x trilogies of #TheClanChronicles which to this day is one of my favourite series I’ve read, blogged and ruminated over as a book blogger. It was such a transformative experience for a girl who loves the stars and a Spacer lifestyle. Do visit those reviews if you’ve ever wanted to seek out a Hard SciFi series which grips you from the first story and holds you glued into its heart until the very last page is read. It is both epic and dramatically emotional to read because of how Czerneda writes such a smashingly realistic series which feels as if you’ve lived those lives by the time you’ve reached the conclusion. The only part of the series I haven’t yet read are the “Stories of Plexis” which is a fan-based anthology of shorts set on Plexis and involve the characters and/or other aspects of life on Plexis which is set in the Clan Chronicles universe.
This year, I had an opportunity to read two different works of Space Opera featuring Astronautic storylines which were the following: The Lady Astronaunt series (courtesy of the publisher) and Kate Elliott’s new release “Unconquerable Sun” which made my Most Anticipated Reads List for 2020. I was meant to host the RAL for SUN during #SciFiMonth this year but I had such an unrelenting bout of migraines from May-October, I opted out of hosting rather than to set myself up for failure if my migraines were to return this November. I did unfortunately have one for over a week as I get these massive supernova migraines which can last upwards of 5+ days and take nearly a full week longer to recover after they’ve left me. Thus, my entrance into Sci Fi Month this year was a bit delayed to say the least but I am not letting that dis-sway me from what I’m reading, what I am reviewing and what I’m sharing this year for the event.
I decided to take Imyril and Lisa’s advice and push Unconquerable Sun’s RAL into early 2021 whilst keeping myself focused on the Lady Astronaut series instead as I can approach that without the added issues of sorting chapter breaks, discussion points and coordinating the Twitter chats & blog schedules for readers to upload their reviews, thoughts or reading takeaways if not offering fuller reviews.
I started seeking out the books Ms Kowal mentioned as being of particular interest to readers of the series to better understand her own route of research as a writer who created the series and that led me into fetching quite a few by interlibrary loan as much as finding quite the collection of her research books within my local library’s catalogue which was surprisingly lovely. The first book which emerged as a favourite of mine was “The Moon-Doogle” writ in the ’60s and published in ’64 which surprisingly stands the tests of time of remaining both relevant to our concerns for space & Astronautics today as much as it had back in the 1960s. I only wish I could have taken more notes as I had to sort of plough through it last minute as I had run out of hours to read it as it was decidedly overdue by the time I gave it back to the library. Not something I want to have happen but with migraines and health afflictions, sometimes it is unavoidable. It is also a book I would LOVE to have in y personal library one day even if it is a rather rare book to both find and to have a price tag not set at some astronomical price point! lol
Through Kowal’s Author’s Notes and the notations about her research for the Lady Astronaut’s series I’ve come to realise her fascination with the stars and with space exploration as much as the science behind how we launch ourselves to Space is equal to my own curiosities and fascinations into the same topics and subjects in which she rooted her series round. It has become a refreshing pursuit of chasing after her research whilst endeavouring to expound on my own knowledge of those topics and subjects which equally give me a heap of joy to be reading.
Thereby as I continue to seek out Hard Sci Fi over Soft and as I find myself more compelled to be listening and reading to stories set in Space moreso than elsewhere, I am embarking once again into Sci Fi Month with a heart full of awe and joy by what I am finding in those stories as I adventure through Science Fiction on a path only my own heart can curate a route.
I am so happy Imyril puts together our Mission Logs (Week One & Week Two as well as Week Three & Week Four) as I use those as my map to seek out my fellow Sci Fi Month participants and to see what everyone is discussing about a genre I’ve loved the longest as both a reader and as a watcher of Science Fiction.
Throughout my journeys into Sci Fi November (personal favourite alt. name for Sci-Fi Month), I’ve been wanting to write more posts outside of book reviews and it has taken me on a winding road of sorting out ideas and actually producing that kind of content on Jorie Loves A Story. More or less, you could say most of those are still drafted ideas rather than actual published posts. Perhaps, if I start early enough 2021 will have a fuller rounding of posts, reviews, memes and other lovelies during #SciFiMonth! And, by extension #WyrdAndWonder, too. For now, I was just thankful I could give myself an extension to this year’s event during this first week of December.
However the point I was trying to make is the only time I’ve come closer to talking about my Sci-Fi geeky past and present is when I wrote the essay I entitled: Seventeen to Seven: One Girl’s Quest for Sci-Fi which in of itself was my own version of a ‘get to know the Sci Fi Reader’. Consider this an updated version seven years later! And who says numerology isn’t in our lives?
A weekly meme about page 56 or 56% of ereading/audiobooks:
You’re meant to share a quote from the 56th page of a novel in print and/or a quotation at the 56% of an ebook or audiobook; from your current reads, recently read or a story you’ve slated to reading – whilst talking about the selection you’ve highlighted and a few thoughts about the story or the scene*. This last bit I’ve added as otherwise its a lot of random words & quotes without definition.
Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!
I LOVE finding new ways to interact with authors on blog tours – which is why I selected to feature a new meme for my tour stop this week. I’ve noticed the #Friday56 over the years but I’ve never participated in the meme until today. What I liked about the meme was from a different perspective than it was created – rather than readers selecting the extracts from the stories they are reading, I felt it would give authors a chance to disclose an extract from their story which would have a bit of depth towards becoming introduced to their characters and their world-building; hence why I asked a few interlinking questions this week for the #Friday56!
Similar to the special guest author #TopTenTuesday’s I’ve hosted recently (ie. Ghost Punch, Secrets behind “The Tobacconist’s Wife” and the Verin Empire) – this is a new way of hosting authors on Jorie Loves A Story whilst creating new content to work with the book blogosphere meme’s and giving my readers and visitors a like something different to enjoy whilst their on my blog. I’ve loved creating these features this Autumn and you can look forward to more of them throughout the next year, 2021!
When I first learnt of the premise behind “River Magic” I was quite intrigued – it isn’t everyday I come across stories which focus on Earthen Magic and Spirituality. I have a fierce appreciation for the natural world and I love stories which have either an ecological or environmental spirit within them whilst at the same time, the lead character in “River Magic” sounded like a girl in the midst of better understanding who she was and what she was meant to do with her life. In that regard, I love coming-of age stories and/or stories about characters undertaking a journey wherein they either learn more about who they are or they discover a path they are meant to be walking.
I loved how the author approached my prompt for today’s #Friday56 – how she reflected about her own beliefs as a Druid and how she inserted a bit of her own path and beliefs into the backbone of “River Magic” whilst also giving us something to chew on when it comes to numbers and numerology. I don’t study it myself but I have noticed there are certain numbers which seem to percolate themselves into my life at different intervals – you can notice numerical patterns in your life even if you are not studying the numbers themselves. I always found it interesting how that works out.
Today it is an honour to host a new 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 am looking forward to working with them as oft as I can and I look forward to the conversations and features which hosting will inspire to bring to my readers on Jorie Loves A Story!
Brew yourself a cuppa and let’s find out more about River Magic!
River Magic Subtitle: A Rituals of Rock Bay novel by M.A. Phillips
Budding clairvoyant Lacey Moran seeks to understand her dreams and find her life’s purpose along the St. Lawrence River. If only her visions of silver arms and Cian O’Connor’s blue eyes were easier to understand! The pieces begin coming together when she encounters a mermaid in the river, joins a group of Druids, and opens herself to romance with an old friend.
Can Lacey overcome her doubts, or is she in over her head?
This is artwork featuring “Lacey” from “River Magic”.
Topic for this week’s #Friday56 as suggested by Jorie:
Share a quote of “River Magic” from page 56 and talk about what went into creating the scene or dialogue found on that page and what inspired the choices you made in creating this particular portrait of the story. Likewise, do you find numerology has any presence in your life? Maybe reoccurring numbers pop up every so often or you find yourself drawn to certain numbers? I felt compelled to ask as this prompt focuses on the fifty-six page rather than any others in the stories being featured.
It would not surprise anyone I’ve found a heap of inspiration in naming my pets after favourite stories across the mediums I enjoy the most – especially of course from tv series and films! However, I wanted to focus on a different topic of interest today and get into the secrets #behindthebook of a Historical Fiction novelist I enjoy reading and hope to read more of in the future!
Jorie’s topic for AnneMarie Brear:
Top Ten Secrets Behind the Tobacconist’s Wife
Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!
I have been enjoying creating special guest features for #TopTenTuesday this Autumn wherein different authors get the chance to delight us with their guest posts during the book blogosphere’s faovurite meme every Tuesday! I have been taken a bit of a backseat in composing my own entries for awhile as I haven’t quite felt as inspired as I have previously to respond to the topics at hand and have given authors I want to be reading the chance to showcase their stories instead. I am wicked thankful for the visitors and my readers alike who have been enjoying these sequences as it has inspired to me continue to seek out whys to have more guest authors become featured on Top Ten Tuesday in the future whilst I will also continue to add my own responses as I feel motivated to undertake the topics of the week.
Today’s guest author is Ms Brear – a Historical Fiction novelist I crossed paths with originally through hosting and reviewing for ChocLitUK. When I first read “Where Dragonflies Hover” I must admit, I was truly enraptured by how she wrote the story and how the story resonated with me once I had concluded it. I knew I had found a wicked brilliant new voice in Historical Fiction and I have been following her career over the years, sorting out which of her releases I want to be reading next and trying to find ways to host her again on my blog.
I hadn’t realised her second release by ChocLit I wanted to read went into a print release, so I’ve now added “Where Rainbows End” to my gathering list as it was a story I thought I would enjoy reading at the time I showcased the cover reveal. Today, however, she’s with Lume Books – another Indie Publisher in the UK I haven’t yet had the chance to discover and am delighted I get to feature a new-to-me publisher inasmuch as her latest release which is “The Tobacconist’s Wife”!!
Brew yourself a cuppa and let’s find out more about this story!
And, I hope this will give you a wonderfully keen insight into Ms Brear’s writerly process as she dives into both the story and her process to write it.
The Tobacconist's Wife Subtitle: Dark Secrets Lurk Behind the Shop Facade by Ms AnneMarie Brear
Having lost her father, Thea Goodson is alone in the world.
It is true she has a husband, but Ernie is a brutal man, more inclined to use his fists to keep Thea in line than to build on their marriage. And besides, Ernie Goodson has secrets – secrets that even his wife cannot share.
But in Victorian Yorkshire, appearances must be kept up, so Thea goes on powdering her bruises and forcing a smile as she toils in Ernie’s home and tobacco shop. There seems to be no other option.
That is, until a handsome and well-bred stranger arrives to set up shop next door…
Can Thea escape her misery and break from the conventions of society? Or will the clutches of her abusive husband confine her forever?
The Tobacconist’s Wife is the latest book from AnneMarie Brear, the highly acclaimed author of bestselling The Slum Angel. Perfect for fans of Catherine Cookson, Dilly Court and Rosie Goodwin.
Converse via: #TheTobacconistsWife, #AnneMarieBrear, #HistoricalFiction or #HistFic
Top Ten Secrets Behind the Tobacconist’s Wife
by AnneMarie Brear
Inspiration from Jorie for this Topic: a lovely list of things we might not have realised go on behind the book for a writer to create the setting, characters and ambiance of their Historical Fiction narrative whilst potentially giving us a few secrets about the novel before we read it!
I have decided to start participating in this book blogsphere meme with a few small changes of how it’s regularly blogged about by my fellow book bloggers. I will either be introducing my current reads of upcoming releases as I am in the process of reading them and/or I might be releasing a book review about a forthcoming title by which I had been blessed to read ahead of publication. The main purpose behind the meme is to encourage readers and your fellow book bloggers to become aware of new books being released which caught your eye and which held your interest to read. Sometimes if your still in the process of reading the books, its the titles which encouraged your bookish heart. I look forward to spending the next seasons of the year, talking about the books I have on hand to read, the books I’ve been reading and the books I might not even have a copy to read but which are of wicked sweet interest to become a #nextread of mine.
Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!
If your a regular reader of Harlequin Romances or their other imprints, I look forward to your comments – seeing what you love to read by Harlequin and of course, if you know of any mini-series or authors I might enjoy seeking out – kindly let me know! My local library has a hearty collection of their stories and I love finding new Harlequin authors to read!
The series that started it all:
Return of the #BlackwellBrothers:
The Rancher's Twins
The Rancher's Rescue
The Rancher's Homecoming
The Rancher’s Twins by Carol Ross → my review
The Rancher’s Rescue by Cari Lynn Webb → my review
The Rancher’s Redemption by Melinda Curtis → my review
The Rancher’s Fake Fiancée by Amy Vastine → my review
The Rancher’s Homecoming by Anna J. Stewart → my review
Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming (@HarlequinBooks) | imprint of Harlequin
I have a lot of fond memories of reading through the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series as this is a series which is full of heart, family, community and the brilliant backdrop of a Western Romance series set in the heart of the Rockies. You immediately connect to the characters, feel caught in the dramas of their lives and quite soon after you’ve met them – become one of their cheerleaders, hoping to seek the redemption and the turning tides you feel they deserve.
Through each installment of this series, we have the added benefit of ‘switching’ voices & styles of the series vision per each author who is penning the installments – they all collectively have given us such a tome of #bookjoy to discover and through their collaborative efforts the Return of the Blackwell Brothers and now the newely released #BlackwellSisters series is a wicked good treat of loveliness for today’s Contemporary Western Romance reader!
I had the pleasure of being on the review tours for the Return of the Blackwell Brothers – dipping in and out of this series with renewed affection for the characters and the curiosity of intrigue set round ‘Big E’ and the devious nature of how he was affecting the lives of his relatives by his quirky antics and his unorthodox choices on behalf of their lives. Through each installment you only gathered a snippet of clues towards understanding his methods and of knowing where in the world he actual had set his hat throughout the series itself. In many regards, this unknown fact about ‘Big E’ is what enouraged me onwards deeper into Return of the Blackwell Brothers because point of fact, he was enabling them to either sink or swim on their own. And, there was a strong allure within me as a reader to see how those boys would handle their adversities and work through the challenges facing them in the wake of Big E’s disappearance.
Fast forward – as I was reading the series itself – I was hoping there would be a ‘sequel’ series – never realising until Ms Webb revealled the news in the comments of one of my reviews for her novels there was indeed a sequel series forthcoming in 2020 and through my conversations with Ms Stewart I was able to set-up a date where *all!* five authors will be chatting LIVE during @SatBookChat on the 14th of November!! I cannot even describe how thankful I am to the authors – for giving us this new series and for giving me the joy in hosting them in a live Twitter chat this month!
Today, I am helping to announce both the series and to shine a spotlight on Carol Ross’s installment of the Blackwell Sisters series – which is ‘Montana Match’. As you might have noticed, Ms Ross kicked off the original series with ‘The Ranger’s Twins’ and within those pages of the very first novel I read about the Blackwells – you could say I became smitten for life about the family, their community and the ways in which you find yourself rallying behind them.
It is feel-good Western Romance – the kind of stories you could see as a sequence of Hallmark movies and/or a Hallmark series – wherein similar to Chesapeake Shores or NetFlix’s Virgin River or Sweet Magnolias – you can see yourself settling into the setting, the towne and re-falling in love with the characters as they shift off the page to the screen. I am not sure if these series will make that leap but if they do it would be wicked good news for all of us who’ve taken their journey with them through the pages of the novels these lovely five women have given us to enjoy.