Category: The Word Wenches

Jorie’s Box of Joy No.1 : Every Saturday should be a Chocolate Romance Day! Whilst a dash of intrigue is good for the soul!

Posted Monday, 14 April, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 10 Comments

Jorie's Box of Joy | A Feature of Jorie Loves A Story

One of the happiest moments for a book blogger is eagerly going to their postbox & seeing what delightfully wicked print books have arrived for their reading pleasure! I have always held a keen interest in postal mail, being a long-term postal letter correspondent which has given me such a heart of joy seeing envelopes & bundles of love arrive from dear friends around the world. Imagine my new excitement in seeing the books I am reviewing arriving by publisher, author, publicist, or literary agent! Such an exciting new chapter in postal splendor!

I have been wanting to blog about my excitement about being placed on certain blog tours and/or in receiving books for review direct from authors, publishers, or publicists. I originally came across a weekly meme on Mondays entitled Mailbox Monday and you could say, that my new feature on Jorie Loves A Story is an extended idea from the original! Except to say, with one minor switch-up! Although I attempt to write down when books arrive by Post, I am never quite as certain when the books arrive as I am always reading the next book in hand! Therefore, please join me as I get excited about the books on my shelf which are next in line to read!

#ChocLitSaturdays Collage of Upcoming ChocLit Book Reviews

  • ChocLitUK postal bundle: The Maid of Milan by Beverley Eikli, Flight to Coorah Creek by Janet Gover, Romancing the Soul by Sarah Tranter, The Silent Touch of Shadows by Christina Courtenay, & The Road Back by Liz Harris arrived with much elation as I have created a bit of a niche of celebrating ChocLit Romances in my exclusive feature entitled: #ChocLitSaturdays!

Each Saturday that I am able too, I highlight a ChocLitUK author & novel! I also strive towards hosting the authors for extra features as they are available to do so! Curling up with a ChocLit novel is quite delightful indeed, as you know your going to meet such a wonderful cast of characters, with the warm comfort of romance soaking into your heart as you enter the narrative! I appreciate the well-built back-stories, the honour of courtship and/or marriage, and the ability of a story being wholly wholesome as it is appealing to the senses!

Being a book reviewer for this lovely Indie Publisher from England is a true honour for me as I have always appreciated well-written and conceptualised romance! They tuck in a special goodie for me to find alongside the four books I requested to review, and as you can see from the list of books I mentioned, my surprise this time around was a book! Previously I have been surprised with mocha chocolate covered pencils which declare “Where heroes are like chocolate – irresistible!” For a free taste visit: www.love.choc-lit.com!! The hardest part by far is settling on which books to request, as I am always finding there is such a large breadth of choice! A happy problem to have yet a daunting one at the very same time!

Imagine my happy shock to realise that these particular mocha coloured pencils were not merely chocolate in appearance but how they can be smelt? I suffer through horrid seasonal allergies (i.e. pollen) and the entire time I’ve been receiving the pencils I never could ‘sniff out’ the smell! IF I had not caught a whiff of the chocolate scent attached to these wicked sweet pencils in a ChocLit newsletter (they were relaying the success of the chocolate pencils & pink shirts at a book festival) I am not sure when I would have realised it? I can happily report my nose is overjoyed! I am planning on using the pencils for sketching and illustrations! What a happy day it will always be when I sit down to draw!

I knew I wanted to re-visit the writings of Ms. Liz Harris after having read A Bargain Struck as much as having a delightfully spontaneous conversation with her on Twitter about writing and Oxford. The bits she shared with me about her début novel The Road Back, as much as the trivia about how she came to know the writer behind the Inspector Morse novels (who enscribed a blurb on this novel) inspired me to want to read this myself! In times like these, I feel very blessed for Twitter and for the ability it gives all of us to reach out to the writers we are reading and the writers of whom touch our hearts with the stories they compose! Twitter is a conveyor of conversations and of connecting readers to writers. Such a wonderful moment though, to realise that whilst I am sitting in the East Coast of America, Ms. Harris was typing back a reply to me settled in Oxford, England! This reflection reminded me of the initial phone calls I would make aboard whilst calling my dear friends for the first time and hearing their voices coming through with accents and clever turns of phrase! The world is not as large as we may think as it draws closer than we can sometimes believe possible.

Whereas with Romancing the Soul, I decided to embrace a story centered around a past life regression and entertain the idea of how love can become entwined throughout time and not limited to a single life lived. I spoke about this a bit whilst I reviewed a wicked sweet short story entitled: Time Out of Mind. I like seeing different approaches of a story being explored and as the soul is immortal, there is always a certain element of surprise in how far we are willing to eclipse conventional reasoning and enter into the realm of the impossible where dreams, past lives, and elements of the supernatural envelope into our everyday lives. I find it all rather exciting! Flight to Coorah Creek was a bit of a given I would request because I have always held a long-term fascination with Australia and with small Western townes in the United States. Partially out of my love of small townes, frontier settlers, and cattle ranches I eked out a passion for Western & Cowboy literature! Likewise, the Australian Outback mirrors the Western Mountains & Plains due to the long stretch of miles in-between settlements and civilisation! Not to mention the fact, that air ambulances arrived in Florida during my childhood years to help forestall major trauma patients from expiring before they could reach the hospitals who had the right staff of doctors and specialists who lived hours outside of where they were injured or taken ill. The helios that fly the skies with the medical cross are always the ones I try to remember to say a silent prayer over as much as after having witnessed or driving past a newly found accident on the road. First responders have always had my utmost respect due to their selfless dedication of saving lives where nanoseconds count and love hangs in the balance.

The book they surprised me with is The Maid of Milan penned by my very first ChocLit novelist I consumed! Ms. Beverley Eikli wrote the smashingly brilliant The Reluctant Bride! I have decided to read this unexpected ChocLit novel for my next ChocLitSaturdays – the 19th of April!

The Maid of Milan Book Trailer via Beverley Eikli

The Secret Kiss of Darkness by Christina Courtenay

Whilst visiting the Wenches (over at The Word Wenches; a favourite haunt of mine) I was caught up in a discussion about time slips & time travel! The visiting author that day happened to be Christina Courtenay of whom I have started to get to know via Twitter (as she is one of the ChocLit authors who tweets quite regularly; inasmuch as the Wenches truly!). I had not expected to win her lovely book but it also happened to be the very book I was betwixt about requesting via ChocLitUK! You see, I could not quite decide whether or not to request this title OR The Silent Touch of Shadows,… I felt that whichever book I did not request I’d make sure to request the next time around! Ha! The stars aligned and I am able to read both! I think what was fantastic about her visit with the Wenches, is finding that I am not the only reader plumb addicted! to time slips and/or time travel stories! I am always quite bemused to see how each writer handles the differences in time, setting, and scope of creating the reality ‘between the layers’ as I am to be fully engrossed into two separate yet equal time eras! I cannot wait to find out how ChocLit authors choose to venture into this exciting realm!

As I have two examples of time slips from Ms. Courtenay to absorb into and find what motivates her as a writer to create the allure for those of us who seek to read time slips in fiction! The last time I was taken by surprise by the utilisation of a clever time slip was when I read Letters from Sky by Jessica Brockmole! To take letters and correspondences to a heightened level of narration was simply the icing on the cake for me! It is the treatment of interweaving a time slip into a story which attracts me the most! This extra special treat of receiving The Secret Kiss of Darkness will round out my #ChocLitSaturdays!

Oh, and I nearly had forgotten to mention that Ms. Courtenay surprised me with a bookmark for The Secret Kiss of Darkness and a miniature crystal ball which is a remarkable likeness to the one on the book cover! I am always happily surprised to see what an author tucks into the book and/or the package in which the book is sent inside! I am not sure about my fellow book bloggers, but I always lit up with such pure joy in seeing the little touches which makes receiving these little bundles of books by post such a wonderful mail day for me! I get all giddy and excited when I find they have enscribed the book to me as well! A little surprise I am not always expecting as most of the books I receive are direct from the publishers or publicists alike! Little moments of happy joy sprinkled into my ordinary days!

I have always fully supported self-published and independently published writers, as I personally always loved the different avenues authors take towards publication. Gilded Feathers by J. WoodsThis is one reason why you will oft-times find me showcasing an author from every different side of publishing: mainstream, independent, self-published, and inspirational. Which are truly the four main branches in today’s publishing world, except to say, that I do not put more weight on any single branch, as I accept all writers and all stories on equal ground. Therefore, when I was first approached through the Book Blogging Community by self-published author J. Woods to read her paranormal romance Gilded Feathers I was must esteemed! The story sparked the series which followed known as “the Gilded Feathers” and the premise is quite supernaturally enticing!

I had originally planned to read and review her dĂ©but novel late last week, but due an unexpected series of life moments running interference with my blog life and my reading adventures, I have had to unfortunately push back my posting schedule. Not only for Gilded Feathers but for my A to Z Challenge posts as well. It is my goal now to read my third foray into paranormal romance alongside a gutting fictional testimony of overcoming insurmountable odds to restore your right to be a mother and to keep your family intact. The book I am Etched On Me by Jenn Crowellnow speaking about is Etched On Me by Jenn Crowell who is a traditionally published author I crossed paths with through a weekly twitterverse chat called “#LitChat”. What struck me about her novel is that she is bold about the stories she tells in giving a portal of a glimpse inside the world of a harsh reality many might not realise is completely ‘etched out of one woman’s living reality’. The dichotomy difference between the two will be most apparent, but I also find Ms. Woods to be of equal strength in daring to believe in her writings to the brink of making them available to the world through a lot of grit and determination by choosing the self-publishing route. Each woman strives to give stories which will challenge the perception and the empathy of their readers in different genres. My review of Etched On Me will post on Tuesday, 15th of April whereas my review of Gilded Feathers will post on Monday, 12th of May.

What inspires me the most about stories and the art of story-telling is how varied the diversity of choice is within what is being offered right now in the world of publishing. Old established literary branches are getting dusted off and revitalised by ingenuity and passion from the voices of today whereas emerging platforms of story craft are bursting out seeking an audience who wants a refreshing change from the passage of what used to be considered the norm. I even find it remarkable how ChocLit is redefining the world of ‘Chick-Lit’ by providing the alternative voice within the already netted and complex world of Romance! Hence why I am always lamenting I am a ‘Choc-Lit’ girl rather than a ‘Chick-Lit’ girl! Laughs heartily. And, although I would truly love to be wrapped inside the comfy cosy soft world of romance on any given day of the week — alas, this girl aches for a healthy relationship-based meeting of the souls; I do find a great amount of joy in mixing it up and adding dashes of intrigue, thought-provoking historical narratives, and books which entice me to stretch further outside the realms of my traditional go-to narrative settings, styles, and time periods. To keep an eye out for the cutting edge daring souls who are a part of a collective movement to write a story which stands on its own wings and feet as to be representative of a new wave of literature. This is what excites me as a reader and what makes being a book blogger such an incredible gift!

Inscription by H.H. Miller

Coming up on Friday, 18th of April, will be my review of Inscription a decidedly epic historical romance set amidst intrigue, adventure, and courageous wit! When I read these affirmations attached to the plot, I wasn’t sure if I had bit off more than I could chew OR if I was about to settle into the most wickedly intriguing jolt of my life! Methinks the latter will come into play moreso than the former! Laughs. I must confess that although I oft considered myself to be a daredevil reader, never pinned into any particular genre or styling of story, it was not until I started to host blog book tours that I started to notice that part of my reading world was a bit cut-away from the rest of what was being offered! I think the years I have been without an Indie bookshoppe have hindered me a bit, as I remember the days of my youth in being transfixed by the local author shelves and the event lists of upcoming authors & bookish events treating my heart and mind to the larger sea of fish publishing affords to an eclectic reader. When your a bit out of touch with an Indie bookshoppe, even though I have a beautiful local library, what I am missing are the random conversations overheard about such and such author who is either self-published or using a local press to get their feet wet. Therefore, I am evermore blessed to be crossing paths with all the lovely writers I am right now because as a book blogger who is inspired dearly by the stories and characters she encounters, the girl behind the blog feels an intense gratitude for the opportunities to engage with the stories which alight in her hands!

I am curious then, if any of the newly arrived books for review which are upcoming this week on Jorie Loves A Story, would entice a visiting reader to pick them up for themselves!? OR, if they perchance had the opportunity already to read them, what were their impressions?! What drew you to the author or the narrative within!? And, if you are a fellow book blogger how do you feel your literary wanderings have increased since you started blogging about your reading life? Do you find the twitterverse an exciting portal towards extending friendship and conversation? And, what do you feel is the best gift you’ve received since you started your book blog!?

Cross-posted with Mailbox Monday (a weekly meme) on Monday, 14th of April where book bloggers & readers alike share their inbound books for review, newly purchased books, or otherwise added to their shelves to read. Conversing via: #MailboxMonday My feature was inspired by Mailbox Monday, however as I am always in throes of reading books for review and/or borrowing books from my library, I am never quite as certain which week the books have arrived!

{SOURCES: Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Ravven with edits in Fotoflexer by Jorie. The Maid of Milan, The Secret Kiss of Darkness, The Silent Touch of Shadows, Flight to Coorah Creek, Romancing the Soul, and The Road Back Book Covers provided by ChocLitUK for both review and promotion; used with permission. Gilded Feathers book cover was provided by the author J. Woods for promotion and review; used with permission. Etched On Me book cover was provided by Simon & Schuster for promotion and review; used with permission. Collage of #ChocLitSaturdays created via PicMonkey. The book trailer for The Maid of Milan had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Monday, 14 April, 2014 by jorielov in Action & Adventure Fiction, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Books for Review Arrived by Post, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Jorie's Box of Joy, Paranormal Romance, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Self-Published Author, Small Towne Fiction, The Word Wenches, Time Slip, Women's Fiction

Musing Mondays #2: Walking back through the door of my imagination!

Posted Monday, 28 October, 2013 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 3 Comments

Musing Mondays is hosted by Should Be Reading

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

| 28th October, 2013 |

Rather than a proposed question, this Monday the Musings reverts back to:

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

Today, I am simply thankful to be back ‘on JLAS’, picking up where I left off with my book reviews, and setting up for a wicked month-long post extravaganza (Sci-Fi November!)! I recently finished two books, which I reviewed post-haste: “The Study of Murder” by Susan McDuffie and “Virtual Blue” by R.J. Sullivan! I was honoured that I had the opportunity to read each of these novels, and for me, it was a departure from my preference for reading serial fiction in ‘order’ of either publication OR of the world the story is set inside. There are times where I feel you can be given a proper introduction to the characters and flow of the overall story, to where starting with a series in-progress might suit you as well as if you had started at the beginning! This also helps when you find authors who know how to spin the continuity of their series in such a brilliantly giving way (of which McDuffie and Sullivan excel!) to where you feel as though ‘you had read the previous installments!’ I appreciate too, that each book took me away from my zone of comfort when it comes to reading, as I explored the fascinating world of the 14th Century through the eyes of a reluctant amateur detective in ‘The Study of Murder’, whereas I left our shared reality for the world beyond which is housed within the virtual whilst digging into ‘Virtual Blue’!

There was a nibbling in the back of mind about the first book, something that I had forgotten to mention in my review, which is that Mariota used Caledula flowers as part of one of her tinctures, and that is the very ingredient inside my new toothpaste that is giving me the most relief! I thought it was clever how I had only just discovered Weleda’s Caledula Toothpaste! Small world! I have always loved learning more about natural medicines and herbal remedies, which is why this part of the story perked my interest in such a hearty way!

Whereas with ‘Virtual Blue’, I felt compelled to continue reading a story that was in full effect a bit of a language barrier (bless the author for summarising it!) for me, as he interwove such a courageous story, full of heart, raw pure gumption and a determined spunky spirit of which is the essence of ‘Blue!’ I was quite caught up in the particulars of the gaming world as much as the balance between good vs. evil, which is such a classic story arc to explore, but was given such a fine tune approach that it rendered a whole new world where your tested for what you are willing to understand!

I am moving next into “Redheart” by Jackie Gamber and “Illuminations” by Mary Sharratt, both of which I have been eagerly looking forward to reading and reviewing! I had hoped to review them far ahead of my post deadlines, but as I had outlined previously life in the bookish blogosphere doesn’t always go as we plan it to go! ‘Redheart’ is an epic fantasy world that envelopes around dragons, whereas ‘Illuminations’ dips into the living history of a saintly nun who changed the perception of the world at large by the knowledge she was bestowed and given to share! The latter is a biographical fiction set against the living legacies that were past down about Hildegard von Bingen, which I find fascinating! I am curiously drawn towards reading more and more biographical fiction accountments due to the hearty nature of the context as much as the drinkablity of the narrative!

In-between reading the books for review, I am settling into “Finnikin of the Rock” by Melina Marchetta, as I completely missed the key dates I was meant to post my reactions to the book as I read it, as well as the follow-up sequences speaking about “Community” and “Family” as it directly applied to the characters! Whilst I was living through personal affairs that took my time and attention away, I fear that this lovely event was on-going and brilliantly executed! I will be adding my reactions as I read through the chapters, adding my commentaries and visiting the collaborative reading experience post-event!

I am revising my posting schedule for SFN, due to a few quirks of not being able to source a few of the materials I needed, but I am not letting it deter my enthused joy for the event itself, because I am thankful to have had the opportunity to celebrate in the love of a genre that has been a mainstay throughout my life!

I was a bit disheartened that I had missed a few Booktalk Nation events whilst I was offblog, as I had hoped to have participated in the speaking tours of: Wally Lamb (We Are Water); Julia Quinn (The Sum of All Kisses); and Kristin Higgins (The Perfect Match). I wonder if any of my readers took part in these wicked sweet events!? I cannot speak more highly of Booktalk Nation, even though, I still owe a post about the last two authors I saw featured where were Laurie R. King and Robyn Carr! :) The one that I am hoping I am in line to participate in is Rachel Caine who will be speaking about her Morganville Vampire series which might sound out of context for me to engage in, and on one hand you would be keenly observant in that theory, however, I am always curious about books and authors that I hear about regularly through my circle of friends’. Her series is one that is spoken with affection, and despite my unease of wanting to enter into the world of vampires which has never quite been a good fit for me (outside of ‘Buffy’ and ‘Angel’; certain seasons over others!), I am willing to expand my knowledge and enlighten my heart by listening to the author who penned the stories that has captured the imagination of my dear friends! :)

A bookish blogger can not receive a more humble note of gratitude (aside from an author’s reaction to one of her reviews!) than a full-on post about the merits of joy in discovering a bookish event that a reader can attend, of which they *discovered!* through her sidebar! I speak on behalf of Christine (of Readerly Musings) trekking to Boston for the *Boston Book Festival!* Due venture over and viscerally live through her eyes of this smashingly brilliant bookish event! And, if any of the bits of my sidebar prove helpful, I’d be honoured to hear of your stories of where my sidebar led you to take an adventure! Its my long-term goal to utilise the bookish events, historical landmarks, and book shoppes for my own literary adventures; hence why they are included on my blog! I was hopeful that whilst I await the day to venture off, another reader might find the information useful to them! In this way, I am humbled and honoured by Christine’s post! :)

OOh, and eek! I nearly forgot!! I received word that the novella “A Light in the Window” (the prequel to “The Daughters of Boston” series) by Julie Lessman is FINALLY going to be available in print!! I do not yet have word as to ‘when’, but ooh, did I merrily rejoice in hearing that nearly a year to the day I first learnt about the novella I am celebrating the news of its publication in print!! I have attempted to *win!* a spiral bound copy of it throughout the blog book tours Ms. Lessman has participated in from November 2012 – 2013, however, it was not meant to be! I always longed to read this particular prequel, because as my future review of this lovely series (I am thinking this will be early 2014!) will reveal to you dear hearts, this series has nestled right in the niche of my heart! Marcy and Patrick are the parents inside the story of the O’ Connors, of whom are the hinge-pins who hold the entire Irish family together! To find a story set aside to speak about how they first met and conjoined in marriage is a story that I have pined to read! Blessed is I to have learnt I am closer to this dream! The news was announced in a reply to a comment I left on ‘the Society’ where Ms. Lessman guest posted for a day!

*NOTE: The RSS feed blurb is in the lower portion of my sidebar for ‘the Society’!

At some point, I would like restore my rhythm and pick up where I left off with my dear blogs, of which I enjoy reading regularly, but of which I haven’t had the proper chance to drop by and hang out! The blogs in particular I am museful about today are: Southern Belle View, Word Wenches, the Society, OWG, and a newbie favourite Austen Authors! I hope to swing back once I get my forthcoming reviews into focus and I have a handle on the first week of SFN! All in good time! I am with them in spirit! :) I read more blogs than this regularly, of course, as I am choosing to focus on the group author blogs right now that strike my fancy!

I believe that is all the bookish news and musings I have to share with you, dear hearts! IF I have accidentally been remiss, I will simply follow-up this post on WWW Wednesday! Here is to celebrating bookish memes, the bookish blog community, and the joy of reading! Most especially after a short hiatus we were not expecting!

{SOURCE: Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Raaven with editing by Jorie in Fotoflexer.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Monday, 28 October, 2013 by jorielov in 14th Century, Amateur Detective, Austen Authors, Book Festival, Bookish Whimsy, Booktalk Nation, Boston Book Festival, CFHS The Society, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy Fiction, Finnikin of the Rock, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction, Museful Mondays, Naturopathy, OWG, Readerly Musings, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction, Shelf Awareness, Southern Belle View Daily, The Word Wenches, Virtual Reality