Category: School Life & Situations

#MiddleGradeMarch Audiobook Review | “Mary’s Song” (Book One: the Dream Horse Adventures series) by Susan Count, narrated by Caitlin Cavannaugh

Posted Wednesday, 25 March, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I had to take a leave of absence hosting for this touring company in [2015] whilst I worked towards finding better balance in my blogging and personal life. I returnt to hosting for Lola’s Book Tours in [2018] before having to take a small hiatus from requesting future blog tours for a second time. By [2020] as my health afflictions from 2018/19 started to recede I realised I could start to host for her authors with better confidence in being able to participate on the tours themselves. Thereby it was with the Dream Horse Adventures series I decided to mark my return and was quite thankful this was a series she was celebrating through her touring company.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Mary’s Song” direct from the author Susan Court in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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In case you missed my Series Spotlight, let me re-share why this series appealled to me:

Let’s talk about how important *horses!* and *horse dramas!* were to Jorie when she was younger – as there came a point in my childhood where I was truly motivated and dedicated to learning Dressage, natural horsemanship, ethical care for horses and I had a dedicated eye for #horsefiction wherein I was either traversing alongside cowboys as they took wagons west into a new frontier or I was curled up inside the Children’s series of Thoroughbred, The Saddle Club and/or The Black Stallion (the series).

I could relate to these series because the lead characters had a heart for horses which mirrored my own heart and thoughts about how to be an ethically minded Equestrian whilst fusing your passion into dedicated training. I had the pleasure of riding retired thoroughbreds as the barns in which I took lessons had these available as schooling horses as thoroughbreds in order to have a happier retired life must be retrained into a new skill set. Dressage and/or Endurance racing is quite common as they expell so much energy and require a lot of focused pursuits to feel happy in of themselves.

I never lost my connection to horses, #horsefiction or horse dramas – by book, motion picture nor television series – I’ve come across more than a few and my top favourites are still: The Man From Snowy River (1982), Return to Snowy River (1988), The Black Stallion (film, 1979), The Black Stallion (Canadian tv series, 1990-93), A Horse for Danny (1995), Virginia’s Run (2002), Hildago (2004), The Horse Whisperer (film only 1998, not the book), The Long Shot (2004), Dreamer (2005), Flicka (2006), SeaBiscuit (2003), Secretariat (2010) and the Canadian tv series “Heartland” (2007-current) to name a few. One of the more dramatic entries of horse fiction as an adult reader was my readings of the at-risk (foster care) youth and the situations involving their placements (as they are hard to place) within the novel “The Language of Hoofbeats” which I found to be #unputdownable for its realism and capacity to interconnect the truth about today’s foster youth.

Whenever I come across a new series in either MG or YA Lit, I get quite excited as there is a part of my bookish heart where I hope these never lose favour with children and that today’s child can grow up in the wonderment of horse culture and Equestrian experiences as there is something magically beautiful about connecting to a horse and being connected to them as you ride together.

This is why I was truly excited to send up a boost of a signal flare to announce this series on Jorie Loves A Story – hopefully letting my fellow readers, book bloggers & followers alike know about a series like this in case they know of a boy or girl who are growing up with a fascination about horses themselves!

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#MiddleGradeMarch Audiobook Review | “Mary’s Song” (Book One: the Dream Horse Adventures series) by Susan Count, narrated by Caitlin CavannaughMary's Song
Subtitle: Dream Horse Adventures Book One
by Susan Count
Source: Author via Lola's Blog Tours
Narrator: Caitlin Cavannaugh

Mary's Song is completely independent of the three Selah books. It is the story of Selah's grandmother.

A young artist falls in love with a foal that is lame, just like her. The expensive surgery the foal needs has little chance to correct the problem. Still Mary plots and conspires to raise money to save the horse, even as time runs out. She sacrifices what she holds dear - the trust of her papa, to gain her heart's desire. But she could lose everything in her struggle to save the foal.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780997088335

ASIN: B07Y2GVYSY

Also by this author: Mary's Song (Book Spotlight), Selah's Sweet Dream (Book Spotlight), Selah's Painted Dream (Book Spotlight), Selah's Stolen Dream (Book Spotlight), Selah's Sweet Dream

Also in this series: Selah's Sweet Dream


Genres: Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Children's Literature, Middle Grade, Equestrian Fiction, Horse Drama


Published by Hastings Creations Group

on 20th September, 2018

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 3 hours and 40 minutes (unabridged)

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The Dream Horse Adventures series:

Mary's Song by Susan CountSelah's Sweet Dream by Susan CountSelah's Painted Dream by Susan CountSelah's Stolen Dream by Susan Count

Mary’s Song (book one)

Selah’s Sweet Dream (book two)

Selah’s Painted Dream (book three)

Selah’s Stolen Dream (book four)

Available formats: Ebook, Trade Paperback and Audiobook (for Book One)

Converse via: #DreamHorseAdventures and #SusanCourt + #MiddleGradeMarch
as well as #MiddleGrade, #MGLit, #HorseDrama and #Equestrian Fiction

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Posted Wednesday, 25 March, 2020 by jorielov in #MiddleGradeMarch, 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Childhood Friendship, Children's Literature, Coming-Of Age, Indie Author, Juvenile Fiction, Lola's Blog Tours, Middle Grade Novel, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Teacher & Student Relationships, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, the Fifties

#PubDay Book Review | “Adequate Yearly Progress” by Roxanna Elden

Posted Tuesday, 11 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I have been a book blogger hosting publisher blog tours and/or featuring book reviews for Simon & Schuster (as well as a few of their imprints) since 2017 however I didn’t start to host for them regularly until 2018. What I appreciate about being a book blogger for this publisher is that they have the tendency of knowing the types of Contemporary & Historical stories which interest me to read even before I realise there is a new release forthcoming which I might gravitate towards wanting to read! It never fails to delight me finding one of their emails in my Inbox because they have the tendency of selecting the stories which align wonderfully with my own bookish wanderings. It is a joy to be a book blogger on their publisher blog tours and/or hosting reviews for them outside of the organised blog tours.

I received a complimentary copy of “Adequate Yearly Progress” direct from the publisher Atria Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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The reason reading ”Adequate Yearly Progress” appealled to me:

Ever since I was in school, I oft wondered what the teachers were talking about when they weren’t in the classroom. Growing up during budget cuts in the public & private school systems in the United States was an interesting view of the education system. Programs like Art, Drama, Shop (construction) and anything ‘extra’ after school were generally the first to get cut whilst they also had shortages on textbooks which is why I still remember how difficult it was to ‘lose our lockers’ in seventh and eighth grade because we literally had to go down to using ‘class sets’ without taking anything home except for copied work sheets which you could do in your sleep. In other words, for a lot of the years I was in school I didn’t feel academically challenged but what I gained instead was self-confidence, self-advocacy and self-esteem; in essence, I was building life skills and learning how to navigate the world.

Still though – there was a lot of bureaucratic red tape for the teachers, including the good ones who were student centred and held our interests ahead of their own. Some wanted to do more but were hindered by the budget or the restraints of the rules within public or private education (depending which school I was attending and which grade level). The only time I really had a chance to interact with the faculty and teachers more directly was in eighth grade where I befriended the school principal who tragically died prematurely shortly afterwards and in high school where the veil was fully lifted and I learnt far more than I expected!

For these reasons and the current state of public education in America, I decided this might be a rather timely novel to be reading. I also grew up being a dyslexic learner where most of my teachers didn’t realise I had learning difficulties because I learnt to overcompensate for my dyslexia – however, that’s a topic for another time as it lead to its own quirky complications!

Suffice it to say, from a very young age when it came to academic curiosity and literary wanderings – I did most of my educational pursuits off-campus and outside traditional education. I learnt more from my Mum who was technically my first teacher and through my family who always encouraged me to have as many experiences as I could and to seek out alternative learning opportunities.

Once I learnt how to work round my dyslexia the world of books became a cosy comfort because there wasn’t a subject I couldn’t explore on my own and there was a wide literary world out there to time travel through – in essence, what I have shared on Jorie Loves A Story is a small fraction of insight into my life as an independent learner and a self-motivating reader who continues to self-educate herself through literature and libraries.

Thus, I was dearly curious how this Contemporary novel might explore the current state of the educational system and the teachers who have a lot to deal with in regards to resources available to them in order to educate the children in their classrooms. I also thought it might have some cheeky humour along the way which is always a good thing to find!

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#PubDay Book Review | “Adequate Yearly Progress” by Roxanna EldenAdequate Yearly Progress
by Roxanna Elden
Source: Direct from Publisher

Roxanna Elden’s “laugh-out-loud funny satire” (Forbes) is a brilliantly entertaining and moving look at our education system.

Each new school year brings familiar challenges to Brae Hill Valley, a struggling high school in one the biggest cities in Texas. But the teachers also face plenty of personal challenges and this year, they may finally spill over into the classroom.

English teacher Lena Wright, a spoken-word poet, can never seem to truly connect with her students. Hernan D. Hernandez is confident in front of his biology classes, but tongue-tied around the woman he most wants to impress. Down the hall, math teacher Maybelline Galang focuses on the numbers as she struggles to parent her daughter, while Coach Ray hustles his troubled football team toward another winning season. Recording it all is idealistic second-year history teacher Kaytee Mahoney, whose anonymous blog gains new readers by the day as it drifts ever further from her in-class reality. And this year, a new superintendent is determined to leave his own mark on the school—even if that means shutting the whole place down.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781982135027

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Education & Learning, Literary Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Teachers & Educators


Published by Atria Books

on 11th February, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 400

 Published By:  Published By: Atria Books (@AtriaBooks)
{imprint of} Simon & Schuster (

Converse via: #AdequateYearlyProgress, #ContemporaryFiction + #RealisticFiction
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook & Ebook

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About Roxanna Elden

Roxanna Elden

Roxanna Elden is the author of Adequate Yearly Progress: A Novel, and See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers. She combines eleven years of experience as a public school teacher with a decade of speaking to audiences around the country about education issues. She has been featured on NPR as well as in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and more.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Tuesday, 11 February, 2020 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Equality In Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Learning Difficulties, Literary Fiction, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Publishers & Presses (Direct Reviews), School Life & Situations, Teacher & Student Relationships, Vulgarity in Literature

Children’s #Classics Audiobook Review | “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” by Kate Douglas Wiggin, narrated by Ann Richardson a selection I added to my #theclassicsclub list under ‘Children’s Lit’

Posted Sunday, 26 August, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions. Through hosting for the Audiobookworm I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks; see my sidebar). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I am hoping to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” via Audiobookworm Promotions who is working directly with the publisher Post Hypnotic Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I was keenly interested in listening to this Classics Children’s Story:

Of all the Shirley Temple films I haven’t yet seen, the one film which has stood the test of time of being of apt curiosity is ‘Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm’! I have adored Ms Temple for most of my life – as her films are wickedly delightful to see at any age – in my twenties whilst appreciating binge watching TCM, I had the joy of finding her as a sixteen year old in the film “Since You Went Away”. The film lead was played by Claudette Colbert who had impressed with right next to Ingrid Bergman for their dexterity and their depth of character performances. This was a rare treat to see Temple in a nearly-adult role.

I wasn’t sure where this particular adaptation of ‘Rebecca’ would befit within the Classic novel – as when it comes to adaptations, you have to keep an open mind as some are strictly by the ‘book’ of what was disclosed and others have a healthy heaping of ‘liberties’ taken with how their filmed. Either way, you look on it, I knew I wanted to see Shirley Temple in this role, even if I would prefer another version for keeping in better step with the original story.

Quite shockingly, at the time of listening to the audiobook, as would you believe I never had the proper chance to source a print copy of this novel?! It was one of those ‘book-to-film’ reads I had intended to get and simply never did. I ought to work a bit harder at rectifying this pursuit in the future. For now, audiobook versions are my jam. I am seriously over the moon in love in finding Classical works of Lit in audio formats – and this first and foremost is a strong affirmative of credit towards the work of Post Hypnotic Press, of whom, had my path not crossed with theirs during the Betty MacDonald memoirs, I might never had even realised how keen I am on listening to the Classics on audiobook!

Another shocker for this reader and book blogger was discovering of *all!* the fastidiously ridiculous series of adaptations for Classical Lit in motion pictures, somehow, this particular field overlooked ‘Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm’ as there appear to be only *three!*? Imagine!? I barely could myself!

One thing I was thankful for – my introduction into ‘whom’ would alight off the pages of the novel came into my headphones by way of Ms Richardson on behalf of Post Hypnotic Press! They truly go the extra mile in placing the right narrator(s) in the right roles which give you a wealth of joy to be #amlistening! It isn’t the first time I felt the narrator befit the character and had a wholly individual way of presenting the character of the hour – the last time I felt this for a fictional character was during my listenings of Ms Henderson voicing ‘Anne of Green Gables’.

Rather oddly, I had overlooked adding this particular title to my tCC List, of which I’ve amended during this blog tour. It ought to truly have been inclusive all along and the oversight was decidedly a reader’s over enthused approach at trying to compile a ‘list’ to present as a list of #nextreads when altogether mindful of the fact she might ‘forget!” a few in the process! I am thankful I can continue to share these readings and listenings with my fellow Classic Clubbers! (as I link my reviews, including the audiobooks to the main review archives)

Happily I spied a fellow book blogger, Classic Clubber and friend on this blog tour (Maggie) and I truly look forward to reading her ruminative thoughts and see how she took to ‘Rebecca’.

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Children’s #Classics Audiobook Review | “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” by Kate Douglas Wiggin, narrated by Ann Richardson a selection I added to my #theclassicsclub list under ‘Children’s Lit’Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Ann Richardson

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm has delighted readers for over 100 years. Published in 1903, when girls were inevitably depicted as pretty, gentle and proper, Rebecca Rowena Randall burst onto the scene of children's literature. Sent to live with her prim and proper Aunt Miranda, who is expecting her much more demure sister, Rebecca is a "bird of a very different feather". She has "a small, plain face illuminated by a pair of eyes carrying such messages, such suggestions, such hints of sleeping power and insight, that one never tired of looking into their shining depths...." To her Aunt Miranda's continual dismay, Rebecca is exuberant, irrepressible, and spirited - not at all "proper" or "demure". She wins over her aunt soon enough, and the whole town, and thousands of readers and listeners everywhere.

In 1904, author Jack London wrote Kate Douglas Wiggin: "May I thank you for Rebecca?.... I would have quested the wide world over to make her mine, only I was born too long ago and she was born but yesterday.... Why could she not have been my daughter? Why couldn't it have been I who bought the three hundred cakes of soap? Why, O, why?" And Mark Twain called Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm "beautiful and warm and satisfying".

This recording, narrated by Ann Richardson, whose sweet voice has a facility for accents and character voices, is a satisfying listening experience you'll want to revisit. Upcoming from Post Hypnotic Press is a new annotated print/eBook edition of this book, with illustrations from the original publication and a new introduction, as well as a work-book for children

Places to find the book:

ASIN: B07819NB8D

Genres: Children's Literature, Classical Literature


Published by Post Hypnotic Press

on 8th December, 2017

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 8 hours and 11 minutes (unabridged)

Post Hypnotic Press (@Post_Hypnotic)

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Previously I’ve listened to the following titles:

[ of Classical Children’s Lit by this publisher ]

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (see also Review)

Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery (see also Review)

Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery (see also Review)

[ these were all narrated by the lovely Colleen Winton! ]

*I truly hope they will be creating more installments for ‘Anne!’

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Whilst I’ll be featuring two more reviews for this publisher:

The Curve of Time by M. Wylie Blanchet, narrated by Heather Henderson

Greenwillow by B.J. Chute, narrated by Ann Richardson

Whilst previously I listened to Heather Henderson narrating the Betty MacDonald memoirs!

And, Paula Becker leant her insight into Betty MacDonald as well!

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Kindly read the convo I had with Post Hypnotic Press!

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Sunday, 26 August, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Brothers and Sisters, Bullies and the Bullied, Childhood Friendship, Children's Classics, Children's Literature, Classical Literature, Coming-Of Age, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Juvenile Fiction, Life Shift, Macaroons & Paperbacks, Maine, Poetry, School Life & Situations, Siblings, Small Towne USA, Teacher & Student Relationships, the Nineteen Hundreds, Transfer Student at School, Village Life, Young Adult Fiction

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review | “Liminal Lights (Book One: of the Liminal series) by J.M. Bogart

Posted Saturday, 26 May, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I am hostess with Writerly Yours PR, wherein I had the joy of hosting Ms Bogart for her blog tour showcasing this series in [2016]. I had hoped to have read this series for one of the #RRSciFiMonth after I shared our conversation within the interview featured on her blog tour, however, due to a variety of reasons, I had to keep postponing my reading of the books. When I realised I was going to be co-hosting #WyrdAndWonder this year, I thought perhaps it would be a better ‘fit’ to read and share my thoughts during an event focused on Fantasy! I was surprised by the kindness of the author to send me these novels after I hosted her blog tour, as I had explained I wouldn’t be able to read them for the tour itself due to my chronic migraines (ie. I never read ebooks) and am a traditional reader of print and audio.

I received a complimentary copy of “Liminal Lights” direct from the author J.M. Bogart in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I felt this series might be a seriously wicked one to be reading:

First off, stories about the fey have slowly become one of my favourites to seek out for Fantasy releases – whether they are caught up inside an Urban Fantasy series, such as this one might be considered classified as it takes place between our Contemporary world and the fey or if we are wholly elsewhere inside a writer’s own imagined world, the fey have started to entice me into their folds! You might remember how well versed I’ve become inside world Ms Chris creates with her Tipsy Fairy Tales or through one of the anthologies I’ve been reading by either Seventh Star Press (with their Seelie Court) or World Weaver Press (of whom curate a series of anthologies I properly addicted to reading!).

When I learnt this was a Middle Grade Fantasy trilogy, I was most intrigued! Part of me worried if some of the scenes and descriptions within the narrative would broach into areas I might not feel should be attributed to a Middle Grade release, however, when I had the joy of interviewing Ms Bogart for her lovely blog tour a few years ago – she put my concerns to rest!

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#WyrdAndWonder Book Review | “Liminal Lights (Book One: of the Liminal series) by J.M. BogartLiminal Lights
by J.M. Bogart
Source: Direct from Author

What if magic is real?

Nadia discovers an ancient truth hidden by Liminals, coveted by Shadow Monsters, and protected by humans.

Somewhere, between faerie legends and story books, lies the truth to magic. It grows in children, matures, and is eventually captured by Liminal beings. These small, faeire-like creatures harvest and manipulate it, crafting it into the talents and skills inherent in humans. The rest, they keep for themselves in an effort to sustain their own life forces.

The human race is evolving forcing Bean, Pritt, and Tissa to find new ways of harvesting human magic to save their own kind. Nadia's power, found in her talent as an artist, is the last hope for these Liminal beings who find themselves caught between light and shadow. Liminals aren't the only ones after her magic, so are the creatures who lurk under the bed, hide in the darkness, and go bump in the night.

This is the first book of a trilogy.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 978-1928133070

Also by this author:

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Stories of the FAE, Urban Fantasy


Published by Morning Rain Publishing

on 23rd April, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 196

Published By: Morning Rain Publishing (@morningrainpub)

The Shadow shift trilogy:

Liminal Lights by J.M. BogartShadow Shifts by J.M. Bogart

Liminal lights | book one

shadow shifts | Book two | Synopsis

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #LiminalLights and #ShadowShifts or #MGLit #Fantasy and #MiddleGrade #Fantasy

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Saturday, 26 May, 2018 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Children's Literature, Dark Fantasy, Earthen Magic, Faeries & the Fey, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Good vs. Evil, Juvenile Fiction, Middle Grade Novel, School Life & Situations, Speculative Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Urban Fantasy