Category: Literature for Boys

Blog Book Tour befitting #SpooktasticReads | “Hall-o-ween” (Children’s Picture Book) written and illustrated by Tia Perkin

Posted Monday, 23 September, 2019 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

I received a complimentary copy of “Hall-o-ween” direct from the author Tia Perkin in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On why I wanted to accept this Picture Book blog tour:

It has been quite a long while since I’ve had the joy of reading and reviewing Children’s Lit on a regular basis. I used to receive quite a few titles – some of which were picture books, like this one. However, in the past most of the picture books were in hardback – with the one exception, I received a printed but unbound copy of “The Blue Hour” from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer programme.

I’ve been missing being a champion of #KidsLit on Jorie Loves A Story – as I have such an eclectic curiosity about *stories!* – my readerly life wanders quite a bit through genre, style and voice as I continue to seek out what personally inspires me to read. This particular book just felt *right!* as it has a bit of cheeky humour whilst its celebrating one of my favourite holidays: HALLOWEEN! What could go wrong? lol I loved the illustrations as you’re about to find out, too!

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Blog Book Tour befitting #SpooktasticReads | “Hall-o-ween” (Children’s Picture Book) written and illustrated by Tia PerkinHall-o-ween
by Tia Perkiin
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

"Hall-O-Ween!" is a spooky little rhyming book about all the sweet bites and fun frights on Halloween day and night.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781732747203

Genres: Artistic Adaptations &/or Picture Books, Children's Literature, Early Reader Stories, Fantasy Fiction, Illustrated Stories


Published by Self Published Author

on 1st October, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 38

This picture book is self-published

Converse via: #SpooktasticReads, #Halloween + #KidsLit with #PictureBook

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 23 September, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Children's Literature, Early Reader | Chapter Books, Indie Author, Juvenile Fiction, Literature for Boys, Picture Book, Prism Book Tours

An Author Interview during #Mythothon | A conversation about the mystical and dramatic Historical Fiction novel “Wanders Far” by David Fitz-Gerald

Posted Monday, 16 September, 2019 by jorielov , , , 4 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am wicked fascinated by the premise and the heart of the novel I am about to reveal a conversation with the author today on Jorie Loves A Story – as previously you might have remembered how moving I found the duology by K.B. Laugheed which fits this same special niche of literature within the Historical sphere of how stories of Native Americans are told? If you missed those reviews – you can kindly read my reflections on behalf of “The Spirit Keeper” and “The Gift of the Seer” – wherein you’ll see how these stories truly leave a strong impression and impact on my readerly soul.

When it came to the questions I wanted to ask Mr Fitz-Gerald, they were similar musings I had whilst I was embarking into the Spirit Keeper duology as whenever you have stories which occupy the same niche of literature you love to read – you oft-times find yourself in the same contemplation’s as you had previously when you read a different story or series. For me, I wanted to know more about this world Wanders Far resides inside – curiously curious about which secondary character the author loved to bring forward into the narrative and there are other story specific bits I felt discussing would be quite lovely on the blog tour as in essence, I wanted to help other readers see what I saw in the premise of a novel I was most eager to be reading!

Happily Mr Fitz-Gerald gives such a warm overview of his novel, the evolution of the series “Wanders Far” is set inside and a bit of himself as he recollects how he first started writing this novel, how the name of his lead character came to him in such a pivotal way and why all of us should find a bit of hope and inspiration through reading this novel. He also gave me a chance to share a note about his audiobook release for readers who are interested in listening to the novel rather than reading it in print.

As you embark on reading this conversation, be sure to have brewed your favourite cuppa and get ready to feel inspired on as we discuss the components of this dramatic Native American Historical Fiction novel which tucks into the Mystical and Mythology of its roots and origins. As I was reading over this interview, I recognised another layer of why it appealled to me – and that would be the fact for a year now I’ve been purposefully seeking out stories which tuck into this other niche of book love I am exploring: Mythologies, Folk stories and Fables wherein stories are passed down through a lens of Mythos re-creating the truths prior generations knew about and/or capitalising on the mythos and origins of a particular class of people of whom have stories to tell which captivate us all.

As promised previously, my post talking about the stories I am reading during #Mythothon is forthcoming this week as it was delayed for the past fortnight. May we all stay ruminatively curious and seek new niches of literature to enrapture of bookish curiosities.

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An Author Interview during #Mythothon | A conversation about the mystical and dramatic Historical Fiction novel “Wanders Far” by David Fitz-GeraldWanders Far (Interview)
by David Fitz-Gerald
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Wanders Far lived in dangerous times and was faced with one difficult challenge after another. He was a skinny, quiet boy who was raised on the banks of a tributary of New York State’s Mohawk River, hundreds of years before colonists arrived. One lifetime was not enough for Wanders Far’s old soul.

From a very young age, his wanderlust compelled him down one path after another. No village could contain him.

He was happy living a simple life in the physical world during challenging times. The spirit world had other plans.

A wise, enigmatic shaman mentored Wanders Far and helped him cultivate the supernatural visions that haunted him. His guide could only help him so far.

He set out to become a runner, carrying important messages across the lands of his people and their enemies. He ended up fulfilling a much greater destiny than he ever imagined.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781977211378

Also by this author: Wanders Far

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical-Fantasy


Published by Outskirts Press

on 11th May, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Published by: Outskirts Press

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction, #HistFic or #HistNov
and #AdirondackSpiritSeries

Available Formats: Trade paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What first inspired you to merge Historical Fiction into the mystical world of the paranormal as it evolves into the heart of your story “Wanders Far”?

Fitz-Gerald responds: What a beautifully worded, juicy question! When I started this writing project, I began with the myth of the naming of Whiteface Mountain, “the Olympic Mountain,” near Lake Placid in the Adirondack Mountains of New York state, which is also where my first book, In the Shadow of a Giant, was set. That naming myth would be very hard to rationalize with a physical world kind of explanation, which is why I was drawn to build my story around it.

In that myth, the hero had a special bow that was capable of lifting a deer in the air, and arrows that were able to penetrate rocky cliffs, thus impaling the deer way beyond the reach of its hunter. That myth could be imagined many different ways. The depth of the protagonist’s special gifts evolved as I worked on this project. The scope of the book widened so greatly that the original inspiration became a small part of the story, and the protagonist’s special gifts became a much larger part of the book. As I went along, I found that it was lots of fun to add the mystery to the history, and now as an author, I’m hooked. Read More

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Posted Monday, 16 September, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Heroic Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Inspired by Stories, Literature for Boys, Men's Fiction, Native American Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics

#Mythothon Author Interview | How Shakespeare and Camelot merge together in the duology [ Merlin’s Shakespeare ] by Carol Anne Douglas

Posted Thursday, 5 September, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva

Good morning, dear hearts!

September marks my second year participating in #Mythothon – wherein, a group of us who are book bloggers, bookish tweeters and readers love to gather together to celebrate the mutual love & affection we have in discovering the Mythologically Fantastical about the artfulness of re-tellings and after canons as they parlay through origins in Mythology and/or Mythological Myths which can be from a wide net of origins.

When I signed on for this blog tour, I thought it would be interesting to host an author whose merged together two of my personal favourite canons which is Shakespeare and Camelot. Of the two, over the past several years, I’ve read the most extensively through Camelot and I will be re-visiting it again this September, as part of my #Mythothon readings this year is a Non-Fiction account of Guinevere’s life called “The Once and Future Queen”. A bit lateron today, I’ll be revealling what I am reading for Mythothon Year 2 and I look forward to seeing what everyone else has selected to entreat into this lovely new niche of interest we are celebrating!

Ahead of the conversation, I have with Ms Douglas is an extract from the first story in the duology for Merlin’s Shakespeare. The author revealled in our conversation that this is a duology at this point in time rather than a continuing series where there are more installments. I hope you’ll enjoy this introduction to the first novel and gleam a bit more insight into how it was written as you read the responses by the author herself in our conversation.

Extract from ‘Merlin’s Shakespeare’ by Carol Anne Douglas

the first novel in the Merlin’s Shakespeare series; used with permission of the author

“If you are Merlin, why would you come to our school?” she asked.

“I have my reasons. Can you imagine that Merlin would explain himself to you? Or to anyone?” He frowned. “Can you prove that you are Beth Owens?” he asked scornfully.

“I have lots of papers that say so, and my teacher will agree that I am,” Beth said, though it was clear that he already knew the answer.

“But may I ask why you honor us with a visit?” Ms. Capulet’s voice was reverent. She gazed at him as if he were the combination of a movie star and a religious leader.

Apparently the teacher’s manner was humble enough to mollify Merlin. “I came to teach Beth how to channel her magic,” the wizard said. He turned to Beth. “You have magical powers, and you love Shakespeare. Th at is a combination I need. I could use you as a researcher on Shakespeare’s plays.”

If he needed something from her, Beth wasn’t going to be speechless. “Was Shakespeare really Shakespeare?” she asked. She had heard that some people believed he wasn’t the one who had written the plays.

“Did William Shakespeare really write all those plays?”

“Of course Shakespeare was Shakespeare.” Merlin looked at her as if she had said a pig was a chimpanzee.

“Some people say an actor couldn’t have known enough about kings or court life to have written the plays.”

“Of course he didn’t know enough. That was why I helped him,” Merlin said. “I saw that he had great ability as a poet, and I helped him travel to worlds where he would get the experience he needed. His plays are magic. He provided the art; I provided the magic.”

“Oh.” Beth paused to take in this information. A genius and a wizard working together. Th at made sense to her. “But how can you still be on this earth?” Merlin didn’t look like a ghost. “Are you dead or alive?”

“I am immortal,” Merlin said, looking down at her though he wasn’t much taller than Beth. “But I allow only a few people to see me.”

“Why do you think I could help you?” Beth asked.

Merlin rubbed his beard. Th ere was a gleam in his eye. “Not just because you have a talent for wizardry,” he said. “It is better to call you a wizard than a witch, I think. Safer for you.”

“Even today it is,” Ms. Capulet agreed. “Men who can do magic are seen as potentially great, but people too often think that women who can do the same thing are evil.”

“I have a task for you, Beth,” Merlin told her. He sat down on one of the auditorium seats near hers. “There is one great lack in Shakespeare’s writings. I helped him for a reason. I wanted him to write a play about King Arthur.” He paused.

“But there isn’t any Shakespeare play about King Arthur,” Beth said.

“There is not. Or there does not seem to be.” Merlin frowned. “I gave Will all he needed. Knowledge of kings, knowledge of battles. But he used bits and pieces in other plays, and never wrote the one I most desired. Or he did not appear to. There may be such a play, but it may be hidden.”

“A lost Shakespeare play!” Ms. Capulet gasped. “That would be incredibly valuable.”

“Beyond measure,” Merlin said, “especially to me. Not just any play, but the one that was to be his crowning glory.”

Beth wanted to giggle, because “crowning glory” in this instance sounded like a pun, but she refrained because Merlin intimidated her.

“If you, who are so powerful, can’t find it, why do you think I could? I’m just a teenager.”

“People might tell you things that they would not tell me,” Merlin said. “You have some magical powers—untried and unschooled, it is true—and you love Shakespeare and learn the lines quickly. You also have some talent for acting.”

“Thank you.” Beth felt proud. If she had impressed Merlin, she must be good. “But what people would know anything about this play, if it exists?”

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The Merlin’s Shakespeare duology:

Merlin's Shakespeare by Carol Anne DouglasThe Mercutio Problem by Carol Anne Douglas

Merlin’s Shakespeare | book one

Beth loves Shakespeare’s plays, but does she want risk her life for them?

The immortal wizard Merlin transports high school actor Beth Owens to Shakespeare’s London and the worlds of Shakespeare’s characters in search of a missing play about King Arthur. Mercutio guides her and flirts with her, but Richard III threatens her sanity, her friends’ lives, and the integrity of Shakespeare’s plays.

The Mercutio Problem | Book Two

High school actor Beth Owens faces a new challenge: She needs to bring a Shakespearean character she loves back from the dead. But she has to become a man and risk her life to do it. Richard III still menaces her.

Genres: Shakespeare | Camelot | Mythological Re-tellings / After Canons

Young Adult | Fantasy Adventure | Time Travel or Shift

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

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Posted Thursday, 5 September, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Literature for Boys, Lola's Blog Tours, Self-Published Author, YA Fantasy

Author Interview | Discussing MacBeth and the way this tale was re-spun through the vision DK Marley had for “A Fire in Winter”

Posted Friday, 16 August, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I have an exciting interview to share with you today, as the author and I myself are both passionately dedicated to reading Shakespeare! I have appreciated the Bard since I was quite young though it wasn’t until a freshman in high school where I started taking more of an earnest interest in discerning what I was interpreting out of his stories; thus taking on a new role in my life as a Shakespearean reader. From that year til this one, I’ve been dancing through the plays in different formats of exploration – from the plays themselves, of course, but also through adaptations in film, after canon novels and the re-tellings which are re-shaping how we think, feel and understand the original canon of Shakespeare.

What truly implored me towards reading “The Fire of Winter” is wanting to re-step through a lens of insight into both MacBeth and the origin story surrounding Lady MacBeth. It was a play that has been a curiosity for me since I was sixteen and I felt Marley just might be the author who would give me a version of this story which would resolve some of my own questions and curiosities therein whilst giving me a heap of fodder to chew over as a book blogger. I was not wrong on all counts.

This interview is a follow-up to the review I’ve previously disclosed – wherein, you’ll notice through my observations and my readerly takeaways why the writings Marley is giving us are not just wicked good fiction but they are accountable and authentic towards a better understanding of why Shakespeare wrote his stories. She pulls you back into the context of his vision but also, re-represents that vision in a way that you can re-visit the themes, the characters and the settings in a wholly original examinations of those founding stories. For me, it was a way of re-stepping into a door of literature I have loved and finding a refreshing new spin on what I remembered having read.

If you want to settle your reader into the heart of the scene rather immediately after she opens your novel, I think when it comes to opening paragraphs DK Marley takes the ultimate star award for dramatic entrances! Not only do you gather the emotional rooting of this scene – partially built against the purity of rage and anger; as clearly the woman whose allowing men to die by flame and fire isn’t concerned with their dangerous demise but rather, the freedom (or so it appears) their death shall yield to her as a result of their premature deaths. This doesn’t outright surprise me because raids, unexpected coups and power re-alignments were quite common during this particular century as those who wished for power didn’t go about it diplomatically; rather, they plundered it off the lands of others, stole it outright or found ways to circumvent the ethical divides between the ruling class and pirating your destiny out of a world rife with war.

Gruah is a woman caught in a circumstance not of her own choosing – if you follow that thread you’d find she was ready to embrace a life with a man she desired to be with rather than one she was forced to remain enchained. The interesting bit here though is how Marley handles the scene as she doesn’t let us see the remorse of her character (not that I felt she had any to yield) nor does she give her time to apologise for her impulsive actions (again, I didn’t feel that was plausible!) – no, instead, she presents her just as she were – her faults surfacing with malice whilst carrying a gleaming glow of self-satisfaction. This was a woman who knew what she wanted, how she would achieve it and dare anyone to tell her differently. She leaves her mark and her mark is by fire and sword.

As Gruah grows in her hatred towards her newly wed husband forced on her by her father – an exchange of alliance and power; nothing more – she begins to emerge as Lady MacBeth. The woman who would turn her heart to stone if it meant finding her own internal power to eradicate the ills done against her – as you find her plotting her revenges even as she takes her first steps into her new marriage. Of course, she is already “MacBeth” in both honour and declared love; married to Lord MacBeth in secret and yet, secreted from that truth due to the alignment of strife to overtake her father’s and the King’s wishes on her behalf. I was curious about what changed the woman’s right to choose her own spouse – as it was mentioned briefly that they used to be able to make those choices outside the purview of the men; where their own destiny was once their own and not owned by others who did as they willed whether or not it was consented or accepted. In that regard, there are a lot of contemporary issues for women’s rights penetrating through MacBeth’s struggle to find the right action to fuse with her words; as her wrath was always spoken but its the actions she needs to take which take longer to formulate.

Marley has written an historical novel rife with conflict and the secrets which never stay in the past but which re-rise in the future when they are meant to be known. Her Lady MacBeth is a woman who is attempting to right the wrongs against her by taking action as an adult when she couldn’t act as a child. It is a story of redemption but also, of self-sacrifice as in this version of MacBeth you understand better what anchoured her to the darker roots of her faith and how the Earthen Spirituality she shared with her Mum was the only grounding foundation she had to battle against the horrors of her youth.

Marley also broaches the current topics of women’s rights, domestic violence against women and the suffering hours of being victims of sexual violence as children. She moves instinctively through the actions of the present and counters it with the recollected memories of the past to where you can overlay the past with the present and understand how everyone is on this collision course to where fate, life and death are interchanging their roles. It is a story that is fuelled by revenge but it is also a story of injustice and the purity of true love which seeks to rise through the ashes and lay claim to the purity of how love when it is freely given is a freedom of its own.

It is a hard novel to read in many regards because of how it descends and rises through the pacing of the play – including the fall of madness in Lord MacBeth. There is violence yes, as these are not people who opt for diplomacy to solve their problems, they’d rather take to the sword and see who is the better of combatants than to use talk to diffuse their differences. There are scenes which are hard to read just due to what they involve but at the heart of the novel is the life of MacBeth; both the husband and the wife. You get to re-examine what motivated them, what sparked the love between them and what ultimately drove them apart – you see those moments they shared together and how they perceived of their future by secret plotting.

The most powerful part of the story is the conclusion – where Lady MacBeth has a final say about what is meant to be remembered about herself. In that confession, you peer close to her soul and her heart; you see into her the truthfulness of her actions and the ways in which she felt she had to act in order to secure her own destiny. The difficulties of those choices however had consequences that do not wait to rest on a mind hardened by the actions of a woman who was aflame with murderous intentions to accomplish the deeds she first felt would define her and secure her future. You had to contemplate if she had the option to re-live it, what would she choose and what would she change; if anything? Or was it all pre-destined and her life lived out just as it was meant?

-quoted from my review of The Fire of Winter

As you embark on reading this conversation, be sure to have brewed your favourite cuppa and get ready to get your Shakespeare on as we discuss the components of this re-telling of MacBeth whilst also discussing why Marley has a firm passion for re-visiting other plays and how she is re-envisioning the canon of Shakespeare as a whole! I hope you enjoy where our convo led us and perhaps, you’ll find a renewal of interest in these stories as much as I have myself!

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Author Interview | Discussing MacBeth and the way this tale was re-spun through the vision DK Marley had for “A Fire in Winter”The Fire of Winter (Interview)
by D.K. Marley
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

She is known as Lady Macbeth.
What leads her down the path of murder?
What secrets fire her destiny?

Gruah, granddaughter of King Cìnéad III of the Royal Clan Alpin, marries two men in less than six months, one she loves and one she hates; one in secret, the other arranged by the High King of Scotland. At the age of eighteen, she lays her palm upon the ancient stone of Scone and sees her destiny as Queen of Scotland, and she vows to do whatever necessary to see her true love, Macbeth macFindlaech, beside her on the throne.

Amid the fiery times and heated onslaughts from Denmark and England, as the rule of Scotland hangs in the balance, Gruah seeks to win the throne and bring revenge upon the monsters of her childhood, no matter the cost or amount of blood tainting her own hands; yet, an unexpected meeting with the King called the Confessor causes her to question her bloody path and doubt her once blazing pagan faith. Will she find redemption or has the blood of her past fire-branded her soul?

The story weaves the play by William Shakespeare with the actual history of Macbeth and his Queen in 11th-century Scotland.

“…a woman’s story at a winter’s fire…”
(Macbeth, Act III, Scene IV)

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1724914965

Also by this author: The Fire of Winter

Genres: After Canons, Classical Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical-Fantasy, Re-telling &/or Sequel


Published by White Rabbit Publishing

on 1st June, 2019

Pages: 355

Published by: White Rabbit Publishing

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction, #HistFic or #HistNov
as well as #Shakespearean and #MacBeth

Available Formats: Hardcover, Trade paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

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As “The Fire of Winter” goes into the heart of who Lord and Lady MacBeth were as their lives were being lived – what was your inspiration towards wanting to use the play and their story as a catalyst to explore the fuller background of this century through the drama of what their lives became?

Marley responds: I am a true Shakespeare-lover! Since the time I was eleven and my grandmother gave me her college textbook “The Complete Works of Shakespeare”, I was hooked. I am currently attempting to adapt all the plays into historical fiction novels, so Macbeth was the second on my list. My first adaptation is “Prince of Sorrows” which is Hamlet set in 9th-century Denmark. Read More

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Posted Friday, 16 August, 2019 by jorielov in 11th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, After the Canon, Anglo-Saxon History, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book for University Study, Bookish Discussions, Britian, Cosy Horror, Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, England, Good vs. Evil, Heroic Bloodshed, Heroic Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Literature for Boys, Men's Fiction, Military Fiction, Re-Told Tales, Realistic Fiction, Self-Published Author, Spin-Off Authors, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, Sword & Scorcery, Vulgarity in Literature, Warfare & Power Realignment