Category: Inspired By Author OR Book

A #WyrdAndWonder #RomanceTuesdays | featuring “Druid’s Moon” (a re-telling of ‘Beauty and the Beast’) by Deniz Bevan

Posted Tuesday, 3 May, 2022 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#RomanceTuesdays banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Every so often I am blessed with Review Requests which come directly via my Review Policy on my blog. There are some months where I fall behind on my responses to the requests – due to life and work obligations – however, in this instance, I was wicked fascinated by this particular premise and as it fit into the stories, I was seeking out for our 5th Year of #WyrdAndWonder, I took a chance on the ARC being pitched would still be available to request. Thankfully I was granted the review opportunity and the book arrived in time to coordinate with my Wyrd And Wonder plans this May. I knew, too, with this being a re-telling of a beloved classic story (ie. “Beauty and the Beast”) this would fit in well with my Wyrd And Wonder takeover of #RomanceTuesdays which is a regular feature of my blog. 

I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher Dancing Lemur Press, LLC in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I enjoy fantastical re-tellings & am curious about werewolves:

Even before I realised there was a werewolf connection, I surmised it through the cover art! The only werewolf I truly have had any experience or knowledge of previously was Harry’s Uncle. Werewolves are typically on my list of creatures I’m not as comfortable reading about and thereby make choices case by case as I find stories which involve them. Now, when I realised this is a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast with a window into Druid & Celtic Histories and a potential curse unearthed by an archaeologist on a dig – wells, let’s just say that felt quite a fanciful new direction to take the original canon!

I have been reading re-tellings of Classic Literature ever since the very beginning of Jorie Loves A Story (9 years ago this past 31st of March) – which you can observe via my Story Vault as those stories are listed closer to the top of the list of archived reviews. I have also read variants of Beauty and the Beast previously whilst I LOVED seeing the rendition of the live-action film starring Emma Watson not so long ago now (2017 wasn’t it?). In fact, in that film the hardest scene for me to reconcile was when the ‘beast’ no longer had his fur! Even Mum agreed (as it was a surprise viewing with her) it was hard to shift past who he was before he transformed back into being a human because we all were lost in the story and had come to become quite fond of him in his beastly state of presence! Laughs. Which I believe is why Emma Watson’s character mentioned him growing a beard at the end and where he implied that would never happen! Laughs heartedly.

The key reason I LOVE retellings is because you get to see a different perspective on the original story and the original intentions for that story by the original author. The new variants of the Classics also offer new passageways into those characters’ and into those worlds; some even re-invent the whole experience if you take into account my listenings of the Jane Austen Dragons series! (see also Review) The beauty of course is finding which authors have an entrance point which first enchants you forward and then, entertains you the most whilst you take up residency in the new world they’ve created in homage to the original.

Now, once upon a time I had a huge interest in Archaeology, Anthropology and all routes interconnected to both disciplines — however, now I entertain those interests through reading Fiction and Non-Fiction alike and enjoy the adventures from afar. History has played a strong role in my life as well – which is why you’ve oft found me chasing down timescapes and windows of History through my extensive readings of Historical Fiction over the last nine years as well. And, yet I always feel there is something new to discover when you merge the past with the present and angle a story through the excavation of the past.

With werewolves – those are a bit trickier for me to feel cosy comfortable around – though, in truth, I am sure most of them are misunderstood or in the case of the one in Druid’s Moon – perhaps caught inside of a curse he/they cannot extract themselves from!? Ah. Alas, I felt this might be an interesting and intriguing story to add to my selections this #WyrdAndWonder and that is why it is being featured during my Wyrd And Wonder takeover of #RomanceTuesdays as in effect a Beast needs his Beauty and there lies the romance!

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A #WyrdAndWonder #RomanceTuesdays | featuring “Druid’s Moon” (a re-telling of ‘Beauty and the Beast’) by Deniz BevanDruid's Moon
by Deniz Bevan
Illustrator/Cover Designer: C.R. Wolfe
Source: Direct from Publisher

Beauty to his Beast…

Lyne Vanlith, an archaeologist who seeks a logical explanation to any mystery, discovers an ancient Druidic curse on her first dig. When the signs foretold by the curse descend on her, Lyne can’t find a reasonable interpretation.

And that’s even before a Beast rescues her from a monstrous sea-creature. She drops a grateful kiss on the snout of the Beast, who transforms into a man, Frederick Cunnick, Baron of Lansladron. Lyne is meant to be Beauty to his Beast—and break the curse forever.

Now both spellkeeper and monster are targeting Lyne. She must take up her legendary role, to defeat the curse and save Frederick—and herself. Instead of logic, for the first time, Lyne must trust her heart.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Fairy-Tale Re-Telling, Mythological Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, Paranormal Romance (PNR)



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1939844866

on 5th September, 2022

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 173

Published by: Dancing Lemur Press, LLC (@DancingLemurPre)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #FantasyRomance, #ParanormalFantasy or #Fairytale Re-telling
as well as #BeautyAndTheBeast or #WyrdAndWonder

About Deniz Bevan

A firm believer in burning the candle at both ends, Deniz Bevan is generally writing a new novel while editing another and blogging about her reading and research adventures. Other days, she tries to stay off the web altogether, as she delves into the history, mystery, and romance of her characters’ lives.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Tuesday, 3 May, 2022 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, After the Canon, ARC | Galley Copy, Book Review (non-blog tour), Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Folklore and Mythology, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Paranormal Romance, Re-Told Tales, Romance Fiction, Supernatural Fiction

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | soaking into Shakespearean Fantasy within the pages of “Harlequin’s Riddle (Book One: Tales of Tarya) by Rachel Nightingale

Posted Monday, 2 May, 2022 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review Year 5 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Gifted Book By: This novel “Harlequin’s Riddle” was part of a gifted #bookhaul of mine from my Mum and Dad for #WyrdAndWonder, Year 4! They happily surprised me with a lovely bundle of books I featured during Wyrd And Wonder Year 3 celebrating the Indie Publisher Odyssey Books! This continues my readings of those novels as I was overjoyed I can read all the lovely stories I had either showcased and/or featured but wasn’t able to read during our Year 3 Wyrd And Wonder.

Thereby, I was gifted a copy of “Harlequin’s Riddle” by my parents and I was not obligated to post a review on its behalf. I am sharing my thoughts on behalf of this novel for my own edification and a continued journey of sharing my readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Note: I received the Press Materials last year from the publisher and had asked if I could re-use them if and when I was able to read and/or review the stories I was featuring during Wyrd And Wonder Year 3 (2020); and thankfully was given permission to do so which is why I am using them during my readings this 5th Year of Wyrd And Wonder.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I was quite smitten with all the stories I’ve selected to feature from this Independent Publisher – each of the guest features will tuck us closer to the stories themselves, introduce us to the writers and give us a newfound appreciation for the Fantasy stories which are being independently published by publishers who champion the crafting of stories and the writers who have created these fantastical worlds for us to discover.

I wanted to begin this series of features with Ms Nightingale – as her world is a rather curious one – both from the perspective of what initially inspired her series and how she first fused curiosity to building the foundation of this world she’s given us to read and by how her characters simply step forward from that world and embrace our imaginations.

-as shared on the guest post by Ms Nightingale

As you might remember – two years ago, I had the lovely pleasure of running a series of guest features for Odyssey Books. Their authors were very welcoming to me and open to my enquiries as much as they returnt my interview and guest post topics with such hearty depth – it was a true pleasure to host all of them! I even interviewed one of them via #SatBookChat as I did a takeover chat experience that year as well.

Last year, I was able to start my readings again of Odyssey Books via “Cassandra” (see also Review) whilst previously I had featured Elizabeth Foster’s “Esme’s Wish” (from 2020: see also Review) and Felicity Banks Rahana trilogy: “The Monster Apprentice” (from 2020: see also Review) and “The Princess and the Pirate” (see also Review) in 2021.

This #WyrdAndWonder I am picking up from whence I last left off – I have the complete set of stories for the Tales of Tarya to read and I couldn’t be happier! I didn’t want to set out to read the first novel if I knew I couldn’t read the rest of the series. Thereby, I waited until our 5th Year to begin my journey into this world and it is my hope to read the rest of the Odyssey Books I have on my shelves every Monday throughout May. Part of what drew me into these stories was the premise of them — how they are a combination of reshaping what we understand about Shakespeare against what we love about Mythological Fantasy and Fantasy which is set in a world re-inspired by another writer.

Whilst I am planning to read the Odyssey Books authors on Mondays – you’ll find two more lovelies from them being featured and read this month: “Esme’s Gift” the sequel to “Esme’s Wish” and “The Shadow of the Skytree” (see also Interview). I am attempting to get a copy of “Songlines” by Carolyn Denman as well. Join me on Mondays as I take my own odyssey into a publisher’s canon of stories and series.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | soaking into Shakespearean Fantasy within the pages of “Harlequin’s Riddle (Book One: Tales of Tarya) by Rachel NightingaleHarlequin's Riddle
Subtitle: Book One of the Tales of Tarya
by Rachel Nightingale
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Nadia Turner
Source: Gifted

Ten years ago, Mina’s beloved older brother disappeared with a troupe of travelling players, and was never heard from again. On the eve of Mina’s own departure with a troupe, her father tells her she has a special gift for storytelling, a gift he silenced years before in fear of her ability to call visions into being with her stories.

Mina soon discovers that the travelling players draw their powers from a mysterious place called Tarya, where dreams are transformed into reality. While trying to solve the mystery of her brother’s disappearance, she discovers a dark secret to the players’ onstage antics. Torn between finding her brother or exposing the truth about the players, could her gifts as a storyteller offer a way to solve Harlequin’s riddle?

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Historical-Fantasy, Magical Realism, Upper YA Fantasy



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1922200990

Also by this author: Harlequin's Riddle

Published by Odyssey Books

on 12th June, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 312

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The Tales of Tarya series:

The Tales of Tarya collage created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: jorielovesastory.com

Harlequin’s Riddle (book one)

Columbine’s Tale (book two)

Pierrot’s Song (book three)

Be sure to read Ms Nightingale’s Guest Post after this review!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published by: Odyssey Books (@OdysseyBooks)

Converse via: #HistoricalFantasy, #YAFantasy, #TalesOfTarya
as well as #OdysseyBooks & #WyrdAndWonder

About Rachel Nightingale

Rachel Nightingale

Rachel Nightingale has been writing since the age of eight (early works are safely hidden away). Harlequin’s Riddle is her first novel.

Rachel holds a Masters degree and PhD in Creative Writing. Her short stories have been selected several times for exhibition as part of the Cancer Council Arts awards, and winning the Mercury Short Story competition (junior section) at the age of 16 only fuelled her desire to share her stories with the world. One of her plays, No Sequel, won the People’s Choice Award and First Prize at the Eltham Little Theatre’s 10 Minute Play competition in 2014, while another, Crime Fiction, was performed at Short and Sweet Manila in 2016. Her second passion after writing is the theatre, and she has been performing in shows and working backstage for a rather long time. She co-wrote and performed in the 2013-2015 version of the hugely popular Murder on the Puffing Billy Express, a 1920s murder mystery set on the iconic Dandenong Ranges train.

The inspiration for the Tarya trilogy, which begins with Harlequin’s Riddle, began when she read a quote by Broadway actor Alan Cumming about that in-between moment just before you step on stage and enter a different world, and began to wonder what you might find in that place between worlds.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Monday, 2 May, 2022 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, After the Canon, Classical Literature, Clever Turns of Phrase, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Dreams & Dreamscapes, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fantasy, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Introspective Literary Fiction, Life Shift, Magical Realism, Parapsychological Gifts, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Realistic Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Upper YA Fantasy, William Shakespeare, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage

Blog Book Tour | Celebrating a #PrideAndPrejudice variant in the pages of “How to Fall in Love with a Man You Thought You Hated” by Elizabeth Adams

Posted Thursday, 6 May, 2021 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

I received a complimentary copy of “How to Fall in Love with a Man You Thought You Hated” direct from the author Elizabeth Adams in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On how much I already LOVE the author Elizabeth Adams:

This year was quite extraordinary already when it comes to featuring interviews on Jorie Loves A Story – as Ms Adams happily took up the challenge I presented to her via a respun Top Ten Tuesday wherein we explored her writerly style in this wicked lovely vlog interview!

The focus of course – was PRIDE AND PREJUDICE which is rather apt as the novel on this lovely blog tour is a PRIDE variant – wherein you can nearly guess the plot simply by taking stock of the title!

Last year, during one of  my @SatBookChat‘s – I hosted Christina Boyd and Ms Adams was one of the authors who came into the chat – as we were celebrating their 2020 release by the Quill Collective “Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl!! She provided so much wicked good commentary & laughter to the chat, it became one of my top favourite #SatBookChat’s as a result.

For #AudiobookMonth this June, I’ll be revisiting my listening of “Elizabeth: Obstinate Girl” but ahead of those lovely festivities – I was thankful to get a stop on this lovely blog tour which is featuring one of Ms Adams’ novels. I have only been acquainted with her stories in audiobook – this is the first time I’ve had the chance to read one of hers in print and I was wickedly delighted by the prospect!

IF you love Jane Austen’s worlds & characters – keep your eyes on Elizabeth Adams and the Quill Collective authors respectively – they are shining stars in the world of after canon lit for Austen!

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Notation on Cover Art & Design: As soon as I first looked at this cover art, I knew it was fittingly wicked for this story. There was something about it – the images themselves (front/back) and the colours of hues – plus it had this Jane Austen variant feel to it as the text and layout all worked together brilliantly. It would definitely make a wonderful poster to grace your library!

Blog Book Tour | Celebrating a #PrideAndPrejudice variant in the pages of “How to Fall in Love with a Man You Thought You Hated” by Elizabeth AdamsHow to Fall in Love with a Man You Thought You Hated
by Elizabeth Adams
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

For Elizabeth Bennet, Charlotte is the friend who is—annoyingly—always right. Colonel Fitzwilliam is the mischievous brother she never had. And if their convictions that Mr. Darcy is in love with her are correct, he could be the lover she’s always wanted.

There’s only one problem—he tried to ruin her favorite sister’s life, and she made an absolute fool of herself in front of him.

Can lasting happiness come out of such a beginning? And can a man die from chasing a woman too quick to be caught? Darcy is about to find out.

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



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8733477589

Also by this author: Sons of Pemberley (Spotlight/Vlog Interview)

Published by Self Published

on 5th of April, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 266

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov as well as #JaneAusten
+ #PrideAndPrejudice Variant or #AfterCanon
as well as #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Elizabeth Adams

Elizabeth Adams

Elizabeth Adams is a book-loving, tango-dancing, Austen enthusiast. She loves old houses and thinks birthdays should be celebrated with trips – as should most occasions. She can often be found by a sunny window with a cup of hot tea and a book in her hand.

She writes romantic comedy and comedic drama in both historic and modern settings.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Thursday, 6 May, 2021 by jorielov in #HistoricalMondays, After the Canon, Blog Tour Host, Classical Literature, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Jane Austen Sequel, Pride & Prejudice Re-telling

A special #EnterTheFantastic #FolkloreThursday | Jorie’s affinity for stories set in and round ‘Cinderella’ come together in H.L. Burke’s new release “Ashen”!

Posted Thursday, 17 September, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Guest Contributor and/or Reviewer of JLAS banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!!

Welcome to my [special] Enter the Fantastic guest feature rooted in the lore and appeal of ‘Cinderella’ which happily befits #FolkloreThursday! I cannot recollect how old I was when I first drew a close connection to Cinderella – both the character and her story, however, as a teenager, the actress I’ve realised this week could have been my elder sis, respun this lovely tale into the beauty of what became ‘Ever After’. I can never tire of that adaptation due to the brilliant way in which Drew Barrymore gave life and depth to Danielle as much as how the film honoured both the character of Cinderella and re-told the tale in such a Feminist driven plotting – you cannot help but take stock of *everything!* contained within it!

I am, unfortunately a day late and a dollar short as they say – I was meant to feature this lovely guest post by an author I first ‘met’ during #WyrdAndWonder 2019 – wherein I read this wickedly wonderful Fantasy Romance! My first! And, it sealed the deal I wanted to be reading more of her stories – (do yourself a favour and find out what drew me into her world of the fey) as I happily featured her during my bookish chat @SatBookChat as well!

The key reason I wanted to host her this September on this unexpected blog tour (thank you, Ms Burke for announcing it in your author’s newsletter!) is because I had already slated myself to finally dive back into the first novel in her duology “Daughter of Sun, Bride of Ice” – a unique Fantasy storyline I had hoped to listen and review last year, but had to keep pushing it forward until I could lay heart and mind into the storyline. I requeued this for #SelfPubFantasyMonth (my first year to join the celebrations!) during September as I’ve been wanting to re-explore Fantasy and the fantastical realms I love being a traveller ever since Wyrd And Wonder concluded this year and I fell short of my end goals. (courtesy of my neverending chronic migraines which love to rage during *May!* the height of pollen season! OY!)

Let me give a short recap of my ‘Wednesday’ which ought to have been a proper ‘manic Monday’ instead – woke by 630a, wherein a two hour appointment turnt into seven whilst the whole day round was one near disaster after another and all told, I didn’t get back home til after 10p! The key reason this post was delayed wasn’t due to my insane Wednesday – it was due to the fact my connectivity went fully wonk yesterday afternoon shortly after receiving confirmation about this lovely guest post as this blog tour was assembled quite fast compared to other tours I’ve hosted wherein I had more than half a day to prep to share it. I didn’t get on til after midnight rounding out my day to a full 18+ hours!!

Ergo, forgive the delay but let’s celebrate why you’ve landed on Jorie Loves A Story! I could not have done more if I desired it and I shared this as quick as I could wherein having my connectivity resolved was one nightmaric obstacle I was thankful I didn’t have to worry over for another day!

If you love CINDERELLA, wait til you meet the characters within ASHEN –

Ashen Quote graphic provided by Uncommon Universes Press and is used with permission.

And yet, before we can do that, we need to better understand how ASHEN was bourne! Brew yourself a lovely cuppa, dear hearts and let’s drink in Ms Burke’s words together about how she cobbled together a story which was sparked out of the COLD!

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A special #EnterTheFantastic #FolkloreThursday | Jorie’s affinity for stories set in and round ‘Cinderella’ come together in H.L. Burke’s new release “Ashen”!Ashen
by H.L. Burke

Stealer of warmth, bringer of death. What if Cinderella had a secret that kept her locked away?

Unable to make her own body heat, foundling Lizbete survives in the tavern kitchen, drawing warmth from the fires, the sun—and sometimes, other living beings. Her days are spent cooking alongside the tavern owner and avoiding the suspicious gazes of the villagers in her small northern town. While she quietly longs for the handsome Brynar, she knows she has no chance with the mayor’s son, even if he invites her to the First Frost festival.

When sudden earthquakes strike Brumehome, blame falls upon Lizbete, and not even her friendship with Brynar can protect her. She finds shelter in the dangerous caverns of nearby Ash Mountain. There she discovers mysterious people with her same ability to draw heat—and a fiery doom in the mountain that slowly awakens with every quake.

Now the festival Lizbete thought to avoid is her only chance to warn the villagers. Yet even with Brynar at her side, can the strange girl dubbed the Ash Lizard hope to save the town that fears her?

A rugged YA Cinderella retelling set in a fantasy world with light steampunk elements.

Genres: After Canons, Classical Literature, Fairy-Tale Re-Telling, Fantasy Fiction, Inspired by Stories (Author/Book), Re-telling &/or Sequel



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B08CZZFKKX

Also by this author: To Court A Queen

Published by Uncommon Universes Press

on 22nd September, 2020

Published by: Uncommon Universes Press (@UncommonUnivers)

Genre(s): Folklore & Fairytales, After Canon Stories, Reinventing Cinderella

Converse via: #FolkloreThursday, #Mythothon and #Cinderella
as well as #Ashen, #Fantasy and #Classics

About H.L. Burke

H.L. Burke

Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and was always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

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So, the inspiration for Ashen. (Cracks knuckles)

Heidi was Cold and had NO MARINE so she wrote an MC that couldn’t get cuddles to take it out on her. The end.

K, I’m done. I can has cookie … wait, no, apparently this post needs more words. Um, hmm ….

In early 2019, a knee injury made it impossible for my husband to continue his military career. While he started separation paperwork (from the military, not us, but … yeah, spoilers, the military kept us separated off and on for almost a year), the plan was for me to move up to Oregon with the girls, look for a house, get them started in school, and then he’d join us once his retirement was finalized.

We left for Oregon in May. Matt didn’t join us (except for short visits) until March of 2020.

In the meantime, I did get a house: an older one that I love for it’s quirkiness and personality, but yeah … in the winter it’s drafty.

So there I was, in a house that could get fairly cold at night, with no husband to snuggle up against, and I started thinking about a protagonist whose primary issue is that she’s cold. Why is she cold? Maybe she can’t get near people because she takes their heat. She’s a heat vampire. Maybe it can get to the point where she can accidentally freeze someone to death if she touches them for too long …

And from that sprang Lizbete, a lonely little sad floof who just wants to connect with others but is afraid to because her need to draw heat from external sources makes her a danger to those closest to her.

Then she started hanging out in the ashes by the fire, and I was like, “Dang, people are going to think that’s a Cinderella reference … maybe it IS. Oh gosh … this is a Cinderella retelling.”

My husband is home now, by the way (thanks for asking). And (without being too spoilery), I promise Lizbete also gets her happy ending.

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Ashen Quote graphic provided by Uncommon Universes Press and is used with permission.

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I, admit, when I learnt where the Burke’s were living right now, I shuddered because my heart, my very soul has been so dearly attached to newsfeeds via streaming news services out of Oregon for the past fortnight (at least!) that I feel as if I’m going through the whole atrocity with them! My heart was in full grief that for the second time this year the environment, the landscape and the lives of the persons living in the path of wildfires were being irrevocably affected by what the fires are afflicting on the wildlife and on the humans who are falling victim to the fire.

I’ve been to Oregon – I LOVED Oregon and the whole Pacific Northwest (PNW) as the climate was so much more gentler than were I am myself – you couldn’t find the sun if you tried back then (in the late 90s) and blessedly it was not humid, nor hot and in the middle of June it was a blustery environ of oceanic breezes and the chilly comfort of overcast grey skies with a chill in the air as the natural thermostat was in the low 50s! It was my own bit of Heaven,…

This makes it even more special I think to help book boost an author whose living there and dealing with such a heavy load – not just the wildfires of today, but as you’ve read, she had to shoulder the relocation *and!* the adjustment of waiting out her husband’s retirement! The strength that takes and the toll it can have on your person is incredible. I am full of gratitude for her sacrifices and for his service.

I didn’t understand the theme of the post at first – let’s just blame my inability to see her cheekified humour on soldiering through a bluster of a migraine this week, too much personal IRL stress and a newfound joy of finding out I can BAKE a SCONE. Okay, that last bit? That’s the bright rainbow of joyfulness that marked a turning of tides this week, wells, til you know, Wednesday arrived and you would have found me at sixes and sevens – running round ragged and pushing through heat exhaustion because you know, Summer has a wrath of the volcanic on you! Throw in a few birds of prey, a real bonefide rainbow and some unexpected blessings today and it rounded out to a lovely day despite the angst and the afflicted way in which I felt the day would never end.

I finally caught on to her humour and it was a refreshing look into how she approaches her craft of writing whilst giving out a personal antidote from the life behind the books as Ms Burke has somehow managed to achieve what I haven’t yet – write and continue to develop her writerly craft whilst living through circumstances that would give the impression you might not feel as creatively inclined to accomplish anything at all. I give full credit to all creatives who can push through that kind of incredible weight of stress and circumstance and produce wicked incredible stories – Ms Burke is one author to keep your eyes on — she’s going to surprise you and I hope you’ll find the stories she’s penning as entertaining as I do!

Meanwhile, despite the rocky start to hosting for this lovely Indie Press, I am hopeful they’ll forgive my delay to post as I’d love to continue to work with them on future blog tours. I love championing Indie Publishers & Press as much as Indie & Self published authors – as throughout the past seven years on Jorie Loves A Story, those are the creative economists and storycrafters I take great pride in discovering, reading and being a book cheerleader for as I expand my literary horizons.

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A reader’s thoughts on behalf of ASHEN:

Although this Cinderella retelling twists them into something quite different, it retains most of the traditional elements of the story; the girl given a nick-name due to being covered in ashes, the cruel guardian, the “ball” attended in disguise, shoes of glass and the giant lava-dwelling fire octopus.

OK, so that last one isn’t usually part of the story but it really ought to be. The story flows easily from the first page effortlessly drawing you in and keeping you enthralled right through to the end. -LJ

I don’t usually share a quote by another reviewer, however, in this particular case I could not miss the chance to share this one – as I felt she captured it brilliantly how attached we insta-feel towards Burke’s writings. I know I felt that way last year! And, of course, I cannot wait to read ASHEN but it might take me a bit before I can bring a copy of it home. I definitely hope to fetch a copy via my library but for now, I’m wicked happy I can champion it on the blog tour!

Am I the only one who WISHED the octopi was real?

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This guest feature is courtesy of: Uncommon Universes Press

Ashen and Met By Midnight Blog Tour Banner provided by Uncommon Universes Press and is used with permission.

Kindly seek out more travellers of the fantastical to gain more insight off this lovely blog tour – whilst finding yourself wickedly delighted by what you find! As you click through the tour banner, you will find links to guide your route! Plus, you’ll find a link to the Facebook Launch Party – I can’t go as I’m on #bookTwitter but GO if you are on Facebook!

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#EnterTheFantastic banner created by Jorie in Canva.

This guest feature is part of my continuous journey to #EnterTheFantastic!

Visit my full archive for ALL my #EnterTheFantastic wanderings!
– or take a walkabout through my archive for everything deemed wickedly fantastical!

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “Ashen”, book synopsis, author guest post, promo quote badges for “Ashen”, blog tour banner as well as the review extract were all provided by the publisher Uncommon Universes Press and are used with permission. The author photo and biography were previously provided by H.L. Burke and are used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Guest Posts and Reviews banner, #EnterTheFantastic banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

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Posted Thursday, 17 September, 2020 by jorielov in After the Canon, Author Guest Post (their topic), Blog Tour Host, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight, Classical Literature, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Re-Told Tales, Uncommon Universes Press