Category: Re-Told Tales

A Wyrd And Wonder #RomanceTuesdays | “Heart of Sherwood” (A gender bent story of Robin Hood) by Edale Lane

Posted Tuesday, 24 May, 2022 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I never had the chance to read the first novel by Edale Lane – which I knew was a re-telling of Robin Hood with an f/f romance which is a continuous thread in all her novels. I had it in mind to read this story at different intervals over the time I’ve spent reading her initial trilogy of the Night Flyer series. When I went to sort out which books, I wanted to purchase to read during #WyrdAndWonder – “Heart of Sherwood” was at the top of the list. If you’ve visited our #bookstagram feeds recently, you now that I included all the books I’ve purchased by this author when I was celebrating ‘Best Laid Plans’ which was the first prompt of our Wyrd And Wonder Challenge. I’ll be expounding on this during my next #TopFiveSaturday post which runs this Saturday, the 7th of May.

I decided to concentrate on Fantasy Romances on Tuesdays throughout May whilst ‘taking over’ my #RomanceTuesdays featured selection of stories which are generally limited to Harlequin Heartwarming and Love Inspired (either Contemporary or Suspense) as I wanted a dedicated day to celebrating those authors, stories and series. Wherein generally speaking other Romances & Women’s Fiction stories are read and shared on Saturdays during my #SaturdaysAreBookish featured showcases. This year, as I’m participating in “The Summer Tree” RAL (readalong) whilst posting my ruminative thoughts on Saturdays and hosting @SatBookChat all four Saturdays during #WyrdAndWonder – I decided I ought to takeover my own feature on Tuesdays instead of running these on Saturday.

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 from the author Edale Lane – of whom I have previously hosted during blog tours and have had her as a guest author several times on my blog. She is one of my @SatBookChat #WyrdAndWonder guest authors this year – on the 28th of May.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

As fate would have it – I began my readings of Edale Lane with her Night Flyer series although I was fully aware of this novel “Heart of Sherwood” being it was her first release. It remained a curiosity to me over the past few years since I first read “Merchants of Milan” (see also Review) which of course I followed up with a hearty interview (see also Vlog Interview) as well as a guest post! The two stories I read next of course were the sequel (see also Review) and third installment (see also Review) of the series – as previously I thought it was only going to be a trilogy. I even followed all of this up with a phone interview wherein we discussed the series further.

It has only been two years since I started my journey into her worlds – wherein I also had the pleasure of meeting her in person at one point. We’ve remained in touch as I wanted to keep tabs on her new releases as well as stay in the know about the Night Flyer series. Fast forward to now – for Wyrd And Wonder’s Year 5 I decided to go BIG whilst endeavouring to read the rest of her canon of stories: “Missing In Milan” (Book 4), “Shadows Over Milan” (Book 5), “Viking Quest”, “Walks with Spirits” (her latest release!) and “Daring Duplicity” which is a Historical Victorian Suspense which I will be featuring during #CrimeFicFridays in June ahead of the sequel “Perilious Passages” releasing that same month.

And, yet — as an appreciator of Gender Bent stories – as noted through some of my readerly choices over the last nine years I’ve been blogging my readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story, I never had the chance to delve into her spin on Robin Hood. Wherein she switched genders and turnt ‘Robin’ into ‘Robyn’ a feminine heroine of the people rather than the tale of old in which we are all quite familiar as it has become modern lore due to how oft its origins and story have been explored through literature, television and film.

As a Romance reader, I’ve appreciated her gently told romances with an uplifting centre of focus within their relationships – whilst it is her historical lens of representing History through different portals of entrance which has fascinated me with each story I’ve read of hers. Her romances are f/f romances which is why I was not surprised she had plans to see if romance might percolate between Robyn and Marian in this variant of the story.

Her novels were what inspired me of turning my #RomanceTuesdays into a curated showcasing of Fantasy Romance. Be sure to return on Tuesdays to see which #FantasyRomance I am exploring next and which author or story you might become tempted to read yourself in the process of reading over my ruminations. Whilst you have to admit – during the year we’re celebrating #ForestFantasy is there a better forest to explore than Sherwood!?

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A Wyrd And Wonder #RomanceTuesdays | “Heart of Sherwood” (A gender bent story of Robin Hood) by Edale LaneHeart of Sherwood
by Ms Edale Lane
Source: Purchased | Personal Library

What if there had been a real Robin Hood, but instead of being a "he" the heroic outlaw was a "she"?

When Robyn's father and brother are killed in the Third Crusade, she is banished from her manor home and branded a traitor by the Sheriff of Nottingham. Disguised as a boy, she joins Little John and the rest of the gang in Sherwood Forest and soon finds herself their leader.

Queen Eleanor suspects Prince John is up to no good, and colluding with Sir Guy and the Sheriff of Nottingham. To learn more, she engages Maid Marian as a spy, reuniting Marian with her childhood friend, Robyn. Together, the women defy the evil sheriff, help the queen free King Richard, and perhaps fall in love along the way.

Winner of Rainbow Awards Best Historical Lesbian Romance, 2018-2019
Relive the classic tale told from a new perspective in Heart of Sherwood!

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Historical-Fantasy, LGBTQIA Fiction, Fantasy Romance



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1087282046

Also by this author: Chaos in Milan

Published by Past & Prologue Press

on 19th October, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 312

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Published by: 1st edition published by Less than Three Press

2nd edition published by Past and Prologue Press

Converse via: #FairytaleRomance, #FantasyRomance & #WyrdAndWonder
#RobinHood Retelling and Gender Bent Fairytale

About Ms Edale Lane

Edale Lane

Edale Lane is the author of an award winning 2019 debut novel, Heart of Sherwood. She is the alter-ego of author Melodie Romeo, (Vlad a Novel, Terror in Time, and others) who founded Past and Prologue Press. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication in regard to research. She is a successful author who also currently drives a tractor-trailer across the United States. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Edale (or Melodie as the case may be) is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Tuesday, 24 May, 2022 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, 12th Century, After the Canon, Book Review (non-blog tour), Classical Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, Historical Fantasy, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Re-Told Tales, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

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| A Mythological Fantasy re-telling in the pages of “Cassandra” by Kathryn Gossow

Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2021 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Gifted Book By: This novel “Cassandra” 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 last Wyrd And Wonder celebrating the Indie Publisher Odyssey Books! This kicks-off 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 “Cassandra” 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 4th Year of Wyrd And Wonder.

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

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I first was introduced to Mythological Fantasy through my readings during the first #Mythothon (@Mythothon) hosted by a dear friend, Louise @foxesfairytale. I was truly overtaken by all the different stories you can root out to read and how depending on the theme of what you wanted to read in Mythological Fantasy, you could take quite a wondrously lovely journey into this new (slightly hidden) niche of Fantasy literature. Ever since those first readings of mine, I’ve wanted to continue to join #Mythothon each year, but something seems to distract my attention or avert the hours I need in order to read during those events. Try as I might, I’ve missed a few rounds of the event and have set my eye on September, 2021 to re-join the community of readers who will be taking part in that round.

The credit goes to Louise for helping me re-look at this niche of literature and of unearthing such a wonderful foray into how stories set round different sets of Mythologies can become such entertaining reads! In this instance, I was wicked happy a copy of Cassandra was amongst the #bookhaul selections my parents surprised me with this Wyrd And Wonder, as I had known this was based on the myth of Cassandra but I hadn’t truly known much more than that before I started reading the story this May.

Cassandra is an intricate coming-of age story, wherein we follow in the footsteps of Cassandra (ie. Cassie) from a young girl into a budding young adult, as she curiously starts to recognise she has a gift for premonitions and knowing the future ahead of its arrival – but how that translates through her childhood and how she personally processes her precognitive thoughts and foreknowledge is uniquely writ into a backdrop of a life on a farm in Australia. Gossow takes you into this interpersonal journey of Cassie, as she navigates her home life, the pains of having a younger brother and of course, school life, too.

When I first started reading this story, I thought it was going to end up in a certain place by the end – yet, the final quarter of the novel tested my ability to stay rooted in the story and to find the ending. I just felt myself detaching from that mark in the book and I didn’t enjoy the final chapters as much as I had the rest of the novel as you’ll read in my review.

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

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review| A Mythological Fantasy re-telling in the pages of “Cassandra” by Kathryn GossowCassandra
by Kathryn Gossow
Source: Gifted

On a remote farm in Queensland, Cassie Shultz feels useless. Her perfect brother Alex has an uncanny ability to predict the weather, and the fortunes of the entire family hinge upon his forecasts. However, her own gift for prophecy remains frustratingly obscure. Attempts to help her family usually result in failure.

After meeting with her new genius neighbour Athena, Cassie thinks she has unlocked the secret of her powers. But as her visions grow more vivid, she learns that the cost of honing her gift may be her sanity.

With her family breaking apart, the future hurtles towards Cassie faster than she can comprehend it.

Genres: Australian Lit, Fantasy Fiction, Greek Mythos | Legacies, Re-telling &/or Sequel, Upper YA Fantasy, Upper YA Fiction



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1922200785

Also by this author: Cassandra (Author Interview)

Published by Odyssey Books

on 6th February, 2017

About [ “Cassandra” ] by the author:

My book Cassandra is a reimagining of the myth of Cassandra, set in Australian in the 1980s.
It was a finalist for Best Fantasy Novel in the Australian Aurealis Awards.

Published by: Odyssey Books (@OdysseyBooks)

Converse via: #Fantasy, #UpperYA, #Cassandra
as well as #OdysseyBooks & #WyrdAndWonder

About Kathryn Gossow

Kathryn Gossow

Kathryn Gossow is a writer and sometimes gardener living in a two acre garden in a pocket of the Brisbane River. When she is writing, her garden is a mess. When she is gardening, she forgets to write. It seems she cannot have both. She writes for that elusive feeling when she gets into the zone and there is nothing else in the world but her and the words that tumble onto the page. Kathryn has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, won a commendation in the Australian Horror Writers’ Association Flash Fiction Competition and has a number of published stories out in the world.

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Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2021 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, 21st Century, Australia, Australian Fiction, Book Review (non-blog tour), Brothers and Sisters, Bullies and the Bullied, Childhood Friendship, Coming-Of Age, Content Note, Death of a Sibling, Fantasy Fiction, Father-daughter Relationships, Fly in the Ointment, Folklore and Mythology, Greek Mythology, Indie Author, Inspired by Stories, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Prejudicial Bullying & Non-Tolerance, Re-Told Tales, School Life & Situations, Siblings, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Upper YA Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature, YA Fantasy

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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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