Category: Debut Novel

A #SpooktasticReads Book Review | “Anni Moon & the Elemental Artifact” : #MGFantasy by Melanie Abed

Posted Sunday, 24 October, 2021 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#SpooktasticReads Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: In 2015, my participation on the Anni Moon blog tour featuring the debut novel by Melanie Abed was through my hosting of JKS Communications blog tours. I hosted a Book Spotlight whilst I was able to put together a collection of quotes I had enjoyed from reading a chapter sampler the author provided for me for the tour itself. After the tour concluded, the author surprised me with a print copy of “Anni Moon and the Elemental Artifact”. I was smitten by the artwork and the premise behind the story itself – there is a special surprise within the opening pages of the novel for me – a hand-drawn bat whose one of the characters in the novel.

In the ensuing years, I’ve been wanting to read and finish my ruminative thoughts on behalf of this novel – in [2018[, during #WyrdAndWonder it was on my TBR List for the event. In [2019], I re-attempted to read this novel during #WyrdAndWonder Year 2 only to realise my migraines were going to make that quite difficult to accomplish. Whilst it might have taken me til [2021] but I am proud to say I’ve been able to read it through to its conclusion and can finally release my thoughts about it. I am hoping the participants during #MiddleGradeMarch who enjoy reading either Middle Grade and/or Young Adult Fantasy will enjoy learning more about this inventive and impressive debut. As I was able to talk about this novel during 2020’s #MiddleGradeMarch which is why it is mentioned on the review itself. I also included a note about it during #WitchAThon. This review is a compilation of the different times in which I read the story with the concluding bits of it finalised during #SpooktasticReads 2021.

I received a complimentary signed copy of “Anni Moon & the Elemental Artifact” direct from the author Melanie Abed. I was not obligated to post a review as I wanted to share my thoughts on behalf of this story for my own edification as much as a way to encourage those who follow my bookish life to know my impressions on behalf of this novel. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. I have permission from the author to use the Press Materials on this review which I was given by JKS Communications for the blog tour originally in 2015.

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

What originally drew my eye

into the world of ‘Anni  Moon’:

Finding stories within the realm of Middle Grade is quite a happy exploration for me, as I have been happily entrenched in my local library’s catalogue for six years come May 2015! A seriously addictive hobby of mine has been to seek out wicked quality stories crafted for young minds whose innocent imaginations are thirsty for believable worlds, compelling characters, and heart-warming tales which seek to teach as much as they are to inspire! I grew up with a happy heart for learning and for expanding my knowledge as I read each new story that whet my palette of interest to soak inside, however, the offerings during the 1980s and the 1990s were a bit on the paltry side compared to the 2000s!

There has been such an explosion of options within Children’s Literature, that in part, I was inspired to create a special page dedicated to reading and wandering through this ocean of choices here on Jorie Loves A Story! Originally inspired to pick up from whence I had left off in order to root out a story or two my own nephew and nieces would appreciate reading, I would in turn discover a new niche of stories that suited my curiosities and enriched my reading joy by the manner in which the authors were penning entire worlds out of everyday lessons, life affirming restitution’s, and a deeper love of giving back a measure of awe-inspiring narratives that could give a child (or an adult!) a widening breadth of literary delight!

Anni Moon was an instant curiosity simply based on the premise — a world in which magic and the artful realm of fantasy merging together to give an intrepid reader (of any age) an adventure they would not soon forget!

This reminds me of why I was so very excited about Portals, Passages, & Pathways and, who could forget my dedicated passion on behalf of the Leland Dragons? Surely not anyone who follows me in the twitterverse and who has seen my joyfully bookish tweets using the tag I created! (#LelandDragons)

-as originally shared on my Anni Moon Spotlight w/ Notes and Extract

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.A #SpooktasticReads Book Review | “Anni Moon & the Elemental Artifact” : #MGFantasy by Melanie AbedAnni Moon & the Elemental Artifact
Source: Direct from Author

Anni doesn’t know about Elementals, Funk, Zephyrs, excited talking Bat-Rat creatures, and, least of all, Dragons. All that changes when her best friend, Lexi, is kidnapped and forces beyond Anni’s control trap her on a hidden, floating island in the Elemental world.

In a race against time, Anni sets out to save her friend. Along the way she finds allies among the Elementals, but she is also presented with a choice, one that might help save Lexi. If Anni agrees to an ancient, open-ended contract, will her sacrifice cost her more than she’s bargained for? Or will it land her in the middle of an age-old war between the humans, the Elementals, and the dreaded Fectus?

Genres: Children's Literature, Middle Grade, Fantasy Fiction



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780990706243

Published by Oculus Print

on 17th September, 2014

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 276

Published by: Oculus Print

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

A notation on the illustrations by Hisham Abed:

Not since the illustrative additions I found included with Uncovering Cobbogoth, have I been this wicked happy to see illustrative elements threaded through a work of Children’s Lit! Cobbogoth was one level up from Anni Moon, as it was a young adult release, but evenso! I cannot even fathom what would await me whilst snuggled inside the full length of the novel! Leaping lizards, I love illustrators who have the keen ability to draw out the characters we sometimes as readers have trouble sorting out how to imagine! What a beautiful gift!

[ Visit Ms. Abed’s site to find hidden pages of delight! ]

{ the characters of Anni Moon }

{ the Map of Moon Zephyr }

{ the Glossary Index of Terms found in the Stories } Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #SpooktasticReads 2021
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Posted Sunday, 24 October, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Childhood Friendship, Children's Literature, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Fantasy Fiction, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Juvenile Fiction, Middle Grade Novel, Orphans & Guardians, Supernatural Fiction

#EnterTheFantastic | Enter the realms of “The Gifted and the Cursed” – through the first novel “Kings and Daemons” by Marcus Lee

Posted Saturday, 15 August, 2020 by jorielov , , , 4 Comments

#EnterTheFantastic Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: During my 3rd Year of co-hosting @WyrdAndWonder, I was able to participate on my first blog tour with Storytellers on Tour which was featuring the author Brianna Sugalski on her “Disenchanted” blog tour. What I appreciated about Storytellers on Tour is their dedication to Indie Authors of Speculative Literature and their ability to find authors who are telling stories in Fantasy which intrigue me to read. Fantasy has been a challenging genre for me to explore even a bit moreso than Science Fiction – which is why I feel blessed to be on their blogger team. Whilst some of their tours I might seek out a book to consider for review, I also actively enjoy hosting creative content using book photography and/or featuring their authors in conversation (ie. interviews) or giving them the breadth of joy to write a guest post based on a topic of my choosing. Overall, Storytellers on Tour are dedicated to creating community and for championing those of us who are choosing to share our readerly lives each day we bring content to our book blogs. 

I received a complimentary copy of “Kings and Daemons” direct from the author Marcus Lee in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What drew my eye into this Fantasy series:

I am constantly intrigued and surprised by where my fantastical wanderings take me,.. as generally speaking it is quite rare I will feel motivated to read a darker Fantasy novel but there are exceptions to this rule as I am sure other readers have exceptions to their bookish wanderings as well. Likewise, a new subniche of Fantasy I have discovered over the recent year is *Fantasy Romance!* courtesy of reading my first story by H.L. Burke!

For a reader whose grown passionate about reading Romance – from Contemporary to Historical to Suspense – it is a wonderment to me how I somehow have *missed!* this other niche inside a genre I have loved reading since I was seventeen! The premise round “Kings and Daemons” is what first allured me into the novel – how a complete unknown in this world could reconcile their destinies after a person in power sought to destroy them. Who wouldn’t want to read about an unsung heroine and her ability to free her people from the destructive influence of a King?

It was not lost on me the spelling of the word demon and what this alternative spelling is pointing out in reference. This stems back to a lot of conversations I had in high school with my best friend who was as passionate about Fantasy as I had been about Science Fiction. It led to a lot of interesting conversations and discussions – something I hadn’t seen until I became a book blogger and realised there was this whole bookish community who were doing the same thing about the topics they enjoyed talking about themselves. I normally might have taken a right turn on reading this novel – yet there was just ‘something’ about it that spoke to me and I dove in head first. As you’ll see on my review I had many surprising takeaways and a reading experience I had hoped to receive but was wickedly delighted by having experienced.

One quick note to readers who might seek this out – I’d say this is Cosy Horror intermixed with High Fantasy with a cutting thread of Sword & Sorcery. 

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Notation on Cover Art: I love the art of book covers which give you an honest impression or gateway into the world you’re about to enter and “Kings and Daemons” is doing exactly that with this lushly vibrant cover art which truly gives you a keen sense about Maya and how she would appear if you were to meet her yourself. I loved everything about the design – from the choices in colours to the layout – original artwork like this one on Fantasy novels was something I have always cherished and celebrated! Especially if you look closely at what is being highlighted in this portrait of Maya – specifically look at her feet and then compare that to what is behind her and you’ll see how much she effects her world. 

#EnterTheFantastic | Enter the realms of “The Gifted and the Cursed” – through the first novel “Kings and Daemons” by Marcus LeeKings and Daemons
Subtitle: The Gifted and the Cursed (Book One)
by Marcus Lee
Source: Author via Storytellers on Tour

A tale of conquest, dark kings, and daemonic heroes. A spellbinding story that will enchant you with its plot of ambition, love, betrayal, sacrifice and redemption.

Over fifty years have passed since Daleth the seemingly immortal Witch-King and his army conquered the Ember Kingdom.
Now, with the once fertile lands and its enslaved people dying around him, the Witch-King, driven by his insatiable thirst for eternal youth, prepares his forces to march on the prosperous neighbouring Freestates. It will be the beginnings of a conquest that could destroy nations, bringing death and destruction on an unimaginable scale.

Then, when a peasant huntress whose rare gift was concealed from birth is exposed, it sets in motion a chain of events that could alter the destiny of generations to come.

Genres: Cosy Horror, Dark Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8646561931

Also by this author: Tristan's Folly, The End of Dreams

Also in this series: Tristan's Folly, The End of Dreams


Published by Self Published

on 26th May, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 414

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The Gifted and the Cursed Trilogy:

Kings & Daemons (book one)

Tristan’s Folly (book two)

The End of Dreams (book three)

This is a Self-Published novel and series!

Converse via: #Fantasy, #EpicFantasy or #HeoricFantasy or #SwordAndSorcery
as well as #storytellersontour #  & #EnterTheFantastic as #JorieReads

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7th Annual Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

This story received my award for Best Adult Fantasy subniche Dark Fantasy.

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About Marcus Lee

Writing hasn’t always been a serious hobby for me … but it has always been there, lurking in the shadows, serving me well when called upon.

As I look back over the years, I realise I was guilty of writing many short stories, as well as poetry, and I’d like to think, that even if they were never intended to be published, they were nonetheless warmly received by the intended recipients.

Then in 2019, I was inspired to write not just a short story, or poetry, but a book. Then, suddenly, one book turned into a trilogy and a labour of love, and it was a love I wanted to share with the world.

So, here we are. The pandemic that put my career in sport on hold also gave me the opportunity to lavish time on my alternative hobby, or if demand dictates my new career.

However, only you, the reader, will decide whether this trilogy, which is still a work in progress, will be the first of many. I genuinely hope so.

Who knows, now these creatives juices are flowing, I might just keep on writing anyway.

Epic fantasy has been my favourite genre since I first read The Odyssey and The Illiad as a seven-year-old. Now it’s my turn to see if I can bring another world to life in the imagination of others.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #EnterTheFantastic
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Posted Saturday, 15 August, 2020 by jorielov in #EnterTheFantastic, ArchDemons or Demonic Entities, Blog Tour Host, Coming-Of Age, Cosy Horror, Dark Arts (Dark Magic), Dark Fantasy, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Excessive Violence in Literature, Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Horror-Lite, Immortals, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Self-Published Author, Storytellers on Tour, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Sword & Scorcery

#SaturdaysAreBookish Book Review | Celebrating my first read during #AustenInAugust with an ‘inspired by’ Jane Austen Regency Romance: “Josette” by Danielle Thorne!

Posted Saturday, 8 August, 2020 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish banner created by Jorie in Canva.

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Acquired Book By: I receive quite a few lovely review requests throughout the different seasons of the year. Some of the more recent ones (from May-July) were a bit harder to respond to as various authors failed to leave me their contact details whilst at the same time, after searching for them online myself to seek a way to respond to their enquiries – only a few of them had a website. Blessedly – Ms Thorne had a website and I was able to connect with her via her Contact Page.

This is a gentle reminder that if you’re filling out a Review Request form on a book blogger’s blog – kindly include your email address and/or if you know the book blogger is active on Twitter (like I am) – offer your handle so they can DM you. It is the kind of courtesy we appreciate – plus, it goes from moving your request to denied to accepted and in this case, it led to me hosting her three times: two reviews and a guest spot on @SatBookChat.

I received a complimentary copy of “Josette” direct from the author Danielle Thorne in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: This is one of two novels I’ve received from this author. The other title was one of my choosing as this one [His Daughter’s Prayer] was the one she submitted for consideration via my Review Request Page. The other novel is “Josette” – a Jane Austen inspired Historical Romance which I happily marked as my first read for #JaneAustenJuly which became my first read for #AustenInAugust after I was afflicted with severe migraines.

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On why I wanted to read  “Josette”:

It began as a way back into reading Austen,.. during a month readathon called #AustenInAugust…

I have a soft spot in my bookish heart for retellings, sequels and inspired by stories on behalf of the canon of Jane Austen. The trilogy I read and happily had the chance to interview the author after I concluded the series was The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen. This was a recent series I’ve read and reviewed on Jorie Loves A Story – however, I’ve tipped my hat into after canon retellings for “Pride and Prejudice” & “Sense and Sensibility” to name a few. I like to see how the writers will pay homage to the original canon – how did they draw the influence and the inspiration into their own creative work and spin on a classically appealling tale?

When I was offered to make a second selection from Ms Thorne’s collective works – despite the fact I love reading about pirates, I leant more towards wanting to understand ‘Josette’ – from her motivations to her strength to live her life. I felt “Proper Attire” had a storyline which wasn’t going to work for me right now whereas I felt the storyline for ‘Josette’ was a better fit for the stories I had earmarked to read during the celebration of #JaneAustenJuly.

In truth, I’ve been sitting on some after canon stories featuring the style of Jane Austen for a few years now. I also haven’t had the chance to start reading “Mansfield Park” or “Northanger Abbey” – the two lovely stories my parents gifted me whilst I was thrown a 1st Year Blog Birthday party (ie. 6th August, 2014). I felt the timing was a good one for me as after reading ‘Josette’, I was going to be reading ‘Suddenly Mrs Darcy’ before moving into listening to ‘Yuletide’ by the Quill Collective. I love feeling re-inspired to read works of Classical Lit as it has been a long hard road back into the Classics.

As you can note, I was planning to read a select grouping of Jane Austen inspired stories, after canon sequels and/or the two original canon selections I had made to bring my total #JaneAusten reads to 3x – however, my plans were severely impacted by two severe migraines in mid to late July which rendered me offline, unable to read and unable to blog; ergo, I’ve decided to resume my original idea of hosting my own ode to #AustenInAugust as first inspired by Roof Beam Reader’s annual event.

‘Josette’ therefore is my first story to read during #AustenInAugust!

As technically with all my health afflictions, I was never quite able to finish it!

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#SaturdaysAreBookish Book Review | Celebrating my first read during #AustenInAugust with an ‘inspired by’ Jane Austen Regency Romance: “Josette” by Danielle Thorne!Josette
Subtitle: A Regency Romance
by Danielle Thorne
Source: Direct from Author

Can she forgive the man who ruined everything and allow herself to love?

Josette sees her future when she gazes across the lawn of Beddingfield Park. That is until brooding Captain Carter rides into her life. Grieving her brother and determined to despise his captain, Josette must decide between marrying a fickle cousin or helping her infatuated sister trap him instead. It's no easy task when Josette's stubborn heart yearns for the sea captain she must not love.

This book is a historical regency novel with family, friendship, sisterhood, and clean romance.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspired by Stories (Author/Book)



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781936167319

Also by this author: His Daughter's Prayer

Published by Whimsical Publications Inc

on 30th April, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 248

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The Jane Austen inspired Regency Romances by Ms Thorne:

Josette
Proper Attire
A Pirate at Pembroke
The Privateer of San Madrid

Converse via: #SaturdaysAreBookish + #HistRom
and/or #HistoricalRomance and #Regency as well as #HarlequinHistorical

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Saturday, 8 August, 2020 by jorielov in #SaturdaysAreBookish, 19th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Book Review (non-blog tour), Content Note, Debut Author, Debut Novel, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Romance Fiction, the Regency era