Category: Folklore and Mythology

Blog Book Tour | “The Breedling and The City in the Garden” by Kimberlee Ann Bastian

Posted Friday, 9 December, 2016 by jorielov , , , 9 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for The Breedling & the City in the Garden hosted by iRead Book Tours. I was blessed to be able to receive a print copy of this novel in order to review it for the blog tour as I cannot read digital copies of novels due to chronic migraines; I do offset my reading ques now with audiobooks which is working brilliantly towards lessening the onset of them. This was a surprise for me – to be able to read and review the novel, as I originally thought I could only interview the author. Truly blessed by the author’s kindness. Secondly, I am thankful for the author’s grace in understanding why I had to push my review forward and why reading whilst blogging took a backseat in my life since Black Friday. iReads was one of the touring companies I work with who was able to accommodate a change of schedule last minute, for which I was full of gratitude as well.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Breedling & the City in the Garden” direct from the author Kimberlee Ann Bastian in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

I am drawn to curiously curious genre-benders of a certain variety:

Three stories came immediately to mind whilst I was setting my sights on participating on this particular blog tour – they were as follows: To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Merriweather Lewis by Andra Watkins (see Review); The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (see Review); and Angel of Losses by Stephanie Feldman (see Review). They are united in their individuality and their unique literary voicing of both their characterisations and of the layers of world-building their writers spun into their pages. They also happen to be three of the books I loved reading (despite my indifference to which ‘category’ of literature Angel of Losses was classified) which did not quite as ring as wicked brilliant to other readers – they were either a big hit or a bit of a miss with readers I’ve encountered of late – with the exception of Wecker’s novel, which seemed to gain the most traction overall. I’m one of the few readers whose anxiously awaiting her ‘next chapter’ of the Jinni in 2018!

I love finding stories which etch out their own niche in literature whilst curating an experience within an adventure which truth be told are set to their own wicked beat of literary exploration. There are other stories I’ve read (some I’ve even blogged about!) which fit within this nifty niche of stories, too – however, these three percolated in my memory because of how interestingly unique they were imagined and how their writers craftly write Speculative stories within quasi-mainstream genres or at least, which were recognisd by quasi-mainstream genres! lol I personally love different designations of genres in literature – not so much as a be all / end all route of where I will go visually through literature as my mind expands itself around the sphere of a story but rather, a bit of a road map of where I’d like to travel at any given point of time in my reading life. I love sorting out the different variances of how genre can become bent (in theory, you already know dedicated readers how much I love seeing how ‘time’ is bent: i.e. time shift, time travel and time slip are all readily explored on my blog!) whilst seeing how wickedly inventive writers are at curating their own spin on an established genre by re-creating what is plausible within it’s folds.

I think it has a lot to do with how I personally write my own fiction (something I explored in an essay via Priya’s blog [originally written in 2015] wherein I talked about being a ‘writer’ whose moonlighting as a book blogger) – I like to see where my muse can lead me and how the stories ‘talk’ to us as we’re creating the words to paint the palette of where our stories are guiding us to traverse.

It also speaks to my bookish heart firmly attached to Speculative Fiction – as first and foremost, the very first manuscript I dreamt into existence was Science Fiction based on Science Fact. I lean towards what is futuristically possible by what could be considered improbably impossible today – whilst keenly invested in the imaginative innovation of where our creativity can take us through the written vortex of worlds spun out our imaginations daring to ask the questions of ‘what if’ and chart new horizons where readers can continue to travel with us on this journey through stories.

This is one reason why I love participating in Sci-Fi November and the Sci-Fi Experience – even if my participation can get off-track due to illness or life’s unexpected emergencies – the joy I have for the Speculative heart of fiction is hardcore. I love finding the dreamspinners of inverted and invented genres who provide an unknown niche of literature by how their stories transcend through the needle of time in proportion to character driven literature. This is simply my ‘next find’ in a lifelong pursuit of originality and bookish joy in discovering the niche makers.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “The Breedling and The City in the Garden” by Kimberlee Ann BastianThe Breedling and the City in the Garden
Subtitle: The Element Odysseys : Book One
by Kimberlee Ann Bastian
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

Absolute obedience, servitude, neutrality.

​These were the laws that once governed Bartholomew, an immortal soulcatcher, until one ill-fated night when he was forced to make a choice: rebel against his masters or reveal an ancient, dangerous secret.

He chose defiance.

Imprisoned for centuries as punishment for his decision, Bartholomew wastes away—until he creates an opportunity to escape. By a stroke of chance, Bartholomew finds himself in the human world and soon learns that breaking his bonds does not come without a price. Cut off from the grace that once ruled him, he must discover a new magic in 1930s Chicago.

Armed with only a cryptic message to give him direction, Bartholomew desperately tries to resume the mission he had started so long ago. Relying on the unlikely guidance of the streetwise orphan Charlie Reese, Bartholomew must navigate the depressed streets of the City in the Garden. But in order to solve this riddle, he must first discover if choice and fate are one in the same.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781945769047

Also by this author: The Breedling and the Trickster

Also in this series: The Breedling and the Trickster


Genres: Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism


Published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing

on 20th September, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 280

 Published By: Wise Ink Creative Publishing (@Wiseink)

Quite fittingly, I started 2016 by reading ‘Becoming George Washington’ by this publisher and I am now featuring a second title by them in the closing chapter of December. How wicked is that!?

 Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Kimberlee Ann Bastian

Kimberlee Ann Bastian

Kimberlee Ann Bastian has a love affair with American nostalgia, mythology, and endless possibilities. When she is not in her writer's room or consuming other literary worlds, she enjoys hiking and cycling around the bluffs of her Southeastern MN home and catching up on her favorite pop culture. The Breedling and the City in the Garden is her debut novel.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 9 December, 2016 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Folklore and Mythology, Genre-bender, Good vs. Evil, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Magical Realism, Orphans & Guardians, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “A Song of War: A Novel of Troy” by Christian Cameron, Libbie Hawker, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Stephanie Thornton, SJA Turney, and Russell Whitfield

Posted Thursday, 3 November, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions 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! I received a complimentary ARC copy of “A Song of War” direct from the publisher Knight Media in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why this title interested me to read:

When it comes to Helen of Troy, the Trojan War and Greek Myths such as The Iliad, you could say I took an about-face course of action whenever these subjects were broached in school. I did not see a need to change that status until recently, when an opportunity to read an anthology collection based on the Trojan War appeared in my blog tour folder. I will say, the Trojan War fascinated me when I was younger (as I loved studying key moments in History; a budding History buff & appreciator of war dramas in fiction) however, it was Helen herself that keenly intrigued me. I wanted to take the discussion in school to a deeper level than the bare bone facts and trivia soundbites, but alas, my peers were not as keen as I was on that front, and thus, I grew bored. The trend for me is that once I turnt bored on a topic or subject in school, I simply tuned it out. Frustrating to my teachers but I was more vexed how tediously repetitive and superficial most discussions were and how ironic my classmates were never bored.

One of the reasons I love reviewing anthologies (previously I’ve spent more attention on seeking out Science Fiction, Fantasy and Cosy Horror anthologies!) is the nature of how you get the proper chance to ‘meet’ multiple authors, or renew interest in ones you already know and appreciate. Sometimes it’s a mix of the two, if you read successive anthologies and find the same authors are represented and/or if in this instance, you find the happy surprise of a historical author you appreciate is included (for me, this would be Stephanie Thornton).

I approach reviewing anthologies differently than novels – for me, it’s seeking out the stories contained in the anthology that garnished the most connection to the context, character and timescape. If this were SF/F/H I would also be focused on the layering of thematic or the depth of the world-building. With my readings of Troy, I was looking for the aesthetics of the era, the general cohesiveness of how the time was represented and of course, the clarity shining through the point-of-view of the lead and supporting characters.

The best part of anthologies is never knowing how many of the stories you’ll feel wholly enthused about reading nor which story stands out in the end. It’s like a grab bag of literary gold – each story has the chance to touch your heart and imagination – but will it?! And, if so, why!? I also like reading biographies or Appendixes in anthologies – my ARC copy included Author Notes but was re-missive on the Introduction by Glyn Iliffe. Thankfully I let my fingers do the walking and I found it included in the “behind the book” preview on Amazon. The blessing for me, it was only a short paragraph and not a few pages, as reading length digitally is not something I can do.

Imagine then, my wicked joy in descending into this historical anthology – dearly curious on my own behalf of which author would etch such a strong impression as to leave me even more full of wonder about the Trojans, Helen and a period of history that still paints a fever pitch of interest in today’s modern literary world.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “A Song of War: A Novel of Troy” by Christian Cameron, Libbie Hawker, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Stephanie Thornton, SJA Turney, and Russell WhitfieldA Song of War
Subtitle: A Novel of Troy
by Christian Cameron, Kate Quinn, Libbie Hawker, Russell Whitfield, Sja Turney, Stephanie Thornton, Vicky Alvear Shecter
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Troy: city of gold, gatekeeper of the east, haven of the god-born and the lucky, a city destined to last a thousand years. But the Fates have other plans—the Fates, and a woman named Helen. In the shadow of Troy’s gates, all must be reborn in the greatest war of the ancient world: slaves and queens, heroes and cowards, seers and kings . . . and these are their stories.

A young princess and an embittered prince join forces to prevent a fatal elopement.

A tormented seeress challenges the gods themselves to save her city from the impending disaster.

A tragedy-haunted king battles private demons and envious rivals as the siege grinds on.

A captured slave girl seizes the reins of her future as two mighty heroes meet in an epic duel.

A grizzled archer and a desperate Amazon risk their lives to avenge their dead.

A trickster conceives the greatest trick of all.

A goddess’ son battles to save the spirit of Troy even as the walls are breached in fire and blood.

Seven authors bring to life the epic tale of the Trojan War: its heroes, its villains, its survivors, its dead. Who will lie forgotten in the embers, and who will rise to shape the bloody dawn of a new age?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781536931853

Also by this author: Daughter of the Gods, Author Interview (Stephanie Thornton), The Tiger Queens

Genres: Ancient Civilisation, Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Historical Fiction, Short Story or Novella, War Drama


Published by Knight Media LLC

on 18th October, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 483

Originally Published By: Knight Media
Available Formats: Paperback

Converse via: #HistFic, #Illaid + #HTeam

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Thursday, 3 November, 2016 by jorielov in 12th Century BC, Ancient Civilisation, Ancient Greece, Andromache (Hector's wife) of Troy, Anthology Collection of Stories, ARC | Galley Copy, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brothers and Sisters, Equality In Literature, Feminine Heroism, Gods & Goddesses, Greek Mythology, Hector of Troy, Helen of Troy, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, History, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Military Fiction, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Paris of Troy, Prejudicial Bullying & Non-Tolerance, Re-Told Tales, Short Stories or Essays, Siblings, The Bronze Age (Trojan War era), Twin Siblings, Vulgarity in Literature, War Drama, Warfare & Power Realignment, Women of Power & Rule

#ChocLitSaturday | A spooktacular chat about #Halloween + a 5-part fey short story round robin!

Posted Monday, 31 October, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

#ChocLitSaturday banner made by Jorie in Canva.

This weekend, I changed things up a bit as I was going to talk about Jules Wake’s debut ChocLit novel “Talk to Me” – however, noticing how close Saturday hugged itself to Halloween, I decided to take a spooky route instead! I wasn’t sure if it was the holiday – as the UK is starting to whoop up Halloween on a larger scale than in previous years, a nod to their American cousins who have loved the holiday for centuries (or so it would seem!), but this particular Saturday was a bit low in attendance! I knew our numbers would start to fall off a bit towards early to mid November, as that is the time of year where we take a bit of a ‘holiday hiatus’ til after the New Year rings in!

Happily one of the ChocLit authors came round and we had a lovely time chatting about our shared joys of Halloween and why this season of Autumn is such a wicked joy to embrace! Towards the end of the chat, Ms Cornwall dropped in on the festivities and shared in the convo before it was time to close and say ‘good-bye’! Or in this particular case, a spookily ghoulish hope of having a wicked blast over the holiday weekend!

To read our convo in full, you’ll be delight to find the archives are right here for your spooky pleasure! We kicked off the chat talking about the fey (a more proper way of saying ‘fairy’), whilst encompassing why Halloween is such a fun holiday to celebrate & what we love about it the most – of course, this deviated into talking about candy and bakery delights – you know it would happen, it’s the holiday of spooky treats! Laughs. If you find a tweet you love, RT it or respond! Never too late to join in on the fun of #ChocLitSaturday!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

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Posted Monday, 31 October, 2016 by jorielov in #ChocLitSaturday (Weekly Chat), Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, ChocLitUK, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Gothic Literature, Modern British Literature, Parapsychological Suspense, Supernatural Fiction

Book Review | “SCARECROW: an #anthology of shorts” [edited by] Rhonda Parrish published by #IndiePub World Weaver Press

Posted Sunday, 30 October, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book by: Did you ever grow curious about a new publisher who produces science fiction, fantasy, and horror genre selections in both novel length and short stories? Did you ever decide to enquire with the publisher you’ve found to see if they were open to book blogger requests to read and review their selections!? This is the situation I found myself in as I was quite mystified by the offerings of World Weaver Press! Such a delightful discovery on my behalf [in 2015] with a website full of inspiring reads across SFF!

Since I started reviewing with World Weaver Press [one year ago in August, 2015] there has been a changing of the guard behind-the-scenes where there is a new owner & publicity team. I am wicked happy to see the legacy and tradition of WWP has been carried forward by this lovely new team! I am honoured to work with them continuing to showcase World Weaver Press through reviewing their titles and hosting future guest features by their authors! The current four reviews I’m posting on their behalf (i.e. The Falling of the Moon, Scarecrow, Frozen Fairy Tales and Far Orbit: Apogee) were selected before the company changed hands. Moving forward after these reviews, I am hoping my next review will be for “Murder in the Generative Kitchen” of which I thoroughly enjoyed highlighting recently! Although I do hope to continue reading the anthologies Ms Parrish is making as SIRENS released recently, too!

I received a complimentary copy of “Scarecrow” direct from the publisher World Weaver Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I am wicked excited to read SCARECROW:

You simply know going into reading one of the anthologies by Ms Parrish that your in for a wickedly delightful reading! In this particular case, I was so deeply attached to the stories in CORVIDAE (coming out of reading FAE), I was wicked enthused to begin reading SCARECROW! It’s the type of anthologist whose instincts to pull together writers & their stories that you cannot help but celebrate because her instincts give you such a palette of choices to read! It’s quite incredible, honestly – because each time I step inside the vortex of the Magical Menageries I feel as if I’ve travelled to so many wondrously illuminated places all within the pages of one singular anthology!

I happen to love reading stories of Cosy Horror in the Autumn months – as this time of the year is anchoured to Halloween! I’ve been a long-time appreciator of Halloween as I love celebrating the holiday with all the festivities that pull together it’s light-hearted core of joy whilst embracing all the quirks that go along with it, too! I haven’t had the chance to see a lot of scarecrows in fields but I grew up loving the Wizard of Oz like most children, and therefore, had a strong impression of a fantastical scarecrow!

I like being introduced to new windows of Speculative Fiction – which is one reason I am attracted to the collective works of World Weaver Press! Each time I pick up their anthologies, I find a new world to alight inside, a new writer to champion and an incredible depth of layered story-telling within the framework of a ‘short story’! It’s wicked good fiction but I appreciate the new realms I’m discovering too, which broker into Cosy Horror!

The past two months notwithstanding, as my migraines returned and I had to take a small hiatus from blogging – what motivates me to read SCARECROW is for that experience of the unknown to once again re-align in my imagination & the hauntingly epic feeling that despite reading a scary story every now or then, I truly love embracing this new branch of literature that gives me so much joy to read!

I love to just *dive!* into a Rhonda Parrish anthology
and see what she’s given me to devour!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Review | “SCARECROW: an #anthology of shorts” [edited by] Rhonda Parrish published by #IndiePub World Weaver PressScarecrow
by (Editor) Rhonda Parrish
Source: Direct from Publisher

Hay-men, mommets, tattie bogles, kakashi, tao-tao—whether formed of straw or other materials, the tradition of scarecrows is pervasive in farming cultures around the world. The scarecrow serves as decoy, proxy, and effigy—human but not human. We create them in our image and ask them to protect our crops and by extension our very survival, but we refrain from giving them the things a creation might crave—souls, brains, free-will, love.

In Scarecrow, fifteen authors of speculative fiction explore what such creatures might do to gain the things they need or, more dangerously, think they want.

Within these pages, ancient enemies join together to destroy a mad mommet, a scarecrow who is a crow protects solar fields and stores long-lost family secrets, a woman falls in love with a scarecrow, and another becomes one. Encounter scarecrows made of straw, imagination, memory, and robotics while being spirited to Oz, mythological Japan, other planets, and a neighbor’s back garden. After experiencing this book, you’ll never look at a hay-man the same.

Featuring all new work by Jane Yolen, Andrew Bud Adams, Laura Blackwood, Amanda Block, Scott Burtness, Virginia Carraway Stark, Amanda C. Davis, Megan Fennell, Kim Goldberg, Katherine Marzinsky, Craig Pay, Sara Puls, Holly Schofield, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, and Kristina Wojtaszek.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on Impress Books (UK)

ISBN: 978-0692430224

Also by this author: FAE, Corvidae

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Cosy Horror, Fantasy Fiction, Sci-Fantasy, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thriller


Published by World Weaver Press

on 4th August 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 206

Published By: World Weaver Press (@WorldWeaver_wwp)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook

Genre(s): Fantasy | Horror | Speculative | Stories of Scarecrows

Mythology | Steampunk | Magic | Metaphysical

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Collection No.1 in this series is FAE | Info on Editor’s Blog | Info on Pub | my review

Collection No.3 in this series is Scarecrow | Info on Editor’s Blog | Info on Pub

Collection No. 4 in this series is SIRENS | Info on Editor’s Blog | Info on Pub

Collection No. 5 in this series is EQUUS | Read the Announcement on Pub
+ Read the OPEN Submissions note on the Editor’s Blog!

Converse via: #DiverseSFF, #SFF, #scifi, #Fantasy & #anthology

+ #MagicalMenageries (the series tag!)

About (Editor) Rhonda Parrish

Rhonda Parrish

Rhonda Parrish is a master procrastinator and nap connoisseur but despite that she somehow manages a full professional life. She has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine for over five years now (which is like 25 years in internet time) and is the editor of the forthcoming benefit anthology, Metastasis. In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been included or is forthcoming in dozens of publications including Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast and Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing.

Starting July 1, 2014, Rhonda Parrish will be reading for Corvidae and Scarecrow, two new anthologies in the same series as Fae. Like Fae, each of these new anthologies will focus on a single construct treated in many varied and enthralling ways by new speculative fiction short stories.

The twin anthologies also present a unique opportunity: to create a conversation between the two volumes, between the crows and the straw-men, between the bird tales of Corvidae and the totem tales of Scarecrow. Anthologies to be published in 2015. More information at WorldWeaverPress.com.

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Posted Sunday, 30 October, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Anthology Collection of Stories, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cosy Horror, Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Folklore and Mythology, Good vs. Evil, Haunting & Ethereal, Historical Fiction, Horror-Lite, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Parapsychological Suspense, Short Stories or Essays, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, Urban Fantasy, Vulgarity in Literature, World Weaver Press