Category: Folklore and Mythology

Audiobook Review | “Halfway Bitten: Halfway Witchy, No.2” by Terry Maggert, narrated by Erin Spencer (aka. the #paranormal YA series Jorie is devouring!)

Posted Wednesday, 18 January, 2017 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a new blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I started hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions at the end of [2016] during “The Cryptic Lines” tour wherein I became quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Halfway Bitten” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the author Terry Maggert) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I am so wicked thrilled to be reading this YA #Paranormal series:

In case you’ve missed my full ruminations on behalf of the first novel in this wonderfully witchy series, please direct your mouse to Halfway Dead!

You immediately warm to Carlie – her charm is her forthright attitude where conjectured insight into her hometown and the area in which she calls home is slightly more ‘quirky’ than she is herself! For instance, your senses overtake the setting on sight – this is a cold (by temperature) environ which could be seen as ‘off-putting’ to others but to Carlie, it’s more than just the place she’s chosen to lay her hat, it’s her ‘home’. Home to Carlie isn’t just where you feel comfortable or where you can score a wicked awesome job at the local diner a stone’s throw from your residence (not only saving on petrol but medically speaking, her digits are never in danger of frost bite!) wherein you never quite feel as if the stark contrast of the natural world is inhibiting your prospects. Not that Carlie is shy when it comes to nature; if anything, she finds solace inside the hidden realms of where forest and stream meet the sky and cast untold amounts of wisdom into the whispering quiet hum of the natural order bubbling to life all round her whilst crossing her path with a lightness not found amongst urbanites.

Her open honesty about her unconventional life is refreshingly brilliant to see captured in a Young Adult story with a heroine who embraces her moxie and chooses to find a stitching of nonchalant monologue where she encourages you to listen to her tale(s) with an open mind and an imagination to knit out the rounding of the fantastical which just happen to be her mainstay of peculiar ‘happenings’. -part of my reactions to Halfway Dead

Halfway Bitten promo banner provided by Audiobookworm Promotions

Can we talk about aesthetics & cover art designs!?

One thing I consistently talk about here on Jorie Loves A Story is how if a story doesn’t pull me into it’s orbit & theshold – the art on the cover or inside it’s interior becomes art to appreciate rather than a part of the experience of the story itself. When I find a story or a series such as Halfway Witchy, I find myself over the moon thrilled to bits to exclaim my bookish glee in finding cheekily clever cover art sporting a fiercely Indie YA Paranormal series with the aplomb appeal of announcing itself as one part quirky and a heaping spoonful of eclectically wicked! Case in point!?

I *love!* my cuppa tea | chai | Americano Miso / Espresso Lattes – but to take the tea cup itself and direct your eye to how it dangles on a finger whilst evoking a tattoo-vibe of book titles with the quirky eclectic artsy style of a White Witch you begin to soak into the aesthetics of the series your reading (or listening too, as is the case with me!). Each of the designs evoke something extraordinarily ordinary about Carlie and her witchy spirit of mind. It’s part of the appeal to her character’s personality but also, it’s a telling visual aide when you’re already attached to a character & her world.

They also dimensionally differ from one another on a score of layers of intrigue & the deepening reality of Carlie’s life. The first cover started off on the footing of innocence & familial pride; the second shows the conflictions of a witch and the third – wells, it proves this horror on the side of cosy I can handle is going to pull out the punches to keep me firmly on the border between straight-up Horror and Cosy Horror (the realm in which I can traverse without nightmares!).

I think it also shows character growth and the building of Carlie’s internal and external worlds colliding into a singular experience only she can voice and tell. I caught a wink of a nod towards a FOURTH! novel in this series being written and I can only hope the momentum that is building thus far along will not only continue in the series but lead us to itch to devour the next installments with the same zest of bookish anticipation for the continuity & the conflict of drama intermixed with the realities of small towne life, white magic and the supportive arm of family & friends.

And, maybe just a smidge of that Cosy Horror cheeky humour I’ve come to love so much, too! I mean,… it *is!* definitively a stand-out in it’s genre for proving how well-timed comedic moments and a spunky heroine can make you sit into a smile whilst bracing yourself for what comes into your view on the next page turn,…

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As much as I lamented this about the author who penned the tale:

The way in which Mr Maggert approaches all of this is with sensitivity and compassion; he presents both sides and let’s the reader make up their own mind about what they want to takeaway from the novel. Like most Young Adult novelists I have come to appreciate finding (and he is now amongst them!) – they stitch into the fabric of their stories life lessons, cautionary insight and a global conscience of time-sensitive realities to help ensure that all future and current generations are armed with knowledge and insight into what could theoretically impact their daily lives. Either on a quasi personal level or on an intuitively observational level – however which the reader chooses to consume the information provided, it will be a stepping stone towards unveiling the larger picture.

In many ways, this is why Children’s Lit across the spectrum (i.e. Picture Books, Chapter Books, Juvenile Fiction and YA) play such an important role in endeavouring to give children and teens a measure of a breath of what is currently affecting our world. It leads to empathy but also to understanding; if the conversations are not broached at home or in school, there are stories that can encourage a mind to open to a concept not yet introduced. In this, Maggert excells and it was a true pleasure to watch how he enticed young readers who are mature enough to embrace a slightly Upper YA Paranormal Suspense novel to broaden their horizons whilst everything is cast into a fantasy world where the supernatural and current events collide.

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Audiobook Review | “Halfway Bitten: Halfway Witchy, No.2” by Terry Maggert, narrated by Erin Spencer (aka. the #paranormal YA series Jorie is devouring!)Halfway Bitten
Subtitle: Take a bite out of evil
by Terry Maggert
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Erin Spencer

The circus came to Halfway, and they brought the weird. When clowns, vampires, and corpses start piling up in town, Carlie has to break away from her boyfriend, Wulfric, to bring her witchy skills to the table- or grill, as the case may be. When the body of a young woman washes up in the lake, it unleashes a spiral of mystery that will bring Carlie, Gran, and Wulfric into a storm of magical warfare.

Spells will fly. Curses will rain. Amidst it all, Carlie will make waffles, protect her town, and find out if a man from the distant past can join her in happy ever after. With love and honor at stake, Carlie has no peer.

Places to find the book:

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ASIN: B01FXVSSJU

Also by this author: Halfway Dead, Heartborn, , Halfway Hunted

Also in this series: Halfway Dead, Halfway Hunted


Genres: Cosy Horror, Ghost Story, New Adult Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Sci-Fantasy, Upper YA Fiction, Vampire Romance, YA Paranormal Suspense


Published by Terry Maggert

on 23rd May, 2016

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 7 hours and 19 minutes (unabridged)

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the halfway witchy series:

Halfway Witchy book series collage provided by Audiobookworm Promotions
Digital composite of Wooden table with library background. Halfway Witchy book series collage provided by Audiobookworm Promotions; used with permission.

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About Terry Maggert

Terry Maggert

Left-handed. Father of an apparent nudist. Husband to a half-Norwegian. Herder of cats and dogs. Lover of pie. I write books. I've had an unhealthy fascination with dragons since the age of-- well, for a while. Native Floridian. Current Tennessean. Location subject to change based on insurrection, upheaval, or availability of coffee. Nine books and counting, with no end in sight. You've been warned.

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Posted Wednesday, 18 January, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Apothecary, ArchDemons or Demonic Entities, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Author Found me On Twitter, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cats and Kittens, Clever Turns of Phrase, Coming-Of Age, Cosy Horror, Cosy Horror Suspense, Dreams & Dreamscapes, Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, Environmental Science, Equality In Literature, Faeries & the Fey, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Good vs. Evil, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Horror-Lite, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Immortals, Indie Author, Light vs Dark, Modern Day, Nature & Wildlife, New Adult Fiction, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Realistic Fiction, Shapeshifters, Small Towne USA, Sociology, Speculative Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Suspense, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, The Natural World, Upper YA Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Vulgarity in Literature, Walking & Hiking Trails, Werewolves, Witches and Warlocks, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction

#TwelfthNightReadathon | “Gifts of the Magi: A Speculative Holiday Collection” an anthology with a charitable heart benefiting Indy Reads Books!

Posted Saturday, 14 January, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

Twelfth Night Readathon badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Ahead of Christmas 2015, I received a beautifully lovely gift: a specially released anthology celebrating Speculative Fiction authors and the gift of charity. Indy Reads Books is an independent bookstore in Indianapolis, Indiana giving back to authors, readers and members of their community on a yearly basis whereas the other half of “Indy Reads” is a non-profit literacy organisation. This is a bookstore I have come to know through the authors who are behind this anthology: Mr (RJ) Sullivan, Mr (John F.) Allen and Ms Chris (E. Chris Garrison) of whom I have had the joy of interacting with both on blog tours or outside of them for Tomorrow Comes Media and/or Seventh Star Press.

This particular book was offered to me knowing how much I love holiday stories and the beauty of having such a strong presence of Speculative stories contained in one singular anthology with the heart of the holidays a central theme running through them! I personally love reading anthologies within the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Cosy Horror genres, which in of itself felt like a good fit to read this collection. I was unexpectedly taken ill during December 2015 (my infamous thirty day flu!) and this past December, whilst I had re-scheduled this to be a part of my #ChristmasReads and #WYChristmasReadathon series of posts, I was otherwise distracted by the recovery process after my Dad’s stroke. You can read about the first twenty-four hours after his stroke (per this post) and a bit of a background on my inability to read during December (per this anchour section of a recent review). Thus, my idea of recapturing the Christmas Spirit during Twelfth Night weekend was bourne!

I received a complimentary copy of “Gifts of the Magi” direct from the author R.J. Sullivan in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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#TwelfthNightReadathon & what sparked the idea:

I personally love reading holiday stories around Christmastime, however, this year, proved to be quite a unique year all the way round; starting Thanksgiving weekend. I dearly wanted to dig inside these lovely stories which are winking at me to read but with a heavy heart and a mind weighed down by anxieties attached to stroke patient’s recoveries, you could say the timing was definitively ‘off’ this year for posting anything remotely lit with the Christmas Spirit in December. I had to fight my way back into reading just to secure a passageway back into the hours I love spending inside stories and the journey of characters; as let’s face it, I had a lot on my heart and soul this year.

The blessing is being able to find my bookish joy emerged through a succession of Rom Novellas through a blog series I entitled: #MidnightChocLit (see the thread). This enabled me not only to retrieve my bookish heart but my bookish joy – the curiosity about stories and the lives of characters started to renew inside my imagination and it started me off again on solid ground. Spending this past week tucked inside an INSPY #HistRom also provided me with the hours I needed to heal my nerves and resume enjoying the hours I could spend inside a fictional world (see also Review).

Despite my progress back to my blog and back into an active reading life, there were ebbs of guilt murmuring inside my heart because more than anything I had wanted this to be a December where I could fully embrace reading stories of the season. This is when a lightbulb flashed in my mind – wait! The Christmas season isn’t fully extinguished until Twelfth Night and Twelfth Night is a celebration of the three kings! I knew I should start by reading and live tweeting my responses to Gifts of the Magi on this particular Friday, as it marks Twelfth Night officially! Ergo, all the lovely stories of Christmas Spirit across genre and literary selections could now be happily read during my own personal #TwelfthNightReadathon!

Except to say, Mother Nature had other plans in store for me – we had an epic storm arriving in the afternoon hours of Twelfth Night itself and it continued into Saturday; therefore, my tweets were quite a bit delayed – thus kicking off this readathon as a ‘weekend’ celebration; perhaps it was meant to be all along, as this is what I had put on the badge I created to celebrate the series of reviews! My readings of this anthology truly were encased during #TwelfthNight weekend, however, my reviews I wanted to feature over the weekend are running this week instead. The best part for me – is to be able to recapture stories of a season I cherish so dearly during a year where my heart was full of anxiety and now just a stone’s throw in the New Year, I can reattach the joys of soaking into stories of Yule & Christmastide!

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This of course, would have remained true if my dear Maine Coon / tabby hadn’t been struck quite ill whilst I was trying to kick-off this readathon. Turns out, as a senior cat of nearly 13 years he’s developed horrid food allergies and was quite miserable; his sister-in-arms is one year his junior (my little Tux!) of whom now has ‘food intolerance’s’. Despite being earnestly hopeful to find something that would work for them (as in their kittenhood and early years of growth, they had (as did their two siblings) multiple health issues which is why Mum and I were consistently ‘on the road’ to new places to purchase high quality pet foods whilst the Vets and my fam were growing more discouraged by the hour when even the best quality you can find isn’t working for your four cats. Hence why we were advised to go with what worked for our darlings and not worry about what is working for everyone else. This worked out quite well – until now.

Turns out!? The *best!* cat food our cats need was developed by Rachael Ray! Her Nutrish line for cats (esp the Chicken and Potato dry food!) is what turnt this crazy insanity around in *one!* feeding! ONE! Our Coon / Tabby who was *always!* Alpha is now a Beta cat whose so relaxed and happy, his Tux of a sister is still trying to get used to him being less playful around her and just go with the flow. All his issues are gone as are hers, to such a degree it’s a true miracle. They used to eat only wet food, but this dry food has done so many marvels for their health (i.e. vision, fur, digestion, etc) I cannot see them returning to wet food! Their so happy right now, it’s a beautiful thing to see – ergo, I am continuing this readathon in the spirit of Twelfth Night – as a closing of the holiday season and the stories of Yule.

This is why you’ll see my tweets stopped for a short break – as everything prior to Unraveled was written by the 9th before I was able to resume and conclude my ruminations.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com#TwelfthNightReadathon | “Gifts of the Magi: A Speculative Holiday Collection” an anthology with a charitable heart benefiting Indy Reads Books!Gifts of the Magi
Subtitle: A Speculative Holiday Collection
by A.D Roland, Chantal Noordeloos, Debra Holland, Herika R. Raymer, John F. Allen, Katina French, Ms Chris (E. Chris Garrison), R.J. Sullivan
Source: Direct from Author

Stories for Christmas-- authors for the New Year!

Find within this magical tome 14 NEW original holiday-themed stories of fantasy, horror and science fiction by a talented group of authors--plus one holiday essay. The tales from our Magi vary from the light and satirical to the dark and serious, and we've shuffled the deck to keep you guessing.

· A time guardian may have to choose between preserving reality or destroying the man she loves.
· A snowman comes to life, but he's not a happy soul.
· Santa makes a terrible bargain in order to save Christmas.
· On Christmas Eve, a furious fairy princess attacks a double-decker bus.
· Two secret agents attend an exclusive Christmas party with an unusual price of admission.
· Soldiers in the midst of the zombie apocalypse try to find the Christmas spirit.
· A boy and his father confront an alien creature on the Longest Night.
· A mercenary packing magical pistols battles a monster while Christmas shopping for her werewolf boyfriend.
· Steampunk detectives find themselves fending off Christmas "elves."
· Humans exiled to an alternate world blend alien and human holiday traditions.
· A banished prince with a magic chicken finds a nearly drowned soldier--so says the storyteller.
· A bounty hunter searches for a rogue elf.
· A traumatized punk girl confronts the spirits from the worst night of her life.
· In a dystopian future, Christmas is outlawed.
· ...And Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author Nicole Cushing reveals the holiday specials that she feels deserve "lumps of coal."

100% of all proceeds from this book benefit Indy Reads.

Indy Reads is a not-for-profit organization that relies on volunteers to provide basic literacy tutoring to illiterate and semi-literate adults. Indy Reads operates a bookstore in downtown Indianapolis. Learn more at www.indyreads.org.

Places to find the book:

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ISBN: 978-1502902528

Also by this author: Hero's Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, Hero's Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, Blue Spirit, Guest Post (Restless Spirit), Restless Spirit, Road Ghosts : Omnibus Edition, Road Ghosts : Omnibus Edition, Virtual Blue, Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy, Author Interview (Red Lotus, Vol.1), Commanding the Red Lotus

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Cosy Horror, Fantasy Fiction, Science Fiction


Published by Speculative Fiction Guild

on Halloween, 2014

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 196

Published By: Speculative Fiction Guild | Facebook | @sfg2013

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #SpecFict + #anthology (or #SpeculativeFiction)

About John F. Allen

John F Allen

John F. Allen is an American writer born in Indianapolis, IN. He is a member of The Indiana Writers Center, began writing stories as early as the second grade and pursued most forms of writing at some point, throughout his career. John studied Liberal Arts at IUPUI with a focus in Creative Writing, received an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force and is a current member of the American Legion. John's debut novel, The God Killers was published in the Summer of 2013 by Seventh Star Press. He also has published short stories in several anthologies including: Thunder on the Battlefield, Vol I, also by Seventh Star Press and In The Bloodstream, by Mocha Memoirs Press.

John currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.

About Ms Chris (E. Chris Garrison)

Ms Chris Garrison

E. Chris Garrison writes Fantasy and Science Fiction novels and short stories. She used to publish as Eric Garrison, but has since upgraded.

Her latest series is Trans-Continental, a Steampunk adventure with a transgender woman as its protagonist. The series is set in one of the worlds in Chris’s dimension-hopping science fiction adventure, Reality Check, both of these series are published through Silly Hat Books. Silly Hat Books released Alien Beer and Other Stories, a collection of her short stories, in 2017.

Chris’s supernatural fantasy stories include the Road Ghosts trilogy and it's companion series the Tipsy Fairy Tales are published by Seventh Star Press. These Urban Fantasy novels are humorous supernatural fantasies, dealing with ghosts, demonic possession, and sinister fairy folk delivered with a “lightly dark” side of humor.

Her novel, Reality Check, is a Science Fiction adventure released by Hydra Publications. Reality Check reached #1 in Science Fiction on Amazon.com during a promotion in July 2013. Chris lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her wife, step-daughter and cats. She also enjoys gaming, home brewing beer, and finding innovative uses for duct tape.

*Biography updated: March, 2018

About R.J. Sullivan

R.J. Sullivan with his characters

R.J. Sullivan’s novel Haunting Blue is an edgy paranormal thriller and the first book of the adventures of punk girl Fiona “Blue” Shaefer and her boyfriend Chip Farren. Seventh Star Press also released Haunting Obsession, a Rebecca Burton Novella, and Virtual Blue, the second part of Fiona’s tale. The short stories in this collection have been featured in such acclaimed anthologies as Dark Faith Invocations by Apex Books and Vampires Don’t Sparkle. His next book due out very soon will be Commanding the Red Lotus, which collects the series of science fiction novelettes in the tradition of Andre Norton and Gene Roddenberry.

R.J. resides with his family in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. He drinks regularly from a Little Mermaid coffee mug and is man enough to admit it.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #TwelfthNightReadathon
  • #WYChristmasReadathon
  • Sci Fi Experience 2017
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Posted Saturday, 14 January, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, BlogTalkRadio, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cosy Horror, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Futuristic Fantasy, Guest Author on the Chamber, Indie Author, Parapsychological Suspense, Podcast, Supernatural Fiction, Telepaths & Telepathy, The Star Chamber Show, Vulgarity in Literature

Cover Reveal w/ Extract and Notes! | “Solomon’s Bell: No.2 of Genie Chronicles” by Michelle Lowery Combs; a new YA Fantasy novel published by #IndiePub World Weaver Press!

Posted Thursday, 12 January, 2017 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

Stories Sailing into View Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

I must admit, I had such a wicked sweet time residing inside the world of Helene Wecker’s epic saga involving a Jinn and Golem, I was quite hopeful (long before now!) I might have been able to dig inside a few more since that fateful day I brought home her debut novel from my local library. The irony of course will not be lost on devout readers and bibliophiles alike who are now earnestly blogging their readerly lives (such as I am) when I state it took me until ‘now’ to find the proper time to give to another story of the Jinn – the very last year all of us are awaiting the sequel by Wecker! One thing I will say, it’s better late than never!

When it comes to world-building in a Young Adult novel, I am quite particular about what I’m seeking out (if my latest YA review can clue you in a bit) as I like to feel as if I’ve properly been transported ‘elsewhere’ to such a degree of certainty – the experience knits itself into your mind’s eye and extends itself into your permanent memories. Because stories which give us that curious stretch of imaginative blissitude allow us the smallest of joys to step into the threshold of someone elses shoes and live their life for a spell!

I find myself drawn more into epic sagas & layered world-buildings in Fantasy; I have recently (er, since I’ve been a book blogger) found I lean more towards Science Fiction or Sci-Fantasy releases but at the heart of what I love most are Magical Realism stories alongside a fairy-tale re-telling, a legend of lore or an Epic Fantasy that simply carts you off into the depth of a novel that is so wickedly long in length you might need a month or so to fully invest yourself into it’s folds. (herein I am hinting towards my soon-to-be shared readings of “A Turn of Light”; writ by a favourite Sci-Fi author of mine: Ms Czerneda)

My appreciation of genies truly goes back to the infamous television series – where an astronaut and a genie fall in love whilst trying to ‘fit & blend into contemporary life’ – to such great folly you cannot help but laugh along with the characters or feel their misery when things go terribly wrong! Since then, I try to turn my eye towards literature and root out stories of the Jinn (and nowadays golems) which have the depth of journey and an honest world built out of their legends where story-crafters entreat to take us.

Thus, when I heard there was a sequel to “Heir to the Lamp”, I knew it was time to put aside my readings of Ms Parrish’s delish anthologies and hold off on the murderous kitchen novella, to see how Ms Combs has chosen to alight us inside her world! I am featuring this ‘early preview’ ahead of my readings of the stories themselves as a precursor to the readings & reviews which are following lateron this month. I am also hoping to put together an author guest feature which I hope you all shall enjoy, too!

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Posted Thursday, 12 January, 2017 by jorielov in Ancient Civilisation, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogs I Regularly Read, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Bookish Discussions, Doing Dewey, Equality In Literature, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, Futuristic Fantasy, Indie Author, Magical Realism, Speculative Fiction, Travelling with T, World Weaver Press, Young Adult Fiction