Category: Familiars

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | Exploring #MiddleGrade Fantasy within “Dalya and the Magic Ink Bottle” by J.M. Evenson; courtesy of #NetGalley

Posted Saturday, 1 May, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Borrowed Book By: In late Winter 2020, (February) I joined NetGalley for the first time as they finally announced they were going to be offering full-length audiobooks for reviewers. I was never able to join NetGalley due to having chronic migraines and being unable to read ebooks. I started requesting audiobooks to review as soon as they opened their audiobook catalogue in July, 2020. I am an eclectic reader and thereby, you will see all genres in Fiction explored from both markets of interest: mainstream and INSPY as well as from Major Trade, Indie Publishers & Press and other routes of publication, too. There might be the occasional Non-Fiction title appearing in my NetGalley queue of reviews as well. This marks a new adventure for me seeking stories for review consideration and I look forward to seeing where the stories lead me to venture.

I received a complimentary digital and temporary ebook copy of “Dalya and the Magic Ink Bottle” direct from the publisher Capstone via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, I was not able to read and review it – as I misunderstood you could not request a print copy. At the time I requested this title, I had just joined NetGalley and hadn’t quite understood the whole process. Thereby, I made a purchase request at my regional library and they were thankfully able to purchase this novel for me. I borrowed this book in time to read and review during #WyrdAondWonder Year 4 – whilst being able to read one of my backlogue NetGalley reads in the process. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: As a new reviewer on NetGalley, I’m sorting out how to get the Press Materials for each of the audiobooks I’m reviewing when I share them on my blog Jorie Loves A Story. When I contacted NetGalley Support they informed me that if a separate Press Kit is not included on the audiobook’s book page we’re allowed as reviewers to use the book cover and synopsis provided when we go to share our review of that audiobook on our blogs; as long as we give attribution as I have done at the bottom of this review in “Sources”. Those materials are provided with permission of the publishers to be used by reviewers via NetGalley.

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Why I wanted to read &/or listen to “Dalya and the Magic Ink Bottle”:

I love reading #diverselit but sometimes, I struggle to find stories which are inclusive of multicultural characters & families which are in genres I read which are not full of violence or themes which are outside my literary wanderings.

Whenever I seek out Fantasy – I tend to gravitate towards Middle Grade & Young Adult moreso than Adult narratives because a lot of Adult Fantasy is a bit too far afield for me to read. Not always, but if you’ve noticed I have had the tendency of reading more Children’s Lit during #WyrdAndWonder than I do anything else and there is a reason for this!! Violence aside – I am enraptured by the writers who are giving us wicked good Middle Grade & Young Adult Fantasy stories. Their writing the narratives I want to be reading most and their characters give such a lasting impression of their lives on my bookish heart, they quite literally become my most beloved reads!!

When I read the premise of this story I connected with it immediately – though, by the time I sat down to read the novel, I had completely forgotten about how important it was to take stock of the ‘cat’ and therefore had a delightful surprise when I dove into the story this morning! I was just thankful my library was able to purchase a copy for me in hardback and allowing me to read this during #WyrdAndWonder before it was called back to the library! I’m hopeful other readers who find it on the library’s shelves will be as wholly enthused by what they’ve read as I have become myself.

It didn’t surprise me either that my first two readings this #WyrdAndWonder are about families & the concept of both what constitutes ‘home’ and ‘family’ to the characters. There is a centreing of truth in my own literary wanderings wherein family, community and coming-of age stories tend to the big draw for me as a reader. This was a special choice for me too, as I wasn’t sure which direction Everson might take us to account for the ‘magic ink’ and lo & behold it involved the JINN! Eek. I was positively smitten after I learnt that, too!

As you will tell from my review, this was a story which touched my heart & soul – being set in Turkey and taking place in the largest city’s marketplace was also a delight as I’ve seen documentaries about their markets and felt as if I had ‘been there’ just by how close those documentaries came to giving you the full effect of being ‘there’ yourself. I felt having that in my memories also helped me feel closer to Dalya on her journey, too. If you love stories of transfiguration, magical cats and the cheekiness of the Jinn – you’ll want to get a copy of this for yourself! I quite literally read this in the morning hours in one sitting — it was #unputdownable and wickedly brilliant!

What a sweet way to kick-off #WyrdAndWonder, eh!?

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Notations on Cover Art: This is one of those charmingly brilliant novels where you can’t help but notice the cover art! I loved how both the cat and Dalya are not entirely seen on the front of the novel but also, there is this allure of the story itself – of what kind of magic awaits the reader and how interestingly captivating this image is of who is featured in the artwork. I love Fantasy & Speculative art – and this book cover is one of my all-time top favourites! 

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | Exploring #MiddleGrade Fantasy within “Dalya and the Magic Ink Bottle” by J.M. Evenson; courtesy of #NetGalleyDalya and the Magic Ink Bottle
by J.M. Evenson
Source: Borrowed from local library, Purchase REQ | local library

When twelve-year-old Dalya is dragged to Istanbul to help sell her family's ancestral home, the visit begins unpromisingly. Most of the aged mansion is off-limits because it's falling apart, her father is ignoring her, and her great aunt keeps prattling on about a family curse. Despite warnings against it, Dalya tiptoes upstairs, where she finds an old bottle of magic ink hidden under a floorboard. She asks the bottle's jinn (aka genie) to grant her a simple wish...to send her home. Except the jinn interprets "go home" to mean "send me back in time and turn me into a cat." Then Dalya must set off on a wild adventure through Istanbul's animal underworld to find the jinn with the power to set things right. Along the way she collects a group of companions - furry and human alike - but if she isn't careful, she'll lose the chance to reverse her family's fortunes and may never find her way back home.

Genres: Children's Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Magical Realism, Middle Grade Fantasy, Urban Fantasy



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781684461301

Published by Capstone

on 1st August, 2020

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 200

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Published By: Capstone (@CapstonePub)

Converse via: #KidsLit, #MGLit or #MiddleGrade, #Fantasy
as well as #DalyaAndTheMagicInkBottle + #ReadingIsForEveryone and especially #WyrdAndWonder !!

Available Formats: Hardcover, Trade Paperback and Ebook

✍📖 Follow the writer J.M. Evenson | @JM_Evenson

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Saturday, 1 May, 2021 by jorielov in 21st Century, Book Review (non-blog tour), Castles & Estates, Children's Literature, Familiars, Fantasy Fiction, Father-daughter Relationships, Folklore and Mythology, Juvenile Fiction, Magical Realism, Middle Grade Novel, Modern Day, NetGalley, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Urban Fantasy

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Showcase in [cycles of six] Reviews | The journey Jorie takes into the world of “Cycles of Norse Mythology” by Glenn Searfoss feat. [Cycle One]

Posted Thursday, 28 May, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.Acquired Book By: I was approached in late August 2019 – just ahead of #Mythothon Year 2 to consider reviewing a tome of a book (over 800+ pages) regarding Norse Mythology. At the time the book review request came into my blog, I must admit, I was slightly *gobsmacked!* at the timing of it – as how could a book such as this about the very topic of discovery I was about embark on during September come into my Review Requests? I considered it writ in the runes as they say – eagerly excited about what the book would reveal to me about the Norse Mythologies but also, the challenge of reading, dissecting and blogging about a book separated into six distinctive sections called “cycles”.

Initially, I had projected to read and review this work of fictional excellence within the month of September, however, due to unforeseen illness and a severe migraine; I re-grouped and realised I needed three months not thirty days! I also re-planned how I would attack reading and reviewing this book – as per each ‘cycle’ of the story, there was loads to ruminate over and discuss with my readers – therefore, this is a review in [six] installments – where each ‘cycle’ in the book itself is a separate review [similar to when I read serial fiction?] and it will be anchoured with a Q&A at the beginning of my readings [featuring nine questions, one per post featured in this series of showcases]; a more extensive interview at the conclusion of my readings [featuring 20 questions] and a cumulative review wherein I will re-address each of the cycles (and their reviews) whilst talking about what truly resonated with the book overall as the whole story will have become revealled to me at that junction.

My health proved to be a stumbling block I could not circumvent in late 2019 – I had two months of migraines and two months of illness to shift through to where focusing on Non-Fiction and headier reads like this one were not going to work out very well for me. It wasn’t until May, where I felt I could re-settle into the context of the story and truly honour the text with reviews I had originally planned to write on its behalf where I felt renewed to re-attempt my original goals of sequencing the reviews into six installments whilst interviewing the author at the end of finishing the book and giving my overall impression of what I had read. Sometimes you have to let life be lived before you can return to something you were enjoying to read – such as this lovely book I received last year.

I received a complimentary copy of “Cycles of Norse Mythology” direct from the author Glenn Searfoss in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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The mood I created for myself as I read:

Regular followers who actively read Jorie Loves A Story will have denoted a section on my reviews where I talk about the playlists I listen to on a variety of platforms – from Spotify (my first choice), Pandora (my secondary choice), iHeartRadio (a distant third) and when I was able to have a subscription Hearts of Space programmes which I originally discovered on analogue radio broadcasts. If I could ever remember the Sunday Playlists are *free!* to stream via Hearts of Space – I could soak into their beautiful soundscapes which feature ambient and trance electronica.

As I was embarking on a reader’s odyssey into a wholly new dimension of a) literature and b) Mythology – in the Classical study of the field – I opted to use Spotify due to the choices the platform affords readers who are seeking a personalised soundscape as they’re reading. I’ve mentioned this previously on different reviews – how I equate the components of a novel or work of Non-Fiction with the sounds, tones, lyrics or non-lyrics, classical orchestrations or other experimental sound environs which are either contemporary, classic or somewhere betwixt the two – either featuring stateside artists or stepping through the window into the world’s musical stage. In essence, my musical adventures cast a wide net.

For Cycles in Mythology, I knew instinctively it would be similar to my original pursuits of Irish, Celtic and Gaelic stories – wherein I would pursue the music in-line with my readings across Contemporary and Historical story-crafters who were intriguing me into their sagas and/or genre fiction. Happily Spotify did not let me down – all you had to key into their lovely search box (it is a bit like a treasure box of infinite random joy; at least to me) was “Nordic” – this gave me such a motley ecelecticity of choice I was at first unsure which playlist, album or artist to begin my journey.

Previously I had discovered melodic metal bands Sonarta Artica and Nightwish – with this kind of background of layered sound and an intriguing approach to how music can transcend time, place and language inasmuch as create a soundscape intuitive aware of its origins, I let my eyes roam over the selections. Sometimes you have to just trust your intuition. This is how I landed on “Nordic and Viking Music” – a collection of music spanning 7 hours and 50 minutes with a total collection of 93 tracks. I felt it was fittingly long enough to dive into my “Day One” readings.

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

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Showcase in [cycles of six] Reviews | The journey Jorie takes into the world of “Cycles of Norse Mythology” by Glenn Searfoss feat. [Cycle One]Cycles of Norse Mythology
Subtitle: Tales of the AEsir Gods
Source: Direct from Author

Edda's and Sagas of the Northland recount epic struggles for control of the world. In this land lost amid the cycles of time, canny gods confront shrewd giants, while valiant heroes battle honorable foes.

Cycles of Norse Mythology takes the reader on a thrilling exploration of the Norse Universe as the Gods and Giants are exposed in their complex interactions. From the creation of the world to its violent ending, this comprehensive re-imagining breathes life and modern relevance into the Norse gods and their foes, while remaining faithful to the traditional myths. Through engaging, lyrical storytelling, this work presents the gripping adventures of the Norse Gods in a style to delight modern readers of all ages.

Cycles of Norse Mythology comprises six cycles of 100+ interconnected stories that encompass the entire breadth of Norse Mythology. All tales are extended to create greater tension between the reader and the characters. Sequence gaps are filled by interpolations based on cross references in classic and modern literature.

Cycle 1: Prophesy. Odin travels the dark road to Niflhel seeking knowledge from the withered lips of the long dead seeress. In this frozen land, he is forged to his purpose by the harsh lashings of the seeress as she relates the creation stories of the cosmos, the nine worlds, the sun and moon, day and night, the origin of giants, dwarves, elves, mankind, and the gods themselves.

Cycle 2: The Victory Gods. Returned to Asgard, Odin learns the truth of prophecy and the ultimate cost of purpose. As the Æsir expand their number and their power, Gullveig’s brutal death at their hands sparks a bloody war with a rival clan, the Vanir; their eventual truce unifies the godheads in an uneasy alliance. Post-war rebuilding introduces the primary gods and goddesses, along with the Einherjar, valorous warriors gathered from battlefields across Midgard. Meanwhile, Thor’s martial journeys into Jotunheim underscore the constant tension with the offspring of Ymir.

Cycle 3: The Sword of Vengeance. Accompany the fiery blade born of love and hate that is destined to play a pivotal role in the shaping of the Norse universe, through the tragedies of Volund its creator, Nidud king of the Njara who is ordered by the Odin to capture the blade, and Svipdag the chosen son of man fated to recover its keen edge, and who ultimately gifts it to the Æsir for his marriage to Fryeja .

Cycle 4: Premonitions. Victory, jealousy, and revenge follow the Æsir gods and goddesses as they seek to avert their ultimate fate. The Fenris wolf is tricked and bound. Baldur’s death sends shudders through the nine worlds as innocence dies and the first portents of Ragnarök begin to align. Vali, fresh born from his mother’s womb, slays Baldur’s hapless killer. Freyr gives away the Sword of Vengeance for a bride; an ill-fated gift which ultimately finds its way into the hands of Surt at Ragnarök. Loki’s devious and sometimes, vicious attempts to humble the gods highlight the strife and dissent of within the Æsir clan and result in his horrible punishment.

Cycle 5: Ragnarök. Unable to avoid the final confrontation, the Æsir gather their band of chosen warriors and prepare for battle. The rainbow bridge shatters as ancient enemies charge onto Vigrid Plain, eager to end the reign of the victory gods. Follow the fortunes of the primary combatants as they boldly face known defeat, the Æsir goddesses awaiting their fate in the great hall of Fensalir, and the remnants of mankind who survive to greet the dawn.

Cycle 6: Of Gods and Men. While Cycles 1-5 focused on interactions among the gods, this cycle encompasses stories of direct interaction between the Æsir gods and mankind. These stories contrast human folly with the morality inherent in Norse Mythology.

Glossary: Norse Mythology heralds from an era when names reflected the character attributed to an object, such as a weapon, a person’s character, or their current station in life. This glossary provides a quick reference to the meaning behind names and terms used in the book.

Source Reference: References for further reading are included for persons who want to delve deeper into the study of Norse Mythology. This bibliography is restricted to books published in or translated into English and is by no means, exhaustive. As with all resources, the harder and longer you look, the more there is to be found.

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Classical Literature, After Canons, Re-telling &/or Sequel, Norse Mythos | Legacies, Mythological Fantasy



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781789820829

Published by Acorn Press

on 11th April, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 825

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published By: Acorn Press,
an imprint of Andrews UK Limited

Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #NorseMythology, #Norse, #Mythology and #Odin
as well as #WyrdAndWonder

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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 Adaptation of Classical Mythology.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 28 May, 2020 by jorielov in #Mythothon, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Book Review (non-blog tour), Content Note, Familiars, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, Heroic Fantasy, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Norse Mythology, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of the Magical Midway Series [book three] “Unbearable Magic” by Leanne Leeds

Posted Friday, 17 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Earlier this Spring, I participated in an event uniting book bloggers and Indie Authors called #ReviewPit. One of the authors I discovered during this event was Leanne Leeds – of whom has penned a rather interesting Cosy Mystery series – wherein her lead character is a witch and the whole series is rooted out of her love of carnivals and her past experience of them. What intrigued me the most is how this is a Paranormal Fantasy Cosy series and I was thinking it would make a perfect series to curl up inside during #WyrdAndWonder!!

I was seeking stories during #ReviewPit which caught my eye for their uniqueness but also what was quite lovely is how most of the stories which intrigued me to read were actually within the realms of Fantasy! I found this wicked interesting and it is why I was thankful during #WyrdAndWonder Year 2 I could continue to celebrate my love of Indie Authors & Indie Publishers and Press!

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

NOTE: I didn’t realise until I was working on releasing the rest of my Magical Midway reviews (belatedly due to my four migraines this month and the aftermath that wrecked on me) that I somehow missed the fact the author’s name was not spelt correctly in the title of my first review nor in the url; having promoted the link on Twitter several times, I decided to let it stand in the url but I’ve corrected the title error. I didn’t realise this as like I said, I had four migraines this May and my recovery from them has been rather difficult. I simply didn’t catch it. My apologies to the author and my readers for that error as I always strive to catch my copy editing mistakes before I promote my posts. Sadly this one snuck past me.

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

Why I am *loving!* my discovery
of the Magical Midway serires:

I was dearly looking forward to my return visit to the Magical Midway – I liked the world Leeds was building for me to re-explore and deepen my appreciation for the discovery of how a circus and carnival full of paranormals (of the animal variety) would take me on their next adventure! I almost felt Charlotte would go through a period of growth in my absence – as she’s a gifted (herein I refer to the fact she was given an incredible power boost!) witch who inherited the Midway from her Uncle. Clearly I was overly ambitious for her as when I started to re-visit with her, I noticed Gunther (the sweet bloke whose father runs the competition to hers: the Makepeace Circus) was losing his temper with her just a bit as magic comes easy to him but to Charlotte, everything is a new experience; with a steep learning curve!

Honestly… it did not surprise me Uncle Phil was trying to takeover Charlotte’s role at the Midway, either! He had a rather larger than life personality to begin with and his sense of duty to the Midway is bar none to others sense of obligation. The fact he still wants to remain an active part of the Midway and therefore inflicting a bit of unease in Charlotte as she’s unfortunately finding her role less than stellar at this point – felt a bit fitting. The series overall is about facing your challenges head-on, finding that the greatest courage is the belief you have in your own abilities and aligning yourself with positive friends who become as close to you as your own family. The series has a lot of heart inside it and I couldn’t wait to see how Charlotte would thrive through this next challenging circumstance she was about to meet mere months after she solved her first murder!

As we re-align into her life, we are met with some of the parafriends of hers feeling as if she’s disowned her own inheritance and also, that she’s in danger of becoming an elitist. At least by witchy standards as she is in the one group of paratalented individuals who had the upper hand in their world for quite a long while now. It was the witches who overruled everyone else and that lent itself to becoming a problem to her closest friends. Each of them a different species and/or talented in a way which showcased the diversity of the Magical Midway itself. Yet, despite their openness to welcoming Charlotte into their group, these new friends proved the point about how if you grow up offworld from the Midway, you really have a huge gap in your education in regards to what paranormals go through and how they must endure the obstacles put in front of them.

You know, I really disliked those terrible three witches in the first meeting we had with them but this second meeting!? They really do take the cake! Mina, Mercy and Mabel are the kind of witches who make your skin crawl because they don’t have an ounce of warmth in their heart; cold-hearted the whole lot of them! I was as outraged as Charlotte hearing their ridiculous claims against two of the performers at the Midway; then again, when exactly were they enthralled with anything Charlotte did or said or even defended?

Gunther and Charlotte are now arriving in that awkward stage in their relationship between trusting each other and keeping a healthy dose of distrust alive instead. It would be helpful to them both if his father wasn’t quite as harsh as it is but in another way of looking at it, Gunther could do himself a favour by confiding in Charlotte. That would strike a better balance than Charlotte constantly feeling as if Gunther was purposefully keeping her a step removed from anything remotely connected to her or the Magical Midway.

It never fails to surprise me the layers of authority within the Midway – even though Charlotte has the most authoritative control over the circus itself, what she can’t overrule are the individual hierarchies within the circus per each species represented. This becomes a bit of a sticking point each time something arises which needs to be addressed as Charlotte can only intervene ‘so far’ before she is naturally overruled or reminded that it isn’t her place to make that kind of judgement. In this instance, it is the werelions and their pride which rankles you a bit because although the girls’ in the pride are more friendly towards their fellow paranormals, its their leader Leo who could use with a douse of reality in regards to ‘how not to behave badly’.

What is almost at the crucial breaking point is Charlotte’s relationship with Samson, her familiar (the cat) – between his snarky remarks whenever she is confused about something integral to the circus itself or the ways in which he believes he’s helping to influence her mind about an immediate threat; he rubs her the wrong way for how his self-inflated ego doesn’t allow him to come down from the rafters very often to relate to her on equal ground. He definitely still believes she’s the wrong choice for the job and his impatience with her is actively on display. He simply loves to put her in place and make her feel as if she doesn’t have the upper hand at her own circus!

I felt like cheering for Charlotte! She broached such a strong point about complacency and how rules which were never challenged could become your undoing. She was becoming a voice of reason, logical intervention and a person who saw the benefit in not subscribing to the past as a direct indication of how the future needed to necessarily play out. In other words, Charlotte was starting to shake things up quite a heap in the paranormals world at the Midway for her out-of-the-box thinking, her forward visions of how life could be lived and how she refused to accept that just because something was an ancient rule didn’t necessarily mean everyone had to continue to blindly adhere to it now. This felt like she was not just finding her wings as a ringmaster for the Midway but she was benefiting from being raised on Earth.

-quoted from my review of Life on the Lion

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

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of the Magical Midway Series Invalid book: 0 “Unbearable Magic” by Leanne LeedsUnbearable Magic
Subtitle: Magical Midway Cozy Paranormal Mysteries Book Three
Source: #ReviewPit Author, Direct from Author

A grizzly discovery.
A false accusation.
Can the most powerful witch on earth make the truth appear – before she disappears?

When the Magical Midway takes a week off to attend the Werebear Jamboree, Charlotte is grateful for a relaxing vacation away from the Witches’ Council attacks and all the problems they seem determined to bring. But when the werebear leader is murdered during the festival, all eyes turn suspiciously toward the most powerful witch in their midst.

With accusations coming from every corner and a conspiracy closing in around her, Charlotte and her friends realize that someone is determined to make her take the fall for the ghastly crime. But who? Can she unmask the real villain before she’s handed over to the Witches’ Council, punished for a crime she didn’t commit?

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Paranormal Urban Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Cosy Mystery



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781717839657

Published by Badchen Publishing

on 19th July, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 286

Published by: Badchen Publishing

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #MagicalMidway + #Paranormal #Fantasy

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The Magical Midway series:

The Magical Midway series is a paranormal cozy mystery series with eccentric characters, show-stopping magic, sweet romance subplots, and twisty mysteries. If you like eccentric characters, show-stopping magic, and twisty mysteries, then you’ll love this paranormal cozy mystery.

Be sure to visit the Synopsis for these stories on the author’s site!

Charlotte & Aidan (prequel short) | Synopsis

The Witchest Circus on Earth (book one) | see also review

Life on the Lion (book two) | see also review

Unbearable Magic (book three) | Synopsis

Go for the Juggler (book four) | Synopsis

Irrelephant Omens (book five) | Synopsis

→ A Call to Charms (book six) *forthcoming 2019 | Synopsis

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 17 May, 2019 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cosy Mystery, Familiars, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Shapeshifters, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Urban Fantasy, Witches and Warlocks

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of the Magical Midway Series [book two] “Life on the Lion” by Leanne Leeds

Posted Friday, 10 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Earlier this Spring, I participated in an event uniting book bloggers and Indie Authors called #ReviewPit. One of the authors I discovered during this event was Leanne Leeds – of whom has penned a rather interesting Cosy Mystery series – wherein her lead character is a witch and the whole series is rooted out of her love of carnivals and her past experience of them. What intrigued me the most is how this is a Paranormal Fantasy Cosy series and I was thinking it would make a perfect series to curl up inside during #WyrdAndWonder!!

I was seeking stories during #ReviewPit which caught my eye for their uniqueness but also what was quite lovely is how most of the stories which intrigued me to read were actually within the realms of Fantasy! I found this wicked interesting and it is why I was thankful during #WyrdAndWonder Year 2 I could continue to celebrate my love of Indie Authors & Indie Publishers and Press!

I received a complimentary copy of “Life on the Lion” direct from the author Leanne Leeds in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: I didn’t realise until I was working on releasing the rest of my Magical Midway reviews (belatedly due to my four migraines this month and the aftermath that wrecked on me) that I somehow missed the fact the author’s name was not spelt correctly in the title of my first review nor in the url; having promoted the link on Twitter several times, I decided to let it stand in the url but I’ve corrected the title error. I didn’t realise this as like I said, I had four migraines this May and my recovery from them has been rather difficult. I simply didn’t catch it. My apologies to the author and my readers for that error as I always strive to catch my copy editing mistakes before I promote my posts. Sadly this one snuck past me.

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

Why I am *loving!* my discovery
of the Magical Midway serires:

I love how Leeds inserts her humour straight-off the bat – from how she first describes Charlotte arriving at the Midway and then, how she counters her reflective mirror on Charlotte a full week into the carnival life – wherein, you note how the lifestyle can take a toll on the person living it. It is raw honesty about the long hours and the taxing way the life can make a person feel exhausted in their bones and spirit but also, the humour can be added to cut the seriousness of it as well.

Knowing there is a story involving a lion in the series, I was curious if Uncle Phil mentioning Charlotte should tame them might be a foreshadow of events yet to come. If so, I love how the continuity of the series is immediately visual on the page – especially considering I hadn’t even finished reading the first chapter! Series which own their own world-building and have a proper development ahead of being written speak well of themselves. They make you feel as if the world your first stepping into is not just fully realised but it has already owned its own identity by which you simply have to make the transition as you move inside it. This spoke well of Leeds being able to pull us through her vision and to adjust our impression of how she wanted us to interact with her characters.’

There is a heap of plausible theoretic insight into how Leeds is shaping her world within the Magical Midway – from how there is a division between the humans and the paranormals (as she prefers to call the magical folk and creatures who inhabit her world) to how lifestyles which were once cherished and treasured are now amongst the least understood. It is a fitting augmentation of our own world – where those who lived a more unconventional and transient life in the world of carnivals and circuses suddenly found their centuries old profession to be viewed under a microscope of criticism.

When it came to the Cosy aspects of the story-line, I liked how we took a bit of a naive entrance into the Midway and the Witches Council because it added layers of intrigue into how little Charlotte understood of this world. It was a credit to the foundation of how Charlotte was raised ‘away’ from her heritage and how much she needed to learn on the job if she were going to make any headway at all at understanding what had happened. Traditionally cosy, we hug close to Charlotte as she attempts to unearth the clues she needs to put together a reasonable understanding of the crime which was committed seemingly without anyone observing any wrong doing – this puts us front and centre at the Midway but also lends a new perspective of the Midway to Charlotte.

Although this is a Paranormal Fantasy Cosy Mystery – the world has attributes of recognition from our own modern realm. This includes a lot of hot topics of the hour – from currently used buzz words such as being ‘woke’ about Women’s Rights to the right to proper Equality between genders and a movement towards a future without the adversities of the past. There are keen moments of insight about how the constructs of this world are not a mirror per se of our world but they are influenced by our world or rather, each world in of itself is struggling with the same issues found in each others’ realms. Which means to say, there is still quite a bit to be understood in the Midway world which is countered against Charlotte’s upbringing in ours.

There are certain unique moments within the story where we can see the humour of Leeds shining through – especially considering how often a rainbow of colours is fused to a particular magical moment. The magic in this series is bright, vibrant and colourful – though not always benign, it has a way of presenting itself rather spectacularly! This was a lovely light read within a paranormal world which is letting you see past the veil of how it exists. I liked the cosy atmosphere of how Leeds paced the story-line and even though I had a suspicion of whom was the guilty party, she turnt the tables on me in regards to what the plausible motive would have been! Overall, I learnt I want to re-visit this circus and dig a bit deeper into how the world behind the Magical Midway works – as the truer mystery is how the witches and paranormals co-exist at the circus when no one truly understands the finer points of their own living histories. That, for me, is what caused me to cheer for a sequel – as I had a feeling – the closer Charlotte evolves towards a more confident ringmaster, the closer we’ll become towards understanding the hidden truths of her world.

-quoted from my review of The Witchiest Circus on Earth

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

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of the Magical Midway Series Invalid book: 0 “Life on the Lion” by Leanne LeedsLife on the Lion
Subtitle: Magical Midway Cozy Paranormal Mysteries Book Two
Source: #ReviewPit Author, Direct from Author

A missing mentalist.
A magical ultimatum.
To save the family business, one witch must pull something spectacular out of her hat.

For newly-minted witch Charlotte, moving from the human realm to life in the magical circus is still a tightrope walk. But when the crooked Witches’ Council passes a law that gives her a week to hand over two of her friends, she wonders if she’s in for a big fall. To make matters worse, one of the humans in question goes missing before she can even think up a plan.

As she sorts through the clues, she fights off her feelings for the kind and handsome Gunther. With time running out, she can’t ignore the possibility that her crush could somehow be involved in the plot against her family. To protect her business and her life, she’ll have to find the carny, guard her heart, and hold off the Council before it’s far too late.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Paranormal Urban Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Cosy Mystery



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781983063817

Published by Badchen Publishing

on 2nd June, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 232

Published by: Badchen Publishing

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #MagicalMidway + #Paranormal #Fantasy

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Magical Midway series:

The Magical Midway series is a paranormal cozy mystery series with eccentric characters, show-stopping magic, sweet romance subplots, and twisty mysteries. If you like eccentric characters, show-stopping magic, and twisty mysteries, then you’ll love this paranormal cozy mystery.

Be sure to visit the Synopsis for these stories on the author’s site!

Charlotte & Aidan (prequel short) | Synopsis

The Witchest Circus on Earth (book one) | see also review

Life on the Lion (book two) | Synopsis

Unbearable Magic (book three) | Synopsis

Go for the Juggler (book four) | Synopsis

Irrelephant Omens (book five) | Synopsis

→ A Call to Charms (book six) *forthcoming 2019 | Synopsis

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 10 May, 2019 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cosy Mystery, Familiars, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Shapeshifters, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Urban Fantasy, Witches and Warlocks