Category: Seers

#PubDay Book Review | “The Fortune Teller” by Gwedolyn Womack Sophomore release by the author of “The Memory Painter”

Posted Tuesday, 6 June, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: Originally, as a hostess of HFVBTs (Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours) I was able to participate on the blog tour for Ms Womack’s debut novel: The Memory Painter. (see also Review) I was contacted by the author to gauge if I had interest in her sophomore release ‘The Fortune Teller’ of which I researched on her site and found the premise to be quite intriguing. I readily accepted her offer to read this for an honest review and she had her publisher send me a paperback copy of which I was grateful. I received a complimentary copy of “The Fortune Teller” direct from the publisher Picador in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I enjoyed reading this author’s previous release: The Memory Painter

Womack uses creative juxtapositions throughout her novel – where we’re with Bryan and Linz one moment, whilst being treated to a sequence of knowledge not yet introduced to the main thread of the story-line. This is where she shifts both perspective and the trisectional splitting between the main context of how Bryan & Linz are inter-connected to each other, the critical research on Alzheimer’s and the mystery History has attempted to shroud out of memory and sight from humanity. She presents her characters with a depth of being who are grounded as much as they are dimensional. You can sense their emotions, even at a first glance to how they hold themselves and how they allow themselves to interact with others. There is quite a lot bubbling just below the surface – not only of the narrative direction but through the stitchings of how her characters are moulded together.

Womack writes with a subtle accuracy of giving you just enough information per each scene or character visit to allow you to tie everything together in the larger scope of things. It’s an interesting told narrative, from the point-of-view of shifting perceptions and how you are augmented through different portals of how the story-line is moving forward. The main focus is centred on Bryan and Linz, but you have other influences moving the timeline as well as how each cross-section pertains to the two protagonists who hold the key to the whole story! You can simply let your mind alight through Womack’s graceful narrative and let yourself wander as you wonder how the author knitted the story out of the ethers!

I give a nod of excellence to Womack for compellingly giving her readers a visceral level of realism towards understanding how Bryan painted his portraits of life and death! She used words as he uses paint – you could not help but feel as if you were standing below his portraits, seeing how everything felt alive and telling in that stance you took to see what shouldn’t be able to be seen. It’s a lovely novel of depth for the world of art, as similar to music, art is at times hard to conceptionalise on the page; Womack had such an organic way of presenting the art, you could not help but appreciate it in full!

How Womack was able to intervene on History to such a level of intriguing juxtapositions, I am uncertain! As she even brought back to life the compelling argument of how sometimes not everything is fully resolved before or after death! She interwove Egyptology in such a fascinating and inventive way as to cross their Ancient History with our current timeline! It was wonderful to watch her pull her layers together, explore the details further and to watch how even her characters were a bit startled by how everything was inter-connecting straight through to the finish! Her mind truly has captured the intricacies of a plot that is told not only through multiple perspectives but through a threading of counter current lives who are affectingly drawn to each other due to how their past lives originally affected their soul’s journey. Now that’s beyond impressive for a debut novel!

-as quoted from my review of The Memory Painter

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#PubDay Book Review | “The Fortune Teller” by Gwedolyn Womack Sophomore release by the author of “The Memory Painter”The Fortune Teller
by Gwendolyn Womack
Source: Direct from Publisher

Semele Cavnow appraises antiquities for an exclusive Manhattan auction house, specializing in deciphering ancient texts. And when she discovers a manuscript written in the time of Cleopatra, she knows it will be the find of her career. Its author tells the story of a priceless tarot deck, now lost to history, but as Semele delves further she realizes the manuscript is more than it seems. Both a memoir and a prophecy, it appears to be the work of a powerful seer, describing devastating wars and natural disasters in detail thousands of years before they occurred.

The more she reads, the more the manuscript begins to affect Semele's life. But what happened to the cards? As the mystery of her connection to the manuscript deepens, Semele can’t shake the feeling that she’s being followed. Only one person can help her make sense of it all: her client, Theo Brossard. Yet Theo is arrogant and elusive, concealing secrets of his own, and there’s more to Semele’s desire to speak with him than she would like to admit. Can Semele even trust him?

The auction date is swiftly approaching, and someone wants to interfere—someone who knows the cards exist, and that the Brossard manuscript is tied to her. Semele realizes it’s up to her to stop them: the manuscript holds the key to a two-thousand-year-old secret, a secret someone will do anything to possess.

Genres: Ancient Civilisation, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781250099778

Also by this author: The Memory Painter, The Time Collector (Spotlight)

Published by Picador

on 6th of June, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 368

Published By: Picador (@PicadorUSA) via St. Martin’s Press
imprints of St. Martin’s Publishing Group,
which is now a part of MacMillian Publishers

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About Gwendolyn Womack

Gwendolyn Womack Photo Credit: Copyright JennKL Photography

Originally from Houston, Texas, Gwendolyn Womack began writing theater plays in college at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She went on to receive an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in Directing Theatre, Video & Cinema.

Currently she resides in Los Angeles with her husband and son where she can be found at the keyboard working on her next novel. The Memory Painter is her first novel.

Photo Credit: Copyright JennKL Photography

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

Posted Tuesday, 6 June, 2017 by jorielov in Ancient Civilisation, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Book Trailer, Content Note, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Equality In Literature, Father-Daughter Relationships, Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Modern Day, Pharaohs & Dynasties, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Seers, Supernatural Fiction

+Blog Book Tour+ Ryder on the Storm by Violet Patterson

Posted Thursday, 6 March, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

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Storm Sullivan Saga | Emerald Seer series by Violet Patterson Boxed Set Edition

  • [ The Storm Sullivan Saga | Emerald Seer series ]
  • Book One: Ryder on the Storm
  • Book Two: Light My Fire
  • Book Three: Love Her Madly
  • Book Four: End of the Night
  • Novella: Whiskey, Mystics, and Men

Published ByMad Hatter Ink Press, 20 January 2014 [Omnibus Edition]
Official Author WebsitesBlog | Twitter | Facebook
Converse on Twitter: #EmeraldSeer

Available Formats: E-book, Softcover, & Softcover Omnibus
Page Count: 180 [Ryder on the Storm] | 450 [Omnibus edition]

Acquired Book:

I had the pleasure of hearing Ms. Patterson on The Star Chamber Show ahead of electing to sign-up to be a stop on her blog book tour. I had a good feeling about her style as a writer, and I enjoyed her segment enough to request reading “Ryder on the Storm” in exchange for an honest review. “Ryder on the Storm” was originally published on 5 November 2011. I was selected to be on her blog tour by Tomorrow Comes Media, where I received a complimentary copy of the omnibus (print) edition of The Storm Sullivan Saga direct from the author, Violet Patterson. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Initial Thoughts:

I have always appreciated paranormal stories in motion pictures and television which are on the ‘cosy’ side of the genre, which means to say, I oft have to wait years in-between finding a series and/or a film that I can watch! The latest example would be “Ghost Whisperer” which I started to watch in 2012 via syndicated re-airings across two networks during daytime hours on basic cable! To the brink where requesting the series via ILL (inter-library loan) was most fruitious of me! I need to resume where I left off in 2013, which is between Season 2 or 3. The reason I am attracted to a series like Ghost Whisperer is because I love the paranormal elements which are contained within the story-lines but with the heart of a romance woven in for good measure! The dynamic of the lead character’s marriage is quite brilliant and I enjoy seeing where her adventures take her and her husband throughout the series.

To this end, I am always keenly open to seeking out paranormal stories in fiction, whether or not they are romantic in nature, even though I tend to be keen on the romantic side of what is offered! A good case in point is my dearly loved Ghost Harrison series by Heather Graham, which combines ghost-hunting and medium intervention on a deceased’s behalf with characters whose lives are either flawed or at a cross-roads. I am within the opening sequences of the series which has grown since I first picked up Ghost Walk set in New Orleans when I turnt twenty-ten. Shortly thereafter, I discovered the brilliantly delectable Aunt Dimity penned cleverly by Nancy Altherton!

I realise I am undertaking quite a unique spin to the genre, as most readers of paranormal stories like the barometer to be set more akin to horror than cosy, and surely do not flinch as easily as I might! Laughs. However, I think that this is what makes reading such a wonderful experience. There is a bit of something for each of us, and for those like me who want to stay ‘this side’ of hard-boiled whilst walking through a cosy, I can unearth the stories we can enjoy whilst the rest of the world devours the rest!

Author Biography:

Violet PattersonKnown in the convention circuit for her extravagant handmade top hats, Violet Patterson has also romanced her way into the hearts of Urban Fantasy readers with the Emerald Seer Series.   With a cast of Seers, Seraphs, Immortals and more, Violet strives to leave her Midwestern roots behind as she soars to the far reaches of her imagination to compose vibrant stories of action and intrigue, magic and fantasy.  Her current project promises to imbue part of the Emerald’s world with a healthy dose of Steampunk – stay tuned for Immortal Machinations.

Book Synopsis:

Ryder on the Storm by Violet PattersonStorm Sullivan is a Seer from an ancient line forced to return home after the brutal murder of her aunt. But Storm finds she’s inherited more than just the family estate.

Ryder Cohen is an Immortal, a former enforcer commissioned to eradicate the Sullivan line and prevent the rise of the Emerald. But Ryder has come to question his mission and the reasons behind it.

Ryder On the Storm is the first in the Emerald Seer series. An urban fantasy with a supporting cast of Immortals, Seraphs, and Deities this is just the beginning of Storm’s journey.

The Emerald Seer saga continues with rebirth in LIGHT MY FIRE and intensifies with an uncovered past in LOVE HER MADLY. Still craving more Emerald Seer action? Check out WHISKEY, MYSTICS, and MEN to discover Angeline’s secrets.

An Introduction into Storm Sullivan:

The gift of sight is one paranormal gift that I am quite familiar with as it was the same gift given to Johnny Smith from “The Dead Zone” tv series based on Stephen King’s novel. A novel I have not yet read and a series which changed my perception of what constitutes a King novel and story. The gift of second sight is one gift I always felt might be one of the hardest to gather one’s wits about oneself as you’re constantly struggling against the backflow of other people’s lives and emotions contained therein. You get only pieces of reality as it streams through your own mind’s eye and you have to process what you’re seeing and why those fragments are as important as they are. Storm Sullivan walks off the page as a curiously strong yet conflicted character who is confident in her gift, but perhaps not as confident in where her gift leads her. Her emotional world is a bit demurred and off-page, as she’s credited as being unemotional rather than completely self-centered. I oft wondered if for such a gift to work fully, if part of your other senses have to take a bit of a hit and defer to the one sense that is coming out of you at such a strong force? You can only be pulled so far in different directions before the body and brain will make the choice to save itself in the long-term.

The book cover for the omnibus edition (as featured above) is quite exquisite as it pierces your attention by seeing Storm’s emerald eye ancestry as well as (in my opinion) a rather poignant slice of suspense in seeing the lightning crackling across the pitch black night’s sky! I love books which taunt a piece of their stories ahead of being picked up to be read! I’d presume then, the lightning is an exclamation of how sight is a jolting force in Storm’s life as electricity is always super-charged and strikes without warning. Such then, I’d presume would be how the gift of sight would feel to the receiver!

Ryder on the other hand appears to be both ally and foe in regards to Storm, as he is introduced as a self-educated and self-assured immortal who’d rather go his own way than to fill a need or calling. Except to say, he has a strong sense of right and wrong, as well as a keen awareness that knowledge can benefit everyone who chooses to acknowledge the truth it sheds into light.

My Review of Ryder on the Storm:

The unique tone of the novel is set against the volley of moving and shifting between the lifepath of Storm and Ryder directly as they are living their days. I like the interchanging scenery and scope of the story being leveled between two protagonists who can handle the spotlight as much as share it equally. Time loops and bends between their worlds, and yet, their each living in the same dimensional space, with a few alterations therein. Ryder is presented as an Immortal Seer Slayer and Storm is the Seer who comes from a lineage of powerful women who are gifted with sight. The opposite nature of their trades, and the willingness Patterson has in placing them in each others path reminded me of Buffy and Angel outright. Generally speaking, a vampire slayer would not normally be woefully and romantically enticed nor entwined with a vampire! I loved the interplay of the previous paranormal character’s romantic arc and seeing how this story is aligning for Storm & Ryder to cross-sect gave me a renewed hope towards paranormal romance as a genre worth pursuing!

Whilst Storm’s story begins at the tragic death of her Aunt Trin, I felt a softening of the tragedy by Storm’s own perseverance to uncover the truth of her Aunt’s murder. Rather than be consumed fully by the eclipse of sorrow, she’s a woman who thrives on purpose. The inclusion of going through her Aunt’s house and belongings as her inheritance takes effect was reminiscent of how each of us looks for a bit of normalcy after the death of a loved one. Time always feels suspended a bit after a person dies, as though parts of their essence is still with us and not gone at the very same time. Whilst reading over the initial aftermath of Aunt Trin’s passing I brought back to mind what the Hollowell sisters went through on Charmed. As the Hollowells sister’s powers were bound to a certain extent as well.

Her Aunt’s death gives Storm a window into her life she had not yet come to bring into full focus. Her childhood friends who seemed benign and kind, were suddenly re-presented as her guardians. Known as Seraphs, I will admit I had not yet come into contact with this creature previously, but the fact they had delicate wings made me smile! I had a feeling they might be Angelic in nature due to their ability to sense when their charges are in danger and/or in need of protection. As much as the heated and rather intense attraction that Storm starts to feel for Ryder challenges everything she had previously conceived as her ‘normal’ setting in relating to the opposite sex. This is one version of instant attraction that is magnified by two fates being entwined to each other by a force yet revealed.

The firestorm that ignites into action soon thereafter is what starts to bring Storm and Ryder together, which at first felt serendipitous but later proved to be a bit more destined. There is a crossing of a path in their histories where neither can discern nor deny they are meant to be conjoined. Interspersed into their encounters are other paranormal characters shifting and moving around the center story. I admit I am out of my depth to understand the components of their histories, outside of rudimentary knowledge about werewolves and a baseline general scope for immortal races. (here I refer to the immortal race explored in “Highlander”) What captured my attention though is the conspiracy angle of what was driving the fixation on Storm Sullivan as far as her would-be attackers as well as the disillusion about who she is and what she is in the grand scheme of things. The intricacies of how Patterson chooses to reveal the labyrinth maze of plot allows even the novice reader of this genre to pick up on the energy that is pulsing throughout the text! It’s a riveting adventure underscored by the mystery of identity and destiny, of which I cannot wait to continue forward in the accompanying sequel Light My Fire!

Paranormal Romance or PNR as a genre:

I am always thankful when I stumble across a new genre to explore because it allows me to flex my literary wings and see if I can alight in a new setting, world, and timescape that is completely different from the regular realms I currently read regularly. I wasn’t quite sure what elements create the paranormal romance experience which is why I went in a bit blind into reading Ryder on the Storm, except to say I did pick up on the subtlety of seeing the irony held within the title! By conferring with articles related on the subject (as seen below my review), I discovered that some of my own experiences mentioned here are key examples of the evolution of the genre itself! This encouraged me a bit that perhaps I’ve been dancing around the genre without really knowing that I was involved with the steps! There are classic examples of phenom related to this genre that I bowed out of becoming attached too as well: Twilight for instance only served as a plausible decoy of a hiatus from Nanowrimo 2008 at a point in time where I needed a two-hour break away from my characters & computer! Sookie Stackhouse is at the opposite end of the spectrum from where I like to wander as well.

There are full-on aspects of this genre that have left me a bit puzzled whilst reading Ryder on the Storm, as I felt as though I was in the middle of a story arc already known and fleshed out. This is one aspect of trying a new genre which backfires a bit on you as a reader, as you do not have a point of reference to guide you as you make your way through. There is a whole undercurrent back-story I am sure to seraphs, immortals, and other worldly additions that fell a bit short on me. This did not present an issue as far as getting into the heart of what drove Storm and Ryder, but it did take me out of the belly of the story a bit as my mind tried to sort through a faded memory from my years watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Charmed, and even The X-Files. Nothing pulled to mind. The one element I struggled to remember the most is ‘why a person’s sense of smell’ is deeply important to a Seer & Immortal? Its like scratching at your memory and never being able to pull forward what you already knew previously!

I am thus intrigued and I want to continue to seek out novels which will continue to formulate my introduction. I’d be keen to know which authors and novels stand out in my readers minds as a point of reference of knowing where to go next? Especially taking into account my preferences to read the cosier stories verse the more intensely graphic? As much as I want to continue forward and read the further chronicles of Storm Sullivan which I now have on hand!

Possible next reads: (as searched through my library & ILL catalogues)

[all of which I have come across previously but never attached to this genre!]

  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah E. Harkness
  • Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin*
  • The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley (previously mentioned)
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern*+
  • The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley
  • The House on Tradd Street by Karen White
  • The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore
  • M.J. Rose’s Reincarnationist series is being read for an upcoming review in May
  • {*} already in the hold queue at the library; {*+} itching to read!
  • {sidenote:} The Ghost Harrison & Aunt Dimity series are considered paranormal romance!
  • I clearly have a penchant for ghost-centered stories!

Fly in the Ointment:

By now, I think I have established that I always look for several Book Turn-Offs which run the gambit of what I disclosed in my Review Policy to what I wrote in the meme. Patterson doesn’t use vulgarity to carry the story, but rather inserts the occasional colourful word here or there to empathise a strong emotional conviction and/or reaction of one of the characters, and I am thankful to her for this as it shows that she doesn’t lean on vulgarity as a tool but rather as an exclamation of piercing a point. Having said that, I still find my eyebrows raising when certain explicit words are used irregardless of the context and mirth of usage. Which is why I am including this notice on my review in case a reader would prefer to avoid reading these expletives completely. I personally was not as offended due to the length of story you can read before arriving at a word that irks rather than soothes. In an ideal world, I’d never come across vulgar words in literature but that isn’t going to happen because even in classical literature strong language is generally favoured.

A Note on the Omnibus Edition:

I haven’t read a POD or print edition straight-off of a Kindle book series previously, so I am not sure if the formatting for The Storm Sullivan Saga is a regular occurrence or if it is limited to this edition. I thought at first I might have trouble adapting to the lack of page numbers and paragraph structures that I am used too in regular print editions of novels, however, it’s the words within the context of the story which pulled me into the world of Storm and Ryder which allowed me to suspend what I normally find inside of a book! So much so, that it reminded me a bit about watching foreign language motion pictures. After awhile, your mind gives you the illusion that your watching a film in English when in full effect your listening to Italian (“Life is Beautiful”) or Mandarin (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”). My mind has always given me the freedom to encourage my heart to soak into a story even if the regular format of finding the story is altered. Whilst watching both motion pictures listed in this paragraph, I could have sworn the characters were speaking English towards the ending chapters of their films! I heard the story by heart you see, and I never realised how quickly I had to read the subtitles in order to keep up with the dialogue of the action!

In this way, the beauty inside The Storm Sullivan Saga omnibus edition (boxed set – definition of the author) is that you get to become entreated into one parapsychologically gifted woman’s life as though you entered through a portal slipped to you inside her private journal! The mere fact I am reading a previously released Kindle e-book novel warms my little bookish soul’s heart because it proves that in due course all books are available for all audiences; including those of us who cannot read on a ‘screen’ and must await a print edition!


{Virtual Road Map for “The Storm Sullivan Saga” Blog Tour}

Violet Patterson Tour via Tomorrow Comes Media

Be sure to catch the next two installments of this showcase on JLAS:
Jorie interviews Ms. Patterson on the last day of the tour: 9 March,

and Ms. Patterson shares a Guest Post on Friday 7 March!

Be sure to scope out upcoming tours I will be hosting with:
Tomorrow Comes Media Tour Hoston my Bookish Events Featured on JLAS!

Cross-listed on: Sci-Fi & Fantasy Fridays via On Starships & Dragonwings

{SOURCES: The Storm Sullivan Saga & Ryders on the Storm cover art, book synopsis, Violet Patterson photograph & biography provided by Tomorrow Comes Media and used with permission. Post dividers were provided by Shabby Blogs, who give bloggers free resources to add personality to their blogs. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Defining Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance: What’s the difference? – (


Posted Thursday, 6 March, 2014 by jorielov in Angel, Blog Tour Host, BlogTalkRadio, Bookish Discussions, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Novel, Familiars, Fantasy Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, Go Indie, Good vs. Evil, Immortals, Indie Author, Paranormal Romance, Parapsychological Gifts, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Reading Challenges, Romance Fiction, Seers, Seraphs, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, The Star Chamber Show, Tomorrow Comes Media, Urban Fantasy, Vulgarity in Literature, Werewolves, Witches and Warlocks