Category: Urban Fantasy

#WyrdAndWonder | Short Story Review of “Ethical Will” by Kaki Olsen part of the UNSPUN: A Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales (anthology)

Posted Thursday, 31 May, 2018 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

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

Acquired Book by: My path originally crossed with Kaki Olsen whilst participating on her blog tour via Cedar Fort Publishing & Media for her debut novel: “Swan and Shadow” (see also Review) in [2016]. Since her blog tour, in the years since our paths first crossed, we’ve kept in communication and a friendship organically grew out of our conversations. Therefore, when she started to publish Speculative Fiction stories such as “Ethical Will” in the UNSPUN: a Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales and her story involving an android and a dragon in the Iron Doves Charity Anthology – I have happily been able to feature her on jorielovesastory.com sharing our mutual passion for Speculative Literature.

I received a complimentary PDF copy of “Ethical Will” direct from the author Kaki Olsen in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. I also received permission to print a copy of this story in order to read in full due to the fact I cannot read stories in electronic form due to my chronic migraines. I appreciated the kindness of the author who allowed me to find a way I could read her story.

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On why this anthology first appealed to me & why I look forward to having a copy:

As you might already be aware of – I have a serious ADDICTION to Speculative Fiction anthologies! So much so, they are amongst my *favourites!* to be reading outside of the INSPY Lit novella or short anthologies which are read with equal passion! When it comes to #SpecFic though, the best joy of my heart is getting caught up inside another writer’s vision of their world – of seeing how they pull together an anthology theme of purpose and how they chose to carry this vision through the shortness of their story! I am forever impressed by those who can pen shorter fiction as it is a struggle for me, as a writer to do the same! I just do not feel as free to write a story in short formats as I have the tendency to write better in ‘length’. Hmm. does that really surprise my readers of Jorie Loves A Story!? I think not! lol

In recent years, I came to garnish an affection for ‘altered fairy tales’ and variant re-tellings on stories of lore – it began with different adaptations in novel-length and then, I started to find myself across the genre spectrum finding myself motivated to see how a writer might re-cast a familiar story against a newer impression of shifting the tale into either a different genre of interest or through a new thread of Speculative possibilities!

Thus, this is how I came to itch to read this particular collection – as much as I want to still gather a copy of the first anthology Iron Doves which features the quirkiness of an android and a dragon who have the fate of the world in their hands in outer space! For those who have been following me for awhile, you know I had a healthy convo about this story during [2017]’s #RRSciFiMonth.

Ahead of reading this review of mine, you might want to visit the convo I had with Ms Olsen about the key components of how she wrote this tale & a bit more about her writing style in general!

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On my connection to Ms Olsen:

I happily have had the pleasure of interacting with Ms Olsen whilst hosting her blog tour “Swan and Shadow” and in the years since it was released. Our friendship grew out of a mutual passion for reading, researching our stories and the many mutual interests we each share whilst finding ourselves randomly conversing on Twitter. We have enjoyed keeping in touch sharing our bookish and writerly lives whilst appreciating a fascination with the world of Fantasy.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her ahead of reading her novels. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. This is also true when I follow-up with them on future releases and celebrate the book birthdays that come after their initial publication.

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#WyrdAndWonder | Short Story Review of “Ethical Will” by Kaki Olsen part of the UNSPUN: A Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales (anthology)Unspun
Subtitle: A Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales
by Kaki Olsen
Source: Direct from Author

Whatever happened to “happily ever after”?

Heroes search for happiness, villains plot revenge, and nothing is as easy as it once seemed. Gretel suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, an orphan girl questions Rumpelstiltskin’s legacy, a monster cat searches for a child to eat, and the pied piper realizes stealing a hundred and thirty children may not have been his smartest idea.

Fairy tales have endured for centuries even though—or perhaps because—their conclusions are often more unsettling than satisfying. In Unspun, eleven storytellers come together to challenge and explore a few of those classic tales. Unexpected twists are sure to provoke both thought and laughter.

Gorgeous illustrations by Ruth Nickle accompany each piece.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1986727877

Also by this author: Unspun

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Fairy-Tale Re-Telling, Fantasy Fiction, Re-telling &/or Sequel, Urban Fantasy


Published by After Ever After Publishing

on 4th April, 2018

Format: ePub | PDF Chapter Sampler

Pages: 50

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Ebook

Read more about ‘Ethical Will’ on the Author’s Site

Previous releases by kaki olsen:

Swan and Shadow by Kaki OlsenIron Doves: A Charity Anthology

I had the pleasure of being on the blog tour celebrating the release for “Swan & Shadow” – you can find my review and my interview as well as Ms Olsen’s Guest Post attached to the tour happily celebrated on Jorie Loves A Story. Previously, I had plans to discuss the short story within the “Iron Doves: Anthology” for ‘Wyrd and Wonder’, however, I will now be doing so in a special feature I’m creating called: #EnterTheFantastic where I showcase stories of Fantasy between ‘Wyrd and Wonder’ events throughout the calendar year wherein I continuously read fantastical stories!

About Kaki Olsen

Kaki Olsen

Kaki Olsen has published stories about swan maidens, space-faring dragons, dying astronauts and shape-shifting sorcerers.

Her articles in AuthorsPublish cover a variety of craft topics. She is also known for her academic papers on everything from Anakin to Zuko for Life, the Universe, and Everything. In her spare time, she travels excessively and reads voraciously.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Thursday, 31 May, 2018 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, After the Canon, Anthology Collection of Stories, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cultural Heritage, Dark Fantasy, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debilitating Diagnosis & Illness, Equality In Literature, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Judiasm, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Re-Told Tales, Realistic Fiction, Short Stories or Essays, Speculative Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Terminal Illness &/or Cancer, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Urban Fantasy, Women's Health, World Religions, Yiddish Words & Phrases

#Sponsored by Center Street (Publisher) | #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | “The Magic Cup” by Howard Behar An unexpected fantastical world percolating through a narrative speaking about the ethics of the world of business!

Posted Thursday, 31 May, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna

Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, starting with FaithWords which is their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been wicked happy I can review for their imprints Grand Central Publishing, FaithWords & Center Street.

This book review was sponsored by Hachette Books who provided me with a complimentary copy of the book “The Magic Cup” direct from their imprint Center Street (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: This marks the first post and/or review I am featuring on behalf of Hachette Books which now states this is ‘sponsored’ by the publisher. Kindly refer to my Review Policy where I disclosed the reasons why this new language of disclosure is being added to [jorielovesastory.com].

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Why I felt it necessary to preface this review with a note about current events:

By now, most of my readers (of Jorie Loves A Story) know I am a reader who has an active voice in the twitterverse and on her blog for civil rights and civil liberties, marriage equality, gender equality and social justice issues across the spectrum of what is currently affecting our lives living in the 21st Century. I initially read The Magic Cup in the early days of #wyrdandwonder – within the very first week of May. I had meant to post my reflections on it’s behalf closer to the time I had read it – if I had, this preface would not be warranted as it would have pre-dated what happened.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had to make a conscience choice in what to feature and what to post in regards to current events – the sad bit is this story was writ by the ‘former’ President of Starbucks International, not the current President. To my knowledge, Howard Behar is fully retired from his association with the coffeehouse company – however, this doesn’t takeaway from the fact it grieved my heart as it did everyone else what happened with the civil rights of those men were violated. No one should have to endure or experience the kind of social injustice and prejudicial behaviour they did.

The reason I am choosing to release my ruminative thoughts on behalf of The Magic Cup is because it was quite literally one of my favourite stories I read for #wyrdandwonder. Releasing this review (at all) is never going to be the ‘right time’ to share it as the events of what happened will always be on the forefront of our minds and memories. The only way forward in life and in society is holding people accountable for their actions – something we have seen happen quite frequently of late – and I do hope, as a whole, Starbucks as a company will go back to the roots of their company’s foundations – as an openly inclusive meeting place where all members of local communities feel openly accepted to meet-up with friends, family, co-workers and the people they are working with on collaborative projects.

On a personal note – a copy of this book should be given to each employee in an effort to help them remember the legacy of Howard Behar’s tenure – as within The Magic Cup are the principles of both behaviour and the casualties of living against the moral principles each of us must choose to abide by or walk a long path towards personal enlightenment on how best to live with an open heart and mind in both our personal and business lives.

Therefore, I am choosing to share this story as a celebration of why I have happily co-hosted #wyrdandwonder this month of May, 2018 – it is to seek out the stories of the fantastical, sharing what derives a work to be a portal to #EnterTheFantastic and to give all of us an interesting purview of all the different ways in which Fantasy Literature can become explored through a writer’s vision of what ‘Fantasy’ can involve within their own imaginative thoughts threading into the genre itself.

Coincidentally, I did find this tweet s/o referencing an article which discloses his [Howard Behar] response on behalf of what happened recently. Wherein he does talk about how the company has strayed away from its founding principles and how difficult it is to see individual prejudices until a mistake is made thereby illuminating the behaviour which needs to be addressed and changed.

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What drew me into reading this story:

When I first learnt of this lovely book, I hadn’t quite realised it was writ with such a clever spin on the fantastical, as I originally thought it was a short Non-Fiction story rather than a narrative short spun on the principles and ethics you would expect to find in the the world of Business! From that perspective, what truly anchoured me to the story-line as I started reading it were the quiet moments of entry from the Fantasy angels which were superseding themselves into the pacing and tone of the overall journey Steadfast was taking towards becoming a better man.

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On how I Starbucked America

– from the Mid-West to the Mid-Atlantic to the Northeast and Southern states

It is mentioned in the Foreword how the reason Starbucks was intentionally grown to become a cafe of community engagement was to curate a meeting space where people of all backgrounds and socioeconomic lifestyles could find a place to share a cuppa with their conversations – which flickered a light of truth in my own mind. This is the key reason I have loved ‘Starbucking across America’ (my mantra whilst road trekking) – you get to meet a lot of lovely people – from the baristas to the people sipping their lattes, to the telecommuters to the University students to the couples tucking in a date night in the middle of the week – you see a multitude of people in Starbucks.

The atmosphere is warm and inviting – the java is addictive (my personal favourite is the ‘cherry’ coffee latte), the sea salt hot chocolate is wicked sinful, the chai is the right level of spice and the green tea latte is as soul lifting as the fresh brewed teas.

I truly have Starbucked my way across America – from the Mid-West to the Mid-Atlantic to the Northeast and Southern states – wherever I’ve travelled, the one constant has been the warmth of joy entering a Starbucks and knowing for a respite of time spent off the road, I’d have a lovely cuppa in my hand, a spontaneous conversation about to make me smile and a knowing sense that even if we don’t all agree on a lot of different topics of interest, the one thing which unites us is our love of tea and coffee!

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Reflections prior to reading the text:

There’s magic when a group of people is bound together with common purpose. It’s the chemistry of real people, doing the right things, with the right set of values. The journey to discover that magic – to create it with the people on our team – is what this tale is all about.

– quoted from The Magic Cup with permission of the publisher

I remember when I first spied this lovely little book – this little gem of a text which contains an uplifting jolt of spiritually renewing motivation to succeed not only in business but in life – as I was in the mindset of contemplating my ‘next move’ so to speak back in [2016]. I hail from a family of entrepreneurs – most have to go to University to gain a background in Business & Economics – I grew up in the shadows of business savvy parents and a grandfather who re-set the standard of business forms for his Corporate America company. Forget the MBA, I had real-life education before that became a new buzz word of innovative educational opportunities which seek to place you out in the real world to gain real experiences.

I also had the pleasure of attending a school in the city of my birth which suffered greatly by the budget cuts which corroded most of our favourite educational ‘extras’ (ie. art, shop, theatre, music, classroom pets/animals, field trips, etc) except it received a special invitation to attend a faux working city environment where children in elementary or middle school could ‘pretend’ to go to work for a week and see where they might ‘fit’ once they graduated high school. It was an interesting experience I had the joy of doing twice – once I worked at a pharmacy and the second go-round, I was part of the video team – an interviewer who had to go store to store, with a mic and not a lot of charisma or confidence, seeking a story I was inventing with each conversation I engaged within.

I worked in my father’s company from the age of three until eighteen – not consequentially (laughs) but as a toddler I was the right height to deliver certain things pertaining to my father’s business whilst gaining a unique perspective on the lighter side of his Industry. (Remember, I’ve previously said my father worked in the field opposite of the city morgue.)

From these roots – I knew I was going to enjoy working – except finding my niche out in the world of Business has had a rocky start as I came out of the gate slightly over-qualified for most entry level positions due to the knowledge I had gleamed by observation, real-life applications and having a keen mind for organisational affairs across a wide spectrum of industries not limited to the ones my family was involved.

It took me awhile to sort things out – even now as a 5th Year Book Blogger – the more information I’ve gained about the book world, the more I’ve sorted out where I fit within the world of publishing; startling enough, it isn’t quite where I first felt I would embark into the next chapter of my journey as a writer! In effect, the vision I had five years ago has altered, morphed through experience and taken a new course – one I am very happy to be researching right now.

Meanwhile, whilst I’ve been my father’s caregiver for the past year and a half since he survived his moderate bilateral stroke (see also Post) I’ve had a lot of time to consider what I want to do in regards to launching myself into trade and commerce. I sort of knew I should be my own boss – own my own companies, diversify my portfolio of investments and carve out the path I’m meant to walk rather than follow in other people’s footsteps.

I’ve been a natural bourne leader since I was in pre-school when I befriended a (presumed) mute boy who turnt out to be shy and was quite vocal by year’s end – my friendship opened his heart and gave him a reason to ‘talk’. No one else stepped forward to show him the kindness of friendship – so imagine, my chatty self taking him round the school, engaging him in our activities and never leaving his side. In return, I heard his ‘heart-notes’ of gratitude and felt joyful in spirit I was making a difference in his life as he frowned less and smiled more with each passing day. I continued to stand apart from my peers as I grew in school wherein I also skipped my slated graduation class and opted to exit high school on my own terms ahead of schedule.

The best freedom in life is owning your own truth – sorting out your own path – trusting your instincts and living through your faith. It’s never easy to go the route no one else is taking – to dig deep into yourself, believing your on the right path even if it feels arduously opposite of what everyone else your age is doing – at the end of the day, you have to return back to centre and realise your life is meant to yield different results. Not everyone can follow after each other – we’re all individuals – we all have adventures and experiences to seek out which define who we are but also, how we interpret the reasons why we are here. We all have a purpose – if we hold onto that truth, we can never fail to be living the life we’re supposed to be embracing. Even if we’re non-conventional and alternative to the general populace – there’s a reason why we stand out and seek a different path.

When I saw this book – I felt an re-awakening in my mind and heart – I have been contemplating what to do professionally for a long while – as I put my life on hold for my family when health crises overtook our lives, where immediate family members were facing difficult crossroads and where a grand-daughter was needed to stay close to home. Through it all, I’ve had my eye on a diversity of fields as much as my heart flutters aglow with the joys of philanthropic interests – I always knew part of my life was going to be devouted in equal parts between professional pursuits and my work in charity. In essence, the term ‘socially conscience’ companies was something I was contemplating before they birthed the term to give back to others whilst lifting up your own business – as it goes back to the adage – it takes a village.

As I have talked about why I love Starbucks, I’ll move on by saying I love pro-positive inspirators (my term!) who seek to motivate others to follow in their wake – to lit a fire of hope and inspiration in others who might be wondering if they can accomplish a similar goal in their own lives. For this seed of insight, I felt I would appreciate reading The Magic Cup.

To refer back to the quotation from the book – as it works as a preface of sorts for what your about to read – what we can accomplish together with a singular focus of creating with purpose is definitively magical indeed! Or to put it a different way – for each of our cup of truths, we each serve as both the Light to inspire another forward and the encourager of joy who seeks to celebrate the serendipitous nature of life.

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#Sponsored by Center Street (Publisher) | #WyrdAndWonder Book Review  | “The Magic Cup” by Howard Behar An unexpected fantastical world percolating through a narrative speaking about the ethics of the world of business!The Magic Cup
Subtitle: A Business Parable about A Leader, A Team, and the Power of Putting People and Values First
by Howard Behar
Source: Direct from Publisher

We all love the fairy tales we grew up on, creating a world in which good always wins over evil, where those whose hearts are true and who do the right thing come out on top. But, grown-up competition for success is rough, even cutthroat, and we’ve often heard that nice guys finish last.

Not according to Howard Behar, whose career as one of the three leaders who built the Starbucks organization most definitely proves that nice guys finish first. In THE MAGIC CUP, Behar spins an engaging corporate tale to teach us exactly how we can do the same thing.

The story revolves around Vince Steadfast, the newly named CEO of imaginary manufacturer Verity Glassworks, which has fallen on difficult times. Vince is hired to help the once iconic company return to its glory days, and he brings with him a parting gift from his mentor and former boss: a stunning crystal coffee cup from Verity’s halcyon days. The cup turns out to be magic – truly – and helps him come to understand and reinvigorate the values that Verity has misplaced along the way.

In the tradition of great parable writers throughout history, Behar quickly involves us in an engrossing fantasy, continually challenging us to compare each situation with our own real-life experiences. The story of THE MAGIC CUP helps each of us discover that only by acting on sound moral principles can we fill our own cups with the personal and professional success and satisfaction we seek.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781478947479

Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction, Non-Fiction, Sci-Fantasy, Self-Improvement & Self-Actualisation, Short Story or Novella, Urban Fantasy


Published by CenterStreet

on 14th November, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 400

Published by: Center Street (@centerstreet.com)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks) via Hachette Nashville

Formats Available: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

Converse via: #INSPYbooks & #NonFiction as well as #wyrdandwonder & #Fantasy #shortstory

About Howard Behar

Howard Behar Photo Credit Lisi Wolf Photography

HOWARD BEHAR is a renowned business leader, author, speaker, and mentor. He served at Starbucks for a combined twenty-one years as both an officer and a board member. He was the president of North America and the founding president of Starbucks International. He lives in Seattle, Washington, with his wife, Lynn, where he is able to spend time with his children and grandchildren.

Photo Credit: Lisi Wolf Photography

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Thursday, 31 May, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, CenterStreet, Christianity, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction, Futuristic Fantasy, Inheritance & Identity, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Light vs Dark, Modern Day, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Shapeshifters, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Urban Fantasy

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review | “Liminal Lights (Book One: of the Liminal series) by J.M. Bogart

Posted Saturday, 26 May, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am hostess with Writerly Yours PR, wherein I had the joy of hosting Ms Bogart for her blog tour showcasing this series in [2016]. I had hoped to have read this series for one of the #RRSciFiMonth after I shared our conversation within the interview featured on her blog tour, however, due to a variety of reasons, I had to keep postponing my reading of the books. When I realised I was going to be co-hosting #WyrdAndWonder this year, I thought perhaps it would be a better ‘fit’ to read and share my thoughts during an event focused on Fantasy! I was surprised by the kindness of the author to send me these novels after I hosted her blog tour, as I had explained I wouldn’t be able to read them for the tour itself due to my chronic migraines (ie. I never read ebooks) and am a traditional reader of print and audio.

I received a complimentary copy of “Liminal Lights” direct from the author J.M. Bogart in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I felt this series might be a seriously wicked one to be reading:

First off, stories about the fey have slowly become one of my favourites to seek out for Fantasy releases – whether they are caught up inside an Urban Fantasy series, such as this one might be considered classified as it takes place between our Contemporary world and the fey or if we are wholly elsewhere inside a writer’s own imagined world, the fey have started to entice me into their folds! You might remember how well versed I’ve become inside world Ms Chris creates with her Tipsy Fairy Tales or through one of the anthologies I’ve been reading by either Seventh Star Press (with their Seelie Court) or World Weaver Press (of whom curate a series of anthologies I properly addicted to reading!).

When I learnt this was a Middle Grade Fantasy trilogy, I was most intrigued! Part of me worried if some of the scenes and descriptions within the narrative would broach into areas I might not feel should be attributed to a Middle Grade release, however, when I had the joy of interviewing Ms Bogart for her lovely blog tour a few years ago – she put my concerns to rest!

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#WyrdAndWonder Book Review | “Liminal Lights (Book One: of the Liminal series) by J.M. BogartLiminal Lights
by J.M. Bogart
Source: Direct from Author

What if magic is real?

Nadia discovers an ancient truth hidden by Liminals, coveted by Shadow Monsters, and protected by humans.

Somewhere, between faerie legends and story books, lies the truth to magic. It grows in children, matures, and is eventually captured by Liminal beings. These small, faeire-like creatures harvest and manipulate it, crafting it into the talents and skills inherent in humans. The rest, they keep for themselves in an effort to sustain their own life forces.

The human race is evolving forcing Bean, Pritt, and Tissa to find new ways of harvesting human magic to save their own kind. Nadia's power, found in her talent as an artist, is the last hope for these Liminal beings who find themselves caught between light and shadow. Liminals aren't the only ones after her magic, so are the creatures who lurk under the bed, hide in the darkness, and go bump in the night.

This is the first book of a trilogy.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1928133070

Also by this author:

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Stories of the FAE, Urban Fantasy


Published by Morning Rain Publishing

on 23rd April, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 196

Published By: Morning Rain Publishing (@morningrainpub)

The Shadow shift trilogy:

Liminal Lights by J.M. BogartShadow Shifts by J.M. Bogart

Liminal lights | book one

shadow shifts | Book two | Synopsis

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #LiminalLights and #ShadowShifts or #MGLit #Fantasy and #MiddleGrade #Fantasy

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Saturday, 26 May, 2018 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Children's Literature, Dark Fantasy, Earthen Magic, Faeries & the Fey, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Good vs. Evil, Juvenile Fiction, Middle Grade Novel, School Life & Situations, Speculative Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Urban Fantasy

Blog Book Tour | “Lona Chang: A Superhero Detective Story” (Book Two: #AwesomeJones series) by AshleyRose Sullivan This is the #SuperheroFiction series Jorie has eagerly awaited new installments and found the latest just as brilliant as the first!

Posted Tuesday, 13 March, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a stop on the “Long Chang: A Superhero Detective Story” Superhero Fiction release tour from Seventh Star Press. The tour is hosted by Tomorrow Comes Media who does the publicity and blog tours for Seventh Star Press and other Indie and/or Self Published authors. I am a regular blog tour host with Tomorrow Comes Media and have been an avid fan of the #AwesomeJones series since it first debuted. I was overjoyed the second installment in the series is now releasing and that I could participate in it’s blog tour.

I received a complimentary copy of “Lona Chang: A Superhero Detective Story” direct from the publisher Seventh Star Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I love reading the #AwesomeJones series:

Lona Chang took Awesome by surprise, not only for her growing affection and respect of his character, but for being endeared to him as a companion. The two took to each other quite readily, but it was how they fit into each other’s pocket that I felt bemused about the most whilst reading the story! You see, they were the near-identical half of the other, and I refer to it being ‘near-identical’ as although they each read the newsprint release of breaking news, they differed on a category or two. Little unbeknownst differences out of a sea of common threads which helped knit Awesome Jones and Lona Chang together in the bliss of conjoined living. She was quite methodical herself, yet Awesome took the cake for exacting out his observations, and for being near computeristically perfect in his actions. Whilst the two were together, they not only complimented each other in synced harmony but they cancelled each other out on their eclecticism.

Lona and Awesome were intricately entwined by their common share of loss, as they respectively never knew their proper origins. They were each raised by loving parents who adopted them as their own when their biological parents had died. They attempted in their own way to resurrect a connection fate did not allow to solidify whilst their parents were alive. In their shared ambiguous loss, they each sought ways in which they could formulate a way to connect themselves through a passion of their parents; even if the only true connection they had were fragmented pieces of their parents personal effects. These tangible reminders were a weight of a burdened yoke which toyed with their emotional well-being.

When Awesome Jones grapples with the choice between the life he’s formed together with Lona and the life he’s dreamt of living, they each have to put to test the strength of their love for each other. I sided with Captain Lightning (one of the main superheroes focused on in the story) on the outdated rules and regulations of The Guild (apparently superheroes are organised more than you realise!). He’s put in a most difficult position because as you can well imagine, he goes from knowing a scant amount about his ancestry and then, in one large dose of revelation he gets far more than he bargained to learn! I would imagine that if you wake up one day and your entire essence of who you are as a person is chucked out for this alternative version; a version you knew nothing of and had no idea of how to accept, there would be a period of adaption to adjust!

This is when I found myself reading at such a lightning clip as to beg my eyes to move faster down the page, as I had my hand at the ready for turning into the next scene! Again, I love the pace of Awesome Jones as you get to the point where you want to see him succeed. You want him to develop self-confidence and believe in his own truth. There are always forces against you in life, and there is always a chance that your going to falter in your confidence on your own behalf, but part of what endeared me to this story is that the main characters believed in each other. It did not matter what the outcome of their lives would be as far as where their place in the world would fit, as if they had each other they could overcome just about anything crossing their path.

-quoted from my review of Awesome Jones: A Superhero Fairy Tale

Ever since I finished reading #AwesomeJones and took to Twitter to announce my findings within the first novel of the series, I’ve wanted to return. To become re-swept into the vision Ms Sullivan has created for her superhero world and to find out more of what she’s envisioned for her heroes. She has such a strong voice in this wicked hybrid of novelling a comic book story-line – wherein she’s created her own wonderful niche of how you can bend a novel to the will of your own pen. She’s given credence towards following your own instincts towards how a story can be told and she breaks barriers of code by how a novel can be written. In essence, she’s a rebel in her own right and I love her for it.

It is hard to pin down exactly what drew me closer to Awesome himself and to Lona’s story-line which hugs so close to our lead hero. There was a moment as I was first reading #AwesomeJones where I just felt this was a wholly original story, told in a unique manner of delivery where narrative and comic illustrations merged beautifully together to tell a poignant story. You become so dearly involved and entranced by her style, you nearly forget how wicked awesome it is to find someone who is re-setting the heights of where a story like this take a reader.

A bit like how we all have our preferences in superhero motion pictures and televised adaptations – I have the tendency to shy away from the leading crowd of options and seek out the ones who stand out to me. For instance, my favourite upcoming release at the moment is the sequel of The Incredibles – similar to this series, you could say they broke the rules on how superheroes can have a strong base of family and even their children can have hidden talents which can develop alongside their parents.

I truly love the vision of this series – not to mention the fact it’s a joy to be reading!! You don’t have to worry about anything too shocking taking place – even if there are hard-hitting threads within the series, I just meant, this is less intensive than reading traditional Crime Dramas. The beauty though is watching how Ms Sullivan crafts her stories together – as your hardest instinct to overcome is not to read this so fast that you miss the nuances along the way! There are little nudges of insight into the wider world as it’s evolving but mostly, I love the hugged close to her characters’ points-of-view the most! You feel so personally engaged with their line of sight and how they are internalising their own adventures – it’s truly a remarkable series!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Lona Chang: A Superhero Detective Story” (Book Two: #AwesomeJones series) by AshleyRose Sullivan This is the #SuperheroFiction series Jorie has eagerly awaited new installments and found the latest just as brilliant as the first!Lona Chang: A Superhero Detective Story
by ashleyrose sullivan
Illustrator/Cover Designer: AshleyRose Sullivan
Source: Publisher via Tomorrow Comes Media

When one of the world's greatest superheroes dies in her arms, Lona Chang takes it upon herself to investigate his murder. Armed only with a power she barely understands and a mysterious coded book, Lona begins a quest for answers that leads her down a dark rabbit hole of secrets--secrets the ancient organization known as the Guild is determined to keep hidden at all costs.

Meanwhile, when a new threat descends upon Arc City, Lona's soulmate (and freshly minted superhero) Awesome Jones defies the Guild, dons the cape and cowl of his father and finds a group of unlikely allies. But can Awesome trust them--or himself? He'll have to fight his own demons first if he has any hope of defending the town-and the people-he loves.

As tensions rise between the Guild, Lona, Awesome, his allies and Arc City's criminal underground, Lona realizes that life, and the answers to its questions, are never as simple as they seem in comic books.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1941706640

Also in this series: Awesome Jones


Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Adoption & Foster Care, Amateur Detective, Genre-bender, Superhero Fiction


Published by Seventh Star Press

on 30th August, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 323

Published By: Seventh Star Press (@7thStarPress)
Available Formats: Softcover and Ebook

The Awesome Jones series:

Awesome Jones by AshleyRose Sullivan

Awesome Jones | Book One (see also Review)

Long Chang | Book Two

Converse on Twitter: #AwesomeJones + #LonaChang & #7thStar

About ashleyrose sullivan

AshleyRose Sullivan

Originally from Appalachia, AshleyRose Sullivan lives, writes, and paints in Los Angeles with her husband and their many imaginary friends. Her work has been published in places like The Rumpus, Barrelhouse, and Word Riot and her novels, Awesome Jones: A Superhero Fairy Tale and Silver Tongue are available from Seventh Star Press.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #FuellYourSciFi
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Posted Tuesday, 13 March, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Doctor Who, Fantasy Fiction, Genre-bender, Good vs. Evil, Horror-Lite, Indie Author, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Speculative Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Tomorrow Comes Media, Urban Fantasy, Urban Life, Vulgarity in Literature, Zombies

(Video) Author Interview | Jorie and Ms Chris (virtually) have a convo with each other and discuss the Road Ghosts series! This is #UrbanFantasy Jorie loves to read! Find out more about about the collective works of Jorie’s friend, Ms Chris!

Posted Saturday, 10 March, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Video Interview banner created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I have a very special *surprise!* for you, today is the dawn of a new interview series here on Jorie Loves A Story! As you know, I love trying new ways to connect with authors & for the readers of my blog to enjoy the conversations I bring to my blog. I’ve hosted live interviews on my blog where authors respond to questions in real-time with readers as much as I’ve hosted author chats on Twitter; not just solely the ones I host via @SatBookChat.

March, 2018 marks my 5th Blogoversary (on the 31st) here on Jorie Loves A Story – what better way to mark the auspicious milestone than to bridge into a new way of conversing with the writers I am appreciative for having crossed my path as a reader and as a book blogger? The first two lovelies will be focusing on two such authors – whose stories have enriched my heart & endeavoured to take my imagination further than I have travelled previously. They each write Speculative Fiction stories in niches of genre I had never known about previously until I tucked into their beautiful lovely novels and discovered new ways of ‘seeing’ Spec Fic!

I have scheduled a third video interview this Spring by an author I hope to read one day – so you see, today is quite the special day! This is the first in a series of video interviews wherein I have found a way to new media outlets to reach out through the divide and interact with authors in a way which builds on the conversations I started five years ago on Jorie Loves A Story but allows this new portal of insight to draw us all a bit closer and have the opportunity to get to know each other on a bit more of a personal level of insight.

I look forward to taking this journey with you and reading your reactions after you finish listening the conversations as they evolve. Although, these are vlog interviews – I encourage you to play them as they are embedded here, whilst having the JOY of reading my in-line reactions as I initially listened to them myself – seeing where the author & I each reacted to each other as we had this ‘virtual’ fireside chat and engaged in an intrapersonal way.

If you use YouTube directly, I encourage you to leave a comment on there as well as on this post in the threads below. This way both I & the author will know your thoughts, listening to your thoughtful comments & the conversation can carry forward. Bless you if you chose to share the video or this post on your own social networks.

Now, as you know – I am rather infamous for having delightfully in-depth conversations – therefore, before you hit the PLAY button, due yourself a kind favour? Brew yourself a cuppa & find a comfy spot to sit – this is interview is just shy of *forty!* minutes of bookish insight & writerly blissitude of the collective writings of Ms Chris (E. Chris Garrison). She’s a dear friend of mine – as previously disclosed – connected through this series (the Road Ghosts) as explained on my review of the series whilst we had the chance to ‘hear’ each others’ voices for the first time when we were both guests on the Star Chamber Show.

Come see why we both *love!* the paranormal & psychological suspense with dashes of Cosy Horror thrown in for good measure! Take a walk into the unknown realms & find an author talking openly & honestly about what excites her about her characters & why she loved writing this epic series entitled: Road Ghosts! Remember: as we both love the paranormal – share your own takeaways about ghosts & hauntings in the Comments!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On my connection to Ms Chris (aka E. Chris Garrison):

I first discovered the style of Ms Chris’s story-telling when we both appeared on the Star Chamber Show, which is a weekly podcast on BlogTalkRadio sponsored by the publisher Seventh Star Press. Since our first encounter with each other, we’ve developed a friendship I am blessed to have and I appreciate getting to know a bit more about an author whose not only developing a unique style in the world of Fantasy but is receptive to the thoughts readers have as they gain impression by reading the stories themselves.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Ms Chris through our respective blogs, the twitterverse, the podcast world, and privately. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. For more information, I disclosed a bit more on my first 10 Bookish, Not Bookish Thoughts (read No.7!).

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com
The Road Ghosts Series:

Four ‘Til Late (Book One)

Sinking Down (Book Two)

+ Spectral Delivery (companion short story) | *to fit between books 2 & 3

Me and the Devil (Book Three)

Published By: Seventh Star Press (@7thStarPress)
Available Formats: Softcover and Ebook

Why I appreciate reading the stories by E. Chris Garrison:

I’ve come to love how Ms Chris combines the supernatural with the fantastical – of how she has her own unique style for giving us Urban Fantasy with heaps of quirkified humour wherein the cosier bits of horror which are sometimes laced inside her stories never truly feel oppressively horrific. She keeps the tempo light in her craft but there are keen moments of seriousness abounding in them as well. She hits on harder topics, delves into the emotional and psychological lives of her characters but at the heart of her narratives are rag-tag families who choose to be together (strangers turnt friends who become bonefide family) to take-on whatever sinister forces are out to drag them down.

You get the benefit of having all the lovelies you love out of Fantasy intermixed with supernatural entities which could leave a few hairs standing on end – as they are brilliantly conceived and have their own nod of realistic intensity about them but you also know, your in for one wild and wicked awesome ride of a story! You can easily get caught up walking alongside her characters, seeing what they see and experiencing a bit of their lives as you do. They’re ordinary people who have had the extraordinary enter into their lives without too much interference on their end to jump-start the veils between the worlds to disappear. It’s keen how she writes the stories as if everything happening inside them is as natural to occur to her characters as meteorological phenoms.

-quoted from my SERIES Review of Road Ghosts

Read about how the Road Ghosts series was created & developed via Beauty in Ruins

I, especially loved reading this guest post on the blog tour this month due to the fact I hadn’t known the inside bits of how it was created or what was etched inside it until now. Connecting the dots on who inspired ‘Gonzo’ makes sense but also, how Gonzo embodies the spirit of ‘Uncle Chuck’ – this much I knew from reading ‘Restless Spirit’ ahead of the Road Ghosts series. Somehow I had also missed the fact my dear friend is a paranormal sleuth as well – something I’ll happily have to add to our upcoming convo for the tour! As we share a love of parapsychology! Ha! As soon as I saw her saying ‘Scooby Doo for grown-ups’ I smirked like a Cheshire cat! For one thing, who *didn’t!* watch Scooby Doo!? lol This guest post is delightfully engaging for those of us who haven’t had the pleasure of following the series as it released.

Converse on Twitter: #RoadGhosts & #7thStar

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #FuellYourSciFi
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Posted Saturday, 10 March, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Doctor Who, Fantasy Fiction, Genre-bender, Good vs. Evil, Horror-Lite, Indie Author, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Speculative Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Tomorrow Comes Media, Urban Fantasy, Urban Life, Video (vlog) Author Interview, Zombies