Category: YA Fantasy

#Blogmas | feat. #FantasyForChristmas20 showcases | The Flight and Flame series by R.J. Anderson

Posted Monday, 30 November, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

#blogmas badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Each year for the past three years, I’ve been showcasing spotlights on behalf of #newtomeauthors who are writing the stories of Fantasy Fiction I am most eager to be discovering. This felt like an unexpected gift each December to feature the authors but also, to notice how curiously diverse and expansive Fantasy is for a reader like me whose constantly finding it challenging to find Fantasy authors she loves to read and series she can truly sink her teeth into reading. The one exception to the rule is that I have the tendency not to read as widely into Dark Fantasy except for the Gifted and the Cursed series by Marcus Lee which truly took me by complete surprise within the first novel “Kings & Daemons” and continued to smitten me with exploring in the sequel “Tristan’s Folly”.

Ever since I first started blogging on Jorie Loves A Story, I have endeavoured to curate a path into reading more intuitively and more widely through the realms of either Indie or Self-Published works of genre I personally love to read. This has evolved to becoming a ready appreciator of the world of Indie Fantasy and the Self-Published authors who have been giving me such wicked good joy in reading their stories and/or showcasing their stories on my blog. During this year’s #WyrdAndWonder, I was able to highlight and focus on an Indie publisher from New Zealand (Odyssey Books) throughout May wherein I hosted guest features for their authors and/or was able to read and review their books. You can view the archives of those featured posts via my posts for Odyssey Books directly.

As a reader it is taking me a bit longer to acquire the stories I want to be reading in Fantasy – as this was the first year my local library enacted a freeze on purchase requests and my regional library dropped patrons outside their immediate area which put a bit of a damper on my library requests this year as much as the fact inter-library loan was also locally overhauled and spilt into two different routes of requests. Overall, my reading habits this year were struck down by circumstance and health afflictions wherein I read far less than I usually do and I found reading was an uphill battle overall. I had hoped to read quite a few of the titles I’ve previously showcased during #FantasyForChristmas but I have had to push forward those goals into 2021.

Thereby, as this marks my start of hosting the event for my third year – I look forward to seeing which authors & their stories resonate with me this year as much as I look forward to hearing if any of these authors are on your own bookish radar as well! What a lovely month to celebrate & champion Speculative Fiction authors and their stories as Winter has always brought such a renewing spirit within its folds.

Curiously – what do you enjoy seeking out when it comes to Fantasy and the worlds being left for us to discover them by the authors who are writing Indie & Self-Published Fantasy stories and/or series?

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Swift by R.J. Anderson

To save her people, a wingless girl must learn to fly.

As a piskey girl born without wings and raised underground, Ivy yearns for flight almost as much as she misses her long-lost mother. But the world outside the Delve is full of danger, and her dreams seem hopeless until she meets a mysterious faery who makes her an enticing offer: If Ivy helps him escape the Delve’s dungeon, he’ll teach her how to fly.

Freeing Richard could cost Ivy her reputation, perhaps even her life. But when her fellow piskeys start to disappear and her beloved little sister goes missing, Ivy has no choice but to take the risk.

Deadly threats and shocking revelations await Ivy as she ventures into a strange new world, uncovers long-buried secrets about her family’s past, and finds that no one—not even herself—is entirely what they seem.

Add to LibraryThing | ISBN: 978-1621841326

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The Flight and Flame Trilogy:

Swift by R.J. AndersonNomad by R.J. AndersonTorch by R.J. Anderson

Swift (book one)

Nomad (book two)

Torch (book three)

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Published by: Enclave Escape
an imprint of Enclave Publishing (@EnclaveBooks)

Converse via: #FantasyForChristmas20 or #FantasyForChristmas
as well #Fantasy or #INSPYFantasy or #WyrdAndWonder

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Posted Monday, 30 November, 2020 by jorielov in #blogmas, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, YA Fantasy

A #SpooktasticReads audiobook review | “Jorvik Calling” (Soul Riders: Book One) by Helena Dahlgren, narrated by Jennifer Jill Araya; courtesy of #NetGalley

Posted Monday, 19 October, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , 0 Comments

#SpooktasticReads Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Earlier this year, in late Winter (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 audiobook copy of “Soul Riders” direct from the publisher Andrews McMeel Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All audiobooks via NetGalley are able to be heard via the NetGalley Shelf which is why I was thankful to be gifted an android tablet by my parents to celebrate my 7th Blog Birthday on Jorie Loves A Story. 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 “Soul Riders”:

I was attracted to a few elements about this story when I first found it on NetGalley – the horses, the sisterhood friendships of the girls’ and the fact this is all set in a fantastical world. I originally thought this was a story that was ‘set elsewhere’ without any tangible connection to our own living reality however as I shifted into the audiobook itself, I realised this is an Urban Fantasy wherein there are elements of modern life (our world) within the sphere of the series but there are elements of the fantastical in the background running concurrent to the girls’ school and life experiences.

I have a personal attachment to horse dramas & Westerns – whenever I can find one or the other which suits my interests, I love to soak inside the stories! Having had a close connection to horses when I was a child I believe plays a strong part in why I continue to seek out stories which features horses and/or the world of horses – from Contemporary &/or Historical Westerns to Contemporary Western Romances or Cowboy Romances (such as my Harlequin Heartwarming readings).

Finding a story set in a blended Middle Grade & Young Adult world for Fantasy which brings into focus my love of horses with the added advantage of hidden talents and special gifts given to the girls who ride star horses – honestly, what could be a better bookish find!?

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A #SpooktasticReads audiobook review | “Jorvik Calling” (Soul Riders: Book One) by Helena Dahlgren, narrated by Jennifer Jill Araya; courtesy of #NetGalleyJorvik Calling
Subtitle: Soul Riders (series), Video Game Tie-In (Star Stable)
by Helena Dahlgren
Source: Audiobook Direct from Publisher via NetGalley

Step into the universe of the massively popular adventure game Star Stable, and follow four friends who discover their magic powers and learn that every girl can be a hero in this fantasy trilogy.

Soul Riders tells the heroic tale of four young girls who have been chosen by destiny to save the world from the ancient demon: Garnok and his band of dangerous Dark Riders. Lisa is a teenage girl who is still coming to terms with the tragic loss of her mother in a riding accident and has sworn never to go near a horse again until she met Starshine, a mysterious blue-maned steed who comes to her in dreams. New on the island of Jorvik, Lisa befriends Alex, Linda, and Anne. Under the guidance of mystical druids, they discover they each have a special bond to their horses that gives them magical powers. While trying to balance school, family, and friendships they have to figure out what it means to be a Soul Rider. They are attacked by the Dark Riders and the mysterious Mr. Sands discover that their horses are in danger. Instead of relying on their combined strength, they decide to split up on their quest to find answers and learn to fight back against their enemies. However, will it be too late before they realize their mistake?

Jorvik Calling is the first installment in the epic, fantasy trilogy, Soul Riders, about magic, friendship, and horses bound to thrill all young equestrian fans.

Genres: Dark Fantasy, Equestrian Fiction, Horse Drama, Upper YA Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Video Game Tie-In Series, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal Suspense, YA Urban Fantasy


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781524855338

ASIN: B087D8F3SW

Published by Andrews McMeel Audio, Andrews McMeel Publishing

Format: Audiobook | Digital Review Copy (NetGalley)

Length: 5 hours and 40 minutes (unabridged)

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Published By: Andrews McMeel Audio
an imprint of Andrews McMeel Publishing (@AndrewsMcMeel)

NOTE: When I first started listening to this title I thought for sure it would be considered Middle Grade Fantasy – however, as it progressed forward, I started to see it leans into YA Fantasy. It might be on the fence of merging Upper YA into Adult Fantasy within an Urban Fantasy world-building and setting. Ergo, if your considering this for younger readers rather than adult, know that this has the innocence of a Middle Grade Fantasy intermixed with the darker villains of an Upper YA/Adult Fantasy wherein if you are seeking lighter readers for Middle Grade readers I would advise against this one.

Converse via: #UrbanFantasy as well as #DarkFantasy and Upper #YAFantasy
+ #SoulRiders, #audiobook or #audioreads as well as #JorikRising and #StarStable

Available Formats: Trade paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 19 October, 2020 by jorielov in Book Review (non-blog tour), Bullies and the Bullied, Childhood Friendship, Coming-Of Age, Dark Arts (Dark Magic), Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, NetGalley, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Upper YA Fiction, Urban Fantasy, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

#TopTenTuesday XIII | feat. “Forest of Souls” by Lori M. Lee whilst Jorie recollects which stories parlay on this new book’s theme (ie. there be ghosts!)

Posted Tuesday, 23 June, 2020 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I was on a walkabout in the twitterverse recently when I came across the announcements for this particular blog tour – hosted by a new blog touring company [ Hear Our Voices Blog Tours ] featuring #ownvoices authors and getting their books into the hands of OV book bloggers & reviewers; which I felt was a smashingly brilliant company to support because I’ve known about the struggle for OV bloggers to have the chance to read the stories being published as they oft go to other reviewers.

I’ve been a reader who celebrates #EqualityInLit since I first started blogging whilst I love having the chance to find stories and authors who are #ownvoices – when I first saw this blog tour, I was hoping to host an interview with the author or guest post – however, this was a new kind of tour for me and that is why it took me until the last day to post this feature on its behalf. The organisers wanted to create a surprise blog tour for the author and celebrate the release through the book blogosphere, the twitterverse and via #bookstagram as well. I am unsure if some of the stops made it into #booktube however, these are the general routes all blog tour companies try to get their stories featured inside and I was thankful I could play a small role in helping to champion the news of this particular release.

Moving forward with this touring company, I am unsure if I have a place to participate as I wasn’t going to ask to review any of the novels – as I agree with their mission to give these books to the OV book bloggers and reviewers; I was simply hoping to host their authors for guest features as new tours were announced however I am not sure if allies of #ownvoices literature is going to be a part of the tours moving forward. Either way – I wanted to give a nod of acknowledgement to this touring company, today’s featured author and the stories I’ve read involving the story’s theme of ghosts, souls and spirits.

I do have a bit of good news – I’m in 3rd position at my local library to receive “Forest of Souls” and I plan on sharing my thoughts after I’ve read the story with my readers. I was wicked excited seeing it was in the library’s catalogue as this was something I was going to suggest they purchase (if they hadn’t already) except to say our purchase requests are still on sabbatical. Imagine my JOY in finding this is already inbound to the library?

Now, grab your favourite cuppa of brewed coffee or tea or whip up a cuppa chai and let’s rewind time to see which stories Jorie has read which has given her such an atmospheric experience on this theme of interest!

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#TopTenTuesday XIII | feat. “Forest of Souls” by Lori M. Lee whilst Jorie recollects which stories parlay on this new book’s theme (ie. there be ghosts!)Forest of Souls
by Lori M. Lee

Sirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training to become the queen’s next royal spy, her plans are derailed when shamans attack and kill her best friend Saengo.

And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.

Unveiled as the first soulguide in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood—an ancient forest possessed by souls—to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only a soulguide can restrain them. As war looms, Sirscha must master her newly awakened abilities before the trees shatter the brittle peace, or worse, claim Saengo, the friend she would die for.

Danger lurks within the roots of Forest of Souls, an epic, unrelenting tale of destiny and sisterhood, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Susan Dennard.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781624149245

Published by Page Street Kids

on 23rd June, 2020

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Published by: Page Street Kids (@PageStreetKids)
an imprint of Page Street Publishing

This is the first novel of the Shamanborn series!

Available Formats: Trade Paperbook, Ebook and Audiobook

Converse via: #YAFantasy or #YoungAdult #Fantasy
+ #ForestOfSouls, #OwnVoices and #HOVForestOfSouls

About Lori M. Lee

Lori M. Lee

Lori M. Lee is the author of Forest of Souls, first in the Shamanborn series, as well as Gates of Thread and Stone and The Infinite. She’s also a contributor to the anthologies A Thousand Beginnings and Endings and Color Outside the Lines. She considers herself a unicorn aficionado, enjoys marathoning TV shows, and loves to write about magic, manipulation, and family.

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Posted Tuesday, 23 June, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Spotlight, Bookish Memes, Fantasy Fiction, Top Ten Tuesday, YA Fantasy