Category: #JorieLovesIndies

Blog Book Tour | “Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy” an #anthology of #Fantasy stories by R.J. Sullivan!

Posted Saturday, 3 October, 2015 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a stop on the “Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy” blog 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, however, when I reviewed “Virtual Blue” my path originally crossed with Mr Sullivan’s. We’ve kept in touch and he asked if I would be keen on being involved in his blog tour for “Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy” to which I was happy to respond positively with a ‘yes’! As I have been wanting to expand my readings of his collective works past ‘Virtual Blue’.

I received a complimentary copy of “Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy” 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.

Why I wanted to read …Chance of Whimsy:

Part of me half-smirked when I realised how similar in name this title was to “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” as although not the demographic who would normally find herself inclined to see the film (as it’s that brand of anime that tends to grate on my last nerve rather than humours me) – I must contend, the airing I caught on cable left me pensive and laughing. It had more heart than I shrugged off being possible and it had a nice heaping of cheeky humour to keep me entertained.

Titling aside, I’ve been keeping an eye on Mr Sullivan’s writings for awhile now, as I previously explored his darker side of knitting inside an Urban Fantasy quite the dark fate circling around a character within the pages of Virtual Blue! One of his characters I enjoyed getting to meet through that novel was Rebecca Burton, of whom is featured in two of the shorts within this collection: Inner Strength & Backstage Pass.

I positively adore reading anthologies for Science Fiction & Fantasy, in fact, I tend to get quite giddy about finding them! I’ve been focusing on the Indie Press side of the ledger for the past two years, as I’ve happily devoured titles by Seventh Star Press (by which this title is published!), World Weaver Press and Xchyler Publishing. I have an exciting anthology I am going to be reading for this years upcoming Sci Fi November + the Sci-Fi Experience (December-January) where I will be exploring Space Opera; a section of SF I haven’t been reading nearly as much as I should in the recent past! (mentioned on No.7!)

What appealed to me about Sullivan’s current anthology is how it’s a curated collection spanning a decade of characters, life experiences (as you know those are always at the back of a writer’s mind as they write their stories!), and stories evolving out of where Sullivan was in his writerly pursuits per each story included inside. My curiosity for continuing to read his stories hasn’t faltered, as I was waiting for a moment where his stories would re-tempt me to read his new works (or his past works; truly nothing is ever truly ‘old’ if it’s new to the reader!) as I knew the basis of Virtual Blue was going to be a bit trickier to follow as it’s such a soul-gutting story-line for me to consume.

The fact he put ‘whimsy’ and ‘darkness’ together in a title won me over but it’s his dedication to share his journey with his readers which endeared me the most.

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Blog Book Tour | “Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy” an #anthology of #Fantasy stories by R.J. Sullivan!Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy
Subtitle: Ten Years, Ten Stories
by R.J. Sullivan
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Enggar Adirasa
Source: Publisher via Tomorrow Comes Media

Collected for the first time since their initial publications, Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy presents ten tales from the imagination of R.J. Sullivan. Thrills and chills await you, but you may also get blindsided by the absurd. This volume includes a pair of stories featuring Rebecca Burton, the mysterious investigator of R.J.’s acclaimed paranormal thriller series. Among the ten stories, you’ll find:

“The Assurance Salesman” shows five strangers more about themselves than they ever guessed.

You don’t want to venture into Daddy’s basement in “Fade.”

Rebecca Burton tries to talk someone out of a bad idea in “Backstage Pass.”

A bullied police detective finally defeats his rival in “Able-Bodied.”

A desperate father finds the “Inner Strength” to save his young daughter, “Becky” Burton.

A child seeds his aquarium with a most unusual “Starter Kit.”

A brilliant robotics engineer creates a “Robot Vampire.”

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Also by this author: Virtual Blue, Author Interview (Red Lotus, Vol.1), Commanding the Red Lotus, Gifts of the Magi

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Fantasy Fiction, Genre-bender, Short Story or Novella, Suspense, Urban Fantasy

Published by Seventh Star Press

on 16th of June 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 200

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published By: Seventh Star Press (@7thStarPress)
Available Formats: Softcover, E-book

Converse via: #DarknessWithAChanceOfWhimsy & #7thStar

About R.J. Sullivan

R.J. Sullivan with his characters

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

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

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Posted Saturday, 3 October, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Coming-Of Age, Cosy Horror, Crime Fiction, Earthen Magic, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Parapsychological Gifts, Tomorrow Comes Media, Urban Fantasy, Vulgarity in Literature

Blog Book Tour | “Inspector Dewey” by Kristen Heimerl and illustrated by Irene Bofill A cosy #mystery for #catlovers!

Posted Friday, 2 October, 2015 by jorielov , , , 4 Comments

Illustrated Stories Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for “Inspector Dewey” hosted by iRead Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the author Kristen Heimerl in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Beautiful extras arrived with my ARC:

I wish I had thought to take a photograph of the extras which were included with this lovely ARC copy of Inspector Dewey! The author truly made it a special treat to become a part of her publicity campaign via this lovely blog tour! The other bloggers I noticed have mentioned the lovely surprises on their posts, too, and even one tweeted about them! I wanted to simply give an extra note of gratitude to Ms Heimerl for coming up with not only clever little ‘extras’ to tuck inside a review copy’s envelope, but to put a lot of thought into what a book blogger and reader might enjoy as a surprise gift!

Even the attention to detail in gift wrapping the ARC in yellow tissue, sealed inside a plastic bag with a delicate silvery white bow and placed in a non-bendable mailing envelope was top notch! Placing the Inspector Dewey promotional sticker and artwork on the mailer was something that winked out a smile when I caught sight of it in my postbox yet it was the amount of time she took to make this a special memory for each of us that touched me the most. Well done!

Blog Book Tour | “Inspector Dewey” by Kristen Heimerl and illustrated by Irene Bofill A cosy #mystery for #catlovers!Inspector Dewey
by Kristen Heimerl
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Irene Bofill
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

My name is Dewey--Inspector Dewey.

I live in the big green house on Hampshire Avenue with my family: Thumper, Lily, and Anna. I am the Big Cat—responsible for keeping everyone safe and in order. I do this quite well, in spite of the fact that managing my family is like, well, herding cats!

Mostly our life is peaceful. But one night it wasn’t. That was the night the bad guy showed up on our block. Of course, I knew exactly how to outsmart the outlaw, but—miserable mullet!—would Anna and the police understand my instructions?

To find out how the adventure ended, you’ll have to read my book. But I’ll give you a hint: there’s a reason I’m called Inspector Dewey.

Fifty percent of the profits from the sale of this book will fund veterinary care for pets whose families are in financial need, so that the animals can remain in their homes and out of the shelter system.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781939710277

Genres: Artistic Adaptations &/or Picture Books, Children's Literature, Cosy Mystery, Illustrated Stories

Published by Orange Frazer Press

on 1st September 2015

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 32

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Available Formats: Hardback

Converse via: #InspectorDewey

About Kristen Heimerl

Kristen Heimerl

Marketing Officer, Strategy Expert, Innovator and Brand Builder, Kristen’s business career spans 20+ years serving the biggest brands in industry and the biggest hearts of start-ups and entrepreneurs. Kristen revels in bringing compelling products and services to life and helping leaders and individuals with big dreams realize their big goals.

Kristen’s life joys include her 2+ year obsession creating the most beautiful self-published picture book possible, the breathtaking forests and lakes of her Minnesota birthplace, the family that really does love her no matter what, and her three magnificent Norwegian Forest Cats who together, with Kristen, helped catch the bad guy on their block that inspired her upcoming book (stake out and high speed chase included!)

She holds a master of science in eCommerce from Carnegie Mellon University, an MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, and a BA from the University of St. Thomas. As the great transformer in her life, Kristen supports others’ education and literacy as an adjunct professor of business and strategy and, more recently, through her children’s book, Inspector Dewey (Available September 2015).

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Posted Friday, 2 October, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Cats and Kittens, Children's Literature, Cosy Mystery, Debut Author, Illustrations for Stories, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Modern Day, Picture Book

Blog Book Tour | “Bearskin” by Jamie Robyn Wood

Posted Tuesday, 22 September, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “Bearskin” direct from the publisher Sweetwater Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fairy-tale Re-tellings are my new ‘niche’ of interest:

When the author first approached me about hosting her debut novel on it’s blog tour, I was in the midst of sorting out how to resolve my lightning damages and switchover to a new ISP provider who could stablise my issues with connectivity. Lightning proved to be a humdinger of a nightmare this past Summer, and losing my ability to read whilst I blog was one of the losses I sustained whilst mother nature proved her salt and power. Blessedly Ms Wood did contact me, as I hadn’t known too much about Bearskin prior to when she contacted me – I was aware of it coming up on the calendar for Cedar Fort’s blog tours, as I like to stay ahead of what is coming down the pipe, but as far as what it involved and what the story might be based upon, I was a bit in the dark!

She mentioned to me it was based on two separate fairy-tales “Bearskin” and “East of the Sun and West of the Moon”, which intrigued me outright – as I have sorted out that ‘fairy-tale re-tellings’ is fast becoming a new ‘niche’ of interest of mine! It is credited to the writers behind Sweetwater Books whose stories have captured my imagination and inspired me forward to seek out other re-tellings based on fairy-tale lore.

I did a bit of research to uncover BEARSKIN was writ by the Brothers Grimm and East of the Sun and West of the Moon was included in The Blue Fairy Book – one of the collections of tales which tipped a curious hat for me to include on my neverending ‘need to read’ lists! To combine origins of lore from both Germany and Norway respectively is quite the feat to undertake, and rather than expand my readings about the particulars of both fairy-tales, I decided knowing their origins was enough to whet my appetite ahead of reading Wood’s spin on them!

Due to her inspiring first contact, I decided to mark myself down for this blog tour, however, I was already on a short break from signing up for new blog tours as I was slowly falling behind on my CF hosting duties – the lighting and the time offline was not working in my favour!

This is why this week is going to be heavily focused on Cedar Fort’s releases, as I’m using the last day of the tour for BEARSKIN as a jumping stone towards becoming current! Coming up next will be Ann Farnsworth’s The Throne of David followed by Summer Campaign by Carla Kelly on Saturday, with two reviews on Sunday being featured: The Tulip Resistance by Lynne Leatham Allen and The Haunting of Springett Hall by E.B. Wheeler! The latter of which will kick-off my participation in PERIL where we (book bloggers) focus on tales of Mystery, Suspense, and Horror! For me, this includes ghost stories and psychological suspense such as the kind Wheeler writes!

In regards to fairy-tales, what appeals to me is how contemporary writers are re-envisioning the tales in such a creative way as to help us dip back into their folds without the Brothers Grimm versions leaving us in a fit of nightmares! I’ve not yet read any of the originals, as I previously learnt the fairy-tale versions I grew-up on myself were watered down and were not even a hint of their forebearers! I apparently appreciate a gentler side to fiction, especially when it comes to fairy-tales and the fantasy worlds just past our own imaginative realms!

Notation on the Cover Art Design:

What truly hits you as you pick up the book for the first time is the closeness of the bear and the vivid emotional state of the person underneath the cloaked hood. The entire image is quite evoking – even the title makes you ponder the truer meaning behind the word and if by chance, the bear and the bear’s essence can be transmorphed somehow onto another entity that is not Ursidae in nature. Part of my early inklings of thought were to wonder if this was part shapeshifter or part animal spirit guides – something that would interconnect the lead characters with the bear. I accidentally had a spoiler revealed to me whilst googling ‘shapeshifting’ and reading a brief portion of this article! Although it didn’t spoilt the story – if anything, my fantasy instincts are starting to kick-in again! Besides I’m the one who loves a shifter named Bannon from the Leland Dragons series!

Blog Book Tour | “Bearskin” by Jamie Robyn WoodBearskin
by Jamie Robyn Wood
Source: Direct from Publisher

When their mother, an evil enchantress, tries to convince Conrad, Moiria, and Heppson to follow her ways, each one must decide where the line lies between good and evil, magic and myth. But it will take more than good intentions to defend their kingdom against the danger that's coming.

Based on the Bearskin fairy-tale, this young adult fantasy is filled with intricate plot twists and an impossible romance that will keep you guessing.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781462117161

Genres: Fairy-Tale Re-Telling, Fantasy Fiction, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Published by Sweetwater Books

on 8th September 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 288

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published By: Sweetwater Books (@SweetwaterBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

About Jamie Robyn Wood

Jamie Robyn Wood

Jamie Robyn Wood is a full-time wife and mother and a part-time fantasy writer and essayist. Jamie never imagined the wind could blow so hard and so cold until she moved to the Midwest. Now she prefers to hunker inside the house with a cup of hot chocolate and a story to write. Bearskin is her first novel. She, her husband, their five children, and their “pet” squirrels currently reside in Coralville, Iowa.

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I am positively smitten by ‘shifters’:

I was completely unaware of my attraction to shapeshifters until I met Bannon in Jackie Gamber’s YA Fantasy series the Leland Dragons (of which I have happily blogged about quite a heap!) and then, happily I found myself empathic to the shifter in AshleyRose Sullivan’s alternative historical PNR Silver Tongue except to say, I hadn’t had the pleasure of flushing out my appreciation of the diversity of characters within Silver Tongue at the time of my review. I was under a time constraint for personal and tech reasons, so I truly wanted to blog as much as I could about the heart of the novel saving the best bits to share during Sci Fi November + the Sci Fi Experience this upcoming November through January.

The entire idea behind shapeshifters was not completely foreign to me in concept because I grew up watching DS9 where Odo regularly made an appearance and was one of my favourites to watch on the series. It wasn’t until Bannon that I fully understand the soul behind the shifters and of their struggle to merge between worlds of who they are: part human, part ‘something’ other than human. It’s an interesting psychological angle to encourage in the crafting of stories, especially in Fantasy because it undercuts the humanistic side of the character’s spirit.

I haven’t yet read the collection of Harry Potter novels, but Harry’s Uncle is quite dear to me and I credit his character (via the motion pictures) as being part of my inclination towards seeking out more shifters in literature whilst full credit still remains with #EuphorYA (where I discovered ‘werecats’; as tweeted about). Although if you run a search for my chattering on Twitter you will find this hodgepodge collection of tweeting; even if I made a small bit of a mistake in which raptor species Bannon truly is! Oy vie!

And, I cannot end a discussion about shifters without drawing attention to a wonderful shifter inside EDC Johnson’s PNR debut Moonflower, a novel I dearly want to re-read prior to the second novel’s release! I definitely wanted to spend more time inside her world and properly take up residence for a spell! The note she wrote to me on her website is very dear to my heart, as each time I meet a book which leaves me spellbound, the review which is featured on my blog becomes a note of gratitude back to the author!

Not surprisingly, all my shifter favourites are within the YA Lit side of reading!

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

Posted Tuesday, 22 September, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, After the Canon, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bears, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Historical Fiction, Illustration for Books & Publishing, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Inspired by Stories, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Re-Told Tales, Shapeshifters, Spirituality & Metaphysics, YA Fantasy