Category: LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction

Conversations with the Bookish | conversing with Heather Rose Jones about her series Alpennia whilst featuring her newest release “Floodtide” during #FFFeb!

Posted Saturday, 29 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I admit – this interview was meant to be shared on Jorie Loves A Story quite a long while ago – between my illnesses in December & February, and the hard start I had to [2020] in January – I have somehow managed to delay the showcase I was thankful to have put together for #Floodtide on behalf of a series I was blessed to have discovered via the twitterverse in [2019]. I cannot apologise enough to the author, Heather Rose Jones for consistently being unable to run this feature and for pushing my spotlight & interview on her series further afield from the time-frame she intended her promotions to run in the book blogosphere.

What first drew my eye towards this series was the author found me on Twitter! From there, I started to do some digging on her website, rooted round and found out more about her Alpennia series and decided it was something I’d readily enjoy reading. Therefore, in October of 2019 I started to put this together – however, that was also right in the middle of my Autumnal health afflictions (as I had issues with my migraines in September & November; whilst I took ill during the months of October & December) and sadly, that is at the heart of why this featured interview and series showcase was getting rescheduled quite consistently!

I have been a ready fan of Historical Fantasy series for quite a long while now – however, most recently I am quite sure my readers might remember my listenings to Richard Storry’s series the Ruritanian Rogues series – a series I am still listening to now, as I had to take a few breaks from my listenings of the series which included an issue with my ears during my last cold virus this February. The reason I broach this series is because the world within Alpennia is also described as being “Ruritanian” which I felt was quite kismet; having previously becoming intrigued by Storry’s version of this kind of world-building.

More curious is the fact Ms Jones recently featured Edale Lane on her blog wherein Ms Lane discusses her world-building through her research for the #NightFlyerTrilogy; which similar to the world of Alpennia is also feminist driven Historical Fantasy! This was an interesting coincidence as I recently reviewed the first novel in the series “Merchants of Milan” and hosted a special vlog interview with Ms Lane! It truly never surprises me about how bookish connections online have the tendency of keeping me ruminatively surprised by how close the book world truly is and how interconnected we all are with each other! The other connection of course, is how Ms Lane & Ms Jones have both writ series which are rooted in f/f character arcs and befit the reading concentration this February for those sharing their sapphic reads this #FFFEbruary | #FFFeb.

I have always been keen on reading Feminist driven Literature – even though I have read and sought out more of this niche of stories as a book blogger, there was an interest to find more of them prior to becoming a book blogger. As I decided to redirect the focus of @SatBookChat to be more inclusive of Feminist Lit this year whilst honouring our past focusing on Romance & Women’s Fiction – this particular series is a great compass point of the kinds of Speculative Fiction and series I am seeking as I move forward as a book blogger and as a chat hostess. I love finding uniquely spun stories which have a world unlike others and which have a unique presence of self within their own world-building.

As I was reading about Alpennia as a whole it isn’t any easy world to pin down as the series itself is quite all-encompassing. I normally would seek out to read the first books in a series but the more I learnt of this series through this conversation with Ms Jones, the more I felt comfortable that perhaps “Floodtide” would be a good fit for me as a reader to embrace the larger world in which this story is set. I am going to be requesting this book as a purchase request at my local library and I am hopeful it might get accepted and arrive in time for Wyrd and Wonder this May, 2020 – the Fantasy event I co-host every year with Imyril and Lisa (@WyrdAndWonder).

For now, the honour is mine to share an up close and personal view into Alpennia as we tuck closer to what inspires the series and how Ms Jones has crafted it. I am grateful our paths crossed in the twitterverse as this is one of my favourite routes of connecting to authors and of being able to discover new Indie Authors and voices within Speculative Fiction and the other genres I regularly seek out to read!

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Without further adieu :

brew your favourite cuppa & enjoy the convo!

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Conversations with the Bookish | conversing with Heather Rose Jones about her series Alpennia whilst featuring her newest release “Floodtide” during #FFFeb!Floodtide
by Heather Rose Jones
Source: Direct from Publisher

The streets are a perilous place for a young laundry maid dismissed without a character for indecent acts. Roz knew the end of the path for a country girl alone in the city of Rotenek. A desperate escape in the night brings her to the doorstep of Dominique the dressmaker and the hope of a second chance beyond what she could have imagined. Roz’s apprenticeship with the needle, under the patronage of the royal thaumaturgist, wasn’t supposed to include learning magic, but Celeste, the dressmaker’s daughter, draws Roz into the mysterious world of the charm-wives. When floodwaters and fever sweep through the lower city, Celeste’s magical charms could bring hope and healing to the forgotten poor of Rotenek, but only if Roz can claim the help of some unlikely allies.

Set in the magical early 19th century world of Alpennia, Floodtide tells an independent tale that interweaves with the adventures. A stand-alone book in the Alpennia series (Alpennia #4)

Genres: Historical-Fantasy, LGBTQIA Fiction


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781642470468

Published by Bella Books

on 15th November, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

“In the first quarter of the 19th century, Alpennia, like the rest of Europe, has seen the rise and fall of the French Empire under Napoleon and is struggling to find their place in the aftermath. The greatest Alpennian asset in that struggle is their strong tradition of thaumaturgy, calling on the Mysteries of the Saints to answer the challenge of more powerful neighbors. At first, Margerit Sovitre has little thought for nations and politics. Her interest in mystical studies is entirely personal. But as the Alpennian stories progress, Margerit and her circle of friends will be drawn ever deeper into intrigues at the highest levels, and they will learn that the ancient rituals that protect Alpennia are only one face of the magical forces at work.”

Published by: Bella Books (@bellabooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #Floodtide, #FFFebruary or #FFFeb

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Posted Saturday, 29 February, 2020 by jorielov in 19th Century, Author Interview, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction

#HistoricalMondays Book Review | “Merchant’s of Milan” (Book One: The Night Flyer Trilogy) by Edale Lane

Posted Monday, 24 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: When I first started book blogging in [2013] one of my first touring companies to work with was Tomorrow Comes Media who worked in conjunction with Seventh Star Press (an Indie publisher of Speculative Fiction) whilst featuring other Indie and/or Self Published authors. I am a regular blog tour hostess with Tomorrow Comes Media and enjoy getting to read a wide range of Speculative Fiction across Science Fiction, Fantasy and Cosy Horror genres of interest. Sometimes the stories are genre-benders and/or they’re embracing the beauty of #SpecLit to such a degree they are their own unique niche in the larger expanse of the genre itself. 2020 marks my seventh year hosting for Tomorrow Comes Media and Seventh Star Press respectively.

I received a complimentary copy of “Merchants of Milan” direct from the author Edale Lane in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Ahead of reading the novel – a note of acknowledgement:

I could definitely relate to the ode of gratitude and serendipity of being raised by a Mum would infused a love of stories, art, music, cultural history and agency into the life of a daughter. My family celebrated art and music instilling within me a wonderment of joy and a deep appreciation for remaining curious and engaged with the pursuit of self-learning the world round me. As a book blogger a lot of the years I lived outside this online space were similar to the ones I share a small window of insight about – drawing closer to topics & subjects which interest me, challenging myself to push through the cosier stories I read regularly to read outside my comfort zones and to remain firmly open to how stories have a way of finding us.

I loved the note Lane shared with us, her readers, because it was one which matches my own appreciation for my family and for my Mum, who as she lamented herself about hers – was my first teacher as well. Mum had a way of teaching me my school teachers never could; mostly as she had a healthy interest herself in the process of learning and in understanding how to each each child in a way that allows what is being taught to capture their interest; rather than letting education fall flat and remain droll. I was also raised in a healthy environment of dissecting topics, subjects and interests – to root round a conversation and re-examine it from different perspectives & angles; openly discussing everything and remaining curious about the things I hadn’t yet had the joy of learning.

In essence, those of us who are taught how to be seekers of knowledge at a young age never fully ‘let go’ of that curious itch to know more – to see further and to explore what captures our imaginations. For that, I could relate most readily. Secondly, I had a healthy appreciation and respect for da Vinci as a teenager who was studying art and art history for the first time. I took those concentrations further than my classmates – they only tipped the scale of his legacy on the superficial surface of his life whereas I wanted to see further and contemplated the Mona Lisa for my mid-term essay project. I apparently surprised my art teacher of whom for reasons I cannot acknowledge wasn’t even sure how to grade the paper as I presented a theory she hadn’t heard of previously.

Which brings me back round to my joy of reading this Author’s Note – sometimes the people who encourage us the most are the people who know us best. They understand how our mind works and how we like to noodle out theories of insight as they are the best at knowing exactly how to challenge us to step away from the status quo and to live with a passion for learning. To question everything and to pursue our own understandings of the routes our curiosity takes us to explore. It was such a wonderful note to read and I was thankful it was included at the start of the novel.

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#HistoricalMondays Book Review | “Merchant’s of Milan” (Book One: The Night Flyer Trilogy) by Edale LaneMerchants of Milan
Subtitle: Book 1 of The Night Flyer Trilogy
by Edale Lane
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Enggar Adirasa
Source: Author via Tomorrow Comes Media

Three powerful merchants, two independent women in love, one masked vigilante.

Florentina, set on revenge for her father’s murder, creates an alter-ego known as the Night Flyer. Madelena, whose husband was also murdered, hires Florentina as a tutor for her children and love blossoms between them. However, Florentina’s vendetta is fraught with danger, and surprising developments threaten both women’s lives.

Merchants of Milan is the first book in Edale Lane’s Night Flyer Trilogy, a tale of power, passion, and payback in Renaissance Italy. If you like gadgets and gismos, rich historical background, three-dimensional characters, and fast-paced action with a slow-boil lesbian romance, then you are sure to love this series. Buy this one of a kind novel today and let the adventure begin!

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Historical-Fantasy, LGBTQIA Fiction


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1654780197

Also by this author: (Video) Interview feat. Edale Lane (Merchants of Milan), Secrets of Milan (Guest Post by Author), Secrets of Milan, Secrets of Milan

Also in this series: Secrets of Milan


Published by Past & Prologue Press

on 5th January, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 237

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Published by: Past & Prologue Press

Available Formats: Softcover and Ebook

This is the first novel of The Night Flyer Trilogy!

Converse on Twitter: #NightFlyerTrilogy, #SapphicFiction

as well as #HistoricalFantasy & #SpeculativeFiction

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About Edale Lane

Edale Lane

Edale Lane is the author of an award winning 2019 debut novel, Heart of Sherwood. She is the alter-ego of author Melodie Romeo, (Vlad a Novel, Terror in Time, and others) who founded Past and Prologue Press. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication in regard to research. She is a successful author who also currently drives a tractor-trailer across the United States. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Edale (or Melodie as the case may be) is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature.

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Posted Monday, 24 February, 2020 by jorielov in 16th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Clockmakers & Watchmakers, Clockwork & Mechanisations, Content Note, Fantasy Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Tomorrow Comes Media, Vulgarity in Literature

Blog Book Tour | “Salt the Snow” by Carrie Callaghan

Posted Sunday, 2 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

I received a complimentary of “Salt the Snow” direct from the author Carrie Callaghan in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read “Salt the Snow”:

Rather uniquely, I cannot readily remember the EXACT moment & reason I wanted to read this novel; except to say, it felt like the kind of Historical narrative I was seeking for the New Year. The first to kick-off my new pursuit of Feminist Historical Fiction and the first entry towards securing more Biographical Historical Fiction into my everyday pursuit of the historic past; in essence, I was DRAWN towards “Salt the Snow” – reading it felt like the natural endgame for me after being smitten by the premise!

There is a curious quotation by Milly Bennett ahead of Chapter One which I felt implored a few notations about: as it struck to ask you, if you had your druthers would you OR would you not have been tempted to arrive inside your life a century prior to your actual birth!? The plausibilities of a response are all-encompassing depending on your own perspective of the theory it produces – however for me, it would be a better question to ask “if you could travel within the scope of known history & the time it which we have lived in those years – would you travel outside your own lifetime?”

And, that leads me into my pursuit of Historical Fiction as a genre interest & as a pursuit of literature devouted to the past & to the explorations of those who not only lived *but!* could have lived if they are completely fictional & byproduct of the author’s imagination. For those stories give us a cursory window into life as it could have been & the trajectory of where life is still progressing towards becoming. All of life is an experiment in learning – of growth through experience and the compassionate ways in which we interconnect with not just our own humanity but the collective conscience which threads our humanity. If we read the past, we are better insulated for the future but all of history cannot always prepare of us for the present.

This particular novel simply stood out to me to be read and I found that it was the first novel of 2020 I could lay my thoughts inside after a jarring beginning to a New Year whose first few weeks were rather crushing to the spirits of a girl who tries to focus on the positives & now feel weighed down by the negatives. My soul still is remorse & in grief for the Australian bush wildlife & the people who were in jeopardy of losing their own lives – either by the fires or the humbled attempts to save the wildlife who called those areas their home.

My gratitude to Ms Callaghan for giving me a hearty story to chew on & find myself entreating into her novel with a renewal of joy for finding her story.

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Blog Book Tour | “Salt the Snow” by Carrie CallaghanSalt the Snow
by Carrie Callaghan
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

American journalist Milly Bennett has covered murders in San Francisco, fires in Hawaii, and a civil war in China, but 1930s Moscow presents her greatest challenge yet. When her young Russian husband is suddenly arrested by the secret police, Milly tries to get him released. But his arrest reveals both painful secrets about her marriage and hard truths about the Soviet state she has been working to serve. Disillusioned and pulled toward the front lines of a captivating new conflict, Milly must find a way to do the right thing for her husband, her conscience, and her heart. Salt the Snow is a vivid and impeccably researched tale of a woman ahead of her time, searching for her true calling in life and love.

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Time Slip and/or Time Shift


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781948705646

Published by Amberjack Publishing, Chicago Review Press

on 4th February, 2020

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 304

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Published by: Amberjack Publishing (@amberjackpub)
an imprint of Chicago Review Press (@ChiReviewPress)

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov
+ #SaltTheSnow and #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Carrie Callaghan

Carrie Callaghan is a writer living in Maryland with her spouse, two young children, and two ridiculous cats. Her short fiction has appeared in Weave Magazine, The MacGuffin, Silk Road, Floodwall, and elsewhere. Carrie is also an editor and contributor with the Washington Independent Review of Books. She has a Master’s of Arts in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Posted Sunday, 2 February, 2020 by jorielov in 20th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, History, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Russia, Russian Literature, the Thirties

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder as #JorieReads | Book Review of “The Sun and Moon Beneath the Stars” by K. Parr

Posted Tuesday, 28 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Earlier this Spring, I participated in an event uniting book bloggers and Indie Authors called #ReviewPit. One of the authors I discovered during this event was K. Parr – her s/o about the novel on Twitter was most enticing (see also tweet) but it was the premise which captured me the most – this was another LGBTQ+ selection and published by NineStar Press (the publisher who published “Adrift” by Isabelle Adler) wherein I had a lovely convo with the author before I accepted this novel for review consideration. Since the author and I both lost some hours and months between #reviewpit and #wyrdandwonder – I nearly felt my migraines might have wrecked my chance to share my review during the event. Blessedly this was not the case but I did have to postpone the guest feature I wanted to run concurrently to the review itself.

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

I received a complimentary copy of “The Sun and Moon Beneath the Stars” direct from the author K. Parr in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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

The joy of another LGBTQ+ story during #ReviewPit:

When I first learnt of the #bookishTwitter event #ReviewPit, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect – I keep a watchful eye on twitterverse events where writers are seeking betareaders or where authors are seeking publication (ie. #PitchWars, etc) as I generally find #newtomeauthors this way and I do like to champion the writers who are on their path towards becoming published as this is something I can personally relate to as I’m a writer whose currently moonlighting as a book blogger and joyful tweeter! It is lovely to reach out into the Indie community on Twitter and continue to seek out the stories I desire to be reading. Ever since I first started blogging here at Jorie Loves A Story, I’ve had an eye out for Indie Press, Publishers and the writers who are seeking alternative publication – either through the Indie side of publishing directly through established publishers and press; or through Small Trade publishers or taking the full-Indie route into Self-Publishing or Hybrid publishing options.

This is what made #ReviewPit such a keen event for me – I decided to just jump into it and see what I would find. It is run similar to other events where you get a pitch about a story and you are given a clue of a nod towards its genre of interest. I quite literally had such a wicked joy just scrolling through all the lovelies being offered, I wasn’t entirely sure how many would be available to receive as print editions for review but I decided to give myself the chance to just seek out the authors first and request which ones were available lateron.

The Sun and Moon Beneath the Stars appealled to me on different levels of interest as I was curious about how the f/f romance would play out in a Dark Fantasy world. Whilst at the same time, I do like Fantasy stories which involve a quest combined with a coming-of age plotting. I was curious to see what I would find inside the novel and if this would become a story I would love reading.

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

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder as #JorieReads | Book Review of “The Sun and Moon Beneath the Stars” by K.  ParrThe Sun and Moon Beneath the Stars
by K. Parr
Source: #ReviewPit Author, Direct from Author

After being orphaned and forced to work as a palace slave, fifteen-year-old Rasha decides to end her life, but when she plunges a knife into her chest, she doesn’t die. Instead, a strange, icy power possesses her. The last time it took over, someone got hurt, and Rasha can’t let that happen again.

But she’s got bigger problems. Her twin brother is alive, yet held captive by Solaris, a powerful sorcerer. When Rasha runs into Adriana, the selfish princess she once served, they discover Solaris is a common enemy since he destroyed the palace and kidnapped Adriana’s parents.

Together, Rasha and Adriana set out on a rescue mission. Personalities clash and tempers flare, but other feelings surface as well, feelings neither girl could have predicted. And with the help of a ragtag group of companions, they might just be able to succeed on their quest…until an ancient evil emerges to wreak vengeance on their world.

Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Historical-Fantasy, Upper YA Fiction, YA Fantasy


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1950412327

Published by NineStar Press

on 4th March, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 351

Published by: NineStar Press (@ninestarpress)

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #LGBTQ + #DarkFantasy and #NineStarPress

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

About K. Parr

K. Parr

K is a writer of multiple genres, including Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, and Humor, all of which star LGBT characters. She received her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in 2017.

In her spare time, K reads and writes fanfiction, keeps up with way too many TV shows, and dances wildly in her apartment. She currently works as a teen librarian in Rhode Island.

Photo Credit: Samantha Barney, 2018

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Tuesday, 28 May, 2019 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Heroic Fantasy, Indie Author, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Mythological Societies, Self-Published Author, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Sword & Scorcery, YA Fantasy