Category: Speculative Fiction

An #HistoricalMondays Author Interview | a wicked awesomesauce convo I shared with Edale Lane (by phone!) wherein I interviewed her about the #behindthebook secrets of writing the “Secrets of Milan”!

Posted Monday, 6 July, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva. Updated version July 2020.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

You could say this has become tradition,…

I am anchouring the delightful #vlog interview I shared with Edale Lane with this lovely after I’ve read the book conversation for Secrets of Milan. I love having the chance to interview authors – either on Jorie Loves A Story directly and/or through my bimonthly (or sometimes weekly bookish chat @SatBookChat). It allows me to delve #behindthebook, seek out the author’s writerly style, voice and inspiration for writing said book whilst at the same time – peering into their writerly process and to better understand who they are as writers.

It isn’t oft I get to read a book in full ahead of sorting out the questions I want to ask the author – as generally speaking, for the life of my blog (til this point) for the past seven years, most of the conversations have been developed whilst doing research online into the writer’s collective works, their previous interviews and a few readerly reviews where book bloggers and/or reviewers have writ such an informatively insightful recollection of their readerly experiences I’ve been able to craft a conversation out of the research I’ve invested into that author. Other times, such as today – I’ve had the chance to develop a conversation to reflect my readerly ruminations on behalf of a book I’ve read – getting to hug closer to my own views I’ve shared in a book review and seeking to expound upon those views as I delve deeper into the back-story of how a story was first written, conceived or continued if it is part of a series such as the Night Flyer trilogy I’m featuring today with Edale Lane.

This is a second featured post during the blog tour hosted by the lovely Tomorrow Comes Media – who is a blog touring company I’ve been blessed to have worked with collaborating to host book reviews, interviews, guest posts and special non-conventional content for book bloggers such as when I interviewed two lead actors in a pilot film for a pitch for television and two vlog style interviews featuring both E. Chris Garrison (ie. Ms Chris) and Edale Lane.

There have been a few occasions in the past history of Jorie Loves A Story wherein I’ve had the pleasure of joy of interviewing an author by telephone but only a few of those made it through the editing rounds to reach my readership. One in particular I’m hoping to bring to my readers during #MyYASummer which was just recently announced as the conversation and the hard copy notes for the interview were lost until Spring 2020. Thereby, this is a special day to celebrate the joyful connections we can make as readers and authors as we celebrate being bookish in the book blogsophere.

Prior to book blogging, I also participated in phone-in interviews with authors via a now defunct programme which paired us with published authors on group calls wherein we could take turns asking questions of the authors and responding in real-time. A few of those transcripts also made it to Jorie Loves A Story as the conversations continued during my first year as a book blogger before they were shortly discontinued thereafter. It is a wonderful moment to have a real-time conversation with an author and I am blessed each time an author lets me interact with them on the phone and/or agrees to a bookish discussion during #SatBookChat as it is a virtual meeting space where readers and writers unite together to discuss a mutual passion for the crafting of stories.

Today marks a bit a of a tradition where I have read an installment of the Night Flyer trilogy and I am now able to discuss my ruminative findings of the story with the author Edale Lane. I hope as you tuck into our conversation you might consider giving this Historical Fantasy series a bit of a go in your own readerly pursuits as we’ve highlighted a lot of the key discussion points of both “Secrets of Milan” and the series overall. One aspect of the conversation I strived to shield my readers away from were *spoilers!* and those sections were omitted but happily disclosed and discussed privately between myself and Ms Lane. (big smiles)

As always – be sure to grab your favourite cuppa

and ENJOY where this conversation leads you!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

At the heart of this series is family – both the ones you create for yourself and the one you are bourne into which is what makes it such a compelling drama. Especially if you take into account the lengths Florentina has always gone to ensure the sanctity of honour for hers and the protective armour she tries to envelope over Maddie and her children. Yet there is a third carefully considerate character emerging in the background of their lives which is Maddie’s brother Alessandro who is just as observant as Florentina and has keen insight into their lives from an outisde perspective. He seemed to be the kind of brother who you’d want in your corner – kind, supportive and willing to let you live your life without interference or commentary.

Ah, yes, what can be said about the arch nemesis of the Night Flyer, Don Benetto Viscardi? He is truly a man whose torn himself between the choice of revenge (for his destruction in both status and in business) and of choosing to take the harder road towards redemption. He’s a man in conflict with not just himself but with life – how he chooses to deal with his disruptions in life would put anyone at ill ease because he doesn’t own the mistakes he’s made nor does he find any ill will towards placing blame onto others for actions he’s guilty of himself. In may regards, Viscardi is both the most intriguing character of the trilogy and the most vexing; he’s definitely a morally gray character but one who has given Lane the chance to present to the reader in a way that humbly speaks to the choices everyone has within them: do you revert back to your old ways of living after you’ve been interrupted in your vile plans or do you take heed of unwanted advice and choose an alternative path?

This is what intrigued me as I read his sections of the novel – I hadn’t wanted to be invested in his character’s path but there was something about how Lane wrote his sequences in this installment which implores you to hug close to his scenes and to root out what Viscardi chooses to do. Although at the same time, it was his family you grieve for the most – they had to put up with him vacillating in his ruminative state of uncertainty and in regard to his son, Niccolo I felt he was most unfair in how he handled disclosing the current state of their affairs. Children need to know they have security in life – even if you’ve lost your wealth and your way of living, children like the reassurance that they can trust their parents to figure a way forward if nothing else. Niccolo unfortunately was coming back to his family at a state of chaos as his father was not yet ready to step up to be the father he felt he had always been.

Part of the mystery within the folds of this story were also relating back to da Vinci – especially in regards to a particular horse he was commissioned to create for a certain Duke. What made this bit intriguing is how the back-history of this commission was even more interesting than how the horse itself was being used as a clue (at least for me) because of the tragedy of it really – how the Duke wasn’t able to have the horse he truly wanted despite the hard work da Vinci had put into creating it. It felt like such a hard ending to a project da Vinci had devouted himself to doing right – which of course speaks volumes about other characters in this series as well. How sometimes you are aligned on a certain path but suddenly find the trajectory you felt you’d take had to alter course?

I love how grounded this series is in how it is told through a philosophical, metaphysical and spiritual background of intuitive knowledge and observation. Lane happily inserts bits of her own research and her own keen insight into the Renaissance in nearly every chapter wherein a bit of back history or a murmuring of realistic foundation is necessary to carry-on the plot to re-anchour the era in the minds of her readers. I’ve been enjoying the disclosures but also how she’s set the pace of the trilogy – to first and foremost focus on the slow burning romance between her heroine and her lover (ie. Florentina and Maddie) whilst keeping our focus secondary on the evolving conspiracy which is shadowing round them.

And yet, what was most beautiful of all is the gift Alessandro gave to Maddie – because he saw her self-worth and her keen head for business, he rewarded her in a way she never felt she’d be able to embrace. It was such a wicked humbling moment because Maddie would never believe she should highlight her skills in front of others as I think she would believe that would be a bit too vain and to have her seen as worthy in his eyes was quite lovely because this was something I felt would help Maddie recognise how much she gives to others as much as how much she has stablised her own family after the death of her husband.

I was not quite prepared for how Secrets of Milan concludes because it owns to the title – wherein there are far more secrets afloat in the series now than there were previously! Including one that I felt would be difficult for Florentina to maintain as it might drive a wench in her relationship with Maddie – time will of course tell in that regard but for me personally, I loved how this one concluded because it honed in on the heart of the series – giving us more time to spend with Florentina and Maddie as their relationship drew closer together and allowed us further chance to peer into this hidden dark world Florentina is bent on exposing. Towards that end, the tenacles of how this secret world interacts with society is more intricate than a spider’s web and far more deadlier than a black widow.

-quoted from my book review for Secrets of Milan

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Quote banner for Secrets of Milan provided by the author Edale Lane and OWI Blog Tours; used with permission.

If you haven’t yet seen the lovely in-depth #behindthebook featured guest essay Ms Lane contributed to my stop on her tour with OWI – kindly take a moment to visit her words to find out how Art History and research into the world of art played such a strong role in how she developed the background of this series! This previous blog tour was a bit of a preview of what would come next during the Tomorrow Comes Media tour – I was thankful to be a part of both tours and have the chance to feature this author on three separate occasions whilst helping to relate to my readers why I am enjoying her stories and why they ought to consider placing her trilogy on their #nextreads list!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

An #HistoricalMondays Author Interview | a wicked awesomesauce convo I shared with Edale Lane (by phone!) wherein I interviewed her about the #behindthebook secrets of writing the “Secrets of Milan”!Secrets of Milan
Subtitle: Book Two of the Night Flyer Trilogy
by Edale Lane
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Enggar Adirasa
Source: Direct from Author

The Night Flyer had brought Florentina and Madelena together but now threatens to drive them apart. While Florentina searches for a mysterious underworld organization that has attempted to murder the woman she loves, Maddie struggles to deal with the danger Florentina is courting. Her brother, Alessandro, has become the most prominent merchant of Milan, but the Night Flyer uncovers a secret so shocking it could destroy them all.

Secrets of Milan is the second book in Edale Lane's Night Flyer Trilogy, a tale of power, passion, and payback in Renaissance Italy. If you like drama and suspense, rich historical background, three-dimensional characters, and s romance that deepens into true love, then you'll want to continue the Night Flyer saga. Order your copy today!

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


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8643642060

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

Published by Past & Prologue Press

on 5th May, 2020

Format: Unbound Manuscript (ARC)

Pages: 262

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Merchants of Milan by Edale LaneSecrets of Milan by Edale Lane

The Night Flyer trilogy:

Merchants of Milan (book one) | see also Review

Secrets of Milan (book two) | see also Review

Chaos in Milan (book three) *forthcoming release!

Genre(s): Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Alternative History,
as well as Renaissance (time period), Action and Adventure, Superhero Fiction

Identities represented: F/F Romance, Lesbian friendship/relationships

Converse via: #WyrdAndWonder, #HistoricalFantasy, #SapphicFiction,
#SpeculativeFiction, #LGBTQ and #NightFlyerTrilogy with #EdaleLane

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Divider

Posted Monday, 6 July, 2020 by jorielov in Author Interview by Phone, Blog Tour Host, Fantasy Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Self-Published Author, Speculative Fiction, Tomorrow Comes Media, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

#EnterTheFantastic Book Review | “Secrets of Milan” (Night Flyer Trilogy, Book Two) by Edale Lane

Posted Wednesday, 1 July, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

#EnterTheFantastic Book Review 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 ARC 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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Let’s re-visit why I have enjoyed sharing my features showcasing this trilogy:

The author I am featuring for a regeneration of my featured posts showcasing Fantasy novelists I love reading (ie. #EnterTheFantastic) is Edale Lane. I originally crossed paths with Ms Lane earlier this year wherein I first started my journey into her Night Flyer trilogy and of whom has written such a convicting slow-burn Historical Romance set within a Renaissance Fantasy world.

I first discovered her style of writing whilst I read “Merchants of Milan”. I am anchouring the delightful #vlog interview I shared after my readings of “Merchants of Milan” with my ruminative thoughts of “Secrets of Milan” and a follow-up interview on behalf of the second installment as well. To continue hosting this author via Tomorrow Comes Media has been a delight of joy – as they truly champion Indie Authors and Indie Publishers. You’ll have to come back to Jorie Loves A Story lateron on this blog tour (Monday, 6th of July) to read over our conversation which delves into the series at large and what comes ‘next’ after ‘Chaos in Milan” (book three).

For those of you whom are new to Jorie Loves A Story, let me share a bit about why I loved reading the Night Flyer trilogy:

Lane inserted such a beautiful scene wherein the children of Maddie, Florentina and her childhood friend discussed how da Vinci painted The Last Supper, noting the techniques he used in the paint choices, the ways in which he used perspective to draw your eye towards a particular section of the painting itself and what this representation of the scene he painted reflected on himself as a painter, an artist and a man of faith. This isn’t the first inclusion of Medieval thoughtfulness on religious discourse in the novel – where Lane has bridged the gap between known history and religious history as it would be anchoured into this background given the age of where enlightenment first began and how openly curious those persons were who lived in the age of the Renaissance. It was a time of rebirth but also of intellectual curiosity – where pursuing knowledge was the mainstay of those were intellectually adventurous.

This first installment sets down the foundation of how Maddie and Florentina must join forces in order to seek the truth of what is happening in the shadows of Milan’s powerful houses. There is something untoward going on whilst the rest of the city is going about its business as usual. If the Night Flyer hadn’t started to make appearances and seek out truth from the shadows of night, they might not have learnt as much as they had now. It was only when they each started to question certain truths in their own lives did they start to discover the levels of deceit in their lives. The hardship of course is what to do with all the information once it is learnt? This became a bit of a battle of wills for the women as neither of them felt they would have anything to gain but vengeance and peace of mind for their actions.

The Night Flyer exists similar to Zorro – as a person for the people and the ones in their society without the voice to give light to the ills of the city. It is here where you start to see how the Night Flyer has taken on more than what they originally sought because it is too hard to bypass the needs of the people in pursuit of one man who wronged so many in his lifetime. It was a clever plotting how the Night Flyer could have a bit of duality – not only in their life when their unmasked but as a masked figure they had a certain layer of freedom and of movement that would not have been afforded to them if they hadn’t conceived of the masked identity. That in of itself spoke volumes about the greater purpose of the Night Flyer and also how hard it would be to find truer justice in this world that was severely unjust to the working class.

There is a secondary focus on the villain’s family – wherein his wife Daniella and his daughter Agnese are discussing their health and how the mother feels that perhaps her own health was destroyed by the personal care products she had been using ahead of her own health’s decline. Products such as cosmetics and hair dye – which I felt were a fitting reference, as in other historical narratives it is revealled how toxic those products were to be used and how uninformed people were of what they were actually using on their hair and face. It was also a stark contrast to today’s world where there is still a misalignment with safety when it comes to personal care products and cosmetics overall.

I loved how approachable Lane made this world – you took up residence in the story as soon as it began – with the presumption of a horrid man getting away with a despicable truth and wherein two women join together to take-on the conspiracy of injustice they both mutually shared. I loved the descriptions of the objects in the novel, too, from Florentina’s father’s clock to how Lane wanted you to have a fuller appreciation for the engineering and production of things in this world.

-quoted from my book review for Merchants of Milan

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Quote banner for Secrets of Milan provided by the author Edale Lane and OWI Blog Tours; used with permission.

If you haven’t yet seen the lovely in-depth #behindthebook featured guest essay Ms Lane contributed to my stop on her tour with OWI – kindly take a moment to visit her words to find out how Art History and research into the world of art played such a strong role in how she developed the background of this series! This previous blog tour was a bit of a preview of what would come next during the Tomorrow Comes Media tour – I was thankful to be a part of both tours and have the chance to feature this author on three separate occasions whilst helping to relate to my readers why I am enjoying her stories and why they ought to consider placing her trilogy on their #nextreads list!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#EnterTheFantastic Book Review | “Secrets of Milan” (Night Flyer Trilogy, Book Two) by Edale LaneSecrets of Milan
Subtitle: Book Two of the Night Flyer Trilogy
by Edale Lane
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Enggar Adirasa
Source: Direct from Author

The Night Flyer had brought Florentina and Madelena together but now threatens to drive them apart. While Florentina searches for a mysterious underworld organization that has attempted to murder the woman she loves, Maddie struggles to deal with the danger Florentina is courting. Her brother, Alessandro, has become the most prominent merchant of Milan, but the Night Flyer uncovers a secret so shocking it could destroy them all.

Secrets of Milan is the second book in Edale Lane's Night Flyer Trilogy, a tale of power, passion, and payback in Renaissance Italy. If you like drama and suspense, rich historical background, three-dimensional characters, and s romance that deepens into true love, then you'll want to continue the Night Flyer saga. Order your copy today!

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


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8643642060

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

Also in this series: Merchants of Milan


Published by Past & Prologue Press

on 5th May, 2020

Format: Unbound Manuscript (ARC)

Pages: 262

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Merchants of Milan by Edale LaneSecrets of Milan by Edale Lane

The Night Flyer trilogy:

Merchants of Milan (book one) | see also Review

Secrets of Milan (book two) 

Chaos in Milan (book three) *forthcoming release!

Genre(s): Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Alternative History,
as well as Renaissance (time period), Action and Adventure, Superhero Fiction

Identities represented: F/F Romance, Lesbian friendship/relationships

Converse via: #WyrdAndWonder, #HistoricalFantasy, #SapphicFiction,
#SpeculativeFiction, #LGBTQ and #NightFlyerTrilogy with #EdaleLane

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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Divider

Posted Wednesday, 1 July, 2020 by jorielov in #EnterTheFantastic, #JorieLovesIndies, #WyrdAndWonder, ARC | Galley Copy, Blog Tour Host, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Jorie Loves A Story Features, OWI - Other Worlds Ink Blog Tours, Self-Published Author, Speculative Fiction, Tomorrow Comes Media, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

An #EnterTheFantastic Special Feature | “Secrets of Milan” (Night Flyer Trilogy, Book Two) by Edale Lane

Posted Saturday, 13 June, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

Guest Contributor and/or Reviewer of JLAS banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

As you might have gathered by my re-emergence back onto Twitter on Friday (erm, yesterday!) I am starting to end my unexpected social hiatus. It was necessary for me to retreat a bit offline in order to recover from my afflictions stemming from severe seasonal allergies; I am not alone in succumbing to these and I have full sympathies for everyone whose life is made miserable by ‘pollen’. Blessedly – I exited May with only one migraine (at the start of #WyrdAndWonder) and dodged 3x others in the fortnight since the event officially concluded on the 31st of May.

However, as I didn’t get a proper send-off for my final two review showcases for #WyrdAndWonder – nor did I get the chance to reveal and share my photo challenge posts (there are two still in queue) outside of the first one I was able to assemble – you could say, I still have a bit of Wyrd And Wonder happening on Jorie Loves A Story this June! I am full of gratitude to extend the event a bit as each June I have struggled with ‘letting go’ until the next May wherein we get to rally together, celebrate our community of Fantasy enthusiasts and champion a genre we’re mutually passionate about celebrating. 

My featured author today is Edale Lane who first inspired me to begin hosting for OWI – Other Worlds Ink Blog Tours – whilst I read a wickedly delightful Historical Fantasy novel. I happily get to anchour this delightful #vlog interview I shared after concluding my readings of the first novel in this trilogy “Merchants of Milan” with my ruminative thoughts on a review of “Secrets of Milan” and a conversation thereafter this July whilst hosting for Tomorrow Comes Media.

For those of you whom are new to Jorie Loves A Story, let me share a bit about why I loved reading the Night Flyer trilogy when I first discovered Ms Lane’s writerly style:

Lane inserted such a beautiful scene wherein the children of Maddie, Florentina and her childhood friend discussed how da Vinci painted The Last Supper, noting the techniques he used in the paint choices, the ways in which he used perspective to draw your eye towards a particular section of the painting itself and what this representation of the scene he painted reflected on himself as a painter, an artist and a man of faith. This isn’t the first inclusion of Medieval thoughtfulness on religious discourse in the novel – where Lane has bridged the gap between known history and religious history as it would be anchoured into this background given the age of where enlightenment first began and how openly curious those persons were who lived in the age of the Renaissance. It was a time of rebirth but also of intellectual curiosity – where pursuing knowledge was the mainstay of those were intellectually adventurous.

This first installment sets down the foundation of how Maddie and Florentina must join forces in order to seek the truth of what is happening in the shadows of Milan’s powerful houses. There is something untoward going on whilst the rest of the city is going about its business as usual. If the Night Flyer hadn’t started to make appearances and seek out truth from the shadows of night, they might not have learnt as much as they had now. It was only when they each started to question certain truths in their own lives did they start to discover the levels of deceit in their lives. The hardship of course is what to do with all the information once it is learnt? This became a bit of a battle of wills for the women as neither of them felt they would have anything to gain but vengeance and peace of mind for their actions.

The Night Flyer exists similar to Zorro – as a person for the people and the ones in their society without the voice to give light to the ills of the city. It is here where you start to see how the Night Flyer has taken on more than what they originally sought because it is too hard to bypass the needs of the people in pursuit of one man who wronged so many in his lifetime. It was a clever plotting how the Night Flyer could have a bit of duality – not only in their life when their unmasked but as a masked figure they had a certain layer of freedom and of movement that would not have been afforded to them if they hadn’t conceived of the masked identity. That in of itself spoke volumes about the greater purpose of the Night Flyer and also how hard it would be to find truer justice in this world that was severely unjust to the working class.

There is a secondary focus on the villain’s family – wherein his wife Daniella and his daughter Agnese are discussing their health and how the mother feels that perhaps her own health was destroyed by the personal care products she had been using ahead of her own health’s decline. Products such as cosmetics and hair dye – which I felt were a fitting reference, as in other historical narratives it is revealled how toxic those products were to be used and how uninformed people were of what they were actually using on their hair and face. It was also a stark contrast to today’s world where there is still a misalignment with safety when it comes to personal care products and cosmetics overall.

I loved how approachable Lane made this world – you took up residence in the story as soon as it began – with the presumption of a horrid man getting away with a despicable truth and wherein two women join together to take-on the conspiracy of injustice they both mutually shared. I loved the descriptions of the objects in the novel, too, from Florentina’s father’s clock to how Lane wanted you to have a fuller appreciation for the engineering and production of things in this world.

-quoted from my book review for Merchants of Milan

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Quote banner for Secrets of Milan provided by the author Edale Lane and OWI Blog Tours; used with permission.

This post was a lovely surprise for me as I signed on to host something special by the author and I am wicked thankful I had! I *love!* grab bag surprises – for me, getting a wholly original post by an author on a blog tour is just about as wicked sweet as it can get – this is the second time I’ve been thus blessed by an author via OWI!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

An #EnterTheFantastic Special Feature | “Secrets of Milan” (Night Flyer Trilogy, Book Two) by Edale LaneSecrets of Milan (Guest Post by Author)
Subtitle: Book Two of the Night Flyer Trilogy
by Edale Lane
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Enggar Adirasa

The Night Flyer had brought Florentina and Madelena together but now threatens to drive them apart. While Florentina searches for a mysterious underworld organization that has attempted to murder the woman she loves, Maddie struggles to deal with the danger Florentina is courting. Her brother, Alessandro, has become the most prominent merchant of Milan, but the Night Flyer uncovers a secret so shocking it could destroy them all.

Secrets of Milan is the second book in Edale Lane's Night Flyer Trilogy, a tale of power, passion, and payback in Renaissance Italy. If you like drama and suspense, rich historical background, three-dimensional characters, and s romance that deepens into true love, then you'll want to continue the Night Flyer saga. Order your copy today!

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


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8643642060

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

Published by Past & Prologue Press, Self Published

on 5th May, 2020

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Merchants of Milan by Edale LaneSecrets of Milan by Edale Lane

The Night Flyer trilogy:

Merchants of Milan (book one) | see also Review

Secrets of Milan (book two) * review forthcoming!

Chaos in Milan (book three) *forthcoming release!

Genre(s): Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Alternative History,
as well as Renaissance (time period), Action and Adventure, Superhero Fiction

Identities represented: F/F Romance, Lesbian friendship/relationships

Converse via: #WyrdAndWonder, #HistoricalFantasy, #Fantasy,
#SpeculativeFiction, #LGBTQ and #NightFlyerTrilogy with #EdaleLane

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #EnterTheFantastic
Divider

Posted Saturday, 13 June, 2020 by jorielov in #EnterTheFantastic, #WyrdAndWonder, Author Guest Post (their topic), Blog Tour Host, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Jorie Loves A Story Features, OWI - Other Worlds Ink Blog Tours, Self-Published Author, Speculative Fiction, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | “Solomon’s Bell” (Book Two: Genie Chronicles) by Michelle Lowery Combs

Posted Wednesday, 20 May, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: A few years ago now, I started to review for World Weaver Press – until I reached the day where my focus on the stories I was receiving for review fell by the wayside. A lot of this had to do with my personal health, the recovery of my father’s stroke and other things which bring adversity into your life which can and will affect your readerly life. I cannot remember exactly what first took me away from reading “Heir to the Lamp” or the sequel “Solomon’s Bell” – however, I did attempt to read them at various moments throughout the past few years including shortly after I received “Solomon’s Bell” for which I posted a Cover Reveal and Extract.

During our 2nd Year (2019) for #WyrdAndWonder, I wanted to redeem myself a bit by getting back into the stories I attempted to read during our 1st year of #WyrdAndWonder (2018) but due to the migraines and other issues I was having with my health, I was unable to complete my reading schedule for the event. This is one of the series I was most eager to read and am thankful I finally was able to start reading it during our 2nd Year of Wyrd and Wonder whilst finishing it in our 3rd. As I know there are other readers who are following or joining the event directly who appreciate Magical Realism and/or stories of the Jinn as much as I do. Perhaps they will find a new author through my ruminations and as always, I hope whenever I feature a story or anthology by World Weaver Press – word will continue to get out about this lovely Indie Publisher for Speculative Fiction!

I received a complimentary copy of “Solomon’s Bell” direct from the publisher World Weaver Press 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.

I admit it, ever since I met a ‘Golem’ & a ‘Jinni’, I’ve been intrigued by Magical Realism stories involving the Jinn!:

Set during a pivotal game for Virginia as a competitive JV Girls’ Basketball competitor – we open the story as Ginn is about to receive some humbling and surprising news about herself, her destiny and the ways in which she previously perceived her world. You can intuit this through the revelation at the end of the game – where her team is down for the count, the opposing team has a new member whose height puts them at a distinct advantage and where Ginn’s team is doing everything they can not to  lose the faith they could win the game from the underdog status they found themselves trying to overcome. It is here – as we are with Ginn in the car with her family as they make their way to the gym to see the game, we notice a few things about her – she’s not comfortable being in a large family nor is she enthused about having as many siblings as she has which were achieved through adoption.

The adoption side of her life is lightly touched upon – mostly through the angst of a thirteen year old who isn’t quite sure why her parents wanted to keep adding to their family or have to take-on the world whenever someone from outside the family grew critical of their choices in life; especially in how they grew their family through adoption. You can understand her perspective on the matter – as she has an eclectic sibling group whilst you can also appreciate the heart and humbled spirit of her parents who wanted to raise children and did not have a preference of whether or not they were all biologically related to them. I have a soft spot for stories involving Adoption – as I am desiring to adopt from foster care in the future – therefore, whenever I see a story involving Adoption, I do take a more critical eye on how it is discussed and how it fits into the story being told.

I think part of the reason I was struggling to anchour into story and to get into step with Ginn is how her story was being disclosed. It felt a little disjointed at first – but then, once you see her with her mother and she starts to talk about her grandmother – you start to notice her differently, seeing how much she’s trying to understand this transitional period of her life and somewhere at that junction her story starts to move forward in a way you can soak into her world.

Ginn is a girl on the brink of entering her teenage years but she’s more bogged down in worrying about what is plaguing her mind moreso than going through puberty. She has a caring mother who looks after her whenever she’s not feeling quite up to par and even goes out of her way to ensure her daughter will feel a bit better which I felt was a sweet touch. What was lovely though was seeing how a few life lessons and life philosophies were being layered into the story-line – guided by Ginn’s Mum but also, turnt over for introspective reasoning by Ginn herself. There is a point about how nightmares can overtake you if your not careful about how you extract yourself from them but also, on the importance of family. This is a close-knit family who appreciate being with their grandmother but also with each other – even if half the time, I suspect they drive each other a bit batty round the edges, as all good-natured large families do.

You have to laugh, really! Combs has worked in some cleverly placed real-world cultural points of interest into the background of the story – such as Ginn’s Mum having an affinity of interest for the cooking shows we all get excited about time after time – giving her children a bit of an interesting voyage into the culinary arts! I was smiling the whole time as apparently Ginn’s Mum isn’t as gifted in the kitchen as my Mum is nor is she as naturally intuitive about how certain ingredients work best together. This is why I was smiling the most – hearing Ginn tell it, they would be better off if they cooked from ready-made boxes and ate out on occasion if they could afford to do it.

Where the story took a turning into the fantastical is when Rashmere shows up rather unexpectedly and how he points out to Ginn all the different ways her current life is about to unravel. The expressive nature of Rashmere is too adorable! You’ll have to read the story to find out the species Rashmere is on first sight but somehow, Combs tapped into how he could be expressive despite his small presence when he initially enters Ginn’s life. In essence he steals the scene!

I immediately felt connected to Gran – she’s the kind of grandmother you can warm up to rather quickly because of her approach to life! She has a zest for humour and she has a winsome attitude when it comes to how she disarms your nerves. I loved her back-story about how she had to overcome the odds against her on the Army bases her husband had been stationed on? It shows how sometimes the people who exhume the most confidence can sometimes have their own struggles to bear and work through just like everyone else. Mostly though – she just seemed like a wicked awesome grandmother and definitely someone you could confide in the worries weighing on your mind such as the kind Ginn had on hers.

Gran had a keen ability of telling Ginn her back history in such a way that makes it credible despite the fact it has a lot of fantastical elements inside it – as this is a heritage which involves the Jinn. Though not quite the kind of Jinn everyone has heard of before but the kind who has a mixed heritage that involves the Jinn and humans. From there, what was quite impressive is how well Gran took to ensure Ginn of the details even to discuss how her feelings on this matter of disclosure were not the same as her parents – which struck me a bit as an interesting piece of information – as if Ginn’s adoptive parents dismissed a portion of her back-story, than if it weren’t for Gran disclosing the fuller story to her on her birthday, one had to wonder – would Ginn have started to deepen her curiosity about all the unexpected events happening to her since she turnt thirteen?

As we shift into the story of the Jinn – Combs does a wonderful job at educating us on the past histories of the Jinn, how they can exist and what their nature involved in regards to how they used their gifts of magic. It never felt like a specific section of information being given to you as she used Ginn’s own lack of understanding her birth origins as a route of information being passed onto the reader. The closer Ginn went with her own research, the closer we felt we understood who the Jinn were and the laws of how they existed. This also broached the topics of the books of Jinn known as the ‘grimoire’ and how the ancestry of the Jinn was as ancient as it were timeless.

Personally, my favourite character was not Ginn but Rashmere! He had the best attributes as a character but also, I felt his role in the story was so rounded and fleshed out, that his presence was a true delight to have threading through the background. I definitely am hoping he has a strong presence in the next volume of the series Solomon’s Bell as he was a keenly pivotal character within Heir to the Lamp.

This is a good novel to serve as a gateway into Magical Realism (as its the lighter side of the genre) whilst also giving a good footing of insight into Urban Fantasy and mythological Fantasy involving the Jinn. I think it would appeal to a lot of readers who are seeking a bit of danger and adventure within a fantastical world where not everything is exactly as it seems on the surface of what is being presented but where if you dig a bit deeper into the heart of what is being said, you’ll find the truth glimmering as strong as the purple smoke which is Ginn’s trademark.

-quoted from my review of Heir to the Lamp

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

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | “Solomon’s Bell” (Book Two: Genie Chronicles) by Michelle Lowery CombsSolomon's Bell
Subtitle: Genie Chronicles Book Two
by Michelle Lowery Combs
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Sarena Ulibarri
Source: Direct from Publisher

Ginn thinks she has problems at home until she magically lands herself in 16th Century Prague. To save her family, Ginn uses her newfound genie powers to transport herself and her friends to 16th century Prague. Only one thing there remains the same as at home: she can't let anyone know what she really is.

The Emperor of Prague and those closest to him are obsessed with magic. In pursuit of it, they’ve waged war on the citizens of their city. In the citizens' defense, someone has brought to life a golem, a dangerous being with connections to an artifact capable of summoning and commanding an entire army of genies.

Can Ginn escape the notice of the Emperor as she attempts to discover a way to defeat Prague’s golem in time to save her family from a similar creature?

Solomon's Bell is the sequel to Heir to the Lamp and the second book of the Genie Chronicles series.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Magical Realism, YA Fantasy, YA Urban Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on World Weaver Press

ISBN: 978-0997788877

Also by this author: Solomon's Bell (Cover Reveal + Extract), Heir to the Lamp

Also in this series: Heir to the Lamp


Published by World Weaver Press

on 7th March, 2017

Pages: 224

Published By: World Weaver Press (@WorldWeaver_wwp)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook

The Genie Chronicles series:

Heir to the Lamp by Michelle Lowery CombsSolomon's Bell by Michelle Lowery Combs

Genre(s): Speculative | Young Adult | Fantasy | Lore & Legends

the Jinn (or Jinnis or Genies) | Adoption

Similar Reads: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (see also Review)

About Michelle Lowery Combs

Michelle Lowery Combs

Michelle Lowery Combs is an award-winning writer and book blogger living in rural Alabama with her husband, one cat and too many children to count. She spends her spare time commanding armies of basketball and soccer munchkins for the Parks & Recreation departments of two cities.

When not in the presence of throngs of toddlers, tweens and teens, Michelle can be found neglecting her roots and dreaming up the next best seller. She is a member of the Alabama Writers’ Conclave, Jacksonville State University’s Writers’ Club and her local Aspiring Authors group.

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 Wednesday, 20 May, 2020 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, Adoption, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Review (non-blog tour), Brothers and Sisters, Equality In Literature, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, Foster Care, Indie Author, Magical Realism, Orphans & Guardians, Siblings, Speculative Fiction, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, World Weaver Press, Young Adult Fiction