Category: Speculative Fiction

#EnterTheFantastic as #JorieReads this #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of “Adrift” (Book One: Staying Afloat series) by Isabelle Adler

Posted Sunday, 26 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Borrowed 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 Isabelle Adler – her s/o about the novel on Twitter was most enticing (see also tweet) because ever since I co-hosted a RAL with Lisa (deargeekplace.com) for #smallangryplanet I’ve noticed I am enjoying Soft Sci Fi, found family narratives set in Space and the interworkings of a crew who are sent on a mission which is both secreted from them as far as the fuller scope of why they were sent and the curious ways a long-term mission can either make/break the crew itself. I love Hard Sci Fi and Space Operas but I also like the rebels & rogues of Space, too! (ie. Rimrider!)

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 submitted a purchase request to my local library for “Adrift” which is published by NineStar Press an independent publisher of LGBTQ+ Fiction. I was thankful to find out my library accepted my purchase request and I decided to share my review on behalf of “Adrift” for my own edification as much as continuing to share my readerly life with my readers. I was not obligated to post a review for this novel but I choose to write one as I love celebrating the stories I am finding as a social reader. 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 happily found an LGBTQ+ Space Opera 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.

My second choice is to highlight the novel I had my library purchase for me by an author I crossed paths with during #ReviewPit – the twitterverse event where Indie Authors are matched with book bloggers and/or reviewers who are seeking Indie Fiction to read and review. It is a spontaneous event in that you do not know which genres are up for grabs and you do not know which stories are avail in the format you are able to read – for me, being a migraineur, this means I needed to find authors willing to send me their stories in print. The joy of the event was finding a lot of Speculative Fiction authors who had written Indie Fantasy novels and those are the stories you’ll see start to alight on Jorie Loves A Story between the 3rd and 5th week of MAY for Wyrd And Wonder – ahead of that, I wanted to read the first 25 pages of ADRIFT as this is a Science Fiction novel which drew my eye for its premise and the approach the author took in navigating us through this world.

To say I was overjoyed my library accepted my purchase request is putting it mildly – as it is a lovely feeling to know you have a local library whose striving to bridge the gap between Major Trade, Indie Publishers and Press and Self Published authors for today’s library patron who is seeking to expand their literary horizons.

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

#EnterTheFantastic as #JorieReads this #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of “Adrift” (Book One: Staying Afloat series) by Isabelle AdlerAdrift
Subtitle: Staying Afloat : Book One
by Isabelle Adler
Source: #ReviewPit Author, Borrowed from local library, Purchase REQ | local library

Some jobs are just too good to be true.

Captain Matt Spears learns this the hard way after a mysterious employer hires his ship to hunt down an ancient alien artifact but insists on providing his own pilot. Ryce Faine is handsome and smart, but Matt has rarely met anyone more obnoxious. With tensions running high, it isn’t until they are attacked by the hostile Alraki that Matt grudgingly begins to respect Ryce’s superior skills, respect that transforms into a tentative attraction.

Little did he know that their biggest challenge would be reaching their destination, an abandoned alien base located on a distant moon amid a dense asteroid field. But when Matt learns that Ryce isn’t completely who he says he is and the artifact is more than he bargained for, he is faced with a difficult choice. One that might change the balance of forces in the known galaxy.

Matt doesn’t take well to moral dilemmas; he prefers the easy way out. But that might not be possible anymore, when his past comes back to haunt him at the worst possible moment. When faced with a notorious pirate carrying a personal grudge, the fragile connection Matt has formed with Ryce might be the only thing that he can count on to save them both.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781945952555

Genres: LGBTQIA Fiction, Men's Fiction, Military Fiction, Science Fiction, Space Opera


Published by NineStar Press

on 26th January, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 192

Published by: NineStar Press (@ninestarpress)

The stories of the Staying Afloat series:

Adrift (book one)

Ashore (book two

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About Isabelle Adler

A voracious reader from the age of five, Isabelle Adler has always dreamed of one day putting her own stories into writing. She loves traveling, art, and science, and finds inspiration in all of these. Her favorite genres include Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Historical Adventure. She also firmly believes in the unlimited powers of imagination and caffeine.

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 Sunday, 26 May, 2019 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Content Note, Equality In Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Military Fiction, Science Fiction, Soft Science Fiction, Space Opera, Speculative Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature

A Paranormal Suspense #Audiobook Spotlight during #WyrdAndWonder | “The Haunting of Hillwood Farm” by Kathryn Knight, narrated by Kristin James

Posted Tuesday, 21 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Audiobook Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions. Through hosting for the Audiobookworm I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks; see my sidebar). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I am hoping to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “The Haunting of Hillwood Farm” via Audiobookworm Promotion who is working with Sara Pascoe on this blog tour in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

What inspired me to listen to this audiobook:

I love watching Paranormal Suspense stories on television whilst I also have a healthy appetite for them in fiction. Series like “Ghost Whisperer” have such a layered effect of bridging the paranormal into our contemporary & modern world with a healthy effect of keeping the unseen world spilt & splintered from our view in the foreground of the stories.

It is a curious thought to recognise that not everything can be readily explained – that there are things which can seek to do harm which go unseen from most who never are aware of anything amiss. And, this story felt like it was walking between those concepts – as it is a ghost story with an unforeseen foe and you have to determine as you listen to the story – was this a benign presence or one who had malicious intentions?

I wanted to seek out the paranormal during #WyrdAndWonder – as during this 2nd Year, although I’m predominately focusing on traditional Fantasy, there are aspects within Fantasy such as Magical Realism, Paranormal Suspense & Witchy story-lines which hug closer to Fantasy than they do other sub-niches of Speculative Fiction. Therefore, as I sought out my reading list for the month, I decided to cast a bit of a wider net this year and see which of the stories I was going to pursue would become the reads I could not put down.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A Paranormal Suspense #Audiobook Spotlight during #WyrdAndWonder | “The Haunting of Hillwood Farm” by Kathryn Knight, narrated by Kristin JamesThe Haunting of Hillwood Farm
by Kathryn Knight
Narrator: Kristin James

After tragedy strikes, Callie Sinclair is left with a gift she never wanted - the ability to communicate with ghosts. But when a desperate widow begs for her help, she reluctantly agrees to investigate the strange occurrences at Hillwood Farm. She quickly realizes she’s dealing with a dangerous presence beyond anything she’s ever experienced, and something else becomes equally clear - the only other living person in the house, Mrs. Turner’s handsome grandson, thinks she’s a scam artist. While she’d prefer to just ignore him, her heart beats a little faster every time he’s nearby.

Luke Turner doesn’t believe in spirits. He’s moved back to restore the family farm, but living on the property serves a dual purpose - he can watch out for his grandmother. He’s not happy about the sudden appearance of a self-described psychic, or his inexplicable attraction to her. His initial suspicions crumble as evidence points to an actual haunting, but he’s still determined not to fall for Callie - the past has taught him it’s best to avoid relationships.

As Callie is drawn deeper into the mystery, she becomes the target of a vengeful spirit, and Luke can no longer fight his feelings for her. Unable to resist their desire, passion ignites…even as the paranormal activity escalates to a final deadly confrontation.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B07QMZNFCZ

Genres: Ghost Story, Gothic Literature, Paranormal Suspense


Published by Self Published Author

on 15th April, 2019

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 5 hours and 18 minutes (unabridged)

This is a self-published audiobook.

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #TheHauntingOfHillwoodFarm + #AudioReads, #Audiobook

OR #Paranormal, #ParanormalSuspense and #WyrdAndWonder

About Kathryn Knight

Kathryn Knight

Kathryn Knight spends a great deal of time in her fictional world, where mundane chores don’t exist and daily life involves steamy romance, dangerous secrets, and spooky suspense.

Kathryn writes contemporary romance spiked with mysterious hauntings as well as YA paranormal romance filled with forbidden love. Her novels are award-winning #1 Amazon and Barnes & Noble Bestsellers and RomCon Reader-Rated picks.

When she’s not reading or writing, Kathryn spends her time catching up on those mundane chores, driving kids around, and teaching fitness classes. She lives on beautiful Cape Cod with her husband, their two sons, and a number of rescued pets.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

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Posted Tuesday, 21 May, 2019 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Good vs. Evil, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Haunting & Ethereal, Indie Author, Mediums & Clairvoyants, Mental Health, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Realistic Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Urban Fantasy

#EnterTheFantastic this #WyrdAndWonder as #JorieReads | Book Review for “Heir to the Lamp” (Book One: Genie Chronicles) by Michelle Lowery Combs

Posted Thursday, 9 May, 2019 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.

This #WyrdAndWonder, I wanted to redeem myself a bit by getting back into the stories I attempted to read last year 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 can finally focus on during our 2nd Year of Wyrd and Wonder. 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 “Heir to the Lamp” 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!:

I must admit, I had such a wicked sweet time residing inside the world of Helene Wecker’s epic saga involving a Jinn and Golem, I was quite hopeful I might have been able to dig inside a few more since that fateful day I brought home her debut novel from my local library. The irony of course will not be lost on devout readers and bibliophiles alike who are now earnestly blogging their readerly lives (such as I am) when I state it took me until ‘now’ to find the proper time to give to another story of the Jinn – as we eagerly still await the sequel to Wecker’s novel.

When it comes to world-building in a Young Adult novel, I am quite particular about what I’m seeking out (if this YA review can clue you in a bit) as I like to feel as if I’ve properly been transported ‘elsewhere’ to such a degree of certainty – the experience knits itself into your mind’s eye and extends itself into your permanent memories. Because stories which give us that curious stretch of imaginative blissitude allow us the smallest of joys to step into the threshold of someone elses shoes and live their life for a spell!

I find myself drawn more into epic sagas & layered world-buildings in Fantasy; I have recently (since I’ve been a book blogger) found I lean more towards Science Fiction or Sci-Fantasy releases but at the heart of what I love most are Magical Realism stories alongside a fairy-tale re-telling, a legend of lore or an Epic Fantasy that simply carts you off into the depth of a novel that is so wickedly long in length you might need a month or so to fully invest yourself into it’s folds. (herein I am hinting towards my soon-to-be shared readings of “A Turn of Light”; writ by a favourite Sci-Fi author of mine: Ms Czerneda)

My appreciation of genies truly goes back to the infamous television series – where an astronaut and a genie fall in love whilst trying to ‘fit & blend into contemporary life’ – to such great folly you cannot help but laugh along with the characters or feel their misery when things go terribly wrong! Since then, I try to turn my eye towards literature and root out stories of the Jinn (and nowadays golems) which have the depth of journey and an honest world built out of their legends where story-crafters entreat to take us.

Thus, when I heard there was a sequel to “Heir to the Lamp”, I knew it was time to put aside my readings of Ms Parrish’s delish anthologies and hold off on the murderous kitchen novella, to see how Ms Combs has chosen to alight us inside her world!

-previously disclosed on the Cover Reveal w/ Notes for the sequel to Heir to the Lamp

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

#EnterTheFantastic this #WyrdAndWonder as #JorieReads | Book Review for “Heir to the Lamp” (Book One: Genie Chronicles) by Michelle Lowery CombsHeir to the Lamp
Subtitle: Genie Chronicles Book One
by Michelle Lowery Combs
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Sarena Ulibarri
Source: Direct from Publisher

A family secret, a mysterious lamp, a dangerous Order with the mad desire to possess both. Ginn thinks she knows all there is to know about how she became adopted by parents whose number one priority is to embarrass her with public displays of affection, but that changes when a single wish starts a never-ending parade of weirdness marching through her door the day she turns thirteen. Gifted with a mysterious lamp and the missing pieces from her adoption story, Ginn tries to discover who…or what…she really is. That should be strange enough, but to top it off Ginn’s being hunted by the Order of the Grimoire, a secret society who’ll stop at nothing to harness the power of a real genie.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on World Weaver Press

ISBN: 9780615813424

Also by this author:

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


Published by World Weaver Press

on 16th July, 2013

Pages: 190

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 Thursday, 9 May, 2019 by jorielov in Ancient Civilisation, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Equality In Literature, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, Futuristic Fantasy, Indie Author, Magical Realism, Speculative Fiction, World Weaver Press, Young Adult Fiction