Sunday Showcase #1 :: Jumping my holds, a touch of steam, & magical realism!

Posted Monday, 12 August, 2013 by jorielov 5 Comments

Showcase Sunday

{Official Blurb} Inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and the Story Siren, the aim of Showcase Sunday is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week.

When your home branch is closed on a Monday,…

You get the widely inspiring idea to JUMP YOUR HOLDS, by first sorting out which branch(es) have the books in question, and then, in a mad-dash til close, whip around to both and pick up the following:

  • Steampunk: an anthology by Ann Vandermeer; I am not usually drawn to read anthologies,…
  • Not Less than Gods by Kage Baker; One of the few times I’ll break my ‘not to read out of sequences’ rule!
  • The Clockwork Man by William Jablonsky; I only wish they had found an artist to render the Clockwork Man!!!

The reason your rather desperate to collect the books, all of a Steampunky variety, is because your first book of choice was a bit beyond your depth of understanding, as your footing in Steampunk is thus far just beginning! You have the heart and desire to understand the genre, but you haven’t yet achieved the history of the genre! Hence, the mad-dash to the library, whereupon you find that despite the odd request to ‘jump your holds’, you find the librarians are accommodating, if slightly not understanding the rush to pick them up! I tried to explain it was for a contributing piece I was submitting for a Steampunk event in the blogosphere, but I realised there was a bit of a disconnect in what I was attempting to explain! Of the three books I was able to pick up, its “The Clockwork Man” that I had the highest hopes of being “the book!” that I would find I wanted to review for “The Clockwork Carnival”!! And, guess what!? It not only grabbed me by the opening pages, as the story unfolds through peeking into a personal’s private journal, but I settled into the story knowing it would not be the last book I’d read with a steampunky theme!!

Librarian Assistance, please!

A quick glimpse at your card catalogue confirmed what you already had known by the remote access catalogue, that looking up Steampunk books in your library, is a lesson in futility!! Goodness!! I went back to the help desk to ferret out a bit of help in my search, as I knew even though I couldn’t read all the books [at least not in the first week!] I would be taking home with me, I had to at least make a dent in understanding what the library had to offer! This is when I met the YA Librarian for the first time! She was quite lovely, highly knowledgable, and patiently wrote down title after title that was in that location’s YA section, as well as placing holds on the books that were elsewhere!! I loved that she was as enthused about Steampunk as I was, as the first librarian I spoke too, appeared a bit indifferent at the mentioning of ‘airships’ and ‘Victorian technology’. I suppose it helps to seek out the right librarian to speak too! Thankfully, she informed me that if I were ever able to come back on a Monday, her and the Children’s librarian would be there to answer any future questions OR research requests for books & authors!

And, then you suddenly realise you only thought you would be fetching your ‘jumped holds’, and rather instead noticed that the large canvas sack you brought with you is rather paltry compared to the *STACK!* your carting off!

It began rather earnestly and innocently, as I was all wrapped up in excitement over “The Clockwork Carnival” arriving in towne! Esteemed that I would finally be able to dig my heels and clocks into the heart of a genre that I have struggled to get a foothold in myself! I obtained where they kept the science fiction & fantasy shelves, and promptly slipped into the stacks! I never know what to look for exactly, so I went with the basic instinct that the titles would ‘speak to me’ in that hidden language that all readers can attest to hearing,… “clocks”, “gears”, “steamships”, “trains”, “airships”, “Victorian-era”, “London”, or anything that would be plausible to be “of a Steampunk variety”. Interspersed with the Steam, I just couldn’t help myself when I started to find books that fell under “Magical Realism” because ever since I met the Golem & the Jinni, I am quite literally craving more of this genre!! Notice how an Austen book snuck into my bag!?

  • Skybreaker {Book Two: Airborn series} by Kenneth Oppel; Whoopsies! I need book one!
  • Goliath {Book Three: Leviathan series} by Scott Westerfield
  • Worldsoul by Liz Williams
  • Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
  • Clockwork Angel {Book One: Infernal Devices trilogy} by Cassandra Clare; When I saw this book was part of the stack, I nearly hesitated as I remembered that the first time I discovered this book a few years ago, I was all excited for it, until I finally checked it out, and I do not remember getting past page 1, chapter 1!! Maybe the timing was wrong, OR maybe as the case tends to be,… I am not a reader who fits into the mainstream category of Steampunk! Not sure!}
  • The Search for WondLa {Book One: WondLa series} by Tony DiTerlizzi  ; I sort of  have high hopes for this book & its sequel! 
  • A Hero for WondLa {Book Two: WondLa series} by Tony DiTerlizzi
  • The Daedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy by Johanna Sinisalo & David Hackston; I truly need to read world literature!
  • Crossroads: Tales of the Southern Literary Fantastic by Brett Cox & Andy Duncan ; The title alone had me curious!
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke ; I had just read about this book!
  • The White Forest by Adam McOmber ; One of the books I appear to check out yet run out of time to read!
  • Galileo’s Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson ; Another second attempt book!
  • I was Jane Austen’s Best Friend by Cora Harrison; It spoke to me from the shelf! laughs.

I am going to attempt to read a selection of the books mentioned above to celebrate the last week of: “The Clockwork Carnival”!! I’ve been reading the posts over there, eager to see my review go live, and hoping to settle into a few more author’s styles of Steampunk, as I am learning that Steampunk encompasses ever so much more than Victorian London and airships! Sometimes I notice that the Steampunk is more subtle than explosive, and I love the intense variety that I am finding! I am curious, which books and authors of Steampunk do you enjoy yourself!? OR, is it a genre that either hasn’t yet been explored, or you’ve decided to bypass!?

By Friday, I was able to get to my home branch, where I was happy to speak about JLAS with the librarians who have always been supportive of me and of whom I have been esteemed to know over the years! More of the YA Librarian’s suggestions floated in, as well as the first batch of Austen in August choices that I had placed on hold! Eek! I am truly excited now that I get to take a ganderment of the books up close and personal! :)

  • Behemoth {Book Two: Leviathan series] by Scott Westerfield
  • Leviathan {Book One: Leviathan series} by Scott Westerfield {part of the Leviathan series: oh, my dear stars! I clicked over to his website, to see what this series involves, when I stumbled across the Leviathan series page,… scroll down, and just sit in awe of the illustrations! I love that he went old school, and brought back the illustrative glintings of stories! The pictures of life are etched into a realism that brings his story to life, at least for me! The airship landing in Hyde Park is my favourite! Not to mention the atmosphere of his site in general is full of clocks, cogs, and gears! Lovely!} Thank you, YA Librarian! The only concern I have is how brutal the war might be, and the level of light verse dark inside the arc of the storylines, but otherwise, I appreciated the learning curve in seeing an author seeking out illustrative art rather than modern cover art variations that are more stock photo collages than original illustrations.
  • Steamed: A Steampunk Romance by Kate MacAlister; I have no idea what to expect! Laughs.
  • The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow; Always felt a bit cheeky and a bit adventurous of a story!
  • Stitches in Time by Barbara Michaels
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern; I thought this was an interesting concept when it first came out!
  • The Archived by Victoria Schwab; The premise is unique as it’s based on a library that contains the souls of those who are archived into the library itself!
  •  Pride and Prescience or A Truth Universally Acknowledged by Carrie Bebris; A series I always meant to get into!
  • Two Shall Become One: Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Pride and Prejudice Continues by Sharon Lathan; A new find!
  • The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy by Maya Slater; One of the many finds I made awhile ago!
  • The Independance of Miss Mary Bennett by Colleen McCullough; I knew I wanted to read this when it came out, but I always found myself distracted! I had no idea it was written by the author of “The Thornbirds!”

I promise I will have more reading adventures to speak about by time next Sunday arrives, as it will be the eve of Bout of Books 8.0, as much as I will be reading at least three of the books for Austen in August! I simply needed a bit of time to relax and unwind from the hard push I made towards going LIVE with Jorie Loves A Story! I am thankful to see that I am growing a readership, with new visitors stopping by each day, and a few returning visitors as well! Likewise, I appreciate everyone who has thus far left me comments, as I enjoy reading the feedback, as some of what was related to me has helped me tweak JLAS to be a bit more visually friendly than it was on Launch Day! :) As well as making sure readers can follow me a bit easier through: Bloglovin’, Blog Nation, FeedBlitz, and Email Updates on New Posts! All of which is at the bottom of my left sidebar for your convenience! :)

Curious whilst I was practically hibernating behind the scenes, as far as putting a full halt on reading is concerned, how was everyone else’s week!? Read anything wickedly exciting!? Shift into a new genre, you weren’t expecting to embark down!? Read any awesomely bookish newsbits on bookish blogs!? OR, did you simply relax into a book, put up your feet, and have a cuppa tea or coffee near you as you soaked in the story!? Have you read any of the books I brought home!?

Be sure to visit, Showcase Sunday’s Link Up Page for this week’s Meme, in order to scope out what everyone else is reading!

 {SOURCES: Showcase Sunday badge provided by for participants
to use to promote the weekly meme by Books,  Biscuits, & Tea.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Monday, 12 August, 2013 by jorielov in Magical Realism, Showcase Sunday, Steampunk

Launch Day!! Jorie Loves A Story, officially launches!!

Posted Monday, 5 August, 2013 by jorielov 17 Comments

FourWinds_Launch_JLAS

As you can see, my blog has officially launched! :) I have been steadfast in my intent to go *live!* since I originally began composing the vision for what I wanted this blog to be in the closing hours of March 2013! Life being life, certain things interfered with this dream of mine happening sooner, a bit of a hinting of that is listed under the posting, “Your never quite prepared,…” July became my haven for health and wellness, carving out every inch of space and time I had to give to my little bookish blog on the blogosphere,… burnt more than my fair share of midnight oil lasting long into the dawning hours of each new day!

Days where a comforting nosh on cheese pizza slices with a tall glass of Arnold Palmer nursing your insomniac approach to blogging; a breakaway afternoon celebrating your Mum’s birthday, nibbling on delish quesadillas and heavenly soaking in the aroma and decadence of an espresso raspberry mocha latte; and those comfort food eat-on-a-flash dinners where you put garlic mashed potatoes into a bowl and heap on a  bag of frozen lovelies {being of soup or meal} to warm your soul and carry you onwards towards your goal! And, even the delicate whisperings of the same latte in-between meals, warming your courage to carry-on past fatigue and wiring your brain to articulate everything you have to say as the night marches forward towards dawn!

I worked fervently hard to *tweak!* each post with the help of a lovely copy editor and spun my spin on the books I read as I consumed them! This is my little gift back to the world of writers: little notes of gratitude to reflect upon their contributions to publishing and to the written word! I have amassed quite a heap of positive experiences since mid-Autumn 2012 with the addition of “Shelf Awareness for Readers” in my life; since Mid-Spring 2012 with the addition of “First Impressions” via Book Browse; and since late-Autumn 2012 when I underwent a mission to become active in the blogosphere visiting bookish bloggers, published authors’ blogs, author group blogs, aspiring authors, and every niche in-between!

This is my way of saying, “Thank you!” and for making a contribution to the lovely corner of bookish culture I have come to appreciate ever so much! Bless you for joining me on my new journey! May my blog be a stop on your travels in the netherspheres of the webs!

– Jorie

{SOURCES: Notepad image and Quote button provided by Shabby Blogs, with alterations to the notepad by Jorie via FotoFlexer! A special shout-out to the lovely women behind Shabby Blogs & Shabby Blog’s Blog who provide the resources for bloggers everywhere to personalise their space and feel a bit of their personality shining through! Bless them for making all of this available for FREE!}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Monday, 5 August, 2013 by jorielov in Jorie Loves A Story

Austen in August 2013: A Reading Challenge!

Posted Thursday, 1 August, 2013 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Austen in August badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Carli Jean (Public Domain : Unsplash)

Austen in August: is an annual reading challenge hosted by Roof Beam Reader. The goal is to read as many Jane Austen novels, stories, and unfinished manuscripts as you can whilst encompassing the spin-offs, sequels, re-tellings, and biographies that also exist about this wickedly dynamic author who is still able to captivate an audience 196 years after her death! Meanwhile, Austenprose is hosting a Bicentenary Pride & Prejudice Challenge which expired to join on 1 July 2013! Therefore, I am quite thankful I made it under the wire to join this one! As I want to have a main focus on *Pride and Prejudice*, yet wander into other stories as well! Sign-Up Page for Austen in August; Master Post to Link your Reflections on Austen.

Books I Want to Focus On:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; Vanity and Vexation: a novel of Pride and Prejudice {original UK title: Lions and Liquorice} by Kate Fenton; Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor {Being a Jane Austen mystery} by Stephanie Barron; Pride and Prescience or A Truth Universally Acknowledged by Carrie Bebris; Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister by C. Allyn Pierson; Two Shall Become One: Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Pride and Prejudice Continues by Sharon Lathan; The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy by Maya Slater; The Independance of Miss Mary Bennett by Colleen McCullough; Pemberley by the Sea {alternative title: The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice} and Mr. Darcy’s Obsesssion by Abigail Reynolds; Pride, Prejudice, and Jasmin Field by Melissa Nathan; Dancing with Mr. Darcy: stories inspired by Jane Austen and Chawton House {anthology} by Sarah Waters; Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal (inspired by); Persuasion by Jane Austen; The Family Fortune by Laurie Horowitz (re-telling of Persuasion); and Sanditon and Other Stories by Jane Austen.

An extra addition: I was Jane Austen’s Best Friend by Cora Harrison*

{*} a random find whilst at the library!

Reasons I Want to Take on the Challenge:

Even before I first picked up “Pride and Prejudice”, I instinctively knew that I would be a life-long appreciator of Jane Austen! There was a drawing towards her works, her life, and her styling of writing that I cannot quite pin-point yet altogether know was threaded throughout my growing years and adulthood. I still remember for one of my birthdays {in my twenties} I purchased the “Jane Austen Library” out of one of the mail-order book clubs I was a member of at the time! I cannot recall directly if it was the Book-of-the-Month club OR another one, yet the books were hardback and had the most beautiful cover art I had then come across attributed to her collective works!

Prior to this, my Mum found the “Sense and Sensibility” screenplay {in hardback} which was directed by Emma Thompson. She also gave me a copy of the novel, in order to read and cross reference both texts. I remember beginning both quite eagerly, but I never properly became engaged into either! Around the time of the Keira Knightley adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice”, I felt that perhaps the stars were aligning and I could once again dig my heels into a book that had left me museful for most of my life! Especially with all the references being made in motion pictures {ie: “You’ve Got Mail”} making me ever the more curious,… I finally picked up a pocket hardback edition at Barnes & Noble! My greatest Austen moment thus far was being able to soak up the narrative during the opening week of the film and seeing it before it left the theaters! Quite chuffed I pulled that off, I must say!

When a friend of mine suggested reading Persuasion together, I thought that that would be a swell idea, except to say, my heart was not into it at the time, and this is one book that I simply added to my shelf! Which is why I have included as part of my August readings!

As homage to my quest to understand Jane Austen, and to make a nodding at the first book that enticed me to her works, I decided to focus on “Pride and Prejudice” and the books that were spun into life out of respect of her canon and out of the inspirations that the story led other authors to create.

Austen As I Read Her:

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

My Favourite Resources for Jane Austen:

  • Jane Austen Knits – despite being aware of this lovely zine which drops once or twice a year into our lives, I have not yet had the proper chance to collect the volumes! Each visit I make to Barnes & Noble, I find myself properly flushed with excitement over what the issue will contain! One day!
  • Austenprose
  • ? perhaps I shall find new ones ?

 The books I had intended to read during this reading challenge have been re-directed and absorbed into: Classics Re-Told: 19th Century & Gothic Classics. Please re-direct your attention to the new post all about the details of this challenge, by which, I have the opportunity to carry-on with my goals as I had originally conceived them! My first post for Austen in August serves a dual-purpose, as it will also mark the first contribution piece for Classics Re-told! Therein I discuss the wrap-up for Austen in August as well.

{SOURCE:  August in August badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo credit: Carli Jean (Public Domain : Unsplash).}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Thursday, 1 August, 2013 by jorielov in Austen in August, Inspired by Stories, Re-Told Tales, Reading Challenges, Sequel Authors, Spin-Off Authors

Books of Eyre Challenge 2013: Let us re-discover, Ms. Jane Eyre!

Posted Thursday, 1 August, 2013 by jorielov , 4 Comments

Books of Eyre Reading Challenge badge created by Jorie in Canva Photo Credit: Daniel Ruswick (Public Domain : Unsplash) I have been a supporter of Jane Eyre since I first learnt of her story! To uncover a self-directed / self-motivating reading challenge to consume not only the original “Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte” but to be encouraged to read sequel authors as well, is quite a smashing idea! One that I dare not pass up on the ability to undertake, as “Books of Eyre Challenge 2013” hosted by The Musings of ALMYBNENR, began on 1 January and concludes 31 December! Plenty o’ time for me to dig into this wicked sweet reading challenge and make a bit of headway!
Level Three: Governess {Read 15 Books} Ideally this is my goal!

My Declaration of Participation is thus: To start off by reading *Jane Eyre* by Charlotte Bronte, by which, I have yet to actually do! I have always had the very best of intentions, without a lot of positive results! After I conclude her original masterpiece, I will move onwards forward through the list I have populated below as the books that appeal to my literary wanderings,… seeking out books whose stories not only pay homage to the canon left behind by Ms. Bronte but take on a unique charted course of their own, delving into the same structure of characters and story. I have set my goal to read Eyre books lower than the number of Eyre books I have sought out. I did this as a calming balm not to worry if my intentions at the on-set differ towards the ending hours of 2013!

PERSONAL GOALS & MOTIVATIONS: for Books of Eyre 2013: To consume one Eyre book at a time, opine my impressions afterwards, and link my post to the Books of Eyre monthly list To seek out other participants entries as the months slide forward To seek out other book bloggers that might not realise this Challenge is underway, and to encourage their participation To attempt to listen to the musical versions of Jane Eyre To attempt to watch each motion picture adaptation of Jane Eyre

 

The Appealment of an “Eyre” Reading Challenge: I always had a sense of knowing that Jane Eyre would not only become a story and a {classic} novel that I would be wholly endeared too, but it would spark a curiosity to seek out stories and novels that were inspired into being due to Ms. Bronte’s canon! In this way, stumbling across a reading challenge to uncover and absorb into re-tellings, spin-offs, and sequels of the enduring Ms. Eyre was rather happenstance! There is such a breadth of heart woven into her story, bold determination, and a survival instinct to make do and make good no matter how your circumstances try to define you. It’s a powerful story of overcoming and never surrending who you are whilst defining how you will live and how you will thrive.

My initial introduction to Ms. Jane Eyre: Came during the early hours of a morning wretched by the plight of the sickly girl frustrated beyond hilt and despite to do something that could advert her misery! She plucked the remote control up off the nightstand and dared the tv to illuminate a movie that could curtail sleep and cast aside her anguish! She had to flip through several channels before stumbling across a seemingly British teleplay with gothic underpinnings! A few scenes in, she was not only hooked but she had abandoned the remote! A few scenes more and she deduced she was watching an adaptation of Jane Eyre! She felt betwixt with herself for even considering to watch this film knowing full and well that she had intended always to read this particular novel ahead of seeing its adaptation,… her eyes veered back to the discarded remote and her heart leapt out a response to qualm her furrowed brow. Her tired eyes moved back to the screen and she became fully entranced with Thornfield Hall!

Book Choices of Mine: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (original); Thornfield Hall: Adele: Jane Eyre’s Hidden Story by Emma Tennant (sequel); Rochester: A Novel inspired by Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre by J.L. Niemann (sequel); Rochester: Consummation: The Continuing Story Inspired by Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre by J.L. Niemann (sequel); Jane Eyre’s Daughter by Elizabeth Newark (sequel); Death of a School Girl & Death of a Dowager{Jane Eyre Chronicles: 1 & 2} by Joanna Campbell Slan (spin-off); Becoming Jane Eyre by Sheila Kohler (spin-off); Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (prequel); Adele, Grace, and Celine: The Other Woman of Jane Eyre by Claire Moise (sequel); Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (re-telling); The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart (re-telling); Jeanna Starborn by Sharon Shinn (re-telling); Jane Eyre’s Husband: The Life of Edward Rochester by Tara Bradley (re-telling); The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (spin-off); A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont (sequel); Jane: A Modern Re-Telling of Jane Eyre by April Lindner; Jane Eyre’s Rival: The Real Mrs. Rochester by Clair Holland; Mrs. Rochester by Hilary Bailey (sequel); Jane Rochester by Kimberly A. Bennet (sequel); Wish You Were Eyre by Heather Vogel Frederick (spin-off); Mrs. Rochester: the surprising sequel to Jane Eyre by Warwick Blanchett; The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey (re-telling)  – 23 books found!

Plus, one musical score: Jane Eyre: the Musical: Original Broadway Cast Recording by Paul Gordon (composer); as well as film adaptations for *Jane Eyre* {1943; 1996; A&E, 1997; Masterpiece, 2006; 2011}, *Wide Sargasso Sea* {BBC, 2006; 1993}; an opera directed by Brendan Maher and a song by Stevie Nicks on her ablum “In Your Dreams”, and *Rebecca* {1940; 1997}!
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{*UPDATE: 10 August 2013: According to this list featured over on Bookish Whimsy, as a personal accounting of all novels spun-out of the canon she wishes to read, I daresay, I will be participating next year, if Books of Eyre goes into a third year! I barely broached the surface, apparently! I’m still proud of myself for what I was able to find, but ooh! Look at all the books left to read!!}

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Books of Eyre: by order of reading

  • Book One: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (2013) via Septemb-Eyre! (Chapters I-XI)
  • Book Two: Keeping Kate by Lauren Winder Farnsworth (re-telling) (2015) (review)
  • Book Three: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (prequel) (2016) (review)
  • Book Four: All Hallows at Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray (sequel) (2016) (review)
  • Book Five:  Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray (sequel) (2016) (review)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This began as a month-long event I was participating, and I decided to expand it to become inclusive of my first Classics Club experience; thus making this a self-directed challenge and not limited to the constraints of it’s original event.

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{SOURCES: Books of Eyre Reading Challenge badge created by Jorie in Canva Photo Credit: Daniel Ruswick (Public Domain : Unsplash). It took me half a second to realise her blog name is really stating her name: ALMYBNENR! And, at a third glance it reads: Amber Lynn I used to know what this is called but forgive me, I have forgotten!  Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Thursday, 1 August, 2013 by jorielov in Bookish Whimsy, Books of Eyre, Inspired by Stories, Re-Told Tales, Reading Challenges, Sequel Authors, Spin-Off Authors