#PubDay Book Spotlight | “The Gossamer Mage” by Julie E. Czerneda

Posted Tuesday, 6 August, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: For three years (2015-2017) I happily participated in three blog tours celebrating Ms Czerneda’s epic series: The Clan Chronicles (#futurespasttour, #timeandstarstour & #againstthedark respectively) wherein I was blessed to be able to read the series in the order of the Clan. I started with Stratification, followed by the Trade Pact trilogy and finally found my heart so tethered to the love story between Jason & Sira, I was left emotionally wrecked and uplifted by the ending (within the pages of “To Guard Against the Dark”). You can read through my Archive of #whoaretheclan ruminative thoughts per each story I quite literally found to be #unputdownable!

At the same time, I had the joy of hosting Ms Czerneda on several occassions where I featured her in an interview, a guest post about the Web Shifters series & a final good-bye essay about the past twenty years of being with the Clan.

In [2016] I received the first two novels of the Night Edge series “A Turn of Light” & “A Play of Shadow”. However, the timing wasn’t right for me – it was too soon after my father’s stroke and in the ensuing year, due to different reasons (mostly health related as I have chronic migraines), I decided to wait to conclude my readings of the Clan before attempting to re-emerge into her Fantasy series. This Summer I knew the time had come for me to settle into an epic Fantasy series and see where this new journey with Ms Czerneda’s characters would take me. Ahead of this new journey of mine – I elected to read her stand-alone new release “The Gossamer Mage” which is a work of Dark Fantasy releasing on my 6th blog birthday, the 6th of August!

I received a complimentary copy of ‘The Gossamer Mage’ in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

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What drew my eye into wanting to read “The Gossamer Mage”:

I read the premise behind Mage and goodness! What a plotting of intrigue! I like how the mages are a bit in the dark about what is actually going on with the Goddess and how their world is affected by the truths left unknown to them. The cover art is also lovely. I had a feeling this might be a darker Fantasy story – however, there were certain aspects of the Clan which ran quite dark as well. I survived the Clan and I have confidence I can handle a darker Fantasy novel from you. I like your instincts for telling stories and I look forward to taking this journey. – initial thoughts

When I first learnt of the premise you’ll notice how as I was considering the subject & the story within the heart of “The Gossamer Mage” I was recognising that despite appearances, I was already well aware of how this particular author can take her reader into the darker realms of her Speculative stories; thereby, I was with better confidence in believing I could not just handle reading this novel but I would appreciate discovering how she treated this world with her style of pulling us through a world which will leave us ruminatively reflective.

The day the novel released into book world seeking readers is the very same day I am celebrating my 6th Blog Birthday here on Jorie Loves A Story which felt rather fittingly brilliant if you ask me! What better way to anchour your personal celebrations than by ruminating over a beloved author and reading their latest release? I was honoured to be considered for the blog tour of this latest release as although it was meant to become my *third!* reading of Ms Czerneda’s Fantasy stories – it became my first.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com#PubDay Book Spotlight | “The Gossamer Mage” by Julie E. CzernedaThe Gossamer Mage
by Ms Julie E. Czerneda, Julie E. Czerneda
Source: Direct from Publisher

From an Aurora Award-winning author comes a new fantasy epic
in which one mage must stand against a Deathless Goddess who controls all magic.

Only in Tananen do people worship a single deity: the Deathless Goddess. Only in this small, forbidden realm are there those haunted by words of no language known to woman or man. The words are Her Gift, and they summon magic. Mage scribes learn to write Her words as intentions: spells to make beasts or plants, designed to any purpose. If an intention is flawed, what the mage creates is a gossamer: a magical creature as wild and free as it is costly for the mage. For Her Gift comes at a steep price. Each successful intention ages a mage until they dare no more. But her magic demands to be used; the Deathless Goddess will take her fee, and mages will die. To end this terrible toll, the greatest mage in Tananen vows to find and destroy Her. He has yet to learn She is all that protects Tananen from what waits outside. And all that keeps magic alive.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780756408909

Also by this author: Reap the Wild Wind, Riders of the Storm, Rift in the Sky, A Thousand Words for Stranger, Ties of Power, To Trade the Stars, This Gulf of Time and Stars, Julie E. Czerneda Interview (#futurespasttour), The Gate to Futures Past, Guest Post (Web Shifters series) by Julie E. Czerneda, Guest Post: Julie E. Czerneda (Clan Chronicles Finale Tour), To Guard Against the Dark

Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction


Published by DAW Books

on 6th August, 2019

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 416

 Published By: DAW Books (@DAWBooks)
an imprint of Penguin Group USA

Book prologue was published as the novella
“The Gossamer Mage: Intended Words” in 2008, Baen’s Universe.

Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #gossamermage + #DarkFantasy

About Ms Julie E. Czerneda

Julie E. Czerneda Photo Credit: Roger Czerneda Photography

Julie E. Czerneda is the author of the Species Imperative trilogy, the Night's Edge fantasy duology, and the Stratification novels. She is a multiple Aurora Award winner, and was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award and the Philip K. Dick Award. Julie lives with her husband and two children in the lake country of central Ontario, under skies so clear they could take seeing the Milky Way for granted, but never do.

Photo CreditRoger Czerneda Photography

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Tuesday, 6 August, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Canadian Literature, Content Note, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction, Fly in the Ointment

Blog Book Tour | “Sign of the White Foal” (Book One: Arthur of the Cymry Trilogy) by Chris Thorndycroft

Posted Friday, 2 August, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , 2 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

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Acquired Book By:

I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring.

It has been a wicked fantastical journey into the heart of the historic past, wherein I’ve been blessed truly by discovering new timescapes, new living realities of the persons who once lived (ie. Biographical Historical Fiction) inasmuch as itched my healthy appetite for Cosy Historical Mysteries! If there is a #HistRom out there it is generally a beloved favourite and I love soaking into a wicked wonderful work of Historical Fiction where you feel the beauty of the historic world, the depth of the characters and the joyfulness in which the historical novelists brought everything to light in such a lovingly diverse palette of portraiture of the eras we become time travellers through their stories.

I received a complimentary of “Sign of the White Foal” direct from the author Chris Thorndycroft, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On why this story appealled to me & how I arrived inside the chapters:

You might remember how consumed I was by the story-telling and historical narrative arc within the Guinevere Tales trilogy by Nicole Evelina? This was the first chance I had to pull myself into the folds of a well-thought out exploration of the Arthurian myth & canon – wherein, I found a wicked intense focus on Guinevere herself, the foundations of Avalon’s history and the curious ways a writer can pull you through a Historical Fantasy series wherein you’re not just captivated by their research for these fabled characters and heroes of the ancient times in our timeline but you feel more anchoured to a part of history which isn’t oft discussed or explored.

As I had such an emotional connection to Evelina’s trilogy, I waited until after I had concluded reading it before I began to read more stories set in, round or next door to her time periods. There is another Historical trilogy I am re-reading late Summer, early Autumn this year – as the first novel released last year; “The Lost Queen” runs parallel to my interests in this timescape. Thus, when I saw “Sign of the White Foal” was touring, I was equally delighted and excited to see how this author would treat the subject and the persons he’s populated within his story.

It is lovely how for each author who stimulates a historical portal to the past, there are others who can pick up from whence we left off with one author and continue our quest to move in and out of periods of history which fascinate our imaginations.

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I had planned to read two Non-Fiction releases before sharing my review for “Sign of the White Foal” – Wisdom of the Middle Ages & Wisdom of the Renaissance – whilst I wanted to dig back into “The Lost Queen” as well – to have this lovely immersion experience in cross-relating stories and subjects of interest. *However!* – instead my week was wrecked by plumbers, a migraine & more life woes than a girl can shake a stick at in apt frustration! Thereby, my review which I had thought was due on Friday, was in effect, meant to arrive on Thursday but it wasn’t til Thursday night I honestly could curl back inside “Sign of the White Foal” and bring this review to my readers!

When you haven’t a way of reaching your books & your blog, you just have to hope and pray the hours you have after the chaos recedes allows you enough serenity to ‘catch up’ and find the blissitude you had before the chaos overtook your readerly hours! At least, this is how I re-directed my heart and mind as I dipped back into reading this late Thursday night and early Friday morning!

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Blog Book Tour | “Sign of the White Foal” (Book One: Arthur of the Cymry Trilogy) by Chris ThorndycroftSign of the White Foal
Subtitle: Book One in the Arthur of the Cymry Trilogy
by Chris Thorndycroft
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

A generation after Hengest and Horsa carved out a kingdom in the east, a hero of the Britons rises in the west…

480 A.D. The sons of Cunedag have ruled Venedotia for fifty years but the chief of them – the Pendraig – is now dying. His sons Cadwallon and Owain must fight to retain their birthright from their envious cousins. As civil war consumes Venedotia, Arthur – a young warrior and bastard son of the Pendraig – is sent on a perilous quest that will determine the fate of the kingdom.

The Morgens; nine priestesses of the Mother Goddess have found the cauldron of rebirth – a symbol of otherworldly power – and have allied themselves with the enemy. Arthur and six companions are dispatched to the mysterious island of Ynys Mon to steal the cauldron and break the power of the Morgens. Along the way they run into the formidable Guenhuifar whose family have been stewards of Ynys Mon for generations. They need her help. The trouble is, Guenhuifar despises Arthur’s family and all they stand for…

Based on the earliest Arthurian legends, Sign of the White Foal is a rip-roaring adventure of Celtic myth and real history set in the ruins of post-Roman Britain.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781099698132

Also by this author: Sign of the White Foal (Interview)

Also in this series: Sign of the White Foal (Interview)


Genres: After Canons, Arthurian Legend, Historical Fiction, Re-telling &/or Sequel


Published by Self Published Author

on 1st July, 2019

Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

Pages: 311

This novel is self-published

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction, #HistFic or #HistNov
as well as #Avalon and #Arthurian

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Chris Thorndycroft

Chris Thorndycroft

Chris Thorndycroft is a British writer of historical fiction, horror and fantasy. His early short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies such as Dark Moon Digest and American Nightmare. His first novel under his own name was A Brother’s Oath; the first book in the Hengest and Horsa Trilogy. He also writes under the pseudonym P. J. Thorndyke.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 2 August, 2019 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 5th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, After the Canon, Anglo-Saxon History, Arthurian Legend, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book for University Study, Bookish Discussions, Britian, Coming-Of Age, Cosy Horror, Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, England, Genre-bender, Good vs. Evil, Heroic Bloodshed, Heroic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, JLAS Update Post, Literary Fiction, Literature for Boys, Men's Fiction, Military Fiction, Mother-Son Relationships, Orphans & Guardians, Re-Told Tales, Realistic Fiction, Self-Published Author, Siblings, Spin-Off Authors, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Supernatural Fiction, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, Sword & Scorcery, Vulgarity in Literature, Warfare & Power Realignment

Book Spotlight | “The Undertaker’s Assistant” by Amanda Skenandore

Posted Wednesday, 31 July, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By:

I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring.

It has been a wicked fantastical journey into the heart of the historic past, wherein I’ve been blessed truly by discovering new timescapes, new living realities of the persons who once lived (ie. Biographical Historical Fiction) inasmuch as itched my healthy appetite for Cosy Historical Mysteries! If there is a #HistRom out there it is generally a beloved favourite and I love soaking into a wicked wonderful work of Historical Fiction where you feel the beauty of the historic world, the depth of the characters and the joyfulness in which the historical novelists brought everything to light in such a lovingly diverse palette of portraiture of the eras we become time travellers through their stories.

I received a complimentary of “The Undertaker’s Assistant” direct from the publisher Kensignton Books, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On why this story appealled to me:

When this novel first arrived in my postbox, I must admit, I was so dearly curious about it, I couldn’t help myself – I immediately dug into the first chapter and didn’t want to put it down! The timing was a bit off for me to conclude my readings of the story on its arrival but one thing was certain, I loved the style and humour of Ms Skenandore!

Being that I enjoy Historical Mysteries, Suspense and Thrillers – I thought I might enjoy a story set through the eyes of an embalmer who worked during an age and time where women were not seen as equal to men. Effie was attempting to prove her independence – not just as a female embalmer but as a freedwoman during the Restoration – the period of time after our Civil War in the 1800s. The premise of that kind of work being a passion for a woman seemed like an interesting prospect for a Historical novel to explore and I wanted to see what Skenandore would do with the plot and the character’s growth within Effie’s shoes.

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Book Spotlight | “The Undertaker’s Assistant” by Amanda SkenandoreThe Undertaker's Assistant
by Amanda Skenandore
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Set during Reconstruction-era New Orleans, and with an extraordinary and unforgettable heroine at its heart, The Undertaker’s Assistant is a powerful story of human resilience–and of the unlikely bonds that hold fast even in our darkest moments.

“The dead can’t hurt you. Only the living can.”Effie Jones, a former slave who escaped to the Union side as a child, knows the truth of her words. Taken in by an army surgeon and his wife during the War, she learned to read and write, to tolerate the sight of blood and broken bodies–and to forget what is too painful to bear. Now a young freedwoman, she has returned south to New Orleans and earns her living as an embalmer, her steady hand and skillful incisions compensating for her white employer’s shortcomings.

Tall and serious, Effie keeps her distance from the other girls in her boarding house, holding tight to the satisfaction she finds in her work. But despite her reticence, two encounters–with a charismatic state legislator named Samson Greene, and a beautiful young Creole, Adeline–introduce her to new worlds of protests and activism, of soirees and social ambition. Effie decides to seek out the past she has blocked from her memory and try to trace her kin. As her hopes are tested by betrayal, and New Orleans grapples with violence and growing racial turmoil, Effie faces loss and heartache, but also a chance to finally find her place.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781496713681

Also by this author: The Undertaker's Assistant

Genres: Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Kensington Books

on 30th July, 2019

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 326

Published by: Kensington Books (@KensingtonBooks)

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction, #HistFic or #HistNov
as well as #TheUndertakersAssistant and #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Amanda Skenandore

Amanda Skenandore

Amanda Skenandore is a historical fiction writer and registered nurse. Between Earth and Sky was her first novel. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Readers can visit her website.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 31 July, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

An #Audiobook Spotlight | “Surviving Doodahville” by Ashley Fontainne & Lillian Hansen, narrated by Rebecca Roberts

Posted Saturday, 27 July, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 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 “Surviving Doodahville” 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:

When I first played the samper for this audiobook, it felt like an interesting story to listen too. I am definitely attracted to certain kinds of Contemporary & modern narratives within the scope of Women’s Fiction, sagas, intergenerational and multigenerational explorations of ordinary life – which is the particular niche I felt this title would fall inside as I had originally planned to listen to it and review it during my Saturday’s Are Bookish focus of reviews on Jorie Loves A Story – which specifically hightlight either Romance and/or Women’s Fiction titles.

What I hadn’t foreseen is how my life in July would take me away from listening to this audiobook & how in the end, I wasn’t able to attach myself into the story itself; at least, not at this particular point in time.

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An #Audiobook Spotlight | “Surviving Doodahville” by Ashley Fontainne & Lillian Hansen, narrated by Rebecca RobertsSurviving Doodaville
by Ashley Fontainne
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions

“Filled with powerful scenes and great characters! Brings the ’83 Old South to vivid life. One of my all-time favorite reads! Loved it"! (Janelle Taylor, NY Times best-selling author)

The summer of 1983 - the era of big debt, big hair, and big dreams. Seventeen-year-old Kassandra Lawson is excited about starting her senior year of high school. She has a crush on a local hunk, and her best friend, valley girl extraordinaire Liz Hendricks, insists on helping her snag the hot guy - for sure!

July starts out uneventful for Kee and her parents. Her father, Kevin, is a partner at a CPA firm, and her mother, Gail, works as a secretary at the police department. The small family lives an idyllic life in sunny Hacienda Heights, California.

1983 also brings upheaval and strife for the Lawson clan. A death in the family forces Kevin and Gail to make the painful decision to pack up and move to Kevin’s hometown of Daltville, Arkansas.
Each faces daunting challenges adapting to their new life. Gail and Kee aren’t quite sure they can handle the culture shock. They encounter social and racial issues they never faced on the West Coast, strange food, weird dialects, odd customs, and wicked secrets that have the potential to destroy their family.

More than just a coming-of-age story, Surviving Doodahville explores family bonds, racial barriers, and just how much a person is willing to sacrifice for others. The tale is full of humor, action and a touch of mystery, making it a fun romp into the past.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B07S9849JW

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Women's Fiction


Published by RMSW Press

on 24 May, 2019

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 5 hours and 18 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: RMSW Press

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #SurvivingDoodaville + #AudioReads, #Audiobook

#WomensFiction and #Contemporary Fiction

About Ashley Fontainne

Award-winning and International bestselling author, Ashley Fontainne, is an avid reader, becoming a fan of the written word in her youth, starting with the Nancy Drew mystery series. Stories that immerse the reader deep into the human psyche and the monsters lurking within us are her favorite reads.

Her muse for penning the Eviscerating the Snake series was The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Ashley's love for this book is what sparked her desire to write her debut novel, Accountable to None, the first book in the trilogy. With a modern setting to the tale, Ashley delves into just what lengths a person is willing to go to when seeking personal justice for heinous acts perpetrated against them. The second novel in the series, Zero Balance, focuses on the cost and reciprocal cycle that obtaining revenge has on the seeker. Once the cycle starts, where does it end? How far will the tendrils of revenge expand? Adjusting Journal Entries answers that question—far and wide.

The short thriller entitled Number Seventy-Five touches upon the dangerous world of online dating. Number Seventy-Five took home the BRONZE medal in fiction/suspense at the 2013 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards.

The paranormal thriller entitled The Lie won the GOLD medal in the 2013 Illumination Book Awards for fiction/suspense. A movie based on this book, entitled Foreseen, is currently a feature film available on video-on-demand from Amazon.

Ashley delved into the paranormal with a Southern Gothic horror/suspense novel, Growl, which released in January of 2015. The suspenseful mystery Empty Shell released in September of 2014.

Ashley teamed up with Lillian Hansen (Ashley calls her Mom!) and penned a three-part murder mystery/suspense series entitled The Magnolia Series. The first book, Blood Ties, released in 2015 and was voted one of the Top 50 Self-Published Books You Should Be Reading in 2015 at www.readfree.ly.

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Posted Saturday, 27 July, 2019 by jorielov in Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Indie Author, Women's Fiction