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

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

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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.

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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

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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!

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#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

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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.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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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

#TopTenTuesday XIII | feat. “Forest of Souls” by Lori M. Lee whilst Jorie recollects which stories parlay on this new book’s theme (ie. there be ghosts!)

Posted Tuesday, 23 June, 2020 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I was on a walkabout in the twitterverse recently when I came across the announcements for this particular blog tour – hosted by a new blog touring company [ Hear Our Voices Blog Tours ] featuring #ownvoices authors and getting their books into the hands of OV book bloggers & reviewers; which I felt was a smashingly brilliant company to support because I’ve known about the struggle for OV bloggers to have the chance to read the stories being published as they oft go to other reviewers.

I’ve been a reader who celebrates #EqualityInLit since I first started blogging whilst I love having the chance to find stories and authors who are #ownvoices – when I first saw this blog tour, I was hoping to host an interview with the author or guest post – however, this was a new kind of tour for me and that is why it took me until the last day to post this feature on its behalf. The organisers wanted to create a surprise blog tour for the author and celebrate the release through the book blogosphere, the twitterverse and via #bookstagram as well. I am unsure if some of the stops made it into #booktube however, these are the general routes all blog tour companies try to get their stories featured inside and I was thankful I could play a small role in helping to champion the news of this particular release.

Moving forward with this touring company, I am unsure if I have a place to participate as I wasn’t going to ask to review any of the novels – as I agree with their mission to give these books to the OV book bloggers and reviewers; I was simply hoping to host their authors for guest features as new tours were announced however I am not sure if allies of #ownvoices literature is going to be a part of the tours moving forward. Either way – I wanted to give a nod of acknowledgement to this touring company, today’s featured author and the stories I’ve read involving the story’s theme of ghosts, souls and spirits.

I do have a bit of good news – I’m in 3rd position at my local library to receive “Forest of Souls” and I plan on sharing my thoughts after I’ve read the story with my readers. I was wicked excited seeing it was in the library’s catalogue as this was something I was going to suggest they purchase (if they hadn’t already) except to say our purchase requests are still on sabbatical. Imagine my JOY in finding this is already inbound to the library?

Now, grab your favourite cuppa of brewed coffee or tea or whip up a cuppa chai and let’s rewind time to see which stories Jorie has read which has given her such an atmospheric experience on this theme of interest!

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#TopTenTuesday XIII | feat. “Forest of Souls” by Lori M. Lee whilst Jorie recollects which stories parlay on this new book’s theme (ie. there be ghosts!)Forest of Souls
by Lori M. Lee

Sirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training to become the queen’s next royal spy, her plans are derailed when shamans attack and kill her best friend Saengo.

And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.

Unveiled as the first soulguide in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood—an ancient forest possessed by souls—to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only a soulguide can restrain them. As war looms, Sirscha must master her newly awakened abilities before the trees shatter the brittle peace, or worse, claim Saengo, the friend she would die for.

Danger lurks within the roots of Forest of Souls, an epic, unrelenting tale of destiny and sisterhood, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Susan Dennard.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781624149245

Published by Page Street Kids

on 23rd June, 2020

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Published by: Page Street Kids (@PageStreetKids)
an imprint of Page Street Publishing

This is the first novel of the Shamanborn series!

Available Formats: Trade Paperbook, Ebook and Audiobook

Converse via: #YAFantasy or #YoungAdult #Fantasy
+ #ForestOfSouls, #OwnVoices and #HOVForestOfSouls

About Lori M. Lee

Lori M. Lee

Lori M. Lee is the author of Forest of Souls, first in the Shamanborn series, as well as Gates of Thread and Stone and The Infinite. She’s also a contributor to the anthologies A Thousand Beginnings and Endings and Color Outside the Lines. She considers herself a unicorn aficionado, enjoys marathoning TV shows, and loves to write about magic, manipulation, and family.

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Posted Tuesday, 23 June, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Spotlight, Bookish Memes, Fantasy Fiction, Top Ten Tuesday, YA Fantasy

Book Spotlight | “The Memory House: A Love Story in Two Acts” by Jenetta James

Posted Tuesday, 23 June, 2020 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

Books in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I had already made my selections to read during #AustenInAugust for this year as I’ve been trying to make good on my promise to myself to re-engage with the stories I’ve attempted to read in the past but fell a bit short of finishing; hence why I have a book blogger’s backlogue.

For this particular event – I was looking forward to Adam @ Roof Beam Reader hosting this as it was an event he hosted for quite awhile before he had to take a hiatus from it. This year, as I was contemplating hosting a homage to his event, I learnt there was another event a month before August in July – simply called ‘#JaneAustenJuly’ which originates via booktube. I’ve decided to move my Austen reads into July to walk alongside my INSPY reads for a readathon I love participating in for INSPY Lit.

You might be curious why I am broaching this whilst hosting Ms James? The reason is because I originally crossed paths with the author when she first contacted me about “Suddenly Mrs Darcy” – this is one of the stories I desire to finally enjoy start to finish during #JaneAustenJuly as it was one story which was left unfinished in [2016]. I’ve been attempting to get back into reading Jane Austen ever since however, the past several years haven’t quite been kind to me as most of my regular readers know as [2017] was the year my father recovered from his stroke whilst [2018/19] were the years where my own health afflictions took over my life.

In [2019] I had the pleasure of listening to “Rational Creatures” – a collection of Jane Austen inspired after canon short stories – an anthology which also features Jenetta James. Shortly thereafter I had the chance to receive the anthology “Yuletide”. It is this second anthology I didn’t get the chance to feature on Jorie Loves A Story due to health afflictions and other issues which arose after I received the collection. I’ll be showcasing both “Yuletide” and “Suddenly Mrs Darcy” this July as I walk back into my readings of Jane Austen as I also slated to read “Mansfield Park” and “Northanger Abbey”.

This Summer whilst re-organising my readerly life, I saw the announcement for this lovely story and knew I wanted to help promote it. I still stand behind what initially drew me into wanting to read Ms James’ stories – there is something quite marvelous about the kinds of stories she’s writing and I dearly cannot wait to reconnect with one from her past next month!

Today I am celebrating her latest release and look forward to hearing from my readers if this is an author whose on your own radar to be read and/or if this is the first time you’ve heard of Jenetta James and the collective works she has currently published? Grab a cuppa of your favourite brew and get to know a bit more about this lovely new release!

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Book Spotlight | “The Memory House: A Love Story in Two Acts” by Jenetta JamesThe Memory House
Subtitle: A Love Story in Two Acts
by Jenetta James

A house in one of London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods is home to secrets, mysteries, and two love stories spanning two centuries.

In 1859, independent-minded Kitty Cathcart dreams of escaping Veronica Gardens but her father’s determination to marry her off to a rich man of his choosing forces her to seek happiness and find her own voice by other means. And then the handsome but poor Alex Faraday walks through the front doors.

In 2019, Oxford-educated Josie Minton never dreamt of living in a house as grand as Veronica Gardens, but the nanny’s quarters are a perfect fit for a young woman in need of a job. Wealthy financier James Cavendish and his twin girls quickly find her indispensable to their happiness, but Josie is still searching for her future.

Then the great house reveals the first of its secrets, and the tragedy and romance of one era are brought into sharp relief with another.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B08BFG6LJ4

Published by Quills and Quartos Publishing

on 10th August, 2020

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Published by: Quills and Quartos Publishing (@QuillsQuartos)

The following stories by Jenetta James are being re-released:

Suddenly Mrs Darcy

The Elizabeth Papers

Lover’s Knot

Available Formats: This is a Digital First release.

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov
+ #TheMemoryHouse, #JenettaJames and #HFVBTBlogTours

About Jenetta James

Jenetta James

Jenetta James is a lawyer, writer, mother and taker-on of too much. She grew up in Cambridge and read history at Oxford University where she was a scholar and president of the Oxford University History Society. After graduating, she took to the law and now practises full time as a barrister. Over the years she has lived in France, Hungary and Trinidad as well as her native England. Jenetta currently lives in London with her husband and children where she enjoys reading, laughing and playing with Lego.

She is the author of “Suddenly Mrs Darcy”, “The Elizabeth Papers” and “Lover’s Knot” as well as a contributor to The Quill Ink series of anthologies, “The Darcy Monologues”, “Dangerous to know”, “Rational Creatures” and “Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl”.

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Posted Tuesday, 23 June, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours