Format: Trade Paperback

A #RomanceTuesdays #25PagePreview feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming | “An Alaskan Homecoming (Northern Lights: Book Eight) by Beth Carpenter

Posted Tuesday, 22 June, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

#RomanceTuesdays badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.

I received a complimentary copy of “An Alaskan Homecoming” direct from the author Beth Carpenter in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comHallo, Hallo dear hearts,

Every Summer, I am vexed and plagued with severe storms and *every!* Summer, I try to divert the angst of storm season by being better prepared to dodge the agony of riding out the worst of them from affecting or rather in this instance *disrupting!* my readerly life and blog schedule. However, there are a few years which stand out in my mind where despite your plans to circumvent issues before they happen, nature has a way of surprising you ahead of time! Such is why I had to cut back this review to a preview review rather than a full-length review – as my intentions were to read this lovely novel ahead of the storms rather than being short-changed in time due to their imminent arrival into my life.

Such a simple plan and yet, as soon as June began – the storms not only affected the internet connectivity I enjoy using but it also started to affect my work life as well. The hours I would normally have to spare to read after or before work were lost to lightning and last week in particular, I was without the internet completely for nearly the full week. Considering of course that particular circumstance left me with a full system failure which required the service provider to switch out all the equipment as nothing was working at one point! Oy.

Thereby, the one wench in my plans this June is when I was able to begin reading this lovely novel which would also be the kick-off of one of my secreted readerly plans for Summer! 

Let me share with you what I’ve sorted out – as I have plans to celebrate #MyYASummer with you from June through September, whilst I also have another little idea to make me a wicked happy Romance reader: A Harlequin Heartwarming Summer!! Mostly as I’ve been sitting on a bit of a BIG secret – not to long ago, a few months back now, I came across a lovely resource for buying these lovelies second-hand wherein I could ‘add’ some #newtomeauthors onto my shelves whilst picking up books by authors I have come to know through the Heartwarming line – either as a reader and/or as a chat hostess via @SatBookChat!

I purchased 7x novels – combined with the EPIC LOVELY Butterfly Harbour novels Ms Stewart graced my life with this Spring and the four remaining stories of the #BlackwellSisters series those authors sent to me as well — you could say, my Summer is going to be brilliantly EPIC all the way round!! I’ve been wanting to jump dive back into reading Heartwarming novels but betwixt life, work and storms (ie. the intensely driven ones with heaps of lightning & flooding rains most of us are contending with right now) – you could say, I had to put a lot of my #currentreads on hold!

I struggled with moving past the last of my Harlequin Suspense reads as I read a few jarring stories which sort of messed with my headspace. I *knew!* I wanted to resume from whence I’ve left off but like most things in our lives, when it comes to our readerly lives, patience is KEY. I decided despite the frequent imbalances between work and life, I refuse to give in the towel. I just have to continue to be more proactively creative when it comes to when I can binge read my favourites and when I can snack on stories which enrich my heart and give me heaps of readerly blissitude to be read. And, that dear hearts is why I’m spending Summer anchoured into both Young Adult Reads and Harlequin Heartwarming!

Soon I’ll be talking about another sweet find I made recently and how it ties into a birthday project wherein all of us (Mum, Da & I) are journeying together into a new series where faith, romance and a hospital set the backdrop of a new Cosy Mystery series wherein as a family we’re doing something new together.

For now, let’s celebrate my continued joys in reading the Heartwarming novelists who give me #wickedgoodreads and endeavour me to have more cuppa love moments as I seek out their stories and series. Not to mention its the PURFECT way to unwind after work – with my tux by my side and a Heartwarming novel in my hands – queuing Spotify into my ears and I’m one delightfully happy book blogger!

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Why I loved the Northern Lights series coming into it at Book Eight:

What I love most about travelling to such an wicked adventurous state like Alaska through the series I am reading by Heartwarming novelists like Carpenter are the awesome depictions of the wild Alaska residents and the impressively majestic observations you can get from just ‘being still’ somewhere in the natural world therein. Carpenter treats us straight-off the bat with a moose sighting as Natalie takes the train to Anchorage – which next to their ferry system, the trains I felt would provide the most wonderment of JOY to a visitor or local resident because of what can be seen ashore and just outside the windows. I know one day I’ll get to visit and adventure in and out of the cities, townes and villages of our most northern state one day but for now, I am happily content in ‘being there’ rapt in the same joy of mirth these lovely authors are giving me through their stories!!

The kind of synthesis of plotting Carpenter used is one that I personally love – because it enables you to see the plot from different perspectives not merely limited to the two key characters you might presume are at the forefront of the novel! This allows for heartier depth, keen observation of the evolving threads of underlying suspense (as this refers to the twist) and a lovely bounce and volley watching the characters react and respond to everything in their purview! Honestly – it is a seriously awesome installment for this series because it tackles a story from a different starting point than the others in the series yet gives you the added benefit of having four characters to chase after into the thickening plot than merely two! And, that dear hearts is all I’ll say as it sneaks close enough to a spoiler and its too much of an enjoyable novel to even nibble off a telling hint about the overall plot for you!

I fell hard for this family and for the warmth Carpenter brought into how she told this story – reading it was such a refreshing balm to my soul after such a long hard fight to get my health realigned recently. Curling inside the beauty of how Carpenter took two strangers and a Wintry backdrop situated in a state I have held such a fond affection for from afar is what I loved most about reading An Alaskan Family Christmas. In the end, all that matters is the family we love, the memories we create and the willingness to be open to the unexpected – to fully embrace life in whichever way it alights in our lives and to give ourselves the chance to welcome into our lives a relationship we never expected would arrive the day we were thinking about everything else but our own dreams for the future. This is the kind of heart-lifting romance to give yourself a treat during the holiday season – fully enraptured in the mirth of how serendipity and a bit of Christmas magic can sometimes give you the present you need at a time where you felt you couldn’t be surprised anymore!

If Ms Carpenter is on the fence about writing more installments for this series – I hope she extends it out to a rounded eight, ten or twelve novels all told because she could seriously keep penning these lovelies as I wickedly keep devouring them! Time to see if my favourite used book shoppe which carries Harlequin Heartwarming novels has the first four which I never had the pleasure of reading before arriving inside the fifth!

-quoted from my book review for An Alaskan Family Christmas

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A #RomanceTuesdays #25PagePreview feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming | “An Alaskan Homecoming (Northern Lights: Book Eight) by Beth CarpenterAn Alaskan Homecoming
by Beth Carpenter
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

“Ever after” wasn’t the plan…

Until now!

Rowan O'Shea's intention was just to visit her family in the small Alaskan town she calls home. Now she's not sure she wants to leave, given the romantic mess she's left behind. A temporary fake marriage to gorgeous veterinarian Zack Vogel might be the perfect solution, if she can convince Zack. But Rowan's marriage of convenience has a seriously inconvenient snag—she's falling for her new fake husband!

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Romance Fiction, Contemporary Romance


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335179876

Also by this author: Sweet Home Alaska, Alaskan Dreams, An Alaskan Family Christmas

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 25th May, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

The Northern Lights series:

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The Alaskan Catch (book one)

A Gift for Santa (book two)

Alaskan Hideaway (book three)

An Alaskan Proposal (book four)

→ Sweet Home Alaska (book five) ← *where I began the series! (see also Review)

Alaskan Dreams (book six) ← review forthcoming this Summer!

An Alaskan Family Christmas (book seven) (see also Review)

An Alaskan Homecoming (book eight) ← review forthcoming this Summer!

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming (@HarlequinBooks) | imprint of Harlequin Books

Formats Available: Paperback* and Ebook

*Harlequin has the luxury of offering Regular, Large & Larger Print editions which I personally can attest are lovely to be reading! Especially after a migraine or when my eyes are fatigued.

Converse via: #BethCarpenter and #HarlequinHeartwarming

About Beth Carpenter

Beth Carpenter

Once upon a time ...

when Beth Carpenter was a little girl, she read everything she could get her hands on, and entertained herself on the school bus by making up stories in her head. Not a lot has changed. She's still consuming books like M&Ms, and spends her days creating happily-ever-afters for her imaginary friends.

She lives in Alaska and Arizona with her husband and an aggressively affectionate fifty-pound lap dog. She loves to hear from readers.

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Posted Tuesday, 22 June, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction

Author Interview | Diving behind the story of “Lady August” by Becky Michaels and her writerly styling for #HistRom!

Posted Monday, 7 June, 2021 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts and fellow book bloggers from the #LadyAugust tour!

I had a lot of lovely plans for last week on Jorie Loves A Story – I was going to run a finale week for my beloved #WyrdAndWonder event I happily co-host with Imyril and Lisa every May and October. I was also planning to run this interview with Ms Michaels on Friday, which was the last day of the blog tour for Lady August. Sometimes best laid plans go a bit awry as they had for me this past week. Between the seriously serious thunderstorms, the wreck of a work week and a bit of illness thrown into it – I decided to throw the towel in on it all late Sunday night whilst stuck in my car due to another fierce storm for two hours after my shift.

Whilst there is a lot of finale celebrations happening today via #booktwt, I had already sorted out I could feature this interview today. Apparently, time is now in my favour and I can bring this conversation to you at long last! I wanted to dive into the topics and subjects being explored in the context of the novel as well as give Ms Michaels a chance to talk about her writerly style and process of creating her stories.

For those who haven’t read the novel, this is a different kind of Regency Romance as it delves more into topics which will relate to women which is why for me it felt a bit more like a Historical Women’s Fiction novel than a traditional Regency Romance. I also felt this was a work of Feminist Historical Fiction with a 21st Century sensibility attached to it as well. As although I do agree Jane Austen was a Feminist, she showed her feminism in a different way than how the romance and relationships were presented in Lady August. And, of course, none of the traditional Regencies bespoke of relationships in such an open manner of approach – as things like that might have been held in more private conversations or at least, that is what it has felt like since I’ve been reading Regencies and other #HistRoms throughout my life.

Lady August broaches a conversation I felt today’s reader would enjoy seeing explored especially since a lot of our Women’s Rights are always on the fringes of being expelled. It has been an incredible several years on that front and the battle continues to see where our rights will remain and which of our rights as women will be unceremoniously removed. It is a good novel to open a discussion with your friends and all the women in your life.

And, without further adieu – enjoy where the conversation I had with Ms Michaels took us!

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Author Interview | Diving behind the story of “Lady August” by Becky Michaels and her writerly styling for #HistRom!Lady August
by Becky Michaels
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

August Summer thinks she is a nobody until a London solicitor barges into her employer’s drawing room, revealing not only is she the daughter of an earl but a wealthy heiress as well. Optimistic about a new life, she travels to her ancestral home of Linfield Hall, only for her brother to banish her to London to live with her aunt, a dowager duchess with a reputation.

When Lord Bolton asks him to fetch his illegitimate daughter, solicitor Samuel Brooks does not expect himself to become so invested in the young woman’s debut after wanting nothing to do with dinners and balls before. But as August navigates her way through this new world of the British aristocracy, Brooks is the one who is most dazzled by her unexpected charms.

Since society demands every young girl must marry, August decides she will accept nothing less than someone’s heart in exchange for possession of her newfound fortune. Forced to reexamine his negative views of love and marriage or lose August forever, Brooks soon realizes his heart is the only thing in danger of becoming possessed.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1735140131

Also by this author: Lady August

Published by Mildred Press

on 30th March, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

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On the Historical & Romantic styling of Becky Michaels:

You easily fall into step with Ms Michaels reading this lovely story because of the charm and the delivery of the novel itself. She has captured the Regency well, with descriptive narrative and dialogue which alights through the pages as if we were timewinders ourselves and could easily remove ourselves back into the Regency to experience these scenes firsthand. I love whenever I find a writer who can write a Regency like this one, as it allows your mind to suspend itself into a timescape you enjoy reading! It has all the essences of the Regency, too, from the mindset of the men to the priorities of the women  – Michaels happily carts you backwards into a time where there wasn’t as much equality between men and women as much as the fact young children oft found themselves betwixt and between their parents rows! (ie. arguments)

Michaels is exploring topics and subjects not generally inclusive of a Regency Romance – such as a woman’s right to explore her sexuality even at a young age such as Lady August – there were a few content warnings attached to this novel post-receival but so far, I haven’t had any issues in the pages I’ve read this far along. It is a wonderfully Feminist driven storyline as well – as Michaels have all her female characters in the story feel more well-rounded in their abilities to choose their own paths and speak their own minds; which wasn’t always the case in the Regency.

Even when she shifts back to the male perspective in the novel, she is writing with a realism that is oft found in more contemporary novels than historical; though there have been quite a few I’ve read in the Historical market too, which re-explores sentiment and opinion on these subjects as well. It was a bit refreshing to find this kind of voice in a Historical Regency – wherein its not your traditional Regency by the constructs you’re familiar with finding inside one – but rather a more contemporary Regency by way of how this novel re-explores a look into a time period in History with the sensibility and perspective of a 21st Century writer who is tapping into previously unspoken moments in people’s lives which has merit of being explored.

-quoted from my #25PagePreview of Lady August

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Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov as well as #HistRom
+ #LadyAugust and #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Becky Michaels

Becky Michaels

Becky Michaels is a historical romance author and self-proclaimed Anglophile. After graduating from Boston University with a degree in English, she reluctantly decided to get a day job but never stopped writing—or dreaming. THE LAND STEWARD’S DAUGHTER, a Regency romance set in 1815 England, is her debut novel. Despite the cold winters and high rent, she still lives in the Boston area with her boyfriend and cat.

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Posted Monday, 7 June, 2021 by jorielov in #HistoricalMondays, 19th Century, Author Interview, Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, the Regency era

A #WyrdAndWonder #MGFantasy Book Review | “The Princess and the Pirate” (Rahana Trilogy: Book Two) by Felicity Banks

Posted Wednesday, 26 May, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Gifted Book By: This novel “The Princess and the Pirate” was part of a gifted #bookhaul of mine from my Mum and Dad for #WyrdAndWonder, Year 4! They happily surprised me with a lovely bundle of books I featured last Wyrd And Wonder celebrating the Indie Publisher Odyssey Books! This kicks-off my readings of those novels as I was overjoyed I can read all the lovely stories I had either showcased and/or featured but wasn’t able to read during our Year 3 Wyrd And Wonder.

Thereby, I was gifted a copy of “The Princess and the Pirate” by my parents and I was not obligated to post an honest review on its behalf. I am sharing my thoughts on behalf of this novel for my own edification and a continued journey of sharing my readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Note: I received the Press Materials last year from the publisher and had asked if I could re-use them if and when I was able to read and/or review the stories I was featuring during Wyrd And Wonder Year 3 (2020); and thankfully was given permission to do so which is why I am using them during my readings this 4th Year of Wyrd And Wonder.

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Why I am in love with this series & couldn’t wait to read the next story:

I immediately took an interest in Dance – she was a brave young girl who understood the history of her island but also the growing tension of why her father worried about her safety and the safety of their community here. Even in the opening paragraphs there is a bit of urgency in the tone of how Banks started her story – where Dance can sense the heightened fear in the caller’s voice – the person intending to speak with her father and the voice which was drawing her to catch her breath.

I loved how art was introduced straight-away – a small bit of insight into the heart of her people – of how on this island (Luar) art was as sacred as the trees. And, trees apparently were quite revered because you can sense this yourself as Dance speaks about the art which comes from the raw materials of the trees. Trees for me have held such a high impression on my person since I first started staring after trees along highways and byways; whilst pausing whenever I was close to them in person and happily feeling museful about their lives. Especially the cycle of how other species laid claim to their boughs and branches; how connected they were to our source of life (ie. oxygen) and how throughout the ages of time, trees are resolute, proud and awe-inspiring just to be nearby. I could then imagine – any bit of art carved from a tree has a life spirit of its own etched out of the raw wood and drawing a new energy from the carver’s tools, hands and vision for what the art being created would represent.

Dance lives on an island tucked away from the world – what makes this one dearly unique in my eyes as I haven’t come across a lot of snowbound or ice encased worlds, is the fact this particular island would be right at home in the Arctic Circle! It is beyond cold here – where the frozen ice hides their greatest enemy (ie. Heest monsters) and where if you were brave enough, you wouldn’t consider what their presence unde the ice was foretelling about your own fate and the fate of your community. Banks goes into a bit of detail about how this island was fashioned together – from materials they could repurpose and from purchases they had made long ago giving them a bit of bolster of privacy from prying eyes on the outside. It was their sincere hope to remain hidden which inspired how they lived and how they choose to thrive in one of the coldest locations I’ve had a chance to visit.

I positively LOVE finding illustrative art inside novels – The Monster Apprentice is delightfully inclusive of renderings of the scenes you’re reading about as you walk beside Dance! The very first illustration was featuring the ‘sky cows’ – having spent time on a ranch with breeding stock, I know how stubborn cows can be and how particular they are once they’ve settled on a place they want to roost. Cows are gentle giants and have kind hearts but there are moments where like most animals, they simply want to be left alone and left to their own devices. The imagery provided in this illustration and the depictions of the cows and Dance’s interaction with them in the text was quite a heap of hilarity! It was interesting to see how Dance chooses to interact with her world and how she constantly likes to bend the rules in order to do what she is tasked to accomplish!

Banks does a wonderful job of keeping this first installment beautifully connected on her characters and on the priming of our introduction to their ice and sea world. Things are not quite as you expect them to be here – there are hints of magic, of intrigue and of binding bargains which may in the end be worse than their initial acceptance. Each person here – young or old alike has to find their own individual truth and path; similar to life, everyone is working through their own headspace and has to find the courage to be a bit braver than they feel.

One of my favourite features of this novel are the Heest – mostly because Banks keeps us in the dark for most of the novel about their truer nature and how they operate as a species. There is far more to the Heest than what is presumed and that is the true beauty of their kind for me. I’d love t see how this trilogy continues to develop – especially if we can entreat more into the magical perimeters of the world and the concepts of how those magical extras operate within a place that is a rather harsh physical environment of both ice and sea.

As this first novel is setting up the foundation of the trilogy – we were treated only to a hinting of the magic in this world. The curators of the magic are known as quickensmiths and this was broached at the time when Dance had to face the pirates because of how the ship itself was moving through the water. I found it interesting how the dynamics of the world and of the magic within it were not completely disclosed because this was a very character-centred introduction. You get a few hints towards what is coming in future installments but not overly enough to lose your curiosity because this novel does lend itself to being curious about what will become disclosed!

-quoted from my review of The Monster Apprentice

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The Princess and the Pirate collage created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: jorielovesastory.com

The Princess and the Pirate
by Felicity Banks
Source: Gifted

Genres: Children's Literature, Middle Grade, Fantasy Fiction, Middle Grade Fantasy, Mythological Fantasy, Pirate Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1925652680

Also by this author: The Monster Apprentice

Published by Odyssey Books

on 1st June, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 126

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The Rahana Trilogy:

Felicity Banks invented the fantasy world of Rahana while living in Indonesia. She grew up reading stories set in Narnia and Middle Earth, and she wanted to invent a fantasy world that was just as beautiful but didn’t feel British, or white, or male.

In Rahana the weather is tropical and the people are visually similar to Indonesians. Magic is common, and makes physical strength irrelevant. There are millions of islands both small and large, and sailing technology is more advanced that the other sciences. Rahana is a thriving tropical world where people are born with a love of the high seas.

Naturally, the world is full of pirates.

The Monster Apprentice (book one)

The Princess & the Pirate (book two)

Waking Dead Mountain (book three)

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Published by: Odyssey Books (@OdysseyBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #ThePrincessAndThePirate, #MGLit, #MGFantasy
as well as #pirates and #MiddleGrade; #IndieAuthor, #IndieFantasy

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About Felicity Banks

Felicity Banks

Felicity Banks is a Canberra author specialising in fantasy and interactive fiction, including her Antipodean Queen fantasy steampunk series, which is also published by Odyssey Books. All her interactive fiction is listed under “Felicity Banks” (visit site) and most of her interactive fiction can be read via an app.

She writes about all her various pirates tales (some appropriate for children, some definitely not) on her Facebook page as well as sharing stories and images that appeal to the not-so-secret pirate within all of us.

She met her husband at a pirate ball, and has two little pirates at home.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Wednesday, 26 May, 2021 by jorielov in #Unboxing BookMail, #WyrdAndWonder, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Book Review (non-blog tour), Childhood Friendship, Children's Literature, Coming-Of Age, Death of a Sibling, Fantasy Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Juvenile Fiction, Life Shift, Middle Grade Novel, Mother-Daughter Relationships, School Life & Situations, Siblings, Twin Siblings

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | feat. #IndieFantasy novelist Kira Weston with “The Fighter of Aldea” the first installment in this trilogy!

Posted Tuesday, 25 May, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: In  Spring (2019) I participated in an event uniting book bloggers and Indie Authors called #ReviewPit. One of the authors I discovered during this event was Kira Weston – her s/o about the novel on Twitter was most enticing (see also tweet) but it was the premise which captured me the most – elemental sorcery, strong female lead, a world without electricity and the complexities of the relationships between the sorcerers and the humans! All knitted up together in a #YAFantasy which felt like a wicked good read if you ask me! The fact she was keenly open to sending out print copies of the novel touched my heart as not every author can send them.

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 received a complimentary copy of “The Fighter of Aldea” direct from the author Kira Weston in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: I received this novel for review in [2019] however due to five migraines throughout Wyrd And Wonder, I was unable to finish my readings in May. I re-attempted to read this during different portions of late Summer and mid-Autumn, finding myself unable to re-attach into the story. Fast forward through several months of migraines and illnesses (September-December, 2019) and the entire Spring of 2020 – it wasn’t until our 4th Wyrd And Wonder (May 2021) I could resume my readings of this novel with wicked sweet enjoyment! Thereby, over 25% of this was writ in May, 2019 and the rest was finalised in May, 2021.

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

Finding an entry of #YAFantasy 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.

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ahead of accepting my #reviewpit selections
I enquired about the stories:

Whenever I am about to read a #newtomeauthor, I like to get a feel for their writing style and how they are approaching their genre of interest. It is part of my due diligence as a reader and as a book blogger – however, I do not always have the pleasure nor luxury of interacting with an author directly ahead of accepting a novel for review consideration. This is why the event #ReviewPit is such a wicked lovely idea – as it encourages direct communication between the novelist and the book blogger and/or reviewer.

I have the same general questions about all the STORIES I am keenly interested in reading – this was the series of questions I asked on behalf of Kira Weston who happily gave me a lovely response in return: The YA I love the most is writ clean without explicit vulgarity, overt sensuality and without graphic violence; I know some authors write those into their stories which makes me feel their more Upper YA than traditional YA; overall I’m not a fan despite a few exceptions to that rule where I read stories involving mental health or other harder topics.

Overall, I would say my book is pretty mild and would be considered more traditional than upper YA. There is nothing particularly vulgar or sensual in the novel, and the violence that is in the book (mostly battle violence) isn’t particularly graphic. I’ve had a few 13-year-old readers without any complaints/concerns from them or their parents.

I wanted to share with you my dear heart readers the information I was given per book during my #ReviewPit queries in case one of the lovelies I’ve been reading this #WyrdAndWonder is catching your own eye of curiosity! This way, you’ll see the process I went through to accept the stories and what I was most concerned about prior to reading them. As you can see – the author’s response on behalf of The Fighter of Aldea fell within my personal preferences and layers of acceptance.

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

Notation on Cover Art Design: 

The cover art really hones in on Lydia and how she wants herself to be known – she’s a fighter, yes, but her passion is for archery. I can understand her preference with a bow and arrow; as archery is a sport in of itself but also a challenge to the archer for both accuracy and power within the strength of how you use the bow itself. I liked the look of Lydia on the cover but also how this is a crucial piece of insight into the world she lives in as well.

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | feat. #IndieFantasy novelist Kira Weston with “The Fighter of Aldea” the first installment in this trilogy!The Fighter of Aldea
by Kira Weston
Source: #ReviewPit Author, Direct from Author

It’s the year 2216, and ever since Lydia Humsworth was little, she’s heard stories about electricity that used to light up skylines and planes that soared through the sky like birds. There were also stories about The Shift, which plunged the world into darkness nearly two hundred years ago and gave some people magical abilities. These people came to call themselves sorcerers.

Now, in the small village of Aldea, sixteen-year-old Lydia is training to be a Fighter in hopes of one day protecting her village. Her best friend, Daniel, spends his days working long hard hours on the farm. Humans and sorcerers have always seemed to coexist peacefully, but when a deranged sorcerer by the name of Leonardo Kinch starts a war against humans, nothing is as they believed.

When war rages across the country, Lydia and Daniel must do everything they can to stop Kinch and stay alive, or risk the human race falling into extinction.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Historical-Fantasy, Low Fantasy, Mythological Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction, YA Fantasy


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781732254800

Published by Cool Cat Publishing

on 15th October, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 364

Published by: Cool Cat Publishing

Discover MORE about this novel on the author’s site!

The sequel will be called: The Sorcerer of Vantana!

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

About Kira Weston

Kira Weston

Kira Weston writes Young Adult fiction, often day-dreaming the what-ifs of magic and science fiction, and how they might affect the world. Her debut novel, The Fighter of Aldea, is available now. Kira grew up in Las Vegas, NV under the hot sun and the distant lights of the famous Las Vegas Strip, and now resides in Colorado, which is much cooler—most of the time.

When she's not writing, she spends her time befriending cats, hoping for rain, drinking mochas, and listening to music.

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

a short extract from “The Fighter of Aldea”:

Quote The Fighter of Aldea provided by the author and is used with permission.

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

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Tuesday, 25 May, 2021 by jorielov in Book Review (non-blog tour), Elves & the Elven, Faeries & the Fey, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Mythological Societies, Self-Published Author, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction