Genre: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays

#SpooktasticReads | Year II of our spooktastically lovely mini-#WyrdAndWonder event for Autumn! This year, #JorieReads with a main concentration on #WitchyReads + Ghost Stories!

Posted Friday, 18 October, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

#SpooktasticReads banner created by Lisa (@deargeekplace) Photo Credit: Kenai Fjords National Park, United States, by Daniel H. Tong on Unsplash (Creative Commons Zero) Used with permission.
#SpooktasticReads banner created by Lisa (@deargeekplace) Photo Credit: Kenai Fjords National Park, United States, by Daniel H. Tong on Unsplash (Creative Commons Zero) Used with permission.

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Welcome, Welcome to #SpooktasticReads Year II

 

Happily visit my lovely co-hosts:

Lisa @ Dear Geek Place

+ Imyril @ There’s Always Room for One More

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In Autumn [2017], you might remember I conceived of this idea to re-start my readings into the spooktacular worlds of chilling Thrillers, Suspense, Mysteries and the Paranormal (with just a dash of love for Cosy Horror!) – wherein I conceived of spending a fortnight reading such lovelies and enjoying a personal readathon leading into Halloween! I fell a bit short of my goals in [2017], though I took it as a success – as not only did I read some rather spookified tales but I found myself wholly intrigued by the stories I was selecting to read!

Last year [2018], I helped name our first mini-event for #WyrdAndWonder – wherein I was hoping to let this small idea I had in [2017] take flight, reach a bigger audience and find readers who might find their own definition of #SpooktasticReads befitting their own readerly life!

Some of the stories of course play the theme up quite a bit for the spookier side of the genres, some of which may or may not directly (or indirectly) relate to Fantasy per se but this is one of those readathons which is open to both interpretation and the joy of having free reign to enjoy the readathon in a way each reader wants to approach it!

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A Spooktastic reading binge for Psychological Suspense & Gothic Tales!

Autumn for me is a time in the year where I simply like to read a curated collection of stories which fall under different categories of mutual interest: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Gothic or Paranormally inclined and Cosy Horror.

This year [2019] as I co-host my own mini-event celebrating the 13 days leading into Halloween with #SpooktasticReads – I am going to be focusing on two equally dynamic concentrations: #WitchyReads & Ghost Stories! I noticed I have quite a gathering of both – they both parlay into the heart of #SpooktasticReads but also, the fact that when it comes to #SpookyReads in general – these are the two concentrations I have the tendency of seeking out the most! I have the added benefit and joy of being able to focus on narrators I love listening too whilst knocking off a few of my backlogue reviews!

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If other book bloggers or readers want to join us, please link to your blog, Twitter, LibraryThing List or other ‘space’ online where you are updating about what your reading – such as Instagram or Vlog (YouTube) in the Comments section below!

Use the tag: #SpooktasticReads & link back to this post – as I will happily be sharing what your doing for this lovely #WyrdAndWonder mini-event! Plus, I love hearing what others are reading in case something they discover would be a good fit for me as well!

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Posted Friday, 18 October, 2019 by jorielov in Bookish Discussions, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Parapsychological Gifts, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense

Audiobook Blog Tour especially for #Janeites & #Austenites | “Rational Creatures: Stirrings of Feminism in the Hearts of Jane Austen’s Fine Ladies (Vol.3: the Quill Collective, series)” narrated by Victoria Riley

Posted Thursday, 12 September, 2019 by jorielov , , , 4 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made 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 “Rational Creatures” via Audiobookworm Promotions in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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From one Janeite to another, this felt like it was hand-picked for us,…

I’ve been a Janeite for a very long time – during #AustenInAugust [2017], I had the joyful pleasure of submitting a guest essay to commemorate how Austen has been moving in and out of my life over the years which ran on a featured day on Roof Beam Reader’s blog. It is in of itself a quite all-inclusive look at how Jane Austen has left a strong impression on my life.

As soon as I first learnt of this blog tour, I had an intuitive reaction to the premise and the sampler I listened to for the collection. It simply felt like it was hand-tailored to those of us who are consistently in awe and love for all stories inter-related to our beloved canon of Jane Austen! There is such a wide field of choices – it is hard to pin down whom to read first, which series play off the original characters so well as it give you goosebumps as you read their new stories as they are so accurately portrayed and which collections of anthologies best hug back into the style of Jane Austen as well.

It isn’t enough to write a variation, sequel, re-telling or experiment with a unique portal of insight which can flourish in the after canon realms – for me, it has to play homage to the original author, the original novel & maintain a sense of loyalty for how Jane Austen herself presented her characters to us. For me, that is a hard rule and one I won’t break as I pick up new stories to read. This is one reason being able to read the Miss Jane Austen series by Collins Hemingway has been such an enjoyable journey (see also my reviews).

Imagine my joy to find this collection on the foot-heels of celebrating the third Miss Jane Austen novel going on a blog tour this October. I am thankful for those writers who are re-experimenting with these characters and re-settling us into their lives as if they are still vibrantly alive and living new adventures to be shared with us all.

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An informative conversation with Victoria Riley:

Rational Creatures stories banner by The Quill Collective

the questions were provided by Audiobookworm Promotions wherein Ms Riley was able to select the 10 questions she preferred to respond to directly.

Generally speaking, I do provide my own interview & guest post topics for authors I am featuring on Jorie Loves A Story – however, due to how chaotic my Summer became, I must admit, I lost sight of a few of the blog tours along the way. Including being able to submit my own questions for Ms Riley. However, I’ve read over her responses in this conversation and love her candor and her willingness to share a personal glimpse into being a narrator, why she personally is passionate about Jane Austen and how adaptive you have to be to get the narrations recorded! I felt this would be a delight of joy to share with my readers – especially as she picked the questions to respond to (as there was quite the long list!) – this felt like a very organic convo to promote.

I also found another interview by Ms Riley you might enjoy reading which was featured during this year’s #AustenInAugust!

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When did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator?

Riley responds: Well, I’ve always said that I’d be happy to just sit in a cupboard all day reading books. I didn’t know that I could actually do that and get paid for it. Dreams do come true, folks.

How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?

Riley responds: I’m actually a classically trained actress and was originally interested in theatre. When I started out, audiobooks weren’t really a big thing and it didn’t occur to me as a career. I gradually veered into voiceover and my first audiobook was through my VO agent. I then set up my own studio at home and audiobooks are just one of the things I work on.

A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?

Riley responds: I wouldn’t say it’s essential, but it really, really helps. We’ve been trained to analyse scripts and characters, to convey nuance and emotion. With audiobooks, you have to do it all with your voice, though, so it is an added skill. However, I do think that some people are natural storytellers. My Mum worked as a primary school teacher and I still remember the way she read books to me before bed.

What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?

Riley responds: I LOVE Jane Austen. I love her female characters with their fire and intelligence. To have such strong minds, but be so restricted with their options in life. For marriage to be your only way forward when you have so much to offer the world. It makes me feel claustrophobic just thinking about it. From a working perspective, this is also my first collection of short stories. Short stories are a real art form. You have to draw the reader (or listener!) into the tale very quickly and make them care about the characters without the luxury of a whole novel in which to do it. I really enjoyed each one being a separate little project, so I had a sense of closure and achievement after each one.

What types of things are harmful to your voice?

Riley responds: I wouldn’t say I’m that careful with it to be honest. I’ve had vocal training drummed into me for decades, so I think it really comes naturally to me to support my voice well and to speak from the diaphragm. I’ve been trained to project to the back of a theatre, without a microphone, night after night after night. Some narrators get tired voices, but you can’t shut me up!

Who are your “accent inspirations”?

Riley responds: Absolutely everybody! I love accents. I have a broad Lancashire accent myself. I hope you can’t tell from ‘Rational Creatures’! If I hear a good accent, someone on TV or in real life, I’ll be there mouthing the words, fascinated by how they’re forming the sounds. Penelope Keith is a good one for very upper class ladies. Pam Ayres for West Country. Some elude me, though. My Cockney wanders all over the place, though you get a snippet of it in ‘Rational Creatures’. My boyfriend has a London accent and sometimes he helps me with pronunciations. I’ll be texting him asking things like ‘Transport or traaaahnsport??’.

How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?

Riley responds: Well, a lot of the characters are very well-known anyway, which helps. I didn’t feel as though I was creating them from scratch. Most of them just jump off the page too. There are simple things like class to consider. Also character traits, like arrogance, pomposity, shyness or humility, which affect voice and delivery. I love a character that you can really embody. When it’s so obvious how they should sound that you don’t even really have to think about it.

How does audiobook narration differ from other types of voiceover work you’ve done?

Riley responds: It takes a REALLY long time, especially if you’re fully producing the work yourself. It takes around six hours to produce one hour of finished audio, sometimes longer. That doesn’t even include all the prep work you have to do first, reading the work in full, researching characters and pronunciations, deciding on voices. Editing takes forever, combing through the recording, editing out little sounds like mouth clicks or any particular noisy breaths. I also regularly do radio jingles, which is a good comparison, because it takes no time at all! Audiobooks are not for the faint-hearted.

If you could narrate one book from your youth what would it be and why?

Riley responds: Apart from absolutely everything by Jane Austen? I have so many author heroes! However, if it’s from my youth, then I’m going to plump for Roald Dahl’s ‘The Witches’. His stories are so evocative and he doesn’t shy away from darker themes. I was born in Pendle Witch country, so this one struck a particular chord with me.

Any funny anecdotes from inside the recording studio?

Riley responds: We’ve all done silly things. Giving an Oscar-worthy performance, then realising you haven’t pressed record. Stuffing a cushion up your jumper to stop tummy rumbles reaching the mic. Gradually getting more naked as you stifle in the booth in summer. We’ve all done it.

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Audiobook Blog Tour especially for #Janeites & #Austenites | “Rational Creatures: Stirrings of Feminism in the Hearts of Jane Austen’s Fine Ladies (Vol.3: the Quill Collective, series)” narrated by Victoria RileyRational Creatures
Subtitle: Stirrings of Feminism in the Hearts of Jane Austen's Fine Ladies
by (Editor) Christina Boyd
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Victoria Riley

“But I hate to hear you talking so, like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.” (Persuasion, Jane Austen)

Jane Austen: True romantic or rational creature? Her novels transport us back to the Regency, a time when well-mannered gentlemen and finely-bred ladies fell in love as they danced at balls and rode in carriages. Yet her heroines, such as Elizabeth Bennet, Anne Elliot, and Elinor Dashwood, were no swooning, fainthearted damsels in distress. Austen’s novels are timeless classics because of their biting wit, honest social commentary - because she wrote of strong women who were ahead of their day. True to their principles and beliefs, they fought through hypocrisy and broke social boundaries to find their happily-ever-after.

In the third romance anthology of The Quill Collective series, 16 celebrated Austenesque authors write the untold histories of Austen’s heroines, brave adventuresses, shy maidens, talkative spinsters, and naughty matrons. Peek around the curtain and discover what made Lady Susan so wicked, Mary Crawford so capricious, and Hettie Bates so in need of Emma Woodhouse’s pity.

Rational Creatures is a collection of humorous, poignant, and engaging short stories set in Georgian England that complement and pay homage to Austen’s great works and great ladies who were, perhaps, the first feminists in an era that was not quite ready for feminism.

“Make women rational creatures, and free citizens, and they will become good wives; - that is, if men do not neglect the duties of husbands and fathers.” (Mary Wollstonecraft)

Stories by: Elizabeth Adams, Nicole Clarkston, Karen M Cox, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Jessie Lewis, KaraLynne Mackrory, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Beau North, Sophia Rose, Anngela Schroeder, Joana Starnes, Brooke West, and Caitlin Williams

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B07VCH37LL

Genres: After Canons, Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Classical Literature, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Re-telling &/or Sequel


Published by The Quill Collective LLC

on 18th July, 2019

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 18 hours and 3 minutes (unabridged)

The stories & authors of “Rational Creatures”:
as well as noting which characters are featured per story

Christina Morland “Self Composed”
Eleanor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility

Nicole Clarkson “Every Past Affliction”
Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility

Amy D’Orazio “Happiness in Marriage”
Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice

Joana Starnes “Charlotte’s Comfort”
Charlotte Lucas Collins from Pride and Prejudice

Anngela Schroeder “Knightley Discourses”
Emma Woodhouse from Emma

J. Marie Croft “The Simple Things”
Miss Hetty Bates from Emma
Previously, I’ve read Love At First Sight by Ms Croft.

Caitlin Williams “In Good Hands”
Harriet Smith from Emma

Brooke West “The Meaning of Wife”
Fanny Price from Mansfield Park

Jenetta James “What Strange Creatures”
Mary Crawford from Mansfield Park

Elizabeth Adams “An Unnatural Beginning”
Anne Elliot from Persuasion

Karalynne Mackrory “Where the Sky Touches the Sea”
Sophia Croft from Persuasion

Lona Manning “The Art of Pleasing”
Penelope Clay from Persuasion

Beau North “Louisa by the Sea”
Louisa Musgrove from Persuasion

Sophia Rose “The Strength of their Attachment”
Catherine Moreland from Northanger Abbey

Karen M. Cox “A Nominal Mistress”
Eleanor Tilney from Northanger Abbey

Jessie Lewis “The Edification of Lady Susan”
Lady Susan from Lady Susan

Published by: The Quill Collective (@xtnaboyd)

Most of the collection installments are available in audio,
the few which are not are noted below for easy reference.
I hope one day they all will include an audio release.

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The Quill Collective series:

(read about the series on their site)

The Darcy Monologues (volume one)

Dangerous to Know:
Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues (volume two)
(*this one is not in audiobook)

Rational Creatures (volume three)

Yuletide: A Jane Austen-inspired Collection of Stories (volume four)
(*this one is not in audiobook)

Converse via: #RationalCreatures & #QuillCollective + #AudioReads

OR #loveaudiobooks, #JaneAusten and #Janeite or #Austenites

About (Editor) Christina Boyd

Christina Boyd

CHRISTINA BOYD wears many hats as she is an editor under her own banner, The Quill Ink, a contributor to Austenprose, and a commercial ceramicist. A life member of Jane Austen Society of North America, Christina lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her dear Mr. B, two busy teenagers, and a retriever named BiBi. Visiting Jane Austen’s England was made possible by actor Henry Cavill when she won the Omaze experience to meet him in the spring of 2017 on the London Eye. True story. You can Google it.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 12 September, 2019 by jorielov in After the Canon, Anthology Collection of Stories, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Classical Literature, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Jane Austen Sequel, Short Stories or Essays

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | “Nebula Awards Showcase 2016” (edited by) Mercedes Lackey

Posted Wednesday, 8 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of “Nebula Awards 2016” direct from the publisher PYR (an imprint of Prometheus Books) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. Note: This review is part of my backlogue of reviews and predates PYR being acquired by Smart Publishing who now owns both Seventh Street Books and Pyr.

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

Why I love reading the Nebula Awards Showcase:

I loved how Bear championed the integrity of writing what you know to be true even if editors later change that truth for their own needs (i.e. regards to his article being altered for publication) even if it has consequences you cannot foresee. He wrote with a lot of levity and insight – how the Awards come regularly like any natural season and how writers are both on pins to hear whose won but also, elated if their name is called. It’s a quirky balance of anxiety and exultation of joy – the brilliant combination of emotions any writer can claim as their own. Writing is such an intrapersonal experience – we put our imagination and our words on the line, hoping to inspire a reader to feel as connected to our stories as we do ourselves and thus, I could concur with Bear about the curiously curious attachment we have to seeing how our peers interpret our stories and if the stories resonate with our peers inasmuch as the readers.

This particular collection of stories, antidotes and murmurings of Science Fiction had within it’s pages such a cartography of human emotions! You could quite literally feel every ounce of your humanness by reading it’s collection because each of the writers in turn found a way to etch a catalyst of emotional fortitude into their stories. Their characters were facing incredible odds and had to somehow find a way to stomach the vacuumed despair or else, find their lives empty of all hope.

The words these writers have used to paint their portraits of life in futuristic places are humbling and eagerly on-point to curtain off a certain sense about the world today. There are cross-applications to these stories – of origins you can perceive of what inspired them and of why these stories were being penned when they were and how they were being expressed. It’s a collection to take to heart – to ponder and lay thought upon long after you put the stories down the first time you’ve read them. Most are cautionary in nature, others are thought-provoking social conscious works of creative expression. All of them hold a kernel of where Science Fiction and Consciousness co-merge into a working consciousness of forward thought and internal supposition of what a near-off future could hold inside it’s palm. Truly a remarkable reading for today’s inquisitive reader seeking stories which speak towards the edge of where truth and reality blur and find their own voice.

-quoted from my review of the Nebula Awards Showcase 2015

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

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | “Nebula Awards Showcase 2016” (edited by) Mercedes LackeyNebula Awards Showcase: 2016
Subtitle: Stories, Excerpts and Essays
by Mercedes Lackey
Source: Direct from Publisher

The Nebula Awards Showcase volumes have been published annually since 1966, reprinting the winning and nominated stories of the Nebula Awards, voted on by the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

The editor of this year’s volume, selected by SFWA’s anthology Committee (chaired by Mike Resnick), is American science fiction and fantasy writer Mercedes Lackey.

This anthology includes the winners Ursula Vernon, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Nancy Kress, and Jeff VanderMeer, with Alaya Dawn Johnson winning the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781633881389

Also in this series: Nebula Awards Showcase: 2015


Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Fantasy Fiction, Science Fiction


Published by Pyr

on 3rd May, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 412

Published By: Pyr (@Pyr_Books)

The Nebula Awards Showcases I’ve read:

Nebula Awards Showcase 2015 (edited by) Greg Bear. Published by PYR.Nebula Awards Showcase 2016 (edited by) Mercedes Lackey. Published by PYR.

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

(edited by) Mercedes Lackey ( Site | @mercedeslackey )

Converse via: #NebulaAwards + #MercedesLackey

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 8 May, 2019 by jorielov in Asteroid Science, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Climate Change, Ecology, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Science, Hard Science Fiction, Horticulture, Prometheus Books, Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction