Genre: Gothic Literature

Happily hosting my second #TheWriteReads Ultimate Blog Tour | showcasing “Amari and the Night Brothers” (Supernatural Investigations, Book One) by B.B. Alston

Posted Wednesday, 30 December, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , 1 Comment

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

You might be curious where Jorie’s been since the days leading into Christmas,… I had a lot of lovely plans of how I wanted to round out the year – stories I earmarked to read, a series I wanted to showcase Christmas week and weekend as much as a few final posts I was looking forward to composing in order to properly send out the year with a bit of a glow of joy rather than the angst I had felt off/on throughout 2020.

However, as Christmas and New Year’s weeks turnt into a working fortnight for my Mum rather than the first bout of holidays wherein Mum would be able to spend the hours with us as a family – you could say I was the busiest elf behind the holidays this year! I felt like I had lived through most of the hours Mum worked as she totalled nearly (or even surpassed) 112 hours in less than two weeks by the time her hours conclude on New Year’s Day! She was the only one who could accept emergency holiday shifts and as thankful as we were for the increase in hours – Dad and I missed having her for Christmas and we’ll be celebrating separately for New Year’s this year as well.

Due to the shift in what we were doing this year and how those upturnt hours left me fatigued and exhausted – I haven’t picked up a book in more than three weeks, nor have I sorted out anything on my blog in over two – if you wanted my updates, they were flickering into my tweets, as I did manage to microblog my Christmas. I decided to re-shift my #yearendreads into a New Year’s readathon courtesy of Mum’s emergency shifts New Year’s Eve & Day, whilst I am hoping to release some posts to conclude my thoughts about the past year on Jorie Loves A Story, too.

Today – I have the pleasure of showcasing a new book which I am quite sure by now with #TheWriteReads blog tour in full swing is on everyone’s bookish radar – is a new Middle Grade Fantasy novel I’m wicked excited about having in my hands to read, too! It can take me half of forever to find the kinds of Fantasy stories I want to read because I’m not really into all the topical Fantasy series (save Harry Potter) as I tend to read a predominately high level of Indie Fantasy authors, such as this year’s Esme’s Wish.

In fact, I read another Indie Fantasy novelist (Owen Crane) this year for Wyrd And Wonder (@WyrdAndWonder) as much as I showcased interviews with Indie Fantasy novelists as well for the event. Indie Fantasy (and all the stories within the Speculative realms) is where my readerly heart tends to lie these last years due to how Indie authors are writing stories I not only *devour!* but they are told in a way which appeals to my fantastical sensibility especially if you consider the adult side of the ledger with the Tipsy Fairy Tales by E. Chris Garrison: Blue Spirit, Restless Spirit and my forthcoming review of Mean Spirit.

Yet, what drew me into this world of #AmariAndTheNightBrothers is simply the breadth of the world-building in the description of the book! I love Fantasy stories which give you a proper sense of themselves at the jump point and build this wicked sweet layer of anticipation prior to reading the story itself. I am hopeful my library will buy a copy of this lovely story and I’ll be able to read it come January when its released! I did enter the bookaway by the author but as I hadn’t heard from him, I’m presuming those copies went to other readers. Thereby, enjoy the bits I’ve found online to help introduce you to *Amari!* and let’s get ourselves wicked happy for a lovely NEW YEAR full of fantastical reads!!

I love being part of the community of #TheWriteReads and I hope in future to continue hosting the authors on their blog tours – I keep an eye out on the stories I most desire to be reading in order to host a guest feature as print copies are a bit rare for these tours to request. I love hosting the conversations because it helps me feel a bit more rooted in the stories and I hope you’ll have the same takeaway yourself. Although when a conversation isn’t available to host, I like featuring the stories themselves to help give them a signal boost in case one of my readers and followers hasn’t yet discovered the story (or series) which has caught my bookish eye!

Brew yourself a cuppa and enjoy the book trailer!

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Happily hosting my second #TheWriteReads Ultimate Blog Tour | showcasing “Amari and the Night Brothers” (Supernatural Investigations, Book One) by B.B. AlstonAmari and the Night Brothers
by B.B. Alston
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Brittany Jackson

Quinton Peters was the golden boy of the Rosewood low-income housing projects, receiving full scholarship offers to two different Ivy League schools. When he mysteriously goes missing, his little sister, 13-year-old Amari Peters, can’t understand why it’s not a bigger deal. Why isn’t his story all over the news? And why do the police automatically assume he was into something illegal?

Then Amari discovers a ticking briefcase in her brother’s old closet. A briefcase meant for her eyes only. There was far more to Quinton, it seems, than she ever knew. He’s left her a nomination for a summer tryout at the secretive Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. Amari is certain the answer to finding out what happened to him lies somewhere inside, if only she can get her head around the idea of mermaids, dwarves, yetis and magicians all being real things, something she has to instantly confront when she is given a weredragon as a roommate.

Amari must compete against some of the nation’s wealthiest kids—who’ve known about the supernatural world their whole lives and are able to easily answer questions like which two Great Beasts reside in the Atlantic Ocean and how old is Merlin? Just getting around the Bureau is a lesson alone for Amari with signs like ‘Department of Hidden Places this way, or is it?’ If that all wasn’t enough, every Bureau trainee has a talent enhanced to supernatural levels to help them do their jobs – but Amari is given an illegal ability. As if she needed something else to make her stand out.

With an evil magican threatening the whole supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she is an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t pass the three tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Middle Grade, Middle Grade Fantasy, Paranormal Suspense


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0062975164

Published by Balzer and Bray, Egmont Books

on 19th January, 2021

Published by: Egmont Books (@egmontbooksuk)
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers UK

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This is the first installment of a trilogy!

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Available Formats: Hardback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #Fantasy, #Paranormal #MiddleGrade or #MGLit
as well as #TheWriteReads & #AmariAndTheNightBrothers

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Posted Wednesday, 30 December, 2020 by jorielov in #TheWriteReads, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Fantasy Fiction

A Hauntingly Brilliant #TopTenTuesday during #SpooktasticReads! | Guest Post featuring A. Lawrence who wrote the spookified “Grave Reflection: Ghost Punch” novel!

Posted Tuesday, 27 October, 2020 by jorielov , , , 5 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

#TopTenTuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl
Topic of the Week: Halloween Freebie!

Jorie’s topic for A. Lawrence:
Top Ten Reasons Why Being a Ghost Hunter is a Spookifed Experience 📖👻

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I LOVE Halloween – which is why I’ve been wickedly thrilled to bits our little #SpooktasticReads readathon and celebration of spooky reads has become quite the success these past three years we’ve held it! For those who are unfamiliar – I happily co-host @WyrdAndWonder (ie. #WyrdAndWonder) every May to celebrate Fantasy with Imyril (@Imyril) and Lisa (@deargeekplace) wherein every October we have this lovely fortnight chasing up to Halloween to talk, blog and share everything we love about the spookier reads which give us the most joy to be reading!

I have my own special read for this year’s #SpooktasticReads involving the paranormal which is the final chapter in the Tipsy Fairy Tales trilogy by E. Chris Garrison – of which you can happily read my reviews for the first two stories: “Blue Spirit” (see also Review) and “Restless Spirit” (see also Review). This year’s #SpooktasticReads is going to be set round my readings of the conclusion of this series which is called “Mean Spirit”! Whilst I am re-visiting the world within the start of how everything came together for Skye within the audiobook version of “Blue Spirit” which was not yet released at the time I read the story in print.

For this week’s #TopTenTuesday, I wanted to do something special and a bit different – which is why I decided to creatively come up with a fun topic for the author whilst hosting this lovely blog tour which is celebrating a new ghostly series! I love hosting Indie Authors and this #SpooktasticReads I am hopeful those who are joining us and thos who are following us are finding a heap of lovelies to add to their #mustread lists!

Today it is an honour to host a new blog tour with Storytellers on Tour – a blog touring company whose championing Indie Storytellers and giving us all a lovely chance to feature their collective works. I am looking forward to working with them as oft as I can and I look forward to the conversations and features which hosting will inspire to bring to my readers on Jorie Loves A Story!

Brew yourself a cuppa and let’s find out more about ghosts!

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A Hauntingly Brilliant #TopTenTuesday during #SpooktasticReads! | Guest Post featuring A. Lawrence who wrote the spookified “Grave Reflection: Ghost Punch” novel!Ghost Punch
Subtitle: Grave Reflection
by A. Lawrence

Another Friday night, another trip through a potentially haunted house. Shay’s not a believer, but she’s willing to help her best friend, Max, with their amateur ghost hunting show. Little does she know she is about to be thrown into a world of witches and dangerous spirits.

With newly discovered abilities, Shay finds that she can both see and touch spirits. The downside is, the ghosts can touch her back, and it seems that they’ll do anything to get a hold of her.

She was never much of a ghost hunter. How will she do when she is the one being hunted?

Grave Reflectionis the first book of Ghost Punch,
an exciting paranormal series full of mystery and action!

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Ghost Story, Gothic Literature, Gothic Suspense, Paranormal Suspense, Spooky Reads for Halloween


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B08DSS7J5B

Published by Self Published

on 30th July, 2020

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Top Ten Reasons Why Being a Ghost Hunter
is a Spookifed Experience

Ghost Punch Character Art provided by Storytellers on Tour and is used with permission.

by A. Lawrence

Ghost hunting. Whether you are trying to reveal the mysteries of the afterlife,
or you’re just a thrill seeker, it can be a spooky hobby.

I do all of my ghost hunting in very rural areas, so my list is skewed in that direction,
but here are my top ten for why being a ghost hunter is a spookified experience.

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Posted Tuesday, 27 October, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Bookish Memes, Fantasy Fiction, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Haunting & Ethereal, Indie Author, Storytellers on Tour, Top Ten Tuesday

A #SpooktasticReads Book Review | “Ghastly and Good” (Merry Hanukkah series, Halloween short) by Debby Caruso

Posted Monday, 19 October, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: In 2018, I was approached by the author to read the first story in her Merry Hanukkah series – whilst in 2019, I had the delightful joy of having her as a featured guest during my @SatBookChat! In June, 2020 I was able to read the sequel to ‘Merry Hanukkah’ which was ‘Happy Everything’. Wickedly ahead of sorting out which spooky reads I wanted to be reading this #SpooktasticReads, I was contacted by the author about this lovely Halloween short story she had written into the series. I was quite chuffed I could receive a print copy and thus, this delightful short became the story which kicked off my readathon of #SpooktasticReads! (a mini-event for @WyrdAndWonder)

I received a complimentary copy of “Ghastly and Good” direct from the author Debby Caruso in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On why I love #SpooktasticReads:

Quite humbly, I attempted to host #SpooktasticReads as a book blogger years ago – however, the better incantation of the event I envisioned wasn’t fully realised until I pitched the idea as a mini-event attached to Wyrd And Wonder to Lisa and Imyril. As we co-founded @WyrdAndWonder together as a celebration of Fantasy. #SpooktasticReads picks up where Wyrd and Wonder leaves off – wherein, each Autumn we get hankerings to be reading a spookier side of Fantasy and/or any story which allows us to get our spook on – in whichever capacity which inspires us to read.

Some of us like the cosier side of Horror (ie. my own personal declaration of reading #CosyHorror notwithstanding!) whilst others like to seek out ghost stories, Urban Fantasy, Gothic Lit or Gothic Romance or any route betwixt and between which seeks to give us a slight chill to our readerly lives this October. For me personally, I love reading selections which run the full gambit of choices – from stories of Suspense & Thrillers which give me a chilling read through a Mystery I cannot predict how it will end to an epic Ghost Story which might leave me rattling my funnybone or contemplating the layers of how authors write such believable ghost stories within a witchy setting! I love stories involving witches and ghouls as much as I appreciate a delightful Urban Fantasy.

Ergo, to get myself into the festive mood of the next 13 days where you will find me on a bit of a binge of all the spooktacular reads I have on hand to be read – I decided to dial it back a bit and selected a story I hadn’t even realised was available to read this #SpooktasticReads as it was a surprise from the author! I love light Halloweeny tales as much as the grip your heart ones and this one is right in the middle of a series I have loved reading since the first novel released.

I felt this lighter read was the best way to start my readathon and find the festive spirit within the story itself! I can’t wait to see what everyone else is reading and I can’t wait to dive into stories and audiobooks in the thirteen days leading into Halloween!

Let’s get our SPOOK ON, shall we!?Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On what I enjoyed about “Happy Everything”:

Caruso also spends a wonderful amount of time tucking you closer into Rhonda’s marriage – how she feels as distant as her husband does to the celebratory coupling moments they loved sharing – wherein once life starts to pick up its pacing after you’ve dated and married, those more intimate and special moments can feel as if they’ve gone by the wayside. You can feel how much he misses their romance – the little nuanced moments they used to share vs how rushed they feel now going to family meetings and doing what they might consider out of duty for friends and family alike. In essence, reality has truly hit and hit hard as these two try to navigate their ‘new world’ as a married couple who barely have enough time to spend on each other. It drives home the realism once the afterglow of the honeymoon stage waxes off and the truer moments of marriage are observed with a humbled honesty only Caruso can tell.

One new character I liked as much as Rhonda was Diana – she seemed like the kind of person who could consistently surprise people for how much she understands about this dynamic family and how to show a different side to a person even Rhonda felt she knew everything about. It just shows you that sometimes you can have the complete wrong impression about someone until a new person shows up and starts to show you a new side of their personality which had remain hidden until now! Diana is a charming character who has a tough-as-nails job to do but one that is truly important in a world where not everyone cares about their companions in fur, feather or scales.

If I could have transported myself into Mimosa alongside Rhonda, her and I would have spilt a second salted caramel brownie!! Sometimes you just have to go with what soothes your soul and in that moment, where Rhonda knew the best response was to show kindness and grace, the better part of her mind knew that if she didn’t comfort herself with some much needed chocolate, she might have spoken out of turn which would have done nothing to savage the lunch. It was the kind of scene you’d find yourself living inside but without the right set of reactions – I agreed with Rhonda about how her father blindsided her with news and the kind of news that he seemed to have taken in stride – expecting her to do the same and let nothing be said about it either. I felt that was a bit over the top as how could Rhonda not have a reaction? She played her cards well!

Caruso allows Rhonda to show the portions of herself and her emotional internal life that might not always be disclosed in other stories. The ways in which she lets the reader see Rhonda’s heightened emotional states and reactions to different life moments in the heat of Rhonda being unable to sort through them properly and chooses to explode instead. Seeing how she becomes vocal and then remorseful – how she uses exercise to find a centre of calm and how like for most of us in those instances, nothing truly changes immediately after an experience like that but we each know of a route to find our balance and re-centre ourselves to continue moving forward. I liked how Caruso showed this area of Rhonda’s life and how emotionally Rhonda was at her tipping point.

Through everything Rhonda and Dez rise to the occasion. Their lives are chaotic and sometimes they have family members who drive their very last nerve out of their bones but overall, they share a sisterhood friendship with has such a strong bond that nothing can shatter it. Not even all the little fires which creep up in our lives which seek to cut us down to the quick. I love how Caruso shows through faith, family and friendship you can tackle anything which crosses your path in life but without the addition of humour, coffee and some wicked sweet Italian foods – you might not get through it quite as well as those who do!

I love this series – I am hoping for a third if not fourth installment – as I can’t leave this family where we last find them. Plus, I was so overjoyed I could handle the journey through Cancer with Aunt Bunny as that is one of my issues with most Contemporaries which feature the illness; either the details or the descriptions weigh heavy on my heart. Caruso thankfully focused on other bits of her journey and mostly focused on the recovery and bolstering of having loved ones have your back when a medical crisis arises. Best of all though is the comfortable pace and the realistic marriage you get to tuck inside between Rhonda and James. Theirs is a marriage which is equally strong to Kay Hunter and Adam (from the Kay Hunter series by Rachael Amphlett). You truly will find yourself snorting into laughter, getting emotional about the tides which keep turning and eager to get to the conclusion to find out if Rhonda can breathe a bit easier again!

-quoted from my book review for Happy Everything

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A #SpooktasticReads Book Review | “Ghastly and Good” (Merry Hanukkah series, Halloween short) by Debby CarusoGhastly and Good
by Debby Caruso
Source: Direct from Author

Join Rhonda, Dez, and the Merry Hanukkah crew as they try to pull off yet another holiday feat in this Halloween Short that’s sure to leave you laughing.

In an attempt to treat the kids at the local shelter to a Halloween party like no other, Rhonda finds herself running out of time, battling a hurricane, and wrestling with ghosts. In true Rhonda fashion, she has a few tricks up her sleeve, and the end result is anything but ghastly.

Grab a hot apple cider—or pumpkin spice anything—snuggle up, and enjoy a short story that will bring you back to a time when Halloween was filled with all the good things life has to offer.

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy (Rom Com), Spooky Reads for Halloween, Women's Fiction


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B08GJBCYFL

Also by this author: Merry Hanukkah, Happy Everything

Also in this series: Merry Hanukkah, Happy Everything


Published by Self Published

on 9th September, 2020

Format: Personal Copy provided by Author

Pages: 37

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The Merry Hanukkah series:

Merry Hanukkah by Debby CarusoHappy Everything by Debby CarusoGhastly and Good by Debby Caruso

Merry Hanukkah (book one) | see also Review

Happy Everything (book two) | see also Review

Converse via: #SpooktasticReads + #WomensFiction or #Halloween #shortstory

This is a Digital First Release (ebook only!) Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #SpooktasticReads 2020
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Posted Monday, 19 October, 2020 by jorielov in #SpooktasticReads, 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Family Life, Indie Author, Modern Day, Romance Fiction, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Women's Fiction

A #WyrdAndWonder Special Feature | “The Qinali Virus“ by Valerie J. Mikles

Posted Friday, 1 May, 2020 by jorielov , 0 Comments

Guest Contributor and/or Reviewer of JLAS banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Today kicks off #WyrdAndWonder – a month long Fantastical celebration of Fantasy Lit (for those of us who are book bloggers – we tend to do an all-out binge fest of #Fantasy) and all the wondrous ways in which Fantasy can become a forethought of interest in our lives. This can express itself through exploring other mediums wherein Fantasy can reign and become a celebration of the fantastical. As the event gets underway, I have a rather uniquely new post to share with my readers this morning which showcases a Speculative Fiction novel which I felt was quite a lovely discovery due to how interesting the plot felt to me when I first read the premise!

I realise it might fit better under the @SciFiMonth (ie. Sci Fi November, #SciFiMonth) umbrella of inclusion being this is a Science Fiction Post-Apocalyptic novel – however, I like other #WyrdAndWonder participants like to blur the lines between Science Fiction & Fantasy – where even if I’m celebrating one of the genres during one of the yearly events, there are strong odds I could be caught reading the other genre! Laughs.

Perhaps the same is true for you, dear hearts!?

The reason why is because I LOVE Speculative Fiction so dearly much – its hard to just read it twice a year! lol This one is a special selection of mine to be featuring as it dips into one of the genres I do not generally seek out to read – Dystopian & Post-Apocalyptic – as these are themes I find harder to source when seeking out stories to read which are not gritty in graphic violence and are a story I can sink my Speculative teeth into without feeling overcome by the theme itself. This particular story also focuses on two other interests of mine as a reader: astral projection and telepathy – as I was definitely the girl who grew her paranormal love off of tv series which focused on parapyschological investigations! I definitely want to read this lovely one day – if only to see how the author treated those sections and to see how she pulled us through her vision of how those concepts can be explored in literature.

I’m hopeful once my library re-opens this can become one of my next purchase requests – as I dearly wanted to read it but I have to await a print copy. My libraries are quite helpful when I want to seek out Indie Authors & Indie Publishers to be reading – they accept either print (locally) or audio (regionally) which keeps me well consumed I must admit in a lot of lovely Indie writ stories!

My featured author today is the first author I’m hosting for OWI – Other Worlds Ink Blog Tours – a touring company I discovered whilst I read a wickedly delightful Historical Fantasy novel by Edale Lane. I’ll be hosting a blog tour focusing on Ms Lane’s sequel to “The Merchant’s of Milan” lateron this May – however, I am thankful I found her via Tomorrow Comes Media otherwise I might not have found OWI whilst following her blog tour route – as more than one of the stops had someone hosting for OWI! (big smiles)

This post was a lovely surprise for me as I signed on to host something special by the author and I am wicked thankful I had! I *love!* grab bag surprises – for me, getting a wholly original post by an author on a blog tour is just about as wicked sweet as it can get – I loved how she approached how to ‘interview’ herself and how to give a well-rounded impression about her personality as well. I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know the author through this quirky interview and conversation!

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A #WyrdAndWonder Special Feature | “The Qinali Virus“ by Valerie J. MiklesThe Qinali Virus
by Valerie J Mikles

Rage. Poverty. Disease.

They’re gone. Every last one.

The cost was great. The population has been devastated. But for the survivors, utopia has arrived.

Then the suspicious death of a young person forces Amber to question her world like she never has before. The Contentedness Council is after her, determined to protect their perfect society. Now Amber must unbury her city’s repressed past, expose the crimes that led to their utopia, and find a way to stop the Council from killing the world… again.

Join astral-projecting asexual Amber and her telepathic sister as they fight to save the human race from extermination!

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Dystopian, Genre-bender, Paranormal Suspense, Science Fiction, Space Opera


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8610487830

on 9th March, 2020

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Adventure, Quest, Post-Apocalyptic
involving astral projection, mental projection (empathy, telepathy), aliens

Identities represented: Aromantic/asexual, gender-fluid,
neutrois/agender, FTM (with the first two most prominent)

Converse via: #WyrdAndWonder, #SciFi, #ScienceFiction, #SpeculativeFiction

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Posted Friday, 1 May, 2020 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, Astral Projection, Blog Tour Host, Equality In Literature, Genre-bender, Hard Science Fiction, Indie Author, OWI - Other Worlds Ink Blog Tours, Parapsychological Gifts, Science Fiction, Space Opera, Speculative Fiction, Telepaths & Telepathy, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event