Genre: High Fantasy

#Blogmas | feat. #FantasyForChristmas19 showcases | The Ravenwood Saga by Morgan L. Busse

Posted Tuesday, 3 December, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , 1 Comment

#blogmas 2019 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Last year was my first #blogmas where I could focus on hosting the #FantasyForChristmas authors who were writing Fantasy narratives which keenly drew my interest into their series, stories and characters – some were INSPY Fantasy storycrafters, such as today’s featured author Morgan L. Busse.

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Let me share my thoughts about her writing style:

When it comes to High Fantasy (ie. Epic Fantasy), Portal Fantasy and Quest Fantasy – I almost could presume to realise that Ms Busse was about to encompass everything I love from this triple threat of fantastical worlds due to how she places you inside her world. It isn’t just the fact this world feels older than the initial pages you’ve read, it is how she has chosen to let her characters peer at us from their regular habits – they are living their life and we’re observing their life from the outside. I love when writers have this authentic nature about their world-building to where you feel like you’ve slipped the veil and have re-emerged elsewhere; settling into a step with characters you dearly want to know more about and a world which although slightly curious round the edges has its own share of darkness.

Busse does a wonderful job of building the suspenseful arc surrounding the Ravenwood women’s predestined gifting – she has granted the reader an introspective viewing of what happens when you are not willing to blindly accept your fate but rather, with a thoughtful concern for what that fate might imply against your own better nature – to examine it and to sort out where your own allegiances lie within the sphere of the world you were bourne.

She makes you compelled to read the story if only to see where each of the characters are going to take their own stands because this isn’t a fate that you would wish upon yourself or anyone else. It is a question of morality and ethics, too – of what you might be willing to do for the sake of your family but if it goes against an inherent belief of yours? If it crosses that line in the sand where your conscience cannot justify the means of the gift – what do you do then? Its a good plotting to think over and to turn round on yourself whilst your examining the will of Busse’s characters to do the same even if they previously had just succumbed to what they were pushed to do.

I never would have realised her series would be offered on a blog tour during the coming New Year 2019 nor that I would have been selected to host her tour giving me the chance to read the first two novels in the series Mark of the Raven and Flight of the Raven – which I celebrated during our 2nd Year of Wyrd And Wonder.

It is a true honour and joy to re-visit this series for my readers whilst highlighting a few of the reasons why I enjoyed reading the series thus far along and why I have expectations about where the series will be heading from here.

Especially considering being a selection of INSPY Fantasy, I was most interested in seeing how Busse would handle the overtures of a faith-based Fantasy world and how those would interconnect to traditional INSPY narratives which either are Historical or Contemporary in scope.

This story deals with a lot of different themes and topics – from physical violence against women to the implications of manipulating people’s dreams whilst they are in REM sleep. The key elements of the story of course are threading through a lens of INSPY narrative – wherein you know the story is anchoured through a prism of light rather than the darkness afflicting its nature onto the characters as they each must choose which destiny they will either accept, refute or alter given the course of their own conscience choice in the matter affecting their lineage legacies.

You have to seek out the patterns of inspiration to see how this is an INSPY Fantasy novel as it has the markings of a traditional Quest and High Fantasy story arc – wherein the main question permeating through the novel is what choices will Selene make now that her destiny’s out in the open and the layers of its reach are known to her and her mother? It is not overtly INSPY in that there are distinct cross-overlays between Christianity and this fantastical world – there is a hint and a nod towards religion but it isn’t omnipresent in the narrative itself. Except for the concept of the soul and the journey of the soul – wherein is the most spirituality you’ll see as you walk through the story itself.

It is more of a thinking novel about the concepts of spirituality and the concepts of living against your moral fibre as a sentient being who has the conscience walk of the soul within you. The greatest battle of course is between the Dark Lady and the Light – of which you can draw your own conclusions about whom their representing and I loved Busse for giving readers that option of choice.

In direct regard to the INSPY threads of spirituality and faith running in the background of the series – I believe this would appeal to those who have their own spirituality which can be defined or those who are still seeking a path towards knowing where their spirituality lies within their own belief systems. As a Protestant and spiritualist myself, I found it wicked fascinating how she pulled ancient truths together within the framework of this world (only wish I knew what to ‘call this world!’) whilst she layered it within the individual walk her characters must take to not just root out their own legacies within their ancestral lines but to seek out where they each draw their own allegiances between the Light and the Dark Lady. For that is most important of all – here and in our own realities.

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What I found was a very broad overview within the world with a few specific nudges of insight towards how this world has a firm foundation of faith running in the background of how the characters live their lives. In some places, I had hoped they might be a bit more empathise on this side of the story but it is how lush Busse describes this world, the sequencing on focusing on her character’s central arc of growth and the angst that goes with being a warrior – all of that was the beautiful boiling pot towards developing a dramatic thread of a story you simply want more to read as each installment only pulls you so far forward inside their lives. I do go into more details about my takeaways and conclusions on how faith is infused into the series on my reviews for Mark of the Raven & Flight of the Raven as this was just an excerpt from what I previously shared.

This was a series of Fantasy which took me by surprise and hugged me close into its world – I am most eager to see where we transition from here within the pages of Cry of the Raven – which is why today I am thankful to feature an extract from Flight of the Raven to continue to introduce my readers to what I found wicked fascinating about the Ravenwood Saga!

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Mark of the Raven by Morgan BusseFlight of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse

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Published by: Bethany House Publishers (@bethany_house)

an imprint of Baker Publishing Group

The Ravenwood Saga:

Mark of the Raven (book one) | add to LibraryThing

Published: 6th November, 2018 | ISBN: 978-0764232220

Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person’s dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.

As she discovers her family’s dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family’s legacy–a legacy that supports her people–or seeking the true reason behind her family’s gift.

Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.

One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?

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Flight of the Raven (book two) | add to LibraryThing

Published: 30th April, 2019 | ISBN: 978-0764232237

Selene Ravenwood, once the heir to House Ravenwood, is now an exile. On the run and free of her family’s destiny, Selene hopes to find the real reason her family was given the gift of dreamwalking. But first she must adapt to her new life as wife to Lord Damien Maris, the man she was originally assigned to kill.

While adjusting to her marriage and her home in the north, her power over dreams begins to grow. As the strongest dreamwalker to exist in ages, her expanding power attracts not only nightmares but the attention of the Dark Lady herself.

With a war looming on the horizon and a wicked being after her gift, Selene is faced with a choice: embrace the Dark Lady’s offer, or search out the one who gave her the gift of dreamwalking. One path offers power, the other offers freedom. But time is running out, and soon her choice will be made for her.

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Cry of the Raven (book three) | add to LibraryThing

Published: 4th February, 2020 | ISBN: 978-0764232244

Lady Selene Ravenwood has come into her full power as a dreamwalker just as the war with the Dominia Empire begins.

Working with the other Great Houses, Selene and Damien use their gifts to secure the borders and save those devastated by the war. But conflict, betrayal, and hatred begin to spread between the Great Houses, destroying their unity as the empire burns a path across their lands.

At the same time, Damien Maris starts to lose his ability to raise the waters, leaving the lands vulnerable to the empire’s attacks.The only one who can unite the houses and restore her husband’s power is Selene Ravenwood. But it will require that she open her heart to those who have hurt her and let go of her past, despite the one who hunts her and will do anything to stop her power.

Will Selene survive? Or is she destined to fall like the dreamwalkers before her?

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Converse via: #FantasyForChristmas, #FantasyNerd and #EpicFantasy

About Morgan L. Busse

Morgan Busse

Morgan L. Busse is a writer by day and a mother by night. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series, the Carol Award-winning steampunk series, Soul Chronicles, and the Ravenwood Saga, a new fantasy series from Bethany House coming November 2018. During her spare time she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel.

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Posted Tuesday, 3 December, 2019 by jorielov in #blogmas, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours

An #Audiobook Spotlight | “Realm of Knights” by Jennifer Anne Davis, narrated by Kim Bretton

Posted Saturday, 30 November, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions. Through hosting for the Audiobookworm I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks). 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 “Realm of Knights” via Audiobookworm Promotion who is working with Jennifer Anne Davis on this blog tour in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What inspired me to listen to this audiobook:

Ever since I first started to co-host @WyrdAndWonder with Lisa and Imyril – I’ve been purposefully keeping my eyes peeled for new & emerging story-tellers within the realms of Fantasy I personally enjoy reading and/or listening to via audiobook. When I heard about this particular blog tour – what I liked most about the sound of the story is that it was rooted in a coming-of age narrative arc wherein the girl (Reid) was emerging into her own independence as much as rising into her rightful place in her kingdom.

This was surrounded by a story where a girl was not at full liberty to identify herself as a girl – as she was conditioned and trained as a boy – which also had a slight appeal on its own because whenever a girl has to hide their truer nature and their honest selves, that leads-in a plotting about living authentically and shining through newfound confidence to lead a life on your own terms.

The timing originally felt good for me – however, the events of October & November proved to be a bit too much to resolve and this is one reason why I am spotlighting this story rather than reviewing it in full as I’ll disclose in a moment. The key reason I was dearly interested in hearing the story however had to do with the *narrator!* The more audiobooks you gather to listen, the more chances you’re going to develop a short and longlist of favourites – such as I have myself – and Ms Bretton is on my shortlist!

I *love!* her in the Wonky Inn series – having had the pleasure of joy of reviewing the first novel and will be reviewing the second come December when I re-focus on my #WitchyReads leftover from our Autumnal quirky mini-event for Wyrd and Wonder which is #SpooktasticReads!

Ergo, I knew if anyone could settle me into this world of knights & a girl emerging into rightly asserting herself in her own kingdom – Ms Bretton would be the right narrator to help me take that journey!

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An #Audiobook Spotlight | “Realm of Knights” by Jennifer Anne Davis, narrated by Kim BrettonRealm of Knights (Audiobook Spotlight)
Subtitle: Knights of the Realm, Book One
by Jennifer Anne Davis
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Kim Bretton

Reid has spent her whole life pretending to be a man so she can inherit her father’s estate, but when a chance encounter threatens to expose her lie, she is forced to risk everything.

In the kingdom of Marsden, women are subservient to men, and land can only pass from father to son. So, when Reid Ellington is born, the fifth daughter to one of the wealthiest landholders in the kingdom, it’s announced that Reid is a boy.

Eighteen years later, Reid struggles to conceal the fact she’s actually a young woman. Every day, her secret becomes harder to keep. When one of Marsden’s princes sees her sparring with a sword, she is forced to accept his offer and lead her father’s soldiers to the border. Along the way, she discovers a covert organization within the army known as the Knights of the Realm.

If Reid wants to save her family from being arrested for treason and robbed of their inheritance, she will have to join the knights and become a weapon for the crown.

To protect her family, Reid must fight like a man. To do that, she’ll need the courage of a woman.

This is the first book in a new fantasy series from best-selling author Jennifer Anne Davis

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1-73236-615-2

ASIN: B07YWM5TF2

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Historical-Fantasy, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Reign Publishing

on 11th October, 2019

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 7 hours and 58 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: Reign Publishing

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #RealmOfKnights + #AudioReads, #Audiobook

#YAFantasy, #YALit and #YoungAdult or #Fantasy

About Jennifer Anne Davis

Jennifer Anne Davis

Jennifer Anne Davis graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in English and a teaching credential. She is currently a full-time writer and mother of three kids, one weimaraner, and a tortoise. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart and lives in the San Diego area.

Jennifer is the recipient of the San Diego Book Awards Best Published Young Adult Novel (2013), winner of the Kindle Book Awards (2018), a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards (2014), and a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards (2014).

Publishers Marketplace listed Jennifer as one of the best-selling indie authors in June 2017. She has also been ranked among the top 100 best-selling authors on Amazon.

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Posted Saturday, 30 November, 2019 by jorielov in Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host, Coming-Of Age, Fantasy Fiction, Heroic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Sword & Scorcery, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Tour Spotlight | “SoJourner” marks the third installment of the Tales of Faeraven by Janalyn Voigt

Posted Thursday, 17 October, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , 1 Comment

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On why this author has been on my bookish radar:

Before I was a book blogger, I was an avid reader of book blogs – curated by readers & authors alike, wherein I would be actively seeking out blog posts, cover reveals, new release announcements and the old fashioned blog tour wherein it wasn’t organised by a touring company but rather a collective of book bloggers and/or group author blogs where authors who were releasing a new book would “visit, guest post and/or interact with readers” in the comment threads. It was a lovely introduction to how to become invested in this side of book world within the labyrinth of the ‘book blogosphere’.

As this pre-dates 2013 (the year I developed Jorie Loves A Story) – I had no foresight of expectation to recognise I would one day tackle book blogging myself! It became an organic transition because through my frequent visitations to those blogs & bloggers, I was developing a way to interact with fellow readers and writers. I wrote the same hearty commentary as book bloggers are familiar with nowadays and I loved communicating about all things bookish & geeky. I wasn’t even traversing the twitterverse at that point, as that came in November after launching Jorie Loves A Story live in August, 2013.

You might be curious – why the back-history about this journey?

Glad you’ve asked! During that period of exploration, my path crossed with a lot of INSPY authors who were co-blogging their writerly adventures. In that capacity, I first stumbled across today’s spotlighted novelist Janalyn Voigt. However, at the time, the key focus of the stories she was blogging about had to do with my personal favourite genre Historical Fiction as she’s a multi-genre writer (something I can personally relate too!) of whom delves into different branches of literary wandering.

When I came across this lovely blog tour for her series “Tales of Faeraven” – the timing felt like a good one. I’ve been appreciating reading more Fantasy & Speculative Fiction this year – especially anchoured through my co-hosted event @WyrdAndWonder. This was also the first year where I could delve directly into INSPY Fantasy novels – through my readings of Morgan L. Busse’s Ravenwood saga.

Today, I am spotlighting a series from a #newtomeauthor of INSPY Fantasy & Speculative High Fantasy I’ve been reading throughout September.

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Blog Tour Spotlight | “SoJourner” marks the third installment of the Tales of Faeraven by Janalyn VoigtSoJourner (Spotlight)
by Janalyn Voigt
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Mara didn't know her parents were living a lie.

After learning a secret that causes Mara to question her heritage, she runs to Torindan, the High Hold of Faeraven, to seek the truth. What the innkeeper’s daughter doesn't know is that Rand, the mysterious tracker she’s hired to guide her through the wilderness, has been sent on an errand that puts her life at risk.

Helping Mara furthers Rand's purposes, but he doesn't count on his emotions interfering.

With Faeraven on the brink of war, Rand is faced with a life-altering choice, Mara is torn between escape and learning the truth, and the future hangs in the balance.

Will Mara be heir to the Faeraven throne? Can Rand escape the terrors of the dungeon?

As Torindan and Pilaer prepare for battle, anything can happen.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1522302032

Also by this author: DawnSinger (Spotlight), DawnSinger, WayFarer

Also in this series: DawnSinger (Spotlight), DawnSinger, WayFarer


Genres: Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction


Published by Harbour Light Books

on 1st November, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Published By: Harbour Light Books
an imprint of Pelican Ventures, LLC (@pelicanbookgrp)

Tales of Faeraven Series:

DawnSinger by Janalyn VoigtWayfarer by Janalyn VoigtSojourner by Janalyn Voigt

DawnSinger (book one) (see also review)

WayFarer (book two) (see also review)

SoJourner (book three)

DawnKing (book four) ← *forthcoming!

Converse via: #INSPYFantasy + #Fantasy
as well as #INSPYbooks + #SpecLit

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

About Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt is a writer and professional speaker with a photography habit and a passion for travel. Her unique blend of adventure, romance, suspense, and fantasy creates worlds of beauty and danger for readers. Tales of Faeraven, her epic fantasy series beginning with DawnSinger, carries readers into a land only imagined in dreams. She is represented by Sarah Joy Freese of Wordserve Literary.

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Posted Thursday, 17 October, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Prism Book Tours