Genre: Historical-Fantasy

Celebrating #SelfPubFanMonth with a fantastical #SaturdaysAreBookish | diving into “Viking Quest” by Edale Lane

Posted Saturday, 24 September, 2022 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I had to re-arrange my plans during #WyrdAndWonder – as I was going to read all the lovely books by Edale Lane I had purchased either ahead or during of the event this year during May – except to say, my month held its own fair share of woes – from health, to work to all the little unexpected things that go wrong which add up to lost hours to read and blog! *le sigh* However, I chose to reveal my thoughts on behalf of “Heart of Sherwood” and “Walks With Spirits” during Wyrd And Wonder as I felt it was quite an interesting bookend: the first and the latest by Edale Lane. However, the hours did not yield to finishing of the second novel. I had begun to read the fourth novel of the Night Flyer series as well but realised the hours were limited and I wouldn’t get the chance to read the fifth – so I’ve pushed those readings into Summer which melted into Autumn readings.

As a small update: I’ll be listening to the audiobook for “Walks With Spirits” whilst continuing to read the novel, whilst shifting back into the Night Flyer series and diving into “Daring Duplicity” as well as Autumn starts to take hold. The joy of course, I was able to lengthen my time with Lane’s novels rather than to curate a readathon condensed into one singular month. All round, I am just thankful to have her stories with me to read and/or listen too. 

I was not obligated to post a review on its behalf – as I purchased this novel ahead of Wyrd And Wonder Year 5 (May, 2022). 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 from the author Edale Lane – of whom I have previously hosted during blog tours and have had her as a guest author several times on my blog. She was one of my @SatBookChat #WyrdAndWonder guest authors this year – on the 28th of May. And, she will be featured again within the next month – either on Jorie Loves A Story or @SatBookChat as those plans are still being finalised.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

As I previously disclosed during my #RomanceTuesdays showcase for “Heart of Sherwood” (see also Review) I’ve been curating a long history of appreciating the stories writ by Edale Lane over the last few years! She is one of my mainstays in regard to which Self Pub novelists I regularly read and seek out to read on the regular. Others include the following: Jeannie Wycherley, Leanne Leeds, Jennifer Silverwood and Nicole Evelina. You can see a thread of connection too – as most of these authors are writing Speculative Fiction, with the exception of Evelina who writes in different genres of interest but did write a trilogy about Guinevere and King Arthur. You’ll find reviews of their stories throughout Jorie Loves A Story.

Over the years I’ve come to LOVE reading stories by Self Pub authors and storycrafters – ever since I first started blogging, I saw the doors open a bit wider to finding their stories via online routes of discovery and it has led me to having a healthy appreciation for reading self-published literature. Secondly to that pursuit is my love of Independently published (by Press or publisher) literature and for the most part, in both respects, my allegiances tend to lean on the Speculative even though I do read other genres through those publishing routes.

This is the first year I could join the event for #SelfPubFanMonth – which is why the final weeks of September will be happily highlighting the self-published authors I’ve read during #WyrdAndWonder whilst also delving into the works I’ve read this September with featured reviews. I am also going to be featuring a #ThrowbackThursday post highlighting one of my favourites from May. I love to find ways to shine a light on the writers who are writing the stories I desire to read most and to join the collective community online who are equally sharing their own joys as we all pursue the stories which excite us to be read. This is one reason why these events and niche communities are a lot of fun to participate inside as you just never know what you might find in regard to a new story, series or author — with the added bonus of finding new bloggers to follow, too.

There is one exception to this newfound joy — I haven’t been able to trace any activity on the Self Pub Fantasy Month website and my notes to the host this year went unanswered this month. I am not sure if there was an emergency or if plans shifted and the event is only running on blogs wherein some of us are still sharing content. If anyone knows any information – kindly leave a comment on this post and help solve the mystery because it is the first event I’ve joined that had an absent host and, erhm, event!?

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

Celebrating #SelfPubFanMonth with a fantastical #SaturdaysAreBookish | diving into “Viking Quest” by Edale LaneViking Quest
by Ms Edale Lane
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Enggar Adirasa
Source: Purchased | Personal Library

When secrets and lies threaten the throne, can a fierce champion tame her passion in time to stop a cruel enemy’s ruthless march?

Viking Warrior Princess Lena craves revenge. Hunting a killer after her husband is brutally slain, she discovers a shadowy traitor is at play behind the scenes, working to disrupt the balance of power. Placing her need for vengeance on hold when the king falls gravely ill, Lena leads an expedition to locate a fabled healer across a treacherous sea.

Caitlin, snatched from her home in Eire and sold into slavery, prayed for a means of escape, and in storms Lena to her rescue. She is grateful, but realizes her feelings for Lena run far deeper.

Mighty warrior Gunnar is loyal to the core. But when his lord orders him to sabotage the princess’s royal mission, he’s plagued by doubt, uncertain he’s fighting for the right side.

Beset by foul weather and an uncharted island of trolls, Lena fears she’ll never avenge her husband’s death…. And now Gunnar must decide where his fealty rests as the tides turn to war.

Beset by a plethora of dangers and delays, Lena battles foes on every front, even as her heart softens towards the lovely Celt girl she longs to embrace. Gunnar must choose between honor and fealty, but in the end, will a traitor’s blade end all their lives?

Viking Quest is a breathtaking Historical Fantasy novel. If you like principled characters, battles of conscience, and tender F/F romance, then you’ll love Edale Lane’s action-packed epic.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Historical-Fantasy, LGBTQIA Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Sapphic Romance



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8524703118

Also by this author: Chaos in Milan, Heart of Sherwood

Published by Past & Prologue Press

on 22nd June, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 242

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Published by: Past and Prologue Press

Converse via: #VikingQuest or #SelfPubFanMonth and #SelfPubSept
as well as #WyrdAndWonder

About Ms Edale Lane

Edale Lane

Edale Lane is the author of an award winning 2019 debut novel, Heart of Sherwood. She is the alter-ego of author Melodie Romeo, (Vlad a Novel, Terror in Time, and others) who founded Past and Prologue Press. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication in regard to research. She is a successful author who also currently drives a tractor-trailer across the United States. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Edale (or Melodie as the case may be) is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature.

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #SelfPubFantasyMonth
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Posted Saturday, 24 September, 2022 by jorielov in #SelfPubFanMonth, 11th Century, Book Review (non-blog tour), Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fantasy, Indie Author, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Romance Fiction, Sapphic Romance, Self-Published Author, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

A #WitchyWednesdays Audiobook Review during #WyrdAndWonder | “The Ghosts of Wonky Inn” (Book Two: the Wonky Inn series) by Jeannie Wycherley, narrated by Kim Bretton

Posted Wednesday, 25 May, 2022 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

#WitchyWednesdays banner created by Jorie in Canva.

#WitchyWednesdays is a curated collection of #WitchyReads this Wyrd And Wonder on Jorie Loves A Story. I have long held a fascination with Paranormally inclined stories involving witches and wizards as well as magic schools. I read either Contemporary or Historical releases as well as completely fantastical worlds featuring a Witchy premise and storyline. This year for Wyrd And Wonder, I’m focusing on specific stories I’ve been wanting to share and discuss either during our annual event in May OR our sister event #SpooktasticReads in October. Every Wednesday there will be a new Witchy story to discover as I share my readerly adventures into Witchy Fiction this month. I am considering keeping this a mainstay of focus both during May & October for our events for Wyrd And Wonder.

In regard to the name I chose for this showcase of reviews, I sort of stumbled onto the name when I was deciding which day of the week I wanted to feature Witchy Reads this year. I thought it was original until I ran a search online, I saw others use the #WitchyWednesdays tag however, I did not source an origin of the tag – only a collective recognition for it attributed to different creative projects or venues whilst I didn’t find an actual meme origin for it on a blog or website. If someone knows who started it – kindly let me know so I can add attribution.

The first #WitchyWednesdays featured: TransWitch by E. Chris Garrison

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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 you’re 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 who is now known as Audiobook Empire, I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories. Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive and/or CloudLibrary for their digital audiobook catalogues. Aside from my libraries, I also enjoy having Audible & Scribd memberships as my budget allows. It has been a wonderful journey and one I enjoy sharing – as I am now fully expanding how many audiobooks I listen to per year whilst enjoying being a part of the LibroFM ALC programme and an audiobook reviewer for NetGalley as well.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “The Ghosts of Wonky Inn” from the author Jeannie Wycherley in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I simply *adore!* the #WonkyInn series:

It is quite hard to keep your composure as your listening to this story, as despite the somberness of attending a funeral at the beginning of this tale, it doesn’t take long for the sarcasm to begin! Especially when Alfhild Daemonne begins to describe her personal style and the choices she makes with her wardrobe! Most women will readily warm to her quirky way of expressing her feelings and thoughts about everything from the colour palette of choice to the fact her clothes hug her figure a bit more than they had when she was younger. On top of which, despite this being a gathering of witches to lay to rest one of their own, it was Alfhild who brought the cheekiness to the program! Complete with casting aside the fact she no longer felt this was part of her ‘life’ per se but rather a blink of a blib on the map of where her journey once had taken her as all the witchy bits felt rather ‘put to bed’ in the past.

It was here where we find the contrast between her and her late mother’s legacies – how people viewed her mother as a giving woman who loved to help people in need. She, on the other hand, had a completely different perspective on her mother’s affairs but of course, she might be bias being her daughter rather than her coven. She was still very much defensive about loving to bake with the normality of ingredients one might expect off the Great British Bake-Off show – wherein, you had a feeling her Mum would have preferred her interests to lie more towards eye of newt! The longer she spoke on behalf of her relationship with her mother, the more you understood why there was a wedge dredged between them! Ironic or not, the way she defends her preference for wearing black (ie. by eye colour or cloth) is quite hilarious – which is only one of the passages which gives you a hearty gigglement of joy to listen too!

Rather cleverly, there is a secret combination of books in the Occult section of a bookshoppe to get you into the alleyway where the witches of this world love to roost and shop for their witchy needs! I liked how Wycherley made this sound like an alternative to the shoppes you’d find in Hogsmeade. The way Alfhild discloses this part of her life, you had a feeling she was feeling constricted by the requirements needed to put her mother to rest. Once the funeral was over, she couldn’t just resume her life from where it was put on pause – mostly because of Penelope Quidwell! She was her Mum’s solicitor who came round to talk to Alfhild about the estate she needed to settle before she could consider the account closed. You had to give her credit – she kept her truer thoughts and feelings at bay from those she interacted with directly, but when it came to listening to the those thoughts in-step with her conversations gave you a wicked good volley of humour! She didn’t mind being blunt if it gave her a way to get her points across and that was what makes her such a winning character, truly!

There are subtle bits and bobbles of magic enveloping through the background of the story – such as the way Penelope’s address claimed the card in Alfhild’s hand! A dash of smoke and a pinch of ink was all it took to give her a place to arrive. What she would find there once she did however was a bit of a alarm as she didn’t give her Mum much credit for having a complicated estate as the best she remembered she lived humbly without too many assets. Before she can get into those particulars though she had to find the solicitor’s office! Laughs. This set into motion a series of laughable moments where she thought she was destined to be coo-coo clocked to death!

What endears you to Alfhild’s journey is how sincere she is making a new life for herself in this place – even if her magical abilities are questionable at best but evenso, she does what she can whenever she can to compensate for it. She sorts out whom she can trust and who are her best allies – for she is working against forces she could not have predicted would interfere with her goodwill. There was a moment where in the height of an uprising she was bringing against these forces where she reconsidered her options before realising there was only one future she would feel comfortable owning as her own. And, that felt like the greater purpose of this installment – of taking control of not just your own destiny but of embracing who you are and the inherent gifts that come with feeling proud of where you’ve come as well.

Sometimes you’re challenged past the point you feel you can overcome what blights onto your path – but as Alfhild found, if you dig deep, stay positive and align yourself with people who give of themselves for the greater good of everyone else – you find a strength you never had. Alfhild’s parents would be wicked proud of her efforts and of the courage she encountered the moment she realised that the power to change her own destiny lay inside the power she had within herself. And, that should be something all readers takeaway from this story – aside from the advice given how to defeat one’s enemies as truly that is one of the oldest pieces of wisdom I think more people ought to be reminded of as so much truth is held within how that is one of the most powerful tools we all have to use ourselves.

If you wanted to get a good view of Wycherley’s humour, the way she paints the life of Alfhild as a witch attempting to live amongst the rest of us as if there was nothing unique or different about her is a proper bang-up riot! She also shows her heart such as the scene where she gives a twenty spot to a witch down on her luck whilst taking the commuter rail. The dialogue is sharp and the quickstep pacing of the story being delivered is a treat for your ears (if your listening to the audiobook, such as I had been) – everything is running a bit on hyper-speed, as the lead character has this hyper personality that comes through quite clearly. It adds to her charm though, because she’s the kind of bold character you look forward to meeting and can’t wait to know further!

The hilarity is in high order- Wycherley has such a prime way of carving out a bang-on brilliant romp of humour, you can’t stop laughing before you run into the next snarky bout of humour arriving in your ears! She’s written a right smart emotionally raw and honest character who speaks her mind, says what she means and means what she thinks who has a way of warming your heart for her forwardness! The way she’s written this Cosy Mystery is a bit unsuspecting as it feels much more like a Women’s Fiction exploit in how to put your life together at an age where everyone expects you to have your druthers in order whilst at the same time, there is a case of mystery right in the midst of Alfhild putting her life back to rights!

The way she’s conceived of this neverending home repair property to rankle the patience of Alfhild is just part of the folly as once you get into the groove of the audiobook, you’ve already embraced her cheeky humour and the dramatic way she involves us into this witchy Cosy!

-quoted from my review of The Wonkiest Witch

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A note of apology to Ms Wycherley
& an explanation of the delay in this review
being featured on Jorie Loves A Story:

I have been trying to bring this review to Jorie Loves A Story for the last three years as when I originally listened to the story I was unable to compose my thoughts about it directly as I heard it. I was going through quite a lot back then and for whichever reason, listening to a story on audio was far easier than pooling my thoughts about it as I heard it. This novel and the first Trans-Continental novella by E. Chris Garrison (ie. Girl in the Gears) was heard the same year and both are reviews I’ve been wanting to write and share on my blog ever since. Both of them were so wickedly brilliant – both in scope of the writers who wrote the stories and the performances of the narrators who expertly brought both worlds to illuminated light for me.

In different intervals and conversations, I did let both authors know the personal impact these audiobooks had on me but as I’ve become an audiobook listener (and audiophile, let’s be real!) I’ve enjoyed conveying my reactions the listening to stories read aloud, performed by narrators and blogging my thoughts about the joy of hearing a story lit alive through narration. It has been an interesting journey these past six years (since 2016) and I’ve grown a lot as both a reader and as an audiobook listener; even if I feel I have only scratched the surface of genres and literary realms to explore in audio – I’m comfortably confident to say I have curated quite a few favourites along the way! And, these two authors and their narrators are at the top of the expanding list which is now past ten faovurite narrators!!

I’ve tried several times to re-listen to both over the years – tying them into different events (ie. Witchathon, #SpookasticReads or even #WyrdAndWonder or #SciFiMonth) which they would naturally fit inside and yet, it wasn’t until this 5th Year of Wyrd And Wonder where I had conceived of the idea for a #WitchyWednesdays showcase wherein I could tuck closer to the #WitchyReads I love seeking out and talk about those stories directly on a Wednesday. I had planned to feature 4x #WitchyWednesdays this May but as life and work threw me offline more than I expected to be this month, I had to reduce my plans.

However, there is some good news to share! This series has expanded quite a heap since (2019) as back then there were 8x releases and now there are a wickedly brilliant 15x!! Plus, four Christmas Specials which reminds me dearly of my beloved BBC serials which oft do the same! I also noted more of the audiobooks have released which is why between now and October (for our next #SpooktasticReads event hugged into the final fortnight of the month in a chase up to Halloween) I’ll be gathering those audiobooks myself to continue my adventure into a world which bewitched me as soon as I first entered it!

I might have taken the longer road back into the Wonky Inn series but I am evermore grateful to the author who first enchanted me with her series and now has me hungering after new installments! I’ve marked which of the stories are now released into audiobook as well for those who would prefer to listen to the series as I do vs reading them in either print or ebook. I have known ever since I first ‘heard’ Alf that this is a series I have to always listen to in audio – I cannot even fathom how I would read a story set in the Wonky Inn world without Kim Bretton in my ears! Except to say for the Christmas Specials – as I’m uncertain if those are going into audio which is why I noted on this review I’ll be collecting those in print editions. If they do go into audio that would be a wickedly sweet surprise for me!!

I cannot apologise enough to the author for the long gaps in communication and for stalling in my progress to make this review a reality. I cannot wait to listen to the third novel Weird Wedding at Wonky Inn ahead of the Christmas Special and the next two audiobooks in sequence right in time for #SpooktasticReads this October when I resume my #WitchyWednesdays!! The blessing of course is how cosy comfortable this series has become to me and how lovely it is to return as if I’ve simply gone away for a spell and now have chosen to return ‘home’.

I should also mention – portions of this review were previously written during my first listening of the story and also, during my second – whilst this is my third listening of the story and I’ve done my best to make this a cohesive review as I combined all the thoughts I had to share on its behalf.Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A #WitchyWednesdays Audiobook Review during #WyrdAndWonder | “The Ghosts of Wonky Inn” (Book Two: the Wonky Inn series) by Jeannie Wycherley, narrated by Kim BrettonThe Ghosts of Wonky Inn
Subtitle: Wonky Inn, Book 2
by Jeannie Wycherley
Source: Direct from Author
Narrator: Kim Bretton

Alf has tried to banish her demons.

And her ghosts.

But memories of her recent past linger and keep her awake.

Every night it’s the same. Insomnia.

When she does eventually drift off, she’s woken almost immediately by a sobbing spirit.

He says he's lost.

And worse than that, someone is trying to kill him.

Who is this sad specimen of a spirit? And where does he belong?

And how do you kill someone … who is already dead?

Find out what Alf gets up to next as the Wonky Inn adventures continue.

Read The Ghosts of Wonky Inn today.

Genres: Cosy Mystery, Ghost Story, Paranormal Suspense, Historical-Fantasy, Paranormal Urban Fantasy, Urban Fantasy



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1719966740

ASIN: B07TKGBZ4H

Also by this author: The Wonkiest Witch

Published by Self Published

on 28th June, 2019

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 4 hours and 51 minutes (unabridged)

This is a self-published audiobook.

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

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The Wonky Inn series:

Wonky Inn series promo banner provided by Audiobookworm Promotions

🎧 The Wonkiest Witch (book one) (see also review)

🎧 The Ghosts of Wonky Inn (book two) → heard thrice!

🎧 Weird Wedding at Wonky Inn (book three) → next in line!

The Witch Who Killed Christmas (A Wonky Inn Christmas Special)

🎧 Fearful Fortunes & Terrible Tarot (book four)

🎧 The Mystery of the Marsh Malaise (book five)

The Mysterious Mr Wylie (book six)

The Great Witchy Cake-Off (book seven)

Vengeful Vampire at Wonky Inn (book eight)

Witching in a Winter Wonklyland
(A Wonky Inn Christmas Cozy Mystery)

A Gaggle of Ghastly Grandmamas (book nine)

Magic, Murder and a Movie Star (book ten)

O Witchy Town of Whittlecombe (A Wonky Inn Christmas Cozy Mystery)

Judge, Jury and Jailhouse Rockcakes (book eleven)

A Midsummer Night’s Wonky (book twelve)

Halloween Heebie-Geebies (book thirteen)

Owl I Want for Witchmas is Hoo:
A Wonky Inn Christmas Cozy Mystery Special

Oh Mummy! (book fourteen)

Pieces of Hate (book fifteen) ← forthcoming August, 2022!

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NOTE: I marked which installments are released into audiobook with a headphone emoji whilst I changed the colour of the text to reflect the Christmas Specials which are only currently released into print or ebook formats. I’ll have to gather the print of those stories to read before I proceed forward into the next stories released into audiobook. For instance, I’ll be purchasing my first one after listening to “Weird Wedding Wedding at Wonky Inn” before I purchase a copy of “Fearful Fortunes & Terrible Tarot”.

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I believe there is a spin-off series called:
MISTER MAGIGI’S MAGICAL EMPORIUM

Sugarplum Scary (book one)

*as I read somewhere online this is a story connected to Alf
as she asked a favour of the character whose featured

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Converse via: #WonkiestWitch + #AudioReads, #Audiobook
and #WitchyWednesdays during #WyrdAndWonder

OR #loveaudiobooks, #Paranormal #CosyCrime

About Jeannie Wycherley

Jeannie Wycherley

Genre-hopping introvert and word witch living somewhere between the forest and the sea in East Devon, UK.

Jeannie finds inspiration everywhere: in myths, stories and songs, while people watching, a word here, a look there. However, her main inspiration comes from the landscape. Devon has it all - a rocky coastline, pebble and sandy beaches, narrow winding lanes and picture perfect cottages, steep cliffs and an abundance of forest.

A good day for Jeannie means a blustery wind, racing waves and salty rain. She lives with her husband and two dogs, makes a lot of soup, plays too many computer games and loves watching movies.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
Divider

Posted Wednesday, 25 May, 2022 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, #WitchyWednesdays, Audiobook, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Book Review (non-blog tour), Clever Turns of Phrase, Cosy Mystery, Fantasy Fiction, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Historical Fiction, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Indie Author, Self-Published Author, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Witches and Warlocks

A Wyrd And Wonder #RomanceTuesdays | “Heart of Sherwood” (A gender bent story of Robin Hood) by Edale Lane

Posted Tuesday, 24 May, 2022 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#RomanceTuesdays banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I never had the chance to read the first novel by Edale Lane – which I knew was a re-telling of Robin Hood with an f/f romance which is a continuous thread in all her novels. I had it in mind to read this story at different intervals over the time I’ve spent reading her initial trilogy of the Night Flyer series. When I went to sort out which books, I wanted to purchase to read during #WyrdAndWonder – “Heart of Sherwood” was at the top of the list. If you’ve visited our #bookstagram feeds recently, you now that I included all the books I’ve purchased by this author when I was celebrating ‘Best Laid Plans’ which was the first prompt of our Wyrd And Wonder Challenge. I’ll be expounding on this during my next #TopFiveSaturday post which runs this Saturday, the 7th of May.

I decided to concentrate on Fantasy Romances on Tuesdays throughout May whilst ‘taking over’ my #RomanceTuesdays featured selection of stories which are generally limited to Harlequin Heartwarming and Love Inspired (either Contemporary or Suspense) as I wanted a dedicated day to celebrating those authors, stories and series. Wherein generally speaking other Romances & Women’s Fiction stories are read and shared on Saturdays during my #SaturdaysAreBookish featured showcases. This year, as I’m participating in “The Summer Tree” RAL (readalong) whilst posting my ruminative thoughts on Saturdays and hosting @SatBookChat all four Saturdays during #WyrdAndWonder – I decided I ought to takeover my own feature on Tuesdays instead of running these on Saturday.

I was not obligated to post a 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 from the author Edale Lane – of whom I have previously hosted during blog tours and have had her as a guest author several times on my blog. She is one of my @SatBookChat #WyrdAndWonder guest authors this year – on the 28th of May.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

As fate would have it – I began my readings of Edale Lane with her Night Flyer series although I was fully aware of this novel “Heart of Sherwood” being it was her first release. It remained a curiosity to me over the past few years since I first read “Merchants of Milan” (see also Review) which of course I followed up with a hearty interview (see also Vlog Interview) as well as a guest post! The two stories I read next of course were the sequel (see also Review) and third installment (see also Review) of the series – as previously I thought it was only going to be a trilogy. I even followed all of this up with a phone interview wherein we discussed the series further.

It has only been two years since I started my journey into her worlds – wherein I also had the pleasure of meeting her in person at one point. We’ve remained in touch as I wanted to keep tabs on her new releases as well as stay in the know about the Night Flyer series. Fast forward to now – for Wyrd And Wonder’s Year 5 I decided to go BIG whilst endeavouring to read the rest of her canon of stories: “Missing In Milan” (Book 4), “Shadows Over Milan” (Book 5), “Viking Quest”, “Walks with Spirits” (her latest release!) and “Daring Duplicity” which is a Historical Victorian Suspense which I will be featuring during #CrimeFicFridays in June ahead of the sequel “Perilious Passages” releasing that same month.

And, yet — as an appreciator of Gender Bent stories – as noted through some of my readerly choices over the last nine years I’ve been blogging my readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story, I never had the chance to delve into her spin on Robin Hood. Wherein she switched genders and turnt ‘Robin’ into ‘Robyn’ a feminine heroine of the people rather than the tale of old in which we are all quite familiar as it has become modern lore due to how oft its origins and story have been explored through literature, television and film.

As a Romance reader, I’ve appreciated her gently told romances with an uplifting centre of focus within their relationships – whilst it is her historical lens of representing History through different portals of entrance which has fascinated me with each story I’ve read of hers. Her romances are f/f romances which is why I was not surprised she had plans to see if romance might percolate between Robyn and Marian in this variant of the story.

Her novels were what inspired me of turning my #RomanceTuesdays into a curated showcasing of Fantasy Romance. Be sure to return on Tuesdays to see which #FantasyRomance I am exploring next and which author or story you might become tempted to read yourself in the process of reading over my ruminations. Whilst you have to admit – during the year we’re celebrating #ForestFantasy is there a better forest to explore than Sherwood!?

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

A Wyrd And Wonder #RomanceTuesdays | “Heart of Sherwood” (A gender bent story of Robin Hood) by Edale LaneHeart of Sherwood
by Ms Edale Lane
Source: Purchased | Personal Library

What if there had been a real Robin Hood, but instead of being a "he" the heroic outlaw was a "she"?

When Robyn's father and brother are killed in the Third Crusade, she is banished from her manor home and branded a traitor by the Sheriff of Nottingham. Disguised as a boy, she joins Little John and the rest of the gang in Sherwood Forest and soon finds herself their leader.

Queen Eleanor suspects Prince John is up to no good, and colluding with Sir Guy and the Sheriff of Nottingham. To learn more, she engages Maid Marian as a spy, reuniting Marian with her childhood friend, Robyn. Together, the women defy the evil sheriff, help the queen free King Richard, and perhaps fall in love along the way.

Winner of Rainbow Awards Best Historical Lesbian Romance, 2018-2019
Relive the classic tale told from a new perspective in Heart of Sherwood!

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Historical-Fantasy, LGBTQIA Fiction, Fantasy Romance



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1087282046

Also by this author: Chaos in Milan, Viking Quest

Published by Past & Prologue Press

on 19th October, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 312

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published by: 1st edition published by Less than Three Press

2nd edition published by Past and Prologue Press

Converse via: #FairytaleRomance, #FantasyRomance & #WyrdAndWonder
#RobinHood Retelling and Gender Bent Fairytale

About Ms Edale Lane

Edale Lane

Edale Lane is the author of an award winning 2019 debut novel, Heart of Sherwood. She is the alter-ego of author Melodie Romeo, (Vlad a Novel, Terror in Time, and others) who founded Past and Prologue Press. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication in regard to research. She is a successful author who also currently drives a tractor-trailer across the United States. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Edale (or Melodie as the case may be) is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature.

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Tuesday, 24 May, 2022 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, 12th Century, After the Canon, Book Review (non-blog tour), Classical Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, Historical Fantasy, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Re-Told Tales, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | soaking into Shakespearean Fantasy within the pages of “Harlequin’s Riddle (Book One: Tales of Tarya) by Rachel Nightingale

Posted Monday, 2 May, 2022 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review Year 5 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Gifted Book By: This novel “Harlequin’s Riddle” 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 during Wyrd And Wonder Year 3 celebrating the Indie Publisher Odyssey Books! This continues 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 “Harlequin’s Riddle” by my parents and I was not obligated to post a 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 5th Year of Wyrd And Wonder.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I was quite smitten with all the stories I’ve selected to feature from this Independent Publisher – each of the guest features will tuck us closer to the stories themselves, introduce us to the writers and give us a newfound appreciation for the Fantasy stories which are being independently published by publishers who champion the crafting of stories and the writers who have created these fantastical worlds for us to discover.

I wanted to begin this series of features with Ms Nightingale – as her world is a rather curious one – both from the perspective of what initially inspired her series and how she first fused curiosity to building the foundation of this world she’s given us to read and by how her characters simply step forward from that world and embrace our imaginations.

-as shared on the guest post by Ms Nightingale

As you might remember – two years ago, I had the lovely pleasure of running a series of guest features for Odyssey Books. Their authors were very welcoming to me and open to my enquiries as much as they returnt my interview and guest post topics with such hearty depth – it was a true pleasure to host all of them! I even interviewed one of them via #SatBookChat as I did a takeover chat experience that year as well.

Last year, I was able to start my readings again of Odyssey Books via “Cassandra” (see also Review) whilst previously I had featured Elizabeth Foster’s “Esme’s Wish” (from 2020: see also Review) and Felicity Banks Rahana trilogy: “The Monster Apprentice” (from 2020: see also Review) and “The Princess and the Pirate” (see also Review) in 2021.

This #WyrdAndWonder I am picking up from whence I last left off – I have the complete set of stories for the Tales of Tarya to read and I couldn’t be happier! I didn’t want to set out to read the first novel if I knew I couldn’t read the rest of the series. Thereby, I waited until our 5th Year to begin my journey into this world and it is my hope to read the rest of the Odyssey Books I have on my shelves every Monday throughout May. Part of what drew me into these stories was the premise of them — how they are a combination of reshaping what we understand about Shakespeare against what we love about Mythological Fantasy and Fantasy which is set in a world re-inspired by another writer.

Whilst I am planning to read the Odyssey Books authors on Mondays – you’ll find two more lovelies from them being featured and read this month: “Esme’s Gift” the sequel to “Esme’s Wish” and “The Shadow of the Skytree” (see also Interview). I am attempting to get a copy of “Songlines” by Carolyn Denman as well. Join me on Mondays as I take my own odyssey into a publisher’s canon of stories and series.

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

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | soaking into Shakespearean Fantasy within the pages of “Harlequin’s Riddle (Book One: Tales of Tarya) by Rachel NightingaleHarlequin's Riddle
Subtitle: Book One of the Tales of Tarya
by Rachel Nightingale
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Nadia Turner
Source: Gifted

Ten years ago, Mina’s beloved older brother disappeared with a troupe of travelling players, and was never heard from again. On the eve of Mina’s own departure with a troupe, her father tells her she has a special gift for storytelling, a gift he silenced years before in fear of her ability to call visions into being with her stories.

Mina soon discovers that the travelling players draw their powers from a mysterious place called Tarya, where dreams are transformed into reality. While trying to solve the mystery of her brother’s disappearance, she discovers a dark secret to the players’ onstage antics. Torn between finding her brother or exposing the truth about the players, could her gifts as a storyteller offer a way to solve Harlequin’s riddle?

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Historical-Fantasy, Magical Realism, Upper YA Fantasy



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1922200990

Also by this author: Harlequin's Riddle

Published by Odyssey Books

on 12th June, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 312

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Tales of Tarya series:

The Tales of Tarya collage created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: jorielovesastory.com

Harlequin’s Riddle (book one)

Columbine’s Tale (book two)

Pierrot’s Song (book three)

Be sure to read Ms Nightingale’s Guest Post after this review!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published by: Odyssey Books (@OdysseyBooks)

Converse via: #HistoricalFantasy, #YAFantasy, #TalesOfTarya
as well as #OdysseyBooks & #WyrdAndWonder

About Rachel Nightingale

Rachel Nightingale

Rachel Nightingale has been writing since the age of eight (early works are safely hidden away). Harlequin’s Riddle is her first novel.

Rachel holds a Masters degree and PhD in Creative Writing. Her short stories have been selected several times for exhibition as part of the Cancer Council Arts awards, and winning the Mercury Short Story competition (junior section) at the age of 16 only fuelled her desire to share her stories with the world. One of her plays, No Sequel, won the People’s Choice Award and First Prize at the Eltham Little Theatre’s 10 Minute Play competition in 2014, while another, Crime Fiction, was performed at Short and Sweet Manila in 2016. Her second passion after writing is the theatre, and she has been performing in shows and working backstage for a rather long time. She co-wrote and performed in the 2013-2015 version of the hugely popular Murder on the Puffing Billy Express, a 1920s murder mystery set on the iconic Dandenong Ranges train.

The inspiration for the Tarya trilogy, which begins with Harlequin’s Riddle, began when she read a quote by Broadway actor Alan Cumming about that in-between moment just before you step on stage and enter a different world, and began to wonder what you might find in that place between worlds.

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Monday, 2 May, 2022 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, After the Canon, Classical Literature, Clever Turns of Phrase, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Dreams & Dreamscapes, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fantasy, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Introspective Literary Fiction, Life Shift, Magical Realism, Parapsychological Gifts, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Realistic Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Upper YA Fantasy, William Shakespeare, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage