Genre: Science Fiction

+Book Review+ A Stitch in Time by Amanda James #ChocLitSaturdays #RRSciFiMonth (time travel)

Posted Saturday, 15 November, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , 2 Comments

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A Stitch in Time by Amanda James

Author Connections: Personal Site | @akjames61Facebook

Illustrated By: Berni Stevens

 @circleoflebanon | Writer | Illustrator

Converse via: #ChocLit & #AStitchInTime

Genre(s): Fiction | Romance | Time Travel

Paranormal Elements | Fantasy Suspense

Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook, Large Print, & E-Book

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Acquired Book By:

I am a ChocLit reviewer who receives books of my choice in exchange for honest reviews! I received a complimentary copy of “A Stitch in Time” from ChocLit via IPM (International Publisher’s Marketing) in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Inspired to Read:

I have had an attachment to time travelling narratives for awhile now, as my newly passionate admiration for Doctor Who will account for the fact that I am quite giddy to soak inside a story where the art of travelling through time is championed by the traveller who seeks to help humanity out of the curious nature of time itself. Previously, I have enjoyed seeing forays of time travel through Quantum Leap and Star Trek television series (of the creativity of Gene Roddenberry). Time travel in fiction is a new pursuit of mine — and as I am focusing a bit on this sub-genre of Science Fiction during Sci Fi November, I felt it was only fitting to post this review at such a time as to encourage sci-fi readers to know that even the breadth of Romance can entertain a suspense-filled time travel story arc!

I believe what attracts me the most to the art and style of each writer who conveys how time travel occurs is how variant the science is that expresses the plausibility of travelling through time. Everyone has a different approach, yet there is a level of understanding in each new way to duck through time and effectively change a few things as far as how history was written by the people who lived through the hours of time itself.

+Book Review+ A Stitch in Time by Amanda James #ChocLitSaturdays #RRSciFiMonth (time travel)A Stitch in Time
by Amanda James
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

A stitch in time saves nine… or does it?

Sarah Yates is a thirty-something history teacher, divorced, disillusioned and desperate to have more excitement in her life. Making all her dreams come true seems about as likely as climbing Everest in stilettos.

Then one evening the doorbell rings and the handsome and mysterious John Needler brings more excitement than Sarah could ever have imagined. John wants Sarah to go back in time …

Sarah is whisked from the Sheffield Blitz to the suffragette movement in London to the Old American West, trying to make sure people find their happy endings. The only question is, will she ever be able to find hers?

Read an Excerpt of the Novel

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Also by this author: Somewhere Beyond the Sea

Series: Stitch in Time,


Genres: Romance Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Time Travel Fiction


Published by ChocLitUK

on 7th April, 2013

Pages: 301

Author Biography:Amanda James

Amanda James was born in Sheffield and now lives in Cornwall with her husband and two cats. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, singing and spending lots of time with her grandson. She also admits to spending far too much time chatting on Twitter and Facebook! Amanda recently left her teaching role (teaching history to sixth form pupils) to follow her ambition to live her life doing what she most enjoys—writing.

Amanda is a published author of short stories and her first novel with Choc Lit, A Stitch in Time was chosen as a Top Pickin RT Book Reviews magazine in the US in July 2013 and won a 2013 Reviewers’ Choice Award from Single Titles.

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A theory on time, the traveller who knits it back together, & the reality of time travel:

James reveals the basis of her running theory on the full dimension of being a time traveller and one who intends to not only travel along the meridians of time but on fusing time as a broken structure of record back together again; with a propensity of precision generally relegated to knitters or sewers. I, personally, loved what the time traveller’s mentor and guide is called inside the story (as a Time Needle sounds ever so posh) as ‘needling with time’ simply made a heap of sense to me! Time travellers by definition can either muck up an alignment of the continuum itself OR they can create positive contributions by causing a deviant of order as they re-distribute a level of calm within the chaos. I even liked how she parlayed her theory within the title of the novel itself, by using a Stitch in such a clever execution of a person’s job rather than rely solely on prior knowledge the reader may or may not have had as far as vetting information on the subject for themselves.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Saturday, 15 November, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Adulterous Affair, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Novel, Divorce & Martial Strife, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern British Literature, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Second Chance Love, Singletons & Commitment, Unexpected Pregnancy, Vulgarity in Literature

Book Review | “King of the Mutants” by Samantha Verant a #MGLit debut novel by a writer I discovered through her #memoir!

Posted Wednesday, 5 November, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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King of the Mutants by Samantha Vérant

Published By: TantrumBooks (@TantrumBooks) an imprint of Month9Books (@month9books)
by Georgia McBride Media Group (@Georgia_McBride)

Tantrum Books is the Speculative Fiction imprint of Month9Books

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via:#KingoftheMutants & #Month9Books

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Acquired Book By: My path crossed with Ms. Vérant during the blog tour for her memoir “Seven Letters from Paris”, and even before the blog tour began, we were communicating with each other via Twitter. She reached out to me to ask if I would be interested in reviewing the novel, after I had extended the offer to host a Book Spotlight as I was not sure if the book was available to review. I received a complimentary copy of “King of the Mutants” direct from the publisher Month9Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

On how I know Ms. Vérant: Our paths were brought together through her debut release “Seven Letters from Paris” as from the moment I found her book on tour with France Book Tours, I knew I wanted to get to know the writer behind the memoir a bit better. I host a weekly chat on Saturdays called #ChocLitSaturdays | @ChocLitSaturday, and I invited her to join us as time would allow her to do so. I knew anyone who was bold enough to write a memoir about her real-life romance could appreciate the lively chatter we exchange! Meanwhile, we started to converse via Twitter privately as well without meeting up on #ChocLitSaturdays. I have appreciated her friendship and following her journey as an author whose career is instantaneous dual in focus between non-fiction and middle grade!

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her ahead of reviewing her books. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time.

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My keen interest in Middle Grade fiction & Indie Pub releases:

I have been on a road back into Children’s Lit since 2009, when a new branch of a local library inspired me to not only seek out the new releases I would want to read as an adult, but the authors of whom were not even published whilst I was growing up within the realm of Children’s Literature. My inspiration backwards in time to the stories of innocence and stories of heart-warming coming-of age were directly due to my nieces and nephews; of whom were still a bit young to soak inside Juvenile Fiction, Middle Grade, or even Young Adult novels — I wanted to reach out to them when they were of age and recommend new choices as much as give them a few from my own childhood.

What I discovered was this incredible expanse of stories who had within them characters of every walk of life and a captivating arc of discovery for the young readers who would find them to read. I have always appreciated stories which seek to teach life lessons as much as to draw a line of empathy out of the readers who are still growing themselves at the times where these kinds of stories are needed most in their lives. I always celebrated stories that perhaps might have been a bit more unique and different from the regular faire, as they too, had something brilliant to offer me. By brilliant, here I refer to the fact that I was always the reader who was seeking out experiences through the joy of reading. I wanted to be challenged a bit, as that extended to gravitate towards stories outside my comfort zones and outside what I might have felt inclined at first to read. The beauty of reading is the exchanging of ‘hats’ and the experiences that are gained through walking inside a character’s shoes who ends up transforming your perspective.

Now that I have opened the door to Children’s Lit, I daresay, even if the selections I make do not interest my nieces and nephews; I can honestly say I have a newfound passion for this branch of the literary divide! I cannot read the books fast enough nor discover their writers as quickly as my heart desires to read what is being published! What wicked fun then, to find a new Indie Publisher who is giving all of us something to talk about through their published works! My heart will always be tied to the Indies, and I celebrate the fact I am now reading Indie Children’s Lit! Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 5 November, 2014 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Review (non-blog tour), Book Trailer, Bookish Films, Bullies and the Bullied, Children's Literature, Coming-Of Age, Foster Care, Literature for Boys, Middle Grade Novel, Modern Day, Month9Books, Prejudicial Bullying & Non-Tolerance, Realistic Fiction, Sci-Fi November, Science Fantasy, SFN Bingo, Teenage Relationships & Friendships

Indie Writer Month (#IndieWriterMonth)| a special focus on Jorie Loves A Story during November & December 2014!

Posted Saturday, 1 November, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

#IndieWriterMonth badge created by Jorie in Canva

I have always had a strong passion for the world of Indies (book shoppes & authors), yet despite all my best efforts to seek out stories published through alternative publishing platforms such as: Independent Publishers & Presses, Self-Published routes (such as POD or otherwise) or even Hybrid Publishing Platforms I found the availability of where they are adverted and spoken about to be a bit limiting prior to becoming a book blogger who became active in the book blogosphere, the book culture in the twitterverse, and a hostess for blog book tours via blog book touring firms and companies.

I had the the pleasure of seeing other bookish bloggers and writers take up the quest to host book spotlights and author features on their blogs leading up to Autumn 2014. I was partially inspired to host my own event as much as shine a light on the fact I read an incredible amount of Indie fiction on a regular basis now! I am always humbled and blessed to have my path cross with authors whose stories not only enchant my mind but they endear my soul. I love the diversity of the stories themselves as much as the love of the craft knitted into their pages.

I cannot wait to share all the lovely posts I am writing which will highlight all the lovely books on my Riffle List which compliments this event! Be sure to watch my Twitter Feeds for announcements & reading tweets whilst I walk through November with a thankfulness of Indie Fiction!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

JLAS Features in Conjunction to #IndieWriterMonth:
  • #IndieWriterMonth Bingo Card Challenge for an Indie Reader
  • This ChocLit Girl has a ChocLit Next Reads List | Why I love Reading ChocLitUK novels
  • Upcoming 2015 Indie New Releases Wicked Happy About
  • Top Indie Children’s Lit: the stories for young readers & young adults
  • Top Indie Speculative Fiction: stories within science fiction, fantasy, & horror
  • Top 10 Favourite Indie Sci-Fi & Fantasy Novels & Writers
  • Top Indie Historical Fiction: stories brought forward out of time itself
  • Top 20 Under-appreciated Indie Novelists
  • Top Favourite Indie Publishers & Presses
  • Next Indie Books to Read on my Bookshelf
  • Next Indie Books to Read via my local library
  • Indie Novels I am Reviewing in December
  • Stories Seeking Love from Readers: the Indie novels spotlight
  • Surprises still to come! :)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

| Calendar of Book Reviews & Author Guest Features |

THIS SCHEDULE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION : PLEASE READ NOTE!

{ titles in purple are cross-referenced/promoted via Sci Fi November }

Mondays:

(3 Nov) LIVE Author Q&A Piercing the Veil series by C.A. Gray (YA Sci-Fantasy)

(10 Nov) Book Review “Invincible” by C.A. Gray (YA Sci-Fantasy)

(17 Nov) Book Review “The Spoils of Avalon” by Mary F. Burns
(Cosy Historical Mystery : HFVBT)

(TBA Nov) Author Interview with Mary F. Burns

(24 Nov) #ChocLitSaturdays Book Review “Dance Until Dawn” by Berni Stevens
(Paranormal (Vampire) Romance)

(24 Nov) Book Review “Impossibe” by C.A. Gray (YA Sci-Fantasy)

(29 Nov) Series Showcase Spotlight “Piercing the Veil” by C.A. Gray (YA Sci-Fantasy)

Tuesdays:

(4 Nov) Author Interview Marcia DeSanctis “100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go” (#FranceBT)

(18 Nov) Series Spotlight w/ Cover Reveal & Author Q&A of Coming Home Series
by Brenda S. Anderson (Realistic Fiction | Inspirational Romance)

Wednesdays:

(5 Nov) Book Review “King of the Mutants” by Samantha Vérant (#Month9Books : MG Fantasy)

(12 Nov) Book Review “The Vineyard” by Michael Hurley (TLCBookTours)

(19 Nov) Book Review “French Twist” by Glynis Astie (French Romance)

(19 Nov) Audiobook Novella Review of “Dragons of Unrest” by Anthony Russo (Dragon Fiction)

(19 Nov) Author Q&A with Anthony Russo

(26 Nov) Book Review “Seldom Come By” by Sherryl Caulfield (Historical Fiction : HFVBT)

(26 Nov) Author Interview with Sherryl Caulfield

(26 Nov) Book Review “Portals, Passages, and Pathways” by B.R. Maul (YA Fantasy)

Thursdays:

(6 Nov) Book Review “100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go” by Marcia DeSanctis  (#FranceBT)

(13 Nov) Book Review “Fade to Back” by Sue Duff (YA Sci-Fantasy)

(20 Nov) Book Review “Sinking Down” by E. Chris Garrison (Urban/Paranormal Fantasy)

(20 Nov) “Softly Falling” by Carla Kelly (Historical Fiction)

(27 Nov) Book Review “A Home for Christmas” Novella Anthology by MK McKintock
(Historical Fiction : HFVBT)

(27 Nov) Author Interview with MK McKintock

(27 Nov) Book Review: “Crown of Dust” by Mary Volmer (Historical Fiction)

Fridays:

(14 Nov) Book Review & Author Interview “Like There’s No Tomorrow” by Camille Eide
(Sweet Romance)

(21 Nov) Book Review “French Toast” by Glynis Astie (French Romance)

(28 Nov) “Lila’s Choice” by Laura Brown (Equality in Lit / Contemporary Romance)

Saturdays:

(1 Nov) #ChocLitSaturdays Chat Fairy-Tales in Fiction | After Canons/Re-tellings

(15 Nov) #ChocLitSaturdays Book Review “A Stitch in Time” by Amanda James  (Time Travel)

(18 Nov) Book Review “Time and Again” by Deborah Heal (Time Travel)

(22 Nov) #ChocLitSaturdays Book Review “Somewhere Beyond the Sea” by Amanda James (Romantic Suspense)

(22 Nov) Book Review “I, Walter” by Mike Hartner (Historical Fiction)

(22 Nov) Author Interview with Mike Hartner

(22 Nov) Book Review “Unclaimed Legacy” by Deborah Heal (Time Travel)

(29 Nov) #ChocLitSaturdays Book Review “Up Close” by Henriette Gyland (Romantic Suspense)

(25 Nov) Book Review “Every Hill and Mountain by Deborah Heal (Time Travel)

(29 Nov) SPECIAL SHOWCASE: History Mystery Serial Overview w/ Author Interview

Sundays:

(9 Nov) Book Review “Becoming Beauty” by Sarah E. Boucher (Fairy-tale Re-Telling)

(16 Nov) Book Review “A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom” by June McCrary Jacobs
(Sweet Romance)

(16 Nov) Author Interview with June McCrary Jacobs

(16 Nov) Book Review “Category 5” by Paul Mark Tag (Science Fiction based on Science Fact Thriller)

(23 Nov) Book Review “Prophecy” by Paul Mark Tag  (Science Fiction based on Science Fact Thriller)

(30 Nov) Book Review “White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy” by Paul Mark Tag
(Science Fiction based on Science Fact Thriller)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

In recognition of my participation in the reading challenge:

Go Indie 2014 Reading Challenge

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This post kicks off my event on behalf of:

#IndieWriterMonth Blog Feature of Jorie Loves A Story, badge created by Jorie in Canva#IndieWriterMonth Take 2 (December) badge created by Jorie in Canva

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Reader Interactive Question:

Share your thoughts on Indie Pub | Press; Self Pub and Hybrid published authors of whom you’ve felt such a strong connection to you wish you could find more readers to share in the joy of the stories which captured your imagination & your heart.

{SOURCES: Poster for #IndieWriterMonth on Jorie Loves A Story created by Jorie in Canva. Badge for #IndieWriterMonth (November & December) on Jorie Loves A Story created by Jorie in Canva. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Riffle List embedded due to codes provided by Riffle.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Saturday, 1 November, 2014 by jorielov in #IndieWriterMonth, Jorie Loves A Story

+Book Review+ A MidSummer Night’s Steampunk by Scott E. Tarbet (a Shakespearean re-telling)

Posted Saturday, 12 April, 2014 by jorielov , , 4 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

A MidSummer Night's Steampunk by Scott E. Tarbet
Artwork Credit: Dale Pease (of Walking Stick Books) http://walkingstickbooks.com

Published By: Xchyler Publishing () 18 November, 2013
Official Editor WebsitesSite  | Twitter
Converse via: #AMidSummerNightsSteampunk
Genres: After the Canon | Classic Re-Telling | Shakespearean | Steampunk | Fantasy
Available Formats: Trade Paperback and E-Book
Page Count: 324


Acquired Book By: I contacted Xchyler Publishing about receiving books in exchange for honest reviews and was asked to pick the two books I’d like to request. Moments in Millennia was my second choice, as my first choice was A MidSummer Night’s Steampunk. My interest in this novel is based on a life-long love of William Shakespeare’s writings! I received a complimentary copy of “A MidSummer Night’s Steampunk” in exchange for an honest review direct from the publisher Xchyler Publishing. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

On Appreciation of William Shakespeare:

As a participant of the A to Z Challenge this April, whereupon each blogger is undertaking 26 Essays | 26 Days, I elected to focus on my love and appreciation of Classical Literature on Day 3: Letter C. Therein, I discuss my fascination and affinity for William Shakespeare from the very first moment I first read his plays and Sonnets. I knew I had found a writer I would be reading for the rest of my life. He had this classic way of ebbing out the human sphere of emotion, psyche, and our living observations. He was the best at conveying each dynamical evocation of human emotions as well. A champion of wordsmiths, it was through his bar of sophisticated eloquence I tend to seek out in other writers. He always felt to me to give great pause before enduing his characters with action or dialogue. He wanted us to have a legacy of thought left behind and for this I am in his debt.

Imagine my happiness in finding there was an author out there who would not only take his own passion for Shakespeare to a new height of re-telling the magically laced “A MidSummer Night’s Dream” and retrofit it into a Steampunkified re-telling of the classic tale with the bentings of a scientific quality of theory!


Author Biography:

Scott E. TarbetScott Tarbet writes enthusiastically in several genres, sings opera, was married in full Elizabethan regalia, loves Steampunk waltzes, and slow-smokes thousands of pounds of Texas-style barbeque. An avid skier, hiker, golfer, and tandem kayaker, he makes his home in the mountains of Utah.

You can learn more about Mr. Tarbet through the Interview I conducted ahead of this book review! He shares his thoughts on Steampunk as a genre, his appreciation of Shakespeare, and a lot of keen bits for writers & readers alike!

Book Synopsis:

Immerse yourself in this Steampunk retelling of Shakespeare’s classic, replete with the newfound wizardry of alternative Victorian technology, mistaken identities, love triangles, and deadly peril, set against the backdrop of a world bracing itself for war, and Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

Pauline Spiegel, a master artificer like her mother before her, wants just one thing: to wed the love of her life, Alexander MacIntyre, a lowly undersecretary of the Royal Household. However, a long-term pact between her parents, and a noble House, stands between her and her happily ever after. When a priceless mechanoid of unfathomable power is stolen, Pauline finds herself entangled in skullduggery and international intrigue, upon which the fate of nations rest. Only with the help of her friends, and a brilliant scientist with a swarm of micromechanical insects, can Pauline survive the dark forces determined to destroy her. But will her betrothed and his rag-tag band of semi-mechanical soldiers reveal Alexander’s secrets as well?

 


To begin with a parting of prose:

A lover of quotations and bits of poetry, I am one reader who appreciated the warming of my reading palette with bobblements of poems greeting me at each interface! A lovely poem reminiscent of the innocence of fairies greets you before you reach the Prologue. And, yet another poem graces the upper corner of Chapter 1. A little nibbling of foreshadow in which I took the most delight! And off from here comes the divergence into a world of mechanisms and the air in which humanity’s door is slightly skewed towards automation. Rehabilitating veterans of war has been turnt on its heels to retrofit survivors into the most efficient entity of their trades. A fantastical yet questioningly haunting insight into how production and quantity can supersede plausibility and ethics.

Each chapter is lit with a piercing thought writ out through the hand of poets to help give heed to the next foray of intrigue!

My Review of A MidSummer Night’s Steampunk:

As I nestled into the story of A MidSummer Night’s Steampunk, I attempt to recollect if I had read the original play or if perchance, I had seen an adaptation of it instead? The corridors of my memory are a bit foggy at best, which is why I had to shift a bit of my fragmented memories and emerge into the sadistic fever of mechs who were created not necessarily for the well-being of their inhabitors but for the progression of automated industrialism as I aforesaid. The shockingly brutal rebuilding of a sentient being is off-set by the fact that the mechs do not seem to realise their individualistic freedoms have become abandoned on the whim of their creator.

The words in which Tarbet uses to create his universal pace is a pure delight to this wordsmith’s heart! He gives you a felicity of choice as you ease your way forward into the chapters which yield the most foreshadowing to satisfy your appetite for the action yet to transpire. Picking up where Shakespeare had left off is not an easy task, but to knit together a story which honours the canon and gives such a creative spark to Steampunk at the same time is a celebration of his writing style.

The forbearing inertia of caution is under-stitched into the story of the classic tale, giving a new appreciation for the choices humans have made since the Victorian age as each path chosen has turnt out a different avenue of progress. If we had opted instead to keep the heart of what Steampunk gives the reader, the age of steampower and gaslight we might have made deviations in other areas where the Industrial Revolution had yet to enlighten. By keeping Victorian technology in place, we see how devious the experiments can take inventors when their minds are wired for clockwork and automation. A little too much good for their own souls if you ask me!

At first I found it a bit tricky to ascertain how to proportionate the mech characters in my mind’s eye, as I’m quite new to Steampunk & Clockpunk alike. Then, all of a sudden whilst the mech men made their way through to central London, it dawned on me how to visualise them! From that moment forward, I had this envisioning shadow of how they were created and how they would stand out in ordinary streets of London! I think if there were illustrative plates for this particular piece it might have helped me out a bit. Character sketches to off-set the lack of baseline recognition! Except to say, Tarbet expertly gives such a vivid viewing of each of the mech’s mannerisms to purport an honest impression of how they can be perceived! I am such a visual learner that at times, when I step outside a world I’ve previously visited, I must adjust my eyes to a new one! In this, I celebrated my ability to see visually in my mind’s eye what Tarbet was attempting all of us to embrace!

A clever re-telling by far, as he has etched in such a reformed rite of passage for women in the story, where there is an alliance between Lakshmi, Jennie, and Vicky – all women of equal power and without the ambiguity of being able to blend in from behind prying eyes. For them to launch a series of events to forestall a dictator’s diabolical plans to overtake surrounding nations is one of the best moments I was celebrating! It gave way to the expression that ‘behind all good men, is a great woman’; and in this particular story it could not be more true! A separate alliance was forged out of necessity from the mech men, a wickedly fascinating engineer Pauline, her two suitors Alexander & Winston, along with a besotted in love girl named Clementine who only has eyes for Winston!

At the very heart of the story is the searing warmonger Wilhelm who is blinded by carnal rage and a robust ill-fated sense of power. His intentions for his home country is strengthened by his assertion that power and proclivity towards violent rule are his inherit gifts. A madman on the collision course towards altering history whilst utilising another madman’s offering of technology. There are moments of intense fighting and heated battle between human and mechs, and mechs vs mechs with an equaling sense of unease. Each is caught in the cross-hairs of an emerging war neither fully understands. It is only when logic is cast aside and reason is indued by a spark of enlightenment which dances straight into the vortex of human understanding can true change be cast. Free will of man and mech is the turning point towards diplomacy and democracy.

As I was reading the story, I thought this particular book would be a great lesson in ethics for a University class to undertake. There is enough within the chapters to take both sides of the argument and dissect the worth of its message. What foolish folly and provocation can be found in the nettling and maddening proclamations of one man’s dream for supreme rule.

Equality & Diversity : Undertone Components

An undertone component of A MidSummer Night’s Steampunk is the inequality of the mechs inside the story. They have become their own race of men as their lives were irrefutably altered when they came home from the battlefield and/or the hospital in which their very life hung in the balance between being medically altered through technology and death. Due to their new status of half man | half machine, they are no longer viewed as individuals outside the scope of what trade they perform based on their ‘upgrades’ towards industry efficiency.  And, therein lies the problem. Rather than being viewed as the people they were prior to the surgeries that were performed without their consent, they are no longer given the compassion of humanity by any person who crosses their path. Rather instead they are refuted from view, a mere glimpse of a hint of the ravages of war and a different age of invention.

Tarbet presents both sides of the argument giving a positive light on how restoration of a person’s self-worth, self-identity, and the living freedoms of liberty each of us is innately inherit to have is plausible if there are still those who agree all sentient life has rights to keep in tact.

Fly in the Ointment:

Although I enjoyed reading this re-telling of William Shakespeare’s “A MidSummer Night’s Dream”, there is a curious attachment in the second half of the story to bring out the full measure of Jack the Ripper’s presence. At first, the subtle nodding towards Hitler’s reign over Germany; the conquest of Napoleon through France; and the merciless tactile militant force of the mechs carved out of the unwilling criminally insane patients was taken for what each representation was given to highlight. However, for me, this stretched a bit too far into the darker shadows of the theories behind why Jack the Ripper killed and what his motivations were to hunt innocents in the streets of London. I was a bit surprised that the wielding of the alternative history components were writ as strong as they were, as the backdrop of the story which illuminated the most joy for me were the clockpunk and automation engineering technologic advances on the side of the good.

There is always a battleground arc for good vs. evil, but there are times where I feel the vile bits to highlighting said evil can inadvertently overtake the good bits. I was pleased to see Tarbet use the eloquence of Shakespeare to empathise the vocalisations of human emotion without falling into the quandary I normally express in Fly in the Ointment. No, it’s not an issue of language but rather of how far pushed the envelope felt to me for the level of violence against the backdrop of where the story was leading. Of course, all stories are open to interpretation of the reader, and I for one, felt the story was guiding me towards one passageway of an ending rather than diverting down another.

A decidedly splendid extra:

Behind the conclusion of A MidSummer Night’s Steampunk, the author’s biography & acknowledgements and a bit of a mini catalogue of titles via Xchyler Publishing itself, is a decidedly splendid extra: a preview of On the Isle of Sound and Wonder by Alyson Grauer! A book which is not yet released and an author of whom Mr. Tarbet spoke about in his Author’s Interview!


A MidSummer Night’s Steampunk Book Trailer by Xchyler Publishing

There is something magical afoot at Xchyler Publishing as their music accompaniments inside their book trailers draw your imagination into the narratives of their stories long before you pick up their books!


This book review is courtesy of:

Xchyler Publishing

check out my upcoming bookish events and mark your calendars!

I have been blessed with four spotlights on behalf of Xchyler Publishing:

An Editor Interview with Penny Freeman,

a book review of Moments in Millennia: a Fantasy Anthology,

and my Interview with author Scott E. Tarbet ahead of this book review!

I’d be keen to hear reader responses to my review of A MidSummer Night’s Steampunk, as I was happily settled into the alternative history backing of story against the clockpunk elements of automation before plunging head-first into the Jack the Ripper thread. Have you ever felt ensconced into a story-line which at a certain point in time arched into a different thread of discovery than you forethought? What do you look for within the realm of Steampunk, Clockpunk, and automation stories? What draws you in and what if anything disappoints you?

{SOURCES:  A MidSummer Night’s Steampunk Book Cover, and synopsis were provided by Xchyler Publishing and were used by permission. Author photograph & biography were provided by the author Scott E. Tarbet and used with permission. Book Review badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs.  The book trailer by Xchyler Publishing had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Saturday, 12 April, 2014 by jorielov in 19th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, After the Canon, Airship, Alternative History, Automation, Book for University Study, Book Review (non-blog tour), Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bullies and the Bullied, Classical Literature, Clever Turns of Phrase, Clockmakers & Watchmakers, Clockpunk, Clockwork & Mechanisations, Clogs & Gears, Debut Novel, Dirigible, England, Excessive Violence in Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, Genre-bender, Good vs. Evil, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, MidSummer's Night Dream, Re-Told Tales, Steampunk, the Victorian era, Warfare & Power Realignment, William Shakespeare, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Xchyler Publishing

*Book Cover Reveal* & *LIVE!* BlogtalkRadio Podcast with Eric Garrison!

Posted Wednesday, 4 December, 2013 by jorielov , , , 8 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Today’s cover reveal features the second book in the Road Ghosts series, starring ghost hunters Brett and Liz, along with good ole “Uncle Gonzo”. This time, instead of being chased by ghosts, they’re on a cross-country race to save a poor little ghoul who’s been kidnapped. Lots of surprises await, including Vampire LARPers (live action role players) on a beach!
This book also features the début appearance of Skye, the main character of the spinoff series Tipsy Fairy Tales (to be published by SSP in 2014/2015).
 The artwork was created by the award-winning Bonnie Wasson, who has been the artist for covers and interiors on the Road Ghosts series.
Sinking Down by Eric Garrison
Artwork Credit: Bonnie Wasson

Did you see the mirror-image reflection of the ghoul?

What thoughts came to mind as to explain the hidden depths of truth

revealed in that one snapshot of proof?

This is another example of why I appreciate the illustrators of Seventh Star Press! They intrigue your curiosity to venture ‘into the story’ by giving a cursory glimpse of what you dare to find inside, once you allow your eyes to sink into the story which awaits you!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comSynopsis of Book Two {Sinking Down} of the Road Ghosts series:

Poor Little Ghoul

Paranormal investigators Brett and Liz find themselves back in over
their heads when a forest hunt for a roadkill-eating creature offers up
a little surprise. Back home with their ghoulish house guest, it becomes
clear there’s more to this investigation than either of them thought.
Worse than that, Brett’s own fate is linked to the little ghoul’s.

So it’s back out on the road, with plenty of time for pit stops with a
greedy ex, a convention of ghost hunters, partying with fake vampires,
and even drinking and fighting alongside good ole Uncle Gonzo. But as
the investigation goes deeper, and unseen connections come to light,
Brett finds there’s much more at stake than getting through a rough
patch with Liz.

A rescue mission. A race for a cure. New friends and old adversaries.
Unbreakable bonds and supernatural danger. It’s going to be a wild ride.
Can the friends save the nearly undead tween? Can she and Brett stop
themselves from …Sinking Down?

authorpic AUTHOR BIOGRPAHY:

Eric Garrison is active in the writing community in Indianapolis, Indiana. He lives in the Circle City with his wife, step-daughter and a cabal of cats. He also enjoys gaming, home brewing beer, and finding innovative uses for duct tape. Eric’s novel, Reality Check, is a science fiction adventure released by Hydra Publications. Reality Check reached #1 in Science Fiction on Amazon.com during a promotion in July 2013. Seventh Star Press is the home of Eric’s supernatural fantasy series, Road Ghosts, including Four ’til Late, Sinking Down, and the upcoming Me and the Devil.

Follow Eric’s further adventures on Silly Hat Books.

 

The Star ChamberTonight @9pm(EST) Garrison and I will be featured on Episode Two of The Star Chamber! A weekly podcast hosted by Seventh Star Press, which spotlights and features authors, writers, book bloggers, musicians, and other creative economists who come together to celebrate the creative arts! Tune in each *Wednesday Night* at 9pm(EST) to hear what is happening next! Each podcast is archived and available for the listener to listen too after the show originally airs! Do not fear if your time zone is out of sync with The Star Chamber! Tune in as your time allows you to listen!

Tonight, I step back from behind the veil of “Jorie Loves A Story”, and open up the mic to answering questions pertaining to my bookish life as much as why I undertook the journey towards book blogging! As I have given free rein to the hosts & hostesses to ask me questions that surround my diverse array of interests (some parallel to science fiction, fantasy, & horror &/or book blogging and reading) you might tune in and be a bit surprised by what we are discussing! One of the hostesses and I, share a combined passion for knitting, which I am hoping we get to talk a bit about as well! Prior to when I come on the line, Mr. Garrison will be discussing his new book which is revealed in this post as much as what is on the horizon for him at Seventh Star Press as the New Year: 2014 shifts into view! This is a great chance to get to know a book blogger &/or author you have been following alongside to see a more personal glimpse into who they are!

Remember: Tweet your Qs to myself @JLovesAStory and to Mr. Garrison @erichris in order for us to answer your enquiries! I will be *live!* tweeting tonight as the show starts to get underway!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comAfterthoughts of the Chamber:

As I was saying during the podcast, there are moments in our reading lives where we read about the premise of a story thinking that we are not going to have a genuine resonance with a particular book or author. Only to have our perception of what could be inside of a book change, whilst we’re given the opportunity to become further acquainted with said author. For me, I started to dig a bit into the ‘writer’ of Mr. Garrison via his personal blog, whereupon I learnt key insights into how much heart and wickedly cheeky humour he stitches into his stories! My first impression of a story isn’t always bang-on, and I purposely keep an open mind & ear for a day to come along to where I might re-visit a book &/or author I had previously taken a pass on being introduced too! One day I look forward to giving his first “Road Ghosts” book “Four Til’ Late” a bit of a whirl, seeing where the story inspired to take him as it hinges to fond memories & an admiration of who originally inspired him to take up his pen! As much as a bit of a smirking nod to his wife, of whom shares his passion for ghost hunting and paranormal investigations! What more can you hope for? Then, a road trek which leads you into the paranormal! Writ by an author who gives a proper nodding to the creatives who came before him as much as tapping into the museful realm of dreamscapes, by which all writers aspire to draw out a measure of creativity!
The Star Chamber: Episode 2
featuring authors Eric Garrison and Michael West
as well as book blogger Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story
archived for their listening audience!
Hosted by: Stephen Zimmer, Selah Janel, S.H. Roddey, Michael West,
& Alexander S. Brown
(Twitter) @starchamber; @erichris; @byMichaelWest; @JLovesAStory
@SGZimmer; @SelahJanel; @draickinphoenix; & @AlexanderSBrown

This book cover reveal was courtesy of:

Seventh Star Pressbe sure to scope out my next Bookish Events!

Similar to blog tours, when I feature a showcase for an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog.

{SOURCES: Book Cover Reveal materials (Book Cover, Author’s photograph & biography, etc) provided by Seventh Star Press. The Star Chamber logo badge used with permission to help advert the show. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.. Cover Reveal badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

Footnote: I’ve kept this post in-tact as it was written originally however, the author is now known as E. Chris Garrison or Ms Chris as I refer to her on my blog posts wherein I am featuring one of her stories or hosting her as a guest author. The reason I kept this post in-tact is because I wanted to keep the memory of how our paths crossed and remember why saying ‘Mr Garrison’ was not quite as endearing as I had meant it to be as this was before I realised he was a she. Since that day, I’ve referred to the author respectfully as Ms Chris but acknowledge there was a time I did not realise she was transgender as I was not privy to that information when we first went live on The Star Chamber Show. I am a big supporter of Ms Chris and I cherish the memories of how we originally formed our friendship, even if as said, back then, I was missing an important bit of knowledge.

I’ve updated the biography for my review of “Blue Spirit” replacing the old biography you see on this post. All my reviews moving forward will be with Ms Chris’s biography as this biography is of her previous pen name and not her real name as reflected on all my future posts. This will include my reviews of “Restless Spirit” and the Trans-Continental series during Sci Fi November 2016, as well as all forthcoming releases I will be reading or reviewing. I did switch over to calling her Ms Chris when I reviewed her short story within the anthology “A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court” as that was the earliest time I could share what I knew about the author’s transition.

Blessedly tonight, I learnt via the author’s website (see this post) both Seventh Star Press and Hydra Publications are going to re-release Ms Chris’s series with the new biography and name change on the covers to reflect the author’s lineage of stories as her authentic self. I was overjoyed when I found out about this as I was hoping this could be done as it felt right to have the covers and interior biographies updated. This is why I respected Ms Chris and left her old pen name off my blog – except for this post. It’s a deadname on #JLASblog – except our path crossing on The Star Chamber Show. I’ll always hold that moment as a treasured joy, as I loved our conversation. It was one of my favourite memories as a guest outside of the Christmas Show where I conversed with Mr Allen.

Speaking of which, we each updated our Twitter accounts – as I just noticed I still have links to my original Twitter ID on my blog! lol What an incredible three years… I really should write down the fond memories I’ve had as a book blogger, there are so many lovely moments of joy I’ve been blessed to embrace and experience. My blog itself is a footprint of my travels but I have a reserve of memories and moments I think I should work on chronicling during my next year as a blogger offline – as a way to journal my path and remember everything that’s become a part of my life since I took that leap and blogged my first review.

-7th October, 2016

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Posted Wednesday, 4 December, 2013 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, BlogTalkRadio, Book Cover Reveal, Genre-bender, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Guest Spot on Podcast, Horror-Lite, Live Author Event, Science Fiction, Seventh Star Press, Speculative Fiction, The Star Chamber Show, Urban Fantasy, Vulgarity in Literature