Genre: Short Story or Novella

#Sponsored by Center Street (Publisher) | #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | “The Magic Cup” by Howard Behar An unexpected fantastical world percolating through a narrative speaking about the ethics of the world of business!

Posted Thursday, 31 May, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, starting with FaithWords which is their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been wicked happy I can review for their imprints Grand Central Publishing, FaithWords & Center Street.

This book review was sponsored by Hachette Books who provided me with a complimentary copy of the book “The Magic Cup” direct from their imprint Center Street (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: This marks the first post and/or review I am featuring on behalf of Hachette Books which now states this is ‘sponsored’ by the publisher. Kindly refer to my Review Policy where I disclosed the reasons why this new language of disclosure is being added to [jorielovesastory.com].

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Why I felt it necessary to preface this review with a note about current events:

By now, most of my readers (of Jorie Loves A Story) know I am a reader who has an active voice in the twitterverse and on her blog for civil rights and civil liberties, marriage equality, gender equality and social justice issues across the spectrum of what is currently affecting our lives living in the 21st Century. I initially read The Magic Cup in the early days of #wyrdandwonder – within the very first week of May. I had meant to post my reflections on it’s behalf closer to the time I had read it – if I had, this preface would not be warranted as it would have pre-dated what happened.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had to make a conscience choice in what to feature and what to post in regards to current events – the sad bit is this story was writ by the ‘former’ President of Starbucks International, not the current President. To my knowledge, Howard Behar is fully retired from his association with the coffeehouse company – however, this doesn’t takeaway from the fact it grieved my heart as it did everyone else what happened with the civil rights of those men were violated. No one should have to endure or experience the kind of social injustice and prejudicial behaviour they did.

The reason I am choosing to release my ruminative thoughts on behalf of The Magic Cup is because it was quite literally one of my favourite stories I read for #wyrdandwonder. Releasing this review (at all) is never going to be the ‘right time’ to share it as the events of what happened will always be on the forefront of our minds and memories. The only way forward in life and in society is holding people accountable for their actions – something we have seen happen quite frequently of late – and I do hope, as a whole, Starbucks as a company will go back to the roots of their company’s foundations – as an openly inclusive meeting place where all members of local communities feel openly accepted to meet-up with friends, family, co-workers and the people they are working with on collaborative projects.

On a personal note – a copy of this book should be given to each employee in an effort to help them remember the legacy of Howard Behar’s tenure – as within The Magic Cup are the principles of both behaviour and the casualties of living against the moral principles each of us must choose to abide by or walk a long path towards personal enlightenment on how best to live with an open heart and mind in both our personal and business lives.

Therefore, I am choosing to share this story as a celebration of why I have happily co-hosted #wyrdandwonder this month of May, 2018 – it is to seek out the stories of the fantastical, sharing what derives a work to be a portal to #EnterTheFantastic and to give all of us an interesting purview of all the different ways in which Fantasy Literature can become explored through a writer’s vision of what ‘Fantasy’ can involve within their own imaginative thoughts threading into the genre itself.

Coincidentally, I did find this tweet s/o referencing an article which discloses his [Howard Behar] response on behalf of what happened recently. Wherein he does talk about how the company has strayed away from its founding principles and how difficult it is to see individual prejudices until a mistake is made thereby illuminating the behaviour which needs to be addressed and changed.

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What drew me into reading this story:

When I first learnt of this lovely book, I hadn’t quite realised it was writ with such a clever spin on the fantastical, as I originally thought it was a short Non-Fiction story rather than a narrative short spun on the principles and ethics you would expect to find in the the world of Business! From that perspective, what truly anchoured me to the story-line as I started reading it were the quiet moments of entry from the Fantasy angels which were superseding themselves into the pacing and tone of the overall journey Steadfast was taking towards becoming a better man.

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On how I Starbucked America

– from the Mid-West to the Mid-Atlantic to the Northeast and Southern states

It is mentioned in the Foreword how the reason Starbucks was intentionally grown to become a cafe of community engagement was to curate a meeting space where people of all backgrounds and socioeconomic lifestyles could find a place to share a cuppa with their conversations – which flickered a light of truth in my own mind. This is the key reason I have loved ‘Starbucking across America’ (my mantra whilst road trekking) – you get to meet a lot of lovely people – from the baristas to the people sipping their lattes, to the telecommuters to the University students to the couples tucking in a date night in the middle of the week – you see a multitude of people in Starbucks.

The atmosphere is warm and inviting – the java is addictive (my personal favourite is the ‘cherry’ coffee latte), the sea salt hot chocolate is wicked sinful, the chai is the right level of spice and the green tea latte is as soul lifting as the fresh brewed teas.

I truly have Starbucked my way across America – from the Mid-West to the Mid-Atlantic to the Northeast and Southern states – wherever I’ve travelled, the one constant has been the warmth of joy entering a Starbucks and knowing for a respite of time spent off the road, I’d have a lovely cuppa in my hand, a spontaneous conversation about to make me smile and a knowing sense that even if we don’t all agree on a lot of different topics of interest, the one thing which unites us is our love of tea and coffee!

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Reflections prior to reading the text:

There’s magic when a group of people is bound together with common purpose. It’s the chemistry of real people, doing the right things, with the right set of values. The journey to discover that magic – to create it with the people on our team – is what this tale is all about.

– quoted from The Magic Cup with permission of the publisher

I remember when I first spied this lovely little book – this little gem of a text which contains an uplifting jolt of spiritually renewing motivation to succeed not only in business but in life – as I was in the mindset of contemplating my ‘next move’ so to speak back in [2016]. I hail from a family of entrepreneurs – most have to go to University to gain a background in Business & Economics – I grew up in the shadows of business savvy parents and a grandfather who re-set the standard of business forms for his Corporate America company. Forget the MBA, I had real-life education before that became a new buzz word of innovative educational opportunities which seek to place you out in the real world to gain real experiences.

I also had the pleasure of attending a school in the city of my birth which suffered greatly by the budget cuts which corroded most of our favourite educational ‘extras’ (ie. art, shop, theatre, music, classroom pets/animals, field trips, etc) except it received a special invitation to attend a faux working city environment where children in elementary or middle school could ‘pretend’ to go to work for a week and see where they might ‘fit’ once they graduated high school. It was an interesting experience I had the joy of doing twice – once I worked at a pharmacy and the second go-round, I was part of the video team – an interviewer who had to go store to store, with a mic and not a lot of charisma or confidence, seeking a story I was inventing with each conversation I engaged within.

I worked in my father’s company from the age of three until eighteen – not consequentially (laughs) but as a toddler I was the right height to deliver certain things pertaining to my father’s business whilst gaining a unique perspective on the lighter side of his Industry. (Remember, I’ve previously said my father worked in the field opposite of the city morgue.)

From these roots – I knew I was going to enjoy working – except finding my niche out in the world of Business has had a rocky start as I came out of the gate slightly over-qualified for most entry level positions due to the knowledge I had gleamed by observation, real-life applications and having a keen mind for organisational affairs across a wide spectrum of industries not limited to the ones my family was involved.

It took me awhile to sort things out – even now as a 5th Year Book Blogger – the more information I’ve gained about the book world, the more I’ve sorted out where I fit within the world of publishing; startling enough, it isn’t quite where I first felt I would embark into the next chapter of my journey as a writer! In effect, the vision I had five years ago has altered, morphed through experience and taken a new course – one I am very happy to be researching right now.

Meanwhile, whilst I’ve been my father’s caregiver for the past year and a half since he survived his moderate bilateral stroke (see also Post) I’ve had a lot of time to consider what I want to do in regards to launching myself into trade and commerce. I sort of knew I should be my own boss – own my own companies, diversify my portfolio of investments and carve out the path I’m meant to walk rather than follow in other people’s footsteps.

I’ve been a natural bourne leader since I was in pre-school when I befriended a (presumed) mute boy who turnt out to be shy and was quite vocal by year’s end – my friendship opened his heart and gave him a reason to ‘talk’. No one else stepped forward to show him the kindness of friendship – so imagine, my chatty self taking him round the school, engaging him in our activities and never leaving his side. In return, I heard his ‘heart-notes’ of gratitude and felt joyful in spirit I was making a difference in his life as he frowned less and smiled more with each passing day. I continued to stand apart from my peers as I grew in school wherein I also skipped my slated graduation class and opted to exit high school on my own terms ahead of schedule.

The best freedom in life is owning your own truth – sorting out your own path – trusting your instincts and living through your faith. It’s never easy to go the route no one else is taking – to dig deep into yourself, believing your on the right path even if it feels arduously opposite of what everyone else your age is doing – at the end of the day, you have to return back to centre and realise your life is meant to yield different results. Not everyone can follow after each other – we’re all individuals – we all have adventures and experiences to seek out which define who we are but also, how we interpret the reasons why we are here. We all have a purpose – if we hold onto that truth, we can never fail to be living the life we’re supposed to be embracing. Even if we’re non-conventional and alternative to the general populace – there’s a reason why we stand out and seek a different path.

When I saw this book – I felt an re-awakening in my mind and heart – I have been contemplating what to do professionally for a long while – as I put my life on hold for my family when health crises overtook our lives, where immediate family members were facing difficult crossroads and where a grand-daughter was needed to stay close to home. Through it all, I’ve had my eye on a diversity of fields as much as my heart flutters aglow with the joys of philanthropic interests – I always knew part of my life was going to be devouted in equal parts between professional pursuits and my work in charity. In essence, the term ‘socially conscience’ companies was something I was contemplating before they birthed the term to give back to others whilst lifting up your own business – as it goes back to the adage – it takes a village.

As I have talked about why I love Starbucks, I’ll move on by saying I love pro-positive inspirators (my term!) who seek to motivate others to follow in their wake – to lit a fire of hope and inspiration in others who might be wondering if they can accomplish a similar goal in their own lives. For this seed of insight, I felt I would appreciate reading The Magic Cup.

To refer back to the quotation from the book – as it works as a preface of sorts for what your about to read – what we can accomplish together with a singular focus of creating with purpose is definitively magical indeed! Or to put it a different way – for each of our cup of truths, we each serve as both the Light to inspire another forward and the encourager of joy who seeks to celebrate the serendipitous nature of life.

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#Sponsored by Center Street (Publisher) | #WyrdAndWonder Book Review  | “The Magic Cup” by Howard Behar An unexpected fantastical world percolating through a narrative speaking about the ethics of the world of business!The Magic Cup
Subtitle: A Business Parable about A Leader, A Team, and the Power of Putting People and Values First
by Howard Behar
Source: Direct from Publisher

We all love the fairy tales we grew up on, creating a world in which good always wins over evil, where those whose hearts are true and who do the right thing come out on top. But, grown-up competition for success is rough, even cutthroat, and we’ve often heard that nice guys finish last.

Not according to Howard Behar, whose career as one of the three leaders who built the Starbucks organization most definitely proves that nice guys finish first. In THE MAGIC CUP, Behar spins an engaging corporate tale to teach us exactly how we can do the same thing.

The story revolves around Vince Steadfast, the newly named CEO of imaginary manufacturer Verity Glassworks, which has fallen on difficult times. Vince is hired to help the once iconic company return to its glory days, and he brings with him a parting gift from his mentor and former boss: a stunning crystal coffee cup from Verity’s halcyon days. The cup turns out to be magic – truly – and helps him come to understand and reinvigorate the values that Verity has misplaced along the way.

In the tradition of great parable writers throughout history, Behar quickly involves us in an engrossing fantasy, continually challenging us to compare each situation with our own real-life experiences. The story of THE MAGIC CUP helps each of us discover that only by acting on sound moral principles can we fill our own cups with the personal and professional success and satisfaction we seek.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781478947479

Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction, Non-Fiction, Sci-Fantasy, Self-Improvement & Self-Actualisation, Short Story or Novella, Urban Fantasy


Published by CenterStreet

on 14th November, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 400

Published by: Center Street (@centerstreet.com)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks) via Hachette Nashville

Formats Available: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

Converse via: #INSPYbooks & #NonFiction as well as #wyrdandwonder & #Fantasy #shortstory

About Howard Behar

Howard Behar Photo Credit Lisi Wolf Photography

HOWARD BEHAR is a renowned business leader, author, speaker, and mentor. He served at Starbucks for a combined twenty-one years as both an officer and a board member. He was the president of North America and the founding president of Starbucks International. He lives in Seattle, Washington, with his wife, Lynn, where he is able to spend time with his children and grandchildren.

Photo Credit: Lisi Wolf Photography

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Thursday, 31 May, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, CenterStreet, Christianity, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction, Futuristic Fantasy, Inheritance & Identity, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Light vs Dark, Modern Day, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Shapeshifters, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Urban Fantasy

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review | “Frozen Fairy Tales” (anthology) edited by Kate Wolford (by World Weaver Press)

Posted Wednesday, 30 May, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book by: Did you ever grow curious about a new publisher who produces science fiction, fantasy, and horror genre selections in both novel length and short stories? Did you ever decide to enquire with the publisher you’ve found to see if they were open to book blogger requests to read and review their selections!? This is the situation I found myself in as I was quite mystified by the offerings of World Weaver Press! Such a delightful discovery on my behalf [in 2015] with a website full of inspiring reads across SFF!

Since I started reviewing with World Weaver Press [three years ago in August, 2015] there has been a changing of the guard behind-the-scenes where there is a new owner & publicity team. I am wicked happy to see the legacy and tradition of WWP has been carried forward by this lovely new team! I am honoured to work with them continuing to showcase World Weaver Press through reviewing their titles and hosting future guest features by their authors!

I received a complimentary copy of “Frozen Fairy Tales” direct from the publisher World Weaver Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I have been excited to re-focus my readings on titles by this publisher for #WyrdAndWonder:

Immediately after receiving my first anthology from *World Weaver Press*, I knew I had found a SpecLit publisher I could happily tuck inside for ‘life’ without feeling as if I needed to seek elsewhere for the kind of fictionally fantastical stories I was hoping to find peppering through anthologies! The ways in which the editors of this publisher curate their stories within their selected anthologies are bang-on brilliant, as they not only thread together to such a degree of clarity but they honestly speak to the elemental reasons why we *love!* reading Speculative Literature!

The past few years, were especially harder hitting on my family to where my reading life suffered greatly – I had trouble re-aligning within SpecFic for the most part, as despite being one of my favourite genres of interest, I couldn’t get my head and heart to re-align within the worlds being created. Slowly but surely, I’ve re-entered these stories – finding my footing during #RRSciFiMonth within the novella Murder in the Generative Kitchen whilst finding during #WyrdAndWonder, I want to re-shift into their Fantasy releases such as this lovely anthology by an editor I haven’t yet had the pleasure of becoming introduced: Kate Wolford!

There is something appealing about the ‘frozen’ aspect of this anthological thematic – of when the world is bent inside Winter and everything has this altered state of being – Winter itself is daunting and hauntingly ripe for fantastical stories due to the nature of the Season but also, how quirkily this Season attracts Fantasy plots and creatures! It is oft the setting for stories within the genre and happily, I have found a lot of writers have a deep well of creative spirit to get us to reside within their visions!

I keep a ready eye on the anthology releases by this lovely publisher, as the previous serial anthology releases by Rhonda Parrish (mentioned below) are my *absolute favourites* by far, but they have new frontiers of interest which are equally percolating my eye of notice, such as their incredible undertaking of translating the anthology Solarpunk: Ecological and Fantastical Stories in a Sustainable World by writers hailing from Brazil and Portugal. Solarpunk itself is a sub-genre interest of my own – I have a healthy appetite for SpecLit which focuses on environmental concerns with a prime focus of renewing energy, green lifestyle practices and a way ‘forward’ rather than ‘backwards’ where we do less harm to our biosphere than we have in the past.

This is what is said on behalf of this anthology:

Imagine a sustainable world, run on clean and renewable energies that are less aggressive to the environment. Now imagine humanity under the impact of these changes. This is the premise Brazilian editor Gerson Lodi-Ribeiro proposed, and these authors took the challenge to envision hopeful futures and alternate histories. The stories in this anthology explore terrorism against green corporations, large space ships propelled by the pressure of solar radiation, the advent of photosynthetic humans, and how different society might be if we had switched to renewable energies much earlier in history. Originally published in Brazil and translated for the first time from the Portuguese by Fábio Fernandes, this anthology of optimistic science fiction features nine authors from Brazil and Portugal including Carlos Orsi, Telmo Marçal, Romeu Martins, Antonio Luiz M. Costa, Gabriel Cantareira, Daniel I. Dutra, André S. Silva, Roberta Spindler, and Gerson Lodi-Ribeiro.

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Likewise, World Weaver Press has also put together their own release: Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers which has me equally excited!

If you feel equally tempted by a pro-positive approach to the ‘future’ here is what is being expressed on behalf of this riveting new anthology which could serve as a lovely companion to the Solarpunk in-translation which released prior to this title:

The seventeen stories in this volume are not boring utopias—they grapple with real issues such as the future and ethics of our food sources, the connection or disconnection between technology and nature, and the interpersonal conflicts that arise no matter how peaceful the world is. In these pages you’ll find a guerilla art installation in Milan, a murder mystery set in a weather manipulation facility, and a world where you are judged by the glow of your solar nanite implants. From an opal mine in Australia to the seed vault at Svalbard, from a wheat farm in Kansas to a crocodile ranch in Malaysia, these are stories of adaptation, ingenuity, and optimism for the future of our world and others. For readers who are tired of dystopias and apocalypses, these visions of a brighter future will be a breath of fresh air.

In a nutshell – the stories being curated by World Weaver Press literally do leave me feeling more appreciative for the positive undertones they are seeking to etch into their anthologies – as even across the board within the Rhonda Parrish anthologies, I am finding the same to be true of her curated stories! This is why during #WyrdAndWonder, I wanted to take a proper moment to highlight their efforts for continuing to seek out and publish the fantastical stories we all adore discovering whilst giving us a heady read to contemplate harder thematics and the underscored realities of our contemporary world!

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#WyrdAndWonder Book Review | “Frozen Fairy Tales” (anthology) edited by Kate Wolford (by World Weaver Press)Frozen Fairy Tales
by Kate Wolford
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Connor Anderson of Searing Limb Art
Source: Direct from Publisher

Winter is not coming. Winter is here. As unique and beautifully formed as a snowflake, each of these fifteen stories spins a brand new tale or offers a fresh take on an old favorite like Jack Frost, The Snow Queen, or The Frog King. From a drafty castle to a blustery Japanese village, from a snow-packed road to the cozy hearth of a farmhouse, from an empty coffee house in Buffalo, New York, to a cold night outside a university library, these stories fully explore the perils and possibilities of the snow, wind, ice, and bone-chilling cold that traditional fairy tale characters seldom encounter.

In the bleak midwinter, heed the irresistible call of fairy tales. Just open these pages, snuggle down, and wait for an icy blast of fantasy to carry you away. With all new stories of love, adventure, sorrow, and triumph by Tina Anton, Amanda Bergloff, Gavin Bradley, L.A. Christensen, Steven Grimm, Christina Ruth Johnson, Rowan Lindstrom, Alison McBain, Aimee Ogden, J. Patrick Pazdziora, Lissa Marie Redmond, Anna Salonen, Lissa Sloan, Charity Tahmaseb, and David Turnbull to help you dream through the cold days and nights of this most dreaded season.

Published by World Weaver Press in association with Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0692576076

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Cosy Horror, Dark Fantasy, Fairy-Tale Re-Telling, Fantasy Fiction, Genre-bender, High Fantasy, Short Story or Novella


Published by World Weaver Press

on 10th November, 2015

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 243

Published By: World Weaver Press (@WorldWeaver_wwp)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook

Genre(s): Speculative | Fantasy | Folklore

Fairy Tale | Mythology | Cosy and not so Cosy Horror

Anthologies I’ve happily read by World Weaver Press:

FAE edited by Rhonda ParrishCORVIDAE anthology edited by Rhonda ParrishScarecrow Anthology edited by Rhonda Parrish

FAE (see also Review)

CORVIDAE (see also Review)

SCARECROW (see also Review)

→ (forthcoming review) Far Orbit: Apogee | Synopsis

→ Rhonda Parrish anthologies I am itching to read next: SIRENS (Synopsis) + EQUUS (Synopsis)

→ For audiobook lovers who appreciate the art of colouring as they are listening to their audiobooks, I was happily surprised to learn there is a companion *colouring!* book for this series!

About Kate Wolford

Kate Wolford is a university lecturer and anthologist living in the Midwest. Fairy tales are her specialty. Previous books include Beyond the Glass Slipper: Ten Neglected Fairy Tales to Fall in Love With and Krampusnacht: Twelve Nights of Krampus, both published by World Weaver Press. She maintains a blogazine, Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine, at fairytalemagazine.com.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Wednesday, 30 May, 2018 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, After the Canon, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Cosy Horror, Earthen Magic, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, Futuristic Fantasy, Greek Mythology, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Inspired by Stories, Re-Told Tales, Speculative Fiction, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, World Weaver Press

(Video) Author Interview | Jorie and Ms Chris (virtually) have a convo with each other and discuss the Road Ghosts series! This is #UrbanFantasy Jorie loves to read! Find out more about about the collective works of Jorie’s friend, Ms Chris!

Posted Saturday, 10 March, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Video Interview banner created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I have a very special *surprise!* for you, today is the dawn of a new interview series here on Jorie Loves A Story! As you know, I love trying new ways to connect with authors & for the readers of my blog to enjoy the conversations I bring to my blog. I’ve hosted live interviews on my blog where authors respond to questions in real-time with readers as much as I’ve hosted author chats on Twitter; not just solely the ones I host via @SatBookChat.

March, 2018 marks my 5th Blogoversary (on the 31st) here on Jorie Loves A Story – what better way to mark the auspicious milestone than to bridge into a new way of conversing with the writers I am appreciative for having crossed my path as a reader and as a book blogger? The first two lovelies will be focusing on two such authors – whose stories have enriched my heart & endeavoured to take my imagination further than I have travelled previously. They each write Speculative Fiction stories in niches of genre I had never known about previously until I tucked into their beautiful lovely novels and discovered new ways of ‘seeing’ Spec Fic!

I have scheduled a third video interview this Spring by an author I hope to read one day – so you see, today is quite the special day! This is the first in a series of video interviews wherein I have found a way to new media outlets to reach out through the divide and interact with authors in a way which builds on the conversations I started five years ago on Jorie Loves A Story but allows this new portal of insight to draw us all a bit closer and have the opportunity to get to know each other on a bit more of a personal level of insight.

I look forward to taking this journey with you and reading your reactions after you finish listening the conversations as they evolve. Although, these are vlog interviews – I encourage you to play them as they are embedded here, whilst having the JOY of reading my in-line reactions as I initially listened to them myself – seeing where the author & I each reacted to each other as we had this ‘virtual’ fireside chat and engaged in an intrapersonal way.

If you use YouTube directly, I encourage you to leave a comment on there as well as on this post in the threads below. This way both I & the author will know your thoughts, listening to your thoughtful comments & the conversation can carry forward. Bless you if you chose to share the video or this post on your own social networks.

Now, as you know – I am rather infamous for having delightfully in-depth conversations – therefore, before you hit the PLAY button, due yourself a kind favour? Brew yourself a cuppa & find a comfy spot to sit – this is interview is just shy of *forty!* minutes of bookish insight & writerly blissitude of the collective writings of Ms Chris (E. Chris Garrison). She’s a dear friend of mine – as previously disclosed – connected through this series (the Road Ghosts) as explained on my review of the series whilst we had the chance to ‘hear’ each others’ voices for the first time when we were both guests on the Star Chamber Show.

Come see why we both *love!* the paranormal & psychological suspense with dashes of Cosy Horror thrown in for good measure! Take a walk into the unknown realms & find an author talking openly & honestly about what excites her about her characters & why she loved writing this epic series entitled: Road Ghosts! Remember: as we both love the paranormal – share your own takeaways about ghosts & hauntings in the Comments!

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On my connection to Ms Chris (aka E. Chris Garrison):

I first discovered the style of Ms Chris’s story-telling when we both appeared on the Star Chamber Show, which is a weekly podcast on BlogTalkRadio sponsored by the publisher Seventh Star Press. Since our first encounter with each other, we’ve developed a friendship I am blessed to have and I appreciate getting to know a bit more about an author whose not only developing a unique style in the world of Fantasy but is receptive to the thoughts readers have as they gain impression by reading the stories themselves.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Ms Chris through our respective blogs, the twitterverse, the podcast world, and privately. 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. For more information, I disclosed a bit more on my first 10 Bookish, Not Bookish Thoughts (read No.7!).

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The Road Ghosts Series:

Four ‘Til Late (Book One)

Sinking Down (Book Two)

+ Spectral Delivery (companion short story) | *to fit between books 2 & 3

Me and the Devil (Book Three)

Published By: Seventh Star Press (@7thStarPress)
Available Formats: Softcover and Ebook

Why I appreciate reading the stories by E. Chris Garrison:

I’ve come to love how Ms Chris combines the supernatural with the fantastical – of how she has her own unique style for giving us Urban Fantasy with heaps of quirkified humour wherein the cosier bits of horror which are sometimes laced inside her stories never truly feel oppressively horrific. She keeps the tempo light in her craft but there are keen moments of seriousness abounding in them as well. She hits on harder topics, delves into the emotional and psychological lives of her characters but at the heart of her narratives are rag-tag families who choose to be together (strangers turnt friends who become bonefide family) to take-on whatever sinister forces are out to drag them down.

You get the benefit of having all the lovelies you love out of Fantasy intermixed with supernatural entities which could leave a few hairs standing on end – as they are brilliantly conceived and have their own nod of realistic intensity about them but you also know, your in for one wild and wicked awesome ride of a story! You can easily get caught up walking alongside her characters, seeing what they see and experiencing a bit of their lives as you do. They’re ordinary people who have had the extraordinary enter into their lives without too much interference on their end to jump-start the veils between the worlds to disappear. It’s keen how she writes the stories as if everything happening inside them is as natural to occur to her characters as meteorological phenoms.

-quoted from my SERIES Review of Road Ghosts

Read about how the Road Ghosts series was created & developed via Beauty in Ruins

I, especially loved reading this guest post on the blog tour this month due to the fact I hadn’t known the inside bits of how it was created or what was etched inside it until now. Connecting the dots on who inspired ‘Gonzo’ makes sense but also, how Gonzo embodies the spirit of ‘Uncle Chuck’ – this much I knew from reading ‘Restless Spirit’ ahead of the Road Ghosts series. Somehow I had also missed the fact my dear friend is a paranormal sleuth as well – something I’ll happily have to add to our upcoming convo for the tour! As we share a love of parapsychology! Ha! As soon as I saw her saying ‘Scooby Doo for grown-ups’ I smirked like a Cheshire cat! For one thing, who *didn’t!* watch Scooby Doo!? lol This guest post is delightfully engaging for those of us who haven’t had the pleasure of following the series as it released.

Converse on Twitter: #RoadGhosts & #7thStar

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #FuellYourSciFi
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Posted Saturday, 10 March, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Doctor Who, Fantasy Fiction, Genre-bender, Good vs. Evil, Horror-Lite, Indie Author, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Speculative Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Tomorrow Comes Media, Urban Fantasy, Urban Life, Video (vlog) Author Interview, Zombies

Blog Book Tour | “Road Ghosts: Omnibus Edition” feat. Four ‘Til Late, Sinking Down, Me and the Devil & the extra ‘short story’ Spectral Delivery by E. Chris Garrison Otherwise known as the Urban Fantasy author who Jorie loves reading due to her wicked sense of wit and wondrous bouts of humour!

Posted Wednesday, 7 March, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a stop on the “Road Ghosts Omnibus Edition” Urban Fantasy release tour from Seventh Star Press. The tour is hosted by Tomorrow Comes Media who does the publicity and blog tours for Seventh Star Press and other Indie and/or Self Published authors. I am a regular blog tour host with Tomorrow Comes Media, however, the author and I have continued our friendship since we first interacted via The Star Chamber Show (which I’ll expand on in a moment). I have happily become an avid appreciator of her Tipsy Fairy Tales series, however, I had a personal interest in wanting to read the Road Ghosts series at long last (which I’ll expound upon) and thankfully I had the chance to join the blog tour celebrating the series overall.

I received a complimentary copy of “Road Ghosts Omnibus Edition” direct from the publisher Seventh Star Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

On my connection to Ms Chris (aka E. Chris Garrison):

I first discovered the style of Ms Chris’s story-telling when we both appeared on the Star Chamber Show, which is a weekly podcast on BlogTalkRadio sponsored by the publisher Seventh Star Press. Since our first encounter with each other, we’ve developed a friendship I am blessed to have and I appreciate getting to know a bit more about an author whose not only developing a unique style in the world of Fantasy but is receptive to the thoughts readers have as they gain impression by reading the stories themselves.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Ms Chris through our respective blogs, the twitterverse, the podcast world, and privately. 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. For more information, I disclosed a bit more on my first 10 Bookish, Not Bookish Thoughts (read No.7!).

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I love reading stories by Ms Chris:

On the comedic writing style of Ms Chris:

Any writer who can work in the phrase ‘le sigh’ is alright in my book! Little bits of cheeky references to exasperation in regards to Minnie on behalf of Skye and Skye’s particular take on her co-workers, the ordinary life she leads whilst it intersects with the extraordinary, and the manner in which the curious creatures she interacts with whilst the rest of us are oblivious is quite golden folly! She exhumes a particular knack for knowing exactly what to express within a scene and what to stitch inside it as far as everyday observations which inherently become social clues towards the timescape in which the story is set around. You can pick up the nuances of pop culture whilst finding a clear definition for writing in her own style for fantasy elements that spin themselves so organically inside this world.

In the past two years I’ve had the chance to get to know Ms Chris a bit better outside of the world of blog tours, I must confess, as I was reading Blue Spirit I felt I could almost hear her voice behind the words as I read the story – as if I somehow have a better understanding of her writerly voice and the approaches she takes towards conveying the story visually to the reader. If this were an audiobook, I nearly have a strong idea already of how it would sound if it were to be read aloud by the author! Little bits of her own personality are definitely threaded into the context but moreso than that, it was a pleasure to notice things I hadn’t seen when I read Seelie Goose!

I found myself enjoying this installment of the series so very much, that I found it quite difficult to put the book down in order to blog! I love when that happens – where your completely committed to the story and the words hopefully will come to you to express out to your readership (if your a book blogger, that is!) as you wick off the hours from the clock consumed by where the author your reading is taking you as you wander deeper into the narrative! The transitions between Skye’s Indianapolis and the elsewhere world of the fairies is seamlessly stitched as you can easily move between the segues.

-quoted from my review of Blue Spirit

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

why readers of #Diverselit will love ms chris:

The author is transgender which gives her an inside edge towards how to write stories that are highlighting characters like Skye who are trying to lead lives without their sexuality, gender or orientation leading to prejudicial exclusions inside their everyday lives. This is quite apparent when the laws currently in place in the author’s home state are mentioned in one chapter in regards to marriage equality as well as the perceptions of how some of Skye’s friends or friends of her friends view the relationship she has with Annabelle.

I consider this series pro-positive for both LGBTQIA+ and Allies alike, as everything pertinent to this side of Skye’s life is told organically and shifts between being humourous and serious, depending on the nature of the exchange or the situation at hand. This is positive I think as it has a very realistic vibe attached to it. Skye is not afraid to speak her mind or to live her authentic truth, even if others are not as prepared to accept her on her terms, she still lives her life owning the truth she has within her and that’s something to applaud. She has her faults (who doesn’t?) but her strengths are her willingness to take-on challenges head-on and remain faithful to those she cares about whilst sorting out mysteries of the unexplained.

This is definitely an author to bookmark if your seeking #diverselit and stories of Equality where all characters are realistically written and openly honest about expressing their thoughts, views and feelings.

-quoted from my review of Restless Spirit

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Road Ghosts: Omnibus Edition” feat. Four ‘Til Late, Sinking Down, Me and the Devil & the extra ‘short story’ Spectral Delivery by E. Chris Garrison Otherwise known as the Urban Fantasy author who Jorie loves reading due to her wicked sense of wit and wondrous bouts of humour!Road Ghosts : Omnibus Edition
by Ms Chris (E. Chris Garrison)
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Anne Rosario
Source: Publisher via Tomorrow Comes Media

Somewhere Between Scooby-Doo and Supernatural

The Road Ghosts Trilogy introduced readers to E. Chris Garrison, one of speculative fiction’s most gifted voices. Presented here for the first time in a single volume, you’ll meet amateur ghost hunters Brett and Liz, along with their friends Gonzo, Jimbo, and Frannie. Go along for the ride as the gang chases ghosts and battles demons, ghouls, and stranger things up and down the interstate highways of the Midwest.

The Road Ghosts Trilogy spawned several short stories (such as “Spectral Delivery,” included here!) and introduces readers to “Skye” MacLeod, whose adventures continue in Garrison’s popular Tipsy Fairy Tales Series. (read the archive of reviews on Jorie Loves A Story featuring them linked within this review)

This omnibus volume includes:

Four ’til Late (Road Ghosts Trilogy, Book 1) Brett, Gonzo, Jimbo, and Liz embark on a road trip with dangerous detours, dreadful dreams and dire warnings. Along the way they discover that some spirits leave you with more than a hangover and regrets. Turn up the radio and get moving, because the road ghosts are waiting.

Sinking Down (Road Ghosts Trilogy, Book 2) Brett and Liz are back in over their heads when a forest hunt for a roadkill-eating creature offers up a ghoulish little surprise. Worse than that, they find that Brett’s fate is linked to the creature’s. So it’s back out on the road, with unexpected pit stops with a greedy ex, a convention of ghost hunters, partying with fake vampires, and drinking and fighting alongside Uncle Gonzo.

Me and the Devil (Road Ghosts Trilogy, Book 3) Brett, Liz, and Gonzo undertake a difficult three-night webcast leading up to Halloween. If they’re successful, they may finally get the recognition Brett seeks. But ever since the events in Sinking Down, Brett has been a little… off. On the first night of the webcast, Brett’s sudden tantrum both boosts ratings and terrifies his friends. As Halloween approaches, Brett’s friends find themselves in a desperate fight to save his soul — and his life.

“Spectral Delivery” (Bonus Short Story) Meet Enid, a pizza delivery trainee who’s stuck riding along with ghost-geek Brett on Valentine’s Day night. Her boyfriend begs her to try to get off early, but things get weirder and weirder as she and Brett encounter the paranormal at every stop.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1941706886

Also by this author: Blue Spirit, Guest Post (Restless Spirit), Restless Spirit, Gifts of the Magi, Road Ghosts : Omnibus Edition

Also in this series: Cover Reveal: Sinking Down, Road Ghosts : Omnibus Edition


Genres: Genre-bender, Short Story or Novella, Urban Fantasy


Published by Seventh Star Press

on 25th September, 2017

Format: Omnibus Trade Paperback Edition

Pages: 516

Published By: Seventh Star Press (@7thStarPress)
Available Formats: Softcover and Ebook

The Road Ghosts Series:

Four ‘Til Late (Book One)

Sinking Down (Book Two)

+ Spectral Delivery (companion short story) | *to fit between books 2 & 3

Me and the Devil (Book Three)

Read about how the Road Ghosts series was created & developed via Beauty in Ruins

I, especially loved reading this guest post on the blog tour this month due to the fact I hadn’t known the inside bits of how it was created or what was etched inside it until now. Connecting the dots on who inspired ‘Gonzo’ makes sense but also, how Gonzo embodies the spirit of ‘Uncle Chuck’ – this much I knew from reading ‘Restless Spirit’ ahead of the Road Ghosts series. Somehow I had also missed the fact my dear friend is a paranormal sleuth as well – something I’ll happily have to add to our upcoming convo for the tour! As we share a love of parapsychology! Ha! As soon as I saw her saying ‘Scooby Doo for grown-ups’ I smirked like a Cheshire cat! For one thing, who *didn’t!* watch Scooby Doo!? lol This guest post is delightfully engaging for those of us who haven’t had the pleasure of following the series as it released.

Converse on Twitter: #RoadGhosts & #7thStar

About Ms Chris (E. Chris Garrison)

Ms Chris Garrison

E. Chris Garrison writes Fantasy and Science Fiction novels and short stories. She used to publish as Eric Garrison, but has since upgraded.

Her latest series is Trans-Continental, a Steampunk adventure with a transgender woman as its protagonist. The series is set in one of the worlds in Chris’s dimension-hopping science fiction adventure, Reality Check, both of these series are published through Silly Hat Books. Silly Hat Books released Alien Beer and Other Stories, a collection of her short stories, in 2017.

Chris’s supernatural fantasy stories include the Road Ghosts trilogy and it's companion series the Tipsy Fairy Tales are published by Seventh Star Press. These Urban Fantasy novels are humorous supernatural fantasies, dealing with ghosts, demonic possession, and sinister fairy folk delivered with a “lightly dark” side of humor.

Her 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. Chris lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her wife, step-daughter and cats. She also enjoys gaming, home brewing beer, and finding innovative uses for duct tape.

*Biography updated: March, 2018

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #FuellYourSciFi
Divider

Posted Wednesday, 7 March, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Doctor Who, Fantasy Fiction, Genre-bender, Good vs. Evil, Horror-Lite, Indie Author, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Speculative Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Tomorrow Comes Media, Urban Fantasy, Urban Life, Vulgarity in Literature, Zombies

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