Genre: Space Opera

#EnterTheFantastic with #MyYASummer epic first read | “The Twin Stars” (Book One: The Coseema Saga) by Bridgette D. Portman

Posted Sunday, 8 August, 2021 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#EnterTheFantastic Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I had to take a leave of absence hosting for this touring company in [2015] whilst I worked towards finding better balance in my blogging and personal life. I returnt to hosting for Lola’s Book Tours in [2018] before having to take a small hiatus from requesting future blog tours for a second time. By [2020] as my health afflictions from 2018/19 started to recede I realised I could start to host for her authors with better confidence in being able to participate on the tours themselves. I am thankful I can continue to host and feature tours by this touring company from 2020-forward.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Twin Stars” direct from the author Bridgette Dutta Portman in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why this story inspired me to read it:

Portal Fantasy is something I stumbled into in recent years – as I hadn’t come through that vortex of the genre previously. I wasn’t the right fit for Narnia (even though I enjoyed the first and third film adaptations) and I definitely was the kid who couldn’t stop watching “The Neverending Story”. What was interesting for me in your synopsis was the parallels to Neverending Story – how Bastian had to read and then live through the story which felt similar in context to your own character’s journey. I love stories which evoke such a strong reaction and connection between the world, the characters and the reader.

This is why this story appealled to me – as well as the self evolution and growth of Olive. I love coming-of age stories personally and I felt this was an interesting cross-section of why I love reading both MG and YA stories.

From the first moment I learnt of this story, I felt a pull of connection and knew I needed to feature it. I wasn’t sure at the time I signed on for the blog tour if I would be interviewing the author, hosting an extract or able to request the story for review consideration – but I felt as strong of a pull to have this story in my life this year as I have with other selections I’ve featured previously during our 4th Year of Wyrd And Wonder! There was something uniquely different about this story and I had a sense about this world as being one I would find delishly devouring about how the writer wrote the story and allowed us into her character’s journey.

During #SelfPubFantasyMonth in September, I am curating a ‘final week’ of #WyrdAndWonder posts whilst endeavouring to carry forward further readings of Self Pub Fantasy novelists. Tied into those plans will be a forthcoming interview with Ms Portman as I wasn’t able to pull that together for this blog tour due to chaotically brutal lightning storms & a myriad of tech issues I had to work through just to finish this review.

I love finding writers who are writing coming-of age stories in Speculative Young Adult – the kind of stories you almost wish had been available to read during your own childhood but feel equally as blessed to find as an adult as YA doesn’t have an exit clause for readers! Everyone can appreciate YA at any age which is why I wanted to celebrate #MyYASummer all along.

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#EnterTheFantastic with #MyYASummer epic first read | “The Twin Stars” (Book One: The Coseema Saga) by Bridgette D. PortmanThe Twin Stars
by Bridgette Dutta Portman
Source: Author via Lola's Blog Tours

A magical journal. A world savaged by its own suns. An evil prince. A princess in hiding.
And a teenage girl who learns to be the hero of her own story.

Sixteen-year-old Olive Joshi has obsessive-compulsive disorder, and can't stop worrying about hurting the people she loves. She finds refuge in writing about Coseema, a magical princess on a distant planet. Coseema is fearless, confident, and perfect - everything Olive thinks she’ll never be. When she falls through a portal into her own unfinished story, Olive finds herself in a world in peril: double suns scorch the land, the brutal Prince Burnash seeks supreme power, and Coseema is nowhere to be found. Together with her friends - a bold poet, a cursed musician, a renegade soldier, and an adventurous girl from the desert - Olive will have to face her deepest fears to find the hero in herself.

The Twin Stars is an engrossing new portal fantasy in the spirit of the Wizard of Oz, the Neverending Story,and the Chronicles of Narnia.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Dark Fantasy, Portal Fantasy, Sci-Fantasy, Science Fiction, Space Opera, Upper YA Fantasy, Upper YA Fiction



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0995920422

Published by Titan1Studios

on 2nd July, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 326

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Ahead of reading my reactions to “The Twin Stars”
ENJOY this short extract of the novel which parlays into the ‘portal’:

She was underwater.

Olive realized it just in time to stop herself from gasping. Panic seared through her body as she thrashed about, kicking downward, tearing at the water uselessly.

There was nothing solid around her.

Murky darkness flooded her eyes; a churning roar filled her ears. Just as her starved lungs neared their limit, her left knee collided with something sharp and firm. She kicked and her foot met rock. She brought her other foot to the same position and pushed off the surface as hard as she could, propelling her body through the water.

The diminishing pain in her ears told her she was traveling upward, moving amidst an effervescence of tiny bubbles. She felt them swirling, fizzing, tickling her flesh, bearing her up toward the light as she begged her tortured lungs to hold out for another few seconds until, at last, she broke the surface.

Air.

At first, she could do nothing but devour it. When the haze of panic dissipated and her senses returned, her next coherent thought was that the plane had crashed. But this was not the icy water of the Arctic Ocean. This water felt like a warm bath. It bubbled like soda, and great plumes of vapor waltzed over its surface, spiraling upward until they melted into a golden haze. It reminded Olive of steam rising from mug. It might have been pleasant had she not nearly drowned in it.

The strange pool had a vague familiarity to it, but her head felt too muddled to sort it out.

Where was she? Where was the plane?

It crossed Olive’s mind that she was dead, and the thought sent a chill through her, but her sore knee and aching lungs reassured her. People weren’t supposed to feel pain after death, and they definitely shouldn’t need to breathe.

She treaded water, scanning her surroundings. She thought she saw movement through the curls of steam and paddled toward it, her knee smarting with each kick. Gradually the silhouette of something—no, someone—took shape as she moved through the plumes. At last, her feet touched the jagged, pebbly ground, and with a final rush of adrenaline, she pushed herself forward into the shallows. There she crouched in the warm water and stared up at the figure on the bank.

For a heartbeat, she thought it was Dadiji.

The woman had the same slight stoop, the same gently lined face, the same warm brown skin and long black hair frosted with silver. She was dressed differently, though; this woman wore deep crimson robes, with a fluted, draping cut that reminded Olive of an illustration she had once seen of an ancient Greek poet. A patch covered her right eye. Her left eye was a startlingly vivid purple, and it stared back at the young stranger who had just emerged from the steamy pool.

This was not Dadiji, and yet there was something jarringly familiar about the woman. Not until she spoke did Olive realize what it was.

“Coseema…” breathed the woman.

So, this was a dream. Olive felt a surge of relief. It did not seem like one—her knee throbbed with a very real pain—but this had to be a dream, because she was staring at a person she had made up herself.

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The Coseema Saga:

The Twin Stars (book one)

The Silver Sail (book two) *forthcoming release!

(there is a sneak preview of what is coming next @ the end of “The Twin Stars”)

I marked this as Upper YA due to the topics & subjects explored in the context of the story as well as how dark this fantasy turned in the final quarter of the novel. I felt it was better suited for Upper YA readers rather than for readers seeking traditional YA.

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Published by: Titan1Studios (@RelativityU)

Read About this debut release from Titan1Studios via their website

Converse on Twitter via: #YALit or #ILoveYA; #PortalFantasy + #SpaceOpera
as well as #TheTwinStars and #YAFantasy and #SciFantasy and #DarkFantasy

About Bridgette Dutta Portman

Bridgette Dutta Portman

Bridgette Dutta Portman is an author, playwright, and teaching artist. Dozens of her plays have been produced across the United States and overseas. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Spalding University, as well as a PhD in political science from the University of California, Irvine.

She is past president of the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco and is currently a member of Same Boat Theater Collective, the Pear Playwrights’ Guild, and the Dramatists’ Guild. She recently joined the board of the Pear Theatre in Mountain View, CA. The Twin Stars is her debut novel, and the first of a planned trilogy. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband Deepanshu and their two young children.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #EnterTheFantastic
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Posted Sunday, 8 August, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Coming-Of Age, Dark Fantasy, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Lola's Blog Tours, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Portal Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, Upper YA Fantasy, Upper YA Fiction, Young Adult Fiction

#SciFiMonth Book Review | “Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody” (Suzy Spitfire series, Book One) by Joe Canzano

Posted Saturday, 28 November, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#SciFiMonth Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: In February, 2020 Kimberley @ Caffeinated PR contacted me about the Suzy Spitfire series whilst asking me if I would enjoy being one of the book bloggers on her PR Team. The request arrived at a point in my life where I was seriously in need of a wicked good story to pull me out of the funk I was experiencing with my health and the afflictions associated with a bad Winter’s cold. The timing for me was perfect and as I read about Suzy Spitfire – the context of the story fit within what I enjoyed about the Urban Fantasy series October Daye by Seanan McGuire.

I joined the book blitz for showcasing the second novel in the Suzy Spitfire series whilst I requested the first novel to read and review in order to understand the author’s style, voice and the continuity of the series. I therefore received a complimentary copy of “Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody” in exchange for an honest review from the author Joe Canzano. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What truly attracted me to read #SuzySpitfire:

I heart #SciFiMonth | #RRSciFiMonth every November – but the last several years have been a bit of a mixed bag for me. Mostly as my migraines seem to derail *all!* efforts to read the stories I’ve selected for the month (see also this annoucement from 2019 wherein I barely touched the surface of what I disclosed) which is why I’m trying to start reading Sci Fi outside of November this year! (big smirks)

To be perfectly transparent – I was in the mood for an unlikely heroine adventuring in outer space and taking me on an adventure I didn’t realise I *needed!* in my life! lol A bit like how seeing “Star Trek: Enterprise” recently filled a need as well – we’ve just finished the fourth year and are saddened for the loss of episodes – except for 3x, one we skipped (the Detroit one) and two were just too weird for words to describe and had zero bearing on the series as a whole! (“through a glass darkly” – the mirror universe duology) I wanted to read a series COMPLETELY outside my zone of comfort – I wanted to tuck into her story and just have this wicked wild ride of reading a book which would give me a healthy respite from my backlogue, my illnesses and of course, the weight of current events! And, blessedly dear hearts – #SuzySpitfire filled that void for me!

As soon as I happily read the pitch about this series by Kimberly @ Caffeniated PR, I just *knew!* I had to sign on to spotlight #SuzySpitfire! This also marks my first blog tour with her blog touring company and I couldn’t be happier! I look forward to continuing my adventure with Suzy Spitfire this weekend but for now, let’s take a bit of a closer look at what you can expect to find in the sequel “Suzy Spitfire and the Snake Eyes of Venus!” – by the by, is it me or does this series have the most brilliant titles!?

-as previously shared on the spotlight for Suzy Spitfire and the Snake Eyes of Venus

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#SciFiMonth Book Review | “Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody” (Suzy Spitfire series, Book One) by Joe CanzanoSuzy Spitfire Kills Everybody
by Joe Canzano
Source: Author via Caffeinated PR

When outlaw Suzy Spitfire discovers her father was murdered after creating a super-duper artificial intelligence, she races across the solar system in search of the brain he built—but it’s a rough ride, and she’s soon forced to tangle with pirates, predators, and her father’s killer—as well as a man she thinks she can love.

Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody is a smash-bang science fiction adventure filled with action, intrigue, and a dose of dark humor.

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Science Fiction, Space Opera



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0990636564

Also by this author: Suzy Spitfire Kills And the Snake Eyes of Venus (Spotlight)

Also in this series: Suzy Spitfire Kills And the Snake Eyes of Venus (Spotlight)


Published by Happy Joe Control Books

on 2nd July, 2019

Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

Pages: 306

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The Suzy Spitfire Series:

Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody by Joe CanzanoSuzy Spitfire and the Snake Eyes of Venus by Joe Canzano

Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody (book one)

Suzy Spitfire & the Snake Eyes of Venus (book two)

Published by: Happy Joe Control Books

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #SuzySpitfire, #ScienceFiction or #JoeCanzano

About Joe Canzano

Joe Canzano

Joe Canzano is a writer and musician. He lives in New Jersey, U.S.A., in a house with a basement where he usually stays. Occasionally he leaves the basement and visits the kitchen.

He likes to write absurd comic fantasy and fun science fiction.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #SciFiMonth 2020
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Posted Saturday, 28 November, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Caffeniated PR, Excessive Violence in Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Science Fiction, Space Opera, Vulgarity in Literature

#SciFiMonth Space Opera Anthology Review | “Far Orbit: Apogee” (Speculative Space Adventures) edited by Bascomb James (by World Weaver Press)

Posted Thursday, 26 November, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

#SciFiMonth Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

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 [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! Except to say when my personal health afflictions and adversities overtook my ability to concentrate on the stories with successive delays in posting my reviews suddenly became the norm, I withdrew making new requests from the publisher as much as it pained me to admit I was falling further behind. I enjoyed the time I had as a reviewer for this publisher and I will continue to seek out the stories by the authors I’ve discovered along the way. I especially want to continue to gather the anthologies by Rhonda Parrish to round out my collection!

I received a complimentary copy of “Far Orbit: Apogee” 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’ve been dearly keen on reading this lovely Anthology:

It is fair to say, one of my favourite sections of Science Fiction are the realms within Space Opera & the infinite array of how we can not only explore Spacer lifestyles but delve into the myriad dimensions of how evolving life in Space can become for intrepid explorers, traders & colonists who dare to live offworld. It’s a place where due to the variety of entrances you can make as a writer – the reader, can become treated to different perspectives of life in Space inasmuch as the complex complications which go along with interstellar travels.

I originally wanted to read this during #RRSciFiMonth 2017 – as that is when I last updated the draft for this review. However, it was the year my father recovered from his stroke and the following year [2018] I had over 10+ months of health afflictions and a higher frequency of my chronic migraines. Last year [2019] was the first year I started to find relief from the migraines but also, the first year I could re-address my backlogue reviews whilst self-motivating myself through a few challenges which help re-inspire our self-directed goals such as #BeatTheBackList.

I made some positive enroads towards that personal goal of mine of erasing my backlogue of reviews, however, to be fair, I had less migraines this 2020 but more adversities to overcome as well. Such as the medical emergencies of my parents which included two ER visits in March (non-covid related) wherein I was alerted to be prepared if my Mum might have had a TBI and that would have left me as the carer of both my parents for the foreseeable future. She had sustained a series of bad injuries in an accident and thankfully after a few months recovered and healed from them all. It was an unexpected blessing and one we cherished receiving – yet, from January to May I was migraine-free only to have them return May-October.

I realise now my backlogue goals were set a bit too high to reach and thereby I’ve reset my goals to simply be “pick up a book on the backlogue, read it, sort out my thoughts for the review and let time be the chooser of when it is erased”. It speaks to how sometimes our goals are more long-term than short-term and how sometimes if you have health afflictions, you can maintain your optimism but sometimes you have to be more realistic with how quickly you can accomplish the goals you dearly want to achieve. Thereby, it is a pleasure of JOY being able to share this review during #SciFiMonth 2020! *whew!* What a long, long route I took to diving into FAR ORBIT: Apogee!

It goes without question, I will one day purchase copies of FAR ORBIT (the original collection) and FAR ORBIT: Outpost (if I can find where it was published and when).

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 26 November, 2020 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Futuristic Fantasy, Hard Science Fiction, Indie Author, Science Fiction, Soft Science Fiction, Space Opera, Speculative Fiction, World Weaver Press

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

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

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

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rage. Poverty. Disease.

They’re gone. Every last one.

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

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

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

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



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8610487830

on 9th March, 2020

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

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

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

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