Genre: Upper YA Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “The Cadence of Gypsies” (Book No.1 of the F.I.G. Mysteries) by Barbara Casey with a Guest Post by the author!

Posted Tuesday, 6 September, 2016 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for the F.I.G. Mysteries series hosted by iRead Book Tours. As I prefer to read serial fiction in order of publication and/or order of the series (if differential), I requested to receive the first novel in order to understand the second in sequence. This is my first review for the tour which is anchoured to my second review highlighting it’s sequel on the morrow! I received a complimentary copy of “The Cadence of Gypsies” direct from the author Barbara Casey in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I enjoy YA Lit esp Mysteries:

My quest to seek out Mysteries under the umbrella of YA or MG Lit began quite innocently through my local libraries – as I would visit different branches of my regional libraries to seek out a better cross-section of Young Adult Literature as well as finding different authors in Middle Grade of whom might not be locally featured. I grew up reading the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries right alongside Agatha Christie – so you could say, I’ve had ‘mysteries’ on my mind for most of my life! This even extended into the series on television I would develop into a passion of seeing, too, as it began with “Murder She, Wrote” and expanded through the decades to include all the family-based mysteries and/or police procedurals that had unique ‘family’ casts of quirky characters (everything from Remington Steele to Nash Bridges to The Commish and to more recently Rizzoli & Isles, NCIS (x3), The Mentalist, etc !)

I even had a bit of luck of finding some wicked good contemporaries in this vein of interest such as: the Enola Holmes mysteries by Nancy Springer (one of only two after canon authors for Sherlock Holmes I’ll read!); the Keepers of the School series by Andrew Clements; Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage (even though I had a few issues with how the dialogue was presented); the entire Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett (as I only read the first books before the motion picture release!); The Golden Hour by Maiya Williams; The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone (which is now a series!); Madhattan Mystery by John J. Bonk  and my most beloved mystery whilst growing up myself was The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler!

I even have two of the first novels in the Anthony Horowitz Alex Rider series on my bookshelf! I was sidetracked by watching copious amounts of his historical suspense series Foyle’s War by borrowing the BBC series from the library rather than engaging inside this wicked series, which I discovered via it’s film adaptation! I wished they had made more to be honest! Similar to the way I felt after The Seekers: The Dark is Rising film adaptation was made based on the novels by Susan Cooper (another series I aim to read!).

There are several stories in this category I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading such as: Ink and Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani, When by Victoria Laurie (this one I started and put down; timing was off to read it), The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stoud, Secret Letters by Leah Scheier, Colin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller, the Agency series by Y.S. Lee, The Diviners by Libba Bray, And then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart,  and The Mystery of the Third Lucretia by Susan Runholt for Young Adult mysteries.

Whilst equally curious about these in Middle Grade: the Theodore Boone series by John Grisham (as I read his legal thrillers as a teenager!), Pie by Sarah Weeks, When You Reach Me & Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead, the Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner (as somehow I missed these growing up!) as well as others I am forgetting at the moment!

Mysteries to me stimulate my ability to think ‘outside the proverbial box’ whilst increasing my quantitative analysis of what is or isn’t in plain view of being seen, understood or processed. I love curling inside a mystery to see if I can follow in suit of what is happening (both in the mystery itself but also the layering of the character’s journey) whilst encouraging my mind to take a ‘hiatus’ to appreciate the built-up the author has left behind – to go so far to curiously ‘predict’ the outcome but not necessarily solve the mystery outright, as I want to feel what the character(s) are feeling within that moment their living through ‘something’ outside the pace of their normal lives!

Of course, I like the lighter side of the genre for YA & MG readers, but sometimes I like seeing how writers can handle harder hitting story-lines without breaching what I would consider ‘alright’ for the target readership to enjoy reading. Sometimes children like to be challenged by literature but most children (as I was one of these myself!) don’t like to step too far afield from where they feel comfortable until they are ready for the adult waters of literature. In other words, there is an invisible balance that must be struck. It’s those authors I am keen on seeking out – not only for review or blog tours, but through my own pursuits as a reader and future Mum!

On that note, the YA mysteries I am enjoying currently are the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective series of which I am returning to reading this Autumn, as I fell out of step and sequence with the series. (see my first review) I have also appreciated finding these authors who are giving stimulating suspense & mysteries for this age bracket: the Ian Quicksilver series by Alyson Peterson, the Piercing the Veil series by C.A. Gray, the Cobbogoth series by Hannah L. Clark, Blonde Eskimo by Kristen Hunt, the History Mystery series by Deborah Heal; and for Middle Grade: To Cat a Cat Thief by Sean Cummings and The Contaminated Case of the Cooking Contest by Peter Y. Wong & Pendred E. Noyce.

Thus, when I came across the F.I.G. Mysteries by Barbara Casey, I was most excited to see where she took her own creative muse and how she defined her section of the genre!

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Blog Book Tour | “The Cadence of Gypsies” (Book No.1 of the F.I.G. Mysteries) by Barbara Casey with a Guest Post by the author!The Cadence of Gypsies
by Barbara Casey
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

On her 18th birthday Carolina Lovel learned that she was adopted and was given a letter written by her birth mother in an unknown language. After years of research she travels to Italy on a mission to find the truth about her past. Carolina is accompanied by three extremely gifted but mischievous students the FIGs from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women.

In an effort to help their favorite teacher, the FIGs will have to use their special abilities to decipher the Voynich Manuscript, the most mysterious document in the world, and the one thing that is strangely similar to what Carolina was given. Their search will take them into the mystical world of gypsy tradition and magic, more exciting and dangerous than any of them could have imagined.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9780982081280

Also by this author: The Wish Rider

Also in this series: The Wish Rider


Genres: Amateur Detective, Upper YA Fiction, YA Contemporary


Published by Hungry Goat Press

on 15th April, 2011

Format: Hardcover Edition, Large Print Edition

Pages: 272

Published By: Hungry Goat Press (@HungryGoatPress)

an imprint of Gauthier Publications

NOTE: the info reflects the version I received to review (the Large Print Hardback Edition) whereas the cover-art shown for this book on my review was provided to me by iRead Book Tours reflects the newer version of the book which is the ebook edition released on the 2nd of April, 2015. Blessedly the hardback is still in print, for those of us who read traditionally through print editions!

 Available Formats: Large Print Hardback Edition and Ebook

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Posted Tuesday, 6 September, 2016 by jorielov in Apothecary, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Herbalist, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Medical Fiction, Naturopathic Medicine, Naturopathy, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Upper YA Fiction

Double-Showcase | Book Review w/ a Cover Reveal (for the sequel!) feat. the Moonfall Mayhem series by A.E. Decker!

Posted Thursday, 25 August, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Stories Sailing into View Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

I love unexpected surprises, don’t you?

You can imagine then, my earnest surprise to have learnt the novel I was about to be featuring during my #FuellYourSciFi showcases leading up to #RRSciFiMonth this November has not only a *sequel!* but a lovely re-designed concept for it’s cover imagery! Remember when I said I would be resuming where I left off with my reviews showcasing *World Weaver Press*!? whilst announcing the upcoming September release for “Murder in the Generative Kitchen”?

As that was in July, I felt I would happily find World Weaver Presses stories alighting on my blog throughout the month – until of course – I learnt that despite my best intentions, circumventing (*extreme!*) lightning storms, my personal life & the ramifications of technical woes extending out of said lightning storms is not quite as easy as it would appear to be on the surface! My computer & ISP are driving me battier than bananas spoilt too soon before they can baked into a divinely tasting bread! You know how vexing that is, don’t you? You have a lovely batch of bananas right at the ready to whip into a hearty batch of banana bread, repleat with walnuts, shredded coconut and either dried fruit or chocolate pieces – only to find that your horrid humidic temperatures destroy any chance to bake it!

Ergo, sometimes blogging is like baking! You have to roll with the unexpected & happily look forward to the hours you can soak inside the stories! Even if your hours wick off the clock – remain calm – your time to duck into a ‘new’ author’s imagination is right round the corner! This has been my mantra this Summer, as I still grieved the loss of my equipment & hours from last Summer’s EPIC 90 days of lightning which wasn’t something I was keen on repeating! I’ve managed to keep online more regularly this year due to a new ISP but sometimes, even your ISP can become flummoxed by surges, power outages & a quirky habit of your connectivity *not responding* to their tech support interference! Laughs. There’s a lesson in this, you know! Sometimes you have to find more patience than you feel!

This isn’t the ‘unexpected surprise’ I am hinting towards, as being the kind I ‘appreciate’ and ‘love’ to find alight in my life! No, the kind of surprise I’m referring too – is a sequel is about to debut continuing a story you’ve looked forward to reading! The fact the cover has been re-designed in order to cross-coordinate with the sequel is even sweeter! The only thing I truly miss about the old cover is this lovely bat-cat (Moony) on the back cover! The expression on that cat was quite spectacular! Although, I suppose I should confess – I *loved!* the purpleness of the cover’s colour, too!

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Notation on Cover Art: The tree stood out to me as it reminded me of the trees in the Fantasy films I grew up watching as a child! Think along the lines of “The Neverending Story” (1984) or the television version of “Babes in Toyland” (1986) starring Drew Barrymore & Richard Mulligan! Yet it’s the expression on (Rags-n-Bones) face that truly held my attention! That is seriously speaking volumes towards what could lie behind this cover in regards to the story and the suspense of something brewing!

The Meddlers of Moonshine by A.E. Decker

#PubDay is 25th October, 2016 | Cross-Releasing in Trade Paperback & Ebook!

ISBN: 978-0-9977888-3-9 | Page Count: 337

Cover Art Designer: Cary Vandever | Twitter

Meddlers of Moonshine on World Weaver Press

Something is rotten in the town of Widget, and Rags-n-Bones knows it’s all his fault. Ever since he snitched that avocado from Miss Ascot’s pack, things have been going wrong. Armed with a handful of memories he never realized he had, Rags-n-Bones searches for a way to put right whatever he did to Widget in the past. If only he knew what it was! Unfortunately, the only person who seems to have answers is a half-mad youth that only Rags can see.

Widget is also suffering from a ghost infestation that has the townsfolk almost as spooked of outsiders as they are of actual spooks. While Rags-n-Bones seeks answers in the past, Ascot offers the town leaders her service as an exorcist, only to be handed an ultimatum: banish the ghosts or be banished herself!

Who’s meddling with Widget? To catch the culprit, Ascot and Rags-n-Bones must match wits with a shifty sorcerer, a prissy ex-governess, and a troublingly attractive captain before the town consigns itself to the graveyard of history.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comMeddlers promo badge provided by World Weaver Press and used with permission.

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If you ask me, there is more than meets the eye in this series!

This is one of the beautiful new promo badges created with an excerpt of the story!

Isn’t it lovely how you can see the secondary characters & get a vibe for the context?

Ah! Now, then, what did Jorie think about the 1st book in the Moonfall Mahem series?!

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Posted Thursday, 25 August, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Cats and Kittens, Coming-Of Age, Fairy Tale Fiction, Familiars, Fantasy Fiction, Father-Daughter Relationships, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, Genre-bender, Ghost Story, Gothic Literature, Indie Author, Speculative Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Upper YA Fiction, Vampires, Vulgarity in Literature, World Weaver Press, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Book Review | “Along the Way” by Jacqueline Kolosov

Posted Friday, 3 June, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I was selected to review “Along the Way” by JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. JKS is the first publicity firm I started working with when I launched Jorie Loves A Story in August, 2013. I am honoured to continue to work with them now as a 3rd Year Book Blogger.

I was originally contacted to review this novel last year [2015] however, due to different reasons, I was never able to share my thoughts on behalf of this Luminis Books title until now. This is one of the books from my backlogue of reviews, I am thankful I can now set mind and heart to read. Luminis Books was one of the publishers I was most grateful to have discovered in [2014] due to their compelling Children’s Literature.

I received my complimentary copy of Along the Way from the publicist at JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I originally wanted to read ‘Along the Way’:

As “Along the Way” is reading to me to be a new book that paints a similar portrait of personal growth on a trail that re-defines your life by what you learn and what you gain by the experience itself. In a similar way, this is why I want to borrow the film “Wild” from my local library, as I read the review of a fellow book blogger I follow who gave me clarity of the story from her own ruminations but halted me from wanting to read it due to the heaviness of the abuse/neglect and acting out behaviour the author survived. The film thankfully glosses over some of it, but sometimes I find I can drink in a film better than a book.

“Along the Way” feels more akin to “Not Without My Father” and a topical non-fiction I can handle rather than the harder hitting “Wild”.

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Book Review | “Along the Way” by Jacqueline KolosovAlong the Way
by Jacqueline Kolosov
Source: Publicist via JKS Communications

Three friends, 33 days, and 500 miles walking the Camino de Santiago add up to one journey they'll never forget.

Piper Rose, Dani Shapiro, and Alexandra 'Tessa' Louise De Mille Morrow share a history that goes back to their preschool years in Chicago when their families were still intact. Now Piper lives in Evanston with her divorced dad, her estranged, unstable mother popping in and out of her life at random moments.

Meanwhile, Dani's been living in Santa Fe with a psychologist mom pregnant with her fiancé's IVF babies. The blueblood Tessa resides on a prominent street in Boston and dreams of a romantic and well-heeled love story like that of her great-grandmother who went to France during World War II.

Now that it's the summer before college, these radically different friends decide to celebrate their history and their future by walking the legendary pilgrimage along the Way of St. James, from the French Pyrenees to the Spanish city of Santiago. Along the way, each young woman must learn to believe in herself as well as in her friends, as their collective journey unfolds into the experience of a lifetime.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1-941311-47-9

Genres: Upper YA Fiction, YA Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Luminis Books

on April 2015

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 300

Published By: Luminis Books (@LuminisBooks) | Blog

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #LuminisBooks + tags used together: #UpperYA #Contemporary

About Jacqueline Kolosov

Jacqueline Kolosov teaches creative writing and literature at Texas Tech University. She is the author of the young adult novels Grace from China, Red Queen's Daughter, and A Sweet Disorder, and the poetry collection Memory of Blue. She lives in Lubbock, Texas.

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Posted Friday, 3 June, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, A Father's Heart, ARC | Galley Copy, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Coming-Of Age, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Mental Health, Modern Day, Pilgrims and Pilgrimages, Realistic Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Upper YA Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “Dragonfly” by Alyssa Thiessen

Posted Wednesday, 6 April, 2016 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Chapter by Chapter, where I receive opportunities to host Author Guest Features on behalf of the Indie Publisher Month9Books and review for Indie Publisher: Rebelight Publishing of whom I love the stories by their Middle Grade & YA authors! As 2016 started, I received more opportunities to read and review Canadian authors through Chapter by Chapter. I love being able to discover more #CanLit whilst appreciating the beauty of the stories I am discovering through this touring company.

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

Small Press Canada:

It was with a happy heart of joy, I discovered this About the Publisher page wherein I learnt a few things about Peasantry Press which added to the joy of having this title in front of me to read! I have blogged quite openly about my love of #CanLit and Canadian authors – my continue pursuit to read more Canadian Lit throughout the year (as each new one arrives) and how happy I am I can host the authors from my northern neighbour through Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours as well as iRead Book Tours – as they both feature Canadian authors on a regular basis.

The interesting bit to note is that the author [Alyssa Thiessen] is a part of the Indie publisher and they are focusing on POD print runs for novels as well as circumnavigating the ebook trade. For me personally, I am thankful they embraced the POD side of the ledger, as due to chronic migraines I am a traditional reader of books in print!

The fact they encompass a nice bracket off literary offerings is quite keen to observe:

Adventure | Drama | Historical Fiction | INSPY

Mystery / Suspense | Romance | Science Fiction | Urban Fantasy & Young Adult

It’s their mission statement which struck a chord with myself – about whom the writers are representing on the ‘outside’ from the world of Major Trade that truly rung a level of truth with my own writerly heart. It’s something I’ve been contemplating of late and I think they rocked a mantra a lot of wicked good writers can personally relate too who are writing the stories they believe in even if those stories fit outside the norm of the trade and market. Stories which defy genre or re-invent an established vibe of a genre, whilst giving readers a new threading of narrative, character journey and an overall read that tries to take a reader somewhere new from a fresh perspective. This in of itself is inspiring.

The main reason I elected to become a part of this blog tour is because I have the tendency to seek out stories ‘from outside’ my natural wanderings – look no further than my *End of the Year Survey, 2015* to find out how oft I do this and how well I am succeeding at finding certain authors who catch my eye and give me something to chew on! In this continued pursuit of mine – Dragonfly stood out by it’s premise and by the fact I felt it was Urban Fantasy derived.

The secondary reason I appreciated finding Dragonfly is because the publisher is focusing on ‘clean fiction’ which fits well with my aversion to vulgarity in literature! One of the Urban Fantasy YA novels I’ll be reading this Spring was inspired by readers who like me, appreciated the premise of the context of the story (and series) but were not happy about the words – I’m referencing Trinity Stones and the joy I will have in reading the YA edition. I don’t mind a small blink of a strong word in reference but if it’s sprinkled so heavily it’s similar to eating too sinful of a chocolate cake due to it’s sugar content, then it goes from being healthy to something less desired. If Peasantry Press has found a common ground and middle road between genre, language and content – they have my gratitude! I can only hope others will follow in their stead!

This genre is one of the particularly particular genres I read wherein I am open to read the story but the story has to convince me to love it. It’s hit or it’s miss with very little wiggle room in-between because I have a particular reason for seeking out the stories that fit this niche and the mark of expectation is a bit on the higher end. I find this genre a bit over cluttered with ‘sameness’ so when I find a plot that feels pulled together in a fashion I feel behooves the genre, I’m more than game to read it, taste it and find out what makes it stand out.

I’m seriously wicked happy for discovering another Indie Press in Canada!

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Blog Book Tour | “Dragonfly” by Alyssa ThiessenDragonfly
by Alyssa Thiessen
Source: Direct from Publisher

Eighteen-year-old Joshua Miller is great at being invisible, despite the four, large, insect-like wings protruding from his back and his knack for high-rise robberies. He can remember almost nothing of his life before Nik found him and taught him his trade. Now he’s alone, and he likes it that way.

When Joshua unexpectedly meets Lexi on a job, his simple, uncomplicated existence shifts. Although he intends to remain uninvolved, something about her captivates him and he begins to let her in. As he navigates the strange nuances of a relationship with a girl as desperate to be different as he is to be ordinary, he becomes increasingly aware that he is not who he wants to be for her. Confronted by the past he’d forgotten and a family he didn’t know existed, Joshua must decide for himself where he belongs and who holds the key to his future.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780994021007

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, New Adult Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Upper YA Fiction, Urban Fantasy


Published by Peasantry Press

on 8th June, 2015

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 156

Published by: Peasantry Press (@PeasantryPress)

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

*note: I marked my copy as an ARC as there was a miss spelt word

which was corrected in the final copy

Converse via: #PeasantryPress or #AlyssaThiessen

About Alyssa Thiessen

Alyssa Thiessen

When she's not donning her secret identity and saving the world, Thiessen keeps busy writing her next novel, reading something beautiful, teaching high school English, drinking coffee, cycling, and hanging out with her family - husband, kiddies, and miniature schnauzer.

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Posted Wednesday, 6 April, 2016 by jorielov in ARC | Galley Copy, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Canadian Literature, Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours, Coming-Of Age, Domestic Violence, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Literature for Boys, Modern Day, New Adult Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Upper YA Fiction, Urban Fantasy