Genre: YA Fantasy

#Mythothon Author Interview | How Shakespeare and Camelot merge together in the duology [ Merlin’s Shakespeare ] by Carol Anne Douglas

Posted Thursday, 5 September, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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Good morning, dear hearts!

September marks my second year participating in #Mythothon – wherein, a group of us who are book bloggers, bookish tweeters and readers love to gather together to celebrate the mutual love & affection we have in discovering the Mythologically Fantastical about the artfulness of re-tellings and after canons as they parlay through origins in Mythology and/or Mythological Myths which can be from a wide net of origins.

When I signed on for this blog tour, I thought it would be interesting to host an author whose merged together two of my personal favourite canons which is Shakespeare and Camelot. Of the two, over the past several years, I’ve read the most extensively through Camelot and I will be re-visiting it again this September, as part of my #Mythothon readings this year is a Non-Fiction account of Guinevere’s life called “The Once and Future Queen”. A bit lateron today, I’ll be revealling what I am reading for Mythothon Year 2 and I look forward to seeing what everyone else has selected to entreat into this lovely new niche of interest we are celebrating!

Ahead of the conversation, I have with Ms Douglas is an extract from the first story in the duology for Merlin’s Shakespeare. The author revealled in our conversation that this is a duology at this point in time rather than a continuing series where there are more installments. I hope you’ll enjoy this introduction to the first novel and gleam a bit more insight into how it was written as you read the responses by the author herself in our conversation.

Extract from ‘Merlin’s Shakespeare’ by Carol Anne Douglas

the first novel in the Merlin’s Shakespeare series; used with permission of the author

“If you are Merlin, why would you come to our school?” she asked.

“I have my reasons. Can you imagine that Merlin would explain himself to you? Or to anyone?” He frowned. “Can you prove that you are Beth Owens?” he asked scornfully.

“I have lots of papers that say so, and my teacher will agree that I am,” Beth said, though it was clear that he already knew the answer.

“But may I ask why you honor us with a visit?” Ms. Capulet’s voice was reverent. She gazed at him as if he were the combination of a movie star and a religious leader.

Apparently the teacher’s manner was humble enough to mollify Merlin. “I came to teach Beth how to channel her magic,” the wizard said. He turned to Beth. “You have magical powers, and you love Shakespeare. Th at is a combination I need. I could use you as a researcher on Shakespeare’s plays.”

If he needed something from her, Beth wasn’t going to be speechless. “Was Shakespeare really Shakespeare?” she asked. She had heard that some people believed he wasn’t the one who had written the plays.

“Did William Shakespeare really write all those plays?”

“Of course Shakespeare was Shakespeare.” Merlin looked at her as if she had said a pig was a chimpanzee.

“Some people say an actor couldn’t have known enough about kings or court life to have written the plays.”

“Of course he didn’t know enough. That was why I helped him,” Merlin said. “I saw that he had great ability as a poet, and I helped him travel to worlds where he would get the experience he needed. His plays are magic. He provided the art; I provided the magic.”

“Oh.” Beth paused to take in this information. A genius and a wizard working together. Th at made sense to her. “But how can you still be on this earth?” Merlin didn’t look like a ghost. “Are you dead or alive?”

“I am immortal,” Merlin said, looking down at her though he wasn’t much taller than Beth. “But I allow only a few people to see me.”

“Why do you think I could help you?” Beth asked.

Merlin rubbed his beard. Th ere was a gleam in his eye. “Not just because you have a talent for wizardry,” he said. “It is better to call you a wizard than a witch, I think. Safer for you.”

“Even today it is,” Ms. Capulet agreed. “Men who can do magic are seen as potentially great, but people too often think that women who can do the same thing are evil.”

“I have a task for you, Beth,” Merlin told her. He sat down on one of the auditorium seats near hers. “There is one great lack in Shakespeare’s writings. I helped him for a reason. I wanted him to write a play about King Arthur.” He paused.

“But there isn’t any Shakespeare play about King Arthur,” Beth said.

“There is not. Or there does not seem to be.” Merlin frowned. “I gave Will all he needed. Knowledge of kings, knowledge of battles. But he used bits and pieces in other plays, and never wrote the one I most desired. Or he did not appear to. There may be such a play, but it may be hidden.”

“A lost Shakespeare play!” Ms. Capulet gasped. “That would be incredibly valuable.”

“Beyond measure,” Merlin said, “especially to me. Not just any play, but the one that was to be his crowning glory.”

Beth wanted to giggle, because “crowning glory” in this instance sounded like a pun, but she refrained because Merlin intimidated her.

“If you, who are so powerful, can’t find it, why do you think I could? I’m just a teenager.”

“People might tell you things that they would not tell me,” Merlin said. “You have some magical powers—untried and unschooled, it is true—and you love Shakespeare and learn the lines quickly. You also have some talent for acting.”

“Thank you.” Beth felt proud. If she had impressed Merlin, she must be good. “But what people would know anything about this play, if it exists?”

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Merlin’s Shakespeare duology:

Merlin's Shakespeare by Carol Anne DouglasThe Mercutio Problem by Carol Anne Douglas

Merlin’s Shakespeare | book one

Beth loves Shakespeare’s plays, but does she want risk her life for them?

The immortal wizard Merlin transports high school actor Beth Owens to Shakespeare’s London and the worlds of Shakespeare’s characters in search of a missing play about King Arthur. Mercutio guides her and flirts with her, but Richard III threatens her sanity, her friends’ lives, and the integrity of Shakespeare’s plays.

The Mercutio Problem | Book Two

High school actor Beth Owens faces a new challenge: She needs to bring a Shakespearean character she loves back from the dead. But she has to become a man and risk her life to do it. Richard III still menaces her.

Genres: Shakespeare | Camelot | Mythological Re-tellings / After Canons

Young Adult | Fantasy Adventure | Time Travel or Shift

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

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Posted Thursday, 5 September, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Literature for Boys, Lola's Blog Tours, Self-Published Author, YA Fantasy

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder as #JorieReads | Book Review of “The Sun and Moon Beneath the Stars” by K. Parr

Posted Tuesday, 28 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Earlier this Spring, I participated in an event uniting book bloggers and Indie Authors called #ReviewPit. One of the authors I discovered during this event was K. Parr – her s/o about the novel on Twitter was most enticing (see also tweet) but it was the premise which captured me the most – this was another LGBTQ+ selection and published by NineStar Press (the publisher who published “Adrift” by Isabelle Adler) wherein I had a lovely convo with the author before I accepted this novel for review consideration. Since the author and I both lost some hours and months between #reviewpit and #wyrdandwonder – I nearly felt my migraines might have wrecked my chance to share my review during the event. Blessedly this was not the case but I did have to postpone the guest feature I wanted to run concurrently to the review itself.

I was seeking stories during #ReviewPit which caught my eye for their uniqueness but also what was quite lovely is how most of the stories which intrigued me to read were actually within the realms of Fantasy! I found this wicked interesting and it is why I was thankful during #WyrdAndWonder Year 2 I could continue to celebrate my love of Indie Authors & Indie Publishers and Press!

I received a complimentary copy of “The Sun and Moon Beneath the Stars” direct from the author K. Parr in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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

The joy of another LGBTQ+ story during #ReviewPit:

When I first learnt of the #bookishTwitter event #ReviewPit, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect – I keep a watchful eye on twitterverse events where writers are seeking betareaders or where authors are seeking publication (ie. #PitchWars, etc) as I generally find #newtomeauthors this way and I do like to champion the writers who are on their path towards becoming published as this is something I can personally relate to as I’m a writer whose currently moonlighting as a book blogger and joyful tweeter! It is lovely to reach out into the Indie community on Twitter and continue to seek out the stories I desire to be reading. Ever since I first started blogging here at Jorie Loves A Story, I’ve had an eye out for Indie Press, Publishers and the writers who are seeking alternative publication – either through the Indie side of publishing directly through established publishers and press; or through Small Trade publishers or taking the full-Indie route into Self-Publishing or Hybrid publishing options.

This is what made #ReviewPit such a keen event for me – I decided to just jump into it and see what I would find. It is run similar to other events where you get a pitch about a story and you are given a clue of a nod towards its genre of interest. I quite literally had such a wicked joy just scrolling through all the lovelies being offered, I wasn’t entirely sure how many would be available to receive as print editions for review but I decided to give myself the chance to just seek out the authors first and request which ones were available lateron.

The Sun and Moon Beneath the Stars appealled to me on different levels of interest as I was curious about how the f/f romance would play out in a Dark Fantasy world. Whilst at the same time, I do like Fantasy stories which involve a quest combined with a coming-of age plotting. I was curious to see what I would find inside the novel and if this would become a story I would love reading.

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#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder as #JorieReads | Book Review of “The Sun and Moon Beneath the Stars” by K.  ParrThe Sun and Moon Beneath the Stars
by K. Parr
Source: #ReviewPit Author, Direct from Author

After being orphaned and forced to work as a palace slave, fifteen-year-old Rasha decides to end her life, but when she plunges a knife into her chest, she doesn’t die. Instead, a strange, icy power possesses her. The last time it took over, someone got hurt, and Rasha can’t let that happen again.

But she’s got bigger problems. Her twin brother is alive, yet held captive by Solaris, a powerful sorcerer. When Rasha runs into Adriana, the selfish princess she once served, they discover Solaris is a common enemy since he destroyed the palace and kidnapped Adriana’s parents.

Together, Rasha and Adriana set out on a rescue mission. Personalities clash and tempers flare, but other feelings surface as well, feelings neither girl could have predicted. And with the help of a ragtag group of companions, they might just be able to succeed on their quest…until an ancient evil emerges to wreak vengeance on their world.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1950412327

Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Historical-Fantasy, Upper YA Fiction, YA Fantasy


Published by NineStar Press

on 4th March, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 351

Published by: NineStar Press (@ninestarpress)

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #LGBTQ + #DarkFantasy and #NineStarPress

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About K. Parr

K. Parr

K is a writer of multiple genres, including Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, and Humor, all of which star LGBT characters. She received her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in 2017.

In her spare time, K reads and writes fanfiction, keeps up with way too many TV shows, and dances wildly in her apartment. She currently works as a teen librarian in Rhode Island.

Photo Credit: Samantha Barney, 2018

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Tuesday, 28 May, 2019 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Heroic Fantasy, Indie Author, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Mythological Societies, Self-Published Author, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Sword & Scorcery, YA Fantasy

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder as #JorieReads | Book Review of “Lost on the Water” by D.G. Driver

Posted Monday, 27 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 3 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Earlier this Spring, I participated in an event uniting book bloggers and Indie Authors called #ReviewPit. One of the authors I discovered during this event was D.G. Driver – her s/o about the novel on Twitter was most enticing (see also tweet) but it was the premise which captured me the most – the fact this was a haunted ghost story and was within the realm of a #YAFantasy arc was something I wanted to read the most!

I was seeking stories during #ReviewPit which caught my eye for their uniqueness but also what was quite lovely is how most of the stories which intrigued me to read were actually within the realms of Fantasy! I found this wicked interesting and it is why I was thankful during #WyrdAndWonder Year 2 I could continue to celebrate my love of Indie Authors & Indie Publishers and Press!

I received a complimentary copy of “Lost on the Water” direct from the author D.G. Driver in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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

Finding an entry of #YAFantasy during #ReviewPit:

When I first learnt of the #bookishTwitter event #ReviewPit, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect – I keep a watchful eye on twitterverse events where writers are seeking betareaders or where authors are seeking publication (ie. #PitchWars, etc) as I generally find #newtomeauthors this way and I do like to champion the writers who are on their path towards becoming published as this is something I can personally relate to as I’m a writer whose currently moonlighting as a book blogger and joyful tweeter! It is lovely to reach out into the Indie community on Twitter and continue to seek out the stories I desire to be reading. Ever since I first started blogging here at Jorie Loves A Story, I’ve had an eye out for Indie Press, Publishers and the writers who are seeking alternative publication – either through the Indie side of publishing directly through established publishers and press; or through Small Trade publishers or taking the full-Indie route into Self-Publishing or Hybrid publishing options.

This is what made #ReviewPit such a keen event for me – I decided to just jump into it and see what I would find. It is run similar to other events where you get a pitch about a story and you are given a clue of a nod towards its genre of interest. I quite literally had such a wicked joy just scrolling through all the lovelies being offered, I wasn’t entirely sure how many would be available to receive as print editions for review but I decided to give myself the chance to just seek out the authors first and request which ones were available lateron.

Lost on the Water appealled to me on different levels of interest as I felt this could become a beautiful coming-of age story-line with a backdrop which involved a speculative tale of involving either a singular ghost or different kinds of ghosts therein.

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

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder as #JorieReads | Book Review of “Lost on the Water” by D.G. DriverLost on the Water
Subtitle: A Ghost Story
by D.G. Driver
Source: #ReviewPit Author, Direct from Author

One girl's daring adventure turns into a long frightful night lost on the water.

Forced to leave the California beach behind to spend the summer with her grandma in rural Tennessee, Dannie is certain this will be the most boring summer of her life. Things start looking up when a group of local kids, mistaking her short hair and boyish figure, invite her on their 'no girls allowed' overnight kayaking trip. Obviously, her grandma refuses to let her go. But Dannie suspects the real reason is that the woman is afraid of the lake, only she won't tell Dannie why.

Longing for freedom and adventure, Dannie finds an old rowboat hidden behind the shed and sneaks off on her own to catch up to her new friends. It seems like a simple solution ... until everything goes wrong.

Dannie soon discovers this lake is more than just vast. It's full of danger, family secrets, and ghosts.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1680466553

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Ghost Story, LGBTQIA Fiction, Paranormal Suspense, Thriller, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Fire & Ice Young Adult Books

on 21st June, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 208

Published by: Fire and Ice YA Books (@FireIceYABooks)
an imprint of Melange Books LLC

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #LostOnTheWater + #DGDriver as well as #YAFantasy #GhostStory and #YALit
alternatives #iReadYA, #ParanormalFantasy or #Paranormal #Fantasy

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Promo banner for "Lost on the Water" provided by the author D.G. Driver and is used with permission.

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

About D.G. Driver

Donna Driver

D. G. Driver is an optimist at heart, and that's why she likes to write about young people making an impact on the world. You'll find among her books a teen environmental activist, a young girl teaching people about autism acceptance and to stop bullying people with special needs, a princess who wants to be more than a prize for a prince, a boy who wins a girl's heart by being genuine and chivalrous, and a girl who bravely searches for a friend lost along the shore of a dark lake.

She is a multi-award winning author of books for teens and tweens, but you'll find some romance and horror stories in some anthologies, too.

Like Dannie from Lost on the Water, Driver grew up in Southern California, but now she is landlocked near Nashville, TN. When Driver isn't writing, she's a teacher at an inclusive early childhood development program. She might also take a break from writing once in a while to strut the stage in a local theater production. You're guaranteed to find her belting out Broadway show tunes anytime she's driving.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 27 May, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Fantasy Fiction, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Haunting & Ethereal, Indie Author, Parapsychological Suspense, Supernatural Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Urban Life, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance

#EnterTheFantastic this #WyrdAndWonder as #JorieReads | Book Review for “Heir to the Lamp” (Book One: Genie Chronicles) by Michelle Lowery Combs

Posted Thursday, 9 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: A few years ago now, I started to review for World Weaver Press – until I reached the day where my focus on the stories I was receiving for review fell by the wayside. A lot of this had to do with my personal health, the recovery of my father’s stroke and other things which bring adversity into your life which can and will affect your readerly life. I cannot remember exactly what first took me away from reading “Heir to the Lamp” or the sequel “Solomon’s Bell” – however, I did attempt to read them at various moments throughout the past few years including shortly after I received “Solomon’s Bell” for which I posted a Cover Reveal and Extract.

This #WyrdAndWonder, I wanted to redeem myself a bit by getting back into the stories I attempted to read last year but due to the migraines and other issues I was having with my health, I was unable to complete my reading schedule for the event. This is one of the series I was most eager to read and am thankful I can finally focus on during our 2nd Year of Wyrd and Wonder. As I know there are other readers who are following or joining the event directly who appreciate Magical Realism and/or stories of the Jinn as much as I do. Perhaps they will find a new author through my ruminations and as always, I hope whenever I feature a story or anthology by World Weaver Press – word will continue to get out about this lovely Indie Publisher for Speculative Fiction!

I received a complimentary copy of “Heir to the Lamp” 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.

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

I admit it, ever since I met a ‘Golem’ & a ‘Jinni’, I’ve been intrigued by Magical Realism stories involving the Jinn!:

I must admit, I had such a wicked sweet time residing inside the world of Helene Wecker’s epic saga involving a Jinn and Golem, I was quite hopeful I might have been able to dig inside a few more since that fateful day I brought home her debut novel from my local library. The irony of course will not be lost on devout readers and bibliophiles alike who are now earnestly blogging their readerly lives (such as I am) when I state it took me until ‘now’ to find the proper time to give to another story of the Jinn – as we eagerly still await the sequel to Wecker’s novel.

When it comes to world-building in a Young Adult novel, I am quite particular about what I’m seeking out (if this YA review can clue you in a bit) as I like to feel as if I’ve properly been transported ‘elsewhere’ to such a degree of certainty – the experience knits itself into your mind’s eye and extends itself into your permanent memories. Because stories which give us that curious stretch of imaginative blissitude allow us the smallest of joys to step into the threshold of someone elses shoes and live their life for a spell!

I find myself drawn more into epic sagas & layered world-buildings in Fantasy; I have recently (since I’ve been a book blogger) found I lean more towards Science Fiction or Sci-Fantasy releases but at the heart of what I love most are Magical Realism stories alongside a fairy-tale re-telling, a legend of lore or an Epic Fantasy that simply carts you off into the depth of a novel that is so wickedly long in length you might need a month or so to fully invest yourself into it’s folds. (herein I am hinting towards my soon-to-be shared readings of “A Turn of Light”; writ by a favourite Sci-Fi author of mine: Ms Czerneda)

My appreciation of genies truly goes back to the infamous television series – where an astronaut and a genie fall in love whilst trying to ‘fit & blend into contemporary life’ – to such great folly you cannot help but laugh along with the characters or feel their misery when things go terribly wrong! Since then, I try to turn my eye towards literature and root out stories of the Jinn (and nowadays golems) which have the depth of journey and an honest world built out of their legends where story-crafters entreat to take us.

Thus, when I heard there was a sequel to “Heir to the Lamp”, I knew it was time to put aside my readings of Ms Parrish’s delish anthologies and hold off on the murderous kitchen novella, to see how Ms Combs has chosen to alight us inside her world!

-previously disclosed on the Cover Reveal w/ Notes for the sequel to Heir to the Lamp

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#EnterTheFantastic this #WyrdAndWonder as #JorieReads | Book Review for “Heir to the Lamp” (Book One: Genie Chronicles) by Michelle Lowery CombsHeir to the Lamp
Subtitle: Genie Chronicles Book One
by Michelle Lowery Combs
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Sarena Ulibarri
Source: Direct from Publisher

A family secret, a mysterious lamp, a dangerous Order with the mad desire to possess both. Ginn thinks she knows all there is to know about how she became adopted by parents whose number one priority is to embarrass her with public displays of affection, but that changes when a single wish starts a never-ending parade of weirdness marching through her door the day she turns thirteen. Gifted with a mysterious lamp and the missing pieces from her adoption story, Ginn tries to discover who…or what…she really is. That should be strange enough, but to top it off Ginn’s being hunted by the Order of the Grimoire, a secret society who’ll stop at nothing to harness the power of a real genie.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on World Weaver Press

ISBN: 9780615813424

Also by this author:

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Magical Realism, YA Fantasy, YA Urban Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction


Published by World Weaver Press

on 16th July, 2013

Pages: 190

Published By: World Weaver Press (@WorldWeaver_wwp)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook

The Genie Chronicles series:

Heir to the Lamp by Michelle Lowery CombsSolomon's Bell by Michelle Lowery Combs

Genre(s): Speculative | Young Adult | Fantasy | Lore & Legends

the Jinn (or Jinnis or Genies) | Adoption

Similar Reads: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (see also Review)

About Michelle Lowery Combs

Michelle Lowery Combs

Michelle Lowery Combs is an award-winning writer and book blogger living in rural Alabama with her husband, one cat and too many children to count. She spends her spare time commanding armies of basketball and soccer munchkins for the Parks & Recreation departments of two cities.

When not in the presence of throngs of toddlers, tweens and teens, Michelle can be found neglecting her roots and dreaming up the next best seller. She is a member of the Alabama Writers’ Conclave, Jacksonville State University’s Writers’ Club and her local Aspiring Authors group.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 9 May, 2019 by jorielov in Ancient Civilisation, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Equality In Literature, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, Futuristic Fantasy, Indie Author, Magical Realism, Speculative Fiction, World Weaver Press, Young Adult Fiction