Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

#EnterTheFantastic as #JorieReads this #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of “Tiger Lily” by Wende Dikec with a small extract from this YA Paranormal Romantic Urban Fantasy!

Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I crossed paths with this Speculative Fiction author in the twitterverse, as we would regularly converse about various literary and bookish topics. Quite randomly, truly, and then, I remember she offered me to read this novel of hers which I was excited about at the time. I can’t remember exactly what took me away from reading it closer to when it arrived as this is part of my backlogue of reviews – where a few years ago I simply lost traction with my review requests and had to put them on a backburner. Last year, during #WyrdAndWonder, this was one of the books I was meaning to read and showcase – however, due to health reasons I had to push it forward til our 2nd Year.

I received a complimentary copy of “Tiger Lily” direct from the author Wende Dikec (now known as Abigail Drake) 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.

What first drew my attention
into wanting to read “TIger Lily”:

I know. YA can be really dark and gritty now, can’t it? I don’t write that way. Someone called my book “Legally Blonde meets The Sixth Sense”. It’s actually more of a funny book than a scary book. – Wende Dikec / Abigail Drake response to my initial enquiry

Before I agreed to accept Tiger Lily for review, I wanted to enquire about what I would find inside the book itself as I have had a propensity for being particularly particular about the kind of Young Adult and/or Middle Grade stories I accept for review consideration. I’ve been burnt a few too many times in the past – to where either the undertone ran too dark for me or the overall gist of the novel was delving into deeper and darker waters than the ones I would prefer to tread upon.

My biggest concern for this YA novel was what set it apart from the pack, how did it tackle the Speculative aspects of its story-line and was it a gritty book or was it simply a light-hearted paranormally inclined YA story which anchoured itself well into the niche I call #SpecFic?

When I receive this response from the author, I knew I would alright picking up the story and seeing where it would take me. One of my favourite kinds of paranormal stories are GHOST STORIES – this is a parallel interest of mine, as they’re not just in PNR (ie. Paranormal Romance) narratives or in Urban Fantasy niches of interest (which happens to be my preferred sub-genre) – they can become inclusive to Cosy Horror, Gothic Literature and other genres of note including Historical Suspense or Psychological Suspense narratives wherein you can parlay a ghost story into the background of nearly any story you wish to direct the reader’s attention. The truth in the pudding for me is how the writer handles the discourse from there and augments our perspective not just strictly on the ghost themselves but on the overall world-building therein.

When she assured me there wasn’t any strong language, that the story itself was rather tame and innocent – appealling to readers between 13-16 years (but would benefit a broader audience outside that range), I knew I had found the right story to be reading.

Of course, her greatest compliment to me is when she said “feels like a Jorie story”.

For #WyrdAndWonder Year 2 – it felt rather fitting I would be reading Tiger Lily as this isn’t the only ghost story I’ll be showcasing this May! Ironically or not, a few other ‘ghosts’ snuck into my TBR for the event and I couldn’t be more delighted! I definitely have wanted to dig inside this novel ever since it first reached me in [2016] and I am very thankful I could finally put my heart round it to see what was awaiting me as the years shifted forward.

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

Tiger Lily Book Photography Credit: Jorie of jorielovesastory.com. Photo edits and collage created in Canva.

Tiger Lily
by Abigail Drake
Source: Direct from Author

Lily Madison thought dying because of a bad manicure was the worst thing that could happen.
She was wrong.

Waking up in the hospital and realizing she’s being stalked by an entire herd of naughty little ghosts turns her entire world upside down. She begins to doubt her own sanity until she realizes she isn’t alone. A Goth girl, named Zoe, can see the ghosts, too.

Most of the ghosts look like fuzzy blobs, but one is not blobby at all. He’s a very hot, very annoying dead guy named Nick. Although they dislike each other on sight, Nick soon realizes Lily is his only hope. With the help of Zoe and Mr. Wan, the manicurist who almost killed her, she has only days to get Nick and the other ghosts back where they belong or the whole world will be in terrible danger.

But sending the ghosts back means saying goodbye to Nick forever, and Lily isn’t sure she’ll ever be able to let him go.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781939590770

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Ghost Story, Paranormal Urban Fantasy, YA Paranormal Romance, YA Paranormal Suspense, YA Urban Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Inkspell Publishing

on 28th January, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 200

Published by: Inkspell Publishing

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

The author included a small extract for my readers:

Mr. Wan raised one bushy gray eyebrow and peered at me over his spectacles. “Do you have a problem now, with ghosts?” he asked quietly, not that Miss Lin or her customer could have heard him. She’d moved onto complaining loudly about cauliflower now.

My mouth dropped open in shock. “How did you know?”

Mr. Wan sighed, and put the brush into the bottle of polish, swishing it back and forth as if trying to think about how to answer. “Once, when I was a young boy in my village in China, the same thing happened. A girl died, and then came back to life. We were all so happy, until we realized that she hadn’t come back alone.”

“What do you mean?” My fingers were still extended over the soft white towel that separated us on the table. I couldn’t move. I could hardly breathe.

Mr. Wan grabbed my left hand and went back to work, talking as he painted. “When you cross over the barrier between life and death, things sometimes follow you back. They might be ghosts, or they might be something else. Either way it is a problem for you.”

About Abigail Drake

National award winning author Abigail Drake (previously known as Wende Dikec writes Young Adult Speculative Fiction with romantic and humorous elements. An avid traveller who spent many years abroad, she now lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband, three sons, a puppy named Capone, and a very well used espresso machine.

NOTE: The following links for this author are a combination of what I had previously for "Wende Dikec" and what I found recently for "Abigail Drake" as she has changed the name she's using as a writer. I have the previously released version of "Tiger Lily" which I read for this review as it was part of my backlogue. The Book Site takes you to the NEW listing for "Tiger Lily" via GoodReads.

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2019 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Fantasy Fiction, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Indie Author, Mediums & Clairvoyants, Near-Death Experience, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Urban Fantasy, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction

Book Blitz with Notes and Extras | “Cursed Rebel” by H.G. Lynch a potential selection for #WyrdAndWonder’s #SpooktasticReads

Posted Tuesday, 9 October, 2018 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Books in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I had so much going on this first week of *October!* – from a migraine to the tides of life – I effectively *forgot!* I had signed on for this lovely s/o announcement! The key reason I even was able to trigger a memory of the signup is when I read the gifted surprises for those who are participating in the giveaway attached to it!

I happen to love the legend, the lore & the symbolism attached to the Claddagh ring which I first learnt about when I watched the Hallmark Channel film “Daniel’s Daughter” starring Sebastian Spence, as this particular kind of ring has significance in the story-line. A slight bit of personal irony is this was just shy a few years of a fourth removed cousin finding my Mum and re-connecting our own ancestral lore of being Irish. Turnt out, we’re Irish as they come and that was a lovely confirmation for me as I’ve felt so dearly attached to Celtic Mythology, Celtic music & this particular ring (as I researched the origins, the stories & everything interconnected to it) since I first saw the forementioned film. And, yes, I have a copy of the dvd – courtesy of intuitive parents!

Thereby, when I spied one of the prizes attached, I thought – ooh yes, I need to look into the premise of this one and see how it interconnects to the Emerald Isle!

I happen to love finding Paranormal Romances – it isn’t oft I find ones involving the fey as in recent years I’ve been happily enjoying the Urban Fantasy series ‘Tipsy Fairy Tales’ which has cheeky humour and delightful drama!

Being a reader who is tempted to read darker Fantasy Lit but finding her traction within the realms of #DarkFantasy to be a complicated road to walk – when I saw this particular story going up for a blitz I was hopeful I might learn a bit more about it and might find myself being inspired to read it when it eventually goes into an edition I can read. As you will gather – I think I have accomplished answering my questions about its contents but what is rather keenly lovely is the extract I selected for you to read – to see if perchance this title appeals to you?

This is October – a time for finding #SpooktasticReads & the stories which might take us outside our comfort zones a bit whilst we embrace the spookier side of literature! I love Gothic stories & I do love the paranormal – sometimes I find myself mistrustful of the fey (as they do not have a strict ethical code!) but I must admit – ahead of our #WyrdAndWonder mini-event – this one just felt wicked fascinating!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Blitz with Notes and Extras | “Cursed Rebel” by H.G. Lynch a potential selection for #WyrdAndWonder’s #SpooktasticReadsCursed Rebel
Subtitle: I never believed in fairies,.. until I was kidnapped by one.
by H.G. Lynch

My grandma always warned me never to trust a Faery. I never believed they were real…until I was kidnapped by one.

Finn is an obnoxious, mercurial Fae whose job it is to bring me to the King. He’s gorgeous, but in this world, the prettiest things are the deadliest.

But if I want to survive the Fae realm and find a way home, I’ll have to trust him…for now.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B07FSGQJB6

Genres: YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal Romance, YA Paranormal Suspense, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Self Published Author

on 5th October, 2018

A Self Published Story

This is a Digital First publication | I am hopeful a print or audio release will follow

Converse on Twitter via: #YALit, #PNR or #ParanormalRom

& #YoungAdult with #DarkFantasy #YAFantasy

About H.G. Lynch

H.G. Lynch

H.G. Lynch is a Paranormal Romance author from Scotland. She is an avid reader, and cat-lover. She spends most of her days writing, while wrestling her cat off her laptop. She loves horse-riding, Star Trek, and snow. Her books are dark paranormal romances.

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Posted Tuesday, 9 October, 2018 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Book Blitz, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Dark Fantasy, Gothic Literature, Indie Author, Paranormal Romance, Parapsychological Suspense, Self-Published Author, Xpresso Book Tours, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction

Author Guest Post | Kaki Olsen writes about the depth of the human experience in her debut novel “Swan and Shadow” (based on Swan Lake)

Posted Monday, 25 April, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

I had such a strong connection to the story within Swan and Shadow, I wanted to reach out to the author Ms Olsen to ask if she wanted to be a guest author on my blog – kicking off a week where I celebrate #YALit as this is one branch of literature I have a keen interest in seeking out whilst I find new debut authors to champion each New Year.

The Young Adult market has a wide selection of offerings but each year, I find myself trying to find a particular niche of offerings which are threaded with light and not too darkly underlit to push out the light completely. I appreciate finding stories set in the Contemporary world, the historical past or amongst the genres of Speculative Fiction which have the tendency to carve out new worlds of thought and dimension per each writer’s unique perspective and imagination.

I was quite taken by the level of depth Ms Olsen knitted inside her debut novel, and I wanted to explore those depths with her whilst giving her a chance to flex her wings with guest features which broached a bit deeper than the surface of her writerly inspirations. I definitely wanted to learn more about the supernatural attributes but at the core of the story, there is a coming-of age tale of a girl not quite confident in her own skin whose attempting to sort everything out one step of the way.

Underscored to the Fantasy elements are topics young adults will appreciate seeing in this novel, such as the highlighting of mental health and wellness and the struggle between sisters, of whom love each other dearly but do not always act in the best interests of each other. Olsen owns her story to such a degree of honesty, as to ground you directly inside the lives of her characters whilst giving you this curious story surrounding a shapeshifting swan! The back-story is one that is quite well known but it’s her interpretation of the story’s heart which stands out from the pack!

This Guest Post Feature kicks off my showcasing of Young Adult Literature – a special focus which will be re-occurring on Jorie Loves A Story straight til the start of Summer! I look forward to bringing a variety of stories to my blog, across genres and styles where characters are on the fringes of exiting their childhood but have a bit of growth left in their younger years before they fully embrace their adulthood. It’s a transitional part of our lives which endears me the most to the stories, but also, to the authors who find new ways of talking about this period of growth, discovery and self-awareness which everyone (lad or lass) can relate too.

Happily join me as I converse via:

#IReadYA | #IndieYA (movements of their own)

  Tags to promote these showcases: #JorieLovesIndies | #JorieLovesYA

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Aislin’s curse is the standard fare: swan by day, college student by

Swan and Shadow by Kaki Olsen

night, true love as the only cure. But does true love even exist outside of fairy tales? After having to cover for Aislin during her swan hours, Aislin’s twin, Maeve, is willing to resort to anything from matchmaking to magic to see her sister live happily (and human) ever after.

Will either of them get their wish?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Topic of Interest: Shadow and Light can metaphorically tackle a wider depth of a human’s journey; how did you seek to define Aislin’s struggle to grow in strength and personal acceptance of her swan / human duality?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

One Saturday afternoon, I was standing in line for a book signing. I’d been a fan of Brandon Sanderson since my friend made me read her writing teacher’s debut novel and this was years before he was an award-winning podcaster, novelist and the man who finished the Wheel of Time series. I’ve always found him to be an approachable and unassuming man, which is what gave me the guts to comment on one of his observations.

The person standing in front of me was having him sign a middle grade book called Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians and said how much her son loved reading something that didn’t have to be homework. Brandon wittily said that he’s never been the type to write books that people would have to write papers on. I immediately piped up that I was presenting an academic paper on leadership in two weeks and had used a chapter from his first book as the foundation for part of it. He blinked, signed the woman’s book and, while signing my copy of Hero of Ages, asked me what I had written it on. I immediately quoted a passage from the book in which a young prince is taught about noble leadership by some well-phrased observations and questions posed by a glowing ball that used to be his constant companion. Brandon responded with something along the lines of, “Well, THAT’S not exactly what I thought that chapter was about” and laughed. Read More

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Posted Monday, 25 April, 2016 by jorielov in After the Canon, Ballet, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Chronicles of a Prospective Adoptive Mum, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Equality In Literature, Fairy Tale Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Indie Author, Inspired by Stories, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Methodology of Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musical Fiction | Non-Fiction, Re-Told Tales, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Realistic Fiction, Shapeshifters, Supernatural Fiction, The Writers Life, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Urban Fantasy, Writing Advice & Tips, Writing Style & Voice, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “Swan and Shadow” (a re-telling of Swan Lake) by Kaki Olsen

Posted Thursday, 24 March, 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 am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort Publishing & Media whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “Swan and Shadow” direct from the publisher Sweetwater Books (an imprint of Cedar Fort Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

An interest in re-tellings and after canons:

I must admit, when it comes to ‘after canons’ and ‘re-tellings’, I’ve started to carve out my own curious niche of literature over the past few years as being a book blogger has offered me the opportunity to find stories I might not have realised were being released. This particular story was one of a small handful of stories I caught sight of on Cedar Fort Publishing & Media’s Edelweiss Catalogue pages at the end of 2015. Shortly thereafter I found Ms Olsen and Ms Ferguson (of “By the Stars”, see this guest feature) on Twitter and it was then, I discovered that both of the authors were contacting me to see if I would be interested in reading their respective debut novels.

It felt quite kismet as I was meant to read “By the Stars” prior to “Swan and Shadow” as I booked my reviews for these stories in the order in which I discovered them (it happily had worked out that I could!) except to say I was blindsided by a migraine which took me offline for nearly a full fortnight this month. Thus, the two reviews are being featured in reverse order – and I am working on the guest feature for Ms Olsen as I finalise this review, as I was equally taken by her debut as I was with Ms Ferguson’s. They each picked a particular plot of story which dearly interests me – one is a re-telling of an iconic story and the other is Biographical Historical Fiction rooted inside a war drama!

The two authors also happily found out they were sharing a ‘book birthday’ and ‘release month’ debut and I am grateful I was able to become a part of their celebrations – as it’s the first time this has happened in the nearly 3 years I’ve been a book blogger! (blogoversary is on the 31st of March) The main draw I have with after canons and re-tellings (or outright sequels) is to see how a writer is going to re-envision what is known (or in my particular case, how they might re-inspire me to seek out the original lateron, as per my own track record, I have the tendency to read the re-tellings first! save Jane Eyre, which I am reading first – with four after canons; all of which is being featured in April!) yet make it their wholly original own creation.

I like seeing how writer’s think outside the box, but also, bend genre and the craft of writing to their own will of insight. So much can be done with a story – from the back-story to the character’s journey to the under-threading of how their world knits itself together. I love the art of discovering authors who are taking risks and paying homage to original canons whilst changing things up a bit to create this dynamic ‘new variant’ of an older story.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art: I couldn’t quite get the best impression of the cover art design until the book arrived by Post; then I was able to proper see the distinguishing artistic rendering of Aislin’s shapeshifting life lived as both human and swan. This was quite a beautiful way to evoke the hard reality of living inside two worlds whilst perhaps not feeling akin to either one whilst your betwixt and between. I have to say it brought the elements of her plight straight to light and it’s a great image!

Blog Book Tour | “Swan and Shadow” (a re-telling of Swan Lake) by Kaki OlsenSwan and Shadow
Subtitle: A Swan Lake Story
by Kaki Olsen
Source: Direct from Publisher

Aislin's curse is the standard fare: swan by day, college student by night, true love as the only cure. But does true love even exist outside of fairy tales? After having to cover for Aislin during her swan hours, Aislin's twin, Maeve, is willing to resort to anything from matchmaking to magic to see her sister live happily (and human) ever after.

Will either of them get their wish?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781462118144

Also by this author: ,

Genres: Fairy-Tale Re-Telling, Re-telling &/or Sequel, YA Contemporary, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal Romance, YA Urban Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Sweetwater Books

on 1st March, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 304

Published By: Sweetwater Books (@SweetwaterBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #SwanLake #Retelling and #SwanAndShadow

About Kaki Olsen

Kaki Olsen

Kaki Olsen regularly contributes academic papers on zombies or wizards to Life, the Universe and Everything, a sci-fi/fantasy symposium originated at her alma mater, Brigham Young University.

Her published works have appeared in such magazines as Voices and AuthorsPublish.

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Posted Thursday, 24 March, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, After the Canon, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Modern Day, Re-Told Tales, Shapeshifters, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Swans Geese Ducks, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Twin Siblings, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction