Tag: A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court

*Blog Book Tour* A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court {a faerie anthology of short stories} edited by Scott M. Sandridge

Posted Monday, 19 May, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

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A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court (edited by) Scott M. Sandridge

Chimerical World Vol 1 Anthology by Seventh Star Press
Artwork Credit by: Enggar Adirasa

Published By: Seventh Star Press (@7thStarPress) 12 February, 2014
Official Author WebsitesBlog | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads
Available Formats: Softcover Page Count: 434
Genres: Short Story | Fantasy  | Faerie Fiction

Converse on Twitter: #AChimericalWorld & #7thStar

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a stop on the dual anthology virtual blog tour for “A Chimerical World”, opting to read the ‘Seelie’ Court vs the ‘Unseelie’ Court installment of the dual anthology release from Seventh Star Press. The tour is hosted by Tomorrow Comes Media who does the publicity and blog tours for Seventh Star Press and other Indie and/or Self Published authors. I am a regular blog tour host with Tomorrow Comes Media and was happy to see more anthologies being offered for review. I received a complimentary copy of “A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court” direct from the publisher Seventh Star Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Interest to Read a Faerie Anthology:

I should be honest, my heart is always going to be attached to #dragonfiction (I created the tag for it even!), but part of me was always equally curious and endeared to seeking out wicked quality stories of faerie fiction too! I have several authors and books slated TBR (to be read) at some junction in time, but to truly get a nice overview of what is currently been written and offered, there is not a better way to accomplish this task than by seeking out an anthology! I find myself motivated lately to keep a fingertap on those thematic explorations inside science fiction & fantasy which whet my palette of interest. Previously, it was attempting to sort out my own heart’s desire in seeing science-based Steampunk and/or inventive Steampunk which runs the gambit of traditional Steam and deviates into Clockpunk or Automation stories.

Coming out of that well of endless possibilities, and keeping myself hinged to the cosy side of everything I read, I leapt at the chance to be a part of a new anthological tour for short stories within the world of the fey! I am always most curious to learn the new approaches of revealing a particular character inside of a story as much as I am a natural bourne book cheerleader who loves to rally behind creative stories which light the mind with deeply enriching worlds of creative thought. I never quite know where I am being lead in my literary wanderings, but half the fun for me is the art of discovery! Thus, my expectations for reading this anthology is to simply soak into different perspectives of the fey and see which of the stories give me the most joy in reading them!

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Anthology Synopsis: A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court

Scott M. Sandridge
Photo Credit: Stephen Zimmer, taken on a book convention floor

Tales of the Seelie Court:

The Fey have been with us since the beginning, sometimes to our great joy but often to our detriment. Usually divided (at least by us silly humans) into two courts, the first volume of A Chimerical World focuses on the Seelie Court: the court we humans seem to view as the “good” faeries. But “good” and “evil” are human concepts and as alien to the Fey as their mindsets are to us.

Inside you will find 19 stories that delve into the world of the faeries of the Seelie Court, from authors both established and new, including George S. Walker, Eric Garrison, and Alexandra Christian.

But be warned: these faeries are nothing like Tinker Bell.

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Scott M. Sandridge is a writer, editor, freedom fighter, and all-around trouble-maker. His latest works as an editor include the Seventh Star Press anthologies Hero’s Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, and the two volumes of A Chimerical World, Tales of the Seelie Court and Tales of the Unseelie Court.

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Stories inside: Tales of the Seelie Court:

“Extra-Ordinary” by BC Brown +
“Dead Fairy Doormat” by George S. Walker
“Taggers” by Christine Morgan
“Wormwood” by Alexandra Christian
“The Harpist’s Hand” by Steven S. Long
“Sanae’s Garden” by Chantal Boudreau +
“Mark of Ruins” by SD Grimm
“Birdie’s Life at the School for Distressed Young Ladies” by JH Fleming
“Cultivated Hope” by Jordan Phelps
“Seelie Goose” by E. Chris Garrison +  
“I Knocked Up My Fairy Girlfriend” by Brandon Black
“The Body Electric” by Sarah Madsen +  
“The Last Mission” by Cindy Koepp
“The Beggar-Knight & the Lady Perilous”
by Matthew A. Timmins
“The Filigreed Lamp” by Edward Ahern
“Keys” by Michael M. Jones
“Like a Sister in the Proper Court” by Lisa Hawkridge
“Gnome Games” by Saera Corvin
“The Goat Man’s Garden” by Marten Hoyle

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My Review of A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court

{ am electing to highlight the stories within the anthology

which piqued my interest the most out of the nineteen offered inside }

| “Extra-Ordinary” by B.C. Brown |

The mark of a well-written short story is the effect after it is concluded for the reader to double-check to make sure that the next short is not going to start right at the very moment she’s inclined to read more of the one she’s consumed! And, yet, that is unfortunately what happened as I turnt the page to see what becomes of the lovely hidden world revealed inside Extra-Ordinary! I must admit, I have appreciated the fey for such a long time that I never even questioned what I knew of them or what I could be lacking in reading faerie fiction! Clearly, there is quite a heap I have not had the pleasure of knowing, and inside this little gem of a story lies such a wondrous truth to who they are and how they appreciate interacting with humans! Or rather even, how some humans have the ability to interact with the fey, people you would not realise due to outward appearance or living circumstance could in effect hold a key to a world wonderfully unique and brilliantly more magical than the one we live in. I truly wanted to spend more time snuggled into this young boy’s life, seeing what he saw, and breathing in world of the fey in which alighted inside his ordinary hours. The writer had the clever sense to build upon our knowledge of the young boy as a regular school-aged curious wanderer of thoughts and imaginative possibilities — seeing beyond where he was and knowing there was more yet to come. And, within that innocent world-view and isolated piercing glimpse his everyday hours, we find ourselves meeting a young boy who will electrify our curiosity to know the fuller truth of who he is and how a shoebox can transport us there.

I felt as though this were a Prologue teaser to a larger story which would evolve into this wicked adventure between Marcus and the fey! How lovely it would be to see this knitted into a novella or a full-length novel!

|  “Dead Fairy Doormat” by George S. Walker |

At first I wasn’t sure the direction this particular story was going to take-on, as the possibilities for it to extend into certain dimensions of believability were extensive. The cat in the story (Mephyst) gives Andrei a bit more than he bargained for when he agreed to ‘cat sit’ a client’s rather feisty and demonic charge. Demonic here refers to the fact that this particular outdoor dwelling cat had a penchant for bringing his ‘kills home’ and leaving them rather ceremoniously on his owner’s doormat, but with a bit of a twist of what he ‘kills’ verse what his end-goal is once he returns home with them. I loved how Walker gave equal measure of attention on both Mephyst & Andrei as their paths intertwined for a short period of time. This short reminded me of fabled life lessons swirled into mystical and fantastical stories of a past age. Where you can root out the symbolism of right and wrong, as much as good verse evil by the way in which the story is fused together. Andrei is the unspoken hero of the story, who by rather clever devices sorts out the insidious nature of Mephyst, rights the malicious wrongs he has created against the fey, and takes-on a sense of freedom in knowing that his limited knowledge of the Other World affairs trumps the superficial elite attitude of Mephyst’s owner. For me, what kept me tuned into the story is the determination of Andrei to be a qualified cat-sitter in charge of a cat who is not quite like other cats at all! The lengths this bloke went to ensure not only the cat’s well-being but the well-being of innocents truly warmed my heart! In the end, I nearly could see him changing his stars and lifepath to something a bit more interesting than pedaling errands and message-driven deliveries. He is the character you always hope to find inside of a story – he completely surprises you and endears you to his cause.

| “Sanae’s Garden” by Chantal Boudreau|

A mystical and Eastern story illuminated out of the stories of the Seelie Court, to where my heart-strings were taut in the pull of the narrative to emote such a soul-tinged story of love. I may have not readily said this, but I have not read any of the collective works by the authors in this collection, and are therefore a bit blind to what they regularly write or offer in their individual worlds of fiction. What I found inside Sanae’s Garden is what I would consider a classical mythological story where you can barely notice the veil of the human world and of the world of the wood sprites. Harou and Sanae are unconventional soul-mates in how their love grew out of their innermost desire to protect and care for those who need it most. Their child Masaki was blessed to have such a loving embrace of joy, love, and parental bliss attached to him as he grew but it is how he came into being that was the mark of a chosen path towards embracing true love. I loved drinking in this story, a paragraph at a time and allowing the images filter into my mind’s eye as I etched out their characteristic qualities and the semblance of where the story was taking place. I wanted to explore more of this world, digging a bit deeper into its heart and seeing how this one perception of time could be walked back through in the future. Boudreau gave us such an enriched tale as to endear us to the possibilities of not only following our hearts in all areas of our lives, but in owning to a greater truth of what a well-lived life can encompass by scope of depth.

My heart-felt full enough to choke my throat with the tears of a grateful reader who was blessed to know their story. The nature lover in me celebrated the close-knitted connection of the characters to the living garden and trees, as I am a firm believer that the longer you spend outside in nature’s loving arms of grace, the more you will find yourself in balance; rooted to the living well of the cycles and seasons of Earth. Trees have a kinetic way of sensing our presence and of returning our love for them in the gentle whispers only heard by heart. I felt everything that Sanae felt and I celebrated Harou’s ability to guide her towards a life she never dared dreamt was previously plausible.

|  “Cultivated Hope” by Jordan Phelps |

The innocence of Clarrisa is a warm spring of hope stitched into this short story where a moral choice is the defining moment of her young life. What I appreciated about this story is that it is not set-up in the regular way you are expecting it to be. You’re entering a story already in-progress where the fates of those who could be affected by the actions of the characters both seen and unseen hang in the balance. Clarrisa is a faerie of conscience who unlike her peers aligns her life choices with those of her heart, spirit, and mind. She elects to take the harder path if it means that she can live without remorse etched into every fibre of her being. She is a gardener of dreams and of the tangible joy life can unexpectedly bring as you live your life forward. She reminded me a bit of Sanae in this regard, as she put her entire focus of how she wanted to live into the cultivation of her garden. The garden knew her innermost truths and where she would find her heart leading her next. Bourne without wings, a blight for any faerie other than her, she found strength in both resilience and in owning her uniqueness. The best part of the story for me, is watching how she evolved inside the Ministry of her employ to carry forward a mission of self-sacrifice and freedom. Each of us has the ability to embrace the right path but it takes the strength in knowing by doing what is right, you have to face those who might not agree with your reasoning.

|  “Seelie Goose” by E. Chris Garrison |

About my Connection to Garrison: I had the absolute pleasure of guesting on The Star Chamber Show on the same episode Garrison was appearing as a Guest Author. I was the Guest Book Blogger that night, and I appreciated the opportunity for our airtime to cross-over on each other. From that day forward, I have enjoyed our continuing conversations about all things bookish, including how we respected each of our differences in writing as well as our individual stance on ‘Vulgarity in Literature’ but came out of it on solid ground. I respect Garrison as a new-found friend and as a writer.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Garrison through our respective blogs, the twitterverse, the podcast world, and privately. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time.

I am familiar with Garrison’s character Skye from my previous reading of Virtual Blue, however, at that particular point in time I had not realised the full scope of Skye’s character! You see, Skye was ‘lent on loan’ to Sullivan in order to create the Urban Fantasy story in which I reviewed on a previous blog tour! I remember reading about the ‘Seelie Goose’, as regular readers of Jorie Loves A Story will recognise that I also hosted a Cover Reveal for Garrison and around that point in time or thereabouts I became familiar with the short story I now have happily read! For one thing, the comic brilliance of the anarchy of the fairy-tale world spun into reckless flight of an attempt to stop a wedding was most keen indeed! The way in which people react to weddings and those of whom wish to marry is always fodder for comedy. No one seems to understand nor accept that when two people fall in love, it is their right to marry of whom their heart speaks true! Whether that is goose for gander or goose to goose; matrimony should always be a freedom of both choice and of celebration of love. I was caught in the trance of the moment, seeing the absurdity of how one ruffled feathered Mum could not let her daughter be free to live her own life whilst noting how Otherworldy Skye is still attached to walking a life-like no one else could! Skye is not involved in this story but a part of Skye is central to how everything is resolved! I was most taken by how giddy I was to see the resolution and how happy I was to find a story by Garrison which I can do nothing but celebrate the joy of reading!

The descriptions of the geese were especially intriguing as I loved how their wings and feathers were worked into their quirky personalities and how their essence of being geese set the tone for how they interacted with everyone else! By far it was a clever story to be told! Especially considering how ‘rhyme’ took on a new level of meaning as it was used as a method of communication rather than of prose!

| “The Body Electric” by Sarah Madsen |

Cautionary tales of how far man is willing to push the envelope on technologic advances and the window which separates reason, logic, and the pursuit of progress are ones that I have always enjoyed reading. They speak to a greater level of knowledge towards where humanity has travelled and how far humanity continues to push the barriers between right and wrong. Ethical repercussions emerging out of the fever of wanting to go further than we dare, when even we can acknowledge that a thin line is being crossed in the sand. I could feel the harbinger tone of this short story even before I settled into its rhythm. There was a back-note of ominous danger igniting into the forefront of where the central characters were acting out of duty rather than out of honour. I enjoyed watching the internal conflict grab hold of them and appreciated where Madsen choose to take them whilst they were conflicted. The choices we make can have ripple effects on people we may or may not know, yet it is within the golden moments of those choices we can ultimately choose which path we will set our feet to tread upon. And, in the end what matters most is whether or not we were willing to sell our soul in order to survive; or take the harder path and do what was right.

The technology that is expressed in this short is always the kind of tech that I hope we do not cross the line to bring into reality. Where the fusion of technology against the condition of humanity would slowly erase and decode the very essence of who we are as there would no longer be a bridge between who we are and the advances science could provide us. To study and to grow in knowledge is one thing, to help others who have lost the ability to use their limbs is another, but to take away our humanity for the sake of replacement without cause or reason? That is quite another. We would be playing God to the worst degree of illogical pursuit.

“The Filigreed Lamp” by Edward Ahern |

A new appreciator of stories of the Jinn, courtesy of a book I discovered from my local library (The Golem and the Jinni, of which I reviewed last year) I was most delighted to see a short of the Jinn included in this collection! Ever since I met the Jinn in the forementioned story, I have set myself up to uncover more Magical Realism stories (hence my ever-expanding and growing tCC List!)!! The gentleness of this tale was refreshing as by time I had reached a moment to read it, I was ruminating in my mind about how reflectively open and honest the rest of the shorts are presenting the current state of time. From economic hardship to the uncertainty of how the future always hangs in the balance just out of view from where we are in the present. The shorts in of their own are knitted together with commonalities as you read through them. A pulse of forbearance as much as keen insight in where we aspire to be and how circumstances can never paint our future’s black. The Jinn in this story took a different angle of acceptance towards her new charge, and it was through her no-nonsense approach that her charge learnt the most from her. I like being unexpectedly surprised when I read, as much as I like entering new worlds to walk around.

“Like a Sister in the Proper Court” by Lisa Hawkridge |

I was happily surprised and thankful to see a more traditional faerie story included, as for a while I felt that perhaps the collection was only going to yield more modern spins on the fey. In this particular short, what struck me the most was the breadth of the world created to explain the differences between the Courts, and as Hawkridge did such a great job of doing this, I could start to envision the differences between the Seelie & UnSeelie Courts! The very basis of the dual-anthology collection which I am reading! I think the hardest part for the world of faeries is understanding who to trust and to understand which motives are being presented once you undergo accepting an accord with someone who appears to be above-board with you. Iona is on the edge of reasoning out how to contribute more to the collective good of her kind whilst being drawn into plans that might have an outcome she would not appreciate. The entire hierarchy of the fey reminded me a bit of the honey bee. Everyone has their own duties and responsibilities, but at the very same time, there is freedom to choose how best to create the contributions which help the collective survive. In this way, I appreciated seeing the point of view given in this short as it aligns with how I felt the fey might interact and live together.

| “The Goat Man’s Garden” by Marten Hoyle |

This short was as stirring and gutting of emotions as “Sanae’s Garden”, as the fate of one family to save the entire towne is pushed into the forefront of reality when an over zealous ruler twists their chance to survive. I have not had the chance to read a lot about Centaurs or even of faeries who are not quite dark but are not living within the light either. I have read a few stories of the fey which were more depressingly melancholic than enlightening, but this story is more of a classical one. It takes on the drunken intoxication of power set against the welfare of the innocent. Where what is perceived as truth is not what it appears and what is feared cannot always be recognised. Although my heart was lurching with each new step the characters took towards facing their fate, I appreciated the level of sincerity Hoyle gave to the story. It is not one anyone will quickly forget once they read it. Nor should they.

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Each of the stories I have highlighted desire second and third readings in order for the mirth of their tales to be fully enjoyed, processed, and appreciated. I am grateful that I have had this opportunity to become introduced to new voices in fiction, and of being able to settle my mind a bit around where the fey live and how they choose to interact with humans. Each of them approach us in different ways, some with a smarting of bewitchment in their eyes and others with a slight tendency towards maliciousness. Yet, each of them own true to who they are and what their innermost gift is to give and/or to takeaway. The stories themselves are a delight to read and I found myself unaware of the hours ticking off the clock as I was fully absorbed into the collection itself and only gave a nodding of what I was finding through my tweets prior to publishing my finalised reflections!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comFly in the Ointment:

Being this is an anthology collection of stories, the blessing for me was skipping over the stories which either did not give me enough to sink into their narratives or wrinkled my nose due to the cursing of choice words during the telling of the story itself. Therefore, as I have read and highlighted the stories which appealed to me directly, you may or may not find the same to be true for you. Everyone has a different reading temperament and mine is not one to accept a parlay affect of strong language within the context of joyful reading explorations. I truly only skipped over a few stories that held strong language, the others I did not mention did not touch me in the same way as I read them as the ones I did mention.

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This Book Review is courtesy of:

A Chimerical World Virtual Tour via Tomorrow Comes MediaFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Virtual Road Map for “A Chimerical World Anthology Tour”:

18 May: Editor Interview @ Jorie Loves a Story

19 May: Review @ Jorie Loves A Story

20 May: Guest Post: Four Simple Writer Mistakes by B.C. Brown @ Deal Sharing Aunt

21 May: Guest Post: Heavy Metal Faeries by Scott M. Sandridge @ Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author

21 May: Guest Post: Making of Seelie Goose by E. Chris Garrison @ Vampires, Witches, and Me, Oh My!

21 May: Guest Post: My Favourite Because It’s All About the Numbers by Scott M. Sandridge @ Beauty in Ruins

21 May: Interview Part 1 @ The Bird’s Word

22 May: Guest Post: Creating the Unseelie Court by DeeDee Davies @ Bee’s Knees Reviews

22 May: Promo / Spotlight @ Spellbindings

22 May: Guest Post: Pros / Cons of being an Anthology Editor by Scott M. Sandridge @ I Smell Sheep

23 May: Guest Post by Carmen Tudor @ The Official Writing Blog of Deedee Davies

June: Review: Tales of the Seelie Court @ Heroic Fantasy Writers

24 May: Guest Post: Rituals of a Seelie Writer by Alexandra Christian @ Sheila Deeth Blog

25 May: Interview: Scott M. Sandridge @ Come Selahway With Me

I am happily honoured to be:

Tomorrow Comes Media Tour Host

Previously on this blog tour stop,

I featured an Editor Interview with Mr. Sandridge!

Do not forget to *VOTE* in my Reader’s Poll after reading the Interview! And, leave your response to my enquiry in the comment threads whilst your there too! I appreciate it!

Anthology Discussions on Jorie Loves A Story:

Comments are open on all blog posts!

Comment & Converse freely!

Please visit my Bookish Events page to stay in the know for upcoming events!

It should be noted that I am curating the habit of tweeting my blog life on such handles as #amwriting | #amediting | #amblogging | #amreviewing | #amreading as much as there are antidote tweets being sent out prior to a blog post alighting on JLAS! Little snippets of insight into what I am going to reveal next and/or what I am anticipating will be a newly published post! Be sure to follow and/or keep an eye on my Twitter feeds! All pertinent links are also housed on my About.Me page as well for easy reference, access, and clickablity!

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What do you seek out when sorting out which anthology to read next!? Do you appreciate the journey you are taking to seek out newly emerging writers & their stories? What are your happiest discoveries in both short story, novella, and novel offerings of the fey in fiction!? Which authors are your favourites to soak inside and visit for a short spell!? Are the stories I mentioned today encouraging you to pick up “A Chimerical World”!?

{SOURCES: Book covers for “A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court”, Editor Biography and Book Synopsis of the anthologies were provided by Tomorrow Comes Media and used with permission. Collage of all three anthology book covers created by Jorie in PicMonkey. Author Interview badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers & My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Monday, 19 May, 2014 by jorielov in Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Anthology Collection of Stories, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Cats and Kittens, Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, Equality In Literature, Faeries & the Fey, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Futuristic Fantasy, Good vs. Evil, Indie Author, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Magical Realism, Seventh Star Press, Seventh Star Press Week, Short Stories or Essays, Speculative Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, The Natural World, Tomorrow Comes Media, Urban Fantasy, Vulgarity in Literature

Jorie’s Box of Joy No.3 : High Fantasy, Historical Suspense, and a jolt of inspirational fiction!

Posted Tuesday, 13 May, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

Jorie's Box of Joy | A Feature of Jorie Loves A Story

One of the happiest moments for a book blogger is eagerly going to their postbox & seeing what delightfully wicked print books have arrived for their reading pleasure! I have always held a keen interest in postal mail, being a long-term postal letter correspondent which has given me such a heart of joy seeing envelopes & bundles of love arrive from dear friends around the world. Imagine my new excitement in seeing the books I am reviewing arriving by publisher, author, publicist, or literary agent! Such an exciting new chapter in postal splendor!

I have been wanting to blog about my excitement about being placed on certain blog tours and/or in receiving books for review direct from authors, publishers, or publicists. I originally came across a weekly meme on Mondays entitled Mailbox Monday and you could say, that my new feature on Jorie Loves A Story is an extended idea from the original! Except to say, with one minor switch-up! Although I attempt to write down when books arrive by Post, I am never quite as certain when the books arrive as I am always reading the next book in hand! Therefore, please join me as I get excited about the books on my shelf which are next in line to read!

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Chain of Mercy by Brenda Anderson

As I outlined in my Interview with Ms. Anderson the best joy any book blogger can have prior to reading a novel is being clued into the process the writer took towards publication! In this way, I feel double-blessed to not only be a part of my first Author Street Team to help get the word out about their novels and writing style, but to have watched the genesis of Anderson’s journey as aspiring writer to published author! As I start to soak into Chain of Mercy, I will be reflective of how I learnt about her blog as much as how I started to get to know her through the blog posts she shares with the world. In her debut novel, she tackles hard-hitting circumstances that start to have a ripple effect on the people who are involved and engaged in the drama. What I appreciated is finding out that she does not back down from writing about topics and subjects that others might shy away from as I always felt that one thing inspirational fiction sometimes misses the boat to include are honest & real story-lines with characters facing real-life issues in an endearingly honest way. Everyone is going through something at some point in their lives but I believe that if writers stitch in the ability to see that all of life is possible with faith, than a greater good is being served than only writing stories which gloss over the more poignant of narratives.

The book cover of Chain of Mercy is matte not glossy finish, and I like that as it has a different texture to most softcover editions! When I first pulled the book out of the parcel it arrived in I had thought the book cover might have been off-setted to appear as a sepia photograph. There is a Discussion Guide & Acknowledgements section in the back of the novel as well as a Dedication in the front. To me the image on the front of the cover makes me curious a bit more about the phrase of the title ‘chain of mercy’ and how a simple chain with a key fits into the heart of the story?

My review posts on Sunday, 18th of May, whereas my Interview with Ms. Anderson posts on Tuesday, 13th of May!

Chimerical World Vol 1 Anthology by Seventh Star Press
Artwork Credit by: Enggar Adirasa

When Seventh Star Press (an Indie Publisher I regularly review for through the blog touring & social media promotion company: Tomorrow Comes Media; of whom I highly recommend any reader to look into reviewing for as they offer a review to read programme) sets to mind to create an anthology they never fail to impress me with their ability to bring together cutting-edge writers with stories that alight in the imagination of a reader’s soul. My first fantasy anthology read and reviewed (coincidentally!) was on behalf of Chronicles of Ave by Stephen Zimmer. In this selection of mine to read next, after having appreciated a short story by Michael Cross in another Indie Press anthology I chose to focus on my love of faeries & fey folk! (note to the Editor Sandridge, I never did know the right way to have spelt ‘faeries’ so I thank him for the Foreward!) I am not sure how there is a misunderstanding about the personalities of the fey or of how they are not always as endearing as Tinkerbell as let’s face it, she was one particular kind of faerie but not the norm by a long shot! What I appreciate about the fey is there ability to transform our understanding of their culture and habits by presenting their uniqueness through the different writers who pen their stories.

I love seeing the cover art illustrations and designs of Seventh Star Press book covers as they always include full illustrative covers as well as illustrative plates within their releases; with the exception of this anthology which does not have plates inside to correlate with the shorts.

My review posts on Monday, 19th of May, alongside my Interview with Mr. Sandridge, the editor of the anthology!

The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose

I have truly undertaken reading the Reincarnationist series a wee bit late in the game as far as my book review for The Collector of Dying Breaths is concerned, but I am a determined optimist who believes that as long as their are hours left to read there is time enough to drink through a series which has bewitched my attention for several years now! When I first took note that this particular book was going to go on tour, the only thing I had to sort out was if I could read the entire series in time to tour with France Book Tours OR with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours — I chose the latter as the time schedule fit my reading schedule a bit easier! I am thankful to tour with such beautiful blog touring companies who give their book bloggers & readers the ability to not only discover unknown writers but to review for well-established writers we are just on the brink of knowing ourselves! In this, my gratitude is always theirs for giving us these opportunities! What sparked my interest is the aspect of reincarnation stitched into the series as a whole as I used to collect books on reincarnation when The Reincarnation Library was still in existence, which was a small publisher who curated titles which had fallen out of print and then, re-issued the books in such lovely editions as cloth-bound hardback copies! The titles were both non-fiction and fiction dealing with as many different aspects of reincarnation as you could be happenstance to stumble across! In the series Rose has created, the idea of coming across tools to add one’s memory of past lives is more than tempting to explore!

My review posts on Friday, 30th of May, whereas my Interview with M.J. Rose posts on Monday, 19th of May one day after the Bout of Books 10.0 readathon concludes in which I read the entire Reincarnationist series!

A Mage of None Magic by A. Christopher Drown
Artwork Credit: A. Christopher Drown

Ever since I first heard of this particular tale arriving via Seventh Star Press in late 2013, I have been on pins awaiting its release! I had no idea what to expect since I first read the premise of the tale inside its covers, so when I saw the book emerge out of the book parcel I received (as all three of these SSP titles arrived together!) I was pleasantly surprised by the cover art & the girth of the story! I am always happily surprised to pull a book out of its package and finding rather joyfully that the depth of length is far longer than I had predicted! I love long stories as I love to get to know characters and spend a proper age visiting with them! With fantasy stories, you truly need the length in order to soak into the author’s breadth of work, and I do not think I will be disappointed by Drown’s début! I love the suspense of the shot you find yourself looking into,… from the bloke on the left casting his sights out to sea, and how the lighthouse reflects the light whilst the moon is clearly visible in the upper left corner? Tall ships and a story shrouded in myth! What more could you hope to find in a début novel? I still remember the first Imaginairum Twitter Party in November 2013 when we all came together to chat about writing, creativity, and the pending celebration of a new kind of bookish convention centered on the joy of story-telling in all its mediums. It was in this Twitter Party I had the pleasure of interacting with the author, and sadly I have not seen another Twitter Party engaged with the convention at the time of this writing. I think it would be a great resource to unite writers who want to attend the convention but also with getting in touch with fellow writers, book bloggers, and readers. Conversations always open doors and on that level, I am thankful it opened the door for me to discover a new author of high fantasy!

I elected to post an Interview with the author, A. Christopher Drown instead.

Awesome Jones by AshleyRose Sullivan
Artwork Credit: AshleyRose Sullivan

I am not sure about you but whenever I find a genre-bender author who is going to put together two seemingly diverse methodologies of story-telling together I get all giddy with excitement at the prospect of reading their stories! In this particular case, around the time I learnt of A Mage of None Magic, I caught wind of a Press Release for Awesome Jones! And, lucky me this makes my third blog tour with TCM within the same week of hosting the anthology! If all bodes well, in a new-future installment of this feature I will be chattering about Hero’s Best Friend! (the latest fantasy anthology I signed up to tour!) Although I like to dig below the superficial level of all stories, you have to admit: Awesome Jones is a strong spitfire sounding name that begs to have a heroine worthy of Lara Croft OR James Bond! I am an appreciator of old-school comics and action heroes. Think Burt Ward, Adam West, and Christopher Reeves. Subtract every Bond except for Roger Moore, Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, or George Lazenby and you know how I roll with my smashingly strong heroes! You could even backtrack through my SFN (Sci-Fi November/Month) posts and see a thread of connection between the iconic pop cultural attachments I am passionate for and the particular bent on original contributions therein that I stand by and defend. As soon as I freed this book from its parcel I *had!* to take a peek into its covers!! I held the breath of excitement Lois Lane from The New Adventures of Super-Man might have held captive as she exhaled a glimpse inside,… comic illustrations beseeched me eyes and an adventurous narrative glistened in reflective light!

My review posts on Thursday, 22nd of May.

Daughter of the Gods by Stephanie Thornton

Normally when I seek out an author I am going to review a book of on Twitter, I am curious to know a bit more about them as a person, as a writer, and technically to see what they tweet about in general! I think that is simply human nature to be ‘curious’! What I happily found whilst visiting the feeds of Ms. Thornton is that she’s a fellow Whovian who *gets my passion!* for Doctor Who! We were exchanging regular tweets in an on-going conversation about all things Whovian, until my personal life started to interfere with my blog life and thus, my tweets started to disappear in regularity! I am hoping she did not think I stopped the conversation full-stop for any other reason, as when I saw The Day of the Doctor (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special) arrive via my local library, she was one of two people I wanted to tell! (Violet Patterson being the first!) However, since its arrived I have not even had a free moment to watch it and very well could boomerang back into my hold queue! Hence the reason I have not tweeted as I did not want to disappoint either one of them! Meanwhile, this beautiful book arrived which an Egyptian gracing the cover who made me wonder why I ever decided ‘not’ to study Egyptology (until of course I remember what happens when you explore tombs…)! I have been wanting to break out of my rhythm of reading Victorian & Regency historical novels and sink my teeth into eras and epochs of history which used to whet a strong palette of interest as a child and as a young adult. This selection I made is my way of saying there is no time like the present to discover an author who has the knack for bringing the past forward into the present in a visceral way as to leave you wanton for more! And, perhaps I can pick up our Whovian convo as soon as I discover what happens between my beloved Matt Smith and my newly beloved David Tennant! (come now! I cannot be the first Whovian who lost her heart to one Doctor only to be taken by surprise by another?) And, can I just say the Egyptians would *love and adore!* all the Whovian’s who chatter endlessly about which Doctor they prefer over the other and of whom has won the best affection overall!

My review posts on Friday, 23rd of May.

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I positively love receiving books straight from authors in exchange for honest reviews, and the three books I am about to mention next hold a special place in my heart, as two of them were previously only released in e-book format and one I was scheduled to review for a follow-up tour of the first novel which was unfortunately cancelled. Never one to give up hope when one is determined to read a book, I always light a candle that one day all the lovely stories I hope to read will one day alight in my hands. Here is a story of three such stories:

Loves Promises by Sandra Leesmith
Artwork Credit: Lena Goldfinch

I hosted Ms. Leesmith on my blog for a Book Cover Reveal (E-book ahead of Print Edition) as well as for a lovely Green Publishing Author Interview focused showcase where I researched green-minded publishing practices and knitted together the theme of thinking green within the context of the story which contains environmental conservation, preservation, and green building practices. Imagine my pure joy in finding out that the book not only went to print, but I had a spark of inspiration for the author to re-consider the book going into print publication! Seeing the book arrive by Post was a true blessing all the way around, and I cannot wait to soak into the story now that I have felt as though I have followed it from e-book debut to print edition unveiling! I was even blessed with the author’s whose quotation about the novel is featured on the back-cover (Ms. Julie Lessman) to have made a stop during her time on my blog! I had not known of their connection to each other or to Seekerville which is an author group blog that I used to frequent! Thankfully, included in the back pages of this edition are the titles of Ms. Leesmith’s back-list which blessedly are all available in print editions! Including the two books which are connected to this one in a series: Love’s Refuge & Love’s Miracles! The book cover is matte and I must confess I am starting to love the texture differences between glossy & matte! The colours are brilliantly brought to life and I did not notice any variance between the e-book cover & the print edition as the book looks exactly as I thought it would once it was in my hands!

My review is forthcoming this Summer! on the 28th of July, 2014!

Portals, Passages, & Pathways by B.R. Maul

I have equally spent quite a lot of time with Portals, Passages, & Pathways as I was given the lovely opportunity to host the author for both a Guest Post on his inspiration for creating the world of Magnanthia as much as host a Book Spotlight Announcement to get the word out about this in-depth debut fantasy novel! I felt a connection to the premise as it was given to me in consideration for hosting the author on my blog, and from that moment forward I have felt like I took a journey with this book as much as I had with Ms. Leesmith’s! This novel was originally intended only to be released in e-book format, but thankfully made it into print edition, which is why I am ever so thankful to have received a copy for review! The cover art illustration is even more eye-popping in person, and you quite literally feel as though you could just ‘jump through the portal’ and join them! A Table of Contents helps get you oriented a bit, but the best bit of all is the girth: 470 pages! One of the best moments for me as a book blogger is when I can start to become a book cheerleader on an author’s behalf! Where I get excited about their journey & their experiences towards publication as much as being able to rally behind them as they take their first tentative steps out into the world of readership and audience! Which leads me to my next book I want to feature today as it has a story about how it arrived by Post as well!

My review will post in mid-to-late July!

The Dragon's Pawn by Mitchell S. Karnes

I participated in the first book (The Pact) of the Canaanshade Journeys series blog tour with TLC Book Tours and was scheduled to participate in the sequel The Dragon’s Pawn tour as well. Except to say the tour was unexpectedly cancelled, and although tours have become cancelled in the past, this was one of two books I recently contacted the author personally to see what might have caused the cancellation. The other book is Uncovering Cobbogoth in which I will host & review for the publisher Cedar Fort Publishing & Media. On behalf of The Dragon’s Pawn I was first compelled to request this sequel due to a note which was left in the comment threads by the author himself of my original review. There were bits and bobbles of the story as far as general scope, layering, and back-story I was not privy too nor able to deduce from my readings of the first installment to make a clear impression of where the book series was heading or why certain elements of the first book were necessary to be included. From the author’s response I felt compelled as a reader and as a book blogger to request a reading of the sequel, so that I could continue to read the next in the series as a way to become better acquainted with the author’s vision and thereby perhaps reforming my original perceptions therein. The Dragon’s Pawn by Mitchell S. Karnes, is the sequel to The Pact which I reviewed for TLC Book Tours earlier this year, and for which I am blessed to have received to review as it truly is one book that I am especially grateful has come back into my life. Sometimes we find the stories within the books are only half of the message and sometimes certain books need a second reading to better understand their heart.

My review will post on Tuesday, 17th of June.

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Cross-posted with Mailbox Monday (a weekly meme) on Monday, 12th of May where book bloggers & readers alike share their inbound books for review, newly purchased books, or otherwise added to their shelves to read. Conversing via: #MailboxMonday My feature was inspired by Mailbox Monday, however as I am always in throes of reading books for review and/or borrowing books from my library, I am never quite as certain which week the books have arrived!

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A Must Read: The Reincarnationist Series by M.J. Rose via Book Candy Studios

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{SOURCES: Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Ravven with edits in Fotoflexer by Jorie. Chain of Mercy book cover was provided by Brenda S. Anderson for both review and promotion; used with permission. A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court, Awesome Jones, & A Mage of None Magic book covers were provided by Tomorrow Comes Media for promotion and review; used with permission. The Collector of Dying Breaths & Daughter of the Gods book covers were provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for promotion and review; used with permission. Love’s Promise book cover was provided by Editing Through the Seasons & Sandra Leesmith for promotion and review; used with permission. Portals, Passages, & Pathways book cover provided by JKS Communications & B.R. Maul for review and promotion; used with permission. The Dragon’s Pawn book cover provided by Mitchell S. Karnes for review and promotion; used with permission. The book trailer for The Reincarnationist series via Book Candy Studios had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Tweets embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Tuesday, 13 May, 2014 by jorielov in Anthology Collection of Stories, Blog Tour Host, Book Trailer, Bookish Films, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Earthen Magic, Editing Through The Seasons, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Gothic Literature, High Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Thriller Suspense, Jorie's Box of Joy, Reincarnation, Short Stories or Essays, Street Team for Author, Tomorrow Comes Media

#BoutOfBooks 10.0 : Personal Goals & Motivations | M.J. Rose’s historical suspense series & Review Books focused on Romance!

Posted Monday, 12 May, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

Bout of Books

As I outlined in my declaration of participation post for Bout 10.0, I am singularly focusing on the entire historical suspense series (the Reincarnationist – six book series) by M.J. Rose! Leading up to my stop on the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour on behalf of book six: “The Collector Of Dying Breaths”. However, I am also concentrating on Romance this week on Jorie Loves A Story, as I am a member of the street team for Brenda Anderson focusing on her début novel “Chain of Mercy” (my first honour of being on an author’s street team!); as well as posting two #ChocLitSaturdays book reviews: “Flight to Coorah Creek” by Janet Gover (selection of 3 May! – which was discussed during the chat) and “The Silent Touch of Shadows” by Christina Courtenay (selection of 10 May! – which was discussed during the chat); a paranormal romance début novel of Indie author J. Woods “Gilded Feathers” arrives late on Monday night, with “The Boleyn Bride” by Tudor author Brandy Purdy arriving on Friday! The extra addition being a fantasy anthology by Indie Publisher (Seventh Star Press) A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court” edited by Scott M. Sandridge! IF anything you will see how much of an eclectic reader I truly am! I will also still host my weekly Saturday morning tweetchat at: twubs.com/choclitsaturdays!

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Personal Goals and Motivations:

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  • Hours Dedicated to Reading (in total): hoping to read at least 12 hours per day!
  • Hours per day slated to Read: will journal each day
  • Starting Hour: the instant I am able to sit & read! :)
  • Ending Hour: 00:00 OR I will be winking to the hooting owls!
  • Books Projected to Read: 11 8 in total; 6 3 M.J. Rose + 5 for review; 1 M.J. Rose is also for review
  • Blog Posts (in total): Book Reviews: Gilded Feathers, Chain of Mercy, The Boleyn Bride, Flight to Coorah Creek, The Silent Touch of Shadows, A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court, The Collector of Dying Breaths (on Tuesday 20 May); plus, Author Interviews and regular Bout’er updates!
  • Post my reactions to each book after I have concluded reading them, because more than anything I want to be wholly enthused about the stories, the characters, and the prose that each writer etches into their books — I want to challenge myself to read as many books as I can but not to the brink where I cannot fully appreciate them. I want to absorb them and allow their worlds to soak through to my mind’s eye. The Reincarnationist series by M.J. Rose will be blogged in full details at a later date, but every other book I am reading has scheduled reviews during the Bout itself, outside of The Collector of Dying Breaths which posts two days after the Bout concludes. Therefore on my daily updates for the Bout itself, will be snippets of my reaction to the series overall.
  • Participate in the Bout of Books community by dropping by fellow participants’ blogs, leaving encouraging commentary, and share in the joy of this intensive week of reading! As well as find challenges to enhance my experience with this wicked sweet group of readers!
    • Blogs I scoped out to visit: Coffee Bean Bookshelf + Read Lately if they are taking part in the Bout?! This list will self-curate as the Bout marches onward! Readerly Musings!
    • I am hoping participants of *10.0* will drop by my blog as well, and in that way, I can get to know the readers who are just as excited about this as I am!
    • Challenges as I participate in them as time allows: ? will populate a list as need be ?
  • Join in on the Twitter chats &/or jump into Bout’er conversations on Twitter spontaneously whilst following the tag: #boutofbooks!

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Read More

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Posted Monday, 12 May, 2014 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Discussions, Bout of Books, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Library Love, Paranormal Romance, RALs | Thons via Blogs, Reincarnation, Romance Fiction, Seventh Star Press, Small Towne Fiction, Street Team for Author, Suspense, Time Slip, Tomorrow Comes Media, Tudor Era

_+ #atozchallenge _+ 26 Days | 26 Essays [epic journey] Today is Letter “A”. #Anthologies

Posted Tuesday, 1 April, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

Day 1: Letter A of the A to Z ChallengeAn eruption of blog posts throughout the blogosphere are going *live!* in different intervals throughout April Fool’s Day, and this isn’t a prank nor a joke! This is a world-wide globally connected blogosphere challenge where each blogger who signs into the participant linky is quite literally confirming their express desire to blog straight [except on Sundays!] for *26 Days!* whilst writing *26!* most intriguing & thought-producing alphabet essays! Or, to be comically inspiring, randomly cheekily, and otherwise delightfully entertaining! The bloggers who have signed into the challenge are from all walks of blogosphere life: book bloggers united alongside lifestyle gurus; writers of all literary styles nudged up against travelogues; the gambit runs the full course of each and every theme, topic, subject, and genre you could possibly light your heart with joy to broach in a blog! And, the curious bit to the journey is where your posts lead you as much as where other blogger’s posts inspire you! It’s this fantastic community to celebrate the spirit within the blogosphere as much as the spirit of connection amongst the bloggers who might not have crossed paths with each other otherwise. After all, the road map for blogs is as wide and large as the actual world outside the nethersphere of websites, pixels, and memes! Walk with us whilst we discover a bit about ourselves, our blog, & each other!

I am blogger #552 out of 2155!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comOne quick tour around Jorie Loves A Story, and the new visitor willParajunkee Designs notice that I am a bookish girl bent on literary excursions which encourage my spirit as much as they challenge my perspective of what I have learnt thus far in my life. Literature by definition is a self-guided and self-evolving process of gaining knowledge through books and ruminations of those who walked before us, imparting their words and tangible thoughts to the page. I truly do “blog books!” and I am most esteemed to say “I <3 Fiction” as the badge to the right expresses quite definitively! Yet, how does a book blogger translate the rhythmic murmurings of her wandering compass when there isn’t a fixed point of entry or landing point? How to encase within a blog challenge to relate what motivates her and what excites her beyond the girth of what is deemed plausible!?

I tend to move like a dancer through genres, as what motivates me is the inertia of magnetism that draws my eye, heart, and mind into a particular setting, time period, locale, and character sketching… that vortex of suspension in-between first finding a book that whets your fancy and drinking in the words that will either leave you blissfully entranced or ruminative about where the writer was intending to take you.

– quoted from my Introduction Post

For you see I truly am passionate about the art of discovering new authors and the legacies of their words left to the world to find them. There is an electric pulse to seeking out a bookish tome of joy, especially if your heart holds within it a heavy attachment to wordsmiths and world-builders whose narratives jump you straight out of your chair and into the heart of their stories. Where time itself is eclipsed by the overwhelmingly familiar experience your about to engrave inside you through sensory registers you were given. To soak into a character’s shoes to the brink of attaching a piece of them to your DNA and vice versa. We take bits and bobbles of light along with us for where we tread next along the labyrinth pathways of literature. Wanderlust abounds because it only takes the impetus of a notion of seeing a title, an author’s name, a book’s cover-art or the premise winking at you from off the shelf to whet your palette of interest towards reading its story.

Each book which settles itself into my mind’s eye whereupon it fixated itself and has become a part of me, will be rendering a new chapter of my collective memory. A story of which has etched itself a remnant piece of my journey as I continue to make an onwards advance towards my next literary find. The books featured here are the ones that left me with a hitching in my chest, a murmuring in my soul, and a thankfulness in my heart. Books like these are to become the cherished friends that sit upon a bookshelf ready for a second conversation and visit.

– quoted from my Introduction Post

Story-tellers of whom engage with their audience in such a clever way as to give them a sampling of a taste of their collective work OR even a breath of an introduction to enliven the imagination of their readership is one step I’ve taken towards embracing the world of “A N T H O L O G I E S“!! And, yes dear hearts, today’s Letter A which I cheekily enscribed as a reference “Day1 is 1APR (Not a Foolish Day!) A is for?” whilst announcing today’s post via Twitter is a winking nudge towards the fact I posted ‘two’ new posts today which curate the essence of the “Letter A”. The first of which is “ANDRA Watkins” on behalf of her debut novel “To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis and the second of which is the post your reading right now!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comA N T H O L O G I E S are little dirths and dots of curiously broaching short stories! They give us a nibblement of an idea, whisk us away into this alternative realm and properly deposit us back to whence we started long before we were ready to make our exit! I had always become curious about anthologies but as to where to alight my hat within its vast vault of choice was beyond daunting! My first notion was to sink into the mystery genre before approaching the science fiction & fantasy genre anthologies! My thinking was based upon my enjoyment of the Agatha Christie omnibus editions of her stories! You could gather a heap of Christie inside of a hardback volume of joy, let me tell you! It was Christie who inspired my heart towards having murder & suspense on my brain as a youngster because I was forever engaged on bated breath to see ‘who’ was guilty and of ‘whom’ would catch the nefarious deviant criminals! You might be surprised to realise then, my first ‘A N T H O L O G I E S exposure’ came on behalf of: Regency Christmas novellas & novella collections of inspirational romances from Barbour Publishing! At least, this is where my memory alights as being the first time I realised I was reading an anthological collection of short stories! I am in love with the aspect of creating a dramatically splendid experience out of the smallness of space in which ‘shorts’ are notorious to be inhabited. My personal writings in fiction are too akin to breadth and depth of expression to suit the needs of a proper short story, but its the joy I have pulsing through me as I endeavour to read the works of others which captivates the fullness of my attention!

The Chronicles of Ave
Artwork Credit: Matthew Perry

Whilst being a book blogger, I am finding the wide sea of anthologies mingling around the bookish sphere of choice isn’t quite as difficult to unearth as I once feared! In fact, oft-times I am finding anthologies are starting to become quite the choice of publishers to either offer as a review option or they place them on a blog tour to help introduce the timid anthology readers like me take a small step towards embracing their mirth! I say ‘timid’ here as a way of expressing that because I struggle to get the words to fit within a confine word count limit, I sometimes notice my mind ‘over-thinks’ itself to death whilst I read! Instead of simply appreciating the experience of the story, my ferret of a head is trying to augment how the writer elected to make the choices she or he did to keep the story alive yet without the girth of a novel to anchor its dimension. In this, I find anthologies extraordinary!

The first anthology which crossed my path was “Chronicles of Ave: Volume 1” by Stephen Zimmer, published by Indie publisher Seventh Star Press. This collection of which fronts a curious dragon in flight on the cover illustrative plate is a map of sorts for a new visitor of the Ave world to become acquainted with key characters and uncover little nuisances of where the larger tome of the book series “Fires of Eden” will take the reader. Zimmer expands fully to encase certain elements of where a previously published portion of Ave might have been edited for length or content, but within his Chronicles he can re-examine, re-define, and re-explore those moments of Ave which deserve to have their light shined on their own.

He parlays his fervent passion for research by interspersing what he uncovers into the tapestry by which Ave is threaded against! It’s a world that encompasses as many distinctively unique cultures, traditions, spirituality’s, and languages as our own living counterpart, and yet, it has something to give back to us as well!

It’s quite apparent at first reading that Ave is a world that you can gently enter into but its a world that draws a breath of dedication with each glance! The further you walk inside Ave, the more you want to know, the more you want to experience, and the more your drawn to wonder about the extensive scope of the stories that prompted this collection of shorts, which marks a transition through a lesser notation of them in the serial installments already known! Bits and bobbles of undercurrent histories stitched into the under threads, that give a larger impression of the story on a whole! OR, at least this is what I imagine to be true!

– quoted from my review of “Chronicles of Ave: Volume 1” by Stephen Zimmer

Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy edited by Michael Knost
Artwork Credit: Matthew Perry

Second out of the gate in my newly minted exploration of anthologies was the incomparable “Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy” edited by Michael Knost. I felt as though I was sitting down with the collected writers who gathered to inspire other writers’ within their genres and outside them with the encouragement needed to boldly dare to pursue their craft! Writers sometimes forget that the one bit that is most important is the totality of belief in their imagination and their writing. Writers need to remember to ‘own their work’ and refute disbelief whilst pushing ahead when odds stack against them like ricochet hail at the tail end of a severe storm! Negative electrons are everywhere in life, but if we refuse to accept defeat we will always walk out the other end with a level of grace and knowledge of how to proceed forward on a better leaf than the prior! The anthologies which attract me to read are not limited to fiction, as I have always had a piqué curiosity of the writer’s craft.

And, it’s within this boiling and brewing of ideas where I gather my energy for the story about to transfer out of my mind’s vortex and unto the written page! To take a thread of an idea, nurture it into being and then, allowing the freedom of the idea to transition and transmorph into its full-bodied existence of what its meant to be is a writer’s realised dream. Nibblements of ruminations sprinkled throughout a lifetime of experience and adventure start to ink out into our imagination. Transcending both time and memory, as pieces of ourselves are wrangled into the lifeblood of our characters! Being a writer is akin to being a nurturer of ideas and of ideals. We take our observations from our living realities, and pour our heart into our works attempting to yield a story that others might find palatable. I say ‘might’ find as I am one writer who writes the stories which flow through her rather than write a story which is hinged to a specific audience or topic. We (writers) all hope that the momentum and passion we have for an idea will garnish itself a foothold in a reader’s queue. Perhaps even, enlighten their outlook or perception, but moreso than naught, to give them a hearty piece of narrative which leaves them pensively grateful for the idea which started the words to fill the page!

– quoted from my review of “Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy” edited by Michael Knost

I was transfixed and inspired as you can see by the inertia of what was being revealed inside this anthology! What made my heart flutter the most are the topics & subjects explored by the writers who contributed to the anthology were giving advice across the literary divides! The advice was not limited strictly to science fiction and fantasy, although in some instances they were given direct instances of how to write a story in this particular world of vision; but any writer could eek out the lessons of the writer’s craft itself. Enabling all writers to feel a bit more motivated and uplifted for the time spent inside its pages!

Is editing an anthology more difficult than writing a book? If so, why? And, how did you coordinate the sections of Writers Workshop on Science Fiction and Fantasy in such a way that the previous writer melded into the next’s topic?

Knost responds: Each has its own difficulty, and each has its own strengths. As an editor, I am tasked as a conductor, seeking to keep the whole in a harmonic state, which sometimes can be nearly impossible. Where the writer is concerned about his or her solo, the editor is concerned about the entire piece. Just as each song is different, so is each anthology or collection, and because of that, each is structured by going with one’s heart. As for WWOSFF, I assigned the particular element of the craft of which I wanted each writer to focus. And I planned the layout while in the assignment stages, which evolved somewhat.

– quoted from my interview of Michael Knost whilst featuring the anthology during Seventh Star Press Week.

Moments in Millenia edited by Penny Freeman
Artwork Credit: Dale Pease (of Walking Stick Books) http://walkingstickbooks.com

On 8th April, I will be posting my first book review on behalf of Indie publisher Xchyler Publishing, which is “Moments in Millennia” a fantasy anthology of futuristic fantasy set against the continuum of time and space! I found Xchyler Press through a tweet posted by Marian Allen, which led me to the discovery of “A MidSummer Night’s Steampunk” by Scott E. Tarbet. Whilst browsing the catalogue of choices on their website this particular A N T H O L O G Y stood out to me. I was intrigued by the concept of allowing each writer the freedom to answer the thesis of thought in their own methodology of choice.

I had the honour of interviewing Ms. Penny Freeman

who is the Editor of the A N T H O L O G Y.

We had an excellent exchangement of conversation surrounding its creation:

In regards to book trailers, I was quite impressed with the motion picture quality of “Moments in Millennia” where the undercurrent score and cut-away sequences where the broadcast is nearly being cut-off draws the reader into the scene. The vortex of how ‘time’ itself draws a circle around the necessity of ‘now’. Of being in a position to react and effectively impact the state of ‘what is happening right this instant’. How as an editor did you draw a stitching of continuity inside the anthology, where stories were brought together whilst giving freedom to the writers to explore the premise in their own vision?

Freeman responds: The continuity is a product of several different factors. The first, of course, is the theme we set. When we come up with something we think might spark the imagination (in this case, back to the future), we announce it as part of our writing competition. Writers will often ask us exactly what we mean by that. Our answer is always the same: what does that mean to you?

This particular project was interesting to me in that so many of the entries (and ultimately the winners) focused on dark scenarios. Going in, I rather expected some fun fantasy romps, and I think the fact that we didn’t have anything of that nature reflects society’s outlook as a whole. We seem to be a rather cheerless bunch at the moment.

The next influence is our judging algorithm. Because each individual judge has their own likes and dislikes, the stories that suit their aesthetic will rank higher, so that tends to influence the overall outcome. Finally, the editorial process itself plays a significant role. We look at the entries as first drafts, and then we work with the authors to polish their work. Because the same content editor works with every author, that influence is felt within each story.

For instance, I like stories to get inside people’s heads and ask questions: how do situations and events affect the characters emotionally; what are the ramifications of an event? My mantra: dig deeper! Another editor may have wanted more emphasis on technical details or more “atmosphere”. The editor’s own “what does this mean to you” comes into bear and becomes that consistent thread that runs through everything.

Thank you for giving me such a beautiful insight into the production of  “Moments in Milliennia”, as the scope of the project is as multi-dimensional as I had forethought it might have been! I do agree with you on the ‘dark undertones’ throughout the anthology itself, as I was quite curious when I first picked it up to read on how each writer surprised me in turn by giving me a revelation inside their story I had not expected to find after having read their individual premises. I believe its going to the heart of what you revealed yourself: there is an undercurrent in our society for focusing more on the dark than the light; even if those of us who are reading fantasy have a penchant for seeking out the light at each possible turn! For without the Light, where then do we find the Hope!? Yet. Despite this, the anthology gave me numerous sociological implications to ponder about and for that, I give the writers credit for taking up the bold challenge of answering your submission call in a way which will stand out to the readers who pick up the anthology!

– quoted from my Interview with Interview with Penny Freeman

Likewise, I am quite eager to find A N T H O L O G Y which will help introduce me to Steampunk, as I am approaching it from a historical fiction reader’s point-of-view as I described in this Question to Mr. Tarbet:

Being that you’re a history enthusiast, I noticed that you inserted 12 historically known characters into your story. Do you feel you’re creating a new niche in steampunk which might be considered historical steam? Where those who appreciate historical fiction might find themselves crossing over to reading your stories due to the nature of how much history you’ve woven into the background?

Tarbet responds: Nice term, that: historical steam. I like it. It captures A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk very well in its “something for everyone” essence. And by ‘everyone’ I mean ME. I believe that an author worth reading will be writing something that they would want to read themselves. For me that means having way more than one element to any story. Mine always have at least two of three, sometimes more. A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk has Steampunk, Shakespeare, and alternative history. I would want to read it. It tickles me pink that other people find it a satisfying blend as well.

– quoted from my Interview with Scott E. Tarbet

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comWithin the hours leading up the A to Z Challenge, I was presented with a chance to host a blog tour for an inspirational devotional from the perspective of a woman whoCats Are Part of His Kingdom, Too Virtual Blog Tour hosted by Editing Through the Seasons has rescued cats and observed lessons of life etch out of her time in their role as caregiver. I always knew the animals who become our companions hold a very special place in our hearts as much as in the corner-most spot of our spirits. They endear us to grounding ourselves into the pureness of love, acceptance, and friendship. The world is oft-times a jaded askewed place to inhabit and with the companions of those whose innocence block out the shade, we find ourselves softened and affirmed by their grace.

Parajunkee DesignsI wanted to take part in this tour because I have always enjoyed snippets of inspiring stories shared through the Chicken Soup for the Soul series such as “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times: 101 Daily Devotions to Inspire & Support You in Times of Need” by Susan M. Heim & Karen C. Talcott of which I mentioned in my review of “The Prayer Box” by Lisa Wingate. I want to wander through the pages of more non-fiction titles as time progresses forward here on Jorie Loves A Story. There is such a beautiful gift in knowing the world of A N T H O L O G I E S is not limited to a specific definition of context. They are merely a representation of a collection of stories and writers uniting together for a common purpose. Sometimes they are not even stories in the traditional sense. They can transmorph into life lessons, antidotes of memory, and affirmations of how to strive towards a well-balanced life within the light of tomorrow’s dawn.

Anthologies are lightning inside the ether,
one spark of imaginary bliss,
can ignite a fever pitch for quantitative consumption!
– Jorie, of Jorie Loves A Story

I am happy to share with you the book covers of three Seventh Star Press A N T H O L O G I E S I am most anxious to see hit the book blogosphere by storm! Their press releases on the Seventh Star Press blog are directed on their titles. I am hopeful to take part in their virtual tours and I look forward to your return visit on the 8th of April for “Moments in Millennia” as well as watching my Bookish Events page or my Twitter feeds to see when the forthcoming A N T H O L O G I E S on tour will alight here! When you click over to read about the stories contained inside them you will realise why I am as excited about them as I am!

Fantasy Anthologies by Seventh Star Press
Artwork Credit by: Enggar Adirasa
{: Hero’s Best Friend :}
{: Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court,
and A Chimerical World: Tales of the Unseelie Court
:}

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comA bit of an extra surprise for those A to Z Challengers

who patiently awaited my “Letter A”:

Moments in Millennia : A Fantasy Anthology Book Trailer by Xchyler Publishing

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comThank you for joining me on DAY 1 | A to Z Challenge!

I am a girl named Jorie who loves a story!
I am a bookish library girl on a quest for literary enlightenment!
I am predominately self-taught and library educated!
I am Mademoiselle Jorie!
Thank you for joining me on this journey!

This marks my first post for the:

A to Z Challenge

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

And, might I add as an observation on Day 1? 

Bless A to Z Challenge for giving me a way to explore my writerly muse! I want to take a moment to *wave!* a bit to my new visitors from the following countries:

United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Greece, India, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, South Africa, France, & Switzerland! I thank you for dropping by either yesterday on my 1st Blogoversary OR today my first A to Z Challenge!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Would you lament the same as I do?! The brilliance of the revolution of anthologies is to give us a bit of a teaser of a taste of a writer’s style? What do you appreciate the most from reading anthologies!? And, like me, do you ever notice your being pulled towards one author moreso than another!? Do you follow-up your readings of the ‘shorts’ by expanding your knowledge in seeking out full-length novels by the writer who you were hungrily consuming in the collection!? Which writers are most beloved to you right now were originally discovered in an anthology? And, which anthologies do you gravitate to purchase, borrow from the library, or simply sit in a coffeehouse attached to a wicked sweet Indie bookshoppe and peruse!?

{SOURCES: A to Z Challenge Participant & Letter A Badge provided by the A to Z Challenge site for bloggers to use on their individual posts & blogs to help promote the challenge to others.”I Blog Books” badges by Parajunkee Designs is a free resource provided for book bloggers. Cats Are Part of His Kingdom Too devotional tour provided by Editing Through the Seasons and used with permission. Book covers provided by Tomorrow Comes Media & Xchyler Publishing for promotion and review on Jorie Loves A Story; used with permission. The book trailer by Xchyler Publishing had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Post dividers & My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Tuesday, 1 April, 2014 by jorielov in A to Z Challenge, An Editor Point of View, Anthology Collection of Stories, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, British Literature, Classical Literature, Clever Turns of Phrase, Cosy Mystery, Editing Through The Seasons, Fantasy Fiction, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Light vs Dark, MidSummer's Night Dream, Multi-Author Serial Fiction, Passionate Researcher, Romance Fiction, Science Fiction, Seventh Star Press, Silver Hair Sleuths, Steampunk, the Regency era, The Writers Life, William Shakespeare, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Advice & Tips, Writing Style & Voice, Xchyler Publishing