Tag: A. Christopher Drown

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!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

{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 & Reviewer, 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