Tag: Cry of the Raven

TopTenTuesday XI | The Top Ten Most Anticipated New Releases for 2020! (thus far!)

Posted Tuesday, 28 January, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 15 Comments

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[Official Blurb] Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature / weekly meme created by The Broke & the Bookish. The meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke & the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your Top 10 Lists! In January, 2018 this meme is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

[Topic of 28th January, 2020:

The Top Ten Most Anticipated New Releases for 2020! (thus far!);

in lieu of Book Cover Freebie as I was delayed writing this
when the topic was originally featured on the 7th of January!]

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Top Ten Most Anticipated New Releases for 2020 banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Today’s entry was inspiring to me for the following reasons:

I’ve been wanting to showcase the STORIES I’ve had my eye on reading for quite a few years now; as each New Year when #TopTenTuesday is hosting one of these lovelies, I’ve wanted to dive into the topic and settle my thoughts on a selection of stories I would most desire to read or would be planning to read in the timeline of the topic’s originating post.

This year is quite special as I came to find out about several #newbooks by already beloved authors which are coming out in early 2020. Some are #newtomeauthors carried forward from [2019] and others are #newtomeauthors arriving in my bookish life in [2020!]; uniquely enough! (big smiles) Several are past, present & forthcoming featured guests on @SatBookChat (the Romance & Women’s Fiction chat I host on Saturdays semi-weekly – at least twice monthly) – whilst one release in particular is a celebration of one author’s adventurous journey in Japan whilst healing and recovering from Cancer.

Each of these stories attracted my eyes for different reasons – which I’ll be happily discussing and revealling throughout the post. Kindly let me know in the comments if I’ve struck your own keen eye of interest and if perhaps we share any mutual #mustreads for 2020 in common OR have any authors we share in our readerly lives we’ve previously discovered!?

I’ll be re-routing through the original post for #TopTenTuesday when this topic originated whilst including it on this week’s linky for everyone to seek out to find.

Let’s all have a rockin’ blast this first half of 2020!

Stay bookishly curious

& may your readerly adventures be as blissful as my own!

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DUE NOTE: all the authors and books on this list are a combination of the stories I have the pleasure of meeting as a book blogger (ie. blog tours, publicists, publishers or direct from authors themselves) with the exception of Kate Elliott, of whom I discovered as a seventeen year old who joined the Science Fiction Book Club (it was mail-order book catalogue club) and found “King’s Dragon” (Book One of the Crown of Stars Saga). Two of these authors are #newtomeauthors – both of whom are upcoming guests during @SatBookChat – Jenni Fletcher and Emma S. Jackson.

Each of the books represented here are stories I hand-picked to be of interest to my own readerly wanderings this first half of 2020 – the press materials featured were given to me to use on this post to celebrate the stories themselve with full permission of the authors who wrote the stories.

In regards to my personal connections to these authors, I have maintained contact with Kate Elliott off/on via Twitter whilst keeping my eyes on her current series and releases; inasmuch as the fact that I had the pleasure of getting to know certain ChocLit authors as we communicated and shared our bookish and writerly lives through my chat (@SatBookChat) – Christina Courtenay, Clare Chase and Janet Gover. With Ms Kaine, I have tried to keep in the loop with her releases but I haven’t had the chance to interact with her as much as the other writers I’ve mentioned.

Susan Spann and Jennifer Silverwood I’ve considered friends over the years where their path and mine have continued to cross. I originally met Ms Spann in @LitChat before reading the very first Shinobi Mystery which was “Claws of the Cat”. Silverwood and I have the same literary wanderings and interests as fellow readers and writers which is why we forged a friendship due to so many mutual interests we have shared. Ms Bacarr and I remained in contact between my first meeting with her during #HistFicChat and after I had read her novel “Christmas Once Again” – happily having her as a featured guest on @SatBookChat this past November, 2019.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with these authors through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I host #SatBookChat and having previously read their stories. 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 or continuing to read their releases as they are available. This also applies to when I am discussing their stories outside of featuring a review.

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The Lawson Sisters by Janet Gover

The Lawson Sisters by Janet Gover
20th January, 2020 (Digital First Release)

A heartfelt and compelling story of family, secrets and second chances, set in the heart of the beautiful Hunter Valley of NSW, from an award-winning voice in Australian fiction.

Family, fortune and holding on to what counts…

For many years Elizabeth Lawson has battled single-handedly to run the family’s historic horse stud in memory of her beloved father. But a devastating loss puts her dreams at risk. With no options left, Liz is forced to turn to her estranged sister Kayla for help.

Kayla has built a new life in the city as a wedding planner, far removed from the stable yard sweat and dust of her rural upbringing. She never thought she’d go back. But when Liz calls out of the blue, Kayla forms a plan that could save their childhood home.

Kayla’s return forces Liz to confront her past … and her future, in the shape of Mitch, her first and only love, who still watches over her from the other side of the creek.

But Liz still hides a terrible secret. When Kayla learns the truth, will the Lawson sisters find common ground or will their conflict splinter the family once again?

I am eagerly awaiting the print release!

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Posted Tuesday, 28 January, 2020 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Memes, JLAS Update Post, Jorie Loves A Story, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Top Ten Tuesday

#Blogmas | feat. #FantasyForChristmas19 showcases | The Ravenwood Saga by Morgan L. Busse

Posted Tuesday, 3 December, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , 1 Comment

#blogmas 2019 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Last year was my first #blogmas where I could focus on hosting the #FantasyForChristmas authors who were writing Fantasy narratives which keenly drew my interest into their series, stories and characters – some were INSPY Fantasy storycrafters, such as today’s featured author Morgan L. Busse.

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Let me share my thoughts about her writing style:

When it comes to High Fantasy (ie. Epic Fantasy), Portal Fantasy and Quest Fantasy – I almost could presume to realise that Ms Busse was about to encompass everything I love from this triple threat of fantastical worlds due to how she places you inside her world. It isn’t just the fact this world feels older than the initial pages you’ve read, it is how she has chosen to let her characters peer at us from their regular habits – they are living their life and we’re observing their life from the outside. I love when writers have this authentic nature about their world-building to where you feel like you’ve slipped the veil and have re-emerged elsewhere; settling into a step with characters you dearly want to know more about and a world which although slightly curious round the edges has its own share of darkness.

Busse does a wonderful job of building the suspenseful arc surrounding the Ravenwood women’s predestined gifting – she has granted the reader an introspective viewing of what happens when you are not willing to blindly accept your fate but rather, with a thoughtful concern for what that fate might imply against your own better nature – to examine it and to sort out where your own allegiances lie within the sphere of the world you were bourne.

She makes you compelled to read the story if only to see where each of the characters are going to take their own stands because this isn’t a fate that you would wish upon yourself or anyone else. It is a question of morality and ethics, too – of what you might be willing to do for the sake of your family but if it goes against an inherent belief of yours? If it crosses that line in the sand where your conscience cannot justify the means of the gift – what do you do then? Its a good plotting to think over and to turn round on yourself whilst your examining the will of Busse’s characters to do the same even if they previously had just succumbed to what they were pushed to do.

I never would have realised her series would be offered on a blog tour during the coming New Year 2019 nor that I would have been selected to host her tour giving me the chance to read the first two novels in the series Mark of the Raven and Flight of the Raven – which I celebrated during our 2nd Year of Wyrd And Wonder.

It is a true honour and joy to re-visit this series for my readers whilst highlighting a few of the reasons why I enjoyed reading the series thus far along and why I have expectations about where the series will be heading from here.

Especially considering being a selection of INSPY Fantasy, I was most interested in seeing how Busse would handle the overtures of a faith-based Fantasy world and how those would interconnect to traditional INSPY narratives which either are Historical or Contemporary in scope.

This story deals with a lot of different themes and topics – from physical violence against women to the implications of manipulating people’s dreams whilst they are in REM sleep. The key elements of the story of course are threading through a lens of INSPY narrative – wherein you know the story is anchoured through a prism of light rather than the darkness afflicting its nature onto the characters as they each must choose which destiny they will either accept, refute or alter given the course of their own conscience choice in the matter affecting their lineage legacies.

You have to seek out the patterns of inspiration to see how this is an INSPY Fantasy novel as it has the markings of a traditional Quest and High Fantasy story arc – wherein the main question permeating through the novel is what choices will Selene make now that her destiny’s out in the open and the layers of its reach are known to her and her mother? It is not overtly INSPY in that there are distinct cross-overlays between Christianity and this fantastical world – there is a hint and a nod towards religion but it isn’t omnipresent in the narrative itself. Except for the concept of the soul and the journey of the soul – wherein is the most spirituality you’ll see as you walk through the story itself.

It is more of a thinking novel about the concepts of spirituality and the concepts of living against your moral fibre as a sentient being who has the conscience walk of the soul within you. The greatest battle of course is between the Dark Lady and the Light – of which you can draw your own conclusions about whom their representing and I loved Busse for giving readers that option of choice.

In direct regard to the INSPY threads of spirituality and faith running in the background of the series – I believe this would appeal to those who have their own spirituality which can be defined or those who are still seeking a path towards knowing where their spirituality lies within their own belief systems. As a Protestant and spiritualist myself, I found it wicked fascinating how she pulled ancient truths together within the framework of this world (only wish I knew what to ‘call this world!’) whilst she layered it within the individual walk her characters must take to not just root out their own legacies within their ancestral lines but to seek out where they each draw their own allegiances between the Light and the Dark Lady. For that is most important of all – here and in our own realities.

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What I found was a very broad overview within the world with a few specific nudges of insight towards how this world has a firm foundation of faith running in the background of how the characters live their lives. In some places, I had hoped they might be a bit more empathise on this side of the story but it is how lush Busse describes this world, the sequencing on focusing on her character’s central arc of growth and the angst that goes with being a warrior – all of that was the beautiful boiling pot towards developing a dramatic thread of a story you simply want more to read as each installment only pulls you so far forward inside their lives. I do go into more details about my takeaways and conclusions on how faith is infused into the series on my reviews for Mark of the Raven & Flight of the Raven as this was just an excerpt from what I previously shared.

This was a series of Fantasy which took me by surprise and hugged me close into its world – I am most eager to see where we transition from here within the pages of Cry of the Raven – which is why today I am thankful to feature an extract from Flight of the Raven to continue to introduce my readers to what I found wicked fascinating about the Ravenwood Saga!

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Mark of the Raven by Morgan BusseFlight of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse

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Published by: Bethany House Publishers (@bethany_house)

an imprint of Baker Publishing Group

The Ravenwood Saga:

Mark of the Raven (book one) | add to LibraryThing

Published: 6th November, 2018 | ISBN: 978-0764232220

Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person’s dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.

As she discovers her family’s dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family’s legacy–a legacy that supports her people–or seeking the true reason behind her family’s gift.

Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.

One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?

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Flight of the Raven (book two) | add to LibraryThing

Published: 30th April, 2019 | ISBN: 978-0764232237

Selene Ravenwood, once the heir to House Ravenwood, is now an exile. On the run and free of her family’s destiny, Selene hopes to find the real reason her family was given the gift of dreamwalking. But first she must adapt to her new life as wife to Lord Damien Maris, the man she was originally assigned to kill.

While adjusting to her marriage and her home in the north, her power over dreams begins to grow. As the strongest dreamwalker to exist in ages, her expanding power attracts not only nightmares but the attention of the Dark Lady herself.

With a war looming on the horizon and a wicked being after her gift, Selene is faced with a choice: embrace the Dark Lady’s offer, or search out the one who gave her the gift of dreamwalking. One path offers power, the other offers freedom. But time is running out, and soon her choice will be made for her.

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Cry of the Raven (book three) | add to LibraryThing

Published: 4th February, 2020 | ISBN: 978-0764232244

Lady Selene Ravenwood has come into her full power as a dreamwalker just as the war with the Dominia Empire begins.

Working with the other Great Houses, Selene and Damien use their gifts to secure the borders and save those devastated by the war. But conflict, betrayal, and hatred begin to spread between the Great Houses, destroying their unity as the empire burns a path across their lands.

At the same time, Damien Maris starts to lose his ability to raise the waters, leaving the lands vulnerable to the empire’s attacks.The only one who can unite the houses and restore her husband’s power is Selene Ravenwood. But it will require that she open her heart to those who have hurt her and let go of her past, despite the one who hunts her and will do anything to stop her power.

Will Selene survive? Or is she destined to fall like the dreamwalkers before her?

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Converse via: #FantasyForChristmas, #FantasyNerd and #EpicFantasy

About Morgan L. Busse

Morgan Busse

Morgan L. Busse is a writer by day and a mother by night. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series, the Carol Award-winning steampunk series, Soul Chronicles, and the Ravenwood Saga, a new fantasy series from Bethany House coming November 2018. During her spare time she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel.

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Posted Tuesday, 3 December, 2019 by jorielov in #blogmas, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours