Tag: Edward Ahern

*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 & Reviewer, 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

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