Tag: H.L. Burke

A special #EnterTheFantastic #FolkloreThursday | Jorie’s affinity for stories set in and round ‘Cinderella’ come together in H.L. Burke’s new release “Ashen”!

Posted Thursday, 17 September, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Guest Contributor and/or Reviewer of JLAS banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!!

Welcome to my [special] Enter the Fantastic guest feature rooted in the lore and appeal of ‘Cinderella’ which happily befits #FolkloreThursday! I cannot recollect how old I was when I first drew a close connection to Cinderella – both the character and her story, however, as a teenager, the actress I’ve realised this week could have been my elder sis, respun this lovely tale into the beauty of what became ‘Ever After’. I can never tire of that adaptation due to the brilliant way in which Drew Barrymore gave life and depth to Danielle as much as how the film honoured both the character of Cinderella and re-told the tale in such a Feminist driven plotting – you cannot help but take stock of *everything!* contained within it!

I am, unfortunately a day late and a dollar short as they say – I was meant to feature this lovely guest post by an author I first ‘met’ during #WyrdAndWonder 2019 – wherein I read this wickedly wonderful Fantasy Romance! My first! And, it sealed the deal I wanted to be reading more of her stories – (do yourself a favour and find out what drew me into her world of the fey) as I happily featured her during my bookish chat @SatBookChat as well!

The key reason I wanted to host her this September on this unexpected blog tour (thank you, Ms Burke for announcing it in your author’s newsletter!) is because I had already slated myself to finally dive back into the first novel in her duology “Daughter of Sun, Bride of Ice” – a unique Fantasy storyline I had hoped to listen and review last year, but had to keep pushing it forward until I could lay heart and mind into the storyline. I requeued this for #SelfPubFantasyMonth (my first year to join the celebrations!) during September as I’ve been wanting to re-explore Fantasy and the fantastical realms I love being a traveller ever since Wyrd And Wonder concluded this year and I fell short of my end goals. (courtesy of my neverending chronic migraines which love to rage during *May!* the height of pollen season! OY!)

Let me give a short recap of my ‘Wednesday’ which ought to have been a proper ‘manic Monday’ instead – woke by 630a, wherein a two hour appointment turnt into seven whilst the whole day round was one near disaster after another and all told, I didn’t get back home til after 10p! The key reason this post was delayed wasn’t due to my insane Wednesday – it was due to the fact my connectivity went fully wonk yesterday afternoon shortly after receiving confirmation about this lovely guest post as this blog tour was assembled quite fast compared to other tours I’ve hosted wherein I had more than half a day to prep to share it. I didn’t get on til after midnight rounding out my day to a full 18+ hours!!

Ergo, forgive the delay but let’s celebrate why you’ve landed on Jorie Loves A Story! I could not have done more if I desired it and I shared this as quick as I could wherein having my connectivity resolved was one nightmaric obstacle I was thankful I didn’t have to worry over for another day!

If you love CINDERELLA, wait til you meet the characters within ASHEN –

Ashen Quote graphic provided by Uncommon Universes Press and is used with permission.

And yet, before we can do that, we need to better understand how ASHEN was bourne! Brew yourself a lovely cuppa, dear hearts and let’s drink in Ms Burke’s words together about how she cobbled together a story which was sparked out of the COLD!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A special #EnterTheFantastic #FolkloreThursday | Jorie’s affinity for stories set in and round ‘Cinderella’ come together in H.L. Burke’s new release “Ashen”!Ashen
by H.L. Burke

Stealer of warmth, bringer of death. What if Cinderella had a secret that kept her locked away?

Unable to make her own body heat, foundling Lizbete survives in the tavern kitchen, drawing warmth from the fires, the sun—and sometimes, other living beings. Her days are spent cooking alongside the tavern owner and avoiding the suspicious gazes of the villagers in her small northern town. While she quietly longs for the handsome Brynar, she knows she has no chance with the mayor’s son, even if he invites her to the First Frost festival.

When sudden earthquakes strike Brumehome, blame falls upon Lizbete, and not even her friendship with Brynar can protect her. She finds shelter in the dangerous caverns of nearby Ash Mountain. There she discovers mysterious people with her same ability to draw heat—and a fiery doom in the mountain that slowly awakens with every quake.

Now the festival Lizbete thought to avoid is her only chance to warn the villagers. Yet even with Brynar at her side, can the strange girl dubbed the Ash Lizard hope to save the town that fears her?

A rugged YA Cinderella retelling set in a fantasy world with light steampunk elements.

Genres: After Canons, Classical Literature, Fairy-Tale Re-Telling, Fantasy Fiction, Inspired by Stories (Author/Book), Re-telling &/or Sequel


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B08CZZFKKX

Also by this author: To Court A Queen

Published by Uncommon Universes Press

on 22nd September, 2020

Published by: Uncommon Universes Press (@UncommonUnivers)

Genre(s): Folklore & Fairytales, After Canon Stories, Reinventing Cinderella

Converse via: #FolkloreThursday, #Mythothon and #Cinderella
as well as #Ashen, #Fantasy and #Classics

About H.L. Burke

H.L. Burke

Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and was always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

So, the inspiration for Ashen. (Cracks knuckles)

Heidi was Cold and had NO MARINE so she wrote an MC that couldn’t get cuddles to take it out on her. The end.

K, I’m done. I can has cookie … wait, no, apparently this post needs more words. Um, hmm ….

In early 2019, a knee injury made it impossible for my husband to continue his military career. While he started separation paperwork (from the military, not us, but … yeah, spoilers, the military kept us separated off and on for almost a year), the plan was for me to move up to Oregon with the girls, look for a house, get them started in school, and then he’d join us once his retirement was finalized.

We left for Oregon in May. Matt didn’t join us (except for short visits) until March of 2020.

In the meantime, I did get a house: an older one that I love for it’s quirkiness and personality, but yeah … in the winter it’s drafty.

So there I was, in a house that could get fairly cold at night, with no husband to snuggle up against, and I started thinking about a protagonist whose primary issue is that she’s cold. Why is she cold? Maybe she can’t get near people because she takes their heat. She’s a heat vampire. Maybe it can get to the point where she can accidentally freeze someone to death if she touches them for too long …

And from that sprang Lizbete, a lonely little sad floof who just wants to connect with others but is afraid to because her need to draw heat from external sources makes her a danger to those closest to her.

Then she started hanging out in the ashes by the fire, and I was like, “Dang, people are going to think that’s a Cinderella reference … maybe it IS. Oh gosh … this is a Cinderella retelling.”

My husband is home now, by the way (thanks for asking). And (without being too spoilery), I promise Lizbete also gets her happy ending.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Ashen Quote graphic provided by Uncommon Universes Press and is used with permission.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

I, admit, when I learnt where the Burke’s were living right now, I shuddered because my heart, my very soul has been so dearly attached to newsfeeds via streaming news services out of Oregon for the past fortnight (at least!) that I feel as if I’m going through the whole atrocity with them! My heart was in full grief that for the second time this year the environment, the landscape and the lives of the persons living in the path of wildfires were being irrevocably affected by what the fires are afflicting on the wildlife and on the humans who are falling victim to the fire.

I’ve been to Oregon – I LOVED Oregon and the whole Pacific Northwest (PNW) as the climate was so much more gentler than were I am myself – you couldn’t find the sun if you tried back then (in the late 90s) and blessedly it was not humid, nor hot and in the middle of June it was a blustery environ of oceanic breezes and the chilly comfort of overcast grey skies with a chill in the air as the natural thermostat was in the low 50s! It was my own bit of Heaven,…

This makes it even more special I think to help book boost an author whose living there and dealing with such a heavy load – not just the wildfires of today, but as you’ve read, she had to shoulder the relocation *and!* the adjustment of waiting out her husband’s retirement! The strength that takes and the toll it can have on your person is incredible. I am full of gratitude for her sacrifices and for his service.

I didn’t understand the theme of the post at first – let’s just blame my inability to see her cheekified humour on soldiering through a bluster of a migraine this week, too much personal IRL stress and a newfound joy of finding out I can BAKE a SCONE. Okay, that last bit? That’s the bright rainbow of joyfulness that marked a turning of tides this week, wells, til you know, Wednesday arrived and you would have found me at sixes and sevens – running round ragged and pushing through heat exhaustion because you know, Summer has a wrath of the volcanic on you! Throw in a few birds of prey, a real bonefide rainbow and some unexpected blessings today and it rounded out to a lovely day despite the angst and the afflicted way in which I felt the day would never end.

I finally caught on to her humour and it was a refreshing look into how she approaches her craft of writing whilst giving out a personal antidote from the life behind the books as Ms Burke has somehow managed to achieve what I haven’t yet – write and continue to develop her writerly craft whilst living through circumstances that would give the impression you might not feel as creatively inclined to accomplish anything at all. I give full credit to all creatives who can push through that kind of incredible weight of stress and circumstance and produce wicked incredible stories – Ms Burke is one author to keep your eyes on — she’s going to surprise you and I hope you’ll find the stories she’s penning as entertaining as I do!

Meanwhile, despite the rocky start to hosting for this lovely Indie Press, I am hopeful they’ll forgive my delay to post as I’d love to continue to work with them on future blog tours. I love championing Indie Publishers & Press as much as Indie & Self published authors – as throughout the past seven years on Jorie Loves A Story, those are the creative economists and storycrafters I take great pride in discovering, reading and being a book cheerleader for as I expand my literary horizons.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A reader’s thoughts on behalf of ASHEN:

Although this Cinderella retelling twists them into something quite different, it retains most of the traditional elements of the story; the girl given a nick-name due to being covered in ashes, the cruel guardian, the “ball” attended in disguise, shoes of glass and the giant lava-dwelling fire octopus.

OK, so that last one isn’t usually part of the story but it really ought to be. The story flows easily from the first page effortlessly drawing you in and keeping you enthralled right through to the end. -LJ

I don’t usually share a quote by another reviewer, however, in this particular case I could not miss the chance to share this one – as I felt she captured it brilliantly how attached we insta-feel towards Burke’s writings. I know I felt that way last year! And, of course, I cannot wait to read ASHEN but it might take me a bit before I can bring a copy of it home. I definitely hope to fetch a copy via my library but for now, I’m wicked happy I can champion it on the blog tour!

Am I the only one who WISHED the octopi was real?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This guest feature is courtesy of: Uncommon Universes Press

Ashen and Met By Midnight Blog Tour Banner provided by Uncommon Universes Press and is used with permission.

Kindly seek out more travellers of the fantastical to gain more insight off this lovely blog tour – whilst finding yourself wickedly delighted by what you find! As you click through the tour banner, you will find links to guide your route! Plus, you’ll find a link to the Facebook Launch Party – I can’t go as I’m on #bookTwitter but GO if you are on Facebook!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#EnterTheFantastic banner created by Jorie in Canva.

This guest feature is part of my continuous journey to #EnterTheFantastic!

Visit my full archive for ALL my #EnterTheFantastic wanderings!
– or take a walkabout through my archive for everything deemed wickedly fantastical!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

{SOURCES: Book cover for “Ashen”, book synopsis, author guest post, promo quote badges for “Ashen”, blog tour banner as well as the review extract were all provided by the publisher Uncommon Universes Press and are used with permission. The author photo and biography were previously provided by H.L. Burke and are used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Guest Posts and Reviews banner, #EnterTheFantastic banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life

Divider

Posted Thursday, 17 September, 2020 by jorielov in After the Canon, Author Guest Post (their topic), Blog Tour Host, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight, Classical Literature, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Re-Told Tales, Uncommon Universes Press

Co-hosting Year Three | #WyrdAndWonder is the soul lift we all need right now! Come find out how #JorieReads Fantasy & reclaims her readerly joy whilst she hosts #IndieAuthors throughout the event!

Posted Sunday, 3 May, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder 2020 event banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

As you can see – a NEW year of #WyrdAndWonder is upon us – as Imyril, Lisa & Jorie help fill your life with more Fantasy than you can dive into in a singular month – giving you even more reasons why you love disappearing into realms of fantastical delight! This is the singular month which is anchoured to our love of Science Fiction (ie. celebrated during @SciFiMonth) wherein we get to bring everyone together to dip into the waters of Speculative Fiction which tackle thematics, subniches of genre & unique storylines threading through Fantasy.

These stories are generally focused on our readerly lives – as book bloggers Wyrd And Wonder started off as a book blogosphere celebration explosion of #Fantasy Lit love – however, in the ensuing years since we first began this fantastical adventure in [2018] we’ve happily encouraged our participants to celebrate Fantasy wherever they can find it – in walkabout graffiti (see also tweet), in the world of Dungeons & Dragons (see also post) – which are a few examples of this year’s revelations or in any of the numerous motion pictures, television series, sound for motion picture or television, graphic novels, audiobooks, fashion and/or an eclectic mix of artistic expressions, styles and mediums.

And, this of course is only the tip of the iceberg!

Fantasy truly is much more than a genre – it is an exploration of hidden worlds & themes which are universally appealling to a wide audience – crossing through all boundaries and uniting everyone together who finds a niche of Fantasy their jam. This is why we wanted to create a happy space to celebrate this wicked wonderful section of Speculative Fiction – to find the joy in what others are finding for themselves & uniting together to highlight every which way to Sunday Fantasy gives us a burst of #randomJOY and lifts our souls!

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

This #WyrdAndWonder – I have a key sub-focus on interest in pursuing #dragonfiction & celebrating the #dragons – past & present I’ve either come to love and/or desire to meet & greet in the near future! I am contemplating hosting a readalong for two different novels of dragon fiction as well – whilst I’ll be making my final announcement about this on Monday, 4th May – this weekend, I’m musefully lost in my #WyrdAndWonder TBR!

I have stories leftover from Years One & Two whilst I have a few new additions for Year Three. I’ve been stalked (thanks for the brilliant way of referencing this, Imyril) by my chronic migraines throughout the years and months of Wyrd And Wonder – never letting that stop me from participating – it has had a few wrinkles of angst where I couldn’t always finish the stories and/or posts I had in queue. Last year was quite awful with a high yield of 5x but although this Wyrd And Wonder started off on a two day migraine & severe Spring pollen allergies attacking me head – I’m walking into the event with a chin held high. I mean, alternatively who wants to abandon the joy at this point? Not I. Never! I mean – seriously, migraines & Spring allergies are a part of my life and although they drive me batty I refuse to abort my plans – which is why I’m a diehard Wyrd And Wonder’er every year! Laughs.

I’m taking my cues from this lovely dishy post about ALL the ways in which you can read FANTASY (thanks again to my co-hosts Imyril & Lisa for finding it) – in order to map out my 2020 Wyrd And Wonder TBR! Won’t you join me? Let’s go on a walkabout of fantastical proportions and see where #JorieReads this Wyrd And Wonder as the 3rd Year kicks-off!

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

Wyrd And Wonder 2020 banner created by Imyril. Image Credit: Flaming phoenix by Sujono Sujono from <a href="https://www.123rf.com">123RF.com</a>.
Wyrd And Wonder 2020 banner created by Imyril.
Image Credit: Flaming phoenix by Sujono Sujono from 123RF.com.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Welcome to *Wyrd & Wonder*

Imyril, Lisa and I have delightfully planned a wicked #awesomesauce month of FANTASY celebration for you! This marks our 3rd Year co-hosting #WyrdAndWonder and we couldn’t be happier knowing we have more participants this 3rd Year as well as renewed interest in the events we’ve planned.

Before I share with you what I’ll be reading this lovely Wyrd And Wonder – I wanted to take a moment to tell you which lovely authors I’ll be hosting on my blog and/or through my chat @SatBookChat! This year, I wanted to reach out to authors I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading but am happily discovering through the Indie Publisher @OdysseyBooks (visit their website) – whilst I have the opportunity to read two of their authors and host them during Wyrd And Wonder!

Per my tradition during #WyrdAndWonder – I love to give Indie Fantasy Authors a chance to have their stories showcased – either through my readings of their stories and/or via guest features or chats during #SatBooKChat. This year, I happily am carrying on the tradition whilst giving my heart an uplift as I wasn’t sure until recently if I could pull this part of my plans off! I am so dearly grateful to Odyssey Books and their lovely authors who have been responding to my emails.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The authors by this publisher you’ll happily see on my blog this year are as follows:

* Felicity Banks (The Monster Apprenctice)
@FBanksBooks | Website

* Elizabeth Foster (Esme’s Wish)
@e_foster3 | Website

* Carolyn Denman (Songlines)
@CDenmanAuthor | Website

* K.J. Taylor (The Shadow of the Skytree)
@WorldStitcher | Website

* Kathryn Gossow (Cassandra)
@KathrynGossow | Website

* Rachel Nightingale (Harlequin’s Riddle)
@NightingaleRA | Website

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

One author you’ve might have already caught sharing some of his own fantastical interests via our #WyrdAndWonder feeds is Owen Crane. He reached out to me via my Review Request page directly and this set me on a course to receive his novel to read & review but I’ve also selected him as one of my Fantasy Indie Authors to host during #SatBooKChat! You can follow his feeds via @owencrane.

For those of you who haven’t yet visited with me on Saturdays – I host a Romance & Women’s Fiction book chat called #SatBookChat – we meet-up @ 11a NYC | 4p UK/Ireland | 8a West Coast USA | 1a Australia – wherein this New Year 2020 I decided to enlarge our focus to all stories within all genres which feature strong female characters and/or have a presence within Feminist Fiction. Speculative Fiction is one category next to INSPY I’ve been wanting to grow via @SatBookChat and this 3rd Year of Wyrd And Wonder – I am very close to announcing my schedule for when you’ll be able to interact with the 3x authors I’ve selected to be featured this May!

I am awaiting confirmations on dates – look for a special announcement post & s/o via my Twitter feeds this coming week – as our first guest will be on Saturday, the 9th! What you need to know is to stalk the tag #SatBookChat before your time zone collides with NYC (11a) EST and once the chatter starts to begin – kindly contribute your own questions & happily join the discussion by adding our tag #SatBookChat to your tweets. Unlike in past years, I am not going to have us *thread the convo via #WyrdAndWonder’s tag as it was a bit harder to add both tags into the convo & have the discussion feel uncluttered. I will be archiving the chats again this month – so if you miss the chats as they run, you will have a chance to ‘re-read’ through the archived edition wherein you can respond with the tag to the author and/or the other participants who took part in the chat itself.

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
Divider

Posted Sunday, 3 May, 2020 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Fantasy Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

#TheSundayPost VII | Just your average book blogger celebrating her seven years being socially engaged online!

Posted Sunday, 16 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 12 Comments

The Sunday Post badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

[Official Blurb] The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog. This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little. Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies. Link up once a week or once a month, you decide. Book haul can include library books, yard sale finds, arcs and bought books..share them!

  • Enter your link on the post-
  • Sundays beginning at 12:01 am (CST) (link will be open all week)
  • Link back to this post or this blog
  • Visit others who have linked up
  • Read this week’s #TheSundayPost!

A note about the format I am using to journal #TheSundayPost:

I am finding I like being able to give my readers who cannot visit my blog each time a new post, review or guest feature goes live a digest journal of what is happening on #JLASblog each week! If you are familiar with the style in which I journal my readerly adventures via #WWWednesdays (see also Archive) you’ll know why I like this journalled style for #TheSundayPost!

It’s a way of talking about what is bookishly on my mind whilst sharing where my travels in Fiction & Non-Fiction took me through the last seven days! Quite stellar – so very thankful I was encouraged to participate as I love being able to think about which stories settled into my heart and which of the stories I am most eager to see arrive by postal mail and/or via audiobook! It’s a bit of a lovely way to journal your bookish life and have a weekly reminder of the experiences of you’ve gathered and love to remember! In regards to getting back into the groove with #WWWeds – I’m either going to make the meme bi-monthly or monthly which I’ll decide within the next fortnight.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

And, then,…

Jorie finally returns to journalling her weekly bookish adventures,…

Finding the motivation to write #TheSundayPost has been a bit tricky the past few years, which is why you’ve noticed a staunch reduction in posts alighting in my feeds! I had a lot of good  intentions to resume this lovely meme I was enjoying participating in but structuring it the way I wanted to have my weekly journalled notes to appear on my blog was part of the issue and the other half of it really is that I have a lot to shuffle behind-the-blog so to speak (we all do,..) to where I was thankful I had the hours I needed to maintain Jorie Loves A Story but when it came to writing up supplemental posts and keeping in step with the memes I love to blog about – long ago, I realised something had to ‘give’ and these were the posts I had to put on hiatus.

Some months I thought I might be able to return to them sooner, so there are a few notes here or there saying “#TheSundayPost” is returning this week or that week, but no, they haven’t returnt until now! I have a lot of news I never had the chance to share from past reading challenges or past milestones of the blog – I might tuck those into some retrospective posts as the months move forward. For now, I simply wanted to try to recapture a bit of what has been going on since January and then, I’ll tackle what I want to share from [2019-back].

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Parajunkee Designs

*UPcoming!* blog & Twitter milestones:

(celebrating my 7th Year as a book blogger and joyful tweeter : dates to remember!)

I created my blog on the 31st of March, 2013 – my blogoversary!

I launched it LIVE to the world on 6th August, 2013 – my blog’s birthday!

I waited til the 13th of November, 2013 to join Twitter – my #twitterversary!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

I almost cannot believe *seven years!* have elapsed since I first created this idea I had for a book blog and undertook the journey of what has emerged through seeking out the bookish and readerly adventures I’ve curated ever since I first started to blog my bookish and geeky life wayy back in [2013] !! I hadn’t known then how my life would be tenfold #blessed by the authors, their stories and the bookish culture I would endeavour to become a part of until I was into my first few years as a book blogger. There was no guide and blueprint towards sorting out this book blogosphere world nor the twitterverse where I undertook getting socially chatty on a platform I never expected I’d take like a duck to water to explore, engage and carve out my own joyfully tweeting presence seven years in the making!

I’ve worked with publishers in the United States, Canada, the UK and aboard whilst I have had the chance to get to host blog tours with genre focused blog touring companies inasmuch as innovative and insightful touring companies who either focus on select works of Fiction, Non-Fiction and Poetry. Each step of the way, I was not just hosting blog tours or seeking stories for review consideration but I was endeavouring with each opportunity which crossed my path to read deeper and to seek out the stories which :pushed: me into new horizons of literary exploration. For me, that was always the key goal: to find the stories being writ by the authors who are giving me a wicked good read!

I never knew if I could balance my online readerly life the same way I balance my IRL readerly life – but I have found being a hybrid reader has had its best benefits because I can move between mainstream and INSPY offerings by publishers, publicists, authors, agents and touring companies quite easily. Each year, I have decided to seek out new adventures and to re-shift what I wanted to focus on – I started to reduce how many blog tours I would host each month back in [2016] something I happily maintained until this February [2020] where I slide back into a bit of a chaotic blog schedule! (laughs)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Through the years, I’ve disclosed snippets of my walk in faith, my struggles of being a migraineur (someone who has chronic migraines) and have found that I love hosting guest features where I get to interview different guests – authors, editors, narrators (of audiobooks), actors (for Indie Film projects) and other creatives who have crossed my path. I still love blogging the heart out of the stories I am reading – not just to examine the story as a discerning reader myself but to truly give a strong impression about what I found inside the story in order to help someone else choose whether or not the story I’ve read and blogged about is a good ‘fit’ for their own readerly curiosities. As we all gravitate towards different stories at different times – we all dance through genres and literary styles – a book which appeals to us today might not resonate with us when we go to read it, etc. I find I love visiting with the book bloggers who give me something to ‘chew on’ as I’m reading their blogs – from their reviews, to their guest features to their discussion posts. I want to know more than the surface layer of their reactions to stories and that is what I try to bring to my own readers here on Jorie Loves A Story. (and yes, the “a” is purposefully shown in caps!) Read More

Divider

Posted Sunday, 16 February, 2020 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Birthdays & Blogoversaries, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Memes, JLAS Update Post, Jorie Loves A Story, Photography of Jorie, Spontaneous Musings, Stories of Jorie, The Sunday Post

#SatBookChat Spotlight | featured guest H.L. Burke returns to #JLASblog in this featured introduction of her #Fantasy worlds & is discussing them during #SatBookChat!

Posted Saturday, 25 January, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

#SatBookChat 25 January 2020 banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Remember last year during #WyrdAndWonder, I read this delishly spunky Fantasy Romance I truly felt entertained by & lovingly had a wicked sweet time reviewing? The title of this beaut of a novel was “To Court A Queen” and it hit every mark I could have hoped for in a Fantasy Romance novel! I was dearly impressed, awestruck by the world-building and rounded out my review layering in all the lovelies we, who read Fantasy, love finding in our fantastical worlds! It was full of intrigue, a slow burn romance and the kind of cheeky humour which leaves me in stitches!!

You might have already recognised through my bookish showcases & reviews for the first two years of #WyrdAndWonder – I’m quite the discerningly particular reader of Fantasy Fiction! I *love!* certain kinds of world-building and there is a definitive style of Fantasy narrative I am seeking that I do not always find available when I go hunting for a new author | series | story to read. Hence why discovering Ms Burke through #ReviewPit was such a cornerstone of joy during #WyrdAndWonder! She truly has honed in on what we want to seek out, what Fantasy readers can appreciate about spinning a world out of our hopeful imaginations & give us a wicked good read in the process!

To Court A Queen by H.L. Burke

A Fairy Tale Romance

He doesn’t want to get married, but he wants to be a frog even less.

Knight errant, Devin, takes a shortcut through the woods, only to be captured by fairy forces. The fairy queen has run out of breathing males to fight for her hand, and Devin, while not ideal fairy stock, is breathing–for now.

Telling a vain fairy queen you’d rather not be her one true love is a ticket to life on a lilypad, so the knight agrees to face three challenges to win Queen Agalea’s hand. When a clever servant girl offers to help him navigate the trials in order to stop the constant bloodshed of the courtship ritual, Devin jumps at the chance. However, as he balances “flirting” with his “beloved” and overcoming tasks specifically designed to kill him, he finds his heart drawn to his new partner in survival.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This novel & author were also a part of

my Top Favourite #NewToMeAuthors of 2019!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

If you’ve missed my previous ruminations about “To Court A Queen” let me share this ahead of #SatBookChat this Saturday morning:

I truly found this #IndieAuthor to be #unputdownable because Burke understands what I personally *love!* to seek out of a Fantasy Romance! Not just that – it is how she layered you into the world-building, gave you two characters who despite being individually quirky worked well together as a team – whilst having this set in an unsuspecting place which was wondrously created by Burke’s eye for fantastical detail.

I will be looking forward to collecting more of her stories & taking new journeys into where her imagination leads me to follow!

In regards to the world being built within this world of the fey:

Uniquely, there is a running shortage of approachable and available men who are willing to do the Queen’s bidding – by taking a stake of claim towards her consort position and find a way not to get killed in the process! Whilst she’s holding court, you can see the different kinds of fey who are represented – by their style of dress, their hair colour and the ways in which they dress, braid their hair and otherwise present themselves.

Winged hounds were a new creature for me to experience! I love when that happens – as it is such a special treat to come across a new fantastical species or creature you haven’t yet had the joy in becoming acquainted previously!

The background texture of the story is lush and vibrant; from the way the rooms are outfitted to the design of the aesthetic for the Queen’s residence hall(s). There is a lot of attention to the finer details here and I loved tucking close to the descriptive details.

on the fantastical musings of speculative novelist h.l. burke:

In the author’s own words she’s declared the following about “To Court A Queen”: Enjoy a Fairy Tale Romance that’s like “The Princess Bride” combined with “Ella Enchanted” plus a LOT of snark, a cat-elf, & a knight who is way too Han Solo for his own good!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

And, here are my thoughts about how to best describe her fantastically humourous writing style which brokers on the edge of satire and envelopes itself into a bit of snark round the edges!

One of the descriptive attributes Burke wrote into her story is where Devin compares himself to a moth to the distaste of the Queen as she sees his humanness to be a detriment but not to the extent she will remove him from her Court or from testing him as potential consort to her throne! There are a lot of tongue-in-check exchanges with a pulse of satire threading through the dialogue – something I was looking forward to each step of the way because Burke’s characters have a light-heartedness about them. They believe strongly in their lives and the causes they wish to champion but at the same time there is a threading of nonchalance and full-on sarcasm which isn’t lost on me.

I had a feeling the comedic timing to the discussions is partially to cover over the fact the Queen has a decidedly different end game for those who fail her miserably! I know the evil side of the fey as you don’t have to look too hard to uncover that side of their nature – whilst there are a few who walk in the Light, most of the fey side with the Dark. Even if it is under the benign covering of seeking a mate who’d be in equal status of the Queen, you had to think there was something quite nefarious happening at the same time. Why would a Queen simply agree to ‘any odd male’? That you had to wonder about the most whilst you continued to watch Devin grow deeper into this quagmire he caused for himself!

I even liked how she created this species of elves (ie. thus known as ‘cat-elves’ by Devin who likes to get a rile of ire out of them!) who are less than gracious about being referred to as ‘cat-elves’ as I suppose from their perspective that might not be a very endearing name to be called? It was still clever though because it added another layer to this world wherein she’s built a whole society of fey and fairy – where Sevaine represents another part of this kingdom and where the Queen represents the other half. Uniquely there are also loop holes of how those who are ingenious enough can outwit the Queen – though, I had suspected that might be a false-safety on their part as after awhile wouldn’t she wise up to their plottings?

Want to know something keenly ironic? I didn’t really feel this was a snarky story! In fact, I saw it more laden with satire and wicked brilliant humour than I did the snark? There are just some Speculative Fiction novelists out there who are writing stories which work well with my own sense of humour apparently – I now consider H.L. Burke, Leanne Leeds (from #ReviewPit alum) joining the ranks of Ms Chris (E. Chris Garrison), AshleyRose Sullivan, RJ Sullivan and Jennifer Silverwood in my admiration society for comedic and dramatic Fantasy which happily makes me blissfully happy to reside inside!

-a quote from my review of To Court A Queen

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

As I was setting up the conversation for #SatBookChat today, I wanted to give a well-rounded introduction to the collective worlds & storycrafting style of Ms Burke similar in vein to how I encaptured the stories & series of Vivian Conroy during her initial chat with @SatBookChat!

Ms Burke doesn’t limit herself to Fantasy Romance – she likes to carve out a niche of Fantasy which does strike a romantic balance within her story-lines but overall, she’s a multi-focused Fantasy novelist who is crafting worlds of wonderment which also parlay into such niches of focus to treat your readerly delights like flavourings of Steampunk, Historical Theatre Sci-Fantasy, Sorcery & Magic and of course, short stories which spark your curiosity to seek out her larger works! There is a bit of fey and a dash of whimsical – you only have to visit her website & blog to seek out the ‘right read’ for your Speculative heart to enjoy discovering!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

I hope you’ve brewed a cuppa to enjoy the information on this spotlighted post in conjunction with @SatBookChat whilst taking time to visit our past chats archived via the Moments on the chat’s feeds via Twitter. This chat will be archived after it concludes and a bit lateron from there to allow everyone the chance to interact, share and respond.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Without further adieu,
I give you the latest #SatBookChat spotlight
wherein you can learn a bit more about the author & her story.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Magician's Rivalry by H.L. Burke

Cross-released across ALL platforms: print, ebook & audio!

The synopsis for the Spellsmith & Carver series:

Academy trained Auric Spellsmith and small town apprentice Jericho Carver couldn’t be more different, but that doesn’t stop them from wanting the same thing.

When Auric left his rural home and his father’s magic shop to study with the great magicians of the republic, he never expected to be replaced, let alone by the barely educated nephew of the local carpenter. Returning home to find his rightful inheritance in jeopardy—and his beloved baby sister flirting with his new rival—Auric knows he has to prove to his father that he’s the better magician—and the better man.

Jericho scratched his way out of poverty and abuse, and he’s not going to let some bookish city boy send him running back to his boards and hammers. With his future, and his ability to court the woman of his dreams, at stake, he’s ready to play dirty … or at least sit back and let the impulsive and temperamental Auric set himself on fire trying to do basic magic Jericho could do with his eyes closed.

Their rivalry might burn Spellsmith Manor down around them … or it might prove the key to unlocking a long held family secret and saving a world that doesn’t even realize it’s in danger.

A three book gaslamp fantasy series with friendship, humor, and adventure, Spellsmith & Carver takes the Buddy Comedy to magical new heights.This collection includes all three books of the series plus two additional short stories.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Divider

Posted Saturday, 25 January, 2020 by jorielov in #SatBookChat, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event