Tag: Indy Writes Books

The Sunday Post | No.3 | I am so wholly consumed by “The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds”!

Posted Sunday, 30 July, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 6 Comments

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

My participation in this meme was directly inspired by my new bookish friends: Avalinah + Savanah via this post!

[Official Blurb] The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ 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

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

Hallo, Hallo, dear hearts!

I am so wholly consumed by “The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds”!

I can honestly say, the ONLY book I have been reading this week is Ms Siak’s – of which I was even talking about during #ChocLitSaturday – as once you find a story whose narrative has a way of washing over you to such a degree of joy, you find every opportunity you can to talk about it. I was also trying to inspire some readers to pick it up for themselves, as it’s one of the most beautiful cultural exchanges of tradition and identity. I am truly captured by the metaphoric folklore, the dramatic story-line and the way in which Chye Hoon continues to grow, mature and develop as a woman on the verge of different transitions in her life. Not just in girlhood but also to mumhood and finding the strength to realise her own worth in what she can do to help her family. It’s one of those stories you cannot read quickly – the narrative is dense and alive with this woman’s life story to where you want to let her experiences soak through you in order to gain the full effect of the novel.

Whilst I wasn’t reading this story, I was thinking about what I wanted to talk about during my guest post for #AustenInAugust – as this was the first year I decided I might fancy contributing something to the event. I do not often write guest features on blogs, but this year, I felt I might give it a try and I ended up with a piece I am hoping others can relate too.

I caught sight of a way I could start to work on my own writings – a new idea which materialised to mind and heart as soon as I saw a project I wanted to become a part of – if I could – which has a bit of a tight deadline. I am going to start to flesh together my initial idea this week and next, whilst honing in on the research I want to do to make sure I get things accurate. The interesting bit to note though is that this project is the first I’ve taken on in nine years as a writer. If you discount Jorie Loves A Story, as I started blogging five years after I won Nanowrimo. It is high time I start to get back into the groove of where my pen inspires me to embrace my own creative worlds and characters. I’ve felt this coming on for awhile now – but perhaps this is the Summer for sorting it out?

I also found myself on Twitter quite a bit this week at key moments where something quite extraordinary was happening – whether this meant a threaded conversation, a life-affecting historical decision of the Senate or the realistic artistic portrayal of animatronics in Canada – this was the week, where it would appear being socially engaged on Twitter is a happenstance blessing for anyone in the 21st Century!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Celebrating the 1st Year Anniversary of “Sari & A Single Malt”:

Saris and a Single Malt by Sweta Srivastava Vikram

I still remember how evocative this collection was to read, how powerfully stirring the poems were to find inside this raw and honest collection of poetry. I’ve been blessed many times over through my participation on Poetic Book Tours showcasing Contemporary Poets, of whom, I would not have otherwise crossed paths. This is what originally inspired me to work with Ms Cox, as I loved her philosophy of finding the story-tellers you might overlook or never discover, if her keen eye hadn’t first introduced you to their collective works. She works yearly with poets and the story-tellers who choose Small Trade & Indie routes of publishing.

Read the Guest Post by Ms Vikram

Saris and a Single Malt is a slimline paperback collection of poetry, speaking to the humble heart of truths where life and death merge into the legacy of a soul. The collection is precipitated by a quotation about ‘life, loss, and recovery’ where you gather the ending result for the author is in accord with it’s truism about how as devastating as loss can bleed your heart and affect your emotional well-being, there is a turning tide where all will become calm, where memories return and love forevermore is a lasting impression upon your heart. Healing takes time, as hours cannot be measured nor grasped how long a period is needed to recover from the shock of a loved one’s absence and their death which permanently shook them out of our everyday reality.

In an unusual method of cathartic release, the poems, connective thoughts and essays are presented in a living sphere of conscious and emotional anguish as the author herself, flew back home to India to say her good-byes to her mother. An emotionally raw moment for anyone to come to terms with the sudden death of their Mum, much less for a writer whose pen can sometimes become unable to compel the words to fit against a blank page – somewhere in that emotional chaos, Vikram found her path towards healing her mind, spirit and heart through the words she’s left behind inside Saris and a Single Malt.

Quoted from my Review of Saris and a Single Malt

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Quotes from the Blog Tour:

Chick with Books said of the collection, “Heartfelt, raw, honest and thought-provoking.”

Jorie Loves A Story said, “Vikram bleeds her emotions through words.”

Taken from this portion of my review: A harbinger of solemnity and of the truth of realising that you cannot escape the sorrows of your life, Vikram bleeds her emotions through the words of “I Write” with such heart-wrenching clarity as to be accurately representative of what you feel inside that moment of ‘how does time renew itself from here?’ How does one recover themselves to the point where ‘getting on’ with life doesn’t feel so empty and apathetic?

Diary of an Eccentric said, Saris and a Single Malt is a touching tribute to Vikram’s mother, a love song from a grieving daughter.”

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Divider

Posted Sunday, 30 July, 2017 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Birthdays & Blogoversaries, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Memes, JLAS Update Post, Jorie Loves A Story, Jorie the Writer, The Sunday Post

The Sunday Post | No.2 | Lightning storms are enough to vex a book blogger’s spirit!

Posted Sunday, 23 July, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 12 Comments

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

My participation in this meme was directly inspired by my new bookish friends: Avalinah + Savanah via this post!

[Official Blurb] The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ 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

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

Hallo, Hallo, dear hearts!

Photo Credit: Unsplash Photographer Brandon Morgan. (Creative Commons Zero)
Photo Credit: Unsplash Photographer Brandon Morgan. (Creative Commons Zero)

Lightning became a bone of contention, this week!

I found a photographer who actually captured those ‘thick & dense’ bolts I witnessed this past week! This wasn’t taken locally but lightning is ‘lightning’ and these bolts are super-strong! Look at that power!

If I had to contend with one lightning storm per day, I might not have felt as rattled as I had – but to contend with upwards of four lightning storms (due to circling storm systems) per day, it’s a wonder I have any hair left! I just felt like this was the week the monsoon season’s wrecking lightning storms were pushing me over the edge! I had to keep unplugging my electronics like a mad banshee – listening to the surge protectors shrill their sirens (for which electronic actually likes living without power?) and hoping against hope I’d have enough hours left to find in order to be able to continue with my plans to blog and review the books I had scheduled to appear this week.

Although most of the reviews posted, there were a few I had to hold back and of which will be read and reviewed next week instead (specifically The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds, When The Future Comes Too Soon and Magic Sometimes Happens) as I honestly could only find enough hours to post what I did. The worst bit is the severity of the storms makes me worry inwardly about the potential for tornadoes – as the skies can turn so violent, so quickly – it’s a wonder how I can appreciate rainshowers because the storms I am conditioned to having round me are such monstrous affairs, my nerves should be gone by now!

It is true – the Summer Season is our worst for storms (for most readers this is true I am sure!) but when your a blogger, it feels overly complicated because technically speaking, we rely on technology in order to communicate and to blog. Ergo, a lot about this Summer is reflective of the Summer of 2015 where I had a solid 90 days of lightning storms which of course cancelled a lot of posts and reviews I had planned that year – leading to a lot of books ending up on my backlogue list as a result of the insanity of what happened that fateful Summer where lightning was frequently causing me to be offline and disconnected. Last year, of course, by September we had an epic storm and this is how I lost my computer outright – as the storm killed a lot of my electronics. This year, despite knowing my new computer is fully insured and is replaceable isn’t a balm to my spirit because honestly, I love this computer and who wants to go through the heartache of losing another one?

I also saw a slight return of my chronic migraines – something which bothered me more than the lightning, as I have gone without them for several months now. They seem to re-appear when I least expect them in my life and they disrupt my days more than I wish they wouldn’t. I am thankful they only teetered on the edge of going supernova (those really aching migraines where only rest and no light will be of any help) and the medicine I take at the onset of them truly did help (as I prefer natural medicine over conventional choices as much as I can); but what bothered me a bit is they were trying to ‘resume’ where they left off. This also played into lost hours outside of the lightning issue as I cannot read digital screens when I’m in the throes of one nor can I spend a lot of time digitally engaged on my blog after one occurs. Whilst my migraines irked my ire in the background of my health woes – I was still recovering from the stomach flu this past week as well. *le sigh* Tricky balance this week!

I am amazed I was able to do as much as I did this week – including visiting new book bloggers and taking part in the memes – somehow I was even able to host my chat #ChocLitSaturday before the next storm overtook my region! Honestly, the lightning storms are a bone of contention, but I refuse to give in to defeat! I might not have been able to get to every story this week, but I am proud of the posts I was able to share with you.

Here’s to a new week and hopefully a reduction in storms! I’d like to get into Anne of Green Gables and start to make enroads towards working on #20BooksOfSummer, too! Let’s see what the week will bring and hopefully none of you are dealing with severe storms whilst you’d rather be reading and blogging!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

My latest #WaitingOnWednesday!

The following story was sent to me in exchange for an honest review by the author and publicist.

As I previously revealled – I was giddy about this #unboxing project since it was first pitched to me!! However, it was especially lovely getting the chance to read the novel! Despite the difficulties I had in finding ‘time’ to blog my thoughts about the story (ie. those naughty lightning storms!) – I was truly swept away by the world in which Ms Night created for us to find. Croswald has a lot of heart inside it and a lot of incredible magic. It is a literary find for those of us who are still captured by the unexpected and the fantastical! I was personally thankful this story was one I could read without feeling it went too over the top – there were moments I felt this was a story fit for an Upper Middle Grade reader, as it felt to me like it was written for readers who were ready to cross into YA whilst noting all MG readers would appreciate it – I think it would depend on each reader who finds it – as I stated on my review, even adults who love Fantasy are going to be charmed by this one! Read More

Divider

Posted Sunday, 23 July, 2017 by jorielov in Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Memes, The Sunday Post

The Sunday Post | No.1 | An #unboxing, an intriguing dramatic #HistFic and a heap of lovely #bookmail surprises!

Posted Sunday, 16 July, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 10 Comments

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

My participation in this meme was directly inspired by my new bookish friends: Avalinah + Savanah via this post!

[Official Blurb] The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ 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

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Hallo, Hallo, dear hearts!

Jorie takes on ‘The Sunday Post’!

There is a small back-story about this particular meme I never shared – it was one of the first memes all the wayy back in 2013 I considered participating in weekly, however, true to my nature – it was also one of the memes I felt (at the time) would be the hardest to write each week! Mostly as per my usual with these kinds of posts, I put a lot of thought into them and I take a heap of time just to sort out how I want to share what it is that I feel is pertinent to share in the hour of inspiration! Honestly, there are times where I wish I could be a tad bit more productive on the in-between posts (those which are not review or blog tour related) except to say, I put a lot into those posts as I have the tendency of blogging the heart out about the books I am reading whilst at times, finding reasons to have a hearty top anchour section attached to them or a spontaneous discussion involved with the book in question as well. Not always, but moreso than naught.

This year has become muddled quite a heap by my Spring allergies – of which  I am happy to declare are ‘over!’ thanks in part to a series of EXTREME lightning storms and thunderous monsoon downpours which has blessed me with air without the deadly pollen! Isn’t that something to cheer and shout about?! Yes, I do believe it is because I was ‘put under’ so often this Spring and early Summer (my allergies extended into June, sighs) I never thought I’d be free of them, to be honest! The new medicine my Dad fetched for me (of which I referenced on Twitter) was the best find of all – it helped me ride out the last bits of the season of pollen and allowed me a ‘breathier of a break’ to just get my health back into check!

Ironically or not, I did have a slight bout with the stomach flu this past week ahead of coming into the weekend – which left me knackered and fatigued. Hence why my readerly tweets are a bit on the limited side of the ledger for The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds – as I am so engrossed into the story-line but my mind is still a bit tired to where I’m focusing on the story moreso than I am on sharing my joy of reading it! Of course, this could also be said for my readings of the Kate Clifford series – wherein A Twisted Vengeance is going to be reviewed without blinking on Twitter ahead of time!

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

The three stories which surprised me (from JUNE & JULY):

The Fortune Teller, Marion Hatley and Heartbeat of the Bitterroot bookmail. Book Photography Credit: Jorie of jorielovesastory.com. Photo edits and collage created in Canva.

The following stories were sent to me in exchange for an honest review by either the publisher or publicist.

NOTE: the quotes are taken from my reviews.

I truly felt it was magnetically guiding me to read it’s story when thinking back upon The Fortune Teller – as I personally adore stories which shift between one historical era and another! This one, took my breath because everything I loved within the author’s debut novel The Memory Painter had become elevated and heightened; in both depth and scope of where she could take her narrative further into the heart of where History and Time intersect with one another! I did not want to exit this world – I felt the characters were so well etched into being – you could nearly forsake they were alive! I love when stories give you such a welcoming depth to their world-building and their ability to allow you to suspend yourself out of your own timescape to enter into theirs! The best reasons for reading truly are to be able to time travel through the hidden experiences of where characters and writers enchant us to tread!

I am truly taken right now with Ionna + Semele; their dual timelines are wickedly drawn together and the duality of voice + strength of their heroism is wicked brilliant. They were each ahead of their time and wholly independent for their social conventions which did not affect their independence. 

As we move between Semele (in the present) and Ionna (in Alexandria) we are entreated to entreating inside Ionna’s journal; the book which was hidden from view and left for Semele to find by Marcel. Ionna is the librarian’s daughter from Alexandria and one which lived with a bit of spunk and rebellious spirit. She was the one who walked into sunken chambers locked by key and accessed by only a select few where she would find a treasure of uncertain value: a deck of tarot. You know what she’s discovered before she recognises their worth; as the flow of narrative is held eclipsed by what she understands and by what her translator-in-arms Ariston reveals to her by reading the words she is blind to understand (she only knows her native tongue).

This novel felt as if it had been written with me in mind as a reader who would not only be charmed by how the author wrote the story but of how it was told! This particular story pulls together a lot of different aspects of literature I love most to discover – the dual time-lines, the shifting POVs, the Epistolary inclusions but most of all – the way in which the historic past is beautifully brought back to life in a way which makes it feel tangible and inspiring despite the dramatic events which are upsetting the characters’ lives!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

When I first heard about Heartbeat of the Bitterroot, I was instantly captured by where it was set – in fact – if things had been equal and my allergies hadn’t derailed my plans, I would have been able to put together a guest feature to coincide with my review – as I truly wanted to bring the beauty of the Bitterroot Valley and the essence of it’s region to my readers in the form of a conversation between myself and the author. It’s still something I hope to do in the future – as the Bitterroot Valley is quite unique unto it’s own in the North-South region of NorthWestMontana!

Ms Mineer has a comfortable confidence in her writing – where you can tell she’s been perfecting her craft for quite awhile. I am unsure if the original manuscript differs from this newer version or if it even went under a revision (by adding or removing scenes, etc) but what impressed me most about this edition is how comfortable the author is writing the story. She allows the reader to warm into the story; to first understand her characters as they wish to tell their stories and then, enveloping us in this lovely setting and with a compelling plot which moves forward at a good pace. I even liked how she included the little nuances – such as how aggravating a cell can go off multiple times and everything (of course) has it’s own level of ‘importance’ of being answered in the moment of the first buzz alerting the call in the first place!

There is a warm sincerity threading throughout the context of the novel; you feel it almost immediately and as you move deeper into the story itself, it simply engulfs you. The nice bit about the novel is how compassionate it is written and how it hones in on the good of humanity. Whilst owning to the truths – not all of life is fun and games nor something to smile over as there are moments which test our resolve, courage and the will we have to see the goodness in our lives. Mineer touches on the harder issues of resolving past events and the emotional baggage of when the adverse times in one woman’s life are the hardest to forgive and move past.

As you can see, reading this novel was a complete joy and an unexpected one – as I wasn’t entirely sure what I would find inside the story itself. I knew it would be Contemporary Realistic Fiction – as you could gather it wasn’t  your typical Sweet Romance or Contemporary Drama; however, it’s how Ms Mineer told the story which charmed me the most! When it comes to Contemporary story-lines, I’m the hardest to convince when it boils down to how a story is written and how everything pulls together. I think it’s because we live in the Contemporary age – therefore, we have a much more stronghold of understanding this time-line in fiction vs a historical era, as those timescapes are a bit further afield from our present knowledge and area of experience.

We can endeavour to gain knowledge of the historic past (since I think this is why most of us read Historicals!) but as far as sorting out the nuance and the ready knowledge of what makes or breaks an era directly; I for one, give a bit of a liberal pass to Historicals; meaning, if I feel the story is authentic to it’s era, I’m not overly critical if writers take a few creative liberties here or there. I’m far more critical about Contemporaries – which is why I’m always presently surprised when I find one which I love reading due to how convicting the author wrote the story! Thus, this one is one of my favourites to talk about!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Divider

Posted Sunday, 16 July, 2017 by jorielov in Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Memes, The Sunday Post

#TwelfthNightReadathon | “Gifts of the Magi: A Speculative Holiday Collection” an anthology with a charitable heart benefiting Indy Reads Books!

Posted Saturday, 14 January, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

Twelfth Night Readathon badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Ahead of Christmas 2015, I received a beautifully lovely gift: a specially released anthology celebrating Speculative Fiction authors and the gift of charity. Indy Reads Books is an independent bookstore in Indianapolis, Indiana giving back to authors, readers and members of their community on a yearly basis whereas the other half of “Indy Reads” is a non-profit literacy organisation. This is a bookstore I have come to know through the authors who are behind this anthology: Mr (RJ) Sullivan, Mr (John F.) Allen and Ms Chris (E. Chris Garrison) of whom I have had the joy of interacting with both on blog tours or outside of them for Tomorrow Comes Media and/or Seventh Star Press.

This particular book was offered to me knowing how much I love holiday stories and the beauty of having such a strong presence of Speculative stories contained in one singular anthology with the heart of the holidays a central theme running through them! I personally love reading anthologies within the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Cosy Horror genres, which in of itself felt like a good fit to read this collection. I was unexpectedly taken ill during December 2015 (my infamous thirty day flu!) and this past December, whilst I had re-scheduled this to be a part of my #ChristmasReads and #WYChristmasReadathon series of posts, I was otherwise distracted by the recovery process after my Dad’s stroke. You can read about the first twenty-four hours after his stroke (per this post) and a bit of a background on my inability to read during December (per this anchour section of a recent review). Thus, my idea of recapturing the Christmas Spirit during Twelfth Night weekend was bourne!

I received a complimentary copy of “Gifts of the Magi” direct from the author R.J. Sullivan in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#TwelfthNightReadathon & what sparked the idea:

I personally love reading holiday stories around Christmastime, however, this year, proved to be quite a unique year all the way round; starting Thanksgiving weekend. I dearly wanted to dig inside these lovely stories which are winking at me to read but with a heavy heart and a mind weighed down by anxieties attached to stroke patient’s recoveries, you could say the timing was definitively ‘off’ this year for posting anything remotely lit with the Christmas Spirit in December. I had to fight my way back into reading just to secure a passageway back into the hours I love spending inside stories and the journey of characters; as let’s face it, I had a lot on my heart and soul this year.

The blessing is being able to find my bookish joy emerged through a succession of Rom Novellas through a blog series I entitled: #MidnightChocLit (see the thread). This enabled me not only to retrieve my bookish heart but my bookish joy – the curiosity about stories and the lives of characters started to renew inside my imagination and it started me off again on solid ground. Spending this past week tucked inside an INSPY #HistRom also provided me with the hours I needed to heal my nerves and resume enjoying the hours I could spend inside a fictional world (see also Review).

Despite my progress back to my blog and back into an active reading life, there were ebbs of guilt murmuring inside my heart because more than anything I had wanted this to be a December where I could fully embrace reading stories of the season. This is when a lightbulb flashed in my mind – wait! The Christmas season isn’t fully extinguished until Twelfth Night and Twelfth Night is a celebration of the three kings! I knew I should start by reading and live tweeting my responses to Gifts of the Magi on this particular Friday, as it marks Twelfth Night officially! Ergo, all the lovely stories of Christmas Spirit across genre and literary selections could now be happily read during my own personal #TwelfthNightReadathon!

Except to say, Mother Nature had other plans in store for me – we had an epic storm arriving in the afternoon hours of Twelfth Night itself and it continued into Saturday; therefore, my tweets were quite a bit delayed – thus kicking off this readathon as a ‘weekend’ celebration; perhaps it was meant to be all along, as this is what I had put on the badge I created to celebrate the series of reviews! My readings of this anthology truly were encased during #TwelfthNight weekend, however, my reviews I wanted to feature over the weekend are running this week instead. The best part for me – is to be able to recapture stories of a season I cherish so dearly during a year where my heart was full of anxiety and now just a stone’s throw in the New Year, I can reattach the joys of soaking into stories of Yule & Christmastide!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This of course, would have remained true if my dear Maine Coon / tabby hadn’t been struck quite ill whilst I was trying to kick-off this readathon. Turns out, as a senior cat of nearly 13 years he’s developed horrid food allergies and was quite miserable; his sister-in-arms is one year his junior (my little Tux!) of whom now has ‘food intolerance’s’. Despite being earnestly hopeful to find something that would work for them (as in their kittenhood and early years of growth, they had (as did their two siblings) multiple health issues which is why Mum and I were consistently ‘on the road’ to new places to purchase high quality pet foods whilst the Vets and my fam were growing more discouraged by the hour when even the best quality you can find isn’t working for your four cats. Hence why we were advised to go with what worked for our darlings and not worry about what is working for everyone else. This worked out quite well – until now.

Turns out!? The *best!* cat food our cats need was developed by Rachael Ray! Her Nutrish line for cats (esp the Chicken and Potato dry food!) is what turnt this crazy insanity around in *one!* feeding! ONE! Our Coon / Tabby who was *always!* Alpha is now a Beta cat whose so relaxed and happy, his Tux of a sister is still trying to get used to him being less playful around her and just go with the flow. All his issues are gone as are hers, to such a degree it’s a true miracle. They used to eat only wet food, but this dry food has done so many marvels for their health (i.e. vision, fur, digestion, etc) I cannot see them returning to wet food! Their so happy right now, it’s a beautiful thing to see – ergo, I am continuing this readathon in the spirit of Twelfth Night – as a closing of the holiday season and the stories of Yule.

This is why you’ll see my tweets stopped for a short break – as everything prior to Unraveled was written by the 9th before I was able to resume and conclude my ruminations.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com#TwelfthNightReadathon | “Gifts of the Magi: A Speculative Holiday Collection” an anthology with a charitable heart benefiting Indy Reads Books!Gifts of the Magi
Subtitle: A Speculative Holiday Collection
by A.D Roland, Chantal Noordeloos, Debra Holland, Herika R. Raymer, John F. Allen, Katina French, Ms Chris (E. Chris Garrison), R.J. Sullivan
Source: Direct from Author

Stories for Christmas-- authors for the New Year!

Find within this magical tome 14 NEW original holiday-themed stories of fantasy, horror and science fiction by a talented group of authors--plus one holiday essay. The tales from our Magi vary from the light and satirical to the dark and serious, and we've shuffled the deck to keep you guessing.

· A time guardian may have to choose between preserving reality or destroying the man she loves.
· A snowman comes to life, but he's not a happy soul.
· Santa makes a terrible bargain in order to save Christmas.
· On Christmas Eve, a furious fairy princess attacks a double-decker bus.
· Two secret agents attend an exclusive Christmas party with an unusual price of admission.
· Soldiers in the midst of the zombie apocalypse try to find the Christmas spirit.
· A boy and his father confront an alien creature on the Longest Night.
· A mercenary packing magical pistols battles a monster while Christmas shopping for her werewolf boyfriend.
· Steampunk detectives find themselves fending off Christmas "elves."
· Humans exiled to an alternate world blend alien and human holiday traditions.
· A banished prince with a magic chicken finds a nearly drowned soldier--so says the storyteller.
· A bounty hunter searches for a rogue elf.
· A traumatized punk girl confronts the spirits from the worst night of her life.
· In a dystopian future, Christmas is outlawed.
· ...And Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author Nicole Cushing reveals the holiday specials that she feels deserve "lumps of coal."

100% of all proceeds from this book benefit Indy Reads.

Indy Reads is a not-for-profit organization that relies on volunteers to provide basic literacy tutoring to illiterate and semi-literate adults. Indy Reads operates a bookstore in downtown Indianapolis. Learn more at www.indyreads.org.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 978-1502902528

Also by this author: Hero's Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, Hero's Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, Blue Spirit, Guest Post (Restless Spirit), Restless Spirit, Road Ghosts : Omnibus Edition, Road Ghosts : Omnibus Edition, Virtual Blue, Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy, Author Interview (Red Lotus, Vol.1), Commanding the Red Lotus

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Cosy Horror, Fantasy Fiction, Science Fiction


Published by Speculative Fiction Guild

on Halloween, 2014

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 196

Published By: Speculative Fiction Guild | Facebook | @sfg2013

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #SpecFict + #anthology (or #SpeculativeFiction)

About John F. Allen

John F Allen

John F. Allen is an American writer born in Indianapolis, IN. He is a member of The Indiana Writers Center, began writing stories as early as the second grade and pursued most forms of writing at some point, throughout his career. John studied Liberal Arts at IUPUI with a focus in Creative Writing, received an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force and is a current member of the American Legion. John's debut novel, The God Killers was published in the Summer of 2013 by Seventh Star Press. He also has published short stories in several anthologies including: Thunder on the Battlefield, Vol I, also by Seventh Star Press and In The Bloodstream, by Mocha Memoirs Press.

John currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.

About Ms Chris (E. Chris Garrison)

Ms Chris Garrison

E. Chris Garrison writes Fantasy and Science Fiction novels and short stories. She used to publish as Eric Garrison, but has since upgraded.

Her latest series is Trans-Continental, a Steampunk adventure with a transgender woman as its protagonist. The series is set in one of the worlds in Chris’s dimension-hopping science fiction adventure, Reality Check, both of these series are published through Silly Hat Books. Silly Hat Books released Alien Beer and Other Stories, a collection of her short stories, in 2017.

Chris’s supernatural fantasy stories include the Road Ghosts trilogy and it's companion series the Tipsy Fairy Tales are published by Seventh Star Press. These Urban Fantasy novels are humorous supernatural fantasies, dealing with ghosts, demonic possession, and sinister fairy folk delivered with a “lightly dark” side of humor.

Her novel, Reality Check, is a Science Fiction adventure released by Hydra Publications. Reality Check reached #1 in Science Fiction on Amazon.com during a promotion in July 2013. Chris lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her wife, step-daughter and cats. She also enjoys gaming, home brewing beer, and finding innovative uses for duct tape.

*Biography updated: March, 2018

About R.J. Sullivan

R.J. Sullivan with his characters

R.J. Sullivan’s novel Haunting Blue is an edgy paranormal thriller and the first book of the adventures of punk girl Fiona “Blue” Shaefer and her boyfriend Chip Farren. Seventh Star Press also released Haunting Obsession, a Rebecca Burton Novella, and Virtual Blue, the second part of Fiona’s tale. The short stories in this collection have been featured in such acclaimed anthologies as Dark Faith Invocations by Apex Books and Vampires Don’t Sparkle. His next book due out very soon will be Commanding the Red Lotus, which collects the series of science fiction novelettes in the tradition of Andre Norton and Gene Roddenberry.

R.J. resides with his family in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. He drinks regularly from a Little Mermaid coffee mug and is man enough to admit it.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #TwelfthNightReadathon
  • #WYChristmasReadathon
  • Sci Fi Experience 2017
Divider

Posted Saturday, 14 January, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, BlogTalkRadio, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cosy Horror, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Futuristic Fantasy, Guest Author on the Chamber, Indie Author, Parapsychological Suspense, Podcast, Supernatural Fiction, Telepaths & Telepathy, The Star Chamber Show, Vulgarity in Literature