[Official Blurb] Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature / weekly meme created by The Broke & the Bookish. The meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke & the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your Top 10 Lists! In January, 2018 this meme is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
Why I nearly didn’t write-up a post for today’s topic:
I’ve noticed over the years (as a reader) and as a book blogger, I have the tendency of reading stories which have either a phrase within their book titles and/or are titles which evolve through the theme of their genre, world or other cognitive connection to the stories or series I am reading. It is rare (by memory) for me to be able to bring back to mind the stories which were singled out which featured a *single-word title* – which is why in order to participate I decided to look through my Story Vault and was quite surprised by the results I found within!
The *biggest!* shocker?! I’ve read FAR MORE single-titled stories than I first realised!
I’ll be discussing how my memory aligns with the stories vs their titles and how rather uniquely why I’m highlighting 16x stories with a bonus selection where I will journal out the rest of the single-titled entries which have evolved into my reading life these past seven years (*as hallo, hallo Jorie Loves A Story’s 7th Blogoversary is the 31st!)
And, to think I wasn’t going to write this post for #TopTenTuesday because I thought as a reader I couldn’t relate to the topic! lol It is definitely an excercise in how we align our memories, how stories speak to us in different ways than linear recognition & how chasing through our book blog archives becomes a bit of a hoot for the reader whose breathed in such a lifetime of lives through the unexpected passageways the books brought into her bookish & readerly life!
When you set about writing this week’s topic – did you struggle to remember if the stories you had read had single word titles OR do you regularly gravitate towards them and they’ve become old hat? I’d love to know how other readers & book bloggers felt about the topic and if they found it a challenging one (like me) or an insta-fit?
I was quite surprised most of the stories on this List were beloved reads of mine – but I’ve remembered them by the world they were set (if they were series) or by their characters or something else which stood out in my memories far longer than the length of their titles! I think I just had a mental disconnect when I originally saw the topic today! lol
*NOTE: all of these stories were sent to me in exchange for honest reviews with a few exceptions such as “Pride” and “Wonder” which I borrowed through my local library.
[Official Blurb] Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature / weekly meme created by The Broke & the Bookish. The meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke & the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your Top 10 Lists! In January, 2018 this meme is now hosted byThat Artsy Reader Girl.
[ Topic of 8th October, 2019:
Character Traits I Love;
Personality Traits I Love to See In Book Characters:
Things That Make Me Love a Character ]
→ Which works brilliantly into a Top Ten Tuesday post
I originally wrote to coincide with the Topic of 2nd July, 2019:
We needed to discuss *characters!* with an OPEN THEME/CHOICE:
Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recommendation
(and their characters I loved discovering!)
Today’s entry was inspiring to me for the following reasons:
As avid readers, we meet so many dearly incredible characters throughout our bookish journeys – it would make sense, somewhere over the score of time – we are going to come across authors & characters who leave imprinted impressions on our bookish hearts which not just effect us through time and space but they leave such a distinction of presence on our readerly lives. Sometimes they never quite leave us – as there is a part of them inside us still – all these hours after they’ve left our thoughts, because for each character we’ve met in a story, their life and their experiences have bled into our own; their memories are now our memories as for each story we read, there is a potential there to live another life, through another person’s shoes irregardless of their gender; their essence affects us because we’ve breathed in their life.
It is hard to even speculate which characters in the *six years!* I’ve blogged have staid with me the longest and which stories I ache the most to re-read and re-visit alongside – those are goals and dreams I have for Winters long spent by fireside cosy nooks of space where knitting needles, hot tea and scones await me as cats linger in dreamscapes and snow gently falls outside frozen windows. Until then, when I’m granted the joy of a seasonal experience outside of volcanic Summers and blink-you-missed-it Winters, I happily appreciate the hours I have to spend with the characters as their stories ‘greet’ me on the pages their writers left me to find.
As a genre dancer – it is even harder to pin down the characters I regularly interact with as they could be a fantastical creature, a science fiction adventurer, a Magical Realism time bender or they’re living Contemporary or Historical lives – they could be young, old, or somewhere between; sorting out their lives or re-defining a second career or tackling adversity inasmuch as they are giving love a second chance. I love stories and for all the lovelies I regularly read there are still so many more horizons out there in the literary realms I desire to explore further, read harder and read particularly closer to the eras of time I love exploring most.
Whilst at the same time, if I can disappear into my favourite eras such as the Victorian, Regency & Edwardian periods of England – the Highlands of Scotland and criss-cross through a time portal which skips round the historical past from Ancient times to present-day on all the continents of curiosity and interest; wells, you can see where the well of possibilities deepens greatly!
Narrowing down this list of choices was a bit of a curiously serendipitous experience – I went with the inspiration at the moment and as this was originally composed in July, I dearly had to break the 11 references into 12 as – oh, my dear sweet bookish heavens – those Spinsters have left me hungering for more of their stories! I cannot wait to re-invest into their lives as I move into the second novel having consumed (er, devoured?) the first and fourth!
It goes without saying but I will remind you: brew your favourite cuppa & get comfy as this is a seriously long post about the stories and authors I hope might encourage a few new choices on your TBR Lists!
DUE NOTE: all the books featured on this Top Ten Tuesday post were complimentary books sent to me for review consideration and/or were sent in exchange for an honest review at some point or another over the past few years. I received them from publishers, publicists, authors and/or blog touring companies. I was not obligated to feature them on this Top Ten Tuesday post but wanted to feature them due to how incredibly attached I became to their narratives, characters and the immersive experience I felt as I read their stories.
I’m focusing on Jackie Gamber’s the Leland Dragon series as I was given the amazing opportunity to discover the beauty within Gamber’s YA Fantasy series last Autumn; whereupon I received Redheart in exchange for an honest review ‘off-tour’. From the very first moment I broached the covers of this novel of #dragonfiction, I *knew!* I had stumbled across a writer who breathed her heart and spirit into her literary exploits. This was a special story for me to read, as I always wanted to read about dragons in fiction, inasmuch as I was a bonefide reader of Science Fiction & Fantasy since I was quite young until my reading wanderings took an abrupt stop in my late teens.
Author Biography: Jackie Gamber
As an award winning author, Jackie writes stories ranging from ultra-short to novel-length, varieties of which have appeared in anthologies such as Tales of Fantasy and Dragons Composed, as well as numerous periodical publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, The Binnacle, Mindflights Magazine, Necrotic Tissue, and Shroud. She is the author of the fantasy novels Redheart, Sela, Reclamation and writing an alternate history time travel novel. She blogs professionally for English Tea Store.com, where she reviews classic science fiction and fantasy novels and pairs them with the ideal tea-sipping companion.
Jackie is a member of the professional organizations Science Fiction Writers of America and Horror Writers Association. She was named honorable mention in L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Award, and received a 2008 Darrell Award for best short story by a Mid-South author. She is the winner of the 2009 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award for Imaginative Fiction for her story The Freak Museum, a post-apocalyptic tale that looks closely at perceptions and outward appearances and how they affect the way we see ourselves. Jackie Gamber was co-founder and Executive Editor of Meadowhawk Press, a speculative fiction publisher based in Memphis. One of their novels, Terminal Mind by David Walton, won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award in 2009. Jackie also edited the award winning benefit anthology, Touched By Wonder. She has been a guest lecturer at Memphis Options High Schools, and is a speaker at writers’ conferences from Michigan to Florida. Jackie is also the visionary behind the MidSouthCon Writers’ Conference, helping writers connect since 2008.
Wordsmiths are my favourites next to research enthusiasts:
Ms. Gamber has a way of weaving the opening bits of this tale in such a way that your hungry for each new sentence that alights in your mind! She has a way of showing the interactions between a freaked out of her skull human and a disgruntled and reclusive dragon as though this were an ordinary tale, set in an ordinary time, and one that would easily be taken as ‘written’ and ‘true’. Her ease of giving the reader the chance to soak into her narrative is brilliant when you consider this is an epic fantasy, with a world created fully unknown to the reader who picks up the book!
Next to (writers who are) research enthusiasts, my next favourite writer is the wordsmith! The one who uses a palette of words to paint the portraits of what evolves into the stories that light up our imaginations with such a vigorous intensity! They use words in a fashion that infuses emotion, heart, and observation in a way that is both poetic and brilliantly unique. And, being emotional beings (dragons), I would wager could lead to disappointments, misunderstandings, and grievously difficult emotional keels! She eclipses the depth of their personality with deft skill! Soulful! Dragons to me, have always come across as being ‘soulful’, filt to the brim with an ageless wisdom and a mission to seek out understanding in things that they do not always understand at first.
Discovering a touring company (Tomorrow Comes Media) whilst browsing the book blogosphere last September and seeing this curiously purple & black logo winking at me in the sidebar of one of my click through visits changed my life as I couldn’t sign-up to be a Tour Hostess fast enough! My first blog tour to host for TCM (I always smile at the initials because I am always thinking of Turner Classic Movies when I use it!) was for “The Boxcar Baby” by J.L. Mulvihill where I tackled a Dystopian Steampunked world for the first time. My review for The Boxcar Baby posted on 29th of September whereas Redheart followed on 30th of October, making it my fourth novel from Seventh Star Press and my fourth Indie Science Fiction or Fantasy author to be read of all-time. As even though I always grativated towards Indie Press & Publishers as much as I did Self-Published authors — there was never an easy route to seek them out on a regular basis. By becoming a book blogger not only was I discovering how wide of a net the Indies encompass nowadays but I was able to cross paths with more writers like me who think outside the box of the traditional paradigm of the world of publishing. Being in a position to ‘host!’ the author and their stories was both an honour and an absolute incredible blessing!
Redheart had such a strong effect on me, as the world within where Kallon Redheart lives is such an intricately created world with layered dimensions at every turn. The fact that I *devoured!* this novel rather than slowly soaked into its heart, is an understatement!
I was so new to hosting for TCM when I posted my review for Redheart I didn’t have the official author’s biography for Gamber nor did I realise I could have posted the Book Synopsis! I was still in the opening months of understanding how I wanted to blog and share my reading adventures as much as defining myself as a Blog Book Tour Hostess. I’ve kept my archives as true to my posts as they were posted originally with only updating font, size of typography, and/or updating badges or post dividers. I wanted an honest recollection of my journey and of the materials I had at my disposal when I was blogging about the books as I met them. I still remain true to how I started, however, in that I am always seeking permission to use Press Kit Materials on behalf of novels & their authors. To me it is not only a courtesy but a rule of thumb as a book blogger.
I truly need to re-read and re-visit the entire trilogy of which I reflected recently and even included my ‘dream setting’ in which to do it:
@SGZimmer@frellathon I didn’t get to re-read the series in full either; but I have this dream of a blizzard, a hearth & a cuppa tea for it!
If you are a regular reader of mine or a frequent visitor, you might have noticed I have always been quite eager to host and devour the Leland Dragon series by Jackie Gamber! I was first introduced to this wicked fantasy series last Autumn, whereupon I read Redheart – a story that set my world afire for the Leland Province and the dragons who nestled into my heart! I have even created a #DragonFiction tag on Twitter to help promote my booklove for dragons as much as to help encourage others to spread the joy of dragons in fiction! I regular converse on the chatter channels of #FantasyChat & #CreatureChat meeting up with like-minded souls who appreciate dragons, gryphons, and all the lovely characters who enchant our minds & hearts in the fantasy realms. I’ll admit I’ve learnt quite a heap from my fellow chatters!
When the Trilogy tour came along for Jackie Gamber, I *knew!* I wanted to be a part of the continued celebration of a series I know I will be re-reading quite a heap in the years to come! The multi-layers knitted into her world-building and the strong characters, both dragon and human make the story and the series evolve inside your mind as you read it; each time discovering something that hadn’t affected you the time before. On Sunday, I will be talking about each of the three stories within the trilogy and my overall recollections of the series as a whole.
Today, I happily invited Ms. Gamber to share her Top Favourite Dragons, which would have been quite keen if I had been able to post this on Tuesday as scheduled as Tuesdays are *always!* wicked happy for Top Ten Tuesday lists! Forgive the slight delay, my migraine would not allow this to appear sooner!
“Top Ten Dragon Favorites by Jackie Gamber”
Since I’ve been a genre girl as long as I can remember, and since writing the Leland Dragon series, lots of folks ask me, “Why?” And more specifically, “Why dragons?”
The quick answer is, “Why not?” The longer version is a something along the lines of, “I don’t know.”
What I do know is that the road to the Leland Dragon Series has been paved by dragons that have come before, that have either influenced me a great deal, or enhanced my enjoyment because they are dragon-related. I’ve compiled a list of them, as the top dragon-related goodies I have personally enjoyed over the years.
This is very likely the book that started it all, for me. I have cherished this book since I first laid hands on it as a child. The version still on my bookshelf, worn and loved, is the Weekly Reader Book Club edition, copyright 1948.
If I could hug a movie, it would be this one. I think it was my first introduction to the concept of a friendly dragon. It seemed logical at the time to think of a dragon as lovable, and I wanted one of my very own to love. No doubt, this movie made an impression.
I share a joy of Pete’s Dragon as this was one of my favourite motion pictures whilst I was growing up as I simply loved how you could have a dragon as a best friend! I had the same sentiments truly; as I never created the concept that dragons were inherently cruel hearted nor evil; I always felt that although there are bad dragons, there were more good dragons out there to befriend, love, and welcome into my world!
I’m not against bad guy dragons, however. This film has a bad dragon. Much of what I enjoy is more than just the dragon, though, such as a clever maiden trying to disqualify herself for a dangerous lottery by…no longer being a maiden, if you know what I mean. How is she the first girl to think of this?