Tag: Portals Passages & Pathways

#TopTenTuesday No.7 | #JorieReads the young adult novels winking at her off her shelf! (aka. My Summer TBR!)

Posted Tuesday, 25 June, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , 13 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

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

[Topic of 25th June, 2019: Books On my Summer TBR 2019]

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

I’ve been attempting to re-enter the lovely meme world of #TopTenTuesday since [2018 when I posted my sixth entry!] – to say I was slightly distracted by health afflictions and the tides of life therein would be putting it mildly. This week whilst I was sorting out how to *announce!* my intentions of reading the YA stories winking at me from my bookshelves for the past several years, I decided that this would be a fitting post to tuck into a #TopTenTuesday!

Even though my list is actually *25!* books long – I’ve placed select titles in *bold* to highlight on this post – these are the stories which I felt would befit a Top Ten List feature and the ten most anticipated reads I have on this List as well. Don’t get me wrong – I have been chasing after these stories for the past few years ever since they arrived in for review consideration, however, of the *20!* these were the 10x stories I felt helped inspire me to re-attempt reading the fuller list.

This is also the first year where I felt I could re-focus and re-address a lot of my backlogue of reviews, which I’ll talk about in a moment. If you’re also planning to read a heap of YA this Summer, due leave me a comment – add your book recs and/or the links to your own #TopTenTuesday!

I actually started to return into the community the other week whilst everyone was chattering about the topic “Unpopular Bookish Opines”. I had a heap of lovely fun routing through the book blogosphere and engaging with those who were posting.

Many of the book bloggers I visited were bloggers I regularly either a) follow and b) read – this is also the first year I’ve felt I can become more actively conversational again and look forward to the new convos which have yet to arrive.

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DUE NOTE: all the books featured on #MyYASummer Reading List were books sent to me for review consideration at some point or another over the past few years. With the exception of ‘New England Rocks’ which was a gift from the author Christina Courtenay.

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Tags I found on Twitter:

#ChildrensLit Summer | #KidsBooks Summer | #KidsLit Summer

#SummerReads | #SummerReading | #iReadYA

+ my own: #MyYASummer | #JorieLovesYA

reading from 21st June-23rd September, 2019

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Interestingly enough, for those of you curious how we order things without thinking specifically about how we want to sort the books we’re reading, here is the organic nature of how the books were stacked as I sorted out which books would make into this challenge list:

  1. Summer by Summer by Heather Burch | #SRC2015 via #YASRC 2015
  2. Chasing Eveline by Leslie Hauser #ReviewPit
  3. Beautiful Girl by Fleur Phillips | #SRC2015 via #YASRC 2015
  4. American Ballerina by Nancy Lorenz
  5. Solomon’s Bell by Michelle Lowry Combs | leftover from #WyrdAndWonder
  6. Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost by Iain Reading
  7. I, James by Mike Hartner | Kate Tilton’s Book Bloggers
  8. Unclaimed Legacy by Deborah Heal | leftover from #RRSciFiMonth
  9. The Kingdom Within by Samantha Gillespie | Kate Tilton’s Book Bloggers
  10. Pig Park by Claudia Guadalupe Martinez
  11. Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue by Iain Reading
  12. The Red Sun by Alane Adams | #SRC2015 via #YASRC 2015
  13. Flower from the Castile by Lilian Gafni | Kate Tilton’s Book Bloggers
  14. The Smell of Old Lady Perfume by Claudia Guadalupe Martinez
  15. New England Rocks by Christina Courtenay
  16. Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the HMS Titanic by Iain Reading
  17. The Beauty Thief by Rachael Ritchey
  18. Every Hill and Mountain by Deborah Heal | leftover from #RRSciFiMonth
  19. Trinity Stones by L.G. O’ Connor | leftover from #RRSciFiMonth
  20. Sketcher by Roland Watson Grant
  21. Portals, Passages and Pathways by B.R. Maul | leftover from #WyrdAndWonder
  22. Captive Hope by Rachael Ritchey
  23. Beyond the Moon by R.J. Wood
  24. Impossible by C.A. Gray | leftover from #RRSciFiMonth
  25. The Lemorian Crest by Hannah L. Clark | leftover from #RRSciFiMonth

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I decided I wanted to finish reading the Kitty Hawk series and as YA can shift between traditional YA stories for audiences of readers who are seeking a less adult world within their YA selections to the Upper YA category which is fused with adult themes and situations – I decided to also include at the end of Summer a few stories befitting the reader ready to leave YA and opt instead for New Adult Fiction. As a segue before entering into Adult Lit.

  1. + Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of Masterpieces by Iain Reading
  2. + The Secret Life of Jenny Liu by Jean Ramsden
  3. + Asher’s Mark by Amy Durham
  4. + Dare to Kiss by S.B. Alexander

| by the numbers |

3x of BookSparks Reading Challenge Books

3x of Kate Tilton’s Book Bloggers List Reviews

2x of reviews leftover from Wyrd And Wonder (Years 1 & 2)

5x of reviews leftover from #RRSciFiMonth | Sci Fi November

+ / – 1x Middle Grade (others might be considered cross-overs / dual interest between MG & YA however the one MG I know for sure is “The Secret Life of Lucy Liu”

28! books erased from my Book Blogger’s Backlogue

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Posted Tuesday, 25 June, 2019 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Memes, JLAS Update Post, Jorie Loves A Story, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Top Ten Tuesday

Co-hosting #WyrdAndWonder | Year Two – #EnterTheFantastic with Jorie as she devours an eclectic array of FANTASY whilst seeking out her next wicked good read!

Posted Wednesday, 1 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 10 Comments

Wyrd And Wonder banner created by Imyril. Image Credit: Dragon – by kasana86 from 123RF.com.
Wyrd And Wonder banner created by Imyril. Image Credit: Dragon – by kasana86 from 123RF.com.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Welcome to *Wyrd & Wonder* – Imyril, Lisa and I have delightfully planned a wicked #awesomesauce month of FANTASY celebration for you! This marks our 2nd Year co-hosting #WyrdAndWonder and we couldn’t be happier knowing we have mor participants this 2nd Year as well as renewed interest in the events we’ve planned.

  • A book photo challenge which can be done daily, weekly and/or in any combination of exploration you can think of!
  • 2x Readalongs for those seeking community bookish discussions
  • A welcoming community of Fantasy appreciators across blogs | Twitter | #bookstagram & #booktube
  • Read our FULL Schedule & start where you feel led to join us

We have been dearly *excited!* about kicking off our 2nd annual *Wyrd & Wonder* as last year was a raving success inasmuch as our mini-event #SpooktasticReads – all the while able to generate (discussion) posts or other such lovelies which help us better understand what it is about this wondrously lovely genre which entices us to enter into its sweet folds of worlds & wonders!

I’ve been an appreciator of Fantasy since I was quite a young girl – in fact, there is a blurred line about what I first discovered – Science Fiction or Fantasy?

Do you remember how *excited!* you were about seeing “The Neverending Story” for the first time as much as the twentieth?

There is a certain layer of JOY bursting out of reading & watching stories of the fantastical – I personally, love seeing how the writers knit the world ‘behind’ the Quest, the Journey and the dramatic lives of the characters you are almost too excited to be ‘meeting’!

These are the worlds which dimensionally re-define what is plausible and second nature to our own world – whilst re-instill why we have a penchant for Science Fiction – because where Sci-Fi leaves off, Fantasy begins or rather, both sides of the Speculative realms can sometimes blur together, co-merge and re-bend how we feel about *Fiction!* overall!

The beauty of course, is in the possibilities – of finding the authors (such as the ones I previously listed on my landing page for our inaugural *Wyrd & Wonder*) and the stories which enrich our hearts & minds for what is fantastically able to be imagined. I love seeing writers ‘go further, pushing our minds to see what they see & endeavour us to consider possibilities far outside the norm’ as this is what entices all of us to read Fantasy.

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

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Posted Wednesday, 1 May, 2019 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Fantasy Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

+Author Guest Post+ “On writing the “In the Land of Magnanthia” series by B.R. Maul

Posted Thursday, 27 March, 2014 by jorielov , , , 11 Comments

Guest Post by Parajunkee

Proposed Topic for B.R. Maul: As my first impression of “Passages, Portals, & Pathways” B.R. Maulreflected this statement of excited anticipation: “Even before the reference to “The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe” (of which, I prefer the film over the book! ironically or not!) and “The Lord of the Rings” (on my Classics Club list of books to read!), I was simply hooked into the idea of Simon being chosen as a Guardian! I love stories which are stitched together like this, as I still remember being rapt in awe over “The Seeker: The Dark is Rising” (motion picture again – hadn’t realised it was a book!)!!” Therefore I knew I had to simply ask Mr. Maul about what prompted the impetus for his new Young Adult Fantasy series as much as the inspiration to tell the story therein!

I am thrilled as peaches to welcome B.R. Maul back to Jorie Loves A Story, after spotlighting a book showcase revealing all the important bits of information on his wicked keen début novel! As you most likely have garnished from my piece yesterday, his novel resonated with me as being one story I am most apt to read as soon as it goes into print! Which as they say, could very well be on the fringe of happening sooner than we all might realise! Due lend your support of which edition of preference you’d like to read his collective works within the comment threads on either post!  Otherwise, tweet Mr. Maul directly, as that would be most kind on his inaugural blog tour! Let me yield now to his creative ear whilst he gives us an insight into his writer’s road towards publication!

}: Book Synopsis :{

Portals, Passages, & Pathways by B.R. MaulWhen a portal to another world cracks open just outside the small town of Riverside, it sets off a series of events forever changing the lives of two boys; one boy is chosen to lead a world to peace while the other one is chosen to tear it apart.

Simon Whittaker lives an ordinary teenage life. That is until the most powerful ring in the land of Magnanthia chooses him to become its guardian. Overnight, Simon has had to flee from something trying to kill him, seen magical spells he had only read about in stories, and stepped into the most majestic world ever imagined.

Swept away to the fantastic world that’s in the midst of a brutal war, Simon must place his life in the hands of four unlikely travelers, a swordsman, ranger, cleric, and wizard, sent to lead him down the right path. While King Elderten has ordered death to Magnanthia’s nine guardians, the group he believes is responsible for the kingdom’s devastation, Simon remains the only hope for those who believe the guardians are innocent.

Meanwhile, Jak Jakobsin has been pulled through a portal by two of Bedlam’s undead scouts. Bedlam’s overlord plans to use Jak, along with his army of undead, goblins, and trolls, to build a force so powerful that Magnanthia will be his forever. “Portals, Passages & Pathways” is a story of our greatest journey, to discover our purpose in this life, and the consequences of the choices we make to get there. “In the Land of Magnanthia” is the first novel in the series and is complete just under 115,000 words. It’s told from the alternating viewpoints of Jak and Simon.

 

}: World-Building – The Land of Magnanthia :{

Magnanthia was pieced together, named, and expanded upon almost seven years ago. But her creation started over three decades ago. There is no mistaking it; Magnanthia is a compilation of my favorite fantasy worlds mixed together and then molded into a figment of the imagination.

The first time I was introduced to C. S. Lewis was between the pages of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. As a little boy I fell in love with an idea, an idea that walking through a wardrobe, a portal, could take me to a world where animals talked and magic was real. From that day forward, my childhood was filled with adventure! Every closet and closed-door was potentially a portal leading to a world of wizards, castles, and lost treasures. That’s all I had to do was find the portal and step into it.

I slowly side-stepped the narrow, fantasy fiction isle in my elementary school’s library. I was looking for a book to read. That’s when I stumbled upon J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. I opened the worn cover and looked at the table of contents. Chapter five’s title grabbed my attention; I had to know why it was so cleverly named “Riddles in the Dark.” I checked the book out of the little library and brought it home with me. Middle Earth, a world filled with dwarves, elves, hobbits, goblins, giant spiders, dragons, creatures of all kinds, and of course magic, began its contribution to the making of Magnanthia.

The discovery of a fantasy world where worthy travelers could become heroes exploring haunted castles, goblin-infested dungeons, and finding hidden gold and magic items, became my favorite pastime. My older brother took me and a good friend of ours into the spellbinding world of Dungeons & Dragons. My favorite character to play was a magic-user.

Later in life, years of working to pay the bills disconnected me from the beautiful gift of imagination. It was finding my way into the Great Hall at Hogwarts with Harry Potter that rekindled my love of stories and my passion for magical adventures. I found it refreshing Harry Potter and his friends lived in contemporary times, cloaked in a medieval backdrop with magic and wonderment mixed into the works. Harry, Hermione, and Ron were about midway into their schooling at Hogwarts when I realized what I had and what I needed to do. Magnanthia was almost tangible in my mind, along with a handful of characters who had already made Magnanthia their home. I needed to create; I needed to write the story.

In 2007, the year the Harry Potter series ended, Portals, Passages & Pathways was born. I love that parts and pieces of Lewis, Tolkien, and Rowling are embedded within the fabric that is weaving Portals, Passages & Pathways together. I hope readers around the world find it as easy as I have to fall in love with the characters, and are exhilarated in the land of Magnanthia!

Author Connections:

Site | Blog | @BRMaul_author | Facebook | GoodReads
Converse on Twitter: #LandofMagnanthia
& #BRMaul

I must confess, the one fantasy novel I had difficulty in soaking into was the precise fantasy series which inspired you to write Magnanthia! The Lion, The Witch, & the Wardrobe for me was greater appreciated in its motion picture adaptation over the printed word in which C.S. Lewis left behind! It was one of the first times where I noticed that I had trouble shifting into the heart of a narrative I already knew I would enjoy! Perhaps an early nod to realising that not every story is tangible to our hearts through our eyes, and that sometimes we have to seek out an adaptation of the story in a new medium in order to allow the merit of why the story was left behind to resonate with us fully.

On a similar vein, I was experiencing a reader’s rut (I am sure this will make most of my dear readers gaff with disbelief!) during the years of Harry Potter’s epic adventures at Hogwarts, yet I was the happy spirited twenty-something who felt as though she had a renewed childhood whilst wandering off into the local movie-houses on release days, weekends, and even at midnight releases! Ah, yes, young Harry Potter will forevermore hold a special niche in my heart! His stories I know I will appreciate on long cold Wintry nights, where the blizzards are howling and the warmth of his character and friends will guide me from one book straight-through to the startling conclusion! These are the types of fantasy series I long to unearth and discover,… as I was reflecting yesterday fantasy gives us such a beautiful window into fantastically honest worlds where characters are able to do things that modern contemporaries are oft-times limited in achieving. Fantasy of today are the fables, folk, mythological stories of an ancient age. Sage advice wrapped inside a heroic adventure!

The fact that your sharing the kernels and seeds of inspiration behind Magnanthia is a credit to your own character and bold confidence as a writer, as often you will find new authors a bit hesitative about discussing their craft and progress towards getting the words onto paper rather than being stored inside their imaginations! I always felt that the best gift the writing community has given all writers through the generations is the ability to reach out and connect with each other! The sharing of knowledge, of strife and of joy, all the tools in which are needed to encompass a novel’s birth and straight-through back over the day-to-day journey of what a writer on the verge of discovery is experiencing! Bless you for being open and responsive!

Alas, I kept Tolkien for my concluding thoughts, because I fear before I sit myself down to read Middle Earth (in the Order of Middle Earth — inclusive of the Histories!), I am always going to be on the brink of relaying my total thoughts as once more, I yielded to the adaptations, this time through the grace and eloquence of Peter Jackson whose capturing finesse for the extraordinary world which is Middle Earth left me forever changed afterwards! The depth of the narrative is hard to not lay a pensive thought upon each installment’s endings, and yet, it’s the capstone of what pulls each of us into our own stories. By allowing us not to limit our potential or the girth of the final draft, in which lies our epic tales!

The genre-bender aspects of Harry Potter were not lost on me either, and I only had hoped in some of the bits of the films (as I presumed they were reflective of the stories) they could have held the tradition of their clothes a bit more, but I respected the fact that it was a modern story lit inside as you say a world of yesterday! Being a Dragon Master and player you might want to read my recollections of gaming on my Virtual Blue review! Congratulations for holding onto your world and for being daring enough to build the story in the hours and moons long after it was originally breathed into life!

This Author Guest Post is courtesy of:

In the Land of Magnanthia by B.R. Maul Blog Tour with JKS Communications Literary Publicity FirmBe sure to scope out my Bookish Upcoming Events

to mark your calendars!!

Be sure to drop by my Book Spotlight Showcase

on “Portals, Passages, & Pathways”!

Similar to blog tours, when I feature a showcase for an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog.
Kindly post notes in both B.R. Maul comment threads, discussing what you enjoy about Young Adult Fantasy series! Leave behind a reflection of how you started to read fantasy series and novels, and what you are hopeful to find inside this new one by a Mid-West writer! All comments are welcome, short or long! I look forward to reading your thoughts & engaging with you afterwards! Remember to come back to see my responses! And, the author himself might surprise you with a reply as well!

+ Open Invitation for Book Discussion +

+ 28 March, 2014 +

Author B.R. Maul has expressed a desire to converse with readers who pick up “Portals, Passages, & Pathways” to return to Jorie Loves A Story giving all of us a hearty discussion about the life lessons & attributes of each of the character’s arc which translated directly into the reader’s heart! I am hoping to read a print copy of the story myself one day, and therefore, this is an Open Discussion Post where the comment threads will be waiting for you to return & share your experiences & thoughts about the story as you read it! I look forward to hearing your recollections & to dig a bit deeper into the heart of the narrative!!

{SOURCES: Book Cover art for “Portals, Passages, & Pathways”, B.R. Maul photograph and book synopsis were provided by JKS Communications Literary Publicity Firm and used with permission. I requested an Author Guest Post via Samantha Lien at JKS on behalf of B.R. Maul’s new Young Adult Fantasy series Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Thursday, 27 March, 2014 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight of E-Book (ahead of POD/print edition), Bookish Discussions, Bullies and the Bullied, Debut Novel, Fantasy Fiction, Heroic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Passionate Researcher, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Self-Published Author, The Natural World, The Writers Life, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Style & Voice, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

+Book Spotlight & Announcement+ B.R. Maul [debut author] of “Portals, Passages, & Pathways”, a YAFantasy selection of epic proportions!

Posted Wednesday, 26 March, 2014 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

}: Book Spotlight & Announcement :{

Portals, Passages, & Pathways by B.R. Maul
Published BySelf-Published by Author, 11 March 2014
Official Author WebsitesSite | Blog | @BRMaul_author | Facebook | GoodReads
Converse on Twitter: #LandofMagnanthia
& #BRMaul
Available Formats: E-Book
Page Count: approx. 478

 

Portals, Passages, & Pathways by B.R. Maul

}: Book Synopsis :{

When a portal to another world cracks open just outside the small town of Riverside, it sets off a series of events forever changing the lives of two boys; one boy is chosen to lead a world to peace while the other one is chosen to tear it apart.

Simon Whittaker lives an ordinary teenage life. That is until the most powerful ring in the land of Magnanthia chooses him to become its guardian. Overnight, Simon has had to flee from something trying to kill him, seen magical spells he had only read about in stories, and stepped into the most majestic world ever imagined.

Swept away to the fantastic world that’s in the midst of a brutal war, Simon must place his life in the hands of four unlikely travelers, a swordsman, ranger, cleric, and wizard, sent to lead him down the right path. While King Elderten has ordered death to Magnanthia’s nine guardians, the group he believes is responsible for the kingdom’s devastation, Simon remains the only hope for those who believe the guardians are innocent.

Meanwhile, Jak Jakobsin has been pulled through a portal by two of Bedlam’s undead scouts. Bedlam’s overlord plans to use Jak, along with his army of undead, goblins, and trolls, to build a force so powerful that Magnanthia will be his forever. “Portals, Passages & Pathways” is a story of our greatest journey, to discover our purpose in this life, and the consequences of the choices we make to get there. “In the Land of Magnanthia” is the first novel in the series and is complete just under 115,000 words. It’s told from the alternating viewpoints of Jak and Simon.

}: Author Biography :{

B.R. Maul

A fan of fantasy fiction since he was a child, B.R. Maul has always enjoyed a good story, whether it came in the form of books or role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. Maul has lived in the heart of the Red River Valley for most of his life. He was born in Fargo, N.D. in 1974. A house fire changed his family’s course when he was a child, and in the early ‘80s, his parents took over a small family business in Moorhead, MN, where he remained for his school years.

Maul holds an undergraduate degree in secondary English education with an emphasis in creative writing. He spent a few years working as a substitute teacher, and since fall 2013, he has dedicated all of his time to writing. Maul’s first novel, “Portals, Passages & Pathways Part 1: In the Land of Magnanthia” debuts March 25. The book is the first installment in a fantasy series. Maul lives in Fargo with his wife and two kids. The couple is expecting their third child in March.

}: Jorie’s Thoughts on Behalf of B.R. Maul :{

I initially signed up for this particular blog tour wholly enthused and genuinely excited! to participate in Maul’s literary début! I had hoped to read and review “Portals, Passages, & Pathways” as its the first installment of an epic fantasy series which perked my attention due to the story-line and depth of where Maul is choosing to take his characters! A journey into a new fantasy world where imaginations are lit with anxious anticipation! An appreciator of fantasy fiction for over 17 years, I am on a Quest to seek out wicked new emerging writers in the craft as a genre; due to the enormity of how far the market has endevoured to give the hearty reader a choice in narrative, style, and voice!

Realising this novel would not release in print! or POD formats, I opted instead to showcase Maul on Jorie Loves A Story, because I had a strong belief in his novel and in his approach of the writer’s craft. I wanted to feature his début in order to help spread the word of his remarkable world taking flight into the hands of readers world-wide via e-book and e-reader release! Although, I am not able to read those formats myself, I will at times continue to feature e-book authors of whom I feel could garnish a larger net of readers (such as myself) once their able to get their stories into a printed and bound copy!

Maul is a self-published author who is going to make a nice splash in the Young Adult Fantasy arena, for providing his young readers with a golden opportunity to dig into a soundly built world full of magical intrigue and a character arc which will give all of us (irregardless of age!) the promise of what is yet to come next in the sequels! One of the key reasons I appreciate fantasy series is due to being able to re-visit the characters we’ve become attached too whilst seeing where their next chapters within their lives lead them to venture next! The cinemascope appealment of seeing all the action and heart develop through your mind’s eye with such a reel of precision to have it feel tangibly real as its read is my singular hope for each new novelist I discover!

Although billed as ‘young adult fantasy’, you might have realised by now that I, Jorie, of Jorie Loves A Story appreciates a wide spectrum of literature and one of my greatest joys is highlighting positive innovators of Children’s Literature who paint a stroke of positivity inside their stories! May Maul have a wonderful success in stitching together a readership who will be just as on pins as I am to soak into the Land of Magnanthia!

}: Author Q&A :{

{ in the Land of Magnanthia,

through the eyes of the writer }

“Portals, Passages & Pathways” is billed as “a story of our greatest journey, to discover our purpose in this life, and the consequences of the choices we make to get there.” How did you get started writing this series?

We all have a purpose in life. We just need to take time to discover what that purpose is. Mine, I learned, is storytelling. When I was a teenager I remember thinking that it sounded ridiculous to wait until the end of my life to do what my heart longed for. Unfortunately, like the majority of people, I bought into the lie I was supposed to pick a “real” career, make as much money as I could, and then retire. After fifteen years of making, spending, and chasing money, something happened. People dear to me were struck down from terminal illness, and some died. I came to realize I was on the wrong path…but, like all paths, it would still lead me to the inevitable, my own death. I’d been arrogant, and naïve, assuming I knew what tomorrow was going to bring and that there were going to be enough tomorrows so I could retire and live purposefully. I quickly got off that path while I still could and started down the right path. I began writing.

I could not agree more about our individual journey in life involving not only the acceptance of our individual gifts to partake with us as we head off in life to pursue our dreams, but in the ability to recognise that it’s the arrival of where we’re meant to be can only be lessened by the path in which we traversed to get there! All our experiences leading up to understanding our full potential and our innate gift to share with others is what makes living such a great joy! You have to remain open and cognizant of the truths which alight on your shoulders, knowing how and when to trust your instincts as much as allowing your heart to guide you!

For each door which is closed for reasons we are never quite sure of, windows start to emerge out of the ether giving us a new opportunity to pursue our innermost desire and aspirations. Sometimes it takes a ‘wake-up call’ in life to re-assert the hidden truths we always were keenly aware of but perhaps lacked the confidence to shift forward towards. Sorrow, grief, and death of loved ones enlightens us on our mortality but also, the breadth of everything we are endowed to learn whilst we live. Life as it’s lived is the greatest adventure, and keying into who we are and who we want to be whilst we’re alive is the greatest discovery we can make! Next to love, of course! Love knits together Hope; whereas Faith emboldens us to Believe in the Light of our Dreams!

As a reader, it’s easy to get lost in the world of Magnanthia. For people who haven’t read your book yet, can you describe the setting?

Magnanthia is enchanting and extremely beautiful. The spiritwood trees almost glow their colors are so vibrant, and the intricate design of sea silk, a.k.a. blue quagmire, is miraculous. Magnanthia is also monumental. Shiftwood trees grow hundreds of feet high with girths bigger than houses, and Paramount Peak is so large they say all the other mountains in Magnanthia could fit into it. The indigenous life is spectacular…and mysterious. The land has energy of its own. It’s also foreboding. A small part of it has spread like cancer to outlying lands creating a chaotic environment where glamour and wasteland collide.

My soul and spirit regenerate whilst walking in the lushness of nature, where the balance of life itself is represented in such wonderful splendor as to give us a portal in which to walk through where time itself can stand still! Our eyes can alight and adjust to the balance of the natural world’s beauty whilst endeavouring ourselves to seek a way to see the muted and bright colours which make all of nature quite majestic and lovely! Ancient trees too wide in girth to properly hug, lest to pull back our heads to see where their canopies end or begin is a world in which I long to become familiar with myself! A land in and out of harmony and in conflict against itself is surely a story which proves the full breadth of what a fantasy reader is hoping to find inside its chapters!

Simon and Jak are such divergent characters, but what are some ways that they are similar to each other?

Simon and Jak both feel segregated from the rest of the world. They don’t fit in with their peers and have a hard time relating to others. They are also both bullied. However, how they respond to feeling segregated and to being bullied are completely different.

I will always champion writers who take a bold step towards addressing, highlighting, and ruminating about the state of bullies and the bullied. I have already featured two wonderful Children’s Lit novels which give a unique perspective of not only those who find themselves bullied but the point-of-cause of how a bully starts the behaviour to negatively address their situations and emotions. The books were “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio & “The Pact” by Mitchell S. Karnes, of whose sequel will be reviewed in June 2014. I will look forward one day to seeing how you have stitched this sequence of our living reality into your story!

What do you think makes them so relatable?

They’re genuine. Simon and Jak may have different backgrounds and circumstances, but they have the same kinds of feelings, emotions, and reactions to their problems like the rest of us. They, too, want to love, be loved, be happy, and find their place in this world. And like you and me, Simon and Jak make their share of mistakes along the way.

I oft find the best way to guide and teach children (especially teens) is to give them an honest and real portrayal of real-life events or events which could develop in real-life yet presented in fictional form as an outlet and plausible platform for the heart of the messages to sink into their minds. Giving them something to grow pensive about and hopefully realise the proper ways in which to react and cope with negativity and strong emotions which effectively can lead to choices they may regret. As much as I hope it can show how strong you have to be within your own spirit and shoes to rise above the tides when bullies enter your life.

What drew you to the fantasy genre when you were a kid, and why do you think that genre has stuck with you all these years?

The adventure! There’s something about dragons, castles, heroic knights, journeys to faraway places, creatures and monsters, spells, magical items, and lost treasures that whisks me away from the endless grind of reality, straight into the depths of the wondrous imagination. The fantasy genre has stuck with me for so long because it had the greatest impact on my childhood, and for that reason, the rest of my being.

Oh, dear my, yes! That is precisely why I have been entrenched into the fantasy genre myself! I still remember being wickedly excited to see “Willow” on the silver screen in a darkened theater! The excitement of renting “Pete’s Dragon” from the video store giving me a joyous heart for ‘long weekends’! I garnished an appreciation for fantasy novels by seeking out fantasy in motion pictures; which is quite the opposite way of doing it, even though I did read a limited amount of science fiction & fantasy as a child! As I grew, I took my love of everything you’ve mentioned whilst being mindful of finding wordsmiths and world-builders who could leave me in a state of ‘awe’ and ‘inspiration’! Re-lighting our passion for our imaginations is the best gift a writer can be given by a story!

Did growing up in the Red River Valley influence your writing at all?

The Red River Valley has a unique way of growing at its own pace, almost untouched from the rest of the nation. It’s the last place to catch onto trends, fashions, and movements, if at all. I’d have to say I grew up with a rather wholesome perspective morally, spiritually, and culturally. I believe this may have influenced the fact I enjoy reading and writing young adult fiction. Our teenage years are full of first-time moments that sculpt us into the adults we eventually become. And as a writer, I find it more challenging to bring a reader into an intense moment without using obscene or abrasive language.

Whilst travelling through the Mid-West, one of my favourite stop-overs was Fargo, North Dakota & Moorhead, Minnesota, which is precisely where you hail from and create your fantasy worlds! I believe there are certain enfolds of townes and communities within our country who have chosen to forestall time a bit to keep the softer side of living intact. To go back to community stronghold of neighbourly kindness, local events where friends outweigh outside visitors, and where the pace of living is not set against a clock or a time-stamp, but rather the enjoyment of the days, the hours, and the way in which life ebbs at its own rate of arrival! Despite living in a metropolis, I believe I achieved a similar background of childhood & growing years by having a family who was rooted in the timeless belief that children deserve to have innocence and freedom to learn and grow in an environment where the outside world takes a backseat for a number of years!

You might find a curious notation of an indexed category on Jorie Loves A Story, entitled simply as “Fly in the Ointment”, which is my cheeky and clever way of speaking about what I am propelled to be turnt off inside the books I read and choose to showcase on my blog! The number one vexation I have is the abrasive and explicit use of vulgarity in literature. I’m not a prude, but if the level of its usage is bent-on shock rather than language, I am not going to be content to let it pass. Personally, the writers who endear me long-term have stories which never even think of broaching a harsher word than ‘hell’ or ‘damn’ in their novels! IF you can sort out how to keep the innocence inside your stories but reflect the stronger emotions without resorting to vulgarity, you’ll not only win me over but all readers who are gentle in spirit!

}: Author Quotation :{

“There is also much to be said about the fantasy realm
where Magnanthia is located,” Maul says. “The realm holds
true to the traditional sense of fantasy worlds, and there
are some fun and exciting new creatures
and magical
items.”

This Book Spotlight & Announcement is courtesy of:

In the Land of Magnanthia by B.R. Maul Blog Tour with JKS Communications Literary Publicity Firm

Be sure to scope out my Bookish Upcoming Events to mark your calendars!!

Return on the morrow, to read Mr. Maul’s Author Guest Post!

Similar to blog tours, when I feature a showcase for an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog.

Kindly leave a note for Mr. Maul in the comment threads about how this spotlight encouraged you to seek out his début novel! And, I want to open the comment threads in relating what you seek first and foremost out of a new release in fantasy!? What kinds of stories whet your palette of interest and are you attracted to high fantasy tales where characters have epic adventures set with a magically beautiful setting and world!? Which Young Adult Fantasy novelists do you feel are bridging the gaps for Children’s Literature to give a hearty & true story, but without the harshness or dark undertones of the adult releases!? What stood out to you about Maul’s approach to his craft!?

+ Open Invitation for Book Discussion +

+ 28 March, 2014 +

Author B.R. Maul has expressed a desire to converse with readers who pick up “Portals, Passages, & Pathways” to return to Jorie Loves A Story giving all of us a hearty discussion about the life lessons & attributes of each of the character’s arc which translated directly into the reader’s heart! I am hoping to read a print copy of the story myself one day, and therefore, this is an Open Discussion Post where the comment threads will be waiting for you to return & share your experiences & thoughts about the story as you read it! I look forward to hearing your recollections & to dig a bit deeper into the heart of the narrative!!

{SOURCES: Book Cover art for “Portals, Passages, & Pathways”, B.R. Maul photograph, book synopsis, author biography, author quotation & author Q&A (taken from the Press Kit) were provided by JKS Communications Literary Publicity Firm and used with permission. Although, the Author Q&A was provided for me to incorporate into my Book Spotlight, I chose to do so because the Questions were similar to ones I would have pitched to the author myself had I elected to host a separate Author Interview &/or Author Q&A. My replies are given to highlight a bit more insight into why I am quite eager to read this novel in print! Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Wednesday, 26 March, 2014 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Book Spotlight of E-Book (ahead of POD/print edition), Bookish Discussions, Bullies and the Bullied, Debut Novel, Fantasy Fiction, Heroic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Self-Published Author, The Natural World, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction