Tag: Simone St. James

Top Ten Tuesday No.4 | Series I Want to Start (within my focus of Horror October!) #OTBHorrorOctober

Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 3 Comments

"Top Ten Tuesday" hosted by The Broke & the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I Want to Start (within my focus of Horror October!)

HorrorOctober2014mini

[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!

[Topic of 21 October 2014: Top Ten Series I Want to Start (sub-focus Horror October)]

( all the links in the list itself re-direct to author websites and/or fantastic fiction for series info )

One: (Ghost Story) – the Aunt Dimity series by Nancy Atherton (about the series)|Although I discovered this series at my local library and via a good friend of mine out in California (the very same friend who recommended I watch “Gaslight” as mentioned on my Top Favourite Classic Horror Films List) — I must confess that my progression through the series has become bogged down due to life & time escaping through the hourglass at such a fast clip as to not allow me the grace to devour the installments! I finally secured a copy of the first novel Aunt Dimity’s Death from a library book sale which gave me more motivation to read the series in full! Being that my attempts have been start/stop, I felt it warranted inclusion! I will be expanding my thoughts on this series during the fortnight but for now, I simply wanted to say as far as ‘ghost stories’ go, this is the best series I have found!

Two: (Ghost Story) – the Haunted Bookshop series by Alice Kimberly (about the series) |I am not sure about you, but I positively grew up wandering around Indie bookshoppes; IF I wasn’t in a library, that is! Laughs. The idea that a bookshoppe could become haunted simply appeals to me due to the fact I think there are a lot of clever things a writer can do to fuse the idea with the reality of the situation within the story’s arc! This series is written by the team behind my beloved Coffeehouse mysteries (Cleo Coyle is their pen name), and I have a feeling I’m going to love how they spin these together as well! They tend to write cosies this side of hard-boiled, but ohh! You just do not want to put their books down!

Three: (Cosy Mystery leant into a Hard-Boiled Suspense) – the Lady Julia Grey series by Deanna Raybourn (about the series) |I stumbled across Ms. Raybourn’s blog online several years ago, where she wrote about the Lady Julia Grey series, her style of writing, and her research behind the stories she enjoys writing. I cannot remember the specifics, but something in my readings of her site, drew an air of mysterious curiosity to read the Grey novels! I simply never had the proper chance to fetch them out of my local library to where time would allow me the pleasure of soaking into them! I have checked out the first novel a handful of times; boomeranging it back unread. The worst moment for a reader who wants to dig into a series is losing time with a borrowed book! I know my time is nearing to where I can put heart and mind into focus on Lady Julia Grey!

Four: (Thriller – Espionage) – the India Black series by Carol K. Carr (about the series) | Historical settings are always going to be a true interest of mine, but when you combine a spy novel within the historical context of intrigue, I cannot foresee what I wouldn’t appreciate reading! I stumbled across this series through my local library one day whilst seeking out mystery series to read. The reason I wanted to include it on this particular list is for the main reason that these mysteries are classified as ‘thrillers’ moreso than they fall under the ‘cosy’ side of the genre I love so much to consume! I love a bit of adventure and when adventure can be turnt deadly with implications where other people’s lives are at stake where a singular person can have the power or the influence to affect their lives directly,… wells, let me just say the premise will perk an interest!

Five: (Ghost Story) – the Nina Tanleven series by Bruce Coville (about the series) |Whilst participating in Horror October, I decided to see if I could expand past the series I knew of before the event, and quite happy stumbled across this one! I love the fact it is a Middle Grade novel series, as I am always most keen on reading Children’s Lit! Middle Grade is what I generally refer to as Juvenile Fiction, but apparently it has a new way of being defined! Either way, this series looks too adorable for words!

Six: (Supernatural Suspense) – Lockwood & Co series by Jonathan Stroud (about the series) | I honestly never heard of this series until I read the book review by Rinn @ Rinn Reads for Horror October! I know absolutely nothing more than what Rinn shared of the series on her blog, and I must say she gave such a compelling argument for reading it, she convinced me! I love how it is a YA series, as I personally would love to explore more YA & MG titles for this particular extension of the genres! THANK YOU, Rinn! :)

Seven: (Historical Thriller Suspense) – the Charles du Luc historical mystery series by Judith Rock (about the series) |For the life of me, I cannot remember how I came to realise this series existed; consider it an unexpected discovery, as I am always browsing for books! I love uncovering bookish sites online as much as I browse bookshoppes IRL! I am always on the scout at my local library as much as I’m deep in the virtual stacks online, sorting through the card catalogue locally & for ILL’ing (inter-library loaning). This series has a chilling aspect to them, which is why I consider them equally ‘thriller suspense’ and I think after reading them I’ll find them quite a bit haunting as well; as far as the overall feeling I’ll find myself having by the conclusions!

Eight: (Ghost Story) – the Ghost Hunter series by Victoria Laurie (about the series) |A good friend of mine out in California brought this series & the Abby Cooper series to my attention! We love writing about the books we are reading by postal mail, and are known to exchange lists with each other of the writers who have our full attention at any moment in time! We share a beloved passion for Aunt Dimity (of which I mentioned a moment ago!), and unfortunately, my letters full of Dimity recollections have been halted by my inability to consume Dimity as quickly as my friend! One day I will surprise her mailbox! Until then, I intend to sort out a way to ILL both of these series by Ms. Laurie as they intrigue me to say the least!

Nine: (Parapsychological Suspense) – the Witchcraft mysteries by Juliet Blackwell (about the series) |This is another series my Cali friend recommended to me, and what I like about her recommendations, is that she understands who I am as a reader to the level of what I can handle (intensity wise) and what I would enjoy reading overall! I loved the fun spiritedness of the character in this series (from what I gathered online) and am quite eager to read her adventures!

Ten: (Parapsychological Suspense) – Beaufort & Company mysteries by Mary Stanton (about the series) |Whilst visiting a library out of my local area, I came across this interesting premise of a suspense series that takes on parapsychological elements. I am still on the fence as far as knowing which direction the series will head in overall, as I’m always worried that a series like this might lean more dark than light, but I’m always game to try a series, and this one at least captured my eye for ingenuity!

Extras:

(Haunting & Ethereal) – the novels of Simone St. James (about the books) |As soon as I found the novel The Haunting of Maddy Clare I promptly turnt in a purchase request at my local library! I simply had to consume this novel! Then, of course as the fates would have it, the novel was not acquired as there was a hiccup in the plans for my library to acquire it. This can happen time to time (as it happened with Mao’s Last Dancer and several other titles over the years) but it’s always a bit frustrating! Meanwhile, I’ve visited the author’s website, follow her on Twitter, and quite happily can announce that the novel came in via ILL just the other day! I was worried it wouldn’t get here in time for Horror October — so I can happily mention now that I will at least be able to start reading this before the fortnight has concluded!

(Paranormal Intrigue) Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye mysteries by Victoria Laurie (about the series) |Please read my comment for the Ghost Hunter series!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This Top Ten Tuesday is part of my participation of:

#OTBHorrorOctober badge created by Jorie in Canva

Reader Interactive Question:

I am simply dying with bated breath: what are your favourite psychological suspense, cosy horror, cosy horror suspense, OR parapyschological series that are not overly violent, gory, or explicit in nature? Do you have any recommendations for Children’s Lit selections? And, are any of the writer’s I’ve mentioned today ones you’ve stumbled across yourself!? 

{SOURCES: Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Ravven with edits by Jorie in Fotoflexer. Horror October banner provided by Oh! The Books for participants to promote the event on their book blogs; used with permission. #OTBHorrorOctober badge for Jorie created by Jorie in Canva. Lists on Riffle are embedded due to codes provided by Riffle. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Tuesday, 21 October, 2014 by jorielov in Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Top Ten Tuesday

#OTBHorrorOctober | Schedule of Events & Bookish Delights of a Cosy Horror Girl! {1st Year Participant}

Posted Saturday, 18 October, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Horror October 2014

Calendar of Events on Oh! the Books Host Site

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

{ Reading Selections for Horror October 2014 }

 Focus One: Psychological Suspense | Thriller:

(note: all book synopsis links re-direct to Riffle>

  1. A Stitch in Time by Amanda James <synopsis> (moving to 1st November for SFN)
  2. The Anatomist’s Wife by Anna Lee Huber <synopsis>
  3. Mortal Arts by Anna Lee Huber <synopsis> (moved to November)
  4. A Grave Matter by Anna Lee Huber <synopsis> (moved to November)
  5. The Rose in the Wheel by S.K. Rizzolo <synopsis> (moved to #IndieWriterMonth)
  6. Somewhere Beyond the Sea by Amanda James <synopsis(moved to #IndieWriterMonth)
  7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronté <synopsis> (on hold)
  8. Up Close by Henriette Gyland <synopsis> (moved to #IndieWriterMonth)
  9. Blood for Blood by S.K. Rizzolo <synopsis(moved to #IndieWriterMonth)
  10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronté (Part II of my journalling) <synopsis> (on hold)
  11. The Ripper’s Wife by Brandy Purdy <synopsis>
  12. Category 5 by Paul Mark Tag (synopsis) (previously read(moved to #IndieWriterMonth)
  13. Prophecy by Paul Mark Tag <synopsis>(moved to #IndieWriterMonth)
  14. White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy by Paul Mark Tag <synopsis>(moved to #IndieWriterMonth)

Focus Two: Cosy Horror | Cosy Horror Suspense (including ghosts):

  1. Night of the Living Deed by E.J. Copperman <synopsis>
  2. An Uninvited Ghost by E.J. Copperman <synopsis>
  3. Old Haunts by E.J. Copperman <synopsis>
  4. Sinking Down by E. Chris Garrison <synopsis> (moved to SFN)
  5. The Visitors by Rebecca Mascull <synopsis> (moved to #IndieWriterMonth)
  6. Dance Until Dawn by Berni Stevens <synopsis> (moved to SFN)
  7. Dracula by Bram Stroker <synopsis> (moved to SFN)
  8. The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James <synopsis> (moving to November)
  9. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill <synopsis> (re-scheduled for 2015)
  10. Ghost Stories by Edith Wharton <synopsis>
  11. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson <synopsis> (re-scheduled for 2015)
  12. The Door through Washington Square by Elaine Bergstrom <synopsis(re-scheduled for 2015)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The following is the tentative schedule for my 1st Participation in Horror October. Most of the schedule should remain as it is seen, however, there could be spontaneous changes to the line-up &/or I might include a few extras as I go through the fortnight!

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Horror October Bingo
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Posted Saturday, 18 October, 2014 by jorielov in #HorrorOctober, Anthology Collection of Stories, Blog Hop, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Blogs I Regularly Read, Book Blogosphere Regular Haunts, Classic Horror, Cosy Horror, Cosy Horror Suspense, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Good vs. Evil, Haunting & Ethereal, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Horror, Horror October Bingo, Horror-Lite, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Library Find, Light vs Dark, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Psychological Suspense, Reading Challenges, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense

Top Ten Tuesday #1 | Top Ten Books for Autumn: TBR Choices!

Posted Thursday, 19 September, 2013 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

"Top Ten Tuesday" hosted by The Broke & the Bookish

[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!

Topic of 17th of September, 2013: Top Ten Books for Autumn | TBR Choices!

Each of the books listed below will re-direct to the author’s page dedicated to their novel!

I decided to focus on the books that have intrigued me over the score of the past nine months, as much as highlighting a few choices that are books by which, I have waited years to appreciate and settle into their delicious worlds! Therefore, this is a hodgepodge listing of books I’ll be reading via my local library or off one of my bookshelves! It is a curious jaunt through history, time, setting, and place! I would have to speculate that everyone taking part in today’s List will be just as cleverly unique in their choices as I am!

The Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle

Ever since I made my rounds through the blog tour for Queen’s Gambit, I found myself quite a bit more intrigued by the life of Katherine Parr! And, therefore, the lives of the Tudors, of whom, are one of the under read of all eras for England in my reading life! What drew me in quite readily into her story, is how determined she was to succeed given a plight of circumstances that most would not know how to artfully overcome, much less save their heads & lives in the process! She was living in an age, where men trumped women to the fullest extent of the term, and where, having your individualistic views, heart, and ethics were tantamount to getting yourself executed!

I became rapidly endeared to her, and to the turmoil such as her life befell her, from the brink of happiness after Henry VIII passed from this life, I nearly felt as though he still had a grip on the outcome of her future, as there were hintings of ill-fated romance throughout the tour, once she ends up in the arms of her beloved Thomas Seymour! I felt as though he is a sure-fire cad and a most arduous rogue!

I originally learnt about this book through Book Browse (it was a First Impressions selection!) and Shelf Awareness (which adverted a bookaway contest!), which made it seem all the more apparent, that by the time I discovered the book was ‘going on tour’, I would thus continue to follow its progress! Queen’s Gambit was on tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours [one of the book tour companies I am working with to host upcoming books this November!], between 12 August – 13 September 2013. You can still follow the tour route if your curious about seeing the different perspectives of the bloggers, as I only will highlight a few here! Despite entering contests to win a copy of this book, I am most assuredly will be reading this through my local library, by which, I am in the next position to receive it! I cannot remember if I had placed it on hold once before or naught, but this time around, I believe the timing will be rather keen!

The reviewers I appreciated reading the most heartily were the following:

Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle Showcases the Compassionate Katherine Parr, Sixth Wife to Henry VIII (hookofabook.wordpress.com – Oh, for the Hook of a Book)

Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle (peekingbetweenthepages.com)

‘Queens Gambit’ Author Elizabeth Fremantle Q&A (thetudorbookblog.com)

The Tudor Book Blog Book Reviews: ‘Queens Gambit’ by Elizabeth Fremantle (thetudorbookblog.com)

Blog Tour: 133 Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle (dreyslibrary.com)

Book Tour, Review, & Giveaway: Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle (alwayswithabook.blogspot.com)

If you do drop by the tour page, you’ll find rather happily that there are *three videos!* awaiting you! One is the book trailer for “Queens Gambit” and the other two are the author herself, explaining the rich history that evolves inside the book! Likewise, if you click over to the author’s website, you’ll find an excerpt and trailer!

I paused the clip when I realised it was relaying a bit of medical narrative, as I was not in the mood to listen to medical descriptions whilst I type this post! However, I liked the choice of narrator! I am always a bit nervous about the inclusions of medical drama, as there was such a time I could handle it far better than now, as I was an ER-girl way back when it originally aired! On top of which, medical dramas & ME dramas were always series I felt drawn into quite readily! These days!? I’m lucky if I can handle NCIS by averting my eyes during the death or morgue scenes! Sighs. As it’s the ‘family’ on NCIS that keeps me interested!!

The Irresistible Blueberry Bake-Shop and Cafe by Mary Simses

The entire basis for my encouragement to read this particular book, and by which, I made a purchase request at my local library to acquire, is due to a curious mentioning of said book in a note-card I received from my Nordic friend! The complete story surrounding this curious introduction is spilt out in my previous post, entitled ‘Reading Knows No Boundaries‘. I was beyond elated to see the book arrive so quickly after requesting it, and as is the custom, the requester gets the privilege to read the book first!! Sadly, for me, I did not get much past the short excerpt that you can hear through this clip, as my heart was willing to push into an all-night read fest ahead of its return, but my eyes were not as agreeable! I sort of fell asleep whilst attempting to read it in one-sitting!! I have resumed my que in line to read it as it made its rounds to other readers in my library district, noting that I moved down from 1 to 9, and I’m around position 7 at the moment! This must mean that the book not only progresses well from the opening chapters, but that is a book everyone is savouring if they are taking the full fortnight to read! Either that, or I am not the only one plagued by interruptions in my reading life!

What enticed me into the story, was the nodding it gives to Hallmark Channel’s Original Movie “Daniel’s Daughter”, where a neat and tidy exec is attempting to resolve a ‘slight issue of family business’ prior to walking down the aisle! She finds instead, that she shouldn’t have shunned her hometown nor her best friend from childhood for such an extended absence! The delight for the appreciator of relationship-based romances is what ensues from there, and how antiques, small townes, and quirky neighbours unite inside the journey one woman takes to go home! (if you couldn’t tell it’s one of my favourites!) Moving back into the ‘Blueberry Bakeshop’ for a moment, in the early chapters, I noticed a cross-similarity in the protagonist’s method of reasoning with Katherine in “Daniel’s Daughter”.

I was yearning to go forward from there, but the mystery will have to remain intact for now! Perhaps it’s best that Autumn is still dawning here in the South, as you’d have mistook our September for high noon in Summer! Our clime is not akin to rust coloured leaves, dipping temperatures, whippy breezes, and pumpkins aglow for the harvest season! We’re sweltering and melting rather slowly, wondering what it is like to live with half the sunshine we’re blessed to experience!? Give me fog! Give me grey skies! Give me Autumn! Dare I mention, that the fact she’s uprooted into a completely new environment, way of life, and towne that draws her into its nexus and heart!? That she’s on the brink of a life altering choice, which attracts me to no end to read the climax and ending? Autumn for me is a season full of delightful and unexpected changes. Daring months to seek out an adventure and do something rather extraordinarily different!

For a reason I am not sure I understand, this excerpt fails to reveal that the ‘picture’ in the paper that has her all in disarray, is a passionate embrace of a kiss by her rescue swimmer! I reveal this here, in case you click on ‘play’ and feel a bit lost! This doesn’t reveal anything except to set up the opening sequence your going to listen too! When I reached the ending of this sequence in the book itself, I thought ruefully, “Isn’t that the backwards way of resolving the issue at hand? Wouldn’t a mass sell-out of an uneventful local paper draw further attention to the AP Wire Press? As to why that particular issue was sold-out suddenly? Wouldn’t it have been better to ignore it completely and let the story die where it was printed?” What about you!? What are your thoughts on this scene!? And, remember, I didn’t get very far along yet, so don’t spoilt what happens next!! 

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

The soundtrack of music that accompanies this book is ethereally enchanting!

It’s worth clicking over to listen too!

Listen to an audio excerpt on this page for this novel!

{ update: as of October 2014 the audio excerpt is no longer available }

A book whose rich historical tapestry drew me into its folds long before I arrived at Barnes & Noble to select which hardback edition I would be taking home with me! I remember it was a kiss-hallo to Autumn that year, and I was curious about selecting a book that would alight in my mind’s eye, a fully embodied sense of time and place. A story that I could become enraptured and enchanted by at the very same time. I was looking for something rather different and unique, a bit out of the ordinary of what I might have selected for myself at the time, and a new author, if possible! I wanted to continue to carve out a way to find writers who stood out from the pack, and delivered something hearty for their readers to chew on! I felt that I had found all of this and a bit more in Katherine Howe’s début novel!

This book has been winking at me from the shelf I placed it on, evermore making me curious to settle into a comfy chair and open the text to see what awaits my curious eyes! The full background and research that went into this book, I uncovered from somewhere around the time of purchase, but I am not remembering exactly where I read it, but I have a sneakingly familiar notion that it was included in a write-up on début authors inside the little booklet that Barnes & Noble provides!? It’s the booklet (forgetting its name?!) that reveals the premise of books that are releasing and a bit about their authors!? From that short snippet, I know I must have gone online directly and unearthed even more! I appreciated the dedication of Ms. Howe to represent the novel and the history behind the story in such a beautiful way!

To find a story that is in of itself a historical mystery, that revolves around one woman’s intentions of unlocking the suspense and allure around a hidden and lost book of knowledge, excites me rather readily! I love mysteries that tip the scales of history on their axis, and make you, as a reader on the tip of discovery alongside the character who is doing the sleuthing!

Again, the music evokes a certain atmospheric tilting, and as the narrative begins, you are entering into a wholly different time and place. Pulling back the shades and veils on our American history, until you arrive at the late 1600’s, where superstitions ran rampant. The cures and tinctures of apothocarists and herbalists were still very much suspicious to the general populace. Next to a mid-wife, an apothocarist was not without their measurements of judgement. Howe is etching into our eyes, not only the distinctive time in history that we are arriving into, but the murmurs of everyday life. She chooses her words carefully and artfully to gain full disclosure of what we are drinking in. And, this I appreciate very much!

Into the Free by Julie Cantrell

Listen to an audio excerpt on Oasis Audio!

I am a regular visitor to Southern Belle View, and have been such, since January 2013 when I first discovered this lovely blog filled with five extraordinary women, each of them a published author; four for fiction, one for non-fiction. They etch their books with stories of heart and soul, binding their audience into a comfort oasis of faith and peace. Their characters (of the four who write fiction), are strong of fortitude, lean on their faith, and have the uncanny way of finding themselves in a muddlement of adversity, coming-of-age, and/or of a life change that is about to be thrust upon them! At least, from what I can gather of their stories from afar, as up until I read “The Prayer Box”, I have merely been a visitor happy to spend time with the women of the Porch! If their blog is any indication of their own character and gift they bestow to us through their writings, I can attest that they are warm-hearted, caring, and personable,… devoted to their time with each other as much as giving of time with their readers. Drop by sometime if you haven’t yet already! I encourage you to meet them as I have come to know them!

Having said this, “Into the Free” is one of the books I’ve checked out of the library far too numerous of times to even dare to admit possible, but in the waiting that I have had to read this novel, the more curious I have become to know of its central character: Millie! Throughout the long months of the 2013 leading into September, a curious new chapter of Millie’s life was revealed in the 1 September 2013 release “When Mountains Move” which picks up the story where the last began! As I have not yet read this first installment, I am a bit in the dark and out of the loop! I did, however, attempt to drop by the Porch each day last week whilst the showcase was on the sequel, but having not felt very well in the ending days of the week, I regret I missed most of what was exchanged!

A curious note should be made that one of my favourite literary exploitations is of Southern Lit and of Southern Gothic! I am not as widely versed in either, but I have gathered a knowledge and cursory knowing of which authors might tempt me to read their stories as much as which stories might endeavour me to wrap my heart around them! Ms. Cantrell (& the ladies of the Porch) are amongst this short list I have been compiling! Therefore, I am hoping that once I conclude this novel, I can move on into the others that have interested me as well! I am finding these stories a bit of a calming balm and that is a credit to the authors who pen them!

I re-directed you to the Fantastic Fiction page for “Into the Free” as try as I could, I did not find the synopsis page on Ms. Cantrell’s blog! Although, there is a nice overview on the audio excerpt page! I am not sure who is reading Millie’s spunky and curiously engaging observations, but her vocalisation of Millie is endearing me to reading her story moreso now than before I ever heard her voice! Parts of this is reminded me a bit of how much I loved “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate”! A book I need to re-read at some point, so that I can convey my full appreciation for its story here on my blog! It’s one of those books that stays with you a bit, long after you’ve put it down! And, I have a suspicion, that Millie and her story inside “Into the Free” is going to be the next one that lingers warmly with a smile on my lips and a hitching in my heart! Listen to her keen awareness in this excerpt and decide if you too, want to embark with her on her journey!

Lucid Stars by Andrea Barrett

I alluded to my reasonings of why I want to dig into the works of Andrea Barrett, in a foreshadowed posting entitled: Austen, her name is Jane Austen! Except to say, that Jane Austen wasn’t the total focus of my post that day, as I was eluding to why I have been fascinated by the works of Ms. Barrett for most of my young years! She’s an incredible inspiration for a reader as much as a writer, and it’s her style of story-telling and the inter-connectedness of her collective works that allows me to think in new ways by which, we as writers create our written legacies, in whole new dimensions of space and mirth! It’s not oft you come across a writer like Ms. Barrett, and I am keenly thankful to finally be at a place where I can start to uncover the words she’s leaving behind!

In this first book, Ms. Barrett introduces us to a rather ordinary family who is transitioning through life changes that will not shock nor surprise many readers, as she is not the first author to explore this particular issue that disrupts the bliss of domestic life. I have always appreciated the landscape of her prose is inter-connected to the skillful observations of a poetic mind inclined to drawing a line of metaphoric symmetry to stitch her stories together! I appreciate that the title of this book is a key to unlocking the true meaning and essence of why she penned it!

I was not able to uncover much about this first book of Andrea Barrett, except there are a few videos on YouTube where she is being interviewed, yet they are discussing other books that she has written since this one was published. Not to be outdone by the absence of material online, I did unearth a review by Kirkus, which might give you a bit of a further clue as to how different her writing style is and what the lay of the story involves!

Finding Camlann by Sean Pidgeon

Read an excerpt in lieu of audio on the publisher [W.W. Norton]’s page for this book.

This was a novel that was adverted through Shelf Awareness earlier in 2013, as a bookaway contest, by which I did enter, but did not win. I was hoping at some junction down the road it would end up in the library’s catalog, as the premise and back-story of research that yielded this book endeared me to the author & the story he told! The quest of writing this particular novel was expanded over half of this writer’s adult life! I can attest that writing a novel takes a heap of time, whilst your involved with living your life, and it did not shock me to read this revelation on his website, because it nearly is truth to form a telling of my own journey as a writer! It’s not your typical historical fiction début, as it allows for more than the regular appearances of contextual time, place, and setting to evolve the story forward in motion.

The legend behind King Arthur is one that always left me wantonly curious to know more of the story! I regret that I never found the time to sit and read about Arthur in the past, but perhaps, if I had, I might not be able to drink in this narrative with the new eyes that I will bring into it!? I oft find myself musefully reflective about how the choices we make in our reading lives have direct impacts on our appreciations of each story we read! If we were to have read one particular book or sequence of books on the same vein of subject or topic, would that then, change or alter, our future perceptions of similar readings!? It makes you curious to denote that for each choice we make, there is a curious nodding of serendipity guiding us as we shift forward! As how can we ever be too early or too late to pick up a book that we’re interested in reading!? And, who is truly to say, which order is best for each reader who alights into the world the book provides!?

If I were ever to have a choice between reading an excerpt or listening to one, I might feign in preference for an audio clip! Mostly as I do not always like to dig too deep into the story that I am about to read, although this differs between book to book, so I cannot readily say, I will never read a full excerpt of a novel, because, point of fact truth, I already have in other instances! In this one, though, I yielded to watching the book trailer which is on his personal website! Again, I applaud the atmospheric music!!

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James

Listen to an audio excerpt on Simply Audiobooks.

One of my favourite haunts in the blogosphere, is actually the blog of a published author: Lauren Willig, of the Pink Carnation series! I cannot recollect when I first started to drop by her blog, as for a few years, I was awaiting the right moment to join in on reading her blog with the other readers’ who had already become acquainted with her series! Perhaps, I am inclined to guilt on this score, when it comes to becoming engaged with writers, yet, I do not always feel this way, as foresaid, I have been visiting the Porch without any foreknowledge of the writers’ books therein! Whichever caused my hesitation, I amended it, and nearly each week, I would check in to see ‘what was new’ with Ms. Willig! Much to my delight, she regularly shares her reading life (by which has ten-folded expanded my own TBR List!), in various re-occurring features!

This is one of the authors she shared on her blog, although, the second book is the book she referenced in her post! By which is entitled: An Inquiry into Love and Death. The title grabbed me at ‘hallo!’ and I knew I wanted to read it instantly! I had long since started a quest for seeking out Gothic stories as much as underlit stories of paranormal origins that did not fall into the ready category of parapsychological fiction that is all the rage at the current moment! I am a bit picky when it comes to which story whets my interest and which story averts my attention completely! This is of the style I am seeking!

The story is set in 1922 as it unfolds, with that curiously familiar tonings of British life found in London. It’s a rather abrupt sample of this story, but what I enjoyed the most was listening to how the author’s name is said aloud, as I wasn’t sure of the infliction for “Simone”. Cheers to uncovering this, as I am usually always the one who says author’s names and their character names rather creatively! One thing I can say, is that if there is a ghost story such as this, I am most keen to read it!

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

I am not sure when I originally discovered this book, but I do remember I was meant to participate in a Booktalk Nation event, where she was being interviewed. What drew me into the story were the parapsychological elements that I like to see included in stories, time to time, such as the gift of first sight! Combine this gift with the art world, and I couldn’t have been more over the moon for wanting to read this story! What is intriguing for me, is the aspect of a simple touch can lead to the greatest journey you’re not expecting to take and a hidden history of an artifact that proves provenance! I like how this appears to be a time slip novel as well, as the story shifts between different time points to convey the story forward!

I now realise what the opening sequence is pertaining too, as its a telepathic connection that she’s not sure she wants to engage in, but cannot keep the subject of her intruding thoughts away from her. I love how she’s quite determined to blend into regular society, as if nothing paranormal had occurred! Or, that she is slightly different and unique from the other commuters on the route to work! I am thinking that this is a story of not only a woman who holds the key to a piece of art’s provenance, but rather still, a woman who embarks on a journey that perhaps leads her to accepting who she is and the gift she’s been given!

Loving a Lost Lord by Mary Jo Putney

Listen to an audio excerpt of this novel on AudioGo.

I was first introduced to Ms. Putney’s writings as a young girl, age 10 or 11, who had stumbled across her inclusion in the Victorian Christmas novella collections! I have always had a hankering for Victorian literature, most keen was I on the romances, and of course, if the dashing men and ladies could have a story set around the Christmastide, you should know, I would always be there to greet the festivities!! There is just something quite natural about the Victorians and Christmas! For nearly nine full months now, I have been hanging out with the Wenches (The Word Wenches), by which, Ms. Putney is a regular contributor! Here, I am getting a quick overview and proper introduction to today’s world of romance, bent on historicals and enriched by research by women who love their craft!

I have long since wanted to sort out which Putney novel I can read now as an adult, as time eclipses off the clock ever so quickly, that when you think you have a world of time at your fingertips, you start to beg to wonder!? Why not start now!? In this way, I have settled on her first book “Loving a Lost Lord” of the series, The Lost Lords. Whilst listening to the latest in this series coming out this year [Sometimes A Rogue], I think it spurned my interest to settle into this series first before the others!

This audio clip introduces us to the back-story of “the Lost Lords”, who had met as youngsters who were in a special group of students who needed a modified series of instruction, if my ears heard right!? My computer’s speakers are grieving me slightly, as the muttering of the computer is superceding the vocality of the narrator! I used the Fantastic Fiction link to give the premise of the novel, as the page on her personal website provided a written excerpt rather than the synopsis. I included the main page for her Fantastic Fiction as a way to scroll to see the Victorian Christmas novellas I was mentioning!

Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman

I came across her first novel, “Saving Cee Cee Honycutt” through my local library, but having not read it, I decided to introduce myself to her writing through this second novel. Generally, I read the first book I come across, but after listening to the audio excerpt, it became even more apparent that this story would nestle itself into my imagination, as readily as “The Prayer Box” had, as it’s one of those gentle stories that glides into your life at just the right moment to appreciate its meaning. In fact, I think between “Into the Free” and “Looking for Me”, I shall be entertaining quite lovely company!

The narrator of this story has a smooth and calming Southern presence that allures you into the world she’s introducing you too! It reminds me of the scene in “Doc Hollywood”, when Michael J. Fox rang the Grady Weather Forecast phone number, just to listen to the voice on the other end of the line. A calming balm to his stress and situation so far removed from Grady. I think sometimes stories like these niche themselves into our peripheral view, at a moment where a glistening of hope and a story of transformation could be just the right story for the season that we are entering! As foresaid, I always lamented that Autumn is a season for new experiences and unexpected adventures, and this book stays true to that point of view!

Those of you have a keen sense of knowing when and how I curate my blog, will already be readily aware that there is a new “category” in my sidebar, which reflects “Publishers on SoundCloud”! Like the counter productive category of “Publishers on Scribd”, this is a new resource I am finding to use as a book blogger! Not only on that level, is my interest entranced with audiobooks, but rather, my keen interest in seeing if I can partake of an audiobook as ambient atmosphere as a backdrop to knitting! I have oft heard stories of knitting groups that select different audiobooks to knit alongside too, as our minds and hearts are always on our stitches, but it’s nice to have a rhythm in the background as a guide to follow as well! I loved the idea! Most keen was the notion that the most recommended genre is cosy mystery! I never had the proper chance to seek out audiobooks until recently [as part of Classics Re-Told ], and so in this way, I am treading into new territory! My only offense would be to note, that there is a streamline shift off audiobooks on CD to audiobooks ONLINE or in digital download formats!!

I hope not to sound like a broken record here, but although, the ‘snippets’ of previews for audiobooks is keenly helpful through SoundCloud, my preference is to listen to an audiobook in a traditional format of audio synchronicity! In this way, I will always seek out books in CD formats, by which, I am not co-dependent on my computer (&/or other tech gadgets!)! Which in my mind, defeats the whole point, as I’d rather stay flexible and fluid as I read and discover stories! I recognise the changing tech, but personally, I love my ‘offline’ life and world! I realise too, you can pick up portable digital devices that work with headphones, but seriously, sometimes you just love the tech you love, and try to limit the ‘extra’ tech you do not necessarily need! Right!? At least, this is true for me! We each must be true to who we are at all times!

My question to you, the reader, which do you prefer!? As a method of previewing a book ahead of reading it!? And, if you could, rather than simply state one a quick response, give a bit of a leeway into why its your preference and/or preferences of choice!?

A. Chapter Excerpts (via Author Websites, Blog Book Tours, Publisher Websites, Scribd, etc.)

B. Book Teaser OR full-on Book Trailers (via YouTube, Vimeo, or elsewhere) as well as searching for author interviews that could be archived.

C. Audio Excerpts (via SoundCloud or similar sites)

D. Reading an author’s biography, bibliography, book synopsis prior to looking up their personal site &/or blog to see if you can find further information about their writing life or novels.

E. Following their book tour either virtually (Blog Book Tour Stops, Facebook Parties, Twitter Parties, Newsletter Giveaways, Website/Blog Bookaway Contests, Booktalk Nation Interviews, etc.) or physically showing up at one of their dedicated tour stops. Oft times in this medium of gathering information, you are most likely able to speak to the author directly and can ask questions that pertain to their latest book OR a book off their back-list that intrigues you. As well as having the opportunities to ‘win!’ their book!

F. Speaking to your librarians to see if they have read the author in question and can relate to you a bit about their style of story-telling.

G. Seeking out book blogs of which might contain snippets of the author’s career, through past interviews, guest posts, blog book tours, OR simply a book of theirs was reviewed by the book blogger which can offer a further clue as to determine your level of interest.

H. Speaking to your friends, family, and circle of reader enthused souls who might be able to give their impression of the author OR the style of the book, if it contains a theme or genre that is known to them.

I. Any combination of the above!

[I specifically fall under the “I” category in total!]

[I originally intended to post this on Wednesday afternoon.]

[And, I’ll tell you one thing: I am quite keen on audiobooks now!

Wow! It’s like theatre on the radio!]

[This marks my second contribution for:]

That Friday Blog Hop

[*NOTE: Any and all purchase links that are attached to SoundCloud are not affiliated with Jorie Loves A Story.]

{SOURCES: Audio Excerpts of: “The Queen’s Gambit” by Elizabeth Fremantle, “The Irresistible Blueberry Bake-Shop and Cafe” by Mary Simses, “The Firebird” by Susanna Kearsley and “Looking for Me” by Beth Hoffman were provided by embed share codes by SoundCloud. Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Ravven with edits by Jorie in PicMonkey. That Friday Blog Hop badge provided by XOXO Rebecca where the weekly event is hosted.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Thursday, 19 September, 2013 by jorielov in Antiques, Arthurian Legend, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Browse, Coming-Of Age, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Library Find, Life Shift, Literary Fiction, Parapsychological Suspense, Rebels and Rogues, Shelf Awareness, Small Towne Fiction, Soundcloud, That Friday Blog Hop, Time Slip, Top Ten Tuesday, Tudor Era, Women's Fiction

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