Tag: Sue Duff

Blog Book Tour | “Fade to Black” (Book 1: The Weir Chronicles) by Sue Duff #RRSciFiMonth #IndieWriterMonth

Posted Thursday, 13 November, 2014 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

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Fade to Black Blog Tour via JKS Communications

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Fade to Black” virtual book tour through JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publicist at JKS Communications, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Blog Book Tour | “Fade to Black” (Book 1: The Weir Chronicles) by Sue Duff #RRSciFiMonth #IndieWriterMonthFade to Black
by Sue Duff
Source: Direct from Publicist

In the world of illusions there are many secrets . . .

Ian Black has more than most.

Ian Black is an illusionist with a talent for keeping secrets. College student Rayne Bevan has a gift for uncovering them. She suspects that the popular performer's skills extend beyond the stage and that he's the area’s mysterious and elusive defender of the innocent.

In her efforts to uncover the truth, Rayne is swept into the hidden world of the Weir, a magical race who struggle to prevent Earth from self-destructing. Her inquiries expose Ian to those who would kill for his connection to the planet, and as he fights to keep Rayne safe, they discover a force behind the Weir’s raging civil war—a traitor bent on launching Earth’s Armageddon.

Places to find the book:

Series: The Weir Chronicles,


Genres: Sci-Fantasy


Published by CrossWinds Publishing

on October, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 456

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A bit of a back-story on how this novel was conceived:

Where did you come up with your ideas for Fade to Black?

I was in search of a new kind of superhero and I drew upon my love of science in a deliberate avoidance of all things alien, vampire, werewolf, or typical wizardry. From that basic premise, Ian’s character and the world of the Weir gradually took shape.

You’re a fan of both fantasy and science fiction, and your writing is a hybrid of the two genres. Can you talk a little about writing the book in such a way?

Although the basis of the story is very much Contemporary Fantasy, I pull strong SciFi elements into all the novels in the series. The basic plot centers on the fact that the Weir are dying out. In this day and age, it made sense to me that even magical beings might turn to modern science as a way to stop, or reverse, the extinction of their race. I enjoy the dichotomy that the Weir, with their care of the planet and emphasis of all things natural, debunk what they have stood for, over thousands of years, and mess with Mother Nature in an attempt to save their butts.

While Fade to Black is an entertaining read, you do have a message behind it as well for readers?

Yes, there are two things I hope people get out of reading the series. Regardless of the naysayers, believe in yourself and follow your own strengths and path in the world. Ian didn’t develop his powers as the prophecy predicted, and Rayne wasn’t the firstborn male Sar that her father desired. The fact that Ian turned to illusions in order to do what he couldn’t naturally (lack of powers in a magical world) is key to his character. Tortured for what he had no control over, he discovered and nurtured something that he could control.

Secondly, accept that science can’t explain everything and embrace the wonders and mysteries in the universe. My favorite line from the first book is: There will always be magic in the world, as long as we believe in what we don’t understand.

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About Sue Duff

Sue Duff has been writing since high school but never became serious about it until a skiing accident laid her up for an entire summer and she turned on the word processor to combat the boredom. A couple years later, her first urban fantasy novel, Fade to Black, was a finalist in the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Writing Contest.

By day, she’s a dedicated speech-language therapist in an inner city school district. But her life as a writer is her true passion and the creative outlet keeps her sane. Sue is a member of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and The Pikes Peak Writers. Her creativity extends into her garden and the culinary arts.

Born in Chicago, she moved to Phoenix as a young child. She received her bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University and her master’s from the University of Denver. She is the second oldest of six girls with an avid reader mom and her dad, the family’s single drop of testosterone in a sea of estrogen. Fate thought it hilarious to give her a son but maternal instincts swing both ways and she didn’t break the little bugger. She lives in Colorado with her miniature dachshund, Snickers, and hears from her son, Jonathan, whenever he needs something.

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My Review of Fade to Black:

At first, I must confess I was a bit confused on the dimensions of the world where Ian Black lives, as I am a bit used to world building and characters having a hearty breadth of fusion between the two; untoward not having any gaps or misgivings on where each fit into each other. For Fade to Black, the hardest part about the opening Chapters is that there is a lot of information funneling into sight but there is a bit of an absence of how each component fuses and fits individually as much as which of them key into triggers of the wider story. I felt a Glossary or an Appendix on some of the dimensional time shifting and other elements which give Ian Black and his kind their supernatural abilities would have provided a bit of a foundation.

The part that I felt compelled to read further into the text itself was how Ian Black could conjure illusions out of his training as a performer but also how he could add-in his natural gift to ‘shift’ (spelt: shyft) in/out of rooms and close spaces within where his performances took place. There is a wider story arc existing within the fringes of the background, but without a clarity of knowing ‘what Ian Black’s back-story’ is nor a full understanding of how Patrick fits into his life as his agent (supposing as his role is uncertain) or how there are twins (Mara & Tara), a teacher Milo, and this nefarious cat and mouse dance between the forces of good and evil. There are secondary characters arriving on scene whilst Ian Black is caught rescuing a woman in an alley, but it the absence of understanding who the Duach are and what motivates them against the Weir which I found most frustrating. Even the inclusionary eye of a team of ‘Watchers’ is only encouraged to be taken on sight without understanding if they work for the organisational entity behind the Weir themselves or if they are a group of intercessory workers to keep people like Ian Black safe from dangerous exits of their lives.

As we meet Ian Black, he is getting ready to create an illusionary performance for a cheering audience of supporters of magic and illusion; it is within this performance we find that Ian Black is mortal and not immortal against his tricks of action, light and illusionary art. There are a few small foreshadows about who might come forward later to play a more central role in the story, such as Rayne Bevan, but what drew me in and out of the story itself is having to wait so long to understand the world itself.

I felt as though I were reading the second book in the series rather than the first, there is such a bevy of information I felt was presumptively accepted on behalf of the reader yet I had no honest clue what half of the characters were trying to tell me. Even by page 63, I was only being given snippets of what the entire story arc could be and where the imbalance between the light and dark forces were going to bleed into the world; circumventing the role Ian Black would have as an illusionist.

Rather than giving us a grounding in science at the jump start of the novel, we are picking up small clues of what makes Ian Black uniquely different from others; we never quite see the full picture nor understand completely how his gifts are working to aide him in both his act and his acts of heroism. I wanted to fall into step with this story, and curl into a Sci-Fantasy as riveting to read and devour as the Piercing the Veil Series yet instead I found myself struggling to align in the world of the Weir Chronicles.  My first reading of this novel did not go as I had hoped, I had so many questions bobbling inside of my head as I read each new chapter that the joy I was expecting to feel as I read dissipated. I was disappointed because I simply could not continue forward – I wasn’t sure if I wanted to wait any longer to endear myself to a character who was remarkably unknown to me and whose entire life was a mysterious footnote of exclusion.

Sadly, the cover art combined with the book synopsis had such a breath of promise, I was truly saddened I could not knit inside this world. 

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This blog tour is courtesy of JKS Communications:

Fade to Black Blog Tour via JKS Communications

See what I am hosting next by stopping by my Bookish Events page!

I created a list on Riffle to share the books that I simply could not become attached to as a reader myself, but stories which would benefit a reader to find them, and appreciate them for what each writer gave to their story. For me, the reason I included Fade to Black is because I felt immediately disconnected to the story as soon as I first opened the book itself and unlike my fellow book bloggers who waited til halfway or further into the story to understand the basic metrics of the science behind the curious plot, I am not that patient as a reader who thrives on science based stories of Sci-Fantasy. Therefore, this is now listed on my Riffle List entitled: Stories Seeking Love from Readers.

This review is being cross-promoted via:

SFN 2014 Participant badge created by Jorie in Canva#IndieWriterMonth Blog Feature of Jorie Loves A Story, badge created by Jorie in Canva

Reader Interactive Question:

What do you prefer when you read Sci-Fantasy!? Do you appreciate having a grounding of the science within the fantasy world your reading to be presented in the opening chapters to set the tone, pace, and direction of the story? Or do you prefer to remain in the dark on everything until at long last the revelation takes place further into the novel?

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Fade to Black”, author photograph, author biography, book synopsis, excerpts from the Author Q&A (via the Press Kit) and the tour badge were all provided by JKS Communications and used with permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Badges for Sci Fi November & #IndieWriterMonth created by Jorie in Canva.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 13 November, 2014 by jorielov in #SciFiReadathon, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Fantasy Fiction, Go Indie, Indie Author, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Light vs Dark, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, RALs | Thons via Blogs, Reading Challenges, Sci-Fi November, Science Fantasy, Science Fiction, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense, Urban Life, Vulgarity in Literature

Indie Writer Month (#IndieWriterMonth)| a special focus on Jorie Loves A Story during November & December 2014!

Posted Saturday, 1 November, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

#IndieWriterMonth badge created by Jorie in Canva

I have always had a strong passion for the world of Indies (book shoppes & authors), yet despite all my best efforts to seek out stories published through alternative publishing platforms such as: Independent Publishers & Presses, Self-Published routes (such as POD or otherwise) or even Hybrid Publishing Platforms I found the availability of where they are adverted and spoken about to be a bit limiting prior to becoming a book blogger who became active in the book blogosphere, the book culture in the twitterverse, and a hostess for blog book tours via blog book touring firms and companies.

I had the the pleasure of seeing other bookish bloggers and writers take up the quest to host book spotlights and author features on their blogs leading up to Autumn 2014. I was partially inspired to host my own event as much as shine a light on the fact I read an incredible amount of Indie fiction on a regular basis now! I am always humbled and blessed to have my path cross with authors whose stories not only enchant my mind but they endear my soul. I love the diversity of the stories themselves as much as the love of the craft knitted into their pages.

I cannot wait to share all the lovely posts I am writing which will highlight all the lovely books on my Riffle List which compliments this event! Be sure to watch my Twitter Feeds for announcements & reading tweets whilst I walk through November with a thankfulness of Indie Fiction!

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JLAS Features in Conjunction to #IndieWriterMonth:
  • #IndieWriterMonth Bingo Card Challenge for an Indie Reader
  • This ChocLit Girl has a ChocLit Next Reads List | Why I love Reading ChocLitUK novels
  • Upcoming 2015 Indie New Releases Wicked Happy About
  • Top Indie Children’s Lit: the stories for young readers & young adults
  • Top Indie Speculative Fiction: stories within science fiction, fantasy, & horror
  • Top 10 Favourite Indie Sci-Fi & Fantasy Novels & Writers
  • Top Indie Historical Fiction: stories brought forward out of time itself
  • Top 20 Under-appreciated Indie Novelists
  • Top Favourite Indie Publishers & Presses
  • Next Indie Books to Read on my Bookshelf
  • Next Indie Books to Read via my local library
  • Indie Novels I am Reviewing in December
  • Stories Seeking Love from Readers: the Indie novels spotlight
  • Surprises still to come! :)

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| Calendar of Book Reviews & Author Guest Features |

THIS SCHEDULE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION : PLEASE READ NOTE!

{ titles in purple are cross-referenced/promoted via Sci Fi November }

Mondays:

(3 Nov) LIVE Author Q&A Piercing the Veil series by C.A. Gray (YA Sci-Fantasy)

(10 Nov) Book Review “Invincible” by C.A. Gray (YA Sci-Fantasy)

(17 Nov) Book Review “The Spoils of Avalon” by Mary F. Burns
(Cosy Historical Mystery : HFVBT)

(TBA Nov) Author Interview with Mary F. Burns

(24 Nov) #ChocLitSaturdays Book Review “Dance Until Dawn” by Berni Stevens
(Paranormal (Vampire) Romance)

(24 Nov) Book Review “Impossibe” by C.A. Gray (YA Sci-Fantasy)

(29 Nov) Series Showcase Spotlight “Piercing the Veil” by C.A. Gray (YA Sci-Fantasy)

Tuesdays:

(4 Nov) Author Interview Marcia DeSanctis “100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go” (#FranceBT)

(18 Nov) Series Spotlight w/ Cover Reveal & Author Q&A of Coming Home Series
by Brenda S. Anderson (Realistic Fiction | Inspirational Romance)

Wednesdays:

(5 Nov) Book Review “King of the Mutants” by Samantha Vérant (#Month9Books : MG Fantasy)

(12 Nov) Book Review “The Vineyard” by Michael Hurley (TLCBookTours)

(19 Nov) Book Review “French Twist” by Glynis Astie (French Romance)

(19 Nov) Audiobook Novella Review of “Dragons of Unrest” by Anthony Russo (Dragon Fiction)

(19 Nov) Author Q&A with Anthony Russo

(26 Nov) Book Review “Seldom Come By” by Sherryl Caulfield (Historical Fiction : HFVBT)

(26 Nov) Author Interview with Sherryl Caulfield

(26 Nov) Book Review “Portals, Passages, and Pathways” by B.R. Maul (YA Fantasy)

Thursdays:

(6 Nov) Book Review “100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go” by Marcia DeSanctis  (#FranceBT)

(13 Nov) Book Review “Fade to Back” by Sue Duff (YA Sci-Fantasy)

(20 Nov) Book Review “Sinking Down” by E. Chris Garrison (Urban/Paranormal Fantasy)

(20 Nov) “Softly Falling” by Carla Kelly (Historical Fiction)

(27 Nov) Book Review “A Home for Christmas” Novella Anthology by MK McKintock
(Historical Fiction : HFVBT)

(27 Nov) Author Interview with MK McKintock

(27 Nov) Book Review: “Crown of Dust” by Mary Volmer (Historical Fiction)

Fridays:

(14 Nov) Book Review & Author Interview “Like There’s No Tomorrow” by Camille Eide
(Sweet Romance)

(21 Nov) Book Review “French Toast” by Glynis Astie (French Romance)

(28 Nov) “Lila’s Choice” by Laura Brown (Equality in Lit / Contemporary Romance)

Saturdays:

(1 Nov) #ChocLitSaturdays Chat Fairy-Tales in Fiction | After Canons/Re-tellings

(15 Nov) #ChocLitSaturdays Book Review “A Stitch in Time” by Amanda James  (Time Travel)

(18 Nov) Book Review “Time and Again” by Deborah Heal (Time Travel)

(22 Nov) #ChocLitSaturdays Book Review “Somewhere Beyond the Sea” by Amanda James (Romantic Suspense)

(22 Nov) Book Review “I, Walter” by Mike Hartner (Historical Fiction)

(22 Nov) Author Interview with Mike Hartner

(22 Nov) Book Review “Unclaimed Legacy” by Deborah Heal (Time Travel)

(29 Nov) #ChocLitSaturdays Book Review “Up Close” by Henriette Gyland (Romantic Suspense)

(25 Nov) Book Review “Every Hill and Mountain by Deborah Heal (Time Travel)

(29 Nov) SPECIAL SHOWCASE: History Mystery Serial Overview w/ Author Interview

Sundays:

(9 Nov) Book Review “Becoming Beauty” by Sarah E. Boucher (Fairy-tale Re-Telling)

(16 Nov) Book Review “A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom” by June McCrary Jacobs
(Sweet Romance)

(16 Nov) Author Interview with June McCrary Jacobs

(16 Nov) Book Review “Category 5” by Paul Mark Tag (Science Fiction based on Science Fact Thriller)

(23 Nov) Book Review “Prophecy” by Paul Mark Tag  (Science Fiction based on Science Fact Thriller)

(30 Nov) Book Review “White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy” by Paul Mark Tag
(Science Fiction based on Science Fact Thriller)

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In recognition of my participation in the reading challenge:

Go Indie 2014 Reading Challenge

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This post kicks off my event on behalf of:

#IndieWriterMonth Blog Feature of Jorie Loves A Story, badge created by Jorie in Canva#IndieWriterMonth Take 2 (December) badge created by Jorie in Canva

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Reader Interactive Question:

Share your thoughts on Indie Pub | Press; Self Pub and Hybrid published authors of whom you’ve felt such a strong connection to you wish you could find more readers to share in the joy of the stories which captured your imagination & your heart.

{SOURCES: Poster for #IndieWriterMonth on Jorie Loves A Story created by Jorie in Canva. Badge for #IndieWriterMonth (November & December) on Jorie Loves A Story created by Jorie in Canva. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Riffle List embedded due to codes provided by Riffle.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Saturday, 1 November, 2014 by jorielov in #IndieWriterMonth, Jorie Loves A Story