Tag: #WyrdAndWonder

#EnterTheFantastic as #JorieReads this #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of “Tiger Lily” by Wende Dikec with a small extract from this YA Paranormal Romantic Urban Fantasy!

Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I crossed paths with this Speculative Fiction author in the twitterverse, as we would regularly converse about various literary and bookish topics. Quite randomly, truly, and then, I remember she offered me to read this novel of hers which I was excited about at the time. I can’t remember exactly what took me away from reading it closer to when it arrived as this is part of my backlogue of reviews – where a few years ago I simply lost traction with my review requests and had to put them on a backburner. Last year, during #WyrdAndWonder, this was one of the books I was meaning to read and showcase – however, due to health reasons I had to push it forward til our 2nd Year.

I received a complimentary copy of “Tiger Lily” direct from the author Wende Dikec (now known as Abigail Drake) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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

What first drew my attention
into wanting to read “TIger Lily”:

I know. YA can be really dark and gritty now, can’t it? I don’t write that way. Someone called my book “Legally Blonde meets The Sixth Sense”. It’s actually more of a funny book than a scary book. – Wende Dikec / Abigail Drake response to my initial enquiry

Before I agreed to accept Tiger Lily for review, I wanted to enquire about what I would find inside the book itself as I have had a propensity for being particularly particular about the kind of Young Adult and/or Middle Grade stories I accept for review consideration. I’ve been burnt a few too many times in the past – to where either the undertone ran too dark for me or the overall gist of the novel was delving into deeper and darker waters than the ones I would prefer to tread upon.

My biggest concern for this YA novel was what set it apart from the pack, how did it tackle the Speculative aspects of its story-line and was it a gritty book or was it simply a light-hearted paranormally inclined YA story which anchoured itself well into the niche I call #SpecFic?

When I receive this response from the author, I knew I would alright picking up the story and seeing where it would take me. One of my favourite kinds of paranormal stories are GHOST STORIES – this is a parallel interest of mine, as they’re not just in PNR (ie. Paranormal Romance) narratives or in Urban Fantasy niches of interest (which happens to be my preferred sub-genre) – they can become inclusive to Cosy Horror, Gothic Literature and other genres of note including Historical Suspense or Psychological Suspense narratives wherein you can parlay a ghost story into the background of nearly any story you wish to direct the reader’s attention. The truth in the pudding for me is how the writer handles the discourse from there and augments our perspective not just strictly on the ghost themselves but on the overall world-building therein.

When she assured me there wasn’t any strong language, that the story itself was rather tame and innocent – appealling to readers between 13-16 years (but would benefit a broader audience outside that range), I knew I had found the right story to be reading.

Of course, her greatest compliment to me is when she said “feels like a Jorie story”.

For #WyrdAndWonder Year 2 – it felt rather fitting I would be reading Tiger Lily as this isn’t the only ghost story I’ll be showcasing this May! Ironically or not, a few other ‘ghosts’ snuck into my TBR for the event and I couldn’t be more delighted! I definitely have wanted to dig inside this novel ever since it first reached me in [2016] and I am very thankful I could finally put my heart round it to see what was awaiting me as the years shifted forward.

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

Tiger Lily Book Photography Credit: Jorie of jorielovesastory.com. Photo edits and collage created in Canva.

Tiger Lily
by Abigail Drake
Source: Direct from Author

Lily Madison thought dying because of a bad manicure was the worst thing that could happen.
She was wrong.

Waking up in the hospital and realizing she’s being stalked by an entire herd of naughty little ghosts turns her entire world upside down. She begins to doubt her own sanity until she realizes she isn’t alone. A Goth girl, named Zoe, can see the ghosts, too.

Most of the ghosts look like fuzzy blobs, but one is not blobby at all. He’s a very hot, very annoying dead guy named Nick. Although they dislike each other on sight, Nick soon realizes Lily is his only hope. With the help of Zoe and Mr. Wan, the manicurist who almost killed her, she has only days to get Nick and the other ghosts back where they belong or the whole world will be in terrible danger.

But sending the ghosts back means saying goodbye to Nick forever, and Lily isn’t sure she’ll ever be able to let him go.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781939590770

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Ghost Story, Paranormal Urban Fantasy, YA Paranormal Romance, YA Paranormal Suspense, YA Urban Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Inkspell Publishing

on 28th January, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 200

Published by: Inkspell Publishing

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

The author included a small extract for my readers:

Mr. Wan raised one bushy gray eyebrow and peered at me over his spectacles. “Do you have a problem now, with ghosts?” he asked quietly, not that Miss Lin or her customer could have heard him. She’d moved onto complaining loudly about cauliflower now.

My mouth dropped open in shock. “How did you know?”

Mr. Wan sighed, and put the brush into the bottle of polish, swishing it back and forth as if trying to think about how to answer. “Once, when I was a young boy in my village in China, the same thing happened. A girl died, and then came back to life. We were all so happy, until we realized that she hadn’t come back alone.”

“What do you mean?” My fingers were still extended over the soft white towel that separated us on the table. I couldn’t move. I could hardly breathe.

Mr. Wan grabbed my left hand and went back to work, talking as he painted. “When you cross over the barrier between life and death, things sometimes follow you back. They might be ghosts, or they might be something else. Either way it is a problem for you.”

About Abigail Drake

National award winning author Abigail Drake (previously known as Wende Dikec writes Young Adult Speculative Fiction with romantic and humorous elements. An avid traveller who spent many years abroad, she now lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband, three sons, a puppy named Capone, and a very well used espresso machine.

NOTE: The following links for this author are a combination of what I had previously for "Wende Dikec" and what I found recently for "Abigail Drake" as she has changed the name she's using as a writer. I have the previously released version of "Tiger Lily" which I read for this review as it was part of my backlogue. The Book Site takes you to the NEW listing for "Tiger Lily" via GoodReads.

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2019 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Fantasy Fiction, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Indie Author, Mediums & Clairvoyants, Near-Death Experience, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Urban Fantasy, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction

#WeekendReads | during #WyrdAndWonder | celebrating my #25PagePreview of 3x #newtomeauthors of #Fantasy including a random selection I had amnesia over selecting at my library!

Posted Saturday, 11 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , 4 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.

follow the convo: #wyrdandwonder

[via Instagram & Twitter]

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

Ever since I lost my footing last weekend with my #currentreads for #WyrdAndWonder, I’ve been striving to resume where I left off with my initial readings. The one difference from this 2nd Year of the event compared to the 1st Year is I entered Wyrd And Wonder *migraine-free!* however, due to allergy medicine for my extreme Spring allergies, I encountered a *severe!* supernova migraine our first weekend of the event. A nasty side effect I was not expecting and which took me completely off-guard! It lasted a few days and relapsed shortly thereafter – rendering me offline, unable to read and curiously more exhausted than I bargined for as I had to be mindful of how much rest I needed in order to recover after this particur wreck of a migraine. Being a #migraineur, I am not a stranger to migraines but since I found better medicine in late February / early March (of 2019) I was celebrating my 2nd full month of being free of them — only to be slammed by a doosy of one within the opening days of Wyrd And Wonder. *le sigh*

Not only was I attempting to make amends for the posts I had scheduled to share (which I am still in the process of amending) but I also *forgot!* a blog tour meant to go live yesterday (Friday) (for one of my favourite romance imprints: Harlequin Heartwarming) and had to postpone another Historical blog tour at the same time. Both will be appearing this forthcoming week – but it just proved to myself how hard a toll this migraine had wrecked a bit of chaos on me and how devastating it is when you lose your short-term memory as a result of a bad migraine flaring into your life. Blessedly I only forgot the one tour (ie. Heartwarming) and was able to reschedule the Historical one – but all way round, I was enjoying not having to reschedule any tours for those two months I wasn’t plagued by them frequenting my life.

Thus, I was easing into the weekend, cognisant of not rushing back into reading as that could have an equally adverse effect on me and decided to take it easy whilst re-attempting to start reading again. I thought it might be fun to work on a mini-#25PagePreview where I would select 3x of the stories I was most keenly curious about reading for Wyrd And Wonder and offer this as a bit of a preview of coming revelations. One of these I had already planned to read and review for the event whilst the other two are new books being discovered during the event without any plans to feature them unless I find myself motivated too.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

on what drew me into these stories for #wyrdandwonder:

Whilst trying to self-motivate myself to seek out more #FantasyReads during the calendar year, I’ve noticed my process to return into fantastical realms is in effect a bit hit/miss as previous years will foreshadow as being my track record. There was such a time in my life where I had a better balance of reading #SpecFic spilt between Science Fiction & Fantasy – but in the six years I’ve been a book blogger, I’d say I’ve been hugged inside Urban Fantasy the most and Hard Science Fiction on the opposite end of the spectrum whilst barely moving in/out of either concentrations except for a few here or there which drew my eye towards their narratives. There have been a few eclectically motivating plots within Soft Science Fiction, Paranormal worlds and Genre-bent stories which are more Speculative in nature than they are definitively set within one concentration or the other; with the odd-#CosyHorror thrown in for good measure.

For Wyrd And Wonder : Year 2 : I wanted to continue to expand my horizons and seek out the authors who could potentially become my new beloved authors of whom I’d follow throughout their writerly careers – as technically, that is my goal with every book I pick up to read – to gather new authors to read, follow and blissfully find ruminations over to share with other bookish minded spirits who engage in socially bookish avenues of discussion.

When I first learnt of PRIORY, I knew it would be the “it novel” of the year – it just had that kind of admiration attached to it. Rather than feel the hype was short of the love, I felt this novel might have the kind of staying power all beloved SpecFic titles are given by the legions of readers who have entered the story-line and have felt something special on their visitation within the world itself. At least, this is what I observed as an outsider. I mostly heard of this title through my UK and Euro book blogging friends – as I follow a heap of bookish blogs (via WP and Twitter, directly) and this is the one title I heard the most being discussed for the discerning Fantasy reader. As soon as I heard that, I knew it was a title I needed to gather at my library for #WyrdAndWonder! Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Saturday, 11 May, 2019 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of the Magical Midway Series [book two] “Life on the Lion” by Leanne Leeds

Posted Friday, 10 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Earlier this Spring, I participated in an event uniting book bloggers and Indie Authors called #ReviewPit. One of the authors I discovered during this event was Leanne Leeds – of whom has penned a rather interesting Cosy Mystery series – wherein her lead character is a witch and the whole series is rooted out of her love of carnivals and her past experience of them. What intrigued me the most is how this is a Paranormal Fantasy Cosy series and I was thinking it would make a perfect series to curl up inside during #WyrdAndWonder!!

I was seeking stories during #ReviewPit which caught my eye for their uniqueness but also what was quite lovely is how most of the stories which intrigued me to read were actually within the realms of Fantasy! I found this wicked interesting and it is why I was thankful during #WyrdAndWonder Year 2 I could continue to celebrate my love of Indie Authors & Indie Publishers and Press!

I received a complimentary copy of “Life on the Lion” direct from the author Leanne Leeds in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: I didn’t realise until I was working on releasing the rest of my Magical Midway reviews (belatedly due to my four migraines this month and the aftermath that wrecked on me) that I somehow missed the fact the author’s name was not spelt correctly in the title of my first review nor in the url; having promoted the link on Twitter several times, I decided to let it stand in the url but I’ve corrected the title error. I didn’t realise this as like I said, I had four migraines this May and my recovery from them has been rather difficult. I simply didn’t catch it. My apologies to the author and my readers for that error as I always strive to catch my copy editing mistakes before I promote my posts. Sadly this one snuck past me.

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

Why I am *loving!* my discovery
of the Magical Midway serires:

I love how Leeds inserts her humour straight-off the bat – from how she first describes Charlotte arriving at the Midway and then, how she counters her reflective mirror on Charlotte a full week into the carnival life – wherein, you note how the lifestyle can take a toll on the person living it. It is raw honesty about the long hours and the taxing way the life can make a person feel exhausted in their bones and spirit but also, the humour can be added to cut the seriousness of it as well.

Knowing there is a story involving a lion in the series, I was curious if Uncle Phil mentioning Charlotte should tame them might be a foreshadow of events yet to come. If so, I love how the continuity of the series is immediately visual on the page – especially considering I hadn’t even finished reading the first chapter! Series which own their own world-building and have a proper development ahead of being written speak well of themselves. They make you feel as if the world your first stepping into is not just fully realised but it has already owned its own identity by which you simply have to make the transition as you move inside it. This spoke well of Leeds being able to pull us through her vision and to adjust our impression of how she wanted us to interact with her characters.’

There is a heap of plausible theoretic insight into how Leeds is shaping her world within the Magical Midway – from how there is a division between the humans and the paranormals (as she prefers to call the magical folk and creatures who inhabit her world) to how lifestyles which were once cherished and treasured are now amongst the least understood. It is a fitting augmentation of our own world – where those who lived a more unconventional and transient life in the world of carnivals and circuses suddenly found their centuries old profession to be viewed under a microscope of criticism.

When it came to the Cosy aspects of the story-line, I liked how we took a bit of a naive entrance into the Midway and the Witches Council because it added layers of intrigue into how little Charlotte understood of this world. It was a credit to the foundation of how Charlotte was raised ‘away’ from her heritage and how much she needed to learn on the job if she were going to make any headway at all at understanding what had happened. Traditionally cosy, we hug close to Charlotte as she attempts to unearth the clues she needs to put together a reasonable understanding of the crime which was committed seemingly without anyone observing any wrong doing – this puts us front and centre at the Midway but also lends a new perspective of the Midway to Charlotte.

Although this is a Paranormal Fantasy Cosy Mystery – the world has attributes of recognition from our own modern realm. This includes a lot of hot topics of the hour – from currently used buzz words such as being ‘woke’ about Women’s Rights to the right to proper Equality between genders and a movement towards a future without the adversities of the past. There are keen moments of insight about how the constructs of this world are not a mirror per se of our world but they are influenced by our world or rather, each world in of itself is struggling with the same issues found in each others’ realms. Which means to say, there is still quite a bit to be understood in the Midway world which is countered against Charlotte’s upbringing in ours.

There are certain unique moments within the story where we can see the humour of Leeds shining through – especially considering how often a rainbow of colours is fused to a particular magical moment. The magic in this series is bright, vibrant and colourful – though not always benign, it has a way of presenting itself rather spectacularly! This was a lovely light read within a paranormal world which is letting you see past the veil of how it exists. I liked the cosy atmosphere of how Leeds paced the story-line and even though I had a suspicion of whom was the guilty party, she turnt the tables on me in regards to what the plausible motive would have been! Overall, I learnt I want to re-visit this circus and dig a bit deeper into how the world behind the Magical Midway works – as the truer mystery is how the witches and paranormals co-exist at the circus when no one truly understands the finer points of their own living histories. That, for me, is what caused me to cheer for a sequel – as I had a feeling – the closer Charlotte evolves towards a more confident ringmaster, the closer we’ll become towards understanding the hidden truths of her world.

-quoted from my review of The Witchiest Circus on Earth

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

#EnterTheFantastic with #WyrdAndWonder | Book Review of the Magical Midway Series [book two] “Life on the Lion” by Leanne LeedsLife on the Lion
Subtitle: Magical Midway Cozy Paranormal Mysteries Book Two
by Leanne Leeds
Source: #ReviewPit Author, Direct from Author

A missing mentalist.
A magical ultimatum.
To save the family business, one witch must pull something spectacular out of her hat.

For newly-minted witch Charlotte, moving from the human realm to life in the magical circus is still a tightrope walk. But when the crooked Witches’ Council passes a law that gives her a week to hand over two of her friends, she wonders if she’s in for a big fall. To make matters worse, one of the humans in question goes missing before she can even think up a plan.

As she sorts through the clues, she fights off her feelings for the kind and handsome Gunther. With time running out, she can’t ignore the possibility that her crush could somehow be involved in the plot against her family. To protect her business and her life, she’ll have to find the carny, guard her heart, and hold off the Council before it’s far too late.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781983063817

Also by this author: Witchiest Circus on Earth, Unbearable Magic

Also in this series: Witchiest Circus on Earth, Unbearable Magic


Genres: Cosy Mystery, Fantasy Fiction, Paranormal Urban Fantasy, Urban Fantasy


Published by Badchen Publishing

on 2nd June, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 232

Published by: Badchen Publishing

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #MagicalMidway + #Paranormal #Fantasy

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Magical Midway series:

The Magical Midway series is a paranormal cozy mystery series with eccentric characters, show-stopping magic, sweet romance subplots, and twisty mysteries. If you like eccentric characters, show-stopping magic, and twisty mysteries, then you’ll love this paranormal cozy mystery.

Be sure to visit the Synopsis for these stories on the author’s site!

Charlotte & Aidan (prequel short) | Synopsis

The Witchest Circus on Earth (book one) | see also review

Life on the Lion (book two) | Synopsis

Unbearable Magic (book three) | Synopsis

Go for the Juggler (book four) | Synopsis

Irrelephant Omens (book five) | Synopsis

→ A Call to Charms (book six) *forthcoming 2019 | Synopsis

About Leanne Leeds

Leanne Leeds

Leanne Leeds writes sweet, fun, often romantic but always fast-paced paranormal mysteries, fantasies, and romances. She lives in rural Texas with her husband, daughter, and a house full of cats that would sound like Samson if they could talk.

----

Letter to Readers

Thanks for visiting this book blogger whose reading my stories during #WyrdAndWonder! (be sure to follow the tag in the twitterverse for her updates!) I guess you want to know a bit more than the standard blurb above, hmm?

Well, okay then.

I wrote my first book when I was eight years old – it was, essentially, Trixie Belden fan fiction. Written in pencil and stapled together with a sketch on the front, I was quite proud of my ragged chapbook of a mystery. The desire to write books followed me all the way to The College of Staten Island, where I majored in English with an option in Writing…

…until I dropped out to join the circus. Because, like, why not?

Okay, well, not the circus. I was a production assistant for a stage hypnotist as well as a carnie worker in a variety of food joints touring the Eastern seaboard fair circuit. The experience was relatively short but incredibly impactful on my worldview. Though I went limping back to my apartment in New York broke and had to get a “real job”, I maintained a lifelong fascination with eccentric, alternative and extraordinary lifestyles.

This came in handy in my forties when I was laid off from a large publicly traded company in the middle of mass-layoffs that massacred the careers of nearly everyone I knew—at least for a short time. It was a frustrating end to a 20+ year career in an industry I had once loved but which I now… didn’t. That experience made me realize that I was ready to leave my twenty plus years in management and tech and do something different.

I returned to my childhood dreams of being an eccentric storyteller and living my best weird life. The Magical Midway series was written as a nod to my experience with the showman of the east coast, and their incredible influence on me. I have plans for more paranormal-themed cozies, fantasies, and romances as time goes on, and I tend to produce one book every 2-3 months. These have minimal sexual content (in case that’s important to you).

For dedicated fans, there will always be at least a week-long 99¢ pre-order phase on new books as a thank you. These are announced on the newsletter only, so if you’re interested in getting every future ebook under a buck, sign up!

Thanks for going on this journey with me, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 10 May, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cosy Mystery, Familiars, Fantasy Fiction, Shapeshifters, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Witches and Warlocks