Blog Book Tour | “Dear Almost” by Matthew Thorburn #poetry collection

Posted Tuesday, 25 October, 2016 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I was selected to review “Dear Almost” by Poetic Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of “Dear Almost” direct from the author Matthew Thorburn in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Blog Book Tour | “Dear Almost” by Matthew Thorburn #poetry collectionDear Almost
Subtitle: a poem
by Matthew Thorburn
Source: Author via Poetic Book Tours

Dear Almost is a book-length poem addressed to an unborn child lost in miscarriage. Beginning with the hope and promise of springtime, the poet traces the course of a year with sections set in each of the four seasons. Part book of days, part meditative prayer, part travelogue, the poem details a would-be father’s wanderings through the figurative landscapes of memory and imagination as well as the literal landscapes of the Bronx, Shanghai, suburban New Jersey, and the Japanese island of Miyajima.

As the speaker navigates his days, he attempts to show his unborn daughter “what life is like / here where you ought to be / with us, but aren’t.” His experiences recall other deaths and uncover the different ways we remember and forget. Grief forces him to consider a question he never imagined asking: how do you mourn for someone you loved but never truly knew, never met or saw? In candid, meditative verse, Dear Almost seeks to resolve this painful question, honoring the memory of a child who both was and wasn’t there.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9780807164310

Genres: Poetry & Drama

Published by Louisiana State University Press

on 1st September, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 88

Published By: Louisiana State University Press

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #Poetry

About Matthew Thorburn

Matthew Thorburn

Matthew Thorburn is the author of six collections of poetry, including the book-length poem Dear Almost (Louisiana State University Press, 2016) and the chapbook A Green River in Spring (Autumn House Press, 2015), winner of the Coal Hill Review chapbook competition. His previous collections include This Time Tomorrow (Waywiser Press, 2013), Every Possible Blue (CW Books, 2012), Subject to Change, and an earlier chapbook, the long poem Disappears in the Rain (Parlor City Press, 2009). His work has been recognized with a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, as well as fellowships from the Bronx Council on the Arts and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. His interviews with writers appear on the Ploughshares blog as a monthly feature. He lives in New York City, where he works in corporate communications.

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Posted Tuesday, 25 October, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Indie Author, Modern Day, Poetic Book Tours, Poetry

Blog Book Tour | “Come Next Spring” by Alana White

Posted Monday, 24 October, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “Come Next Spring” direct from the author Alana White in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why this title interested me to read:

I love stories set in Appalachia or the Rocky Mountains – there is something about the setting and the communities that come alive inside these stories. I’ve had the tendency to focus on historicals – such as Christy which became a series on television that starred Kellie Martin or the Mandie series by Lois Gladys Leppard, both of whom granted me a heap of lovely hours caught up inside their worlds! I also loved the television series The Waltons, which is tucked into the mountains with homespun life lessons and positive affirmations of strong families, siblings and the surrounding community, too. There is something quite timeless about these kinds of stories, and I find them very heart-warming to read.

Thus, I was quite motivated to read Come Next Spring, especially knowing this is the 25th Anniversary Edition of a novel that already has held the attention of an audience long before I met it myself! I am unsure how I missed seeing this all those moons ago, but I was delighted I had a chance to read it now! I also have a soft spot in my heart for coming-of age stories – one even sparked into a sequel I haven’t had the chance to read, which reminds me of the kind of story I’m reading now: Calpurnia Tate! I look forward to reading more Middle Grade and Young Adult novels that are similar in tone, voice, style and articulation of those growing years where so much can be learnt or lost. There is a special niche right now in Children’s Lit that I am constantly re-inspired to read and discover.

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Blog Book Tour | “Come Next Spring” by Alana WhiteCome Next Spring
by Alana White
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

It’s 1949 in Tennessee Smoky Mountain country, and everything in pre-teen Salina’s life seems suddenly different. Her sister is engaged, her brother is absorbed in caring for his sickly foal, and Salina feels she has nothing in common anymore with her best friend. This novel for young people captures the insular spirit of the mountain people, the breathtaking country itself, and a girl’s struggle to accept the inevitability of change.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781504034234

Genres: Children's Literature, Historical Fiction, Middle Grade

Published by Open Road Distribution

on 26th September, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 178

Originally Published By: Houghton Mifflin/Clarion,
now distributed by Open Road Distribution (part of Open Road Integrated Media Inc)

Available Formats: Paperback

Converse via: #ComeNextSpring #HistFic #MGLit

About Alana White

Alana White

Alana White is the author of fiction and nonfiction for adults and young readers. Her most recent publications are the adult historical mystery novel, The Sign of the Weeping Virgin, set at the height of the Italian Renaissance in Florence, Italy, and Come Next Spring, a coming of age novel set in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee in the 1940s.

She is also the author of a biography of Sacagawea, Sacagawea: Westward With Lewis and Clark. She is a longtime member of the Historical Novel Society, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, the Author’s Guild, and the Women’s National Book Association.

She lives in Nashville, TN. Alana welcomes readers and is always available for reader group chats.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

Posted Monday, 24 October, 2016 by jorielov in 20th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brothers and Sisters, Children's Literature, Coming-Of Age, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Middle Grade Novel, Prejudicial Bullying & Non-Tolerance, School Life & Situations, Siblings, Teacher & Student Relationships, The World Wars

Book Review | “Turning the Tide” (Book No.1 of the Little Spitmarsh series) by Christine Stovell #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 22 October, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and created #ChocLitSaturday (the chat via @ChocLitSaturday):

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of marriage enveloped by characters written honestly whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read!

I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other!

I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb! Whilst sorting out how promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. As of June 2016, I became a member of the ChocLit Stars Team in tandem with being on the Cover Reveal Team which I joined in May 2016. I reference the Stars as this is a lovely new reader contribution team of sending feedback to the publisher ahead of new book releases. As always, even if I’m involved with a publisher in this sort of fashion, each review is never influenced by that participation and will always be my honest impression as I read the story. Whether the author is one I have previously read or never had the pleasure to read until the book greets my shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of “Turning the Tide” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Why Jorie wanted to read a Contemporary Rom series:

I’ve had my eye on this series for awhile as I have wanted to read more of the ChocLit series which caught my attention. There is something quite alluring about boats, ships and life on the water – it isn’t often I find a series that is set against a lifestyle I always thought was quite keenly unique. I’ve read about how husbands and wives purchase a boat and take people on excursions whilst raising their children around the lively environment of living on the water vs land. There is an interesting concept there about how you can re-create how to live your life whilst endeavouring to explore a bit more than most could whilst anchoured to land.

This series is still in-progress I believe as there are two installments thus far released, I felt picking up the series in Autumn might be a wonderful time to soak inside a Contemporary Rom series as this is the season that most appeals to me personally, when the wrath of Summer ends. Sometimes I feel stories resonate with us on a seasonal level of curiosity, and for me, the changing climate of Autumn makes thinking about being ‘outside’ or ‘out on the water’ much more enticing than if I were to contemplate that during the Spring or Summer where the brute of the humidity and heat would kill the joy!

Also, too, I liked the title of this first novel in the series – as at different points in our lives, we’re each finding a way to ‘turn the tide’ and re-define our paths. I definitely wanted to see what would happen when two strong individuals came to heads and had to find a middle ground in order to work through the causticity of a development plan. I am purposely seeking out Contemporaries on a personal level of interest too, as sometimes I forsake the stories set in contemporary times for those of the historical past, thus, all three ChocLit stories I am currently reading are set in the modern day! I couldn’t be happier – as I am finding new Contemporary authors who are giving me exactly what I’m seeking out of this kind of style for Romance!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

 Book Review | “Turning the Tide” (Book No.1 of the Little Spitmarsh series) by Christine Stovell #ChocLitSaturdaysTurning the Tide
by Christine Stovell
Source: Direct from Publisher

All’s fair in love and war? Depends on who’s making the rules.

Harry Watling has spent the past five years keeping her father’s boat yard afloat, despite its dying clientele. Now all she wants to do is enjoy the peace and quiet of her sleepy backwater. So when property developer Matthew Corrigan wants to turn the boat yard into an upmarket housing complex for his exotic new restaurant, it’s like declaring war.

And the odds seem to be stacked in Matthew’s favour. He’s got the colourful locals on board, his hard-to-please girlfriend is warming to the idea and he has the means to force Harry’s hand.

Meanwhile, Harry has to fight not just his plans but also her feelings for the man himself. Then a family secret from the past creates heartbreak for Harry, and neither of them is prepared for what happens next…

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 978-1-906931-25-4

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction

Published by ChocLitUK

on 1st June, 2010

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 336

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook, Large Print & E-Book

Order of Sequence of Little Spitmarsh series:

Turning the Tide by Christine StovellFollow a Star by Christine Stovell

Read the Synopsis for Follow a Star

Converse via: #Contemporary & #Romance + #ChocLit #LittleSpitmarsh

About Christine Stovell

Christine Stovell Photo Credit: Tim Jones

Winning a tin of chocolate in a national essay competition at primary school inspired Christine Stovell to become a writer! After graduating from University of East Anglia, she took various jobs in the public sector writing research papers and policy notes by day and filling up her spare drawers with embryonic novels by night.

Losing her dad to cancer made her realise that if she was ever going to get a novel published she had to put her writing first. Setting off, with her husband, from a sleepy seaside resort on the east coast in a vintage wooden boat to sail halfway round Britain provided the inspiration for her debut novel Turning the Tide and Follow a Star. Turning The Tide was a top 100 Bestseller with Amazon Kindle and spent months in the Top 10 Chart for Adult Contemporary Romance. Christine has also published numerous short stories and articles. Christine lives in Wales. Christine novels include: Turning The Tide, Move Over Darling and Follow a Star (July 2014).

Photo Credit: Tim Jones

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo. Read More


Posted Saturday, 22 October, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Britian, British Literature, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Debut Author, Debut Novel, England, Equality In Literature, Green-Minded Publishers, Indie Author, LGBTQIA Fiction | Non-Fiction, Modern British Author, Romance Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature

Book Spotlight w/ Excerpt | Avelynn’s sequel is here! The Vikings #HistRom from last October I loved devouring has a new adventure to be read!

Posted Friday, 21 October, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Stories Sailing into View Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Last October, I made a rather brilliant discovery in Historical Fiction – I met Avelynn for the very first time! This was also my very first historical involving the Vikings – a group of people of whom have held my curiosity for most of my life, yet for some strange reason I never quite took the time I should have to ‘meet them’ properly – either through historicals or non-fiction accountments of their lives! They were such a fascinating group of adventurers, explorers and of course, have such an anchoured past to turbulence and upheaval across power struggles for land & prosperity.

As you can see from this quote from my review last year, I was quite keen on how they were portrayed by Ms Campbell:

On the Vikings themselves:

Alrik isn’t quite the Viking warrior I was expecting to find, though to be honest anyone outside the precept of who Vikings are known for being outright would have been a pleasant surprise, truly! Alrik leads with his heart but with a mind that is truly rapt for battle. He understands loyalty but his trust in both his men and the cardinals of war is where his confidence lies. He isn’t one to tempt a woman past her own senses nor does he find himself able to do anything that is not proper or honourable. He’s an interesting bloke by half, considering he’s at an impasse in regards to his kin who are seeking wrath more than peace.

In some mannerisms he showed Avelynn at their first meeting, I was reminded of stories I’ve read about the Highlander Scots – both are fiercely proud and grit wit a determined air to battle any sort who try to cause them ill-harm or take back a stronghold they’ve already won.

quoted from my review of Avelynn

Avelynn took me by complete surprise – turnt out to be one of my most beloved reads of 2015, and never quite left my mind! I was quite curious what would happen ‘next’ and how the characters within the world of Avelynn would continue to move forward with their lives. It’s compelling drama, but it’s also a brilliantly written arc of Historical Romance set during a difficult time in history where everything is a bit uncertain and strife with war or changes in  power. It’s not the easiest of generations to make your mark on the world but there was so much heart and hope stitched inside this HistRom that I truly felt hugged closet to Avelynn herself and the emotional journey she was undertaking!

This is why I am so wicked excited to be a part of the blog team whose announcing the sequel’s arrival & why this #bookbirthday has me so wicked happy to have a sequel to read this Winter! There is a bit more to the story behind how I’m reading “Avelynn: The Edge of Faith” but right now I want to share the information on the book itself, the beautiful cover art & the lovely Excerpt Ms Campbell provided for me to share with my readers! A bit of a tradition – I shared an Excerpt last October for her debut and now again for her sophomore release!

Enjoy reading this wicked glimpse into Avelynn and Alrik!

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Book Spotlight w/ Excerpt | Avelynn’s sequel is here! The Vikings #HistRom from last October I loved devouring has a new adventure to be read!Avelynn
Subtitle: The Edge of Faith
by Marissa Campbell

It’s the year 871. Charges of treason, murder, and witchcraft follow Avelynn into exile as she flees England with Alrik. Arriving in Wales, they find refuge among Alrik’s friends in the Welsh nobility. Cast out by his half-brothers, Alrik seeks to regain his honor and earn favor with the gods. When war threatens, Alrik embraces gold and the opportunity for his crew to become mercenaries, aiding the Southern Welsh kings in their fight against Rhodri the Great.

Desperate to return home, Avelynn seeks to find a way to prove her innocence, but she is pitted against Alrik as their desires for the future clash. With battle looming, Avelynn’s faith in their relationship is further tested through a bitter struggle with Marared, a jealous lover from Alrik’s past. Marared’s threats turn deadly, and Avelynn runs afoul of magic and sorcery, causing her to question her beliefs and role as priestess.

When Avelynn and Alrik are betrayed, Avelynn is captured and Alrik is charged with regicide. The two become separated, a chasm of greed, deceit, and ambition driving them apart. In an act of harrowing faith, Avelynn will stop at nothing to find her way back to Alrik and break them both free from Wales’s bloodthirsty grasp.

AVELYNN: THE EDGE OF FAITH is a stand-alone novel and #2 in the Avelynn series.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 978-0986627217

Also by this author: Avelynn

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance

on 26th September, 2016

Published By: Self Published Author
Available Formats: Paperback & Ebook

Converse via: #Avelynn

About Marissa Campbell

Marissa Campbell

Marissa Campbell is a published freelance author, and co-author of the award-winning, spiritual self-help book Life: Living in Fulfillment Every Day.

Her debut historical fiction AVELYNN, was published through St. Martin’s Press, September 2015. She self-published her sophmore release Avelynn: The Edge of Faith. She is a proud member of the Historical Novel Society, Romance Writers of America, Writer’s Community of Durham Region, and local critique group B7.

When she is not writing, she is busy looking after her wonderful children, spending time with her fantastic husband, hanging out with her awesome friends, teaching yoga, dancing, laughing, and having fun!

Author's biography updated October 2016.

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Posted Friday, 21 October, 2016 by jorielov in 9th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Arthurian Legend, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Book Trailer, Bookish Films, Canadian Literature, Crime Fiction, Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, England, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Gods & Goddesses, Heroic Bloodshed, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Mystery, Saxon | Viking History, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, Warfare & Power Realignment

#ChocLitSaturdays | Author Q&A feat. Christina Courtenay’s #newbook “The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight” w/ an exclusive extract from the novel!

Posted Saturday, 15 October, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of hosting Ms Courtenay’s Cover Reveal for this title, as I was quite smitten with the idea that the series I began to read starting with “The Silent Touch of Shadows” has been accumulating in titles leading up to to this wicked fourth release! I happen to fancy time slips, ghost stories and atmospheric psychological suspense novels – of which is happily residing inside this series, as it’s a combination of factors from the Rom Suspense genre intermixed with Paranormal Rom that whet such a thirst of interest inside me to read! I find that it’s such a wicked good read, you simply cannot stop at reading just one, but will happily delight in residence as you proceed through the series!

Being time slips, you know your in for an incredible ride, because you’re about to ‘slip’ through time’s arrow – anchoured to two individually unique eras of time, whilst being enveloped inside a riveting story-line that will quite literally put you on the edge of your seat! You never know quite what will unfold as you take those tentative steps to alight next to the lead characters, of whom are not always realising their walking such a unique path between the veils! There is a subtle nature to how the stories unfold – as you truly have to allow yourself to ‘let go’ of particulars – the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ and simply get caught up inside the moment of discovery! Be willing to ‘go there’ with the characters and you’ll find yourself fully intrigued by what will happen next!

I had the opportunity to expand today’s exclusive extract with an impromptu author convo which I am most delighted about featuring, as I love this splice of loveliness inside Romance – it’s hard to pin-point what I love more, which is why I was inspired to launch a discussion about this series parlaying into the theme of today’s #ChocLitSaturday chat “Soul Mates, Ghosts & Time Slips in Romance”! Join us at 11am EST / 4p UK to discuss Ms Courtenay’s series & encourage the lively exchange of how this topic can be explored! Be sure to follow @ChocLitSaturday to get in on the chat, whilst keeping your eyes on our hashtag #ChocLitSaturday!

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Celebrating the Paranormal Romances of Christina Courtenay
& her “Shadows of the Past” series

Read the author’s thoughts on writing Time Slips via her Guest Post
(which focuses on this series)

The Silent Touch of Shadows began the series

The Soft Whisper of Dreams is the sequel to The Secret Kiss of Darkness

& The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight is the fourth in the series to release!

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On my Connection to Ms. Courtenay:

Two years ago, on the 26th of April, 2014, I created #ChocLitSaturday a weekly Rom chat to celebrate the novelists of ChocLitUK but also, to expand to include book bloggers, readers and writers of Romance who have a penchant for the genre as a whole. Ms. Courtenay started to become a regular fixture, and her encouraging conversations & ability to inspire others to converse freely throughout the chats put me at ease in my new role as a ‘Hostess’. She always seemed to know how to either start a topic or how to best suggest something to break the ice! I was always so very grateful to her and I am thinking I might have forgotten to tell her directly how much gratitude I had for her in those earlier chats! Over the weeks that have followed, I have found myself attached to each of my ‘regular’ chatters during the hour, and I consider Ms. Courtenay a bookish like-minded soul, as we tend to appreciate the same types of stories!

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Courtenay through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I host #ChocLitSaturday the chat and having previously read her time slip novels. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time or continuing to read their releases as they are available.

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Posted Saturday, 15 October, 2016 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight & Announcement, British Literature, Castles & Estates, ChocLitUK, Gothic Literature, Gothic Romance, Indie Author, Modern British Literature, Paranormal Romance, Parapsychological Suspense, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Supernatural Fiction