Book Review | “Jane Two” by Sean Patrick Flanery A debut novel about coming-of age by an actor I grew up watching on tv series and in films.

Posted Thursday, 28 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, I started by reviewing releases by FaithWords (the novels of Stephanie Grace Whitson), their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been blessed to start reviewing for them.

I received a complimentary copy of “Jane Two” direct from the publisher Center Street (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On Dedications & Acknowledgements and why I wanted to read ‘Jane Two’:

Hallo, hallo dear hearts! I have a habit of reading through a particular series of steps which in the past I may have outlined on another review. As I recognise I’ve spoken about this before, however, the reason I re-draw attention to this habit, is because as I picked up Jane Two, Mr Flanery left me with such a pause of thought to ponder! I am unsure what makes me giddier, the nebulous references to key moments in an author’s life (such as he has done) or the lovely gush of joy and exuberance bursting through the note Cathy Kelly left at the close of Between Sisters (the latter of which is my forthcoming second review on behalf of a novel by Grand Central). I have a keen story to share with you then about serendipity and the beauty of unexpected joys.

Flanery dedicated his debut novel to “her“, which he repeats in full favour by mentioning her again in his closing remarks… it is the kind of quiet sentiment you love to find. Your half privy to his thoughts but withheld from the truer meaning behind why he’s chosen to share what he has left behind.

I appreciated the sentiment that we all grow and develop into our authentic selves through a process of experiences (his word: moments). I was raised by parents who cherished the ability to help me cultivate experiences and adventures; the latter here could be as simple as climbing trees or flying solo (within a touring group) to Mexico. To be observant of the still moments where we understand a piece of ourselves not yet disclosed and to embrace the unknown; as life is never quite predictable.

The only moment where I faltered not to spoilt the context of the story is when I accidentally opened the novel and my eyes caught sight of a curious cluster of words. Mind you, once caught, even for a nanosecond, of course I stopped what I was doing and read the paragraph in full. I read the rest of the page and then the proceeding page and closed the book rather flummoxed by what the short reading yielded into view. Language aside (as I’ll address that later) it was the tone and the choice(s) in dialogue that furrowed my brow in confusion.

I can honestly say I could not even fathom how such an exchange could exist in childhood. I hadn’t thought my growing years were too dissimilar to anyone else, but in light of that singular moment, I drew a breath knowing I was about to read a story that very well could be a challenge to understand. I wasn’t lost on the fact that I am not that far off in age from the author, yet we’ve lived lives so very separate from each other,…

That being said, I still held my original thoughts about why I wanted to read ‘Jane Two’ forefront in mind, as I was quite curious how Flanery would summarise his coming-of age philosophical tale:

I caught sight of #JaneTwo earlier in the year, as Winter was starting to wan – it took me half a moon to sort out where Mr Flanery was on Twitter (*which I did cheekily mention*) – but what caught my eye the most, is the tender coming-of age story written by an actor I quite literally saw grow up on camera and screen. I did not pick this title to read as a book blogger based on the promotional praise it was receiving nor even the fact Flanery wrote it; I picked this title because I wanted to read the story behind the synopsis by a bloke I believed in. I watched the choices in characters he has picked as well as fell out of knowing what he was doing for a spell of time, too. I brought myself up to speed when I saw the release of #JaneTwo and knew I wanted to support this new chapter of his life, too. FYI: The fact he wrote a ‘coming-of age’ story was icing on the cake, as I have a soft spot for those types of stories! – originally disclosed on my #WWWeds No.7

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Review | “Jane Two” by Sean Patrick Flanery A debut novel about coming-of age by an actor I grew up watching on tv series and in films.Jane Two
by Sean Patrick Flanery
Source: Direct from Publisher

A coming of age debut novel from The Boondock Saints and Young Indiana Jones actor Sean Patrick Flanery.

A young Mickey navigates through the dense Texas humidity of the 70's and out onto the porch every single time his Granddaddy calls him, where he's presented with the heirloom recipe for life, love, and manhood. But all the logic and insight in the world cannot prepare him to operate correctly in the presence of a wonderfully beautiful little girl who moves in just behind his rear fence. How will this magical moment divide Mickey's life into a "before and after" and permanently change his motion and direct it down the unpaved road to which only a lucky few are granted access?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781455539437

Genres: Contemporary Fiction


Published by CenterStreet

on 5th April, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 304

Published by: Center Street (@centerstreet.com)
an imprint of
Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks) via Hachette Nashville

Formats Available: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #SeanPatrickFlanery + #JaneTwo & #ContemporaryFiction

About Sean Patrick Flanery

Sean Patrick Flanery Photo Credit: John Schell

SEAN PATRICK FLANERY is an American actor who was raised in a small town outside Houston, Texas. He has appeared in over 100 movies and television shows, some of which he hopes you've seen and some of which he hopes you haven't. He lives in Los Angeles, California, with his family, where he works in the entertainment industry, writes, and owns and operates a martial arts academy.

Photo Credit: John Schell

Read More

Divider

Posted Thursday, 28 July, 2016 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), CenterStreet, Coming-Of Age, Content Note, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Fly in the Ointment, Realistic Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Vulgarity in Literature

Book Review | “Almodis: The Peaceweaver” by Tracey Warr My first EPIC historical novel from Impress Books!

Posted Wednesday, 27 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Impress Books (from the UK), as I found Impress Books at the conclusion of [2015] and have been blessed to start reviewing for them. I crossed paths with one of their publicists on Twitter and started a convo about the historical novels of Tracey Warr. This led me to ask if they would consider a book blogger stateside to review her stories and thankfully my enquiry was well-timed as Warr has a new series launching in 2016! I look forward to hosting their authors (either for review or guest features) and finding well-researched stories of convicting historical story-lines in the process.

I received a complimentary copy of “Almodis: The Peaceweaver” direct from the publisher Impress Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What initially drew my eye to read Almodis:

I love EPIC Historical dramas – especially the ones where your being treated to an unknown chapter of history you’ve yet to visit properly! The 11th Century is one of my under-read centuries of interest and when it comes to the locale for this novel (Languedoc) I’ve visited this setting previously in the war drama that crushed my soul: Citadel. I entreated inside the Early Middle Ages previously when I read Illuminations, wherein I was so distraught for Hildegard’s plight, I was thankful her story had a bit of restitution at it’s conclusion. By the time I re-visited this part of the Middle Ages in Camelot’s Queen, I had noted how guttingly difficult the Medieval Ages were overall.

I am drawn to fiercely strong female protagonists in historical fiction narratives – this has been true throughout my wanderings in literature for the past three years I’ve been blogging my bookish life. Inasmuch as it held true as a reader who sought out one wicked good read after another that would bring the gravity of historical perspectives through a living spirit of a character you felt you could emphatically respond too outright.

When I first read the synopsis for this novel, I was struck by several things all at once: the centreing of the timescape by Warr, the determined grit of her lead character Almodis and the conviction of proving to everyone that you can carve out your own destiny, even if others around you are not as easily convinced your living in an era where a woman can choose her own path to walk. The backdrop of war felt fitting for the era, as most of the early centuries were torn by war and by power re-alignments to such a madding level of frequency, it’s curious how anyone felt any measure of peace to simply ‘live their lives’ without a cloud of fear looming over them; especially to see if war would touch them directly.

Going into my readings, I was wicked happy to be reading a well-researched and well-thought out portion of the historical past, as evidenced by Warr’s approach to conceive this story but also, how she aligned her vision by the way her story is laid out inside the novel itself. I also had in the back of mind the notion that before I could address her newest novels (the Conquest series), I wanted to pull back time and retreat inside the debut novel that set the tone and score of everything that would come lateron.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Review | “Almodis: The Peaceweaver” by Tracey Warr My first EPIC historical novel from Impress Books!Almodis
Subtitle: The Peaceweaver
by Tracey Warr
Source: Direct from Publisher

"Some say Almodis was a serpent, a scandal, a whore. They say wrong."

After generations of fighting amongst the ruling families of eleventh-century Occitania, the marriage of Almodis de la Marche to Hugh of Lusignan is intended to bring peace and harmony to the region. But at a time when a noblewoman's purpose is to produce heirs, Almodis resolves to create her own dynasty.

Almodis' path to power and happiness is fraught with drama. Having escaped her marriage blanc to God-fearing Hugh, she weds the lascivious Pons of Toulouse and takes over the administration of the great city. However, his distrust leaves him plotting to imprison her at a nunnery. Fearing for her life, Almodis flees in the dead of night - the young, gallant Count of Barcelona might be her one chance, if only he wasn't betrothed to another...

Intrigue, forbidden love and murder underpin this extraordinary story based upon the life of a real medieval countess, whose children went on to rule southern France and northern Spain.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781907605093

Genres: Biographical Fiction, French Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


Published by Impress Books

on 12th October, 2011

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 345

Published by: Impress Books (@ImpressBooks1)

Formats Available: Hardcover & Ebook

Warr’s second novel was The Viking Hostage (Book Synopsis) | Pub Date: 1st September, 2014

Warr’s upcoming NEW RELEASE is the 1st novel of the Conquest series:

Daughter of the Last King (Book Synopsis) | #PubDay is 1st September, 2016

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistRom

About Tracey Warr

Tracey Warr

Tracey Warr is a writer based in Wales and France, and has published novels and books on contemporary art. She was Senior Lecturer, teaching and researching on art history and theory of the 20th and 21st centuries, at Oxford Brookes University, Bauhaus University and Dartington College of Arts.

Her first novel, Almodis: The Peaceweaver (Impress, 2011), is set in 11th century France and Spain, and was shortlisted for the Impress Prize for New Fiction and the Rome Film Festival Book Initiative and received a Santander Research Award. Her second historical novel, The Viking Hostage (Impress, 2014), is set in 10th century France and Wales.

She received a Literature Wales Writer’s Bursary for work on her new trilogy, Conquest , set in 12th century Wales, England and Normandy. She received an Authors Foundation Award from the Society of Authors for work on a biography of three medieval sisters, entitled Three Female Lords. She is also working on a new historical novel featuring a 12th century female troubadour in Toulouse, and on a future fiction novel set in the debatable territory of a river estuary, between water and land, in the 22nd century.

Her writing on contemporary artists has been published by Phaidon, Merrell, Black Dog, Palgrave, Manchester University Press. Her latest art publication is Remote Performances in Nature and Architecture (Ashgate, 2015). She reviews for Times Higher Education, Historical Novels Review and New Welsh Review.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
Divider

Posted Wednesday, 27 July, 2016 by jorielov in 11th Century, Biographical Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), British Literature, Brothers and Sisters, Bullies and the Bullied, Castles & Estates, Child out of Wedlock, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Disillusionment in Marriage, Early Middle Ages [the Dark Ages] (1001-1300), Family Life, Father-Daughter Relationships, France, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Impress Books, Indie Author, Inheritance & Identity, Jorie found the Publisher on Twitter, Life Shift, Midwife | Midwifery, Midwives & Childbirth, Monastery, Monk, Passionate Researcher, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Religious Orders, Siblings, Sisterhood friendships, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Spain, Spontaneous Convos Inspired by Book, Twin Siblings, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Vulgarity in Literature, Warfare & Power Realignment, Women's Health, Women's Rights, Writing Style & Voice

Book Review | “Claiming Noah” by Amanda Ortlepp A jolt of heart-clutching emotional drama as we teeter on the brink of understanding the fuller picture of this drama!

Posted Tuesday, 26 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, I started by reviewing releases by FaithWords (the novels of Stephanie Grace Whitson), their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been blessed to start reviewing for them.

This marks my first review on behalf of Center Street which is also a pivotal imprint for readers seeking inspiring & realistic stories for today’s contemporary world. Stories on topics highlighting current events and/or pivotal life lessons wherein a level of uplift is gained by having the stories grace our lives with their presence. I love seeking out inspirational fiction in all it’s incantations of expression and I am finding Center Street is quite the impressive imprint for unique voices in modern literature.

I received a complimentary copy of “Claiming Noah” direct from the publisher Center Street (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I wanted to read ‘Claiming Noah’ and continue to highlight stories of mumhood:

I have been featuring stories of motherhood on my blog since I first posted my review on behalf of an incredible adoption story: Red Thread Sisters. I was further moved emotionally by the incredibly layered story within the chapters of The Language of Hoofbeats which I had the pleasure of reading for review a short time later. My own path towards motherhood is going to be through adoption as I have been researching adoption for most of my life; as originally if all had been equal my parents would have adopted a younger brother for me. My parents wanted to expand our family first and foremost, but the added benefit at the time I felt was that I would have a younger brother! Something I felt my peers took for granted as I felt it was a blessing to have siblings rather than feeling resentful of them. This goes back to before children were legally free to be adopted and were not being forestalled from prospective adoptive parents; in other words, before Tipper Gore changed adoptive history.

I knew when I began Jorie Loves A Story I wanted to take time to highlight adoptive stories (specifically those featuring foster children) as well as different routes towards motherhood and parenthood, as there are so many different routes towards that end, the stories I could read are limitless. Part of my inspiration to do so is to curate a small library of choices to share with my future children; as I know self-identifiable story-lines are important to children who are growing up in non-traditional families as much as they are for everyone else who has a traditional home environment. Secondly, I wanted to read about motherhood because I feel there are wonderful writers out there who are writing about mumhood in a way that is tangible for today’s contemporary women and men. I think sometimes they are overlooked at being convicting and emotionally centering by the heart of their narrative depths by modern readers; thus inspiring me to seek them out and start to showcase them directly.

I love discovering stories of motherhood and fatherhood; single, married, divorced, widowed or newly married for a second time where the children are natural bourne, adopted, conceived through IVF or involve kinship related-adoptions. These are only a handful of ways children can enter our lives, too, giving us such a breadth of choice where fiction can take us. I knew when I read the premise of this novel it was going to be hard-hitting and downright thought-provoking as there are certain questions that would challenge the reader as much as the characters themselves. The best fiction are the ones that give us something to chew on and attempt to present a scenario that realistically highlights a life or a journey that not everyone takes but is worth considering how you might react inside that same situation. I was thankful Claiming Noah was amongst the books I could consider to review; as I felt it was a story that deserved being known.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Review | “Claiming Noah” by Amanda Ortlepp A jolt of heart-clutching emotional drama as we teeter on the brink of understanding the fuller picture of this drama!Claiming Noah
by Amanda Ortlepp
Source: Direct from Publisher

This riveting debut novel of psychological suspense explores the dilemmas that arise when motherhood and science collide.

Catriona Sinclair has always had a well-developed sense of independence--in fact the one sore point in her otherwise happy marriage is her husband James's desire to take care of her. As she's often tried to explain to him, she took care of herself before she met him, and did a good job of it. But James has been especially attentive lately as they struggle to have a baby. They succeed at last through in vitro fertilization, but unwilling to risk the heartbreak of another miscarriage, they decide to make their "spare" frozen embryo available to another family.

Diana and Liam Simmons are desperate for a child. Unable to conceive, they are overjoyed to learn that as the closest genetic match to the Sinclairs they are the recipients of the embryo donation. Diana's only concern is her mother's disapproval of IVF, but any doubts raised are quickly eclipsed by Diana's joy of being pregnant.

As Diana is finding delight in every aspect of motherhood, Catriona keeps waiting for the rush of adoration she knows she is supposed to feel, but instead slips into a deep depression. Just as Catriona begins to find her way back to normalcy, one of the babies is kidnapped. Suddenly, all of their lives begin to unravel and intertwine, and none of them will ever be the same.

Places to find the book:

ISBN: 9781455565986

Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Current Events, Motherhood | Parenthood, Realistic Fiction, Women's Fiction, Women's Studies


Published by CenterStreet

on 5th July, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 384

Published by: Center Street (@centerstreet.com)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks) via Hachette Nashville

Formats Available: Hardcover & Ebook

  • Trade Paperback has a #PubDay of 4th April, 2017 (ISBN: 9781455565993)

Converse via: #motherhood, #IVF or #mumhood

+ these two in combo: #Contemporary #Suspense

About Amanda Ortlepp

Amanda Ortlepp Photo Credit: Philip Klaunzer

AMANDA ORTLEPP lives in Sydney, Australia, where she is already at work on her second novel.

Photo Credit: Philip Klaunzer

Read More

Divider

Posted Tuesday, 26 July, 2016 by jorielov in Adoption, Australia, Australian Literature, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut in United States, Debut Novel, Family Drama, Family Life, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Kidnapping or Unexplained Disappearances, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Loss of an unbourne child, Medical Fiction, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Mother-Son Relationships, Psychiatric Facilities, Realistic Fiction, Sudden Absence of Parent, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction, Women's Health

Cover Reveal | A previously released e-book series is *now!* an #anthology of Christmas novellas arriving in PRINT via @ChocLitUK! The Christmas Kisses trilogy by Alison May!

Posted Tuesday, 26 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , , 0 Comments

Stories Sailing into View Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

If your a regular reader or frequent visitor of Jorie Loves A Story, you know I’ve been smitten with the novelists who publish their relationship-based Romances with ChocLitUK for a good two years now! I love being on the cusp of learning about a ‘new release’ whilst I remain patient to see if the Digital First new ChocLit novel will make it to a print release further down the road of it’s lifetime. I don’t mind the gaps between the ebooks and the print editions – as it’s always given me the pleasure of balancing my ‘next ChocLit reads’ to include both Front List and Back List offerings. Thus, I am enjoying being a member of the Reveal Team at ChocLit whilst it gives me a chance to introduce my readers to a variety of sub-genres within Romance I appreciate picking up to read!

On my new position as a ChocLit Star member: Whilst I am part of the ChocLit Reviewers having brought reviews & guest author features to Jorie Loves A Story for the past two years, I have recently become a part of the Cover Reveal Team, as disclosed when I hosted the first Reveal on behalf of Sheryl Browne’s ‘Learning to Love’. This new team works with ChocLit providing honest feedback on ‘projects’ such as title & book cover design choices as well projects in development on behalf of the publisher. I accepted being a ChocLit Star as I felt my love of the stories would be a good fit to give in-depth responses to the projects pitched to the Stars. Therefore, when I blogged about the cover for “Revenge is Sweet” it was the first reveal where my input as a ChocLit Star helped the reveal become possible!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Imagine Jorie doing a wicked happy dance as she blogs this post!

Holly’s Christmas Kiss | originally released 6th December, 2013

Cora’s Christmas Kiss | originally released 7th December, 2014

Jessica’s Christmas Kiss | originally released 12th December, 2015

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

There is such a lovely felicity about these cover designs – they happily visualise what I love about Winter; a proper dusting of snow, a wonderful pathway to walk with someone beside you and that glow of Wintry blissitude that simply cannot be overlooked as being one of the most stilling experiences you can endeavour to collect inside your memory bank! I love Winter by all accounts; even if, sadly I’ve never experienced a full Wintry repose in reality! I have travelled through Winter in the stories authors leave behind me to find and inside the shoes of characters whose hearty spirits are an equal match to how difficult Winter can become to survive.

Depending on which way you enter Winter through genre or styling of a character’s journey, there is a lot to be happily caught up inside as you curl into a snow-covered slice of living! What I loved most about how these novellas were illustrated as they paint the portrait of the lighter side of Winter; the spot of Winter that isn’t too vexing for it’s complications and it’s inconveniences but rather for it’s light-hearted grace to allow us a bit of revelry and joy!

They also happily convey what I love about reading Christmas Romances! There is a certain setting that appeals to you when your reading holiday stories and for me, if it’s a Christmas or holiday Rom, it must have heaps of snow! Especially the light kind, where you can still see the snowflakes capturing the fading light of the moon or caught in the shine of a streetlamp on it’s way down to you? Snow is romantic all of it’s own, but there is something to be said for walking in a light snow shower, talking to someone you know your growing more attached too by the second and simply being caught up in a season that has a zest of appeal for a girl who baked her skin silly in a climate where Summer ruled!

I love how all three women are walking inside of a park, dressed & trimmed for the Christmastide whilst having the pleasure of a park bench nearby if you wanted to simply soak in the ‘moment’ whilst enjoying the company of the bloke your falling in love with as time slips away as the snowflakes continue to fall! I love walking in downtown areas fully alive with the spirit of the traditions which are locally celebrated and on full display for a towne’s visitors! They way the lights dance against buildings and how the festive vibe is carried through the street poles displaying the Christmas wreaths & decorations!? Ribbons around trees or twinkle lights in shoppe windows; the tickling sensations of cinnamon & spiced candles or incense peppering through the cold crisp air as you window shoppe your way through a holiday scene? Ahh.. yes, Christmas is my favourite time of the year! And, these covers are bang-on brilliant at capturing what is so very alluring about reading a Romance during this seminal time of year!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

I’ve been itching to find out that the novellas of ChocLitUK would either be releasing in audiobooks and/or even more wickedly, *print!* editions – imagine my wicked awesomesauce excitement in seeing what arrived in my Inbox overnight! I’ve been offline quite unexpectedly for the past weekend – anyone whose kept a pulse alert on the climatic issues affecting my country (the USA) will have noticed our rising temperature degrees are at alarmingly highs; not only creating a difficulty for absences in rain (to counter drought &/or wildfires) but are proving harder to circumvent the ‘baked feeling’ you get against your skin whenever you exit a building!

I, on the other hand, have the added benefit of having issues with heat exhaustion – something I’ve experienced since childhood! I might have been bourne in a Southern clime but that doesn’t mean it’s agreed with me! I honestly loathe the sunshine & my happiest days are seriously overcast grey, cloudy and/or full-on rain showers (sans lightning!)! Give me a lovely sky absent of the sun & I will walk on sparklements of joy all day long!

This is why I was offline for the past three days, as I recovered from a bout of that craziness that was definitively due to naughty weather where humidity & the extreme temperatures of volcanic heat make me swelter into oblivion! Combined with the unexpected circumstances of Saturday, I honestly missed chattering with my mates during #ChocLitSaturday wherein I was most pleased my co-host Juli was able to rally everyone together & have a proper chat about love connections in Romance novels! I had fun re-playing the chat, and I hope those of you who might have missed it, did as well!

I normally release Cover Reveals early in the morning hours – however, I am switching from hosting ChocLit Cover Reveals on London time, to the morning hours of New York City (otherwise known as Eastern Standard!); ergo, outside of this one, as I was so itching to share the lovely news, I decided to forego the fact I *missed!* the hour to announce it properly – you’ll be finding my future ChocLit Reveals arriving during the eight o ‘ clock hour! As I have noticed this is a good time to ‘catch!’ those of you, of whom are following my bookish journey via my blog & my twitterverse exploits!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Read More

Divider

Posted Tuesday, 26 July, 2016 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight & Announcement, British Literature, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Modern British Literature, Romance Fiction, Romantic Comedy

Book Review | “Pieces of Granite” (Prequel, Coming Home series) by Brenda S. Anderson Jorie happily returns to a series that touched her heart!

Posted Friday, 22 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I answered a call to become a member of Ms. Anderson’s Author Street Team which was posted on her blog in March 2014. She accepted me as part of her Street Team, whereby I am one of her early readers who has the opportunity to read her novels a bit ahead of their published release or just after their release date, whilst finding ways to talk about why I love reading her novels on my blog and Twitter feeds. I truly love championing her collective works as she’s writing wicked good INSPY fiction for today’s modern reader. I re-affirmed my commitment to her Street Team in July 2016, as I never truly left but my participation was on hold until this Summer. Most of my participation between 2014 and 2016 occurred on Twitter; you can still find my tweets threading through the twitterverse about the Coming Home series!

I received a complimentary copy of “Pieces of Granite” direct from the author herself, Brenda S. Anderson in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I personally love reading the Coming Home series:

When Ms. Anderson says she writes ‘gritty fiction’ she is referring to the fact she likes to dig deeper than the superficial layering of telling a story. She likes to go directly into a character’s soul and walk of faith, rooting out their emotional and psychological stability or instability if the case might be, in order to best show the growth and spiritual awakening they need to embark towards. For some it is a spiritual renewal and for others, it’s an awakening because they never gave themselves the proper credit towards understanding God in the first place. She breathes honesty and raw emotions into the context of her stories, and her vision for her characters is realistic humility in recognition of everyman’s faults, fragilities, and sensitivities. She organically digs deeper to tell a more compelling and openly captivating story which pulls you in from page one and does not leave your heart even after the last page is turnt; the story fully absorbed and known. She is most definitely an emerging voice in Inspirational Fiction to keep an eye out for new releases and a finger-tap on interlocking book series!

She maintains the spirituality of Christianity in a gentle way of allowing you to oversee the character going through the motions of returning to a God-centered life which is cross-referenced by light commentary of scriptures and affirmations of God’s grace. It is through the lessons of her character’s actions that the greatest arc of spirituality is found.

-quoted from my review of Chain of Mercy

I realise Ms Anderson softens her approach to writing the tone within the Where the Heart Is series which follows publication after the Coming Home series – however, what personally tethered me to her writerly core of heart initially was how honest she was to write an emotionally raw and convicting story-line about wicked real characters who were struggling to find a bridge through adversities and life-changing moments erupting through their ordinary hours. They were in the midst of changing who they were internally as much as spiritually – re-awakening themselves to mercy and forgiveness.

Her cardinal approach to cut a slice of life affirmative fiction into our readerly hours is a lift of joy to me as a reader, as these are the kinds of stories I love to find within the realms of today’s Contemporary INSPY! I also love how she follows her heart, penning stories that are a firm step outside the box of where Inspirational Fiction has the tendency to become a bit too predictably stagnant and re-writes how all INSPY writers can find fuller freedom in painting a portraiture of our everyday world.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Coming Home series by Brenda S. Anderson

 Converse via: #ComingHomeSeries + #ChainOfMercy + #PiecesOfGranite

PREQUEL: Pieces of Granite | December 2014

BOOK 1: Chain of Mercy | April 2014 | (see Review)

BOOK 2: Memory Box Secrets | April 2015 | (Synopsis)

BOOK 3: Hungry for Home | September 2015 | (Synopsis)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comWhen you first set out to write the Coming Home series did you envision each individual book in the series or has the series knitted together organically one story at a time?

Anderson responds: When I first started writing, I had no clue that I would end up with a four book series. Each book grew organically from the previous. I first wrote Chain of Mercy and realized that I actually had two stories in one, so that’s how Memory Box Secrets was born. The story expanded from there. Pieces of Granite came about because I kept hearing from agents and editors that female readers didn’t want to read a book about male issues, so I decided to create a story from the female perspective.

In Chain of Mercy, the hero (Richard) talks about a fight he’d had with his younger sister (Debbie), a rift he created when Debbie told him about her daughter having Down syndrome. I took Debbie’s story and expanded it. I wrote Finding Home because I left a few loose threads dangling at the end of Memory Box Secrets (that’s all the spoiler I’ll give!) I needed to address those threads properly.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Read our full conversation

Read an Excerpt from Pieces of Granite

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On my two year absence on reviewing the Coming Home series:

I initially intended to read and review the books as they were releasing as an active member of the author’s Street Team, however, [2015] proved to be quite the difficult year for myself and my family. As previously reflected on my End of the Year Survey, 2015 – I even garnished a bit of a backlogue of reviews and titles I was seeking to read. I elected to focus on the stories I was able to read and remained hopeful the tides would turn to where I could reclaim the stories I was not yet able to greet against the page!

Thus, as 2016 started to unfold, I was hoping I could arrive inside a moment where I could lay heart and mind back inside this beautifully conceived Realistic INSPY series as my first reading of Chain of Mercy was such a powerful one, I was drawn immediately inside the vision Ms Anderson had for the series as a whole! I knew from that one reading, I would be forever grateful to be amongst the readers who not only sought out her collective works but could continue to find out what she drew together for these characters I had become so dearly attached too knowing more about!

It so happens, this Summer I felt was a renewing season for myself as a reader – where I could not only dig back inside the stories on my bookshelf I longed to soak inside but I could pull together stories on parallel themes that truly touch my spirit and heart as I am reading them. Be sure to watch for my upcoming reviews on behalf of stories of mumhood & alternative families: Claiming Noah by Amanda Ortlepp this July, followed closely by Ignoring Gravity by Sandra Danby, Dear Carolina by Kristy Woodson Harvey and Inconceivable by Tegan Wren in early August. As together with Pieces of Granite I am reflecting on all aspects of being a Mum and how family enters our lives whilst grounding us on a path that is a true blessing to be given.Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art: I personally love how Ms Anderson was able to get synchronicity and harmony with her cover art designs for the Coming Home series – she truly found designers who knew how to create a certain textural feel to the undercurrent thematic of the series but also, the level of hope within any story writ under the INSPY umbrella. I felt collectively they are an incredibly layered series creatively etched to mind through their covers and the choices wherein the story-lines are represented.

Book Review | “Pieces of Granite” (Prequel, Coming Home series) by Brenda S. Anderson Jorie happily returns to a series that touched her heart!Pieces of Granite
by Brenda S. Anderson
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Think-Cap Design Studios
Source: Direct from Author

A distressing diagnosis
A retreating husband
A prodigal brother
Debbie Verhoeven is not your typical woman.

• She sacrificed a counseling career to be a full-time mother
• She’d rather pound a nail than round steak
• Oprah? No way! Give her ESPN any day
• Nothing could be more stressful than scrap-booking

Nothing, except…
A distressing diagnosis,
A husband who is pulling away,
And two older brothers who refuse to get along
When the counselor is caught in the middle,
when she needs to be strong for those around her,
who is left to be strong for her?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9780986214707

Also by this author: Brenda S. Anderson (Author Interview: Coming Home Series), Chain of Mercy, Brenda S. Anderson (Author Q&A: Pieces of Granite)

Also in this series: Chain of Mercy


Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Inspirational Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Motherhood | Parenthood, Realistic Fiction, Women's Fiction


Published by Vivant Press

Pages: 356

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Author Biography of Brenda S. Anderson

Brenda S. Anderson

Author Photo Credit: Portraits from the Heart

Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty and authentic, life-affirming fiction. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is currently President of the ACFW Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball (Go Twins!), and she loves watching movies with her family. She resides in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband of 28 years, their three children, and one sassy cat.

Her debut novel, Chain of Mercy Book #1 in the Coming Home series, came out in April of 2014. Pieces of Granite the prequel to Chain of Mercy was a semi-finalist in the ACFW Genesis Awards released on November 18, 2014!

Official Author WebsitesSite | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads | Pin(terest) Boards
Active in Book Blogosphere: Personal Blog
+ Guest Blogger @ Inkspirational Messages
Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Read More

Divider

Posted Friday, 22 July, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Brenda S. Anderson's Blog, Brothers and Sisters, Christianity, Clever Turns of Phrase, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Down Syndrome, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Inspirational Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Mid-West America, Minnesota, Modern Day, Realistic Fiction, Self-Published Author, Siblings, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Special Needs Children, Street Team for Author, Unexpected Pregnancy, Women's Fiction, Women's Health, Women's Right to Choose (Health Care Rights), Writing Style & Voice