Blog Book Tour | “Pierced by Love” by debut novelist Laura L. Walker an INSPY Contemporary Romance honestly portraying how a heart can heal through the power and conviction of love entwined with faith!

Posted Sunday, 21 December, 2014 by jorielov , , , 5 Comments

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Pierced by Love by Laura L. Walker

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #PiercedByLove

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “Pierced by Love” direct from the publisher Bonneville Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read & a Conversation with the author:

Being a book reviewer for Cedar Fort Publishing & Media is a true joy of mine, as I know what to expect when I select the stories I am reading from them as I haven’t been shocked, startled, or curiously surprised by what I have found in each of the books I have read by them; there were only two I can think of which I wouldn’t necessarily consider my absolute favourite of reads, but nonetheless I have not yet been properly disappointed either! Considering how many books I have started to read per year as a book blogger compared to as a regular reader without a blog, even I am a bit surprised which publishers I find more appealing to read on a regular basis and which ones irk my ire a bit.

On the Indie side of the ledger, my top three favourite publishers are: Seventh Star Press, ChocLitUK, and Cedar Fort Publishing & Media (and their imprints therein). I appreciate each of them equally for different reasons but the consistency of what they publish is at the top of my list of appreciation on their behalf. The interesting part of this blog tour started before the tour knitted together on the schedule, as I had the opportunity to converse with the author, Ms. Walker prior to setting a date for my review. This goes back to August, long before December was even a wink of a breath in sight!

We started to have an open exchange on the differences of our walk in faith (as she is LDS – Morman; I am Protestant; yet we each share a root of faith on similar grounds), what inspired me the most is how she wanted to help me understand the LDS side of the novel, yet in return I wanted to assure her I have read a considerable amount of stories by Cedar Fort since Spring 2014; of them, at least one or two have had LDS story-lines inside them but what I appreciated by the passages of those novels is how they lead the inspirational bits of the story through sharing the walk of faith of the characters by (internal) thoughts or through the actions they took inside their lifepaths therein. I always appreciated inspirational stories which are rooted in faith-driven story-lines to be soft spoken and light when it comes to including religious undertones; even though I do occasional find myself drawn into traditional INSPY which gives a firmer rooting of the origin, background, and faith life of the characters.

I find Cedar Fort to publish stories which uplift the spirit, enliven the mind, and are gentle enough to incur a wanting of reading their stories without fear of strong language or any images of graphic violence that might prove a bit too unsettling to take in all at once. If your a regular visitor or reader to my blog, you know where I stand on language and violence; therefore, each time I pick up a Cedar Fort novel, I instantly know I’m either in for a thrilling adventure, a mind-numbing suspense, or a sweet romance or romantic drama which is going to engage my heart as much as my mind!

The main reason I wanted to share this today, is because although my religious background is not LDS, I have felt nothing but a peacefulness to reading the stories published through Cedar Fort. They are as inspiring to me as Heartsong Presents (novellas in print editions – from Contemporary to Historical) or any other published INSPY Romance or Historical fiction novel. The reason I applaud the fact they offer suspense, science fiction and fantasy — is because they are an open-minded publisher in regards to the breath of choices they encourage of their authors — the stories themselves are not strictly centered around LDS backgrounds (as I have read Icelandic, Native American, Japanese, Protestant, etc faith-driven story-lines) but in each of the novels, there is a central thread of core: honest and real characters facing life situations and circumstances any person of any walk of life can relate too, with a realistic premise and at times an emotional connection that does not soon leave your memory.

Here is an excerpt of what I shared with Ms. Walker:

I have been trying to sort out how best to describe myself as a reader, as ever since I was young girl I have read mainstream & Inspirational fiction; it finally dawned on me recently to call myself “a hybrid reader” as I felt that summed myself up quite well! I’m open and honest about the books I read, and I’m always seeking out stories that are illuminated and underscored by light rather than darkness; as a lot of books these days have dark overtones which I do not condone.

I wanted to create a book blog that wasn’t based on any one individual person’s beliefs, but rather focus on one bookish girl’s quest to seek out literature which enlightened her spirit and her mind. I say ‘bookish library girl’ as I am always at home in a public library — I could spend hours in the stacks, chatting to librarians, and otherwise conducting research on what perks my interest. Thank you for being one of the writers whose visited my blog and noticed what I had hoped I had made transparent! I work hard to keep everything I put under “My Bookish Life” an honest description of who I am and to explain how I read as much as how I write.

Thanks for taking the time to explain the key components of what are inside your novel, but we do not have as many differences as you might think, as we call Him the Holy Ghost and/or the Holy Spirit. It depends on the context and of the direct reference, but in this we have the same beliefs. In regards to other commonalities between our faiths, I went on to relate I never judge another’s choices, as we all have our lives to live, but to that end, I do read stories where there are relationships before marriage and/or see films as well. I was raised to accept the world as the world is being lived, but to remain truthful to my own beliefs but to be aware of other people’s perspectives, beliefs, and morals at the same time. However, if you read through my book reviews for ChocLitUK, you will denote a pattern: my one favourite bit to ChocLit is that I found a mainstream Indie publisher who believes in relationship-based Romance stories and marriage! :) Not since Mum found Heartsong Presents have I been this excited about a publisher.

I should add even if there is a relationship prior to marriage or different circumstances leading to the current relationship as ChocLit publishes a diversified catalogue of stories — what I appreciate is their care and attention of bringing stories of honourable men to the forefront of Romance Fiction from the mainstream side of publishing. I celebrate their success in giving romance lovers a hearty story and writers who know how to write convicting narrative.

I decided to share this today, in case any of my readers were curious about why I am happy as a lark to have found Cedar Fort and why I appreciate their novels as much as I do! I also wanted to point out, even if you come from a different spiritual background than LDS – Morman, you still have a foundational base that is not only relatable but in many ways the same. I have spoken to missionaries from Utah on different occasions, whilst walking in nature and finding the conversations with them even go further to prove this point.

Blog Book Tour | “Pierced by Love” by debut novelist Laura L. Walker an INSPY Contemporary Romance honestly portraying how a heart can heal through the power and conviction of love entwined with faith!Pierced by Love
by Laura L. Walker
Source: Direct from Publisher

In that instant, Noelle knew. A sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach told her what she didn't want to hear. Please, no! Not again!

Noelle Jensen doesn't have the best history when it comes to relationships. She's already played the part of the jilted bride. And just when she thinks she's safe, her current boyfriend decides to propose. But not to Noelle - to her sister.

Now Noelle has decided it's time to give up on love for good.

That's when Pierce Logan enters the picture. Hard as she tries, Noelle can't help but notice Pierce's deep brown eyes and those looks he gives her. But Pierce has his own reasons to avoid falling in love.

A fresh, clever LDS romance told with equal parts wit and charm, Pierced by Love will remind you that there is life after love, and that trusting your heart can lead you to unexpected places.

Genres: Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Sweet Romance

Places to find the book:

Also by this author: The Matchup

Published by Bonneville Books

on 31st December, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 217

About Laura L. Walker

Laura L. Walker

Laura Walker grew up in southern Arizona. She met her husband, Rob, at Northern Arizona University where she earned her bachelor degree in Elementary Education. She and Rob are raising their six children. Her hobbies include water aerobics and sewing. At the end of the day, Laura loves to curl up with a good book or write one of her own. Pierced by Love is her first published novel.

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Pierce & Noelle:

Realistically grounded characters in Contemporary Romance are my favourites to read, as they give a level of insight into the modern world’s woes in dating inasmuch as represent the changing landscape of the dating pool.  Singletons can have emotional baggage as much as those who are divorced or widowed, as the path towards finding matrimonial bliss can be a bit longer for some and easier for others. Seeing how the different paths align for each character you read is the joy I find inside the stories as a reader of Contemporary fiction. It isn’t always a ‘meet-cute’ arrangement nor is it oft a promising serendipitous encounter or a causal introduction by a common friend; sometimes the person your looking for is already included in your life, but not in a romantic way. Those are the stories which curate such an intriguing read, because there is a level of ‘will they or will they not’ realise what they have together.

Pierce and Noelle each have their own reasons for being hesitant in pursuing a relationship, yet they each carry within them something the other had hoped to find in a partner.

My Review of Pierced by Love:

The opening chapter of Pierced by Love has a rough start to gaining traction into the characters, as for me, I observed a forced opening sequence and beginning to the story. The elements were there, but the delivery of the conversational tension, the angst of Noelle not understanding why her roommates were a bit uneasy at her hesitation to leave, and the quick insertion of Pierce at the door felt a bit of a stretch to me to be considered realistic. It is hard to even explain what is wrong but if this were a film I’d suspect it would have to do with the ‘transitions’ within the pacing of the dialogue to action sequences. Sometimes I find explaining what is wrong inside of a novel is easier if I explain it in film-making terms; my mind sees the world visually and I am a visual learner, which is in part why I think it is easier. This first chapter felt awkward to me, and I think it is because all the key players of the story took their entrance queues too early-on. It would have felt more natural to have a separate sequence of a Prologue to introduce the housemates (Noelle with her sister Melody & the other two girls) and the relationship she has with Chase, before shifting into where Chapter 1 deposits you into this triangle arc without the foundation of why this is stressing out Noelle as much as irking Melody. Pierce is as surprised as I am, truly.

By Chapter 2, I realised what was wrong! The build-up to Noelle’s discovery of her sister getting on romantically with her boyfriend Chase — would have worked better if it’s inclusion at the start of Chapter 2 was actually the opening sequence to Pierced by Love! If Noelle had arrived home, unlocked the door and walked-in on Melody and Chase, the tension would have been icy and frothy for quick dialogue and the internal vacuum of having past ills and emotions flipping turmoil inside Noelle’s fragile heart; as she was now twice burnt on love! When I read pages 10 through 12, Walker had my full attention because the brokenness inside Noelle’s shattered heart was evoking such an earnest connection you wanted to pull a jacket or quilt over her shoulders whilst telling her it would be okay; that she could get through this even if it felt as though she wouldn’t.

It isn’t often a writer switches points of view, and gives us a cardinal insight into what is running through a bloke’s mind when he observes a woman slighted in love; yet Walker has the intuitiveness to allow Pierce the flexibility of being in a position where his voice can be heard. I appreciated seeing this, as finding strong men inside Romance is not commonplace, as more oft than naught, the female lead takes more of the juicier bits of narrative, dialogue, and central focus.

In the aftermath of discovery, the sisters (Melody and Noelle) find themselves distancing from each other, mostly out of not understanding how they are different and what makes them different doesn’t make them right or wrong. In Melody’s eyes, she has a particular view on what makes a woman mature and what gives strength to character out of their faithfulness to their religion; however, in Noelle’s eyes, there are more than one approach to leading a respectful life and balancing your faith at the same time. The sisters are reaching an apex of change in their relationship, and unfortunately for them, Chase is the connecting dot that unravelled their close ties to each other and opened a pandora’s box of issues they might not have realised they needed to address. From my own observations on siblings, I know as they grow older, there are moments of distance and of indifference towards respecting the ways in which they each live their lives; as I think siblings have trouble asserting who they are outside the image they might have of each other. Melody and Noelle are classic examples of how two sisters who grew up in the same home decided to live two different lives.

Walker fused her story with heartache, as both Melody and Chase decided to voice their blatant nonacceptance of Noelle to her face; as if who she was and who she was choosing to be was so very wrong. By the time their parents arrived to see if they could clear the air between the sisters, it was already starting to ring true that sometimes a wedge put between two sisters cannot easily be undone. I think what made me side with Noelle is the fact that she had a disadvantage all the way around; the man she had fallen in love with had cheated on her and had lied outright for weeks whenever she tried to keep the light of romance between them alive. He was not being honest with her in what he expected out of a wife and in Noelle’s defense, she had a more carefree attitude to life itself, as she wasn’t as guarded nor was she as cautious. She wanted to embrace everything that came along without taking everything as serious as her sister or Chase; the two of them were better matched in theory, but it is how they chose to be a couple that rankled. I was thankful to see how strong her parents advised Melody on her choices and how they would not condone Chase’s indiscretions once the marriage was finalised (as they shouldn’t); yet I was a bit surprised they accepted the engagement, as it felt to me their family was more conservative and less yielding on issues such as these. I would have thought for certain, if one sister cheated on another then the parents would not support a union; but I was mistaken as they all put demanded Noelle to accept the situation and simply carry-on as normal. Yet, at the same time they had mixed feelings; this was a second time I felt the story was a bit muddling — as it was flip-flopping between two strong opinions.

In Chapter Seven I found myself tethered more to Pierce by observing his phone call with his Mom; his family is one I can relate too the most, as even though my family and his are different (as my parents are not divorced), it is the strength his Mom has within her and the way in which she guides her son in his own life I can relate too. She’s open, honest and heartfelt in her approach to talking to him, whilst listening to him at the same time. She’s not pushy or cruel (as I felt Noelle’s parents were a bit if you ask me) and she spoke of how to have forgiveness in your heart whereas Noelle’s parents expected it to be as simple as eating pie. I found Pierce and his Mom to be champion’s of life’s obstacles whilst proving that even if the days grow difficult, you can still see your path illuminated by light. Now if only he would share this insight with Noelle,…

Pierced by Love has you engrossed in seeing how Noelle and Pierce’s hearts will start to heal at the same time, inasmuch as how their spirits will feel renewed after cleansing the past ills against them. They were each burnt by the idea of love from two separate sources, yet the layers in which Walker gave their story measures into a fulfilling novel. I liked seeing how they each wrestled with their emotional internal conflicts whilst owning to their own individual personalities. As the story ebbed forward, I realised why I did not warm to Noelle’s parents; it wasn’t her father as much as her mother. Her mother was a bit cold hearted for me, and despite the fact she told Noelle she never played favourites, I found the opposite to be true; she truly preferred Melody as she saw her own reflection in one daughter rather than her essence in both.

The title of the novel is well written, as it is one of those duality of meanings I like seeing in publishing, as it gives you a mark of thought as you read and after you’ve concluded what you’ve read. You do get more of an introduction to the rites of passage for LDS youth and college-aged Mormans inside Pierced by Love, but a lot of the rituals and passages of maturity they face as they grow reminded me a bit of what I observed in the Amish fiction stories I have read in the past. Both disciplines require certain experiences on behalf of the young, as a way of them understanding the full breadth of their faith as much as their commitment. I found it fascinating overall, and as I had stated before my review, I have spoken with missionary LDS visiting my area, so I knew a bit of their path in this area ahead of reading this novel. I believe this story would be welcomed by anyone who reads INSPY novels on a regular basis, because even if our spirituality differs from one another, the roots of where our spirituality lead and return are the same.

Pierced by Love is a strong story for self-identity, self-acceptance, and a reassurance of finding love in a world where fitting in or feeling you have to fit a ‘certain mould’ to be accepted is not necessary because the right partner doesn’t see your faults because he’s too much in love with your strengths! I loved seeing Pierce and Noelle grow closer and deeper in friendship ahead of their relationship, because one resounding truth is across the board true: a foundation of love anchored in friendship will have a greater will of surviving all future tests of wills.

On the writing style on behalf of Laura L. Walker:

The reason I appreciated seeing Pierce’s take on what was happening to Noelle as a pivotal moment of writerly insight is due to how rare it is in today’s fiction to find writer’s taking the time to knit this inside their stories. In my readings of ChocLit and of a Contemporary Realistic INSPY novelist Brenda S. Anderson (of Chain of Mercy, and my forthcoming review of Pieces of Granite) the blokes are given ample room to assert their own hearts, minds, and perspectives of the situations arising out of their narratives.

This was also true of Love’s Promises (a Contemporary Sweet Romance by Sandra Leesmith) and the Daughters of Boston series by Julie Lessamn (of which will be featured on my blog starting Christmas week 2014 – Christmas 2015). Yet, despite these instances, it is still rare to give the male in the story a thread of owning his character and I continue to applaud the authors who give both genders in their stories of romance equal footing and the grace of being who they are as much as illustrating a different side of how the events are seen.

Walker might have had a slow start to Pierced by Love, which muddled the opening for me, but what she gave in the chapters after the opener gave a well-lit story behind how a heart can mend whilst a kind soul can encourage a passion you never believed you’d find. Similar to a theme I love inside the Hallmark Channel film series Love Comes Softly wherein each of the women who fall in love never quite felt they would find the men who would understand them wholly and true; yet with a bit of faith, a lot of hope, and a grounding of love to uplift them when they were down, all of them found what they originally felt they could not seek. I love the theme of that particular series as much as seeing how the merits of that theme can be re-introduced in different ways, and how each writer who uses this thematic changes the components of how it’s applied, yet resonates it at the core of their stories.

As an aside: I used my newly arrived bookmarks from Ms. Anderson as a marker for reading “Pierced by Love” as I cannot wait to dig into “Pieces of Granite”! It felt right to use the marker ahead of time for another Contemporary Romance grounded in realism and INSPY undertones!

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This Blog Tour Stop is courtesy of Cedar Fort, Inc.:

Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Visit the Virtual Road Map of “Pierced by Love” Blog Tour:

Pierced by Love Blog Tour via Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Stay tuned as I will be interview Ms. Walker
and other authors from Cedar Fort!
Find out which Bonneville & other Cedar Fort books
I am hosting in 2014 + 2015!
Visit with me again soon!

SOURCES: Author photograph, Author Biography, Book Synopsis and Book Cover of “Pierced by Love”, Blog Tour Badge and Cedar Fort badge were provided by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media and used with permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Sunday, 21 December, 2014 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Coming-Of Age, Contemporary Romance, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Deception Before Matrimony, Divorce & Martial Strife, Family Drama, Family Life, Father-Daughter Relationships, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Modern Day, Mormonism, Mother-Son Relationships, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Siblings, Singletons & Commitment, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Sociological Behavior, Sweet Romance, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Wisdom of Life Threaded in Devotions

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5 responses to “Blog Book Tour | “Pierced by Love” by debut novelist Laura L. Walker an INSPY Contemporary Romance honestly portraying how a heart can heal through the power and conviction of love entwined with faith!

  1. I love the fact that the main male character’s name is Pierce and is used so cleverly in the title. LOVE the play on words :) I don’t typically read adult romance, but honestly, if I were to do that, I would probably prefer one that’s through an inspirational publisher since it would avoid the overly graphic aspects of mainstream. I didn’t read every word of the review, Jorie, but enough to get the gist :) Thanks!

    • Hallo Ms. Donna Marie!

      Yes, I understand due to time constraints you’ve been reading my reviews in digest size installments; I do not mind! :) Always a happy day seeing a comment of yours appear on my blog! And, just knowing the books and stories I am highlighting are getting you curious about books you do not generally pick up to read warms my heart, truly! INSPY Romance is one of my main focuses on my blog, as more showcases will start to knit together on Jorie Loves A Story as I’m able to devour the stories! You’ll most likely love my future reviews and notes on behalf of Julie Lessman’s library of offerings — but truly, I love Romance as a genre overall due to the diversity of ways in which love knits hearts together. To me that is the main driving force to read Romance, and I loved getting the chance to learn more about the LDS faith inside this novel in particular! Such an honour!

      Do you like Pierce Brosnan as much as I do? Or were you thinking of another Pierce!?

        • Wait! No!

          Oh dear, no! (sheepish grins)

          I was curious if the reason why you liked the name “Pierce” was due to the actor? You hinted that you liked the name of the lead male character, and I thought maybe it had to do with a certain Irish bloke I’ve enjoyed following the career of since he was in “Remington Steele”!

          • LOL, Jorie, no :) I mean, I like Pierce Brosnan. He seems like a decent guy—not quite as egotistical as most celebrities, but don’t know, really lol

            What I meant was that I liked the play on words, making the title “Pierced” with the main male character’s name being Pierce, assuming it’s done purposely and meaningfully :)

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