Month: July 2015

Blog Book Tour | “The Last Gatekeeper” by Katy Haye #YALit has a strong voice in a #SelfPub debut novelist giving #scifi readers a hearty story to chew on!

Posted Saturday, 11 July, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: My path crossed with Ms Haye on Twitter in November of 2014, whereupon I was quite curious about the premise behind her debut Young Adult novel: The Last Gatekeeper! When she offered me the chance to read the novel, I was hoping to have read and reviewed it during my 2nd Year of either Sci Fi November and/or the Sci Fi Experience (which is now expanded into Dec/Jan). However, due to circumstances that arose I was unable to read the novel and was attempting to sort out the best time to do so, when I read a newsletter for upcoming blog tours via Brook Cottage Book Tours.

I decided to post originally on the first day of the tour (Monday, the 6th) except to say I hadn’t expected the intensely horrid lightning storms that arrived over Fourth of July weekend, not only knocking me offline but causing a bit of issues electronically as well. I re-scheduled for Friday, the 10th thinking the storms would decrease and give me enough time to participate. Clearly I misjudged mother nature!

I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Katy Haye, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Keenly Interested to Read:

I was so wrapped up in the premise of this novel, as it had me thinking of the different ways Haye could have written the story for Zan! I love how it is science fiction with a wicked sweet twist on the genre itself!

I positively love reading YA novels (as you might already know) – for the most part as I do like to seek out novels which are ‘clean’ from strong language but even if there are stronger words, as long as they are infrequent and not appearing on every page, I’m alright. YA to me should always not include heavy words, but I know some YA authors do include them. Aside from that, I just love the world of YA & the stories where characters are on the verge of discovering who they are and how they fit inside their worlds. It is an epic time of self-discovery but also of seeing past the scope of where their own lives lead.

I love seeing characters who have gifts outside the range of what we would normally expect them to be able to do or understand; telepathy and TK (telekinesis) are two of my favourite gifts I like to see explored, but this one knitted into Haye’s debut: EHS – wow! I have seen a few tv movies deal with something similar but never on the level of a character like Zan! How lovely!

Blog Book Tour | “The Last Gatekeeper” by Katy Haye #YALit has a strong voice in a #SelfPub debut novelist giving #scifi readers a hearty story to chew on!The Last Gatekeeper
by Katy Haye
Source: Direct from Author

Zan knows she’s different. Today she discovers why …

Zanzibar MacKenzie knows she’s a freak. She has EHS – electrical hypersensitivity – which leaves her trying to live a Stone Age life in the twenty-first century: no internet, no phone, no point really. Then Thanriel knocks on her door and the dull summer holiday becomes maybe too exciting. Zan discovers fairies and angels are real beings from other planets, she herself is half alien, and the future of life on Earth rests on her shoulders.

This book is the first of the Chronicles of Fane series.


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Series: Chronicles of Fane, No.1


Also in this series: Beneath Creek Waters


Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Read an Excerpt from the Novel | via the author’s website

Converse via: #TheLastGatekeeper, #KatyHaye, & #ChroniclesOfFane

About Katy Haye

Katy Haye

Katy Haye spends as much time as possible in either her own or someone else's imaginary worlds. She has a fearsome green tea habit, a partiality for dark chocolate brazils and a fascination with the science of storytelling.

When not lost in a good book, Katy may be found on her allotment growing veg and keeping hens in order to maximise her chances of survival in the event of a zombie apocalypse or similar catastrophe (yes, she does have a very vivid imagination).

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Posted Saturday, 11 July, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Angels, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Films, Brook Cottage Book Tours, Castles & Estates, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Faeries & the Fey, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Genre-bender, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Inspiring Video Related to Content, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Modern Day, Science, Science Fantasy, Science Fiction, Self-Published Author, Speculative Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Cover Reveal | NEW #ChocLit novel on the horizon for #SummerReads! Sheryl Browne has a golden heart for rescuing dogs and writing Romance with a bite of gumption!

Posted Thursday, 9 July, 2015 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Stories Sailing into View Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

I love being able to draw an attentive eye to upcoming new stories being released by publishers I happily devour and support on a regular basis. I haven’t had the pleasure to start hosting for Brook Cottage Book Tours thus far, however, when I spied a ChocLit author was using them for publicity, my heart warmed. I had previously booked my first blog tour with them for a stirring Sci-Fantasy debut novel: The Last Gatekeeper which will be arriving this Friday! Ironically, or not, the context of the novel involves electricity and it was lightning which kicked me offline the past six days, therefore, delaying both my review and this wicked awesome Cover Reveal!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On my connection to the author:

I happily host ChocLit authors on my blog throughout the year, however, when I saw a Cover Reveal for Ms Browne coming through my e-letter list for Brook Cottage Book Tours, I knew I wanted to participate! I love finding authors I appreciate getting to know in the twitterverse and of whose books are on my TBR next lists are finding creative and innovative ways of reaching new readers! I had already made the choice to request The Rest of my Life direct from ChocLitUK when it publishes in print as an upcoming ‘next’ review as part of my feature #ChocLitSaturdays; the reviews and guest features running in conjunction to my weekly Rom chat #ChocLitSaturday!

I happily have had the pleasure of interacting with Ms Browne through #ChocLitSaturday the chat off/on for the past half year or thereabouts. She is a delightful presence to have in the chats and I am thankful she found a niche where she felt comfortable chattering with fellow ChocLit authors, Romance novelists, book bloggers, readers, and other bookishly chatty spirits who alight on Saturdays!

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her ahead of reading her 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. This is also true when I follow-up with them on future releases and celebrate the book birthdays that come after their initial publication. Read More

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Posted Thursday, 9 July, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Book Cover Reveal, Brook Cottage Book Tours, Coming-Of Age, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Modern Day, Realistic Fiction, Rescue & Adoption of Animals, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love

Book Review | “Digital Nature Photography” by John Shaw #BloggingForBooks

Posted Friday, 3 July, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I decided to join the “Blogging for Books” programme (on 9th July, 2014) which is a book for review programme created by the Crown Publishing Group. As a book blogger you are offered books in exchange for an honest review on your book blog as well as the ability to reach new readers when you cross-post your review to the Blogging for Books website. The benefit for the blogger is exposure as a reviewer as they put direct links back to your blog post on the book you select to review as well as your homepage.

I received a complimentary copy of “Digital Nature Photography” direct from the publisher Amphoto Books, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I haven’t truly blogged about being a self-taught nature and wildlife photographer until now, as it was one of my side projects to thread into the life of Jorie Loves A Story! You might have started to notice I have been using the resources of Unsplash (a repository of Public Domain Stock Images) sprinkled throughout my blog (as I use their stock images to create my banners and badges) as well as on my Twitter accounts. I love supporting other creative economists and the fact they are giving book bloggers (all bloggers, truly!) a chance to find [free] quality photographs to be used in their own creative pursuits is quite a luxury in today’s world of copyright restrictions.

I started to find that I had a natural inclination to photograph the wildlife native to where I live when I was a young girl – as the shutterbug passion grabbed a hold of me at a young age. This is in part due to the encouragement of my maternal grandfather and my Mum; both of whom were photographers in their own right long before I ever held a camera in my own hands! I even would take disposable cameras with me to keepaway camp during the Summers; partially due to the tendency of being an active tomboy and needing a ‘sturdy’ camera that could keep up with me and partially due to the convenience of not needing to keep track of the rolls of 35mm film!

My first preference is still photography shooting with 35mm film, however, out of necessity I was gifted (by my Mum and Da) a digital Sony camera circa 2005; a camera which to this day, I still use as my mainstay! You’d be surprised what I can accomplish with this camera even though the memory cards are so much smaller nowadays and the only cards I can pick up for my model are the ‘hard to find’ variety! I use memory cards like we used to use negatives; I want to have a hard copy in lieu of only keeping digital back-up files. Most photographers shoot over their digital images but this is something I was advised not to do at the onset of my emergence into the digital realms; mostly because it can distort the images if your using it with such repetition to constantly re-write the same image thousands of times over. I opted to error on the side of caution as a personal preference.

When I saw John Shaw’s Guide to Digital Nature Photography I was hoping to use this book as a gateway step towards my pursuit of Digital SLR and Manual SLR cameras (the next generations of my own personal equipment) inasmuch as learning more about light, setting, timing, and juxtapositions. I haven’t had the pleasure of using my grandfather’s Nikon 35mm with the interchangeable lens but I am striving towards bridging a balance between my love of still and my newfound embrace of digital mediums.

Interesting to note, Mr Shaw believes how I believe when it comes to photography:
focus on what you see through the lens and the magic of what alights in your life, to capture something only you can see. Rather than to be solely focused on gear to the extent you forget the true art of photography is the person who captures the image.

Book Review | “Digital Nature Photography” by John Shaw #BloggingForBooksJohn Shaw's Guide to Digital Nature Photography
by John Shaw
Source: Publisher via Blogging for Books

Outdoor and travel photography legend John Shaw returns with his much-anticipated guide to digital nature photography, complete with more than 250 of his exceptional photographs. In his first-ever book on digital photography, Shaw provides in-depth advice on everything from equipment to subjects and software. This follow-up to John Shaw’s Nature Photography Field Guide includes lessons on such key topics as:

+ Advice on gear—from cameras to tripods and remotes, filters, and flashes
+ Composition—lighting, framing, and learning to see “photo-graphically”
+ An in-depth look at lenses—using zoom and telephoto, tilt-shift, and teleconverters
+ Using manual mode—the basics of f-stops, ISOs, and shutter speed
+ Proper exposure—mastering meters and the histogram
+ Close-ups—a special section on macro lenses and flashes
+ Best practices at work—in the field and in the digital dark room

In addition to detailed and practical lessons for every level of photography enthusiast, Shaw offers inspirational and candid insight into how to get that perfect shot—from having a vision to practicing and using the right equipment. With easily digestible information complemented by breathtaking photographs from around the world, John Shaw's Guide to Digital Nature Photography is sure to become a new classic.

Genres: Digital Photography, Wildife & Nature Photography



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Published by Amphoto Books

on 17th March, 2015

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 250

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

 Published By: Amphoto Books, (@crownpublishing)

(an imprint of Crown Publishing Group)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback & Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #NaturePhotography & #DigitalPhotography + #BloggingForBooks

About John Shaw

John Shaw is the author of many enduring bestsellers, including seven previous books on nature photography.

His photographs are frequently featured in National Geographic, Nature's Best, National Wildlife, Outdoor Photographer, Natural History, Sierra, and Audubon magazines, as well as in calendars, books, and advertisements.

He has photographed on every continent, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and Provence to Patagonia, and leads sold-out workshops around the globe.

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Posted Friday, 3 July, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Art, Blog Tour Host, Blogging for Books, Book | Novel Extract, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Non-Fiction, Photography, Scribd, Short Stories or Essays, Travel Narrative | Memoir, Vignettes of Real Life, Wilderness Adventures

Blog Book Tour | “Balm” by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Posted Friday, 3 July, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on “Balm” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours.  I received a complimentary ARC copy of “Balm” direct from the publisher Amistad (an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers), in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Whilst I was requesting to be placed on this blog tour, I requested a copy of the author’s debut novel “Wench” to become introduced to her style and possible continuity; blessedly I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher Amistad (an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers), without being obligated to post a review, as my ruminations on behalf of this novel are for my own edification only.

Interest in reading the stories:

Loved the continuity of the historical era in which the author started inside Wench. I regularly read Southern Lit in regards to the Deep South, plantations, abolitionists and the Underground Railroad in general. My first TLC Book Tour was for The House Girl and since then I have continued to find novels set within this era either for TLC or other publicists; the last of which was Redfield Farm.

Blog Book Tour | “Balm” by Dolen Perkins-ValdezBalm
by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours
Narrator: Lisa Renee Pitts

The New York Times bestselling author of Wench—called "a fascinating and tragic story" by NPR.org, "deeply moving" by USA Today, and "lyrical and devastatingly beautiful" by People magazine—returns to the Civil War era to explore history's next chapter in this powerful story of love and healing.

The Civil War has ended, and Madge, Sadie, and Hemp have each come to Chicago in search of a new life.

Born with magical hands, Madge has the power to discern others' suffering and ease it, but she cannot heal her own damaged heart. To mend herself and continue to help those in need, she must return to Tennessee to face the women healers who rejected her as a child.

Sadie can commune with the dead, but until she makes peace with her father, she, too, cannot fully engage her gift.

Searching for his missing family, Hemp arrives in this northern city that shimmers with possibility. But redemption cannot be possible until he is reunited with those taken from him.

In the bitter aftermath of a terrible, bloody war, as a divided nation tries to come together once again, Madge, Sadie, and Hemp will be caught up in an unexpected battle for survival in a community desperate to lay the pain of the past to rest.

Beautiful in its historical atmosphere and emotional depth, Balm is a stirring novel of love, loss, hope, and reconciliation set during one of the most critical periods in American history.

Genres: Historical Fiction, War Drama, Literary Fiction, Southern Lit



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Published by Amistad

on 3rd January, 2015

Format: Paperback

Length: 9.2 hours

Pages: 374

Published By: Amistad (@AmistadBooks)
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Available Formats: Hardcover, Softcover, Audiobook, and Ebook

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Wench
by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours
Narrator: Quincy Tyler Bernstine

Genres: Historical Fiction, Southern Lit



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Series: P.S. Series


Published by Amistad

on 25th, January 2011

Format: P.S. Edition Paperback

Length: 8 hours, 17 minutes

Pages: 294

Wench Available Formats: Hardcover, P.S. Edition paperback, Audiobook, and Ebook

Listen to an Excerpt: WENCH via audiobooks.com

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Converse via: #Balm and #DolenPerkinsValdez

 

About Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Dolen Perkins-Valdez is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Wench. Her fiction has appeared in the Kenyon Review, StoryQuarterly, StorySouth, and elsewhere.

In 2011 she was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction. She was also awarded the First Novelist Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

She teaches in the Stonecoast MFA program in Maine. A graduate of Harvard and a former University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA, Dolen Perkins-Valdez lives in Washington, D.C., with her family.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 3 July, 2015 by jorielov in #LitChat, 19th Century, African-American History, ARC | Galley Copy, Audiobook, Audiobook Excerpt, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Novel, Domestic Violence, Equality In Literature, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Historical Fiction, History, Literary Fiction, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Passionate Researcher, Psychological Abuse, Small Towne USA, Soundcloud, Taboo Relationships & Romance, The Deep South, TLC Book Tours, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Underground Railroad