Blog Book Tour | “By the Stars” (inspired by a true story) by Lindsay B. Ferguson

Posted Friday, 29 April, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the “By the Stars” blog tour wherein I received a complimentary copy of “By the Stars” direct from the publisher Bonneville Books (an imprint of Cedar Fort Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Biographical Historical Fiction | Inspired by Real Life:

There is a sub-genre within Historical Fiction I truly appreciate reading – and this is what I have fashioned to coin ‘Biographical Historical Fiction’ and if you move through the threading of this genre (which I left broad to encompass Contemporaries as well as Historicals)  on my blog, you’ll find I have quite the hearty appetite for it! I have a penchant for Biographical Fiction as a whole as I find it much more enticing to read a fictional account of a lived life than a traditional biography as too oft-times I find biographies to be writ a bit dull. It’s simply how I interpret the story through that approach and how better I find myself akin to reading biographies in fiction because they are emotionally centred and focused on the life which had been lived rather than the specific data and facts that were attached to the person.

It’s a bit of a segue of why I appreciate Creative Non-Fiction rather than regular Non-Fiction (with exceptions, especially when the topics broker into Science) as again, the focus is emotionally driving a story forward whilst giving a full eclipse of the story through a narrative arc rather than a technical re-telling absent of a living experience version. We all process stories differently and for me, I appreciate the writers who are going into the vein of ‘Biographical Fiction’ to tell a story that is both enjoyable and visually stimulating to those of us who are not traditional readers of biographies.

This particular account of the story was second hand and then first hand told to the writer, who took it up as a bit of a happy challenge to translate one man’s life into a fictional story which would resonate with historical fiction readers! You can learn more about the back-story of By the Stars on Ms Ferguson’s Guest Post! I was curious to see how it would unfold but also, how Cal would render the story to Ms Ferguson who in turn would re-create the story whilst honouring the privacy of the people involved.

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To find out why I am thankful the authors of Cedar Fort are reaching out to me directly this year to read their novels, please read my review on behalf of The Matchup!

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Blog Book Tour | “By the Stars” (inspired by a true story) by Lindsay B. FergusonBy the Stars
Subtitle: Inspired by a True Story
by Lindsay B. Ferguson
Source: Direct from Publisher

Deep in the alcoves of 93-year-old Cal Morgan’s mind is an unexpected and intriguing past. Recollections of growing up a farm boy during the Great Depression, learning to foxtrot in the largest ballroom in America, and serving as an infantry soldier in World War II are fragments of his memories. But perhaps above all, a once in a lifetime love story is seared in his soul, reminding us that some things in life are meant to be.

When Cal finally gets a chance with Kate, the girl he’s loved since grade school, their easy friendship quickly blossoms into a meaningful romance. Spirited and independent, Kate keeps a guarded heart due to a painful past, and Cal wants nothing more than to gain her trust. But the WWII draft calls him to the war in the Pacific and with no way of knowing when and if he will return, Cal prepares to part from her for good. After he’s gone, what Kate does next changes everything.

In the suffocating jungles of the Philippines Cal encounters the chilling life of a soldier and deadly battles of war. But with Kate’s memory always near and willing him on he puts his trust in God, ultimately driven to return to her. Inspired by a true story, By the Stars shows that love, faith, and perseverance can overcome insurmountable obstacles.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781462118151

Also by this author: Guest Post: Back-story for "By the Stars"

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Men's Fiction, War Drama


Published by Bonneville Books

on 1st March, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 320

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks),

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #ByTheStars & #HistFic

About Lindsay B. Ferguson

Lindsay B. Ferguson

LINDSAY FERGUSON has been immersing herself in stories since her childhood days of sneaking a flashlight into her room and staying up reading The Babysitters Club series way past her bedtime, writing spinoffs of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and imagining herself in fascinating, far-off places.

She still dreams of traveling the world one day, and finds getting lost in a good book almost as absorbing as penning her own stories and experiencing them unfold.

A Communication graduate from the University of Utah, she worked as a PR and marketing writer for a computer software company for several years before resigning to focus on raising her family. She has also contributed lifestyle articles to various media outlets.

When she felt the itch to attempt novel writing a fascination with history created a natural inclination toward historical fiction, with a romantic flare, of course. She lives in a suburb of Salt Lake City with her husband and four children. By the Stars is her first novel.

My review of By the Stars:

The first thing I noticed as I began By the Stars, is how warmly receptive Cal was to the curious enquiry being made into his war-time Romance! Not only that, but his house and the grounds upon which it sat was remarkably comfortable with an ease about it and a genuine happiness emitting out of it’s roots. The observations being made here by the interviewer help you settle inside this setting as if we too, were standing with them outside the door awaiting entrance to listen to this man’s story.

Cal was smitten with Kate the moment she met him but her feelings towards Cal took a bit longer as the pair were from different worlds; not just by locale but in how they lived their lives. Cal had a cursory insight into Kate’s life, one that she did not readily share with their classmates but at the same time, she kept him apart from her almost as though he knew too much and it frightened her off a bit. Cal grew up the son of a farmer, honourable and upright – a gentleman with a hard work ethic built off the industrious way a farm can strengthen your vitality and resolve. He lived in a small towne whilst overcoming a childhood health scare never paying mind to being behind (in school) but focusing instead of where he was at the moment. Kate on the other hand was from California and was charmed by the high life of a city and the forward motions of a progressive life lived on spontaneity.

Whilst we’re getting to understand Cal’s history with Kate, Ferguson increases certain chapters by three years – thus given us a nice overview of how their childhood slowly merged into their adulthood. All the while, Cal was taken by Kate who was off chasing the attentions of other boys. Before you could realise time was starting to pass and Cal was starting to grow into a young man, his time to serve as a missionary with his local LDS Church had soon arrived. Young men were called to serve and they were guided to go out into the world whilst spreading the good news of their faith whilst helping those who might not yet be walking a path similar to their own. Cal felt responsible to listen to his prayerful guidance and respect his intuition about where he was feeling led to go in his life. Being a missionary felt right for him even if the daunting task of serving for three years gave him a bit of uncertainty about how his life would play out – especially as he had a sweetheart back home. He was raised to understand hard work and his worth ethic on the family’s farm is what instilled him the joy to serve others as a missionary.

Shortly after he returnt home, he lost a chance to reconnect with his first girlfriend Marlene – whilst finding Kate was waiting for him with plans to resume where they had left off before his mission trip. He had regrets about missing Marlene but his life was playing out before him without giving him much chance to question the direction of where he was headed next. He felt in his heart with the war going on, his next service would be conscripted in the military as he wanted to do his bit when and if his time came to be called to action.

The interesting bit is how Kate and Cal were able to keep their relationship in tact whilst he was serving through their postal letters. Their love was so strong and so focused on the hope of his return you ached for them to be apart whilst Cal was living through the horrors of the battlefield. Especially when the war turnt personal and Cal was gravely injured – even in the midst of the worst moment of his life, Cal was grounded by his hope, love and faith. His relationship with Kate was bolstering him through the worst bits and when his life was on the line – I felt, in many ways it was Kate who was keeping him alive even though they were separated by such a long distance. Finding a love as true as theirs is what can sustain anyone throughout the adversities which arise in life and I felt Ferguson honoured their legacy by giving their story life inside By the Stars.

On the historical writing style of Lindsay B. Ferguson:

Although this story is predominately told through the periscope of the historical past as Cal’s life was lived, Ferguson has an intuitive method towards augmenting a bit of the present alongside her main focus; as I was wicked happy for how she centred us in the modern day passages before eclipsing it for the World War era! I marked this as ‘Men’s Fiction’ as it has the beauty of being told from Cal’s perspective and fittingly so, sounds exactly how Cal might have told his story if we were listening to it in his living room! I commend Ms Ferguson for tuning into Cal’s voice and the manner in which he gave the story it’s central heart.

The way in which Cal’s life trickles out in the narrative is in-part due to how Ferguson selected to briefly explain certain portions of his growing years – whilst expanding on others she felt were more pertinent to have drawn out in greater length. We gain small glimpses on some of his adventures – for instance when he first becomes a missionary we are introduced to how he was travelling for the first time and how he became settled in his role, but we did not gain the everyday moments where he was a missionary; those were for another time or not to be known. Ferguson does well considering the breadth of what Cal’s life left behind to be shared with readers – it’s an especially dense novel full of one man’s search for internal and external truths as he lived his life.

Definitely recommend for men to read as it’s a good story for select Men’s Fiction readers who’d rather see everything from a perspective they can personally relate too rather than from a women’s point of view completely. Cal is breathed to life in such a strong fashion as to give the impression, listening to his story first-hand by Ferguson was a blessing of listening to a story-teller weave their own tale as the words unfolded together into a tale of stepped out of time.

I found a few pacing sections where I felt either the story languished a bit without too much forward motion or other places where I would have liked to know a bit more in that particular setting – to explore what Cal did during that moment of his life; but being this is a Biographical Historical Fiction narrative, I wasn’t sure if the living person whose life this is inspired by granted Ms Ferguson those details and/or if she felt comfortable embellishing what might not have been known to have occurred. Overall I found it remarkable she could take a living history and turn it into a written story! It’s not easy to make the transition and Ferguson deals with this balance quite well for a debut novelist.

A notation about how this could be a story for Young Adult readers:

As I am focusing on #YALit this week, I wanted to mention that I believe this coming-of age story set against the backdrop of war would fit well for young adult readers who are seeking both realism and hope out of the stories they are seeking to read. The protagonist’s point of view is about a young man who is growing up whilst the world is entering the war front, his story is so very touching and powerful, I think this would benefit any reader on the fringes of their growing up years to select to read. It has everything your looking for as a young adult – from making the initial choices which will help define you lateron as an adult to the growth and maturity of coming-of age whilst realising your drawing closer to finding your true love.

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

Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Follow the Virtual Road Map by visiting the blog tour route:

Don’t miss: Lindsay B. Ferguson’s Guest Post which ran earlier on the tour!

My apologises to the author and publisher for my delayed review – I needed to take a bit more time to recover fully from my migraine which caused a few after effects that rendered me exhausted. I had trouble getting back into the heart of this novel due to the fact it’s a war drama but also, because I had secondary health issues after the initial migraine, including a relapse in April. I had to read this story a bit at a time until I was able to fully absorb myself into it’s center of thought.

I fully believed in this story long before I read it due to the back-story and inspiration which led for it be written! It was a true honour to finally be able to read the words and allow the story to wash over me as it was originally told to Ms Ferguson (albeit a few changes to protect the real persons involved). The author’s understanding and patience in me was truly appreciated.

By the Stars blog tour via Cedar Fort Publishing & MediaFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comI look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary! Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst bloggers who picked up the same story to read.

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{SOURCES: Book Cover Art for “By the Stars”, book synopsis and author photo of Lindsay B. Ferguson were provided by the author Lindsay B. Ferguson and used with permission. Blog tour badge and the badge for Cedar Fort Publishing & Media were provided by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media and used with permission. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Comment banner created by Jorie in Canva. Tweets are embedded due to codes via Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2016

I’m a social reader | I tweet as I read

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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 Friday, 29 April, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, the Thirties, The World Wars, War Drama




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