Blog Book Tour | “A Moment Forever” by Cat Gardiner

Posted Wednesday, 31 August, 2016 by jorielov , , 4 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I have been hosting blog tours with Poetic Book Tours whilst hoping to engage in hosting Small Press titles that are reflective of the diverse breadth of literature I welcome into my readerly life each year. This is why I was most delighted by the blog tour for ‘A Moment Forever’ as it simply felt like the type of World War era drama I would love to curl up inside reading! I received a complimentary copy of the novel “A Moment Forever” by the author Cat Gardiner in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

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What I enjoyed about learning about ‘A Moment Forever’:

Do you consider your novel to be a time slip or a time shift story? For instance, does the continuity of how it’s being told ‘slip’ between the two years of importance or does time ‘shift’ between perspectives of your lead characters? What do you like most about the styling of bending ‘time’ to the will of your muse?

Gardiner responds: I would consider A Moment Forever (AMF) a time slip-shift story. LOL. There are actually four lead characters, two in each time period, and the perspective does change. The main story that we begin with is in 1992 and it shifts and slips every few chapters back to 1942. The 1992 discovery of “something” in a letter will follow with the details of that “something” in 1942, painting the picture, drawing the reader into the life of our WWII couple, building their relationship until the climax of reunion five decades later. This was integral because I wanted the reader to see our 1942 lovers as those vibrant, youthful hearts in 1992 when they finally come back to each other.

One detail that I loved about AMF was that both eras are 20th Century historical fiction, both requiring research. The shifting and the timeline continuity was a challenge for my muse, but I dig challenges. I took her to task many times on Facebook because there were occasions when she wanted to stay in 1942 and I had to get her mind back to more modern times. Music helped … and copious amounts of wine.

I had to smile where you felt your novel fits both descriptions! Especially you’ve described how you’ve anchoured the story-line to certain pertinent revelations per ‘time of era’, I agree with your assessment of where this fits within the framework of time slip or time shift narratives! It had to be a ready challenge – not just to layer the story through it’s convicting core of thought but to control what was revealled (how, when, why, etc) whilst needling through the eyes of your characters, too! Smiling at the mention of wine – red or white, I wonder? I’m definitely into ‘red’. Music is such a beautiful constant in my own writerly endeavours – I love Hearts of Space for cluing into my muse.

-quoted from my interview with Ms Gardiner

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Whenever I find out about a war drama set during the World War eras, there is a good chance I’ll find my way into tucking inside the story-line and being caught up inside the drama unfolding around me as I soak inside the author’s story. I have the tendency to focus on stories stateside, throughout Europe and especially centred in focus between the UK and France. One reason this particular war drama appealed to me is how it’s a curiously time slip which shifts forwards and backwards in order for the fuller context of the story to be absorbed. I have a small weakness for time slips and shifts, so it wasn’t too hard to realise I’d be smitten by an interest to read this release! The added joy was being able to interview the author ahead of this review! We share a lot of mutual interests even though if out of the two of us, I’m the self-declared pack rat with a purpose! Laughs.

This will mark my first review for Vanity & Pride Press ahead of my first Austenesque sequel by Pamela Lynne coming in Autumn 2016! I look forward to that as I want to pick up my readings of Austen this Autumn & Winter, as I have dearly missed tucking inside the canon of Austen inasmuch a few sequel authors who’ve garnished my attention by how their choosing to re-invent the focus on beloved characters for generations of readers! I, myself, am only familiar with PRIDE, so it will be a lovely journey to dig back into PRIDE sequels whilst attempting my first readings of the two Austen novels I was gifted as a 1st Year Book Blogger!

Thus, there is more to come featuring the duo behind “Vanity & Pride Press!”

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Blog Book Tour | “A Moment Forever” by Cat GardinerA Moment Forever

In the summer of 1992, a young writer is bequeathed the abandoned home of a great-uncle she never knew. The house has a romantic history and is unlike any home she has ever seen. Juliana Martel felt as though she stepped into a time capsule—a snapshot of 1942. The epic romance—and heartache—of the former occupant unfold through reading his wartime letters found in the attic, compelling her on a quest to construct the man. His life, as well as his sweetheart’s, during the Second World War were as mysterious as his disappearance in 1950.

Carrying her own pain inflicted by the abandonment of her mother and unexpected death of her father, Juliana embarks on a journalist’s dream to find her great-uncle and the woman he once loved. Enlisting the reluctant assistance of a man whose family is closely related to the secrets, she uncovers the carefully hidden events of her great-uncle’s and others’ lives – and will ultimately change her own with their discovery.

This story of undying love, born amidst the darkest era in modern history, unfolded on the breathtaking Gold Coast of Long Island in 1942. A Jewish, Army Air Forces pilot and an enchanting society debutante—young lovers—deception—and a moment in time that lasted forever.

A Moment Forever is an evocative journey that will resonate with you long after you close the book. Romance, heartache, and the power of love, atonement, and forgiveness transform lives long after the horrors and scars of the Second World War have ended.

Places to find the book:

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ISBN: 9780997313000

on 28th May, 2016

Pages: 600

Published By: Vanity & Pride Press (@VPPressNovels)

Converse via: #HistFic, #HistRom, #WWII, #HistoricalFiction or #HistoricalRomance

About Cat Gardiner

Cat Gardiner

Born and bred in New York City, Cat Gardiner is a girl in love with the romance of an era once known as the Silent Generation, now referred to as the Greatest Generation.

A member of the National League of American Pen Women, Romance Writers of America, and Tampa Area Romance Authors, she and her husband adore exploring the 1940s Home Front experience as living historians, wishing for a time machine to transport them back seventy years.

She loves to pull out her vintage frocks and attend U.S.O dances, swing clubs, and re-enactment camps as part of her research, believing that everyone should have an understanding of The 1940s Experience™. Inspired by those everyday young adults who changed the fate of the world, she writes about them, taking the reader on a romantic journey. Cat’s WWII-era novels always begin in her beloved Big Apple and surround you with the sights and sounds of a generation.

She is also the author of four Jane Austen-inspired contemporary novels, however, her greatest love is writing 20th Century Historical Fiction, WWII-era Romance. A Moment Forever is her debut novel in that genre.

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My Review of A Moment Forever:

Ms Gardiner knows how to entice you into a story – the wicked news of an inherited old home from an Uncle whose bequeathed you his legacy whilst bypassing your estranged mother? Now, that’s fodder to muse about as you start to entreat inside this formidable neighbourhood of Brooklyn (clever of her to select this borough to feature as it’s one of interest to me) which is now in a transitional Renaissance of re-discovering it’s self-worth! You hear of neighbourhoods like this – where older homes go for quite a song at first, than by using sweat-equity and affordable hired hands, you can turn an investment out of a historical sliver of real estate! The beauty though are in the smaller details – how houses can ‘talk’ to you about their historical origins and how through renovations, they can once again shine their beauty outward to the world. Yes, dear hearts, it did not take me long to feel the immediate joy on behalf of Juliana’s turning of fate!

The Lizzy Juliana met in a photograph had a lot to circumvent in her own family as the war years were getting underway with boys going into basic and the homefront swirling afire with supposition about what was at the root cause of why the war was happening in the first place. The hardest part for Lizzy is the horrid opposition and prejudicial judgements her family was making against those who were suffering the most during WWII. Her own mind was not set with such a strict reproach spurn out of intolerance and rumour but she had a hard enough time speaking her own truth on the matters when even her sisters had made their minds up against hers. In this regard, Lizzy was a girl out of time – the world was making their own opinions and drawing conclusions she could not respect nor understand. At the same time, due to her family’s wealth and status, she was living outside the ordinary strife where the changing times would affect everyone across class and lifestyles. You had to wonder as you observed her at her family’s estate – on first meeting Juliana’s Uncle, how the two lives would twofold become united as one?

Juliana’s mother was impressively spiteful towards her daughter, but more to the point, she was a mother who I felt never appreciated motherhood. I think she never fully appreciated her daughter’s presence because her daughter would affect her pursuit of what she was more passionate about acquiring: wealth, status and the right husband to further her presence in society. The re-spitefulness of her frankness still had an affect on Juliana, of whom, a credit to her own inner strength spoke openly about her own discomfort in the situations but kept a level head to encroach into a discussion about her Uncle. Her mother (no shocked surprise!) had no information to share with her but Juliana refused to abandon the project to dig into the lost history she was fascinated to find.

My favourite bits were of Juliana exploring the house in Brooklyn for any hidden clues the home could afford to let her find so many decades since it’s ‘closing’. The house hadn’t breathed properly since her Uncle shuttled it to the world outside – leaving the strong impression that everything yet to be found might reveall more to her about his own life than he might have been willing to tell her in person. Some secrets and truths have a way of affecting a person’s ability to live without the assault of guilt afflicting more pain than joy out of the memories that cannot be changed but merely accepted. As Juliana went through the rooms, tucking into long forgotten boxes and pulling out trinkets of the past – yielding small notations of time and piecing a timeline of her Uncle’s together in the process – the more she was willing to acknowledge she knew very little about this part of her family’s ancestry. Her own identity was fractured as she never felt wanted nor accepted by her mother – the divorce that spilt her away from her father was jarring but it’s the absolute void in understanding who she was and of whom she came from in the past that left her twisted inside her spirit.

Her journey led her to question Louie, one of the remaining people alive who could shed light on her Uncle’s life and the curious path his life took before and after the war. He was a rumoured recluse, leaving her his estate but without any clarity of knowing if he were still alive or respectfully long since dead. Louie was her grandfather – mute and silent during these days when she needed his voice the most was stalling out her nerves but she continued to ask questions knowing he wouldn’t be able to yield much about how to understand what his immutable remarks might mean to her on the subject. In a clever way, Gardiner shows Louie in a different context than Juliana knows of him; his innermost thoughts are on full display, running concurrent to Juliana’s enquries! He shows so much cheek, too! He knows exactly what should be said and what should be told, yet he’s letting her needle out the past where he knew Will wanted it to remain out of sight and mind.

I loved how Juliana’s journey towards uncovering the past shifted forward through travelling outside of New York whilst anchouring her itinerary to what she was gleaming from the letters left behind by her Uncle and Lizzy; his beloved. The fact that the letters told so much truth about their relationship and the situations they each were facing during the war years was a credit to how important letters were then as a means of communication and of communicating what spoken words might falter to include. You can reveal so much more of your heart inside of a letter and capture more of your emotional convictions at the same time than perhaps what you can hope to reveal in a spoken conversation. I felt Juliana was fuelling her affection of curiosity by what the letters were showing her – they were one part a guiding map and one part a curious mystery caught inside a time capsule.

Fly in the Ointment:

On shifting backwards into 1942, I was a bit surprised by the harsh descriptive adjective directed at a cheeky bloke trying to gloss over an impromptu party crash with his best friend (of whom was his brother). It’s not that I don’t acknowledge soldiers have a colourful language (as honestly they do!) but I was still murmuring about what I learnt of the house Juliana had inherited and what those wanderings of her own heart to dispell the past and reveall the heart of her great-Uncle’s story that to move backwards and be confronted by a rather questionable abjection of how to express a cheeky character was a bit of an awkwardness I felt disrupted the pacing. For me, I’m most critical how strong words are used in fiction (or non-fiction) and for me personally, I felt it off-placed the moment. Especially as the visual was less than what I wanted to view at that moment. Boys are rowdy and soldiers on leave can entertain themselves into oblivion but I suppose I like knowing their antics with a bit ‘less than realistic’ bluntness. Someone else might feel differently.

On the Historical writing style of Cat Gardiner:

I loved the personalisation this novel had as soon as you opened it’s pages! For starters, the author presented this novel with such finesse to a book blogger receiving a print copy of it, I was quickly reminded of T.S. Krupa‘s care and attention of making bloggers feel unexpectedly full of bookish joy upon receiving books to review! Aside from this presentation on the book’s arrival, what I was pleasantly surprised to find is the care of attention placed on the book’s identity!

The cover art confused me a bit until I read about the why the selections of what was featured was poignantly directive of the story-line (this I surmised on my own, but read about it, too!); although having said that, what I appreciated about the art the most is the calmness of the imagery! War dramas do not necessarily have a ‘calm’ repose about them going into reading their stories, as let’s face it, their generally the most guttingly difficult reads you will encounter due to the climax of the story’s arc or the character’s journey within. I loved the typecast of the Chapter headings and the way in which it felt like you were reading a personal journal – left behind for you to re-encounter this timeline and see with your own eyes what the story will reveall to your own mind. Whenever a writer finds a way to ‘instill’ a sense of joy through letters & correspondences or turn their novel into a bridge towards the Epistolary theme of inclusion, I am one very contented reader! It was a beautiful way to begin reading the book and I applaud the attention to the ‘smaller details’ Ms Gardiner gave her novel!

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

Poetic Book Tours

My apologies to the author, Ms Gardiner for the delay in posting my review! I fell behind due to technical difficulties stemming out of severe lightning storms throughout the month & I simply was never quite able to recoup the hours lost. I needed extra time to articulate my impressions and thus, this review is posting quite a bit later in the day on my rescheduled tour stop.

Follow the blog tour for more readerly insights & reactions.

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I 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 “A Moment Forever”, author biography, author photograph of Cat Gardiner, book synopsis and reviewer badge were provided by Poetic Book Tours and used with permission. Photograph of a Letter from her personal collection provided by Cat Gardiner. Photo Credit: Cat Gardiner. Used with permission. Tweets embedded due to the codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Conversations with the Bookish Banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2016.

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 Wednesday, 31 August, 2016 by jorielov in 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Multi-Generational Saga, New York City, Poetic Book Tours, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, The Nineties, The World Wars, Vulgarity in Literature, War Drama, War-time Romance

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4 responses to “Blog Book Tour | “A Moment Forever” by Cat Gardiner

    • Hallo Ms Gardiner!

      Yes, I very much like how you entered the story-line from Juliana’s perspective – it was a pathway I could personally resonate with as I’m an Ancestry Sleuth within my own family’s ancestral line. I love stories that speak to researching & uncovering hidden tidbits of the past! Appreciate your understanding in regards to why I was delayed in posting! Thanks for the link about the cover, too!

    • You’re welcome! I loved how she layered the story between both time-lines of interest whilst grounding the story itself through the letters where the drama of what was hidden was waiting to be found; she wrote such wonderful back-story threading through Juliana’s own curiosity to better understand her own family’s past. Blessed I was a part of this tour!

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