Blog Book Tour | “The Unsaid” by Aaron Blaylock the author of “The Land of Look Behind”.

Posted Sunday, 30 October, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I have been a blog tour hostess with Cedar Fort for the past two years, wherein I took a brief hiatus from hosting before resuming this August 2016. I appreciate the diversity of the stories the Indie publisher is publishing per year, not only for fiction and non-fiction but for healthy eats within their Front Table Books (cookbooks). I appreciate their dedication to writing general market, INSPY reads and LDS focused stories across the genres they publish.

I was selected to be a part of the “The Unsaid” blog tour wherein I received a complimentary copy of “The Unsaid” direct from the publisher Sweetwater 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.

Why I was curious to read this one:

Having read the author’s previous release and debut with Cedar Fort The Land of Look Behind, I was curious about his sophomore release with the publisher – where he would take an interesting thesis of an idea and run with it – regarding what becomes of our unspoken thoughts and how those thoughts can still have meaning even if we do not feel that they do, as to us, they are discarded before they become tangibly noticeable. OR do they?

It’s an interesting premise – especially regarding the old adage about ‘thoughts are things’ and the cautionary tales of keeping your mind in check, in case your thoughts are overtaking your focus, etc. Sometimes the things we think could have a negative effect on us without even our conscious being aware of the impact whilst there is a pause of thought towards ‘whom’ overhears us when we are merely thinking thoughts and working out our feelings in the cosy comfort of our heads. There was something about this one that sparked an interest to see where the author would take us in the story-line but also, how he would handle the juxtapositions of Maggie, his lead character(s) and the heart of the matter, too!

I marked this as a ‘time slip’ simply because it’s moving between Heaven and Earth – which in of itself, is a slip in time.

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Blog Book Tour | “The Unsaid” by Aaron Blaylock the author of “The Land of Look Behind”.The Unsaid

"A bright white light consumed her field of vision as sh was rapidly pulled away from her station... the light quickly faded to darkness and closed in until all was black."

Maggie's job at the Department of Thoughts and Records in heaven is pretty simple. She is a spirit curator - an observer of human life who sorts and categorizes every unsaid thought. When Eric shows interest in the new girl at work, Maggie can't help ignoring the rules to understand the wonders of mortality and love. But meddling in mortal affairs has consequences that Maggie couldn't have ever imagined...

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781462119059

on 1st October 2016

Pages: 208

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks),

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

Converse on Twitter via: #TheUnsaid

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My Review of The unsaid:

We start our journey understanding Maggie’s position as the curator of thoughts which are not as unintangible as you  might realise, as they are promptly archived and tracked by someone in Heaven whose been attached to a special department that tracks such information. Maggie is unique in how she wants to become more empathetic to humans, prior to experiencing Earth for herself – yet her co-workers (so to speak) are both jaded and hopeful; some have had experiences that warrant the caution but for the most part, each of them are waiting to be signalled into action. Maggie takes her job quite seriously whilst she endeavours her curious heart to have a bit of leeway towards how she occupies the time between sessions with the human she is observing and recording. The interesting bit there is how time is presented as infinite and unclocked whilst humans live or die by the clock which charts time on a cycle that feels constrained. Maggie’s days are quite spontaneous even though she is attached to the one she’s watching, the rest of her moments are her own.

Eric (Maggie’s charge) is a bit down on himself and of life – he’s caught in a job he appears to prefer not to work and his entire being is slightly deflated. He pulls himself through his hours without a lot of hope for what he will find but rather, a telling glimpse of how you can walk through the motions of your life without much interest in what occurs. He has hit a stagnant period of his life, where he hasn’t quite moved past the break-up he experienced a year ago, nor has he had much inspiration to switch jobs. His current boss is both demanding and demeaning; ploughing through employees as if it were going out of fashion. One of the new hires, Lindsey finds out all too quickly how vile the boss is when he doesn’t even give her an introduction to what her job contains or how she’s meant to be of aide to him. He’s the kind of boss who thinks you know everything on your first day even though you barely had the chance to get situated. Both Eric and Maggie are frustrated in different ways and are emotionally overwhelmed, too. You could gather they could both use a bit of good cheer, a turn of the tides and something ‘different’ to help them get out of the cog of norm.

During the segues where we move back into Maggie’s impression of her life in Heaven – we start to oversee how she and others like her view our lives on Earth. One in particular Borador takes issue with those who waste time unnecessarily or do not take their lives seriously enough (in his mind) to do any good with the time they’ve been given. Maggie and her friends are blindsided in some ways from understanding the layers of what they do not yet understand; how living on Earth isn’t just about our thoughts, our emotions or our experiences but of our whole experience of being human whilst living on Earth. They can only breakdown the components as individual thoughts, actions and feelings but ahead of walking through a lived life of their own, they are distant from understanding the bigger picture of what it means to be mortal. This in of itself was interesting as it proves how easy it is to judge someone elses life without directly understand the life they are living.

There is also a bridge between what it means to be in Heaven and to be on Earth; there are theories explored equal to both locales and how the order of Everything is kept in balance. There are soft overtures about faith and religious history without drawing a circle of specifics but giving enough information out to draw the lines together to understand why Maggie and her friends are upset about human behaviour and why they are just as eager to have their ‘chance’ to live outside of the heavenly realm. One interesting bit I felt explored was how those in Heaven and those on Earth are both equal in their dislike of ‘waiting’ for time to elapse. This was interesting because although Heaven isn’t hinged ‘time’ in the same method as Earth, there is that foreboding sense of ‘time’ slipping past someone or being extinguished too soon to accomplish anything substantial. Likewise, there are frustrations on both sides – where Maggie tries to draw empathy out of her observations and knowledge gathering, others try to dispense logic where there is no reason to have it applied.

The only thing that surprised me was when Lindsey started to talk about reading The Land of Look Behind which of course is Blaylock’s debut with this publisher (of which I reviewed) but what seemed off a bit is that she was reading the book! I know writers get crafty about what they share in novels, but I never read a book where a character was reading the published work of the author? That felt a bit strange to me but what didn’t feel awkward was how Eric loved Star Wars as that’s straight out of Blaylock’s playbook as the author loves the franchise himself (whereas my preferences lies with Lucas).

One thing I found myself wanting to do is spend more time with Maggie – as despite the fact I think Eric’s internal thoughts were meant to be more humour than snark, all I took away was the snark which drew a bit old after awhile – as his thoughts overstepped his words to where you’d nearly envision a bloke standing in front of people communicating telepathically moreso than verbally! Maggie was intuitive and introspective with such a great understanding of her purpose and the experiences that humans gather whilst alive, that I found her a much more compelling lead character than Eric. Eric trips over himself quite a lot which is natural for someone still finding themselves, but as a lead? I found him a bit of a let-down because he’s such a work-in-progress it’s hard to find a connection with him.

Maggie starts to entangle herself and Dae another curator in circumventing their ordered curations by finding a loophole in how information is gathered or known about their subjects! Maggie’s curiosity about Eric and Lindsey lead her to make choices that she hopes she will not regret, all the while your wondering to yourself what those ramifications could be if her curiosity bests her in the end! It’s one thing to be curious and to remain detached to keep pace with your subject of interest, but when Maggie starts to interweave her co-workers into her ploy to unearth new information from Lindsey’s perspective you had to wonder if the exercise of curating is such a good one to have in place because it leverages curiosity to a new unhealthy level of interest.

What I loved the most is how Maggie’s journey took on deeper meanings the closer you drew to the concluding chapters – so much so – I almost felt this was Maggie’s story rather than Eric’s. Maggie had such a lot of growth and beautiful sequences of selfless acts to bestow to the one she cared about the most, it showed a lot of courage on Maggie’s part to embrace what she intuitively felt was the right course of action for her to take even if prior to her actions, nothing had been done like this before nor might ever be again. The Unsaid has a lot of depth hidden inside it’s core of heart, where if you follow Maggie’s footsteps you will find an incredible heroine of whom truly took the spotlight inside this novel where two unlikely singletons were blessed beyond measure!

Small Fly in the Ointment: Content Note:

The reason I felt mentioning The Land of Look Behind was awkward as it reminds me of films or tv series that push product placements. In other words, it’s a bit overdone or unneeded to be shared. I don’t mind if someone is referencing a previous work – which was done here, on page 33 which I think was fine as it had merit for how it was said, but to follow that up with the title and talking more about it, I felt could have been edited out. It’s the subtle way of referencing past works that I think has more punch than full disclosure. Case in point: how there are clues to Tim Allen’s Home Improvement on his new series Last Man Standing which become tongue-in-cheek moments of hilarity; similar to how Man with a Plan is referencing Matt La Blanc’s character Joey from Friends or how Kevin Can Wait has small nuances that Kevin James embraced on the King of Queens.

Even the banter about Star Wars was what I’d consider ‘tongue-in-cheek’ to reality – as it’s referencing a personal interest of the author. This might be lost on some readers who do not read the author’s blog, but for those of us who have it’s an instant recognition. This is what I meant about how to add inclusions that reference an author but aren’t completely apparent to all readers. It’s cheekier to keep it elusive than specific.

On the writing style of Aaron Blaylock:

It would be a hard premise to tackle, yet Blaylock has mastered how to reflect a person’s running stream of thoughts next to their spoken words whilst engaging with others quite well! In fact, in some ways, the thoughts being shared overtake you a bit, as it’s a true testament of how ‘chatty’ everyone can become inside their heads when they think there is a shield of separation from everyone else! It’s quite an interesting way to read the story – as you’re not just privy to the regular bits being disclosed but those hidden bits, the ones that can become tucked away or never shared – and in this particular case, Eric (the lead character of interest) is not only chatty but he is sometimes contradictory and less confident than he normally appears. This is all reflected through his thoughts running so tandem and quick through the narrative, you have to remember the differences between what is being ‘thought’ and what is being ‘said’, and how interesting the two are if you cross-compare them!

I enjoyed the way Blaylock built the impression of Heaven – how everything was laid out and infinitely wondrous – especially when he focused on Maggie’s impressions of her surroundings. She had a more innocent impression than some of her co-workers, as she chose to align her mind on the joyfulness of her existence as a curator and to take out the beauty of where she spent her days, rather than focus on the negativity of the world. It was a good juxtaposition to her observational time spent with Eric, as it showed how we could all do with more joyful thoughts and moments than settling into the quagmire of negativity.

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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 readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read.
Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “The Unsaid”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Aaron Blaylock and the blog tour badges were all provided by Cedar Fort, Inc. and used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded due to the codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Ruminations and Impressions Banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2016.

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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, 30 October, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Content Note, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Men's Fiction, Modern Day, Realistic Fiction, Time Slip, World Religions

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