Non-Fiction Book Review | “Saints at Devil’s Gate: Landscapes along the Mormon Trail” by Laura Allred Hurtado and Bryon C. Andreasen

Posted Sunday, 26 February, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I received an enquiry from the (LDS) Church Historian Press regarding working with them on select non-fiction releases – which interested me as I have been reading LDS Fiction and Non-Fiction for the past two years. My interests in non-fiction (LDS or otherwise) tend to parallel through the historical past (as I love learning about History) and thread through biographical accounts of persons who lived. I love to seek out a variety of topics across different sub-interests of mine – including Science, Philosophy and Feminism as well. Being an ancestral sleuth in my family alongside my Mum, I love finding out the hidden histories not as well known as other aspects of the historical past, too. Therefore, when they approached me about reviewing for them, I was quite keen to find out more about their releases. This marks my first review with a second shortly following: ‘At the Pulpit’ a special overview of LDS Women.

I received a complimentary copy of “Saints at Devil’s Gate” direct from the publisher The Church Historian’s Press (in conjunction with The Church of Latter-day Saints) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I was keenly interested in this particular release:

Originally, I was meant to post my review on behalf of ‘Saints at Devil’s Gate’ in January – however, due to personal reasons (related to life after my father’s stroke) I haven’t been able to post as frequently as I had beforehand – I’ve been spending the past few months re-adjusting to my father’s recovery and being his main caregiver whilst my Mum works full-time in order to offset my father’s recovery. It hasn’t lended itself to feeling very readerly or in the mood to blog – I’ve had to make adjustments to my online life as I re-emerge into my reading life one story at a time. I admit, I haven’t quite found the balance I am seeking but throughout January & February, I can say, my family and I have found positive enroads moving forward with my father’s recovery, as well as keeping observant on how the after effects of his stroke’s are affecting his everyday life.

Having said this – I originally wanted to post this review far ahead of my second review for the LDS Church, however, sometimes in our lives things happen which upset the course we’re walking. The best we can do is try to make amends lateron and follow-up after the dust settles. I’ve been struggling to re-inspire myself forward in my readings – finding that whilst I feel more confident in what I’m doing offline to help my Dad, I haven’t quite transitioned through to finding down-time to focus on things outside our personal sphere. I’d like to find a way to read and blog more regularly similar to the pace I was starting to set forth as my ‘new regular norm’ last Autumn, as despite pairing down my commitments, I was finding reading several books a week to be quite enjoyable – especially with a more relaxed pace of deadlines.

I am hoping with each new post and book I consume now, will be one story closer to finding my bookish spirit renewed as I inch towards balancing being a caregiver and a hearty reader of stories – coming full circle since the fateful day I watched my father have a stroke before the paramedics and doctors were involved. Some events cause small ripples of changes and other times, our lives change in such distinctive ways, it takes us a bit of time to ‘catch-up’ to realising we’re not quite the same as we were but that doesn’t mean life won’t continue forward – it’s simply we need to allow ourselves a bit more breathing space to sort it all out. Find our way, and hope everyone along the way understands our absences where we cannot always pull things together.

The reason I wanted to accept receiving ‘Saints at Devil’s Gate’ is because it’s a photographically inspired art book – following in the footsteps of the Mormon Pioneers who went West in search of a new place to call home. Through my ancestral research – I have come to find out more about how all of our ancestors made their way in the world. Courtesy of the LDS Church for providing us with the best resource to seek out our ancestors: I’ve mentioned this previously on my blog – how thankful I am to Family Search and the LDS Church for providing all of us a method of researching our family and ancestral lines.

Although I am non-LDS Protestant, part of what I researched led me to find I have Pioneers of the LDS Church in my ancestral past – where a marriage separated part of my ancestral family. The wife of one of my ancestors had to say ‘goodbye’ to her family as they moved West – taking the long road out to Utah, whilst staying behind to start her family, having been recently married. This is as much as I can pull together by what is left behind to be found. At least, I think this is what happened! There is always an error of caution when researching your ancestral heritage – are the pieces pulling together in the right way and are we interpreting the clues in the right way to understand the lives of our ancestors? I am unsure if I will find more at a later date or not, but for now, I thought it was keenly interesting on the fringes of finding out about this – a book about the Mormon Trail was available to be reviewed!

I also appreciated the Church Historian’s Press for being open to having a diverse group of reviewers and book bloggers receiving their releases from different backgrounds – as this highlights something I’ve been trying to understand better about why there is such a division of interest in INSPY Non-Fiction and Fiction releases. INSPY is the shortened word for Inspirational Fiction and Non-Fiction – the main umbrella of literature for faith-based literature – not limited to one religion nor branch of Christianity; as sometimes I think is wrongly perceived. I read INSPY Lit as it was intended – across cultural and religious backgrounds whilst finding inspiring stories in both fictional and realistic (non-fiction) settings of interest.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comNon-Fiction Book Review | “Saints at Devil’s Gate: Landscapes along the Mormon Trail” by Laura Allred Hurtado and Bryon C. AndreasenSaints at Devil's Gate
Subtitle: Landscapes along the Mormon Trail
by (Artist) Bryan Mark Taylor, (Artist) John Burton, (Artist) Josh Clare, Bryon C. Andreasen, Laura Allred Hurtado
Source: Direct from Publisher

The book showcases fifty-two landscapes paintings of the Mormon Trail, the 1,300 mile route from Nauvoo, Illinois to Salt Lake City that some 70,000 Latter-day Saint pioneers travelled between 1846 and 1869. Each painting is paired with quotations from the original journals and reminiscences of pioneers who made the journey.

The paintings were created from 2011 to 2016 by award-winning Latter-day Saint landscape artists John Burton, Josh Clare, and Bryan Mark Taylor. Jean Stern, executive director of the Irvine Museum in Southern California, said that these artists are 'noted for their remarkable ability to paint beautiful and elegant works, filled with natural light and brilliant colour.' He added that the paints will 'appeal to all viewers, those who seek meaning and enlightenment in the historical background of the trail s well as those who seek beauty in art and nature'.

The pairings of the paintings with historical quotations allows modern-day readers to share in some of the feelings that Mormon pioneers experienced while travelling west. For example, Bryan Mark Taylor's Looking Back which depicts Nauvoo as seen from across the Mississippi River in Iowa is paired with a May 1846 excerpt from Wilford Woodruff's journal: 'I left Nauvoo for the last time perhaps in this life. I looked upon the temple & city of Nauvoo as I retired from it and felt to ask the Lord to preserve it as a monument of the sacrifice of his Saints'.

Laura Allred Hurtado, global acquistions art curator for the Church History Museum points out that 'not all the experiences of the Mormon pionners were tragic. Journal entries capture the mundane and practical toiling of daily life', such as finding places to wash clothes, picking flowers, and dancing and playing music.

Pioneeers also commented regularly, sometimes quite poetically, on the beauty and grandeur of the land they were traversing. Referencing bluffs she had passed in western Nebraska on the journey in summer 1853, English convert Hannah Tapfield King wrote, 'The Bluff ruins... are very beautiful - I should like to have an explanation about them - but I suppose none know their history - They stand out in bold relief with a silent eloquence that speaks trumpet-tongued to every thinking mind - They are looking eternally silent.'

The new book accompanies an exhibition of the same name that opened at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City on November 17. The free exhibition is open to the public and will run through August 2017. The exhibition is also available online via LDS Church History Department.

Genres: Art & Art History, Biography / Autobiography, Epistolary | Letters & Correspondences, Fine Art & the Natural World, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Interviews & Conversations, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Travelogue

Places to find the book:

ISBN: 978-0-692-78585-0

Published by The Church Historian's Press, The Church History Department

on November, 2016

Format: Softcover Edition

Published by: The Church Historian Press (imprint of) The Church History Department

of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Formats Available: Softcover

Converse via: #INSPYbooks, #ArtBooks. #OilPaintings, #LDSChurch, #MormonTrail, #MormonPioneers

About (Artist) Bryan Mark Taylor

Bryan Mark Taylor

A world traveler and an accomplished painter, Bryan Mark Taylor has won numerous top awards at the most prestigious plein air invitationals and is regularly featured in western art magazines. His work can be found in private, corporate, and museum collections around the world. He received his BA from Brigham Young University in 2001 and his MFA from Academy of Art University in 2005. He lives with his wife and four children in Alpine, Utah.

About (Artist) John Burton

John Burton

John Burton is an award-winning oil painter best known for his stirring and vivid depictions of the transitory beauty of our ever-changing world. A graduate of Academy of Art University, Burton has traveled and painted around the globe, always maintaining his home in the American West. Burton’s deep American roots permeate the rich, natural character of his art and inform his work’s reverent tone. John is married with four children.

About (Artist) Josh Clare

Josh Clare

Josh Clare graduated with a BFA in illustration from BYU-Idaho in 2007 and has earned numerous awards, including Artists’ Choice at the 2012 Laguna Plein Air Invitational and second place in the Raymar 6th Annual Art Painting Competition. His work has been featured in Western Art & Architecture, Southwest Art, and Art of the West. He lives with his wife, Cambree, and their children, Nathan, Anna, and Emily, in Cache Valley, Utah.

About Bryon C. Andreasen

Bryon C. Andreasen

Bryon C. Andreasen earned a JD at Cornell University and a PhD in nineteenth-century American history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently a historian at the Church History Museum, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah. Previously he was the research historian at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, where he also edited the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association and helped found the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition that pioneered heritage tourism in Illinois.

About Laura Allred Hurtado

Laura Allred Hurtado

Laura Allred Hurtado works as the global acquisitions art curator for the Church History Museum, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah. She has curated exhibitions at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, CUAC Contemporary, Alice Gallery, Rio Gallery, Snow College, and the Granary Art Center. Previously, she worked at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Brigham Young University Museum of Art, and the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art.

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My Review of saints at devil’s gate:

I love how this book was laid out – as you’re instantly greeted by to essays from the author’s themselves whilst finding your own path through the Mormon Trail via the artist renderings of how the trail might look like from an artistic point of view augmented beautifully by the words of the (Mormon) Pioneers themselves as they traversed the miles. This is an interesting perspective to be granted – as you truly feel as if your travelling through the states, where your observations are merging with the Pioneers and the artists who have brought their journey vibrantly to life through their palette of artistry and an eye for setting and scale of wonder by what can be gleamed through the natural world left behind.

The interesting bit is this is a living exhibition – you can go to Utah to view the paintings and exhibit in person – part of me wishing it was a good year for travelling – as it would have been a lovely capstone to having been blessed to read this exhibit in print format! The book itself serves as a journal – of the footsteps of Mormon’s who leaned on their faith to find a new beginning far into the West from the states they called home; ready to forge a new settlement for themselves and to re-establish their home base in America. So many travellers go West to re-claim a part of themselves and a part of their lives which have become lost or shattered due to circumstances; how inspiring it was to find portions of the Pioneers’ travells outlined throughout this illustrated book – honest reactions and observations, directly taken from journals or letters or other bits of printed memorabilia left behind to illustrate first-hand experiences.

Within the first essay, Ms Hurtado explores the Church’s history being of importance to translate through art and how her work at the museum was to seek out ways in which the Church’s historical stories could be vocalised and captured through different exhibits which embrace the history of how the Mormon’s migrated to Utah and found a new new in America. She talks about the delicate balance between seeking out artwork for the sake of artwork and being practical about the kind of artwork which is needed at the museum itself – to direct interest and understanding on behalf of the Church, but also to inspire viewers of the art for the reasons why all of us feel uplifted by art as whole.

The interesting bit is the project ‘Saints at Devil’s Gate’ found her rather than the other way round – the artists were already in the planning stages of the exhibit and invested in carrying it out prior to her knowledge of their work. She also explained how spirituality and self-guided purpose on behalf of Burton led to the project’s creation – where sometimes you are called to create something which becomes bigger than you and more than your original idea. This isn’t apparently the first time artists have been led to re-walk the trail and to find specific monuments of the natural world to highlight through their art to paint portions of the Pioneer’s historic route. It is however, the first time I’ve found out about this artistic endeavour and I must admit, I commend the efforts on behalf of everyone involved – specifically of course, for providing the print edition such a wicked sweet guiding map between the reasons leading into the project, the presentation of the exhibit itself in the central pages of interest and the additional bouts of insight from the authors and artists who helped make this feel like a living exhibit rather than one that has stopped speaking about it’s purpose.

Art is such a personal evocation of feeling and thought – of what can be visually found out of the nothingness that begins as ‘something’ not yet fully understood. I could definitely feel the artists through their intentions of providing a realistic tethering of the past and present through their artistic visions – of bridging not just the gap between memory and fact nor time and setting; but to dig a bit further inside and outside of the conjoined experiences they were undertaking as well.

One of the beauties of the artists’ journey is how they worked their paintings en plein air – which is a style of painting out-of-doors my Mum and I want to tackle one day. It’s a soulful connection to your subject whilst using natural light as your guiding force of acknowledging light and shadow. Light is important in art – no matter which medium you choose to explore, but being outside, has it’s quirks – especially the elements and climate patterns which might make painting outside a bit more adventurous. Plein air paintings by definition are similar to snapshots of photography – a capturing of a singular moment of ‘being’ in one place in one moment of your life where you can transfuse what you observe, sense, and feel directly into the painting you’re creating. The artists’ did not fully explore this aspect of the plein air – as they started outside but retreated to their studios to finish their paintings but evenso, to have spent a considerable amount of time on the trail and honing in on what as presenting to them as the authentic truth of both the past and the present, is definitely observed in the end results of their labours to present the paintings reflecting the Mormon Trail.

Interspersed with the artists’ contemporary journey on the Trail, Ms Hurtado also relates the historic artifacts of artists from the past who have attempted to capture the same experience. She also goes into a bit of a living history reflecting on the significance of the Trail itself and of the memories left behind – pulled out of journals, relating to how the Trail was observed initially and in the century since it was so very heavily travelled. What I found even more remarkable, truly, is how much of the trail has been kept untouched and unrefined from it’s original route – generally speaking, due to industrial and technologic progresses of the modern world, it is quite difficult to find unspoilt regions on Earth which are not affected by man. I could definitely understand why the artists felt they were walking on sacred ground – as any route left as it were such as this one, would feel as if you were re-stepping inside the footprints of your ancestors.

It is within Ms Hurtado ending response about this collection of paintings and texts I felt most connected too personally – of how each of us are walking our own path towards finding where we feel we’ve found ‘home’ and a place of to ‘belong’ whilst feeling rooted to the natural world around us. I have always felt a strong solace of mirth inside the natural world – which is one reason why I have focused on the natural world off / on over the years I’ve been a book blogger. There is something quite magically intrinsic about finding yourself amongst trees and water – finding shelter from conventional lives in the ambiance of the natural habitats which are only a stone’s throw from our modern conveniences. To walk in nature is to be connected to spiritual truths – and the more we observe outside, the more clarity we have internally. Her eloquence to express and explain the journey of humanity whilst walking a spiritual path was well stated and expertly in-tune with how any of us feel time after time in our lives; if we pursue to live elsewhere from whence we’re bourne.

The second essay was penned by the co-author, Mr Andreasen, of whom related how his own personal motivations to travel this country by car was to seek a step outside our technological world. I agree with him – there are moments for technology and there are moments to withdraw away from tech; if only to recapture our humanity and renew our senses in the fullness of experiencing things first hand without a gadget in our hands distracting us from what is right in front of our eyes. I applaud his efforts to bring back road trips and inspiring his children to delight in the unexpected found whilst your travelling. I’ve road trekked over 15,000+ miles myself – with my Mum, crosscutting through the Mid-West, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast; I daresay, one of these days I will travel further than the continental divide and plains of the Mid-West; even though I have spent a fortnight in the Pacific Northwest, I do not always count it as I ‘flew’ rather than took the long way round!

One interesting bit to relate is that I differ a bit on the author’s organised route of travelling by car – there is a general heading I like to head off towards but the actual route I take to reach my destinations is ‘made on the fly’ and oft-times adjusted for unexpected issues: such as tornado weather, road closures, street floodings or interstates which were never constructed even if they are listed on the map! Laughs. I like to be spontaneously curious about where I am going but also, to take in the lesser travelled areas of the country. Of finding places to dine which are not national chains but everyday ‘mom and pop’ indies full of local flavour and culture of the area your ‘passing through’. I think the author hinted at some of this, but I saw he liked to have foreknowledge of his travels, and for me, the general ratio of where I am going is fine but to nail it all down ahead of time would bore me to tears!

One thing Mr Andreasen and I agree on – don’t always take the quickest route to your arriving destination! We live in a society which prefers the ‘fastest’ solution to ‘everything’ going on in our lives; including taking a plane instead of a train or a ferry or driving by car cross-country if only to seek out a portrait of America you cannot view from the window of a plane! I love the raw and natural beauty of untouched areas of the country – including those wild outcroppings of rock which line the highways whilst moving in and out of the mountains on the East Coast. There is something to be said for keeping your heart open to the possibilities of what can be found on the road and allow the mirth of the natural world to be your heart-pulse and centering of where you are whilst you seek to find the unexpected.

on the paintings & inclusive extras of this release:

The paintings are organised in order of the Mormon Trail – starting in Navoo, Illinois where the journey began originally. You feel caught up in the moment as the natural landscapes lend themselves well to visualising the route and the emotional observations by the Pioneers themselves. Each of the excerpts selected direct your attention to the heart and mind of the people travelling West; they shared insight into the natural world whilst owning to their experience as a traveler, too. Some reflected the uncertainty of where they were heading against the backdrop of knowing where they had just been finding it difficult to recognise what they would be giving up in order to find a better place to reside.

Yet, each of them showed how much their faith played a strong role in how to find strength out of uncertainty and motivation to continue a journey across a long distance without the security of knowing what you would find once you arrived. The paintings are alive and enriched with the colours of nature – striking the balance between realism and interpretative art movements of visual fluidly. The artists captured different times of day – not focusing on any one in particular hour but rather you can tell they sought ‘moments’ to capture where they felt keenly aware of  the setting  whilst finding a passageway back into the past at the same time.

There are hidden footnotes attached to the paintings themselves – as Ms Hurtado discloses, reflecting on how the artists sought to inspire viewers of their art forward into the trail itself by lending a ‘prompted’ clue via the titles of the pieces. This is a clever way of inspiring a topical conversation about long distance journeys and the pursuit of new beginnings. You can tell how desolate the trail was in places and yet, how uncannily brilliant the skies were as well! The paintings give a tone of inclusion of being a part of this trail  – of finding small connective fissures of life being forged out of the openness of a trail heading West.

Even the seasons are well-presented. Alluding to the difficulties the Pioneers would have faced but also, drawing your attention to how rugged the landscape of the route truly is for them and for us now. Even the joy of finding Ms Hurtado’s notes following the excerpts by Pioneers was done in such a clever way – as she prompts a bit of afterthought on the pages you’re visiting but also, clues you into things you might not have realised on your own. One thing is true – the landmarks of the trail are distinctively impressive, as one of the characteristics I love next to a forest or a body of water are rock formations – and this book happily depicts quite a few visually stunning formations which simply take your breath away! Imagine then, standing below them and gazing upward to see and feel what it would be like to stand below something so marvelously constructed!? There is so much awe in nature and so much to be blessed to have found whilst walking outside – I can only hope the Pioneers felt even a portion of the joy we can all see through these paintings. I would imagine there were days on their journey West where they were not as inspired to take stock of their surroundings but for the most part, as what is coming through the excerpts of their words and insights, is how blessed they felt to be on the trail and to be a part of a larger journey than simply ‘moving elsewhere’.

There is one painting that depicts how fierce nature can become during times of storms – on page 76, Mr Burton highlights the nakedness of being outside when a lightning storm is on fast approach without having a ready shelter in sight. This shows how quickly a tame wilderness can prove fatal or at least less than welcoming to those who are trying to traverse it’s terrain with everyday provisions. I love how he captured the scene – leaving the storm in the background but the vastness of the scene on full display.

The amount of faith it would have taken to resolve the fears and doubts of having to brace yourself for all the unexpected perils of the journey are beautifully unspoken inside ‘Saints at Devil’s Gate’. The sheer amount of strength to travel through these unknown lands and to battle through the unknown elements, whilst being greeted by the majestic and the raw appeal of nature enveloping you in it’s embrace had to be incredible. I even liked how the light is dipping in and out of the foreground whilst highlighting ridges, plateaus and the different inclines of terrain. It truly shows how the route was shaped around the land whilst never apologising for the difficulty of it’s path.

Despite the obstacles, one painting depicts the lightness of freedom and of the felicity of being alive – ‘Promises and Pollywogs’ by Mr Burton (page 92) as such a freshness about it. The swirls of colour and the appeal of ‘being in flight’ as the way in which he worked his brushes, you can gather this is a flock of avian families seeking the joyfulness of the water’s edge countered against the fresh sun and new bourne day. This painting makes you smile in other words!

Even though the artists have their own unique voices of style – collectively they tell a very telling story about how the Mormon Trail was captivatingly beautiful, ruggedly challenging and spiritually renewing. All of their paintings form together to tell a story with a singular voice in the full harmony of their artistic vision.

on how the artists themselves took a journey through art to find what the Pioneers had before them:

As fore-stated in the opening pages of ‘Saints at Devil’s Gate’, the artists themselves underwent a personal journey towards finding the trail and finding what was once sought to be seen whilst the Pioneers moved west. Three artists travelled through five states to archive and visualise this historic trail – which curiously intersects with two other well-known and well-traversed trails: the Oregon Trail and the California Trail – to help us to see what was known during the route but also, to pull back time itself and find a modern touchstone of the past.

Being an artist myself, I can sympathise with this becoming personally spiritual and enlightening – as to focus on the trail route itself and to attempt to re-capture the natural beauty and the rugged terrain the Pioneers once had found themselves having to embrace in order to reach Utah – had to be an incredibly layered adventure for the artists. Just to feel a sense of ‘time’ moving through your spirit and through your palette of colours and the way in which texture of strokes and the lightness of brushes swirling into a vision of creating this natural cacophony of unspoken sound had to be an experience which would define your life; if not your art. Art seeks to find answers to questions which are not always expressed or spoken – sometimes it’s to seek out the rarity of what is beautifully hidden in plain sight and other times, art is a fusion of everything that makes us individually unique and different. Art transcends language inasmuch as it remains as temporal as time. To read the words alongside the paintings of these artists to to dip inside the daring purpose of seeking a ‘new home’ without the certainty of what ‘you would find’ on the other end of the route.

You can read more about their adventures painting the Mormon Trail at the back-end of the book where their interview is contained as a happy surprise after having taken the journey of the trail with them.

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This book review is courtesy of:

The Church Historian’s Press

I am following this review immediately with my ruminative thoughts on behalf of ‘At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women in the afternoon hours of the 27th of February. I look forward to sharing both of these releases back to back as it was such a pleasure to be a part of the celebration of their publications.

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

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Saints at Devil’s Gate”, book synopsis, author photographs of Laura Allred Hurtado and Bryon C. Andreasen as well as Artist photographs of John Burton, Josh Clare and Bryan Mark Taylor along with their author and artist biographies were all provided by the publisher The Church Historian Press and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were able to be embedded by the codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review Banner using (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna  and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2017.

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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, 26 February, 2017 by jorielov in Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host, Christianity, Family Life, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, The Church Historian's Press

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