Book Review | “Dancing Through Life: Steps of Courage and Conviction” by Candace Cameron Bure with Erin Davis

Posted Thursday, 12 October, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: It’s an interesting story, as I crossed paths with B&H Publishing Marketing Director Jesse Wisnewski via Twitter wherein we had this conversation about Ms Bure. I coordinated with Brandon Taylor their Events Specialist on requesting a copy of “Dancing Through Life” Ms Bure’s latest memoir which picks up her life’s story after being featured on “Dancing with the Stars”; a chapter of her life I happily watched with other viewers as the episodes aired. I received a complimentary copy of the “Dancing Through Life” direct from the publisher B&H Publishing, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

I, too, grew up watching Ms Bure on television:

Full House was one of the sitcoms I watched as a child of the 80s/90s who arrived in the latter half of the 70s – it was an honest and feel-good series becoming a part of my weekly line-up to watch. After the conclusion of the series, I kept my eye on Candace Cameron, as I appreciated the roles she took as she started to transition into her adult acting years. Including, a few realistic tv movies where she took on courageous roles showing a dramatic side rather than a comic one; in particular, it was her role in She Cried No opposite Mark Paul Gosselaar and Jenna von Oÿ which re-defined her acting style, as all three actors I grew up watching in different tv serials.

When she started to make appearances on the Hallmark Channel, I was smiling to myself as I knew it was a good place for her to sprout her wings into different Romantic comedies and possibly other roles where I knew she would shine; including the Christmas movies of which my family adores re-watching each holiday season! Especially as Hallmark Channel is one of the few channels who still offer wholesome and family oriented new films each Christmas season (Lifetime does too, but not as much as they did in previous years). I remember the night I watched Aurora Teagarden, realising how much I would miss seeing her regularly as at the time I didn’t have access to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries – it was a turn of change for me to realise Hallmark would not air their new mysteries on their main channel; as I have fond memories of prior mysteries series: Mystery Woman, McBride, and Jane Doe respectively. I hadn’t foreseen a Summer of lightning storms which would cripple my ability to blog and tweet would lead to a change in ISP providers which would lend an option to gain a few channels on cable I never had previously! Hence how two years ago in the  Autumn, I was able to ‘catch-up’ on Aurora Teagarden and all the other lovelies I had missed!

I love when you could see her bubbly personality shining through the characters, and even if she was being more ‘serious’ in one role or another, you still have the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries which I think fits her quite well, as Aurora has a quiet innocence about her mixed with intelligent dexterity; just like Ms Bure.

However, I’m getting away from what I wanted to say — like most watchers of #DWTS (Dancing with the Stars) you develop a bit of a love/hate relationship with the show. It’s not the contestants fault, it’s the way in which the commentary reflects on behalf of the judges that taints the show for me, which is why I have skipped installments of the show and picked/chosen which episodes per cast I have watched. When Ms Bure took her journey, it was a season I opted to watch irregardless of my past feelings about the show as a whole. In part, due to the fact Ms Bure was on the show and partially due to the fact, at heart I love the show for pushing people to try something radically different and step into a confidence they never knew they could excel at showing to the public.

I love the challenge of #DWTS and I love the choreography of the professional dancers who teach the celebrities! They combine modern Top Forty favourites with classic choices of the musical past, combining artistry with movement in such beautiful displays of art and creativity that I’m left mesmerised by what I have witnessed on camera. Seeing Ms Bure’s journey evolve over the course of her time on the show, I saw a story emerging out of everything she was facing and achieving. Part of me wondered if I might one day learn the ‘hidden story’ behind the show itself and the truer impact of her time dancing live for the public eye she grew up on so very long ago.

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Imagine my happy delight in realising Dancing Through Life is the story I knowingly knew existed but hadn’t yet knew was a published memoir! It was with great joy to find her publisher willing to send a copy to an inquisitive book blogger who wanted to read this installment of her life for review.

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View a collage of Ms Bure and Mark Ballas via their DWTS photos uploaded to Twitter via this link, as it’s a lovely complied journalling of their journey seen through photographs of their time on the show. Since their season aired, there are more photos on this streamed search option but you can still find the pictures of their time on DWTS.

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A beautiful photograph of the memoir shared via Twitter:

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Dancing Through Life by Candace Cameron Bure

Dancing Through Life
Subtitle: Steps of Courage and Conviction
by Candace Cameron Bure
Source: Direct from Publisher

Candace Cameron Bure has grown up before our eyes and we've watched as she's balanced life in Hollywood with her Christian faith. But the spotlight became even brighter when she competed on Dancing with the Stars . It was a dream come true, and with that dream came the opportunity to display her personal convictions in front of millions of people on live television and to learn lessons crucial for everyone - on stage and off.

Join Candace as she reflects on the self-discovery that came through leaping out of her comfort zone. Go behind the scenes and experience the highs and lows, the roadblocks, and the personal victories. Hear straight from her heart on tough lessons she learned about grace, rejection, perfectionism, disappointment, accountability, dealing with criticism, and more. See how Candace stayed true to herself and publicly lived her faith in Christ all the way to the finale.

How do you stand with conviction in your world? Where does your courage come from when faced with difficulties? Your stage probably isn't in Hollywood or on live television, but they are no less challenging. Come along with Candace as she shares how she found the courage to stand with conviction on one of the largest platforms of her life.

Genres: Memoir, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781433686948

Series: Bure Memoirs

Published by B&H Publishing Group

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 224

Published By: B&H Publishing Group (@BHpub)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook (Digital & CD)

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My favourite dance of Ms Bure; it was electric and brilliant!

About Candace Cameron Bure

Candace Cameron Bure, actress, producer, New York Times best-selling author, inspirational speaker, and Dancing with the Stars Season 18 finalist, is both outspoken and passionate about her family and faith. Known to millions worldwide from her role as "D.J. Tanner" on the iconic family sitcom, Full House , Candace continues to flourish in the entertainment industry as a role model to women of all ages. She lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband and three children.

Reflecting on reading this memoir:

Having the opportunity to read a portion of her autobiographical history was a true honour – one which I am thankful to her publisher for allowing me the blessing of having in my life, even if it took me awhile to get to the point where I could read the book in full! I’ve been reading snippets of this book ever since I received it about two years ago – you could say, it’s been a beloved bookshelf companion, as part of me wanted to have the right mindset to dig inside it – where life wasn’t fluttering into a frenzy or the stresses of ‘something’ weren’t clouding my mind to where I couldn’t focus on her voice coming through the pages. Sometimes, I find Non-Fiction is a bit harder for me to absorb if my everyday life and world has more obstacles to circumvent than normal – Fiction is easier for me to latch onto (for the most part) as I get to dissolve into another place and time. Non-Fiction has the tendency of having an immediacy reaction to the current time-line as you fuse your heart to someone’s living story.

My Review of Dancing Through Life:

In this particular case, I have admired Ms Bure from afar for a lot of years, even if on the surface of things we have a few things which separate us – at the heart of who we both are, we’re united. I have admired her strength to put herself ‘out there’ and be true to herself all along the way, even if she is criticised for it because that’s something I can personally relate too myself. There is one passage towards the middle of the book – it’s just past the lovely pictures which are happily included – where she’s talking about being bullied or harassed for things you’d couldn’t even imagine people would judge her for but they do – where I could nod and humbly say to myself, ‘Yes, I know’. Empathy and tolerance is lacking in the world – people are so very quick to criticise and judge you, most times ‘out of hand and context’ to where they do not take the time to ‘get to know you’ as you are but rather, have judged you based on a preconception they have of ‘who you are’ without ever really knowing the ‘real you’. In her (Ms Bure) case, it’s even doubly hard because she’s in front of cameras and leads a very public life – yet, this shouldn’t be a reason for attacking her nor giving her the grief of second-guessing everything she does in every moment of her life, yet I am sure on some level, there are days where she does feel this way; I know I have in my own situations because sometimes despite your safeguards and your walk in faith; we’re still only human and sometimes people can get to us.

When I first saw her on ‘Dancing with the Stars’, I was worried for her in one regard – this is where our paths differ slightly – as I knew she has a more Fundamental Faith than I do – to where, some bits of the show might either go straight outside her boundaries or she might take a bold step forward and explore areas of her heart and spirit which might be in conflict with her faith – in small measures. Here I’m referring to the outfits and some of the dance moves which might conflict with a more fundamental approach to Christianity. I am an (Everyday) Protestant Christian myself, however the path I walk is not as constricting as hers but I could understand how difficult her time on the show could be for the obvious reasons I’ve hinted at due to her personal walk. I’m not going to delve into the different branches of Protestant Christianity nor the specific differences between Ms Bure and I; I simply wanted to offer a note about how despite our walks being different from one another, we are united in being women of faith and owning the path we’re walking.

What implored me to want to read ‘Dancing Through Life’ is to find the ‘story’ behind her performances on the show and to see how she handled everything the show brought into her life. I knew there were moments we did not see on camera, whether personal or spiritual, I had a feeling she had a lot to share on the outset of being on ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Finding out she published a memoir specific to this experience was something which gave me a hearty smile because I wanted to cheer her on all over again for remaining vulnerable and open to both her fans and her critics. My Mum and I are two of her cheerleaders in life – standing behind her and encouraging her from afar – we share an equal love for her work as an actress but also for how strong she is as a woman who never backs down and constantly pushes herself to re-define her experiences as she lives through different obstacles which test her resolve.

I think part of the reason I have admired her for as long as I have is how she doesn’t play it safe – she doesn’t take the easy way out and she never lets what people ‘think’ define her nor her actions. There is a part of the book I remember gleaming before I read this straight through which talked about how she (Ms Bure) sometimes makes choices in life which may or may not be a mistake (either for her or the outside world) but she owns her choices – all of them – even the ones where she feels muddled. I think we can all relate to this – we’re all striving to live our most authentic life, the good times, the muddling ones and the in-between moments where we question everything- are we on the right path, are we making the right long-term choices for ourselves? To live in a chaotic world and maintain our sanity and our faith is an incredible thing but to compound this by living your life in such a public portal of reality such as the celebrity status Ms Bure has in hers is something to commend her for succeeding at. She truly has found a balance which is right for her and her family – whether or not everyone else would do what she’s doing isn’t important, it’s the fact she’s authentically Candace is what everyone should agree about.

One of the smartest choices I thought she made whilst she was on the show was having a meal delivery service give her everything she needed for food intake! I oft wondered how the celebrities juggled the grueling practice schedule and still maintained their health – something has to give in those situations but I for one was thankful she took the ‘smart Mum approach’ and planned ahead! This is one thing I also appreciate about her – she puts her kids, her husband and her family ‘first’ in so many ways, which is something I love about her as my own Mum & Dad always did as well. It’s the same way I’ll be in the future when I start to have children, too, as when you choose to be a parent and a spouse; you find ways to have harmony in your life to where no one feels left behind. The tricky bit is finding time for ‘you’ as the caregiver, too, as I think sometimes as caregivers we can forget we need to focus on ourselves as well. So, good for Ms Bure! Sorting out meals ahead of dancing! I wonder if anyone else thought of that?

I cannot remember when but I knew she had a prayer team of support behind her – and rightly so, as I know being in the public eye is not only draining on your spirit but there are moments where you would prefer to be just a regular girl living an ordinary life where the spotlight is not on you constantly nor is a critical lens always placed on your actions. I was thankful knowing she had a sisterhood of prayer warriors behind her – what I hadn’t known until I read this book though is how she spilt the prayer groups in half – one had a more intimate knowledge of her immediate needs and the other half had generalities to where she could be covered by those she was especially close too in her private life and those of whom she might only know on the peripheral. You can see how this strengthened her – as I still remember the days where she seemed stressed to the max and other days, where she seemed light as air. “Dancing Through Life” fills in those gaps – from what we saw on the show to what was going on in her mind, heart and spirit whilst giving us the reasons for why the show was a challenging experience to take-on.

As she talked about modesty and boundaries with wardrobe, I could find myself agreeing with her in some regards and disagreeing in a few places, too. I think all women have their own personal boundaries about their self-image and they’re comfortability in how fashion can be worn on their bodies. Sexuality is defined differently to everyone (as I am sure everyone has their own two cents on the idea!) and thereby, I think in certain contexts, sexuality and modesty are going to be at war with each other – as related to dancing specifically, this is what I knew early-on would be a conflict for Ms Bure a bit more than it would be for me, if the roles were reversed. I do know I couldn’t wear anything as daring as Peta or Cheryl but there are other female dancers on the show who not only wear tasteful costumes but they put their passion into the moves and extensions of the dances they create for us to see. Dance by definition is a moving testament of human emotion and conviction; it explores everything and therefore, sexuality sometimes can become a bit too exploited and the art of dance is sacrificed. Again, we all have our own boundaries and our own self-identifying personal limits on how we want to present ourselves to the world. I always champion a woman who knows her heart and stands by her word; reading about how open Mark (Ballas) was to listening to Ms Bure’s concerns in costuming and choreography points out the fact he’s a respectable man who understands the rights we all have in defining our own living song of truth.

One thing I was surprised at is how a Latin dance by itself would be a conflict against her husband Val – as if it were an act of adultery or a small measure of ‘cheating’ by sharing a portion of herself with someone other than her husband. The only reason I found this interesting – is because as an actress, she takes-on a lot of romantic roles but I never saw her back down from kissing a beau on a Romance? How is staged romance different than a choreographed dance of love? If your intentions are to honour the dance and your partner through the dance (itself) than that’s not taking away from your husband. I suppose we each have a different view of what is considered an act of cheating as for me, it boils down to intention and what goes behind the act itself. Dance is an art form and an expressive one at that – the Latin dances moreso than Ballroom in how they are emotionally charged from the get-go to draw out the emotional sides of our human experience.

It wasn’t until later in the book – in Chapter 7 where I understood more about what was going on behind Ms Bure’s hesitations about the sensuality of dance and how moving in a dance was conflicting with her beliefs – she talked about femininity and sexuality in an honestly open way from a woman who never fully envisioned herself as being overtly feminine in a public way or even, exploring how she defined her own womanhood confidence in a formal way in the public. She was talking about how she has controlled certain aspects of her own truth to seen only in private – which I think is even more telling than what she was talking about – as I think she had a natural sense about ‘public and private life’ and perhaps, the show was pushing her to re-consider some of her choices about where faith, conviction and reality start to intercept with each other. I personally think she went through a personal awakening – where she could see facets of her femininity in new ways similar to the ice dancer Meryl.

A bit of trivia I hadn’t realised about “Dancing with the Stars” is you cannot go home and go over your dance routines outside the studio rehearsals with your partner!? I find this quite incredible because one thing which helps me mentally work out a new routine or a sequence of movements (think: Tai Chi Chaun) is to practice at home and go back over what I just learnt to make sure I understood the lesson or the sequences as well as I thought I had whilst I was learning it originally. Somehow this seems a bit of a disservice but if that’s a rule in the contract, than I give even more credit to those who go on the show as that goes against how I process what I learn! Wow. I don’t even know what to say about that!

One thing I have recognised by Ms Bure is she is a cheerleader for Christianity but she dials it down a bit when she’s confronting new people in her circle – a very humbling moment of her journey on “Dancing with the Stars” is how she wanted to pray with Mark for strength and patience (or anything else she might have needed in the height of the moment) but without knowing where he stood on the subject of faith, she back-pedalled a bit and simply prayed that one day they could pray together without making him feel uncomfortable for knowing this about her desire to find unity and strength through a conjoined experience of faith. The surprise for her came when Mark decided they should pray and they did. I definitely agree with her choice here – it’s one thing to lead with your heart and let others know of your convictions but it’s another to be so bold-faced to put others in jeopardy of feeling uncomfortable around you.

I loved seeing Mark’s dedication to Ms Bure – I have seen this in all of his performances, as he’s one of the professionals on the show I felt really taps into the person he is teaching. He has the tendency to go the extra mile – truly honour his partner’s wishes or expectations and then, take us on this magically lovely journey of dance set to music in ways we never fully forget! His choreography is honestly one of my favourites on the show because of how inventive he is and how he brings out the best in his partners; including how he gives them the chance to find something in themselves they never knew existed. I felt he did this for Ms Bure and watching them dance together was one of my favourite partnerships during the years I watched the series (with Meryl a close second). I have since given up on the show itself – a few seasons after Ms Bure I felt they were cheapening the show a bit by giving feedback after the routines which were unkind and there were ‘filler’ contents during the series that I just felt were too odd to be watched. My joy of the series faded but my love of Ms Bure’s season is strong.

One of my favourite passages about Mark is when he talked about his parents – I had known a bit about his upbringing through his friendship with Derek as the two are connected but I hadn’t known too much about his parents until now. I loved how he had such a strong foundation – not just for being a leader on the dance floor but in life – his parents approached dance like they do marriage, where everyone is supported, nourished and loved.

As a side note one of my favourite performances by Ms Bure was the jazz number she performed later in the competition. I loved how she tapped into the spirit of jazz and how she gave such a fluid performance – I had a feeling it was a harder dance for her to embrace and to sort out the steps – as she gives you the fuller back-story now in “Dancing Through Life’. As you acknowledge what she went through mentally to learn the movements, you also see how she was still emerging out of a cocoon. The journey she took on the show is like a butterfly whose sprouting new wings – shedding pieces of themselves to reunite with a newer dimension of who they are and then, having the confidence to fly once again more sure of themselves than they were previously. In many ways, the growth Ms Bure experienced on the show as a woman and as child of Christ is more important than the dancing because she took the experience to a different layer of intention than merely being a contestant. I think the greatest gift she has given everyone is to relate how she allowed herself to grow and what she took away from the show itself after the final moment was filmed.

Why I appreciate how Ms Bure approaches writing her memoirs:

Throughout the text, Ms Bure has inserted passages from the Bible which depict the exact references of why she chooses to act and solve conflicts which arise out of her everyday life. At one point, I felt they were getting the context of her experience on the show a bit muddling to read – as they were being inserted a bit too repetitive however, I know this was a book striving to teach those whose faith was on more fragile ground how to find strength in the heat of opposition in their own lives or how to introduce someone to faith for the first time; however, for those who are already walking a life of faith, the repetitiveness can be glossed over for more disclosures of her “Dancing with the Stars” experience. For me, her faith shines out through how she approaches her life; there are many kernels of wisdom and humbled truths in how she approaches how to live and work through her experiences that I think provide the best insight into how to live a ‘faith-lived’ life moreso than having all the passages re-directing back to the Bible because it’s a living testament of faith in action.

There was only one confusing part of the book – where we shifted out of the time-line of her “Dancing with the Stars” performance and moved ‘forward’ in time to where she was dealing with the after effects of re-aligning back into motherhood and being a television actress with commitments on Hallmark Channel. In some ways, I thought those passages should have been saved for the Epilogue or the final portions of the story – because one moment I’m reading about how the switch-up week with Tony wasn’t working well for her dance confidence and the next moment, I’m trying to sort out how why so much time had moved forward outside of the show itself? From a continuity perspective, I felt this was ill-placed but from a motherhood notebook of life, the disclosures held a lot of merit, just not in the middle of discussing what to do after performing with Tony!

I was not surprised “Dancing Through Life” reads like Ms Bure sounds in an interview – she has found a way to ‘write as she talks’ giving you a cheerful view of her world and life. She doesn’t hold back as much as she thinks from disclosing the things most important to her nor does she hold back from owning how difficult it is to navigate life in the public eye. I think she is doing a wonderful job by protecting her family first and foremost by only disclosing certain things at moments when it is necessary but keeping most of her private life and affairs ‘private’. No one needs to know everything about everyone! Also, I appreciated her warmth and her willingness to show her vulnerabilities – to be able to feel comfortable to share those bits of personal growth and self-motivation to understand different parts of herself she might not have realised previously takes guts and self-assurance.

I am thankful I was able to conclude my ‘Dancing with the Stars’ experience with Ms Bure with ‘Dancing Through Life’ because it’s a touchstone on one woman’s journey towards self-acceptance.

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Footnote: I started following Ms Bure on Twitter in order to tweet out a s/o every so often when I caught her in a role on Hallmark Channel that delighted me with a heap of joy. Including a night where I need an uplift of joy and discovered I hadn’t missed seeing Aurora Teagarden! (see a list of tweets) Some of my tweets attached to Aurora Teagarden were laced with frustration, as at the time, I hadn’t foreseen a change coming in my cable line-up (I’m not clairvoyant!) which is why a few tweets reflected the disappointment of a new appreciator for a series of mysteries penned by Charlaine Harris! This tidbit gobsmacked me because I never thought I’d appreciate a series by Ms Harris, as I was used to her Sookie Stackhouse series of which I never felt was ‘a good fit’ for me. I hadn’t realised she developed such a cheeky and humourous cosy! Hence why I’m hopeful this Autumn I can read the books attached to Aurora Teagarden whilst following the series on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries! Afterall, I’m participating in PERIL, a book blogosphere event for Mystery & Suspense!

The Hallmark movie that truly touched my family and I as being authentically real and honestly portraying Ms Bure at her core was Just the Way You Are, hence this tweet:

Likewise, when Let it Snow aired I enjoyed asking this Q:

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For a chronicle of my tweeting on behalf of Ms Bure, check out this link. Some of those tweets go back to her time on #DWTS or were s/o’s I felt might give her some joy.

Dear hearts, if you watch Hallmark Channel, I can attest their actors and actresses alike share the joy of interacting with their viewers. I tweet out joy as the moment alights for me to do so and I appreciate the replies I receive in return, although I do not expect them. I know the actors have busy schedules but taking a moment to let them know they are giving me a bit of joy with the roles they’re choosing is a way to send back a bit of gratitude from us to them. I recommend the next time you see a role by one of them you will remember to tweet them about why you loved it as much as you did. Joy shared is the best blessing to give from our heart to another who is not expecting to receive it.

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This book review is courtesy of: B&H Publishing (@BHpub)

Converse via Twitter: #DancingThroughLife

I referenced this as “Bure Memoir No3” as she has two previous editions:

{ all three are published through B&H Publishing Group }

Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness (2011) (Synopsis)

Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose (2014) (Synopsis)

I will be borrowing the previous two from my local library in Autumn.

I appreciated being offered the chance to read and review this edition of Ms Bure’s living memoirs. I appreciated how Mr Taylor worked with me to make this review look as polished as it does. This is an Indie Publisher I have my eye on for inspiring non-fiction as well as a publisher who works with book bloggers who seek to request books for review. I appreciated their outreach and their kindness whilst giving me a chance to read an account of Ms Bure’s life I watched live on television!

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Kindly add your comments & thoughts for Ms Bure:

Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva.

{SOURCES: Cover Art for “Dancing Through Life” full-page spread and traditional layout as well as the book synopsis and author biography were all provided by B&H Publishing and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by 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 Thursday, 12 October, 2017 by jorielov in Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Brothers and Sisters, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Lessons from Scripture, Memoir, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Siblings, Vignettes of Real Life

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