Category: The Seventies

Audiobook Blog Tour | feat. a review of “Mourning Dove” writ and narrated by Claire Fullerton

Posted Sunday, 16 September, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions. Through hosting for the Audiobookworm I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks; see my sidebar). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I am hoping to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Mourning Dove” via Audiobookworm Promotion in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to listen to ‘Mourning Dove’:

I have the tendency of appreciating stories set within the framework of either Southern Lit or Southern Gothic categories. There is a ease of setting and each of these stories has their own particular tone of inclusion. Southern stories reach into that void between the historical past everyone is quite familiar with and the contemporary side of where the South has attempted to outgrow its own roots.

I had previously listened to a story (Next Stop Chancey) and felt this might be as enjoyable as that one had been as it is a rambling story focused on on singular family.

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Audiobook Blog Tour | feat. a review of “Mourning Dove” writ and narrated by Claire FullertonMourning Dove
by Claire Fullerton
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Claire Fullerton

The heart has a home when it has an ally. If Millie Crossan doesn't know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, 18 months her senior, becomes Millie's guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie's 10th birthday.

Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother's upbringing and vastly different from anything they've ever known. Here they are the outsiders. Here, they only have each other. And here, as the years fold over themselves, they mature in a manicured Southern culture where they learn firsthand that much of what glitters isn't gold.

Nuance, tradition, and Southern eccentrics flavor Millie and Finley's world, as they find their way to belonging. But what hidden variables take their shared history to leave both brother and sister at such disparate ends?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ASIN: B07DX8KB56

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Literary Fiction, Southern Lit, Women's Fiction


Published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

on 25th June, 2018

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 9 hours and 13 minutes (unabridged)

Published By: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (@LPCTweets)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook and Audioook

Converse via: #MourningDove #SouthernLit

About Claire Fullerton

Claire Fullerton

Claire Fullerton grew up in Memphis, TN and now lives in Malibu, CA. She is the author of contemporary fiction, "Dancing to an Irish Reel," set in Connemara, Ireland, where she once lived. Dancing to an Irish Reel is a finalist in the 2016 Kindle Book Review Awards, and a 2016 Readers' Favorite. Claire is the author of "A Portal in Time," a paranormal mystery that unfolds in two time periods, set on California's hauntingly beautiful Monterey Peninsula, in a village called Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Both of Claire's novels are published by Vinspire Publishing. Her third novel, Mourning Dove, is a Southern family saga, published in June, 2018 by Firefly Southern Fiction. She is one of four contributors to the book, Southern Seasons, with her novella, Through an Autumn Window, to be published in November 2018 by Firefly Southern Fiction. Claire is represented by Julie Gwinn, of The Seymour Literary Agency.

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Posted Sunday, 16 September, 2018 by jorielov in 20th Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brothers and Sisters, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Disillusionment in Marriage, Divorce & Martial Strife, Fathers and Daughters, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Life Shift, Literary Fiction, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Mother-Son Relationships, Rescue & Adoption of Animals, Siblings, The Seventies, Women's Fiction

#BlogBirthday Book Review | “The Gravity of Birds” by Tracy Guzeman A very special reading as it’s representative of a debut author launching her story to the world on the same day a reader became a book blogger!

Posted Sunday, 6 August, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I have been attending the #HistoricalFix chats since they originated as the #IShall chat celebrating the release of Erin Lindsay McCabe’s “I Shall Be Near to You”. Throughout the past two years since the quarterly chats began, I have found a tribe of like-minded bookish souls who celebrate the devourment of compelling historical fiction in all it’s variant creations (from traditional to romance to suspense to biographical #HistFic & everything in-between!). During the chats, there are a flood of questions and happy chatter surrounding the ‘honoured guests’ of the hour wherein you have the opportunity to win a novel by one of the authors. I happily won “The Gravity of Birds” during the March 2015 #HistoricalFix chat on Twitter.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Gravity of Birds” UK edition direct from the author Tracy Guzeman without obligation to post a review. I had the option to receive the UK edition of the novel, which I happily received. My edition comes with a lovely author Q&A after the story which I look forward to reading in full! I wanted to post my ruminative thoughts on behalf of this novel for my own edification and to share my impressions with the readers of  my blog. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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How a book’s birthday healed my heart about the day
I launched #JLASblog!

Quite curiously, despite the fact I *launched!* Jorie Loves A Story on the 6th of August, 2013 after exhausting myself the previous month of July to make sure it was ‘audience ready’ – I had a bit of grievance with myself over the selection of the ‘date’. Silly, I realise it might sound aloud to reveall that tidbit, but there it is! I was caught up in the numerical identity of my blog’s history as even though it was missing a few digits, I have oft felt a “7” is stronger than a “6”. It’s a matter of faith & a personal quirk of mine, apparently! I still compose interview questions in increments of 5 or 7 rather than 6; even though recovering a better perspective on my blog’s birthday has been a lift of joy.

It wasn’t until I attended the #HistoricalFix chat in March of 2015 where I crossed paths with Ms Guzeman where I realised something quite extraordinary! I had only been looking at this from a linear prospective of where my perception of the 6th of August was a bit slated against my own misgivings rather than seeking to find *something!* which anchoured the day to a happier memory than whether or not I should have waited 24 hours to launch the site live! OY vie. The things we humans subject ourselves too!

In case your wondering – I created Jorie Loves A Story on the 31st of March, 2013 (my blogoversary) whilst I consider the day it launched live to the world on the 6th of August, 2013 to be my blog’s birthday – two special days per annum where I remember & celebrate the origins of my blog whilst embracing the memories of the stories, writers, conversations & adventures of being the bookish soul behind the bookish blog. Mind you, I need to remember my Twitterversary is on the 13th of November, 2013! These days are as special to me as my own birthday!

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Here are my responses to her question pertaining to the thematic of her story:

Art,  Song & Dance evoke such a harmonic cognition inside me,

it’s felt by heart, mind & soul; beauty (lies) in art (see tweet)

Love fantasy art such as SteelGoddess (etsy)

who bridge the natural world w/ the fantastic; joy (resides) in nature (see tweet)

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I fell in love with the artistry of SteelGoddess whilst finding her shoppe on Etsy for artistic stationery which I knew would give me such a lot of inspiration whilst composing thoughts to articulate to my friends through postal correspondence!

I haven’t been on Etsy in quite a few years, as I’ve been focusing on building my reading audience on jorielovesastory.com whilst defining my blogosphere presence as a whole. I’ve also been taking the past four years to address how I want to re-define and develop this space of mine into more than just a repository of book showcases & guest author features, as I’m a writer whose in the transitional period of re-focusing on her own stories.

Whilst at the same time, I want to share other interests of mine (i.e. knitting) which are creatively enriching to me as they divert my attention a bit from the bookish world & help me re-balance myself in other pursuits! Therefore, I had *no idea!* the happy news, of the SteelGoddess’s shoppe going through a re-genesis of it’s own: check out the newly launched Cheryl Baker Art!

As a good primer to understand what draws me to her artwork & stationery goods, kindly take a look-see at this beautiful new stationery set of papers! Her main website is one of enchantment & inspiring joy, as well! Honestly, I think I’ll order directly from her website in the future & help celebrate the natural world she brings to the world of art!

As you well see, the artist I found on Etsy had a profound affect on me – as I felt as soon as I saw her woodland creatures, I had encapsulated a piece of my walks in nature in such an expression of enchanted art as to fuse my experience through her artistic imagery. This is why I knew the answer to Ms Guzeman’s question was partially inspired by my own adventures and the ones I feel I’ve lived through Ms Baker’s artwork!

Did it really!? I never knew the ‘day’ Gravity of Birds published, but if it were the 6th, it feels kismet! I had no idea my blog’s birthday (as I separate the two days: blogoversary for the day I created it; birthday for the day it went live; a bit like a book birthday = publication day?) had such a special ‘attachment’ to an author! I love finding this out because there are always interesting stories behind things in life; and clearly I was meant to read this novel! :)

-my initial reaction to the publication date of The Gravity of Birds

and I had this to say in relation to when Ms Guzeman picked up on the fact I write in my own personally stylised AmeriBritish vernacular:

You’re quite apt at seeing the differences in how I spelt my words, but actually, it’s a choice I made to limit my dyslexic slips whilst writing and communicating by written dialogue! I expound a bit on this under “My Bookish Life” where I talk a bit openly about my path as a writer and as a book blogger, but suffice to say, my UK heritage allowed me a grace in understanding how words appear in context to what I want to articulate as previously I stumbled in how to formulate the expressions.

Moreso as an adult rather than as a child, I have found my dyslexia to become a bit of an issue nowadays vs when I was in school. Coincidentally, through a bit of online research, I uncovered a quirky revelation: I was led to believe I had mild dyslexia as a child but according to my research I am severely dyslexic! 

I had a bit of a bubble of a laugh at first because I’ve grown so accustomed to compensating for my learning difficulties, it did not feel revolutionary to me. It did help me understand a few things which make me a bit unique or how I perceive things might be considered unique, but in the end, I am who I am, someone I was always proud of being. I found dyslexia a gift but understanding my limitations as a writer and compensating by exchanging my American English for my Ancestral British turnt out to be the biggest blessing I could receive!
 
I’m named after my maternal grandmother who was of British and Irish descent. I’m British doubly over as my father’s side of the family has UK roots as well, spilt between England & Scotland. I have a heap ‘more’ in me as well, but these are quite dominant.

The language of the Brits feels right to me, and each new word or phrase I have learnt, becomes fuell to my own imagination as far as where I can take my own writings in the future.

As you can imagine – winning a copy of “The Gravity of Birds” took on a whole new level of joy & creative curiosity! I am naturally drawn to reading stories from the UK – not only because I am wickedly addicted to reading authors who reside in the UK, but because, I personally *love!* the tangible fluid nature of how British English evolves through the descriptive narrative! I watch a high volume of British (& Canadian) television serials & films as well, which parlays concurrently with my literary wanderings!

When Ms Guzeman offered me the chance to read the UK edition of this novel, my heart swooned in joy! I did not even think this was a possibility but a welcomed unexpected bookish slice of happiness! One day I’m looking forward to when there is an online bookshoppe in the UK who will ship UK editions to American readers who crave their fix of UK authors! (technically, I know of one in the stages of doing this!)

Til then, I am blessed to have a copy of The Gravity of Birds and be a reviewer for UK-based publishers! Conversely, even if a novel is written by an American author such as this one, my first preference is to seek out the UK edition as it’s one of the editions outside of it’s original printing I am most desiring to read! Even if the language isn’t full-on Brit, it’s having an edition published outside my own country which makes it a special treat – as book covers are unique to their country of origin..

Through this experience, I realised the date I selected to launch my blog was ‘meant to be’ – not only because it shares a very special book birthday with an author I would one day cross paths with to discover, but because sometimes the ‘timing’ which is best in our lives to experience something is not of our choosing.

Life has a way of blissfully keeping us in suspended joy arriving in unexpected moments which provide us an incredible level of happiness. Here’s to remaining open to where our hours lead us to traverse & keeping the door open to the unexpected!

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The Gravity of Birds by Tracy Guzeman. Book Photography Credit: Jorie of jorielovesastory.com.

The Gravity of Birds
by Tracy Guzeman
Source: Won a Bookaway

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780007488391

Genres: Art & Art History, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Literary Fiction, Suspense, Time Slip and/or Time Shift


Published by Harper Books, HarperCollins UK

on 6th August, 2013 (USA) | 15th August, 2016 (UK)

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 382

Published By: Harper (@harperbooks),
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers UK (@HarperCollinsUK)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

The UK edition released 9 days after the 6th of August, 2013!

The American debut was published by Simon & Schuster!

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Author Links: Site | Twitter | GoodReads | wicked good Interview!

more insight behind ‘the book’ | Book Discussion on Book Browse w/ Author Q&A

Converse via: #GravityOfBirds + #TimeShift

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Posted Sunday, 6 August, 2017 by jorielov in #HistoricalFix, 20th Century, Art, Art History, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Birthdays & Blogoversaries, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Browse, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Films, Coming-Of Age, Debilitating Diagnosis & Illness, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Fly in the Ointment, Good vs. Evil, Inspiring Video Related to Content, Literary Fiction, Poetry, Suspense, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, The Seventies, The Sixties, Time Shift, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Vulgarity in Literature, Wildlife Artwork, Women's Health

Book Review | “Some Other Town” by Elizabeth Collison

Posted Friday, 6 March, 2015 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Some Other Town” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the publisher HarperCollins Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. Except to say, shortly after I received my copy of “Some Other Town”, the blog tour itself was cancelled quite unexpectedly. I still was quite curious to read this novel, as it held such a curious plot inside it itching for me to discover where it would lead me to venture. Therefore, I picked a new date (originally the 3rd of March) to post my review off-tour. A few technical and life moments interrupting my plans, I’ve finally been able to share my thoughts on the 6th of March! I was thankful Trish @ TLC was able to help me with the book cover, synopsis, and author biography as my tech errors were driving me a bit batty ahead of my review!

Books to take a chance on:

You have to understand, I have a thirst for stories which do not fit within a ‘particular box of genre or literary category of interest’, and thus, this particular novel spoke to me to request! I have previously mentioned a bit about how it is to receive a list of books coming up for review and selection on a blog tour — this beautiful sub-culture of book bloggers who have found a niche within their own individual online world of bookish culture, news, and the geektastically brilliant joy of being wrapped inside the ‘art of discovering’ a new to me author!

I have a penchant for time slips and time travel narratives, but also, the more oblique and abstract of where time, dimension, and the human conscience travel within a narrative arc. The lines by which begin to blur between reality, dreams, and the innermost desires of a human mind to voyage inside as the person within the soul attempts to sort through a few things. This introspective pursuit of alighting within the partitions of ‘time’ where there is a living ‘outside of time yet in-step with the living reality’ which consumes of us all. The kinds of stories where you are broaching into a nether space of original thought and the context of which can either resonate or dispel the appeal of what pulled you into the synopsis.

Ironically or not, as I was sorting out how to begin my review tonight, I had this unexpectedly lovely conversation with a novelist whose ‘this side of cosy hard-boiled’ new release is on the fringes of being promoted in the near future – mind you, I caught up with her on Twitter the very day she purchased her new domain for her newly minted website! Champion, eh? Without deferring to my favourite way to capture these moments encased in the randomness of wicked sweet conversations, you will find the gist of our convo timelined on Twitter itself! If you want to make sure you can catch the rest of our thread, kindly pull up my feeds, and happily follow it along!

It was inside this particular convo, I aligned my thoughts ahead of my ruminations! Because part of my instinctive joy, is remaining on ‘the edge of where fiction has gone and where it can become inventively curious’ to follow! Hence why my dedicated passion continues, after having found Lemongrass Hope at round Mid-Summer in 2014! Others have bewitched me, but this particular one I bring back to your attention, dear heart, due to how ‘time, space, and mind’ were entwined.

Further still, another TLC tour beckoned to me, except this time I was too late on the switch to participate; giving me a fervent desire to seek out The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson at my local library post haste! You can see on the blog tour page what sparked my interest as it is curiously aligned with Some Other Town. In the end, I turnt in a purchase request in order to curb the ‘six months out wait from publication’ to request it through ILL’ing! Confirmation of it being ordered arrived half a day after I left these remarks upon this review prior to posting it live! I cannot even express how giddy it made me feel knowing I’d have my hands on a copy!

Book Review | “Some Other Town” by Elizabeth CollisonSome Other Town
by Elizabeth Collison
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

"But here is the strangest part. Now in the mornings when I wake from the dream, for an instant it's as if there are two of me. The one that will rise and go off to work and come home again to Mrs. Eberline. And the one that awakes from the dream of the van and feels something inside of her rising. Quickening, yearning, keening."

Margaret Lydia Benning, twenty-eight and adrift, still lives in the same Midwest town where she went to college. By day, she works at the Project, a nonprofit publisher of children's readers housed in a former sanatorium. There she shares the fourth floor with a squadron of eccentric editors and a resident ghost from the screamers' wing. At night, Margaret returns alone to her small house on Mott Street, with only her strange neighbor, Mrs. Eberline, for company.

Emotionally sleepwalking through the days is no way to lead a life. But then Margaret meets Ben Adams, a visiting professor at the university. Through her deepening relationship with Ben she glimpses a future she had never before imagined, and for the first time she has hope . . . until Ben inexplicably vanishes. In the wake of his disappearance, Margaret sets out to find him. Her journey, a revelatory exploration of the separate worlds that exist inside us and around us, will force her to question everything she believes to be true.

Told through intertwined perspectives, by turns incandescent and haunting, Some Other Town is an unforgettable tale, with a heartbreaking twist, of one woman's awakening to her own possibility.

Places to find the book:

Genres: Literary Fiction


Published by Harper Perennial

on 24th February, 2015

Pages: 304

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published By: Harper Perennial (@HarperPerennial),
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #SomeOtherTown

About Elizabeth Collison

Elizabeth Collison grew up in the Midwest and now lives in the San Francisco Bay area. She received her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has worked as an editor, graphic artist, and technical writer. This is her first novel.

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Posted Friday, 6 March, 2015 by jorielov in 20th Century, ARC | Galley Copy, Art, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Clever Turns of Phrase, Contemporary Romance, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Illustration for Books & Publishing, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Library Love, Literary Fiction, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Lyrical Quotations, Medical Fiction, Mental Health, Psychiatric Facilities, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne Fiction, Sociological Behavior, The Seventies, TLC Book Tours, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage

Blog Book Tour | “Amy’s Choice” {sequel to “Call Me Amy”} by Marcia Strykowski – a #YA sequel to a heart-warming #middlegrade novel!

Posted Tuesday, 7 October, 2014 by jorielov , , , 4 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Amy’s Choice by Marcia Strykowski
Published By: Luminis Books (@LuminisBooks) | Blog
Official Author WebsitesSite | @MarciaStry | GoodReads

Available Formats: Paperback, Hardback

Converse via: #AmysChoice, #middlegrade, & #KidLit

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Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Amy’s Choice” virtual book tour through JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. As this was the second novel in a book series, I was able to put in a request to receive the first novel Call Me Amy of which I received a complimentary copy of direct from the publisher Luminis Books without obligation to review. I received my complimentary copy of Amy’s Choice direct from JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I am always on the hunt for wicked quality Children’s Literature – stories which carve out a special niche of childhood innocence and the mirth of exploring how to find growth through life experiences. I want to find even more stories than I had as a young child myself – striving to find the writers who keep the tone of their novels radiating with light and the darkness can be erased through the resolutions at the ending of any conflict that a character needs to overcome. I like finding stories which give children a free sense about how to differentiate between right and wrong, whilst allowing them the grievance for understanding there is a measure of wisdom in living through our mistakes, our misunderstandings, and our ability to be humbled through adversity. I like stories that break down barriers and also serve to teach a lesson of stewardship and diplomacy. When I first saw this series going on tour on behalf of the publisher’s showcase, I simply knew that I wanted to take part and high shine a light on two stories that would benefit any library of a child or adult who appreciates the same types of stories I am passionately addicted to myself.

Blog Book Tour | “Amy’s Choice” {sequel to “Call Me Amy”} by Marcia Strykowski – a #YA sequel to a heart-warming #middlegrade novel!Amy's Choice
by Marcia Strykowski
Source: Direct from Publicist

Amy’s freshman year starts with a new best friend, Cat, and a newfound confidence. But she misses her crush, Craig, who has gone to live with his aunt in Boston. Craig has promised to write, and Amy checks the mail daily, but to no avail. There are new adventures, even so. Cat’s brother, Ricky, seems interested in Amy, but is she interested in him? And a new friendship with Finn, the lighthouse keeper, who Amy discovers is a talented artist, keeps Amy and Cat busy as they arrange for him to exhibit his work. But things get complicated when Craig returns from Boston and Finn is accused of arson. There are more questions than answers for Amy as life becomes as turbulent as the cold and stormy ocean of her coastal Maine town. Ideal for preteens, this novel is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Call Me Amy and touches upon issues of friendship, boyfriend troubles, and the power of believing in oneself.

Places to find the book:

Also by this author: Call Me Amy

Series: Amy,


Also in this series: Call Me Amy


Genres: Children's Literature, Middle Grade


Published by Luminis Books

on 3rd November, 2014

Pages: 200

Author Biography:

Marcia Strykowski

Marcia Strykowski works at a public library. Earlier, between earning her BS in Fine Arts and raising her children, she worked for seven years in textbook publishing. Marcia participates in writing groups and enjoys family, art, music, travel, and theater. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. After numerous magazine and anthology contributions, CALL ME AMY was Marcia’s first novel. It was chosen for the 2014 Bank Street College of Education’s prestigious Best Books of the Year list. AMY’S CHOICE, a sequel to CALL ME AMY, is now available. You can find out more about her and her books at marciastrykowski.com.

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Call Me Amy by Marcia Strykowski

Amy’s voice in the novel is bang-on brilliant for her age in the story, as her curiosity and inquisitiveness about her life and the world around her comes out strongly perceptive. Her heart is open to the possibilities that first impressions are not always as receptively accurate as you first think they would be as much as she cares for those who are in need. I enjoyed watching her slowly emerge out of her shell once she had a project she could focus on that was outside of her own worries and insecurities. Amy starts to see the intricate balance of life, how staying true to who you are is key, and how being open to learning from misunderstandings enriches the spirit of who you become.

– quoted from my book review of Call Me Amy

Alighting inside Amy’s life as a freshman:

By the conclusion of the first novel, we were ready to see where Amy’s life would take her next, as she had a newly acquired voice of confidence that had led her heart towards a path of community spirit and innovative restitution. I loved how at the end of Call Me Amy, she truly lived up to the title as she had a newfound bold confidence in who she was and understood better the way in which she understood life itself. In my own life, my Mum would have simply said “Amy has finally found the *big!* C!”, and therein lies the best bit of reading Call Me Amy ahead of Amy’s Choice! The very first sentence of the sequel begins with the very last expressed words of Amy allowing complete continuity between the two stories.

Seeing how her progression out of holding back from interactions with her peers due to her shyness and shedding a bit of her introverted moments of unease, Amy steps forward out of her 13th year a strong 14 year old ready to tackle high school. She learnt quite a heap from her friendship with Miss Cogshell and Craig, giving her the ability to seek out other new friends and relationships as life afforded the connections to cross her path. She maintains her kismet insight to knowing when a moment has arisen to give her an unexpected friend, as this is how she came to know Cat and Cat came to love her company.

My Review of Amy’s Choice:

I am always hopeful there will be seamless continuity between installments of series, and I was not disappointed with the beginning chapters of Amy’s Choice as I felt as though I was merely turning ‘the next page’ rather than opening a new book! This is quite the feat, as previously it is rare that a writer will pick up right where we leave off – although I did have the blessing of finding this in the Daughters of Boston series by Julie Lessman.

I couldn’t help but shimmer a happy glow of delight seeing that Amy is now regularly volunteering at her new towne’s library! I was happily wandering my own libraries growing up that I should have thought to ask if I could volunteer – my mind was always happily wrapped up in a topic to research or a new author to discover, that I never gave any credence to the idea of being able to help others find wicked reads of their own! Unless of course, I stumbled across someone who was plumb lost in the stacks and/or I was at an Indie bookshoppe and simply supplied information as though it was commonplace and not unusual. Sometimes I think sorting out where your best to alight to give back your gifts of insight is a bit tricky, not to mention that most of the libraries I have always known were heavily regulated and had more rules to understand than a DMV driving manual!

Troll dolls with wild hair – now that brought back happy memories; even if it did take me half of forever to sort out which troll I wanted to bring home with me! The flickering visual clues to the seventies are happily still evermore present in the sequel, yet what strikes me the most about seeing them is just how much I can personally relate to knowing about! From the music to the toys to the series on television – one would have thought I was brought up a full decade before I was actually bourne by the way I can honestly attest all the familiarity of Amy’s childhood is wrapped inside my own! Lest I mention that I used to make the folded paper ‘magic solution’ boxes as easily as Amy and Cat! Except to say, they called them something a bit different in the 80s!

Lighthouses have simply captured my wonderment for absolute ages – the fact they are beacons of safety for seamen and captains notwithstanding, there is an allure of wonder attached to them for me. We have a few where I live but they are not as readily well-known as the ones sprinkled up and downeast the starboard side of Maine! From what I can gather about the lighthouses up there, you could island hop half your life and still never quite see them all in their glory. What a fantastic adventure though? To nip around, camera in hand, and a heart full of salt air and vistas that are hard to describe as they are felt in the spirit of the moment? Getting to cosy up to a lighthouse keeper inside Amy’s Choice was a treat for me! Especially considering I spent how many hours watching Pete’s Dragon as a child and young teen?

A very inspiring companion is found inside Amy’s Choice, as the title eludes to a choice Amy needs to make that may or may not be an obvious answer to the question that is eating away at her the most. Like most girls her age, she is trying to decide where she stands on the more difficult issues that start to arise when your in high school. The best part of the story is that the setting of her life is in Maine, where life ambles forward at a slower pace and allows the grace of growing through your childhood to have a rhythm of it’s own that is not always dependent on the fast pace of the outside world. In this setting, children can grow as they take on responsibilities inside their communities and needle out where their focus should be in the long term whilst appreciating the short expanse of childhood itself. What staid with me throughout the sequel is how reassuring the heart of the story is left in your mind. No matter what obstacles try to forfeit your plans or upset your course, you can find the strength to handle life as it comes along to you. There is a powerful life lesson etched in this novel and I was quite happy to see it included.

Establishing herself as a stronghold in Children’s Lit:

Not since I showcased Carol Antoinette Peacock {Red Thread Sisters}, Jackie Gamber {the Leland Dragons series}, Hannah L. Clark {Uncovering Cobbogoth}, R.J. Palacio {Wonder}, Laura Stoddard {The Dreamosphere}, Nancy Lorenz {The Strength of Ballerinas}, Mandy Madson Voisin {Star of Deliverance} and my forthcoming showcases on behalf of the published works of Laura Resau have I settled into such a heart-warming style of a writer who is contributing such a positive mirth of stories for children, young adults, and the young at heart who appreciate soaking inside stories of how we start to awaken into ourselves whilst growing up. I appreciate their styles of story-telling (as well as the writers I spotlighted on my Children’s Lit page) as they convey such a breadth of story yet tell the tales in a way that not only uplifts the reader but helps to teach through the craft of story-telling — the benefit that I believe reading provides across the spectrum of literature itself.

Strykowski has established herself as a stronghold in Children’s Lit inasmuch as the other writers have given us the chance be introduced to characters we can respond too and stories we do not want to soon forget having read. I could even imagine her stories becoming family films, as they are light-hearted yet full of the lessons all children have to learn somewhere along the corridors of their growing years. The fact these stories are set in the 1970s doesn’t diminish their impact, and in fact, I think in many ways the impact is heightened. I know she has a few stories she is currently working on completing and I cannot wait to see what is released next!

One happenstance moment of a lightbulb going off for me was realising I had forgotten the story of Andre the seal had a foothold in Maine! It was quite clever how this bit of trivia was worked into a conversation between Craig and Amy!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com
Previously I shared my thoughts on:
“Call Me Amy” – where the story begins,…

Call Me Amy by Marcia Strykowski

This blog tour stop is courtesy of:
JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm

Luminis Books Blog Tour with JKS Communications

 See what I will be hosting next with:

JKS Communications Literary Publicity Firm

By visiting my Bookish Events page!
I positively *love!* comments in the threads below each of my posts, and as CommentLuv only requires Email to leave a note for me I cannot wait to see what starts to populate below! Kindly know that I appreciate each thought you want to share with me and all the posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary! Short or long, I appreciate the time you spent to leave behind a note of your visit! Return again soon!

{SOURCES: The tour badge was provided by JKS Communications and used with permission. Book Cover Art for “Call Me Amy” & “Amy’s Choice”, Author Biography & Book Synopsis provided by the author Marcia Strykowski and used with permission. The book trailer for “Call Me Amy” had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it.Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets are embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

The ‘live reading’ tweets I shared as I read & reviewed “Amy’s Choice”:

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Posted Tuesday, 7 October, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, ARC | Galley Copy, Art, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bullies and the Bullied, Children's Literature, Clever Turns of Phrase, Coming-Of Age, Family Life, Geographically Specific, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Maine, Middle Grade Novel, Nature & Wildlife, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, Rescue & Adoption of Animals, School Life & Situations, Siblings, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, The Natural World, The Seventies, Walking & Hiking Trails