Category: 70 Authors Challenge 2013-19

Celebrating my 5th #Blogoversary with a retrospective about why I appreciate reading #INSPY Fiction whilst conveying how blessed I am to start reading the stories penned by Kellie Coates Gilbert! Starting with the 3rd Texas Gold series novel: “A Reason to Stay”.

Posted Saturday, 31 March, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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

Borrowed Book By: I originally crossed paths with Ms Kellie Coates Gilbert in [2014] wherein I met her through her participation in the group author blog “Southern Belle View Daily” which was affectionately known as ‘Southern Belle View’. I was a regular visitor who chatted with the authors on the blog and engaged in the content they were sharing. I had the opportunity to receive the first two novels of the Texas Gold series shortly afterwards, however, due to a variety of adversities which took me away from the joys of reading these past several years, it wasn’t until this New Year 2018 where I could lay heart and mind back into the stories I had to shelve for another day where I could focus properly on their contents.

I was originally gifted a copy of “A Reason to Stay” by my Mum, who knew how excited I was to start reading the Texas Gold series – this is within the year or so of this third installment’s release. I was going to surprise the author and read all three novels back to back whilst sharing my reactions with my readers as I have a self-directed focus on INSPY authors I am either re-discovering or just now becoming aware of as I re-start my readings in earnest into the INSPY realms of Fiction.

I go into why I had to borrow through ILL’ing (interlibrary loaning) this novel in this top anchour ahead of revealling my ruminations on the emotionally evocative story Ms Gilbert has written for us – however, I wanted to mention I am choosing to share my thoughts on behalf of this story for my own edification inasmuch as inspiring my readers to become acquainted with a #newtomeauthor I am truly blessed to have found. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

A unique introduction into the Texas Gold series – or rather,

why INSPY Lit is an important part of Jorie’s bookish life:

a retrospective whilst celebrating entering a 5th Year as a Book Blogger

I originally crossed paths with Ms Gilbert whilst she was part of Southern Belle View – a lovely group author blog I used to frequent six years ago, a bit prior to becoming a book blogger – of which I am celebrating my 5th Blogoversary *today!* on the 31st of March, 2018! This was the day I love to observe as the day I created Jorie Loves A Story – whereas I honour the day I launched my blog to the world on the 6th of August every year as the day in which my blog has its public ‘birthday’.

I was thankful to receive two of her novels – which she offered to send me to help me become acquainted with her Texas Gold book series as well as her writing style – as this was a few years ago, the series had just the first two novels recently released. I had hoped to have read both of them close to the time I first received them – however, most of the years I’ve been a book blogger, I’ve had a few set-backs with the plans I’ve made along the way. My health has been a big factor as well as personal strife & tribulations – as we all have lives outside of our bookish and readerly lives of which give us the most joy to share with our readership.

Earlier this year, I reconnected with Ms Gilbert – as I was trying to explain the distance between receiving her novels and being able to fully appreciate reading them this New Year, 2018 – as it was going to become my year back into reading Inspirational Fiction (#INSPY as I like to nickname it on Twitter) whilst proving to be the year I can focus on my *70 Authors Challenge* which specifically focuses on the INSPY niche of Literature as you can see on the main page I created for this personal exploration of a branch of Lit I am definitely passionate about reading! I’ve been a hybrid reader my entire life – moving in and out of INSPY and mainstream channels of interest since I was a young girl. This equated to regular visits to Christian bookstores (at the time, in the 80s and 90s the only place truly to find INSPY being sold) as well as big box, Indie and mall (remember those?) chain bookstores – to see a wide spectrum of both titles, genres and bookish realms!

I would also frequent used book shoppes – even before it was fashionable to gather a bit of insight into the books falling ‘off’ publication and/or the backlist of authors I might one day feel inclined to be reading. In essence, I’ve led quite a bookish life despite having a rocky start at learning to read (ie. as a dyslexic learner).

INSPY was a joy to be reading simply due to the beautiful uplift of JOY I received from reading the story-lines inasmuch as disappearing into fascinating worlds where kids like me were taking on keenly lived adventures! The Cooper Kids series and the Mandie series were personal favourites – of the latter, I had only hoped Ms Leppard could have lived long enough to pen the College years of Mandie’s personal growth rather than the single chapter of her University days. I cherish all of my Mandie editions, singularly regretting I never wrote the author a letter (if you can imagine, I have shy tendencies – these days I tend to reach out to authors directly on a regular basis – but I still have moments where I hesitate) and hope I have all of the installments as I had to remember which number I was on and collect as many as I could before they went out of print. Due to those fond memories of walking beside Mandie, Joe, Celia, Uncle Ned and her Grandmother – I started to explore adult INSPY Literature in my formative years. (see also the Mandie page on Wikipedia)

I settled on Judith Pella and then took a proper hiatus til I discovered Dee Henderson, Deeanne Gist and Julie Lessman. More recently in the early days as a book blogger (my 1st Year) I crossed paths with Brenda S. Anderson – of whom is now a beloved author for me to read with the added blessing of being on her Street Team. (see also the archive of my posts for Ms Anderson) I am still reading her Coming Home series this Spring – wherein I hope to reveal my thoughts on the last two installments of this series before moving into her Where the Heart Is series.

Moving forward – when I first found Southern Belle View, I also found The Word Wenches (another beautifully lovely group author blog), the writerly reader blog of Ms Lauren Willig, the many blog visits of Ms (Julie) Lessman which were ‘organic blog tours’ of their own kind and the lovely blog of Ms (Mary) Ellis. I had a singular route I would visit and comment upon regularly – hence why I initially conceived of the spark of inspiration which lateron became ‘Jorie Loves A Story’.

In those early days of laying down the foundation of my blog, I wanted to re-focus on INSPY Literature – start reading the stories of the authors I was visiting with regularly in the book blogosphere and start to share my bookish life. However, I was such a newbie to book blogging – trying to sort out how I wanted to articulate my writerly style as a book blogger, whilst mindful there was a larger community out there I was slowly becoming a part of – from readers, to fellow book bloggers, to authors who had other author group blogs as well as wading into the realms of both INSPY and mainstream publishing channels of interest.

What I was surprised by is not finding a lot of other hybrid readers – those of us who move between both worlds of thought and regularly love to share our readerly adventures. I’ve been wanting to share glimpses into why I am drawn into certain INSPY authors and why I love reading INSPY Non-Fiction whereas in the past I was mostly a Historical INSPY kind of gal! Truly, as a regular time traveller of fictional worlds – you would have thought it would have dawned on me the historic past played such a pertinent role in my readerly tendencies! (sadly, it hadn’t fused to my heart until I was somewhere between my 2nd & 3rd Year as a Book Blogger!)

Fast forward – Southern Belle View was a group author blog who had a rotation of guest authors being featured each of the days they would host new posts & discussions. A few times they would host bookaways, but mostly it was a place to engage in light-hearted chatter, bookish topics and get to know the ‘writers’ themselves in an interpersonal way as you were commenting directly with them on each of their ‘daily’ posts – which is why the full name was ‘Southern Belle View Daily’ as each of the Belles themselves were living in the ‘Southern’ tier of the States – from Texas to Mississippi to Louisiana (I believe?) and someone I believe was in the Carolina’s. The uniqueness of their writing styles and the ways in which they interacted with their readership was what pulled me into their posts.

I fell lin love with Ms (Lisa) Wingate’s writing style when I first read “The Prayer Box” which touched my spirit and my heart alike – it also marked my first ‘blog tour’ as a book blogger of which I was forever grateful for JKS Communications for giving me a chance to participate in such an event during my first ‘live’ month on Jorie Loves A Story. My parents would gift me a copy of the next story in sequence as this became a series of stories – known best as the Carolina Chronicles – however, I still need to gather a copy of the omnibus edition of the novellas which released betwixt the others and the final story in the trilogy. I was planning to let this series become my gateway into other stories of the Belles but then, of course – I was honestly ‘distracted’!

As I became more active in book blogging and started to sort out how to work with authors, publisher and publicists – I sort of started to focus on garnishing a readership for Jorie Loves A Story whilst sorting out the kind of stories I wanted to focus on reading overall. I also was gaining traction on how best to balance my personal library readings with the stories I was borrowing through my public library – the balance of course remained elusive to my intentions until two years ago – wherein during 2016 I started to implement changes in my blogging schedules. I began a personal Renaissance of redirection and re-focus of my personal goals for Jorie Loves A Story in other words.

You can see the fuller effect of those efforts now in 2018 – as I purposefully schedule less blog tours, am ever more vigilant about being particularly particular about the stories I accept for review and am starting to reap the rewards of being able to read ‘more’ but read without hard deadlines (for the most part). I am also merging into a new vein of my bookish life where I am shifting towards a goal of reading 50% of the books via print editions and listening to 50% of the books via audio editions. This became more apparent as a personal need of mine when I noticed a reduction in my chronic migraines – hence why you see more audiobook reviews populating on my blog!

Towards that end – this year, I am gathering more audiobooks outside of blog tours – whilst taking advantage of being able to ILL (interlibrary loan) audiobooks on CD and borrowing eaudiobooks directly from my library’s OverDrive catalogue as well.

All of these small personal changes were leading me back to the world of INSPY Lit – whilst my Mum and Dad have been helping me as for the past year and a half they have spent my blogoversarsies and blog birthdays gifting me anthologies of INSPY novellas! You’ll see my reading adventures into those as the months move forward as I am slowly working my way through a personal list of #nextreads and #mustreads – most of which are listed on my *70 Authors Challenge* page. This gives a keen insight into the genres and themes of INSPY Lit I gravitate towards whilst owning to the fact even when I set a plan into action, I do deviate and ‘add’ more authors of focus! Laughs with mirth.

This journey of mine has led me to the writings of Kellie Coates Gilbert – she blessed me with the first two Texas Gold novels whereas Mum gifted me the third novel “A Reason to Stay” – however, during an end of Summer cleaning, I ended up packing up a large portion of my books to unpack as I finish the ones I had on my bookshelves – as I had to reduce my bookcases two years ago. This gives me a rotation of stories rather than keeping them all unpacked all at once – of course, one day I hope to have a designated room again for all the lovely stories but until then, I sorted out how to make due with less space to greet them all on a daily basis. I thought for sure I had kept all of Ms Gilbert’s novels together – yet, one went missing! This very novel – the third installment of the series!

I fretted over it for a bit longer than I ought to have in February before Mum came to my rescue and said – before you go hog wild trying to find which box has which book, why don’t you just simplify it and borrow it through ILL’ing? You know how much you love to seek out your ILLs! lol She surely does know me well! The novel came rather promptly (in early March) however, March became a wicked horrid month for personal health – this is why I was severely under-read at the start of Spring.

I wanted dearly to read this series in order – though it is a true test of patience and faith to acknowledge not everything is meant to go according to plan! It is our continued quest towards remaining humble in our lives to realise it is ‘okay’ to do things outside of the plans we set for ourselves – owning to the fact sometimes doing things out of sequence is actually a ‘good thing’. At least this is what I resolved realising as ILLs are only with us for three weeks – given how I spent those weeks under the weather, I chose to read “A Reason to Stay” ahead of “A Woman of Fortune”.

The reason I wanted to share this longer back-story with you is to give you an insightful view of my journey back to INSPY Literature. I’ve yearned to pick up where I left off during those years where I was trapped inside a reader’s rut – researching authors and stories but never reading them. I even gathered half of my personal library during those years – spilt between as aforesaid INSPY and mainstream authors. (whether they were Indie or traditionally published as well)

One of the biggest blessings I’ve had these past five years is the JOY of reading without failure to connect to the stories – meaning, there was such a time where I felt disconnected from how novels were written as motion pictures were easier for me to ‘connect’ with in a quasi-visceral manner of enjoyment. Somewhere between the initial inspiration for Jorie Loves A Story – I not only healed my reading life but I reclaimed a passion for ‘writing’ as well. As my blog is an extension of my writerly life in a way I am sure might remain overlooked by most of my readers. You get a sense of my personal writing life if you move in and out of my posts – all five years worth – as there is a growth amongst the archives from day one to the present day.

I am overjoyed the story I get to share with you, as I celebrate my 5th Blogoversary as a Book Blogger – where I found a newfound passion for being a book cheerleader and a author’s advocate is “A Reason to Stay” because even before I read the story itself, the title struck a chord in my own heart. I found my own ‘reason to stay’ a book blogger when I realised by sharing my bookish ruminations, I get to leave notes of gratitude back to the writers who are enriching my life with their stories. I get to acknowledge how their stories affect me and what impressed me about how they approached their individual perspective of how stories can thrive when fused so eloquently with their own personal imagination and vision for the craft of writing.

I am staying a book blogger due to the pure celebration of ‘stories’ I love reading but also the continued love of pursuing the written word in all its facets of exploration – wherein the story itself is where my own enlightenment is actively found. I love spreading bookish JOY – thank you for being a part of my journey here on Jorie Loves A Story. May you remain with me as I continue to seek out the stories which touch my mind, heart and soul.

And, may 2018 be a year where I can finally re-merge my INSPY readings into my regular readerly life, as they become fused directly into my life once more – as they have been an absence I have missed reconnecting with these past five years. They’ve been there, of course, hovering in the background – but now, I am thankful they can take their rightful spot as co-navigators of my bookish world!

postscript: I am sitting on a lovely SURPRISE I received this year, connected to the Texas Gold series – as I am reading this series back to back – resuming where I left off within Faith’s story (ie. A Reason to Stay) by pursuing the journey I am about to take with Claire (ie. A Woman of Fortune) – you’ll simply have to wait to find out about the blessing I received and my further ruminations on behalf of this heart and soul centred series!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Notation on the condition of this paperback: Did you notice how well-loved this interlibrary loaned copy of “A Reason to Stay” is ?? This curling of the bottom pages is how it reached my hands – the cover is now ‘soft’ to the touch, hinting towards how many bookish spirits have entered this novel and the ways in which the pages easily turn speaks of how this story has touched a lot of hearts ahead of my own. Although I am dearly particular how I read my own books – I can recognise a smile of joy in seeing how well-read a library book is by the patrons like me who amplify their reading life by the collections of public libraries which give us a renewal of hope to be able to seek out all the stories we readily wish to be reading irregardless of our purchasing budget – as public libraries fuell our reading lives as much as our intellectual curiosities (in the Non-Fiction realms).

A Reason to Stay Book Photography Credit: Jorie of jorielovesastory.com. Photo edits and collage created in Canva.

A Reason to Stay
Subtitle: A Texas Gold Novel
by Kellie Coates Gilbert
Source: Borrowed from local library (ILL)

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9780800722746

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Southern Lit, Women's Fiction


Published by Revell

on 6th October, 2015

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 336

Published by: Revell (@RevellBooks)

an imprint of Baker Publishing Group

Formats Available: Hardback, Trade Paperback and Ebook

 The Texas Gold series:

A Woman of Fortune (Book One) | Synopsis

Where Rivers Part (Book Two) | Synopsis

A Reason to Stay (Book Three)

What Matters Most (Book Four) | Synopsis

About Kellie Coates Gilbert

Kellie Coates Gilbert

Kellie Coates Gilbert has won readers’ hearts with her compelling and highly emotional stories about women and the relationships that define their lives. A former legal investigator, she is especially known for keeping readers turning pages and creating nuanced characters who seem real.

Born and raised near Sun Valley, Idaho, Kellie now lives with her husband of over thirty-five years in Dallas, where she spends most days by her pool drinking sweet tea and writing the stories of her heart.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Divider

Posted Saturday, 31 March, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, 70 Authors Challenge 2013-19, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Birthdays & Blogoversaries, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Christianity, Clever Turns of Phrase, Contemporary Romance, Crime Fiction, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Gabby Giffords, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Inspired by Stories, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Investigative Reporter | Journalist, Learning Difficulties, Library Catalogues & Databases, Library Find, Library Love, Life Shift, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Medical Fiction, Mental Health, Modern Day, Neurosciences | Neurogenetics, Passionate Researcher, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Psychological Abuse, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Southern Writers, Special Needs Children, Stories of Jorie, Texas, Women's Fiction, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Style & Voice

+Blog Book Tour+ Cats Are Part of His Kingdom, Too: 33 Daily Devotions to Show God’s Love by Cindy Vincent

Posted Sunday, 4 May, 2014 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Cats Are Part of HIs Kingdom Too by Cindy Vincent

Published By: WhoDunit Press, 21 June, 2013
Official Author WebsitesSite | Pin(terest) Boards
Available Formats: Softcover
Page Count: 78

Converse on Twitter: #CatsArePartOfHisKingdomToo

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Cats Are Part of His Kingdom Too” virtual book tour through Editing Through the Seasons. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Cindy Vincent, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired To Read: I have always had a soft spot in my heart for cats since I was quite a young girl as I simply fell in love with little people with fur since as long as I can remember having animals in the home! I grew up happily in a family who believed strongly in adopting animals in need at rescue shelters and in full support of non-kill shelters as each animal deserves a loving forever home. When I was growing up in the city, the shelter actually included a bit more than your regular fare of cats and dogs; equine and exotic animals as well as birds could be adopted time after time, including a few rabbits and small farm animals! I always found that to be quite special! We adopted our beloved family dog from them as his previous owners moved cross country to California and could not take him with them. He was a year old to my young two years, and you could say we ‘grew up’ together! 

Our beloved cat came to us via a cat rescue shelter where she was found with kittens under the age of one year! Each of her babies were adopted quite readily, but she was left behind as apparently no one wanted an ‘older’ cat at that point as she turned one whilst awaiting adoption. She came into our house quite a feisty character and our lovely dog subdued her a bit but only by a hair! She was a spitfire calico til the day she passed a full 15 years after we brought her home! She had a few quirks as well behaviorly but she was loving in her own unique way and despite the issues which occasionally arises from a special needs cat (although at the time we were not told she had ‘special needs’) I could not imagine my childhood and adulthood without her!

I have had a full menagerie of adopted animals in my life including but not limited to: hamsters, cats, dogs, small birds, a multitude of fish, a small herd of cattle, a few pigs, peafowl, and a special iguana at my local science center as a child where you could provide the necessary cost for a special needs animal who could only live in captivity. She was not able to conceive children and therefore was at risk. She had a special aquarium and of course, being I was her guardian I could visit her whenever I pleased, as well as hold her too! I practically lived at my science center so to say we saw each other rather often in the Summers (especially!) would be putting it mildly!

This does not even include all the lovely animals out in nature of whom I have felt a close connection too over the years as I have grown accustomed to seeing them as I walk. I find I am most in harmony if I keep close to the natural world whilst observing the seasons and the animals who inhabit the environment just past our civilised world. The natural world can speak to you if you tune your heart into their frequency as much as your soul is uplifted by the companions of those animals domestic, feral, or farm-related which enter your life during the times their friendship and companionship has the greatest impact on your heart. For these reasons and more, I was simply over the moon in joy to see a devotional of uplifting passages devoted to the heart of a cat lover’s soul!

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Book Synopsis:

As Christians, sometimes it’s hard for us to comprehend the love our Heavenly Father has for us, His Earthly children. Author Cindy Vincent began to realize the depth of His love after caring for several rescued cats and then bringing them into her home. That’s when she began to notice the parallels between her relationship with these precious felines and God’s relationship with us. After all, as a pet Mom, she works in so many behind-the-scenes ways to make life wonderful for her little feline family, much like God works behind the scenes to make life wonderful for us. Yet much like her cats have no comprehension of all that she does for them, we have no comprehension of all that God does for us.

Before long, she began to see lots of parallels, and decided to put these down in the form of Daily Devotions, to demonstrate just how very much God loves us.

Author Biography:

Cindy Vincent was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and has lived all around the US and Canada. She is the creator of the Mysteries by Vincent murder mystery party games and the Daisy Diamond Detective Series games for girls. She is also the award-winning author of the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Caper books, and the Daisy Diamond Detective book series. She lives with her husband and an assortment of fantastic felines. You can learn more about the Buckley and Bogey books at buckleyandbogey.com.

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Princess | Cindy Vincent Cat

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As Ms. Vincent started out her devotional, she bespoke of the cardinal truths all animal lovers and owners know instantly once the love of their companion enters their life, world, and heart: the lessons we learn arrive in the hours where we least expect them to come from the whisperments of our furry friends! I oft wondered of the blessings I had walking through my ordinary days after school with my dog and cat; as each of them gave so much back to me as I gave to them! I always felt it was remarkable that they could only purr, bark, or meow as it felt as though they always had so much to impart but were a bit hindered by vocalising their thoughts in ways that would be a bit easier to understand. I grew to listen to them with my heart and as our conversations progressed, I knew they understood me as well as I understood them! And, how very, very wise they were at that!

It is a pure joy to get caught up in the words Ms. Vincent imparts to the reader as she describes cats in such a unique level of keen insight as to impart their characteristics upon our eyes! She gives you a window view of the cats who have nestled into her heart, mind, and spirit as she relates through the stories of her cats how everyday wisdom and life-affirming faith moments can become interwoven into your everyday life through our relationship with our beloved cats. As each cat arrives into your life at different stages of living as much as a different hour of arrival which in of itself is as effective as to why the cat is there in the first place!

As I have been participating as I can in Equality in Literature rights in fiction via Twitter this past week, I was cheering inside watching how she took describing the differences of her cats to the beautiful kaleidoscope of our own differences as a human race. To draw a connecting line between the acceptance of multiple breeds of cats is the same as accepting that despite any outward differences we are each meant to be kind-hearted and full of grace towards another. For nothing else quite makes sense in a world that is bent-on forgetting its humanity and the ability to choose kindness over hate, ignorance, and indifference.

I could even relate to the passages as there are no true perfect cats, as each cat even if behaving normal by all counts known is still going to have a unique personality and approach to living whilst interacting with their human guardians! I never knew until the last few years when a light bulb sort of went off in my head that we always seemed to shower love on special need cats ever so often! The cat of my childhood (whom I mentioned earlier) had a personality flaw from being on the streets as a young mother with possible left-over former abuse memories lingering in her sub-science when cross-checked with her behaviour issues. Then, there is of course the reality of being at the top of your Vets adoptable house list to take-on cats who have personality quirks who are at that time unadoptable. (I speak more on this in my Interview with Ms. Vincent on Tuesday!) The two hybrid tabbys in my life today were adopted with a sea of medical issues surrounding their young fur tails as they simply could not adapt to life in a foster home after having spent their first nine months with a quiet old lady who doted on them! Kennel cough or its equivalent was one malady, which equated out to Vets, medicine, and more little instruments for giving medicine than you dare think two cats could need!

Yet, despite their early medical issues, they grew into 10 year old twins (the fact they act ‘twinny’ by doing everything in sync is one way of knowing!) whose zest for life belies their age! Not one ounce of their character denotes a ‘senior’ cat except to say they tucker out far faster now than they previously did unless they ‘save’ extra play hours by snoozing quite a heap the day before! Laughs. They make us giggle in joy by sheer will of curiosity etched into their fur and bones as surely as their love and mirth of being near us. In their adversity they always showed true patience but it was our beloved cat who passed last May (in which I wrote about on this blog post) who showed true grace. His spirits were never down despite his calamities nor did he ever falter in his care on our behalf. A true champion of spirit, he gave back so much to us that we could never possibly fill a note of gratitude for having known him except to allow his spirit to remain evermore at the forefront of our memories. He was more companion than cat, a cherished presence where once lost reminds you of your best friend’s absence, and a spirit of goodwill and generosity which lives on a bit in the cats left behind who have outlived him. The tuxedo has taken his death the hardest, waking in the middle of the night in fits of anxiety and sorrow. Her bouts subdue for months at a time and then resume. We can only hope with our extra attention in those hours of need she will slowly lesson her hold on his absence and realise she is alright in our loving hold.

And, that in of itself is a parable of faith of having to be strong in the face of loss and in a sense of unease out of adversity. To walk into the light of each new day filling your spirit with hope despite your wavering spirit wondering if you have the strength to find the joy you once knew so well before death took someone you cherished. Not only through death but perhaps through circumstances, we each have to bend as willows and go through life in the full face of what alights on our paths knowing that we’re never alone and that we have someone to lean on at times of most peril. Trusting without sight of how everything will unravell and pan out is the hardest bit to undertake, but like the trust of a cat who enters your home without knowledge of how you will accept them, faith too is unconditional and a beacon of hope.

My cats have gotten themselves into a few true pickles as much as Ms. Vincent’s, let me tell you! Whether they have ducked behind boxes they cannot jump out of to save their fur or whether they end up in some fix where a human is needed to assist them, one thing was always resoundingly sure! They do not like to admit their faults nor do they like to admit they need assistance! And, that too is a lesson in humility and of accepting our weaknesses as much as our strengths! Although to a cat, to admit a weakness goes against every direct instinct they have inside them, save our cat who passed last May! To him asking for help was something he did not mind doing if it meant a loving hand and a kind heart was going to take away his difficulties and help him through what he considered most adverse! Being a boy, he surely did not realise his counterpart of males in human form tend to be the hardest to ‘ask for help’ out of our species!

Reading about Bogey & Buckley warmed my heart, as it was nearly an identical story of how I matched our little tuxedo (she’s now on the fringe of turning nine years, but at her adoption she weighed just enough to fit into my palms at two months old!) to our non-twin tabby! He needed a mate of sorts as the twins are inseparable despite their angst of each other being siblings! He needed someone he could pal around with as much as love on if the mood struck him, and being fickle in the love department that was not nearly as oft as the tux would have preferred but she accepted him on his terms! Even to the brink of rubbing into his neck and having him walk straight off without a by your leave if you please! Laughs. For me, I knew I needed a high octane and a bit hyper kitten to match wits with a shy yet loving tabby! Finding a little bundle of black fur dangling upside down in a wire cage besmirked with a wink and a nod of “Who? Me?” writ into her whiskers I knew I had found ‘the cat’ and ‘the mate in the stars’ for my tabby cat! Isn’t it amazing how when you take a leap of faith how the results of your trust grow even deeper than you felt they had rooted?

Buckley reminded me so much of our tabby because I did not realise the full extent of his separation anxiety until I read Buckley’s story on page 36! You could consider the same affliction my own cat’s nightmare and they sort of have a similar background with a few slight differences: mine was rescued off the streets with his sister held tight by the nape of the neck as dusk fell down around him. His rescuer knew he could save both cats but getting my cat to trust him to that degree took a full afternoon and nearly the evening! He was putting his sister’s life ahead of his own but somehow in face of uncertainty he saw someone he could trust in the last golden hour he could be pulled from the streets. Amazing how Ms. Vincent’s observations and experiences of having cats mirrors my own families!

A forever home to an animal in need is a long lesson in stability because they do not always trust they are safe or have access to food and water. I remember those days when they (the tabby & tux) would scratch around both the food bowl and the water bowl as if to ‘cover and hide’ it from outside predators. It took ‘years!’ for them to realise the only ones who would go near those bowls were the twins and/or us (the humans!) to clean and re-fill them! I always fully supported adopting animals and children in need of loving homes as they have one major thing in common: they both need a family willing to accept them as they are and see them for who they will be once their fear and anxiety melts away and reveals their authentic self. Love can heal through time, but its the ability to see past where a cat or a child is at point of adoption is the true measure of faith and love combined. To give someone a second chance at a forever home and family is the ultimate gift we can share and freely give with all our hearts, minds, and souls.

This is one devotional I will continue to re-read throughout the rest of my days as its a gentle reminder of how blessed and enriched our lives are when we welcome in a cat who does not have a home! In my forthcoming Interview with Ms. Vincent I will be sharing about how my family undertook the care of a homeless cat who is still within the stages of not realising that the food we put out is not a one, two, or ten time arrangement but will always be there when she comes round for a visit and can be relied on to be there when she needs it most. Trust and faith walk hand in hand, and I love the way in which the lessons of life are matched directly with passages out of scripture which take the devotions of observational life into a new level of understanding.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This book review is courtesy of:

Cats Are Part of His Kingdom, Too Virtual Blog Tour hosted by Editing Through the Seasons

hosted by:

Editing Through the Seasons - Freelance Editing & Publicity Services

{Amber took a job at a publisher & closed her publicity service Summer 2014}

Be sure to scope out my Bookish Upcoming Events

to mark your calendars!!

I purposely approached the writing of this review differently as it is set around a series of devotions which speak directly to the human heart and spirit. Therefore, I did not want to break it down like a regular novel showcase review as I generally do for all other blog tour book reviews, but rather write free-form as I spent time inside the devotional. I wanted my thoughts and impressions to arrive and alight in my spirit as I read the uplifting words and the reflections of faith from the author’s experiences. In this way, I hope my own walk inside the devotion will inspire you to pick up a copy and find seeds of wisdom which can apply to your own life and your own experiences as I have done myself.

Thank you for this interlude! As a bit of a nodding towards my love of inspirational fiction is in my sidebar and as my project to read 70 Inspirational Authors has grown to en-company a few more years to allow a proper time to soak into their narratives. I simply wanted to state on this blog stop that I welcome the hours I can lay heart and mind on inspiring stories which are interwoven with beliefs similar though not always identical to my own. As a walk of faith is as individual as we are from each other in every other way. I hope you will enjoy seeing my inspirational observations as much as you have enjoyed my observations in mainstream markets. As disclosed, I wander through all walks of literature and do not put special empathsis on either designation. I seek out stories, tride and true!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Timeless Wisdom on Cats – Video 1 via WOW Content

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

{SOURCES: Book cover for “Cats Are Part of His Kingdom Too”, cat photograph of Princess (black & white cat), author biography, book synopsis, and blog tour badges were provided by Editing Through the Seasons and used with permission. WOW Content 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 a video about the wisdom of cats. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers & My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Sunday, 4 May, 2014 by jorielov in 70 Authors Challenge 2013-19, Adoption, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Anthology Collection of Stories, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Films, Cats and Kittens, Daily Devotions of Inspiration from Life, Editing Through The Seasons, Equality In Literature, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Inspiring Video Related to Content, Lessons from Scripture, Memoir, Rescue & Adoption of Animals, Vignettes of Real Life, Wisdom of Life Threaded in Devotions

*Book Cover Reveal*: Sandra Leesmith’s “Love’s Promises”

Posted Friday, 14 March, 2014 by jorielov , , , 43 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

*NEWSFLASH* | *NEWSFLASH*

Sandra Leesmith has an exciting new release today! I came to know her publicist Ms. Stokes via Twitter whereupon we broached a conversation about hosting blog tours & spotlights on Jorie Loves A Story! I was quite delighted with the suggestion, as I have always appreciated inspirational fiction stories! Ever since I was a young girl who grew up on the “Mandie” series as reflected in my “One Book Everyone Should Read Once” post! As well as why I am embarking on a personal quest to read *70 Authors!* who are new-to-be in the inspirational fiction world! Reading the premise of “Love’s Promises” I felt I had found an author who writes uplifting stories similar to the authors I already have come to know and love! A truly heart-warming story filt with characters who are struggling to resolve their differences and remain together!
Currently available in e-book format, I am hoping this particular title will be released in either POD or print format, whereupon I can be a stop on the blog tour once this novel starts to hop around the bookish blogosphere! I decided to highlight select books which whet my palette of interest even if they are currently available in a format I cannot read at present; for the hope of being available to in the near future!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Synopsis:

For Monica Scott, building her late father’s house at Lake Tahoe isn’t an option—it’s a necessary distraction from confusing memories and an uncertain future. But a handsome planner working for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) is keeping Monica from moving forward with the project. Never mind that he’s young and charming with a great sense of humor. No one is going to stop Monica from making her father’s dream—and her own—a reality.

All Greg Linsey wants is for his work to mean something. His job at TRPA gives him the opportunity to fight for the environment he loves and make a difference in his small corner of the world. But with the sophisticated Monica Scott’s arrival, his dedication is tested as never before, especially when Monica turns to his unscrupulous nemesis for assistance. As Greg and Monica’s animosity turns into something far sweeter, can they learn to accept each other’s promises and avoid the growing danger to their lives and hearts?

Loves Promises by Sandra Leesmith
Artwork Credit: Lena Goldfinch

Sandra LeesmithAuthor Biography: SANDRA LEESMITH loves to travel in her RV and explore all of nature’s beauty, discover America’s history, and fellowship with the wonderful people she meets while on the road. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, swimming, and pickleball. Learn more about Sandra and her books at sandraleesmith.com.

Book Cover Designer Biography:

Lena Goldfinch

LENA GOLDFINCH writes fantasy and romance for teens and adults. She’s a sucker for a good old-fashioned romance, whether it’s a novel, novella, or short story, young adult or adult, fantasy or realistic, contemporary or historical. Elements of romance, fantasy, and mystery have a way of creeping into her writing, even when she’s writing something light and contemporary like her latest releases, Haunting Joy and Take a Picture. Lena has been a finalist in several national writing contests, including the RWA Golden Heart and ACFW Genesis contests. She lives in a scenic small town in Massachusetts with her husband, two kids, and a very spoiled Black Lab. Learn more about Lena and her books at lenagoldfinch.blogspot.com.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Contact Information for Author | Cover Designer

Official Author Websites: Site | Twitter | Facebook
  Cover Designer Pages: Site | Twitter | Facebook | Pin(terest) Boards

Converse via Twitter: #LovesPromises, #ChrisFic,

#cleanromance, & #inspirationalfiction

Genres: Fiction | Inspirational Fiction

Romance | Contemporary

Published by: Amber Press Publishing, March 2014 Page Count: avg. 300

[Previous Releases]

  • “Loves Refuge”+
  • “Loves Miracles”+
  • “Current of Love”
  • “The Price of Victory”
  • {note} +part of the same series as Love’s Promises!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Virtual Road Map of Cover Reveal of “Love’s Promises”

Blog Tour Announcement & Background on the Cover Art Design

Book Cover Reveal Blog Hop courtesy of:

Editing Through the Seasons - Freelance Editing & Publicity Services
{Amber took a job at a publisher & closed her publicity service Summer 2014}

Similar to blog tours, when I feature a showcase for an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog.

Reader Interactive Question:

If you a regular reader of Inspirational / Christian fiction, what do you appreciate the most about the stories you find inside the novels and novellas!? Do you seek what I do? Do you wish there were more publishers who put more stock and weight into relationship-based stories (i.e. mainstream publisher ChocLitUK does!) rather than the causal dating scene that is so very rampant!? What stills your heart the most!?

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Loves Promises”, author & illustrator photographs, book synopsis, and publicity badge were all provided by Editing Through The Seasons and used with permission. Cover Reveal badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Related Articles:

Coming this November – A new romance from Sandra Leesmith – (seasonsofhumility.blogspot.com)

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Posted Friday, 14 March, 2014 by jorielov in 21st Century, 70 Authors Challenge 2013-19, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight of E-Book (ahead of POD/print edition), Bookish Discussions, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Editing Through The Seasons, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Lake Tahoe, Life Shift, Modern Day, Romance Fiction

I, honestly admit, I have a slight confession,…

Posted Saturday, 17 August, 2013 by jorielov 2 Comments

I, honestly admit, I have a slight confession,… I am hereby addicted to reading challenges, Reading Challenge Addict badge created by Jorie in Canvaread-a-thons, read-a-longs, and other blogsphere community reading events! Yes. I, Jorie, of Jorie Loves A Story, have an addiction to reading! And, of daring myself to tackle one more ‘challenge’, despite already being committed to another already in-progress! I have discovered today, that I am NOT alone.  Nor am I the only one PROUD of this affliction. Look for our ‘badge of honour’ to find us! OR, click to join, if you find your afflicted too!

I created a running list of all the particulars of each challenge or reading event that I take on under my *RALs & Challenges* page!! However, for the sake of declaring just how much of an addict I am in this regard, I shall list them in order of participation:

70 Authors Challenge: A Personal Challenge I created for myself to read 70 Authors in 24 months time; focusing on 1-5 books per author! Technically, this won’t count until the 2015 Tally, as it concludes in August 2015! Originally scheduled to be a challenge in 12 months, but I have re-considered this and extended it to two full years!

  1. Austen in August: declaration of intent & Walking in Miss Elizabeth Bennett’s shoes,…
  2. Bout of Books, 8.0: declaration of participation; personal goals & motivations; day one; day two; day three; day four; day five; day six; day seven; wrap-up!
  3. Books of Eyre: declaration of participation; Jane Eyre;
  4. Septemb-Eyre: declaration of participation; Chapters I-XI; wrap-up!
  5. The Reading Hour: 3am; 5pm
  6. Classics Re-Told: [focus on] 19th Century & Gothic Classics: introduction: spotlight on: pride & prejudice; Walking in Miss Elizabeth Bennett’s shoes,…;
  7. Finnikin of the Rock: declaration of participation;
  8. SFN Bingo Reading Challenge: declaration of participation; Collaborative blogosphere event, merging book bloggers, authors, publishers, and sci-fi enthusiasts together, for a month long celebration of science-fiction! Each blogger will have a set schedule of posts, topics to explore, books to focus on, tv series to gush about, and certain bloggers will be hosting giveaways as well! Event begins 1 November & Concludes 30 November!
  9. Holiday Readathon: sign-up page; Christmas Romance Reading List;
  • Wonderfully Wicked: coming in October Due to circumstances changing, my amount of free time is reduced.
  • Banned Books Week: late September / early October Due to circumstances changing, my amount of free time is reduced.
  • Author of the Month: september, october, november, & december Due to circumstances changing, my amount of free time is reduced.

Unless I am mistaken this will be the full list for the year! :) Ahh, alas! A Bingo Challenge steps through the ether! :)

Reflections After the Fact: {work in progress!}

Austen in August: Aside from the fact that I nearly considered this a failure in the regards of being able to accomplish what I originally set out to do, in the end, I felt confident in my ability to actually ‘read’ a work of Austen during the month of the event! My review of the book did not post until September, which I regrettably could not avoid but I felt badly that my review’s link had to be threaded in the commentary section rather than the official Austen in August linky! :( Next year, if Roof Beam Reader hosts this lovely event again I would like to wisely choose 3 Austen novels to read so that I can not only reflect on her grace of story-telling but also participate in the Romance Reading Challenge that helps to promote the romance genre! I think if I could spilt the difference and read six books total I’d be plumb happy! I did complete the challenge even if I only read “Pride” due to the fact that the challenge had no direct rules or obligations! :) In this, I drew a bit of repose,…

Bout of Books, 8.0: You could say this challenge is continuously ongoing as I have not yet resolved the posts for the event itself as right after the event closed, I was ‘up and at ’em’  as the saying goes on my blog! I was focusing on everything that was happening in my personal life as much as attempting to keep a pace on where my blog was taking me next! Somehow in those short hours of September’s opening door, I lost my footing with Bout of Books, 8.0 despite the fact that I did finish reading one of the chosen books (“Haunted”), as much as finished nearly a quarter of another (“Lark Rise to Candleford”), and a bit less than that for the rest of my selections as I purposely focused on the first twenty pages per novel which was left-over to read save two (“The Crimson Petal & the White” & “The Lady in the Attic”). In this way, despite my challenges during the event, I succeeded in not only pushing forward and keeping with the event but for proving to myself that an isolated read-a-thon has its benefits even if you fall a bit short in your accomplishments! For instance, it opened my mind and heart to authors I never had the chance to fully grasp beforehand, and it opened up the door to the bookish blogosphere in a way where I could become acquainted with new bookish bloggers & hosted events where without JLAS I was blind to knowing existed previously! I consider this a strong lesson in perhaps being overly ambitious in my reading selections but having the heart of a reader who was determined to prove something to herself even if she fell a bit wayside of the intentions of conceiving the goals originally! 

I am working towards having all the posts reading for reading and viewing by the close of the year!! I would love to even attempt to finish reading the books I had started and post the reviews to coincide with Bout 8.0! As even if they run on my blog in December, its a project that meant something to me and if I complete it even four months after the fact, the point is dear hearts, I completed it in a time frame that worked for me! :) And  isn’t that the true merit of why we join these challenges!? To endeavour to accomplish something we first feel we cannot and to rise above our doubts and take our reading lives to new heights!?

Books of Eyre:

Septemb-Eyre:

The Reading Hour: I thoroughly enjoyed my reading of “Charlotte’s Web” even a bit moreso than I originally felt that I might, as I knew the story was intrinsically sorrowful and yet, held within it a life lesson worth reading even as a thirty-something as I am now rather than the young girl I was originally! :) I followed true to the “The Reading Hour”‘s principle in reading at an hour that coincided with their main event in Australia. The only disheartening experience for me during this event is that when I attempted to contact the event hosts I did not fetch a reply by email despite how enthused I was to share my own ‘reading hour’ observation! :( I followed up reading the book by ILL’ing a copy of the live-action motion picture of the same name which starred Dakota Fanning! The ILL arrived roughly a month shy of when the event occurred but I didn’t mind the wait as the reward was too sweet to worry about the gap of time which had elapsed! I considered this one of my favourite reading challenges of the year as I tipped my hat back into my childhood and drew a breath forward into my adult years at the very same time! How oft are we able to do this?! The full effect of ‘the reading hour’ was not lost on me, and I look forward to when I have children to inspire the joy of reading to nestle into their hearts as my own Mum and Da did for me so many moons ago! :) 

Finnikin of the Rock:

SFN Bingo Reading Challenge:

Reading Challenge Addict is hosted by Bev of My Readers Block. Originally inspired into being by Cheryl of CMash Loves to Read & Gina of Hott Books! You have until 30 November 2013 to add your declaration post to count in the tally for the year! The way in which you know your such a reader is by noting the following:

  • Easy as Pie: {1-5 Challenges, entered + completed}
  • On the Roof: {6-10 Challenges, entered + completed}
  • In Flight: {11-15 Challenges, entered + completed}
  • Out of This World: 16+ Challenges, entered + completed}

By looking over the specifics of this listing, I am on the cusp of On the Roof/In Flight!! We’ll have to wait and see what befalls my interest between now and New Year’s Eve!! Laughs whilst smiling. Not bad, eh!? For a blogger whose only been ‘live’ for 10 days!! I am itching with curiosity what everyone else put on their posts of declaration, so as I’m able too I will be visiting their blogs!

What about you!? Are you addicted and afflicted by reading, too!!??!

2014 Advance Planning Sesson {which will I choose!? ooh the intrigue!}

{SOURCE: Reading Challenge Addict badge created by Jorie in Canva.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Saturday, 17 August, 2013 by jorielov in 70 Authors Challenge 2013-19, Austen in August, Author of the Month, Books of Eyre, Finnikin of the Rock, Holiday Readathon, Reading Challenge Addict, Septemb-Eyre, The Reading Hour, Wonderfully Wicked