Category: African-American Literature

#BlackHistoryMonth Non-Fiction Book Review | “Standing Up Against Hate” (How Black Women in the Army Helped Change the Course of WWII) by Mary Cronk Farrel

Posted Friday, 15 February, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: In November [2018] I received a request about the newest Ms Farrell release – for those of you who’ve been visiting with me for awhile, you might have recalled I previously read her “Fannie Never Flinched” release in [2016] which was equally important for what it highlighted for young readers. I love reading empowering works of Non-Fiction which are highlighting hidden stories from History – this one felt as riveting as how I felt when I discovered the story within the film “Hidden Figures”. In many ways, I wish whilst I was in school they focused more on compelling stories like all of these and gave us a better living representation of History from multiple perspectives, cultural heritages and endeavour to make History lit more alive by the stories of the people who lived them. This is one reason I read a lot of Historical Fiction and why I look for Narrative Non-Fiction.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of Standing Up Against Hate from the publisher Abrams Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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what i enjoyed about reading fannie never flinched:

We arrive in 1897 (so close to when my great-grandparents were alive themselves!) where the sad reality of girls working in sewing factories is brought to light. Those machines could be deadly or at the very least injurious to young girls whose fingers might not realise the strength of the mechanism they were working on. I flashed back to all the stories – in fiction and in film, where factories were exposed for their bad working habits and traditions. It was not hard to imagine this sequence of Fannie’s life – but for readers just becoming exposed to those harder truths of the historical past, the text and the photograph of all the ladies lined up in tight rows working past deprivation of sleep and hunger proves the point along.

Hers was a hard upbringing but an honest one, too. She was put to work as soon as she could earn her keep; such was the tradition of the era. It was nothing to be gone all day (hours past what a child should be expected to do) and without proper treatment or provisions for the labour given. By the time news was arriving about the insurrection in the industry to rise above the issues and draw attention to the rights women needed most, Fannie rose in a new confidence to seek out how to join the fight.

The historical photographs become the living testimony to strengthen the context – showing real women and real events along the passageway of Fannie’s life. Fannie’s life was one that began and continued in poverty; she simply never was given a chance to get a leg up on anything but was expected to do what was called upon her to get done. This is the era where women had little say, no respect and even had a risk taken against them to speak out against what was unfair. The moxie it must have taken for her to start to put together organisation towards bringing in change!

She became a natural bourne activist – travelling and speaking to as many people as she could who would listen to what she had to say. It did not surprise me she took heed of the plight of miners and their families – as their plight was similar to her own and those amongst her peers. They were given less rather than more, asked to work hard and were provided so little in return. Their families lived in squalor and could barely get by, hence why I think Fannie took a breath of strength to realise that her cause had multiple cross-applications! Working conditions were inhumane in more than one industry!

All whilst she tallied and worked tirelessly towards change, time was against her; as her family moved forward without her presence most of the time. Even in regards to the change she was seeking, it felt distant and unattainable due to the backlash she was getting from those who opposed her efforts. Her death was unnecessary and brutal – spoken with earnest disclosure in the end of the book. This biography is not for the sensitive reader – so if a child isn’t yet emotionally ready to read or listen to the story in full, I’d find a way to gloss over the harder chapters until they reach the point where they can handle all the details. Sometimes children can surprise us and handle more information than we think they can process but other times, too much information can lead to nightmares. Although all the facts are presented quite humbly, I might draw concern that they are a bit too pointed for more sensitive readers who might not want to know those exact details.

What shocked me the most is how she died and how her legacy was tucked underneath a rug so to speak. She never saw justice – not in life nor in death, except that the fight she participated in did yield eventually to better rights in labour laws but the price was so high, you feel sorry for Fannie in the end. How she believed so rightly in standing together and standing strong yet she had a faction of people who were blinded by hate and prejudice who took her out without so much as a passing regret or ounce of remorse. This is the saddest part of uncovering historical artifacts of humanity’s past – sometimes you find that such horrid things can happen in the midst of someone trying to right a wrong.

I commend the author for her tenacity and her dedication to tell Fannie’s story! She truly found the spirit of Fannie in her research and her pursuit of how to voice her living history! She should truly be honoured by what she was able to leave behind and to help safeguard the memory of Fannie forevermore!

-quoted from my review of Fannie Never Flinched

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Standing Up Against Hate
Subtitle: How Black Women in the Army Helped Change the Course of WWII
by Mary Cronk Farrell
Source: Direct from Publisher

STANDING UP AGAINST HATE is the story of black women in the World War II Women’s Army Corps. They did not have civil rights nor the full protection of the law in America. Still, thousands signed up to serve their country and help fight the fascist regimes threatening democracy around the world.

As black WACs took up posts around the country they realized they would fight the enemy at home, long before they’d get a crack at the enemy abroad. At Fort Devens, Massachusetts, black WACs protested their unfair assignments to menial jobs that were never given to white WACs. Refusing to clean kitchens and scrub floors, they risked court martial and prison. Black women assigned to posts in the south feared for their lives traveling on buses and trains. Even their army uniforms did not protect them from assault and battery due to their skin color.

This book offers a much-need perspective on the lives of women of color in WWII America, some of the bravest and most adventurous women of their time. They interrupted careers, left home and loved ones, succeeded in jobs women had never done and stood up against racism and prejudice with dignity. African American WACs served with excellence, breaking barriers to make way for black women today who serve at the highest levels of the U.S. military.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781419731600

Also by this author: Fannie Never Flinched

Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Non-Fiction, Women's Studies


Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers

on 8th January, 2019

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 208

Published By: Abrams Books for Young Readers (@abramskids)
an imprint of Abrams Books

Available Formats: Hardcover Edition

Converse via: #KidsLit, #BlackHistoryMonth + #NonFiction, #WomensRights

Read about what inspired this release on the author’s blog!

About Mary Cronk Farrell

Mary Cronk Farrell

Mary Cronk Farrell is an award-winning author of five books for young people and former television journalist with a passion for stories about women facing great adversity with courage. She researches little known stories from history and relates them with engaging and powerful language in her books, multi-media presentations and workshops. Farrell has appeared on TV and radio across the nation. She speaks to women’s groups, civic groups, and at museums, schools and libraries.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 15 February, 2019 by jorielov in 20th Century, African-American Literature, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Children's Literature, The World Wars, Women's Rights

Blog Book Tour | “Kiss Carlo” by Adriana Trigiani A story inspired by the author’s family becomes a rivetingly brilliant inter-generational saga in which to entreat inside to discover how this family found the truest joy to celebrate whilst alive!

Posted Wednesday, 31 January, 2018 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I happily have been hosting for Italy Book Tours alongside hosting for iRead Book Tours; however, it has been quite a few years since I’ve seen a novel come along for this touring company which I felt as excited about reading as ‘Kiss Carlo’! I will explain momentarily why this was the case, however, I was wicked enthused finding out I had been selected to be part of this lovely blog tour celebrating the title and the author! I received a complimentary copy of the book “Kiss Carlo” direct from the publisher HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

What initially drew my attention to read this novel:

The interesting back-story on this author, is I actually purchased two of the novels in her series focused on Big Stone Gap for my best friend. I never had the joy of giving my friend the novels (long story) nor did I read them, as that felt awkward; but I did watch the film through my local #library — it is such a wicked brilliant film, too! I encourage you to see this if you haven’t already – it has the soul of the author’s narrative voice threading throughout it’s heart. For me personally, the film was a better introduction to the author’s literary style.

When I saw this novel coming along for a blog tour, I didn’t hesitate to request a position on the tour – I *love!* multi-generational sagas which go through one family’s lineage; however, this one is ‘inter-generational’ as it’s the scope of the living relatives who are living through a generation together. Similar to how we all have immediate family whilst we’re alive – I didn’t read too much about this one, as I wanted to go into it a bit blind. I knew the girth of what the author can yield in her stories based on Big Stone Gap, but as soon as the book arrived in the Post, I did sneak glimpses of it’s pages!

I loved reading the additional bits (which I’ll discuss properly on my forthcoming review) however, what I can say now is this is quite literally inspired by the author’s family! Living histories are spoken about more regularly on my blog – of how writers are fusing their own histories into the fiction they are writing? Whether or not they go into the historic past, to centuries outside their living years or whether, like this author have kept the stories closer to the hip (so to speak) they are finding ways to impart the breadth of their own ‘story’ into the fiction their creating. I, for one, find this wicked inspiring and am so very thankful I caught sight of this blog tour because as soon as I first opened the novel, I had sense I’d become dearly attached to this family,… in a similar vein of attachment as I am to the O’ Connor’s by Julie Lessman.

-quoted from the Top Ten Tuesday Ten Books I’m Looking Forward to Reading 2018

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Blog Book Tour | “Kiss Carlo” by Adriana Trigiani A story inspired by the author’s family becomes a rivetingly brilliant inter-generational saga in which to entreat inside to discover how this family found the truest joy to celebrate whilst alive!Kiss Carlo
by Adriana Trigiani
Source: Publisher via Italy Book Tours

From Adriana Trigiani, the beloved New York Times-bestselling author of The Shoemaker’s Wife, comes an exhilarating epic novel of love, loyalty, and creativity—the story of an Italian-American family on the cusp of change.

It’s 1949 and South Philadelphia bursts with opportunity during the post-war boom. The Palazzini Cab Company & Western Union Telegraph Office, owned and operated by Dominic Palazzini and his three sons, is flourishing: business is good, they’re surrounded by sympathetic wives and daughters-in-law, with grandchildren on the way. But a decades-long feud that split Dominic and his brother Mike and their once-close families sets the stage for a re-match.

Amidst the hoopla, the arrival of an urgent telegram from Italy upends the life of Nicky Castone (Dominic and his wife’s orphaned nephew) who lives and works with his Uncle Dom and his family. Nicky decides, at 30, that he wants more—more than just a job driving Car #4 and more than his longtime fiancée Peachy DePino, a bookkeeper, can offer. When he admits to his fiancée that he’s been secretly moonlighting at the local Shakespeare theater company, Nicky finds himself drawn to the stage, its colorful players and to the determined Calla Borelli, who inherited the enterprise from her father, Nicky must choose between the conventional life his family expects of him or chart a new course and risk losing everything he cherishes.

From the dreamy mountaintop village of Roseto Valfortore in Italy, to the vibrant streets of South Philly, to the close-knit enclave of Roseto, Pennsylvania, to New York City during the birth of the golden age of television, Kiss Carlo is a powerful, inter-generational story that celebrates the ties that bind, while staying true to oneself when all hope seems lost.

Told against the backdrop of some of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, this novel brims with romance as long buried secrets are revealed, mistaken identities are unmasked, scores are settled, broken hearts are mended and true love reigns. Trigiani’s consummate storytelling skill and her trademark wit, along with a dazzling cast of characters will enthrall readers. Once again, the author has returned to her own family garden to create an unforgettable feast. Kiss Carlo is a jubilee, resplendent with hope, love, and the abiding power of la famiglia.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781471136405

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Emigration & Immigration, Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction


Published by Harper Books

on 15th June 2015

Pages: 560

Published by: Harper Books (@harperbooks)
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Available Formats: Hardback, Audiobook (Digital & CD), P.S. Edition Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #KissCarlo or #AdrianaTrigiani

About Adriana Trigiani

Adriana Trigiani

Adriana Trigiani is the bestselling author of 17 books, which have been published in 36 countries around the world. She is a playwright, television writer/producer and filmmaker. She wrote and directed the film version of her novel Big Stone Gap, which was shot entirely on location in her Virginia hometown. She is co-founder of the Origin Project, an in-school writing program that serves more than a thousand students in Appalachia. She lives in Greenwich Village with her family.

Photo Credit: Tim Stephenson

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Posted Wednesday, 31 January, 2018 by jorielov in 20th Century, African-American Literature, Aftermath of World War II, Ancestry & Genealogy, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Brothers and Sisters, Catholicism, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cookery, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Foodie Fiction, Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, History, Immigrant Stories, Inheritance & Identity, Intergenerational Saga, Italy, Italy Book Tours, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, New York City, Philadelphia, Siblings, Singletons & Commitment, Sisterhood friendships, Story knitted out of Ancestral Data, the Forties, The World Wars, Vignettes of Real Life, Village Life, Vulgarity in Literature, William Shakespeare, Women's Fiction

Book Review | “Styx & Stone” (An #EllieStone #Mystery, No. 1) by James W. Ziskin

Posted Thursday, 2 June, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 0 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 review “Heart of Stone” by JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. JKS is the first publicity firm I started working with when I launched Jorie Loves A Story in August, 2013. I am honoured to continue to work with them now as a 3rd Year Book Blogger.

As a new reviewer for Seventh Street Books, I was quite intrigued by discovering another new author under this imprint for Prometheus Books, as thus far along I have found this imprint to be producing wicked good content for mystery enthusiasts! I requested if it were possible to receive the first book in the series, “Styx & Stone” as this series is in-progress and has a total of four novels thus far released.

I received my complimentary copy of Styx & Stone from the publisher Seventh Street Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What I am appreciating from Seventh Street Books Mystery authors:

[ Jennifer Kincheloe ]

Sophisticated in her ascertainment of conception behind Anna Blanc, Kincheloe has writ such a lively character, you drink in her words with such a joy of delight! She has a fast paced narrative, where the humour is smitten by the sophisticated edging of her character’s personality, matched equally brilliantly by the grace of a Cosy Historical Mystery backdrop! She’s captured the turn of the century atmosphere aptly, as she tucks in recognisable familiarities to alight in your imagination as you turn the pages; replete with gaslights and other bits which correlate with the era. (from review of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc)

Anna Blanc was the first character who caught my readerly eye so to speak when I originally found Seventh Street Books and had read through their Current Front List catalogue to see what story would intrigue me as I was picking my first story to review. There was simply something about this historical mystery that tempted me to say “Yes, please!” and I was not disappointed! If anything, it left me hungering for a sequel and a continuation of Anna Blanc’s journey! She was writ so wondrously well, every inch of this novel was unputdownable because it was realistically compelling and lovingly conceived to live inside it’s era of choice! What was happily unexpected was the cheeky humour and the levity, the author underscored to the harder hitting edges of the story! I loved her personality and spark she granted to Anna Blanc – such a lovely discovery for me!

[ Larry D. Sweazy ]

I dearly appreciate the dramatic styling of Sweazy’s approach to writing this mystery series as it’s breadth is far deeper than the psychological impacts of crime and the tragic losses endured by those who are left behind to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. Sweazy digs deeper into the heart and mind of his lead character (Marjorie Trumaine) whilst using her as a guiding point towards understanding the undercurrents of her small Dakota towne – it’s in this approach that I have found myself so happily entrenched inside the Dakotas, and happily residing a bit on the Trumaine farm whilst I walk beside Marjorie as she puts the clues together and finds truth out of secrets hidden from view. (from review of See Also Deception)

The Marjorie Trumaine mysteries caught my eye after Anna Blanc – I have had a hankering for wicked good mysteries for quite a long while now – they are dearly one of my favourites to curl up inside – especially the cosy side of the ledger, but this series – wow. I had hoped it would be a series I could disappear inside, but I could never have fathomed how heart-centred I felt to the Dakota small towne and whilst becoming fully entrenched inside the spirit of Marjorie Trumaine! I spent a heap of lovely hours happily in step with Marjorie’s pursuit of the truth and as each story in turn was quite unputdownable – I dreamt of the story whilst away from it – I could only hope a third installment will come along soon! Perhaps within a year? It’s that wicked brilliant! It’s also singularly unique – a dramatic crime story full of introspective intuitions about humanity and the human condition!

[ Susan Spann ]

Spann continues to write in such a beautiful arc of narrative voice, styling her cosy historical mysteries after the culture she celebrates with each novel she pens. She keeps the characters true to not only their own personal beliefs and convictions, but to the cultural heritage they are naturally akin to representing. I may have voiced wanting to see more emotional responses from the samurai, but that was only as an observational notice of how well controlled their emotions are and how wisely they choose not to show too much emotion to the outside world; as it would be a completely slip of weakness. There are simply times where you feel as a reader, one character, even if a minor one in a story might react differently than their training; and it is in this, that I celebrate Spann’s gift for historical accuracy as much as personality of character accuracy. The ways of the West and the East do not always align, and by representing her characters with the strength of their own individual personalities, a bridge is reached and crossed. (from review of Blade of the Samurai)

Spann’s Cosy Historical Mysteries are moving to *Seventh Street Books* this year, and I already have my copy of her debut release with them “The Ninja’s Daughter” of which I will happily be devouring this Summer whilst featuring a review close to it’s Pub Date in August! Spann smittened me with this curious portal into Japanese history wherein I found myself tucked inside her character’s lives with such a zest of intrigue I could not believe my wicked luck in finding the series! To be able to continue to celebrate this series per each new installment as they release is a true blessing for a reader whose simply over the moon happy one of her recent favourite series has found a new home with her new favourite publisher of Mysteries! The martial arts and the influences of Japanese tradition and cultural heritage is truly what captured me and has sustained me alongside the beautiful friendship Spann has underwritten into Father Matteo and Hiro’s relationship.

Why the Ellie Stone Mysteries felt like another ‘good fit’ for me:

The first thing that went through my mind when I read the blurb for Heart of Stone, was how interestingly a title can make me think about Jesse Stone! The title character in the television mystery movies featuring Tom Selleck in the lead role created by Robert B. Parker! They (the Jesse Stone mysteries) are a bit harder edged than most of the mysteries that whet a thirst of interest for me to read and/or watch (as I not only read mysteries, I devour Crime Drama & Mysteries in tv and film!) yet surprisingly I was attracted to the downtrodden Jesse Stone who was repairing his soul as he re-built his life in a small towne.

I seem to be on a bit of a ‘1960’ mystery hunt, as the Ellie Stone mysteries take place in early ’60s whereas the Marjorie Trumaine mysteries follow shortly thereafter! Concurrent to this, I found another mystery author (Reavis Z. Wortham) who writes his own Red River series in the 1960s of which has a likeness to the atmosphere inside a Marjorie Trumaine mystery! I’ve decided to follow where my readerly heart takes me, as Wortham’s first novel The Rock Hole was borrowed via ILL (inter-library loan) in late May, however, I unfortunately found I had to return it the day it arrived. I had not realised there is an incident of animal abuse and cruelty in the development of the mystery itself.

In regards to Ellie Stone directly, I liked her felicity to take-on a man’s role and dare to do a job only known for the men who owned it’s niche whilst re-identifying it as her own. Women can do anything they set their mind towards, but in the early 1960s that was not as obvious as it would be in later decades.

Ellie Stone felt like the type of feminist and forward-thinking female character I could rally behind – not only for her moxie to give men a run for it but for how she approached her work. I love strong characters (men and women) but what I love more are strong characters who are redefining a stigma they are living inside in order to find the freedom to be taken on their own terms! No one wants to breathe a space defined by someone else’s prejudices – and to me Ellie Stone felt like the kind of woman who could shatter predetermined mindsets and solve mysteries at the same time!

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Book Review | “Styx & Stone” (An #EllieStone #Mystery, No. 1) by James W. ZiskinStyx & Stone
Subtitle: An Ellie Stone Mystery
by James W. Ziskin
Source: Direct from Publisher

Ellie Stone is a professed modern girl in 1960s' New York City, playing by her own rules and breaking boundaries while searching for a killer among the renowned scholars in Columbia University's Italian Department.

"If you were a man, you'd make a good detective."

Ellie is sure that Sgt. McKeever meant that as a compliment, but that identity-a girl wanting to do a man's job-has throttled her for too long. It's 1960, and Ellie doesn't want to blaze any trails for women; she just wants to be a reporter, one who doesn't need to swat hands off her behind at every turn.

Adrift in her career, Ellie is back in New York City after receiving news that her estranged father, a renowned Dante scholar and distinguished professor, is near death after a savage bludgeoning in his home. The police suspect a routine burglary, but Ellie has her doubts. When a second attempt is made on her father's life, in the form of an "accident" in the hospital's ICU, Ellie's suspicions are confirmed.

Then another professor turns up dead, and Ellie's investigation turns to her father's university colleagues, their ambitions, jealousies, and secret lives. Ellie embarks on a thorny journey of discovery and reconciliation, as she pursues an investigation that offers her both a chance at redemption in her father's eyes, and the risk of losing him forever.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781616148195

Also by this author: Heart of Stone

Also in this series: Heart of Stone


Genres: Crime Fiction, Noir Crime Drama, Thriller


Published by Seventh Street Books

on 15th October, 2013

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 267

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Ellie Stone Mystery series:

Interesting Trivia: this series has been optioned for a television series!

“Stone Cold Dead” – received a nomination for the 2016 Lefty Award for Best World Mystery Novel. “No Stone Unturned” received a coveted Anthony Award nomination for Best Paperback Original in 2015.

Styx & Stone | No.1

No Stone Unturned | No.2 | Book Synopsis

Stone Cold Dead | No.3 | Book Synopsis

Heart of Stone | No.4 | Book Synopsis

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Published By: Seventh Street Books (@SeventhStBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #EllieStoneMysteries OR #EllieStoneMystery

Read an Excerpt of Styx & Stone on the author’s site!

About James W. Ziskin

James W. Ziskin

A linguist by training, Ziskin studied romance languages and literature at the University of Pennsylvania. After completing his graduate degree, he worked in New York as a photo-news producer and writer, and then as director of NYU’s Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò.

He has since spent 15 years in the Hollywood post-production industry, running large international operations in the subtitling/localization and visual effects fields. Ziskin grew up in Amsterdam, New York, and now lives in the Hollywood Hills.

Photo Credit: William Ziskin

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Posted Thursday, 2 June, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Adulterous Affair, African-American Literature, Amateur Detective, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Brothers and Sisters, Classical Music | Composers, Clever Turns of Phrase, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Diary Accountment of Life, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Equality In Literature, Father-Daughter Relationships, Fathers and Daughters, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Horror-Lite, Indie Author, Investigative Reporter | Journalist, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Judiasm, Lady Detective Fiction, Life Shift, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Music History, New York City, Noir Crime Drama, Religious History, Siblings, Singletons & Commitment, Sociological Behavior, Story in Diary-Style Format, The Sixties, Vulgarity in Literature, Writer, Writing Style & Voice

Book Review | “Tea & Crumples” by Summer Kinard

Posted Sunday, 29 May, 2016 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: Whilst participating in #LitChat last Summer [2015] about Indie Publishers and the stories they publish, I found two publishers in attendance. Light Messages Publishing happily corresponded with me a bit after the chat concluded. Whilst in communication with their publicity department, I was encouraged to look through their beautifully lovely catalogue and see if one of their upcoming releases might suit my bookish curiosities. This selection was suggested to me due to my appreciation for tea: “Tea & Crumples” by Summer Kinard, who had attended the chat. If your curious about the Small Press Showcase #LitChat I attended you can replay the conversation in whole by visiting the Nurph Channel for LitChat where it’s archived.

This marks my second review for Light Messages Publishing, as I began reviewing for them with my review of “The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley” of which I loved! I received a complimentary copy of “Tea & Crumples” direct from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I applaud Light Messages as an Inspiring Publisher of Realistic Stories:

Of the two stories I picked to read first by Light Messages, it was Tea & Crumples I nearly felt I might not have the strength to read as I knew it hit on a harder story arc than I generally allow myself to read. I am mindful of my emotional sensitivities as much as other ‘triggers’ in fiction that are outside of what I can tolerate to read (most of which are listed on my Review Policy; but a few surprises still can happen despite my self-control to recognise what will affect me) – however, with this story, I felt a connection to the novel’s heart as I read about it’s premise. It’s hard to describe – sometimes I feel like I’m guided by grace and the faith I lean on everyday – my entire blog life (and my activities in Twitter) have been a walk of faith in other words.

I get certain intuitive glimpses about stories – sometimes it’s a miss on my judgment calls, but more times than naught when I feel especially keen on a story such as this one, I decide to trust that instinctive nudge to read a story! I should have realised Light Messages would challenge my heart in a good way rather than an adverse one – as despite my trepidation, as soon as I settled into the narrative and the graceful textured style Kinard’s writings spilt out into the novel – I found myself comfortably relaxed inside where Tea & Crumples would take me!

This was quite similar to how I felt wrapped up inside The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley, as I could not take my eyes off the text nor fully yield to pull myself out of the world Örnbratt created! The writers being published at Light Messages have an intuitive way of alighting their readers inside a fully conceptionalised story with strong inspirational messages and lives backlit by faith, love and hope. It’s a pleasure for a lifelong reader of INSPY fiction to discover but moreso than that, I applaud the strength of the stories they are publishing as a whole.

My third author I’ll be reading is Deborah Hining – I have a feeling she’s going to leave an equally strong impression on me, as all three authors combined have a bit of a common threading between them, if you think on it a bit! Laughs. I am simply drawn into lives of strong women who have an obstacle in life or faith affirming moment arising out of their ordinary hours to embrace. I love finding INSPY stories who have a textural element of insight of real-life inside them – where they broach inside what I refer to as INSPY Realistic Fiction as they are such hearty composites of our modern lives or the historical past; depending on the story.

I also like writers who stitch together the faith of their characters through their internal thoughts and show how faith is a cornerstone of their lives; as natural as breathing and as readily important! Thus far, I am happily soaking inside the works by Light Messages authors – finding the publisher truly understands what modern INSPY readers are seeking and how blessed we are the authors are writing such grounded stories of strength and perseverance!

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Book Review | “Tea & Crumples” by Summer KinardTea & Crumples
Subtitle: faith, tea, love : a novel
by Summer Kinard
Source: Direct from Publisher

“Tea is how I love people.”

Welcome to Tea & Crumples where tea brewed strong with grace has the power to bring people together. The click of chess pieces and susurrus of fine papers mingle with aromas of warm pastries, tea,
and the caramel of hospitality. Through it all, the steady love of God pours out in daily rituals.

Meet Sienna, whose spiritual gifts are the heart of the shop. Walk with her as she struggles to believe in miracles even while she walks in the shadow of death under the weight of temptation.

Tea makes Sienna remember. She remembers pain in order to hold fast the joy of her lost daughter and happiness gone in order to hold fast to Peter’s love. Tea is there with Sienna when every bit of her has
been poured out. So are her friends. They keep vigil when all that’s left is faith, tea, and love.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1-61153-123-7

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


Published by Light Messages Publishing

on 2nd November, 2015

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 314

Published By: Light Messages Publishing (@LMpublishing)

Author Page @ Light Messages Publishing
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #TeaAndCrumples

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.

About Summer Kinard

Summer Kinard

Summer Kinard is the mother of five, a tea lover, soprano, and author of inspiring novels and curricula for active learners.

She writes about faithful people overcoming trials with the help of tea, friendships, and love. Summer’s first novel, Can’t Buy Me Love, was a USA TODAY Happy Ever After pick for Women’s Fiction. Her paranormal Orthodox Christian romance, The Salvation of Jeffrey Lapin, has received glowing reviews from readers.

Summer writes about faith, tea, and love in journeys of healing. Follow her family’s journey with tea at TeaAndCrumples.com. You will find up to date posts on her writing life at her site: WritingLikeAMother.com, or follow her on Instagram for up to the moment updates. All links are below.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Balancing Life Amidst Chaos:

Although I have taken up java since I turnt twenty-nine (soon to be eight years past), there is something quite authentic about how ‘tea’ can calm your ever last nerve; the aromatherapy notwithstanding; when you brew a cuppa tea – it’s almost as if the act itself has a calming effect long before the brew sets the leaves into the water. I could readily see why Kinard showed how tea fused serenity into Sienna’s life and how the art of tea-drinking was a ritual she appreciated with her husband Peter. Tea has this way of encompassing more of your life than it detracts. I even know java won’t last as long as tea in my drinking habits, except for a return to the ‘green bean’ of Yirgacheffe (the one brew of java that tastes like tea!)!

If tea can help purport balance into one’s life, it’s healthy attributes for your wellness is equally as keen! Sienna knows tea is only one component, she leans hard on her faith even during the hours where her mental focus is off-kilter; she prays as readily as I used to find meditative bliss in the motions of Tai Chi Chaun! Sometimes your prayers change through how you approach a prayerfulness in your life’s activities; ebbing in and out of you as you find new ways to sort through your thoughts and become mindful of your spirit’s rhythm. Read More

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