Category: Antiques

Blog Book Tour | “Lady of a Thousand Treasures” (The Victorian Ladies, No. 1) by Sandra Byrd

Posted Friday, 19 October, 2018 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “Lady of Thousand Treasures” direct from the publisher Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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My favourite takeaways from my first reading of a Sandra Byrd novel:

I had noticed the quick-fire cross-references being mentioned throughout this blog tour on behalf of Mist of Midnight to lay a correlated thought of insight to the story if readers were familiar with Jane Eyre. I believe this is a bit of a misstep, as despite my fanciment for Gothic Lit intermixed into Historical Fiction, even I can appreciate how diversely eclectic and unique the offerings are within the genre-benders. It is a bit as to say that every Classic Psychological Suspense (i.e. Classic Horror) motion picture is going to be a cardinal carbon copy of the previous release. Although there are inherent similarities to Eyre or any novel within this subset of literature, there is a striking originality to Byrd’s narrative voice, and the way in which she stirs the setting to alight in your mind’s eye.

I did not hear any footfall or echo of Eyre’s voice in the character of Rebecca Ravenshaw, as instead, I heard Rebecca’s voice quite clearly on her own grounds. She’s a full-bodied character not a composite of a previous incarnation of a previous era’s most beloved heroine. The misstep for me is the presumption on what the story entails, as this isn’t a Governess tale, no, this is an inheritance and right of identity tale which pushes far past where Eyre ventured. Atmospherically I do agree, there are certain hidden clues and nudges to elude to where Eyre resided, but again, this isn’t a novel I’d cross-compare Byrd’s narrative, as it would deceive the readers who are wanting to soak inside it unless there is a definitive explanation about ‘what’ directly refers to setting and what is ‘different’ altogether in the story’s arc.

I found more crumbs of cognisant triggers of familiarity stemming out of Mists of Midnight to previous novels I’ve read by ChocLitUK and several via HFVBTs. More readily I would say the styling of how Bryd has writ her new series for the Daughters of Hampshire is a beautiful compliment to how ethereally and historically stimulating I’m finding the Lady Darby series by Anna Lee Huber. Wordsmiths who breathe a stability of place, time, character depth and arc of journey will always leave me perpetually museful for their discovery. Byrd is amongst my top favourites for giving us a story which transcends straight out of where we’ve planted our seat to hold the pages, which as they are turnt, lead us into the murky shadows of where truth and light are sometimes cast in gray.

Each Gothic Lit Historical Narrative is wholly original into itself, as the creator who inked the words alighted upon the premise by a different series of avenues before committing pen to creation. The die is cast so to speak with a uniqueness that is not quite like another story, but whose individual elements can bewitch you with their cosy comfortness of relating a particular sensory experience you had whilst reading other novels within the genre.

I only took sparse pauses away from this novel, as I have the tendency to want to devour a text such as this, save for slumber and a quick nosh; devouring it’s elegant world-building, as it’s secondary characters who alight on the page as if their histories were being writ as they lived. I love seeing secondary cast members as fully true in their bones as their lead counterparts. There is a realism in having this underwrit into a novel, and I must say, Byrd has excelled.

– as disclosed on my review of Mist of Midnight,
Daughters of Hampshire, Book One

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Blog Book Tour | “Lady of a Thousand Treasures” (The Victorian Ladies, No. 1) by Sandra ByrdLady of a Thousand Treasures
by Sandra Byrd
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1496426833

Also by this author: Mist of Midnight

Genres: Art & Art History, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction


Published by Tyndale House Publishers

on 9th October, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 464

Published By: Tyndale House Publishers (@TyndaleHouse)
secondary site: Crazy4Fiction (@Crazy4Fiction)

Formats Available: Trade paperback, ebook and audiobook

Converse via: #SandraByrd, #VictorianLadies + #HistRom or #HistFic

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About Ms Sandra Byrd

Sandra Byrd

Bestselling author Sandra Byrd has published more than fifty books over her editing and writing career. Her traditionally published books include titles by Tyndale House Publishers, Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, WaterBrook Press, a Penguin Random House imprint, and Bethany House. She’s also an independent author.

Sandra’s series of historically sound Gothic romances launched with the best-selling Mist of Midnight, which earned a coveted Editor’s Choice award from the Historical Novel Society. The second book, Bride of a Distant Isle, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The third in the series, A Lady in Disguise, published in 2017 and was named by the American Library Association’s Booklist as one of the Top Ten Inspirational Fiction books of the year.

Her contemporary adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, which was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2011, and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 19 October, 2018 by jorielov in 19th Century, Antique Jewelry, Antiques, Antiquities, Art, Art History, Artist's Proof, Artwork Provenance, Blog Tour Host, Britian, British Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Passionate Researcher, the Victorian era, Writing Style & Voice

Blog Book Tour | “The Witch of Painted Sorrows” {Book 1: of the Daughters of La Lune series} by M.J. Rose #HistFic is captured within the essence of a traditional Gothic tale where a woman has to choose what she desires more? Passion or Freedom?

Posted Wednesday, 18 March, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 5 Comments

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

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Witch of Painted Sorrows” virtual book tour through France Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher Atria (an imprint of Simon & Schuster), in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Intrigued to Read:

I previously hosted Ms Rose during her blog tour for The Collector of Dying Breaths, whereupon I also interviewed her for the same tour. I had a fascination inside me about the Reincarnationist series, but it ended up my heart was attached quite dearly to the second trilogy making up the volumes of: The Book of Lost Fragrances, Seduction, and The Collector of Dying Breaths. I went into details about this on my previous M.J. Rose book review, but what intrigued me about returning into her next novel is how it was set to life in Paris itself.

I have come to appreciate different eras of French History through the writers who write stories that surround us in the history and lore of France. In regards directly to the Belle Époque 1890s of this highly regarded city, I last ducked inside it’s chapters of time in Heather Webb’s Rodin’s Lover. The eras of salons where writerly and artistic immersions of the crafts could be celebrated and explored through peers of the same inclinations was quite the intrigue for me, as it is hard to pin-point where the ‘meeting of the minds’ meet-up in latter centuries which have provided as much feedback as camaraderie amongst like-minded spirits.

The layers she knitted into the story to encourage a back-drop of suspense mixing inside Gothic Lit undertones and the possessiveness of a long-dead master of darkness, was imploring as I wanted to see how this story would balance most of what I’ve come to love inside an M.J. Rose novel! I was thinking this was in-part a departure from her Reincarnationist series as much as an extension of the passionate drive her characters have for not only their pursuit of joy but their pursuit of how to live their lives without the attachments which might not allow them to live as freely as their soul desires. Rose tends to write convicting fiction where her characters are seeking ‘something’ in relation to who they are at their innermost core whilst giving the reader a depth of back-story to soak inside whilst the characters thrive through the journey they undertake.

Blog Book Tour | “The Witch of Painted Sorrows” {Book 1: of the Daughters of La Lune series} by M.J. Rose #HistFic is captured within the essence of a traditional Gothic tale where a woman has to choose what she desires more? Passion or Freedom?The Witch of Painted Sorrows
by M.J. Rose
Source: Publisher via France Book Tours

Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1476778068

Also by this author: The Collector of Dying Breaths, The Secret Language of Stones

Series: The Daughters of La Lune


Also in this series: The Secret Language of Stones


Genres: Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense


Published by Atria Books

on St. Patrick's Day, 2015

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 384

Published By: Atria ()
{imprint of} Simon & Schuster (

Converse via: #TheWitchOfPaintedSorrows, #MJRose, & #FranceBT
Available Formats: Hardback and E-Book

About M.J. Rose

M.J. Rose

New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed.

She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice…books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it. She is the author of more than a dozen novels, the co-president and founding board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.

(Biography updated August 2016)

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Posted Wednesday, 18 March, 2015 by jorielov in 19th Century, Antiques, Art, Art History, Artist's Proof, Artwork Provenance, Belle Epoque Era, Blog Tour Host, Crime Fiction, Disillusionment in Marriage, Earthen Magic, Father-Daughter Relationships, France, France Book Tours, Freedom of Expression, Gothic Literature, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, Parapsychological Gifts, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Psychological Suspense, Sculpture, Supernatural Fiction, Witches and Warlocks

+Blog Book Tour+ A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable : A #histfic narrative wrapped up in the mystery of art & antiques

Posted Sunday, 5 October, 2014 by jorielov , , , 6 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable

Published By: Minotaur Books (@MinotaurBooks), (a Thomas Donne book)
imprints of St. Martin’s Publishing Group, which is now a part of MacMillian Publishers
Official Author Websites:  Site @MGableWriter | Facebook

Available Formats: Hardback, Ebook

Converse via: #AParisApartment & #FranceBT

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “A Paris Apartment” virtual book tour through France Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher St. Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

Somewhere in my wanderings on Twitter recently in the bookish realms I frequent, this particular novel came up in a conversation! Then, if I am remembering correctly it was broached in the book blogosphere (of which I am also a participant), so you could say, my interest has become piqued!

I believe I also came across this book not just in Shelf Awareness but on another bookish site recently, as I remember my musings when I first read the premise! To take a real-life mystery and purport it into a fiction telling of ‘what could have been’ I think was a smashing idea on your behalf! I love when writers dig into the realm between fact & fiction, as much as a mystery which involves around art and antiques. Within the silence and the hours in-between what is known and what needs to be found is good folly for a story to inhabit as it allows your lead character to grow and seek what they are intuitively striving to locate as well.

As you can gather from my initial reactions on behalf of A Paris Apartment, I was quite excited about the prospect of not only reading the story but in the realisation of what the story involves! I had contacted the author directly in April of 2014 as there was a bookaway through Shelf Awareness inasmuch as she was visiting #LitChat for a bookish topical discussion that I was quite keen on attending. This was one of those rare moments where everything felt as thought it were set to rights and serendipitously aligning to work out quite well. I have appreciated each and every writer I have become introduced too through #LitChat, as much as I appreciate the ability to write personal notes to the authors who host bookaways through Shelf Awareness, as I love making personal connections to the writers I am finding myself encouraged to read. It brings the book industry closer to home and it allows the writers to get to know their readers a bit as far as who is keen to see their books in print and who is itching to read them once they are released. I find it to be quite the lovely circle of positivity and creative acceptance of the living arts.

What struck me the most about this particular novel is how remarkable the backstory set within its perimeters truly sounded as you delve into the make-up of the circumstances of the ‘apartment’ in question. Or rather, I ought to be saying ‘the flat’ in question!

My singular regret is that I had to postpone my tour stop until I recovered from a horrid stomach flu and by having the hours dissolved off the clock, I had to forfeit my opportunity to interview the author. I was so chuffed it had worked out I could interview her and then, as the fates so happened to align I missed the chance afterall.

+Blog Book Tour+ A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable : A #histfic narrative wrapped up in the mystery of art & antiquesA Paris Apartment
by Michelle Gable
Source: Author via France Book Tours

THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER!

Bienvenue à Paris!

When April Vogt’s boss tells her about an apartment in the ninth arrondissement that has been discovered after being shuttered for the past seventy years, the Sotheby’s continental furniture specialist does not hear the words “dust” or “rats” or “decrepit.” She hears Paris. She hears escape.

Once in France, April quickly learns the apartment is not merely some rich hoarder’s repository. Beneath the cobwebs and stale perfumed air is a goldmine, and not because of the actual gold (or painted ostrich eggs or mounted rhinoceros horns or bronze bathtub). First, there’s a portrait by one of the masters of the Belle Epoque, Giovanni Boldini. And then there are letters and journals written by the very woman in the painting, Marthe de Florian. These documents reveal that she was more than a renowned courtesan with enviable decolletage. Suddenly April’s quest is no longer about the bureaux plats and Louis-style armchairs that will fetch millions at auction. It’s about discovering the story behind this charismatic woman.

It’s about discovering two women, actually.

With the help of a salty (and annoyingly sexy) Parisian solicitor and the courtesan’s private diaries, April tries to uncover the many secrets buried in the apartment. As she digs into Marthe’s life, April can’t help but take a deeper look into her own. Having left behind in the States a cheating husband, a family crisis about to erupt, and a career she’s been using as the crutch to simply get by, she feels compelled to sort out her own life too. When the things she left bubbling back home begin to boil over, and Parisian delicacies beyond flaky pâtisseries tempt her better judgment, April knows that both she and Marthe deserve happy finales.

Whether accompanied by croissants or champagne, this delectable debut novel depicts the Paris of the Belle Epoque and the present day with vibrant and stunning allure. Based on historical events, Michelle Gable’s A Paris Apartment will entertain and inspire, as readers embrace the struggles and successes of two very unforgettable women.

Read about Marthe de Florian

Places to find the book:

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction


Published by A Thomas Donne Book

on 22nd April, 2014

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 384

Author Biography:

Michelle Gable

Michelle Gable is a writer and also a mom, wife, financial executive, sports-obsessed maniac (Go Chargers! Go Aztecs!), Southern California native, barre class fiend, tennis player, and card-carrying member of the Chickasaw Nation.

She grew up in sunny San Diego and attended The College of William & Mary, where she majored in accounting as most aspiring writers do. Throughout a career that started in public accounting and then moved to private equity, then investment banking, and ultimately to the head of FP&A for a publicly-traded software company, Michelle continued to write. And write and write. Her first novel {A Paris Apartment}was released on April 22, 2014, her second scheduled for Spring 2016.

Michelle currently resides in Cardiff by the Sea, California, with her husband, two daughters, and one lazy cat.

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A catacomb cache of antiquity and art:

As we first cross the threshold of a locked away apartment in a section of Paris which begets instant recognition, we step properly inside April’s shoes — seeing everything her eyes drink in and with a deep appreciation for finding items of art once thought to either be lost or nonexistent altogether. As I lamented on my ruminations on behalf of Lost in Thought, I have always been a bit piqued in apt fascination for the history of antiques and the items from estates cast back into the world via emporiums and boutiques where everyone can find something they fancy to collect or gather for their own homes. There is a particular keen attraction to having a sense of a living legacy of a singular life attached to the item, as a vehicle of immortality in the sense that someone’s essence was entwined with the piece. Touch is a sense most convicting for our sensory perceptions – it allows us a tangible connection to what cannot be seen but rather felt and thereby internalised on a deeper level of awareness. There was a true catacomb cache of antiquity and art held within the walls of the apartment time and history were kept unawares in knowing about; and within that cache held a curiosity of a person not easily understood nor quenched once her life was brought out into the open.

My Review of A Paris Apartment:

As soon as April mentioned being in need of ‘catching a redeye’ my mind flickered backwards into my own past whereupon I stranded myself in the Pacific Northwest simply due to a mild curiosity over controlled rock climbing walls & a certain outdoors expedition store called REI. I daresay I was always an adventurous lass, but to forfeit my return flight and had to opt instead for the redeye — wells, there are times where I question my own sanity! My reverie continued whilst observing her ‘techniques’ to pinch out every spare inch of her suitcase for ‘necessities’ she’d need on her holiday; the memories of my own ingenuity of achieving the same impossible task left me inside of a smirk!

April’s fragmented life is in a reckless disarray filt with disillusion and an honest sense of being caught in flux; betwixt the present and the future whilst unresolved about the past. Her life is a fitting juxtaposition to the apartment by which she is hired to sort and recover what has been left behind to be found. Her emotional health is a frayed rope of nerves, and whilst she finds herself drawn into the legacy of Boldini and of Madame Florian, it nearly felt as though she were searching for a resounding clarity that would give credence and enlightenment to her own life.

The time shift sequences giving us a jolt of Madame de Florian’s life as she transcribed it down into her diaries was a rare and exquisite treat. Yet one of the surprising twists of everyday life for me in the modern area of the story, is when it was disclosed that dog walkers do not pick up after their animals have taken care of business. It is a well-known fact that no one can walk their dogs (or in some rare cases their cats) without the courtesy of removing what is left behind for someone not to unexpectedly walk through it. I had no idea that Paris has a problem similar to Venice as far as a stench of foulness emitting out of a situation that is containable. It gives a new dimension of awareness I had not yet stumbled across and had me left wondering how you can truly appreciate walking the streets if there are more little ‘surprises’ to be found along the sidewalks? I agree with April on this note on how indifferent it would be to have the joy of being in the city replaced by a bit of furrowed discontempt of such an everyday difference of living.

I felt the energy of the first half of the novel started to muddle towards the middle bits, as April’s suspicious nature towards her husband’s past infidelity was starting to grow a bit old as the old ‘dialogue’ continued to play out. I think it would have been best if she had been more honest with herself that she had already taken an exit out of her marriage. Although, truth to life, perhaps she was not yet aware of what she wanted and thereby had this disconnection growing larger between her and her husband simply due to distance and lack of direction to take next. Even Madame de Florian took a bit of a backseat, and the joy of the art discovered in the apartment ended up being bogged down by bureaucracy and red tape. The further I read into the story, the more crude the humour ended up becoming or rather the more crude the direct references were to the story’s internal threads. I was a bit aghast to find this happening, as foresaid the beginning had such a sprite of energy and sophistication, and watching everything start to derail before my eyes was not something I enjoyed. If I were to be honest, it felt as though there were two halves of a whole and they were not equally connected.

The cheeky humour and the intricacies of Michelle Gable’s writing style:

Gable has an intrinsic method of revealing the well-established stigmas attached to Americans whilst on holiday in France as much as she has a clairvoyant way of using cheeky humour to establish the short tolerance Americans feel in return. The French have always had a certain level of discontempt for Americans, as even I have found this to be threaded through conversations during intermittent connections I’ve had with them, yet what always struck me the most off-character about the whole absurdity of this tension between the countries is how genuine Americans love France and everything most decidedly French! And, for those of us who are of French descent directly, it is a curious stone to overturn. I honestly believe this is due to a disconnection between us: a break down in communication or at the very least an understanding of our different personalities and perceptions of how we live our lives.

Gable allows her American and French characters to respond and react within the perimeters of this well-established awareness between the two cultural divides, yet she always attempts to step out of the stigma and re-align a sense of forward progression.

Fly in the Ointment:

I am not sure why I felt I was awaiting the shoe to drop but call it reader intuition as I had a stirring sense of knowledge the strongest of words would start to trickle out into the enriched descriptive narrative like water snaking out of a busted drain. And, rather unsatisfying to me, of course by page 45 we had to see reveal the one word I despise amongst all others flaunted on display. I truly have yet to find a reason for such inclusions, but on this particular novel’s behalf what felt even more flat is the layers of depth Gable gave to her descriptions.

She breathes words which are not regularly found in Contemporary nor Historical Contemporary Fiction, and somehow the additions of vulgarity felt as though she were depreciating the level of sophistication she started the novel off with at the beginning. In the same sense where April felt vexed when a causal touch or disrespect for the pieces in the apartment were being unceremoniously contaminated by carelessness.

These strong words can be blinked out of today’s fiction for my own sake of sanity, as when I find wicked quality on behalf of the story-teller I am walking a line betwixt wanting to recommend the work for the level of literary quality vs shirking away from realising the recommendation is on a work that is inclusive of language I cannot fathom needing being included. I am as indecisive of knowing how best to augment my final thoughts as I had been after concluding “I Shall Be Near to You”.

I wish I could say the saving grace within this particular tome of narrative voice is that the vulgarity was as intermittent as a wayward fly at a baseball game, however, they were bent on making such striking appearances as to remind me why I do not appreciate the surge in love bugs during Autumn! The annoyance level is always on extreme high as try as you might you cannot outwit a love bug deluge.

On a separate note, I felt the French words writ straight into the dialogue sequences would have felt more second nature to the reader if there were (translated English words) running counterpoint to the French. I positively love when language is used as a vocal representation of setting and of a time of era, yet when all I have is a language opposite of the one I natively speak, all I can do at best is give a smile of a nod to the words themselves without a proper sense of what is actually being said. As a for instance, if one wanted to say “Autumn is such a proper renewal of spirited joy after a languishing of Summer.” Why not write it like this: (or a variant therein)

"L'automne est un tel renouvellement correct de joie vive après une langueur de l'été."  (Autumn is such a proper renewal of spirited joy after a languishing of Summer.)  she expressed in full measure of unexpected happiness.

I used an online French / English Translation app and thereby am not responsible if the French to English has acceptable loss of error. I simply wanted to convey how frustrated I felt whilst caught up in the French expressions without an English translation in-text. This is not a quote from the novel either – I crafted the entire exchange on the fly so to speak.

I also noted that whenever we were re-visiting Madame de Florian’s life through her diary of letters, the language of English she used was American rather than British, and that was a unique observation for me. I realise most works of American novels in historical fiction do not encompass British English in preference of historical accuracy but I am always struck at a loss to understand why they do not? She wouldn’t be using the spelling of ‘endeavor’ for instance as she would have writ it as ‘endeavour’. It is almost as though the historical points of view are translated yet the language bits are not; a bit of a wench in the wheel to me.

I would have given a celebratory nod of realism had the modern bits [focused on April] had solidified her speaking vernacular of American English with French in-text translations of English; fused counter-current with Madame de Florian’s diaries writ in British English with overlays of French (with in-text translations as well).

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 Read an Excerpt of the Novel:

{Provided by Issuu.com}

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Virtual Road Map for “A Paris Apartment” Blog Tour:

A Paris Apartment Blog Tour via France Book Tours

A special notation at the end of my post is dedicated to the writers like Ms. Gable & Ms. Alexander (of Dare to Kiss who supports a PTSD charity), who give proceeds of their novels to charity, in this particular instance Ms. Gable has a rotation of charitable organisations she is contributing towards each month there are net proceeds from A Paris Apartment. I found the list on her website and have linked the charities for easy reference to click-through & discover more about each of them.

MAY: The Chloe Nichols Foundation
JUNE: Wounded Warrior Project
JULY: Monarch School (San Diego)
AUGUST: Help4HD International
SEPTEMBER: Safe Horizon

I have been supporting the Wounded Warrior Project in small ways and one day hope to strengthen my support to make a larger impact, as I find it a difficult pill to swallow that we are not taking care of our returning servicemen & women. The crisis of our Veterans is knitted close to my heart and it is an on-going mission of mine to help find ways to improve their lives; not only through this charity but the outreach Hire Heroes USA as well. I have been supporting the troops through Soldiers’ Angels since 2011.

I was hoping to find an organisation and/or charity that would help the homeless stand stronger and put their lives together through positive hope and obtainable goals; seeking a footprint towards a stronger future. I am blessed to have found the Monarch School on this list as I think this is a concept that needs to be taken nationwide.

Likewise, through the 8 years I devouted to watching Law & Order in my twenties, I became especially keen on the charity of Mariska Hargitay : The Joyful Heart Foundation. As much as watching the mission behind No More flourish and take root. Women have always been rock solid innovators, and every step of the way the more we all choose to reach out to those in need of assistance, empathy, hope, and a bit of joy — we endeavour our own spirits to be lifted up in universal love.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comBe sure to scope out upcoming tours I will be hosting with:

France Book Tours

 on my Bookish Events page!

Please take note of the Related Articles as they were hand selected due to being of cross-reference importance in relation to this book review. This applies to each post on my blog where you see Related Articles underneath the post. Be sure to take a moment to acknowledge the further readings which are offered.

I positively *love!* comments in the threads below each of my posts, kindly know that I appreciate each thought you want to share with me and all the posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary! Short or long, I appreciate the time you spent to leave behind a note of your visit! Return again soon! 

{SOURCES: Cover art of “A Paris Apartment”, book synopsis, author photograph of Michelle Gable, author biography, and the tour host badge were all provided by France Book Tours and used with permission. The Excerpt of “A Paris Apartment’ on Issuu had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Tweets were able to be embedded by the codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. France Book Tours badge created by Jorie in Canva.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Related Articles:

The Complete Works of Giovanni Boldini – (giovanniboldini.org)

Madame de Florian’s Abandoned Apartment – (anothermag.com)

House Tour the Secret Paris Apartment of Madame De Florian – (blog.decoratorsnotebook.co.uk)

Suspended in Time – (blogofthecourtier.com)

The ‘live reading’ tweets I shared as I read & reviewed “A Paris Apartment”:

{ favourite & Re-tweet if inspired to share }

Comments on Twitter:

The best blessing for me tonight as I read A Paris Apartment is the beautiful happenstance conversation I had with a British Historical fiction author, Ms. McGrath who is a close personal friend to two lovely story-tellers I have not only featured on Jorie Loves A Story but cannot stop talking about their stories to anyone who fancies the same types of narratives as I do! I am referring to Ms. Liz Harris (A Bargain Struck & The Road Back) and Ms. Jenny Barden (The Lost Duchess). Our conversation is inside my feeds on Twitter as I stopped copying them over as they became our own convo independent of Ms. Gable’s novel. I was wicked happy in another regard – now that I have my landing page set up, I can start commenting once more on the English Historical Fiction Author’s Blog as oft as I can the Heroes, Heroines, & History Blog! Champion! All is never quite as lost as we first fear!

I truly believe in what I tweeted just shy of 2am:

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Posted Sunday, 5 October, 2014 by jorielov in 21st Century, Adulterous Affair, Antiques, Art History, Artwork Provenance, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Clever Turns of Phrase, Courtesan & Cocottes, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Disillusionment in Marriage, Fly in the Ointment, France, France Book Tours, French Literature, Geographically Specific, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Life Shift, Literary Fiction, Madame de Florian, Passionate Researcher, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Shelf Awareness, Spontaneous Convos Inspired by Book, Time Shift, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage

+Book Review+ Lost in Thought {Book No. 1: Sententia series} by Cara Bertrand #YA #bookseries

Posted Monday, 29 September, 2014 by jorielov , , , 5 Comments

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Lost in Thought by Cara Bertrand
Published By: Luminis Books (@LuminisBooks) | Blog
Official Author Websites:  Site | @carabertrand | GoodReads | SenteniaSeries Site
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #SententiaSeries

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Acquired Book By:

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

Inspired to Read:

I am a bit of a quirky bookish soul on the level of being attracted to a particular style of paranormal stories which may or may not fit into the norm as far as industry standard selections on a per annum basis might include. I am particularly particular in my choices of both vocal styling of characters within the paranormal genre and the nature of how the undertone of these types of stories will befall. I am a reader who has a penchant for light being a fuelled undertone to novels, and thus, I am forever and a half seeking out the few paranormal stories out there that match my idealistic impression of the genre and the reality of what is being written. I nearly tucked tail out of the paranormal genre completely due to my previous interactions with other Adult Paranormal stories which tipped the scale in an unfavourable way.

I decided to forego seeking Adult Paranormal titles for blog tours and/or off-tour reviews and focus instead on the YA portion of the selections being published quite readily. Even then, I find myself not attracted to the heavier end of the spectrum but rather the intuitive side of YA Paranormal Fiction. I have always amassed a certain propensity for parapsychological story-lines (in both books & tv series/motion pictures), but my inclination of what I elect to read or to watch are a far cry outside the ones you’d expect I would have been drawn to read OR watch. Part of my participation in Horror October (by Oh! The Books) will carve out the dance I walk on the fringes of a supremely popular genre. 

What drew my eye immediately into this book series was the premise – as I have to admit I was the girl in the darkened front row of The Sixth Sense who had worked herself up into a bit of a panic frenzy of not being able to handle half of the film; until a kind-hearted young bloke next to me (of whom I never knew previously or had the chance to properly thank afterwards; he disappeared that quickly!) told me *exactly!* when to ‘watch’ and when to ‘duck your eyes’; he clearly had been a groupie of the film director’s having seen this particular release 10x within the first few days of it’s release! I, on the other hand was a causality of a last-minute duck & dive into the theater with my best friend and as ill planned as we were, the front seats were the very last available to be had. Aside from the wicked horror of seeing it too close to the screen, what I appreciated was the premise of the film (perhaps not the straight-up horror bits mind you!) as a thesis of a theory of what happens when people see the dead amongst us. It is a thematic I was attracted too most intrinsically as forementioned on my blog having a connection to a field close-to that of a medical examiner. (see review of Daughter of the Gods).

Death by nature is always presented either in the light of faith-based stories or the gruesome after effects of being newly deceased on medical examiner series and/or police procedurals or detective mysteries. It is quite rare to find offerings of where the dead are alongside the living in a way that is representative of who they are after they pass and in such a way as to honour the spirit of the person who had died. Hence why I positively love watching Ghost Whisperer via seasonal dvds I loan through ILL’ing at my local library. The curiosity was always perked to find stories and characters who walk amongst the dead and/or are in communication with the dead on a parallel plane of acknowledgement as I think it has a bevy of choice as to how to portray not only the characters speaking to the dead but how to illuminate the dead themselves. 

Now imagine my excitement on having discovered the Sententia series!

And, the blessing to read the series from Book 1 straight into Book 2!

+Book Review+ Lost in Thought {Book No. 1: Sententia series} by Cara Bertrand #YA #bookseriesLost in Thought : First Book of the Sententia
by Cara Bertrand
Source: Publisher via JKS Communications

Lainey Young has a secret . . .

She's going crazy. Everyone thinks she has severe migraines from stress and exhaustion. What she really has are visions of how people died - or are going to die. When doctors insist she needs a new and stable environment to recover, Lainey's game to spend two years at a private New England boarding school. She doesn't really think it will cure her problem, and she's half right. There is no cure, but she's not actually crazy.

Almost everyone at Northbrook Academy has a secret too. Half the students and nearly all of the staff are members of the Sententia, a hidden society of the psychically gifted. A vision of another student's impending death confirms Lainey is one of them. When she's finally getting comfortable with her gift of divining deaths, and with Carter Penrose, a recent Academy graduate and resident school crush, they uncover her true Sententia heritage. Now Lainey has a real secret. 

Once it's spilled, she'll be forced to forget protecting secrets and start protecting herself.

Places to find the book:

Also by this author: Lost in Thought : First Book of the Sententia

Series: Sententia


Also in this series: Lost in Thought : First Book of the Sententia


Genres: YA Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Luminis Books

on 25th April, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 288

Author Biography: 

Cara Bertrand
Photo Credit: Vallarta Adventures

Cara Bertrand is a former middle school literacy teacher who now lives in the woods outside Boston with: one awesome husband, two large dogs, one small daughter, and lots of words. LOST IN THOUGHT is her first novel and was a finalist for the Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Teenagers are not naturally attracted to antiques?:

I was a bit surprised to read this sentiment being expressed in the opening bits of learning more of Lainey’s past, a smirk of a recognition seeing a bit of myself in Lainey, if truth be told. I fell in love with antiques as a young girl as I grew up in a home and family of whom appreciated unique pieces and aged eclectic finds. By thirteen I was attending auctions regularly and getting the feel for discerning what was worth bidding on and what was worth letting slide by. I always appreciated the subtle differences in glass, china, and dishware – not only for distinction of style but for the artistry of where the pieces originally came from. We even had a factory of sculpture straight out of Italy nearby from where I was attending high school, so you could say, I grew up not only surrounded by art, music, and cultural events but a proper sense of ageless curiosity about curios!

Wandering around emporiums of antiques in tucked away small townes is simply a day ‘out’ I can always drink in with a smile, a nod to the out-of-doors walking paths, and a happy spirit. I love the spontaneous conversations evolving around something I find my eye is drawn to learn a bit more about and how each antique shoppe has it’s very own unique way of putting everything on display. I love the photographs which are framed and hung on the wall as much as the shoeboxes stuffed to the gills with individual photos you can purchase in large batches or separately if you want to go for the ‘unfamiliar relations’ mosaic. The furniture of the 1800s is intermixed with pre-1950s and early 20th Century, and the moment of anticipation to check out the estate jewelry in the cases is always a bit of happenstance glowing excitement! Yet, it is the furniture and the kick knacks I personally adore the most (except for how my mind wanders about sorting through the ‘china’ room to percolate a personal style of ‘necessary  items’ in the dining room), as you can find such an array of hand-crafted artisan quality separates! One of my favourite finds are the pull down drawer desks and of course, an armoire that can fit and bemuse a woman’s wardrobe!

Hmm, yes, I do suppose being into antiques is not fashionably akin to being a teenager, but then who says you have to lead a conventional life!? I love Lainey’s spunk and her individualism!

My Review of Lost in Thought:

Realising you have a gift (especially a parapsychological gift) is innocuous enough, but to fully fathom how to encompass the truth of how far your gift can take you is quite another matter entirely! The paradoxical internal conflict at the jump-start of Lost in Thought set me inside the head of Lainey and etched out a time vortex to be wholly absent from my own living hours for the duration of her story to be told. There is something alluring about murder mysteries and to have orientated her revelation to know the dead through an act of murder was quite an ingenious hook for a potential reader to find on page 1! Of course, to be truthful, the reader would have to be a life-long appreciator ‘of murder mysteries’ such as myself to become rooted in their chair!

We quickly shift directly into Lainey’s life as she starts to end her gypsy life with her Aunt and takes up residence at a boarding school to finish out her tenure of high school. We start to watch her blossom by being able to have a bit of a routine rather than an unorthodox existence of following her Aunt Tessa around as she tours the country as a professional artist. It is whilst she is starting to settle into the Academy as a student we start to see her develop more as a person who is not only curious about what caused her headaches originally but if there was any truth to the origins therein. Her doctors always felt she was living too much out of sync with the normalcy other teens experienced during adolescence but she was never quite certain if her doctors understood her as they never had the fuller truth of what caused her the most duress. Lainey is a girl on the verge of understand who she is and why she was endowed with the gifts she has inside her, but there is always a pinch of foreshadow inside the story — alluring to a bit of a darker truth outside of the light.

I appreciated seeing the central core of the Sententia having roots in spirituality and watching how ethically they were attempting to do what was right whilst walking the fine line between interference with free will and observation. The internal core of the novel reminded me a bit of the Prime Directive from Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek and seeing theology discussed inside the novel was an unexpected surprise as I personally appreciated of whom the credit was given for having given the gifts to the Sententia. Each world is built differently inside the Fantasy genre, but what drew me to appreciate the Sententia is how humanistic they were whilst they understood a higher plane of existence. They are a bit advanced at discovering natural bourne gifts and how to wield them; yet they are a bit of a mystery to the outside world at large. This brought together an interesting proposition to the story’s central threads as they (the Sententia) are a unique sub-culture of humanity living on the fringes of ordinary society.

Lainey’s best friend Amy (who is also her roommate at the Academy) reminds me so much of Kit from Pretty Woman because she has her energetic enthused way of celebrating her roomie’s life that made me flash to mind her persona each time Amy walks into view or is wrapped up in a conversation with Lainey; which points closer to how this novel read more adult to me than high school teen; a bit more college than secondary school at least. Lainey never had a grounding of a friendship with a peer before due to all her expeditions but what she was truly gaining was further insight into who she was as an individual and how she wanted to proceed forward into her future. She is at the age where being given a gift came with certain responsibilities and certain consequences and I appreciated seeing how she was trying to align the balance she wanted in her life. Balance between trusting those who knew more than she did about the Sententia and trusting her gut instincts about everything else.

The only thing I was truly disappointed about aside from the strong language is that the story took an unexpected turn from what I had originally felt it was being projected as going towards — as far as the dead and the living are concerned. This is a story that is about the dead but it isn’t about helping the dead as I first had perceived but rather a unique bent on another vein of thought that walks alongside the dead and a bit on the level of the theory of the Grim Reaper if truth be told. Yet that isn’t entirely what it is about either. It is a very interesting story-line threaded through parapsychological phenomena that doesn’t allow you to fully guess where this novel is taking you; even when you think you understand everything you need to know about Lainey and her friends. Bertrand weaves in a twist or two that you are not expecting nor do you fully understand as this first installment ends on the tip of a cliffhanger; but not one that is hard to swallow but rather one that is most foreboding in where we shall enter Lainey’s life in “Second Thoughts”; because the title of the series itself is a leading clue to what lies within. 

On the writing style of Cara Bertrand:

Bertrand excells at painting a story that feels real and is lush on descriptive narrative as much as sense of place for Lainey and the other students at the Academy; straight down to the local haunt of the bookshoppe. She has a knack for carving out a setting that feels as real as breathing and gives the YA genre a solid footing as far as how to paint the whole of the world whilst developing the characters inside it. The only flaw I found was the inclusion of a brass word early-on when Lainey met her roommate which not only felt out of step with the rest of the story but was a deep disappointment for me, as I was thinking I had finally found a writer who had curbed using strong language and left the genre to stand on the merit of the story and their characters without falling into the pattern of where modern YA is taking younger audiences.

I personally do not consider any novel YA or for an audience of Children if it is going to include strong language. I am going to start to talk more about this on my blog as I index my reviews, but what is disappointing to me is why there appears to be such a need to include the words at all? Despite my grievances for the language choices within this novel, I did appreciate the story as the words were flittered about like those flies I mentioned on previous reviews and not the total distractment they could have become. Evenso, I would not be recommending this to a teenager as the language for me puts this firmly in the Adult Lit category; similar to how I have felt each time I pick up a (supposed) YA title and find the same inside their pages.

I’m disappointed writers feel they have to add these words in order to find an audience because to me literature should stand as an example that improves our lives rather than detract from the causal way in which language has become outside literature and school. It is sad to me because when I find a wordsmith who breathes such a breath of positive narrative prose into her books, I am regrettably saddened to see words flicker onto the page that make me inwardly cringe. Their absence would not deflect from the message of the story but their absence would be applauded for carrying a story without abrasive words to narrow the audience the story could have had. I truly love the way in which Bertrand writes her stories, and the few intermittently brassier words do not reflect her writing as a whole.

Especially considering how much effort she put into having ‘cursing’ occurring ‘off-camera’ in some instances and/or finding unique phrases to ‘cover-up’ a stronger explicit phrase. I was a bit confused why more than half the book is writ with a young mind in consideration and the other half letting certain words erupt onto the page? It was quite confusing to me as like I said, she has a singularly strong strength in writing the voice of a teenager and in evoking what a teen’s mind, heart, and process of thought will entreat whilst dealing with a personal crisis and a revelation of identity. To say reading this story left me betwixt reactions is putting it mildly; especially considering when the coarse words started escalating in both frequency of appearance and the choice of which ones would be included.

Fly in the Ointment : is it me, or are there two versions of YA?

Is it me or has the book world gone upturnt crazy, lately!? Now, I have already established I purposely stopped reviewing Adult Paranormal novels for my blog with the express reason to avoid vulgarity in stories yet what curious little word did you think I found on page 18? It wasn’t the worst of the worst (of which I have absolutely positively no tolerance for at all) but it was still a word I wasn’t expecting to find in a novel branding itself as YA! I mean, isn’t the point of being a Young Adult novel to adhere to a certain ground rule of exclusion for explicit vulgarity and violence? Am I missing the boat OR is literature becoming so muddled these days it is growing harder to know which way is up? Sighs. And, here I was thinking this would be the one book series I would not be composing a Fly in the Ointment on!

I run searches on this topic every blue moon as I had tonight to check to see if my definition had miraculously changed since I first picked up Young Adult fiction as a young adult myself over a decade and a half ago! The results of which run the full gambit of if your not exclusively akin to reading vulgar words in literature you are either: too sensitive, too prudish, too religious, or too blind to see where society has taken our youth. I do not concur with any of the statements, because of the mere fact when I was in high school (and quite frankly elementary & middle too!) we had our own set of perimeters on language. If you heard foul words flying out of the mouth of a classmate you knew to give them a wide birth and they were never one to emulate. I admit to overhearing teens in my own towne sporting words out of their mouths which make me wonder what has changed since I graduated, but that aside, my main concern is the habit of finding there is no longer a ‘filter’ for Children’s Literature and the young minds of whom pick up the books.

I read a comment tonight from a concerned reader (who sounded a lot like me; open-minded but with a conscience) who lamented about how the ‘age’ of who regularly reads Young Adult novels are not teens but rather graduating elementary schoolers and run of the mill middle schoolers. The teens already graduating into adult fiction and/or pursuing interests outside of literature completely. As a future parent I am finding more angst in finding vulgarity in Young Adult fiction than as a reader who has appreciated YA fiction for most of her life. I never ran into any of this in the 1980s through mid-1990s which begs the question: what exactly has changed and why are certain words so rabid inside modern literature? As a book blogger — I never fathomed I’d have to find over 30 ways to Sunday to opine my discontempt for vulgarity in literature!

I’d never advocate for banning books but I do advocate for books to be marked with explicit content for language as a method of understanding what we will find inside and therefore start to curb our disillusioned disappointment. If they can mark books for science fiction & fantasy as much as lyrics in music, I am thinking it is time to start marking books with ‘strong language included’ and ‘explicit violence’ if the case might be as well.

What was more puzzling for me is the mission of the publisher (Luminis Books) is to curate books which are meaningful as they are thought-provoking, yet how can a novel be meaningful if the language is brought down by the commonality of cursing and using abrasive words where they could have been tempered and softly spoken by more creative means? I am not sure I am appreciating YA novels being overrun with language that parents and teachers alike are trying so very hard to discern them from using on a regular basis. Even on my own behalf in the not so far off future, I am not going to allow my children to talk with such reckless abandon; it was not how I was raised nor is it how I will be raising my children. Teens can feel anger and they can feel vehemently overwhelmed, as who didn’t feel that way as a teenager? The anguish and angst of growing up is always deeply wrought and felt, but we were always told to use our words and to express our emotions by choosing words which helped to douse the flames of the fires we felt surging inside us. To find better ways to express what we wanted to say and to own who we were without muddling our speaking voices with the words of sailors as the saying used to go.

I am not certain what has changed or why certain books are being found with such inclusions, but I personally will rally behind each writer of YA who doesn’t use language in a negative way but rather uses language to teach a more appropriate way to understand our world. The stories with stronger language I will advocate for adult readers only.

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Stay tuned!

Next I will be hosting an Author Q&A with Cara Bertrand:

Cara Bertrand
Photo Credit: Vallarta Adventures

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

Luminis Books Blog Tour with JKS Communications

Discover what I am hosting next by visiting:

Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva

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

{SOURCES: The tour badge was provided by JKS Communications and used with permission. Book Cover Art for “Lost in Thought” & “Second Thoughts”, Author Biography & Book Synopsis provided by the author Cara Bertrand and used with permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets are embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

The ‘live reading’ tweets I shared as I read & reviewed “Lost in Thought”:

{ favourite & Re-tweet if inspired to share }

 

Comments on Twitter:

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Posted Monday, 29 September, 2014 by jorielov in 21st Century, Agnostic (Questioning & Searching or Unsure), Antiques, Art, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Discussions, Children's Literature, Clever Turns of Phrase, Coming-Of Age, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Gothic Literature, Indie Author, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Life Shift, Light vs Dark, Mental Health, Modern Day, Orphans & Guardians, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Questioning Faith as a Teen, Realistic Fiction, Sculpture, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Transfer Student at School, Transitioning into Private School, Unexpected Inheritance, Vulgarity in Literature, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction