Category: BookSparks

Book Review | “all in her head” by Sunny Mera #FRC2015 No.1

Posted Tuesday, 1 March, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

BookSparks University | #FRC2015 Banner by BookSparks.

I had fully intended to read my #FRC2015 selections hugged closer to the months of Autumn and early Winter, however, my dear hearted readers of whom have caught my posts relating to circumstances which wicked out hours and derailed my attempts to read along with the rest of the book bloggers who took up the same challenge are already in the loop realising my readings of these stories will come quite a bit later than planned.

To recap the events for those who are visiting me for the first time,
please direct your attention to the following posts:

What turnt this whole situation around for me, is being able to talk to the publicists at BookSparks on two separate occasions when I felt I was treading water as I knew time had wicked itself off the clock and I was at a proper loss as to where to ‘begin’ despite the fact I have a shelf full of BookSparks reading challenge and blog tour lovelies to read which I’ve been itching with curiosity about since they each arrived and/or since I first met them through my local library who purchased my requests on behalf of the #SRC2015 and #FRC2015 selections.

I had felt quite a bit guilty regarding the latter, as despite having my purchase requests accepted and added to the card catalogue: time was unfortunately never on my side to soak inside the stories themselves. There was an unexpected moment of clarity though about my requests, where I found myself talking to different librarians and finding they were encouraged to read new authors of whom they never would have ‘met’ had I not requested the reading challenge titles! Talk about putting everything into a different prospective of understanding!

This marks my fourth review overall spilt between #SRC2015, #ReadingIsBeautiful and #FRC2015, however, it is the very first Fall Reading Challenge selection I am reading as blessedly I was encouraged to ‘reverse the list’ in order to best highlight the books being highlighted between Autumn 2015 and Winter 2016. I am simply happy to be in a position to lay heart and mind inside the stories I’ve dearly wanted to read and now can give them my full attention!Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

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

Acquired Book By: I originally found BookSparks PR Spring 2014, when I came upon the Summer Reading Challenge a bit too late in the game. I hadn’t forgotten about it, and was going to re-contact them this Spring to see if I could join the challenge in 2015 instead. Coincidentally, before I sorted this out, I was contacted by one of their publicists about Linda Lafferty’s Renaissance historical novel, “The Sheperdess of Siena”. 

I started to participate in #SRC2015 during Summer 2015 until lightning storms quickly overtook my life and the hours I could give to the reading challenge. Summer ended hard and with a newfound resolve to pick up where I had left off, I posted as many reviews on behalf of BookSparks blog tours and/or the three reading challenges I had committed myself to participate inside (i.e. #SRC2015, #ReadingIsBeautiful (YA version), and #FRC2015).

I elected to read “All In Her Head” via the complimentary copy I received by BookSparks as the library copy I had requested is happily being read by other patrons. By participating in the #FRC2015 challenge I am reading the novels in exchange for my honest reviews; whether I am receiving a complimentary copy or borrowing them through my local library. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

My selection process for #FRC2015:

As a book blogger, one of the things I recognise that helps me grow as a reader is to be open-minded about story-lines, character journeys, topics and subjects that might continuously push me outside my comfort zones to endeavour to read. There is a reading challenge I found in 2014 called Mental Health Awareness Month which I had wanted to join a part of but ending up following a fellow book bloggers on their journey inside the books which would celebrate the theme of the challenge. The diversity of choices these bloggers elected to read and how they in-turn blogged about their experiences never left my conscience as part of why I happily shared my views about #EqualityInLit during the #AtoZChallenge of 2014 was to capitalise on how wide a range Diversity and Equality in Literature truly reaches.

Therefore, when I came across ‘all in her head’ on the listing of choices for the Fall Reading Challenge via BookSparks my interest was piqued and I decided to add my name to the list of book bloggers who would be interested in reading this selection. At the same time, I was mindful of how many friends throughout my life have been affected by mental illness and have striven to seek a better state of mental wellness; as nothing is as clear cut as it may first seem when it comes to the psychology of a person’s health.

I champion writers who have a personal conviction towards writing Mental Health issues into their stories as much as the writers who have a personal experience with Mental Health which encourages their creative voice to give a more honest and authentic touch to the stories they are creating to share a bit of insight into their life and world. Previously, I have touched subjects where characters felt they were in the middle of an insurrection where they had to live through or move past a life moment which carried with it a resounding affirmation of how to rise above your tribulations through a buoy of hope as read inside: Etched On Me by Jenn Crowell (review); The Language of Hoofbeats by Catherine Ryan Hyde (review); Chain of Mercy by Brenda S. Anderson (review); The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler (review); Hannah Both Ways by Rosie Greenway (review) and Some Other Town by Elizabeth Collison (review) wherein characters were attempting to work through a life obstacle which tested their strength of will.

Prior to re-beginning my readings of BookSparks selected authors and stories across genres, I have found a newfound appetite for Feminist-driven stories evoking an honest portrait of women’s issues and rights being explored in fiction. This new appreciation of mine is best seen on my recent reviews of The Renegade Queen by Eva Flynn (review), The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley by Susan Ă–rnbratt (review), Emmy Nation: Undercover Suffragette by L. Davis Munro (review) and Daughter of Destiny by Nicole Evelina (review).

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

Book Review | “all in her head” by Sunny Mera #FRC2015 No.1all in her head
by Sunny Mera
Source: Direct from Publicist

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781631528187

Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Memoir, Motherhood | Parenthood, Psychology & Cognitive Science, Psychopathology, Women's Fiction, Women's Studies


Published by She Writes Press

on 10th November, 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 184

written by Sunny Mera | Site | @MeraSunny

Published By:She Writes Press (@shewritespress)
originated from She Writes (@shewritesdotcom)
an imprint of Spark Points Studio LLCGoSparkPoint (@GoSparkPoint)
& BookSparks
(@BookSparks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #allinherhead & #FRC2015 Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #FRC2015 | BookSparks
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Posted Tuesday, 1 March, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, 21st Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Book for University Study, BookSparks, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Diary Accountment of Life, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Journal, Library Love, Life Shift, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Medical Fiction, Memoir, Mental Health, Modern Day, Modern Day, Motherhood | Parenthood, Nurses & Hospital Life, Realistic Fiction, Scribd, Sociological Behavior, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Vignettes of Real Life, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction, Women's Health, Women's Rights

Book Review | “Blonde Eskimo” by Kristen Hunt My first #ReadingIsBeautiful reading on behalf of BookSpark’s Summer Reading Challenge for YA Lit!

Posted Sunday, 15 November, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am becoming a regular tour hostess and reviewer for BookSparks, as I began to host for them in the Spring ahead of #SRC2015. I am posting my Summer Challenge reviews during November/December due to the aftereffects of severe lightning storms during July and August. As I make amends for the challenge reads I was unable to post until Autumn; I am also catching up with my YA challenge reads and the blog tours I missed as well. This blog tour marks the last novel I selected to be a part of the YA challenge which coincidentally now becomes my first posted review for the challenge, too! I look forward to continuing to work with BookSparks once I am fully current with the stories I am reading for review.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “Blonde Eskimo” direct from the publicist at BookSparks in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Happily finding myself drawn into stories of the Vikings:

As I had mentioned on my review for Avelynn, my keen interest to read Viking literature was percolating in the back corner of my reading queues. Find two stories about the Vikings in the score of a few short months of each other is quite remarkable. This next story I am reading (Blonde Eskimo) stood out to me from the choices of books for the Summer reading challenge hosted by BookSparks – the YA side of it by the way. My full intention was to be posting throughout the last season all the lovelies I’ve received, but due to events I’ve blogged about quite extensively, Summer ended on a hard note

Since I’ve resumed my readings this Autumn, a quirky turn of events has me posting this as my first contribution for #SRC2015 past my reading of Wishful Thinking! I will be following this review with more insights into my #summerreads but for now, the best discovery was realising how keenly wicked it is finding out Blonde Eskimo is a genre-bender where the different tides of it’s inner core are such a lovely read for me to enjoy! I never thought I’d find different pathways into understanding the legacy of the Vikings, but in many ways, I felt Blonde Eskimo was a way to continue forward whilst in full pursuit of Magical Realism.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art: The watermark spirit animal which acts as a faint tattoo against the image of Neiva on the cover is a signal of how the story within ‘Blonde Eskimo’ are heart centred on the natural world and our connection to nature. Totem animals and spirit guides are a quintessential component of life in Alaska; and this particular motif is not only gracing the cover but the chapters as well. The spirit animals alternate between raven, fox, bear and eagle. I love the softness of the book cover, it’s not glossy but matte with a curiously soft touch. I am unsure if this will have the same textural feel outside of the ARC but this edition (even being an early copy) has all the benefits of layout, styling and the little unique touches that I hope made the final copy!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Review | “Blonde Eskimo” by Kristen Hunt My first #ReadingIsBeautiful reading on behalf of BookSpark’s Summer Reading Challenge for YA Lit!Blonde Eskimo
by Kristen Hunt
Source: Publicist via BookSparks

Part Viking, part Eskimo, Neiva Ellis knew her family’s ancestral home, the island of Spirit, Alaska, held a secret. A mystery so sensitive everyone, including her beloved grandmother, was keeping it from her. When Neiva is sent to stay on the island while her parents tour Europe she sets out on a mission to uncover the truth, but she was not prepared for what laid ahead. On the night of her seventeenth birthday, the Eskimo rite of passage, Neiva is mysteriously catapulted into another world full of mystical creatures, ancient traditions, and a masked stranger who awakens feelings deep within her heart. Along with her best friends Nate, Viv and Breezy, she uncovers the truth behind the town of Spirit and about her own heritage.

When an evil force threatens those closest to her, Neiva will stop at nothing to defend her family and friends. Eskimo traditions and legends become real as two worlds merge together to fight a force so ancient and evil it could destroy not only Spirit but the rest of humanity.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781940716626

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Historical Romance, Magical Realism, Suspense, YA Fantasy


Published by SparkPress

on 13th October 2015

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 308

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

Published By: SparkPress (@SparkPress)
an imprint of Spark Points Studio LLC GoSparkPoint (@GoSparkPoint)
& BookSparks
(@BookSparks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #BlondeEskimo | #ReadingIsBeautiful

About Kristen Hunt

Kristen Hunt

Kristen Hunt is an artist and writer based in Phoenix, Arizona. She is an avid fan of movies, graphic novels and Young Adult literature. Anything evolving fantasy and supernatural experiences captures her interests.

As a young child Kristen visited her family in Nome, Alaska and learned of her Eskimo heritage. Her Grandmother, known as the blonde Eskimo because of her golden hair and blue eyes, told Kristen the many legends found throughout Alaska, such as the Ishegocks, totems, and much more. It was these stories that inspired Kristen to write her current novel.

UPDATE: 6 January, 2017 finding the author's social presence has been altered, I reflected the changes in the links attached to her biography.

On reading my first novel of the Inuit:

You may or may not recall a tv series from Canada entitled Due South but for me this was a beautiful series that owned the diverse heritage of Canada alongside a lovely heart-centred mystery series who followed the life of a Mountie. I picked up the soundtrack to the series before the seasonals were released as they tend to release music before the shows themselves. On the soundtrack there is a beautiful evocation through song about the Inuit sung by Paul Gross; who is a singer-songwriter in his own right not just the lead actor in Due South. His soulful performance on behalf of the Inuit in the story of that song never left me. It’s soul-stirring and it’s epic in scope when you think about what the story is truly highlighting and giving insight into during that one brief moment of verse.

Ever since I heard the song (Inuit Soliloquy) I have wanted to read stories of the Inuit and draw closer to the heart of where that song took my mind. I have had a full respect of Native Americans on this side of the border since I was quite young, as I might have mentioned in past posts where I grew up in a city where a Native American art gallery and bookstore was a happy place for me to visit with my family due to how the owner took me under his wings sharing stories of his tribe the Cherokee. The First Nations of Canada came fuller into my mind when I watched the documentaries during the Vancouver Games, but it wasn’t until I discovered Blonde Eskimo that I found a pathway back inside the lore and heart of who the Inuit are as a whole. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #ReadingIsBeautiful
  • #SRC2015 | BookSparks
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Posted Sunday, 15 November, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, #SRC2015 | BookSparks, 21st Century, Alaska, Angels, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, ARC | Galley Copy, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, BookSparks, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Magical Realism, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Native American Spirituality, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Reincarnation, Scandinavian Literature, Small Towne Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Tattoo Art & Design, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Transfer Student at School, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Vulgarity in Literature, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction

Book Review | “Reading the Sweet Oak” by Jan Stites

Posted Thursday, 29 October, 2015 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 am becoming a regular tour hostess and reviewer for BookSparks, as I began to host for them in the Spring ahead of #SRC2015. I am posting my Summer Challenge reviews during November due to the aftereffects of severe lightning storms during July and August. As I make amends for the challenge reads I was unable to post until Autumn; I am also catching up with my YA challenge reads and the blog tours I missed as well. This blog tour marks one of the books I felt curious to read independent of the previous selections. I look forward to continuing to work with BookSparks once I am fully current with the stories I am reading for review.

I received a complimentary copy of “Reading the Sweet Oak” direct from the publicist at BookSparks in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why this title stood out to me to read:

I fancy family centered stories inasmuch as relationship-based Romances as I grew up in a close-knit family where it was key to maintain the connection to both the past and the present. I grew up with living histories of my relatives who were not alive at my birth, of whom, I felt a close bond too all the same due to how their stories were translated through memories.

I think we need more stories of home and hearth showing how courage and strength of family can overtake adversity as much as it can become the glue that binds you through the uncertainty of life itself. Without a circle of people to sound off when times are tightly taut with stress or to celebrate when life enfolds you with blissitudes that launch smiles as round as the moon; it’s a hard walk to find where you fit inside the world.

I have held a deep appreciation for multi-generational sagas for a long time as well; not only for those historicals which arch over centuries but for inter-connected story-lines where characters are of different age and station in their lives. To find a story about a grand-daughter and her grandmother facing the world together felt like a good fit for a next read! Especially since family can denote different things to different people – in this case, a young girl came to live with her grandparent when her parent(s) had passed; finding both comfort and freedom. I like finding stories which curate a non-traditional family life because there are as many families out there as their are fish in the sea.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Review | “Reading the Sweet Oak” by Jan StitesReading the Sweet Oak
by Jan Stites
Source: Publicist via BookSparks

Along the banks of the Sweet Oak River, deep in the heart of the Ozarks, a romance novel book club takes five women on stunning journeys of self-discovery.

After losing first her husband, then her daughter, seventy-eight-year-old grandmother Ruby wants to teach her risk-averse granddaughter, Tulsa, that some leaps are worth taking, no matter how high the potential fall. Tulsa loves her grandmother dearly, but she has a business to run and no time for romance—not even the paperback version. But when Ruby ropes her into a book club, Tulsa can’t bring herself to disappoint the woman who raised her.

Together with Ruby’s best friend, Pearl, as well as family friends BJ and Jen, the women embark on an exploration of modern-day love guided by written tales of romance. What they discover is a beautiful story that examines the bonds of friendship and the highs and lows of love in all its forms.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781503945159

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


Published by Lake Union Publishing

on 29th September 2015

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 375

Published By: Lake Union Publishing
Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About Jan Stites

Jan Stites

Jan Stites is the author of the novels Edgewise and Reading the Sweet Oak . She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree from Purdue University, both in history and English.

She has held a multitude of jobs, including screenwriter, screenwriting instructor at San Francisco State University and the University of California–Berkeley, waitress, secretary, middle school teacher, scuba diving travel writer, journalist, transcriber for doctors and documentary filmmakers, teacher in Kenya and the Yucatán, and translator for American doctors in Mexico.

She is from Missouri, where she has vacationed extensively in the Ozarks. She currently resides in Northern California with her husband.

Read More

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Posted Thursday, 29 October, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, BookSparks, Brothers and Sisters, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Equality In Literature, Indie Author, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Siblings, Small Towne USA, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction