Category: Editing Through The Seasons

+Book Review+ Sandra Leesmith’s “Love’s Promises” #sweetromance, #Romance

Posted Monday, 28 July, 2014 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

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Loves Promises by Sandra Leesmith
Artwork Credit: Lena Goldfinch

 Love’s Promises by Sandra Leesmith

Published By: Amber Press Publishing, March 2014
Official Author Websites: Site | Twitter | Facebook
  Cover Designer Pages: Site | Twitter | Facebook | Pin(terest) Boards
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook
Page Count: 310

[Previous Releases]

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

Converse via Twitter: #LovesPromises, #ChrisFic,

#cleanromance, & #inspirationalfiction

Genres: Fiction | Inspirational Fiction

Romance | Contemporary

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Acquired Book By: I had originally intended to read “Love’s Promises” for review on the blog tour earlier in the Spring, however, at that point in time the novel was only going to be released in Ebook format rather than print edition. Through my participation on the tour, I received the good news that a print edition was viable and would be put into action. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Sandra Leesmith, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I am always keen on reading the books I highlight and spotlight on Jorie Loves A Story, and this novel in particular caught my attention when I was first offered to participate on the original blog tour hosted by Amber Stokes and her Editing Through the Seasons publicity company. I appreciate being what I consider a ‘hybrid reader’ as one who reads both mainstream and inspirational markets for fiction and non-fiction. I talk about this a bit under “My Bookish Life” and hinted about it on the note that proceeded this book review when I explained why posting this took a bit longer than originally expected due health and life reasons occurring at a pace that simply exhausted me. I always aim to feature novels through Guest Author & Book Features that will key into the diverse variety of books I appreciate reading overall.

I was originally going to only focus on books in print, but then I re-considered when I noted that many ebooks I would dearly love to read eventually end up in print editions. This can take anywhere from a few months to a full year or longer depending on the publisher, author, and body of work. I decided to stand firm in being a traditional reader but to yield as a book blogger to highlight books first released into an electronic version that I would one day hope would go into a print run as well. In this way, I am opening my mind to a wider net of authors and stories but remaining true to who I am as a reader and as a blogger at the same time. I am thankful that my path crossed with Ms. Leesmith and with Ms. Stokes, as I might not have stumbled across this particular novel nor the lovely series it is a part of.

My original showcases on Leesmith’s behalf was a heap of joy for me, as it encouraged me to re-examine where the publishing world is currently with a green-minded focus on publishing and printing practices (a bit of an on-going personal research topic of interest) as much as it gave a strong impression on having an open discussion on where writers and readers alike stand on the position of being green-minded and being voracious readers. For me, it confirmed that you can be environmentally conscience and read print books without having to concede to ebooks and ereaders. Notwithstanding of the fact that not all of us can use ereaders nor read ebooks in any format due to our vision and the way in which we process information.

My participation led to a healthy itch to read “Love’s Promises” and I felt blessed that I had the opportunity to tuck inside the story of how a novel went into print format when it was originally only scheduled for one type of release. The further blessing was discovering the other two books in the Love Promises series are already released in print, and are on my ‘next reads’ list of books to acquire!

Book Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

 

Romance, Thirty-somethings, & the Environment:

I shall never discredit the timing of a book in hand nor of the story at the heart of the novel’s message to be consumed at a particular moment in time as this particular one has reached my eyes and mind! I cannot deny that I am a thirty-something myself nor a singleton who oft thinks about her own life, her chosen path, and where the pebbles of her path shall lead her next. Each of us is living a life of worth and it is not always measured in events and incidents that the masses experience but in smaller steps and graces which take us to where we are being led to traverse. I love stories of the heart as much as the human condition, to knit inside the small fragments of time wherein we cross-examine our own hearts, spirits, and desires of will — to understand where we have been as much as where we are going next. I had to nearly chuckle to myself whilst realising a bit of the cheeky humour Leesmith placed inside her two lead characters, as both Monica and Greg are within a farthing of a distance in age from each other, and experiencing the same self-exploration and questions of the heart that neither wants to admit possible.

I think thirty-somethings have a lot of ground to cover in today’s fiction, especially in the Romance side of the ledger. To oft writers focus on someone either in college or thereafter or even settle inside the years of the twenties, but few root out the early years of being twentyten and thirty-something; the decisive age for most singletons either in want of finding someone to walk through life with or to walk alone. It is a unique perspective to give in fiction, as the veins of narrative can go in so many unique and different directions. Whilst in the opening bits of Love’s Promises, what I especially liked is how the path Leesmith chooses to take is not quite predictable nor is it contrite. She breathes a bit of life into the characters and gives them enough realism and free will to keep you in suspense of what their choices will be the further you walk inside their story.

The environment is nearly a third character in the story, as the natural environment is beautifully highlighted as the backdrop and setting for Love’s Promises. I appreciated the care and attention the advocacy and conservation on the Lake Tahoe Basin were given throughout the story, as it illuminates one small fraction of how over building and overusing our natural resources is becoming a larger problem as a whole. There are too many loosely controlled environmental protections on building permits and on maintaining natural habitats. I’ve even witnessed where previously protected land was sold to the highest bidder and commericalised for consumer use; at the determent of the wildlife and ecosystem. There needs to be a better balance between sustaining the ecological habitats already thriving where developers and residents want to intercede on their right to build. I celebrate the small successes such as non-chemical pest control by water sources, walkways and green paths in urban developments that do not deter from the natural ecosystems, and a recognition of local bird and wildlife habitats being protected by watchful observations by local groups working for preservation and conservation of their lands. I commend the research Leesmith knitted into her novel, as she is tackling a very difficult issue and a controversial topic laced with politics on all levels.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Monday, 28 July, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Agnostic (Questioning & Searching or Unsure), Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blogs I Regularly Read, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Discussions, Conservation, Contemporary Romance, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Domestic Violence, Eco-Friendly, Ecology, Editing Through The Seasons, Environmental Activism, Environmental Advocacy, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Solutions, Fathers and Daughters, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Lake Tahoe, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Life Shift, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Nature & Wildlife, Pacific Crest Trail, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Preservation, Romance Fiction, Seekerville, Singletons & Commitment, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, Walking & Hiking Trails, Women's Fiction

Jorie’s Box of Joy No.3 : High Fantasy, Historical Suspense, and a jolt of inspirational fiction!

Posted Tuesday, 13 May, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

Jorie's Box of Joy | A Feature of Jorie Loves A Story

One of the happiest moments for a book blogger is eagerly going to their postbox & seeing what delightfully wicked print books have arrived for their reading pleasure! I have always held a keen interest in postal mail, being a long-term postal letter correspondent which has given me such a heart of joy seeing envelopes & bundles of love arrive from dear friends around the world. Imagine my new excitement in seeing the books I am reviewing arriving by publisher, author, publicist, or literary agent! Such an exciting new chapter in postal splendor!

I have been wanting to blog about my excitement about being placed on certain blog tours and/or in receiving books for review direct from authors, publishers, or publicists. I originally came across a weekly meme on Mondays entitled Mailbox Monday and you could say, that my new feature on Jorie Loves A Story is an extended idea from the original! Except to say, with one minor switch-up! Although I attempt to write down when books arrive by Post, I am never quite as certain when the books arrive as I am always reading the next book in hand! Therefore, please join me as I get excited about the books on my shelf which are next in line to read!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Chain of Mercy by Brenda Anderson

As I outlined in my Interview with Ms. Anderson the best joy any book blogger can have prior to reading a novel is being clued into the process the writer took towards publication! In this way, I feel double-blessed to not only be a part of my first Author Street Team to help get the word out about their novels and writing style, but to have watched the genesis of Anderson’s journey as aspiring writer to published author! As I start to soak into Chain of Mercy, I will be reflective of how I learnt about her blog as much as how I started to get to know her through the blog posts she shares with the world. In her debut novel, she tackles hard-hitting circumstances that start to have a ripple effect on the people who are involved and engaged in the drama. What I appreciated is finding out that she does not back down from writing about topics and subjects that others might shy away from as I always felt that one thing inspirational fiction sometimes misses the boat to include are honest & real story-lines with characters facing real-life issues in an endearingly honest way. Everyone is going through something at some point in their lives but I believe that if writers stitch in the ability to see that all of life is possible with faith, than a greater good is being served than only writing stories which gloss over the more poignant of narratives.

The book cover of Chain of Mercy is matte not glossy finish, and I like that as it has a different texture to most softcover editions! When I first pulled the book out of the parcel it arrived in I had thought the book cover might have been off-setted to appear as a sepia photograph. There is a Discussion Guide & Acknowledgements section in the back of the novel as well as a Dedication in the front. To me the image on the front of the cover makes me curious a bit more about the phrase of the title ‘chain of mercy’ and how a simple chain with a key fits into the heart of the story?

My review posts on Sunday, 18th of May, whereas my Interview with Ms. Anderson posts on Tuesday, 13th of May!

Chimerical World Vol 1 Anthology by Seventh Star Press
Artwork Credit by: Enggar Adirasa

When Seventh Star Press (an Indie Publisher I regularly review for through the blog touring & social media promotion company: Tomorrow Comes Media; of whom I highly recommend any reader to look into reviewing for as they offer a review to read programme) sets to mind to create an anthology they never fail to impress me with their ability to bring together cutting-edge writers with stories that alight in the imagination of a reader’s soul. My first fantasy anthology read and reviewed (coincidentally!) was on behalf of Chronicles of Ave by Stephen Zimmer. In this selection of mine to read next, after having appreciated a short story by Michael Cross in another Indie Press anthology I chose to focus on my love of faeries & fey folk! (note to the Editor Sandridge, I never did know the right way to have spelt ‘faeries’ so I thank him for the Foreward!) I am not sure how there is a misunderstanding about the personalities of the fey or of how they are not always as endearing as Tinkerbell as let’s face it, she was one particular kind of faerie but not the norm by a long shot! What I appreciate about the fey is there ability to transform our understanding of their culture and habits by presenting their uniqueness through the different writers who pen their stories.

I love seeing the cover art illustrations and designs of Seventh Star Press book covers as they always include full illustrative covers as well as illustrative plates within their releases; with the exception of this anthology which does not have plates inside to correlate with the shorts.

My review posts on Monday, 19th of May, alongside my Interview with Mr. Sandridge, the editor of the anthology!

The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose

I have truly undertaken reading the Reincarnationist series a wee bit late in the game as far as my book review for The Collector of Dying Breaths is concerned, but I am a determined optimist who believes that as long as their are hours left to read there is time enough to drink through a series which has bewitched my attention for several years now! When I first took note that this particular book was going to go on tour, the only thing I had to sort out was if I could read the entire series in time to tour with France Book Tours OR with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours — I chose the latter as the time schedule fit my reading schedule a bit easier! I am thankful to tour with such beautiful blog touring companies who give their book bloggers & readers the ability to not only discover unknown writers but to review for well-established writers we are just on the brink of knowing ourselves! In this, my gratitude is always theirs for giving us these opportunities! What sparked my interest is the aspect of reincarnation stitched into the series as a whole as I used to collect books on reincarnation when The Reincarnation Library was still in existence, which was a small publisher who curated titles which had fallen out of print and then, re-issued the books in such lovely editions as cloth-bound hardback copies! The titles were both non-fiction and fiction dealing with as many different aspects of reincarnation as you could be happenstance to stumble across! In the series Rose has created, the idea of coming across tools to add one’s memory of past lives is more than tempting to explore!

My review posts on Friday, 30th of May, whereas my Interview with M.J. Rose posts on Monday, 19th of May one day after the Bout of Books 10.0 readathon concludes in which I read the entire Reincarnationist series!

A Mage of None Magic by A. Christopher Drown
Artwork Credit: A. Christopher Drown

Ever since I first heard of this particular tale arriving via Seventh Star Press in late 2013, I have been on pins awaiting its release! I had no idea what to expect since I first read the premise of the tale inside its covers, so when I saw the book emerge out of the book parcel I received (as all three of these SSP titles arrived together!) I was pleasantly surprised by the cover art & the girth of the story! I am always happily surprised to pull a book out of its package and finding rather joyfully that the depth of length is far longer than I had predicted! I love long stories as I love to get to know characters and spend a proper age visiting with them! With fantasy stories, you truly need the length in order to soak into the author’s breadth of work, and I do not think I will be disappointed by Drown’s début! I love the suspense of the shot you find yourself looking into,… from the bloke on the left casting his sights out to sea, and how the lighthouse reflects the light whilst the moon is clearly visible in the upper left corner? Tall ships and a story shrouded in myth! What more could you hope to find in a début novel? I still remember the first Imaginairum Twitter Party in November 2013 when we all came together to chat about writing, creativity, and the pending celebration of a new kind of bookish convention centered on the joy of story-telling in all its mediums. It was in this Twitter Party I had the pleasure of interacting with the author, and sadly I have not seen another Twitter Party engaged with the convention at the time of this writing. I think it would be a great resource to unite writers who want to attend the convention but also with getting in touch with fellow writers, book bloggers, and readers. Conversations always open doors and on that level, I am thankful it opened the door for me to discover a new author of high fantasy!

I elected to post an Interview with the author, A. Christopher Drown instead.

Awesome Jones by AshleyRose Sullivan
Artwork Credit: AshleyRose Sullivan

I am not sure about you but whenever I find a genre-bender author who is going to put together two seemingly diverse methodologies of story-telling together I get all giddy with excitement at the prospect of reading their stories! In this particular case, around the time I learnt of A Mage of None Magic, I caught wind of a Press Release for Awesome Jones! And, lucky me this makes my third blog tour with TCM within the same week of hosting the anthology! If all bodes well, in a new-future installment of this feature I will be chattering about Hero’s Best Friend! (the latest fantasy anthology I signed up to tour!) Although I like to dig below the superficial level of all stories, you have to admit: Awesome Jones is a strong spitfire sounding name that begs to have a heroine worthy of Lara Croft OR James Bond! I am an appreciator of old-school comics and action heroes. Think Burt Ward, Adam West, and Christopher Reeves. Subtract every Bond except for Roger Moore, Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, or George Lazenby and you know how I roll with my smashingly strong heroes! You could even backtrack through my SFN (Sci-Fi November/Month) posts and see a thread of connection between the iconic pop cultural attachments I am passionate for and the particular bent on original contributions therein that I stand by and defend. As soon as I freed this book from its parcel I *had!* to take a peek into its covers!! I held the breath of excitement Lois Lane from The New Adventures of Super-Man might have held captive as she exhaled a glimpse inside,… comic illustrations beseeched me eyes and an adventurous narrative glistened in reflective light!

My review posts on Thursday, 22nd of May.

Daughter of the Gods by Stephanie Thornton

Normally when I seek out an author I am going to review a book of on Twitter, I am curious to know a bit more about them as a person, as a writer, and technically to see what they tweet about in general! I think that is simply human nature to be ‘curious’! What I happily found whilst visiting the feeds of Ms. Thornton is that she’s a fellow Whovian who *gets my passion!* for Doctor Who! We were exchanging regular tweets in an on-going conversation about all things Whovian, until my personal life started to interfere with my blog life and thus, my tweets started to disappear in regularity! I am hoping she did not think I stopped the conversation full-stop for any other reason, as when I saw The Day of the Doctor (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special) arrive via my local library, she was one of two people I wanted to tell! (Violet Patterson being the first!) However, since its arrived I have not even had a free moment to watch it and very well could boomerang back into my hold queue! Hence the reason I have not tweeted as I did not want to disappoint either one of them! Meanwhile, this beautiful book arrived which an Egyptian gracing the cover who made me wonder why I ever decided ‘not’ to study Egyptology (until of course I remember what happens when you explore tombs…)! I have been wanting to break out of my rhythm of reading Victorian & Regency historical novels and sink my teeth into eras and epochs of history which used to whet a strong palette of interest as a child and as a young adult. This selection I made is my way of saying there is no time like the present to discover an author who has the knack for bringing the past forward into the present in a visceral way as to leave you wanton for more! And, perhaps I can pick up our Whovian convo as soon as I discover what happens between my beloved Matt Smith and my newly beloved David Tennant! (come now! I cannot be the first Whovian who lost her heart to one Doctor only to be taken by surprise by another?) And, can I just say the Egyptians would *love and adore!* all the Whovian’s who chatter endlessly about which Doctor they prefer over the other and of whom has won the best affection overall!

My review posts on Friday, 23rd of May.

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I positively love receiving books straight from authors in exchange for honest reviews, and the three books I am about to mention next hold a special place in my heart, as two of them were previously only released in e-book format and one I was scheduled to review for a follow-up tour of the first novel which was unfortunately cancelled. Never one to give up hope when one is determined to read a book, I always light a candle that one day all the lovely stories I hope to read will one day alight in my hands. Here is a story of three such stories:

Loves Promises by Sandra Leesmith
Artwork Credit: Lena Goldfinch

I hosted Ms. Leesmith on my blog for a Book Cover Reveal (E-book ahead of Print Edition) as well as for a lovely Green Publishing Author Interview focused showcase where I researched green-minded publishing practices and knitted together the theme of thinking green within the context of the story which contains environmental conservation, preservation, and green building practices. Imagine my pure joy in finding out that the book not only went to print, but I had a spark of inspiration for the author to re-consider the book going into print publication! Seeing the book arrive by Post was a true blessing all the way around, and I cannot wait to soak into the story now that I have felt as though I have followed it from e-book debut to print edition unveiling! I was even blessed with the author’s whose quotation about the novel is featured on the back-cover (Ms. Julie Lessman) to have made a stop during her time on my blog! I had not known of their connection to each other or to Seekerville which is an author group blog that I used to frequent! Thankfully, included in the back pages of this edition are the titles of Ms. Leesmith’s back-list which blessedly are all available in print editions! Including the two books which are connected to this one in a series: Love’s Refuge & Love’s Miracles! The book cover is matte and I must confess I am starting to love the texture differences between glossy & matte! The colours are brilliantly brought to life and I did not notice any variance between the e-book cover & the print edition as the book looks exactly as I thought it would once it was in my hands!

My review is forthcoming this Summer! on the 28th of July, 2014!

Portals, Passages, & Pathways by B.R. Maul

I have equally spent quite a lot of time with Portals, Passages, & Pathways as I was given the lovely opportunity to host the author for both a Guest Post on his inspiration for creating the world of Magnanthia as much as host a Book Spotlight Announcement to get the word out about this in-depth debut fantasy novel! I felt a connection to the premise as it was given to me in consideration for hosting the author on my blog, and from that moment forward I have felt like I took a journey with this book as much as I had with Ms. Leesmith’s! This novel was originally intended only to be released in e-book format, but thankfully made it into print edition, which is why I am ever so thankful to have received a copy for review! The cover art illustration is even more eye-popping in person, and you quite literally feel as though you could just ‘jump through the portal’ and join them! A Table of Contents helps get you oriented a bit, but the best bit of all is the girth: 470 pages! One of the best moments for me as a book blogger is when I can start to become a book cheerleader on an author’s behalf! Where I get excited about their journey & their experiences towards publication as much as being able to rally behind them as they take their first tentative steps out into the world of readership and audience! Which leads me to my next book I want to feature today as it has a story about how it arrived by Post as well!

My review will post in mid-to-late July!

The Dragon's Pawn by Mitchell S. Karnes

I participated in the first book (The Pact) of the Canaanshade Journeys series blog tour with TLC Book Tours and was scheduled to participate in the sequel The Dragon’s Pawn tour as well. Except to say the tour was unexpectedly cancelled, and although tours have become cancelled in the past, this was one of two books I recently contacted the author personally to see what might have caused the cancellation. The other book is Uncovering Cobbogoth in which I will host & review for the publisher Cedar Fort Publishing & Media. On behalf of The Dragon’s Pawn I was first compelled to request this sequel due to a note which was left in the comment threads by the author himself of my original review. There were bits and bobbles of the story as far as general scope, layering, and back-story I was not privy too nor able to deduce from my readings of the first installment to make a clear impression of where the book series was heading or why certain elements of the first book were necessary to be included. From the author’s response I felt compelled as a reader and as a book blogger to request a reading of the sequel, so that I could continue to read the next in the series as a way to become better acquainted with the author’s vision and thereby perhaps reforming my original perceptions therein. The Dragon’s Pawn by Mitchell S. Karnes, is the sequel to The Pact which I reviewed for TLC Book Tours earlier this year, and for which I am blessed to have received to review as it truly is one book that I am especially grateful has come back into my life. Sometimes we find the stories within the books are only half of the message and sometimes certain books need a second reading to better understand their heart.

My review will post on Tuesday, 17th of June.

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Cross-posted with Mailbox Monday (a weekly meme) on Monday, 12th of May where book bloggers & readers alike share their inbound books for review, newly purchased books, or otherwise added to their shelves to read. Conversing via: #MailboxMonday My feature was inspired by Mailbox Monday, however as I am always in throes of reading books for review and/or borrowing books from my library, I am never quite as certain which week the books have arrived!

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A Must Read: The Reincarnationist Series by M.J. Rose via Book Candy Studios

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{SOURCES: Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Ravven with edits in Fotoflexer by Jorie. Chain of Mercy book cover was provided by Brenda S. Anderson for both review and promotion; used with permission. A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court, Awesome Jones, & A Mage of None Magic book covers were provided by Tomorrow Comes Media for promotion and review; used with permission. The Collector of Dying Breaths & Daughter of the Gods book covers were provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for promotion and review; used with permission. Love’s Promise book cover was provided by Editing Through the Seasons & Sandra Leesmith for promotion and review; used with permission. Portals, Passages, & Pathways book cover provided by JKS Communications & B.R. Maul for review and promotion; used with permission. The Dragon’s Pawn book cover provided by Mitchell S. Karnes for review and promotion; used with permission. The book trailer for The Reincarnationist series via Book Candy Studios 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. Tweets embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Tuesday, 13 May, 2014 by jorielov in Anthology Collection of Stories, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, Bookish Films, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Earthen Magic, Editing Through The Seasons, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Gothic Literature, High Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Thriller Suspense, Jorie's Box of Joy, Reincarnation, Short Stories or Essays, Street Team for Author, Tomorrow Comes Media

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

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

Parajunkee Designs

Cats Are Part of HIs Kingdom Too by Cindy Vincent

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

Converse on Twitter: #CatsArePartOfHisKingdomToo

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

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

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

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

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

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Book Synopsis:

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

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

Author Biography:

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

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Princess | Cindy Vincent Cat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This book review is courtesy of:

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

hosted by:

Editing Through the Seasons - Freelance Editing & Publicity Services

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

Be sure to scope out my Bookish Upcoming Events

to mark your calendars!!

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

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

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Timeless Wisdom on Cats – Video 1 via WOW Content

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “Cats Are Part of His Kingdom Too”, cat photograph of Princess (black & white cat), author biography, book synopsis, and blog tour badges were provided by Editing Through the Seasons and used with permission. WOW Content had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share a video about the wisdom of cats. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers & My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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