Category: Grand Central Publishing

(Not quite a) Book Review | “The Smoke Hunter” by Jacquelyn Benson one reader’s struggle with how ‘dark’ fiction can become for #YALit

Posted Friday, 5 May, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, starting with FaithWords which is their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been wicked happy I can review for their imprints Grand Central Publishing, FaithWords & Center Street.

I initially received this ARC Autumn 2016, however, it was during a period of time where my computer died (in a fierce lightning storm), my migraines were frequently giving me grief and shortly thereafter, right as things felt they were going to calm down for a bit, my father had a moderate bilateral stroke (see also Post). Ergo, I had to table a lot of my readings which were in queue towards the end of 2016 and the start of 2017. I have been progressing towards resuming where I left off and finding a renewal of joy reading the stories I was not able to alight inside until now. I received this ARC for review consideration and I was wicked happy for the discovery of finding an author who set her story in Central America. My keen interest is also linked to my own adventures in the Mayan ruins of Mexico City and the Yucatan peninsula inasmuch as my former field of choice to study: Archaeology. (see also Review to a bit about why I love Mexico)

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “The Smoke Hunter” direct from the publisher Grand Central Publishing (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in consideration for an honest review. I was not obligated to post a review but I decided to share my thoughts for my own edification as much as broach the topic of discussion about how ‘dark’ fiction is becoming. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comI positively LOVE Action & Adventure stories yet finding stories with a healthy dose of Archaeological Intrigue is not always as easy to unearth.

My wanderings inside this niche of literature has it’s roots in the Graphic Novels based off of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and the fictionalised novels of Indiana Jones. One in particular truly celebrated what I loved about finding inside stories like these which was Indiana and the Seven Veils. Finding stories which suit my interests with the archaeological angle and keep me on the edge of my chair whilst reading the adventure the lead character is undertaking is sometimes a bit hit or miss depending on how the story evolves.

In the recent past, I have become re-inspired to seek out these stories by my discoveries of the following stories:

  • the Cobbogoth series by Hannah L. Clark (see thread)
  • the Awesome Jones series by AshleyRose Sullivan (see thread)
  • the Jaya Jones series by Gigi Pandian (see thread)
  • the Space Opera series by Cindy Koepp (see thread)
  • the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series by Iain Reading (see thread)
  • The Legend of the Gypsy Hawk by Sally Malcolm (see also Review)
  • The Land of Look Behind by Aaron Blaylock (see also Review)
  • the first Ian Quicksilver novel, not the second (see also Review)
  • *if I said ‘see thread’ this denotes a series is still in-process

I was hoping this novel might be one I could appreciate in the similar vein of interest I had felt with Jaya Jones; as I truly do appreciate finding Lara Croft-esque characters who are wholly true to themselves but have a fierce passion for their fields of study. I love strong female leads who have a penchant for adventure and of uncovering the historical past in a way which will benefit humanity by the artifacts and discoveries they are making. I also loved The Mummy films starting Brendan Fraser where he was only one-half of the duo of archaeological explorers seeking to understand the lore and legacies of Ancient Egypt. So you can see, I have a healthy interest in reading these kinds of stories but it’s finding the stories which I can truly rally behind and say “I loved reading this!” which has become a quest of it’s own!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

(Not quite a) Book Review | “The Smoke Hunter” by Jacquelyn Benson one reader’s struggle with how ‘dark’ fiction can become for #YALitThe Smoke Hunter
Subtitle: Unlock an Ancient Mystery. Unleash an Earth-shattering secret.
by Jacquelyn Benson
Source: Direct from Publisher

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781455569069

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Archaeological | Anthropological Historical Perspectives, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense


Published by Grand Central Publishing

on 13th September, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 448

Published by: Grand Central Publishing (@GrandCentralPub)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks)

Formats Available: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #Historical + #YoungAdult or #YALit, #AdvFict, #HistFic and #TheSmokeHunter

About Jacquelyn Benson

Jacquelyn Benson Photo Credit: Jasmin Hunter

Jacquelyn Benson has always known who she wanted to be when she grew up: Indiana Jones. But since real archaeology involves far more cataloguing pot shards and digging through muck than diving out of airplanes and battling Nazis, she decided to devote herself to shamelessly making things up instead.

Jacquelyn studied anthropology in Belfast, Northern Ireland and married a man from Dublin, New Hampshire. She wrote a thesis on paranormal investigators and spent four years living in a museum. When not writing, you may find her turning flowers into wine, herding an unruly toddler, or hiding under a blanket devouring genre fiction.

Photo Credit: Jasmin Hunter

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Posted Friday, 5 May, 2017 by jorielov in 19th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Discussions, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Grand Central Publishing, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Treasure Hunt

Book Spotlight | “Between Sisters” by Cathy Kelly Jorie starts a convo about how reading certain stories can be affected by certain (emotional) triggers.

Posted Thursday, 22 September, 2016 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

Stories Sailing into View Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, I started by reviewing releases by FaithWords (the novels of Stephanie Grace Whitson), their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been blessed to start reviewing for them.

I received a complimentary copy of “Between Sisters” direct from the publisher Grand Central Publishing (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in consideration for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On selecting “Between Sisters”:

After I reviewed “Two Across”, I was given a few choices of upcoming releases from which to select which books I might be interested in reading. This particular title stood out to me on several fronts – as I truly love reading Women’s Fiction which seeks to have a strong dramatic core of heart as much as I love reading stories set outside my country. I do not oft get the chance to pick up an Irish novel and as the country is part of my ancestral past, it is one that holds my literary curiosity!

This is my first reading of Irish novelist Cathy Kelly, as I was quite excited about reading my first story by Ms Kelly as I was hoping it would lead to more readings of her novels. What I had foreseen going into the novel was a story that was fused by sisterhood friendships, shared memories and the highs/lows of how life can be both wicked exhilarating or move us through a series of life lessons where our personal growth is both tested and renewed. However, I was not quite prepared for how the novel opened, which is why instead of reviewing this novel, I wanted to open my post to a discussion about how sometimes the stories we seek out to read are sometimes the ones we have an inability to connect too.

I am thankful to the publicist at Grand Central who understood where I was coming from in regards to not being able to read this novel, but also, that I wanted to spotlight the novel to my readers whilst giving the explanation about what caused me to step out of the story.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Spotlight | “Between Sisters” by Cathy Kelly Jorie starts a convo about how reading certain stories can be affected by certain (emotional) triggers.Between Sisters
by Cathy Kelly
Source: Direct from Publisher

Meet the women of Delaney Gardens, a bustling suburban village in the outer reaches of Dublin. There's Cassie, who's spent her married life doing everything right for her children, husband, and mother-in-law, yet feels so exhausted that "wine o'clock" comes a littler earlier each afternoon.

There's her sister Coco, who runs a vintage dress shop, but has avoided the complications of romantic commitment. Watching over them is their grandmother Pearl, who, despite caring deeply for her family, is contending with a long-buried secret. And then there's Elsa, the polished face of daytime TV, who's triumphed over demons before, but is now facing her toughest battle yet. At every crossroad these women face, readers are taken deeper into the heart of what it means to be a family.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781455540853

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945)


Published by Grand Central Publishing

on 9th August, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 464

Length: 870

Published by: Grand Central Publishing (@GrandCentralPub)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks)

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #IrishFiction & #WomensFiction

+ use these two in combo: #Contemporary #Romance

Read an inspiring article on Cathy Kelly from Irish Central (about Between Sisters)

About Cathy Kelly

Cathy Kelly Photo Credit: Barry McCall

Cathy Kelly is published around the world, with millions of copies of her books in print. A #1 bestseller in the UK, Ireland, and Australia, she is one of Ireland's best-loved storytellers. Kelly lives with her husband, their young twin sons, and three dogs in County Wicklow, Ireland.

Photo Credit: Barry McCall

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Posted Thursday, 22 September, 2016 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Grand Central Publishing, Realistic Fiction

#PubDay Book Review | “Two Across” by Jeff Bartsch A Contemporary Rom feat. crossword puzzles! Jorie was smitten at first sight of the plot!

Posted Tuesday, 19 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, I started by reviewing releases by FaithWords (the novels of Stephanie Grace Whitson), their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been blessed to start reviewing for them.

One of the selections under their Grand Central Publishing imprint which interested me was ‘Two Across’ publishing July 2016. I hadn’t realised it was the trade paperback edition – thus I was quite surprised when the hardback edition arrived by post! I made a note of the #PubDay for my review celebrating the new release! I felt blessed to receive this as I haven’t had the pleasure of reading Grand Central’s authors in the past, although Leila Meacham is one I want to focus on!

I received a complimentary copy of “Two Across” direct from the publisher Grand Central Publishing (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Happy #PubDay, Mr Bartsch!

#TwoAcross a #Crossword Romance!

Two Across by Jeff Bartsch

ISBN for the NEW Trade Paperback: 9781455554614 | Pub Date: 19th July, 2016

Hallo, dear hearts! I have some wicked bookish news for you! Today is the trade paperback release of ‘Two Across’ which was a title I found via Edelweiss when I originally discovered Hachette’s catalogues and their incredible resources for bloggers! I was not expecting to receive this novel until Spring or Summer, however, a kind publicist at Grand Central sent me the beautiful hardback edition! I earmarked the #PubDay on my calendar as I knew I wanted to help celebrate it’s release come July!

What drew me into wanting to read this lovely novel is how I felt it was original and different than a traditional relationship-based romance, wherein it’s set to a different pace and works within an interesting premise. I like stories that stand out from the crowd and this one definitely had that appeal!

I grew up wanting to be better at crosswords than I can honestly claim, as if the puzzles themselves weren’t pertaining to popular culture or films/tv or music, I was at a proper loss at times to understand the complexities of the clues! This is why I liked themed crossword puzzles rather than say the NY Times version! I also loved finding the puzzles included with TCM’s Guide for Classic Movie Lovers! Those were super awesome – you could go on a scavenger hunt through the guide itself if you were ‘lost’ on a clue!

I love finding new voices in literature – especially Contemporary voices who are writing about our contemporary world. I also liked how this felt slightly quirky – in the vein of “You’ve Got Mail”, “Music and Lyrics” or “Kate & Leopold”! I love sophisticated Rom-Coms in the movies and I’m slowly obtaining a list of authors who are writing the same caliber of Rom-Com in fiction! I was wicked excited to start reading this one, truly!

As I reviewed the hardback copy, you’ll find all the info for it below ahead of my review.

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Notation on Cover Art: I personally *love!* the original cover art featured on the hardback edition – it especially captures the allure & joy of crossword puzzles! I even liked how it implies the connection between the two lead characters and how their story is starting to connect through their passion of the puzzles themselves whilst remaining a bit aloof and apart from each other. I just loved how the image pulls together the premise of the plot and ties into the synopsis quite well!

#PubDay Book Review | “Two Across” by Jeff Bartsch A Contemporary Rom feat. crossword puzzles! Jorie was smitten at first sight of the plot!Two Across
by Jeff Bartsch
Source: Direct from Publisher

Highly awkward teenager Stanley Owens meets his match in beautiful, brainy Vera Baxter when they tie for first place in the annual National Spelling Bee-and the two form a bond that will change both of their lives.

Though their mothers have big plans for them-Stanley will become a senator, Vera a mathematics professor-neither wants to follow these pre-determined paths. So Stanley hatches a scheme to marry Vera in a sham wedding for the cash gifts, hoping they will enable him to pursue his one true love: crossword puzzle construction. In enlisting Vera to marry him, though, he neglects one variable: she's secretly in love with him, which makes their counterfeit ceremony an exercise in misery for her.

Realizing the truth only after she's moved away and cut him out of her life, Stanley tries to atone for his mistakes and win her back. But he's unable to find her, until one day he comes across a puzzle whose clues make him think it could only have been created by Vera. Intrigued, he plays along, communicating back to her via his own gridded clues. But will they connect again before it's all too late?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781455554621

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance


Published by Grand Central Publishing

on 4th August, 2015

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 304

Published by: Grand Central Publishing (@GrandCentralPub)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks)

Formats Available: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #crossword & #RomCom

+ use these two in combo: #Contemporary #Romance

About Jeff Bartsch

Jeff Bartsch is the son of an English professor, and grew up surrounded by stories and literature. He studied creative writing at the University of Wisconsin, held the Katey Lehman Fellowship in creative writing at Penn State University. Before his career as as an advertising copywriter, he worked at the U.S. Postal Service, a plastics factory, a video monitoring service, delivered wedding cakes, was a baker, and an architect's assistant.

He wrote this book on New Jersey Transit trains while commuting to and from New York City. Jeff grew up in Wisconsin, and has lived in San Francisco, Boston and New York. His many adventures along the way include being held up at gunpoint, chasing down a purse snatcher, winning a trophy in a pool tournament, acting in a Woody Allen play in Germany, bicycling halfway across the country, and delivering newspapers on the coldest day in Milwaukee's recorded history at minus 26 degrees.

He's an avid cyclist, home brewer and cook, and currently lives in New York with his inspiring daughter and their collection of imagination vehicles, commonly known as books.

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Posted Tuesday, 19 July, 2016 by jorielov in 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Coming-Of Age, Contemporary Romance, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Domestic Violence, Grand Central Publishing, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Mother-Son Relationships, New York City, Realistic Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, The Sixties, Vulgarity in Literature