Category: Bookish Films

#WaitingOnWednesday No.3 | “The Crowns of Croswald” (Book No.1 of the Croswald series) by D.E. Night (aka. Jorie’s magically lovely mystery #bookmail which gave her this beautifully fantastical story!)

Posted Wednesday, 19 July, 2017 by jorielov , , 4 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: JKS is the first publicity firm I started working with when I launched Jorie Loves A Story in August, 2013. I am honoured to continue to work with them now as a 4th Year Book Blogger. I was approached to receive a mystery book mail box from a debut YA author (D.E. Night) in conjunction with her release The Crowns of Croswald wherein I would have a lovely bookish box to open, photograph and share with my readers the impressions it gave me ahead of reading the novel! This review comes after showcasing my #unboxing during last Wednesday’s #WaitingOnWednesday showcase as a follow-up and surprise for my readers!

I received my complimentary ARC copy of “The Crowns of Croswald” from D.E. Night courtesy of the publicist at JKS Communications 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

a word about ‘waiting on Wednesday’:

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

I have decided to start participating in this book blogsphere meme with a few small changes of how it’s regularly blogged about by my fellow book bloggers. I will either be introducing my current reads of upcoming releases as I am in the process of reading them and/or I might be releasing a book review about a forthcoming title by which I had been blessed to read ahead of publication. The main purpose behind the meme is to encourage readers and your fellow book bloggers to become aware of new books being released which caught your eye and which held your interest to read. Sometimes if your still in the process of reading the books, its the titles which encouraged your bookish heart. I look forward to spending the next seasons of the year, talking about the books I have on hand to read, the books I’ve been reading and the books I might not even have a copy to read but which are of wicked sweet interest to become a #nextread of mine.

Thus, this book review is showcasing a title which is set to release in a few short days (21st July)! This review is an anchour to my #unboxing post about the same book & author wherein I had a bit of magical joy in sharing how I opened the book parcel which gave me such a delightfully magical reading experience! I must admit, both experiences for me has been wonderful and I would not be surprised if this is only one of several unboxings you might see flutter onto Jorie Loves A Story!

This is my  3rd #WaitingOnWednesday showcase, be sure to visit my 1st & my 2nd!

A new meme inspired by Waiting on Wednesday is Can’t Wait Wednesday for which this marks my first #WaitingOnWednesday post I’ve been able to share with the bloggers following this version of the meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings! (Tressa introduces her meme) Here is the post by which I shared my link. Be sure to find out which book bloggers I visited who helped ADD to my #TBRList by finding my blog hop route below this showcase!!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

be sure to visit my #unboxing to understand why I became so dearly attached to Croswald ahead of reading it’s debut to Middle grade fantasy:

Unboxing DE Night debut novel bookmail. Book Photography Credit: Jorie of jorielovesastory.com. Photo edits and collage created in Canva.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#WaitingOnWednesday No.3 | “The Crowns of Croswald” (Book No.1 of the Croswald series) by D.E. Night (aka. Jorie’s magically lovely mystery #bookmail  which gave her this beautifully fantastical story!)The Crowns of Croswald
by D.E. Night
Source: Publicist via JKS Communications

In Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic is one secret...

For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald's mysterious gems.

When Ivy's magic - and her life- is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0-9969486-5-4

Also by this author: The Crowns of Croswald

Genres: Children's Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Middle Grade


Published by Self Published Author, Stories Untold Press

on 21st July, 2017

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 314

Published By:  Self Published / Stories Untold Press

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #CrownsOfCroswald or #CroswaldSeries + #MGFantasy

OR #MiddleGrade + #Fantasy

About D.E. Night

D.E. Night lives, dreams, and writes in South Florida amid her menagerie – two dogs and two cats – with her husband.

“The Crowns of Croswald” is her first book. She draws inspiration from silver-screen storytellers, magical imaginings, and her younger brothers. A day spent in Croswald, or another whimsical world, is her favorite kind of day.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Entering ‘Croswald’:

The fey are called ‘Hairies’ and they remind me of Trolls (ie. the cheeky dolls recently starring in their anime film which honestly wasn’t my cuppa?) – they have seriously long hair and the ability to :blink: from sight simply by extending their ‘hair’. I can see how they came to have their nickname! And, here dear hearts is where things start to get interesting – because within my #bookmail parcel, was a piece of the newsprint Derwin is referencing in the Prologue! (I kid you NOT!) I can now see how ingenius my little magical parcel was – it wasn’t just a clever way of giving a reader a magical mystery to unbox, no, it was literally giving a reader bits and bobbles of Croswald itself! To take the world out of it’s dimensional space and inserting it into our own – crossing the gap between the imagined and the tangible! Now, that’s seriously wicked clever!

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Posted Wednesday, 19 July, 2017 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Bookish Memes, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Middle Grade Novel, Waiting on Wednesday

#WaitingOnWednesday No.2 | #Unboxing No.1 | A debut author [D.E. Night] of Middle Grade Fantasy [series] Croswald, enchanted Jorie with her (original) website & the allure of her novel’s back-story!

Posted Wednesday, 12 July, 2017 by jorielov , , 11 Comments

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

Acquired #BookMail By: JKS is the first publicity firm I started working with when I launched Jorie Loves A Story in August, 2013. I am honoured to continue to work with them now as a 4th Year Book Blogger. I was approached to receive a mystery book mail box from a debut YA author (D.E. Night) in conjunction with her release The Crowns of Croswald wherein I would have a lovely bookish box to open, photograph and share with my readers the impressions it gave me ahead of reading the novel!

I received my complimentary book box from D.E. Night courtesy of the publicist at JKS Communications 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

a word about ‘waiting on Wednesday’:

I have decided to start participating in this book blogsphere meme with a few small changes of how it’s regularly blogged about by my fellow book bloggers. I will either be introducing my current reads of upcoming releases as I am in the process of reading them and/or I might be releasing a book review about a forthcoming title by which I had been blessed to read ahead of publication. The main purpose behind the meme is to encourage readers and your fellow book bloggers to become aware of new books being released which caught your eye and which held your interest to read. Sometimes if your still in the process of reading the books, its the titles which encouraged your bookish heart. I look forward to spending the next seasons of the year, talking about the books I have on hand to read, the books I’ve been reading and the books I might not even have a copy to read but which are of wicked sweet interest to become a #nextread of mine.

Thus, this #unboxing is showcasing a title which is set to release in less than a fortnight (21st July) – wherein you will be happily excited to know I’ll be sharing my ruminative thoughts with you the week of it’s release! This post was inspired by the first #WaitingOnWednesday post I published and happily it gave me the inspiration to see if I could sort out how to showcase an ‘unboxing’ through photographs rather than a vlog post! I must admit, the experience has been wonderful and I would not be surprised if this is only one of several unboxings you might see flutter onto Jorie Loves A Story!

This is my 2nd #WaitingOnWednesday showcase, be sure to visit my 1st!

A new meme inspired by Waiting on Wednesday is Can’t Wait Wednesday for which this marks my first #WaitingOnWednesday post I’ve been able to share with the bloggers following this version of the meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings! (Tressa introduces her meme) Here is the post by which I shared my link. Be sure to find out which book bloggers I visited who helped ADD to my #TBRList by finding my blog hop route below this showcase!!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

before i unboxed the #bookmail:

Unboxing DE Night debut novel bookmail Photography Credit: Jorie of jorielovesastory.com. Photo edits and collage created in Canva.

Shown in this photograph: The #bookmail box I received courtesy of D.E. Night via JKS Communications & Publicity and a letter opener given to those who are a member of The History Channel Club.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

& long before the #bookmail was received,

i met this author’s world virtually through her site:

My initial reactions were so fully felt I could barely type words to describe my feelings:

I cannot wait to see what the author is working on with the box, as I was truly captured by the ingenuity of how she’s enveloping readers into her world-building whilst giving us a taste of the magical elements which bring her world to life. The music overlays and the illustrations help re-align you inside her story and of the arc in which will be carried throughout the series. Thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity to read a new MG Fantasy but also to feel the magic of how the author inspires readers to take a chance on her world and its message.

The reason I was so smitten with this book and the author is because her ENTIRE website was fully immersive – it felt as if you had stepped through an invisible threshold and were now entering into the world she’s built. Sadly, at the time of this #unboxing post the website I knew of the author’s is :gone:! I was truly gobsmacked! The overhaul is like any other author’s website – really, the bare bones of what it once was if you can even see a smidge of it’s origins. Even the chapter sampler which was so wickedly creative – hidden within the site itself – popping up as if by magical evocation and enchanting you to read it as it hovered in front of your eyes, whilst the illustrations which accompanied it were adding to the dimensional beauty of the author’s poetic prose – has been reduced to a ‘pop-up PDF’ – truly, dear hearts, I was smitten at the very first all-sensory experience (I, personally have found for a new release by an Indie Author) of Ms D.E. Night’s website!

However, everything which gave me a girlhood sense of wonderment and of the purity of unexpected joy – to the fluttering sounds of the fey only heard just a farthing away from my computer screen – now, dear hearts, it’s a hollowed out shell of that original site! For me personally, if this had been the site I’d first visited, I wouldn’t have felt like a graduate of Hogwarts about to re-enter into a dimensional space of such startling magical JOY as I had initially. Those first furtive footsteps I took into Ms Night’s world – as I clicked my mouse – where so evocative of what I hope to find within the realms of Fantasy (either through Children’s Lit releases or the adult realms) – I daresay, I nearly pinched myself realising I would soon be receiving this lovely #bookmail!

I was overtaken by the ingenuity of it – fragments now in my imagination and mental memory – as so much personal strife has happened in the few short weeks (since Mid-May!) since I first arrived on site to now. Such a gutting realisation, dear hearts, to know I’m revealling this story to you whilst noting I cannot give you that catalyst of JOY. I don’t believe I have felt so shattered ahead of reading a novel. I wanted more of that website – more of that world – it cast such a magical spell on me! I felt rejuvenated and inspired. I felt like this world I was about to enter was tangible, real and wholly visceral!

What pray tell happened to the music? The beautiful music which not only overlaid the words but rooted you inside Croswald? My heart grieves dear hearts, for you might not ever know the Croswald I originally ‘met’ by an inventively innovative creative author’s website. I felt as if the wind had left my sails upon my return. Almost as if you’ve misplaced something you had felt a part of but instead is nothing more than a mere figment of your own imagination.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

[ skip forward – read what I said AFTER I shared my #unboxing photos !! ]

[ you dear hearts have a SURPRISE inasmuch as I did upon waking this morn! ]

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Unboxing DE Night debut novel bookmail. Book Photography Credit: Jorie of jorielovesastory.com. Photo edits and collage created in Canva.

Whenever I am receiving #bookmail from a publicist, author or publisher – I never know what I am going to find inside the book parcel. In this instance, the bundle I received in the Post was extra special because I knew going into receiving it there were going to be book-related extras & surprises! I truly was captured by the small details – from the collage of books on a shelf on the box itself – the curiously small box which was meant to contain all the surprises which nearly had me perplexed more than anything else – as I wasn’t quite sure how the smallness of it’s dimensions could hold so much inside it’s depths!

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Posted Wednesday, 12 July, 2017 by jorielov in #Unboxing BookMail, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Bookish Memes, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Middle Grade Novel, Waiting on Wednesday

Blog Book Tour | “The Service of the Dead” (Book No.1 of the Kate Clifford Mysteries) by Candace Robb An author I was must curious to read left me hungry for more of her collective works!

Posted Thursday, 6 July, 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 regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! The interesting bit to note is I am happily reading the first two Kate Clifford Mysteries for this particular blog tour; thereby this is the first post in a series of two reviews.  I received a complimentary copy of “The Service of the Dead” direct from the publisher Pegasus Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I cannot turn my eye away from a Cosy Historical Mystery, especially one I previously earmarked to read:

There is something quite wonderful about the artful approach writers take to curate the world inside of a Cosy Historical Mystery. I have personally become quite addicted by these worlds – wherein it is a ready hobby of mine to seek out #newtomeauthors who are writing this extraordinary niche inside my beloved Historical Fiction! The truly interesting thing is how I had previously discovered Ms Robb’s Kate Clifford series!

You see, I have a particular interest in these lovelies – one of my most beloved being the Lady Darby mysteries but there are others, dear hearts – such as the Lucy Campion series and several others, such as the Hiro Hattori novels by Susan Spann! I honestly love the chance to curl inside these eloquently written mysteries, as I am either about to delve into a rather sinister plot which is not easily solved until the ending chapters and/or I am enticed through a new portal of the historical past I simply cannot wish to extract myself anytime soon! This is perhaps why the Cosy Historical Mysteries appeal to me as much as they do – they combine certain strongholds of bookish joy (ie. the historical past, wicked good murderous suspense, a champion of a strong lead by which to rally behind and a tucked away setting not yet known) whilst giving me a good read which might give me goosebumps before the story concludes!

It was due to my fascination with early Forensics and seeking stories of a similar vein of the Lady Darby series – I quite readily spied the Kate Clifford series! I was on a library’s website (not my own; one of the lovelies I found whilst seeking where to travel) who had this charmingly brilliant way of finding ‘if you love this story, you ought to read this one next’ which not only honed in on your sensibilities as a reader but it was quite bang-on the mark for understanding your own bookish tendencies without so much as going on much past book titles, author names and the quirky collection of sub-genres or themes of interest you devour regularly. I was quite smitten with the in-catalogue app – though it would pain me to admit, which library had this modern marvel eludes my memory! Remembering this series – much more important!

Imagine then, my earnest joy in finding this lovely series was being offered on a blog tour!? It felt rather kismet! I do love seeing the patterns of how books arrive in our lives and which books cycle through our conscience whilst reappearing lateron in a way we hadn’t foreseen? As I had readily felt I would be ILL’ing (inter-library loaning) these lovelies ahead of purchasing them for my own shelves… as having a humble budget, I seek out a heap of books to read per annum from my local library. The fact the publisher surprised me with *hardback editions!* is wicked sweet of them!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “The Service of the Dead” (Book No.1 of the Kate Clifford Mysteries) by Candace Robb An author I was must curious to read left me hungry for more of her collective works!The Service of the Dead
by Candace Robb
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Expertly recreating the social and political upheavals of late medieval Europe, Candace Robb introduces a new series starring Kate Clifford, a woman forged on the warring northern marches of fourteenth century England.

Political unrest permeates York at the cusp of the fifteenth century, as warring factions take sides on who should be the rightful king–Richard II or his estranged, powerful cousin in exile, Henry Bolingbroke. Independent minded twenty-year-old Kate Clifford is struggling to dig out from beneath the debt left by her late husband. Determined to find a way to be secure in her own wealth and establish her independence in a male dominated society, Kate turns one of her properties near the minster into a guest house and sets up a business. In a dance of power, she also quietly rents the discreet bedchambers to the wealthy, powerful merchants of York for nights with their mistresses.

But the brutal murder of a mysterious guest and the disappearance of his companion for the evening threatens all that Kate has built. Before others in town hear word of a looming scandal, she must call upon all of her hard-won survival skills to save herself from ruin.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781681771274

Also by this author: Interview (Candace Robb) via Kate Clifford Blog Tour, The Service of the Dead

Also in this series: The Service of the Dead


Genres: Amateur Detective, Cosy Historical Mystery


Published by Pegasus Books

on 3rd May, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 236

Published By: Pegasus Books (@pegasus_books)
Available Formats: Hardback & E-Book

The Kate Clifford Mysteries:
I personally love the cover art design on this series! There is something about it which lends well to the era in which they are set but also the appeal for those of us who crave a heroine out of a wicked good Cosy Historical Mystery!

The Service of the Dead by Candace RobbA Twisted Vengeance by Candace Robb

The Service of the Dead | Book One

A Twisted Vengeance | Book Two | Synopsis | *forthcoming review

Read this lovely Guest Post about the Kate Clifford series | via Patricia Bracewell

Converse via: #Cosy + #HistoricalMystery | #HistoricalMystery | #KateCliffordMysteries | #CandaceRobb

About Candace Robb

Candace Robb

Candace Robb did her graduate work in medieval literature and history, and has continued to study the period while working first as an editor of scientific publications and now for some years as a freelance writer. Candace has published 13 crime novels set in 14th century England, Wales, and Scotland. The Owen Archer series is based in York and currently extends over 10 novels beginning with THE APOTHECARY ROSE; the most recent is A VIGIL OF SPIES. The Margaret Kerr trilogy explores the early days of Scotland’s struggle again England’s King Edward I, and includes A TRUST BETRAYED, THE FIRE IN THE FLINT, and A CRUEL COURTSHIP.

Writing as Emma Campion, Candace has published historical novels about two fascinating women she encountered while researching the Owen Archer mysteries, Alice Perrers (THE KING’S MISTRESS) and Joan of Kent (A TRIPLE KNOT).

Candace was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has lived most of her adult life in Seattle, Washington, which she and her husband love for its combination of natural beauty and culture. Candace enjoys walking, hiking, and gardening, and practices yoga and vipassana meditation. She travels frequently to Great Britain.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Thursday, 6 July, 2017 by jorielov in 14th Century, Amateur Detective, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Films, British Literature, Brothers and Sisters, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, England, Excerpt of Novel Read Aloud, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Inspiring Video Related to Content, Lady Detective Fiction, Late Middle Ages (1300-1500), Siblings, Twin Siblings

#PubDay Book Review | “The Fortune Teller” by Gwedolyn Womack Sophomore release by the author of “The Memory Painter”

Posted Tuesday, 6 June, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: Originally, as a hostess of HFVBTs (Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours) I was able to participate on the blog tour for Ms Womack’s debut novel: The Memory Painter. (see also Review) I was contacted by the author to gauge if I had interest in her sophomore release ‘The Fortune Teller’ of which I researched on her site and found the premise to be quite intriguing. I readily accepted her offer to read this for an honest review and she had her publisher send me a paperback copy of which I was grateful. I received a complimentary copy of “The Fortune Teller” direct from the publisher Picador 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

Why I enjoyed reading this author’s previous release: The Memory Painter

Womack uses creative juxtapositions throughout her novel – where we’re with Bryan and Linz one moment, whilst being treated to a sequence of knowledge not yet introduced to the main thread of the story-line. This is where she shifts both perspective and the trisectional splitting between the main context of how Bryan & Linz are inter-connected to each other, the critical research on Alzheimer’s and the mystery History has attempted to shroud out of memory and sight from humanity. She presents her characters with a depth of being who are grounded as much as they are dimensional. You can sense their emotions, even at a first glance to how they hold themselves and how they allow themselves to interact with others. There is quite a lot bubbling just below the surface – not only of the narrative direction but through the stitchings of how her characters are moulded together.

Womack writes with a subtle accuracy of giving you just enough information per each scene or character visit to allow you to tie everything together in the larger scope of things. It’s an interesting told narrative, from the point-of-view of shifting perceptions and how you are augmented through different portals of how the story-line is moving forward. The main focus is centred on Bryan and Linz, but you have other influences moving the timeline as well as how each cross-section pertains to the two protagonists who hold the key to the whole story! You can simply let your mind alight through Womack’s graceful narrative and let yourself wander as you wonder how the author knitted the story out of the ethers!

I give a nod of excellence to Womack for compellingly giving her readers a visceral level of realism towards understanding how Bryan painted his portraits of life and death! She used words as he uses paint – you could not help but feel as if you were standing below his portraits, seeing how everything felt alive and telling in that stance you took to see what shouldn’t be able to be seen. It’s a lovely novel of depth for the world of art, as similar to music, art is at times hard to conceptionalise on the page; Womack had such an organic way of presenting the art, you could not help but appreciate it in full!

How Womack was able to intervene on History to such a level of intriguing juxtapositions, I am uncertain! As she even brought back to life the compelling argument of how sometimes not everything is fully resolved before or after death! She interwove Egyptology in such a fascinating and inventive way as to cross their Ancient History with our current timeline! It was wonderful to watch her pull her layers together, explore the details further and to watch how even her characters were a bit startled by how everything was inter-connecting straight through to the finish! Her mind truly has captured the intricacies of a plot that is told not only through multiple perspectives but through a threading of counter current lives who are affectingly drawn to each other due to how their past lives originally affected their soul’s journey. Now that’s beyond impressive for a debut novel!

-as quoted from my review of The Memory Painter

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#PubDay Book Review | “The Fortune Teller” by Gwedolyn Womack Sophomore release by the author of “The Memory Painter”The Fortune Teller
by Gwendolyn Womack
Source: Direct from Publisher

Semele Cavnow appraises antiquities for an exclusive Manhattan auction house, specializing in deciphering ancient texts. And when she discovers a manuscript written in the time of Cleopatra, she knows it will be the find of her career. Its author tells the story of a priceless tarot deck, now lost to history, but as Semele delves further she realizes the manuscript is more than it seems. Both a memoir and a prophecy, it appears to be the work of a powerful seer, describing devastating wars and natural disasters in detail thousands of years before they occurred.

The more she reads, the more the manuscript begins to affect Semele's life. But what happened to the cards? As the mystery of her connection to the manuscript deepens, Semele can’t shake the feeling that she’s being followed. Only one person can help her make sense of it all: her client, Theo Brossard. Yet Theo is arrogant and elusive, concealing secrets of his own, and there’s more to Semele’s desire to speak with him than she would like to admit. Can Semele even trust him?

The auction date is swiftly approaching, and someone wants to interfere—someone who knows the cards exist, and that the Brossard manuscript is tied to her. Semele realizes it’s up to her to stop them: the manuscript holds the key to a two-thousand-year-old secret, a secret someone will do anything to possess.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781250099778

Also by this author: The Memory Painter

Genres: Ancient Civilisation, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense


Published by Picador

on 6th of June, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 368

Published By: Picador (@PicadorUSA) via St. Martin’s Press
imprints of St. Martin’s Publishing Group,
which is now a part of MacMillian Publishers

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About Gwendolyn Womack

Gwendolyn Womack Photo Credit: Copyright JennKL Photography

Originally from Houston, Texas, Gwendolyn Womack began writing theater plays in college at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She went on to receive an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in Directing Theatre, Video & Cinema.

Currently she resides in Los Angeles with her husband and son where she can be found at the keyboard working on her next novel. The Memory Painter is her first novel.

Photo Credit: Copyright JennKL Photography

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Tuesday, 6 June, 2017 by jorielov in Ancient Civilisation, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Book Trailer, Content Note, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Equality In Literature, Father-Daughter Relationships, Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Modern Day, Pharaohs & Dynasties, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Seers, Supernatural Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall” by Shannon Kirk

Posted Monday, 6 February, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall hosted by iRead Book Tours. Per my last #StoriesOfJorie update, I talked about how my life has changed over the past few month since my father’s stroke and how the loss of my connectivity to the internet in the latter weeks of January, pushed some of my reviews into February. I had hoped to keep this blog tour on schedule with the tour itself, until of course, my connectivity issues combined my role as my Dad’s caregiver did not give me enough hours to  post in time to officially participate. However, I did remain in contact with iRead whilst posting this as close to the end of the tour as I can to hopefully catch readers who are still following to see our opinions. I also tried to tweet a few reactions out ahead of my review going live as I was completely absorbed into the heart of this narrative and the scope of where the author hoped readers would take their readerly hearts.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall” direct from the author Shannon Kirk in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I  am drawn to stories such as this one:

The introspective and existential journey of the soul is a unique perspective to have available in literature, as it deals with the quest of not only a person’s humanistic approach to their living reality but to the deeper layers of their soul’s journey. I personally love introspective  narratives – which is one reason I was delighted to be a beta reader for Mr Barton’ s  Peach,even if during my readings of his novel I recognised a humbling truth of my own: I can handle near-death and coma experiences but when the background of a story is attached directly to terminal illness (ie. Cancer) I find myself unwinding from the context of the story; almost unmoored if you will to carry forward with the journey on the pages. Blessedly through my work with Mr Barton, I was able to complete my work with his manuscript whilst working around this newfound literary block of mine. I spoke more about this particular subject on this post about how sometimes our emotions and our hearts cannot take us everywhere we’d like to go within a novel.

Peach taps into  a particular awareness of living and of life; of  stepping outside oneself and of seeking to understand the authenticity of one’s living truth whilst mindfully aware of how actions and their effects on others can influence how our lives can play out. It’s one man’s journey towards understanding who he is whilst re-appreciating his role in his life and how he is particularly important to those around him.  On a similar vein of interest, I found Antiphony to be written in a similar tone of  narrative thought –  suspended of course from the traditional story-telling arc and cast into that particular heady sea of introspective fiction. Both of these prior reads allowed me to go to a different place in literature where writers are seeking to find a way to communicate a layer of story-telling which is not oft-times revealled nor are the layers of our soul explored to reveal a more humbling view of our own humanity.

I am unsure why stories involving near-death and coma story-lines are easier for me to process than terminal illness, but it has been true for quite a long time even before this past year where I pulled my thoughts together. I still remember how intrigued I was by a French author’s story within If Only It Were True by Marc Levy. I also saw the adaptation Just Like Heaven and hope to one day see the Bollywood version I See You. I was caught up in the narrative of how Levy wrote the story even though there were a few wrinkles in my brow in how the story evolved and how it was disclosed to the reader. There was enough inside it to inspire me to conclude it and by the time I saw the film, I was moved past the emotional plane of where the author meant us to go. It was heart-stirring and it was inspiring on an interpersonal level.

There is something quite vividly alive about seeking out the stories which take us outside the ‘everyday’ and re-align us back into the periscope of understanding the wider importance of why we live. As an aside, I know the author crossed my path on Twitter at some point in the journey of this novel – it might have even been whilst it was moving titles (originally known as ‘Heavens’) but whenever it was our paths first crossed, the joy was mine to finally dig into her story-line and see how she breathed to life Vivienne’s discovery.  On another level of cross-reference, portions of Vivienne’s journey hugged me back to the poetically insightful prose found within Lemongrass Hope! (see also review)  These are the stories I ache to find and to feel fully consumed after having read. They give you something back which sometimes can become lost in the chaos of life; a well of renewal and a sharpened awareness of our human condition.                                                                                                     Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall” by Shannon KirkThe Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall
by Shannon Kirk
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

What if you could choose your heaven now? Go on a celestial shopping trip of sorts? Thirty-five-year-old Vivienne does just that, as she lies dying in the ICU; a fatal walk into the path of a truck. In her final week of life, Vivienne treks through the Heavens of a priest, a best friend, a homeless child, and a lover who never was. Vivienne’s guardian angel, Noah, who may just be her soul mate, escorts her through selections of Heavens and through the confusion Vivienne experiences as she flounders between a doubt of life and the certainty of death. Although her visits to varied afterlives provide peace and beauty, choosing proves not so easy: Vivienne’s love for her young son and her earthly father pull her from her colorful journey—and from her divine love of Noah.

The nature of love, the variety and magic of life, unending hope, and the importance of saying goodbye are central to this uplifting tale.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781944387082

Genres: Genre-bender, LGBTQIA Fiction, Magical Realism, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Women's Fiction


Published by Reputation Books

on 12th August, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 310

 Published By: Reputation Books

 Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Shannon Kirk

Shannon Kirk

Shannon Kirk is the awarding-winning author of the international bestselling Method 15/33 (psychological thriller--bestseller in Colombia and Spain, will be lead title in Italy, 2017) and Heavens (Literary Fiction). Method 15/33 has received multiple accolades: 2015 Foreword Review Book of the Year (Suspense); Winner of 2015 National Indie Excellence Award, Best Suspense; 2015 USA Best Book Finalist; School Library Journal's Best Adult Books for Teens (2015); and Finalist in 2013 William Faulkner William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition (when a Novella). Method 15/33 is optioned for a major motion film and has sold to nineteen foreign rights.

When not writing, she is a practicing lawyer, residing on Massachusett's Cape Ann with her husband and son and two cat writing accomplices, Marvin Marquez (in honor of Gabriel Garcia Marquez) and Stewie Poe (Edgar Allen Poe).

Shannon enjoys writing in several genres: literary fiction, psychological thriller, young adult, and poetry. She has been honored three times by the William Faulkner William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. ​

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Posted Monday, 6 February, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Angels, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, Boston, Childhood Friendship, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Genre-bender, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Magical Realism, Medical Fiction, Modern Day, Near-Death Experience, Neurosciences | Neurogenetics, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Realistic Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction, Women's Health