Category: Interviews Related to Content of Novel

Blog Book Tour | “The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House” by Kate Andersen Brower A #bookblogger who adored #TheWestWing on tv and The American President on the silver screen, digs happily inside ‘The Residence’!

Posted Monday, 27 April, 2015 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

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

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on “The Residence” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary hardback copy of the book direct from the publisher Harper (an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers), in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Books which stimulate a keen interest in their subjects:

It is not a widely known fact amongst my circle of friends, but I take after my Mum in regards to my love and curiosity about Presidential History! I grew up carting around a trivia book about the then 40 Presidents of the United States, as I was fascinated by the ‘little stories’ surrounding the men who worked inside the White House. My classmates and I, took learning the Presidents during fourth grade to a whole new level whilst we created our own trivia to remind us of the presidential ‘quirks’ and ‘personality traits’ that could help us score higher on our oral exams. Thereby, I would always remember some of the more curious trivia surrounding the Presidents as a whole, but definitely knew if your going out in the rain, sleet, or snow, best to wear a hat, coat, and gloves if you want to forestall an early demise! Singularly William H. Harrison (our 9th President) would be entombed forever for precipitating his own death, at least to my class of fourth graders! Taft on the other hand, gave us endless pleasure in making ‘pretend taffy’ whilst Hoover gave new meaning to what vacuum cleaners are known as across the Pond!

Visiting the Presidential Libraries is not just a prospect and dream of my Mum’s but one I share with her, as I love libraries in general, but there are certain collections inspired by the Presidents that I felt would be quite wicked lovely to visit! I haven’t yet had the pleasure to go to them, but I have visited my first ‘hometown’ of a President without planning too as Hope, Arkansas will remain the city that welcomed in travellers who needed assistance and gave back their hearts. Similarly, like the author Ms Brower I have long held a curiosity of sorts for those who work both upstairs / downstairs in large houses, estates, or castles — where the living proximity is tight but the depth of the divisions can be quite large.

This might explain why I have a penchant for these sorts of stories in motion pictures, as like the author, yes, I did draw a keen eye into the world Downton Abbey before the series broke my heart when Matthew died and crushed my soul a bit when certain story-lines from Series 4 were introduced. My heart has yet to be able to return, and thus, I might not see Series 5 or 6 as a result. However, it isn’t just my fascination with this particular era of history nor of the setting therein, as I loved watching The American President starring Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, and Martin Sheen. Sheen reprised his role on a tv series by the same creator settling into the role of the President on The West Wing. I loved the series, sharing an equal joy of it with my grandmother, except she was able to maintain an active viewing of it wherein I lost track of where I was in the episodes.

Overall, it is the stories of the everyday hours that seem to get lost in the shuffle. The little bits of ordinary life which barely have the chance to surfacing because there is always something much more dire and urgent to reveal instead. I understand the politics of the exclusions, but sometimes, it is quite nice to see a humbling view of a world that very few are allowed to enter, and to see a mark of their humanity as left behind by those who knew them best.

Blog Book Tour | “The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House” by Kate Andersen Brower A #bookblogger who adored #TheWestWing on tv and The American President on the silver screen, digs happily inside ‘The Residence’!The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House
by Kate Andersen Brower
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

A remarkable history with elements of both In the President’s Secret Service and The Butler, The Residence offers an intimate account of the service staff of the White House, from the Kennedys to the Obamas.

America’s First Families are unknowable in many ways. No one has insight into their true character like the people who serve their meals and make their beds every day. Full of stories and details by turns dramatic, humorous, and heartwarming, The Residence reveals daily life in the White House as it is really lived through the voices of the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers, and others who tend to the needs of the President and First Family.

These dedicated professionals maintain the six-floor mansion’s 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, three elevators, and eight staircases, and prepare everything from hors d’oeuvres for intimate gatherings to meals served at elaborate state dinners. Over the course of the day, they gather in the lower level’s basement kitchen to share stories, trade secrets, forge lifelong friendships, and sometimes even fall in love.

Combining incredible first-person anecdotes from extensive interviews with scores of White House staff members—many speaking for the first time—with archival research, Kate Andersen Brower tells their story. She reveals the intimacy between the First Family and the people who serve them, as well as tension that has shaken the staff over the decades. From the housekeeper and engineer who fell in love while serving President Reagan to Jackie Kennedy’s private moment of grief with a beloved staffer after her husband’s assassination to the tumultuous days surrounding President Nixon’s resignation and President Clinton’s impeachment battle, The Residence is full of surprising and moving details that illuminate day-to-day life at the White House.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Current Events, Non-Fiction, Presidential Life & History


Published by Harper Books

on 7th April, 2015

Pages: 320

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

Published by: Harper Books (@harperbooks)
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Available Formats: Hardback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #TheResidence

About Kate Andersen Brower

Kate Andersen Brower spent four years covering the Obama White House for Bloomberg News and is a former CBS News staffer and Fox News producer. She lives outside Washington, D.C., with her husband and their two young children.

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Posted Monday, 27 April, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Art, Audiobook, Audiobook Excerpt, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Films, Downton Abbey, Equality In Literature, Fathers and Daughters, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, History, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Interviews Related to Content of Novel, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Non-Fiction, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Presidential Life & History, Realistic Fiction, Soundcloud, TLC Book Tours

Blog Book Tour | “Inspector of the Dead” (Book Two: Thomas De Quincey series) by David Morrell Included is a proper introductionary view into ‘Murder As A Fine Art’ the first in the dramatic series you simply cannot hesitate to read because of how it’s writ by Morrell to capture your curiosity!

Posted Wednesday, 15 April, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , , , 1 Comment

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

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Inspector of the Dead” virtual book tour through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of “Inspector of the Dead” direct from the publisher Mulholland Books (an imprint of Little, Brown and Company via Hachette Book Group, Inc.), in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Whilst I was requesting to be placed on this blog tour, I requested a copy of the first book in the series “Murder as a Fine Art” as I have never read a story by David Morrell; blessedly I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher Mulholland Books (an imprint of Little, Brown and Company via Hachette Book Group, Inc.) without being obligated to post a review, as my ruminations on behalf of this novel are for my own edification only.

Intrigued to Read:

I have been quite open about my passion for Cosy Mysteries, Cosy Historical Mysteries, Historical Suspense & Thrillers, inasmuch as a new directional curve to acquire a taste for what I refer to directly as ‘Cosy Horror‘ – an augmented slice of Horror’s original declarative section Psychological Suspense! How keen then, to discover within the opening pages of Murder As A Fine Art the mentioning of how this particular kind of suspense thriller was first spilt onto the page by Wilkie Collins (of whom I have earmarked to read during Horror October and of whom is listed on my tCC List!) You can further view my Story Vault’s classification system for genre-specific stories of which alight within my reading hours giving me the most joy a contented reader can ever hope to discover!

As a 2nd Year Book Blogger, it is quite interesting to realise I’ve started a new conversation about what constitutes ‘Cosy Horror’ and ‘Cosy Historical Mysteries’ as the terms were either under appreciated or not yet in use until I came onto the scene! I would love to claim both of them equally, but only ‘Cosy Horror’ could be linked to my creation as there was quite a heap of controversy surrounding ‘Cosy Historical Mysteries’ until I spent a considerable amount of time referencing what I believe it refers too and what it most decidedly doesn’t include as well.

Crime Fiction is a ready-at-hand section in Literature which whets a healthy thirst of interest because I love being able to step alongside the inspectors, detectives, as much as other curious sorts who dig through crime scenes and evidence to root out the truth of a crime which intellectually gives the reader a heap of sleuthing joy to read. I am not limited to appreciating reading about murder, suspense, and intrigue as I quite happily have become deeply attached to wicked sophisticated serials such as: Foyle’s War, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Sherlock, Rosemary & Thyme, Hetty Wainthroppe Investigates, NCIS, The Mentalist, Castle, Numbers, Murdoch Mysteries, The Pinkertons, Crossing Jordan, Inspector Morse & Lewis (*eager to meet Endeavour), Monk, Hart to Hart, Perry Mason, Columbo, Murder, She Wrote, Ironside, Quincy M.E., McMillan & Wife, Sherlock Holmes starring Basil Rathbone and the Thin Man movies starring William Powell and Myrna Loy to name a few.

What a treat for me, to realise the harkening reality of where and when the changes in literature occurred to give us such an enriched history of Crime Fiction, Drama, and Suspense! I had a sense Gothic Literature would not be too far behind, and Morrell did not disappoint me, as the writers he was speaking about took their cues from the Gothic stylings of the past eras before them to curate a new level of suspense – sensationalism. The Victorian Era has held my eye of attention for many a moon throughout my reading life (originating in childhood), and it did not surprise me one whit the Victorians took credence of stock of ‘what’ would draw their blood to coil most would be the haunting reality of psychosis over paranormal attributes of the unknown. Most of the topics discussed would fit well within the dialogue and story-lines of Law & Order: SVU and this goes to prove the point, we have not progressed but regressed.

I am not normally one to find myself attached to the grittier tomes of Suspense, much less a story which is parallel to Jack the Ripper as far as character motivations go, yet I found myself drawn to Morrell’s stories all the same. Sometimes it’s the unexpected stories set within a ‘theme of interest’ that tempt us to explore outside our own literary wanderings that will find us either grateful for the experience or merely proving to be a test of our will before jumping back into the familiar territories we knowingly love. We could also find a curious balance where stepping outside our zones of comfort can lend a curious window into an ‘otherworld’ of psychological suspense! Noting to myself, I did get caught up inside a story about Jack the Ripper, and thus, this is my second ‘step’ outside the norm of where my wanderings lead me in Crime.

Curiosity is a bird of it’s own feather which leaves a reader a bit wanton for understanding what causes the curiosity in the first place! Some doors should not be opened nor explored, for what they give to the eyes and mind might be a bit much for the sensitive heart to endeavour to understand. Ah, such pickles we bookish souls entangle ourselves into at times, eh!? The artwork is a work of beauty, how the fog is a character of it’s own kind, and present on both book covers for this series of thrillers.

The history behind how (the real) Thomas De Quincey had the forethought and insight to become Freud’s own ally in the field of psychology is impressive enough, but it’s the level of which he took his journey to understand the under-notes of insanity and subconscious I must agree with Morrell (as viewed in his author’s commentary on behalf of De Quincey at the bottom of this review) he isn’t quite the moral figure to empathsis in most circles, but credit is due to him for understanding the darker side of humanity.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Inspector of the Dead” (Book Two: Thomas De Quincey series) by David Morrell Included is a proper introductionary view into ‘Murder As A Fine Art’ the first in the dramatic series you simply cannot hesitate to read because of how it’s writ by Morrell to capture your curiosity!Inspector of the Dead
by David Morrell
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Book Synopsis of Inspector of the Dead:

David Morrell’s MURDER AS A FINE ART was a publishing event. Acclaimed by critics, it made readers feel that they were actually on the fogbound streets of Victorian London. Now the harrowing journey continues in INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD.

Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his Confessions of an Opium-Eater,confronts London’s harrowing streets to thwart the assassination of Queen Victoria.
The year is 1855. The Crimean War is raging. The incompetence of British commanders causes the fall of the English government. The Empire teeters.

Amid this crisis comes opium-eater Thomas De Quincey, one of the most notorious and brilliant personalities of Victorian England. Along with his irrepressible daughter, Emily, and their Scotland Yard companions, Ryan and Becker, De Quincey finds himself confronted by an adversary who threatens the heart of the nation.

This killer targets members of the upper echelons of British society, leaving with each corpse the name of someone who previously attempted to kill Queen Victoria. The evidence indicates that the ultimate victim will be Victoria herself. As De Quincey and Emily race to protect the queen, they uncover long-buried secrets and the heartbreaking past of a man whose lust for revenge has destroyed his soul.

Brilliantly merging historical fact with fiction, Inspector of the Dead is based on actual attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Series: The Thomas De Quincey Mysteries,


Genres: Crime Fiction, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Historical Fiction, Suspense, Thriller


Published by Mulholland Books

on 24th March, 2015

Pages: 342

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Wednesday, 15 April, 2015 by jorielov in 19th Century, Addictions and Afflictions, Audiobook, Audiobook Excerpt, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Crime Fiction, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Detective Fiction, Diary Accountment of Life, England, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Excessive Violence in Literature, Father-Daughter Relationships, Geographically Specific, Good vs. Evil, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Mystery, Historical Perspectives, Historical Thriller Suspense, Horror, Interviews Related to Content of Novel, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Medical Fiction, Passionate Researcher, Psychological Suspense, Realistic Fiction, Sociological Behavior, Specialised Crime Investigator, the Victorian era, Thomas De Quincey, True Crime, Vulgarity in Literature, Writing Style & Voice

Blog Book Tour | “Girl Runner” by Carrie Snyder

Posted Wednesday, 25 February, 2015 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

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

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Girl Runner” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the publisher HarperCollins Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I grew up watching the Winter (Olympic) Games, whilst the Games themselves inspired me to correspond with other girls who lived overseas, as my original pen pals were sought through a friendship exchange linked to the Norwegian Games in the early 1990s. Those friendships dissolved in my early to mid twenties, but the friendships sparked a love of exchanging postal mail and letters of correspondence! A tradition that I still carry forward today, as I will be blogging a bit more about my love for postal mail, stationeries, mixed media collage and postal mail art; intermixed with my love of knitting, as segues of how a bookish girl like me has found beauty and joy in lost arts of the recent past.

The Games themselves by definition and by example, lead us towards a world that is close-knit and tied together through sportsmanship and the honour of competing not merely against each other on teams, but against our ‘best moment inside the sport itself’ to better ourselves and strengthen our abilities therein. It’s a magical and inspirational time every four years, as we get to dip inside a country’s history and the passion they have for not only the continuation of the Games themselves but the diplomacy and the curated friendships that athletes find amongst the community of which they find themselves living for this moment in time and history. The Olympic Village stories combine with the Opening & Closing Ceremonies and the documentaries on the host country, to knit together my overall joy of watching from afar as the Games pursue as the telecast feeds are limited by time zone and distance.

I anchoured myself into the Winter Games a bit quicker than the Summer Games, but I enjoy each of them quite equally, whilst finding the X-Games are a wicked sweet surprise in-between! I have fond memories extending out of Nagano, Japan; Vancouver, British Columbia; London, England; and Beijing, China which gives an overview of my favourite Winter & Summer Games of the past decade or so. When I came to discover the narrative behind Girl Runner, I must confess I had an intense cascade of beautiful memories alighting through my mind’s eye as I considered accepting this novel for review. To explore a part of the Olympic past cast against a fictional character’s story simply enveloped me in full anticipation of what I would discover within the pages themselves!

On a separate note, I had to remind myself that I was a charity runner when I was nine years old who accomplished more than the runners twice her age or older. I hadn’t even realised I was running further and faster than the others around me; as I did experience a bit of what Snyder talks about in her novel Girl Runner where everything outside your run starts to blur and it is you alone on the track or path you’ve elected to race. Running a race isn’t always about a specific end result, it can be for the clock in competition or it can simply be a defining moment where you seek to prove your own fortitude of strength. How far can you personally take yourself to run? How far will you go? The irony is that before I picked up Girl Runner I had forgotten I was a runner myself; one who elected not to run for sport, but to run for myself. I gave myself the freedom to pace my extensions and my distance by what I knew I could achieve against the clock of how long the charity run would last. The best joy was knowing my true best was better than I could have dreamt.

Running gives you an honest account and assessment of your capabilities — how far you can push yourself and how where your own barriers might lie to hold you back from what you can do. There is freedom of spirit in running over and beyond where you felt you physically could travel.

I was encouraged to run during recess and P.E. even though I knew I could not compete with the girls who would make the track team. I decided to find my own buoyancy of rhythm, to tap into where my breath could match my feet and where my gait could extend itself into an individual pace of quickness. I hadn’t realised how I have missed that feeling of achieving something I never expected to gain. Running is an elevated joy from walking; but being in motion in and out of time itself is the appeal.

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

Blog Book Tour | “Girl Runner” by Carrie SnyderGirl Runner
by Carrie Snyder
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

An unforgettable novel about competition, ambition, and a woman’s struggle to earn a place in a man’s world, Girl Runner is the story of 1928 Olympic gold medalist Aganetha Smart. Will Aganetha’s undeniable talent help her to outrun the social conventions of her time, or the burden of her family’s secrets?

As a young runner, Aganetha Smart defied everyone’s expectations to win a gold medal for Canada in the 1928 Olympics. It was a revolutionary victory, because these were the first Games in which women could compete in track events—and they did so despite opposition. But now Aganetha is in a nursing home, and nobody realizes that the frail centenarian was once a bold pioneer.

When two young strangers appear asking to interview Aganetha for their documentary about female athletes, she readily agrees. Despite her frailty, she yearns for adventure and escape, and though her achievement may have been forgotten by history, her memories of chasing gold in Amsterdam remain sharp. But that triumph is only one thread in the rich tapestry of her life. Her remarkable story is colored by tragedy as well as joy, and as much as Aganetha tries, she cannot outrun her past.

Part historical page-turner, part contemporary mystery, Girl Runner peels back the layers of time to reveal how Aganetha’s amazing gift helped her break away from a family haunted by betrayals and sorrow. But as the pieces of her life take shape, it becomes clear that the power of blood ties does not diminish through the years, and that these filmmakers may not be who they claim to be. . . .

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Canadian Lit, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction


Published by Harper Books

on 3rd February, 2015

Pages: 288

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

Published by: Harper Books (@harperbooks)

an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)

Available FormatsHardback & Ebook

Converse via: #GirlRunner

About Carrie Snyder

Carrie Snyder’s Girl Runner is shortlisted for the 2014 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Her previous book, The Juliet Stories, was shortlisted for the prestigious Governor General’s Literary Award and named one of the Globe and Mail‘s Top 100 Books of the Year. Her first book, the short story collection Hair Hat, was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award for Short Fiction. A mother of four, Carrie lives with her family in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

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Posted Wednesday, 25 February, 2015 by jorielov in 20th Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, ARC | Galley Copy, Audio Play, Audiobook, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Bookish Films, Canada, Canadian Literature, Cats and Kittens, Chapter or Novel Adaptation in Audio, Clever Turns of Phrase, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, During WWI, Geographically Specific, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Herbalist, Historical Fiction, Interviews Related to Content of Novel, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Literary Fiction, Lyrical Quotations, Midwife | Midwifery, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Realistic Fiction, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Soundcloud, Sports, The Olympic Games (Winter or Summer), the Roaring Twenties, TLC Book Tours, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage