Category: Brothers and Sisters

#HistoricalMondays | Book Review | “The Gift of the Seer” [long awaited sequel to “The Spirit Keeper” (2013)] by K.B. Laugheed

Posted Monday, 11 February, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

I am launching a new weekly featured concentration of book reviews on Jorie Loves A Story which celebrates my love and passion for the historical past! For those of whom are regular readers and visitors to my blog, you’ll denote a dedicated passion for reading Historical Fiction (and all the lovely segues of thematic therein) – I am a time traveller of the historical past every chance I get to disappear into a new era and/or century of exploration. There isn’t a time period I haven’t enjoyed ruminating over since [2013] and there are a heap of lovely timescapes I’ve yet to encounter.

This feature was inspired by the stories I’ve read, the stories I’ve yet to experience and the beauty of feeling interconnected to History through the representation of the past through the narratives being writ by today’s Historical Fiction authors. It is to those authors I owe a debt of gratitude for enlightening my bookish mind and my readerly heart with realistic characters, illuminating portals of living history and a purposeful intent on giving each of us a strong representation of ‘life’ which should never become dismissed, forgotten or erased.

I am beginning this feature with the sequel to a beloved historical novel I first read in [2013] – it was one of the first ARCs I received and it was the first year I was a book blogger though it was through a connection outside my life as a blogger. I am celebrating K.B. Laugheed’s literature to kick-off this feature and hopefully will inspire my followers to take this new weekly journey with me into the stories which are beckoning to read their narrative depths and find the words in which to express the thoughts I experienced as I read.

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Acquired Book By: In [2013] I was still participating in the Early Reviewer programme via Book Browse wherein I received an ARC for “The Spirit Keeper” – a new Historical Fiction narrative which sought to break boundaries of its genre and which captured me heart and soul as I read it. It was an emotionally gutting read, a historical reckoning of a story and it left me ruminatively curious about what the ‘next’ chapter of this extraordinary character’s life would be in the sequel. 

I decided to write an expanded review on my blog for my own edification after having contributed my Early Reviewer review to Book Browse – it was one of the few times I was able to do this even though there are a few other ARCs I received from Book Browse I’d like to still blog about in the near future which fittingly have more to be said on their behalf from my readerly experience.

Likewise, I also reached out to the author directly shortly after I posted my review in September of 2013; remember dear hearts, I launched my blog live on the 6th of August, 2013 – so this expanded review became one of the first officially celebrated novels of Jorie Loves A Story in the beginning of finding my writerly voice and my bookish presence in the book blogosphere. It pre-dated hosting blog tours and working with publishers, publicists and authors directly.

Although I remained in contact with the author a bit over the years – simply checking the status on the sequel or offering encouraging thoughts on writing it – I don’t consider this a conflict of interest as to be honest, it was not constant contact and we weren’t in contact on a regular basis nor did we touch base each year since 2013.

When I received an email from Ms Laugheed this past December, 2018 – to say I was pleasantly gobsmacked to have heard from her after a long absence of communication is putting it mildly! I was overjoyed – more for her than for me – as she was announcing the sequel was being published! She decided at long last to go the Indie route towards  publication and I was full of joy and happiness for her as this was a very long and dedicated route back to publishing a sequel I believed in as a reader (and there are others like me out there) but of which I wasn’t sure if any of us would get a chance to embrace it in published form.

Thereby, I did not hesitate to respond to her request to accept this new novel for review consideration – the only thing which delayed my entrance into its chapters was my five week Winter virus (from before Christmas to the early weeks of January, 2019) and my three successive migraines (from mid-January to early February). I read this immediately after recovering from my third migraine and was thrilled I could finally attach my mind and heart round the continuing journey of Katie and Hector!

I received a complimentary copy of “The Gift of the Seer” by the author K.B. Laugheed in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Re-visiting “The Spirit Keeper”

My original motivation to read the novel: I wanted to partake in her journey untoward becoming one man’s living vision of ‘a creature of fire and ice’ and to see if they could fulfill each other’s destinies therein. It is such a curious proposition, to be taken by force from one’s own family, and re-positioned into a life, by which, you’re in complete unfamiliar territory, amongst people who speak a different tongue than your own, and by your own wits, have to determine how to survive. I was curious by how she was going to effectively change her life and heart; and to what end she must do so! This felt to me like a piece of Magical Realism wrapped up inside a Historical Fiction, rooted into the conscience of the American Frontier! I was besotted with the plot, and needed to read it to ascertain what the story truly was about! The Spirit Keeper spoke to me, as a book I needed to read rather than merely a book I wanted to read! I listen to my intuition in other words!

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Ms Laugheed advised me to re-read “The Spirit Keeper” ahead of reading “The Gift of the Seer” – what I hadn’t the heart to tell her is my copy of the novel is packed as most of my personal library has been packed for the last four years. I couldn’t sort out which box it is held within if I had a compass as I literally have quite the expansive library being stored right now. This is one key reason why I can’t always re-read the novels I’m reviewing – as I only have a handful of books I’ve reviewed the past few years unpacked and shelved – most of which, are first or seconds in series, awaiting new releases to where I can turn back to and re-read a bit ahead of delving into the next installment. I did have The Spirit Keeper prominently shelved for quite a few years after it was released – it was only recently I had to make the hard choice to pack it away for safe keeping til I can restore my library back to rights.

Therefore, I did what any other book blogger would do in this situation – I borrowed a well-loved copy from my local library and as I re-entered the story, I was quite shocked by what I discovered! I hadn’t forgotten as much as I was expecting, too! I re-read the opening bridge of the novel – re-visiting how Katie was taken from her family, the traumatic transitioning into life with the Spirit Keeper and Hector as much as re-aligning in my mind the era this series is set and the mannerisms of how the story is told. As Ms Laugheed has a very distinctive style of historical story-telling; it is one reason I was hugged so dearly close into the story originally.

Secondly, as I noticed a lot of readerly flashbacks moving through my mind’s eye after that particular re-visitation – I immediately flipped to the last quarter of the novel, resumed as if I hadn’t been absent from this story for :six: long years and re-lived the concluding chapters, as fresh as dew on recently mowed grass. I seriously was re-captured by what was left behind for my eyes and heart to find – thereby, I knew with certainty I was prepared as I ever could be to re-enter Katie and Hector’s world.

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For those of you who might never have had the pleasure of joy reading this novel, let me select a few quotations from my original review – both from what I shared with Book Browse after first reading the ARC and what I expounded upon on Jorie Loves A Story thereafter.

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The inertia of reality that besots you as soon as you enter into the world of The Spirit Keeper, is quite a hard bullet to bite, because before you can wrap your eyes and heart around what your visually aware of, your niched into the story! I credit this to the author, as Laugheed endeavours you to jump straight out of your comfort zone, wholly free-falling into a brutal, raw, and untamed section of the American Frontier in the mid-1700s and take a quest towards unraveling the complexities of building a new life in a foreign land. The thematics that are entrenched in the story parlay an exposition on language, translation, and sense of being. She readily elevates our awareness that our words can draw an impact that is not always aware to us, but like the life paths we are walking, we are not always in charge of their meaning or purpose of use.

I will lament, that if you’re a reader who begs off for lighter faire, you might want to caution yourself, as within Chapter One, the author does not hold back on the grim realities of what it was like in the 1700s when an Indian War Party descended upon a settler’s family.

The beauty of the outside world envelopes you from the jump-start, as the open wilderness is the footing for setting this story outside the reach of our known world. Even for those of us who are akin to the natural environment and the inhabitants therein, there is still so much of that world that is readily just outside our scope, outside our understanding. The Native Americans who are on the forefront of the story, evoke a cultural education into accepting stark differences of living, as much as embracing traditions that hold merit  (such as the menstrual huts for women).

Flickerments of “Medicine Man” (the motion picture) streamed through my mind, as did “Dances with Wolves” (the motion picture), as in each story, those who only spoke English, learnt to adapt and to live amongst the natives by which they found themselves belonging too better than their own kind. I am drawn into stories that attach us to whole new cultures, traditions, religions, and walks of life. Stories that etch into our imaginations a wholly new world, where there are similarities, but otherwise, as we dip into their narratives, we find ourselves in a foreign land, attempting to understand what we cannot yet conceive possible.

An incredible journey of self-preservation, fortitude of spirit, and overwhelming grief: I was not quite prepared for the journey that Katie, Syawa, and Hector embark upon! It wasn’t so much the long distances that they must traverse through rough hewn terrain, but rather, they are each going through a personal, intimate, internal journey concurrent to their outward journey towards the men’s originating homeland! Each is carrying secrets of their own experiences, and in Katie’s instance, her life is muddled and blighted with far more devastation than anyone could ill-afford possible to a seventeen year old young lady!

Her lot in life has been tempered by abuse and misguided notions of love, unto where she has encouraged a naïve sense of the living world, and has grown an ignorance of how right a life can be lived! I grieved for her and bleed emotions with her recollections of past memories,.. memories that were nearly too hard to bare and to ruminatively lay pause upon. It is through Syawa’s gentleness and effective way of easing her out of her shell, that she truly started to see who she was and who she could be. I only wish I could pronounce Syawa’s name, as I feel as guilty she does in her own story, about the misunderstandings that evolve out of not understanding language and meaning of words, phrases, or names outside our own native tongues!

Language & Translation: the Invisible Barriers we never foresee: Laugheed paints a clear window towards our greatest struggle in accepting and understanding each other, as we present ourselves to each other in our conversations! Each inflection of tone, voice, and the words we use to explain ourselves, can lead us down a path of misunderstanding and of misalignment in what we are attempting to represent as our thoughts, hopes, dreams, and passions. Throughout the story, we are seeing the story as a first-hand account of a diary the protagonist is writing to assert her own history back in her life, as she’s amongst those who do not understand the necessity of having a living history or a story to be told of one’s heritage. She values her experiences, her struggles of faith, and the lessons she is ought being taught as she walks forward into her future. She hasn’t had the easiest of lives, but she isn’t going to allow herself to wallow in the situations she could never effectively change, but rather, pull out a strength deep from within her, to carry her through the tribulations that she was certain were still to come.

Whilst she’s (Katie O’ Toole) recounting her days in her diary, I mused about how this differed from the diary of Robinson Crusoe as it contained more of her essence, her internal quagmire of thoughts, and the irrevocable distraught by which she plagued herself with for most of her arduous journey towards Syawa and Hector’s homeland. From the moment I read the opening page, by which the author departed a precognitive knowledge of how the story might transform as you read the words, I was left with a museful pre-occupation of how that would transpire, and further still, of one particular scene that I had presumed was forgotten within the re-writes and draughts, leading up to publication! However, this falls perfectly into this category of observation about ‘language and translation’, about how what we first perceive to be just and truth, can altogether change and alter, either by the different perception we’ve learnt through experience OR through reading a book that is quite unlike another! This book truly lives up to the proportions of what Laugheed mentions at the start gate: the words transcend their own meaning as you etch closer to the ending, the whole of the story is much larger than the sum of the parts as they are revealed!

In this way,  she is giving each of us to turn on our heels, the gross misconception of how we drink in words, knowledge, and observational data. The reader is very much at the heart of this story, and I think, is as central as Katie’s voice in re-telling her own history. What is humbling too, is how as our knowledge expands, the words that were once lost on us, as being completely irreverent suddenly take on new meanings, as they now evoke an ’emotion’, a ‘resolution’, or a ‘truth’ we did not understand previously. An Irish girl cast out into the wilderness of the wild frontier, with two Indian’s as her sole guides and protectors, makes for a curious precept initially, but it’s how they interact with each other, during the everyday hours, that Laugheed excels in not disappointing her reader! She never makes their interactions dull or predictable, because she has woven their personalities into the core of how they interact with each other! You pick up little character traits that come to play a larger part of the story as it threads through its climax, but inside these key portals of frontier life in campsites and canoes, you start to see how its possible to thread a new life together out of the ashes of the old! In this way, I was quietly savouring each exchange between the threesome, curious how they would come to depend on each other, and how they would draw strength by each others’ presence.

The art of story-telling plays a center part of The Spirit Keeper’s heart, but it’s the transformative power of understanding the words that are imparted throughout the story, that turn everything into a new light once the conclusion arrives. What the reader first mistook as a course of events, was truly a resounding precognitive journey that guided two characters forward into a future they would not have been strong enough to embrace otherwise. It’s the redemptive nature of grasping a hold of the essence of those who pass forward and away from our living world that is truly the most remarkable arc of the story! For we all have the ability to be a keeper of a spirit whose touched us deeply and left us remorseful for their presence! We only need the strength to transcend our perception and view our experiences from a different angle to see how the threads stitch together the pattern of our living tapestry!

An environmental conscience: Is cleverly hidden within the context of the story, but is one of the inclusions that I found to be the most illuminating to see!! I oft have found myself the most happiest amongst the trees, rivers, lakes, streams, and out-of-door hideaways that only a person can walk to find! Nature’s door is ever beckoning us to re-enter that sacred space between the natural world and the world by which we live as men. We are drawn towards nature as keenly as we are attached to water as a source of lifeblood, but it isn’t always an easy attachment to maintain, when the hectic nature of our lifestyles can circumvent our efforts to keep our hearts and souls aligned with the seasons and timescape of the natural world just past our windows! Laugheed draws a breath of vitality into the forest, where you can nearly hear the echoings of the trees, the rushing power of the rivers, and the harmonious tickings of the inhabitants therein. I appreciated that the animals that were killed in the book were used for what they could give back to the ones who fell them. I always respected this aspect of Native American beliefs, as they take what they need and only what they can use, at the time they go hunting. It’s a beautiful circle of life, as nothing is wasted and everything is respected. She wants you to see the beauty past what you expect to find whilst out in the deep woods, as the forest plays a fourth character or rather, that of a narrator that has not yet found its voice.

-quoted from my review of The Spirit Keeper

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#HistoricalMondays | Book Review | “The Gift of the Seer” [long awaited sequel to “The Spirit Keeper” (2013)] by K.B. LaugheedThe Gift of the Seer
by K.B. Laugheed
Source: Direct from Author

Katie O' Toole's epic adventure began in "The Spirit Keeper" (Plume 2013) when she was rescued from a 1747 frontier massacre only to find herself chosen as the "Spirit Keeper" of a dying Indian seer. She hesitated to accept this mysterious obligation until she fell in love with the Seer's bodyguard, an Indian man she called Hector.

Much has happened since my last writing,..

In The Gift of the Seer, Katie and Hector continue their journey across the continent, but the more Katie learns about the peculiar ways of her husband's people, the more she dreads arriving at their destination. Will anyone believe she is the Spirit Keeper she pretends to be? Equally troubling, Katie knows the Seer expected her to prove his Vision - a Vision which foretold of infinite Invaders coming to his world - but to prove this prophecy, she must give his people the great Gift he also predicted. The only problem is that Katie has no gift to give.

Years pass as she desperately searches for a way to fulfill her promise to the dead Seer, but when his former rival threatens to expose her as a fraud, Katie finally understands that her life and the life of all the people in her new world hang in the balance. That's when she knows she must give a Gift - she must - before it is too late.

Did you honestly think you could get so much and give nothing in return?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1732886216

Genres: Feminist Historical Fiction, Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Literary Fiction, Magical Realism, Native American Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Women's Studies


Published by Self Published Author

on 7th January, 2019

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 372

the spirit keeper duology:

The Spirit keeper & the gift of the seer

This is a Self-Published novel

Available Formats: Hardback, Paperback and Ebook

Converse on Twitter: #GiftOfTheSeer, #TheSpiritKeeper Sequel + #KBLaugheed
as well as #HistNov + #HistoricalFiction or #HistFic

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About K.B. Laugheed

The Gift of the Seer by K.B. Laugheed

K.B. Laugheed is an organic gardener and master naturalist who wrote her first published novel, The Spirit Keeper, as part penance for the sins of her family’s pioneer past, part tribute to all our ancestors, and part grandiose delusion as she hopes to remind modern Americans of the grim price we paid for the glorious life we take for granted today.

But The Spirit Keeper is not a story about guilt. It’s about gratitude.

The Gift of the Seer is officially available worldwide as it was published on the 7th of January, 2019.

To support the author directly, kindly consider purchasing her novels through her online store.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 11 February, 2019 by jorielov in #HistoricalMondays, #JorieLovesIndies, 18th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Browse, Book Review (non-blog tour), Brothers and Sisters, Bullies and the Bullied, Colonial America, Coming-Of Age, Content Note, Cultural & Religious Traditions, Cultural Heritage, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Diary Accountment of Life, Domestic Violence, Early Colonial America, Environmental Conscience, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, First Impressions, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Folklore, Genre-bender, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, History, Horror-Lite, Indie Author, Kidnapping or Unexplained Disappearances, Life Shift, Literary Fiction, Loss of an unbourne child, Magical Realism, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Midwives & Childbirth, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Motherhood | Parenthood, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Multicultural Marriages & Families, Native American Fiction, Native American Spirituality, Old World Arts & Crafts, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Prejudicial Bullying & Non-Tolerance, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Psychological Abuse, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Self-Published Author, Siblings, Sisterhood friendships, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Social Change, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Story in Diary-Style Format, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, Taboo Relationships & Romance, Terminal Illness &/or Cancer, The American Frontier, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Unexpected Pregnancy, Vulgarity in Literature, Wilderness Adventures, Women's Health

Audiobook Blog Tour | feat. a review of “Mourning Dove” writ and narrated by Claire Fullerton

Posted Sunday, 16 September, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions. Through hosting for the Audiobookworm I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks; see my sidebar). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I am hoping to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Mourning Dove” via Audiobookworm Promotion in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to listen to ‘Mourning Dove’:

I have the tendency of appreciating stories set within the framework of either Southern Lit or Southern Gothic categories. There is a ease of setting and each of these stories has their own particular tone of inclusion. Southern stories reach into that void between the historical past everyone is quite familiar with and the contemporary side of where the South has attempted to outgrow its own roots.

I had previously listened to a story (Next Stop Chancey) and felt this might be as enjoyable as that one had been as it is a rambling story focused on on singular family.

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Audiobook Blog Tour | feat. a review of “Mourning Dove” writ and narrated by Claire FullertonMourning Dove
by Claire Fullerton
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Claire Fullerton

The heart has a home when it has an ally. If Millie Crossan doesn't know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, 18 months her senior, becomes Millie's guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie's 10th birthday.

Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother's upbringing and vastly different from anything they've ever known. Here they are the outsiders. Here, they only have each other. And here, as the years fold over themselves, they mature in a manicured Southern culture where they learn firsthand that much of what glitters isn't gold.

Nuance, tradition, and Southern eccentrics flavor Millie and Finley's world, as they find their way to belonging. But what hidden variables take their shared history to leave both brother and sister at such disparate ends?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ASIN: B07DX8KB56

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


Published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

on 25th June, 2018

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 9 hours and 13 minutes (unabridged)

Published By: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (@LPCTweets)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook and Audioook

Converse via: #MourningDove #SouthernLit

About Claire Fullerton

Claire Fullerton

Claire Fullerton grew up in Memphis, TN and now lives in Malibu, CA. She is the author of contemporary fiction, "Dancing to an Irish Reel," set in Connemara, Ireland, where she once lived. Dancing to an Irish Reel is a finalist in the 2016 Kindle Book Review Awards, and a 2016 Readers' Favorite. Claire is the author of "A Portal in Time," a paranormal mystery that unfolds in two time periods, set on California's hauntingly beautiful Monterey Peninsula, in a village called Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Both of Claire's novels are published by Vinspire Publishing. Her third novel, Mourning Dove, is a Southern family saga, published in June, 2018 by Firefly Southern Fiction. She is one of four contributors to the book, Southern Seasons, with her novella, Through an Autumn Window, to be published in November 2018 by Firefly Southern Fiction. Claire is represented by Julie Gwinn, of The Seymour Literary Agency.

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Posted Sunday, 16 September, 2018 by jorielov in 20th Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brothers and Sisters, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Disillusionment in Marriage, Divorce & Martial Strife, Fathers and Daughters, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Life Shift, Literary Fiction, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Mother-Son Relationships, Rescue & Adoption of Animals, Siblings, The Seventies, Women's Fiction

Children’s #Classics Audiobook Review | “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” by Kate Douglas Wiggin, narrated by Ann Richardson a selection I added to my #theclassicsclub list under ‘Children’s Lit’

Posted Sunday, 26 August, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions. Through hosting for the Audiobookworm I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks; see my sidebar). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I am hoping to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” via Audiobookworm Promotions who is working directly with the publisher Post Hypnotic Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I was keenly interested in listening to this Classics Children’s Story:

Of all the Shirley Temple films I haven’t yet seen, the one film which has stood the test of time of being of apt curiosity is ‘Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm’! I have adored Ms Temple for most of my life – as her films are wickedly delightful to see at any age – in my twenties whilst appreciating binge watching TCM, I had the joy of finding her as a sixteen year old in the film “Since You Went Away”. The film lead was played by Claudette Colbert who had impressed with right next to Ingrid Bergman for their dexterity and their depth of character performances. This was a rare treat to see Temple in a nearly-adult role.

I wasn’t sure where this particular adaptation of ‘Rebecca’ would befit within the Classic novel – as when it comes to adaptations, you have to keep an open mind as some are strictly by the ‘book’ of what was disclosed and others have a healthy heaping of ‘liberties’ taken with how their filmed. Either way, you look on it, I knew I wanted to see Shirley Temple in this role, even if I would prefer another version for keeping in better step with the original story.

Quite shockingly, at the time of listening to the audiobook, as would you believe I never had the proper chance to source a print copy of this novel?! It was one of those ‘book-to-film’ reads I had intended to get and simply never did. I ought to work a bit harder at rectifying this pursuit in the future. For now, audiobook versions are my jam. I am seriously over the moon in love in finding Classical works of Lit in audio formats – and this first and foremost is a strong affirmative of credit towards the work of Post Hypnotic Press, of whom, had my path not crossed with theirs during the Betty MacDonald memoirs, I might never had even realised how keen I am on listening to the Classics on audiobook!

Another shocker for this reader and book blogger was discovering of *all!* the fastidiously ridiculous series of adaptations for Classical Lit in motion pictures, somehow, this particular field overlooked ‘Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm’ as there appear to be only *three!*? Imagine!? I barely could myself!

One thing I was thankful for – my introduction into ‘whom’ would alight off the pages of the novel came into my headphones by way of Ms Richardson on behalf of Post Hypnotic Press! They truly go the extra mile in placing the right narrator(s) in the right roles which give you a wealth of joy to be #amlistening! It isn’t the first time I felt the narrator befit the character and had a wholly individual way of presenting the character of the hour – the last time I felt this for a fictional character was during my listenings of Ms Henderson voicing ‘Anne of Green Gables’.

Rather oddly, I had overlooked adding this particular title to my tCC List, of which I’ve amended during this blog tour. It ought to truly have been inclusive all along and the oversight was decidedly a reader’s over enthused approach at trying to compile a ‘list’ to present as a list of #nextreads when altogether mindful of the fact she might ‘forget!” a few in the process! I am thankful I can continue to share these readings and listenings with my fellow Classic Clubbers! (as I link my reviews, including the audiobooks to the main review archives)

Happily I spied a fellow book blogger, Classic Clubber and friend on this blog tour (Maggie) and I truly look forward to reading her ruminative thoughts and see how she took to ‘Rebecca’.

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Children’s #Classics Audiobook Review | “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” by Kate Douglas Wiggin, narrated by Ann Richardson a selection I added to my #theclassicsclub list under ‘Children’s Lit’Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Ann Richardson

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm has delighted readers for over 100 years. Published in 1903, when girls were inevitably depicted as pretty, gentle and proper, Rebecca Rowena Randall burst onto the scene of children's literature. Sent to live with her prim and proper Aunt Miranda, who is expecting her much more demure sister, Rebecca is a "bird of a very different feather". She has "a small, plain face illuminated by a pair of eyes carrying such messages, such suggestions, such hints of sleeping power and insight, that one never tired of looking into their shining depths...." To her Aunt Miranda's continual dismay, Rebecca is exuberant, irrepressible, and spirited - not at all "proper" or "demure". She wins over her aunt soon enough, and the whole town, and thousands of readers and listeners everywhere.

In 1904, author Jack London wrote Kate Douglas Wiggin: "May I thank you for Rebecca?.... I would have quested the wide world over to make her mine, only I was born too long ago and she was born but yesterday.... Why could she not have been my daughter? Why couldn't it have been I who bought the three hundred cakes of soap? Why, O, why?" And Mark Twain called Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm "beautiful and warm and satisfying".

This recording, narrated by Ann Richardson, whose sweet voice has a facility for accents and character voices, is a satisfying listening experience you'll want to revisit. Upcoming from Post Hypnotic Press is a new annotated print/eBook edition of this book, with illustrations from the original publication and a new introduction, as well as a work-book for children

Places to find the book:

ASIN: B07819NB8D

Genres: Children's Literature, Classical Literature


Published by Post Hypnotic Press

on 8th December, 2017

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 8 hours and 11 minutes (unabridged)

Post Hypnotic Press (@Post_Hypnotic)

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Previously I’ve listened to the following titles:
[ of Classical Children’s Lit by this publisher ]

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (see also Review)

Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery (see also Review)

Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery (see also Review)

[ these were all narrated by the lovely Collen Winton! ]

*I truly hope they will be creating more installments for ‘Anne!’

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Whilst I’m featuring two more reviews for this publisher this coming week:

The Curve of Time by M. Wylie Blanchet, narrated by Heather Henderson

Greenwillow by B.J. Chute, narrated by Ann Richardson

Whilst previously I listened to Heather Henderson narrating the Betty MacDonald memoirs!

And, Paula Becker leant her insight into Betty MacDonald as well!

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Kindly read the convo I had with Post Hypnotic Press!

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Sunday, 26 August, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Brothers and Sisters, Bullies and the Bullied, Childhood Friendship, Children's Classics, Children's Literature, Classical Literature, Coming-Of Age, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Juvenile Fiction, Life Shift, Macaroons & Paperbacks, Maine, Poetry, School Life & Situations, Siblings, Small Towne USA, Teacher & Student Relationships, the Nineteen Hundreds, Transfer Student at School, Village Life, Young Adult Fiction

Book Review | “Please Don’t Stop the Music” (Book One: Yorkshire Romances) by Jane Lovering #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 26 May, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#ChocLitSaturdays banner created in Canva by Jorie.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and I feature Romance & Women’s Fiction authors during @SatBookChat:

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of marriage enveloped by characters written honestly whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read!

I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other!

I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb! Whilst sorting out how to promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. As of June 2016, I became a member of the ChocLit Stars Team in tandem with being on the Cover Reveal Team which I joined in May 2016. I reference the Stars as this is a lovely new reader contribution team of sending feedback to the publisher ahead of new book releases. As always, even if I’m involved with a publisher in this sort of fashion, each review is never influenced by that participation and will always be my honest impression as I read the story. Whether the author is one I have previously read or never had the pleasure to read until the book greets my shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of “Please Don’t Stop the Music” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

a bit of back-history on this sequence of roms:

I started reading the Yorkshire Romances with the sixth installment of the series: Can’t Buy Me Love as I have been wanting to start reading the stories by Ms Lovering for quite an age at that point. I felt it was a good place to start – to get familiar with her quirky humour & become acquainted with her style! I had intended to read more stories within this series and am thankful I can pick up where I left off this Spring through my readings of Hubble Bubble and Please Don’t Stop the Music.

As you’ll notice, these are all one-off stories which can be read out of sequences as it is not a series where each story conjoins into the new one – the setting is what unites the stories together, therefore, despite my preference of reading ‘series’ in order of sequence, in this particular instance I get to have the happy folly of moving in and out of the series per each story which feels it ought to be ‘read’ next vs having to stick to the order of publication!

The Yorkshire Romances in sequence:

{please note: all of these are stand-alone; only the setting unites them}

To properly recap my ruminative pre-reading thoughts about the series,

kindly visit my Spotlight w/ Notes!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Why I enjoyed my readings of ‘Hubble Bubble’:

Quite immediately I was charmed by Hubble Bubble – how you can grow lost in the humour and wit of Ms Lovering whilst trying to acquaint yourself with the current cast of characters. They’re blessedly flawed, genuinely open about their character traits and otherwise, have had the pleasure of random moments bridging them all together in a way that truly does feel believable.

There are some seriously lovely comedic moments sprinkled throughout this novel – such as the moment where Megan brought her newly beloved dog (Rufus) with her to the woman’s group and scared the ever-loving minds of the cats therein something crazy! Laughs. The wit and satire is peppered round the edges of the headier subjects being explored – such as Kai’s search for identity but really what he’s keen on finding most is emotional wellness, forgiveness and a proper sense of who wants to be rather than the bloke he’s become by default. Megan by far makes me giggle – she has the most outrageous adventures and yet, she lives a rather ordinary life! She just happens to have the luck of being in the midst of a particular drama and the outcomes of such is quite hilarious!

For all the levity of this Rom Com, it is more of a dramedy due to the journals of Kai’s self-examination of his soul and his emotional health. There are a lot of darker shades of relationship issues being explored including self-projecting pessimism and the ways in which people choose to self-destruct their connections before they allow themselves the joy of living in the moment of seeing a relationship develop organically. There are moments where I truly can say the context was difficult to read – as Kai truly pushed me a bit for what can be accepted for someone whose going through as much as he is – the hardest part truly is why he allowed himself to spiral into such a state of self-hate and loathing for a mother he never knew and for circumstances he never was explained. As this personally set-up a sequence of his patterns in life which were hard to read, as on one hand you can agree his past is hard to put to rights by heart and mind but why would that kind of past lead to his other behaviour issues is harder to reconcile.

Equality in Lit:

Nicholas, Holly’s brother has special needs – yet the compassion and the protectiveness of Holly’s presence in his life is refreshing. In some ways, I think her brother gave her purpose but also, an air of distrust of men as she didn’t want to complicate her life further than it had already become by being her brother’s keeper.

Kai shows the darker side of adoption – where due to different experiences and life moments within his after adoption care in foster homes, he truly had deep seeded emotional angst to where it affected his perspective on women and life in general. He had a lot of psychological issues – all of which are openly disclosed and discussed.

Holly on the other hand is one of the rare examples of how women can purposely disconnect their emotions from their rational mind. She had a hard road due to Nicholas but it’s how she approached living outside of having a special needs sibling which truly became the backbone of the story alongside Kai’s own journey towards self-healing. The two of them had dual purposes in the story-line and thereby expanded the depth of what Ms Lovering was trying to say and accomplish by showing their sides of how toxic you can live through your relationships.

-quoted from my review of Hubble Bubble

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

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Posted Saturday, 26 May, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Britian, Brothers and Sisters, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Family Life, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Modern Day, Romance Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Siblings, Vulgarity in Literature

Audiobook Review | “Sharpe Edge” (Book Two: Maycroft Mysteries) by Lisa B. Thomas, narrated by Kelley Hazen

Posted Monday, 23 April, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a new blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I started hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions at the end of [2016] during “The Cryptic Lines” tour wherein I became quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Sharpe Edge” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the author Lisa B. Thomas) in exchange for an honest review. The difference with this complimentary copy I received is I had a 90 day window to listen and review the book whilst given a soft deadline where I could post my ruminative thoughts at an hour which worked for me on the day the review was due; this differs from a blog tour which has a more set schedule of posting. The audiobooks are offered to ‘adopt’ for review consideration and are given to readers to gauge their opinions, impressions and insight into how the audiobook is resonating with listeners. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: Due to my unexpected hiatus in September, my adopted audiobooks (‘Life as a Spectrum Mom‘, ‘Sharpe Shooter‘ and ‘Sharpe Edge’) as well as the blog tour ‘The Supernatural Pet Sitter’ were delayed from posting until I was able to listen to them due to a series of health issues which left me afflicted throughout Autumn 2017 and again in early Winter 2017/18.

[Due to technical difficulties, Winter/Spring 2018] I was delayed in listening to nearly all my audiobooks – as I never could technically fix a glitch which prevented me from downloading audiobooks to listen to offline from Audible.com as well as OverDrive (for library audiobooks). It wasn’t until I was able to touch base with a tech at a reciporcal branch in my library region and a third attempt to find a tech via Audible who could help me work through this glitch – where I found the freedom to finally be in a position to listen to all the lovelies I wanted to hear ‘offline’ without being co-dependent on a stable connection.

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Why I was excited about listening to this sequel & why I love the series overall:

As Deena grew closer to the truth – she was finding she wasn’t the only person investigating Matthew’s disappearance – in fact, she was nearly circling the same leads as the other ‘investigator’ who was either a few steps ahead of her or right in-line with where her own queries were leading her to venture future into the past to see where Matthew’s own footsteps might lead her to uncover the fuller truth of his disappearance. One of the best parts about her tenacious focus is how she was not afraid to follow every clue which might have insight into Matthew and thereby, a small trace of the truth which was so shrouded from sight now in the present day as if to be forever erased from the memory of those who might have known more than they were willing to share.

I had to agree with Deena about shopping at thrift and antique stores – you get caught inside your own memories and the memories of other times. I also like the fact you can find things no longer available and they can become part of the treasures you enjoy now in your own life. They have histories you might never know yourself but you can appreciate them with renewed love and find that sometimes the best way to curate your own style is looking for things which are being resold years after their original owners have parted with them.

I love how there are people who are in Deena’s life who provide her with new insights into Matthew’s life – such as the person who noticed something about a photograph. In other ways, it was interesting to see how Deena is connected to a lot of people who can aide her in her effort to understand Matthew’s unknown past. Meanwhile, as her path was on a collision course with the other investigator – you are partially surprised by what you find when the two actually meet! I was expecting this to go a different way, but he, in turn, ended up being one of the best people to point her in a direction she might not have considered otherwise! It was as if the closer she came to having all the loose threads resolved, the further she was from the actual truth which tried to remain out of reach.

Whilst Deena was trying to resolve the case, the police were trying to delegate the investigation and let things take their due even if that meant passing off some people to the family. I was truly impressed though how the conspiracy theory angle actually held weight and how Ms Thomas was able to knit this Cosy into a thread of such a well-known event in our History was quite impressive to listen to unravel – this is one thing that I admired most about how she told the story. You think at first it’s a simple answer to why Matthew disappeared and why his death went unknown for so many years – but then, there are other components being pulled into the tapestry of this mystery and which deepen the plausibility of why Matthew might have run into trouble.

I quite literally LOVED listening to this story – yet finding a way to articulate this admiration into a review took a bit of extra time! Sometimes you can find yourself devouring a story with wicked passion but then, how do you fuse your passion for a story and discussion of it’s heart?

– quoted from my review of Sharpe Shooter

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Audiobook Review | “Sharpe Edge” (Book Two: Maycroft Mysteries) by Lisa B. Thomas, narrated by Kelley HazenSharpe Edge
Subtitle: Cozy Suberbs Mystery Series
by Lisa B. Thomas
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Kelley Hazen

Buoyed by a new job and a spirit for the holidays, Deena Sharpe didn’t know she’d be investigating the town matriarch’s death at her own Christmas party. Everyone assumes it was an accident— everyone but her daughter, Estelle. Now Deena must rely on her craftiness to dig out the truth before anyone else gets hurt.

A little romance, some snarky suburban competition, and a lot of mystery will keep readers guessing in this cozy whodunit.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ASIN: B072HTQCVY

Also by this author: Sharpe Shooter

Also in this series: Sharpe Shooter


Genres: Amateur Detective, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction


Published by Self Published Author

on 11th May, 2016

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 6 hours, 8 minutes (unabridged)

Self-Published Audiobook

Order of the Maycroft Mysteries: (Read the Series Synopsis’s on the Author’s Site)

NOTE: Initially I thought this was the Cozy Suburbs Mysteries – however it’s really the Maycroft Mysteries series – as the sub-title on the audiobook versions revealled the other name.

Sharpe Shooter | Book One (see also Review)
Sharpe Edge | Book Two
Sharpe Mind | Book Three | Synopsis
Sharpe Turn | Book Four | Synopsis
Sharpe Point | Book Five | Synopsis
Sharpe Cookie | Book Six | Synopsis
+ Sharpe Image | PREQUEL Novella | Synopsis

Lisa B. Thomas | Blog | Site | @LBThomas2 | Facebook

Narrator: Kelley Hazen | Site | @KelleyHazen1 | Facebook

As an aside – I hadn’t realised I’ve known about the work of Ms Hazen previously – as two of my favourite holiday films on Hallmark Channel were “Single Santa Seeks Mrs Claus” & “Meet the Santas” whilst I loved watching “Strong Medicine” until the story-lines took a hard turn which took the joy out of watching the series. “Commander in Chief” is a dvd set I can’t wait to watch and I had wondered who did the voiceover on the montage within “What A Woman Wants”,… interestingly as a book blogger I love finding how my other creative interests in film, tv or music start to crossover into my bookish life as well. The reason I hadn’t known I knew of her work previously is because I have the tendency of remembering performances rather than names; not limited to those who act either – I’ll remember almost anyone on ‘sight’ before I recall their ‘name’.

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Posted Monday, 23 April, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Autism, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brothers and Sisters, Clever Turns of Phrase, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Debilitating Diagnosis & Illness, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Equality In Literature, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Indie Author, Learning Difficulties, Memoir, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Mother-Son Relationships, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Siblings, Special Needs Children, Vignettes of Real Life, Women's Health