Category: Illustration for Books & Publishing

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | The final installment of the Tipsy Fairy Tale trilogy “Mean Spirit” by E. Chris Garrison

Posted Saturday, 29 May, 2021 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I have remained in contact with the author through the years as I truly love reading her stories and hearing about her current projects. This particular story has a long journey towards publication and in truth, I haven’t read an installment of this series in five years (since 2016). I have waited on pins and needles to await the fate of Skye and all the characters I came to know in the series – when Ms Chris approached me about the final chapter of the trilogy was being published last year (2020) I was overjoyed as it felt like such a good time to read it. However, I hadn’t foreseen how difficult May & September would be for my chronic migraines – whilst I also found myself pulling out of reading more than I felt attached to it throughout 2020 as a whole.

I decided to push forward my review for this final novel until Wyrd And Wonder, May 2021 as I wanted to share my thoughts with the wider community of #WyrdAndWonder especially for those who might not have seen my previous reviews of her stories or participated in @SatBookChat’s conversation with her as well during #SciFiMonth, 2020.

I received a complimentary copy of “Mean Spirit” direct from the author E. Chris Garrison 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

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I knew I wanted to finish my readings for #WyrdAndWonder with a few select reads which would occupy my final joys of the event this Year 4. Hence why I held off reading “Mean Spirit”, “Esme’s Gift” & “Trans Witch” as I wanted my final #weekendreads for Wyrd and Wonder to be consumed by stories I knew I wouldn’t be able to put down. I had no idea at the time when I purchased “Trans Witch” it was within the Skye-Blue-universe – somehow that felt fittingly brilliant to me. And, in regards to “Esme’s Gift” – you might want to visit my review for “Esme’s Wish” to see why I am enraptured with that series as much as I am with this one.

I had to ‘let go’ of some of the stories I had planned to read this month – as I simply ran out of the hours whilst I was able to dodge a few migraines which thankfully didn’t fully take root to derail my efforts, I still took ill for a few days this last week of May to where only rest & copious amounts of herbal tea was able to reset me. Those other stories will be coming to Jorie Loves A Story during different events from June-November – however, as this is the final weekend for Wyrd And Wonder – I simply want to say how wicked happy I am to have been blessed to read the stories I could and to spend time with writers who are elevating our joys as we adventure through the wonderment & enchanting niches of genre throughout Fantasy. It is a credit to each of them for giving us a chance to see their own visions for their worlds & to entreat into the footsteps of their characters,… wherein our heart continues to expand with the experiences we can never forget taking with them.

Today, I embarked on saying ‘goodbye’ to a series I’ve felt has been a part of my journey as a book blogger only to remind myself that its never quite a final ‘goodbye’ when it comes to stories,… they are simply awaiting the next moment we re-open the door and walk through their worlds. Here’s to each of us adventuring & discovering & celebrating everything we’ve found this fourth year of Wyrd And Wonder.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On my connection to Ms Chris (aka E. Chris Garrison):

My path first crossed with Ms Chris through a podcast sponsored by an Indie Speculative Fiction publisher which led me to hosting blog tours which celebrated her stories. Since our first encounter with each other, we’ve developed a friendship I am blessed to have and I appreciate getting to know a bit more about an author whose not only developing a unique style in the world of Fantasy but is receptive to the thoughts readers have as they gain impression by reading the stories themselves.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Ms Chris through our respective blogs, the twitterverse, the podcast world, and privately. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. For more information, I disclosed a bit more on my first 10 Bookish, Not Bookish Thoughts (read No.7!).

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I love reading the Tipsy Fairy Tales:

One of the best bits of all though were the classic ways in which the Zombies were a key part of the story and how un-Zombie-like they were as it wasn’t so much of a story of the undead but rather a story of manipulation, altered states of awareness and the transitional pursuits of someone whose bent on power and control but hasn’t the proper sense to realise how ill-fated that would make his destiny. Of all the stories I could have read involving Zombies, I am so wicked thankful it was one by Ms Chris!

The tipsy side of Skye’s life soon became a double-edged sword we all knew could turn on her as soon as she let her guard down to notice the implications of leading a life that was quite out of control by most people’s standards. There were consequences she was not prepared for even if she presumed they were possible, yet through it all, she kept moving forward, kept fighting and willing herself to see the endgame was worth the heartaches along the way. This story is paramount to her evolving story-line where she has to make better choices for her future whilst realising that sometimes the hasty choices made on the fly might not be the best advantage in the long-term especially if you burn more bridges than you can handle all at once. Relationships are built on trust and this is one cardinal flaw on Skye’s behalf – she never realised how much trust she had with those she needed most until the day arrived where her restless urgency to ‘do something’ good with her paratalents took away the one thing that anchoured her most in life. To see where she goes from here is going to be interesting as in many regards, she has to rebuild the way in which she manages her impulses whilst becoming the better half of whom she is meant to be.

There were quiet moments of repose to reflect on Skye’s history and on Phil’s where other characters that cross between Ms Chris and Mr Sullivan’s story arcs come into centre play and knowledge. They have a unique working relationship where they ‘borrow’ characters and each have their own unique spin on how those characters are presented. I spoke about this on my review for Blue Spirit in case you’d like a refresher. Ms Chris is one of those authors who has such a clarity about her writerly voice, she can insert ‘background’ on her characters and previous stories (or Mr Sullivan’s) without it sounding like the ‘insert previous information here’ variety of narrative. I applaud that, as sometimes I notice authors overwork the obvious or take you out of the current story to opt to fill in those who read series out of order.

I consider this series pro-positive for both LGBTQIA+ and Allies alike, as everything pertinent to this side of Skye’s life is told organically and shifts between being humourous and serious, depending on the nature of the exchange or the situation at hand. This is positive I think as it has a very realistic vibe attached to it. Skye is not afraid to speak her mind or to live her authentic truth, even if others are not as prepared to accept her on her terms, she still lives her life owning the truth she has within her and that’s something to applaud. She has her faults (who doesn’t?) but her strengths are her willingness to take-on challenges head-on and remain faithful to those she cares about whilst sorting out mysteries of the unexplained.

This is definitely an author to bookmark if your seeking #diverselit and stories of Equality where all characters are realistically written and openly honest about expressing their thoughts, views and feelings.

-quoted from my review of Restless Spirit

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | The final installment of the Tipsy Fairy Tale trilogy “Mean Spirit” by E. Chris GarrisonMean Spirit
Subtitle: A Tipsy Fairy Tale
by Ms Chris (E. Chris Garrison) of Silly Hat Books
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Anne Rosario
Source: Direct from Author

All her fault. How did it go so wrong?

What was supposed to be a fun, exciting convention weekend has turned terribly tragic. All Skye MacLeod had to do was look pretty in a fantasy costume and keep an eye out for suspicious activity. Instead, she got cocky and took matters into her own hands. Death and destruction followed. Now Skye's burying another friend, she's broken trusts, and she isn't sure how to make things right again.

Skye's trying her best. She's quit drinking (giving up her powers in the process) and she's trying to make up for her reckless behavior and stay out of trouble, but something big is happening among the fairy Lords and Ladies of the Circle City. All the major players warn Skye to stay away. So why does she find herself swept up in the middle of things anyway? How will she regain her honor and the trust of the people around her when every choice before her seems wrong?

The exciting conclusion to the Tipsy Fairy Tales Trilogy.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Fairy-Tale Re-Telling, Stories of the FAE, Urban Fantasy, Genre-bender



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1953763228

Series: Tipsy Fairy Tale


Published by Silly Hat Books

on 4th August, 2020

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 234

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Tipsy Fairy Tale Trilogy:

Blue Spirit by E. Chris GarrisonRestless Spirit by E. Chris GarrisonMean Spirit by E. Chris Garrison

Blue Spirit (book one) | see also Review

Restless Spirit (book two) | see also Review

Mean Spirit (book three)

(*) previously these were published elsewhere but all titles
by this author in all formats are published by Silly Hat Books

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Converse on Twitter: #TipsyFairyTaleSeries & #SillyHatBooks

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
Divider

Posted Saturday, 29 May, 2021 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Cover | Original Illustration & Design, Book Review (non-blog tour), Dreams & Dreamscapes, Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, Faeries & the Fey, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Folklore and Mythology, Gaming, Genre-bender, Good vs. Evil, Horror-Lite, Illustration for Books & Publishing, Indie Author, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Science Fiction, Shapeshifters, Silly Hat Books, Speculative Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Time Shift, Urban Fantasy, Urban Life, Vulgarity in Literature, Zombies

Blog Book Tour | “Restless Spirit: A Tipsy #fairytale” by E. Chris Garrison I can seriously say, this is the only author who’d convince me I can handle reading Zombies!

Posted Friday, 7 October, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a stop on the “Restless Spirit” genre-bending fairy-tale fantasy release tour from Seventh Star Press. The tour is hosted by Tomorrow Comes Media who does the publicity and blog tours for Seventh Star Press and other Indie and/or Self Published authors. I am a regular blog tour host with Tomorrow Comes Media, however, the author and I have continued our friendship since we first interacted via The Star Chamber Show (which I’ll expand on in a moment). It was a foregone conclusion I’d sign on for the rest of this series as it runs in the book blogosphere touring as I was so wicked excited about the first release “Blue Spirit” (see Review) I was quite wicked eager to read more!

I received a complimentary copy of “Restless Spirit” direct from the publisher Seventh Star Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

On my connection to Ms Chris (aka E. Chris Garrison):

I first discovered the style of Ms Chris’s story-telling when we both appeared on the Star Chamber Show, which is a weekly podcast on BlogTalkRadio sponsored by the publisher Seventh Star Press. Since our first encounter with each other, we’ve developed a friendship I am blessed to have and I appreciate getting to know a bit more about an author whose not only developing a unique style in the world of Fantasy but is receptive to the thoughts readers have as they gain impression by reading the stories themselves.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Ms Chris through our respective blogs, the twitterverse, the podcast world, and privately. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. For more information, I disclosed a bit more on my first 10 Bookish, Not Bookish Thoughts (read No.7!).

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I love reading the Tipsy Fairy Tales:

On the comedic writing style of Ms Chris:

Any writer who can work in the phrase ‘le sigh’ is alright in my book! Little bits of cheeky references to exasperation in regards to Minnie on behalf of Skye and Skye’s particular take on her co-workers, the ordinary life she leads whilst it intersects with the extraordinary, and the manner in which the curious creatures she interacts with whilst the rest of us are oblivious is quite golden folly! She exhumes a particular knack for knowing exactly what to express within a scene and what to stitch inside it as far as everyday observations which inherently become social clues towards the timescape in which the story is set around. You can pick up the nuances of pop culture whilst finding a clear definition for writing in her own style for fantasy elements that spin themselves so organically inside this world.

In the past two years I’ve had the chance to get to know Ms Chris a bit better outside of the world of blog tours, I must confess, as I was reading Blue Spirit I felt I could almost hear her voice behind the words as I read the story – as if I somehow have a better understanding of her writerly voice and the approaches she takes towards conveying the story visually to the reader. If this were an audiobook, I nearly have a strong idea already of how it would sound if it were to be read aloud by the author! Little bits of her own personality are definitely threaded into the context but moreso than that, it was a pleasure to notice things I hadn’t seen when I read Seelie Goose!

I found myself enjoying this installment of the series so very much, that I found it quite difficult to put the book down in order to blog! I love when that happens – where your completely committed to the story and the words hopefully will come to you to express out to your readership (if your a book blogger, that is!) as you wick off the hours from the clock consumed by where the author your reading is taking you as you wander deeper into the narrative! The transitions between Skye’s Indianapolis and the elsewhere world of the fairies is seamlessly stitched as you can easily move between the segues.

Eager for Tipsy Fairy Tale No. 2!
Let’s go!
Cannot wait to see why I’ll be giggling myself silly + smirking into a ready smile!

-quoted from my review of Blue Spirit

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A short preview of my conversation with Ms Chris, wherein we discuss the main thread of interest behind this installment of the series:

I won’t give spoilers about that book, but it occurred to me that if I wanted there to be a trilogy of books about Skye, she needed to get in even more trouble than in Blue Spirit, so I knew there had to be another book in between. One with wilder hi-jinks and drunken antics, and above all, higher stakes. She needed to burn some bridges, and also see the consequences of recklessness. I very nearly called the book Reckless Spirit but decided it was more about Skye’s restlessness with her lack of clear purpose or direction in her life; as it was about her trying to prove her worth in our world, while being beset by overwhelming danger from the fairy and shadow worlds.

Yes, I can see how some might argue that point – about how Skye can go off on an adventure without thinking of the plausibilities of her actions or what might become a result of some of the behaviours she engages inside – however, one thing that you’ve always maintained with Skye is her willingness to recognise certain aspects of her life and world. She has a ‘check’ inside her in regards to knowing a bit more about her limits; not always mindful of responding to that self-check as she has Minnie for a stronger note of conscious but you can tell as you read her stories, Skye feels responsible for certain things but perhaps, hasn’t quite learnt the greatest lesson of all, yet.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Note on Cover Art Design:

I am seriously in love with the purple motiff of this book cover! I’ve been jazzed about the colour purple since I was quite young despite the fact my dear great-grandmother told me it seemed strange to her as in her generation purple was only worn at the end of your life. I’ve been a deep purple or dark plum kind of gal for most of my life, even though I have as serious joy in crimson red, purple just rocked my socks for decades!
For a girl who loves colour, this book cover has a lot going on – as it’s the blending of the hues, the typography and the whole imagery of Skye and that mysterious lurker behind her where only ‘eyes’ can be seen! Eek. I’m recently realised I’m not so much of a Gryffindor kind of gal but more the Hufflepuff variety… i.e. if I even felt a smidge of that presence, I’d duck and run the opposite way! lol I always felt I’d be sorted into Ravenclaw – you know the lot of whom take up permanent residence in the library?!
I thought this was a great impression of what the catacombs would look like and feel like to explore if we stepped into Skye’s shoes and felt her courage to take-on the unknown!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Restless Spirit: A Tipsy #fairytale” by E. Chris Garrison I can seriously say, this is the only author who’d convince me I can handle reading Zombies!Restless Spirit
Subtitle: A Tipsy Fairy Tale
by Ms Chris (E. Chris Garrison)
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Anne Rosario
Source: Publisher via Tomorrow Comes Media

When Skye McLeod is asked by her pal Phil Jenson if she wants to cosplay at his game company’s booth during Big Con Weekend—and get paid for it—she jumps at the chance. Besides, Skye’s hit a rocky patch with her girlfriend Annabelle, who wants her to stop drinking and act more responsibly.

Then Skye gets a call from paranormal detective Rebecca Burton for another job; something big is going on at the convention, and she needs Skye to be her eyes and ears there. So now Skye’s getting paid to have fun—twice!

Then The Night Duke, a creep from Skye’s live role playing days, shows up and uses some weird mojo, seemingly turning pretend zombies into real ones. After barely escaping an attack, Skye learns the fairies and trolls within the magical realm are getting restless, and her old friend, the Transit King, is in the middle of it.

Skye decides to once again enlist the aid of her fairy companion “Minnie.” For Skye to enter the magic realm, she needs to get tipsy. Then she’ll just have to control the powers within her and contain the outside forces that threaten to spin into chaos. How can she possibly screw this up?

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Fairy-Tale Re-Telling, Genre-bender, Stories of the FAE, Urban Fantasy



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781941706442

Also by this author: Blue Spirit, Guest Post (Restless Spirit), Gifts of the Magi, Road Ghosts : Omnibus Edition, Road Ghosts : Omnibus Edition

Series: Tipsy Fairy Tale


Published by Seventh Star Press

on 28th June, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 256

Published By: Seventh Star Press (@7thStarPress)
Available Formats: Softcover and Ebook

Converse on Twitter: #TipsyFairyTaleSeries & #7thStar

About Ms Chris (E. Chris Garrison)

Ms Chris Garrison

E. Chris Garrison writes Fantasy and Science Fiction novels and short stories. She used to publish as Eric Garrison, but has since upgraded.

Her latest series is Trans-Continental, a Steampunk adventure with a transgender woman as its protagonist. The series is set in one of the worlds in Chris’s dimension-hopping science fiction adventure, Reality Check, both of these series are published through Silly Hat Books. Silly Hat Books released Alien Beer and Other Stories, a collection of her short stories, in 2017.

Chris’s supernatural fantasy stories include the Road Ghosts trilogy and it's companion series the Tipsy Fairy Tales are published by Seventh Star Press. These Urban Fantasy novels are humorous supernatural fantasies, dealing with ghosts, demonic possession, and sinister fairy folk delivered with a “lightly dark” side of humor.

Her novel, Reality Check, is a Science Fiction adventure released by Hydra Publications. Reality Check reached #1 in Science Fiction on Amazon.com during a promotion in July 2013. Chris lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her wife, step-daughter and cats. She also enjoys gaming, home brewing beer, and finding innovative uses for duct tape.

*Biography updated: March, 2018

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #FuellYourSciFi
Divider

Posted Friday, 7 October, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Cover | Original Illustration & Design, Dating & Humour Therein, Doctor Who, Dreams & Dreamscapes, Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, Faeries & the Fey, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Folklore and Mythology, Gaming, Genre-bender, Good vs. Evil, Horror-Lite, Illustration for Books & Publishing, Indie Author, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Science Fiction, Shapeshifters, Singletons & Commitment, Speculative Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Time Shift, Tomorrow Comes Media, Urban Fantasy, Urban Life, Vulgarity in Literature, Zombies

Blog Book Tour | “More than the Tattooed Mormon” by Al Carraway This should have been renamed to better describe the internal light Carraway ebbs out of her spirit and onto the page!

Posted Saturday, 13 February, 2016 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “More than the Tattooed Mormon” direct from the publisher CFI (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Note:

My copy of this non-fiction release was delayed in reaching me, however it was due to illness (December) and the sudden death of my cat (January) that prevented me from being in a position to review this title prior to now. I am thankful the publisher understood my absence from the blog tour directly and allowed me the grace to pick up this book at a point in time where both my mind and my heart was clear to enjoy reading it at long last.

I decided to write Ms Carraway before I read her book:

When I participate in a blog tour, odds are in good favour I’m going to do a lot of research in regards to the author and the story prior to accepting the tour. Sometimes I take a leap of faith and go blind into reading a book based on a blurb or an expanded synopsis; sometimes it’s the mere idea of what I will find inside a book that is enough to draw my eye curious enough to yearn to read it’s contents. In this regard, I happily wanted to know more about the ‘girl’ outside of the moniker of “Tattooed Mormon” as I had a feeling there was a ‘story’ in of itself within the name!

Through my readings of her blog, I felt compelled to reach out to Ms Carraway on Twitter and happily sat thoughtfully before composing a series of tweets I hoped she see and realise someone was trying to send her a bit of an uplift of joy tucked inside a bit of reassurance.

It reminded me of the random acts of kindnesses I like to give to people in my community, as we never know when we are going to be someone’s light of grace or a shelter in a storm they haven’t yet shared with us. We all need a lift of spirit and a bit of extra joy to help encourage us if we’re feeling a bit low or if appearances get us feeling a bit bogged down. The tweets I wanted to send Ms Carraway were the impressions of a book blogger who was soon to be a reader of a memoir I hoped would become one of my treasured discoveries, as when it comes to real-life biographies and autobiographies; the memoir is slowly becoming my favourite. Especially when it falls into a category of “Creative Non-Fiction” where the voicing of the narrative within reads more easily than traditional non-fiction, as it’s more like reading a story of fiction than a true account of a person’s life.

I don’t remember receiving a reply or seeing her account mark my tweets with a favourite, but I hoped perhaps, even if she only read them in a fleeting glance, in some small way she knew to me she was already ‘more than’ the Tattooed Mormon. She was a woman whose light is brightly shining to everyone who walks a life full of faith and the blessings it bestows to all of us. Rock on, Ms Carraway and never feel like your light is dimmer due to your tatts; if anything they are a happy signal of your artistic spirit and the joy of artistic expression during a time in your past they meant something to you. None of us are limited by appearances or choices we made in the past we might regret lateron; the best we can do is embrace all of who we are and hope that people ‘see us’ rather than ‘see past us’ or ‘through us completely’.

Blog Book Tour | “More than the Tattooed Mormon” by Al Carraway This should have been renamed to better describe the internal light Carraway ebbs out of her spirit and onto the page!More than the Tattooed Mormon

Being baptized and following the Lord has made Al's life harder than it ever was before. She endured criticism from friends and family for becoming Mormon. She faced harsh judgements from Church members for her appearance. She gave up everything and felt more alone than she ever had in her life. All because she chose God.

Now she shares an up-close look at how trusting God has led her to places she never expected. As a blogger, YouTuber, and award-winning public speaker, her message has reached millions. Sharing her love of the Savior, Al goes beyond her own conversion and encourages readers to choose God above everything else.

This uplifting book inspires readers to build a true relationship with the Lord that will bring them real, lasting happiness.


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781462117208

on 17th November, 2015

Pages: 176

Published By: CFI (imprint) of Cedar Fort Inc (@CedarFortBooks),

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #TattooedMormon, #BookOfMormon, & #LDSFaith

#INSPY #nonfiction

About Al Carraway

Al Fox Carraway

Al Fox Carraway has spent the last four years inspiring the world with her story of conversion, redemption, and finding faith. As a blogger and award-winning public speaker, her message has reached millions. This up-close look at her life will show you what it means to truly trust in the Lord.

Photo Credit: Al Fox Carraway headshot by Beka Price Photography.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

I would imagine the Ms Carraway I met inside More than the Tattooed Mormon would be the very same woman I’d meet in person. Her personality is electric and it leaps off the page as if she is standing right beside you and chattering with you about her life’s story rather than having a copy of a transcript version of that story in your hands. I wanted to wait to pick up her book when I had come through the stressfulness of the past few months with a clearer mind where I could soak inside her memoir and appreciate reading it with genuine interest. Read More

Divider

Posted Saturday, 13 February, 2016 by jorielov in Ancient Civilisation, Art, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biblical History, Blog Tour Host, Calligraphy, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Children's Literature, Christianity, Creative Arts, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Historical Perspectives, History, Illustration for Books & Publishing, Illustrations for Stories, Important Figures of Ancient Times, Indie Art, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Inspired by Stories, Juvenile Fiction, Lessons from Scripture, Literature for Boys, Mormonism, Naturalist Sketchings, Non-Fiction, Re-Told Tales, Religious History, Short Stories or Essays, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, World Religions

Book Review w/ Author Q&A | The #picturebooks of Muon Van (“In A Village by the Sea” and “Little Tree”) with a lovely convo about her creative style of writing stories for children.

Posted Sunday, 3 January, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

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 review “In A Village by the Sea” by JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. After I was putting together this showcase, to highlight both the story and a conversation with the author, I learnt of her second picture book “Little Tree”; enabling me to combine my showcase to feature both releases. 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 2nd Year Book Blogger. I received my complimentary copy of In A Village by the Sea (hardback) and Little Tree (PDF) direct from 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

I decided I wanted to switch things up a bit today, and offer the conversation before my thoughts on behalf of the illustrated stories contained within the picture books of Muon Van! In this way, I wanted the author’s own words to help define the stories and in some ways, give an extra layer of enjoyment to my readers as they read this ahead of knowing what I found inside the books themselves! Enjoy!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

My convo with Muon Van on her creative way of giving children a beautiful ‘first start’ towards embracing creative stories built on family, hearth and love:

How did you create In A Village by the Sea to bespeak of such a grounding of autobiographical inspiration and homage to your heritage whilst renewing the spirit of Vietnam for those of us who are not as familiar with the country?

Van responds: I come from a long line of fisherfolk on both sides of the family, which is pretty unusual for both an American and Vietnamese-American. I grew up with my dad at sea most of the time, and eating seafood for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so I wanted to write a story that would reflect those experiences.

Whilst your father was away fishing, how did your mother encourage you and your siblings not to worry about his safety and well being? Were the passages of home and hearth reminiscent of your mother tending to the home? I ask as there is such a lot of warmth and love set inside this story, it softens the concerns of dangers at sea. 

Van responds: Even though fishing is considered one of the most dangerous occupations around, my siblings and I didn’t consider it as such while we were growing up–it was just what our dad did. My mother definitely tended the home–cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping, dressing, educating nine kids! I always knew she was a superwoman and supermom but after I had my first kid, I was amazed!

I was curious about the process you took with April Chu to bring your story to life through her illustrations – can you explain how you worked together to give the reader such a wellspring of living realism whilst deepening it with thought-provoking narrative?

Van responds: Unlike what most people think, April and I did not collaborate in real-time on the book–we only met once it was completed! April only received a plain, unannotated manuscript and knowledge that the story was dedicated to my father, a Vietnamese fisherman. With just those pieces of information, she was able to imagine and execute the brilliant art in the book. I, and the readers, are truly lucky!

The spirit of Vietnam is strongly lit inside you, as the story that is set inside this picture book is alarmingly clear and visually stunning – when you wrote the words that are featured against the illustrations did the final copy read to you like the internal visuals you had whilst you had written the story?

Van responds: I believe the published visuals are faithful to the story but in my imagination, they were spare and monochromatic, sort of like the verse. I was surprised, and delighted, by the outcome.

What has caused the fishing lifestyle of the villages in Vietnam to disappear? Is it the culture of the time that is changing or is the fishing industry unable to support itself, as this happens in other countries as well?

Van responds: I can’t speak to all fishing lifestyles in Vietnam–just the one in my ancestral village. The villagers there, and the ones who have migrated to America, have found the the income derived from fishing is not as great, or sustainable, as it is through other means. While most of my relatives worked in fishing when they first arrived in America, most now work in the cosmetic (nails) industry, as it’s lower-risk and more profitable.

In your heart, your drawn to the sea as it states in your biography you live near it; what do you find the most alluring balm about the sea and how it’s set a harmonic pulse inside your life?

Van responds: Probably that it seems so vast and unknowable (you can only see a bit of it at a time, from a beach or a boat or an airplane). I also like the color blue :)

In The Little Tree the colour contrasts are brilliantly bright and pop with vitality whereas the colour contrasts in In A Village by the Sea is more traditional and classic. Did you have input about the colour spectrum for the illustrations and books?

Van responds: No, but I love that they are so different.

The Little Tree is philosophical and intuitive, giving children a pause to think about the larger scale of life and how the circle of life evolves during our lifetime. How did you tap into this life lesson whilst writing such a cleverly witty story?

Van responds: I was inspired after my first (and so far, only) trip back to Vietnam in nearly thirty years. I thought about how my parents must have felt when we left and how they would felt about it now, thirty years later.

I love how you’ve stitched familial history inside your stories – you write from the heart and your stories have a living spirit about them. How did you capture the moment of recognition to be given to the Little Tree by the Little Seed’s leaf? It was such a warm gesture of love from a child to a mother.

Van responds: Parents will always know their children, right? (Ask me this again in thirty years; my older child is only four :))

You give so much of your own heart to your writings and you leave fingerprints of affection in your closing statements where your ancestry and your family are illuminated in short stories of recollection. How did your family react to the picture books and of your continuance of carrying forward your living histories to inspire children and adults alike?

Van responds: My family likes to play it cool but I think one day soon, one of them will get choked up reading it to their daughter or son. Three, soon to be four, of my brothers just had their first child!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Truly blessed to have had the chance to ask these questions of Ms Van and to have your responses threaded inside my showcase! I was truly touched by the warmth of her words in her stories and wanted to gain a bit more insight into how she created the world in which I lived for the time I soaked inside her picture books! I can definitely foresee many Mums and Das appreciating ‘reading time’ with their children as they pick up either volume and enter a world of family and timeless love!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Review w/ Author Q&A | The #picturebooks of Muon Van (“In A Village by the Sea” and “Little Tree”) with a lovely convo about her creative style of writing stories for children.In a Village by the Sea
by Muon Van
Illustrator/Cover Designer: April Chu

Written in a spare, lyrical style using fresh, evocative imagery, this richly illustrated picture book is about longing for the comforts of home while braving the adventures and perils of the wide world.

In a house by the sea, a woman is cooking. Near the woman, a baby is crying. Under the floor, a cricket is painting. In the painting, a fisherman rides stormy seas, longing to get home to his wife and infant…

The perfect book for teaching about diverse cultures and lifestyles, children will delight in this beautiful story which pays homage to the vanishing fishing culture in Vietnam, honors courage and sacrifice, and celebrates hearth and home.


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781939547156

Published by Creston Books LLC

on 9th June, 2015

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 32

Published By: Creston Books, LLC (@CrestonBooks)

Available Formats: Hardcover and Ebook

Converse via Twitter: #MuonVan

#picturebooks and #JKSLitPublicity

About (Illustrator) April Chu

April Chu

APRIL CHU began her career as an architect with a degree from the University of California, Berkeley, but decided to return to her true passion of illustrating and storytelling. April currently lives and works in Oakland, California.

About Muon Van

Muon Van

MUON VAN was born on the run in the southern port city of Rach Giá, Vietnam. When she was nine months old, she left Vietnam as part of the “boat people” mass exodus. She now lives in Northern California.

Her previous book, In a Village by the Sea, is also a family story and received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus, as well as rave reviews from The New York Times and School Library Journal’s Fuse #8 Production.

Read More

Divider

Posted Sunday, 3 January, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Children's Literature, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Debut Author, Early Reader | Chapter Books, Equality In Literature, Illustration for Books & Publishing, Illustrations for Stories, Indie Author, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Picture Book, Story knitted out of Ancestral Data