Category: Death, Sorrow, and Loss

Double Showcase: Book Review & Author Interview | “Red-tailed Hawk” the sequel of “Yellow-billed Magpie” by Nancy Schoellkopf

Posted Tuesday, 25 April, 2017 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for “Red-tailed Hawk” hosted by iRead Book Tours. I was thankful to be on the blog tour as I originally participated on the previous release ‘Yellow-billed Magpie’ tour which is when I first read a work by the author. It is a joy to resume where I left off as this is a connected story; a duology if you will. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Nancy Schoellkopf in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What I enjoyed about Yellow-billed Magpie:

I happen to love introspective stories – the kind where you can tug yourself inside a person’s soul whilst your soaking inside their life’s journey. Schoellkopf writes inter-personal narrative with a keen insight into an emotional rewinding of memory and the questions which taut you to interlope back against one’s life. She has crafted a story which has it’s own set of pacing and tone; it’s a lovely layout to read, because the paragraphs are chunky and free-form in how their delivered. A novel which is half poetic in it’s centering and artful in it’s descriptive details. You nearly feel this is partially written as a journal, as your peering through a window into Samantha’s life at a rate of acceptance she is giving you to learn of her story.

Ms Schoellkopf’s writings are a bit raw in places and openly vulnerable in others – she gives her characters breathing room to explore their emotions and the inner turmoil they are facing with an openness towards self-reflection. She finds a way to give her characters the ability to think about what they are going through in a way that translates well to the reader about where their frustrations lie and how they sometimes feel immobilised by their fears.

I enjoyed how she broke the narrative into pieces of introspective wanderings, internal musings of a woman’s dreams, and the conversations of dialogue which sparked interactions between her characters. She found a fusion between traditional story-telling and a new hybrid version where the pace of her story has it’s own rhythm and way of giving us an inside view of one woman’s journey towards self-understanding and acceptance of what her life is providing her to live through. She’s questioning everything and anything in order to make herself rooted in her experience. Taking out what she hopes is self-assurance and reconstructive criticism to rebuild her life in a new place that feels more like home than where she last laid her hat.

Schoellkopf is writing about how sometimes the journey which leads you backwards is the only method you can take to move forward. Within this space of time, is where the most learning and awakening of spirit can happen because your on the fringes of arriving inside your future. Curiously, I wrote this last sentiment about the novel chapters before the author had Samantha realise it herself!

-quoted from my book review of Yellow-billed Magpie

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Double Showcase: Book Review & Author Interview | “Red-tailed Hawk” the sequel of “Yellow-billed Magpie” by Nancy SchoellkopfRed-tailed Hawk
by Nancy Schoellkopf
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

When Mariah Easter encounters a large hawk in her urban midtown neighborhood, her father Charlie is concerned. He can see a wild and mystical path opening before his daughter, a path he himself would never be able to resist. The hawk soon reappears: engraved with its twin on a golden thimble that has been an Easter family heirloom for generations. After the thimble is stolen at a funeral reception, Mariah and her mother Samantha set off on a road trip to find it, a journey that will bring healing to the grieving family and change Mariah's life forever.

Red-tailed Hawk is a coming of age story, the tale of a young woman's quest to discover the source of her own longing and to understand the mystical legacy of her family.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ASIN: B01MUGZJ8K

Also by this author: Yellow-billed Magpie

Also in this series: Yellow-billed Magpie


Genres: Literary Fiction, Magical Realism, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Women's Fiction


Published by Butterfly Tree Publishing

on 11th March, 2017

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 177

Available Formats: Paperback

Converse via: #RedtailedHawk

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Posted Tuesday, 25 April, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Autism, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, California, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Equality In Literature, Father-Daughter Relationships, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Learning Difficulties, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Native American Fiction, Parapsychological Gifts, Special Needs Children, Vulgarity in Literature

Blog Book Tour | “Unexpected Love: A Marriage of Convenience” (anthology) feat. stories by Heather Chapman, Mandi Ellsworth, Paula Kremser and Ashtyn Newbold on the ‘eve’ of Jorie’s 4th Blogoversary!

Posted Thursday, 30 March, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna

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 “Unexpected Love” direct from the publisher Sweetwater Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I personally love mail-order brides & marriages of convenience stories:

I disclosed a bit about why I love this particular sub-genre whilst ruminating about my first Historical reading of a Liz Harris novel! She has become one of my favourite contemporary British Historical authors, especially in the umbrella of ‘Westerns’, as she had a particular knack for that setting and era. However, her convicting and moving sweep of Eastern culture and tradition truly touched my bookish soul (within ‘The Road Back’).

– see also my Review of ‘A Bargain Struck’

There is something about finding someone to love without the pretense of courtship and the complexities of meeting your in-laws which I suppose does have it’s particular allure! The merits of the union are generally worked out to be beneficial to both parties for different reasons and thereby, entering into a new approach on how love and marriage can be unified and bonding. Most of the stories of this nature, have a set of circumstances leading into how the two parties meet and why or how a marriage would be the best option for both to explore.

Your heart tugs against your soul, whilst trying to sort out for yourself – is this in their best interest or should they hesitate to go through with the plans!? When brides were sent West from the East on the rails, you have to wonder what was going through their minds, hearts and spirits. Did they have personal fears or doubts about what they were endeavouring to accomplish or did they simply embrace the unknown and take a gigantic leap of faith towards securing a better future than they had at present?

When I learnt of this anthology through Ms Chapman, I was overjoyed – I personally have a love affair at the moment with anthologies – generally swayed to dig inside Fantasy, Science Fiction and/or Cosy Horror short story and/or novella anthologies (or the collections known as ‘Nebula Award Showcase’) but in this particular instance, I get to move back into a familiar niche I used to read quite regularly before I became a book blogger! The tender and sweet INSPY Romance anthologies where you get to ‘meet’ #newtomeauthors and settle into their own personal styles of conveying a Romance that is dramatically told with an uplifting bent towards a positive outcome. I used to love collecting and gathering those anthologies – a few of which have come into my life since I started blogging but of whom still reside on my shelf ‘to be read’. The ill-fated expression we bloggers use to express our dearest desires to get to each of our lovelies but find the hours a bit fleeting to do so!

She contacted me in January and had the joy of ‘catching me’ in a good moment – as so much of December & January is a bit of a blur to me now, as those were the months where I was still moving out of the crisis of my father’s stroke and return home. If those blinked off the clock into oblivion imagine how I feel about February & March which were the months where I required a bit more ‘breathing space’ to reacquire my bookish joy (per this tweet I recently shared). One unexpected blessing has been finding a new ‘station’ to listen to with my headphones (via Slacker Radio) which is happily giving me back new hours of bookish contemplation! It’s called: Classical Tranquility and it is a wonderful ‘collection’ of compositions and composers I have known throughout my life! It’s quite brilliant, truly! It’s a nice change of pace from ‘ambient electronica’ of which is my fail-safe and station of choice when in need of a calming soundscape whilst reading, blogging or knitting.

I positioned this review to go LIVE on the day *before!* my 4th Blogoversary! Yes, can you imagine – I’m about to become a 4th Year Book Blogger this FRIDAY, the 31st of March, 2017! I cannot quite fathom this myself – but the joy for me will be surprising the authors I discovered throughout 2016 who shaped my literary world and bookish ruminations with stories which have never quite left me since I read them! It’s become a tradition of mine – a retrospective glimpse into which stories breathed in the most light into my bookish life! Coincidentally, due to naughty seasonal pollen allergies, I had to reschedule a review for Friday as well: Sally Christie’s The Enemies of Versailles, so it will be a lovely ‘kick-off’ into the weekend, whilst I host #ChocLitSaturday (@ChocLitSaturday) for April Fool’s discussing ‘Rom-Coms’ and the joy of comedic romances!

I wanted to spend my 4th Year celebrating stories and authors – whilst entering into Spring with a firm peace of mind knowing I have healed my heart past my father’s medical crisis and have found my joy once more in digging inside the writerly minds of the authors who are penning stories which keep me wicked alert, blessedly awake and dearly enthralled with their creative synergy!

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Notation on Cover Art: Can we take a pause to admire this lovely capture of nature & the innocence of youth? I love how the cover art fits well with first love, wilderness adventures and a tipping nod towards a different era. This is also part of the ‘Pure Romance’ series of stories released by Sweetwater Books – of which I am ready appreciator! I do love the sweetness of the Roms!

Blog Book Tour | “Unexpected Love: A Marriage of Convenience” (anthology) feat. stories by Heather Chapman, Mandi Ellsworth, Paula Kremser and Ashtyn Newbold on the ‘eve’ of Jorie’s 4th Blogoversary!Unexpected Love
Subtitle: A Marriage of Convenience Anthology
by Ashtyn Newbold, Heather Chapman, Mandi Ellsworth, Paula Kremser
Source: Direct from Publisher

"Ashbrook Abbey"
Though decidedly against marriage, when Ambrose Notley discovers it may win him his uncle's good opinion (and his inheritance), he marries the orphaned Kate Mowbray. But will Kate be able to break down the walls that Ambrose has built around him?

"First Comes Marriage"
When Mae's sister and husband unexpectedly die, a greedy uncle threatens to steal custody of the children and their money. David, Mae's brother-in-law, marries Mae in the hopes of retaining custody of their niece and nephew. But will this love for show become something deeper?

"The Price of Her Heart"
When Faith MKinney witnesses a crime she shouldn't have seen, she's forced into hiding to protect her own life. As part of this, her uncle arranges her marriage to small-town sheriff Geoffrey. But when the men searching for her find Geoffrey as well, will he be able to protect her?

"Beauty and the Beholder"
When a marriage arranged by chance brings Fanny and Percy together, they quickly learn that clashing personalities and battles of wit are not a recipe for a happy match. How could a marriage between quick enemies ever result in something such as love? But fate has a way of bringing even the most unlikely hearts together...

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781462119790

Also by this author: Mischief & Manors, The Second Season, Author Interview (A Second Season), Sophia, To Suit a Suitor

Also in this series: Willow Springs, Sophia, The Second Season, To Suit a Suitor, Mischief & Manors


Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Romance Fiction, Short Story or Novella, Sweet Romance


Published by Sweetwater Books

on 1st March, 2017

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 256

Published By: Sweetwater Books (@SweetwaterBooks),

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

I have happily read stories by each of these authors and blogged my reactions to their stories previously with one exception: this was my first entry into the writing style of Ms Ellsworth! This is the one grace of finding anthologies – you might know a few authors or you might not know any of them, but there is the potential for discovering even just ‘one’ new author to love! Even though I have previously read debut novels & other stories by the other three authors, I was still undecided about one of them in regards to her narrative voice and pacing (Newbold) whilst remaining neutral going into this collection. I wanted to walk into the sections of this anthology as if i hadn’t read any other story by each of the authors – to give myself a fighting chance to have no expectations except to delight in what I would find within the stories themselves!

Converse on Twitter via: #UnexpectedLove + #Anthology

About Ashtyn Newbold

Ashtyn Newbold

Ashtyn Newbold discovered a love of writing early in high school. Inspired by regency period romance, she wrote her first novel at the age of sixteen. Because she can’t vacation in her favorite historical time periods, she writes about them instead. When not crafting handsome historical heroes, she enjoys baking, sewing, music, and spoiling her dog. She dreams of traveling to England and Ireland. Ashtyn is currently studying English and creative writing at Utah Valley University. She lives in Lehi, Utah, with her family.

About Heather Chapman

Heather Chapman

Heather Chapman currently resides in Soda Springs, Idaho, with her husband and four children. She graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University. Heather has worked in various administrative assistant roles and as an event planner. Heather has also worked as a piano accompanist and piano teacher on the side. She currently spends her time writing and working as a stay-at-home mother.

About Mandi Ellsworth

Mandi is an avid reader, a slow jogger, and disinterested in board games of any kind. She lives in Utah with her husband, three children and no pets.

About Paula Kremser

Paula Kremser

Paula Kremser focused on a career in science for a few years after graduating from Brigham Young University. Several years later when she moved with her young family to England, Paula seized the opportunity to focus on her love of the Regency Era. The enchantment of the aristocracy and the fascinating stories from every stately home she visits have been both research and inspiration for her first novel. Paula lives with her husband and four children in a charming village nestled in the Chiltern hills in Buckinghamshire.

For a hilarious look-see behind-the-scenes of how this photograph was captured read her Outtakes post! I believe that the photograph that was chosen captures her 'in the moment' with a spark of joy. Sometimes the best photographs are the ones we do not overly plan but rather happen spontaneously!

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Posted Thursday, 30 March, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Anthology Collection of Stories, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Birthdays & Blogoversaries, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Coming-Of Age, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, England, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inheritance & Identity, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Mail-Order Brides & Marriages of Convenience, Mental Health, Romance Fiction, Singletons & Commitment, Sweet Romance, the Nineteen Hundreds, Unexpected Inheritance

Audiobook Review | “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc” by Jennifer Kincheloe Jorie re-visits one of her beloved reads of 2016!

Posted Monday, 13 March, 2017 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

How I first came to read ‘Anna Blanc’: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction. I received a complimentary copy of “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc” direct from the publisher Seventh Street Books (an imprint of Prometheus Books) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared therein. This selection marked my ‘first’ choice of novels from Prometheus Books – which is why being able to listen and review the audiobook was such a sweet blessing!

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How I acquired this Digital Audiobook and my connection to the author: Jennifer Kincheloe

I remained in touch with the author – as I had hoped this would turn into a series – where this would only be the first installment of Anna Blanc’s life. When I caught sight of the audiobook being published on Twitter, I reached out directly to the author, to ask if she were seeking reviews on it’s behalf. Blessed to say, she was and I offered to re-read this novel via the audiobook in exchange for an honest review in December 2016, thinking I would post my ruminations on behalf of the narrator’s vocalisation of Anna Blanc in January 2017.

Except to say, I couldn’t get motivated to re-listen to this title – I was still adjusting to my father’s recovery from his stroke as he was just getting through his recovery period at home. I struggled with finding the inspiration to read in mid to late December and throughout January; although I did find a few stories which took hold. Sadly, this story I pushed forward to listen too, as I wanted to be in a better frame of mind to listen to Anna’s story for the second time, as became such a dear joy of mine the first time round! I had mentioned to the author about possibly contacting the Audiobookworm about promoting the audiobook, too. Turns out whilst I had a few months of a reader’s rut to trudge through, this audiobook and story made it into Audiobookworm Promotions!

I requested to be an ‘additional’ reviewer and to interview the narrator originally as I didn’t want to affect the blog tour – yet at the same time, I was so inspired by the narrator’s take on Anna Blanc, I was wicked excited about setting up a conversation with her about her performance. This conversation ended up being canncelled on my end, as I simply couldn’t pull it together on a short deadline. I also remained on the blog tour to be a ‘second time reader’ of the novel.

Therefore, I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc” via the author Jennifer Kencheloe in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein nor for recommending her to use Audiobookworm Promotions for publicity for this title or series.

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What I initially loved about the story of ‘Anna Blanc’ – quoted from my original review of the print edition:

Anna Blanc is self-assured and a women who doesn’t take kindly to be ‘put in place’ by her controlling father – as soon as she announces her presence on the scene, you want to know more about her as she’s a formidable woman straight from the gate! Her cheeky cleverness to hide whilst attempting to flee by rail and to be fashionable even though necessity dictates that to be a difficulty when trying to outfox someone from finding out your whereabouts – Anna Blanc has a charm about her that lends well to become entranced by a character you can tell is going to surprise you at each new turning of her story! How can you not help but smile when things go her way? She has this curious aplumb about her that delights the expectation of where she’s about to take you on her adventure!

Kincheloe has this cheeky sense of humour threading through her ink, as right when you think Anna Blanc has mastered the art of deceiving her father for the goodwill of her future, he pulls back twice as strong as before – leaving Anna with a shattered bit of hope and a firm displeasure of injustice. When she meets up with the Suffragettes, I was not too shocked to find her winning a wink towards their cause – as their cause was her cause!

The best attribute Anna Blanc has within her is a self-motivating resolve to become self-educated as it was such a joy to watch her expand her mind in a fervent attempt to understand the underpinnings of motives and causes of the crimes that were leeching through her city at such a fast rate of alarm. She did not just want to sleuth for the sake of detection but to fully understand the methodology behind the crimes and I think this is a nod to the writer’s (Kincheloe) curiosity being piqued by true crime stories straight out of the historical archives from whence she draws her inspirations. Kincheloe also under-writ a stunning historical survey of early Forensic techniques which inspired Anna with her investigating – especially in regards to understanding the differences between murder and suicide. This became quite pivotal in the story as Anna Blanc made her transition from socialite to female detective.

The beauty of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc are the little bits of plot your not expecting to find encircle through the evolving story – there were little clues fluttering through it’s context, but the joy was not completely sorting it all out until the very last chapter – wherein, your heart swoons with glee and you champion the success Anna Blanc had in closing her second case! This is a bit of a guilty pleasure for historical fiction readers – Kincheloe has tempted us with her wicked sweet prose where a heroine peppers the scenes with her feisty personality and a penchant for seeking out the truth from a sea of lies!

Sophisticated in her ascertainment of conception behind Anna Blanc, Kincheloe has writ such a lively character, you drink in her words with such a joy of delight! She has a fast paced narrative, where the humour is smitten by the sophisticated edging of her character’s personality, matched equally brilliantly by the grace of a Cosy Historical Mystery backdrop! She’s captured the turn of the century atmosphere aptly, as she tucks in recognisable familiarities to alight in your imagination as you turn the pages; replete with gaslights and other bits which correlate with the era.

I loved the way in which Kincheloe turnt a phrase, using words not oft found in historical fiction as her novel is a good primer of words that are wicked to say aloud and used in descriptive narratives such as this one! The phrases themselves are a delight for readers who love words as much as wordsmiths, which Kincheloe definitely excels at including whilst giving Anna Blanc a crafty choice of words to express her emotional duress! She also found a clever way to include Anna’s religious background by having her talk to the Saints when a mood or a moment fitted the hour; it was quite an interesting way to thread faith inside a mainstream novel and I liked the author’s candor.

I found this unputdownable – I read it straight through in one sitting!

I found it deliciously refreshing as Anna Blanc is a heroine who made her mark on the world on her own terms whilst owning the truth of her heart. I cannot wait to see what Ms Kincheloe will give us to devour next when this novel’s sequel is released – with a bit of hope, she won’t leave us in suspense too long!

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Audiobook Review | “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc” by Jennifer Kincheloe Jorie re-visits one of her beloved reads of 2016!The Secret Life of Anna Blanc
Subtitle: Read by Moira Quirk
by Jennifer Kincheloe
Source: Direct from Author
Narrator: Moira Quirk

It's 1907 Los Angeles. Mischievous socialite Anna Blanc is the kind of young woman who devours purloined crime novels—but must disguise them behind covers of more domestically-appropriate reading. She could match wits with Sherlock Holmes, but in her world women are not allowed to hunt criminals.

Determined to break free of the era's rigid social roles, Anna buys off the chaperone assigned by her domineering father and, using an alias, takes a job as a police matron with the Los Angeles Police Department. There she discovers a string of brothel murders, which the cops are unwilling to investigate. Seizing her one chance to solve a crime, she takes on the investigation herself.

If the police find out, she'll get fired; if her father finds out, he'll disown her; and if her fiancé finds out, he'll cancel the wedding and stop pouring money into her father's collapsing bank. Midway into her investigation, the police chief's son, Joe Singer, learns her true identity. And shortly thereafter she learns about blackmail.

Anna must choose—either hunt the villain and risk losing her father, fiancé, and wealth, or abandon her dream and leave the killer on the loose.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Also by this author: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc

Also in this series: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc


Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Historical Fiction


Published by Jennifer R. Kincheloe Ltd

on 14th November, 2016

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 12 hours 44 minutes (unabridged)

(Audiobook) Published By: the author herself

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

Converse via: #SecretLifeOfAnnaBlanc

About Jennifer Kincheloe

Jennifer Kincheloe Photo Credit: Fola Akinyemi

Jennifer has been a block layer, a nurse's aid, a fragrance model, and on the research faculty at UCLA, where she spent 11 years conducting studies to inform health policy. A native of Southern California, she now lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two teenagers. She's currently writing book three in the Anna Blanc Mystery series. Book two, THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK, is coming out in Fall of 2017 from Seventh Street Books.

Photo Credit: Fola Akinyemi
Biography updated: March 2017

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Monday, 13 March, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Father-Daughter Relationships, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, Prometheus Books, the Nineteen Hundreds, True Crime, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Rights, Women's Suffrage