Category: Debut in United States

Book Review | “Claiming Noah” by Amanda Ortlepp A jolt of heart-clutching emotional drama as we teeter on the brink of understanding the fuller picture of this drama!

Posted Tuesday, 26 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, I started by reviewing releases by FaithWords (the novels of Stephanie Grace Whitson), their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been blessed to start reviewing for them.

This marks my first review on behalf of Center Street which is also a pivotal imprint for readers seeking inspiring & realistic stories for today’s contemporary world. Stories on topics highlighting current events and/or pivotal life lessons wherein a level of uplift is gained by having the stories grace our lives with their presence. I love seeking out inspirational fiction in all it’s incantations of expression and I am finding Center Street is quite the impressive imprint for unique voices in modern literature.

I received a complimentary copy of “Claiming Noah” direct from the publisher Center Street (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) 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 read ‘Claiming Noah’ and continue to highlight stories of mumhood:

I have been featuring stories of motherhood on my blog since I first posted my review on behalf of an incredible adoption story: Red Thread Sisters. I was further moved emotionally by the incredibly layered story within the chapters of The Language of Hoofbeats which I had the pleasure of reading for review a short time later. My own path towards motherhood is going to be through adoption as I have been researching adoption for most of my life; as originally if all had been equal my parents would have adopted a younger brother for me. My parents wanted to expand our family first and foremost, but the added benefit at the time I felt was that I would have a younger brother! Something I felt my peers took for granted as I felt it was a blessing to have siblings rather than feeling resentful of them. This goes back to before children were legally free to be adopted and were not being forestalled from prospective adoptive parents; in other words, before Tipper Gore changed adoptive history.

I knew when I began Jorie Loves A Story I wanted to take time to highlight adoptive stories (specifically those featuring foster children) as well as different routes towards motherhood and parenthood, as there are so many different routes towards that end, the stories I could read are limitless. Part of my inspiration to do so is to curate a small library of choices to share with my future children; as I know self-identifiable story-lines are important to children who are growing up in non-traditional families as much as they are for everyone else who has a traditional home environment. Secondly, I wanted to read about motherhood because I feel there are wonderful writers out there who are writing about mumhood in a way that is tangible for today’s contemporary women and men. I think sometimes they are overlooked at being convicting and emotionally centering by the heart of their narrative depths by modern readers; thus inspiring me to seek them out and start to showcase them directly.

I love discovering stories of motherhood and fatherhood; single, married, divorced, widowed or newly married for a second time where the children are natural bourne, adopted, conceived through IVF or involve kinship related-adoptions. These are only a handful of ways children can enter our lives, too, giving us such a breadth of choice where fiction can take us. I knew when I read the premise of this novel it was going to be hard-hitting and downright thought-provoking as there are certain questions that would challenge the reader as much as the characters themselves. The best fiction are the ones that give us something to chew on and attempt to present a scenario that realistically highlights a life or a journey that not everyone takes but is worth considering how you might react inside that same situation. I was thankful Claiming Noah was amongst the books I could consider to review; as I felt it was a story that deserved being known.

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Book Review | “Claiming Noah” by Amanda Ortlepp A jolt of heart-clutching emotional drama as we teeter on the brink of understanding the fuller picture of this drama!Claiming Noah
by Amanda Ortlepp
Source: Direct from Publisher

This riveting debut novel of psychological suspense explores the dilemmas that arise when motherhood and science collide.

Catriona Sinclair has always had a well-developed sense of independence--in fact the one sore point in her otherwise happy marriage is her husband James's desire to take care of her. As she's often tried to explain to him, she took care of herself before she met him, and did a good job of it. But James has been especially attentive lately as they struggle to have a baby. They succeed at last through in vitro fertilization, but unwilling to risk the heartbreak of another miscarriage, they decide to make their "spare" frozen embryo available to another family.

Diana and Liam Simmons are desperate for a child. Unable to conceive, they are overjoyed to learn that as the closest genetic match to the Sinclairs they are the recipients of the embryo donation. Diana's only concern is her mother's disapproval of IVF, but any doubts raised are quickly eclipsed by Diana's joy of being pregnant.

As Diana is finding delight in every aspect of motherhood, Catriona keeps waiting for the rush of adoration she knows she is supposed to feel, but instead slips into a deep depression. Just as Catriona begins to find her way back to normalcy, one of the babies is kidnapped. Suddenly, all of their lives begin to unravel and intertwine, and none of them will ever be the same.

Places to find the book:

ISBN: 9781455565986

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Current Events, Motherhood | Parenthood, Realistic Fiction, Women's Fiction, Women's Studies


Published by Center Street

on 5th July, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 384

Published by: Center Street (@centerstreet.com)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks) via Hachette Nashville

Formats Available: Hardcover & Ebook

  • Trade Paperback has a #PubDay of 4th April, 2017 (ISBN: 9781455565993)

Converse via: #motherhood, #IVF or #mumhood

+ these two in combo: #Contemporary #Suspense

About Amanda Ortlepp

Amanda Ortlepp Photo Credit: Philip Klaunzer

AMANDA ORTLEPP lives in Sydney, Australia, where she is already at work on her second novel.

Photo Credit: Philip Klaunzer

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Posted Tuesday, 26 July, 2016 by jorielov in Adoption, Australia, Australian Literature, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut in United States, Debut Novel, Family Drama, Family Life, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Kidnapping or Unexplained Disappearances, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Loss of an unbourne child, Medical Fiction, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Mother-Son Relationships, Psychiatric Facilities, Realistic Fiction, Sudden Absence of Parent, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction, Women's Health

Blog Book Tour | “The Swimmer” by Joakim Zander

Posted Sunday, 15 March, 2015 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 was selected to be a tour stop on “The Swimmer” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the publisher HarperCollins Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Intrigued to Read:

It’s oft difficult to explain what draws my eye towards a novel up for review, however, in the particular instance of The Swimmer it was to segue back inside the thrillers of my youth. I used to read a heap of military espionage thrillers, which were not quite as intense as a Jason Bourne story (I opted instead to watch Bourne on the silver screen) but were equally of merit and of intensity of drama intermixed with the daring feats of the characters who strove not only to keep themselves safe and alive, but those of whom they were protecting and/or attempting to bring to justice; depending on the story-line’s arc.

The sweet part of finding The Swimmer in my postbox was the unexpectedness of realising this is a novel in-translation from it’s Swedish version! I must’ve missed this bit to the story whilst I had read through a list of synopsises in order to pick out my Spring selections; herein this is of interest to me, due to heritage lines in my ancestral past. Scandinavian history and modern society are of keen interest to me, and it is quite rare where I can tip my hat towards finding Swedish authors and/or any other currently in-translation to English which whets a palette of interest for me to read.

The sea of stories being regularly published is so very vast, I sometimes find it difficult to seek out stories across the channels of where the voices of story-tellers converge. It is a goal of mine to read more stories outside my own country of origin, and this happily, is one novel in that direction! On a smaller note, I could relate to the title itself without the context of the novel’s heart attached.

Blog Book Tour | “The Swimmer” by Joakim ZanderThe Swimmer
by Joakim Zander
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

A deep-cover CIA agent races across Europe to save the daughter he never knew in this electrifying debut thriller— an international sensation billed as “Homeland meets Stieg Larsson”—that heralds the arrival of a new master.

Early 1980s, Damascus. A nameless American spy abandons his newborn child to an uncertain fate. His inability to forgive himself for what he has done leads him on a lifelong quest to escape his past that will take him to Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq—anywhere where the danger and the stress allow him to forget.

Thirty years later, EU aide Klara Walldéen is learning to navigate the world of politics—the lines between friend and enemy, truth and lies. But Klara has just seen something she should not have: a laptop containing information so sensitive that people will kill to keep it hidden. Suddenly she is thrown into a terrifying chase through Europe, with no idea who is hunting her or why.

Their stories converge one stormy Christmas Eve in the Swedish archipelago, where blood is spilled, shocking discoveries are made, and the past inevitably catches up with the present.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Crime Fiction, Thriller


Published by Harper Books

on 10th February, 2015

Pages: 432

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

Published by: Harper Books (@harperbooks)

an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)

Translated by: Elizabeth Clark Wessel (@lizclarkwessel)

Available FormatsHardback & Ebook

Converse via: #TheSwimmer

About Joakim Zander

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Joakim Zander has lived in Syria and Israel and graduated from high school in the United States. He earned a PhD in Law from Maastricht University in the Netherlands and has worked as a lawyer for the European Union in Brussels and Helsinki. The Swimmer is his first novel; rights have been sold in 28 territories. Zander currently lives in southern Sweden with his wife and two children.

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Posted Sunday, 15 March, 2015 by jorielov in 20th Century, 21st Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, ARC | Galley Copy, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Crime Fiction, Debut Author, Debut in United States, Debut Novel, Espionage, Father-Daughter Relationships, Fly in the Ointment, Geographically Specific, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Scandinavian Literature, Spy Fiction, TLC Book Tours, Vulgarity in Literature