Category: Equality In Literature

Blog Book Tour | “Second Sister” by Chan Ho-Kei (an Zeitgeisty Hacker Contemporary Thriller)

Posted Sunday, 22 March, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I’ve been enjoying hosting blog tours for the UK Indie publisher Head of Zeus as I feel blessed to work with them as a book blogger being that I love celebrating authors from the UK and the stories they are telling through the different genres Head of Zeus is publishing. These blog tours have been encouraging my bookish and readerly wanderings into Crime Dramas, Historical Fiction and Historical Sagas whilst also engaging into my passionate love of Speculative Fiction which encompasses Science Fiction and Fantasy. I am thankful to be hosting tours for the publisher directly and with their publicity team at Midas PR.

I received a complimentary copy of “Second Sister” direct from the publisher Head of Zeus 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

What intrigued me about “Second Sister”:

I have noticed a shift in my reading patterns has brought me back into *Crime Fiction!* recently – even before I announced becoming an influencer for the Crime Fiction Subscription Book Box which is focused on highlighting Canadian Crime Writers and Crime Fiction from around the world. This is a niche of literature I personally LOVE to be reading – from Contemporary Suspense & Thrillers to Cosy Historical Mysteries to dramatic Cosy Crime and police proceduals and amateur sleuths – there is something truly captivating about reading stories which invigorate your mind whilst your attempting to uncover the writer’s vision of how to tell a captivating suspense novel through their own lens of inspiration to leave you gripped inside a novel that might be hard to put down after its read.

From the moment I first read the premise of “Second Sister” – I just had this murmuring of interest as this was my first takeaway having read the synopsis:

It isn’t often I find a Thriller like this one which intrigues me to read the story. The author reminds me of what I enjoyed about reading J.S. Monroe’s “Forget My Name” and why I am dearly eager to read his new release “The Other You” – which I hosted an Author Q&A for earlier in January of this year.

It isn’t often I find Crime Fiction in translation – the first novel of I read of this nature was The Swimmer which happily took me by surprise and was a wicked good read. This is the other reason “Second Sister” appealled to me as a reader – not to mention the premise was a gutting one – how it effectively was about the lives and choices of two sisters and would take me to Hong Kong to hear their story. I’ll admit the tagline attached to this novel was quite alluring in its own right –  an Zeitgeisty Hacker Contemporary Thriller!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Second Sister” by Chan Ho-Kei (an Zeitgeisty Hacker Contemporary Thriller)Second Sister
by (Translator) Jeremy Tiang, Chan Ho-Kei
Source: Direct from Publicist

Upon discovering her fifteen-year-old sister’s body sprawled in a pool of blood at the bottom of their apartment block, Nga-Yee vows to serve justice to the internet troll she blames for her sister’s suicide.

Hiring an anti-establishment, maverick tech-savvy detective, Nga-Yee discovers the dark side of social media, the smokescreen of online privacy and the inner workings of the hacker’s mind.

Determined to find out the truth about why her sister Siu-Man killed herself, Nga-Yee cannot rest until she finds out whose inflammatory social media post went viral and pushed her sister to her death. Along the way, Nga-Yee makes unsavoury discoveries about her sister’s life and the dark underbelly of the digital world.

Perfect for fans of hacker thrillers such as Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, Second Sister is part detective novel, part revenge thriller. It explores timely themes of sexual harassment, online trolling, victim blaming, fake news and data privacy scandals , vividly capturing the zeitgeist of Hong Kong and the world today.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1788547116

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Crime Fiction, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Police Procedural, Thriller


Setting: Hong Kong


Published by Head of Zeus

on 18th February, 2020

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 496

Published By: Head of Zeus (@HoZ_Books)

Converse via: #SecondSister, #Thriller

as well as #Contemporary and #TechnoThriller

Available Formats: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Audiobook & Ebook

About (Translator) Jeremy Tiang

Jeremy Tiang

Jeremy Tiang's short story collection It Never Rains on National Day was published by Epigram Books in 2015. His writing has also appeared in The Guardian, Esquire, Asia Literary Review, Brooklyn Rail, Drunken Boat, Meanjin, Ambit and Best New Singaporean Short Stories.

He has translated more than ten books from Chinese, including work by Yeng Pway Ngon, You Jin, Wong Yoon Wah, Yan Geling, Yu Qiuyu, Su Wei-chen and Zhang Yueran. Shorter translations have appeared in Two Lines, the Iowa Review, Asymptote and The Stinging Fly.

He is a 2016 NEA Literary Translation Fellow, and has received grants from PEN/ Heim and the National Museum of Taiwanese Literature. Jeremy also writes and translates plays, including Floating Bones (The Arts House, Singapore), A Dream of Red Pavilions (adapted from the novel Hong Lou Meng; Pan-Asian Repertory Theatre, NYC) and The Last Days of Limehouse (Yellow Earth Theatre, London).

About Chan Ho-Kei

Chan Ho-Kei

Chan was born and raised in Hong Kong. He was graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong with a B.Sc. degree in 1997. He has worked as software engineer, game designer, manga editor, and lecturer. Chan made his debut as writer in 2008, with short story The Murder Case of Jack and the Beanstalk which was shortlisted for the 6th Mystery Writers of Taiwan Award. Chan reentered and won this award in the next year with The Locked Room of Bluebeard.

After receiving a couple more of awards, Chan reached the first milestone of his writing career in 2011. Chan's novel, The Man who Sold the World won the biggest mystery award in the Chinese speaking world, the Soji Shimada Award. The book has been published in Taiwan, Japan, Italy, Thailand and Korea.

 In 2014, Chan's work The Borrowed was published in Taiwan and has been well acclaimed. It has sold rights in eight countries, and the film rights sold to director Wong Kar-Wai.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Divider

Posted Sunday, 22 March, 2020 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Thriller, Crime Fiction, Equality In Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Head of Zeus, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Vulgarity in Literature

Influencer #partner with #OnceUponABookClub | Book Review for “Remembrance” by Rita Woods with *special!* reveals for those lovely mystery parcels in the February #ouabookclub box!

Posted Tuesday, 10 March, 2020 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a promotional #partner and/or Influencer with Once Upon A Book Club similar to how I receive books from publishers, authors & publicists or early review programs – I am not being monetarily compensated for sharing my experiences, impressions, reviews or the links to their website on my blog Jorie Loves A Story nor on my feeds on Twitter (@joriestory or @SatBookChat). Nor for the coupon code which is a discount for new subscribers to the Once Upon A Book Club subscription service.

Thereby, I received a complimentary copy of “Remembrance” direct from Once Upon A Book Club as part of the February Adult Box in exchange for an honest review about the gifts which connect to the story and of the story itself. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

IF you’d like to order your own Once Upon A Book Club box,

you can use my coupon code → JORIELOVES10

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I was intrigued and excited about reading REMEMBRANCE:

I loved how we get a quote from the book itself on a beautiful card which can be framed and hung on your wall. This particular quote felt quite telling if you ponder it for a spell – how if we do not harness the ability to be ‘still’ we will miss the truths which are attempting to alight on our souls. There is beauty in that quote and a heap of wisdom as well. I cannot wait to read “Remembrance” to better understand the connection of the quote to the story.

In regards to the story itself – “Remembrance” is a story within a uniquely told timeline – as we are transporting ourselves into *three!* (not two as usually found in time bent narratives) distinctively unique timelines of interest – shifting from the contemporary modern world of Mid-West Ohio into Haiti (1791) whilst it is nearly going through a Revolution and forwards a bit into New Orleans (1857). Three women, three timelines and a depth of a story betwixt and between their lives – I don’t know about you but what could be more rivetingly dramatic and engaging than a story which offers three individualistic perspectives of a connective narrative!?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#OnceUponABookClubBox February Adult Box Photo Photography Credit: © jorielovesastory.com.
#OnceUponABookClubBox February Adult Box Photo Photography Credit: © jorielovesastory.com.

[ The February Adult Once Upon A Book Club selection is :

Remembrance
by Rita Woods
Source: Direct from Once Upon A Book Club

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1250298454

Genres: Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Time Slip and/or Time Shift


Published by Forge

on 21st January, 2020

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 416

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comPublished by: Forge (@torbooks)

Subjects explored:

African-American History, The Underground Railroad, Earthquakes in Haiti, the Haiti Revolution, 19th Century New Orleans & Fugitive Slaves

Converse via: #onceuponabookclub, #onceuponabookclubbox & #ouabookclub

as well as #Rememberance, #HistFic & #MagicalRealism

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Divider

Posted Tuesday, 10 March, 2020 by jorielov in #bookclubVIP, #Unboxing BookMail, 18th Century, 19th Century, 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Book Review (non-blog tour), Book Subscription Boxes, Content Note, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Once Upon A Book Club, Underground Railroad, Vulgarity in Literature

Conversations with the Bookish | conversing with Heather Rose Jones about her series Alpennia whilst featuring her newest release “Floodtide” during #FFFeb!

Posted Saturday, 29 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I admit – this interview was meant to be shared on Jorie Loves A Story quite a long while ago – between my illnesses in December & February, and the hard start I had to [2020] in January – I have somehow managed to delay the showcase I was thankful to have put together for #Floodtide on behalf of a series I was blessed to have discovered via the twitterverse in [2019]. I cannot apologise enough to the author, Heather Rose Jones for consistently being unable to run this feature and for pushing my spotlight & interview on her series further afield from the time-frame she intended her promotions to run in the book blogosphere.

What first drew my eye towards this series was the author found me on Twitter! From there, I started to do some digging on her website, rooted round and found out more about her Alpennia series and decided it was something I’d readily enjoy reading. Therefore, in October of 2019 I started to put this together – however, that was also right in the middle of my Autumnal health afflictions (as I had issues with my migraines in September & November; whilst I took ill during the months of October & December) and sadly, that is at the heart of why this featured interview and series showcase was getting rescheduled quite consistently!

I have been a ready fan of Historical Fantasy series for quite a long while now – however, most recently I am quite sure my readers might remember my listenings to Richard Storry’s series the Ruritanian Rogues series – a series I am still listening to now, as I had to take a few breaks from my listenings of the series which included an issue with my ears during my last cold virus this February. The reason I broach this series is because the world within Alpennia is also described as being “Ruritanian” which I felt was quite kismet; having previously becoming intrigued by Storry’s version of this kind of world-building.

More curious is the fact Ms Jones recently featured Edale Lane on her blog wherein Ms Lane discusses her world-building through her research for the #NightFlyerTrilogy; which similar to the world of Alpennia is also feminist driven Historical Fantasy! This was an interesting coincidence as I recently reviewed the first novel in the series “Merchants of Milan” and hosted a special vlog interview with Ms Lane! It truly never surprises me about how bookish connections online have the tendency of keeping me ruminatively surprised by how close the book world truly is and how interconnected we all are with each other! The other connection of course, is how Ms Lane & Ms Jones have both writ series which are rooted in f/f character arcs and befit the reading concentration this February for those sharing their sapphic reads this #FFFEbruary | #FFFeb.

I have always been keen on reading Feminist driven Literature – even though I have read and sought out more of this niche of stories as a book blogger, there was an interest to find more of them prior to becoming a book blogger. As I decided to redirect the focus of @SatBookChat to be more inclusive of Feminist Lit this year whilst honouring our past focusing on Romance & Women’s Fiction – this particular series is a great compass point of the kinds of Speculative Fiction and series I am seeking as I move forward as a book blogger and as a chat hostess. I love finding uniquely spun stories which have a world unlike others and which have a unique presence of self within their own world-building.

As I was reading about Alpennia as a whole it isn’t any easy world to pin down as the series itself is quite all-encompassing. I normally would seek out to read the first books in a series but the more I learnt of this series through this conversation with Ms Jones, the more I felt comfortable that perhaps “Floodtide” would be a good fit for me as a reader to embrace the larger world in which this story is set. I am going to be requesting this book as a purchase request at my local library and I am hopeful it might get accepted and arrive in time for Wyrd and Wonder this May, 2020 – the Fantasy event I co-host every year with Imyril and Lisa (@WyrdAndWonder).

For now, the honour is mine to share an up close and personal view into Alpennia as we tuck closer to what inspires the series and how Ms Jones has crafted it. I am grateful our paths crossed in the twitterverse as this is one of my favourite routes of connecting to authors and of being able to discover new Indie Authors and voices within Speculative Fiction and the other genres I regularly seek out to read!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Without further adieu :

brew your favourite cuppa & enjoy the convo!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Conversations with the Bookish | conversing with Heather Rose Jones about her series Alpennia whilst featuring her newest release “Floodtide” during #FFFeb!Floodtide
by Heather Rose Jones
Source: Direct from Publisher

The streets are a perilous place for a young laundry maid dismissed without a character for indecent acts. Roz knew the end of the path for a country girl alone in the city of Rotenek. A desperate escape in the night brings her to the doorstep of Dominique the dressmaker and the hope of a second chance beyond what she could have imagined. Roz’s apprenticeship with the needle, under the patronage of the royal thaumaturgist, wasn’t supposed to include learning magic, but Celeste, the dressmaker’s daughter, draws Roz into the mysterious world of the charm-wives. When floodwaters and fever sweep through the lower city, Celeste’s magical charms could bring hope and healing to the forgotten poor of Rotenek, but only if Roz can claim the help of some unlikely allies.

Set in the magical early 19th century world of Alpennia, Floodtide tells an independent tale that interweaves with the adventures. A stand-alone book in the Alpennia series (Alpennia #4)

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781642470468

Genres: Historical-Fantasy, LGBTQIA Fiction


Published by Bella Books

on 15th November, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

“In the first quarter of the 19th century, Alpennia, like the rest of Europe, has seen the rise and fall of the French Empire under Napoleon and is struggling to find their place in the aftermath. The greatest Alpennian asset in that struggle is their strong tradition of thaumaturgy, calling on the Mysteries of the Saints to answer the challenge of more powerful neighbors. At first, Margerit Sovitre has little thought for nations and politics. Her interest in mystical studies is entirely personal. But as the Alpennian stories progress, Margerit and her circle of friends will be drawn ever deeper into intrigues at the highest levels, and they will learn that the ancient rituals that protect Alpennia are only one face of the magical forces at work.”

Published by: Bella Books (@bellabooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #Floodtide, #FFFebruary or #FFFeb

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Divider

Posted Saturday, 29 February, 2020 by jorielov in 19th Century, Author Interview, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction

#PubDay Book Review | “Adequate Yearly Progress” by Roxanna Elden

Posted Tuesday, 11 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I have been a book blogger hosting publisher blog tours and/or featuring book reviews for Simon & Schuster (as well as a few of their imprints) since 2017 however I didn’t start to host for them regularly until 2018. What I appreciate about being a book blogger for this publisher is that they have the tendency of knowing the types of Contemporary & Historical stories which interest me to read even before I realise there is a new release forthcoming which I might gravitate towards wanting to read! It never fails to delight me finding one of their emails in my Inbox because they have the tendency of selecting the stories which align wonderfully with my own bookish wanderings. It is a joy to be a book blogger on their publisher blog tours and/or hosting reviews for them outside of the organised blog tours.

I received a complimentary copy of “Adequate Yearly Progress” direct from the publisher Atria Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) 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

The reason reading ”Adequate Yearly Progress” appealled to me:

Ever since I was in school, I oft wondered what the teachers were talking about when they weren’t in the classroom. Growing up during budget cuts in the public & private school systems in the United States was an interesting view of the education system. Programs like Art, Drama, Shop (construction) and anything ‘extra’ after school were generally the first to get cut whilst they also had shortages on textbooks which is why I still remember how difficult it was to ‘lose our lockers’ in seventh and eighth grade because we literally had to go down to using ‘class sets’ without taking anything home except for copied work sheets which you could do in your sleep. In other words, for a lot of the years I was in school I didn’t feel academically challenged but what I gained instead was self-confidence, self-advocacy and self-esteem; in essence, I was building life skills and learning how to navigate the world.

Still though – there was a lot of bureaucratic red tape for the teachers, including the good ones who were student centred and held our interests ahead of their own. Some wanted to do more but were hindered by the budget or the restraints of the rules within public or private education (depending which school I was attending and which grade level). The only time I really had a chance to interact with the faculty and teachers more directly was in eighth grade where I befriended the school principal who tragically died prematurely shortly afterwards and in high school where the veil was fully lifted and I learnt far more than I expected!

For these reasons and the current state of public education in America, I decided this might be a rather timely novel to be reading. I also grew up being a dyslexic learner where most of my teachers didn’t realise I had learning difficulties because I learnt to overcompensate for my dyslexia – however, that’s a topic for another time as it lead to its own quirky complications!

Suffice it to say, from a very young age when it came to academic curiosity and literary wanderings – I did most of my educational pursuits off-campus and outside traditional education. I learnt more from my Mum who was technically my first teacher and through my family who always encouraged me to have as many experiences as I could and to seek out alternative learning opportunities.

Once I learnt how to work round my dyslexia the world of books became a cosy comfort because there wasn’t a subject I couldn’t explore on my own and there was a wide literary world out there to time travel through – in essence, what I have shared on Jorie Loves A Story is a small fraction of insight into my life as an independent learner and a self-motivating reader who continues to self-educate herself through literature and libraries.

Thus, I was dearly curious how this Contemporary novel might explore the current state of the educational system and the teachers who have a lot to deal with in regards to resources available to them in order to educate the children in their classrooms. I also thought it might have some cheeky humour along the way which is always a good thing to find!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#PubDay Book Review | “Adequate Yearly Progress” by Roxanna EldenAdequate Yearly Progress
by Roxanna Elden
Source: Direct from Publisher

Roxanna Elden’s “laugh-out-loud funny satire” (Forbes) is a brilliantly entertaining and moving look at our education system.

Each new school year brings familiar challenges to Brae Hill Valley, a struggling high school in one the biggest cities in Texas. But the teachers also face plenty of personal challenges and this year, they may finally spill over into the classroom.

English teacher Lena Wright, a spoken-word poet, can never seem to truly connect with her students. Hernan D. Hernandez is confident in front of his biology classes, but tongue-tied around the woman he most wants to impress. Down the hall, math teacher Maybelline Galang focuses on the numbers as she struggles to parent her daughter, while Coach Ray hustles his troubled football team toward another winning season. Recording it all is idealistic second-year history teacher Kaytee Mahoney, whose anonymous blog gains new readers by the day as it drifts ever further from her in-class reality. And this year, a new superintendent is determined to leave his own mark on the school—even if that means shutting the whole place down.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781982135027

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Education & Learning, Literary Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Teachers & Educators


Published by Atria Books

on 11th February, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 400

 Published By:  Published By: Atria Books (@AtriaBooks)
{imprint of} Simon & Schuster (

Converse via: #AdequateYearlyProgress, #ContemporaryFiction + #RealisticFiction
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook & Ebook

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

About Roxanna Elden

Roxanna Elden

Roxanna Elden is the author of Adequate Yearly Progress: A Novel, and See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers. She combines eleven years of experience as a public school teacher with a decade of speaking to audiences around the country about education issues. She has been featured on NPR as well as in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and more.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Divider

Posted Tuesday, 11 February, 2020 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Equality In Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Learning Difficulties, Literary Fiction, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Publishers & Presses (Direct Reviews), School Life & Situations, Teacher & Student Relationships, Vulgarity in Literature

A #blogmas #HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “The Christmas Kiss” (Back to Bluestone River series, Book Two) by Virginia McCullough

Posted Friday, 13 December, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#blogmas 2019 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Christmas Kiss” direct from the author Virginia McCullough 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

Why I enjoy reading a Virginia McCullough
Harlequin Heartwarming novel:

Ruby is the kind of woman who likes to see the potential in life rather than the sour lemons that can upset your plans. She wouldn’t be the first to admit that losing a job she believed in struck her in the heart and was effectively difficult to re-group after due to how much of herself she put into the belief her job was one that had mattered. Instead, she put on the kind of brave face you hope will soak through you the longer you wear it and decides to re-settle into her hometowne of Bluestone River! This coming off the suggestions of her bestie Emma kept nudging her with photos of the open prairie grasses, the calming scenes of wildlife and the potential of what Ruby might find once she arrived. I think the key word there is how Ruby might find something she hadn’t planned to find and thereby, finding a new way forward when life felt like it was falling apart. That’s a sentiment I think most can relate too when things go south and you have to rebuild your life.

Counter to Ruby’s woes are Emma’s concerns for her own health – as she has a serious condition that requires not just surgery but loads of patience as the recovery isn’t an easy one. These are two woman at cornerstones of their lives seeking comfort and shelter together if only to weather the storms and find a way to come through them a bit less affected than if they were to ride them out alone. Although the same could be said for Mike and his young son Jason; as they were two warriors riding into their own storm as well. Mike was the kind of father who was not just committed to his son but he was an encourager of random joy. He liked to keep the legacy of how he was raised in the growing years of his son Jason, even if his own childhood and his son’s held a few stark differences between them. For instance, when Mike was growing up he wasn’t struggling with PTSD like his son but there was solace in being back in Bluestone River. The area held a calmness over it – where the natural world in of itself had the best calming effect on the residents and perhaps, a healing effect as well.

I liked how McCullough took her time in allowing Jason to come round to others; how he interacted with his father, his teacher and even new persons he was just starting to meet like Ruby and Peach (the dog). His behaviour matched what you would expect from a young child who was struggling with the issues he had and yet, each time he was in-scene, it felt organic, honest and real. Nothing felt forced and I appreciated the realism and the extra touches of honesty threading into how Jason was portrayed.

McCullough tackles childhood PTSD and what causes a child to be mute rather than to speak through their emotions and their crises; giving new empathy for how PTSD affects children but also, how sometimes children find the hardest part of their recovery and healing process is resuming the art of speaking. Words have a lot of hidden meanings but they also hold a lot of truths that can be hard to speak; which I felt is partially why Jason might have stopped speaking as his reality had become shattered in such a tragic and traumatic way, it was easy to see why his voice might have become silent for awhile.

There is an ease of awareness and of setting here – you can tell McCullough has taken her time to develop this series, of giving us a well-rounded and well-thought out plotting to where the foundation of the series can build out of this first installment. It is a place that isn’t entirely without its prickles of angst but it has a heart-centred feel to it which gives you the hope of what could happen if people allow themselves to forgive the past and to seek a future without allowing the past to dictate how your life is meant to be lived.

-quoted from my review of A Family for Jason

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A #blogmas #HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “The Christmas Kiss” (Back to Bluestone River series, Book Two) by Virginia McCulloughThe Christmas Kiss
Subtitle: Back to Bluestone River
by Virginia McCullough
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Will working together

…lead to together forever?

Recently divorced, Parker Davis needs to focus on his new job so he can provide a stable home for his daughter in time for the Christmas holidays. The problem is, he’s frequently at odds with his boss. He and Emma O’Connell approach everything differently. Yet he finds her intriguing, and Bluestone River festivities keep pushing them together—often enough that two people at odds could find themselves evenly matched in love!

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335510969

Also by this author: A Family for Jason

Also in this series: A Family for Jason


Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 3rd December, 2019

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 375

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming

Converse via: #Contemporary + #Romance and #HarlequinHeartwarming

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Back to Bluestone River series:

A Family for Jason (book one) : Ruby & Mike’s story (see also Review)

The Christmas Kiss (book two) : Emma & Parker’s story

I love how the sequel involves Emma! She’s Ruby’s best friend & she helped Ruby become re-established back into Bluestone River. I thought it was fitting she’d get her own story after finding out how tied-in she is to the community & Ruby’s life!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

About Virginia McCullough

Virginia McCullough

Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia McCullough has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.

Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Divider

Posted Friday, 13 December, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, A Father's Heart, Blog Tour Host, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, Mute | Medical Loss of Voice, Prism Book Tours, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Single Fathers, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Special Needs Children