Category: Special Needs Children

Book Review | “Those Who Remain: Remembrance and Reunion After War” by Ruth W. Crocker

Posted Monday, 2 November, 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 approached to read a different book than the one I asked to read, as the original choice the publicist made for me didn’t feel like a good fit, to be honest. I asked to receive “Those Who Remain” because I have a strong connection to the war eras as I regularly read war dramas and historical fiction set during this period; yet I do not often think to pick up a work of non-fiction that is connected to the eras. I was thankful I could step out of my comfort zone and read a creative non-fiction account set during the Vietnam War. I received a complimentary copy of the “Those Who Remain” direct from the publicist at Claire McKinney Public Relations, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why letters and correspondences interest me within a story of a war drama:

Oft-times letters and correspondences are all that will remain after a war between wives and husbands; daughters and fathers; sons and mothers, etc. as war is an uncertain time of unforeseeable tragedy. The words etched into postcards, pieces of paper or scribbled onto napkins or other bits of mail become a lasting tribute to not only the person who gave those words to their loved ones but to the receiver who knew a bit of their thoughts before they passed. Not everyone perishes at war, but for the families who lose their relatives, the sudden separation and the lack of a proper good-bye is mind-numbingly anguishing for many years.

When it comes to reading war dramas in fiction, I appreciate the writers who fuse history and fact into their stories, but also allow a breath of connection between those at the front and those back home. Finding letters caught inside the tethers of a war drama is one way to anchour me into that story because of how important those letters were in reality. I read quite a lot of war dramas per year, but I also appreciate certain tv serials who augment the same connections I find in their fictional counterparts such as Foyle’s War and As Time Goes By. The latter had the plot focused on a missing letter which was never delivered and thus, became the impetus of how a soldier and a nurse reunited years later in their golden years.

The novel which illuminated the necessity for correspondence at war the best, I felt, was Letters from Skye a novel writ around the letters themselves; taking me to a new vein of reality of how a novel can be told. Reviewing this novel twice was a way I could give the author a second note of gratitude for how convicting her story moved my emotional heart.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Book Review | “Those Who Remain: Remembrance and Reunion After War” by Ruth W. CrockerThose Who Remain
Subtitle: Remembrance and Reunion After War
by Ruth W. Crocker
Source: Direct from Publisher

She was 23 years old when she was widowed by war and rather than bury her husband in his coffin, she buried every memory of their brief life together. Forty years later she exhumed the grave and came to terms with her loss and her grief.

Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2013 writer-teacher-actress Ruth W. Crocker brings her journey of love, loss, and inspiration to the page in her beautiful memoir THOSE WHO REMAIN: Remembrance and Reunion after War (Elm Grove Press).

Sometimes the reaction to loss is anger along with the need to be reckless and to search for meaning in what has happened. In THOSE WHO REMAIN, Ruth W. Crocker was propelled by her complex emotions at the time. On the one hand she needed to close the door on her previous life, and on the other she wanted to pay tribute to her husband's memory and escape from her grief. To this end she hiked up to the treacherous North Face of the Eiger, the most notorious mountain in the Swiss Alps, to spread her husband's ashes at the top of the climb they were supposed to do together.

Weaving her beautifully-written recollections with diary entries, letters between her and her husband, and conversations with his comrades, Ruth gives readers an intimate glimpse into the life of a woman who faced her fears and braved the forces of nature to learn that she could survive anything that came her way. A unique true story of grief and recovery with a surprising revelation, THOSE WHO REMAIN demonstrates the tenacious will of the human spirit to heal.

Genres: Memoir, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, War Drama


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781940863009

Published by Elm Grove Press

on 13th May 2014

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 294

Published by: Elm Grove Press 

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Ruth W. Crocker

Ruth W. Crocker

Ruth W. Crocker, PhD, is a 2013 Pushcart Prize nominated author, writing consultant, and expert on recovery from trauma and personal tragedy. Her memoir Those Who Remain: Remembrance and Reunion After War describes her experience following her husband’s death in Vietnam and how she found resources for healing.

Crocker’s essays have been recognized in Best American Essays and her articles have been
featured in the Gettysburg Review, Grace Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, O-Dark-Thirty, and T.A.P.S. Magazine.

She received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Bennington College, a PhD in Nutrition and Human Development from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Education from Tufts University. Along the way she also became a Registered Dietitian.

Crocker worked in health care administration and clinical nutrition before becoming a full-time writer. Currently, she is the Writer-In-Residence at Riverlight Wellness Center in Stonington, Connecticut, where she teaches the art of writing memoirs and personal essays to aspiring writers who want to express their own stories. She lives, cooks, and writes in Mystic, Connecticut.

Why the past (and the memories carried therein) can rekindle hope and our humanity’s will towards accepting grace:

There is a point in the story where Crocker mentions the true blessing of living histories (what my family refers to as the stories of our relatives and relations throughout our ancestral past) where we become tethered to our family through the living memories of people who lived before our own time. Sometimes these can be peppered with your living relatives recollections of their lives in the decades before your birth, but generally speaking, it’s a way to keep a tangible impression of your family’s journey through time refreshed and known for the generations who are coming down the line.

I appreciated these stories because they clarified a few finer points of the historical past where I found a bit of fault with lessons in school; as I was being given a wider picture than the option only to recount facts and tidbits someone else deemed worthy of my attention. In a conversation on Twitter earlier in 2015 (believe during #HistoricalFix; follow @HistoricalFix), it was mentioned that if historical fiction was taught in school (especially the authors of today or yesterday who conduct such impressive research to ground their stories) we would have a whole new appreciation for history as a whole. I tend to agree with this sentiment whole-heartedly because when the ‘past’ comes alive for me as I read a novel, it is a kind reminder of how much the past was ‘alive’ for me through the stories of my family. We have a need to make connections whilst we’re alive, it’s not only how we process information and keep a stronghold of knowledge vibrant and a part of who we are, it’s a way of how we internalise what we’re experiencing.

If we start to forget to share the stories, we will soon find ourselves without a path towards reacquiring the hope of where we’ve been and the joy of where we are about to venture forward next. Read More

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Posted Monday, 2 November, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, #NonFictionFriday, 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Claire McKinney Public Relations, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, History, Indie Author, Memoir, Military Families of the Deployed, Non-Fiction, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, Quakers, Special Needs Children, Story knitted out of Ancestral Data, The Vietnam War, Travel the World in Books, War Widow, War-time Romance, Warfare & Power Realignment

Blog Book Tour | “Riding” by Cassia Cassitas with a featured Guest Post to accompany my review!

Posted Sunday, 20 September, 2015 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 be a part of the blog tour for “Riding” hosted by iRead Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Cassia Cassitas in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I love reading translated works of fiction:

Prior to being a book blogger I hadn’t had the chance to read translated works of literature, which I’ve mentioned previously, especially when I reviewed my first Swedish thriller The Swimmer which blew my mind at how intricate and intense a high octane suspense novel can read whilst in translation! However, expanding out of translated works from their original languages, I also have had a healthy curiosity about authors whose first language is not English, who are writing heart-centered fiction and/or historical fiction, as I love reading women’s fiction as much as I love reading historicals. Another niche I thought I might appreciate would be literary fiction, as the breadth of what can be told and explored would expand through the narrative arc.

When I first read the premise of Riding I felt connected to the story, but also recognised this was an original type of story told through a perspective that I haven’t come across beforehand and warmly looked forward to reading. I’ll express a bit more about why I appreciate the Olympic and Paralympic Games as I move into my review, but right now I simply wanted to say how joyful it was to encounter a wholly original premise from an author whose first language is not English. I am celebrating multi-cultural and multi-language authors as my discovery of their works helps enrich my reading circle with a bounty of unknown stories of whom I am blessed and grateful to have alight on my path!

Blog Book Tour | “Riding” by Cassia Cassitas with a featured Guest Post to accompany my review!Riding
by Cassia Cassitas
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

Amidst real events and landscapes, men and women like us wander the cities we inhabit, rehearsing happier lives in the pages of this motivational narrative. From each one, destiny took a part to make them perfect.

When he is born, Andre propels his mother's life in a new direction. His father, an executive who organizes Olympic competitions around the world and doesn't know when to come back home, strives to make him a worldly citizen. Cycling, his life acquires purpose: becoming an Olympic para-athlete.

Together with his friends, he experiences disappointments and new beginnings. A doctor that builds robots, the daughter of a lonely teenager, and a retired athlete teach André how to overcome his limits and live his dream.

Set in Curitiba with breaks in Los Angeles, Seoul, Johannesburg and Soweto, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London, the narrative ends in 2012, in Rio de Janeiro.

As a tribute to all those who choose to sign the next episodes of their lives, this book is about overcoming one’s self amid achievements, obstacles, love and heroism, written behind the scenes of life.

Genres: Literary Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

ISBN: 9781511966139

Published by Self Published

on 31st April 2015

Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

Pages: 252

Self-Published by the Author
Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Cassia Cassitas

Cassia Cassitas

In my mind, words came in strides. They aligned themselves in arguments that were ready for combat after rebelling themselves - and that was just inkling. Where was my certainty to support the new image? And where were my emotions, with their brushes to bring color to life?"

Born in the interior of the state of Paraná, Cassia Cassitas accumulated various degrees throughout her career in Information Technology. The author of three novels, her texts convey ideas accumulated amidst the smell of coffee plantations, shoe factories, and the technology of the 20th century. These texts deal with life-altering episodes, in a path lit by a harmonious blend of memories and imagination.

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Posted Sunday, 20 September, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Debut Author, Equality In Literature, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Life Shift, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, South America, Special Needs Children, Sports, The Olympic Games (Winter or Summer), Women's Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “The Summer of Chasing Mermaids” by Sarah Ockler

Posted Wednesday, 5 August, 2015 by jorielov , , , 3 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 on “The Summer of Chasing Mermaids” blog tour originally in mid-Spring before the tour was put on hold and finally re-organised in early Summer. Diverse Book Tours was undergoing a re-organisation and re-grouping of their website during the downtime and I was quite thankful I was still able to remain on the tour. I was sent a complimentary hardback copy of “The Summer of Chasing Mermaids” direct from Diverse Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Why Jorie tries to remember to read outside her comfort zones:

Young Adult fiction is a new passion of mine, ever since I took up sails into these engaging worlds where writers would enchant me with their fantasy realms (such as Jackie Gamber!) or retreat inside a coming-of age tale where the main protagonist is one where you cannot put the book down because of how strong they are lighting the story for your heart. The latter of course is a memory of mine from reading The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate most especially but there are others listed on my recent re-attachment to YA fiction on my Children’s Lit archive which immediately bring me back to those characters and stories as lightning quick as the two mentioned here.

I cannot say I am one who is caught up in the tides of most contemporary YA titles which seem to go viral as soon as they’re published (i.e. I have yet to read a John Green, Stephanie Meyer, or Suzanne Collins novel) but I do have a healthy thirst for stories by modern writers who are reminiscent of the authors I loved whilst I was growing up. There is a sampling of those authors on my Children’s Lit archive as well, as it’s becoming a way for me to journal my past endeavours in literature for children as much as serve as a blueprint for what I am reading right now. The companion sections for Children’s Lit & Young Adult Lit are in my Story Vault.

When I was approached about this particular novel there was something about it’s plot that gave me the impression I might enjoy discovering it’s story. It wasn’t until closer to when the book arrived by post that I started to learn a bit more about the novel’s content and how this YA novel in particular is setting a few new standards for what #YALit can encompass. For example, the term ‘sex-positive’ was a new for me as I learnt about it’s connection to the context of this story via another book bloggers rather open and honest review of how the story tackles strong topics for young adults.

I am coming into YA from a previous generation of where YA and Juvenile Fiction could convey strong themes and choices of lifestyles but held back a bit from what the reader would breathe in through the narrative. To me, this new transition in YA might stem out of the blog posts I’ve read about “Upper YA” verse traditional YA; where the stories are geared more towards teenagers who are on the brink of graduating high school and are about to emerge either into the workforce or the college selection process! In this, I can find a strong advocacy for novels that tip a hat towards communication and open dialogue about what is important to a 16-18 year old growing up in today’s world.

As a Prospective Adoptive Mum, I knew literature has changed quite a heap since I was growing up in the 80s/90s, as we didn’t quite have the same ‘electrifying’ inertia surrounding our books as teens have today; in part, I think because there wasn’t as much marketing and promotion in the book industry for Children’s Lit, esp Young Adult titles in particular. There has been a tidalwave of new interest for marketing and publicity for children and teens, and this is something I celebrate because I was a fierce reader who would have thrived on the live events and the author signings had they been as well promoted then as they are now. Author events when I grew up were generally for either a local author of a genre I was not old enough to read or someone quite obscure in academia; either way, the offerings were sparse!

I decided to remain on top of the new selections – even if it took me awhile to find my new ‘favourite’ authors and the titles I simply found ‘unputdownable’ and worthy of being devoured in one or two sittings – mostly as my tastes in stories do differ from the majority; but having said that, I wanted to stay open-minded about certain authors who had a style of telling a story that might resonate with me, whilst allowing me to take a chance on a book such as The Summer of Chasing Mermaids which would reunite me with other adults who adore YA!

Reading outside our comfort zones allows literature to stay fresh and vibrant; it’s a bit like how I recently blogged I am shifting out of France and dropping in on Italy! IF we don’t allow ourselves the grace to grow and to continue to shift forward with new contemporary authors who are telling new stories with a new vein of thought stitched into them which relate to our modern world, we fall behind. As a future Mum I’d like to stay connected and remain mindful of what is curiously connecting to today’s youth whilst accepting that even if your a few generations removed, you can find a balance between your own childhood and your children’s.

Blog Book Tour | “The Summer of Chasing Mermaids” by Sarah OcklerThe Summer of Chasing Mermaids
by Sarah Ockler
Source: Publicist via Diverse Book Tours

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: an ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother, Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them…

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Fairy-Tale Re-Telling, Magical Realism, Realistic Fiction, Upper YA Fiction, YA Contemporary, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1481401272

Published by Simon Pulse

on 2nd June, 2015

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 416


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: Simon Pulse (@simonteen),
Available Formats: Hardback and Ebook

Converse via: #TheSummerOfChasingMermaids

About Sarah Ockler

Sarah Ockler

Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of six young adult novels: Twenty Boy Summer, Fixing Delilah, Bittersweet, The Book of Broken Hearts, #scandal, and The Summer of Chasing Mermaids.

Her books have been translated into several languages and have received numerous accolades, including ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, Girls’ Life Top 100 Must Reads, Indie Next List, Amazon Top Movers and Shakers, and nominations for YALSA Teens’ Top Ten and NPR’s Top 100 Teen Books. Her short work has appeared in the anthologies Dear Teen Me and Defy the Dark.

She’s a champion cupcake eater, tea drinker, tarot enthusiast, night person, and bookworm. When she’s not writing or reading at home in the Pacific northwest, Sarah enjoys hugging trees and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex. Fans can find her via the links below to connect with her directly!

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Posted Wednesday, 5 August, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Conservation, Contemporary Romance, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Diverse Book Tours, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Lyrical Quotations, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Mute | Medical Loss of Voice, Near-Death Experience, Oregon, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Preservation, Realistic Fiction, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, The Natural World, Twin Siblings, Upper YA Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature, West Coast USA, Writing Style & Voice, Young Adult Fiction