Category: Australia

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review| A Mythological Fantasy re-telling in the pages of “Cassandra” by Kathryn Gossow

Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2021 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Gifted Book By: This novel “Cassandra” was part of a gifted #bookhaul of mine from my Mum and Dad for #WyrdAndWonder, Year 4! They happily surprised me with a lovely bundle of books I featured last Wyrd And Wonder celebrating the Indie Publisher Odyssey Books! This kicks-off my readings of those novels as I was overjoyed I can read all the lovely stories I had either showcased and/or featured but wasn’t able to read during our Year 3 Wyrd And Wonder.

Thereby, I was gifted a copy of “Cassandra” by my parents and I was not obligated to post an honest review on its behalf. I am sharing my thoughts on behalf of this novel for my own edification and a continued journey of sharing my readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Note: I received the Press Materials last year from the publisher and had asked if I could re-use them if and when I was able to read and/or review the stories I was featuring during Wyrd And Wonder Year 3 (2020); and thankfully was given permission to do so which is why I am using them during my readings this 4th Year of Wyrd And Wonder.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I first was introduced to Mythological Fantasy through my readings during the first #Mythothon (@Mythothon) hosted by a dear friend, Louise @foxesfairytale. I was truly overtaken by all the different stories you can root out to read and how depending on the theme of what you wanted to read in Mythological Fantasy, you could take quite a wondrously lovely journey into this new (slightly hidden) niche of Fantasy literature. Ever since those first readings of mine, I’ve wanted to continue to join #Mythothon each year, but something seems to distract my attention or avert the hours I need in order to read during those events. Try as I might, I’ve missed a few rounds of the event and have set my eye on September, 2021 to re-join the community of readers who will be taking part in that round.

The credit goes to Louise for helping me re-look at this niche of literature and of unearthing such a wonderful foray into how stories set round different sets of Mythologies can become such entertaining reads! In this instance, I was wicked happy a copy of Cassandra was amongst the #bookhaul selections my parents surprised me with this Wyrd And Wonder, as I had known this was based on the myth of Cassandra but I hadn’t truly known much more than that before I started reading the story this May.

Cassandra is an intricate coming-of age story, wherein we follow in the footsteps of Cassandra (ie. Cassie) from a young girl into a budding young adult, as she curiously starts to recognise she has a gift for premonitions and knowing the future ahead of its arrival – but how that translates through her childhood and how she personally processes her precognitive thoughts and foreknowledge is uniquely writ into a backdrop of a life on a farm in Australia. Gossow takes you into this interpersonal journey of Cassie, as she navigates her home life, the pains of having a younger brother and of course, school life, too.

When I first started reading this story, I thought it was going to end up in a certain place by the end – yet, the final quarter of the novel tested my ability to stay rooted in the story and to find the ending. I just felt myself detaching from that mark in the book and I didn’t enjoy the final chapters as much as I had the rest of the novel as you’ll read in my review.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review| A Mythological Fantasy re-telling in the pages of “Cassandra” by Kathryn GossowCassandra
by Kathryn Gossow
Source: Gifted

On a remote farm in Queensland, Cassie Shultz feels useless. Her perfect brother Alex has an uncanny ability to predict the weather, and the fortunes of the entire family hinge upon his forecasts. However, her own gift for prophecy remains frustratingly obscure. Attempts to help her family usually result in failure.

After meeting with her new genius neighbour Athena, Cassie thinks she has unlocked the secret of her powers. But as her visions grow more vivid, she learns that the cost of honing her gift may be her sanity.

With her family breaking apart, the future hurtles towards Cassie faster than she can comprehend it.

Genres: Australian Lit, Fantasy Fiction, Greek Mythos | Legacies, Upper YA Fantasy, Re-telling &/or Sequel, Upper YA Fiction



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1922200785

Also by this author: Cassandra (Author Interview)

Published by Odyssey Books

on 6th February, 2017

About [ “Cassandra” ] by the author:

My book Cassandra is a reimagining of the myth of Cassandra, set in Australian in the 1980s.
It was a finalist for Best Fantasy Novel in the Australian Aurealis Awards.

Published by: Odyssey Books (@OdysseyBooks)

Converse via: #Fantasy, #UpperYA, #Cassandra
as well as #OdysseyBooks & #WyrdAndWonder

About Kathryn Gossow

Kathryn Gossow

Kathryn Gossow is a writer and sometimes gardener living in a two acre garden in a pocket of the Brisbane River. When she is writing, her garden is a mess. When she is gardening, she forgets to write. It seems she cannot have both. She writes for that elusive feeling when she gets into the zone and there is nothing else in the world but her and the words that tumble onto the page. Kathryn has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, won a commendation in the Australian Horror Writers’ Association Flash Fiction Competition and has a number of published stories out in the world.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Read More

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Posted Sunday, 16 May, 2021 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, 21st Century, Australia, Australian Fiction, Book Review (non-blog tour), Brothers and Sisters, Bullies and the Bullied, Childhood Friendship, Coming-Of Age, Content Note, Death of a Sibling, Fantasy Fiction, Father-daughter Relationships, Fly in the Ointment, Folklore and Mythology, Greek Mythology, Indie Author, Inspired by Stories, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Prejudicial Bullying & Non-Tolerance, Re-Told Tales, School Life & Situations, Siblings, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Upper YA Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature, YA Fantasy

Blog Book Tour | “A Girl’s Guide to the Outback” by Jessica Kate

Posted Tuesday, 4 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review banner 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. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “A Girl’s Guide to the Outback” direct from the publisher Thomas Nelson 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 this novel:

For the past two Summers I’ve participated in an INSPY readathon during July whilst I’ve been hosting for PRISM for nearly three full years now. I’ve seen my fellow book bloggers lamenting about the stories they’ve read about Jessica Kate (including Rissi) whilst I haven’t had the chance to sample her Contemporary Romance styling for myself. When I read the premise behind this novel I felt it was a good fit for me as a reader because I *love!* stories set in the Australian Outback!

This is partially why I was overjoyed sharing my #mustreads for 2020 during last week’s #TopTenTuesday as Janet Gover is releasing her new book “The Lawson Sisters” and she’s the Australian author who introduced me to Contemporary Australian Romances with her “Flight to Coorah Creek!” (and thus, launched the #CoorahCreek series!) I’ve been meaning to expand my search for stories set in Australia however, its been a bit slow going as my local libraries aren’t always able to request stories published elsewhere from the states until last year when my requests for UK publishers started to gain some traction. This year, I’m determined to find Canadian & Australian authors/publishers to request and see if I can read more of the fiction originating out of those countries.

I already have shared how devastating the news about the Australian bushfires have been on my own heart & soul. The news is never easy to handle on a good day, but finding out about the wildlife & the natural environs which are charred reminders of the wreck a bushfire can create in such quick-swift course is beyond heartbreaking; it is also why I started off January without the focus for reading and a mood set against blogging because my heart was elsewhere. I barely read throughout January and it is within February I am aiming to get my feet back into reading. This marks one of the first stories I’ve been able to read this New Year 2020 and I am hoping to find many throughout February which will re-jump me back into the joy I have sharing my readerly life with my dear hearted readers & visitors alike.

There is a heavy somberness reading about Australia but as its a country I’ve had mates & fond memories of friendship from the past inasmuch as my attachment to the Australian Zoo and the conservation efforts of the Irwin family; I also love Australian Literature. This is why I was eagerly excited about finding one of Jessica Kate’s novels appealling to me this New Year and I was hopeful it would be a good jumpstart towards reading more authors from this country I’ve been smitten with ever since I first saw The Man from Snowy River as a young girl who loved riding horses!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “A Girl’s Guide to the Outback” by Jessica KateA Girl's Guide to the Outback
by Jessica Kate
Source: Publisher via Prism Book Tours

How far will a girl go to win back a guy she can’t stand? This funny, sweet, and romantic story proves that opposites do attract—and that God has a sense of humor.

Samuel Payton is a passionate youth pastor in Virginia, but below the surface, he’s still recovering from the blow of a failed business and insecurities he can’t shake. His coworker, start-up expert Kimberly Foster, is brilliant, fearless, and capable, but years of personal rejection have left her defensive and longing for a family. Two people have never been more at odds—or more attracted to one another. And every day at work, the sparks sure do fly.

When Kimberly’s ambitious plans for Sam’s ministry butt up against his risk-averse nature, Sam decides that obligations to family trump his work for the church. He quits the ministry and heads home to Australia to help his sister, Jules, save her struggling farm. As Kimberly’s grand plans flounder, she is forced to face the truth: that no one can replace Sam. Together they strike up a deal: If Kimberly comes to work on Jules’s dairy farm and lends her business brains to their endeavor, then maybe—just maybe—Sam will reconsider his future with the church.

As Kimberly tries her hand at Australian farm life, she learns more about herself than she could’ve ever expected. Meanwhile Sam is forced to re-evaluate this spunky woman he thought he already knew. As foes slowly morph into friends, they wonder if they might be something even more. But when disaster strikes the farm, will Sam find it within himself to take a risk that could lead to love? And will Kimberly trust God with her future?

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Romance Fiction



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780785229612

Published by Thomas Nelson

on 28th January, 2020

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 358

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published by: Thomas Nelson (@ThomasNelson)
an imprint of HarperCollins Christian Publishing (@HCChristianPub)

Converse via: #GirlsGuideToTheOutback,  #JessicaKate & #TNZFiction
as well as #ContemporaryRomance & #INSPYRomance

About Jessica Kate

Jessica Kate

Australian author Jessica Kate writes inspirational romances with wit, sass, and grit. Jessica is a screenwriting groupie, cohost of the StoryNerds vlog and podcasts, and her favorite place to be—apart from Mum and Dad’s back deck—is a theme park. She has traveled North America and Australia, and samples her favorite pasta wherever she goes—but the best (so far) is still the place around the corner from her corporate day job as a training developer. She loves watching sitcoms with her housemates and being a leader in a new church plant.

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Posted Tuesday, 4 February, 2020 by jorielov in 21st Century, Australia, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Modern Day, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction

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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

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

on 5th July, 2016

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, 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