Category: Boston

#WaitingOnWednesday No.6 | Book Review | “The Bloody Black Flag” (Book One: of the Spider John Mysteries) by Steve Goble

Posted Wednesday, 29 August, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

a word about ‘waiting on Wednesday’:

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

I have decided to start participating in this book blogsphere meme with a few small changes of how it’s regularly blogged about by my fellow book bloggers. I will either be introducing my current reads of upcoming releases as I am in the process of reading them and/or I might be releasing a book review about a forthcoming title by which I had been blessed to read ahead of publication. The main purpose behind the meme is to encourage readers and your fellow book bloggers to become aware of new books being released which caught your eye and which held your interest to read. Sometimes if your still in the process of reading the books, its the titles which encouraged your bookish heart. I look forward to spending the next seasons of the year, talking about the books I have on hand to read, the books I’ve been reading and the books I might not even have a copy to read but which are of wicked sweet interest to become a #nextread of mine.

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

Borrowed Book By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction.

Whilst I was browsing through upcoming titles this Autumn [2018] I spied a #piratefiction title I had overlooked last year [2017]!! The sequel is forthcoming this September which is why I quickly checked to see if I could ILL (inter-library loan) this through my local library and happily found I could! I had to remain patient whilst this title was fetched from an out-of-state library and then, had the wicked anticipation of hoping it would be a) as quirky as watching Captain Jack Sparrow in the film series ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ whilst b) owning to the genre it befits and would give me a sweet swashbuckling adventure!

The copy of “The Bloody Black Flag” I borrowed via interlibrary loan through my local library was not a title I was obligated to post a review as I am doing so for my own edification as a reader who loves to share her readerly life. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

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Why a #PirateFiction title sounded wicked good!

Ever since I was quite young, I’ve been fascinated with stories of Pirates! It started when I saw my *first!* Gabriel Bryne film where he was of course, a ‘pirate’ and his character felt real enough to scare me during the scenes he was featured! Fast forward to when Johnny Depp portrayed ‘Captain Jack Sparrow’ and you could say, it was all down-hill from there! There quirkiness of Cap’t Jack, the heart of the film series for me was inter-connected to Sparrow’s character – I went to the theater *four!* times to see the first one, twice for the second & at least three times for the third whilst only one viewing of the fourth – yet, by the time the fifth came out I was worried the integrity had left – thus, it remains the ONLY one I’ve not seen!!

I am unsure how this particular series slipped past me – as I have found *Seventh Street Books* to be publishing the kind of Historical Mysteries I can find myself curled inside more oft than other publishers – they are publishing my current favourites you see! You’ve most likely have seen my gushing praise over the Hiro Hattori, Anna Blanc, Samuel Craddock and my beloved Marjorie Trumaine series – two of these are dramatic crime series & the other two are what I refer to as ‘Cosy Historical Mysteries’ – where the focus isn’t on the grittiness of where a crime story could alight you but rather, the historical backdrop in which we alight to walk beside the lead characters!

This ‘Waiting on Wednesday’ is about discovering a #newtomeauthor and getting caught up inside the first novel of a new series which whet a thirst of curiosity to be reading ahead of the second installment’s release!

Part of me was slightly concerned this title might become a bit ‘too much’ for me – as when it comes to ‘pirates’ & #piratefiction, I will definitely be the girl whose more into the glossing over the rougher bits than to have any of the stories (by book or film) to be more graphically explicit. Still. There was something uniquely alluring about ‘attempting to read outside my comfort zone’ which is where the #SpiderJohn Mysteries fall under for a girl who loves high seas adventures but sometimes falls a bit short of fully embracing the cutthroat lifestyles therein!

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#WaitingOnWednesday No.6 | Book Review | “The Bloody Black Flag” (Book One: of the Spider John Mysteries) by Steve GobleThe Bloody Black Flag
Subtitle: A Spider John Mystery
by Steve Goble
Source: Borrowed from local library (ILL)

Agatha Christie meets Patrick O’Brian in the first book in a new series of swashbuckling historical mysteries featuring Spider John Rush, a most reluctant pirate.

1722—aboard a pirate ship off the American Colonial Coast.

Spider John Rush never wanted to be a pirate, but it had happened and he’d learned to survive in the world of cut and thrust, fight or die. He and his friend Ezra knew that death could come at any moment, from grapeshot or storm winds or the end of a noose. But when Ezra is murdered in cold blood by a shipmate, Spider vows revenge.

On a ship where every man is a killer many times over, how can Spider find the man who killed his friend? There is no law here, so if justice is to be done, he must do it. He will have to solve the crime and exact revenge himself.

One wrong step will lead to certain death, but Spider is determined to look into the dying eyes of the man who killed his friend, even if it means his own death.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781633883598

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Amateur Detective, Crime Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Pirate Fiction


Published by Seventh Street Books

on 12th September, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 237

Published By: Seventh Street Books (@SeventhStBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

About Steve Goble

Steve Goble is the author of The Bloody Black Flag and The Devil’s Wind in the Spider John mystery series. A former journalist, Goble now works in communications for a cybersecurity firm. Previously, he wrote a weekly craft-beer column called Brewologist, which appeared on USA Today Network–Ohio websites.

The Spider John Mysteries:

Series Overview: Historical mystery series featuring a reluctant pirate who doubles as an amateur sleuth whilst setting sail on the high seas.

The Bloody Jack Flag by Steve GobleThe Devil's Wind by Steve Goble

The Bloody Black Flag | Book One

The Devil’s Wind | Book Two | Synopsis ← forthcoming release 11th September, 2018!

Converse via: #SpiderJohnMysteries OR #SpiderJohn + #HistoricalMystery and #piratefiction

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 29 August, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 18th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Memes, Boston, Colonial America, Content Note, Crime Fiction, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Pirates and Swashbucklers, Prometheus Books, Vulgarity in Literature, Waiting on Wednesday

Blog Book Tour | “The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall” by Shannon Kirk

Posted Monday, 6 February, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall hosted by iRead Book Tours. Per my last #StoriesOfJorie update, I talked about how my life has changed over the past few month since my father’s stroke and how the loss of my connectivity to the internet in the latter weeks of January, pushed some of my reviews into February. I had hoped to keep this blog tour on schedule with the tour itself, until of course, my connectivity issues combined my role as my Dad’s caregiver did not give me enough hours to  post in time to officially participate. However, I did remain in contact with iRead whilst posting this as close to the end of the tour as I can to hopefully catch readers who are still following to see our opinions. I also tried to tweet a few reactions out ahead of my review going live as I was completely absorbed into the heart of this narrative and the scope of where the author hoped readers would take their readerly hearts.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall” direct from the author Shannon Kirk in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I  am drawn to stories such as this one:

The introspective and existential journey of the soul is a unique perspective to have available in literature, as it deals with the quest of not only a person’s humanistic approach to their living reality but to the deeper layers of their soul’s journey. I personally love introspective  narratives – which is one reason I was delighted to be a beta reader for Mr Barton’ s  Peach,even if during my readings of his novel I recognised a humbling truth of my own: I can handle near-death and coma experiences but when the background of a story is attached directly to terminal illness (ie. Cancer) I find myself unwinding from the context of the story; almost unmoored if you will to carry forward with the journey on the pages. Blessedly through my work with Mr Barton, I was able to complete my work with his manuscript whilst working around this newfound literary block of mine. I spoke more about this particular subject on this post about how sometimes our emotions and our hearts cannot take us everywhere we’d like to go within a novel.

Peach taps into  a particular awareness of living and of life; of  stepping outside oneself and of seeking to understand the authenticity of one’s living truth whilst mindfully aware of how actions and their effects on others can influence how our lives can play out. It’s one man’s journey towards understanding who he is whilst re-appreciating his role in his life and how he is particularly important to those around him.  On a similar vein of interest, I found Antiphony to be written in a similar tone of  narrative thought –  suspended of course from the traditional story-telling arc and cast into that particular heady sea of introspective fiction. Both of these prior reads allowed me to go to a different place in literature where writers are seeking to find a way to communicate a layer of story-telling which is not oft-times revealled nor are the layers of our soul explored to reveal a more humbling view of our own humanity.

I am unsure why stories involving near-death and coma story-lines are easier for me to process than terminal illness, but it has been true for quite a long time even before this past year where I pulled my thoughts together. I still remember how intrigued I was by a French author’s story within If Only It Were True by Marc Levy. I also saw the adaptation Just Like Heaven and hope to one day see the Bollywood version I See You. I was caught up in the narrative of how Levy wrote the story even though there were a few wrinkles in my brow in how the story evolved and how it was disclosed to the reader. There was enough inside it to inspire me to conclude it and by the time I saw the film, I was moved past the emotional plane of where the author meant us to go. It was heart-stirring and it was inspiring on an interpersonal level.

There is something quite vividly alive about seeking out the stories which take us outside the ‘everyday’ and re-align us back into the periscope of understanding the wider importance of why we live. As an aside, I know the author crossed my path on Twitter at some point in the journey of this novel – it might have even been whilst it was moving titles (originally known as ‘Heavens’) but whenever it was our paths first crossed, the joy was mine to finally dig into her story-line and see how she breathed to life Vivienne’s discovery.  On another level of cross-reference, portions of Vivienne’s journey hugged me back to the poetically insightful prose found within Lemongrass Hope! (see also review)  These are the stories I ache to find and to feel fully consumed after having read. They give you something back which sometimes can become lost in the chaos of life; a well of renewal and a sharpened awareness of our human condition.                                                                                                     Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall” by Shannon KirkThe Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall
by Shannon Kirk
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

What if you could choose your heaven now? Go on a celestial shopping trip of sorts? Thirty-five-year-old Vivienne does just that, as she lies dying in the ICU; a fatal walk into the path of a truck. In her final week of life, Vivienne treks through the Heavens of a priest, a best friend, a homeless child, and a lover who never was. Vivienne’s guardian angel, Noah, who may just be her soul mate, escorts her through selections of Heavens and through the confusion Vivienne experiences as she flounders between a doubt of life and the certainty of death. Although her visits to varied afterlives provide peace and beauty, choosing proves not so easy: Vivienne’s love for her young son and her earthly father pull her from her colorful journey—and from her divine love of Noah.

The nature of love, the variety and magic of life, unending hope, and the importance of saying goodbye are central to this uplifting tale.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781944387082

Genres: Genre-bender, LGBTQIA Fiction, Magical Realism, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Women's Fiction


Published by Reputation Books

on 12th August, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 310

 Published By: Reputation Books

 Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Shannon Kirk

Shannon Kirk

Shannon Kirk is the awarding-winning author of the international bestselling Method 15/33 (psychological thriller--bestseller in Colombia and Spain, will be lead title in Italy, 2017) and Heavens (Literary Fiction). Method 15/33 has received multiple accolades: 2015 Foreword Review Book of the Year (Suspense); Winner of 2015 National Indie Excellence Award, Best Suspense; 2015 USA Best Book Finalist; School Library Journal's Best Adult Books for Teens (2015); and Finalist in 2013 William Faulkner William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition (when a Novella). Method 15/33 is optioned for a major motion film and has sold to nineteen foreign rights.

When not writing, she is a practicing lawyer, residing on Massachusett's Cape Ann with her husband and son and two cat writing accomplices, Marvin Marquez (in honor of Gabriel Garcia Marquez) and Stewie Poe (Edgar Allen Poe).

Shannon enjoys writing in several genres: literary fiction, psychological thriller, young adult, and poetry. She has been honored three times by the William Faulkner William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. ​

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Posted Monday, 6 February, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Angels, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, Boston, Childhood Friendship, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Genre-bender, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Magical Realism, Medical Fiction, Modern Day, Near-Death Experience, Neurosciences | Neurogenetics, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Realistic Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction, Women's Health

Blog Book Tour | “The Memory Painter” by Gwendolyn Womack

Posted Tuesday, 12 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “The Memory Painter” direct from the publisher Picador in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I was wicked enthused to read ‘The Memory Painter’:

I still remember when I first learnt of The Time Travellers Wife – as I was still invested in being an active member of the Science Fiction Book Club (until the day arose where the quality of the hardback editions fell below everyone’s standards; early 2000s) when I happily collected my copy of the book amongst a few wicked awesome time travel, time shift or time slip stories which were being featured together! I have had a penchant for these theories of how to bend time to the will of a writer’s pen for most of my life – as I dearly love how you can subject a reader to the plausible realities of where time bends out of it’s continuum to a separate plane of thought, conscious and experience.

I never had the pleasure of reading the forementioned story before it became a bonefide feature film, which was of course, one of the few times I opted for the film over the book! My soul was crushed afterwards – I literally had trouble walking out of the theater as my emotional state was such to effectively render me wobbly on my feet! I love emotional stories, but this time round – I felt it was taken too far and evocatively affected me too deeply to even speak afterwards! I’ve been hesitatively curious about reading stories that might entertain a similar vein of emotional heartache yet at the same time, my imagination hungers for these stories where time is not as conclusive to it’s era nor of it’s living reality for those who lived within it’s scope.

Time is temporal and with that realisation comes the prospects of never quite understanding the full fabric of how time and our timescapes can be affected by the shifting parallels of how time is explored. This is truly why I wanted to read this particular story – to curl up inside another author’s vision of how time can be manipulated on one hand and how time is altered by those lives who walk outside of a traditional trajectory of a well-lived life. I also have been open to stories which deal with reincarnation ever since I first caught sight of The Reincarnation Library (which was a mail-order book club for hardback re-issues of classic stories that explored the theories behind it; as noted on a review by Nicole Evelina). Literature has the beautiful depth of scope to take us to new horizons and frontiers just past our peripheral understanding of life and how time runs concurrent to our own living histories.

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I’ve explored thought-provoking stories on Jorie Loves A Story under this vein of interest previously on my ruminative thoughts attached to the following stories:

Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley (see Review); The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo (see Review); A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner (see Review); The Last Gatekeeper by Katy Haye (see Review); Intangible (see Review) & Invincible (see Review) by C.A. Gray; To Live Forever: an Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis by Andra Watkins (see Review); Lemongrass Hope by Amy Impellizzeri (see Review); Antiphony by Chris Katsaropoulos (see Review); Moonflower by EDC Johnson (see Review); The Untied Kingdom by Kate Johnson (see Review); The Silent Touch of Shadows by Christina Courtenay (see Review); Romancing the Soul by Sarah Tranter (see Review); A Stitch in Time by Amanda James (see Review); Blue Spirit: A Tipsy Fairy Tale by E. Chris Garrison (see Review); The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley by Susan Örnbratt (see Review); Wishful Thinking by Kami Wicoff (see Review); The Angel of Losses by Stephanie Feldman (see Review) and the partial review of The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead!

I included a reading list for Magical Realism on my review of The Golem & the Jinni by Helene Wecker – which also proves the point how I continuously remain open to finding the story-tellers who are creating fiction that goes above and beyond the traditional threading of how a story can be told whilst visually capturing our imagination to jettison into a theory of how everything can be altered by perception!

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Notation on Cover Art: I was sent the trade paperback edition by Picador, where I must say, I was more impressed than the predominately ‘yellow’ jacket of the other edition!? The reason I am thankful for this version in my hands is because the colours are muted which elude to ‘yesteryear’ and the nod towards the clock with symbols etched into the background appearing as a watermark whilst cross-overlaid with the shadows of Bryan and Linz simply make sense to me! It has a weathered appearance you would expect of a time travel romance but also, the illusion of a greater mystery that lends the suspenseful nature of how the story is told through Womack’s narrative.

Blog Book Tour | “The Memory Painter” by Gwendolyn WomackThe Memory Painter
Subtitle: A novel of Love & Reincarnation
by Gwendolyn Womack
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Two lovers who have travelled across time.

A team of scientists at the cutting edge of memory research.

A miracle drug that unlocks an ancient mystery.

At once a sweeping love story and a time-travelling adventure, Gwendolyn Womack’s luminous debut novel, The Memory Painter, is perfect for readers of The Time Traveler’s Wife, Life After Life and Winter’s Tale.

Bryan Pierce is an internationally famous artist, whose paintings have dazzled the world. But there’s a secret to Bryan’s success: Every canvas is inspired by an unusually vivid dream. Bryan believes these dreams are really recollections―possibly even flashback from another life―and he has always hoped that his art will lead him to an answer. And when he meets Linz Jacobs, a neurogenticist who recognizes a recurring childhood nightmare in one Bryan’s paintings, he is convinced she holds the key.

Their meeting triggers Bryan’s most powerful dream yet―visions of a team of scientists who, on the verge of discovering a cure for Alzheimer’s, died in a lab explosion decades ago. As his visions intensify, Bryan and Linz start to discern a pattern. But a deadly enemy watches their every move, and he will stop at nothing to ensure that the past stays buried.

The Memory Painter is at once a taut thriller and a deeply original love story that transcends time and space, spanning six continents and 10,000 years of history.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9780425277720

Also by this author: The Fortune Teller

Genres: Genre-bender, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, Historical-Fantasy, Magical Realism, Reincarnation Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Sci-Fantasy, Thriller, Time Slip and/or Time Shift, Time Travel Fiction


Published by Picador

on 5th July, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Finalist for the 2016 RWA Prism Awards for Best First Book & Best Time Travel/ Steampunk category.

Published By: Picador (@PicadorUSA) via St. Martin’s Press
imprints of St. Martin’s Publishing Group,
which is now a part of MacMillian Publishers

Available Formats: Hardback, Trade Paperback and Ebook

About Gwendolyn Womack

Gwendolyn Womack Photo Credit: Copyright JennKL Photography

Originally from Houston, Texas, Gwendolyn Womack began writing theater plays in college at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She went on to receive an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in Directing Theatre, Video & Cinema.

Currently she resides in Los Angeles with her husband and son where she can be found at the keyboard working on her next novel. The Memory Painter is her first novel.

Photo Credit: Copyright JennKL Photography

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Tuesday, 12 July, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, Alzheimer's Disease, Ancient Civilisation, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Art, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, Bookish Films, Boston, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Dreams & Dreamscapes, Egypt, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Magical Realism, Modern Day, Neurosciences | Neurogenetics, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Passionate Researcher, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Realistic Fiction, Reincarnation, Romantic Suspense, Science Fantasy, Star-Crossed Lovers, Time Travel, Time Travel Romance, Unrequited Eternal Love, Vulgarity in Literature, Writing Style & Voice

Book Review | “The Ten Year Reunion” by T.S. Krupa Third #Contemporary #Romance novel by the author of “Safe & Sound”!

Posted Tuesday, 24 May, 2016 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 offered to receive T.S. Krupa’s third novel “The Ten Year Reunion” in exchange for an honest review as well as host a special feature to coincide with the book if I elected to do so. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the novel “The Ten Year Reunion” direct from the author T.S. Krupa. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

My interest in reading The Ten Year Reunion:

One my favourite novels of [2014] as a 1st Year Book Blogger was Safe & Sound because it broke through a few literary barriers and told an honest story from a contemporary point of view whilst giving you a hearty Romance and a narrative that owned itself to it’s own living truth inside the world Krupa created. I appreciated the fact the #EqualityInLit inclusion of a happily engaged couple proved that when you seek out diversity and stories of equality, there can be a softness to the inclusion to where everything feels quite natural and organic, rather than purposely included to be ‘different’.

I like honest stories and especially Romances rooted in relationships, as these are my favourite kinds to read and thereby the ones I seek out the most to devour! On the contemporary and modern side of the ledger, since I read Safe & Sound and even a bit before, there is a bit of a gap in my reading life as I mentioned on a post (my first ’10 Bookish and Not Bookish Thoughts’ meme!) as much as I related a bit about this on my review of Robin’s Reward. Most recently, I finished reading my first Clare Chase Romantic Suspense novel which was not only written in a style of Contemporary Fiction I adore finding but kept me on the edge of my seat! Similar to Ms Krupa, Ms Chase writes characters of diversity with such an organic natural inclusion as to inhabit the story as if they were always meant to be a part of it.

The Contemporary story-teller who stands out as far as a serial author (from the past few years) would be Mary McNear who writes compelling and emotionally-driven fiction for readers who are seeking a stimulating read with an uplift ending! I have had the pleasure of reading her Butternut Lake series and cannot wait for her next release! It’s a hard genre for me to curl up inside because too often I find authors are not writing Contemporary Fiction in a style that I am particularly keen on reading. When I find authors like the ones I’ve mentioned and a handful of others I’ve happily blogged about over the past three years – their stories are ones that I will continue to champion and cheer for as they give us such a grounding of contemporary life in our crazy hectic modern world!

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

My Connection to the Author: T.S. Krupa

Although we only tweeted a few times and exchanged preliminary emails to have a special showcase of her novel Safe & Sound featured on Jorie Loves A Story, I feel as though I have had the pleasure of getting to know her a bit better in the process! And, by extension her publicist Ms. Caitlin O’Brient Bauer (of Royal Social Media). As you will see as you retreat back to the Author Interview & Live Author Q&A threads of conversation, you will find Ms Krupa to be warm, engaging, and inspiring! I am blessed twice over for our paths to have crossed and I have my Jorie Loves A Story Twitter account to thank for bringing us together! I have been blessed to continue to work with her on her future book releases, as she is an author I love to read compelling and inspiring Contemporary Rom. I came to appreciate both of them as they give book bloggers their time and grace.

In the time since I hosted Ms Krupa last year until now [May 2016], our paths have separated a bit as I wasn’t able to return too frequently to #ChickLitChat (which ended up moving strictly to Facebook) nor interact as much as I had hoped to with her via the twitterverse. I lost touch for quite a long while to be honest, and when her beautiful note arrived into my Inbox about her third release, I felt truly blessed our paths had crossed at the publication of her debut novel. She’s definitely an author I consider a blessing to have known and I look forward to following her literary career.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her ahead of reading her début novel. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. This is also true when I follow-up with them on future releases and celebrate the book birthdays that come after their initial publication.

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

Notation on Cover Art: Can I just say an evening sky full of clouds and the hint of fog is my kind of night to be caught up inside? I love grey skies in general and overcast days to me are the best slices of happiness we can have unexpectedly grace our lives – as they are such a lovely break from oppressive humidity and volcanic heat patterns — thus, this cover was instantly grabbing my attention! I liked how the typography ‘fades’ out in the clouds and how the pier provides a bit of an infinity impression which always seems to represent to me the various ways in which a path can knit together. There is always hope left when there is a path without end to be found in front of you! And, using purple simply charmed me as it’s quite literally one of my most favourite colours!

Book Review | “The Ten Year Reunion” by T.S. Krupa Third #Contemporary #Romance novel by the author of “Safe & Sound”!The Ten Year Reunion
by T.S. Krupa
Source: Direct from Author

Ten years ago, Danielle ‘Dani’ Jackson graduated from Coastal State University in Wilmington, North Carolina and left her heartache behind—for what she thought was forever. Now a promising pediatric surgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital she has been invited back for her college reunion.

With encouragement from her best friend, Dani begrudgingly returns to face her past–the death of her friend and a broken heart from Jake Dillon, her first love. During her trip she revisits the four years she spent at CSU. By applying to CSU she defied her father and the ‘perfect’ plan he had laid out for her, which included attending an Ivy League school before medical school, but Dani had other plans. She traded in her father’s dream, for an institution with sandy beaches and soccer that made her feel at home. Dani never questioned her decision—she knew she was right. What she didn’t know, was how hard growing up was going to be.

At the reunion weekend she reconnects with her friends Adeline ‘Addie’ Smith and Colleen ‘Callie’ Schumaker. The girls met freshman year due to Addie’s persistence and quickly became inseparable, but after graduation they started to drift apart. The weekend is further complicated when Jake shows up. Together they all realize that life has been hard on everyone and no one’s life has been perfect. The reunion gives them the time to deal with the past and an opportunity for a second chance—for each of them.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 978-0692685440

Also by this author: Safe & Sound, On the Edge : Cover Reveal, On the Edge

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, New Adult Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Time Slip and/or Time Shift


Published by Avalon Haddam Press

on 10th May, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 378

Published by: Avalon Haddam Press

Genre(s): Contemporary Fiction | New Adult | College Reunions

Contemporary Romance | Second-chance Love

Converse via Twitter: #TheTenYearReunion

About T.S. Krupa

T.S. Krupa

T.S. Krupa was born in New Haven, Connecticut. Raised in a Polish household with a blended American culture, she is fluent in Polish. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Franklin Pierce University,where she also played field hockey. She earned her Master’s from Texas Tech University and recently graduated with her Doctor of Education from North Carolina State University. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two dogs.

In 2014, T.S. Krupa published her award-winning debut novel Safe & Sound. In 2015, she released her sophomore novel On the Edge. The Ten Year Reunion is her third novel.

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

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Posted Tuesday, 24 May, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, Addictions and Afflictions, ARC | Galley Copy, Author Found me On Twitter, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Review (non-blog tour), Boston, College & University Years, Coming-Of Age, Contemporary Romance, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Medical Fiction, Modern Day, New Adult Fiction, Romance Fiction, School Life & Situations, Second Chance Love, Singletons & Commitment, Sports, Time Slip, Vulgarity in Literature, Weight Loss

+Blog Book Tour+ Uncovering Cobbogoth by Hannah L. Clark #Fantasy taken to the next level!

Posted Thursday, 29 May, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Uncovering Cobbogoth by Hannah L. Clark

Uncovering Cobbogoth Blog Tour by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Published By: Sweetwater Books ( ),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFort)
13 May, 2014
Official Author WebsitesSite | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Available Formats: Paperback
Page Count: 320

Converse via: #UncoveringCobbogoth

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Acquired Book By: The story behind how I was able to read “Uncovering Cobbogoth” is quite a unique story all the way around! Originally, I was selected to be on the blog tour with TLC Book Tours for this novel, but at the last minute I received a cancellation notice. Normally I do not chase after a novel when a blog tour falls through (although I have a few times this Spring 2014!) as I respect that circumstances can change or become altered from what was originally scheduled. However, I felt so strongly in this particular selection I simply had to contact the author on behalf of her personal website & I might have tweeted her as well – I cannot remember the order of events, but I did contact her personally letting her know how much I still believed in the story & on my disappointment of the blog tour cancellation.

Around this point in time I was in contact with one of the publicists I work with on blog tours, Ms. Amber Stokes (her badge is in my sidebar – Editing Through the Seasons) who had lamented via the twitterverse she was enjoying this book but was on tour with it through Cedar Fort! I had not at that point in time heard of or known of Cedar Fort Publishing! Much less realising that another Indie Publisher was organising blog tours for book bloggers! Within a short time frame I had contacted Ms. Clark AND I had contacted Cedar Fort’s blog tour cordinators at no less than four times, as I was trying to read their site & sort out the details for “Uncovering Cobbogoth”, the qualifications as a book blogger seeking a print copy as much as realising they offer more than one blog tour at once! I believe within a 24 hour expanse I had all my bases covered! Including thanking Ms. Stokes profusely for telling me about Cedar Fort initially!

The long short of this story ahead of the review is simply that I was accepted as a late stop on the blog tour, as I had a very short window of being able to receive the book and review it on my blog! I picked one of the last stops as I knew I would need every inch of that time to soak into the world of ‘Cobbogoth’! And, part of me knew this was a special book to request as well! Therefore, I was offered to receive a complimentary copy of “Uncovering Cobbogoth” direct from the publisher Sweetwater Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. This also marks my first blog tour as Hostess for Cedar Fort blog tours as I scheduled a few more throughout Summer!

Inspired to Read:

The very first moment I saw this book title being offered for a blog tour stop via TLC Book Tours, I simply knew after I clicked over to the author’s website that I had stumbled across a piece of magical bliss! When I pulled up the book trailer I even lamented to my tour director, “The book trailer nailed it for me!” It was the combination of the magical world and setting, the lushness of the characters & back-story, and the way in which the mythological arc is carried over and through the book trailer (attached below my book review!) which set my mind afire with the wondrous possibilities that were going to lie in wait for me! The fact that it involved ‘Icelandic’ origins was enough to whet my whistle of electrified joy! The beauty of Iceland is not only its appeal for mythological history nor being on the center-front edge of green technologic advances in science, but it sits on the fringe of adventure, discovery, and of a place rarely opted for a holiday!

I have dreamt of  wandering around the shores and inlets of Iceland for many a moon, and part of me always gets as giddy as a cat when Iceland is featured in documentaries! (if you follow the electric car ones, you know what I am referencing!) There is a pure allure and dynamic for story-tellers to feel captivated and wholly enthused to go to Iceland. From the bottom of my writer’s heart I long to talk to Icelanders about their own organic tradition of story-telling and their enchantment with the world’s story-tellers as Iceland is one of the singularly largest self-contained countries for literary explorers! The country boasts more readers per capita than most other locales on earth! To me if you combine everything we know superficially about Iceland and the bits and bobbles I just shared, wouldn’t you be stoked with a breath of anticipation to read Uncovering Cobbogoth!?

If my enthused opening to my review below is of any countenance, please take a moment to celebrate the wonderfully joyful revelation of a writer on the verge of seeing her book launch to the four winds, land in the loving hands of readers, and electrify her heart with an overwhelming sense of harmony knowing that her story has not only captured our attention but it is a story which has gone out into the world to find new readers & new appreciators of the work she etched into ‘Uncovering Cobbogoth’!

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Uncovering Cobbogoth Release Day!! And a HUGE heartfelt THANK YOU!

via Hannah L. Clark

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Hannah L. ClarkBook Synopsis: 

Follow Norah Lukens in her quest to uncover the truth about the fabled lost city of Cobbogoth! After her archaeologist uncle’s murder, Norah is asked to translate his old research journal for evidence and discovers that his murder was a cover-up for something far more sinister. Readers of all ages will be captivated by this tale of mythical beings, elemental magic, and the secrets of a lost city.

Author Biography:

Hannah L. Clark lives with her kinzura and their kynd in Utah. She has always known she would be a storyteller. In 2006 she graduated from Utah Valley University with a bachelor’s degree in English, and immediately began writing Cobbogoth. Hannah loves running, mythology, laughing, soulful bluegrass music, and growing things. Like Norah, she is slightly inclined to believe that trees have souls. To learn more about Hannah and the Cobbogoth series, visit cobbogoth.com.

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The back-story set in the Cobbogoth series:

I am always intrigued by how each writer of Fantasy elects to give us little nibblements of the back-story as the current one takes shape before our eyes! The inertia of my fingers grasping at the pages awaiting to read what was written next is a good barometer of knowing how well in tune Clark is with gaining her audience’s attention front and center from Chapter 1! There was an emotional turning point where you knew that the lead character was carrying far more than the world on her young shoulders, as I appreciated the symbolism of the Cherry Tree and of the theory of how trees can speak in low whispers if we were only able to believe in their presence in our lives. This is mentioned in the Author Biography, about a kinship between herself and her lead character’s beliefs in the living souls of trees; a theory and belief that I, a reader of Cobbogoth whole-heartedly believe true!

To bridge the extension of this belief and to paint a catalyst of memory for a young orphan’s heart for her unknown Mum was a touching sentiment! I also appreciated seeing the etchings of how friends can be betwixt mere ‘friends’ and ‘something more’ or even ‘as close as family’ as their relationships can alter and change over time apart. There are a lot of hidden insights into how our world can be perceived as we’re living through our ordinary days as much as how we grapple to understand the depths of our connections to the people we care about the most. Clark allows her characters to ‘breathe freely’, to excise their vulnerability, and shed the layers of their innermost thoughts as though carting away a discarded snakeskin. Emotions are always the elements of humanity held the closest to our person and the hardest to ease away from when facing conflict and tragedy.

Her brushstrokes include foreboding flashbacks and a combination of startling truths played out in the form of premonitions and second-sight visions, which besotted Norah to a wrecking level of heightened awareness. Her mind was prepared to handle the onslaught of knowledge she would need to process, but her emotional heart was written in the true scope of her seventeen years. For this, an extra layer of realism was woven into the context of the story. The flashbacks and moments of her enlightenment felt a close kin to ‘living ghosts’ as they faded in and out of recognition as though they were spatially translucent and remembered against will. Within these moments the fuller history of Cobbogoth becomes a living vessel beyond proportion.

My Review of Uncovering Cobbogoth:

Uncovering Cobbogoth by Hannah L. ClarkA mystery is underfoot at the start of Uncovering Cobbogoth, as Norah Lukens has short-term memory loss whilst in transit towards Boston on a commuter bus. The reflection of a stranger’s kindness was a nice touch on behalf of the writer, as it stirred my own memories whilst travelling in my mid to late teens when I too, received welcoming kindnesses by fellow travellers when I needed a bit of aide myself! Including during a cross-country red-eye flight where they did not tell us to expect to pay for in-flight headphones, snacks, and morning necessities in the washroom! A grandmother wrapped me inside a wicked film, heaps of snacks, and just enough peppermint candies and soap to make me feel properly refreshed before the plane landed! Such kindnesses always touch our heart as they arrive in our lives at moments we are not expecting help. In this way, I was swept into the shoes of Norah as soon as she appeared on the page! A nibbling awareness that this is a novel where everything is not yet as it seems would be beneficial to tuck away certain passages for future references!

Norah’s homecoming is forestalled by horrific tragedy jettisoning her onto a course of fated bravery, as she is meant to help the detectives solve the crime she walks-in on whilst expecting a transition from being away from home. Not yet a breath of her eighteenth year is broached before she starts to watch the embers of her life unravell and re-construct a new path for her to tread. The shattering realisation that one-half of her life is now ripped away and gone, whilst the other half remains elusive and unnervingly real at the same time gives her mind an off-balance reality.

As Norah’s emotional state wavers between solid ground and the shattering awareness of how intricate her life thus far has schooled her in what she would need to know to survive the moment ‘after’ her Uncle’s death; nearly puts her past her ability to function. Little pieces of a shifting puzzle float through her internal vortex, as her mind acts more like an automatic processor of information: where it has stored, analysed, and executed a thousand different pathways of knowledge only to be propelled into instantaneous flights of auto-retention! Gifted with a photographic memory and the devouring of ancient languages as though they were in high fashion in today’s age, she is guided by her years as a home-schooled pupil of her Uncle Jack’s. His presence might be taken from her, but his voice is ever present and his wisdom ever apparent.

I appreciated the ‘other world and other kind’ technology introduced into the context of this installment of the series, as I was most fascinated by the use of crystals and stones of having properties outside of their elemental physic natures! Rocks, fossils, gemstones, and all matters of geologic science were another fascination of mine growing up, and to see the protection bracelet (a name I dubbed it as I read!) brought into the story was quite bang-on brilliant! I loved the idea that there is more to the nature of stones than we first give them credit for having! Although anyone who has attended a gem and stone festival, (or a smaller version inside of an Arts & Crafts Fair) will denote that crystals of any size, but generally of medium or larger varieties have a ‘telling presence’, as they give-off a piece of themselves as they sit quietly on a flat surface. Knowing this, I was wholly fascinated by the presence of stones and crystals through the adventure I lived whilst inhabiting the soles of Norah’s shoes!

From the moment Norah first picked up her Uncle’s journals and started to decipher their hidden language contrasted against the flashback memories of a part of Icelandic lore I was not familiar of previously, this particular story has you mesmorised from the first page your turn against your heart’s desire to see it unfold faster! I felt my heart leap wanting to curl inside the story and wander around free of needing to read the words off the page! I felt as though I had finally found my ‘next adventure’ past the Cooper Kids, which made me feel as though I had stepped through the portal and taken up an active role in the story itself! I always wanted to find more books of this nature when I was a young adult myself, but they were always few and far between! Imagine my blissitude in realising I have found another writer who can pen a story that re-ignites the joy I had whilst I was younger?! The contrasting differences between Light & Dark foes keeps you on the edge of your seat, as you never know which is going to shift into view nor which moment Norah is going to finally assemble all the clues she needs to understand her Uncle’s greatest lesson! A riveting jolt through a fraction of what Cobbogoth has to offer us all!

On the style of Clark’s writing:

When the reader has to become aware of how her Uncle Jack’s life was taken from him, she did it with a measured fusion of shocked-horror from the niece’s point-of-view and realistic evidence of a man who was recently murdered. She takes the reader so far to enable the scene to become apparently raw and real, but holds back a bit from making it more than it needed to be as far as the level of intensity. I appreciated her willingness to keep the realism but not forsake the breadth of the genre: YA Fantasy.

Uncovering Cobbogoth is an adventure you know you can handle, but it keeps you suspended between the pages as much as the living story within its chapters is a suspension of time. Science was always a ready interest of mine growing up, as I had half a step inside the worlds of art and science within my childhood hours. I was drawn into the dimensional theories of Quantum Physics as I grew and examined different quantum realms on my own by my early twenties, because of the curiosity they engaged my mind inside. The theory of super-strings, hidden dimensions, black holes, and galaxies hidden within a space of a seed were an exciting read for me! I need to re-take up where I left off as I only just brushed the surface of what I wanted to study, but within that pursuit, I have noticed that the science within science fiction that enlightens my mind the most contains elements and theories woven around the concept of space-time dimensions and/or the continuum. This is not the first foray I have ventured on this year to read a story with time travel or the bending of time (as we see it peripherally) as it’s core center of scientific thought. The Skin Map uses the theory of ley lines whereas Cobbogoth is using the theory of hoption holes. In each of their own ways, they are breaking down a theory of how humans of any age can travel through ‘portals’ within the space-time vortex of dimensional space. And, I personally find that exciting!

Clark has a deft hand for writing the most scientific principles of the novel in a way that is not only easy to digest, but gets you excited to learn more than what has already been provided! The curious illustrations her sister, Ms. Shakespear contributed to the story’s element of past and present gave a visual reference for the sub-stories that draw out the focus on Cobbogoth itself rather than the story set in and around Cobbogoth on a whole!

I would say that due to the nature of the high octane adventure and action sequences, as well as the brief passages of violence which take place as Norah’s life is thwarted by more danger than you could blink through, I do believe the classification of this novel as ‘YA Fantasy’ is rather apt. It would be a great story for a teenager to sink their teeth into because it is on the verge of leaving the formative years behind and entering the world on your own merits. Lessons of courage and fortitude of spirit are organically woven into the texture of the story itself. If you watched the motion picture “The Dark is Rising: The Seeker” you will not have any trouble reading this novel! At some point, I’d like to read the novel the forementioned film is based upon!

After being entranced by the debut of this wicked sweet fantasy series, I can only hope that Book 2 will not only be too far behind Book 1 (I would wait a year or more! The setting is that compelling to return too!), but I am hopeful that at the time of its release I am in plenty of time to join the forthcoming blog tour! This is surely one series I do not want to miss out on continuing the next chapter of the ensuing adventure!

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This Blog Tour Stop is courtesy of Cedar Fort, Inc.:

Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Virtual Road Map of “Uncovering Cobbogoth” Blog Tour:

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Uncovering Cobbogoth Book Trailer OFFICIAL 2014 via Hannah L. Clark

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{SOURCES: Author photograph, Author Biography, Book Synopsis, Book Cover, and Cedar Fort badge were provided by Cedar Fort, Inc. and were used by permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.  The Book Trailer for “Uncovering Cobbogoth” and Hannah L. Clark’s personal video via Hannah L. Clark had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank her for the opportunity to include materials that help introduce readers to her work.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Thursday, 29 May, 2014 by jorielov in Action & Adventure Fiction, Archaeology, Atlantians (Atlantis), Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Boston, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Dogrils, Earthen Magic, Elementalists, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Good vs. Evil, Hyperborean (Hyperborea), Iceland, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Light vs Dark, Mythological Societies, Paleontology, Romance Fiction, School Life & Situations, Science Fantasy, Shapeshifters, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, TLC Book Tours, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction