Category: Small Towne USA

Blog Book Tour | “The Cursed Dagger” (Book No.2 of the Ian Quicksilver series!) by Alyson Peterson

Posted Tuesday, 13 September, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I have been a blog tour hostess with Cedar Fort for the past two years, wherein I took a brief hiatus from hosting before resuming this August 2016. I appreciate the diversity of the stories the Indie publisher is publishing per year, not only for fiction and non-fiction but for healthy eats within their Front Table Books (cookbooks). I appreciate their dedication to writing general market, INSPY reads and LDS focused stories across the genres they publish.

I was selected to be a part of the “The Cursed Dagger” blog tour wherein I received a complimentary copy of “The Cursed Dagger” direct from the publisher Sweetwater Books (an imprint of Cedar Fort Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein

My connection to the author: Last year, I had a conversation with Ms Peterson whilst I was composing my thoughts on my review but it did not influence my reaction and/or change my honest opinion of the novel; something I disclosed at the top of my review for ‘Ian Quicksilver: The Warrior’s Return’. Since then, I’ve only touched based with the author off and on a few times in the interim, as we’re connected through Twitter. It’s always nice to keep in touch with an author you appreciate reading but also a renewed joy if you make a personal connection too. I am thankful my path crossed with Ms Peterson on the tour last year, and for the private conversations we’ve exchanged. 

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Ms Peterson through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse as well as privately; 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. Similarly this applies to all future novels I read by an author I appreciate reading due to the compelling story-lines and characters they continuously bring to their novels and/or novellas.

On returning to the world of Quicksilver:

The Warrior’s Return has a lot of undercurrent themes running into the narrative arc and giving readers a bit of an insight on how our differences are not meant to divide us but unite us. We’re different from each other because we each have something unique to contribute to the whole. It’s how we choose to focus on our strengths and embrace our faults is a mark of our character as much as it is a growth of maturity. I appreciated seeing how Peterson took two characters who were on the fringes of ‘coming-of age’ and instilled in them a grounding sense of who they could be simply by observing how someone else ‘saw them’ and understood them in a way they hadn’t felt would be possible.

Peterson gives her readers a wicked keen treat by inventing telepathic writing as a mode of communication when people are out of sight but not out of mind. I won’t say more about it because I don’t want to spoilt it for you, but let’s just say it takes telepathy to a new height of curious possibility! I also love the elements of TK (telekinesis) she’s knitted into the story inasmuch as the electrical hypersensitive paragifted capabilities of Ari’s hidden talent. This last element reminded of why I was wicked excited to read The Last Gatekeeper by Katy Haye. When it comes to manipulation of energy and sources of energy story-lines can jump into a mecca of interesting realms, because how energy can be shifted between stability and instability has the most intrigue for a reader. To gain access to a power source where energy in it’s rarest form can be harnessed and then re-distributed or altered to a level of power that is controllable to the person whose gifted with the talent is inspiring narrative. It’s also the cross-bridge uniting Fantasy with Science Fiction fusing it’s own new genre of ‘Sci-Fantasy’. (or in other words, Jorie’s newest sub-genre of interest!)

Enter the newfound reality of being a long-lost son of a King from a world known as ‘Bankhir’ whose sisterly bond to ‘Garfel’ is about to become a delicate race against time. The rulers of both decided the only way to save their worlds and to restore peace were to cast out two of their own into a world far removed from their societies intensive war, vying a hope towards re-setting the peace when the boy and girl return home. Only these are not ordinary planets like Earth or even Saturn, no these two are co-dependent on each other due to how the magic of their powers are generated and controlled.

What I appreciated about Peterson is her exclusion of strong language and opted instead to take a sociological-psychological approach to understanding Ian. She writes with a true focus on where he is right now as far as his maturity and development, but also, on the internal struggle for acceptance on self-image, self-esteem, and self-confidence. The kinds of issues most teens face but it’s how she wrote about them that endeared me to the novel’s heart because she’s approaching it with a mindfulness about how boys view the world vs how boys view themselves. This insight I know is intrinsic to the author as she’s a Mum of boys, but evenso, I think she might have understood them even if she weren’t!

-quoted from my review of Ian Quicksilver: The Warrior’s Return

The Warriors Return is like walking up to a precipice and only seeing half the world:

This was my takeaway moment of clarity at the bottom of my review last year, however, it is keenly intrinsically tied to the series as far as the scope of the world and the measurement of what is at stake. You can look at the world from one angle but until someone is able to bend that perspective and wholly refract back a different perspective, your knowledge remains limited. Thus, whilst you think you understand the world in which Quicksilver lives, it’s only through one lens of references until the fullness of his world expands and contracts to become something much larger than what is superficial seen.

Blog Book Tour | “The Cursed Dagger” (Book No.2 of the Ian Quicksilver series!) by Alyson PetersonThe Cursed Dagger
Subtitle: Never Accept a Challenge without Knowing the Rules : from the author of Ian Quicksilver
by Alyson Peterson
Source: Direct from Publisher

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781462118656

Also by this author: Ian Quicksilver: The Warrior's Return, Author Interview (The Cursed Dagger)

Series: Ian Quicksilver


Also in this series: Ian Quicksilver: The Warrior's Return


Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Sci-Fantasy, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Sweetwater Books

on 1st September, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 320

Published By: Sweetwater Books (@SweetwaterBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #IanQuicksilver

About Alyson Peterson

Alyson Peterson

Alyson Peterson lives in a mountainside gully –of all places– in northern Utah with her neurotic, shed-tastic dog, two ninja kids, and superhero husband. She spends her time painting, breaking bones at her Martial Arts class (mostly her own) and reading as many books as she can get her hands on.

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Posted Tuesday, 13 September, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Bullies and the Bullied, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Coming-Of Age, Fantasy Fiction, Foster Care, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, Orphans & Guardians, Science Fantasy, Small Towne USA, Supernatural Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Book Review | “JUNE” by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore #BloggingForBooks

Posted Tuesday, 23 August, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I decided to join the “Blogging for Books” programme (on 9th July, 2014) which is a book for review programme created by the Crown Publishing Group. As a book blogger you are offered books in exchange for an honest review on your book blog as well as the ability to reach new readers when you cross-post your review to the Blogging for Books website. The benefit for the blogger is exposure as a reviewer as they put direct links back to your blog post on the book you select to review as well as your homepage.

I received a complimentary copy of “June” direct from the publisher Crown Publishers, 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

Book Review | “JUNE” by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore #BloggingForBooksJune
by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Source: Publisher via Blogging for Books

From the New York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet comes a novel of suspense and passion about a terrible mistake made sixty years ago that threatens to change a modern family forever.

Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Danvers is holed up in her family’s crumbling mansion in rural St. Jude, Ohio, mourning the loss of the woman who raised her—her grandmother, June. But a knock on the door forces her out of isolation. Cassie has been named the sole heir to legendary matinee idol Jack Montgomery’s vast fortune. How did Jack Montgomery know her name? Could he have crossed paths with her grandmother all those years ago? What other shocking secrets could June’s once-stately mansion hold?

Soon Jack’s famous daughters come knocking, determined to wrestle Cassie away from the inheritance they feel is their due. Together, they all come to discover the true reasons for June’s silence about that long-ago summer, when Hollywood came to town, and June and Jack’s lives were forever altered by murder, blackmail, and betrayal. As this page-turner shifts deftly between the past and present, Cassie and her guests will be forced to reexamine their legacies, their definition of family, and what it truly means to love someone, steadfastly, across the ages.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9780553447682

Genres: Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Suspense


Published by Crown Publishers

on 31st May, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 400

 Published By: Crown Publishers (@crownpublishing)

(an imprint of Crown Publishing Group)

Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #JUNE + #BloggingForBooks

About Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Miranda Beverely Whittemore_Photo Credit Kai Beverly Whittemore

Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is the author of three other novels: New York Times bestseller Bittersweet; Set Me Free, which won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, given annually for the best book of fiction by an American woman; and The Effects of Light. A recipient of the Crazyhorse Prize in Fiction, she lives and writes in Brooklyn.

Photo Credit Kai Beverly-Whittemore

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Tuesday, 23 August, 2016 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogging for Books, Book Review (non-blog tour), Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction, Small Towne USA, Vulgarity in Literature

Book Review | “A Place Called Hope” (Hope series, No.1) by Philip Gulley A small towne fiction novelist I’ve been curious about reading!

Posted Sunday, 31 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 two releases by FaithWords, 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.

I received a complimentary copy of “A Place Called Hope” 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 a Gulley novel:

I cannot recollect exactly when I discovered the Harmony series by Mr Gulley, but it was during my wanderings at my local library, a book or two from the series kept winking at me to read! Similar to the novels by Ms Whitson, I simply never had the pleasure of soaking inside his novels!

I can honestly say, the most enjoyment I have had in recent years is being caught up inside ‘small townes’ in the fictional worlds authors are treating me to visit! Townes like Cedar Cove (Debbie Macomber), Serenity (Sherryl Woods), Lambert’s Corner (Rosina Lippi), Skye (Jessica Brockmole), Soda Springs (Carolyn Steele), Coorah Creek (Janet Gover), Butternut Lake (Mary McNear), Henry Adams (Beverly Jenkins), Dickinson (Larry D. Sweazy) and serial mysteries that feel like small townes for how much interplay there is with repetitive characters by such authors as: Susan McDuffie, Anna Castle, Susan Spann, Catherine Lloyd, Susanna Calkins, Charles Todd, Tessa Arlen and Anna Lee Huber!

The reason I love small townes has been expressed many times over, but at the heart of what draws me inside small towne fiction is the quirkiness of how the stories are told and the eclectic harmony of how the lead characters are attempting to find their footing or be ever present to the needs of their neighbours and community. Small towne fiction stories are a slice of life that is a step outside the harried pace of our normal lives (unless we’re blessed to live in a small towne where everyone champions each other in unconditional support) where life is a bit easier to take in and where not everything has to be done at the speed of a clock ticking off moments as if they need to be registered somewhere!

I also like the different interpretations of small towne life and how for each community I visit in fiction, I am hoping there are at least ten composite communities out there somewhere that are reflective of the community togetherness that is inside the novel at hand! I find you can dig yourself happily inside a small towne novel (as I mentioned a few one-offs above) or a series (a treasure of a find!) with the glowing joy of knowing your respite inside it’s chapters is going to make you feel light with euphoric happiness for your journey! I suppose in many ways, reading #smalltown #fiction is one of my guilty pleasures as a reader, because I simply find myself put in such wonderful moods after reading them!

Who wouldn’t want an uplift of joy on their bookshelf?!

And, so dear hearts, this is why I wanted to finally read my first Gulley novel! The chance to laugh, the chance to smile and the chance to see what everyone had previously found inside the Harmony novels, as I had a sense that his wit and charm would continue to enthrall us in the Hope series! There is simply something quite keen about finding authors who are writing such realistic stories set in townes that we can all identify with and find readerly happiness in reading!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Review | “A Place Called Hope” (Hope series, No.1) by Philip Gulley A small towne fiction novelist I’ve been curious about reading!A Place Called Hope
by Philip Gulley
Source: Direct from Publisher

When Quaker Pastor Sam Gardner is asked by the ill Unitarian minister to oversee a wedding in his place, Sam naturally agrees. It's not until the couple stands before him that he realizes they're two women. In the tempest of strong opinions and misunderstandings that follows the incident, Sam faces potential unemployment.

Deeply discouraged, he wonders if his pastoral usefulness has come to an end. Perhaps it's time for a change. After all, his wife has found a new job at the library, his elder son is off to college, and the younger has decided to join the military once he graduates high school. Sam is contemplating a future selling used cars when he receives a call from a woman in the suburban town of Hope, Indiana.

It seems Hope Friends Meeting is in desperate need of a pastor. Though they only have twelve members, they also have a beautiful meetinghouse and a pie committee (Sam is fond of pie). But can he really leave his beloved hometown of Harmony?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781455586882

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


Published by Center Street

on 19th March, 2015

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 256

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

Formats Available: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Hope series:

A Place Called Hope by Philip GulleyA Lesson in Hope by Philip Gulley

Readers are mentioning Gulley’s writing style in relation to Karon’s Mitford series; although I never read about Mitford, my grandmother loved reading the series before she died. We shared a mutual love of small towne fiction, and I believe our shared joy in finding small towne fiction to curl up inside is partially why I continue to seek out more from this lovely section of literature. She might not be able to travel with me as I visit each ‘towne’ but I know she’s smiling at me from heaven, happy I continued my adventures seeking writers who know how to write about the nuances of ordinary life!

A Place Called Hope | No.1

A Lesson in Hope | No.2 | Book Synopsis

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Converse via: #INSPYbooks, #QuakerFiction & #INSPYfiction

+ use these two in combo: #SmallTown #Fiction

About Philip Gulley

Philip Gulley Photo Credit: Matt Griffith

PHILIP GULLEY, a Quaker pastor, has become the voice of small-town American life. Along with writing Front Porch Tales, Hometown Tales, and For Everything a Season, he is the author of the Harmony series of novels. Gulley lives in Indiana with his wife, Joan, and their sons.

Photo Credit: Matt Griffith

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Posted Sunday, 31 July, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), CenterStreet, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Equality In Literature, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Modern Day, Quaker Fiction, Quakers, Small Towne USA