Category: Civil Rights

Double-Showcase | Book & Audiobook Review of “The Woman in the Camphor Trunk” (Anna Blanc series, No. 2) by Jennifer Kincheloe

Posted Wednesday, 10 January, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired 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.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Woman in the Camphor Trunk” direct from the publisher Seventh Street Books (an imprint of Prometheus Books) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On why I can’t wait to read more about Anna Blanc:

The Secret Life of Anna Blanc by Jennifer KincheloeThe Woman in the Camphor Trunk by Jennifer Kincheloe

Series Overview: Young socialite turned police matron Anna Blanc bucks society’s mores to solve crime in early 1900s Los Angeles.

The main reason I find myself so very attached to the world in which Anna Blanc lives is because of how she is beautifully brought to life by Ms Kincheloe. She has a way of fusing Anna into our hearts whilst winning us over with her quirkily humourous prose which not only dictates a keen awareness of Anna but of the times in which she is alive. It’s a curious door into the historical past as these were my parting words after having read the first novel of the series:

Sophisticated in her ascertainment of conception behind Anna Blanc, Kincheloe has writ such a lively character, you drink in her words with such a joy of delight! She has a fast paced narrative, where the humour is smitten by the sophisticated edging of her character’s personality, matched equally brilliantly by the grace of a Cosy Historical Mystery backdrop! She’s captured the turn of the century atmosphere aptly, as she tucks in recognisable familiarities to alight in your imagination as you turn the pages; replete with gaslights and other bits which correlate with the era.

I loved the way in which Kincheloe turnt a phrase, using words not oft found in historical fiction as her novel is a good primer of words that are wicked to say aloud and used in descriptive narratives such as this one! The phrases themselves are a delight for readers who love words as much as wordsmiths, which Kincheloe definitely excels at including whilst giving Anna Blanc a crafty choice of words to express her emotional duress! She also found a clever way to include Anna’s religious background by having her talk to the Saints when a mood or a moment fitted the hour; it was quite an interesting way to thread faith inside a mainstream novel and I liked the author’s candor.

The best attribute Anna Blanc has within her is a self-motivating resolve to become self-educated as it was such a joy to watch her expand her mind in a fervent attempt to understand the underpinnings of motives and causes of the crimes that were leeching through her city at such a fast rate of alarm. She did not just want to sleuth for the sake of detection but to fully understand the methodology behind the crimes and I think this is a nod to the writer’s (Kincheloe) curiosity being piqued by true crime stories straight out of the historical archives from whence she draws her inspirations. Kincheloe also under-writ a stunning historical survey of early Forensic techniques which inspired Anna with her investigating – especially in regards to understanding the differences between murder and suicide. This became quite pivotal in the story as Anna Blanc made her transition from socialite to female detective.

The beauty of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc are the little bits of plot your not expecting to find encircle through the evolving story – there were little clues fluttering through it’s context, but the joy was not completely sorting it all out until the very last chapter – wherein, your heart swoons with glee and you champion the success Anna Blanc had in closing her second case! This is a bit of a guilty pleasure for historical fiction readers – Kincheloe has tempted us with her wicked sweet prose where a heroine peppers the scenes with her feisty personality and a penchant for seeking out the truth from a sea of lies!

-quoted from my review of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc

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Double-Showcase | Book & Audiobook Review of “The Woman in the Camphor Trunk” (Anna Blanc series, No. 2) by Jennifer KincheloeThe Woman in the Camphor Trunk
Subtitle: An Anna Blanc Mystery
by Jennifer Kincheloe
Source: Direct from Publisher
Narrator: Moira Quirk

In early-1900s Los Angeles—an era of courting, ragtime, suffragettes, and widespread corruption—a socialite turned police matron tracks down the murderer of a white woman in Chinatown, while trying to prevent the outbreak of a bloody tong war.

Los Angeles, 1908. In Chinatown, the most dangerous beat in Los Angeles, police matron Anna Blanc and her former sweetheart, Detective Joe Singer, discover the body of a white missionary woman, stuffed in a trunk in the apartment of her Chinese lover. If news about the murder gets out, there will be a violent backlash against the Chinese. Joe and Anna work to solve the crime quietly and keep the death a secret, reluctantly helped by the good-looking Mr. Jones, a prominent local leader.

Meanwhile, the kidnapping of two slave girls fuels existing tensions, leaving Chinatown poised on the verge of a bloody tong war. Joe orders Anna to stay away, but Anna is determined to solve the crime before news of the murder is leaked and Chinatown explodes.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781633883635

Also by this author: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, The Secret Life of Anna Blanc [audiobook]

Series: Anna Blanc


Also in this series: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, The Secret Life of Anna Blanc [audiobook], The Body in Griffith Park


Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Jennifer R. Kincheloe Ltd, Seventh Street Books

on 14th November, 2017

Format: Audiobook | Digital, Trade Paperback

Pages: 304

Published By: Seventh Street Books (@SeventhStBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

About Jennifer Kincheloe

Jennifer Kincheloe Photo Credit: Fola Akinyemi

Jennifer has been a block layer, a nurse's aid, a fragrance model, and on the research faculty at UCLA, where she spent 11 years conducting studies to inform health policy. A native of Southern California, she now lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two teenagers. She's currently writing book three in the Anna Blanc Mystery series. Book two, THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK, is coming out in Fall of 2017 from Seventh Street Books.

Photo Credit: Fola Akinyemi
Biography updated: March 2017
Links updated: August 2019

 

Converse via: #AnnaBlanc + #HistoricalMystery or #HistMyst

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 10 January, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Civil Rights, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cosy Historical Mystery, Cosy Horror, Crime Fiction, Equality In Literature, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, History, Indie Author, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Prometheus Books, Realistic Fiction, Religious Orders, Self-Published Author, Taboo Relationships & Romance, the Nineteen Hundreds

Author Guest Post | “Summer of the Oak Moon” by Laura Templeton

Posted Friday, 8 May, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

One of the blessings for hosting blog tours with Chapter by Chapter, is watching all the lovely new releases by Month9Books and their imprint Swoon Romance! On the latter side of the ledger, the Swoon Romance titles which interest me to read in the future when I can acquire a print copy of the books are the Young Adult and New Adult titles; although I notice most of the ones that tempt me of late are strictly YA. I happen to fancy the stories where authors take different turns highlighting the coming-of age period of young adults and the shifting of perspectives from childhood, adolescence, and the opening chapters of their adult lives.

This is why I was drawn into wanting to read Summer of the Oak Moon, as I have previously picked up a similar story about societal perceptions and influences on a multicultural relationship by Julie Kibler in Calling Me Home; a novel I still need to finish reading. I first discovered it soon after my local library purchased it as a debut novel, and what compelled me inside the story itself was the honest realism of the relationship as it was unfolding inside the narrative grace Kibler gave her characters to inhabit. It is these kinds of stories I am in search of finding, and as soon as I read the synopsis for Templeton’s Swoon Romance, I felt as if I had found a novel to anchour alongside my readings of Kibler.

When I decided to ask the topic for this blog tour, I decided to talk about the heart of the story and counter-balance that against the social movement towards seeking Equality and Diversity in Literature. I have openly spoken about my pursuit of #EqualityInLit which runs hand in hand with the #WeNeedDiverseBooks mission towards a balance of stories which represent the world we live in. I found the author’s response quite refreshing and I look forward to hearing your response in the comments after you’ve read her essay.

Summer of the Oak Moon by Laura Templeton

Rejected by the exclusive women’s college she has her heart set on, Tess Seibert dreads the hot, aimless summer ahead. But when a chance encounter with a snake introduces her to Jacob Lane, a black college student home on his summer break, a relationship blooms that challenges the prejudices of her small, north Florida town.

When Jacob confesses that Tess’s uncle is trying to steal his family’s land, Tess comes face to face with the hatred that simmers just below the surface of the bay and marshes she’s loved since birth. With the help of her mentor Lulu, an herbal healer, Tess pieces together clues to the mysterious disappearance of Jacob’s father twenty-two years earlier and uncovers family secrets that shatter her connection to the land she loves.

Tess and Jacob’s bond puts them both in peril, and discontent eventually erupts into violence. Tess is forced to make a decision. Can she right old wrongs and salvage their love? Or will prejudice and hatred kill any chance she and Jacob might have had?

Published By: Swoon Romance (@SwoonRomance)

an imprint of Month9Books (@Month9Books)

on 5th of May, 2015

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook | Add to Riffle

Converse on Twitter via:

#SummerOfTheOakMoon#YALit & #Month9Books Read More

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Posted Friday, 8 May, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, African-American Literature, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours, Civil Rights, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Contemporary Romance, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Indie Author, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Realistic Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Taboo Relationships & Romance, The Writers Life, Writing Advice & Tips, Writing Style & Voice, Young Adult Fiction

Book Review | “Time and Again” (Book 1: History #Mystery series) by Deborah Heal #RRSciFiMonth

Posted Saturday, 24 January, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Time and Again by Deborah Heal

{ Book One in the History Mystery Trilogy }

{ Unclaimed Legacy (Book 2) + Every Hill & Mountain (Book 3) round out the trilogy }

Published By: Write Brain Activity
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

Converse via: #HistoryMysterySeries & #TimeAndAgain

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Acquired Book By:

My path originally crossed with Ms. Heal during her blog tour last year (2013), when her third novel in the History Mystery series was making it’s way through the book blogosphere whilst stopping on Inspirational fiction blogs I frequently visit. It was on one of these tour stops I had the happy joy in winning a copy of “Every Hill & Mountain” and ever since then, I had had it in mind to blog about this beautiful time travel series for Sci Fi November! I contacted the author about this particular idea and she offered to send me the first two novels in the series with matching cover-art to the third novel, as I have the original cover-art designs for the History Mystery series – where the house is featured but is not prominent as there is a girl featured as well on “Time and Again”.

Therefore, I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Deborah Heal, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read the Series:

What originally drew me into the folds of this particular time travel series is the overall premise, of how an old house can become a portal of a window into time travel! The idea of having the thread of a time travel narrative worked through the Inspirational side of literature was also an appeal, as I was quite curious how the science behind travelling in time might be explored and explained inasmuch as how the story would alter or change from traditional science fiction roots which are published through mainstream markets. As a hybrid reader whose mind is always open and seeking out new inventive ways of telling stories, I was most curious on how an INSPY writer would treat the scope of the story as much as the science behind it.

Book Review | “Time and Again” (Book 1: History #Mystery series) by Deborah Heal #RRSciFiMonthTime and Again
by Deborah Heal
Source: Direct from Author

An old house + A new computer program =

The travel opportunity of a lifetime…

…to another century.

Abby Thomas is spending the summer in a run-down old house with a bratty pre-teen named Merrideth she is supposed to tutor. Not a dream job. But it does come with perks.

There’s John Roberts, a devastatingly attractive neighbor who is almost too wonderful to be real.

And there’s the new computer program Beautiful Houses—also too amazing to be real. No one knows how it works, but with it she can rewind and fast-forward the lives of all the people who ever lived in the house, including Charlotte Miles.

In 1858, the house is a train stop on the Alton & Chicago Line. And Charlotte is stuck there serving meals to the passengers, wondering if she’ll ever get to have any fun. And then she meets two travelers who change her life forever.

There’s James McGuire with whom she falls in love. And there’s his boss, a young Springfield lawyer named Abraham Lincoln. His debate with political opponent Stephen Douglas catapults him onto the national stage. And it inspires Charlotte to take up the cause of abolition.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Series: History Mystery,


Genres: Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Time Travel Fiction


Published by Write Brain Activity

Format: Paperback

Time and Again Book Trailer via Deborah Heal

About Deborah Heal

Deborah Heal

Deborah Heal, the author of the Time and Again "history mystery" trilogy, which has been described as "Back to the Future meets virtual reality with a dash of Seventh Heaven thrown in," was born not far from the setting of her novel Every Hill and Mountain and grew up just down the road from the settings of Time and Again and Unclaimed Legacy.

Today she lives with her husband in Monroe County, Illinois, not far from the setting of Once Again: an inspirational novel of history, mystery & romance. She enjoys reading, gardening, and learning about regional history. She has three grown children, five grandchildren, and two canine buddies Digger and Scout, a.k.a. Dr. Bob in Unclaimed Legacy.

She loves to interact with her readers, who may learn more about the history behind the books at her website and her Facebook author page.

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Time travelling within the walls of an older home:

Heal has a good way of giving small details out about the condition of the old house, where you become delighted in finding out about how the wood and/or the fixtures are represented now verse how they would have been viewed when the house was originally built. There are certain passages that elude to the craftmanship of the care put into it’s structure, as much as a curiosity about certain staircases and what could be found outside in the barn. It has this rambling appeal to it, as if you think you know everything there is to be known about the house itself, yet it is within that moment of certainty that another mystery presents itself that is not as easily explained!

I liked the pace of how Abby encouraged Merrideth to seek out the charm of her new dwelling as much as to find how educational lessons of life and study can become if you ‘think outside the routine’ and ‘structure’ of traditional learning! Abby starts to seek a way to have the ‘house’ transform learning in a way that Merrideth can find tangible connections between what she’s learning and what she can see through experience. Read More

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Posted Saturday, 24 January, 2015 by jorielov in 19th Century, Abraham Lincoln, African-American History, African-American Literature, Astral Projection, Author Blog Tour, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Review (non-blog tour), Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Bullies and the Bullied, Civil Rights, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Divorce & Martial Strife, Drugs & Alcohol, Fathers and Daughters, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, History, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Lessons from Scripture, Parapsychological Gifts, Sci-Fi November, Single Mothers, Small Towne USA, Sweet Romance, Teacher & Student Relationships, The Deep South, The Sci-Fi Experience, Time Travel, Time Travel Adventure, Underground Railroad