Category: The Deep South

Blog Book Tour | “Ice Whispers: Book 1 of the Hidden Hills Saga” by K. Willow

Posted Wednesday, 14 October, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Hidden Hills Saga” virtual book tour through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of “Ice Whispers” the first book in the series direct from the author K. Willow, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

I love reading Southern Lit:

I have been reading Southern Lit for several decades now, as I appreciate reading stories set in the South for both historical and contemporary stories. Southern Gothic runs close to my wanderings in Southern Lit as the two tend to walk together inasmuch as they are completely separate from each other. What I appreciate the most about Southern Lit are the courageous stories of the men and women who overcame their adversities and their difficulties in ways that truly champion the spirit of humanity.

You’ll find a variety of stories set in the South being featured on my blog, as I gravitate towards this section of literature quite often. Tara Conklin’s The House Girl left a strong impression on me for her convicting narrative and her ability to knit the heart of her characters so true to their spirit as to allow us to become emphatically tied to their plight. (review) Christina Baker Kline writes the psychological and emotional tides of her characters quite well as read in Sweet Water. (review) For socioeconomic disparity and gutting realistic narrative set against actual events,  the duo of Tom Franklin & Beth Ann Fennelly left me pensively reposed after reading The Tilted World. (review) My heart nearly broke whilst reading Balm due to the soulful prose writ by Dolen Perkins-Valdez (review); only to become properly shattered whilst caught into the emotional eclipse Katy Simpson Smith gave me in The Story of Land and Sea. (review)

The entreat I took inside To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis was a feast for my senses as Andra Watkins has styled her own Southern Lit flavour to bend genres to her will. (review) When it comes to slavery and the Underground Railroad, (outside of Conklin’s prose) I felt Coopey endeared the heart of those who felt the harsh punishments were deeply against humanity within the pages of Redfield Farm. (review)

Imagine my delight in finding a Self Pub author who is creating a series set in the antebellum South who is creating her own niche for this type of story; putting a darker spin on the traditional tales set here and keeping in step with the backdrop we already appreciate.

Blog Book Tour | “Ice Whispers: Book 1 of the Hidden Hills Saga” by K. WillowIce Whispers
by K. Willow
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Slavery of a different kind, beyond physical chains, leads to a different type of escape . . .

Marissa Kristofferson can taste freedom. Her long years of suffering at the hands of her sadistic husband, Lance, are coming to an end as he lies dying. But she is stunned when he reveals the contents of his will and what she must do to keep Kristofferson Plantation, and how he plans to keep her bound to him even beyond the grave.

The beautiful slave Lolley has always envied Marissa’s life, and after learning that the master has also ordered her freed after his death, she is determined to reach for the life she wants by becoming the mistress of Marissa’s son, Shane, though she does not realize the lengths Marissa will go to to prevent the match, or the far-reaching consequences that will follow.

And Shelby, the plain and dutiful slave of free blacks, is unwittingly caught in the shocking drama that unfolds as a family is torn apart. Used as a pawn in a game of rivalry, deception, and betrayal, hers is a fight for survival while attempting to remain true to herself.

Three women—so very different but each carrying dark secrets that are closely intertwined, caught in a world between slave and free, a world which is becoming more fragile and precarious as war threatens and alliances shift, and each harboring seemingly impossible dreams of a better future.

In this first book of a dark historical saga, K. Willow paints a lush, emotional portrait of scandal, murder, injustice, and the ties that bind in the antebellum South.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781502953797

Series: The Hidden Hills Saga,


Genres: Historical Fiction, Southern Lit


Published by Self Published Author

on 21st November 2014

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 276

Self Published Author via CreateSpace & BookBaby
Available Formats: Paperback & Ebook

About K. Willow

K. Willow

K. Willow is a novelist and award-winning writer with a background in television, film, theatre, and soap operas. She writes dark historical and urban fantasy and lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Hidden Hills is the setting; the plantation is where the drama revolves:

Willow has started a series set at a plantation within the proximity of Hidden Hills, of which by observation is within range of Charleston. It is here where she sets her characters and her saga to have the foundation laid for the ensuing novels that will follow Ice Whispers. Hidden Hills is aptly named as there are a heap of hidden secrets whispering around the willows and shade trees as their are stars in the heavens! It’s quite an interesting set-up where nary a character is immune to one of the bubbling controversies that are bubbling to the surface, save Aggie. (or at least thus far)

In this place, perception is paramount above all else (as in most Southern Lit stories, the classes are sharply writ and reflected against each other; the same as they are in Victorian or Regency stories) and if someone takes an unfortunate step out of where they are slated to belong, the upturning effect could be quite devastating. There are darker shades of reflection on how women are treated (both slave and free) and how certain men treat their wives without compassion for their well-being. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Wednesday, 14 October, 2015 by jorielov in 19th Century, African-American History, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Psychological Abuse, Realistic Fiction, Self-Published Author, Small Towne USA, The Deep South, Vulgarity in Literature

Blog Book Tour | “Balm” by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Posted Friday, 3 July, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

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

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on “Balm” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours.  I received a complimentary ARC copy of “Balm” direct from the publisher Amistad (an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers), in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Whilst I was requesting to be placed on this blog tour, I requested a copy of the author’s debut novel “Wench” to become introduced to her style and possible continuity; blessedly I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher Amistad (an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers), without being obligated to post a review, as my ruminations on behalf of this novel are for my own edification only.

Interest in reading the stories:

Loved the continuity of the historical era in which the author started inside Wench. I regularly read Southern Lit in regards to the Deep South, plantations, abolitionists and the Underground Railroad in general. My first TLC Book Tour was for The House Girl and since then I have continued to find novels set within this era either for TLC or other publicists; the last of which was Redfield Farm.

Blog Book Tour | “Balm” by Dolen Perkins-ValdezBalm
by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours
Narrator: Lisa Renee Pitts

The New York Times bestselling author of Wench—called "a fascinating and tragic story" by NPR.org, "deeply moving" by USA Today, and "lyrical and devastatingly beautiful" by People magazine—returns to the Civil War era to explore history's next chapter in this powerful story of love and healing.

The Civil War has ended, and Madge, Sadie, and Hemp have each come to Chicago in search of a new life.

Born with magical hands, Madge has the power to discern others' suffering and ease it, but she cannot heal her own damaged heart. To mend herself and continue to help those in need, she must return to Tennessee to face the women healers who rejected her as a child.

Sadie can commune with the dead, but until she makes peace with her father, she, too, cannot fully engage her gift.

Searching for his missing family, Hemp arrives in this northern city that shimmers with possibility. But redemption cannot be possible until he is reunited with those taken from him.

In the bitter aftermath of a terrible, bloody war, as a divided nation tries to come together once again, Madge, Sadie, and Hemp will be caught up in an unexpected battle for survival in a community desperate to lay the pain of the past to rest.

Beautiful in its historical atmosphere and emotional depth, Balm is a stirring novel of love, loss, hope, and reconciliation set during one of the most critical periods in American history.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Historical Fiction, War Drama, Literary Fiction, Southern Lit


Published by Amistad

on 3rd January, 2015

Format: Paperback

Pages: 374

Length: 9.2 hours

Published By: Amistad (@AmistadBooks)
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Available Formats: Hardcover, Softcover, Audiobook, and Ebook

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Wench
by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours
Narrator: Quincy Tyler Bernstine

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Series: P.S. Series


Genres: Historical Fiction, Southern Lit


Published by Amistad

on 25th, January 2011

Format: P.S. Edition Paperback

Pages: 294

Length: 8 hours, 17 minutes

Wench Available Formats: Hardcover, P.S. Edition paperback, Audiobook, and Ebook

Listen to an Excerpt: WENCH via audiobooks.com

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Converse via: #Balm and #DolenPerkinsValdez

 

About Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Dolen Perkins-Valdez is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Wench. Her fiction has appeared in the Kenyon Review, StoryQuarterly, StorySouth, and elsewhere.

In 2011 she was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction. She was also awarded the First Novelist Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

She teaches in the Stonecoast MFA program in Maine. A graduate of Harvard and a former University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA, Dolen Perkins-Valdez lives in Washington, D.C., with her family.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 3 July, 2015 by jorielov in #LitChat, 19th Century, African-American History, ARC | Galley Copy, Audiobook, Audiobook Excerpt, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Novel, Domestic Violence, Equality In Literature, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Historical Fiction, History, Literary Fiction, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Passionate Researcher, Psychological Abuse, Small Towne USA, Soundcloud, Taboo Relationships & Romance, The Deep South, TLC Book Tours, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Underground Railroad

Blog Book Tour | “Enslaved to Saved: The Metaphor of Christ as our Master” by W. Reid Litchfield This is a #nonfiction #mustread for readers of #ChristFic, #INSPY, & #LDS! It reaches across hidden barriers and unites all of us together.

Posted Monday, 18 May, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “Enslaved to Saved” direct from the publisher CFI (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

On why I elected to read Enslaved to Saved:

The title of this book implored me outright to become interested in reading it as I have had a curiosity to uncover more about Christ (as a man as much as the Son of God) in regards to who He was whilst He lived on earth and how the legacy of His teachings left behind for us to find after He left. On a similar vein, Mum and I have wanted to dig inside the women of the Bible, to uncover more biographical bits about who they were and the lives they lived because too often we only get to know fragmented pieces about the men and women who lived centuries ago yet who have such a crucial part of our shared religious history. As far as the women go, I know we want to seek out Biblical Historical fiction as a gateway, but when I saw this non-fiction release about Christ, it was definitely a moment where I felt as if I had stumbled across a book I was meant to read ‘at this moment in time’.

– excerpt taken from my explanation on the top anchour of Litchfield’s Guest Post

Blog Book Tour | “Enslaved to Saved: The Metaphor of Christ as our Master” by W. Reid Litchfield This is a #nonfiction #mustread for readers of #ChristFic, #INSPY, & #LDS! It reaches across hidden barriers and unites all of us together.Enslaved to Saved: The Metaphor of Christ as our Master
by W. Reid Litchfield
Source: Direct from Publisher

Who is your Master: Sin or the SAVIOR?

This thought-provoking book examines the cultural and political background of slavery during the time of Christ and what it means to our modern-day commitment to the Lord.

Where our King James New Testament reads "servant of Christ", the original Greek translates to "slave of Christ." This nuance will change how you read the New Testament.

*Unlock the deeper meanings of the Savior's most beloved parables

*Discover how the early Saints viewed their relationship to Christ

*Explore the difference between servitude and slavery in several well-known verses

Reid Litchfield, a Harvard-trained endocrinologist and longtime gospel scholar, shows how you can become a slave to Christ and paradoxically free yourself from the captivity of sin and death.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Also by this author: Guest Post by W. Reid Litchfield

Genres: Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Non-Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics


Published by CFI (imprint) Cedar Fort Inc

on 12th May, 2015

Format: Paperback

Pages: 160

Published By: CFI (imprint) of Cedar Fort Inc (@CedarFortBooks),

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse on Twitter via:

#EnslavedToSaved, #ChristCentered, #BibleStudy & #ChristianNonFiction

About W. Reid Litchfield

Dr W. Reid Litchfield

W. Reid Litchfield is an endocrinologist from Henderson, Nevada. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University (B.S.) and University of Calgary (M.D.) and completed his endocrinology fellowship at Harvard Medical School. In addition to a number of scientific publications he has published medical history papers entitled On The Physical Death Of Jesus Christ and The Bittersweet Demise of Herod the Great. He is the recipient of numerous Top Doctor awards as well as professional awards for leadership in his community and medical society.

Read More

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Posted Monday, 18 May, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, Adoption, Ancient Civilisation, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biblical History, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Catholicism, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Christianity, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Equality In Literature, Good vs. Evil, History, Important Figures of Ancient Times, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Judiasm, Lessons from Scripture, Modern Day, Mormonism, Non-Fiction, Passionate Researcher, Philosophy, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Religious History, Short Stories or Essays, Social Change, Sociological Behavior, Spirituality & Metaphysics, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, The Deep South, World Religions

Stories in the Spotlight | The “Imago Chronicle series” by Lorna Suzuki #Histfic translated into a world of #EpicFantasy (by #CanLit author!)

Posted Wednesday, 4 February, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

BookSpotlight_b4print

An unexpected encounter after #IndieChat with an Indie Novelist whose book series has been pitched and accepted into motion picture adaptation, led me on a bit of an unexpected foray into a series that is both challenging (as it is outside my comfort levels on one score) as it is empowering (as it is told from the point of view of a female warrior); thus I stumbled into the world of “Imago” by Lorna Suzuki.

Acquired Samplers By:

Chapter Samplers for her Imago Novels provided for free download by the author, Lorna Suzuki via her Smashwords Author’s Page. The samplers are complimentary of the author, Ms. Suzuki to encourage readers to become familiar with her writing style, character, and the breadth of where her fantasy novels will lead a reader to journey ahead of purchase. I was not obligated to post a review nor share my opinions of the chapter samplers I downloaded; as I elected to do this for my own edification. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Why my curiosity was piqued: 

When I noted the series was referred to as being similar in style and voice as “Lord of the Rings” I knew it was quite the epic story; a High Fantasy with a compelling arc of narrative and driven by character. Character driven stories are my absolute delight to read, however, being that the lead protagonist is a warrior I was quite prepared to encounter a woman with an arduous past rife with potentially intense trauma and recovery; psychologically speaking, I knew most characters writ inside stories of this nature have an uphill climb to recover from what they were afflicted by in their lives.

Mind you the mash-up of saying this was a LOTR + 300 equates out to The Last Samurai; half of me wondered what honestly appealed to me personally as I would run in the complete opposite direction of the 300 film series even if I happily watched the first three Lord of the Rings per release month! (including a *midnight!* release!) There were sequences within the Trilogy (LOTR) films that were a bit mind-numbing (i.e. the battle scenes, for starters) but it was the overall journey of the characters that left me speechless and hungry for each new installment. My heart shattered at the conclusion, as despite knowing where Frodo and Gandalf would end their journey, it still uncorked my emotional heart’s ability to spilt out tears as the credits rolled.

No, what I think drew me to becoming curious about this series was the author’s approach to inspire a reader’s attention, which quite ironically has left her in a sea of controversial feedback! ?? I seriously do not understand the reading public at times. I am a firm believer in ‘more information upfront’ when it comes to stories and the contents of novels. A quick blurb or a shorter showcase (a traditional book review) isn’t going to sway me one way or another because the bones of the story are left to your imagination; that’s a dicey slope! How do you know if you are going to soak inside the story and/or appreciate the tone of the writer’s voice? What if the undertone is underlit too dark? What if there isn’t enough light to hold you into their vision?

I often lament IRL (and as the occasion arises virtually) the reason I was drawn to being a book blogger is because I wanted to blog my heart out about the stories that soak inside my imagination. I want to write down the bones and flesh out the pulse of what inspired me to ‘stay within’ the writer’s world. To cultivate an open conversation about what moved me, what staid with me, but most of all, how I was left impressed by the characters, the arc of the character’s journey, and what was left within me once the story was put down. (or you could read what I said on my Introduction Post!)

If something takes me ‘out of the story’ or if the pace and/or flow of the narrative itself is disrupted by an oppressively heavy amount of vulgarity (read my Review Policy) or there are choices where the level of (graphic) violence sickens me to my stomach rather than curates a plausible reason for inclusion (clarified: violence in moderation for sake of action/trauma/plot point/back-story etc; not explicit for explicitness sake!); then I will equally be as open about these ruminations as I am gushing about why the story left me with pieces of it’s essence firmly etched into my memory.

Like most readers, I have my own barometer — I have stumbled across stories that on the surface contradict what I wrote inside my Review Policy; as there are ‘exceptions’ to this rule of mine, as most will find they have their own exceptions to the general advisory of which stories they will accept whilst reading and which stories they cannot read, irregardless of the story’s best intentions to capture your interest. I attempt to keep an open-mind on which stories alight on my path, either due to the ‘timing’ of their discovery and/or the storyline itself; there are numerous inter-connections between one story to the next, to see the path of our reading lives intersecting with our path at a moment where a story was meant to be read or put down for another time. It is a mindfulness to become aware of stories giving us this tangible connection to the world’s creative conscience inasmuch as the art of the craft behind how the stories are written and revealed to us. Read More

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Posted Wednesday, 4 February, 2015 by jorielov in Book Spotlight of E-Book (ahead of POD/print edition), Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Canadian Literature, Cliffhanger Ending, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Domestic Violence, Elves & the Elven, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Folklore and Mythology, Heroic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Inspiring Video Related to Content, Light vs Dark, Lyrical Quotations, Martial Art History, Methodology of Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Psychological Abuse, Realistic Fiction, Sampler Chapters &/or Excerpt of Novel, Self-Published Author, Sudden Absence of Parent, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense, The Deep South, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Writing Style & Voice