Category: History

Author Interview | Conversing with Rojé Augustin about her poetic dramatic release: “Out of No Way: Madam CJ Walker & A’Lelia Walker”

Posted Wednesday, 28 October, 2020 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva. Updated version July 2020.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I love seeking out Biographical Historical Fiction stories in order to better understand the persons who’ve lived before me and to have an interpersonal glimpse into their lives – which is why I seek out an equal amount of Biopics in motion pictures to watch as well. This is how I came to watch the Netflix original mini-series “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam CJ Walker”. (see also Wikipedia) Coincidentally, this aired whilst I was preparing my interview questions for this blog tour and thankfully it gave me an inside glimpse into the back-history of what inspired this poetic drama by the author.

Those of us on the tour received a PDF copy of the story by Ms Augustin – as you know, due to my chronic migraines, I cannot read stories electronically but I do sometimes read chapter samplers of stories online to gather a bit about a writer’s style and to better understand what the story might yield in print when I go to read it in a format better suited for me. In this instance, as I was moving through the PDF to find a section to preview for my interview questions I noticed there are photographs included with this story. I wanted to post an advisory on my tour stop that if you are a sensitive reader one photograph did concern me as it actually shows a lynching which I was not personally expecting to be included myself.

Outside of that photograph, the few sections I previewed helped inspire this conversation and I was thankful to have this copy of the book to use in my research to present a better rounded picture of what inspired the poet to create this dramatic story about the Walkers and how the Walkers are continuing to inspire everyone who finds their story. This is a well-timed conversation as many are still watching “Self Made” and I know others are regularly chatting about Madam CJ Walker and the impact she had on both industry and women-led companies who re-wrote what a woman can accomplish in whichever endeavour of business she chooses to become involved and find success.

I found watching “Self Made” to be an incredible story of both internal strength and belief in one’s self to pursue your own dreams and goals in life whilst embracing the fortitude one needs as a woman to achieve the impossible in a male-dominated world. There is so much truth in this mini-series about what women have faced in different generations to overcome the oppression of yesterday – it is a rising light of how hard we have had to fight for what we have as women of industry as much as how hard it is to build a brand when the concept for the brand isn’t one that everyone wants to embrace.

I loved the fact Octavia Spencer had the lead role in bringing Madam CJ Walker to life as I loved her performance and her instincts for telling Walker’s story. I have long admired her acting and am wicked thankful she is now in high demand as she deserves to continue to get these kinds of roles where she can shine such a wonderful light on the characters I feel she was bourne to portray! She’s just a wicked good actress and its a delight to see her in roles which I feel are strengthened due to how she’s approached them as an actress.

I also feel we are undeserved as both readers and citizens not to embrace more of the diversity of our country and of the persons who have made historical impacts on our society. We have such a beautiful diverse citizenship and yet, a lot of the historical stories which need to be told are never brought to light. I am thankful Walker’s story is finally coming into the mainstream in order to reach a broader audience but I have always maintained we need more stories about living histories of all persons in our country’s past in order to have a better rounded view of our History. All voices and lives need representation and all lives are important to be heard and shared.

It is an absolute joy for me to highlight the life and history of Madam CJ Walker and to share this interview on the blog tour celebrating her life and story. I hope you will walk away with some inspiration for your own life as much as have a better understanding of what Madam CJ Walker had to endure in order to reach for her dreams and bring to reality the world she saw in her dreams.

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Author Interview | Conversing with Rojé Augustin about her poetic dramatic release: “Out of No Way: Madam CJ Walker & A’Lelia Walker”Out of No Way
Subtitle: Madam CJ Walker and A'Lelia Walker : A Poetic Drama
by Rojé Augustin
Source: Author via Poetic Book Tours

Author, producer, and emerging poet Rojé Augustin has written a groundbreaking debut collection of dramatic poems about hair care entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker and her daughter, A'Lelia. Rojé's singular and accomplished work is presented through the intimate lens of the mother-daughter relationship via different poetic forms — from lyric to haiku, blackout to narrative. (One poem takes its inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven.) Written in tribute to Walker, Out of No Way deftly and beautifully explores themes of race, motherhood, sacrifice, beauty, and the meaning of success in Jim Crow America.

Born Sarah Breedlove to former Louisiana slaves in 1867, Madam C.J. Walker was orphaned at seven, married at 14, became a mother at 17, and was widowed at 20. After the death of her first husband, Sarah moved to St. Louis with her daughter where she earned $1.50 a day as a washerwoman. When her hair started falling out she developed a remedy and sold her formula across the country. In the process, she became the wealthiest Negro woman in America.

Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Poetry & Drama, Women's Studies


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Published by Self Published

Format: epub | PDF editon

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Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

NOTE: I do want to advise readers about a content warning in regards to a photograph inclusive of this release which does show a lynching which took me by surprise as well.

Converse via: #NonFiction, #Biography and #Poetry Drama
& #MadamCJWalker and #ALeliaWalker

About Rojé Augustin

Rojé Augustin

Rojé Augustin is a native New Yorker who grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Her first novel, The Unraveling of Bebe Jones, won the 2013 National Indie Excellence Award in African American fiction. She wrote the novel while living in London and Sydney as a stay-at-home-mom. Rojé continues to work as a producer while also writing in her spare time. She currently lives in Sydney with her husband and two daughters.

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Posted Wednesday, 28 October, 2020 by jorielov in A'Lelia Walker, African-American History, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Dramatic Poetry, Indie Author, Madam CJ Walker, Memoir, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Poetic Book Tours, Poetry, Vignettes of Real Life

An Audiobook Review during #RIPXV | “A Lock of Hair” by A. Rose Pritchett, narrated by Melanie Huesz

Posted Saturday, 12 September, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring, knitting and playing solitaire agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions.

Through hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions, I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods. Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue wherein I can also request new digital audiobooks to become added to their OverDrive selections. Aside from OverDrive I also enjoy having Audible & Scribd memberships as my budget allows. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I have been able to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year since 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “A Lock of Hair” via Audiobookworm Promotion who is working with A. Rose Pritchett on this blog tour in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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A Q&A with the author A. Rose Pritchett

I would normally compile questions for an author to respond to whilst hosting a blog tour, however due to the amount of personal stress & adverse medical emergencies in my family recently, I honestly had forgotten to submit questions to Ms Pritchett. Thereby, I chose a selection of the questions she responded to which were based on questions Ms Jess asked herself as I found her replies to fit in-line with topics I would have broached myself if I had had the chance to ask her questions of my own.

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Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.

Pritchett responds: When I first published my book a year ago, I knew I wanted to turn it into an audiobook, but didn’t know how to go about it. It seemed expensive and I already invested so much into editing and publishing. Then, after some research, I discovered that ACX has a royalty-share program, which means that I pay nothing upfront, but just split my royalties with the narrator. I auditioned a few narrators, and ended up choosing Melanie Huesz because she gave each character a unique voice, which I knew was a major challenge. After all, there are characters from Boston, Ireland and the South. Some are young, some are old, and one has Down Syndrome. After a couple months of back-and-forth, we got an audiobook produced.

Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?

Pritchett responds: Mildred’s dog, Nightshade, is inspired by my dog, Isabel. Even though they’re different breeds, Nightshade acts a lot like Isabel. Also, I took a Meyers-Briggs test from Mildred’s POV for the heck of it, and she’s an INFJ like me, so there’s that.

How do you manage to avoid burn-out?
What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?

Pritchett responds: Contrary to popular advice, I don’t write every day. A lot of times, I’ll switch my focus to one of my many, many hobbies. In fact, part of my routine on days that I write is to take a break to draw or cross stitch, just to be away from the screen. I also allow myself to take “lazy days”, which are days (usually Sunday) where I just do nothing at all except watch cheesy movies and play Sims. It gives my mind a rest so that I’m not half-dead the next time I stare at the little blinking line on the blank screen.

What’s next for you?

Pritchett responds: I have a completed draft of my second book set during WW2 that I’m trying to get published, and I’m currently working on my third book, which is a fantasy that I’m really in love with. I’ve also dabbled in screenplay writing, with a pilot for a miniseries inspired by my childhood growing up in the restaurant industry and a script that I’m working on-and-off based on my experiences going from my preppy middle school to my arts high school (total culture shock!). All of my works have the same snarkiness that A Lock of Hair has.

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An Audiobook Review during #RIPXV  | “A Lock of Hair” by A. Rose Pritchett, narrated by Melanie HueszA Lock of Hair
by A. Rose Pritchett
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Melanie Huesz

Boston, 1846. Eighteen-year-old Mildred Parish, a barber's daughter, practices practical witchcraft using locks of hair obtained from her father's customers. She's very selective about who knows her secret and the kinds of spells she casts. Only people she trusts can know, and she must never cast a spell to harm another person.

One of her father's clients is Theodore O'Brian, an Irish immigrant whose family is fortunate enough to be wealthy. Mildred is head over heels in love with him, but he's destined to be with someone else. One day, a woman named Trinity Hartell comes knocking on Mildred's door. She has a vendetta against an entire family and wants Mildred to cast a death spell on them. The family? The O'Brians, including Theodore. Mildred refuses, but Trinity is set on getting what she wants, one way or another.

Mildred now feels she must protect the O'Brian family and the man she loves, but she must also protect herself. How can she make sure Trinity is stopped without telling the entire city of Boston that she's a witch?

Genres: Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Women's Fiction


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B089YD7759

Published by Self Published

on 11th June, 2020

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 6 hours and 7 minutes (unabridged)

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Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #AudioReads, #Audiobook and #AudiobookwormPromotions

as well as #HistoricalFiction and/or #HistFic

About A. Rose Pritchett

A. Rose Pritchett

A. Rose Pritchett's writing career started in kindergarten when she daydreamed about being a fairy princess instead of learning subtraction. Her childhood obsession with American Girl turned her into an avid history lover.

At seventeen, she moved from her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, to Savannah, Georgia, where she earned her BA in writing with a history minor from Georgia Southern University. She continues to live in Savannah, still daydreaming about princesses wearing gorgeous dresses. A LOCK OF HAIR is her debut novel.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Saturday, 12 September, 2020 by jorielov in 17th Century, African-American History, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host, Boston, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Down Syndrome, Equality In Literature, Historical Fiction, History, Indie Author, Self-Published Author, Special Needs Children

Author Interview | In conversation discussing the #AnnaBlanc series whilst highlighting portions of the third installment “The Body in Griffith Park” with the author Jennifer Kincheloe

Posted Thursday, 20 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Guess whose had the joy of interviewing one of her favourite Cosy Historical Mystery writers!? Yes, that would be Jorie! I had planned to listen to this third installment of the #AnnaBlanc series on audiobook – as it has become a bit of a tradition now – per each new release, wherein I was able to first read the story in print and then watch how the lovely Moira Quirk retransitioned the story into a beautiful rendition of giving us a stage worthy performance of Anna as we’ve come to know her through the imagination of Ms Kincheloe!

I’ve had the pleasure of hosting her during my chat @SatBookChat (in 2019) whilst keeping in step with her series ever since I first spied it as a book I could request from Seventh Street Books – it was my first choice and I still stand behind what drew me into Anna Blanc’s life & world! There was something immediately connective about how the vision for this series was fusing to the idea of what I felt the series would become – as soon as I dug my heels into “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc” – I was a goner!

I was wickedly excited about this independent & spirited young woman who was determined to live her life on her own accords and never let into the pressures of her society. Anna has become a heroine for all women who are striving to raise their voice, stand their ground and be the unique light they are free to be in a world who might not be ready for their individualism. And, for me – that is what carries through the series itself.

Whenever I re-engage with the series through Ms Quirk’s narrations – I find myself noticing subtle things I might have either a) overlooked or b) not have noticed the first go-round of reading this series in print. Her performance has instincts about how to draw out the characters in a truthful way of representing each of their unique personalties whilst bridging the world of Anna Blanc and the pacing of her life into our own readerly lives in the manner of performance only audiobooks can grant a reader.

I still fully intend to listen to this installment – I am awaiting renewing my #Scribd subscription in *March!* as I had a small bit of downtime whilst focusing on my health & wellness these past several months. I was grateful to see it was available on the streaming audiobook site because of how I had originally attempted to get it placed inside my regional library via a purchase request for OverDrive. I will never quite understand the issues facing libraries with how some audiobooks are just not available to be purchased or added to their collections. This is a continual issue as I even learnt the new Clare Chase novel isn’t able to be acquired either which has left me pensively museful about the situation overall.

For the audiobook blog tour – rather than removing myself from the line-up – I decided to host an Author Interview as I never tire of learning more “behind-the-book!” secrets of Anna Blanc nor would I ever tire of talking about a series I truly LOVE to read! I am hoping through this conversation – you might walkaway with a few more keen insights of your own and perhaps, if you haven’t given Anna a chance to entertain you – perhaps this interview might convince you – its high time to start @ the beginning and properly “meet” Anna Blanc!

Without further adieu : brew your favourite cuppa & enjoy the convo!

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why i enjoyed reading “The Body in Griffith park”

You have to love Anna’s spunk – if she’s typing nonsensically at her typewriter or asking the most off the chart curious enquiries from Joe (such as every notation of insight she has on flowers!) – she finds the balance between being completely devoid of the requirements of her job and the spontaneity of fiercely believing she has what it takes to succeed as a detective who breaks the rules but maintains a high success rate of closed cases. In a nutshell, what isn’t to love about Anna Blanc? Stepping back into her shoes is like going home – you know your going to be on this wicked adventurous ride where only her compass knows the route you’ll traverse but ooh, the memories once you return from the experience is worth the anxieties of knowing you’ll get into the fire alongside Anna!

Betwixt the joy of finding her own case to investigate and the dalliance she’d love to have with Joe, Anna once again finds herself pulled into two different directions. Happily self-taught and well read on criminological topics of insight, Anna has the tendency to be a few steps ahead of both Joe and the other detectives in how she pieces together not just the scenes of the crimes she wants to solve but the methodology of how those crimes were left behind to be found. This is where the series is a joy to be reading because you get to see inside her process for sleuthing inasmuch as seeing her disdain at being re-directed by Matron Clemens into more ‘matronly duties’ she was hired to achieve.

Although emboldened by her choices for independence from her father (and family) – her choices do have after effects on her heart, if you take into consideration how much Anna still worries about the conditions of her father’s business affairs and what the choices she made in her own life might have reverberated into his own trials of tribulation. I was firmly against the antics of her father, as he had such a controlling interest in pushing Anna into a life which would have rendered her miserable but at the same time, the empathy, compassion and love she still has for him shows her own humanity in a light that I am not sure would reflect through his own eyes. And, that shows again the stark contrast how Anna Blanc is different from the rest of the Blanc family.

Never let it be said Anna Blanc is short on ingenuity when it comes to sorting out resolutions to problems which fall outside the normal realms of conventional society! When you reach the section on how she needs to start influencing the lives of streetwalkers who might be open to reformation, the interesting bit is how her original idea is now blooming towards fruition but how the ladies society who was attempting to step forward into this niche of charity outreach found they understand very little when it comes to the needs of working ladies! In true Anna Blanc spunkified fashion, Anna herself has to step forward into the hurdles of balancing the influence of a better path in which the women could hope to embark against and the truthfulness of their station, situation and financial needs. In essence, her answer to that particular problem was wickedly inventive and creatively appropriate!

You never know what kind of folly of joy you’ll find within an Anna Blanc Cosy Historical Mystery – one thing is wickedly certain though – Kincheloe is going to give you a hilarious romp of delight in how she carves out the dramatic crime narrative alongside smitten sleuthers Anna Blanc and Joe Singer! Keeping me fast on me feet and in the delightful joy of her seriously #awesomeauce sense of humour – Kincheloe made an early-on reference to “Bosom Buddies” wherein Anna cloyingly encourages Joe to get his groove together and switch how he presents himself in order to sneak into visit Anna at her flat!

When it comes to serial fiction, there is always a need for newfound adversity, ripples of angst and a dash of the unexpected – scenes and sequences to keep you on your toes, itching to dive into new chapters and to see how things will wick out in the end. For this installment of the series, Ms Kincheloe has expertly given us a heap of strife in regards to the relationship between Joe and Anna! She’s inserted quite a heap of drama into their young lives – given them reason to trust and mistrust each other and to confound each other as well – they move between absolute admiration and devotion to bouts of uncertainty and disillusionment. Their each struggling to find the rhythm of what makes their relationship work and how to fuse their connection stronger when they both like to butt heads like those fierce mountain sheep who lose their hooves!

-quoted from my review of The Body in Griffith Park

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Author Interview | In conversation discussing the #AnnaBlanc series whilst highlighting portions of the third installment “The Body in Griffith Park” with the author Jennifer KincheloeThe Body in Griffith Park
Subtitle: An Anna Blanc Mystery
by Jennifer Kincheloe
Source: Direct from Publisher

Los Angeles, 1908. Anna Blanc is a former so-so socialite, a flailing police matron, and a killer detective.

Ex- heiress, Anna Blanc, is precariously employed by the Los Angeles Police Department, reforming delinquent children and minding lady jailbirds. What she really wants is to hunt criminals and be alone with Detective Joe Singer--both no-nos that could get her fired. On a lover's tryst in Griffith Park, Anna and Joe discover the body of a young gambler. Anna can't resist. She's on the case. With a murder to solve and her police matron duties piling up, a young girl shows up at Central Station claiming to have been raped by a man from Mars. The men at the station scoff, but Anna is willing to investigate. Meanwhile, Anna begins getting strange floral arrangements from an unknown admirer. Following the petals leads her to another crime--one close to home. Suddenly pitted against Joe, Anna must examine her loyalties and solve the crimes, even if it means losing the man she loves.

Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1633885400

ASIN: B0823YYS51

Also by this author: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, The Secret Life of Anna Blanc [audiobook], The Woman in the Camphor Trunk, The Woman in the Camphor Trunk [audiobook]

Series: Anna Blanc


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


Published by Jennifer R. Kincheloe Ltd

on 2nd December, 2019

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 11 hours and 42 minutes (unabridged)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

Converse via: #AnnaBlanc + #HistoricalMystery or #HistMyst

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Posted Thursday, 20 February, 2020 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, #SaturdaysAreBookish, 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, History, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Prometheus Books, Realistic Fiction, the Nineteen Hundreds