Category: African-American History

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

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.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Southern Lit


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781502953797

Series: The Hidden Hills Saga,


Published by Self Published

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.

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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, 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 | “For Your Love” by Beverly Jenkins A story within the small towne of Henry Adams, Kansas; a continuance of the Blessings series!

Posted Sunday, 12 July, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 6 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 “For Your Love” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the publisher William Morrow (an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers), in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

On the delay of this review:

Originally this review was delayed whilst I took ill in June (for a fortnight overall) and was further delayed by a severe batch of lightning storms over the 4th of July. Those storms were so wickedly intense they caused a bit of damage (electrically) and thus, kicked me offline for a good six days solid! Following shortly thereafter were a few more lightning storms, despite the weathermen saying otherwise; I’m a book blogger who reads and blogs about books in tandem, which is difficult to do whilst your facing electrical malfunctions, hissing outlets, power surge aftereffects, unstablised internet connections, and power outage threats. I regret my review was delayed this long but my joy of reading FOR YOUR LOVE is reflected below. I hope the publisher and author will accept my apologies and know how wicked happy I was to be a member of this blog tour!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “For Your Love” by Beverly Jenkins A story within the small towne of Henry Adams, Kansas; a continuance of the Blessings series!For Your Love
by Beverly Jenkins
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours
Narrator: Myra Lucretia Taylor

Return to Henry Adams, Kansas—an unforgettable place anyone would want to call home. . . .

Mayor Trent July and his wife, Lily, are enjoying life as newlyweds and embracing the challenges and joys that come with being adoptive parents to two wonderful boys. But fatherhood has inevitably forced Trent to think about his own birth mother.

Raised by his grandmother Tamar—and, in many ways, the good people of Henry Adams—Trent was blessed with a childhood full of love. But he can't help wondering what happened to the scared teenage girl who gave birth to him. And questions that he's never voiced are now begging to be answered: Who was she? Is she still alive? Why didn't she want him?

Trent has always believed that no good comes from dwelling on the past, especially when you have a loving family, a strong community, and folks who depend on you. But when the past comes to Henry Adams, Trent has no choice but to face it—and the woman who left him behind. The truth will shake his very being and everything he thought he knew about life, love, and the bonds that hold families together . . . but can also tear them apart.

Genres: Heartland Fiction, Women's Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Series: Blessings


Published by William Morrow

on 28th April, 2015

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 304

Length: 8 hours, 40 minutes

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the Blessings series:

No.1: Bring on the Blessings (Book Synopsis on Riffle)

No.2: A Second Helping (Book Synopsis on Riffle)

No.3: Something Old, Something New (Book Synopsis on Riffle)

No.4: A Wish and a  Prayer (Book Synopsis on Riffle)

No.5: Heart of Gold (Book Synopsis on Riffle)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.Published By: William Morrow (@WmMorrowBks),
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #BlessingsSeries + #BeverlyJenkins

About Beverly Jenkins

Beverly Jenkins

Beverly Jenkins is the author of thirty historical and contemporary novels, including five previous books in her beloved Blessings series. She has been featured in many national publications, including the Wall Street Journal, People, the Dallas Morning News, Vibe, and many other publications.

On listening to a small excerpt from the audiobook of For Your Love:

Normally excerpts follow the way in which the story evolves on the page, however, this particular sample skipped the opening bits completely (i.e. they overlooked the Prologue!) and jumped straight into Chapter 1! I had to pause the sample whilst I read the Prologue and then, continued! What I did appreciate about the ARC is the inclusion of the map of Henry Adams; it gave me a nice overview of the towne, and a bit of a precursory curiosity about what I might find as I read the story!

The reading of a will is a time of surprises for most families because there is a measure of assurance knowing that not everything you felt was in order; truly is. Lawyers have the unfortunate pleasure of being on the receiving end of denial stemming out of emotional heartache and anguish, whilst attempting to adhere to whichever news befell the relation at the very end of their time with a loved one and at the start of their grieving. In some ways, funeral homes, solicitors for wills, and medical examiners walk a fine line towards helping all of us deal with what happens after a person passes on whilst attempting to keep the process out of our hands and in their capable ones. A very curious beginning,.. very curious!

I found myself wondering if I might have the chance to get to know Ms Ida in the years prior to her passing in the successive chapters of this series prior to this release? I can see the writing on the wall — I will be ILL’ing the rest of the Blessings series!

Definitely appreciated the cadence of how Myra Lucretia Taylor’s voice etches your mind to alight inside the home of the July’s; she changes her voice to suit each individual character although not just by age but by personality; giving you a strong impression on who they are and how they are interacting. It would be a wicked sweet experience to one day listen to her voice whilst reading this for the second time as I do rather fancy listening whilst reading print books nowadays!

Read More

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Posted Sunday, 12 July, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, Adoption, African-American History, African-American Literature, ARC | Galley Copy, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Bookish Discussions, Brothers and Sisters, Child out of Wedlock, Clever Turns of Phrase, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, Foster Care, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Modern Day, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Mother-Son Relationships, Motherhood | Parenthood, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Orphans & Guardians, Realistic Fiction, School Life & Situations, Scribd, Siblings, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Social Services, Stories of Adoption, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, TLC Book Tours, Twin Siblings, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction

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

Posted Friday, 3 July, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 2 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 “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.

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


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

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

Genres: Historical Fiction, Southern Lit


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Series: P.S. Series


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, 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