Category: Biblical History

#ArbourDay #NonFiction Book Review | “Complexity: The Evolution of Earth’s Biodiversity and the Future of Humanity” by William C. Burger

Posted Friday, 28 April, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

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 “Complexity” direct from the publisher Prometheus Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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musings about the introduction:

Right out of the gate, Burger warmed me to his compassionate view of life when he cross-compared the natural biodiversity of our world with the multicultural diversity of our biped humanity. If you lament about the world at large long enough, there is an incredible girth of biological ancestry percolating all round us. It is not just our footprints and our legacies which are resplendently observational in this world, but there is a depth of evolutionary evidence of how the natural world has progressed forward through millennia and augmented itself to become adaptive and changeable per each environ and region on Earth.

I must admit, part of the reason why I had my eye keenly attached to Paleontology was to understand the back-history of the natural world. When I uncovered AstroBotany a few years ago, it took studying the subject from a completely new point of view and by such, granting a new angle of approach. I think this is why I was originally considering studying Archaeology rather than Anthropology; as although I am dearly interested in culture and traditional heritages of different ethnic backgrounds; one thing has kept constant about my scientific interests: I like to dig into the past and seek out the mannerisms of the how species and humanity lived through the different ages. Inasmuch as I appreciate uncovering the socio-psychological make-up of our own actions, there is a measure of joy in back-tracking through how the natural world has evolved forward through their own timeline.

He breaks down the terms: Biodiversity vs. Complexity as both directly relate to how our understanding of the natural order and presence of everything (human vs natural world) correlate, inter-relate and are individually unique from one another too. Systematically there are intersections of everything and everyone on Earth (as one would naturally observe) but when he mentioned the tundra and the the rain forest, I just smirked! Those were the two biodiverse regions which perked my interest early-on as a child. I loved how uniquely different those regions were and how incredible it was to peer into the wildlife and the natural organisations which called each space their home. The habitats were awe-inspiring for a girl growing into an appreciation for conservation and preservation of natural environs. I was a budding environmentalist before I ever understood the full spectrum of Earth’s fragile balance between ecological preservations and the impact of our human actions. By the age of ten, when I first saw Medicine Man in the theater, you could say it all came full circle and since then, I have been passionately curious about the steps we can take to reduce our industrialism and live more authentically towards a greener tomorrow using upcycling, recycling and natural innovative science to improve our way of life.

Understanding SPECIES:

Growing up in Science class, one of my favourite bits to graduating into seventh grade was starting to get a more scientific foundation on the order of species. My seventh grade teacher had a living biosphere of his own – we had an outside zoo attached to our classroom where farm animals resided in a lovingly cared for pen and where inside, we had aquariums and cages full of small animals which added to the joy of researching natural habitats. It is also where I fell in love with the class hamster but never thought I’d be blessed to take him home. He lived four years, nearly five (impressive for a little guy) and he still has a fond place in my heart. Aside from meeting my first ham-ham of joy, I was eagerly itching to better understand how everything in the natural world was organised and classified. Mind you, for a girl in a classroom full of peers who’d much rather be outside in the sunshine, I was an oddity. I loved being holed up inside my textbook and musing about how everything in nature had it’s own blueprint to identify itself. There was a specific tool set in nature to give you clues and hints towards how everything belongs by genus, species and family. Of course it’s more complex than this, as you can read about in this article but I was simply mentioning I was wicked fascinated by the conception of everything having a particular place in which to belong.

I used to read hierarchical charts like Amateur Ancestry Sleuths read genealogical graphs and family trees! There is a lot of data about how the natural world is understood and broken down into Plants and Animals. The hierarchy is the code which helps you understand the connections and the diverse components of what makes each individual organisation uniquely themselves whilst having a comparatively similar component of another species, too. There are cross-similarities as much as there are inherent differences and I have always wanted to have a better foundation of understanding of how all of this co-relates and diverts into sub-categories of order. To put it a different way, understanding the natural world is similar to having a blueprint of the break-down of genre in Literature. You have sub-genres and sub-categories of interest broken into thematic inclusions and styles of crafting stories together through either Fiction or Non-Fiction. You can spend a lifetime seeking stories moving through genres and generations of writers whose influences continue to shape the literary world. So, too, is the same for understanding the biosphere. You first have to understand how to approach the topic and then, you get to have fun exploring everything that makes Earth bio-diverse as it is right now.

I was quite charmed Burger chose to avoid discussing Insects – as personally, they never interested me in the least! I have a love/hate relationship with Insects overall. Yes, I recognise they have a place in this world but on a truly personal level of honest reflection? I could literally bypass their presence in my life. There are few exceptions to this rule: butterflies, dragonflies and a few others to make my soul smile but in general, the world of insects and I are not on speaking terms.

Plant Diversity | Essential to Biodiversity:

I oft wondered why my peers gave little credit or credence to plant and trees. After all, it wasn’t hard to understand how we are able to breathe (ie. trees are our source of oxygen) but so, too it wasn’t hard to fathom how the flora and fauna in a natural habitat was key to a sustainable habitat for all the lovely creatures who called that local environ their home. I used to be keenly invested in tracing photosynthesis on both land and sea. When it comes to the ocean, the most unique discovery was how life is still adaptively responsive beyond the layer of sunlight penetration where the world is completely dark and absent from the effects of photosynthetic processes. Mind you, those creatures in the deepest layers of the ocean freak me out of my skull! They are straight out of a story of Horror but on the flip side of that coin, it’s not their fault they are structurally horrific to look at as to them, we’re the odd ones who scare them!

Cosmic Complexities:

Since I was a Young Astronaut, I have been especially curious about the Cosmic diversity and complexities of life in the vacuum of space. Partially why I loved spending so much time at my local Science Center was for the joy of uncovering more about life in the universe from our humble observational knowledge back here on Earth. It is also why I have a penchant for reading and writing Hard Science Fiction stories. There is a lot more understanding on the diverse aspects of what makes the environments on the planets so eloquently complex nowadays than even when I was growing up as much more is known. I oft found it curious how at one point in time, Science Fiction was a bit limited in speculating a living environment for planets; as basic science for those locations was still anyone’s educated guess. To find out which of the planets are sustainable for life and which ones are a boiling stew of environmental causticity is quite humourous now.

The irony I felt was that if our Earth is diversely complex and structured, why would we think the Cosmic structure of those planets would be less than our own? Wouldn’t it be a better working theory to acknowledge the planets in our solar system were equally complex to understand if Earth is still being processed, categorised and understood on a fundamental level?

I also liked getting a small grasp of how the other planets keep our planet healthy – I knew there was more to the ‘order’ and ‘distance’ of the planets than what was being shared during my school years. For starters, nothing is coincidental – not in life and not in nature. There are reasons for everything even if we are not entirely clued into those reasons until a day of new understanding alights on our path, which doesn’t discredit there is a purpose for why things simply ‘are’. It was quite curious how the placement of the planets not only effect our planet’s health but they also, effectively alter how each of the planets can thrive in their own unique environments, too. Again, there is more to the world and the universe than what is generally understood. For starters, by what is being explained the very positioning of the other planets create a ‘fail-safe’ for Earth; an invisible protective shield for drawing objects away from us inasmuch as consistently influencing our weather and the cycle of living habitats.

Why Earth is a blessed place to call ‘home’:

Aside from contemplating the spherical dimension of the sky and the curvature of the Earth, I oft contemplated gravity and our inability to realise how gravity itself places such an important role in our lives. The absence of our daily visual observation of how we can walk, stand and run on solid ground is a credit to the hidden metrics of how gravity influences our way of life. However, there are other hidden factors which are indicators of how life on Earth is sustained and able to be generationally increased. Everything from our tilt to our cyclic seasons to how our girth and size allows us to be spread between different climatic zones.

Laughs. When Burger started to talk about ‘plate tectonics’, it reminded me about how my classmates nearly groaned about how I wanted to spend an incessant amount of time discussing the subject! Mostly the science behind this Earthbound marvel is why we study Volcanology and have a ready appreciation for earthquake science which is still in the rudimentary stages of being understood. Interesting new point of insight: plate tectonics re-release carbon dioxide! Now, why did my science teachers leave out that bit of fodder from our chats? It’s a system of purging a surplus of toxic gas if it were to be allowed to continue to collect in places where it’s unhealthy levels would start to interfere with the natural order of our world. Now that’s a new layer of insight past what influences volcanoes and earthquakes and the dynamic shift in topographical elevations!

Religion and Science:

As I have blogged about in the past, my pursuit of Science is from a girl who walks in faith. I am not the first nor the last person who has found common ground in pursuing Science without forsaking her faith. To me, to understand how the universe and Earth are in sync with each other is another extension of understanding the universal truths of where we live. It isn’t to takeaway from religion nor to fully embrace Science without faith; we each walk our own path and make our minds on how best to approach the larger questions which will always be present in our world. (see also Review) Burger adds his two cents on the subject and in effect, leaves the reader to decide where they stand which is the only way to leave it, truly.

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One interesting point in this section of his Introduction is when he stipulated this:

But science is different; it is nothing more than a pragmatic way of trying to understand the world through carefully controlled experiments, the origin and elaboration of biodiversity are historical questions. In these instances we formulate historical scenarios and then seek evidence from nature to support or reject a given scenario. It’s very much like detectives trying to solve a crime.

-quoted from Complexity by William C. Burger with permission of the publisher

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On this vein of thought, the study of Biodiversity is a funneling of retracing the history of the natural world in pursuit to understand where we are today. It is another way of knowing why our natural environment is changing and re-defining itself once more through geological evolution. It’s a mark of historical reference to better understand what happened in the past in order to continue to strive towards a better future.

Land and Sea Variants of Biological Life:

As Burger has concentrated his research and observations to terrestrial entities rather than oceanographic species, he does give a brief interlude about how the ocean is enriched by biodiversity if only as a footnote on the subject. The oceans account for 90% of the living sphere but they contain a radically reduce amount of living organisms when cross-compared to those living on land (ourselves included!). I have known about this for quite a long while – as I spent a bit of time during seventh grade in a different school than the one I hinted about earlier (where I adopted my first hamster). In the former school, where I had spent sixth grade as well; I had a wicked lovely science teacher who taught through experiments and encouraged us to have an independent mind. My second science teacher that year attempted this but fell short a bit due to angst stemming out of devastating budget cuts (ie. he lost all funding to keep his animals). In the first school, my teacher introduced a broad appreciation for the oceans, the currents and the cycle of how the oceans are controlled by the moon and tides. It was a wicked introduction but also, affirming by scale and design: this is when I realised how large 90% of anything truly is in proportion to geologic size. I was developing a healthy interest in oceanography, thermodynamics, geophysics, marine biology and paleooceanology with a small interest in climatology which would increase lateron.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com#ArbourDay #NonFiction Book Review | “Complexity: The Evolution of Earth’s Biodiversity and the Future of Humanity” by William C. BurgerComplexity
Subtitle: The Evolution of Earth's Biodiversity and the Future of Humanity
by William C. Burger
Source: Direct from Publisher

This very readable overview of natural history explores the dynamics that have made our planet so rich in biodiversity over time and supported the rise and dominance of our own species.

Tracing the arc of evolutionary history, biologist William C. Burger shows that cooperation and symbiosis have played a critical role in the ever increasing complexity of life on earth. Life may have started from the evolution of cooperating organic molecules, which outpaced their noncooperating neighbors. A prime example of symbiosis was the early incorporation of mitochondria into the eukaryotic cell (through a process called “endosymbiosis”). This event gave these cells a powerful new source of energy. Later, cooperation was again key when millions to trillions of individual eukaryotic cells eventually came together to build the unitary structures of large plants and animals. And cooperation between individuals of the same species resulted in complex animal societies, such as ant colonies and bee hives.

Turning to our own species, the author argues that our ability to cooperate, along with incessant inter-group conflict, has driven the advancement of cultures, the elaboration of our technologies, and made us the most “invasive” species on the planet. But our very success has now become a huge problem, as our world dominion threatens the future of the biosphere and confronts us with a very uncertain future.

Thought-provoking and full of fascinating detail, this eloquently told story of life on earth and our place within it presents a grand perspective and raises many important questions.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781633881938

Genres: Biological Diversity, Botany, Evolution, Life Science, Non-Fiction, Science


Published by Prometheus Books

on 14th June, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 380

Published By: Prometheus Books (@prometheusbks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback & Ebook

Converse via: #Nature, #Conservation, #Biodiversity + #ScienceBooks

About William C. Burger

William C. Burger

William C. Burger is Curator Emeritus of the Department of Botany at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of the highly acclaimed Flowers: How They Changed the World and Perfect Planet, Clever Species.

Read More

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Posted Friday, 28 April, 2017 by jorielov in #FuellYourSciFi, #JorieLovesIndies, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Asteroid Science, AstroBotany, Biblical History, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book for University Study, Bookish Discussions, Botany, Climate Change, Conservation, Ecology, Education & Learning, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Science, GeoPhysical History, History, Horticulture, Indie Author, Industrial Revolution, Jorie the Writer, Marine Biology, Natural Disasters & Catastrophic Events, Nature & Wildlife, Non-Fiction, Oceanography, Paleontology, Preservation, Prometheus Books, Science, Space Science, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, The Natural World, Upcycle & Recycle Practices

Blog Book Tour | “You’ve Got This” (How to Look UP when Life has you DOWN) compiled by Elise Hahl feat. Al Carraway and Hank Smith

Posted Monday, 14 November, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna

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 “You’ve Got This” 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.

Why I wanted to read this collection of inspiring stories:

I was invited to this blog tour by the author Elise Hahl of whom I was thankful who introduced me to this inspiring non-fiction collection of human interest stories and affirmations of positivity which can inspire teenagers to find courage and strength in their growing years. I find these kinds of collections cross-relatable and cross-applicable – as the wisdom and truth of what is being shared is timeless. When your growing up there are moments where you like to have self-reflection and self-motivating modes of inspiration to guide you on your path. You can have a wonderful support system within your family and/or community but there are times where it is best to withdraw internally and seek out the answers  you’re pursuing through your continuing journey where you lean on your faith most directly.

As I will be adopting out of foster care in the future – I am keenly interested in finding books I will one day be recommending to my children. Either for fiction or non-fiction interests and pursuits as the joy of reading and seeking solace in literature is one of the blessings I want to instill in my children. You can gain so much through books – it’s something that I look forward to sharing with them. Therefore, this is one of those motivational books I was keen to read and become acquainted with in case down the road it would become quite handy to have knowledge of whilst giving me the chance to share it with my child(ren).

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Blog Book Tour | “You’ve Got This” (How to Look UP when Life has you DOWN) compiled by Elise Hahl feat. Al Carraway and Hank SmithYou've Got This
Subtitle: How to Look UP when life has you DOWN
by Al Carraway, Elise Hahl, Hank Smith
Source: Direct from Publisher

Life is tough, but so are you! Learn how to work through life’s trials with advice from popular youth speakers, including Hank Smith and Al Carraway, who have endured a few challenges of their own. This encouraging book will help you see trials as essential stepping-stones to becoming who you’re destined to be.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781462119424

Also by this author: More than the Tattooed Mormon

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


Published by CFI (imprint) Cedar Fort Inc

on 1st October, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 128

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

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

Converse on Twitter via: #LDSFaith and #INSPY #nonfiction

About Al Carraway

Al Fox Carraway

Al Fox Carraway has spent the last four years inspiring the world with her story of conversion, redemption, and finding faith. As a blogger and award-winning public speaker, her message has reached millions. This up-close look at her life will show you what it means to truly trust in the Lord.

Photo Credit: Al Fox Carraway headshot by Beka Price Photography.

About Elise Hahl

Elise Hahl

After serving as a missionary to the Brazil Manaus mission, Elise Babbel Hahl completed her studies in English at Stanford University, married her mission pen pal, and went on to earn a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University. Her work has been published in Choosing Motherhood, Whereabouts: Stepping Out of Place, Education Next magazine, Do NOT Attempt in Heels, and recorded on “The World in Words” podcast. She lives with her husband and four children in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.

About Hank Smith

Hank Smith

Hank Smith has been a full-time religious educator for the Church for 12 years, teaching seminary and in the Religion Department at BYU. Hank is a favorite speaker with Especially for Youth, BYU Education Week, and Time Out for Women. With his trademark sense of humor and his captivating stories and examples, Hank makes it fun to learn gospel principles and strengthen personal testimonies.

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The collection itself is portable – not only for the slimline publication but because it is broken into different sections by each of the contributing authors – each of whom have something unique to share about how their faith re-energised their hope and provided grace in their lives through their adversities. Each of them has a new perspective to offer and a life lesson to impart on the young reader who might be seeking advice but isn’t as sure about the kind of advice that needs to be sought. Sometimes you read inspiring stories just to let you mind wash over something positive even if the pursuit of the story isn’t readily known at the time. Read More

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Posted Monday, 14 November, 2016 by jorielov in Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biblical History, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Christianity, Historical Perspectives, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Inspired by Stories, Lessons from Scripture, Mormonism, Non-Fiction, Questioning Faith as a Teen, Religious History, Short Stories or Essays, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Vignettes of Real Life, World Religions

Blog Book Tour | “The Judgment” by D.J. Niko #Biblical #HistoricalFiction

Posted Friday, 10 June, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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

On how I acquired the book & my connection to the publicist:

I was selected to participate on The Judgment blog tour coordinated by Hook of a Book Media & Publicity, run by a fellow book blogger and friend of mine: Erin Al-Mehairi. I crossed paths with Erin via her book blog Oh for the Hook of a Book when I first started hosting blog tours for historical fiction writers via HFVBTs. Our friendship developed out of a shared passion for riveting historicals with compelling stories and incredibly dimensional characters who felt they could walk off the pages! Friendship aside, as I start to host for her authors my opinions are based solely on the story I am reading for review and are never influenced by my connection to Erin. I take each story I am reading as a new experience whether or not I know the author or publicist directly or have only met them for the first time by accepting a book to review.

I received my complimentary copy of The Judgment direct from the author D.J. Niko in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read ‘The Judgment’:

(initial reaction)

I’ve seen her novels on blog tours, but the timing was never good for me to participate or get involved whilst the tours were progressing. I liked the fact this historical takes place in Ancient History! I’ve been wanting to find authors who write during this section of history, as Biblical Historical Fiction fascinates me! I also love the Ancient Civilisations of Egypt and Rome, whilst learning more about History so far removed from our present world to soak inside something wonderfully different! This was one reason I was so keen to read Stephanie Thornton’s “Daughter of the Gods” which I thoroughly LOVED!

Expanding on my initial joyous celebration of being selected to read my first Niko novel, and thereby my second Biblical Historical novel, I wanted to recaptialise on things I had shared during a blog tour about Women of the Bible: Scripture Princesses by Rebecca J. Greenwood (see Review & the Q&A) wherein I talked about my appreciation for ‘meeting’ some of the remarkable women of the Biblical Historical past. When I first encountered the book blogosphere, I went instinctively to my favourite author’s blogs (i.e. Lauren Willig* & Julie Lessman) before finding The Word Wenches*, Heroes, Heroines & History, and routed myself through the INSPY Fiction blogs which took me to a lot of incredible authors & book bloggers sites alike! I was stumbling across writers for Biblical Historical Fiction along that route as well, except to say, this isn’t a new pursuit of mine!

Going back into my childhood, when I would visit book shoppes quite regularly, seeking a wicked good story that may or may not be designated for my age group (as once I fought to understand how to read, I grew easily bored remaining inside my age group of selections! thus, I read adult novels by thirteen; although I sampled a bit prior to that! there wasn’t such a designated genre to explore like there is today for ‘young adult’.) – thus, I started to fetch an eye of interest for the Biblical fiction authors even back then! At the time, I knew the issues and story-lines facing those characters were going to be difficult to read, so I side-stepped them for lighter INSPY novels – mostly Historical Romance or a story of the Amish, as Amish & Mennonite Fiction always delighted me, as I had a bakery IRL as a teenager run by a local Mennonite family.

My curiosity for this section of literature, was re-inspired by Stephanie Thorton’s novel (as foresaid) but also by the Early Reader introduction by Ms Greenwood! I simply haven’t had the proper chance to sort through what is readily available to read whilst dipping further back into the past, than perhaps, I routinely do! We all have our ‘favourite’ timescapes and settings; for me, I like to continue to challenge myself to even move further back into the past, root out new heroines and heroes of time I may never have heard of or only know by ‘name’ but not on a personal level of saying ‘this person lived this life & accomplished this’.

When I caught sight of the premise behind The Judgment, I felt this was as good of a place as any to continue my journey — reading a story set against the backdrop of Kings would be an easy transition for me, as I spend enough hours wrapped up in the Royal Courts of England (throughout their extensive historical past!) to know a bit about life at court inasmuch as the political potboilers & changing tides that goes along with that kind of a life.

Some (aspects) of the story I know loosely based on lessons I learnt ages ago in Sunday School but I never would say my classes dipped past the superficial acknowledgement of things; hence one of the wrinkles I oft found with Sunday School. We might have been told about King Solomon being a ruler, but the lessons fell flat just as my lessons in school always did as well – names, dates, event markers in time; but never the exploration of who a particular person was or how that person lived or even, what happened between their birth, major event and date of death?

There is so much between ‘dates’ and ‘events’ – this is one reason I have drawn a pleasurable passion in reading Historical Fiction; imagine what is awaiting me in Biblical Historical Fiction!? Not to mention, in this instance it’s partially ‘Biographical Historical Fiction’, too! To say I was excited would be putting it mildly!

*NOTE: As I read across genres, I also read across Mainstream & INSPY literary spectrums; these two were earmarked to say, they were not INSPY but Mainstream. As literature to me is forever all-encompassing. To find out which INSPY authors are marked on my most immediate ‘next reads’ list, please visit my 70 Authors Challenge!

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Notation on Cover Art: It is hard not to readily notice the cover art on behalf of ‘The Judgment’ due to how strong the woman on the cover is portrayed! You immediately think back towards King Solomon’s era of life – where boldness was paramount to power; where women had to endeavour to overcome great odds & find the will to reign even when their heart was not fully invested. It was a time of uncertainty and a time where bold colours are felt to have flourished; thus I felt the make-up choices and the darker lit design befitted the quick impression that flitted to mind after reading the  premise of the story! Once I greeted Basemath in the first Chapter, everything pulled together nicely! It truly is a striking book cover but to match the character is beyond brilliant! Unfortunately for me, I believe my first inclination to believe which character is featured on the cover was mistaken.

Blog Book Tour | “The Judgment” by D.J. Niko #Biblical #HistoricalFictionThe Judgment
by D.J. Niko
Source: Direct from Author via Hook of a Book Media & Publicity

965 BCE

Upon the death of his father, Solomon has been appointed king of the united monarchy of Israel and Judah and charged with building the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. He travels to Egypt to negotiate with Pharaoh Psusennes II for gold for the temple and to improve relations between the two nations. There he falls in love with the pharaoh’s beautiful daughter, Nicaule, and the two kings agree to an arranged marriage. Against her will, for she loves another, Nicaule follows her new husband to Israel.

Forty years later, Solomon’s empire is on the verge of collapse. Power has made him arrogant, permissive, and blind to the scheming of his wife and one of his lieutenants to topple the united monarchy. As the king’s faith falters and his people’s morals collapse, enemies gather at the gates of Israel. A visit from a mysterious queen restores Solomon’s perspective in time to save his soul—but it is too late to preserve his kingdom.

Someone who once was loyal to King Solomon has come back to claim the crown of Israel—and tear Solomon’s empire asunder.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Genres: Ancient Civilisation, Biblical Historical Fiction, Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction


Published by Medallion Press

on 10th May, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 317

Published By: Medallion Press (@medallionpress)

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #TheJudgment, #AncientHistory & #WomenInHistory

+ #BiblicalFiction or #HistFic

Read the Guest Post attached to the blog tour I appreciated the most | The Lit Bitch

About D.J. Niko

D.J. Niko

D.J. Niko is the pseudonym for Daphne Nikolopoulos, an award-winning journalist, author, editor, and lecturer who has spent her entire adult life traveling the world.

As a former travel writer and zealous adventurer, she has visited remote spots on six continents, many of which have inspired her archaeological thriller series, The Sarah Weston Chronicles. She was born and raised in Athens, Greece, and now resides in Florida with her family.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 10 June, 2016 by jorielov in 10th Century BC, 1st Millennium BC, A Father's Heart, Ancient Civilisation, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Israel, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biblical Fiction, Biblical History, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Cover | Original Illustration & Design, Christianity, Content Note, Domestic Violence, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Hook of a Book Media & Publicity, Important Figures of Ancient Times, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Iron Age, King Solomon, Mental Health, Military Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature, Warfare & Power Realignment, Women of Power & Rule

Blog Book Tour | “The Land of Look Behind” by Aaron Blaylock

Posted Monday, 22 February, 2016 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 “The Land of Look Behind” direct from the publisher Bonneville Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

*Note: This novel came with a happy small surprise: the Marketing Manager enclosed his card within the pages of the book and I thought – how clever! On two counts: to have a calling card for a publisher I appreciate reviewing for and hosting their authors, and secondly, it makes a curiously portable ‘bookmark’! I spy the bookmarks for the novels on author blogs and social media feeds but this is as good as that for me! Plus, all the imprints at Cedar Fort are listed and it’s a nice bit of memorabilia for a book blogger who appreciates the publisher.

Why I was curious to read this one:

Mr Blaylock pitched his novel to me before I caught sight of it myself, and through his initial contact with me, I learnt a few insights about how an author reads my Review Policy. In other words, he gave me a lot of lovely compliments and he genuinely understood my selection process as a book blogger! I was quite chuffed to have seen the ‘other side’ of my blog and how what I am leaving behind in this niche of mine is being translated to both readers and authors alike. It was the kind of note your thankful to receive as it introduced you to a new author and allowed you to receive feedback on your own ‘pitch’ to authors who may be seeking a book blogger.

Sharing a portion of my response where I began by explaining why I would be open to reading an LDS focused story-line:

As you might have inferred from my previous Cedar Fort reviews, I’m a non-LDS Protestant but this doesn’t affect how I approach reading LDS Fiction or Non-Fiction as I review both styles on my blog. Quite happily so, as I am finding some of the best fiction today is coming out of Cedar Fort, not just for the discernible adult reader but for young adults and children (as reflected in my Story Vault; you’ll find many CF authors spilt through the genres).

I’m happy to make your acquaintance and I was especially surprised you’ve pitched me your book by going through my Review Request page! That spoke volumes to me on how your approaching your career and your willingness to interact with book bloggers and reviewers. It’s a compliment to you, in other words! Well done.

What drew my eye to CF in the first place was knowing I would be seeking out a wide spectrum of fiction wherein I would find stories that were writ with a gentler voice than most contemporary releases. Herein I refer to my discourse in highlighting the unnecessary need to use vulgarity in telling stories for today’s audience. I never felt I was a ‘clean fiction’ reader until I started to see such a surge of overt instances of both vulgarity and explicit violence (another no-no in my opinion) in stories for young adults and adults alike. For YA I’m quite particular about what I will accept as far as visuals, tone, voice and expression of story even moreso than adult because I believe YA should spare certain inclusions that are rampant in Adult Lit.

I personally love adventure novels, one of the last ones I’ve read was Ian Quicksilver by a fellow CF author; it re-established my desire to read more of it’s kind, as who doesn’t want to jettison off on a quest?  Previously it was Uncovering Cobbogoth that set my sails for seeking stimulating worlds where characters have to overcome an adventurous oft arduous journey.

At first glance, I love how the symbol or crest attached to your world is a watermark addition behind the overlay of text for your title. It’s a very cleverly pieced together book cover, which I will mention on my review.

Ooh! You’ve given me a time slip narrative where I can soak inside two timescapes at once? I love discovering parallel stories where there are two folds to the context of where we’re taken! Hence why I was so very appreciative of reading A Fall of Marigolds (review).

I was quite chuffed realising this novel is centered around your own personal experiences in Jamaica and how you were inspired by the country which hasn’t left your heart. I can relate to this, as I have a personal connection to Mexico and the Mayan ruins, of which I have blogged about on different reviews; giving out a bit of information about my adventures on each one. The latest was on the cookbook Daily Tortilla. (review)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

It should be mentioned Uncovering Cobbogoth was my first blog tour with Cedar Fort and my entrance into wicked sweet adventure fiction for Young Adult Lit! It set the bar high and gave me a new standard of what I was personally seeking inasmuch as what I hoped to find in the genre as a whole. So much of what I loved about Cobbogoth has directly influenced me to understand what I’m looking for the most in other works by authors who are focusing on a young adult audience. Upcoming this year I will be a new contributor to a Steampunk blog wherein I will be reading a heap of Steampunk spilt between my new venture and Jorie Loves A Story. The ones I am hand selecting for the new blog will have a specific list of ‘must haves’ I will be disclosing at a later point in time. The rest I’ll populate on my blog but will save the majority for Sci Fi November and the Sci Fi Experience where I purposely showcase a heap of science fiction loveliness each year (since I started in 2013).

The reason I remain transparent on my blog about my choices of what I read for review and the reasons behind what goes into my process to make a selection is to help my readers understand what first draws my attention first and foremost, but also, to a lesser extent to keep an open dialogue with my readers about what keeps us curious about the books we’re reading and the authors we continuously are discovering who are attempting to inspire us to such a level of an experience we will all but beg for more of the same to continue to enlighten us in their future releases.

As I move further into 2016 and beyond, you will find my selections growing more select as I enter into my Renaissance stage of Jorie Loves A Story. Hence why when an author takes the time to reach out to me via my blog’s Contact Form, by email or directly on Twitter (or through DMs) I take stock of how well they understand my reading life and the way in which I blog my literary adventures. If your an author following a book blogger, don’t shy away from talking to us. We’ll all bookishly geeky in our own ways, why not take the chance to open up a convo with us and see where that conversation might lead?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art and the symbolism of The Land of Look Behind:

On the cover and back cover copy is an embedded symbol which follows into the story itself as it’s on the Chapter Headers (whilst alternating with a second symbol just as important and pertinent to the story-line); the way in which the publisher had it as a textural raised (although subtle) symbol is what originally stood out to me about the cover, as it’s three in one: the image of the adventurer in the cave’s opening going into the light of; the typography of the title of the novel; and this symbol that nearly looked like a watermark from afar. In person it has more of a presence and isn’t flat. As it exists in it’s own dimensional space and draws your eye into being pensive of it’s significance.

It took a bit of digging around the internet but I learnt one important bit of trivia: ‘the land of look behind’ is a direct reference to Jamaica as soldiers used to keep their advantage whilst travelling through the country best by never yielding a look-out point in any one direction. They went so far as to ride horses where both riders were never facing forward as one looked forward as ‘one looked back’. This is gives a bit of new insight to the titling of the novel as I personally did not understand the title at first glance, second look or the third reading of it when I sat to read the story outright.

Blog Book Tour | “The Land of Look Behind” by Aaron BlaylockThe Land of Look Behind
Subtitle: A Jamaican Treasure Worth Dying For
by Aaron Blaylock
Source: Direct from Publisher

Jarvis tried to collect himself.
He needed a plan of action.
Captain Willard had given him strict orders -
but what weight should he give the orders of a dead man?

Three hundred years ago, a soldier named Jarvis journeyed deep into Jamaica and discovered a land of myth, treasure, and danger. Now Gideon, who served in Jamaica as a missionary, returns armed with Jarvis's journal to follow the enigmatic clues with his best friend. But they quickly discover there are forces who would kill to keep the treasure secret.

Travel into Jamaica's treacherous cockpit country in this spine-tingling thriller.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781462117956

Also by this author: , The Unsaid

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Men's Fiction, Thriller, Time Slip and/or Time Shift, War Drama


Published by Bonneville Books

on 1st February, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 320

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks),

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

Converse on Twitter via: #LandOfLookBehind

About Aaron Blaylock

Aaron Blaylock

Born and raised in Arizona, Aaron is proud to call the desert home. He came of age in the suburbs of Sacramento, California and as a missionary in Jamaica, where he fell in love with the people and their culture, but he has always been drawn back to the valley of the sun.

He married his childhood crush, and the girl of his dreams, in 2001. Together they are raising four beautiful and rambunctious children. He worked as a freelance sports reporter for The Arizona Republic for nearly ten years, combining his love of writing and sports. In his storytelling he draws heavily on his love of history, adventure, his faith and his own life experiences.

*NEWSFLASH*

Don’t forget to read my *special announcement*

at the end of this review! Read More

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Posted Monday, 22 February, 2016 by jorielov in 17th Century, 21st Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, African-American Literature, Ancient Civilisation, Art, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biblical History, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Christianity, Content Note, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Perspectives, History, Illustrations for Stories, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Jamaica, Lessons from Scripture, Literature for Boys, Men's Fiction, Military Fiction, Modern Day, Mormonism, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Realistic Fiction, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Time Slip, Treasure Hunt, Warfare & Power Realignment, World Religions

Blog Book Tour | “More than the Tattooed Mormon” by Al Carraway This should have been renamed to better describe the internal light Carraway ebbs out of her spirit and onto the page!

Posted Saturday, 13 February, 2016 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 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 “More than the Tattooed Mormon” 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.

Note:

My copy of this non-fiction release was delayed in reaching me, however it was due to illness (December) and the sudden death of my cat (January) that prevented me from being in a position to review this title prior to now. I am thankful the publisher understood my absence from the blog tour directly and allowed me the grace to pick up this book at a point in time where both my mind and my heart was clear to enjoy reading it at long last.

I decided to write Ms Carraway before I read her book:

When I participate in a blog tour, odds are in good favour I’m going to do a lot of research in regards to the author and the story prior to accepting the tour. Sometimes I take a leap of faith and go blind into reading a book based on a blurb or an expanded synopsis; sometimes it’s the mere idea of what I will find inside a book that is enough to draw my eye curious enough to yearn to read it’s contents. In this regard, I happily wanted to know more about the ‘girl’ outside of the moniker of “Tattooed Mormon” as I had a feeling there was a ‘story’ in of itself within the name!

Through my readings of her blog, I felt compelled to reach out to Ms Carraway on Twitter and happily sat thoughtfully before composing a series of tweets I hoped she see and realise someone was trying to send her a bit of an uplift of joy tucked inside a bit of reassurance.

It reminded me of the random acts of kindnesses I like to give to people in my community, as we never know when we are going to be someone’s light of grace or a shelter in a storm they haven’t yet shared with us. We all need a lift of spirit and a bit of extra joy to help encourage us if we’re feeling a bit low or if appearances get us feeling a bit bogged down. The tweets I wanted to send Ms Carraway were the impressions of a book blogger who was soon to be a reader of a memoir I hoped would become one of my treasured discoveries, as when it comes to real-life biographies and autobiographies; the memoir is slowly becoming my favourite. Especially when it falls into a category of “Creative Non-Fiction” where the voicing of the narrative within reads more easily than traditional non-fiction, as it’s more like reading a story of fiction than a true account of a person’s life.

I don’t remember receiving a reply or seeing her account mark my tweets with a favourite, but I hoped perhaps, even if she only read them in a fleeting glance, in some small way she knew to me she was already ‘more than’ the Tattooed Mormon. She was a woman whose light is brightly shining to everyone who walks a life full of faith and the blessings it bestows to all of us. Rock on, Ms Carraway and never feel like your light is dimmer due to your tatts; if anything they are a happy signal of your artistic spirit and the joy of artistic expression during a time in your past they meant something to you. None of us are limited by appearances or choices we made in the past we might regret lateron; the best we can do is embrace all of who we are and hope that people ‘see us’ rather than ‘see past us’ or ‘through us completely’.

Blog Book Tour | “More than the Tattooed Mormon” by Al Carraway This should have been renamed to better describe the internal light Carraway ebbs out of her spirit and onto the page!More than the Tattooed Mormon
by Al Carraway
Source: Direct from Publisher

Being baptized and following the Lord has made Al's life harder than it ever was before. She endured criticism from friends and family for becoming Mormon. She faced harsh judgements from Church members for her appearance. She gave up everything and felt more alone than she ever had in her life. All because she chose God.

Now she shares an up-close look at how trusting God has led her to places she never expected. As a blogger, YouTuber, and award-winning public speaker, her message has reached millions. Sharing her love of the Savior, Al goes beyond her own conversion and encourages readers to choose God above everything else.

This uplifting book inspires readers to build a true relationship with the Lord that will bring them real, lasting happiness.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781462117208

Also by this author: You've Got This

Genres: Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Women's Studies


Published by CFI (imprint) Cedar Fort Inc

on 17th November, 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 176

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

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

Converse on Twitter via: #TattooedMormon, #BookOfMormon, & #LDSFaith

#INSPY #nonfiction

About Al Carraway

Al Fox Carraway

Al Fox Carraway has spent the last four years inspiring the world with her story of conversion, redemption, and finding faith. As a blogger and award-winning public speaker, her message has reached millions. This up-close look at her life will show you what it means to truly trust in the Lord.

Photo Credit: Al Fox Carraway headshot by Beka Price Photography.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

I would imagine the Ms Carraway I met inside More than the Tattooed Mormon would be the very same woman I’d meet in person. Her personality is electric and it leaps off the page as if she is standing right beside you and chattering with you about her life’s story rather than having a copy of a transcript version of that story in your hands. I wanted to wait to pick up her book when I had come through the stressfulness of the past few months with a clearer mind where I could soak inside her memoir and appreciate reading it with genuine interest. Read More

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Posted Saturday, 13 February, 2016 by jorielov in Ancient Civilisation, Art, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biblical History, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Calligraphy, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Children's Literature, Christianity, Creative Arts, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Historical Perspectives, History, Illustration for Books & Publishing, Illustrations for Stories, Important Figures of Ancient Times, Indie Art, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Inspired by Stories, Juvenile Fiction, Lessons from Scripture, Literature for Boys, Mormonism, Naturalist Sketchings, Non-Fiction, Re-Told Tales, Religious History, Short Stories or Essays, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, World Religions