Category: Balance of Faith whilst Living

+Book Review+ Debut novelist Brenda S. Anderson gives readers a heartfelt story of redemption in “Chain of Mercy” (Book One: Coming Home Series)

Posted Sunday, 18 May, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

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Chain of Mercy by Brenda S. Anderson

Chain of Mercy by Brenda Anderson

Published By: Winslet Press () 7 April, 2014
Official Author WebsitesSite | Twitter | Facebook | Pin(terest) Boards
Active in Book Blogosphere: Personal Blog
+ Guest Blogger @ Inkspirational Messages

Available Formats: Softcover
Page Count: 360

Converse on Twitter: #ChainOfMercy & #ComingHomeSeries

#ChristianFiction, #InspirationalFiction#ChrisFic, #ChristIndie & #cleanromance

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Acquired Book By: I answered a call to become a member of Ms. Anderson’s Author Street Team which was posted on her blog in March 2014. She accepted me as part of her Street Team, whereby I am one of her early readers who has the opportunity to read her novels a bit ahead of their published release or just after their release date. I received a complimentary copy of “Chain of Mercy” direct from the author herself, Brenda S. Anderson in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comOn how I know Brenda S. Anderson: Before I was a book blogger, I was a happy-go-lucky blog commenter who loved to visit bookish blogs around the book blogosphere, sharing the joy of reading and blissfully spending time soaking up the booklove the bloggers would knit into their blogs! Through my wanderings in late 2012 and into the early bits of 2013, I stumbled across quite a few author-driven book blogs in both the mainstream and inspirational fiction markets. One author I was pleasantly thrilled to bits to discover was a writer in pursuit of a publishing contract for her novels: Ms. Brenda S. Anderson hailing from Minnesota and of whom has the sweetest personality you’ve ever been graced to find in the blogosphere! Her encouragement on behalf of fellow writers always warmed my heart, as she gets as giddy as I do about upcoming book releases and truly celebrates each milestone another author is experiencing! I felt as though I had found a kindred soul in that regard, as we were both #bookcheerleader(s) before I ever thought to create the tag!

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her through her blog as much as I am a member of her Author Street Team. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time.

Previously I was able to describe exactly why I am drawn into stories knitted together with powerful honesty and an exercise in a faith-based lifepath. Let me copy the paragraph which also applies to why I appreciate Ms. Anderson’s style of writing as she is now firmly in my heart alongside Ms. Lisa Wingate for whom this paragraph was originally on her behalf:

I applaud strong characters who embark on a journey, whether internal, spiritual, or in life. Pieces of the premise reminded me a bit of a Hallmark Christmas film I tend to see during the holidays, starring Richard Thomas, “The Christmas Box”. I love when characters are set up to be in a place they are not intending to stay for a long period of time, yet the place they find themselves is the very place a transformation can occur. That is always powerful to read or watch, because there is such a hearty breath of living truth to the stories! Each of us are walking through life as best we can, growing and learning as we move forward, and never quite knowing when God has an alternative course in mind to restore something to us that has become lost or hidden from view. quoted from my disclosure of connection to Lisa Wingate on my “The Prayer Box” book review

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Book Synopsis:

They forgave him for the accident that killed their son, but he will never forgive himself. Manhattan businessman Richard Brooks was at the top of the world, drunk with success, wealth, and women. Until one disastrous evening, when his world came crashing down. Richard flees to Minneapolis where he repairs ancient boilers instead of solving corporate problems, and he’s determined to live the solitary life he now deserves. But Executive Sheila Peterson has other plans for the handsome custodian. Richard appears to be the perfect match for the no-strings-attached romance she’s after, but she soon discovers that he’s hiding more than the designer suits in his closet.

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Brenda S. Anderson
Author Photo Credit: Portraits from the Heart

Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty, life-affirming fiction that offers hope and reminds the reader they’re not alone. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is currently President of the ACFW Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball (Go Twins!), and she loves watching movies with her family. She resides in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband of 26 years, their three children, and one sassy cat. Her début novel, Chain of Mercy, Book #1 in the Coming Home series, comes out on April 22, 2014, and Pieces of Granite, the prequel to Chain of Mercy, is scheduled to release on September 16, 2014!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comRealistic Fiction by honest portrayal of turmoil:

What I appreciated from the moment I started reading Chain of Mercy, is that I knew that I was going to go through a story where the lead characters would not only have to handle life-altering choices in regards to parenthood but they would have to dig deeper to re-set the internal balance of their soul’s spirit. A person can walk a thin line towards redemption and forgiveness, but surely the worst battle to win is not even the act of accepting grace, but the choice in letting go of what cannot be changed, resolved, or fixed. There are parts of everyone’s past where we might want to go back and opt to do something differently, but the one part about the past is simply that: it is past and done.

Humans have the hardest difficulty to understand that full acceptance of where you are on your lifepath is that you have to acknowledge the threads of your own tapestry. You have to accept each stumbling block, each diversion of your plans, and each wrong choice you made whilst you were doing the best you could at the time in which you erred. No one is perfect on Earth, but the hardest part for any of us is recognising our fragility and our humanity. Being human is the greatest gift we are given, but with it comes a swath of emotions which are not easy to reconcile nor overcome. I would suspect that the circumstances where we might have played a minor role in the outcome to the level that the full outcome was left for someone else to decide is even the worst of all because inside that hour of despair there is not a single thing anyone can do to sway the other opinion towards a different outcome.

Tackling real-life choices such as determining what to do when you arrive at an unexpected pregnancy and a conception of a child out-of-wedlock is a bold choice for any author, but especially I think in Inspirational Fiction as I still stand by what I said in the supplemental Author Interview to this book review. There is another element of real-life conflict that I am not going to disclose as it will reveal too much of the character (Richard Brooks) story arc, and yet, this other element is just as strong of a topic of interest to the former! Not every author would have taken on either of the subject matters, but I always feel not every author would have been the right choice to tell the story. Anderson has a gift for rooting out the heart of what is wrong inside each of her character’s lives, but it is her deft hand to guide the reader and the character through their journey that I celebrated the most within the context of Chain of Mercy!

My Review of Chain of Mercy:

Richard Brooks is a man whose downtrodden soul does not believe he’s warranted mercy to enter his life anymore than happiness. His mind and spirit is bogged down in the remembrance of his mistakes and how those mistakes placed him in circumstances that would allow society to judge him by actions rather than the changes he made in the present. A man with a mind for business gave himself the displeasure of choosing the wrong relationship which cast his attention off his duties as a power player in a firm long enough to be unabashedly dismissed.

In this single act of a life shift moment, he not only weighs the absence of redemption of his past indiscretions but the measure of how far he must go to overcome the guilt he carries in his soul. A man’s emotional baggage and guilt infested conscience can cause far more harm in the long-term than most are willing to admit. His path spilt in half – where two guttingly difficult incidents erupted into his everyday hours causing him the most pain of his soul. The story is half hinged to his present life where he is attempting to rise like a Phoenix whilst part of him is unable to shift out of the past completely living his life through a mess of ashes. The juxtaposition is strongly supported by how the narrative shifts back and forth in the threadings of where Richard is in the present and of whom he was in the past. Including the shifting perspectives of his previous girlfriend with that of his current.

Choices which can alter the course of an individual’s life is one aspect of humanistic turmoil but a choice in which affects three lives at once, where one individual makes the decision without the consult of a second is by far the hardest to reconcile. Especially if the third life is a child not yet bourne, and the second is a father who was never fully given the chance to fill his role in the child’s life nor the mother’s whose only motivation is to abort a life not planned. I cannot even imagine what Richard Brooks went through realising that it wasn’t a violent act of crime which would end the life of his child nor would it be an act of domestic violence which brought a child into his life. No, it would be the choice of whether or not to accept an unexpected blessing at a time in life when other plans had already come into action. Watching Brooks’ anguish over the choice made by his girlfriend which did not match his own heart’s will is the centerpiece of the story. Understanding his perspective of how an act of lust can lead to an act of love (through conception) and then pulled out from under him by a woman whose scorn was lit aflame by selfish preservation is a gutting punch to the conscience.

What is appreciated in the path Anderson took to tell the story is that both sides of the argument on Women’s Rights and the Women’s Right to Choose are explained, identified and explored through different points of view of equal merit. She doesn’t allow you to take sides initially because she wants to be honest in the representation of what real counterpart people of her characters are facing during the same moments where their lives intersect the characters. She even takes a different approach on the topic depending on which character is in the driver seat of the conversation. For this, I applaud her ability to remain neutral as a narrator as oft-times a writer’s own voice can narrate where the direction of the story will head next.

Yet his revelation of his girlfriend’s choice is the tipping stone of what would happen next, as it was a catalyst of where he would take his own actions and what would become of a night lived in shadows. Guilt takes all forms and snakes into our conscienceness if we allow it to overtake our sanity. Richard Brooks found a way to chain irrevocable absolution to his past and thus allowing him the sanction of a living purgatory bent on anguished nightmares of what he could not accept as his own living truth.

The story isn’t a work of judgement but rather an exploration of a living truth: come what may in our lives we are still able to be forgiven even if for choices that we feel are the ultimate sacrifice of receiving forgiveness. No one has the right to judge anyone else, not on the level of where they stand on this topic of political and sociological charging narrative but what can be spoken about is how we choose to handle what life presents us. We can choose our attitudes on how we survive what happens to us in life and we can choose how we will walk forward even when we no longer feel we have the ability to walk at all. That is the strength of the story in Chain of Mercy, in seeing how the fragments can be put back together and how nothing is ever truly lost if we are willing to remain humble.

The hidden beauty of the life affirming message knitted into Chain of Mercy is that all three principal characters (Richard Brooks, Sheila Peterson, and Meghan Keene) are each walking their own path towards self-acceptance, self-forgiveness, and ache for a redemptive measure of mercy and grace none of them believe they deserve. It is how they are all threaded together and how their individual lives are interwoven into the plot that left me wanting to turn each new page to see what was coming along next! Brooks own walk of faith can easily be translucently applied to the other two as each of these three characters reached cross-roads whilst their own lives intersected with each other.

 

A notation on Anderson’s writing style:

What endeared me to the story is Anderson’s compelling way of knitting a realistic story-line set in the modern era and yet denote a hint of a layering of complexity which speaks directly to the human condition to persecute rather than accept self-forgiveness. In the opening chapters, I knew knowingly Richard Brooks was about to embark on one incredible character journey towards self-acceptance and spiritual renewal.

I loved reading the natural world symbolism stitched into the secondary main character Sheila Peterson as it was not only reflective of her unique personality, but a harkening to how we all need to remember to slow down and appreciate what is around us. What I had not realised in those early chapters is that the symbolism of nature and of slowing down was a bit of a foreshadowing of coming events and tides. In regards to Brooks, our past is never an edification of our future nor can our past ever truly shackle us inside its steadfast hold — unless we allow the darkness of bad choices convince us that we are not redeemable from the errors in judgement which besotted our minds with nauseous unease.

I even enjoyed how the flashbacks to the past were represented by text in italics which creatively fit into the regular pace of the story. Sometimes I find flashbacks and/or time slips do not always correlate to the dialogue or the narrative as they can come across as being a jolt out of step. Anderson fuses the flashbacks to the moment in the story which would give the reader the most advantage at connecting with Richard Brooks and the anguish of why he believes he has to live without mercy, grace, and forgiveness.

The reason why I enjoy reading books by Dee Henderson, Julie Lessman, Deeanne Gist, Lisa Wingate, Susan Meissner, and now Brenda S. Anderson is due to the new approach in Inspirational Fiction being rooted in open honesty of real-life circumstances yet grounded in faith, hope, and charity of spirit. These are the authors and women I applaud and seek out as they are the women I could read their back-list and new releases completely enraptured by their stories. They each have their own individualistic style, voice, and choice of time and setting, yet within their stories I breathe in an inspiring breath of calm. The first two authors I mentioned were the foundation of why I wanted to undergo my 70 Authors Challenge, in which I am challenging myself to read 1-5 books by the Inspirational Authors you will find in my sidebar under the challenge countdown badge. I have been slightly delayed in getting my challenge off the ground, but this novel combined with “The Prayer Box” and “A Fall of Marigolds” has inspired me to pick up where I’ve left off! Further details shall follow soon. Stories like these which seek to invigorate and inspire the spirit and heart are always ones that I will fully support.

When Ms. Anderson says she writes ‘gritty fiction’ she is referring to the fact she likes to dig deeper than the superficial layering of telling a story. She likes to go directly into a character’s soul and walk of faith, rooting out their emotional and psychological stability or instability if the case might be, in order to best show the growth and spiritual awakening they need to embark towards. For some it is a spiritual renewal and for others, it’s an awakening because they never gave themselves the proper credit towards understanding God in the first place. She breathes honesty and raw emotions into the context of her stories, and her vision for her characters is realistic humility in recognition of everyman’s faults, fragilities, and sensitivities. She organically digs deeper to tell a more compelling and openly captivating story which pulls you in from page one and does not leave your heart even after the last page is turnt; the story fully absorbed and known. She is most definitely an emerging voice in Inspirational Fiction to keep an eye out for new releases and a finger-tap on interlocking book series!

She maintains the spirituality of Christianity in a gentle way of allowing you to oversee the character going through the motions of returning to a God-centered life which is cross-referenced by light commentary of scriptures and affirmations of God’s grace. It is through the lessons of her character’s actions that the greatest arc of spirituality is found.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com This author’s Interview is courtesy of the Author’s Street Team:

Brenda S. Anderson
Author Photo Credit: Portraits from the Heart

For which I am blessed and thankful to be a part of!

Previously I interviewed Ms. Anderson on behalf of her début as an author!

Please visit my Bookish Events page to stay in the know for upcoming events!

{SOURCES: Book cover for “Chain of Mercy”, Author photograph of Brenda S. Anderson, and Book Synopsis were provided by the author Brenda S. Anderson and used with permission. Author Interview badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers & My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

What I’ve shared on Twitter about ‘Chain of Mercy’ or Brenda S. Anderson:

The following is a sampling of the tweeting I’ve done.

Read a convo on Twitter where I recommended “Chain of Mercy” to the author who wrote the incredibly layered “Lemongrass Hope”. (my review of ‘Lemongrass Hope’) | Twitter convo

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Sunday, 18 May, 2014 by jorielov in 21st Century, A Father's Heart, Abortion, Agnostic (Questioning & Searching or Unsure), Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blogs I Regularly Read, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Discussions, Bout of Books, Brenda S. Anderson's Blog, Contemporary Romance, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Geographically Specific, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Lessons from Scripture, Life Shift, Mental Illness, Minnesota, Modern Day, New York City, RALs | Thons via Blogs, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Special Needs Children, Women's Right to Choose (Health Care Rights), Women's Rights

+Blog Book Tour+ Cats Are Part of His Kingdom, Too: 33 Daily Devotions to Show God’s Love by Cindy Vincent

Posted Sunday, 4 May, 2014 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

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Cats Are Part of HIs Kingdom Too by Cindy Vincent

Published By: WhoDunit Press, 21 June, 2013
Official Author WebsitesSite | Pin(terest) Boards
Available Formats: Softcover
Page Count: 78

Converse on Twitter: #CatsArePartOfHisKingdomToo

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Cats Are Part of His Kingdom Too” virtual book tour through Editing Through the Seasons. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Cindy Vincent, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired To Read: I have always had a soft spot in my heart for cats since I was quite a young girl as I simply fell in love with little people with fur since as long as I can remember having animals in the home! I grew up happily in a family who believed strongly in adopting animals in need at rescue shelters and in full support of non-kill shelters as each animal deserves a loving forever home. When I was growing up in the city, the shelter actually included a bit more than your regular fare of cats and dogs; equine and exotic animals as well as birds could be adopted time after time, including a few rabbits and small farm animals! I always found that to be quite special! We adopted our beloved family dog from them as his previous owners moved cross country to California and could not take him with them. He was a year old to my young two years, and you could say we ‘grew up’ together! 

Our beloved cat came to us via a cat rescue shelter where she was found with kittens under the age of one year! Each of her babies were adopted quite readily, but she was left behind as apparently no one wanted an ‘older’ cat at that point as she turned one whilst awaiting adoption. She came into our house quite a feisty character and our lovely dog subdued her a bit but only by a hair! She was a spitfire calico til the day she passed a full 15 years after we brought her home! She had a few quirks as well behaviorly but she was loving in her own unique way and despite the issues which occasionally arises from a special needs cat (although at the time we were not told she had ‘special needs’) I could not imagine my childhood and adulthood without her!

I have had a full menagerie of adopted animals in my life including but not limited to: hamsters, cats, dogs, small birds, a multitude of fish, a small herd of cattle, a few pigs, peafowl, and a special iguana at my local science center as a child where you could provide the necessary cost for a special needs animal who could only live in captivity. She was not able to conceive children and therefore was at risk. She had a special aquarium and of course, being I was her guardian I could visit her whenever I pleased, as well as hold her too! I practically lived at my science center so to say we saw each other rather often in the Summers (especially!) would be putting it mildly!

This does not even include all the lovely animals out in nature of whom I have felt a close connection too over the years as I have grown accustomed to seeing them as I walk. I find I am most in harmony if I keep close to the natural world whilst observing the seasons and the animals who inhabit the environment just past our civilised world. The natural world can speak to you if you tune your heart into their frequency as much as your soul is uplifted by the companions of those animals domestic, feral, or farm-related which enter your life during the times their friendship and companionship has the greatest impact on your heart. For these reasons and more, I was simply over the moon in joy to see a devotional of uplifting passages devoted to the heart of a cat lover’s soul!

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Book Synopsis:

As Christians, sometimes it’s hard for us to comprehend the love our Heavenly Father has for us, His Earthly children. Author Cindy Vincent began to realize the depth of His love after caring for several rescued cats and then bringing them into her home. That’s when she began to notice the parallels between her relationship with these precious felines and God’s relationship with us. After all, as a pet Mom, she works in so many behind-the-scenes ways to make life wonderful for her little feline family, much like God works behind the scenes to make life wonderful for us. Yet much like her cats have no comprehension of all that she does for them, we have no comprehension of all that God does for us.

Before long, she began to see lots of parallels, and decided to put these down in the form of Daily Devotions, to demonstrate just how very much God loves us.

Author Biography:

Cindy Vincent was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and has lived all around the US and Canada. She is the creator of the Mysteries by Vincent murder mystery party games and the Daisy Diamond Detective Series games for girls. She is also the award-winning author of the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Caper books, and the Daisy Diamond Detective book series. She lives with her husband and an assortment of fantastic felines. You can learn more about the Buckley and Bogey books at buckleyandbogey.com.

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Princess | Cindy Vincent Cat

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As Ms. Vincent started out her devotional, she bespoke of the cardinal truths all animal lovers and owners know instantly once the love of their companion enters their life, world, and heart: the lessons we learn arrive in the hours where we least expect them to come from the whisperments of our furry friends! I oft wondered of the blessings I had walking through my ordinary days after school with my dog and cat; as each of them gave so much back to me as I gave to them! I always felt it was remarkable that they could only purr, bark, or meow as it felt as though they always had so much to impart but were a bit hindered by vocalising their thoughts in ways that would be a bit easier to understand. I grew to listen to them with my heart and as our conversations progressed, I knew they understood me as well as I understood them! And, how very, very wise they were at that!

It is a pure joy to get caught up in the words Ms. Vincent imparts to the reader as she describes cats in such a unique level of keen insight as to impart their characteristics upon our eyes! She gives you a window view of the cats who have nestled into her heart, mind, and spirit as she relates through the stories of her cats how everyday wisdom and life-affirming faith moments can become interwoven into your everyday life through our relationship with our beloved cats. As each cat arrives into your life at different stages of living as much as a different hour of arrival which in of itself is as effective as to why the cat is there in the first place!

As I have been participating as I can in Equality in Literature rights in fiction via Twitter this past week, I was cheering inside watching how she took describing the differences of her cats to the beautiful kaleidoscope of our own differences as a human race. To draw a connecting line between the acceptance of multiple breeds of cats is the same as accepting that despite any outward differences we are each meant to be kind-hearted and full of grace towards another. For nothing else quite makes sense in a world that is bent-on forgetting its humanity and the ability to choose kindness over hate, ignorance, and indifference.

I could even relate to the passages as there are no true perfect cats, as each cat even if behaving normal by all counts known is still going to have a unique personality and approach to living whilst interacting with their human guardians! I never knew until the last few years when a light bulb sort of went off in my head that we always seemed to shower love on special need cats ever so often! The cat of my childhood (whom I mentioned earlier) had a personality flaw from being on the streets as a young mother with possible left-over former abuse memories lingering in her sub-science when cross-checked with her behaviour issues. Then, there is of course the reality of being at the top of your Vets adoptable house list to take-on cats who have personality quirks who are at that time unadoptable. (I speak more on this in my Interview with Ms. Vincent on Tuesday!) The two hybrid tabbys in my life today were adopted with a sea of medical issues surrounding their young fur tails as they simply could not adapt to life in a foster home after having spent their first nine months with a quiet old lady who doted on them! Kennel cough or its equivalent was one malady, which equated out to Vets, medicine, and more little instruments for giving medicine than you dare think two cats could need!

Yet, despite their early medical issues, they grew into 10 year old twins (the fact they act ‘twinny’ by doing everything in sync is one way of knowing!) whose zest for life belies their age! Not one ounce of their character denotes a ‘senior’ cat except to say they tucker out far faster now than they previously did unless they ‘save’ extra play hours by snoozing quite a heap the day before! Laughs. They make us giggle in joy by sheer will of curiosity etched into their fur and bones as surely as their love and mirth of being near us. In their adversity they always showed true patience but it was our beloved cat who passed last May (in which I wrote about on this blog post) who showed true grace. His spirits were never down despite his calamities nor did he ever falter in his care on our behalf. A true champion of spirit, he gave back so much to us that we could never possibly fill a note of gratitude for having known him except to allow his spirit to remain evermore at the forefront of our memories. He was more companion than cat, a cherished presence where once lost reminds you of your best friend’s absence, and a spirit of goodwill and generosity which lives on a bit in the cats left behind who have outlived him. The tuxedo has taken his death the hardest, waking in the middle of the night in fits of anxiety and sorrow. Her bouts subdue for months at a time and then resume. We can only hope with our extra attention in those hours of need she will slowly lesson her hold on his absence and realise she is alright in our loving hold.

And, that in of itself is a parable of faith of having to be strong in the face of loss and in a sense of unease out of adversity. To walk into the light of each new day filling your spirit with hope despite your wavering spirit wondering if you have the strength to find the joy you once knew so well before death took someone you cherished. Not only through death but perhaps through circumstances, we each have to bend as willows and go through life in the full face of what alights on our paths knowing that we’re never alone and that we have someone to lean on at times of most peril. Trusting without sight of how everything will unravell and pan out is the hardest bit to undertake, but like the trust of a cat who enters your home without knowledge of how you will accept them, faith too is unconditional and a beacon of hope.

My cats have gotten themselves into a few true pickles as much as Ms. Vincent’s, let me tell you! Whether they have ducked behind boxes they cannot jump out of to save their fur or whether they end up in some fix where a human is needed to assist them, one thing was always resoundingly sure! They do not like to admit their faults nor do they like to admit they need assistance! And, that too is a lesson in humility and of accepting our weaknesses as much as our strengths! Although to a cat, to admit a weakness goes against every direct instinct they have inside them, save our cat who passed last May! To him asking for help was something he did not mind doing if it meant a loving hand and a kind heart was going to take away his difficulties and help him through what he considered most adverse! Being a boy, he surely did not realise his counterpart of males in human form tend to be the hardest to ‘ask for help’ out of our species!

Reading about Bogey & Buckley warmed my heart, as it was nearly an identical story of how I matched our little tuxedo (she’s now on the fringe of turning nine years, but at her adoption she weighed just enough to fit into my palms at two months old!) to our non-twin tabby! He needed a mate of sorts as the twins are inseparable despite their angst of each other being siblings! He needed someone he could pal around with as much as love on if the mood struck him, and being fickle in the love department that was not nearly as oft as the tux would have preferred but she accepted him on his terms! Even to the brink of rubbing into his neck and having him walk straight off without a by your leave if you please! Laughs. For me, I knew I needed a high octane and a bit hyper kitten to match wits with a shy yet loving tabby! Finding a little bundle of black fur dangling upside down in a wire cage besmirked with a wink and a nod of “Who? Me?” writ into her whiskers I knew I had found ‘the cat’ and ‘the mate in the stars’ for my tabby cat! Isn’t it amazing how when you take a leap of faith how the results of your trust grow even deeper than you felt they had rooted?

Buckley reminded me so much of our tabby because I did not realise the full extent of his separation anxiety until I read Buckley’s story on page 36! You could consider the same affliction my own cat’s nightmare and they sort of have a similar background with a few slight differences: mine was rescued off the streets with his sister held tight by the nape of the neck as dusk fell down around him. His rescuer knew he could save both cats but getting my cat to trust him to that degree took a full afternoon and nearly the evening! He was putting his sister’s life ahead of his own but somehow in face of uncertainty he saw someone he could trust in the last golden hour he could be pulled from the streets. Amazing how Ms. Vincent’s observations and experiences of having cats mirrors my own families!

A forever home to an animal in need is a long lesson in stability because they do not always trust they are safe or have access to food and water. I remember those days when they (the tabby & tux) would scratch around both the food bowl and the water bowl as if to ‘cover and hide’ it from outside predators. It took ‘years!’ for them to realise the only ones who would go near those bowls were the twins and/or us (the humans!) to clean and re-fill them! I always fully supported adopting animals and children in need of loving homes as they have one major thing in common: they both need a family willing to accept them as they are and see them for who they will be once their fear and anxiety melts away and reveals their authentic self. Love can heal through time, but its the ability to see past where a cat or a child is at point of adoption is the true measure of faith and love combined. To give someone a second chance at a forever home and family is the ultimate gift we can share and freely give with all our hearts, minds, and souls.

This is one devotional I will continue to re-read throughout the rest of my days as its a gentle reminder of how blessed and enriched our lives are when we welcome in a cat who does not have a home! In my forthcoming Interview with Ms. Vincent I will be sharing about how my family undertook the care of a homeless cat who is still within the stages of not realising that the food we put out is not a one, two, or ten time arrangement but will always be there when she comes round for a visit and can be relied on to be there when she needs it most. Trust and faith walk hand in hand, and I love the way in which the lessons of life are matched directly with passages out of scripture which take the devotions of observational life into a new level of understanding.

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This book review is courtesy of:

Cats Are Part of His Kingdom, Too Virtual Blog Tour hosted by Editing Through the Seasons

hosted by:

Editing Through the Seasons - Freelance Editing & Publicity Services

{Amber took a job at a publisher & closed her publicity service Summer 2014}

Be sure to scope out my Bookish Upcoming Events

to mark your calendars!!

I purposely approached the writing of this review differently as it is set around a series of devotions which speak directly to the human heart and spirit. Therefore, I did not want to break it down like a regular novel showcase review as I generally do for all other blog tour book reviews, but rather write free-form as I spent time inside the devotional. I wanted my thoughts and impressions to arrive and alight in my spirit as I read the uplifting words and the reflections of faith from the author’s experiences. In this way, I hope my own walk inside the devotion will inspire you to pick up a copy and find seeds of wisdom which can apply to your own life and your own experiences as I have done myself.

Thank you for this interlude! As a bit of a nodding towards my love of inspirational fiction is in my sidebar and as my project to read 70 Inspirational Authors has grown to en-company a few more years to allow a proper time to soak into their narratives. I simply wanted to state on this blog stop that I welcome the hours I can lay heart and mind on inspiring stories which are interwoven with beliefs similar though not always identical to my own. As a walk of faith is as individual as we are from each other in every other way. I hope you will enjoy seeing my inspirational observations as much as you have enjoyed my observations in mainstream markets. As disclosed, I wander through all walks of literature and do not put special empathsis on either designation. I seek out stories, tride and true!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Timeless Wisdom on Cats – Video 1 via WOW Content

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

{SOURCES: Book cover for “Cats Are Part of His Kingdom Too”, cat photograph of Princess (black & white cat), author biography, book synopsis, and blog tour badges were provided by Editing Through the Seasons and used with permission. WOW Content had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share a video about the wisdom of cats. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers & My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Sunday, 4 May, 2014 by jorielov in 70 Authors Challenge 2013-19, Adoption, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Anthology Collection of Stories, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Films, Cats and Kittens, Daily Devotions of Inspiration from Life, Editing Through The Seasons, Equality In Literature, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Inspiring Video Related to Content, Lessons from Scripture, Memoir, Rescue & Adoption of Animals, Vignettes of Real Life, Wisdom of Life Threaded in Devotions