Category: Balance of Faith whilst Living

+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!

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Timeless Wisdom on Cats – Video 1 via WOW Content

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{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

_+ #atozchallenge _+ 26 Days | 26 Essays [epic journey] Today is Letter “A”. #Anthologies

Posted Tuesday, 1 April, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

Day 1: Letter A of the A to Z ChallengeAn eruption of blog posts throughout the blogosphere are going *live!* in different intervals throughout April Fool’s Day, and this isn’t a prank nor a joke! This is a world-wide globally connected blogosphere challenge where each blogger who signs into the participant linky is quite literally confirming their express desire to blog straight [except on Sundays!] for *26 Days!* whilst writing *26!* most intriguing & thought-producing alphabet essays! Or, to be comically inspiring, randomly cheekily, and otherwise delightfully entertaining! The bloggers who have signed into the challenge are from all walks of blogosphere life: book bloggers united alongside lifestyle gurus; writers of all literary styles nudged up against travelogues; the gambit runs the full course of each and every theme, topic, subject, and genre you could possibly light your heart with joy to broach in a blog! And, the curious bit to the journey is where your posts lead you as much as where other blogger’s posts inspire you! It’s this fantastic community to celebrate the spirit within the blogosphere as much as the spirit of connection amongst the bloggers who might not have crossed paths with each other otherwise. After all, the road map for blogs is as wide and large as the actual world outside the nethersphere of websites, pixels, and memes! Walk with us whilst we discover a bit about ourselves, our blog, & each other!

I am blogger #552 out of 2155!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comOne quick tour around Jorie Loves A Story, and the new visitor willParajunkee Designs notice that I am a bookish girl bent on literary excursions which encourage my spirit as much as they challenge my perspective of what I have learnt thus far in my life. Literature by definition is a self-guided and self-evolving process of gaining knowledge through books and ruminations of those who walked before us, imparting their words and tangible thoughts to the page. I truly do “blog books!” and I am most esteemed to say “I <3 Fiction” as the badge to the right expresses quite definitively! Yet, how does a book blogger translate the rhythmic murmurings of her wandering compass when there isn’t a fixed point of entry or landing point? How to encase within a blog challenge to relate what motivates her and what excites her beyond the girth of what is deemed plausible!?

I tend to move like a dancer through genres, as what motivates me is the inertia of magnetism that draws my eye, heart, and mind into a particular setting, time period, locale, and character sketching… that vortex of suspension in-between first finding a book that whets your fancy and drinking in the words that will either leave you blissfully entranced or ruminative about where the writer was intending to take you.

– quoted from my Introduction Post

For you see I truly am passionate about the art of discovering new authors and the legacies of their words left to the world to find them. There is an electric pulse to seeking out a bookish tome of joy, especially if your heart holds within it a heavy attachment to wordsmiths and world-builders whose narratives jump you straight out of your chair and into the heart of their stories. Where time itself is eclipsed by the overwhelmingly familiar experience your about to engrave inside you through sensory registers you were given. To soak into a character’s shoes to the brink of attaching a piece of them to your DNA and vice versa. We take bits and bobbles of light along with us for where we tread next along the labyrinth pathways of literature. Wanderlust abounds because it only takes the impetus of a notion of seeing a title, an author’s name, a book’s cover-art or the premise winking at you from off the shelf to whet your palette of interest towards reading its story.

Each book which settles itself into my mind’s eye whereupon it fixated itself and has become a part of me, will be rendering a new chapter of my collective memory. A story of which has etched itself a remnant piece of my journey as I continue to make an onwards advance towards my next literary find. The books featured here are the ones that left me with a hitching in my chest, a murmuring in my soul, and a thankfulness in my heart. Books like these are to become the cherished friends that sit upon a bookshelf ready for a second conversation and visit.

– quoted from my Introduction Post

Story-tellers of whom engage with their audience in such a clever way as to give them a sampling of a taste of their collective work OR even a breath of an introduction to enliven the imagination of their readership is one step I’ve taken towards embracing the world of “A N T H O L O G I E S“!! And, yes dear hearts, today’s Letter A which I cheekily enscribed as a reference “Day1 is 1APR (Not a Foolish Day!) A is for?” whilst announcing today’s post via Twitter is a winking nudge towards the fact I posted ‘two’ new posts today which curate the essence of the “Letter A”. The first of which is “ANDRA Watkins” on behalf of her debut novel “To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis and the second of which is the post your reading right now!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comA N T H O L O G I E S are little dirths and dots of curiously broaching short stories! They give us a nibblement of an idea, whisk us away into this alternative realm and properly deposit us back to whence we started long before we were ready to make our exit! I had always become curious about anthologies but as to where to alight my hat within its vast vault of choice was beyond daunting! My first notion was to sink into the mystery genre before approaching the science fiction & fantasy genre anthologies! My thinking was based upon my enjoyment of the Agatha Christie omnibus editions of her stories! You could gather a heap of Christie inside of a hardback volume of joy, let me tell you! It was Christie who inspired my heart towards having murder & suspense on my brain as a youngster because I was forever engaged on bated breath to see ‘who’ was guilty and of ‘whom’ would catch the nefarious deviant criminals! You might be surprised to realise then, my first ‘A N T H O L O G I E S exposure’ came on behalf of: Regency Christmas novellas & novella collections of inspirational romances from Barbour Publishing! At least, this is where my memory alights as being the first time I realised I was reading an anthological collection of short stories! I am in love with the aspect of creating a dramatically splendid experience out of the smallness of space in which ‘shorts’ are notorious to be inhabited. My personal writings in fiction are too akin to breadth and depth of expression to suit the needs of a proper short story, but its the joy I have pulsing through me as I endeavour to read the works of others which captivates the fullness of my attention!

The Chronicles of Ave
Artwork Credit: Matthew Perry

Whilst being a book blogger, I am finding the wide sea of anthologies mingling around the bookish sphere of choice isn’t quite as difficult to unearth as I once feared! In fact, oft-times I am finding anthologies are starting to become quite the choice of publishers to either offer as a review option or they place them on a blog tour to help introduce the timid anthology readers like me take a small step towards embracing their mirth! I say ‘timid’ here as a way of expressing that because I struggle to get the words to fit within a confine word count limit, I sometimes notice my mind ‘over-thinks’ itself to death whilst I read! Instead of simply appreciating the experience of the story, my ferret of a head is trying to augment how the writer elected to make the choices she or he did to keep the story alive yet without the girth of a novel to anchor its dimension. In this, I find anthologies extraordinary!

The first anthology which crossed my path was “Chronicles of Ave: Volume 1” by Stephen Zimmer, published by Indie publisher Seventh Star Press. This collection of which fronts a curious dragon in flight on the cover illustrative plate is a map of sorts for a new visitor of the Ave world to become acquainted with key characters and uncover little nuisances of where the larger tome of the book series “Fires of Eden” will take the reader. Zimmer expands fully to encase certain elements of where a previously published portion of Ave might have been edited for length or content, but within his Chronicles he can re-examine, re-define, and re-explore those moments of Ave which deserve to have their light shined on their own.

He parlays his fervent passion for research by interspersing what he uncovers into the tapestry by which Ave is threaded against! It’s a world that encompasses as many distinctively unique cultures, traditions, spirituality’s, and languages as our own living counterpart, and yet, it has something to give back to us as well!

It’s quite apparent at first reading that Ave is a world that you can gently enter into but its a world that draws a breath of dedication with each glance! The further you walk inside Ave, the more you want to know, the more you want to experience, and the more your drawn to wonder about the extensive scope of the stories that prompted this collection of shorts, which marks a transition through a lesser notation of them in the serial installments already known! Bits and bobbles of undercurrent histories stitched into the under threads, that give a larger impression of the story on a whole! OR, at least this is what I imagine to be true!

– quoted from my review of “Chronicles of Ave: Volume 1” by Stephen Zimmer

Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy edited by Michael Knost
Artwork Credit: Matthew Perry

Second out of the gate in my newly minted exploration of anthologies was the incomparable “Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy” edited by Michael Knost. I felt as though I was sitting down with the collected writers who gathered to inspire other writers’ within their genres and outside them with the encouragement needed to boldly dare to pursue their craft! Writers sometimes forget that the one bit that is most important is the totality of belief in their imagination and their writing. Writers need to remember to ‘own their work’ and refute disbelief whilst pushing ahead when odds stack against them like ricochet hail at the tail end of a severe storm! Negative electrons are everywhere in life, but if we refuse to accept defeat we will always walk out the other end with a level of grace and knowledge of how to proceed forward on a better leaf than the prior! The anthologies which attract me to read are not limited to fiction, as I have always had a piqué curiosity of the writer’s craft.

And, it’s within this boiling and brewing of ideas where I gather my energy for the story about to transfer out of my mind’s vortex and unto the written page! To take a thread of an idea, nurture it into being and then, allowing the freedom of the idea to transition and transmorph into its full-bodied existence of what its meant to be is a writer’s realised dream. Nibblements of ruminations sprinkled throughout a lifetime of experience and adventure start to ink out into our imagination. Transcending both time and memory, as pieces of ourselves are wrangled into the lifeblood of our characters! Being a writer is akin to being a nurturer of ideas and of ideals. We take our observations from our living realities, and pour our heart into our works attempting to yield a story that others might find palatable. I say ‘might’ find as I am one writer who writes the stories which flow through her rather than write a story which is hinged to a specific audience or topic. We (writers) all hope that the momentum and passion we have for an idea will garnish itself a foothold in a reader’s queue. Perhaps even, enlighten their outlook or perception, but moreso than naught, to give them a hearty piece of narrative which leaves them pensively grateful for the idea which started the words to fill the page!

– quoted from my review of “Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy” edited by Michael Knost

I was transfixed and inspired as you can see by the inertia of what was being revealed inside this anthology! What made my heart flutter the most are the topics & subjects explored by the writers who contributed to the anthology were giving advice across the literary divides! The advice was not limited strictly to science fiction and fantasy, although in some instances they were given direct instances of how to write a story in this particular world of vision; but any writer could eek out the lessons of the writer’s craft itself. Enabling all writers to feel a bit more motivated and uplifted for the time spent inside its pages!

Is editing an anthology more difficult than writing a book? If so, why? And, how did you coordinate the sections of Writers Workshop on Science Fiction and Fantasy in such a way that the previous writer melded into the next’s topic?

Knost responds: Each has its own difficulty, and each has its own strengths. As an editor, I am tasked as a conductor, seeking to keep the whole in a harmonic state, which sometimes can be nearly impossible. Where the writer is concerned about his or her solo, the editor is concerned about the entire piece. Just as each song is different, so is each anthology or collection, and because of that, each is structured by going with one’s heart. As for WWOSFF, I assigned the particular element of the craft of which I wanted each writer to focus. And I planned the layout while in the assignment stages, which evolved somewhat.

– quoted from my interview of Michael Knost whilst featuring the anthology during Seventh Star Press Week.

Moments in Millenia edited by Penny Freeman
Artwork Credit: Dale Pease (of Walking Stick Books) http://walkingstickbooks.com

On 8th April, I will be posting my first book review on behalf of Indie publisher Xchyler Publishing, which is “Moments in Millennia” a fantasy anthology of futuristic fantasy set against the continuum of time and space! I found Xchyler Press through a tweet posted by Marian Allen, which led me to the discovery of “A MidSummer Night’s Steampunk” by Scott E. Tarbet. Whilst browsing the catalogue of choices on their website this particular A N T H O L O G Y stood out to me. I was intrigued by the concept of allowing each writer the freedom to answer the thesis of thought in their own methodology of choice.

I had the honour of interviewing Ms. Penny Freeman

who is the Editor of the A N T H O L O G Y.

We had an excellent exchangement of conversation surrounding its creation:

In regards to book trailers, I was quite impressed with the motion picture quality of “Moments in Millennia” where the undercurrent score and cut-away sequences where the broadcast is nearly being cut-off draws the reader into the scene. The vortex of how ‘time’ itself draws a circle around the necessity of ‘now’. Of being in a position to react and effectively impact the state of ‘what is happening right this instant’. How as an editor did you draw a stitching of continuity inside the anthology, where stories were brought together whilst giving freedom to the writers to explore the premise in their own vision?

Freeman responds: The continuity is a product of several different factors. The first, of course, is the theme we set. When we come up with something we think might spark the imagination (in this case, back to the future), we announce it as part of our writing competition. Writers will often ask us exactly what we mean by that. Our answer is always the same: what does that mean to you?

This particular project was interesting to me in that so many of the entries (and ultimately the winners) focused on dark scenarios. Going in, I rather expected some fun fantasy romps, and I think the fact that we didn’t have anything of that nature reflects society’s outlook as a whole. We seem to be a rather cheerless bunch at the moment.

The next influence is our judging algorithm. Because each individual judge has their own likes and dislikes, the stories that suit their aesthetic will rank higher, so that tends to influence the overall outcome. Finally, the editorial process itself plays a significant role. We look at the entries as first drafts, and then we work with the authors to polish their work. Because the same content editor works with every author, that influence is felt within each story.

For instance, I like stories to get inside people’s heads and ask questions: how do situations and events affect the characters emotionally; what are the ramifications of an event? My mantra: dig deeper! Another editor may have wanted more emphasis on technical details or more “atmosphere”. The editor’s own “what does this mean to you” comes into bear and becomes that consistent thread that runs through everything.

Thank you for giving me such a beautiful insight into the production of  “Moments in Milliennia”, as the scope of the project is as multi-dimensional as I had forethought it might have been! I do agree with you on the ‘dark undertones’ throughout the anthology itself, as I was quite curious when I first picked it up to read on how each writer surprised me in turn by giving me a revelation inside their story I had not expected to find after having read their individual premises. I believe its going to the heart of what you revealed yourself: there is an undercurrent in our society for focusing more on the dark than the light; even if those of us who are reading fantasy have a penchant for seeking out the light at each possible turn! For without the Light, where then do we find the Hope!? Yet. Despite this, the anthology gave me numerous sociological implications to ponder about and for that, I give the writers credit for taking up the bold challenge of answering your submission call in a way which will stand out to the readers who pick up the anthology!

– quoted from my Interview with Interview with Penny Freeman

Likewise, I am quite eager to find A N T H O L O G Y which will help introduce me to Steampunk, as I am approaching it from a historical fiction reader’s point-of-view as I described in this Question to Mr. Tarbet:

Being that you’re a history enthusiast, I noticed that you inserted 12 historically known characters into your story. Do you feel you’re creating a new niche in steampunk which might be considered historical steam? Where those who appreciate historical fiction might find themselves crossing over to reading your stories due to the nature of how much history you’ve woven into the background?

Tarbet responds: Nice term, that: historical steam. I like it. It captures A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk very well in its “something for everyone” essence. And by ‘everyone’ I mean ME. I believe that an author worth reading will be writing something that they would want to read themselves. For me that means having way more than one element to any story. Mine always have at least two of three, sometimes more. A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk has Steampunk, Shakespeare, and alternative history. I would want to read it. It tickles me pink that other people find it a satisfying blend as well.

– quoted from my Interview with Scott E. Tarbet

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comWithin the hours leading up the A to Z Challenge, I was presented with a chance to host a blog tour for an inspirational devotional from the perspective of a woman whoCats Are Part of His Kingdom, Too Virtual Blog Tour hosted by Editing Through the Seasons has rescued cats and observed lessons of life etch out of her time in their role as caregiver. I always knew the animals who become our companions hold a very special place in our hearts as much as in the corner-most spot of our spirits. They endear us to grounding ourselves into the pureness of love, acceptance, and friendship. The world is oft-times a jaded askewed place to inhabit and with the companions of those whose innocence block out the shade, we find ourselves softened and affirmed by their grace.

Parajunkee DesignsI wanted to take part in this tour because I have always enjoyed snippets of inspiring stories shared through the Chicken Soup for the Soul series such as “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times: 101 Daily Devotions to Inspire & Support You in Times of Need” by Susan M. Heim & Karen C. Talcott of which I mentioned in my review of “The Prayer Box” by Lisa Wingate. I want to wander through the pages of more non-fiction titles as time progresses forward here on Jorie Loves A Story. There is such a beautiful gift in knowing the world of A N T H O L O G I E S is not limited to a specific definition of context. They are merely a representation of a collection of stories and writers uniting together for a common purpose. Sometimes they are not even stories in the traditional sense. They can transmorph into life lessons, antidotes of memory, and affirmations of how to strive towards a well-balanced life within the light of tomorrow’s dawn.

Anthologies are lightning inside the ether,
one spark of imaginary bliss,
can ignite a fever pitch for quantitative consumption!
– Jorie, of Jorie Loves A Story

I am happy to share with you the book covers of three Seventh Star Press A N T H O L O G I E S I am most anxious to see hit the book blogosphere by storm! Their press releases on the Seventh Star Press blog are directed on their titles. I am hopeful to take part in their virtual tours and I look forward to your return visit on the 8th of April for “Moments in Millennia” as well as watching my Bookish Events page or my Twitter feeds to see when the forthcoming A N T H O L O G I E S on tour will alight here! When you click over to read about the stories contained inside them you will realise why I am as excited about them as I am!

Fantasy Anthologies by Seventh Star Press
Artwork Credit by: Enggar Adirasa
{: Hero’s Best Friend :}
{: Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court,
and A Chimerical World: Tales of the Unseelie Court
:}

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comA bit of an extra surprise for those A to Z Challengers

who patiently awaited my “Letter A”:

Moments in Millennia : A Fantasy Anthology Book Trailer by Xchyler Publishing

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comThank you for joining me on DAY 1 | A to Z Challenge!

I am a girl named Jorie who loves a story!
I am a bookish library girl on a quest for literary enlightenment!
I am predominately self-taught and library educated!
I am Mademoiselle Jorie!
Thank you for joining me on this journey!

This marks my first post for the:

A to Z Challenge

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

And, might I add as an observation on Day 1? 

Bless A to Z Challenge for giving me a way to explore my writerly muse! I want to take a moment to *wave!* a bit to my new visitors from the following countries:

United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Greece, India, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, South Africa, France, & Switzerland! I thank you for dropping by either yesterday on my 1st Blogoversary OR today my first A to Z Challenge!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Would you lament the same as I do?! The brilliance of the revolution of anthologies is to give us a bit of a teaser of a taste of a writer’s style? What do you appreciate the most from reading anthologies!? And, like me, do you ever notice your being pulled towards one author moreso than another!? Do you follow-up your readings of the ‘shorts’ by expanding your knowledge in seeking out full-length novels by the writer who you were hungrily consuming in the collection!? Which writers are most beloved to you right now were originally discovered in an anthology? And, which anthologies do you gravitate to purchase, borrow from the library, or simply sit in a coffeehouse attached to a wicked sweet Indie bookshoppe and peruse!?

{SOURCES: A to Z Challenge Participant & Letter A Badge provided by the A to Z Challenge site for bloggers to use on their individual posts & blogs to help promote the challenge to others.”I Blog Books” badges by Parajunkee Designs is a free resource provided for book bloggers. Cats Are Part of His Kingdom Too devotional tour provided by Editing Through the Seasons and used with permission. Book covers provided by Tomorrow Comes Media & Xchyler Publishing for promotion and review on Jorie Loves A Story; used with permission. The book trailer by Xchyler Publishing 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 more about this novel and the author who penned it. Post dividers & My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Comments via Twitter:

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Posted Tuesday, 1 April, 2014 by jorielov in A to Z Challenge, An Editor Point of View, Anthology Collection of Stories, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, British Literature, Classical Literature, Clever Turns of Phrase, Cosy Mystery, Editing Through The Seasons, Fantasy Fiction, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Light vs Dark, MidSummer's Night Dream, Multi-Author Serial Fiction, Passionate Researcher, Romance Fiction, Science Fiction, Seventh Star Press, Silver Hair Sleuths, Steampunk, the Regency era, The Writers Life, William Shakespeare, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Advice & Tips, Writing Style & Voice, Xchyler Publishing

*Book Cover Reveal*: Sandra Leesmith’s “Love’s Promises”

Posted Friday, 14 March, 2014 by jorielov , , , 43 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

*NEWSFLASH* | *NEWSFLASH*

Sandra Leesmith has an exciting new release today! I came to know her publicist Ms. Stokes via Twitter whereupon we broached a conversation about hosting blog tours & spotlights on Jorie Loves A Story! I was quite delighted with the suggestion, as I have always appreciated inspirational fiction stories! Ever since I was a young girl who grew up on the “Mandie” series as reflected in my “One Book Everyone Should Read Once” post! As well as why I am embarking on a personal quest to read *70 Authors!* who are new-to-be in the inspirational fiction world! Reading the premise of “Love’s Promises” I felt I had found an author who writes uplifting stories similar to the authors I already have come to know and love! A truly heart-warming story filt with characters who are struggling to resolve their differences and remain together!
Currently available in e-book format, I am hoping this particular title will be released in either POD or print format, whereupon I can be a stop on the blog tour once this novel starts to hop around the bookish blogosphere! I decided to highlight select books which whet my palette of interest even if they are currently available in a format I cannot read at present; for the hope of being available to in the near future!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Synopsis:

For Monica Scott, building her late father’s house at Lake Tahoe isn’t an option—it’s a necessary distraction from confusing memories and an uncertain future. But a handsome planner working for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) is keeping Monica from moving forward with the project. Never mind that he’s young and charming with a great sense of humor. No one is going to stop Monica from making her father’s dream—and her own—a reality.

All Greg Linsey wants is for his work to mean something. His job at TRPA gives him the opportunity to fight for the environment he loves and make a difference in his small corner of the world. But with the sophisticated Monica Scott’s arrival, his dedication is tested as never before, especially when Monica turns to his unscrupulous nemesis for assistance. As Greg and Monica’s animosity turns into something far sweeter, can they learn to accept each other’s promises and avoid the growing danger to their lives and hearts?

Loves Promises by Sandra Leesmith
Artwork Credit: Lena Goldfinch

Sandra LeesmithAuthor Biography: SANDRA LEESMITH loves to travel in her RV and explore all of nature’s beauty, discover America’s history, and fellowship with the wonderful people she meets while on the road. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, swimming, and pickleball. Learn more about Sandra and her books at sandraleesmith.com.

Book Cover Designer Biography:

Lena Goldfinch

LENA GOLDFINCH writes fantasy and romance for teens and adults. She’s a sucker for a good old-fashioned romance, whether it’s a novel, novella, or short story, young adult or adult, fantasy or realistic, contemporary or historical. Elements of romance, fantasy, and mystery have a way of creeping into her writing, even when she’s writing something light and contemporary like her latest releases, Haunting Joy and Take a Picture. Lena has been a finalist in several national writing contests, including the RWA Golden Heart and ACFW Genesis contests. She lives in a scenic small town in Massachusetts with her husband, two kids, and a very spoiled Black Lab. Learn more about Lena and her books at lenagoldfinch.blogspot.com.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Contact Information for Author | Cover Designer

Official Author Websites: Site | Twitter | Facebook
  Cover Designer Pages: Site | Twitter | Facebook | Pin(terest) Boards

Converse via Twitter: #LovesPromises, #ChrisFic,

#cleanromance, & #inspirationalfiction

Genres: Fiction | Inspirational Fiction

Romance | Contemporary

Published by: Amber Press Publishing, March 2014 Page Count: avg. 300

[Previous Releases]

  • “Loves Refuge”+
  • “Loves Miracles”+
  • “Current of Love”
  • “The Price of Victory”
  • {note} +part of the same series as Love’s Promises!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Virtual Road Map of Cover Reveal of “Love’s Promises”

Blog Tour Announcement & Background on the Cover Art Design

Book Cover Reveal Blog Hop courtesy of:

Editing Through the Seasons - Freelance Editing & Publicity Services
{Amber took a job at a publisher & closed her publicity service Summer 2014}

Similar to blog tours, when I feature a showcase for an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog.

Reader Interactive Question:

If you a regular reader of Inspirational / Christian fiction, what do you appreciate the most about the stories you find inside the novels and novellas!? Do you seek what I do? Do you wish there were more publishers who put more stock and weight into relationship-based stories (i.e. mainstream publisher ChocLitUK does!) rather than the causal dating scene that is so very rampant!? What stills your heart the most!?

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Loves Promises”, author & illustrator photographs, book synopsis, and publicity badge were all provided by Editing Through The Seasons and used with permission. Cover Reveal badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Related Articles:

Coming this November – A new romance from Sandra Leesmith – (seasonsofhumility.blogspot.com)

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Posted Friday, 14 March, 2014 by jorielov in 21st Century, 70 Authors Challenge 2013-19, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight of E-Book (ahead of POD/print edition), Bookish Discussions, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Editing Through The Seasons, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Lake Tahoe, Life Shift, Modern Day, Romance Fiction