Category: Bits & Bobbles of Jorie

+Author Guest Post+ On the differences between #YA & #NewAdult, and the unique approach some #writers are taking therein! Self-Pub author Amy Durham explains & gives a sampling of next reads!

Posted Wednesday, 16 July, 2014 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

Guest Post by Parajunkee

}: P r o p o s e d T O P I C :{

As a writer of Young Adult and New Adult genre focused literature, how would you best Amy Durhamdescribe what separates the two from each other and what defines them as being individualistically unique? There are misconceptions about both genres, from what they are meant to include inside the structure of their stories to the age of whom is meant to be reading them. How would you best describe their definitions as literary selections and how did you personally approach writing for this specific market? Can you expand by using your own writings as examples of your own style vs other stories that are being featured in today’s market?

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Asher's Mark by Amy Durham. Cover Art Design Credits: Tracy Stewart at Simply Bookish. Tattoo for Asher by Teresa Reasor (author & artist)
Cover Art Design Credits: Tracy Stewart at Simply Bookish.
Tattoo for Asher by Teresa Reasor (author & artist).
Ebook Cover Art

}: Book Synopsis :{

Grace Ballard has been in love with Asher Howell for a long time. When she was sixteen, he became her hero, and she fell head over heels for the boy with a ring through his eyebrow, a big heart, and an unending sense of justice. But two years ago he left for college without a backward glance, leaving Grace to wonder if she’d imagined everything.

With no reason to wait for Asher to return, Grace moved on, and Asher’s brother, Adam, stepped in to help her pick up the pieces. But Asher never left her thoughts… or her heart. Now, two years later, tragedy brings Asher home and back into Grace’s life. The boy who left her behind is now very much a man – a licensed tattoo artist, much to his parents’ dismay, and still carrying a major torch for Grace. But two years apart has changed them both, and the things that happened during their separation may create a divide that can’t be crossed.

Asher and his brother both left their mark on Grace’s heart. Will Asher’s be able to stand the test of time?

Read More

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Posted Wednesday, 16 July, 2014 by jorielov in 21st Century, Author Found me On Twitter, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, New Adult Fiction, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Self-Published Author, Tattoo Art & Design, The Writers Life, Young Adult Fiction

+Blog Book Tour+ Losing Touch by Sandra Hunter #LitFic, #diverselit

Posted Thursday, 10 July, 2014 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Losing Touch by Sandra Hunter

Losing Touch by Sandra Hunter

Published By: One World Publications (), 15 July, 2014
Official Author Websites: Site |
Available Formats: Paperback & Ebook
Page Count: 224

Converse on Twitter via: #LosingTouch OR #OneWorldPublications

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Losing Touch” virtual book tour through TLC  Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher One World Publications, 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 keen eye on Bollywood films, especially those which feature Aishwarya Rai, as I came to know of her works through the release of “Mistress of Spices“. I love the full-on lively atmosphere of combining dream sequences, musical numbers, and the heart of a story told in motion pictures such as the ones I find from Bollywood releases! I try to find new ones to watch as I become aware of them, which is why I have thus far seen: “Bride & Prejudice” and “Do Dooni Chaar“. All of which I happily checked out of my local library, as they are quite inspiring on the dexterity of always keeping our card catalogue full of foreign language releases both in literature and motion picture. I’d love to explore more Bollywood & Indian film releases in both Hindi and English, as whilst I was watching Do Dooni Chaar, I noted that after awhile I did not even realise I was ‘reading the subtitles’! I love when that happens! (previously, I felt this way as I watched “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” & “Life is Beautiful” as I watched them on the silver screen at time of release) My focus on India as both as a country and as a cultural heritage stems from my appreciation of their enriched cultural heritage (from art to music to dance to film to religion), and of course, my absolute joy in eating their cuisine!

When you find yourself passionate about a culture and a country, you always want to surround yourself with the stories that are either set there or are about the people who come from there. For me, my heart will always be attached to India. The fact that I draw a measure of joy out of reading Buddhist texts and studying their cultural heritage is only the tip of why I love India as much as I do. I have been wanting to read more stories by Indian authors and writers who give their stories a heart of their cultural identity. When this book was offered on tour, I simply was overjoyed, not only as it was the start of being able to read Literature of India, but because I truly appreciated the premise — of one family attempting to carve out a new life in a new country whilst attempting to keep their cultural identity and heritage in tact.

My own heritage is full of stories where my ancestors immigrated to America, and how their journeys led them to the New World. I find myself attracted to other families and their own personal journeys towards discovering where they wanted to lay down roots for their next generations as much as I am encouraged to continue to root out my own ancestral past through genealogical research. Each of us has a story within our bones, which is carried through the whispers of our past relations who strove to give each of us a different path to live than they had themselves. I think we each honour our family each time we take a pause out of our day to listen and read the stories of all families who take this step to change their own stars.

Book Synopsis:

Sandra HunterAfter Indian Independence Arjun brings his family to London, but hopes of a better life rapidly dissipate. His wife Sunila spends all day longing for a nice tea service, his son suddenly hates anything Indian, and his daughter, well, that’s a whole other problem. As he struggles to enforce the values he grew up with, his family eagerly embraces the new. But when Arjun’s right leg suddenly fails him, his sense of imbalance is more than external. Diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, he is forced to question his youthful impatience and careless cruelty to his family, until he learns, ultimately, to love them despite — or because of — their flaws. In a series of tender and touching glimpses into the shared life of a married couple, Sandra Hunter creates strikingly sympathetic characters — ones that remind us of our own shortfalls, successes, hypocrisies, and humanity.

Author Biography:

Sandra Hunter’s fiction has appeared in a number of literary magazines, and has received three Pushcart Prize nominations. Among other awards, she won the 2013 Women’s Domination Story Competition, 2012 Cobalt Literary Magazine Fiction Prize and the 2011 Arthur Edelstein Short Fiction Prize. Her short story “Blessed Are the Meek” won Glimmer Train’s Spring 2005 Very Short Fiction Award, and is now a chapter in her novel Losing Touch, to be published in July 2014 (OneWorld Publications).

A note on the Cover Art:

I tend to forget to realise that as I am reading books published across the Pond with a bit more regularity than I could have done in the past (one of the blessings of being a book blogger), the book cover art I am appreciating on recently read novels are the editions from across the Pond! For instance, I had not stopped to realise the cover art designs I appreciated for The Lost Duchess were in effect the British edition covers! Likewise, as I settled into Losing Touch my mind did not readily auto-adjust to noticing this cover art is decidedly British as well! When I pulled up sites in reference to the novel, I noted an awkward difference in cover design! Whereas this one alludes to Arjun’s wife Sunila or even Jonti’s wife Nawal or even Nawal’s sister Haseena. I first felt it could be Sunila as although she has a want for British life, she still holds a few traditions of her heritage close to her heart. Yet, to be truthful she does not wear traditional Indian clothes, so this directed my eye to believe it was truly Nawal.*

(*until I read the story and realised it was Haseena!)

The cover art for the American edition makes absolute no sense to me at all – it is one of those modern graphic designs that has a repetitive pattern; I am finding myself not a plumb of passion for these selections. A few times I find graphic designed covers to be quite befit of the narrative. In this particular case, I think the novel loses a piece of its own identity by the swirls and two non-identical blotches of orange.

What appealed to me about the cover (as displayed on this book review!) which arrived to me on my copy of Losing Touch, is that it goes to the core of the story: being in transition and yet curious about ‘something’ being said ‘off camera and out of view’ of the photographer. I realise they used stock images but for whichever reason, I felt this cover connected more directly to Arjun & the Kulkanis.

On a personal note: This is why I am thankful there is Foyle’s, who will drop ship to anyone in the world who wants to purchase books from England! There are other book shoppes surely that will do the same, as I still remember the expressive joy in purchasing the Complete Histories of Middle Earth from one such book shoppe in the recent past to help me curate a way to read Tolkien’s legacy in the order of Middle Earth! This is a project noted on my tCC list for those curious to know ‘when’ I shall embrace Middle Earth. I am also reminded that when I go to read my next Jenny Barden novel, I will need to import the book from England! I can see myself spreading the joy of future purchases between Foyle’s & all the lovelies (book shoppes) I am finding on Twitter! It is quite incredible to live in an age where you can exchange bookish tweets with Indies from Ireland & England! What joy I have as a Joyful Tweeter of Bookish Joy! (a part of me will forevermore think of “Foyle’s War” as I make future purchases; now that the series is encased inside my heart)

 

Transitions: India to London:

I appreciated getting a first-hand glimpse into a family striving to find their niche in England, after having immigrated from India for a fresh start in a new country. Little notations of their cultural heritage from India are mentioned and observed throughout the text, as well as their contemporary choices to extract out a new identity amongst their new co-workers, neighbours, and friend circles. I think a part of what is difficult for anyone to shift their life from one country to the next, is to find the balance of what to keep with them as a cultural identity and what to compromise as far as what new attributes to introduce into their life as a different method or mannerism of how to live next. Each country you reside in is going to have their own particular pace and recognisable differences; this even includes how different regions within the same country have ‘regional dialects’ (of which I have blogged about previously), where the pronunciations and phrasing can alter as you travel. (this is inclusive of America as much as England)

I appreciated reading the differences in how their children were being given more freedom of choice (as far as schooling and matches of marriage) and how even in the subtle differences they were still learning to understand how to complete the transitions from India to London. Throughout the text, they always remained true to who they were, right or wrong, their individual character left a strong impression.

My review of Losing Touch:

Losing Touch sensitively opens at the funeral of Arjun’s younger brother Jonti, as Arjun recollects his brother’s life and observes how his wife and children are attempting to blend into British culture and society without wanting to keep a part of their Indian culture attached. They are shifting into a new life in a new setting and country, opting instead to shed a bit of their own cultural past to embrace the new one that they are finding. Arjun is struggling to come to terms with his family’s choices as he is a traditionalist and believes that although he wants them to embrace life in England, he apparently did not expect them to forsake their heritage to do so.

Hunter etches into her story the power of sensory knowledge and memory of how certain things are able to be smelt on the air near us, can lead our minds back down memory’s row. And, how at the moment of recovering those memories, we either feel more remorse (if already grieving through anguished sorrow) or a swath of bittersweet recollection, half filled with the regret of the days no longer here. The mind and the heart does a lot of odd things to a person who is grieving their loved one. Time and space of our everyday living can shift and transform out of us and between us at the very same moment; we are not of ourselves completely when we are attempting to rectify the loss of someone who was once fully present and now spiritually renewed into the next life.

Jonti has passed by what I can only presume is an inherited neurological disease, as he was not the first in his family to contract it, and this unknowing of the family medical history eludes to a growing concern on behalf of Arjun’s own health and wellness. I refer to this being ‘unknown’ as Hunter only slips a piece of knowledge of how Jonti passed rather than a full disclosure of what led to his sudden death in his thirties. Arjun’s own fears and concerns for his family’s adjustment to England are acting as a blinding to his own health concerns, as his collapsed falls in conjunction to his brother’s death did not lead him to think anything malicious was afoot.

Sunila’s voice comes a bit lateron as we find through her point of view the disintegrating condition of her marriage to Arjun; as there were quiet attributions of this happening in early chapters. His quickfire temper, his unease to dissolve a disagreement between his daughter Tarani and son Murad (the object of the fight was a radio), and his disbelief and avoidance of having a physical condition that could not only control his life but take it from him. He walks through the motions of his everyday life without the bliss and attention Jonti gave to his own family. This is a stress factor for Arjun, and as we read through the passages where Sunila is contemplating divorce and a life away from her husband, we start to see how the undercurrent of their marriage is tilted against a rocky shore. The author keeps the obvious obstructed from the reader’s view, revealing the evidence of domestic disturbances only in brief flickering moments where we gather a larger sense of the reality of Sunila’s marriage. In this way, the novel is a gentle read with clean references to deeper angst and a guiding hand of giving you a breathing space to digest the story.

The symbolism and metaphors within the heart of the context of Losing Touch are some of my favourites I’ve stumbled across recently. I have forgotten to mention this habit of mine in recent reviews of noticing the touches of how each writer chooses to convey certain thoughts and observations. I also appreciate the fact that this is full-on Briton, with their unique turns of phrase and cheeky short-cuts of expression. The Anglophile in me was most happy throughout the reading! I also noted having read “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” a few years back has seemingly given me a proper knowledge of the roadways in England. I nearly could envision the A40 as Arjun and Murad traversed it in order to meet up with Haseena! Although Arjun is not committing adultery with Haseena, he is eclipsed in that uneasy spot between being spiritually / mentally committed to another woman and being physically entwined. Of course, I did see a programme on television which expressed that there are different levels and conditions of adultery and one of them is being physically present in a marriage whilst being mindfully absent in spirit with another outside of it. To the level, that despite no physical contact is involved, in all other ways an affair is elicited.

The novel yields itself into two thoroughly engaging sections, where Part I engages us with the foundation of where Part II is leading us next; whilst skipping a near-full twenty years in-between. The second half is more solemn and melancholic than the first, and I believe is told in second or third person rather than first. I am always getting a bit confused on tense and person points of view; irregardless of how many examples I read of each. I credit that to being dyslexic, but the point here is that there is a radical change in the voice of the narrator for this half of the story. Part I was filled with a robust energy and Part II is a bit more subdued and ambles a bit like a snail. Giving more pause to thoughts and to musings neither of the characters felt they’d aspire to know the answers of. (Alas! I’ve sorted it! Part I the characters were telling their own story to the reader; in Part II they’re life is being observed and spoken about without their voices leading the story forward. Until they return just before the end, to conclude as they begun.)

Losing Touch in of itself (as a title and as a story) is attempting to draw attention on the aspects of our lives that we might allow to fall behind our fingers, like the sand in an hourglass; tricking unnoticed and unaware of how much we’ve lost a connection to everything we hold dear until its nearly too late to reconcile. With unflinching honesty and a keen awareness of how to paint the portrait of a family emerging out of their cultural heritage whilst sorting out how to live amongst the Brits: Hunter finds a way to encourage us to examine our on thoughts on life, marriage, children, and the unspoken absence of things left unsaid.

By the time I reached the ending chapters, I knew my time with the Kulkanis was drawing to a close. I was going to miss peeking in on their lives, listening to their conversations, and being with them as they rose above the tides like waves arching over and under the years of their lives. Sunila is the heroine of the story for me, as she walks her life through her faith, eager to sort out the best way to approach the trials as they arise and to hold fast to her vows she took with her husband on her wedding day. It is her quiet strength that leads the family back together, and gives her husband the bolster to continue to thrive despite how different his life became once his body could no longer support his normal activities. The three Auntys: Sunila, Pavi, and Haseena give us such a welcoming warmth into their intimate lives, that I must thank the author, Sandra Hunter for blessing me with their presence!

On Sandra Hunter’s writing style & voice of character:

I appreciate how her narrative voice and style allows us to align ourselves with Arjun and his immediate family. She stitches into the dialogue and thought sequences words of Hindi origin which gives the story an authentic feel. I always appreciate when native words and phrases are incorporated into a story, as they allude to the fact we are reading about a different culture and language heritage outside of our own. The pacing of the story is quite British, as I am noting differences in the craft of story-telling between American and British authors of late, as I have had more opportunities to read Modern British Literature over the past year. It is a bit like noting the differences in motion picture, when you see the styles of American, British, Canadian, and Indian film-makers. Each has their own set of tools of the trade (so to speak), and each has their own unique definitive style therein.

Each chapter is devouted to one full year of Arjun and his family life, carried through by snippets of reflection and action, that were to give the reader key insight into the family’s progress past Jonti’s death and what occurred in their lives since they said their good-byes when the story opened at his funeral. Told in first person perspective, you get a rather firm and intimate view of their thoughts, their expressions, and the way in which each of them elects to live their life. Arjun by far is the curious one who as a true introvert processes everything with the knack for self-reflection and internal musings that lead him towards understanding, acceptance, and transition.

The one curious pattern of her story-telling style is that for each chapter, it is not merely a new year that progresses forward but a month as well! For instance, the first chapter begins in September and by the time you reach chapter four you are arriving in December. The years clicked off from 1966 to 1969 as well. This is a most curious pattern and by doing so, it allows you to see not only the passage of time, but of the season in a gentle arc of time shifting forward and ebbing away. There is a bit of a time jump from Part I to Part II, as the second half picks up in 1998 shortly after leaving 1973!

Her personal style is both gentle and guiding, she allows you to soak into her prose and appreciate her characters for what they have to relay to you. She is a writer I want to read more of and I cannot wait to seek out a new novel of hers when they are available to read as she is only just now venturing forward into novels, as she previously focused on short stories. I might have to see if her shorts are bound into print collections, as I do have this new penchant for shorts! Except to say, the brief excerpt of her current WIP (work-in-progress) of a novel took me by a bit of gobsmacked surprise due to the language — Losing Touch was graceful in its ability to paint a story without the abrasive language so popular in today’s literature. I even appreciated how she handled the changes in faith as both Arjun and Sunila were embracing Christianity which gave them a lot of fodder to chew on throughout the book.

As an aside: I appreciated using the lovely bookmark, Ms. Hugo gave me whilst I received “A Matter of Mercy” for review for an upcoming TLC Book Tours stop! I am always attempting to remember which bookmark was enclosed with each novel that I find myself using to read other novels that arrive for review! Forgive me if my notations of which bookmark I selected goes amiss and a-rye. If you were curious of my reference as an Anglophile kindly direct your attention to ‘My Bookish Life‘.

Fly in the Ointment:

There is a very brief and short passage in Chapter 14 where quite strong language is used rather unexpectedly, so much so I nearly forgot to mention it here! I was totally taken by surprise to find such strong words to convey such a simple scene of action and dialogue. In fact, held within the gentle voice of the story’s narrating pace I found it was rather out of step with the rest of the chapters and clearly not necessary to be included. I agree, the scene was alarming and dicey, but I think it could have been writ without the use of the strongest word I most dislike in literature. I believe my mind skirted over this completely, as said, I nearly forgot to mention this as I posted my review!Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Read an article where Sandra Hunter selects her Top Ten Books:

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This Blog Tour Stop is courtesy of TLC Book Tours:

Losing Touch
by Sandra Hunter
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

Genres: Literary Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Published by One World Publications

on 15th July, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 224

TLC Book Tours | Tour HostFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comVirtual Road Map of “Losing Touch” Blog Tour:

Tuesday, July 1st: Review @ 1330 V

Wednesday, July 2nd: Review @ Musings of a Bookish Kitty

Thursday, July 3rd: Review @ Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Monday, July 7th: Review @ Lit and Life

Tuesday, July 8th:  The Written World *not posted yet

Wednesday, July 9th:  Books in the City *not posted yet

Thursday, July 10th: Review @ Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, July 11th:  BookNAround

Monday, July 14th:  Missris

Tuesday, July 15th:  Bibliophiliac

Wednesday, July 16th:  Patricia’s Wisdom

Thursday, July 17th:  Luxury Reading

Friday, July 18th:  Time 2 Read

Monday, July 21st:  Bound By Words

Tuesday, July 22nd:  A Bookish Way of Life

Wednesday, July 23rd:  Good Girl Gone Redneck

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

As foresaid, I have already earmarked off quite a heap of selections of ‘next reads’ for Literature of India choices, a few of which can be viewed on my Riffle List: Equality in Literature & Diversity in Literature : walk hand in hand. Other choices include: “The Hope Factory” by Lavanya Sankaran, “The Sandalwood Tree” by Elle Newmark, and “Haunting Bombay” by Shilpa Agarwal.

Reader Interactive Question: I am curious to know which books you’ve read about India or have stories set around the cultural heritage of India that have introduced you to Literature of India and given you a reason to continue reading their stories? What first drew you to appreciate India, was it through their cuisine or music? Did you pick up a novel once and found yourself enchanted? I’d love for you to share your own personal reasons for reading Indian stories in the comment threads & if you would be inclined to read “Losing Touch” after reading my own ruminations on its behalf.

{SOURCES: Book cover for “Losing Touch”, Author Biography, Author Photograph, and Book Synopsis  were provided by TLC Book Tours and used with permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets are able to be embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Thursday, 10 July, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Bookish Discussions, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Britian, Cultural Heritage, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Disillusionment in Marriage, Domestic Violence, England, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Fly in the Ointment, Hindi Words & Phrases, Immigrant Stories, India, Indie Author, Library Find, Library Love, Life Shift, Literary Fiction, Literature of India, London, Modern British Literature, Multicultural Marriages & Families, The Sixties, TLC Book Tours, TV Serials & Motion Pictures, Vulgarity in Literature

+Blog Book Tour+ Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth by Greg Matloff, C Bangs, & Les Johnson #nonfiction #science

Posted Monday, 7 July, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , 5 Comments

Parajunkee DesignsHarvesting Space for a Greener Earth by Greg Matloff, C. Bangs, & Les Johnson

Published By: Springer Science-Business Media (),
(second edition) August, 2014
Official Author WebsitesMatloff: Site | YouTube Bangs: Site Johnson: Site
Available Formats: Softcover & Ebook Page Count: 277 & 120 illustrations

Converse on Twitter: #HarvestingSpace & #Springer

Facebook Page dedicated to getting “Harvesting Space” into the public eye

Fields & Topics of Study:

Alternative Energy, Space Science, Sustainability from Space & Climate Change

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from one of the authors C Bangs, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Keen Interest in Premise:

Ever since I was a fifth grader whose path crossed with an Environmentalist (part of the bring your Dad to work programme) who was the father of a classmate, I have firmly always had a keen eye on the environment. Seeing “Medicine Man” that same year left an impression on my young mind and heart as well, as nothing else could have had a greater impact than seeing the necessity of natural resources and the preservation of those resources for the greater good of mankind. I always felt a connection to the outside world, and as I grew I kept a pulse on where the ecological heart of the Earth was heading as much as what nature and the environs therein were attempting to tell us; warn us. We are very much the caregivers and caretakers of Earth – a belief of the Native Americans, of whom I was honoured to hear some of their stories and legacies of knowledge as I grew up with a Native American Art Gallery and bookstore; the owner of whom took a kindness of teaching me the stories he was given himself as a boy. I believe as they do, that it is our mission to not only protect each other from harm, but to protect the home by which we inherited. For these reasons and more, the very essence of this non-fiction release held my attention at ‘hallo’.

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Book Synopsis:

What was our planet like in years past? How has our civilization affected Earth and its ecology? Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth, the Second Edition of Paradise Regained: The Regreening of the Earth, begins by discussing these questions, and then generates a scenario for the restoration of Earth. It introduces new and innovative ideas on how we could use Solar System and its resources for terrestrial benefit.

The environmental challenges that face us today cannot be resolved by conservation and current technologies alone. Harvesting Space highlights the risk of humankind’s future extinction from environmental degradation. Population growth, global climate change, and maintaining sustainability of habitats for wildlife are all considered, among other issues.

Rather than losing heart, we need to realize that the solutions to these problems lie in being good stewards of the planet and in the development of space. Not only will the solutions offered here avert a crisis, they will also provide the basis for continued technological and societal progress. Tapping the resources of near-Earth asteroids will lead to methods of diverting those asteroids that threaten Earth. Space-based terrestrial power generation systems will work synergistically with Earth-based conservation.

This book needs to be read urgently and widely, if we are to save ourselves from environmental disaster, reduce the risk of catastrophic cosmic impacts, and build a prosperous and sustainable future for all the creatures of Earth.

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Author Biographies:

Dr. Greg Matloff, is a leading expert in possibilities for interstellar propulsion , especially near-Sun solar-sail trajectories that might ultimately enable interstellar travel. and is an emeritus and adjunct associate astronomy professor with the physics department of New York City College of Technology, CUNY, a consultant with NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, a Hayden Associate of the American Museum of Natural History and a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. He co-authored with Les Johnson of NASA and C Bangs Paradise Regained (2009), Living Off the Land in Space (2007) and has authored Deep-Space Probes (edition 1: 2000 and edition 2: 2005). As well as authoring More Telescope Power (2002), Telescope Power (1993), The Urban Astronomer (1991), he co-authored with Eugene Mallove The Starflight Handbook. (1989). His papers on interstellar travel, the search for extraterrestrial artifacts, and methods of protecting Earth from asteroid impacts have been published in JBIS, Acta Astronautica, Spaceflight, Space Technology, Journal of Astronautical Sciences, and Mercury. His popular articles have appeared in many publications, including Analog. In 1998, he won a $5000 prize in the international essay contest on ETI sponsored by the National Institute for Discovery Science. . He served on a November 2007 panel organized by Seed magazine to brief Congressional staff on the possibilities of a sustainable, meaningful space program. In 2011, he co-authored with C Bangs an artist’s book entitled Biosphere Extension: Solar System Resources for the Earth.

Professor Matloff is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society and a Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. He has chaired many technical sessions and is listed in numerous volumes of Who’s Who. In 2008, he was honored as Scholar on Campus at New York City College of Technology. His most recent astronautics book, co-authored with Italian researcher Dr. Giovanni Vulpetti and Les Johnson, is Solar Sails: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel, Springer (2008). In addition to his interstellar-travel research, he has contributed to SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), modeling studies of human effects on Earth’s atmosphere, interplanetary exploration concept analysis, alternative energy, in-space navigation, and the search for extrasolar planets.

C Bangs’ art investigates frontier science combined with symbolist figuration from an ecological feminist point of view. Her work is included in public and private collections as well as in books and journals. Public Collections include the Library of Congress, NASA’s Marshall Spaceflight Center, The British Interplanetary Society, New York City College of Technology, Pratt Institute, Cornell University and Pace University. I Am the Cosmos exhibition at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton included her work, Raw Materials from Space and the Orbital Steam Locomotive. Her art has been included in eight books and two peer- reviewed journal articles, several magazine articles and art catalogs. Merging art and science, she worked for three summers as a NASA Faculty Fellow, and under a NASA grant she investigated holographic interstellar probe message plaques. Her recent artist’s book collaboration with Greg Matloff, Biosphere Extension: Solar System Resources for the Earth, was recently collected by the Brooklyn Museum for their artist-book collection.

“The artist C Bangs and astronomer Greg Matloff are long time partners and collaborators whose mutual interests and complementary talents serve them well. For many years, Bangs has been the artist who provides the graphic interpretation of their scientific books, they have achieved another level; their work has never been so well integrated, as they have found a method where text and image become one, rather than one illustrating the other. The more esoteric points of Matloff’s research find an accessibility, while Bangs more than ever seamlessly offers us, through imagery, a lyrical telling of their story for the quest to access solar system resources for the Earth.” – Maddy Rosenberg, Central Booking Gallery, NYC

Les Johnson is a physicist, and the author of several popular science books about space exploration, Living Off the Land in Space, Solar Sailing: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel, Paradise Regained: The Regreening of Earth, Sky Alert: When Satellites Fail, and Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth, as well as three science fiction books, Back to the Moon, Going Interstellar, and Rescue Mode.

He is also the Senior Technical Advisor for NASA’s Advanced Concepts Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Les is the NASA Co-Investigator (Co-I) for the European Union’s Deploytech Solar Sail demonstration mission planned for launch in 2015. He was the NASA Co-I for the JAXA T-Rex Space Tether Experiment and PI of NASA’s ProSEDS Experiment. During his career at NASA, he served as the Manager for the Space Science Programs and Projects Office, the In-Space Propulsion Technology Program, and the Interstellar Propulsion Research Project. He thrice received NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal and has 3 patents.

Les is a frequent contributor to the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society and a member of the National Space Society, the World Future Society, and MENSA. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for the British Interplanetary Society and is Chairman of the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop. Les was the featured “interstellar explorer” in the January 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine and a technical consultant for the movie Europa Report.

Les earned his Master’s degree in physics from Vanderbilt University in 1986 and his Bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University in 1984.

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Foreward by Jack McDevitt: Site | on behalf of the first edition (2010)

I appreciated the cadence of McDevitt’s approach to introducing the work at hand to the everyday reader, starting off by presenting all the ill begotten newsbits that we’re all too familiar with having heard at one point or another startling our nerves as we tune into radio or televised news. The truth in the pudding is the fact that we tend to hear more negative news than positive, and less so even on the technologic changes to our economy and environmental ecosystem that is in most need of attention. I found his cheeky humour well placed and his ability to surmise the necessity of the work contained in Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth well executed.

McDevitt is actually an author in science fiction I have acknowledged in name only, and have not yet taken the chance to explore his collective works. Science fiction and fantasy combined is a branch of literature that once you start to consume the canons of the grandmothers and grandmothers, or even prior to that even, you will soon come across the writers, like McDevitt who draw your eye into their stories. I admit, I have not always had the time to give to exploring the worlds that I discover, but I am always one who celebrates the ready amount of choice being offered for the science fiction and fantasy reader. Most of us generally speaking are into reading hard-core science as much as we are the fiction counterparts. For it is a semi well-known fact, that bits and bobbles of our science and technologic shifts in discoveries have sometimes been purported out of the fictional tales of the writers who give our minds something to chew on outside our realm of possibility. Imagination truly has always been the key to unlocking what is not yet known or understood to be plausible.

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Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comI always set out to approach how I review non-fiction titles and anthologies in a different manner than I would a novel, because in all honesty, they have their own rhythm to how their stories unfold. Non-fiction titles are generally broken into different sections (especially if the subject is of a Science related field) which is vindictive of anthologies, whose collective stories make up the whole of the book. Therefore, you will find this book review set to a different tone and pace than my regular faire.

I have known about the plan to extract part of what we create on Earth and to jettison that bit of production out to space as much as I have been aware of the theory that Space can handle more excess than what we can keep here on Earth. However, I do have a keen issue with this part of the theory, of being able to use Space without fear of consequence as Space appears to be a place where no harm can come to it. I oft wondered about all the left behind space debris and the accumulated bits we’ve already left to the pure nothingness that is Space. I am not sure why it is the one place we always approach outside our mindset of ‘leave no trace’ because it appears that if we were to conquer the ability to shift our industrial productivity to the Cosmos, would we then not want to ensure that whatever we ‘bring to Space’ is brought with the belief that we would be leaving less of an impression on the cosmos than we had on Earth!? OR are we simply going to continue to repeat a pattern of doing what works well for us in the short-term and not think of any long-term effects at all!? I would imagine, despite how seemingly different Space is to Earth, even in that realm there are perimeters of order outside the chaos.

I am not sure if I can go with a clear conscience to say that I fully support shifting our industries to Space if we do not have a clearly defined code of ethics and safety in place to ensure that whatever we ‘add’ to Space is not going to ‘subtract’ from what is already naturally occurring and viable. If we have not yet mastered the ability to be stewards of Earth, how then, can we become stewards of Space? We cannot take a direct step backwards and wreck havoc in a new environment simply because it ‘makes sense’ to re-distribute our problems to a place that has a higher yield of improbable elements of consequence.

To fully substantiate the proposition in Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth, the authors lay down the foundation of how Earth and Space originated in their uniqueness and how the history of their origins helps them better understand the future of both on equal grounds. This is the building block beginning to the book, as they shift and alternative between designated sections to help present the case, the argument, and the resolution for our dire need in living greener and in a way that is more efficient for our rate of consumption and expansion of living practices.

I was thankful to see a mentioning of the garbage and plastic waste ‘lingering in the Pacific Ocean’ as that is one credible example of how I would not appreciate seeing our efforts to fix our problems lead to a further issue out in Space. We tend to want quick answers to complicated problems, but the best answer will always be the one that does not yield to more problems but rather a better livable example of how to live well, produce energy without consequences we cannot ethical live with, and become better protectors of what we inherit to preserve.

I recognise that Space is a frontier we have not yet tapped, but why would we want to risk its own health for our own gain? I am uncertain I fully understood nor accept, that simply because we can harvest resources out of Space that we should take that course of action. We seem to eradicate the cause and effect from this dialogue for change. Not all change is positive and there are always limitations of what we do not yet understand. How can we honestly know the precise measure of what effect new technology and polluted waste will have on the stability of Space? Anytime you start to shift the status que there will be consequences, whether seen, unseen, or cast aside from view.

Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth provides a key view into the insight of where technology and progress is leading us forward towards healing the Earth of our mistakes of the past wherein we had limited Earth’s recovery from the processes of our own industrial age of expansion. Where I find myself on the fence of commitment lies within the heart of change discussed within the book itself. Perhaps it’s because I saw Medicine Man as a ten-year-old whose heart was already tethered to her connection to the natural world, or perhaps it’s because I always believed in the Hippocratic Oath. Either way, for me personally, I can attest the direction we choose to head into the future as a resolution towards our present circumstances, I can only hope that we weigh and consider our next effect on an environment that was fully functional and self-reliant before we ever altered its natural and evolving state of existence.

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Jorie, the girl with a scientific heart

One of the branches of literature I love exploring the most is non-fiction scientific research topics, subjects, and explorations where modern cutting-edge discoveries are impacting our lives whether we know about them or not. I have been wanting to dip back into my science-focused past, picking up where I left off reading and continue to venture into the areas of research and scientific discovery that enlightens my own mind to gain knowledge of. I have had the long-term goals to bring the books that I find which illuminate a particular topic to a level of degree of clarity and depth of knowledge in that working field to my regular readers and visitors of Jorie Loves A Story, as even within the non-fiction realms, I have oft found a ‘story’ behind the element of surprise discovery! Science might be grounded in fact and in the logistical side of proof (unless your examining the theoretical side of physics, which is my own personal preference!) but within the height of new and emerging paragrams of successful progress, we find a story is stitched together behind-the-scenes! And, that in of itself makes me giddy about researching science on a whole!

I have previously reviewed a handful of non-fiction titles on my blog, and it will continue to grow momentum as I find myself attracted to books on a case-by-case basis! Sometimes its the topic or subject contained within the book itself and sometimes it’s merely the approach of those who pen the research! I like keeping my mind open to the possibilities and remaining truthful to my own desire of gaining knowledge in the respective fields I draw an interest.

Science for me was always a big, big draw in my childhood as I practically lived at the Science Center in the city of my birth! The hours I spent over the Summers inside workshoppes, classes, and field trips are too numerous to even relay to you, but simply know that if it was an adventure within an out-of-the-box class for children and examined a curiosity I had under the general umbrella of  ‘science’, I was surely front row center! The best bit is that as I grew, I never outgrew my zest for science or for science theories and discoveries. One of my favourite subjects in high school was the quest behind the pursuit of understanding DNA, which involved Watson, Crick, and Rosalind Franklin. My twenties fused together my passion for the quantum realms, and as an undercurrent of interest oceanography, geophysics, cosmology, and astrophysics were always in close pursuit of each other. Having a careful eye for newsbits on an involving scale of interest from the fields of meteorology, solar optics, volcanology & plate tectonics, and environmental science (with includes every off-branch therein!) I have come to realise that my pursuit for understanding is now interconnected, threaded, and fused together!

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This Blog Tour Stop is courtesy of TLC Book Tours:

TLC Book Tours | Tour HostVirtual Road Map of “Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth” Blog Tour:

Monday, June 23rd: Ms. Nose in a Book

Tuesday, June 24th: A Curious Gal

Thursday, June 26th: 100 Pages a Day … Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Monday, June 30th: Green Tech Gazette

Wednesday, July 2nd: Kinx’s Book Nook

Thursday, July 3rd: guiltless reading

TBD: Grist

Monday: 7 July: Jorie Loves a Story

TBD: GreenMoxie

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

{SOURCES: Book cover for “Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth”, Author Biographies and Book Synopsis  were provided by TLC Book Tours and used with permission. Blog Tour badge & I Blog Books Non-Fiction 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.

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Posted Monday, 7 July, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, 21st Century, Alternative Energy, Asteroid Science, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Climate Change, Environmental Activism, Environmental Advocacy, Environmental Science, Environmental Solutions, Extraterrestrial Physics, GeoPhysical History, Green-Minded Social Awareness, History, Indie Author, Mechanical Engineering, Modern Day, Non-Fiction, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Popular Astronomy, Science, Science Fiction, Social Change, Space Science, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, Sustainability from Space, TLC Book Tours

*SFN* | A Book Showcase [focused on] Steampunk!

Posted Sunday, 3 November, 2013 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 6 Comments

SFN Feature badge created by Jorie in Canva

IF I were to be completely honest, I have been intrigued with the world of Steampunk for many, many moons as I simply adore the style of dress, the artwork of illustrators & indie visual artists, the motion pictures that bring a bit of Steampunkiness to the story-lines (especially the last Three Musketeers & The Invention of Hugo Cabret!), and of course, the idea of having the technology of Steampunk fused and fixed in the Victorian age whilst the regular time continuum shifts forward through the centuries! Now, that is something that I think most can appreciate because Steam Energy and Technology is a cleaner resource than those that were utilized in the Industrial Revolution. I have never known honestly how to jump-dash into the Steam-side of Literature, as I even was so bold and daring as to contact the largest SteamCon over on the West Coast about how one would go about digging into Steam novels — only to be returned a short notice that due to the vastness of the genre, it’s up to each reader to decide! Aye! How then, did I sort it out!? Let me tell you!

Prior to a fortuitous evening at my local library, I took part in The Clockwork Carnival which served as my Introduction to the literary side of Steampunk! Whereupon I read my first-ever novel set in a Steampunk world that revolved around automation! Prior to this contribution piece where I read the novel “The Clockwork Man”, I hadn’t realised that the genre of Steam was as far-fetching as the SteamCon had led me to believe! For instance, when you first start to research books & authors to read, you’re going to run into a few hurdles, especially if you’re at your local library as the card catalogue can only give you certain cross-reference word searches! Of which, limitations pursue, because you’re not always given the direct line of results you’re looking for as I would search for: cogs, clocks, clockwork, steam, steampunk, Victorian London, etc. Some of the best Steam books do not even come up cross-referenced as you think they would be listed but rather are listed as something else entirely! Such as the main subjects that are contained in the book rather than the genre by which the book is attached! A bit frustrating but I must be making progress because for this SFN Reading Challenge I harnessed for myself, I found quite a few new selections that I hadn’t discovered back during “The Clockwork Carnival!”

I do hope you will take the time to click-through to read my piece on The Clockwork Man, because its such a humbling story that emotes such a level of humanity through its wholly unusual lead character! I was taken by his willingness to learn how to adapt to our society, but also, how to love, how to feel, and how to properly live! I wonder if anyone else has read this novel by the indie author William Jablonsky!?

After I read it, I had it in mind to pick up the other alternates I had selected to read during that time, but alas! Time and life tend to run into our blogging affairs every so often, and I was detained! I decided to hold off until another moment arrived where Steampunk could be the main focus again! (hmm, did I have to wait long? winks!) Whilst I tabled reading those selections, I had the pleasure of being given the opportunity to read another indie author’s novel set in a post-apocalypse Steampunk world, where I would imagine it would be considered part Dsytopian as well!? I am referring to “The Boxcar Baby” by J.L. Mulihill, in which the main character is taking a quest to find her long-lost Papa!? As you will read in that review, I was left with mixed feelings when I came to the conclusion of the story. However, what it did for me was open up my eyes further to the wide expanse this genre affords us to read! Each time I find a new book that is of Steampunk nature, I get a bit giddy inside for where I will be led next! Reading is a learning curve, as each book and author you stumble across as your seeking what you’re looking for will be a step closer to where you hope to arrive!

I was originally intending to start off my Steampunk Book Showcase with the selection of “The Iron Wyrm Affair” as its been one of those books that starts to vex you because you keep having to return it and re-check it out again!? I was thinking this would have been perfect timing for me to consume it, only I was not alone in this thinking, as it is quite high in the hold que! Either that, or perhaps a sequel is due out and everyone is trying to re-read the beginning! I do notice that that can happen as well! Instead I am thinking that my first selection could be “The Dark Unwinding” by Sharon Cameron, as I speculate this based on what I read of the author’s website just the other day! I haven’t yet opened the book because I must confess, I am running a bit behind on my SFN writings & readings due to the fact I get a bit addicted to visiting all your lovely SFN blogs!! I get caught up in the social aspects of the event, to where I burnt so much midnight oil on the first three days of SFN, I had to crash a bit earlier today in order to make up the deficient in sleep! Don’t misunderstand me – I am not complaining, but my posts are being drawn out a bit longer to post due to this! Plus, too, let’s face it during lunch I decided to see a new Hallmark Thanksgiving movie entitled: “The Thanksgiving House” which was a lovely addition to the holiday film season!

I am only in the beginnings of my journey into this wicked genre, which is why I do not have too much to disclose in this opening post, as I find that each book brings me a bit closer to understanding it overall! I would love to open up a discussion thread though right now, and encourage anyone who has had history with Steampunk in Literature to post a link back to a post on your own blog that delves into how you came to start reading Steampunk &/or of whom your favourite authors, stand-alone novels, and Steam serial books would be!? Be sure to come back to this post to attach the link of your post in the comments! ONLY link directly to the post you created on this topic, DO NOT link to the main page of your blog! I will be checking! Thank you! I cannot wait to see what everyone’s post!! :)

In the interim, these are the books I pulled from my local library to explore this month:

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron – A most excellent choice! Started to read on 17 November!
The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi
Steamed: A Steampunk Romance by Kate MacAlister
Not Less For Gods by Kage Baker
Steampunk: An Anthology by
Ann Vandermeer
The Clockwork Universe by Edward Dolnick
Mainspring by Jay Lake
Airborn by Kenneth Opel

I selected each of them for different reasons, as I wanted to see how far I could push myself into the realms of the genre itself. I am not even sure if the settings, plot, and characters will be ones that I can warm myself up too properly, as that is all part of the discovery process, but those that I do warm too are going to be reviewed during SFN! Again, I am running a bit behind in this, as my first Steampunk review might post on the 10th rather than the 3rd as I am just this shy of falling asleep on my keyboard!

I would be curious to hear from you, dear hearts, if you have perhaps read one of these books yourself, what your lasting impression was of them, and if you have a few book selections to provide me for future Steampunky readings!?

This feature is brought to you by:

Sci-Fi November | Hosted by Rinn Reads{SOURCES: Sci-Fi November Badge provided by Rinn Reads for participants to advert the month long event and to encourage people to follow along with those of us who are contributing! SFN badge used with permission. SFN Feature badge created by Jorie in Canva.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Sunday, 3 November, 2013 by jorielov in Alternative History, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Bookish Discussions, Dystopian, Horror, Indie Author, Library Find, Library Love, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction, SFN Bingo, Speculative Fiction, Steampunk, Tomorrow Comes Media, Young Adult Fiction