Category: Bits & Bobbles of Jorie

Book Spotlight and Extract | Featuring Notes by Jorie on behalf of “Dragonflies at Night” by Anne Marie Bennett

Posted Tuesday, 6 October, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

My selected featured story today was one I was looking forward to reading myself as I was marked down for a review on this lovely blog tour. However, for whichever reason as we are all aware of our mail has started to become a bit delayed in reaching us and thereby, I had to amend how I was hosting this tour this week. Combine mail woes with some technical issues I’ve been having with my connectivity over the weekend and into this first half of a new week and you’ve found me at sixes and sevens trying to sort through it and not feel dragged down by it all. Hopefully others on the blog tour have simply been wrapped inside the story and haven’t had to sort through as much as I have whilst awaiting for the book to arrive.

I happen to like stories which tuck us away from our lives and give us something new to consider and contemplate – as this particular romantic Contemporary has a lot of symbolic and metaphysical sensibility about it in regards to the overall theme of the story and how it was written. I hadn’t realised when I signed up for this one that the main plot theme surrounds Cancer which is generally the kind of story I try to avoid reading about as I have a very sensitive heart and whenever I read about terminal illnesses, I find myself retreating from the storylines.

This particular story though holds a lot of promise and hope within it though if you read the synopsis and even within the short extract I am hosting today, there appears to be more about this story than what can be gleamed about it on the surface of its components. Which for me as a reader is a good thing as I liked to be surprised by the stories I am reading as much as I like going into a story already knowing what to expect. Sometimes it is also good to shake things up in your reading life and perhaps pick a book to read you hadn’t expected would be a wicked good story for you at the time in which it arrived in your life. Reading such as life has a beautiful cadence to it and I am oft observing how stories come into our hands to read at the moments we’re meant to read them even if it doesn’t feel like the right timing when we first receive them.

I was also quite taken by how dragonflies play such a strong role in the story and I had read they equally play a role in the author’s life as well. There are a lot of moments in our lives which cannot be explained through ordinary means and must be trusted with faith. I like finding stories which bridge the gap between what can be perceived and what can be intuited as much as how our lives are also felt on a spiritual level of understanding. In essence, I felt the heart of this story was one that I was going to enjoy reading and I hope one day I will be able to experience it for myself.

For now – I hope this puts this story on your own radar and perhaps even encourage you to add it to your own #mustread list! Enjoy the extract and the links wherein you can interact with the author and/or find out more about the story itself.

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Book Spotlight and Extract | Featuring Notes by Jorie on behalf of “Dragonflies at Night” by Anne Marie BennettDragonflies at Night
Subtitle: More than a love story. Somewhere in his mind, a new song began... Somewhere in her heart, healing stirred...
by Anne Marie Bennett

A dragonfly brings a mother’s love to a grieving daughter.

Meet Savannah, the thirty-something owner of Life Celebrations, a party planning business. Despite losing both parents as a teenager, Savannah is creating a positive life for herself, surrounded by friends and co-workers who are now her family. But she also has a secret—as much as she wants to settle down and have children, she is afraid to, for fear of getting cancer and having to leave them without their mother, as she herself was left behind years ago.

Meet Deirdre Rose, Savannah’s mother. She continues to watch over Savannah, who feels deeply connected to her mother whenever she sees a dragonfly.

Now meet Ben, a thirty-something recording artist who is good-looking, talented, and a household name. Despite his fame, Ben is lonely. He trusts few people because it seems everyone wants something from him instead of getting to know who he really is.

Savannah and Ben cross paths when they meet at a yoga retreat in the Massachusetts Berkshires. They are drawn to each other’s creativity and outlook on life. She sees beyond his celebrity and he admires her strength in what she’s had to overcome.

What happens when the retreat ends and they go their separate ways? Will they be able to make a long distance relationship work? Can Savannah put aside her fears, and will Ben allow himself to be truly vulnerable?

Above all . . . what message do Deirdre Rose and Dragonfly have for both of them?

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Motherhood | Parenthood, Women's Fiction


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8663865104

Published by Self Published

on 7th July, 2020

This is a Self-Published novel

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance or Contemporary #Romance
as well as #WomensFiction and #DatNPrism

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Posted Tuesday, 6 October, 2020 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Women's Fiction

An #INSPY Audiobook Review | Jorie was smitten by the cheeky Contemporary INSPY humour of Bethany Turner within the pages of “Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish”! [Started during #CFSRS20]

Posted Monday, 21 September, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , 1 Comment

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I have been participating in the Christian Fiction & Clean Reads Reading Safari readathon for the past three years now. I have found the readathon to be personally enriching as it is a wonderful month of respite for book bloggers who want to focus on reading outside their blog schedules and tuck into the gentler side of fiction which is Inspirational Fiction (ie. INSPY). A portion of INSPY is Christian Fiction however, INSPY overall encompasses all faiths and religious backgrounds as it is faith-inspired literature. As a participant of the readathon – each reader moves through the event at their own pacing – seeking stories to read, authors to get to know socially online and reading the stories which interest them throughout the readathon. As you participate there is a chance you can win a book or several throughout the month. This year I am reading a mixture of stories I’ve won during past CFSRS readathons, stories I’ve won through bookaways with Christian Fiction authors or bloggers as well as stories on my shelf from my personal library as well as borrowing INSPY stories in print and audio from my local libraries.

In May 2020, I was hosting a few promotional tours and social blitzes for JustRead Publicity Tours – one of those tours was the ‘Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish’ Takeover Tour – wherein I received a complimentary print copy of the novel in exchange for posting promotional content on social media featuring my own book photography. Whilst the audiobook edition for “Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish” was included in my Scribd membership which I use to regularly listen to audiobooks. However, I finished listening to the audiobook via CloudLibrary which is a service through my library for listening to audiobooks. I was not obligated to post a review on behalf of this novel and have elected to do so for my own edification as well as continuing to share my bookish and readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read this story:

You’d have to understand my affection and addiction to watching *celebrity chefs!* first and foremost – as I entered into my years of cooking a bit late in the game compared to most women. In fact, I took after Julia Child and I was wickedly overjoyed knowing that she didn’t get invested into cooking or the cookery arts until well into her thirties – wherein I happily beat her by a few years myself when I started to find that I enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen, too!

Prior to those years of my late twenties, I was resolved that perhaps when it came to cooking my real gift was for baking – as I just did not catch onto the buzz round using fresh farmer market ingredients and sorting out which vegetarian and/or vegan dish I wanted to create by using different cookbooks and/or vegan/veg blogger recipes online until after assisting Mum as her sous chef – I started to notice I was enjoying ‘going off the recipes’ and sorting things out on my own. It was a personal reckoning of joy and I was thrilled to bits about this new adventure I was undertaking.

This also lead us to requesting copious amounts of cookbooks & baking books at our local library and happily kept the Acquisitions Library well supplied with titles for vegans and vegetarians alike! Over the years we had to take a break from focusing on vegetarian foods and are more omnivores at the moment who are anxious to return back to living through the seasons with vegetables and grains. At the same time, I was no longer finding Food Network & the Cooking Network to be on the boring side of the ledger as half the time I felt a lot of that stuff flew over my head quite a bit.

I’m all-in now – from having personal favourite celebrity chefs to having series on Food Network I am wicked thrilled over seeing new episodes for whenever I’m able to see them to realising that it could take another lifetime to *bake!* like they do on the Great British Bake-Off! I even love a murder mystery series via Hallmark Movies & Mysteries called: “Morning Show Mysteries”. The title is elusive as she runs a restaurant and has a cooking segment on a tv show.

Thus, when I read the premise for “Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish” I thought how wicked wonderful one of today’s INSPY Contemporary novelists’ is taking a personal hobby following the lives of celebrity chefs and spinning it into a compellingly realistic story!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Graphic created in Canva by Jorie. Hadley Beckett's Next Dish novel Photography Credit: © jorielovesastory.com.

Hadley Beckett's Next Dish
by Bethany Turner
Source: Borrowed from local library's CloudLibrary, Direct from Publisher, Scribd | Audiobook Subscription
Narrator: Aimee Lilly

Get ready for a heaping helping of humor, romance, and second chances

Celebrity chef Maxwell Cavanagh is known for many things: his multiple Michelin stars, his top-rated Culinary Channel show, To the Max, and most of all his horrible temper. Hadley Beckett, host of the Culinary Channel's other top-rated show, At Home with Hadley, is beloved for her Southern charm and for making her viewers feel like family.

When Max experiences a very public temper tantrum and is sent packing, his only chance to get back on TV and in the public's good graces is to work alongside Hadley. As these polar-opposite celeb chefs begin to peel away the layers of public persona and reputation, they will not only discover the key ingredients for getting along but also learn the secret recipe for unexpected forgiveness . . . and maybe even love.

In the meantime, hide the knives.

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Cookery, Foodie Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Southern Lit, Women's Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780800735234

ASIN: B087JZQCC3

Published by Revell

on 5th May, 2020

Format: Audiobook | Digital, Trade Paperback

Length: 8 hours and 40 minutes (unabridged)

Pages: 352

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The novels of Bethany Turner:

The Secret Life of Sarah HollenbeckWooing Cadie McCaffrey by Bethany TurnerHadley Beckett's Next Dish by Bethany Turner

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck (2017)

Wooing Cadie McCaffrey (2019)

Hadley Becket’s Next Dish (2020)

Published by: Revell (@RevellBooks)

an imprint of Baker Publishing Group

Audiobook Published by: Oasis Audio (@oasisaudio)

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook (Digital & CD) and Ebook

Converse via: #Contemporary #ChristianFiction, #INSPYRomance, #INSPYbooks,
as well as #HadleyBeckettsNextDish and #HadBeck

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

7th Annual Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

This story received my award for Best Contemporary INSPY Women’s Fiction
& Best Audiobook Narrator of 2020!

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About Bethany Turner

Bethany Turner

Bethany Turner is the award-winning author of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck and Wooing Cadie McCaffrey and the director of administration for Rock Springs Church in Southwest Colorado. A former bank executive and a three-time cancer survivor (all before she turned 35), Bethany knows that when God has plans for your life, it doesn't matter what anyone else has to say. Because of that, she's chosen to follow his call to write. She lives with her husband and their two sons in Colorado, where she writes for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight.

Photo Credit: Photo by: Emilie Hendryx © EA Creative Photography

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #CFSRS20
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Posted Monday, 21 September, 2020 by jorielov in #CFSRS20, #INSPYSundays, 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Chefs and Sous Chefs, Christianity, Contemporary Romance, Cookery, Foodie Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Library Catalogues & Databases, Library Find, Love Books Tours, Modern Day, Nashville, New York City, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Reading Challenges, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Sociological Behavior, Sweet Romance, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Women's Fiction

A Non-Fiction Audiobook Review | “My Life in Plants” (Flowers I’ve Loved, Herbs I’ve Grown, and Houseplants I’ve Killed on the Way to Finding Myself) by Katie Vaz, narrated by Taylor Meskimen courtesy of #NetGalley

Posted Thursday, 3 September, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#AudioReads banner created by Jorie in Canva. Unsplash Photography (Creative Commons Zero) Photo Credit: Alice Moore

Acquired Book By: Earlier this year, in late Winter (February) I joined NetGalley for the first time as they finally announced they were going to be offering full-length audiobooks for reviewers. I was never able to join NetGalley due to having chronic migraines and being unable to read ebooks. I started requesting audiobooks to review as soon as they opened their audiobook catalogue in July, 2020. I am an eclectic reader and thereby, you will see all genres in Fiction explored from both markets of interest: mainstream and INSPY as well as from Major Trade, Indie Publishers & Press and other routes of publication, too. There might be the occasional Non-Fiction title appearing in my NetGalley queue of reviews as well. This marks a new adventure for me seeking stories for review consideration and I look forward to seeing where the stories lead me to venture.

I received a complimentary digital and temporary audiobook copy of “My Life in Plants” direct from the publisher Andrews McMeel Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All audiobooks via NetGalley are able to be heard via the NetGalley Shelf which is why I was thankful to be gifted an android tablet by my parents to celebrate my 7th Blog Birthday on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: As a new reviewer on NetGalley, I’m sorting out how to get the Press Materials for each of the audiobooks I’m reviewing when I share them on my blog Jorie Loves A Story. When I contacted NetGalley Support they informed me if a separate Press Kit is not included on the audiobook’s book page we’re allowed as reviewers to use the book cover and synopsis provided when we go to share our review of that audiobook on our blogs; as long as we give attribution as I have done at the bottom of this review in “Sources”. Those materials are provided with permission of the publishers to be used by reviewers via NetGalley.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Why I was intrigued to listen to
“My Life in Plants”:

What first drew me into wanting to hear this story about one woman’s life centred round the plants which populated her memories was the fact I needed a segue story to resume my current reading queue as the world’s news headlines were getting to me this week. We all have our level of tolerances for how much news we can sustainably read before it all becomes a bit too much to filter and this week, my tolerances simply vacated.

I decided to see if I could find a short audiobook about something completely outside my own purview as a reader and as an audiobook listener to where it would be a dynamic shift outside my current wanderings as much as be a story I could get behind because of its own authentic voice to tell its own story. What I found was a curiously titled Memoir about a woman who stored her memories from the seeds and experiences she had with plants. To me that was a wholly original concept and I wanted to follow in her stead!

What I found was a thought-inducing Memoir which helps you think about your own life as your listening to her adventures whilst finding inspiration along the way. The only downside for me (despite how much I loved this book!) is that some of the chapters and snippets of her life are quite on the shortened end of the spectrum – so don’t be too surprised if you’re hugged into one of her memories and suddenly that chapter ends!Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

A Non-Fiction Audiobook Review | “My Life in Plants” (Flowers I’ve Loved, Herbs I’ve Grown, and Houseplants I’ve Killed on the Way to Finding Myself) by Katie Vaz, narrated by Taylor Meskimen courtesy of #NetGalleyMy Life in Plants
Subtitle: Flowers I've Loved, Herbs I've Grown, and Houseplants I've Killed on the Way to Finding Myself
by Katie Vaz
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Katie Vaz
Source: Audiobook Direct from Publisher via NetGalley
Narrator: Taylor Meskimen

From stumpy potted houseplants to intricate and delicate flower arrangements, My Life in Plants is a heartfelt, honest memoir that intertwines the complex nature of houseplants with a journey of self-discovery.

From Katie Vaz, author of Don’t Worry, Eat Cake, the beloved Make Yourself Cozy, and The Escape Manual for Introverts, comes My Life in Plants. Her newest book tells the story of her life through the thirty-nine plants that have played both leading and supporting roles, from her childhood to her wedding day. Plants include a homegrown wildflower bouquet wrapped in duct tape that she carried on stage at age three, to a fragrant basil plant that brought her and her kitchen back to life after grief. The stories are personal, poignant, heartwarming, and relatable, and will prompt readers to recall plants of their own that have been witness to both the amazing moments of life and the ordinary ones. This illustrated memoir covers the simplicity of home, the sharpness of loss, the lesson of learning to be present, and the journey of finding your way.

Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Botany, Horticulture, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Self-Improvement & Self-Actualisation


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781524864019

ASIN: B08FJFKJDC

Published by Andrews McMeel Audio, Andrews McMeel Publishing

on 1st September, 2020

Format: Audiobook | Digital Review Copy (NetGalley)

Length: 1 Hour, 36 Minutes, 58 Seconds (unabridged)

Published By: Andrews McMeel Audio
an imprint of Andrews McMeel Publishing (@AndrewsMcMeel)

Genre(s) of Interest: Non-Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, Self-Help and Botany
as well as Gardening & Horticulture and Foodie centric memories

Formats Available: Hardback, Audiobook and Ebook

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7th Annual Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

This story received my award for Best Non-Fiction: Memoir.

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Enjoy a preview of the artwork in the book!:

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 3 September, 2020 by jorielov in 21st Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Anthology Collection of Stories, Audiobook, Autobiographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Book Review (non-blog tour), Botany, Diary Accountment of Life, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Horticulture, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Journal, Memoir, Modern Day, NetGalley, Non-Fiction, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Short Stories or Essays, Vignettes of Real Life

Book Spotlight and Extract | Featuring Notes by Jorie on behalf of the For the Love of Fiber Series by Kate Bowman

Posted Tuesday, 1 September, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

You may or may not remember how much I *love!* Old World Arts & Crafts as it isn’t a topic which I share too often on Jorie Loves A Story. However, if you caught sight of a book about the artful approach to natural dying for fibre arts – you would have known how much I love playing with fibre as a knitter and how much I’d love to expand my skill set with both the projects I knit and what I can create as a fibre artist in the future.

I’ve been binge watching podcasts (which I used to consider vlogs) via YouTube with my Mum for the past several years now which involve all manners of the world of knitting – from festivals and fibre shows to knitters who are vlogging (er, podcasting) their knitting lives to the world via their YT channels. It is quite an interesting section of YouTube as it is similar to our bookish booktube world wherein the niche of interest is just as passionate about the world of fibre, knitting, crochet, spinning and other fibre art delights as we are about books, reading and book world culture.

When I first heard of this series I thought it sounded quite delightful – even though I wasn’t sure if I was ready to read a series that involves Alzheimer’s as I’ve gone through that personally with family members and at times I find those stories to be quite harder hitting than I presume they will be going into them. I tend to shy away from stories involving dementia and/or terminal illness – even though there are times where I feel inspired to seek them out as I love the overall plot and the journey of the characters. This particular series seems to be dealing with the early on-set of the disease and not the mid-to-late stages of it which I feel is an easier place to enter into that thread of the storyline which is why I look forward to seeking this series one day to read for myself.

As an aside, as a knitter I’ve not picked up my projects in four years – as I sort of lost track of where I am in the patterns. I was on such a strong roll with knitting several projects at once as I enjoy charity knitting as much as personal projects and/or gifts for friends and family. The hard bit is that when I lose where I am with the patterns, it is harder to re-adjust as our knitting and yarn shoppes have either shrunken over the years or have had reduced their hours which makes getting to their places a bit inconvenient. I look forward to visiting a shoppe in the future – sorting out where I am with my projects and getting back into knitting. It is something that I love to do and it is such wonderful blissitude to be lost in fibre and stitches.

If you enjoy Fibre Arts yourself, perhaps this series will resonate with you – I am thankful I could champion the collection on Jorie Loves A Story today. And, hopefully the extract which is being shared leaves you with a few ruminations, too!

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The Spin I'm In by Kate BowmanIt Never Felt so Go Good by Kate Bowman

This is a Self-Published series

Converse via: #ForTheLoveOfFiber, Contemporary Fiction, #Fiber, #Yarn & #Spinning
as well as #WomensFiction and #LFPrism

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Book One : For the Love of Fiber Series

add to LibraryThing

Published: 26th August, 2019 | ISBN: 978-1733467407

The Spin I'm In by Kate Bowman

A determined widow faces the challenge of a new life to regain the confidence and independence of her youth, but finds that life, unlike knitting, doesn’t always follow a pattern.

After twenty-five years of being the perfect wife and mother, Martha LeBeau finds herself unexpectedly widowed and shocked to discover her husband had been living a double life, leaving her penniless and in debt. Determined to regain her lost confidence and independence, she sells her suburban Chicago home and moves to the Wisconsin countryside to forge a new life away from cheating men and smothering children. There she meets the Wool Gatherers, a group of fiber artists who teach her the art of spinning wool and raising sheep. Along with one determined Border Collie, she begins on the path to self-growth and healing.

Riley O’Connor is the single father of a child with Asperger Syndrome. The child’s mother walked out on them because she found that life too difficult to handle. Since then, he has dedicated himself to protecting his son from any further emotional damage.

Meeting Riley and his son through her new job brings love and challenges to Martha’s newly found independence. Romance blooms like a finely knit cable, entwining their lives.

Can either of them learn to trust again?

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Book Two : For the Love of Fiber Series

add to LibraryThing

Published: 9th May, 2020 | ISBN: 978-1733467421

It Never Felt so Go Good by Kate Bowman

Cara Olson is forced to put aside her struggling art career in Chicago to care for her ailing grandmother in Wisconsin. While journeying with her beloved Gram through the diagnosis of possible Alzheimer’s disease, she loses and then rediscovers her passion for art and experiences the resurrection of a past love.

Struggling artist Cara Olson is called home to Wisconsin to care for her ailing grandmother who is showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Leaving behind her mentor//boyfriend, Stefan, she begins to look at her unsuccessful career and relationship in a new light.

Surprised to find her Gram’s doctor is her high-school crush, Peter Andreson, she fights her reignited feelings. When Chicago critics dismiss her artwork as a poor imitation of Stefan’s, she is devastated and vows to give up art.

While caring for Gram and running her small Scandinavian gift shop, the Wool Gatherers, a local group of fiber artists, help her find new outlets for her creativity, designing works of art with hand-made felt and her re-emerging love of landscape and portrait painting.

Along the way, her feelings for Peter grow, and she realizes she has once again fallen for a man only dedicated to his career. When the opportunity arises for her to return to Chicago with the promise of a new career, she seizes it. But even her success can’t fill the void she experiences without Gram, her new friends, and Peter.

Can she return to Shoreview, the place that inspires her art, and be satisfied with a life that doesn’t include him?

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Posted Tuesday, 1 September, 2020 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Indie Author, Knitting, Old World Arts & Crafts, Prism Book Tours, Spinning, Women's Fiction