Category: Bits & Bobbles of Jorie

An INSPY Book Review during #CFSRS20 | Diving into the Coastal Hearts series by Janet W. Ferguson whilst reading “Magnolia Storms”

Posted Friday, 7 August, 2020 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

#CFSRS20 readathon badge created 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.

I won a bookaway during #CFSRS18 wherein I received a copy of “Magnolia Storms” direct from the author Janet W. Ferguson which she happily surprised me with inscribing! 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.

NOTE: The Press Materials seen on this book review were courtesy of the author’s Media Kit and are used with permission of the author as stated on her page.

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Why I wanted to read this story:

I have been wanting to read this lovely ever since it first arrived – however, the past few years have been unique years wherein what I have wanted to read hasn’t always aligned with the ability to read the stories. I attempted to start reading the books I had won during the first year of the readathon last July – however, try as I had – something always pulled me away. I was just thankful I was able to read any INSPY last July as it seemed like the month was taking me up in its tides and not allowing me the grace to settle into the stories which give my heart such an uplift to read.

This year, about two months ahead of the readathon (or as I thought it would be – as I hadn’t known it was switched from July to August until the end of June) I started pulling the stories off my shelves I felt I might be inclined to read this year. I had more than enough to choose from as INSPY Lit is one of my favourite areas of literature to explore – as seen on my 70 Authors Challenge and through my Story Vault wherein I house my review archives. I knew I was going to read more Love Inspired this year – both Contemporary & Suspense whilst I had a few blog tours in August for Harlequin Heartwarming & Love Inspired respectively – however, I wasn’t going to count those in my readathon goals. I like to use the readathon to read the stories already in my personal library, won in bookaways and/or which can become borrowed through my local libraries in either audio or print; whilst seeking out INSPY Fiction on Scribd in audiobook as well.

What first drew my eye into the premise of ‘Magnolia Storms’ when I requested it as one of my book choices in [2018] was the fact this was rooted in the after effects of Hurricane Katrina and storm seasons in the Gulf. Being a traveller during Katrina and having had many conversations with the evacuating families who were fleeing out of its path who had found themselves where I had been at the time in Birmingham, Alabama was quite the experience. Most were on their way back to Louisiana, others were going west to either Colorado or Houston, Texas whilst others were staying in Birmingham as they were given a warm welcome. I couldn’t blame them – it was a friendly city.

Storms in any variety are a part of our everyday lives – they bring destruction and they bring a kind of wrath that is hard to understand. They have after effects that are felt long and wide after a storm has passed. Look at the cities decimated by tornadoes every year and you will see how powerful and how hard it is to find mercy in the dawn after those storms have passed. Hurricanes like their tornado cousins cause emotional trauma and personal loss.

I used to read and watch a lot of natural disaster stories – for reasons which are elusive to me, however several pushed me a bit over the edge of what I could handle – especially if it involved flash flooding, earthquakes, wildfires or a deluge of tornadoes. I had had my fill at the time and only recently re-watched one of my favourites which was about tornadoes affecting a power plant [Atomic Twister] which started Mark Paul Gosselaar and Sharon Lawrence – as it was available for free via Roku. It was hard to believe how terrifying it was all over again and how hard it was to watch one of the team sacrifice his own life to save everyone else when it come to going into the contaminated room to give the team more time to save the plant.

This first novel of the Coastal Hearts series felt like a beautiful segue into Realistic INSPY Fiction which combines the drama of living in today’s world as we each face the different (and complicated!) storms which set to unravel our internal and external worlds. It is how we choose to rise through those unforeseen adversities which seek to challenge our perspectives on life and how we want to be living – but with faith, hope and a bit of grit to get through those challenging hours – we can all seek solid ground on the other side of the ‘storms’. This is why I wanted to read “Magnolia Storms” and this year is the best year I believe for me to ‘meet’ the story as who hasn’t been shuffling their own sea of storms crashing ashore this 2020?

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Magnolia Storms novel Photography Credit: © jorielovesastory.com.

Magnolia Storms
Subtitle: A Coastal Hearts novel
by Janet W. Ferguson
Source: Won a Bookaway

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Meteorology, Realistic Fiction, Southern Lit, Sweet Romance, Women's Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780997658767

on 20th August, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 280

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The Coastal Heart series:

Magnolia Storms(book one)

Falling for Grace(book two)

The Art of Rivers (book three)

Star Rising (book four)

Published by: Southern Sun Press

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance, #INSPYRomance, #INSPYbooks,
as well as #SouthernLit and #CoastalHearts

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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 INSPY Contemporary Romance.

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About Janet W. Ferguson

Janet W. Ferguson

Janet W. Ferguson is a Grace Award winner and a Christy Award finalist. She grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served as a children’s minister and a church youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. She writes humorous inspirational fiction for people with real lives and real problems. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a cat that allows them to share the space.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #CFSRS20
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Posted Friday, 7 August, 2020 by jorielov in #CFSRS20, #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Review (non-blog tour), Christianity, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Medical Fiction, Mental Health, Mississippi, Modern Day, Motherhood | Parenthood, Post-911 (11th September 2001), PTSD, Reading Challenges, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Single Fathers, Single Mothers, Singletons & Commitment, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Sweet Romance, Terminal Illness &/or Cancer, Trauma | Recovery in Hospital, Traumatic Injury, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Women's Fiction

Jorie’s favourite INSPY #readathon | Celebrating the JOY of #CFSRS20 – wherein #JorieReads a heap of lovely Christian Fiction throughout August!

Posted Monday, 3 August, 2020 by jorielov , 0 Comments

#CFSRS20 readathon badge created by Jorie in Canva.

This *August!* I’ve decided to forego organising what I’ll be reading during #CFSRS20 and leave it up to the moment I pick up a book and find myself falling into its chapters – ergo, Jorie gets her #INSPYreads on for the next 30 *28!* days!

Quick Links:

2020 #CFSRS20 Reading Challenge

& this Year’s Reading Challenge Sponsors (Authors & Pubs)

& the tags: #amreadingcfsrs20 & #cfsrs20winner

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

Each Summer, I happily look forward to the Christian & Clean Fiction Reading Safari hosted by the lovely Sydney @ Singing Librarian Books, of whom I originally crossed paths whilst hosting for Cedar Fort Publishing & Media. I have been a long standing hybrid reader of mainstream & INSPY markets of Literature since I was a young girl – wherein I would go to the regular bookstores as well as my hometown Indie inasmuch as my favourite Christian Bookstores as well. Uniquely, I bought most of my beloved Mandie series at the Indie bookstore as they stocked them more regularly than the Christian bookstores! I’m still hoping I have a full set – one day I’ll know for sure when I can unpack my Mandie books.

Usually this lovely event and readathon is hosted in JULY – however, this year, it was shifted into August and for me, I believe this was a better fit for me as a reader. I had a hard ending to May (ie. my migraines started to resume) whereas June & July were a bit of a blur with clustering migraines which knocked out more days and weeks than I desire to acknowledge possible. The latter of which was the past two weeks wherein I was barely able to surface on my blog whilst I was just attempting to resume reading as I was finally finding my focus again. This last migraine was a beast and I wish it on no one.

Regular readers of Jorie Loves A Story will be familiar with my keen attachment to INSPY Literature & Christian Fiction (in particular) by how regularly those stories are featured on my blog and/or my social feeds. One of the authors featured this year during the readathon is Danielle Thorne of whom I hosted during @SatBookChat this July. My reviews of her two novels “Josette” and “His Daughter’s Prayer” were postponed due to my severe migraines and the intensity of the lightning storms – as I did try to keep reading betwixt and between the migraines themselves which plagued me for the final two weeks of the month, however, the lightning storms made it impossible to gain any traction with the connectivity issues I was facing to update the reviews in progress. I’ll be sharing more about this lovely author this first week of the readathon – hopefully to inspire others to pick up her novels, to re-read over our #SatBookChat convo and to happily join the readathon to support the author and/or win one of her lovely books. She graciously gave two of my chatters one of her novels – the two stories we had chatted about during @SatBookChat.

It isn’t just my love of INSPY & Christian Fiction, but the wonderful uplift of JOY get have whenever you’re residing in one of these kinds of stories. I know I’ll be reading some more Love Inspired Suspense this month as it is a yearly happiness of joy to focus on those lovelies but where I find my readerly hat resting outside of Love Inspired is anyone’s guess!

Thus, I am a few days late joining the readathon this year – however, I previously selected the books to choose amongst to read this year and I couldn’t be happier to get get started! Some are from my backlogue of reviews, others are from my personal library – including the ones I’ve won in past Christian Reading Safaris or other bookaways! As that is the extended joy of this kind of readathon – you get to read the stories you’ve already selected to read whilst you get the chance to ‘meet’ new authors of INSPY if your name is pulled as one of the weekly winners!

Talk about a lovely readathon, eh?

Plus it is all at your own time and pacing –
how many stories you want to focus on and how fast you read them as well.

I’m looking forward to pulling a book off my shelf, setting into the story and having a nice readathon spent consumed by the books which give me a heap of JOY to be reading!

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The following convo is regarding

the Christian & Clean Fiction Summer Reading Safari,
or as you will find the posts on my blog & Twitter feeds: #amreadingcfsrs120 OR #CFSRS20

I compiled this Q&A last year and am re-sharing it this year in case someone would like to participate but didn’t understand the specifics. I also added a bottom section pertinent to the Google Form which is replacing the way we added our entries in 2018 July.

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We don’t have to review all the books we’re reading this month, but we can talk about them on Twitter or in a wrap-up post on our blogs or just read them w/o socially sharing them? That’s the option in the bookaway for “Read a book”

A: Yes. If you read a book that is Christian or Clean Fiction, you can enter it in the google form for points in the giveaways. ← In lieu of Rafflecopter, this year we have a Google form.

We can read and review ANY author of our choice –

as long as their Christian / INSPY or Clean – right?

A: Yes. You can read and review and author of your choice as long as it’s Christian or Clean, but you do get more entries in the Reading Challenge Google Form if you read a book by an author or publisher sponsor.

IF we are not in the Facebook group (as I use Twitter) but we read a book on the Facebook Challenge page (on the challenge blog) OR if we read book by an author listed on that page, we enter that title into that space on the bookaway?

A: Yes. You can enter this title to for extra points in the Reading Challenge Google Form. :)

Here’s what I was most worried about after finding 15+ audiobooks I want to listen to this month which actually count as INSPY/ChrisFic reads —

I am off-setting my readings with audiobooks, as I am trying to curb a repeat of Spring where I had a high frequency of migraines. When you say ‘read’ a book – you are accepting some of us are reading print books *and* audiobooks?

I wanted to confirm this wasn’t format specific to ONLY print or ebooks?

A: As for “reading” a book, this can be print,

e-book, or audiobook. What ever works best for you. :)

In regards to the Google Form:

Let’s say you’ve decided to follow a new author (ie. Twitter, their blog, their website, or author newsletter) but didn’t get to finish a book? Add that info to the form for the day it applies. Maybe you followed a new author + shared a s/o for the readathon via Twitter – add both to the form for that day’s entry. If you finished a book, shared a tweet *and!* followed a new author – mark all those fields on the form! Also, if you are blogging a review and/or sharing a review via GoodReads, LibraryThing or another site – those links also count on the form, too (for the days they apply). As a for instance – I shared a tweet and followed a new author on the 1st of July, 2019.

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

Jorie’s INSPY Reads for AUGUST 2020:

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #CFSRS20
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Posted Monday, 3 August, 2020 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, JLAS Update Post, Reading Challenges

Book Spotlight and Extract | Featuring Notes by Jorie on behalf of “Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree” by Simi K. Rao

Posted Tuesday, 28 July, 2020 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

You might have noticed I haven’t had the chance to host a lot of poets & collections of short stories in quite a long while. For quite a long while I was starting to get announcements about tours which featured these kinds of stories and then, there seemed to be a bit of a dry patch about the availability to host poets and short fiction writers. I love to dive into a poetry collection and/or a short story and novella anthology – for the latter, I have mostly staid within the Speculative Fiction realms but when it comes to Poetry, I have been a bit more exploratory in my selections. You can read through my past reviews for poems if you scroll to the bottom of my Story Vault.

There you will find former reviews I’ve shared where I truly tried to peer into the poems and to see how the vision of the poem and the reaction I felt after reading them could become articulated into a review. I found it most challenging in the beginning to sort out my thoughts about poetry because how a person reads a poem is such an interpersonal experience. It is rooted in our own living histories and our own perceptional insight – *everything!* about us goes into how we read a poem because poems are small glimpses into the human spirit and our soul. It is how we can share a portion of ourselves within the tender small space of a poem.

What drew me to host this lovely blog tour is how all the poems are about a women’s experience and of the tides of her life – I love reading Women’s Fiction for similar reasons, as the genre itself tucks into the emotional heart of a women’s life as it is being lived. Women’s Fiction for me always felt like a cosy niche of where I could write stories myself because unlike Romance where it is more hinged on the HEA (happy ever after) or the HFN (happy for now) – Women’s Fiction goes deeper into the heart of the women in the story. To get into her head and to see a more interpersonal journey of where she is when we arrive inside her life.

I knew I wanted to feature this collection ahead of reading it – as there were only digital copies available for review – which gave me a chance to host a small extract for the blog tour. I hadn’t opened the file until I went to write my spotlight and I had to smirk. The topic for my extract had a personal connection as I’ve been distancing myself with my love of coffee to reacquire and reacquaint myself with ‘tea’. I’ve been enjoying copious warming cuppas of chai recently and it is like ‘coming home’ in a cuppa!

If you enjoy Poetry & short fiction, perhaps this collection will resonate with you – I am thankful I could champion the collection on Jorie Loves A Story today. And, hopefully the poem which is being shared leaves you with a few ruminations, too!

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Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree by Simi K. Rao

Converse via: #UnderTheShadeOfTheBanyanTree, #Poetry, #ShortStories
as well as #WomensFiction and #BTPrism

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add to LibraryThing

Published: 30th September, 2019 | ISBN: 9781951375072

Life is not about achieving perfection, it’s about reconciling with your imperfections.

Poems are fragments of life. In Simi K. Rao’s unique poetry collection for women, there are blissful moments; deep, invisible wounds; cries for help; declarations of defiance and philosophical observations. The poems and prose pieces compiling the collection are fragments of life elucidating the different phases of the human condition. Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree will leave readers wanting for more and have a deep impact on women of all ages.

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Read More

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Posted Tuesday, 28 July, 2020 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours

Celebrating the 4th Year of the #BookBlogger Awards | As a double-nominee and as a nominator!

Posted Sunday, 26 July, 2020 by jorielov , , 14 Comments

2020 Book Blogger Awards Nominations banner created by Jorie in Canva.

The Book Blogger Awards are co-hosted
by May @ Forever and Everly and Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books.
The tag used socially is #2020BookBloggerAwards .

👌 Nominators DO NOT have to be #bookbloggers! 👍

These awards are OPEN for nominations from the book blogger’s subscribers, friends, readers and other supportive mutuals who want to raise a signal flare about how much they LOVE & champion the content they are providing each week | month | year.

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

I still remember how humbled I was when I received the happy (and rather unexpected!) good news of being a double-nominee of the 2020 Book Blogger Awards! I’ve never been recognised in the book blogging community for an award of this kind (or a similar nature) – which is why it was such a humbling experience to find out I was nominated both as a book blogger and as one of the co-hosts for @WyrdAndWonder – an honour I shared with both Lisa @ Dear Geek Place and Imyril @ Always Room for One More. Read More

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Posted Sunday, 26 July, 2020 by jorielov in 2020 Book Blogger Awards (Nominee), Awards & Honours for JLAS, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, JLAS Update Post, Jorie Loves A Story, Stories of Jorie