Category: #JorieLovesIndies

Blog Book Tour | “Daughter of Destiny: Guinevere’s Tale No.1” by Nicole Evelina

Posted Saturday, 27 February, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “Daughter of Destiny” direct from the author Nicole Evelina in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

A note about how the author enscribed my copy:

The first thing which struck my fancy to notice is the red seal with a crown inside the wax which was quite cleverly affixed next to the author’s signature on the title page of this novel! The reason such a gesture from the old world signified such delight in me, is because I’m a letter-writer whose appreciation for all things papery and postal extend back into my childhood. Seals, waxes and emblems have bewitched my writerly heart for awhile now, and the hardest part to sealing wax is getting it to behave in such a manner as you can be certain of where it shall affix and how the look your hoping to gain will be presented exactly as you intended it.

This was definitely a special surprise for me, as it gave a bit of a definitive nod of the novel’s heart etched out of both history and lore entwined together. I definitely think the author gave me a strong impression on how to greet your book blogger ‘at hallo’ and give them a wink of a surprise as they settle inside your story!  It is always the small things that inspire the most happiness, I find, and this small gesture of yesteryear was wicked brilliant!

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Blog Book Tour | “Daughter of Destiny: Guinevere’s Tale No.1” by Nicole EvelinaDaughter of Destiny
Subtitle: Guinevere's Tale Book One
by Nicole Evelina
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Jenny Quinlan (JennyQ)
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Before queenship and Camelot, Guinevere was a priestess of Avalon. She loved another before Arthur, a warrior who would one day betray her.

In the war-torn world of late fifth century Britain, young Guinevere faces a choice: stay with her family to defend her home at Northgallis from the Irish, or go to Avalon to seek help for the horrific visions that haunt her. The Sight calls her to Avalon, where she meets Morgan, a woman of questionable parentage who is destined to become her rival. As Guinevere matures to womanhood, she gains the powers of a priestess, and falls in love with a man who will be both her deepest love and her greatest mistake.

Just when Guinevere is able to envision a future in Avalon, tragedy forces her back home, into a world she barely recognizes, one in which her pagan faith, outspokenness, and proficiency in the magical and military arts are liabilities. When a chance reunion with her lover leads to disaster, she is cast out of Northgallis and into an uncertain future. As a new High King comes to power, Guinevere must navigate a world of political intrigue where unmarried women are valuable commodities and seemingly innocent actions can have life-altering consequences.

You may think you know the story of Guinevere, but you’ve never heard it like this: in her own words. Listen and you will hear the true story of Camelot and its queen.

Fans of Arthurian legend and the Mists of Avalon will love Daughter of Destiny, the first book in a historical fantasy trilogy that gives Guinevere back her voice and traces her life from an uncertain eleven year old girl to a wise queen in her fifth decade of life.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 978-0-9967631-0-3

Also by this author: Nicole Evelina (Guest Post: Camelot's Queen), Camelot's Queen, Been Searching For You, Madame Presidentess

Also in this series: Camelot's Queen


Genres: After Canons, Arthurian Legend, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Historical-Fantasy, Women's Fiction


Published by Lawson Gartner Publishing

Format: Softcover Edition

Pages: 327

Published By: Lawson Gartner Publishing

Book No. 2 Camelot’s Queen releases 12th of April 2016

Book No. 3 Mistress of the Legend releases late 2016/early 2017

Formats Available: Softcover, Audiobook and Ebook

About Nicole Evelina

Nicole Evelina

Nicole Evelina is an award-winning historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her current novel, Been Searching for You, a romantic comedy, won the 2015 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests.

She also writes historical fiction. Her debut novel, Daughter of Destiny, the first book of an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere’s life story from her point of view, took first place in the legend/legacy category of the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Women’s Fiction/Romance, and was short-listed for the Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction. Later this year (2016), she will release Madame Presidentess (July 25), a historical novel about Victoria Woodhull, America's first female Presidential candidate, which was the first place winner in the Women’s US History category of the 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction.

Nicole is one of only six authors who completed a week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness. Nicole has traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, where she consulted with internationally acclaimed author and historian Geoffrey Ashe, as well as Arthurian/Glastonbury expert Jaime George, the man who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon.

Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for the The Historical Novel Society, and Sirens (a group supporting female fantasy authors), as well as a member of the Historical Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America, the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Women Writing the West, Broad Universe (promoting women in fantasy, science fiction and horror), Alliance of Independent Authors and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Author biography was updated July 2016.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 27 February, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 6th Century, After the Canon, Apothecary, Arthurian Legend, Avalon, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Britian, British Literature, Bullies and the Bullied, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, Folklore and Mythology, Herbalist, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, History, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Mythological Societies, Naturopathic Medicine, Parapsychological Gifts, Passionate Researcher, Prejudicial Bullying & Non-Tolerance, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Re-Told Tales, Sewing & Stitchery, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Supernatural Fiction, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, Warfare & Power Realignment, Women's Fiction, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Style & Voice

Book Review | Two incredible Science Biography collections anchoured together: “Magnificent Minds” and “Remarkable Minds”, featuring women of Science & Medicine by Pendred E. Noyce

Posted Tuesday, 9 February, 2016 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to review “Remarkable Minds” by JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. JKS is the first publicity firm I started working with when I launched Jorie Loves A Story in August, 2013. I am honoured to continue to work with them now as a 2nd Year Book Blogger. As I was speaking with the publicist at JKS, I realised this was a duology release (at least at this point in time) thereby I enquired if it were possible to receive both editions rather than the last. I received my complimentary ARC copy of Remarkable Minds and a hardback copy of Magnificent Minds direct from the publisher Tumblehome Learning in exchange for an honest review.  I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I am extremely excited and wicked happy for these biography anthologies:

To read my strong appreciation on behalf of Tumblehome Learning Publishing, please direct your attention to the top anchour of my review for ‘The Contaminated Case of the Cooking Contest’.

The following note is an excerpt of my reply to JKS when the review was first pitched:

I just pulled up the pub site and found out this is a companion to *Magnificent Minds*! I never read the first collection of stories either, but what I liked about both releases is how women in history are being showcased! I learnt a small bit about Augusta Ada Bryon yesterday when I was looking through Creston Book’s front list; as they have an Early Reader story upcoming this Autumn about her! Nice to see she made the cut in *Magnificent Minds!*

*Remarkable Minds* is truly the type of book I would have loved to have found as a fourteen year old freshman who was struggling through Biology 101! I loved learning about DNA & Genetics but science, math, and medicine did not come easy to a dyslexic! It was the film “The Race for the Double Helix” where I saw in a teleplay format how Rosalind Franklin gave so much to the understanding of DNA yet is sidelined in both history and science. She was only one of a few women I was seeking out at that point in time and so, I definitely agree on the need for books that can help others like me who are curious to follow history’s mirror of women fore-founders of science to discover these wicked awesome books!

The reason I wanted to share this excerpt with you is to share my initial joy in finding out there are two anthology collections of biographies celebrating women in science & medicine on equal ground. For girls like me who grew up with a deep appreciation for the sciences but without a clear-cut way to pursue them with their learning difficulties and/or in combination with a harder road to navigate in general (most Academia paths are hard on funding long-term, especially when you get into research, etc) – it was quite lovely seeing a publisher take the time to find a way to encourage those of us who are on the brink of discovering our niche in the world. Perhaps a young reader similar to me will find a renewed encouragement about pursuing the Sciences (or Medicine) full-time and re-define how a path can be forged to do so!

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Similar to anthologies of Fantasy I regularly review, I decided to select the women who stood out to me the most from the collective whole of whom are featured within both biographies.

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Book Review | Two incredible Science Biography collections anchoured together: “Magnificent Minds” and “Remarkable Minds”, featuring women of Science & Medicine by Pendred E. NoyceRemarkable Minds
Subtitle: 17 Pioneering Women in Science and Medicine
by Pendred E. Noyce
Source: Publisher via JKS Communications

For centuries, women have risen above their traditional roles to pursue a new understanding of the natural world.

This book, which grows out of an exhibit at the Grolier Club in New York, introduces the lives, sayings, and dreams of 16 women over four centuries and chronicles their contributions to mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, and medicine.

Some of the notable women portrayed in the book include French mathematician Marie-Sophie Germain, known for her work in Elasticity theory, differential geometry, and number theory; Scottish chemist Elizabeth Fulhame, best known for her 1794 work An Essay on Combustion; and Rita Levi-Montalcini, who, with colleague Stanley Cohen, received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of nerve growth factor.

A companion volume to Magnificent Minds by the same author, this book offers inspiration to all girls and young women considering a life in the sciences.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9780990782902

Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Non-Fiction, Science, Women's Studies


Published by Tumblehome Learning

on 1st September, 2015

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 192

Published By: Tumblehome Learning (@TumblehomeLearn)

Available Formats: Hardcover

Converse via Twitter: #ScienceBiography + #WomenOfScience + #SciencePioneers

#TumblehomeLearning and #JKSLitPublicity

About Pendred E. Noyce

Pendred E. Noyce

Pendred E. (Penny) Noyce is a doctor, education advocate, writer and publisher.

Penny grew up in California’s Silicon Valley when it was still mostly apricot orchards and fields of mustard. Along with her brother and sisters, she rode ponies, put on plays, and explored the rapidly changing countryside. She graduated with a degree in biochemistry from Harvard University and an M.D. from Stanford University. After her internship and residency in internal medicine in Minneapolis-St. Paul, she worked at the East Boston Community Health Center. During a year in London, she received a diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Subsequently, she supervised medical residents at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, but she left the practice of medicine after the birth of her fifth child.

In 1991, Penny became a founding trustee of the Noyce Foundation, which supports K-12 mathematics and science education across the U.S. For nine years she also helped lead a statewide effort to improve mathematics, science, and technology education in Massachusetts. Currently she serves on the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

A past trustee of Radcliffe College, Penny has served on a number of nonprofit boards, mostly of organizations involved in science and math education. She currently chairs the boards of the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy and Maine’s Libra Foundation.

Penny is author or co-author of eight novels for children ages 9-12, including Lost in Lexicon and The Ice Castle from Scarletta Press and six books in the Galactic Academy of Science series from Tumblehome Learning. Her most recent book, this one nonfiction, is Magnificent Minds: Sixteen Pioneering Women in Science and Medicine. As cofounder of Tumblehome Learning, which publishes science mystery and adventure stories for young people, Penny serves as Tumblehome’s editor and chair.

Penny and her husband, Leo X. Liu, MD, live in Boston with their youngest child, who will be leaving for college in one more year.

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Posted Tuesday, 9 February, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Children's Literature, Education & Learning, Illustrations for Stories, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Juvenile Fiction, Mechanical Engineering, Middle Grade Novel, Non-Fiction, Quantum | Mechanics Physics Theory, Quantum Physics, Science, Vignettes of Real Life

Blog Book Tour | Sophomore release continues the story first read inside “Pierced by Love”, as Laura L. Walker carries her story forward in this INSPY sequel!

Posted Tuesday, 26 January, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , , 4 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: 

I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “The Matchup” direct from the publisher Bonneville Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Disclaimer:

“The Matchup” is not considered a sequel to “Pierced by Love” by the author and publisher, however, as you will denote from how I’ve written my review, my own personal thoughts on this matter are disclosed. Likewise, the second paragraph of the author’s biography was written by Jorie as a way to highlight the succession of the author’s two published works.

A New Year of author surprises for this book blogger:

Before [2016] began to emerge out from the ending chapters of [2015], I started to receive author mail from Cedar Fort’s debut novelists and established authors who were going to have new releases upcoming in Winter and Spring. I was quite delighted by their enquiries, as some of them were fond readings of mine whilst I discovered their writings for the first time when I serendipitously found their blog tours; as for me blog tours have been a lovely niche of an opportunity to discover #newtomeauthors and a diverse array of stories I may or may not have been able to read otherwise. They allow us a breadth of discovery outside our usual wanderings and a chance to interact directly with an author in a way we might not normally have the chance to do. My heart is blessed by the tours I have hosted and the stories which have entered my hands to read in other words.

At the very same time, when I receive a note from an author I’ve previously read about a new release of theirs my heart warms a bit, because it gives me the chance to remember why I appreciated reading their last novel (or in rarer cases, their last non-fiction). I sometimes forget to ‘check-in’ with the authors I’ve previously read as life takes us on a bit of a ride after we’ve met such stirring stories, thus it’s a wonderful surprise to learn when their next release will become published and what kind of story they are going to be featuring next. I am curating a list of next reads based on the stories I’ve blogged who held me so tight inside their chapters, I was quite anxious to read another story by their authors; but to receive a note from an author directly is truly a blessing indeed!

I still recall when Ms Walker contacted me about her new release, a story which would take forward one of the supporting characters of Pierced by Love whilst giving us a taste of what happens to Pierce and Noelle in the hours since we last saw them. I was quite delighted as I had hoped there might be more to this novel than what was left on the page, but sometimes a sequel or a duology (where two stories are anchoured together but go no further than two installments) are not a guarantee. I am not sure who was more surprised: Ms Walker for realising I was dearly interested in reading The Matchup or myself when receiving the news of it’s publication!?

This prelude to [2016] did not start or end with Ms Walker, as I enjoyed a return to Ms Steele’s writings before December concluded and I have happily enjoyed an invitation to read three debut novelists throughout the Spring! The authors I am referring to are: Aaron Blaylock (of The Land of Look Behind), Lindsay B. Ferguson (of By the Stars) and Kaki Olsen (of Swan and Shadow: A Swan Lake Story). What is quite champion is I had unearthed advance notice of two of these releases from Cedar Fort’s catalogue on Edelweiss whilst finding six others dearly as captivating which I will be revealling when I post  my *End of the Year Survey: 2016*.

For now, it’s been a pleasure and a joy receiving a bit of author mail by writers who are gaining my interest by penning stories that wick together wicked good drama and/or adventure! For a girl who is scaling back hosting blog tours, I must say, I am finding a diverse array of stories to choose amongst to host!

Blog Book Tour | Sophomore release continues the story first read inside “Pierced by Love”, as Laura L. Walker carries her story forward in this INSPY sequel!The Matchup
by Laura L. Walker
Source: Direct from Publisher

Valerie's heart hammered in her rib cage. That deep voice could only belong to one person - Gage Logan.

The last thing Valerie wants or needs is to work for her childhood tormentor, Gage. But Valerie's husband walked out on her and her children. Now she needs a job. Gage, on the other hand, has just taken custody of his four-year-old son and is swamped trying to balance his career, be a daddy, and fix past mistakes.

Together they discover that when it comes to the Church and each other, it's all about second chances. This sweet romance will renew your faith in love and redemption.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781462117529

Also by this author: Pierced by Love

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Motherhood | Parenthood, Realistic Fiction, Sweet Romance, Women's Fiction


Published by Bonneville Books

on 1st January, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 240

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks),

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #LDSFiction, #INSPYRom, #INSPYFiction, #SweetRomance,

#realisticfiction, #ChristFic,  + #TheMatchup

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Laura L. Walker

Laura Walker is a native Arizonan. Having lived there all their lives, she and her husband, Rob, think it’s a great place to raise their six kids. They enjoy camping, reading, and learning history together. Laura loves to settle in with a good romance just as much as she loves to write one.

Her first novel was Pierced by Love wherein her second novel continues the story-line of her character Gage (the younger brother to Pierce) within the pages of The Matchup.

Website | @llwalkerauthor | Facebook | GoodReads | Pinterest

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Posted Tuesday, 26 January, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, A Father's Heart, Autism, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Contemporary Romance, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Divorce & Martial Strife, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Learning Difficulties, Life Shift, Modern Day, Mormonism, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Mother-Son Relationships, Motherhood | Parenthood, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Siblings, Single Fathers, Special Needs Children, Sweet Romance, Writing Style & Voice

Book Review w/ Author Q&A | The #picturebooks of Muon Van (“In A Village by the Sea” and “Little Tree”) with a lovely convo about her creative style of writing stories for children.

Posted Sunday, 3 January, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to review “In A Village by the Sea” by JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. After I was putting together this showcase, to highlight both the story and a conversation with the author, I learnt of her second picture book “Little Tree”; enabling me to combine my showcase to feature both releases. JKS is the first publicity firm I started working with when I launched Jorie Loves A Story in August, 2013. I am honoured to continue to work with them now as a 2nd Year Book Blogger. I received my complimentary copy of In A Village by the Sea (hardback) and Little Tree (PDF) direct from the publicist at JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

I decided I wanted to switch things up a bit today, and offer the conversation before my thoughts on behalf of the illustrated stories contained within the picture books of Muon Van! In this way, I wanted the author’s own words to help define the stories and in some ways, give an extra layer of enjoyment to my readers as they read this ahead of knowing what I found inside the books themselves! Enjoy!

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My convo with Muon Van on her creative way of giving children a beautiful ‘first start’ towards embracing creative stories built on family, hearth and love:

How did you create In A Village by the Sea to bespeak of such a grounding of autobiographical inspiration and homage to your heritage whilst renewing the spirit of Vietnam for those of us who are not as familiar with the country?

Van responds: I come from a long line of fisherfolk on both sides of the family, which is pretty unusual for both an American and Vietnamese-American. I grew up with my dad at sea most of the time, and eating seafood for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so I wanted to write a story that would reflect those experiences.

Whilst your father was away fishing, how did your mother encourage you and your siblings not to worry about his safety and well being? Were the passages of home and hearth reminiscent of your mother tending to the home? I ask as there is such a lot of warmth and love set inside this story, it softens the concerns of dangers at sea. 

Van responds: Even though fishing is considered one of the most dangerous occupations around, my siblings and I didn’t consider it as such while we were growing up–it was just what our dad did. My mother definitely tended the home–cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping, dressing, educating nine kids! I always knew she was a superwoman and supermom but after I had my first kid, I was amazed!

I was curious about the process you took with April Chu to bring your story to life through her illustrations – can you explain how you worked together to give the reader such a wellspring of living realism whilst deepening it with thought-provoking narrative?

Van responds: Unlike what most people think, April and I did not collaborate in real-time on the book–we only met once it was completed! April only received a plain, unannotated manuscript and knowledge that the story was dedicated to my father, a Vietnamese fisherman. With just those pieces of information, she was able to imagine and execute the brilliant art in the book. I, and the readers, are truly lucky!

The spirit of Vietnam is strongly lit inside you, as the story that is set inside this picture book is alarmingly clear and visually stunning – when you wrote the words that are featured against the illustrations did the final copy read to you like the internal visuals you had whilst you had written the story?

Van responds: I believe the published visuals are faithful to the story but in my imagination, they were spare and monochromatic, sort of like the verse. I was surprised, and delighted, by the outcome.

What has caused the fishing lifestyle of the villages in Vietnam to disappear? Is it the culture of the time that is changing or is the fishing industry unable to support itself, as this happens in other countries as well?

Van responds: I can’t speak to all fishing lifestyles in Vietnam–just the one in my ancestral village. The villagers there, and the ones who have migrated to America, have found the the income derived from fishing is not as great, or sustainable, as it is through other means. While most of my relatives worked in fishing when they first arrived in America, most now work in the cosmetic (nails) industry, as it’s lower-risk and more profitable.

In your heart, your drawn to the sea as it states in your biography you live near it; what do you find the most alluring balm about the sea and how it’s set a harmonic pulse inside your life?

Van responds: Probably that it seems so vast and unknowable (you can only see a bit of it at a time, from a beach or a boat or an airplane). I also like the color blue :)

In The Little Tree the colour contrasts are brilliantly bright and pop with vitality whereas the colour contrasts in In A Village by the Sea is more traditional and classic. Did you have input about the colour spectrum for the illustrations and books?

Van responds: No, but I love that they are so different.

The Little Tree is philosophical and intuitive, giving children a pause to think about the larger scale of life and how the circle of life evolves during our lifetime. How did you tap into this life lesson whilst writing such a cleverly witty story?

Van responds: I was inspired after my first (and so far, only) trip back to Vietnam in nearly thirty years. I thought about how my parents must have felt when we left and how they would felt about it now, thirty years later.

I love how you’ve stitched familial history inside your stories – you write from the heart and your stories have a living spirit about them. How did you capture the moment of recognition to be given to the Little Tree by the Little Seed’s leaf? It was such a warm gesture of love from a child to a mother.

Van responds: Parents will always know their children, right? (Ask me this again in thirty years; my older child is only four :))

You give so much of your own heart to your writings and you leave fingerprints of affection in your closing statements where your ancestry and your family are illuminated in short stories of recollection. How did your family react to the picture books and of your continuance of carrying forward your living histories to inspire children and adults alike?

Van responds: My family likes to play it cool but I think one day soon, one of them will get choked up reading it to their daughter or son. Three, soon to be four, of my brothers just had their first child!

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Truly blessed to have had the chance to ask these questions of Ms Van and to have your responses threaded inside my showcase! I was truly touched by the warmth of her words in her stories and wanted to gain a bit more insight into how she created the world in which I lived for the time I soaked inside her picture books! I can definitely foresee many Mums and Das appreciating ‘reading time’ with their children as they pick up either volume and enter a world of family and timeless love!

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Book Review w/ Author Q&A | The #picturebooks of Muon Van (“In A Village by the Sea” and “Little Tree”) with a lovely convo about her creative style of writing stories for children.In a Village by the Sea
by Muon Van
Illustrator/Cover Designer: April Chu
Source: Publisher via JKS Communications

Written in a spare, lyrical style using fresh, evocative imagery, this richly illustrated picture book is about longing for the comforts of home while braving the adventures and perils of the wide world.

In a house by the sea, a woman is cooking. Near the woman, a baby is crying. Under the floor, a cricket is painting. In the painting, a fisherman rides stormy seas, longing to get home to his wife and infant…

The perfect book for teaching about diverse cultures and lifestyles, children will delight in this beautiful story which pays homage to the vanishing fishing culture in Vietnam, honors courage and sacrifice, and celebrates hearth and home.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781939547156

Genres: Children's Literature, Early Reader Stories, Illustrated Stories


Published by Creston Books LLC

on 9th June, 2015

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 32

Published By: Creston Books, LLC (@CrestonBooks)

Available Formats: Hardcover and Ebook

Converse via Twitter: #MuonVan

#picturebooks and #JKSLitPublicity

About (Illustrator) April Chu

April Chu

APRIL CHU began her career as an architect with a degree from the University of California, Berkeley, but decided to return to her true passion of illustrating and storytelling. April currently lives and works in Oakland, California.

About Muon Van

Muon Van

MUON VAN was born on the run in the southern port city of Rach Giá, Vietnam. When she was nine months old, she left Vietnam as part of the “boat people” mass exodus. She now lives in Northern California.

Her previous book, In a Village by the Sea, is also a family story and received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus, as well as rave reviews from The New York Times and School Library Journal’s Fuse #8 Production.

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Posted Sunday, 3 January, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Children's Literature, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Debut Author, Early Reader | Chapter Books, Equality In Literature, Illustration for Books & Publishing, Illustrations for Stories, Indie Author, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Picture Book, Story knitted out of Ancestral Data