Category: Stories of Jorie

#TheSundayPost VIII | From the misery of a cold to a revival of random bookish joy! [with a bit of an #unboxing reveal for #FindingEsme!]

Posted Sunday, 1 March, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 11 Comments

The Sunday Post badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

[Official Blurb] The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog. This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little. Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies. Link up once a week or once a month, you decide. Book haul can include library books, yard sale finds, arcs and bought books..share them!

  • Enter your link on the post-
  • Sundays beginning at 12:01 am (CST) (link will be open all week)
  • Link back to this post or this blog
  • Visit others who have linked up
  • Read this week’s #TheSundayPost!

A note about the format I am using to journal #TheSundayPost:

I am finding I like being able to give my readers who cannot visit my blog each time a new post, review or guest feature goes live a digest journal of what is happening on #JLASblog each week! If you are familiar with the style in which I journal my readerly adventures via #WWWednesdays (see also Archive) you’ll know why I like this journalled style for #TheSundayPost!

It’s a way of talking about what is bookishly on my mind whilst sharing where my travels in Fiction & Non-Fiction took me through the last seven days! Quite stellar – so very thankful I was encouraged to participate as I love being able to think about which stories settled into my heart and which of the stories I am most eager to see arrive by postal mail and/or via audiobook! It’s a bit of a lovely way to journal your bookish life and have a weekly reminder of the experiences of you’ve gathered and love to remember!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

From the misery of a cold to a revival of random bookish joy,…

IF I had to speculate how my February would have concluded on a sour note of a severely intensive Winter cold which not only rendered me undone by a severely crippingly migraine (as it was unfortunately attached to said cold) but also incredibly *sore!* ears (wherein it affected ALL attempts at listening ot audiobooks previously highlighted via my last Sunday Post!), a throat which felt like strep and at the very end of it all – I nearly lost my voice just like Mum! She had it for just under a week and a half – whilst I’ve barely squeaked out of it under a fortnight but as its still ‘with me’ that’s not exactly conclusive yet!

I found myself getting down quite a bit about it – normally I can ride out a cold with reading but this one was unrelenting with side issues and a heap of unwelcomed fatigue; so in essence, unless it was a streaming television series (here’s looking @ Star Trek: Enterprise & Zoey’s Playlist!) odds are in great favour I passed the hours of the final weeks of February without many stories in my hands or arriving inside my headphones. The one audiobook I attempted to read didn’t work out very well and I regret I had to postpone listening to it. I’ve already requeued it to be heard this March.

Meanwhile, I also learnt a harder truth about expectations and failed inspirations in regards to Star Trek: Picard (see also my last #BookishNotBookish – updated that section!) and on a happier note, we had a ‘second chance’ Wintry weather spurt which left me wickedly happy despite how real the struggle was to embrace brisk winds (with sore ears, throat and a migraine!) and colder than ice temperatures – a part of me was trying to remember why I love grey skies, cold Wintry days and how good it felt to have a vacation from the Sun! Colds like this one muddle your senses and your ability to enjoy everything you normally *love!* – but despite that, there was one day where Mum took me out for cinnamon bagels and hot tea which reminded me to anchour into small joys and random serendipity rather than feeling curtailed by a situation I had zero control.

In the midst of feeling quite unwell, I did have a turning bit of tide in regards to how I recaptured some bookish JOY this week! I had to stack all my #bookpost into different piles – flat parcels together, bundled boxes together and it became a bit of a tricky situation as I wasn’t sure if any of the short piles would fall! lol I definitely have drawn a bit of curiosity from postal workers lately and I can’t wait to reveal a few thoughts of joy to the one who enquired about a few recent arrivals. She’s one of the few who enjoy chatting to me and hearing snippets of my life as a book blogger – which makes getting #bookmail ever more exciting when you can talk about it with others.

There was a keenly hidden SURPRISE though this week as I entered a bookaway whilst I was taken ill and to be quite honest, had FORGOTTEN all about it! I was visiting with a bookish friend of mine whose also an author of the stories I enjoy reading in her Speculative worlds of interest: Jennifer Silverwood (via her blog) when I noticed a curious review about a Middle Grade Fantasy novel called: Finding Esme! Wait til you discover the happiness this #bookmail brought into my life! I mean, talk about a total 360 experience from feeling taken under by the cold and being lifted in pure joy by what the author sent me!! I can’t remember getting quite a bookaway like this before except for one which I won from Jane Porter prior to being a book blogger.

Whilst I have some bookish updates regarding being an influencer and book ambassador with the Once Upon A Book Club subscription box service! Further updates are arriving this Tuesday and next Tuesday respectivefully! I also might have another bit of news to share next Sunday in regards to a new opportunity which came into my life this weekend – however, mum’s the word as I am still finalising the details.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Parajunkee Designs

*UPcoming!* blog & Twitter milestones:

(celebrating my 7th Year as a book blogger and joyful tweeter : dates to remember!)

I created my blog on the 31st of March, 2013 – my blogoversary!

I launched it LIVE to the world on 6th August, 2013 – my blog’s birthday!

I waited til the 13th of November, 2013 to join Twitter – my #twitterversary!

To help celebrate my #blogoversary @ the end of the month – I’ll be tweaking, blogging and finishing my edits for my *End of the Year Survey, 2019* – thereby allowing me to dig into the past years which were unable to be featured previously and will be time capsules of the recent past about the stories and authors I loved discovering, reading and spending time with as a reader! Due to stay tuned for this special post arriving on 31.March!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Some updates about where my bookish adventures took me this final week of February and what I am planning to do my first week of March as a bit of a renewal of resuming where I left off with the stories and books themselves. I feel like I lost so many *hours!* and yet, despite that well of inactivity I had quite a busy week overall! Even though technically speaking you’ll find that my #bookpost stacked up a bit to where I had the joy of revealling a heap of loveliness all at once!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Callisto Publishing Club : what Jorie requested in February

Will be reading this coming week:

  • The Story of Frida Kahlo: A Biography Book for New Readers by Susan B Katz
  • The Easy 5 Ingredient Vegan Cookbook: 100 Healthy Plant Based Recipes by Nancy Montuori
  • Super Green Smoothies: Veggie-Based Recipes to Boost Your Health and Well-Being by Danielle Omar
  • → [arriving this week] Essential Vegetable Fermentation: 70 Inventive Recipes to Make Your Own Pickles, Kraut, Kimchi, and More by Kelly McVicker

Sort of goes without too much saying that when your under the weather as severely as I was (and of which the main details are not shared!) reading or viewing food isn’t exactly going to be your top priority! I could barely eat most days be as it were! However, within the last day or so I’ve started to go through my #bookpost and I’ve had the joy of rediscovering these Callisto books which arrived! I am overjoyed truly because the cookbooks are beyond budget friendly and the biography is awe-inspiring on so many levels – plus I love the graphic design and bright colours they used to illuminate Frida’s life as a young girl.

The one which is still enroute is the Veg Fermentation – I have my eye on the kimchi section as I’ve heard such good things about that over the years. Plus, if I can finally slay the mystery of fermenting my own foods I’m one step closer to my self-sufficiency goals as I eventually want to harvest my own garden of fruit, veg, herb and cut flowers whilst canning for Winter, etc. I have appreciated the concept of eating macrobiotically since my early twenties and fermented foods are a part of that lifestyle. I’m definitely leant more towards a macro-vegetarian vegan and GF lifestyle any other way of eating as those are the foods which I have found help my health and wellness the most. Thereby you’ll be seeing me requeue my #TheBookishFoodie sections on Jorie Loves A Story as we move into Spring and I can start reviewing cookbooks again! Read More

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Posted Sunday, 1 March, 2020 by jorielov in #bookclubVIP, #Unboxing BookMail, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Birthdays & Blogoversaries, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Subscription Boxes, Bookish Memes, JLAS Update Post, Jorie Loves A Story, Jorie's Box of Joy, Library Loot, Once Upon A Book Club, Photography of Jorie, Spontaneous Musings, Stories of Jorie, The Sunday Post

#TheSundayPost VII | Just your average book blogger celebrating her seven years being socially engaged online!

Posted Sunday, 16 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 12 Comments

The Sunday Post badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

[Official Blurb] The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog. This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little. Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies. Link up once a week or once a month, you decide. Book haul can include library books, yard sale finds, arcs and bought books..share them!

  • Enter your link on the post-
  • Sundays beginning at 12:01 am (CST) (link will be open all week)
  • Link back to this post or this blog
  • Visit others who have linked up
  • Read this week’s #TheSundayPost!

A note about the format I am using to journal #TheSundayPost:

I am finding I like being able to give my readers who cannot visit my blog each time a new post, review or guest feature goes live a digest journal of what is happening on #JLASblog each week! If you are familiar with the style in which I journal my readerly adventures via #WWWednesdays (see also Archive) you’ll know why I like this journalled style for #TheSundayPost!

It’s a way of talking about what is bookishly on my mind whilst sharing where my travels in Fiction & Non-Fiction took me through the last seven days! Quite stellar – so very thankful I was encouraged to participate as I love being able to think about which stories settled into my heart and which of the stories I am most eager to see arrive by postal mail and/or via audiobook! It’s a bit of a lovely way to journal your bookish life and have a weekly reminder of the experiences of you’ve gathered and love to remember! In regards to getting back into the groove with #WWWeds – I’m either going to make the meme bi-monthly or monthly which I’ll decide within the next fortnight.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

And, then,…

Jorie finally returns to journalling her weekly bookish adventures,…

Finding the motivation to write #TheSundayPost has been a bit tricky the past few years, which is why you’ve noticed a staunch reduction in posts alighting in my feeds! I had a lot of good  intentions to resume this lovely meme I was enjoying participating in but structuring it the way I wanted to have my weekly journalled notes to appear on my blog was part of the issue and the other half of it really is that I have a lot to shuffle behind-the-blog so to speak (we all do,..) to where I was thankful I had the hours I needed to maintain Jorie Loves A Story but when it came to writing up supplemental posts and keeping in step with the memes I love to blog about – long ago, I realised something had to ‘give’ and these were the posts I had to put on hiatus.

Some months I thought I might be able to return to them sooner, so there are a few notes here or there saying “#TheSundayPost” is returning this week or that week, but no, they haven’t returnt until now! I have a lot of news I never had the chance to share from past reading challenges or past milestones of the blog – I might tuck those into some retrospective posts as the months move forward. For now, I simply wanted to try to recapture a bit of what has been going on since January and then, I’ll tackle what I want to share from [2019-back].

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Parajunkee Designs

*UPcoming!* blog & Twitter milestones:

(celebrating my 7th Year as a book blogger and joyful tweeter : dates to remember!)

I created my blog on the 31st of March, 2013 – my blogoversary!

I launched it LIVE to the world on 6th August, 2013 – my blog’s birthday!

I waited til the 13th of November, 2013 to join Twitter – my #twitterversary!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

I almost cannot believe *seven years!* have elapsed since I first created this idea I had for a book blog and undertook the journey of what has emerged through seeking out the bookish and readerly adventures I’ve curated ever since I first started to blog my bookish and geeky life wayy back in [2013] !! I hadn’t known then how my life would be tenfold #blessed by the authors, their stories and the bookish culture I would endeavour to become a part of until I was into my first few years as a book blogger. There was no guide and blueprint towards sorting out this book blogosphere world nor the twitterverse where I undertook getting socially chatty on a platform I never expected I’d take like a duck to water to explore, engage and carve out my own joyfully tweeting presence seven years in the making!

I’ve worked with publishers in the United States, Canada, the UK and aboard whilst I have had the chance to get to host blog tours with genre focused blog touring companies inasmuch as innovative and insightful touring companies who either focus on select works of Fiction, Non-Fiction and Poetry. Each step of the way, I was not just hosting blog tours or seeking stories for review consideration but I was endeavouring with each opportunity which crossed my path to read deeper and to seek out the stories which :pushed: me into new horizons of literary exploration. For me, that was always the key goal: to find the stories being writ by the authors who are giving me a wicked good read!

I never knew if I could balance my online readerly life the same way I balance my IRL readerly life – but I have found being a hybrid reader has had its best benefits because I can move between mainstream and INSPY offerings by publishers, publicists, authors, agents and touring companies quite easily. Each year, I have decided to seek out new adventures and to re-shift what I wanted to focus on – I started to reduce how many blog tours I would host each month back in [2016] something I happily maintained until this February [2020] where I slide back into a bit of a chaotic blog schedule! (laughs)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Through the years, I’ve disclosed snippets of my walk in faith, my struggles of being a migraineur (someone who has chronic migraines) and have found that I love hosting guest features where I get to interview different guests – authors, editors, narrators (of audiobooks), actors (for Indie Film projects) and other creatives who have crossed my path. I still love blogging the heart out of the stories I am reading – not just to examine the story as a discerning reader myself but to truly give a strong impression about what I found inside the story in order to help someone else choose whether or not the story I’ve read and blogged about is a good ‘fit’ for their own readerly curiosities. As we all gravitate towards different stories at different times – we all dance through genres and literary styles – a book which appeals to us today might not resonate with us when we go to read it, etc. I find I love visiting with the book bloggers who give me something to ‘chew on’ as I’m reading their blogs – from their reviews, to their guest features to their discussion posts. I want to know more than the surface layer of their reactions to stories and that is what I try to bring to my own readers here on Jorie Loves A Story. (and yes, the “a” is purposefully shown in caps!) Read More

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Posted Sunday, 16 February, 2020 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Birthdays & Blogoversaries, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Memes, JLAS Update Post, Jorie Loves A Story, Photography of Jorie, Spontaneous Musings, Stories of Jorie, The Sunday Post

The Sunday Post | No.6 | #SummerReads, new #INSPY favourites and how I reclaimed my reading life from Spring’s bout of migraines!

Posted Sunday, 22 July, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 4 Comments

The Sunday Post badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

My participation in this meme was directly inspired by my new bookish friends: Avalinah + Savanah via this post!

[Official Blurb] The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog. This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little. Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies. Link up once a week or once a month, you decide. Book haul can include library books, yard sale finds, arcs and bought books..share them!

  • Enter your link on the post- Sundays beginning at 12:01 am (CST) (link will be open all week)
  • Link back to this post or this blog
  • Visit others who have linked up

A note about the format I am using to journal #TheSundayPost: I am finding I like being able to give my readers who cannot visit my blog each time a new post, review or guest feature goes live a digest journal of what is happening on #JLASblog each week! If you are familiar with the style in which I journal my readerly adventures via #WWWednesdays (see also Archive) you’ll know why I like this journalled style for #TheSundayPost!

It’s a way of talking about what is bookishly on my mind whilst sharing where my travels in Fiction & Non-Fiction took me through the last seven days! Quite stellar – so very thankful I was encouraged to participate as I love being able to think about which stories settled into my heart and which of the stories I am most eager to see arrive by postal mail and/or via audiobook! It’s a bit of a lovely way to journal your bookish life and have a weekly reminder of the experiences of you’ve gathered and love to remember! In regards to getting back into the groove with #WWWeds – I’m either going to make the meme bi-monthly or monthly which I’ll decide within the next fortnight.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Hallo, dear hearts, welcome to an INSPY filled July,..

Finding my new pace & rhythm with my reading life has been the most difficult part of my Summer, as I had planned to *devour!* loads of #FantasyReads in Mayheaps of #AudioReads in June – whilst July was meant to be stuffed to the gills with #INSPY stories spilt between Fiction & Non-Fiction! I was also planning to release reviews for the colouring books which I’ve happily enjoyed creating art inside whilst I’ve listened to audiobooks! Thankfully, as there is still a bit of time left to the month, I can run a series of reviews befitting my original goals for July (including those colouring books!).

The main reason I was thrown off-kilter this year was due to the health reasons I previously disclosed after #WyrdAndWonder, yet what I hadn’t realised then, as I do know is how many after effects I truly had to trudge through in order to resume where I left off reading! This July, when I stumbled across the Christian & Clean Fiction Reading Challenge hosted by Singing Librarian Books – I had no idea how this would deeply impact my life! I blog about my passionate appreciation for INSPY Lit quite often even though it is not always as regularly as I would prefer – I’ve been striving for a better balance of stories being read/heard between both mainstream and INSPY markets – a goal I’ve had tucked onto the backburner for the 5 years I’ve been blogging on Jorie Loves A Story!

July was giving me this opportunity to find a renewal of purpose to focus on #INSPYreads as due to how the challenge was self-directed and self-motivating towards your own personal goals – this is what I did to get into the mindset of approaching it:

→ I developed a book list I wanted to use as a primer and guide towards what I could read

→ I kept very loose goals per day and week – meaning, if I was finding myself tucking into a story where I could only read a few chapters at a time, I considered this a ‘win!’

→ The beauty of the challenge was not needing to ‘blog’ per se to participate – this opened the door for me to head into the twitterverse to micro-blog my updates, interact with the authors I was reading and give myself a much needed hiatus from weekly blogging! (it also helped I was under-booked!)

→ A bit of a competition between your Mum goes a long way towards reclaiming your reading life as well! I have made it quite well know I’ve been following in Mum’s footsteps towards reading the Love INSPIRED Suspense series – as she has beloved favourites: Elizabeth Goddard, Laura Scott, Lenora Worth, etc of whom she’d like me to read and become introduced to in order to start having fireside chats about the characters, the plots and the wicked intensity of ‘feeling on edge’ throughout the course of the novels! (we’ve started in on that goal, too!)

→ Call me crazy but I used the widget for the bookaways as a personal ‘self-check’ towards staying on my goals, keeping the ‘pleasure’ in my reading hours without the added worry of (should I blog, shouldn’t I blog) chatter whilst finding with each new day I was ‘recording’ my progresses – either by audiobooks listened to (as of now, I heard two) or books read (as of now, three) and a sampling of what I was microblogging on Twitter – you could say it proved fruitful for a girl whose angst was not just limited to her personal health but as a step towards reconciling how to be a ‘reader’ when she didn’t feel like being a ‘book blogger’. This is something I haven’t resolved in five years – as I was a reader before I was a blogger but I was also a reader in a semi-permanent reader’s rut at the same time – part of the reason I was having guilt over ‘not blogging’ is I didn’t want to backslide into a period of time where I was ‘not reading’ and thereby, erasing the process of the past five years where I have re-established myself into the genres I love and finding my own rhythm for how I read/blog/tweet my reading life!

Another aspect of what was aiding my recovery post-migraines this July is the fact the Love Inspired novels were either Large Print, Larger Print or in the case of one of the Ms Worth novels “True Large Print” which for me felt GIGANTIC! lol I had started to notice this was something which was helpful to me as I was reading Harlequin Roms for some of the Prism Book Tours I was hosting throughout the past eight or so months? Those stories were generally in Large print themselves and being I had so many migraines to overcome, I noticed the font size being enlarged was a lovely step ‘back’ towards reading regular print!

Curious about which INSPY stories

caught my heart & left me musefully happy afterwards!?

Callahan Confidential series by Laura Scott Photography Credit: Jorie of jorielovesastory.com. Photo edits and collage created in Canva.

Shielding His Christmas Witness | thrifted

The Only Witness | ILL’d (inter-library loan)

*bookmark, FREE at my local library – I am in FULL agreement of the sentiment!

For Laura Scott, you might want to check-out my micro-blog about reading her #CallahanConfidential first as I was on the VERY edge of my cosy comfort chair awaiting the ‘final’ chapter to see what would become of Kari & Marc! You forsake SLEEP reading these Love Inspired Suspense novels!! At least, I find you do! I couldn’t dare think I’d have to take a wink & a nod away from the action! You barely get to catch your breath whilst your reading the story-line as so much is happening ALL at once! Plus, I like how the heroes of the stories are charmingly honest, realistically relatable and have their own fair share of faults to round off the joy of reading their adventures! Seriously though – if you want a slightly lighter side to your Suspense Reads but with the full-octane of traditional Suspense, you ought to give Laura Scott a chance at charming your bookish heart!

READ my microblogging notes!

Shielding His Christmas Witness (Callahan Confidential, Book One) by Laura Scott Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #CFSRS18
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Posted Sunday, 22 July, 2018 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Birthdays & Blogoversaries, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Memes, JLAS Update Post, Jorie Loves A Story, Photography of Jorie, Spontaneous Musings, Stories of Jorie, The Sunday Post

Celebrating my 5th #Blogoversary with a retrospective about why I appreciate reading #INSPY Fiction whilst conveying how blessed I am to start reading the stories penned by Kellie Coates Gilbert! Starting with the 3rd Texas Gold series novel: “A Reason to Stay”.

Posted Saturday, 31 March, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Borrowed Book By: I originally crossed paths with Ms Kellie Coates Gilbert in [2014] wherein I met her through her participation in the group author blog “Southern Belle View Daily” which was affectionately known as ‘Southern Belle View’. I was a regular visitor who chatted with the authors on the blog and engaged in the content they were sharing. I had the opportunity to receive the first two novels of the Texas Gold series shortly afterwards, however, due to a variety of adversities which took me away from the joys of reading these past several years, it wasn’t until this New Year 2018 where I could lay heart and mind back into the stories I had to shelve for another day where I could focus properly on their contents.

I was originally gifted a copy of “A Reason to Stay” by my Mum, who knew how excited I was to start reading the Texas Gold series – this is within the year or so of this third installment’s release. I was going to surprise the author and read all three novels back to back whilst sharing my reactions with my readers as I have a self-directed focus on INSPY authors I am either re-discovering or just now becoming aware of as I re-start my readings in earnest into the INSPY realms of Fiction.

I go into why I had to borrow through ILL’ing (interlibrary loaning) this novel in this top anchour ahead of revealling my ruminations on the emotionally evocative story Ms Gilbert has written for us – however, I wanted to mention I am choosing to share my thoughts on behalf of this story for my own edification inasmuch as inspiring my readers to become acquainted with a #newtomeauthor I am truly blessed to have found. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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

A unique introduction into the Texas Gold series – or rather,

why INSPY Lit is an important part of Jorie’s bookish life:

a retrospective whilst celebrating entering a 5th Year as a Book Blogger

I originally crossed paths with Ms Gilbert whilst she was part of Southern Belle View – a lovely group author blog I used to frequent six years ago, a bit prior to becoming a book blogger – of which I am celebrating my 5th Blogoversary *today!* on the 31st of March, 2018! This was the day I love to observe as the day I created Jorie Loves A Story – whereas I honour the day I launched my blog to the world on the 6th of August every year as the day in which my blog has its public ‘birthday’.

I was thankful to receive two of her novels – which she offered to send me to help me become acquainted with her Texas Gold book series as well as her writing style – as this was a few years ago, the series had just the first two novels recently released. I had hoped to have read both of them close to the time I first received them – however, most of the years I’ve been a book blogger, I’ve had a few set-backs with the plans I’ve made along the way. My health has been a big factor as well as personal strife & tribulations – as we all have lives outside of our bookish and readerly lives of which give us the most joy to share with our readership.

Earlier this year, I reconnected with Ms Gilbert – as I was trying to explain the distance between receiving her novels and being able to fully appreciate reading them this New Year, 2018 – as it was going to become my year back into reading Inspirational Fiction (#INSPY as I like to nickname it on Twitter) whilst proving to be the year I can focus on my *70 Authors Challenge* which specifically focuses on the INSPY niche of Literature as you can see on the main page I created for this personal exploration of a branch of Lit I am definitely passionate about reading! I’ve been a hybrid reader my entire life – moving in and out of INSPY and mainstream channels of interest since I was a young girl. This equated to regular visits to Christian bookstores (at the time, in the 80s and 90s the only place truly to find INSPY being sold) as well as big box, Indie and mall (remember those?) chain bookstores – to see a wide spectrum of both titles, genres and bookish realms!

I would also frequent used book shoppes – even before it was fashionable to gather a bit of insight into the books falling ‘off’ publication and/or the backlist of authors I might one day feel inclined to be reading. In essence, I’ve led quite a bookish life despite having a rocky start at learning to read (ie. as a dyslexic learner).

INSPY was a joy to be reading simply due to the beautiful uplift of JOY I received from reading the story-lines inasmuch as disappearing into fascinating worlds where kids like me were taking on keenly lived adventures! The Cooper Kids series and the Mandie series were personal favourites – of the latter, I had only hoped Ms Leppard could have lived long enough to pen the College years of Mandie’s personal growth rather than the single chapter of her University days. I cherish all of my Mandie editions, singularly regretting I never wrote the author a letter (if you can imagine, I have shy tendencies – these days I tend to reach out to authors directly on a regular basis – but I still have moments where I hesitate) and hope I have all of the installments as I had to remember which number I was on and collect as many as I could before they went out of print. Due to those fond memories of walking beside Mandie, Joe, Celia, Uncle Ned and her Grandmother – I started to explore adult INSPY Literature in my formative years. (see also the Mandie page on Wikipedia)

I settled on Judith Pella and then took a proper hiatus til I discovered Dee Henderson, Deeanne Gist and Julie Lessman. More recently in the early days as a book blogger (my 1st Year) I crossed paths with Brenda S. Anderson – of whom is now a beloved author for me to read with the added blessing of being on her Street Team. (see also the archive of my posts for Ms Anderson) I am still reading her Coming Home series this Spring – wherein I hope to reveal my thoughts on the last two installments of this series before moving into her Where the Heart Is series.

Moving forward – when I first found Southern Belle View, I also found The Word Wenches (another beautifully lovely group author blog), the writerly reader blog of Ms Lauren Willig, the many blog visits of Ms (Julie) Lessman which were ‘organic blog tours’ of their own kind and the lovely blog of Ms (Mary) Ellis. I had a singular route I would visit and comment upon regularly – hence why I initially conceived of the spark of inspiration which lateron became ‘Jorie Loves A Story’.

In those early days of laying down the foundation of my blog, I wanted to re-focus on INSPY Literature – start reading the stories of the authors I was visiting with regularly in the book blogosphere and start to share my bookish life. However, I was such a newbie to book blogging – trying to sort out how I wanted to articulate my writerly style as a book blogger, whilst mindful there was a larger community out there I was slowly becoming a part of – from readers, to fellow book bloggers, to authors who had other author group blogs as well as wading into the realms of both INSPY and mainstream publishing channels of interest.

What I was surprised by is not finding a lot of other hybrid readers – those of us who move between both worlds of thought and regularly love to share our readerly adventures. I’ve been wanting to share glimpses into why I am drawn into certain INSPY authors and why I love reading INSPY Non-Fiction whereas in the past I was mostly a Historical INSPY kind of gal! Truly, as a regular time traveller of fictional worlds – you would have thought it would have dawned on me the historic past played such a pertinent role in my readerly tendencies! (sadly, it hadn’t fused to my heart until I was somewhere between my 2nd & 3rd Year as a Book Blogger!)

Fast forward – Southern Belle View was a group author blog who had a rotation of guest authors being featured each of the days they would host new posts & discussions. A few times they would host bookaways, but mostly it was a place to engage in light-hearted chatter, bookish topics and get to know the ‘writers’ themselves in an interpersonal way as you were commenting directly with them on each of their ‘daily’ posts – which is why the full name was ‘Southern Belle View Daily’ as each of the Belles themselves were living in the ‘Southern’ tier of the States – from Texas to Mississippi to Louisiana (I believe?) and someone I believe was in the Carolina’s. The uniqueness of their writing styles and the ways in which they interacted with their readership was what pulled me into their posts.

I fell lin love with Ms (Lisa) Wingate’s writing style when I first read “The Prayer Box” which touched my spirit and my heart alike – it also marked my first ‘blog tour’ as a book blogger of which I was forever grateful for JKS Communications for giving me a chance to participate in such an event during my first ‘live’ month on Jorie Loves A Story. My parents would gift me a copy of the next story in sequence as this became a series of stories – known best as the Carolina Chronicles – however, I still need to gather a copy of the omnibus edition of the novellas which released betwixt the others and the final story in the trilogy. I was planning to let this series become my gateway into other stories of the Belles but then, of course – I was honestly ‘distracted’!

As I became more active in book blogging and started to sort out how to work with authors, publisher and publicists – I sort of started to focus on garnishing a readership for Jorie Loves A Story whilst sorting out the kind of stories I wanted to focus on reading overall. I also was gaining traction on how best to balance my personal library readings with the stories I was borrowing through my public library – the balance of course remained elusive to my intentions until two years ago – wherein during 2016 I started to implement changes in my blogging schedules. I began a personal Renaissance of redirection and re-focus of my personal goals for Jorie Loves A Story in other words.

You can see the fuller effect of those efforts now in 2018 – as I purposefully schedule less blog tours, am ever more vigilant about being particularly particular about the stories I accept for review and am starting to reap the rewards of being able to read ‘more’ but read without hard deadlines (for the most part). I am also merging into a new vein of my bookish life where I am shifting towards a goal of reading 50% of the books via print editions and listening to 50% of the books via audio editions. This became more apparent as a personal need of mine when I noticed a reduction in my chronic migraines – hence why you see more audiobook reviews populating on my blog!

Towards that end – this year, I am gathering more audiobooks outside of blog tours – whilst taking advantage of being able to ILL (interlibrary loan) audiobooks on CD and borrowing eaudiobooks directly from my library’s OverDrive catalogue as well.

All of these small personal changes were leading me back to the world of INSPY Lit – whilst my Mum and Dad have been helping me as for the past year and a half they have spent my blogoversarsies and blog birthdays gifting me anthologies of INSPY novellas! You’ll see my reading adventures into those as the months move forward as I am slowly working my way through a personal list of #nextreads and #mustreads – most of which are listed on my *70 Authors Challenge* page. This gives a keen insight into the genres and themes of INSPY Lit I gravitate towards whilst owning to the fact even when I set a plan into action, I do deviate and ‘add’ more authors of focus! Laughs with mirth.

This journey of mine has led me to the writings of Kellie Coates Gilbert – she blessed me with the first two Texas Gold novels whereas Mum gifted me the third novel “A Reason to Stay” – however, during an end of Summer cleaning, I ended up packing up a large portion of my books to unpack as I finish the ones I had on my bookshelves – as I had to reduce my bookcases two years ago. This gives me a rotation of stories rather than keeping them all unpacked all at once – of course, one day I hope to have a designated room again for all the lovely stories but until then, I sorted out how to make due with less space to greet them all on a daily basis. I thought for sure I had kept all of Ms Gilbert’s novels together – yet, one went missing! This very novel – the third installment of the series!

I fretted over it for a bit longer than I ought to have in February before Mum came to my rescue and said – before you go hog wild trying to find which box has which book, why don’t you just simplify it and borrow it through ILL’ing? You know how much you love to seek out your ILLs! lol She surely does know me well! The novel came rather promptly (in early March) however, March became a wicked horrid month for personal health – this is why I was severely under-read at the start of Spring.

I wanted dearly to read this series in order – though it is a true test of patience and faith to acknowledge not everything is meant to go according to plan! It is our continued quest towards remaining humble in our lives to realise it is ‘okay’ to do things outside of the plans we set for ourselves – owning to the fact sometimes doing things out of sequence is actually a ‘good thing’. At least this is what I resolved realising as ILLs are only with us for three weeks – given how I spent those weeks under the weather, I chose to read “A Reason to Stay” ahead of “A Woman of Fortune”.

The reason I wanted to share this longer back-story with you is to give you an insightful view of my journey back to INSPY Literature. I’ve yearned to pick up where I left off during those years where I was trapped inside a reader’s rut – researching authors and stories but never reading them. I even gathered half of my personal library during those years – spilt between as aforesaid INSPY and mainstream authors. (whether they were Indie or traditionally published as well)

One of the biggest blessings I’ve had these past five years is the JOY of reading without failure to connect to the stories – meaning, there was such a time where I felt disconnected from how novels were written as motion pictures were easier for me to ‘connect’ with in a quasi-visceral manner of enjoyment. Somewhere between the initial inspiration for Jorie Loves A Story – I not only healed my reading life but I reclaimed a passion for ‘writing’ as well. As my blog is an extension of my writerly life in a way I am sure might remain overlooked by most of my readers. You get a sense of my personal writing life if you move in and out of my posts – all five years worth – as there is a growth amongst the archives from day one to the present day.

I am overjoyed the story I get to share with you, as I celebrate my 5th Blogoversary as a Book Blogger – where I found a newfound passion for being a book cheerleader and a author’s advocate is “A Reason to Stay” because even before I read the story itself, the title struck a chord in my own heart. I found my own ‘reason to stay’ a book blogger when I realised by sharing my bookish ruminations, I get to leave notes of gratitude back to the writers who are enriching my life with their stories. I get to acknowledge how their stories affect me and what impressed me about how they approached their individual perspective of how stories can thrive when fused so eloquently with their own personal imagination and vision for the craft of writing.

I am staying a book blogger due to the pure celebration of ‘stories’ I love reading but also the continued love of pursuing the written word in all its facets of exploration – wherein the story itself is where my own enlightenment is actively found. I love spreading bookish JOY – thank you for being a part of my journey here on Jorie Loves A Story. May you remain with me as I continue to seek out the stories which touch my mind, heart and soul.

And, may 2018 be a year where I can finally re-merge my INSPY readings into my regular readerly life, as they become fused directly into my life once more – as they have been an absence I have missed reconnecting with these past five years. They’ve been there, of course, hovering in the background – but now, I am thankful they can take their rightful spot as co-navigators of my bookish world!

postscript: I am sitting on a lovely SURPRISE I received this year, connected to the Texas Gold series – as I am reading this series back to back – resuming where I left off within Faith’s story (ie. A Reason to Stay) by pursuing the journey I am about to take with Claire (ie. A Woman of Fortune) – you’ll simply have to wait to find out about the blessing I received and my further ruminations on behalf of this heart and soul centred series!

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

Notation on the condition of this paperback: Did you notice how well-loved this interlibrary loaned copy of “A Reason to Stay” is ?? This curling of the bottom pages is how it reached my hands – the cover is now ‘soft’ to the touch, hinting towards how many bookish spirits have entered this novel and the ways in which the pages easily turn speaks of how this story has touched a lot of hearts ahead of my own. Although I am dearly particular how I read my own books – I can recognise a smile of joy in seeing how well-read a library book is by the patrons like me who amplify their reading life by the collections of public libraries which give us a renewal of hope to be able to seek out all the stories we readily wish to be reading irregardless of our purchasing budget – as public libraries fuell our reading lives as much as our intellectual curiosities (in the Non-Fiction realms).

A Reason to Stay Book Photography Credit: Jorie of jorielovesastory.com. Photo edits and collage created in Canva.

A Reason to Stay
Subtitle: A Texas Gold Novel
by Kellie Coates Gilbert
Source: Borrowed from local library (ILL)

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9780800722746

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


Published by Revell

on 6th October, 2015

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 336

Published by: Revell (@RevellBooks)

an imprint of Baker Publishing Group

Formats Available: Hardback, Trade Paperback and Ebook

 The Texas Gold series:

A Woman of Fortune (Book One) | Synopsis

Where Rivers Part (Book Two) | Synopsis

A Reason to Stay (Book Three)

What Matters Most (Book Four) | Synopsis

About Kellie Coates Gilbert

Kellie Coates Gilbert

Kellie Coates Gilbert has won readers’ hearts with her compelling and highly emotional stories about women and the relationships that define their lives. A former legal investigator, she is especially known for keeping readers turning pages and creating nuanced characters who seem real.

Born and raised near Sun Valley, Idaho, Kellie now lives with her husband of over thirty-five years in Dallas, where she spends most days by her pool drinking sweet tea and writing the stories of her heart.

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Saturday, 31 March, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, 70 Authors Challenge 2013-19, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Birthdays & Blogoversaries, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Christianity, Clever Turns of Phrase, Contemporary Romance, Crime Fiction, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Gabby Giffords, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Inspired by Stories, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Investigative Reporter | Journalist, Learning Difficulties, Library Catalogues & Databases, Library Find, Library Love, Life Shift, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Medical Fiction, Mental Health, Modern Day, Neurosciences | Neurogenetics, Passionate Researcher, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Psychological Abuse, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Southern Writers, Special Needs Children, Stories of Jorie, Texas, Women's Fiction, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Style & Voice

Blog Book Tour | “Unseen Road to Love” by Chelsea Curran an INSPY Rom which was partially inspired by the author’s own serendipitous recovery from a tragic car accident.

Posted Monday, 1 May, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna

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 “Unseen Road to Love” 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.

What drew my interest to read this particular INSPY Rom:

I love stories like these that involve the uncertainty after a coma! Do you remember the film “While You Were Sleeping”?? There was another one starring Reese Witherspoon too. I love those timeless Romances of the unknown!! – initial reaction

It is quite true – I have a penchant for stories, especially Romances surrounding someone whose succumbed to a traumatic accident and/or has entered into a coma. Earlier this year, I found a story which truly was eloquently written and alleviated fiction to a new layer of insight on a how a story such as this can be told. Even Hallmark Channel produced an incredibly humbling film starring Lindy Booth which still to this day is one of my favourites to re-see each Christmas. There is a lot of hope and a huge walk of faith to heal and recover from injuries serious enough to cause a person to enter a coma.

Unlike terminal illnesses, I find I can handle these kinds of stories far better because their more about healing and the spiritual side of how the art of healing is not entirely understood from our point of view here on Earth. There is a lot to be said for the consistency of prayer and of riding through adverse situations by the hope of what we all have inside us for the tomorrows which feel so very uncertain. Sometimes you do not even have time to pray or to hope for an outcome that is not as dire as it becomes; life can change in the blink of an eye as so much can happen in the instant everything spins out of control; especially during a car accident. I briefly mentioned my family’s accident recently whilst musing about the complexities of the natural world and our participation in the fragile balance of Earth’s ecological harmony.

However, the author’s car accident and my family’s accident have one major difference: we were spared injury and walked away unscathed. After spinning three times on the highway and slamming hard into the ditch whilst flipping over several times, no one was more surprised by this outcome than the first responders who were quite agape on scene afterwards. We were out of state and it was late at night. The lesson learnt that night is commuting back to one’s hotel after a day trip away from where your staying isn’t worth risking driving whilst your too tired to make the journey back. Also, one’s hamster can survive without having his ‘breakfast’ on schedule. It was the scariest moment in our lives – we pitched or rather hovered briefly on the brink of ‘going over’ but what looked like a canyon was the car exiting the spin and about to roll. Dad and I woke up first and all we had time to say is we were together; come what may, we were all together.

It’s true – sometimes you get second chances at unexpected moments where you never realised how close you were to having your life on the line. Eleven years later, I’ve never forgotten what happened that night nor how we were smiling for the camera a short while later, as the police officer took our picture in front of the Beetle which sacrificed it’s life to save ours. We were truly blessed the car held it’s integrity even if the accident itself rendered it undriveable. The fuller story behind that night is a testament of our faith and of how faith pulls you through at moments where prayer isn’t possible but your faith is still a rock and shield to your soul. Miracles are everywhere. You just have to remain open to experiencing them when you never thought they’d enter your life.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art: I truly love this cover art! It has the light of faith and the burst of angelic intervention about it! I love the swirls of purple and of the shining light behind the couple, too. It’s a book cover befitting an INSPY read and a story of uplifting courage and remarkable recovery through holding strong to one’s faith and believing adversity and strife can be overcome.

Blog Book Tour | “Unseen Road to Love” by Chelsea Curran an INSPY Rom which was partially inspired by the author’s own serendipitous recovery from a tragic car accident.Unseen Road to Love
by Chelsea Curran
Source: Direct from Publisher

The airbag deployed as the impact shoved his car across the ice and straight into the intersection. In that same time frame, the car's back end drifted into a half circle, until the last thing Logan saw was another set of lights in the passenger window. And then,...

From the outside, Logan Atwood's life looks perfect: a successful career, a lavish lifestyle. But after a brutal car accident leaves him in a coma, Logan suddenly finds himself five years in the past. Only then does he realize that his perfect world may have cost him the woman of his dreams and the faith he once loved. Is it too late for Logan's second chance?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781462120055

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Sweet Romance


Published by Bonneville Books

on 9th May, 2017

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 304

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks),

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

Read this novels INSPIRATIONS | contains SPOILERS via the author’s blog

Converse on Twitter via: #INSPY #Romance or #INSPYRom

About Chelsea Curran

Chelsea Curran

Chelsea Curran lives in the desert valley of Arizona, and has an associates degree in general education from Dixie State University. Though secretly a romantic, she used to spend most of her time brooding over the idea of love until her college roommates introduced her to the exciting and fantastic world of romance novels. When she’s not teaching, dancing, painting, laughing or baking cookies, she’s in her blanket fort giggling over the handsome hero capturing the fair lady’s heart. By experience, she believes one good book can change a person’s life forever.

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Posted Monday, 1 May, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Contemporary Romance, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Medical Fiction, Mental Health, Modern Day, Mormonism, Nurses & Hospital Life, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Singletons & Commitment, Stories of Jorie, Sweet Romance