Category: LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “On the Rocks” (Book One of the #WillaCather and Edith Lewis Mysteries) by Sue Hallgarth

Posted Wednesday, 18 October, 2017 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I have been hosting for Poetic Book Tours for a few years now, where I am finding myself encouraged to seek out collections of poetry or incredible fiction being published through Small Trade publishers and presses. I have an Indie spirit and mentality as a writer and I appreciate finding authors who are writing creative works through Indie resources as I find Indies have a special spirit about them. It is a joy to work with Poetic Book Tours for their resilience in seeking out voices in Literature which others might overlook and thereby, increasing my own awareness of these beautiful lyrical voices in the craft.

When I realised this was the first ‘book’ in a series, I requested to receive the first book in order to understand the continuity and flow between the lead characters within the second installment. It is a personal preference of mine to read series ‘in order’ and I was blessed I could start this one at the beginning! I received a complimentary copy of “On the Rocks” direct from the publicist of Sue Hallgarth in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read the Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mysteries:

I am unsure when I first stumbled across ‘living persons’ being amateur sleuths in Mysteries & stories of Suspense – however, ever since I was first smitten by the idea, I have taken to these kinds of stories like a duck to water! I only vaguely ‘knew of’ Willa Cather – she’s the kind of woman you might hear about in literary circles as her own legacy of stories has quite the following. However, in regards to her personal life or the adventures she had as an novelist – these are the missing gaps in my knowledge! If anything, I knew her ‘in name only’ rather than of having a biographical sketch of an idea about her person.

This is one reason I am drawn into Biographical Fiction stories – generally speaking, I lean on the branch of ‘Historical Fiction’ to chart my course through time whilst alighting in the footsteps of either novelists (such as the Brontés) or well-known figureheads (such as Eleanor Roosevelt) whilst feeling a bit attached to some of the dexterities of creative muses (such as the Jane Austen Mysteries). Throughout each story I pick up to read, I am drawn closer to the ‘person’ who lived the life either being re-transmitted through a portion of their own living hours or re-identified in a different lifestyle altogether! It makes for a fascinating jaunt through time, history and known fact!

I hadn’t fused to mind ‘where’ the story was set – coming into fuller knowledge as I sat down to read the novel, I realised it was hugged close to the Canadian Maritimes – specifically the region of the Bay of Fundy and the Fundy Isles. This is an especially lovely area where artists, artisans, writers and other creatives have found a renewing peace to create in this part of the world where life is laid back & the natural scenery etches out its own inspiration to the creator. The Bay of Fundy in recent years is a bit better known due to a hard-won battle to secure the sanctity of the waters in the North Atlantic by the conjoined efforts of the Americans, Canadians & Passamaquoddy Indians.

Realising this connection, when it came time to ‘step forward’ into Ms Hallgarth’s vision for the series, I was more than ready to lay pause on her prose and feel absorbed into this area of the Northern Hemisphere where the lights like to dance, ice meets the sea and where there is an enchantment of wonderment lit over the land. It was then, I realised I was supposed to read this series!

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Blog Book Tour | “On the Rocks” (Book One of the #WillaCather and Edith Lewis Mysteries) by Sue HallgarthOn the Rocks
Subtitle: A Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mystery
by Sue Hallgarth
Source: Publicist via Poetic Book Tours

The year is 1929 and Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Willa Cather and her partner Edith Lewis are summering on Grand Manan, an island in the Bay of Fundy. In their cottage’s sparsely-furnished attic room, Cather is at work writing Shadows on the Rock, her tenth novel. Edith is painting watercolors from the cliffs two hundred feet above the rising tides of Whale Cove.

Out of the corner of her eye, Edith sees a body plunge from the edge of a cliff to the rocks below…. Solving the mystery, first-time novelist Sue Hallgarth’s intimate view of village politics and the goings-on of two women’s communities long lost to history is also a suspenseful and surprising crime novel. Hallgarth draws the reader into a unique retreat and an inside glimpse of the lives of a great American novelist and her talented life partner.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0985520007

Also by this author:

Genres: Amateur Detective, Biographical Fiction, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction


Published by Arbor Farm Press

on 13th January, 2013

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 262

Published By: Arbor Farm Press

Available Formats: Paperback & Ebook

The Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mysteries:

On the Rocks (Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mysteries) by Sue HallgarthDeath Comes (Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mysteries) by Sue Hallgarth

Book One: On the Rocks

Book Two: Death Comes (Synopsis)

Converse via: #WillaCather + #CosyMysteries

About Sue Hallgarth

Sue Hallgarth

Sue Hallgarth is former English professor. She has written scholarly articles on Willa Cather and Edith Lewis, and Death Comes is her second book of fiction featuring the two of them. Her first book in the series On The Rocks, set in 1929 on the island of Grand Manan in New Brunswick, Canada. She lives in Corrales, New Mexico.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Wednesday, 18 October, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Amateur Detective, Apothecary, Art, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bootleggers & Smugglers, Canada, Canadian Maritimes, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cosy Historical Mystery, Creative Arts, Crime Fiction, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Edith Lewis, Equality In Literature, Fundy Isles, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction, Naturopathic Medicine, Poetic Book Tours, Seclusion in the Natural World, Sisterhood friendships, Small Towne Fiction, Social Change, the Nineteen Hundreds, the Roaring Twenties, Village Life, Walking & Hiking Trails, Willa Cather, Women's Rights

Book Review | “Can’t Buy Me Love” by Jane Lovering #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 27 May, 2017 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and created #ChocLitSaturday (the chat via @ChocLitSaturday):

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of marriage enveloped by characters written honestly whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read!

I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other!

I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb! Whilst sorting out how promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. As of June 2016, I became a member of the ChocLit Stars Team in tandem with being on the Cover Reveal Team which I joined in May 2016. I reference the Stars as this is a lovely new reader contribution team of sending feedback to the publisher ahead of new book releases. As always, even if I’m involved with a publisher in this sort of fashion, each review is never influenced by that participation and will always be my honest impression as I read the story. Whether the author is one I have previously read or never had the pleasure to read until the book greets my shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of “Can’t Buy Me Love” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

a bit of back-history on this sequence of roms:

The Yorkshire Romances received a sixth entry into the series with Can’t Buy Me Love, which I thankfully spotlighted last May! What is interesting about being able to read this book over Memorial Day weekend, is the timing of the book in my hand vs. the weekend last year, when it was a book I was itching to read but could only speculate about what I would find inside it! Isn’t that a wicked sweet coincidence!?

The Yorkshire Romances in sequence:

{please note: all of these are stand-alone; only the setting unites them}

To properly recap my ruminative pre-reading thoughts about the series, kindly visit my Spotlight w/ Notes!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

My initial thoughts about why I wanted to read this particular release:

What I appreciate about the Yorkshire Romances series as a whole is each installment reads to be individually unique to it’s own setting and cast of characters; I am unsure what threads the series together as a whole, as I haven’t yet read one of the novels, but to find a series where you can meet such a varied and diverse set of stories is quite champion, if you ask me! I think it speaks to the different themes of interest on behalf of the author, how she likes to pull together different threads of interest per each character she’s focusing on in turn and thereby, deepening where each installment can take the reader. For instance, I Don’t Want to Talk About It had a very emotional context to it’s central heart.

I must confess, I oft was drawn into stories of inheritances (especially the unexpected kind!) since I was a young girl – those were the Classical novels I would delight in reading because they had such a capture of ‘real life caught between a change of circumstance and the reality of who you really are’ merging into a story where you have to choose how your going to proceed. I even followed this up by watching tv movies of the same theme; each story in turn featured a character who had to go through a period of growth and self-reflection where they truly developed into a better version of themselves. Even in my beloved Cosy Mystery series Aunt Dimity the title character has to come to terms with an inheritance that truly was quite magically wicked in the end!

I do love a good matching between two opposite personalities or two people who live different lifestyles; it works either way for me; to see how differences either make or break a relationship. Equal to that, there is something about the quirkiness of geeks vs nerds (in case you hadn’t known, I’m a geek!) and how each of them can be a good match for someone who doesn’t self-identify as either/or too!

When it comes to money and people’s true colours shining through their intentions – that happens to be one of my favourite twists in a plot to read! I like noodling out which person wormed into someone’s life looking for a quick take from a person who came into an inheritance vs the sincerity of friendship for the sake of genuine concern for another person’s welfare. It’s a slippery slope as they say – whom to trust and when to know to question the trust you put into others when circumstances change overnight.

I could tell immediately I liked the potboiler brewing into the backbone of this installment, as it’s quite a truthful statement to make – does money have the reverse effect of muddling your life further than it might have been already or does it present certain assurances but give you a bit of a new set of curious hiccups to circumvent as well? I think the title brings the scope of the story into play quite nicely and if you trust a title, I think it forebears well the outcome we’ll all have to wait to read!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

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Posted Saturday, 27 May, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Britian, Brothers and Sisters, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Inheritance & Identity, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Modern Day, Romance Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Siblings, Vulgarity in Literature

Audiobook Review | “Timekeeper” Book No.1 of Timekeeper Trilogy by Tara Sim, narrated by Gary Furlong

Posted Sunday, 9 April, 2017 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. Wherein I have become quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Timekeeper” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the author Tara Sim) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I was curious about this audiobook:

I personally love stories involving ‘time’ in all the variants literature will afford the writer to create within their scope of world-building, genre and character journey. I oft-times broach how much I love time slip, time shift and time travel stories but that is only one part of how I love seeing ‘time’ manipulated in fiction. Within the Steampunk spin-offs – I appreciate Automation, Clockpunk and other such variants of where ‘time’ can become mingled with Hard Science Fiction elements as much as Victorian worlds which progressed forward in time at a different pace than our own reality.

I liked the premise of this one simply because of how unusual it would be set an entire series around ‘time’ and how ‘time’ is perceived to be controlled and/or bent out of order whilst the maintenance of ‘clocks’ were directly connected to the continuum of time itself. Whilst reading The Clan Chronicles, time is a key component of the series – especially in regards to how travel can become bent or wielded rather through different portals which can transport objects and people if you know how to use the energy properly which not only pertains to ‘time’ but to matter, energy and everything else combined. I guess you could say I love finding a ‘thinking man’ story-line where part of what you love curling inside a narrative such as this is seeing beyond what is being said and envision the mental map of how the writer originated the foundations of the tale itself. I like seeing if I can ‘see behind the veil’ sometimes, and these stories are readily curious due to the nature of their frameworks.

I am also an open-minded reader – wherein I like reading stories about different lifestyles and perspectives which parlays itself through multicultural traditions or religions and for all stories which fall under #ownvoices and #WeNeedDiverseBooks movements whilst pertaining to what I consider the fuller scope of how #diverselit leads into #EqualityInLit via the essay I wrote a few years back.

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Audiobook Review | “Timekeeper” Book No.1 of Timekeeper Trilogy by Tara Sim, narrated by Gary FurlongTimekeeper
by Tara Sim
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Gary Furlong

Two o’clock was missing.

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

Places to find the book:

Genres: Clockpunk, LGBTQIA Fiction, Science Fiction, Upper YA Fiction


Published by Forever Young Audiobooks

on Valentine's Day, 2017

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 8 hours 50 minutes (unabridged)

Published By: Forever Young Audiobooks (@FYAudiobooks)

Converse via: #UpperYA, #Timekeeper and #Clockpunk

About Tara Sim

Tara Sim

Tara Sim is the author of Timekeeper (Sky Pony Press) and can typically be found wandering the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not chasing cats or lurking in bookstores, she writes books about magic, clocks, and explosives.

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Posted Sunday, 9 April, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Audiobook Narrator Interview, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Clockpunk, Clockwork & Mechanisations, Clogs & Gears, Coming-Of Age, Content Note, Debut Author, Debut Novel, England, Equality In Literature, Futuristic Fantasy, Genre-bender, Indie Author, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Literature for Boys, Science Fantasy, Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Suspense, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Upper YA Fiction, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall” by Shannon Kirk

Posted Monday, 6 February, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall hosted by iRead Book Tours. Per my last #StoriesOfJorie update, I talked about how my life has changed over the past few month since my father’s stroke and how the loss of my connectivity to the internet in the latter weeks of January, pushed some of my reviews into February. I had hoped to keep this blog tour on schedule with the tour itself, until of course, my connectivity issues combined my role as my Dad’s caregiver did not give me enough hours to  post in time to officially participate. However, I did remain in contact with iRead whilst posting this as close to the end of the tour as I can to hopefully catch readers who are still following to see our opinions. I also tried to tweet a few reactions out ahead of my review going live as I was completely absorbed into the heart of this narrative and the scope of where the author hoped readers would take their readerly hearts.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall” direct from the author Shannon Kirk in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I  am drawn to stories such as this one:

The introspective and existential journey of the soul is a unique perspective to have available in literature, as it deals with the quest of not only a person’s humanistic approach to their living reality but to the deeper layers of their soul’s journey. I personally love introspective  narratives – which is one reason I was delighted to be a beta reader for Mr Barton’ s  Peach,even if during my readings of his novel I recognised a humbling truth of my own: I can handle near-death and coma experiences but when the background of a story is attached directly to terminal illness (ie. Cancer) I find myself unwinding from the context of the story; almost unmoored if you will to carry forward with the journey on the pages. Blessedly through my work with Mr Barton, I was able to complete my work with his manuscript whilst working around this newfound literary block of mine. I spoke more about this particular subject on this post about how sometimes our emotions and our hearts cannot take us everywhere we’d like to go within a novel.

Peach taps into  a particular awareness of living and of life; of  stepping outside oneself and of seeking to understand the authenticity of one’s living truth whilst mindfully aware of how actions and their effects on others can influence how our lives can play out. It’s one man’s journey towards understanding who he is whilst re-appreciating his role in his life and how he is particularly important to those around him.  On a similar vein of interest, I found Antiphony to be written in a similar tone of  narrative thought –  suspended of course from the traditional story-telling arc and cast into that particular heady sea of introspective fiction. Both of these prior reads allowed me to go to a different place in literature where writers are seeking to find a way to communicate a layer of story-telling which is not oft-times revealled nor are the layers of our soul explored to reveal a more humbling view of our own humanity.

I am unsure why stories involving near-death and coma story-lines are easier for me to process than terminal illness, but it has been true for quite a long time even before this past year where I pulled my thoughts together. I still remember how intrigued I was by a French author’s story within If Only It Were True by Marc Levy. I also saw the adaptation Just Like Heaven and hope to one day see the Bollywood version I See You. I was caught up in the narrative of how Levy wrote the story even though there were a few wrinkles in my brow in how the story evolved and how it was disclosed to the reader. There was enough inside it to inspire me to conclude it and by the time I saw the film, I was moved past the emotional plane of where the author meant us to go. It was heart-stirring and it was inspiring on an interpersonal level.

There is something quite vividly alive about seeking out the stories which take us outside the ‘everyday’ and re-align us back into the periscope of understanding the wider importance of why we live. As an aside, I know the author crossed my path on Twitter at some point in the journey of this novel – it might have even been whilst it was moving titles (originally known as ‘Heavens’) but whenever it was our paths first crossed, the joy was mine to finally dig into her story-line and see how she breathed to life Vivienne’s discovery.  On another level of cross-reference, portions of Vivienne’s journey hugged me back to the poetically insightful prose found within Lemongrass Hope! (see also review)  These are the stories I ache to find and to feel fully consumed after having read. They give you something back which sometimes can become lost in the chaos of life; a well of renewal and a sharpened awareness of our human condition.                                                                                                     Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall” by Shannon KirkThe Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall
by Shannon Kirk
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

What if you could choose your heaven now? Go on a celestial shopping trip of sorts? Thirty-five-year-old Vivienne does just that, as she lies dying in the ICU; a fatal walk into the path of a truck. In her final week of life, Vivienne treks through the Heavens of a priest, a best friend, a homeless child, and a lover who never was. Vivienne’s guardian angel, Noah, who may just be her soul mate, escorts her through selections of Heavens and through the confusion Vivienne experiences as she flounders between a doubt of life and the certainty of death. Although her visits to varied afterlives provide peace and beauty, choosing proves not so easy: Vivienne’s love for her young son and her earthly father pull her from her colorful journey—and from her divine love of Noah.

The nature of love, the variety and magic of life, unending hope, and the importance of saying goodbye are central to this uplifting tale.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781944387082

Genres: Genre-bender, LGBTQIA Fiction, Magical Realism, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Women's Fiction


Published by Reputation Books

on 12th August, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 310

 Published By: Reputation Books

 Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Shannon Kirk

Shannon Kirk

Shannon Kirk is the awarding-winning author of the international bestselling Method 15/33 (psychological thriller--bestseller in Colombia and Spain, will be lead title in Italy, 2017) and Heavens (Literary Fiction). Method 15/33 has received multiple accolades: 2015 Foreword Review Book of the Year (Suspense); Winner of 2015 National Indie Excellence Award, Best Suspense; 2015 USA Best Book Finalist; School Library Journal's Best Adult Books for Teens (2015); and Finalist in 2013 William Faulkner William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition (when a Novella). Method 15/33 is optioned for a major motion film and has sold to nineteen foreign rights.

When not writing, she is a practicing lawyer, residing on Massachusett's Cape Ann with her husband and son and two cat writing accomplices, Marvin Marquez (in honor of Gabriel Garcia Marquez) and Stewie Poe (Edgar Allen Poe).

Shannon enjoys writing in several genres: literary fiction, psychological thriller, young adult, and poetry. She has been honored three times by the William Faulkner William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. ​

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Posted Monday, 6 February, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Angels, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, Boston, Childhood Friendship, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Genre-bender, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Magical Realism, Medical Fiction, Modern Day, Near-Death Experience, Neurosciences | Neurogenetics, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Realistic Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction, Women's Health