Category: Booktalk Nation

Musing Mondays #2: Walking back through the door of my imagination!

Posted Monday, 28 October, 2013 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 3 Comments

Musing Mondays is hosted by Should Be Reading

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

| 28th October, 2013 |

Rather than a proposed question, this Monday the Musings reverts back to:

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

Today, I am simply thankful to be back ‘on JLAS’, picking up where I left off with my book reviews, and setting up for a wicked month-long post extravaganza (Sci-Fi November!)! I recently finished two books, which I reviewed post-haste: “The Study of Murder” by Susan McDuffie and “Virtual Blue” by R.J. Sullivan! I was honoured that I had the opportunity to read each of these novels, and for me, it was a departure from my preference for reading serial fiction in ‘order’ of either publication OR of the world the story is set inside. There are times where I feel you can be given a proper introduction to the characters and flow of the overall story, to where starting with a series in-progress might suit you as well as if you had started at the beginning! This also helps when you find authors who know how to spin the continuity of their series in such a brilliantly giving way (of which McDuffie and Sullivan excel!) to where you feel as though ‘you had read the previous installments!’ I appreciate too, that each book took me away from my zone of comfort when it comes to reading, as I explored the fascinating world of the 14th Century through the eyes of a reluctant amateur detective in ‘The Study of Murder’, whereas I left our shared reality for the world beyond which is housed within the virtual whilst digging into ‘Virtual Blue’!

There was a nibbling in the back of mind about the first book, something that I had forgotten to mention in my review, which is that Mariota used Caledula flowers as part of one of her tinctures, and that is the very ingredient inside my new toothpaste that is giving me the most relief! I thought it was clever how I had only just discovered Weleda’s Caledula Toothpaste! Small world! I have always loved learning more about natural medicines and herbal remedies, which is why this part of the story perked my interest in such a hearty way!

Whereas with ‘Virtual Blue’, I felt compelled to continue reading a story that was in full effect a bit of a language barrier (bless the author for summarising it!) for me, as he interwove such a courageous story, full of heart, raw pure gumption and a determined spunky spirit of which is the essence of ‘Blue!’ I was quite caught up in the particulars of the gaming world as much as the balance between good vs. evil, which is such a classic story arc to explore, but was given such a fine tune approach that it rendered a whole new world where your tested for what you are willing to understand!

I am moving next into “Redheart” by Jackie Gamber and “Illuminations” by Mary Sharratt, both of which I have been eagerly looking forward to reading and reviewing! I had hoped to review them far ahead of my post deadlines, but as I had outlined previously life in the bookish blogosphere doesn’t always go as we plan it to go! ‘Redheart’ is an epic fantasy world that envelopes around dragons, whereas ‘Illuminations’ dips into the living history of a saintly nun who changed the perception of the world at large by the knowledge she was bestowed and given to share! The latter is a biographical fiction set against the living legacies that were past down about Hildegard von Bingen, which I find fascinating! I am curiously drawn towards reading more and more biographical fiction accountments due to the hearty nature of the context as much as the drinkablity of the narrative!

In-between reading the books for review, I am settling into “Finnikin of the Rock” by Melina Marchetta, as I completely missed the key dates I was meant to post my reactions to the book as I read it, as well as the follow-up sequences speaking about “Community” and “Family” as it directly applied to the characters! Whilst I was living through personal affairs that took my time and attention away, I fear that this lovely event was on-going and brilliantly executed! I will be adding my reactions as I read through the chapters, adding my commentaries and visiting the collaborative reading experience post-event!

I am revising my posting schedule for SFN, due to a few quirks of not being able to source a few of the materials I needed, but I am not letting it deter my enthused joy for the event itself, because I am thankful to have had the opportunity to celebrate in the love of a genre that has been a mainstay throughout my life!

I was a bit disheartened that I had missed a few Booktalk Nation events whilst I was offblog, as I had hoped to have participated in the speaking tours of: Wally Lamb (We Are Water); Julia Quinn (The Sum of All Kisses); and Kristin Higgins (The Perfect Match). I wonder if any of my readers took part in these wicked sweet events!? I cannot speak more highly of Booktalk Nation, even though, I still owe a post about the last two authors I saw featured where were Laurie R. King and Robyn Carr! :) The one that I am hoping I am in line to participate in is Rachel Caine who will be speaking about her Morganville Vampire series which might sound out of context for me to engage in, and on one hand you would be keenly observant in that theory, however, I am always curious about books and authors that I hear about regularly through my circle of friends’. Her series is one that is spoken with affection, and despite my unease of wanting to enter into the world of vampires which has never quite been a good fit for me (outside of ‘Buffy’ and ‘Angel’; certain seasons over others!), I am willing to expand my knowledge and enlighten my heart by listening to the author who penned the stories that has captured the imagination of my dear friends! :)

A bookish blogger can not receive a more humble note of gratitude (aside from an author’s reaction to one of her reviews!) than a full-on post about the merits of joy in discovering a bookish event that a reader can attend, of which they *discovered!* through her sidebar! I speak on behalf of Christine (of Readerly Musings) trekking to Boston for the *Boston Book Festival!* Due venture over and viscerally live through her eyes of this smashingly brilliant bookish event! And, if any of the bits of my sidebar prove helpful, I’d be honoured to hear of your stories of where my sidebar led you to take an adventure! Its my long-term goal to utilise the bookish events, historical landmarks, and book shoppes for my own literary adventures; hence why they are included on my blog! I was hopeful that whilst I await the day to venture off, another reader might find the information useful to them! In this way, I am humbled and honoured by Christine’s post! :)

OOh, and eek! I nearly forgot!! I received word that the novella “A Light in the Window” (the prequel to “The Daughters of Boston” series) by Julie Lessman is FINALLY going to be available in print!! I do not yet have word as to ‘when’, but ooh, did I merrily rejoice in hearing that nearly a year to the day I first learnt about the novella I am celebrating the news of its publication in print!! I have attempted to *win!* a spiral bound copy of it throughout the blog book tours Ms. Lessman has participated in from November 2012 – 2013, however, it was not meant to be! I always longed to read this particular prequel, because as my future review of this lovely series (I am thinking this will be early 2014!) will reveal to you dear hearts, this series has nestled right in the niche of my heart! Marcy and Patrick are the parents inside the story of the O’ Connors, of whom are the hinge-pins who hold the entire Irish family together! To find a story set aside to speak about how they first met and conjoined in marriage is a story that I have pined to read! Blessed is I to have learnt I am closer to this dream! The news was announced in a reply to a comment I left on ‘the Society’ where Ms. Lessman guest posted for a day!

*NOTE: The RSS feed blurb is in the lower portion of my sidebar for ‘the Society’!

At some point, I would like restore my rhythm and pick up where I left off with my dear blogs, of which I enjoy reading regularly, but of which I haven’t had the proper chance to drop by and hang out! The blogs in particular I am museful about today are: Southern Belle View, Word Wenches, the Society, OWG, and a newbie favourite Austen Authors! I hope to swing back once I get my forthcoming reviews into focus and I have a handle on the first week of SFN! All in good time! I am with them in spirit! :) I read more blogs than this regularly, of course, as I am choosing to focus on the group author blogs right now that strike my fancy!

I believe that is all the bookish news and musings I have to share with you, dear hearts! IF I have accidentally been remiss, I will simply follow-up this post on WWW Wednesday! Here is to celebrating bookish memes, the bookish blog community, and the joy of reading! Most especially after a short hiatus we were not expecting!

{SOURCE: Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Raaven with editing by Jorie in Fotoflexer.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Monday, 28 October, 2013 by jorielov in 14th Century, Amateur Detective, Austen Authors, Book Festival, Bookish Whimsy, Booktalk Nation, Boston Book Festival, CFHS The Society, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy Fiction, Finnikin of the Rock, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction, Museful Mondays, Naturopathy, OWG, Readerly Musings, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction, Shelf Awareness, Southern Belle View Daily, The Word Wenches, Virtual Reality

You’re never quite prepared to say, “Good-bye”,…

Posted Friday, 24 May, 2013 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

You’re never quite prepared to say, “Good-bye”, to someone you love and cherish to have around,… human or animal, our loved ones enrich our lives…

When the week of the 19th of May first dawned, I thought that my beloved tabby whose name rhymes with Beta, was going to pull through and make a turnabout in his fight to live. With my heart and head still consumed by grief and the loss that overtakes anyone whose experienced a similar loss can attest too, you tend to find things to fill in the consuming voids of time. Its hard not to notice the hours as they click off on the clock, as I remember the first hour, the second hour, and the third as he first passed. Then, it was the twelfth hour and the twenty-eighth, which is when I asked my head to stop ‘noticing’,… to allow time to fold back in on itself, and away from my eyes seeing the advancement of Time’s progression. One of the curious things that alighted in my mind to do was to re-open my Tuesday’s Shelf Awareness newsletter which was barely acknowledged when it originally arrived. The only bits of it that even interested me were the adverts at the bottom, as the crust of the content wobbled my head a bit, as you need a clearer mind than the one I have to digest what your reading!

This is when I saw the advert for “Sleeping in Eden” by Nicole Baart, whose last name struck a bell of recognition but the cloudy mess I was in I couldn’t begin to ascertain as to ‘why’,… I clicked over to her personal website, read the blurb for the novel, which interested me, and then, I clicked the curious little icon that would lead me to Vimeo {a platform I sort of prefer over YouTube}, and to this lovely little video about Ms. Baart’s writing life.

Nicole’s Personal Video by Todd Montsma

{I originally was going to encourage you to click the link, as I could not sort out how to embed the video to my blog, as a ‘share url’ box was not visible; until I read through the help sections for WordPress and realised Vimeo automatically embeds via the video url! Blogging is a perpetual learning curve!}

After the video concluded I tossed my hat into the contest, but that was only half of it, the video itself lifted my spirits if only for a short few minutes. I go through waves of emotion, where my heart grieves, my mind remembers his presence, and I will myself to remember he’s at peace, he’s in a better place, and his spirit will carry on with me through my tomorrow’s as all companions who enrich our lives with their love, their warmth, and their quirky personalities do. He had a penchant for vocality that was loss to him in the ending chapter of his life. He became a bit too silent, too soft spoken, and yet, in his enduring strength to overcome the plight he faced, his indomitable courage shined. He taught us so many things whilst he was here, eight years and four months shy of his ninth birthday. The greatest of all, I should think, is a calming of spirit inside adversity and a stealth of patience during the in-between. His gentleness and loving affection will remain with me always,…

As I was saying “Good-bye“, whilst he lived his last days, these were the events only a few weeks prior I had been itching to attend. How quickly life can alter our plans,…

Booktalk Nation : The Missed Events

  • Nathaniel Philbrick ~ Tuesday, 21st of May, 2013 at 7:00pm (EST)
  • Book Featured: Bunker Hill: A city, a siege, a revolution
  • Moderated by: Tony Horwitz

Question I proposed: Mr. Philbrick, What was the originating inspiration to dig into the history of the battle at Bunker Hill which ignited the Revolutionary War? And, how were you so fortunate to uncover not only new information that is pertinent, but wholly new to the readers who will read your book with a solidified appreciation of the history as it was previously known!?

  • Susanna Kearsley ~ Wednesday, 22nd of May, 2013 at 7:00pm (EST)
  • Book Featured: The Firebrand
  • Moderated by: Karen Holt

Question I proposed: Since your novel The Firebrand delves into the gift of Sight, what do you think draws you and your readers into stories that are touched with an element of the paranormal that can assimilate into the storyline as one readily breathes!? As though the element is organic in nature, and not an addition but rather a natural component!?

I’ll never know if my questions were read aloud during the events OR what inspiring bits of knowledge I would have gleamed from them, as I am finding that each author event that I attend through *Booktalk Nation*, is simply that ~ a way to broaden my horizons through getting to know the eclectically lovely authors that they host by way of phone and video telecast events! Instead, I am simply going to see if I can fetch these particular books through my library, and glisten a bit more insight into the authors through their stories,… as to me, that is always the first door that opens that leads us to understanding the person behind the pen!

Life is a constant balance of heartache and calm. I will regain my joy of reading and of blogging. I will find the light that shines through my posts on regularly read blogs, as I recapture what leads me to visit with the authors and bloggers who populate them. Right now, all of it feels too oppressive and evading. I want to pull back and withdraw and I shall. When I re-emerge I’ll feel lighter and more at peace with his passing than I do now with a heart bled open and raw from the pain of his passing.

{SOURCE: The video of Nicole Baart’s writing life by Todd Montsma had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post and I thank them for this opportunity to share this uplifting video that helped me through a very difficult time.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Friday, 24 May, 2013 by jorielov in Booktalk Nation, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Jorie Loves A Story, Live Author Event

A conversation with Cathie Pelletier,… via Book Talk Nation!

Posted Thursday, 16 May, 2013 by jorielov , 0 Comments

A real-time conversation,
via video feed phone-in interview with
Booktalk Nation, and Cathie Pelletier!

Inspired to Share: I truly did not know what to expect, as I had decided to select authors that I would be curious to read as much as choosing authors I might causally know of, if I had not yet read their offerings. In this particular case, Ms. Pelletier falls under the category of curiosity!

The Details:

Cathie Pelletier, participated in a real-time conversation with Booktalk Nation to discuss her book “The One-Way Bridge”.

Once you’ve reserved your spot via email registration, from the author’s sign-up page, you return to the url dial the number they provide you at the time they specify, keying in the code to enter the discussion. In this instance, 6:00pm (EST) / 3:00 (PST). The interviews typically run for thirty minutes. And, on this particular day, originally we were meant to go to a video feed but were changed to a phone-in a day ahead of the interview taking place.

Question that I submitted upon sign-up: 

{NOTE: I had a sneaking feeling that the phone interviews might work a bit like the video feeds where the audience would be asked to question the author direct rather then to relay on the previously submitted questions! Therefore, I shortened my question from this: Ms. Pelletier, I read the biography of yours attached to your author’s page, noting that you’ve lived in four uniquely different areas of North America! May I ask, familial connections aside, what is it that drew you instinctly home to Maine?! Or is it something that is hard to formulate into words, and is resonated more in emotion?! When you went back home, did this spark your resurgence in writing?}

In order to reflect this instead: Hi, it’s Jorie and I have a question? What drew you back to Maine because I read in your biography that you’ve lived in different states and once you were back home in Maine is that what gave you a resurgance to your writing?

{I was recovering from a virus as I spoke to her on the phone via speaker, and hadn’t realised that my name “Jorie” sounded like “Joey or Joy” to her; I simply rolled with it, because try as I might I couldn’t get “Jorie” to come through!}

And, she replied: She lived in Connecticut as a child, but lived in Tennessee most of her life. She relocated to Quebec as her husband’s family lived in Montreal and Toronto (Ontario). Her family was shifting East, as her mother died in 2000 {same year as my grandfather!} and her father is 93 years old living alone in the house she was bourne in. He actually dug the foundation of the family home with horses and her grandfather assisted as well. They converted the room she was bourne in to a bathroom, but the history of the place evokes an emotional connection that cannot be topped. She came back to Maine for her father, expecting on a short furlough of six months! She was thinking of Houlton. She actually found that her writing voice was mostly contained to her life in the South. She prefers to look back in the past to write a book rather than to look at the present and base a story on what is surrounding her.

A second question I formulated on the fly whilst listening to Ms. Pelletier: What is your favourite part of Spring in Maine compared to Spring in Tennessee or the South? {which led to an interactive expose!}

And she replied: The main difference for her to recall is when her mother would call her on the phone speaking about a blizzard whilst she was laying out in the sun because it was February, with a glass of orange juice! The wisteria, honeysuckles, and the rattle of cicadas of Nashville are lulling to her. She instantly knows she’s in the South when she steps off the plane into the humid air. In direct difference she has moose walking through her property now!

I interjected: Do you prefer Maine or the South for Spring? She’s a birder who prefers to have the best of both worlds! This way she will not miss any of the birds for sake of one location or the other. She could no more pick between two children than deciding between two locales. I stated that I’d prefer Maine, as a reprieve from the humidity where I live. She needs Autumn to re-balance as I wish I could. I told her I get ‘a kiss of Autumn and then it’s gone’. She loves Winter but stresses about the lack of food for the animals. Her husband is quick to point out that if she ever drove in Winter, she would no longer be romantic about the season! She enjoys sitting at home by the fireside and feeds the birds. She enjoys watching the rivers freeze over marking the next passage of time. She still is poetic as she called the frozen river “a scar that heals itself”. She reflected about the ice that took out the one-way bridge. Her small towne celebrates the river’s release of freedom in April as it sheds its ice. I said that she’s in harmony with nature, like I am. I like to walk in nature by our lakes on a nature trail. I feel more at peace when I see the marsh rabbits, the sandhill cranes, and the white ibis. And, when I have that direct connection like you do, it changes your perception and you feel more grounded. She believed the same, telling me that her novels are full of nature. Nature plays a central theme to all of her novels. I told her I look forward to reading this one, as it will be the first one I read of hers.

My recollections of what I overheard throughout the conversation that evolved between Ms. Pelletier and the interviewer Mickey Raphael. I am relaying what I felt was pertinent to share as much as what I found the most interesting to be revealed.

Curious Tidbits I Learnt:

  • Ms. Pelletier originally comes from a small towne in Maine called Allagash, which was known for three one-way bridges. Whilst living in Nashville {1991} she overheard that ice had taken out one of her hometown bridges! This inspired her to finally include such a bridge in one of her stories, where previously she hadn’t done so. Bridges are their own metaphors and to have the inspiration to include a ‘one way bridge’ she took as a special gift.
  • Ms. Pelletier started to pen the story in the early 1990s, with certain characters coming forward that stood out to her, such as Orville Craft, the mailman and the Vet, Harry Plunkett.
  • Ms. Pelletier relayed to us that a copy of her book ended up in the University of Moscow, Russia because it was a universal impression of life in America.
  • Ms. Pelletier said in her real town of Allagash, there is only one true road in and out of towne. And, she’s had the honour of being the Northernmost writer in the {lower 48} United States.
  • Martin W., an aspiring songwriter from New Brunswick wrote “The One-Way Bridge” song out of inspiration from the book.

Insight into the novel “The One-Way Bridge”: Her hometown was founded by three Diamond sisters, who came to Maine down from Canada, who brought with them the Celtic tradition of story-telling, which is also well-known to have been of the South. She took all of her life experiences and ancestral roots to combine into small towne life that would appeal to a broad audience. Including finding hintings of similarity between Nashville and Maine. She was used to the music of country artists as her father played guitar and harmonica.

She’s never received ill comments about her books from locals in her towne, but she has had issues with reviews published in magazines! She’s only have had positive responses from people she is in touch with and of whom count. She doesn’t attempt to make real life counterparts inside her novel(s), but she said that its plausible. Like most writers, she spends 8 to 10 hours a day writing, and she considers it a regular job. She’s an emotional writer who could avg. anywhere from 10 to 25 pages! She goes through a process of re-writers until a week later she’s confident about what she’s written. When she travels she refuses to take a notebook computer because she is an organic writer. {This I can personally attest to myself!} She lamented that her characters tell her their stories, which is how I approach the written word.

She also shares the ability to use new words that she doesn’t recognise as having known about previously until she cross checks them in a dictionary and realises they are the right words after all. I have noticed that this is a new trend for me. She tends to be indecisive to know when her book is truly done! She likes to celebrate its conclusion then realises it needs more work. It’s frustrating to her, especially once in print and bound form she cannot make any more changes! She envies songwriters who can use a limited amount of words to convey their stories through songs, even though she started out as a poet she doesn’t feel she has this ability. She decided that her writing personality needed a bigger canvas to convey her thoughts properly.

One character in particular changed her course with the book: Harry Plunkett, became a pivotal character who led her to research the Vietnam War. He spoke the words “War is about Words”, and she said that novels are always about the words. PTSD was called “Soldier’s Heart” during the Civil War, which she thinks has far more humanity in it.

Advice she gives to aspiring writers: Stop worrying about the time your waiting to arrive to sit down and write, and just put the words down on the page and BEGIN! Put the metal to the pedal in other words! Start with keeping journals she suggests, because it cultivates the habit of writing.

{I attempted to paraphrase Ms. Pelletier’s actual responses and words, as I wanted to recollect this interview as I overheard it. In a few places, I might have caught her words more exactly than in other places. This is not an attempt to record a transcript, but rather one listeners observations of what she heard.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Thursday, 16 May, 2013 by jorielov in Booktalk Nation, Live Author Event