Category: Herbalist

Book Review | “The Lost Girl” by Liz Harris #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 15 April, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 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 “The Lost Girl” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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

I wasn’t surprised that Ms Harris tackled another hard-hitting dramatic story-line in her new book The Lost Girl as I have previously come to find she has a way of elevating historical fiction to an emotional keel of clarity. There is a richness to her stories – she dares to capitalise on the emotional heart of her character’s journey; even within the pages of A Bargain Struck this was true, and she did it by taking a seemingly ordinary story-line and moulding it into such a convicting story of life, love and second chances.

Harris has a way to broaching History with such a refinement of shaping the past through a lens of eloquence and clarity, that you simply devour her stories. I appreciate finding an author whose not only dedicated to research but dedicated to writing the stories she’s most passionate telling to a readership whose thankful she’s writing her heart out. – originally shared on the cover reveal for this novel

Dear hearts, I have truly been itching to read this particular release by Ms Harris for well over a year! I learnt about bits of the story whilst chatting during #ChocLitSaturday and the more I would learn about the heart of this novel, the more I dearly wanted to read it! I was meant to receive this towards the close of 2016 – as the paperback release was originally flying into reader’s hands at the close of last Summer. However, it took a bit longer for this lovely novel to reach me – not that I mind! I have always felt that books reach us when we’re meant to read their stories – how are we to know which is the better time to read any particular story if we are moved by it’s chapters and it’s pearls of insights at the moment we’re tucked inside it’s pages? Reading is quite the journey – we never know which story will alight on our path or when we’re itching to read any particular story, but sometimes, we get advanced word about a story (such as this one) which simply touches our soul.

I personally love stories of immigration and adoption; these are two overlapping themes which do have the tendency of appearing through my readerly life time and time again. It’s because the two themes are quite close to my heart; my family has a strong background of ancestral emigration as much as I will be adopting out of foster care in the future. There are so many different paths to highlight both of these themes, and one thing I have credited to Ms Harris with in her previous releases for Historicals is the touching manner in which she hones in on the heart of her character’s story whilst grounding her Historical Fiction in the truism of the moment in which the story is placed to be set in History. She offers a connective threshold of emotions and timeless aspirations for finding one’s purpose and passageway through life’s ordeals. One of the reasons I love her Historicals so very much is how she interconnects the reader and her character as if the two are entwined. It’s wicked brilliant to find Historicals which feel as if you’ve left your reality and exchanged it for another person’s life if only for the expanse of the novel; but in so doing, we humbly expand our empathy, our compassion and our worldview.

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

On my Connection to Ms. Harris:

I have been hosting #ChocLitSaturday chats on a regular basis for a bit over two years now. Eleven in the morning of a Saturday, has become a favourite hour for me to exchange conversation and joy with everyone who shows up to participate in a chat centered around ChocLit novels and the Romance branch of literature in general.

Similar to my previous thoughts I shared about Ms. Courtenay, I have come to appreciate chatting with Ms. Harris, either through #ChocLitSaturdays chats or privately. She is most giving of her time and I have appreciated the opportunity to know the writer behind the stories I enjoy reading! She always shares her happy spirit in the chats too, and her insights into why she enjoys writing the books that speak to her the most.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Harris through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I host #ChocLitSaturday the chat as well as privately; I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. Similarly this applies to spotlighting new books by an author I appreciate such as this one.

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

I’m sharing both the paperback cover & the ebook cover, as I’m still a bit partial to the ebook cover, even though I respectively understand it’s not as representative of the story as much as the print book cover encompasses. I’m hoping after I’ve read the novel, I can make my final assessment, as ahead of reading it – I still lean towards the first cover. Therefore, the cover featuring the ‘small towne’ is the one on the print release.

The Lost Girl
by Liz Harris
Source: Direct from Publisher

What if you were trapped between two cultures?

Life is tough in 1870s Wyoming. But it’s tougher still when you’re a girl who looks Chinese but speaks like an American.

Orphaned as a baby and taken in by an American family, Charity Walker knows this only too well. The mounting tensions between the new Chinese immigrants and the locals in the mining town of Carter see her shunned by both communities.

When Charity’s one friend, Joe, leaves town, she finds herself isolated. However, in his absence, a new friendship with the only other Chinese girl in Carter makes her feel like she finally belongs somewhere.

But, for a lost girl like Charity, finding a place to call home was never going to be that easy…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 9781781893012

Also by this author: A Bargain Struck, Guest Post (A Western Heart) by Liz Harris, Guest Post (The Road Back) by Liz Harris, The Road Back, Book Spotlight w/ Notes (The Lost Girl), Evie Undercover, Guest Post (The Lost Girl) by Liz Harris, The Art of Deception

Genres: Emigration & Immigration, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Modern British Literature, Realistic Fiction, Western Fiction


Published by ChocLitUK

on 22nd February, 2017

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

Formats Available: Paperback & Ebook

Genre(s): Historical Fiction | Western | Adoption | Chinese-American ancestry

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

Liz Harris

Liz was born in London and now lives in South Oxfordshire with her husband. After graduating from university with a Law degree, she moved to California where she led a varied life, trying her hand at everything from cocktail waitressing on Sunset Strip to working as secretary to the CEO of a large Japanese trading company, not to mention a stint as ‘resident starlet’ at MGM. On returning to England, Liz completed a degree in English and taught for a number of years before developing her writing career.

Liz’s debut novel, The Road Back, won a Book of the Year Award from Coffee Time Romance in the USA and her second novel A Bargain Struck was shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Author Connections:

 Personal Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Converse via: #TheLostGirl & #ChocLit Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 15 April, 2017 by jorielov in 19th Century, Adoption, American Old West, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, Chinese Literature, ChocLitUK, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cultural & Religious Traditions, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Herbalist, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Immigrant Stories, Indie Author, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Multicultural Marriages & Families, Old West Americana, Orphans & Guardians, Passionate Researcher, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Realistic Fiction, Siblings, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Social Change, Stories of Adoption, Taboo Relationships & Romance, Western Fiction, World Religions

Book Review | “Vote for Remi” by Leanna Lehman #SRC2015 No.4 read during #ElectionWeek 2016 #BookSparksMarathon

Posted Thursday, 10 November, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge 2015

I had fully intended to read my #SRC2015 selections hugged closer to the months when the books were meant to be reviewed, however, those of whom have caught my posts relating to circumstances which wicked out hours and derailed my attempts to read along with the rest of the book bloggers who took up the same challenge are already in the loop realising my readings of these stories will come quite a bit later than planned.

To recap the events for those who are visiting me for the first time,
please direct your attention to the following posts:

What turnt this whole situation around for me, is being able to talk to the publicists at BookSparks on two separate occasions when I felt I was treading water as I knew time had wicked itself off the clock and I was at a proper loss as to where to ‘begin’ despite the fact I have a shelf full of BookSparks reading challenge and blog tour lovelies to read which I’ve been itching with curiosity about since they each arrived and/or since I first met them through my local library who purchased my requests on behalf of the #SRC2015 and #FRC2015 selections.

I had felt quite a bit guilty regarding the latter, as despite having my purchase requests accepted and added to the card catalogue: time was unfortunately never on my side to soak inside the stories themselves. There was an unexpected moment of clarity though about my requests, where I found myself talking to different librarians and finding they were encouraged to read new authors of whom they never would have ‘met’ had I not requested the reading challenge titles! Talk about putting everything into a different prospective of understanding!

This method of mine to recapture the reading queue of my BookSparks lovelies was working just fine up until I posted my review of “all in her head” (see Review) as soon thereafter, all was lost when my chronic migraines returnt in Spring and late Summer; marking another moment this year where my reading life was affected. It truly wasn’t until I finished my readings of The Clan Chronicles in August and September of this year, I was able to finally reach the point where reading was more pleasurable and where the stories were settling inside my mind’s eye with quite a bit of ease. I spent most of the year frustrated and in an attempt to recapture the joy reading had always given me.

This marks my fifth review overall spilt between #SRC2015,#ReadingIsBeautiful (the YA selections) and #FRC2015, however, it is the fourth Summer Reading Challenge selection I am reading.

I am overjoyed to be in a position to lay heart and mind inside the stories I’ve dearly wanted to read and now can give them my full attention! As you will see by a clever badge I created, I am going to be consistently reading ALL my BookSparks lovelies straight through til New Year! I randomly pulled the reading queue back together – I’m not reading them in reverse order now, but rather quite spontaneously! I hope you will continue to take this journey with me and see how the stories resonate with me as I soak inside their worlds!Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

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

Acquired Book By: I originally found BookSparks PR Spring 2014, when I came upon the Summer Reading Challenge a bit too late in the game. I hadn’t forgotten about it, and was going to re-contact them this Spring to see if I could join the challenge in 2015 instead. Coincidentally, before I sorted this out, I was contacted by one of their publicists about Linda Lafferty’s Renaissance historical novel, “The Sheperdess of Siena”. 

I started to participate in #SRC2015 during Summer 2015 until lightning storms quickly overtook my life and the hours I could give to the reading challenge. Summer ended hard and with a newfound resolve to pick up where I had left off, I posted as many reviews on behalf of BookSparks blog tours and/or the three reading challenges I had committed myself to participate inside (i.e. #SRC2015, #ReadingIsBeautiful (YA version), and #FRC2015).

It should be noted that I haven’t participated in any blog tours past the ones I’ve committed myself too reviewing on the list at the foot of this post. I am unsure if I can resume hosting with BookSparks once my backlogue is erased, however, my main motivation in resuming where I left off was to ‘meet the stories’ even if my days of being a blogger with BookSparks ended the day I couldn’t keep up with the reviews when life interrupted my postings. I continue to hope as my reviews arrive on my blog the authors and the publisher(s) will forgive my delays.

I elected to read “Vote for Remi” via the complimentary copy I received by BookSparks as the library copy I had requested is happily being read by other patrons. By participating in the #SRC2015 challenge I am reading the novels in exchange for my honest reviews; whether I am receiving a complimentary copy or borrowing them through my local library. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

My selection process for #sRC2015 & a note on #election2016:

As 2016 marked the year where Feminist Historical Fiction took such a pivotal role of interest in my readerly life, you could say 2015 opened up the door for Presidential Literature – both in fiction and non-fiction realms of enquiry! When I first read the premise behind Vote for Remi, I knew it was a title I wanted to read outright due to the nature of the premise and how it was a fittingly apt story to be read in our modern era! I previously had read The Residence, showcasing the history of the White House through the eyes of the staff and the historical presence of how the house itself was the best observer of its own history. It was such an interesting narrative and one that was layered with insight and preserved memories which I think anyone would appreciate reading.

Moving forward a year, as I was fully interested in reading Vote for Remi, ahead of the 2016 Presidential Election – I found myself settling into its story-line on #ElectionDay itself! I even started to tweet about the joy of immersing myself into its dialogue and how bang-on brilliant the opener was to how the fictional life of Remi was cross-relating to the real-life story of Hillary Clinton. I keep my politics hugged close to centre, as I decided to not politicise my blog nor my Twitter feeds – except for showing on certain occasions where I take a stand and let my thoughts be known. At the bottom of this post is the full collection of tweets I tweeted about this novel and how I let my thoughts reflect my reaction to the campaign season and the election itself. I relied on those who had tweeted ahead of mine whilst sharing a link to an essay written by Mr RJ Sullivan of whom is an author I love reading! (view his showcases)

I am sure by the choices of Twibbon’s on my Twitter badge and the explanation I provided for why I placed them on my Twitter Profile have caught notice of those who might suspect my political views. Other instances of notice would be how open-minded I am in regards to Equality in Literature and how I constantly seek out Diversity in Literature as well. I read eclectically – across political spectrum’s, philosophy, religion and lifestyles. The world is a melting pot and my personal literary adventures reflect the diversity and eclectic nature of the human experience.

Some of the authors I follow on Twitter spoke concerns about losing their followers due to their political views; here’s my take on that particular issue: I follow people I appreciate finding on Twitter. This could be a musical group I love listening too, an author I’m keen to ‘meet’ for the first time, an actor or actress whose collective work I love admiring; an author I love to devour reading or any other person or organisation I have found who has left an impression on me one way or another. This includes publishers – as although I amassed a list of publishers I watch on Twitter, I am slowly following each in turn of whom I have read stories by which truly left me pensive and wickedly delighted for reading.

Due to the variety of people I follow, I am quite certain we all have our own views and opinions which might align or are completely opposite; I honestly never looked that hard into my followers private lives. For those who tweet more vocally, I champion and cheer their honesty and bravery to openly disclose their opines and for those who are equally vocal but on a smaller scale (like me), I celebrate them, too! I even celebrate those who keep their blogs and Twitter feeds apolitical for most of the year and like me, fuell their thoughts at appropriate times when everyone is feeling the same emotions.

Point being, I will always follow people I find a reason to follow – because I celebrate their artwork, their creative voice or the causes they are advocating on behalf of to curate a better world for all of us. I will never unfollow someone just because we have a different opinion or have a different political party affiliation. We’re all united in the global community and our shared humanity; we must strive to find ways to communicate and build bridges of acceptance and tolerance. If someone unfollows me due to my personal thoughts, opinions or political views, I accept that as it is their right. However, I am not going to go back and unfollow them, just because they let go of me. #LoveNotHate and #ChooseKindness in combination with #MakeAmericaKindAgain are my new trumpets of Hope. We must find unity together and find a way to embrace our differences and not let them separate us.

Stories such as Vote for Remi and the non-fiction debut by Julissa Arce (My Underground American Dream) are stories which are needed in today’s climate of uncertainty. Stories which start a conversation and keep the dialogue in focus for change and for a better future of tomorrow are the stories I will always champion and appreciate reading. This is why I anchoured my readings of these two stories together and why I decided during #ElectionWeek 2016 it was the right time to read both of these lovelies!

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

Book Review | “Vote for Remi” by Leanna Lehman #SRC2015 No.4 read during #ElectionWeek 2016 #BookSparksMarathonVote for Remi
by Leanna Lehman
Source: Publicist via BookSparks

Fiery US government teacher Remi Covington is relentless in her desire to impart the genius of the democratic process to her students. Her so-called “academically challenged” high school seniors sometimes find her enthusiasm more than a little annoying—so, in an effort to teach her a lesson, they execute a brazen, high-tech, social media blitz touting her as the newest candidate in the upcoming US presidential race. Much to everyone’s surprise, Remi plays along with her students’ ruse—and in a nation weary of politics and career politicians, she unexpectedly finds herself the darling of the American public.

As the campaign takes on a life of its own, Remi is forced to confront a myriad of long-held social biases and cultural clichés, and realizes she isn’t quite the woman she thought was. Vote for Remi is about a would-be a presidential candidate who, despite being all wrong—the wrong gender, the wrong party, and certainly the wrong social status—discovers that she might be exactly what America needs: someone with a passion for doing what is right.

Places to find the book:

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Current Events, Presidential Life & History, Women's Studies


Published by She Writes Press

Format: Paperback Edition

Published By:She Writes Press (@shewritespress)
originated from She Writes (@shewritesdotcom)
an imprint of Spark Points Studio LLC GoSparkPoint (@GoSparkPoint)
& BookSparks
(@BookSparks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Read the Interview with the author about Vote for Remi on BookSparks Blog!

Read an Excerpt of the Novel via the author’s website!

Converse via: #VoteForRemi & #SRC2015

About Leanna Lehman

Leanna Lehman

Leanna Lehman is the author of quirky political fiction novel, Vote For Remi (She Writes Press). She worked in the education field for six years, and specialized in developing online educational programs that assist at-risk teens.

She lives in Fallon, Nevada, with her rescued dog Henry Higgins, and spends her free time painting, hiking, snowboarding, camping, and traveling to the coast. She found her passion for writing while undergoing chemo therapy in 2008-2009, when she began journaling her experience.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #SRC2015 | BookSparks
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Posted Thursday, 10 November, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Herbalist, Indie Author, Life at Thirtyten, Life Shift, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Public Service | Community Officers, Realistic Fiction, School Life & Situations, Social Change, Sociological Behavior, Teacher & Student Relationships, Vulgarity in Literature, West Coast USA, Women's Fiction, Women's Rights

Blog Book Tour | “The Wish Rider” (Book No.2 of the F.I.G. Mysteries) by Barbara Casey

Posted Wednesday, 7 September, 2016 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for the F.I.G. Mysteries series hosted by iRead Book Tours. As I prefer to read serial fiction in order of publication and/or order of the series (if differential), I requested to receive the first novel in order to understand the second in sequence. This is my second review for the tour which is anchoured to my first review highlighting it’s beginning from yesterday! I received a complimentary copy of “The Wish Rider” direct from the author Barbara Casey in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “The Wish Rider” (Book No.2 of the F.I.G. Mysteries) by Barbara CaseyThe Wish Rider
by Barbara Casey
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

Eighteen-year-old Dara Roux and her two best friends, Mackenzie Yarborough and Jennifer Torres, the three collectively referred to as the F.I.G.'s (Females of Intellectual Genius) because each has an intelligence quotient in the genius range, have just returned from Frascati, Italy. It was there that their much loved teacher and mentor, Carolina Lovel, discovered that her birth parents were gypsies, and that she had a connection to the Voynich Manuscript, the most mysterious document in the world.

Now, with graduation from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women behind them, Dara asks her friends to help her locate her birth mother when she learns that she might be living in New York City. Relying on Dara’s gift for speaking and understanding foreign languages, the black and white images that stir musical cadences in Jennifer’s mind, and Mackenzie’s mathematical calculations that normally provide numerical solutions and answers to life’s most difficult questions, the determined young women tirelessly go from one address to another in search of Dara’s mother.

Their determination turns to desperation, however, as they encounter a dark hidden society more dangerous and terrifying than they could have imagined. It is there that

Dara hopes to find out why she was abandoned in a candy store all those years ago.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1942314448

Also by this author: The Cadence of Gypsies

Also in this series: The Cadence of Gypsies


Genres: Amateur Detective, Upper YA Fiction, YA Contemporary


Published by Hungry Goat Press

on 10th May, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 160

Published By: Hungry Goat Press (@HungryGoatPress)

an imprint of Gauthier Publications

 Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Note: Corrected the Synopsis to reflect Dara is eighteen when the story begins, not seventeen.

About Barbara Casey

Barbara Casey

Barbara Casey is a partner in Strategic Media Books, and president of the Barbara Casey Agency, representing authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. She is also a manuscript consultant and the author of numerous articles, poems, and short stories.

Her award-winning novels have received national recognition, including the Independent Publishers Book Award. Her novel, The House of Kane, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination, and The Gospel According to Prissy, also a contemporary adult novel received several awards including the prestigious IPPY Award for Best Regional Fiction. Her most recent young adult novel, The Cadence of Gypsies, received the Independent Publishers Living Now Award and was reviewed by the Smithsonian for its list of Best Books.

Ms. Casey makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and three dogs who adopted her: Benton, a hound-mix, Fitz, a miniature dachshund, and Gert, a Jack Russel terrier of sorts.

Read More

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Posted Wednesday, 7 September, 2016 by jorielov in Apothecary, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Herbalist, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Naturopathic Medicine, Naturopathy, Orphans & Guardians, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Upper YA Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “The Cadence of Gypsies” (Book No.1 of the F.I.G. Mysteries) by Barbara Casey with a Guest Post by the author!

Posted Tuesday, 6 September, 2016 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for the F.I.G. Mysteries series hosted by iRead Book Tours. As I prefer to read serial fiction in order of publication and/or order of the series (if differential), I requested to receive the first novel in order to understand the second in sequence. This is my first review for the tour which is anchoured to my second review highlighting it’s sequel on the morrow! I received a complimentary copy of “The Cadence of Gypsies” direct from the author Barbara Casey in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I enjoy YA Lit esp Mysteries:

My quest to seek out Mysteries under the umbrella of YA or MG Lit began quite innocently through my local libraries – as I would visit different branches of my regional libraries to seek out a better cross-section of Young Adult Literature as well as finding different authors in Middle Grade of whom might not be locally featured. I grew up reading the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries right alongside Agatha Christie – so you could say, I’ve had ‘mysteries’ on my mind for most of my life! This even extended into the series on television I would develop into a passion of seeing, too, as it began with “Murder She, Wrote” and expanded through the decades to include all the family-based mysteries and/or police procedurals that had unique ‘family’ casts of quirky characters (everything from Remington Steele to Nash Bridges to The Commish and to more recently Rizzoli & Isles, NCIS (x3), The Mentalist, etc !)

I even had a bit of luck of finding some wicked good contemporaries in this vein of interest such as: the Enola Holmes mysteries by Nancy Springer (one of only two after canon authors for Sherlock Holmes I’ll read!); the Keepers of the School series by Andrew Clements; Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage (even though I had a few issues with how the dialogue was presented); the entire Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett (as I only read the first books before the motion picture release!); The Golden Hour by Maiya Williams; The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone (which is now a series!); Madhattan Mystery by John J. Bonk  and my most beloved mystery whilst growing up myself was The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler!

I even have two of the first novels in the Anthony Horowitz Alex Rider series on my bookshelf! I was sidetracked by watching copious amounts of his historical suspense series Foyle’s War by borrowing the BBC series from the library rather than engaging inside this wicked series, which I discovered via it’s film adaptation! I wished they had made more to be honest! Similar to the way I felt after The Seekers: The Dark is Rising film adaptation was made based on the novels by Susan Cooper (another series I aim to read!).

There are several stories in this category I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading such as: Ink and Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani, When by Victoria Laurie (this one I started and put down; timing was off to read it), The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stoud, Secret Letters by Leah Scheier, Colin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller, the Agency series by Y.S. Lee, The Diviners by Libba Bray, And then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart,  and The Mystery of the Third Lucretia by Susan Runholt for Young Adult mysteries.

Whilst equally curious about these in Middle Grade: the Theodore Boone series by John Grisham (as I read his legal thrillers as a teenager!), Pie by Sarah Weeks, When You Reach Me & Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead, the Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner (as somehow I missed these growing up!) as well as others I am forgetting at the moment!

Mysteries to me stimulate my ability to think ‘outside the proverbial box’ whilst increasing my quantitative analysis of what is or isn’t in plain view of being seen, understood or processed. I love curling inside a mystery to see if I can follow in suit of what is happening (both in the mystery itself but also the layering of the character’s journey) whilst encouraging my mind to take a ‘hiatus’ to appreciate the built-up the author has left behind – to go so far to curiously ‘predict’ the outcome but not necessarily solve the mystery outright, as I want to feel what the character(s) are feeling within that moment their living through ‘something’ outside the pace of their normal lives!

Of course, I like the lighter side of the genre for YA & MG readers, but sometimes I like seeing how writers can handle harder hitting story-lines without breaching what I would consider ‘alright’ for the target readership to enjoy reading. Sometimes children like to be challenged by literature but most children (as I was one of these myself!) don’t like to step too far afield from where they feel comfortable until they are ready for the adult waters of literature. In other words, there is an invisible balance that must be struck. It’s those authors I am keen on seeking out – not only for review or blog tours, but through my own pursuits as a reader and future Mum!

On that note, the YA mysteries I am enjoying currently are the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective series of which I am returning to reading this Autumn, as I fell out of step and sequence with the series. (see my first review) I have also appreciated finding these authors who are giving stimulating suspense & mysteries for this age bracket: the Ian Quicksilver series by Alyson Peterson, the Piercing the Veil series by C.A. Gray, the Cobbogoth series by Hannah L. Clark, Blonde Eskimo by Kristen Hunt, the History Mystery series by Deborah Heal; and for Middle Grade: To Cat a Cat Thief by Sean Cummings and The Contaminated Case of the Cooking Contest by Peter Y. Wong & Pendred E. Noyce.

Thus, when I came across the F.I.G. Mysteries by Barbara Casey, I was most excited to see where she took her own creative muse and how she defined her section of the genre!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “The Cadence of Gypsies” (Book No.1 of the F.I.G. Mysteries) by Barbara Casey with a Guest Post by the author!The Cadence of Gypsies
by Barbara Casey
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

On her 18th birthday Carolina Lovel learned that she was adopted and was given a letter written by her birth mother in an unknown language. After years of research she travels to Italy on a mission to find the truth about her past. Carolina is accompanied by three extremely gifted but mischievous students the FIGs from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women.

In an effort to help their favorite teacher, the FIGs will have to use their special abilities to decipher the Voynich Manuscript, the most mysterious document in the world, and the one thing that is strangely similar to what Carolina was given. Their search will take them into the mystical world of gypsy tradition and magic, more exciting and dangerous than any of them could have imagined.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780982081280

Also by this author: The Wish Rider

Also in this series: The Wish Rider


Genres: Amateur Detective, Upper YA Fiction, YA Contemporary


Published by Hungry Goat Press

on 15th April, 2011

Format: Hardcover Edition, Large Print Edition

Pages: 272

Published By: Hungry Goat Press (@HungryGoatPress)

an imprint of Gauthier Publications

NOTE: the info reflects the version I received to review (the Large Print Hardback Edition) whereas the cover-art shown for this book on my review was provided to me by iRead Book Tours reflects the newer version of the book which is the ebook edition released on the 2nd of April, 2015. Blessedly the hardback is still in print, for those of us who read traditionally through print editions!

 Available Formats: Large Print Hardback Edition and Ebook

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Posted Tuesday, 6 September, 2016 by jorielov in Apothecary, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Herbalist, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Medical Fiction, Naturopathic Medicine, Naturopathy, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Upper YA Fiction

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