Category: Nautical Fiction

#SaturdaysAreBookish | Book Review featuring @SatBookChat’s 17th November Guest Author | “Stay” by Jennifer Silverwood part of my #Mythothon readings!

Posted Saturday, 17 November, 2018 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish created by Jorie in Canva.

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In keeping with the change of name for my Romance & Women’s Fiction Twitter chat [@SatBookChat previously known as @ChocLitSaturday] – I am announcing a change of features here on Jorie Loves A Story. Since January, 2014 I carved out a niche of focus which I named #ChocLitSaturdays as I have felt the best time to read romantic and dramatic stories are the weekends. This spun into a Twitter chat featuring the authors of ChocLit whilst I supplied weekly topics which would appeal to readers, writers and book bloggers alike. We grew into our own Saturday tribe of chatters – then, somewhere round the time of my father’s stroke in late [2016] and the forthcoming year of [2017] I started to feel less inspired to host the chat.

I had new plans to re-invent the chat in its new incantation as @SatBookChat but I also wanted to re-invent the complimentary showcases on my blog which would reflect the diversity of stories, authors and publishers I would be featuring on the chat itself. As at the root and heart of #ChocLitSaturday the chat were the stories I was reading which complimented the conversations.

After a difficult year for [personal health & wellness] this 2018, I am beginning anew this Autumn – selecting the stories to resume where I left off featuring the Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I am discovering to read whilst highlighting a story by the author I am chatting with during #SatBookChat. Every Saturday will feature a different author who writes either Romance or Women’s Fiction – for the remaining weeks of October and most of November, I will be featuring special guest authors during #SatBookChat whose stories I have either read, are reading or hope to read in the future if their newer releases. The reviews on Saturdays might inspire the topics in the forthcoming chats or they might be directly connected to the current guest author.

Our holiday break for the month of December will find us resuming #SatBookChat the week after New Year’s, 2019 where new guests and new stories will lay down the foundation of inspiring the topics, the conversations and the bookish recommendations towards promoting Romance & Women’s Fiction.

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Acquired Book By:

I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

This particular review is slightly different from my regular blog tours and hosting features for Prism Book Tours – as an opportunity came along this Autumn to secure a spot on a ‘review tour’ rather than a ‘blog tour’ for the debut novel by Jennifer Silverwood entitled: Stay. Although she’s published different series and stories after this publication from 2013, I welcomed the chance to get to know her writing style from the moment it began being published. This differs as each of the reviewers and book bloggers who are committing to this review tour are posting at different intervals before the final deadline for the review tour concludes. In my case, this also included being able to anchour this review with my @SatBookChat showcase for the novel and the book discussion which came out of it.

I received a complimentary copy of “Stay” by the author Jennifer Silverwood in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I originally was keen on the writing styling of Ms Silverwood:

When I first discovered Silver Hollow, it was the genre-bending styling of the author which implored me the most to read the story. At the time, Silver Hollow was being re-released and the only version currently available back then in print was the older version. Sadly, despite my efforts to secure that copy by inter-library loan had failed. It still remains a story I want to read one day, however, what was interesting about moving inside Stay was finding the natural nuanced styling of a writer who takes cues straight out of the Mythological past!

As I hinted at during @SatBookChat today, there are moments within reading Stay where I could almost feel the presence of Poseidon and Zeus; except, I wasn’t naming them in my mind. There are enough elements of connection within the story itself to draw you closer towards naming them outright but it was the illusion of connection to these two which I appreciated even more because it deepened the suspense and the mythological proportions! If it could be them, what if it wasn’t? What if there are others out there who can behave and manipulate the elements just as cheekily and get away with it?

This bridge between the fantastical and the mythological is what made me keenly curious about Silverwood’s writing style. I wanted to see how she used the bridge itself, as generally speaking I do have a penchant for Urban Fantasy nowadays but each writer I read within that branch of literature has their own unique spin on how to make ‘modern’ settings warmly conducive to Fantasy realms.

Finding myself dearly enchanted by how she brokered a story out of the roots of Greek Mythos is only the tip of the iceberg I feel I shall be finding within her collective works! The joy of reading Stay and discussing it was finding out the sequel is arriving in 2019!

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On my connection to Jennifer Silverwood:

When our paths first crossed, Ms Silverwood and I shared a mutual interest and connection; however, our friendship did not form for awhile afterwards. It was truly after the interview went live and after I noticed I was reading her blog as much as she was reading mine – where I realised we shared a lot of commonalities in our reading lives as well as our writely lives! We decided to stay in touch and it is an honour to find someone who understands the bridge between reader, blogger and writer.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Ms Silverwood through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I hosted her Silver Hollow blog tour and privately as well. 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 or continuing to read their releases as they are available. This also applies to hosting a guest feature by the author I share a connection.

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#SaturdaysAreBookish | Book Review featuring @SatBookChat’s 17th November Guest Author | “Stay” by Jennifer Silverwood part of my #Mythothon readings!Stay
by Jennifer Silverwood
Source: Direct from Author

Rona believes love is nothing more than a myth, a tale for little girls.

Until the immortal ruler of the seas appears from thin air and she is swept into a dark and dangerous affair, turning myth into a grave reality. Commanded to work as the savior of true love, Rona realises that love is just an illusion as grandoise as magic and after two thousand years, she is ready to give up. Until the night a human, deep in the underbelly f the city that never sleeps sees her. She recognises him instantly, a lost love. Trouble is, he has no memory of her. Tasked with mending a relationship between the love she lost thousands of years ago and another woman, Rona will have to learn what it means to be human all over agai when past and present collide.

Can love transcend time or will Rona be forced to roam earth alone, forever?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1484116890

Also by this author: Author Interview: Jennifer Silverwood (Silver Hollow), Book Spotlight: Borderlands Saga, Silver Hollow, Book Spotlight: Blackbriar Cove

Genres: Greek Mythos | Legacies, Nautical Fiction, Paranormal Romance (PNR), Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Urban Fantasy


Published by Self Published

on 3rd June, 2013

Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

Pages: 214

Converse via: #PNR, #ParanormalRomance + #Mythos, #Mythology & #UrbanFantasy

as well as #WomensFic  or #WomensFiction

About Jennifer Silverwood

Jennifer Silverwood

Jennifer Silverwood was raised deep in the heart of Texas and has been spinning yarns a mile high since childhood. In her spare time she reads and writes and tries to sustain her wanderlust, whether it’s the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, the highlands of Ecuador or a road trip to the next town. Always on the lookout for her next adventure, in print or reality, she dreams of one day proving to the masses that everything really is better in Texas. She is the author of two series—Heaven's Edge and Wylder Tales—and the stand-alone titles Stay and Silver Hollow.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #Mythothon 2018
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Posted Saturday, 17 November, 2018 by jorielov in #SaturdaysAreBookish, 21st Century, After the Canon, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Dark Fantasy, Debut Novel, Earthen Magic, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, Folklore and Mythology, Gods & Goddesses, Greek Mythology, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Mythological Societies, Nautical Fiction, Parapsychological Suspense, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Self-Published Author, Spin-Off Authors, Supernatural Fiction, Urban Fantasy

Author Interview | Discussing the world within the Voyages of Jake Flynn series with R.J. Wood

Posted Sunday, 24 June, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva

Good morning, dear hearts! Today, I have a special treat for you, as I had the chance to interview the author of a new Upper Middle Grade / Young Adult Fantasy series wherein I get to re-visit the concept of Space Pirates and flying ships once more! As you might recall, I happened to love the pirates I found on the Rim, in the audiobook ‘Rimrider’ whilst when it comes to flying ships in space, outside of The Clan Chronicles – there have been quite a few recently which have tempted me into their chapters! I love how we can bend what is plausible in Speculative Lit and take ordinary ships which were meant for the waters of Earth and re-position them into orbit where they find a new way of being useful as transportation in the Cosmos!

Ahead of the conversation, I have with Mr Wood, is an extract from the latest installment of the series ‘Beyond the Moon’, which touches on part of the background of the series wherein the origins of Jake Flynn and his parents but also, the legacy he has within him as he’s given a talent few can claim as their own. This is part of what is extraordinary about the series, as his particular gift is what helps ignite the ships themselves to be able to fly as you will learn more in my interview! For now, enjoy this extract!

Extract from ‘Beyond the Moon’ by R.J. Wood

the second novel in the Voyages of Jake Flynn; used with permission of the author

“Tychus was the last known of his people,” Jayron said. “He disappeared a dozen years ago after the Ithirian fleet perished. The rest of his people were killed or worse by your people on Celestra.” Starla made no visible reaction.

“It seems Tychus and his wife survived, went to Earth, and had a son there,” she said. “Furthermore, I am sure you are aware of the rift amongst my people; the rebellion between those who did not support the actions taken against the humans and those who did. Otto and I are among the first.”

“This is all preposterous,” Daegus said. “How can we believe anything a Celestrian has to say?” With that, the councilors began to argue the possibilities amongst themselves. Their voices rose quickly and in intensity, all except for Kilian. The old one sat there and quietly stared at Jake with an expression of curiosity. Finally, he sat up and spoke something that was drowned out by the others. He tried to repeat himself louder, but still he could not be heard over the discord. At last, he reached over Richard, grabbed a black iron mallet on the table, and slapped it down hard several times until the room grew quiet.

“I said, CAN HE CHANNEL?” The old man finished and began to pant.

Jake stepped forward and held up his hands. A moment later the glow of his aura filled the room. The humans all stared at him and one of them caught their breath. Kilian then spoke in whispered tones as if reciting a poem,

“Born and raised on distant star.
Searcher bound both near and far…”

He trailed off, but Starla picked it up and continued.

“What he seeks he does not know,
until he lets his family grow.

Against the tide he must stride.
A mighty ship he will ride.
Guided true by faithful hands
chasing dreams to far-off lands,

Through the torrents to the core,
where ancient evil stirs once more.
To keep a dark queen at bay,
A gift of love must win the day.

Single light in starless night,
burning hot and shining bright.
Time will come when he must stand.
The fate of all held in his hand.”

When she finished all eyes were upon Jake and there was silence.
“Yes,” Starla said after a pause, “he is the one this prophesy speaks of. Jake is the Justicar and he needs your help.”

I was thankful Mr Wood went into quite a few details surrounding both the light energy and the propulsion of the ships but also, gave a bit of a hinting towards the heart of the series itself as it revolves through Jake Flynn! I almost wish some of this back-story had been included in the first novel ‘Destiny’s Gambit’ as I found how the author describe his world in this conversation would have benefited the story. As you truly get a firm understanding of what he is attempting to achieve in the series (in regards to scope) but also, it gives you a keen insight which I think would have tempered the confusion I had initially trying to sort out the world-building.

This is a very imaginative series and one which I think would interest all readers, irregardless of age, due the cross-components of where elemental magic, old world ships and adventurous Quests intersect to give us something to chew on about personal destiny, chosen families and the will to seek answers for questions which tug at our souls. I look forward to reading your thoughts in the threads below this conversation and I hope you find it as wicked lovely as I did in receiving the author’s responses!

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The voyages of Jake Flynn series:

Destiny's Gambit by R.J. WoodBeyond the Moon by R.J. Wood

Destiny’s Gambit | book one | see also Review

Beyond the Moon | Book Two | synopsis

I do enjoy a wicked good transmorphication – there is a cheeky good one in Destiny’s Gambit, which takes place during a rescue attempt aboard a pirate ship! What impressed me the most is how honest it was to happen – as this was a stirring of the back-story on behalf of Jake and his parents, or rather even, his ‘kind’. There is an old order of magic in this realm which can be channelled and re-directed at will, which makes it wicked awesome! I also liked how most of the magic involves light energy and the transference of this energy in order for things to work.

There is also elemental magic present which makes for interesting scenes but what truly captured me was the teamwork and evolving partnership between Jake, Starla, Otto and Jehn. They were forging a new path together, seeking to get away from their mutual enemies and sorting out the details of their personal discoveries of each other along the way. As most of this story takes place aboard ship, I was awaiting the conflict to begin – where two ships or more would be pitted against each other. When the time finally came, I found the battle was stalled a bit too easily but further what interested me is how there are portals which act as hyperspace jaunts for the ships – where you can literally move yourself through this part of the universe in a faster way than normal space.

I truly loved the symbolism and the analogies threading through Destiny’s Gambit as well as the spirituality which was hugged softly into the background. There are a lot of life affirming lessons being shared through the adventures of Jake Flynn – including how to handle fear, uncertainty, ambiguous loss (of his parents) and to grow out of the courage you never knew you had within you. It’s a story about a boy coming of age after finding out everything he thought he know about himself and his origins was only part of the true story. Once he was in-flight away from Earth, it wasn’t just his origins which were calling him home but it was his truer nature and the destiny which was awaiting for his arrival to become revealled.

-quoted from my review of Destiny’s Gambit

Genres: Sci-Fantasy | Steampunk | Space Pirates

Young Adult | Magic | Adventure

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Posted Sunday, 24 June, 2018 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Family Life, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Literature for Boys, Lola's Blog Tours, Nautical Fiction, Science Fantasy, Self-Published Author, Small Towne USA, Urban Fantasy, Washington, West Coast USA, YA Fantasy

Blog Book Tour | “Destiny’s Gambit” (Book One: The Voyages of Jake Flynn) by R.J. Wood

Posted Wednesday, 20 June, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I had to take a leave of absence hosting for this touring company in [2015] whilst I worked towards finding better balance in my blogging and personal life. Now, as a 5th Year Book Blogger I’ve decided I’ve reached a point where I can have better flexibility with scheduling guest features and reviews on my blog without feeling I’m stretched too thin between the commitments I’m making to feature the stories and authors I am blessed with thanksgiving to discover as I blog my readerly life.

Reading is starting to resume it’s enjoyment, even though I still have my migraines to shift through, being able to host for her authors has been a renewed joy. This marks my first blog tour hosting for Lola after a considerable absence and I look forward to finding more tours I can host with her throughout the year.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “Destiny’s Gambit” direct from the author R.J. Wood in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

Coming out of #WyrdAndWonder, I knew I would be keeping #FantasyReads in my reading queue straight-up until Sci Fi November! However, I had the joy of finding this series whilst #wyrdandwonder was still happening this past May! Originally, I was going to host an extract and a guest feature for the blog tour, when I had the unexpected surprise of being able to receive the books for review consideration! I was thrilled by this news, as what drew me into wanting to read this series all along was how this was marked as a Fantasy story fit for either Middle Grade or Young Adult readers. I oft find myself struggling to find a story of Fantasy I can appreciate as an Adult reader much less finding one I would love to see reside in either MG or YA markets! This series felt hopeful from the perspective, I was hoping the world-building and character development would be as stellar as it felt it could be through the synopsis!

The synopsis I read for this story is actually the same one on the back of the book I read for this review, however, I didn’t have it in full to share with you today. It talks more about the world Jake Flynn is entering and the mysterious suspense of not understanding where his parents have been his whole life. That in of itself was a curious footnote for me – as what would have become of them which would limit or restrict their communication with their son?

The story itself felt like a Quest and those are the ones I do appreciate finding in Fantasy – but this one felt different too. Not quite traditional Fantasy as it has elements of Science Fiction (and Steampunk) knitted into it’s corridors of interest whilst it hinges a bit on the fantastical where not all the entities Jake is going to come up against are going to be a) human and b) benign! I hadn’t a clue what to expect once I began reading the story and thus, I went into it with an open mind hoping I’d find a wicked good read!

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Blog Book Tour | “Destiny’s Gambit” (Book One: The Voyages of Jake Flynn) by R.J. WoodDestiny's Gambit
Subtitle: The Voyages of Jake Flynn
by R.J. Wood
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Ravven
Source: Author via Lola's Blog Tours

A resourceful boy takes a glowing sailboat across the stars to search for his long-missing parents and becomes the target of pirates and an evil cabal with a sinister agenda.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 978-1514277737

Also by this author: Destiny's Gambit

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Sci-Fantasy, YA Fantasy


Published by Self Published

on 3rd July, 2015

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 248

Published By: Self Published Author

Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

The voyages of Jake Flynn series:

Destiny's Gambit by R.J. WoodBeyond the Moon by R.J. Wood

Destiny’s Gambit | book one

Beyond the Moon | Book Two | synopsis

Genres: Sci-Fantasy | Steampunk | Space Pirates

Young Adult | Magic | Adventure

About R.J. Wood

R.J. Wood

R. J. Wood has been creating stories and adventures for others since 1979. A bard at heart, he trained in Drama (BA) and History (MA) while at university. He currently lives near Snoqualmie Falls in Washington State with his wife and children. There he does a little fishing, some adventuring, and of course, his writing.

Like everyone of my generation and beyond I have been heavily influenced by film. I like to think of my books as movies in my mind. I developed my creative writing through fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal RPGs. My degree in drama helps me with story, characters, and especially dialogue. Having an advanced history degree is excellent for plots and characters, but it also helps me with world building.

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Posted Wednesday, 20 June, 2018 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Family Life, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Literature for Boys, Lola's Blog Tours, Nautical Fiction, Science Fantasy, Self-Published Author, Small Towne USA, Urban Fantasy, Washington, West Coast USA, YA Fantasy

Book Review | “I, Walter” by Mike Hartner The first book in a #YALit series for #HistFic

Posted Friday, 30 January, 2015 by jorielov , , 3 Comments

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

Acquired Book By:

I joined Kate Tilton’s Book Bloggers as a way to seek out stories written by emerging Self Published and/or Indie Published writers who might not otherwise get highlighted by book bloggers. This was the first novel that interested me to request for review, as I enjoyed reading the premise inasmuch as the request was to read outside of a firm deadline. This is not an organised blog tour, thereby those of us who request to read the books and/or host the authors Ms. Tilton organises is scheduled around our own time frames. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Mike Hartner, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Book Review | “I, Walter” by Mike Hartner The first book in a #YALit series for #HistFicI, Walter
by Mike Hartner
Source: Author via Kate Tilton's Book Bloggers

I, Walter is the first in a series of books in a saga which will span continents and time to arrive in present day North America.

Each in the series will be connected, though that connection may not be obvious for several more books.

It's almost like looking at a menorah. Many lines, seemingly individual, connect to center at different points.

Walter Crofter was born into Elizabethan England.

In a country and a time where favor and politics were both deadly, can an honest boy stay true to himself?

Especially given his family background?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0973356137

Series: The Eternity Series,


Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, Nautical Fiction, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Eternity4Popsicle Publishing

on 10th May, 2013

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 225

Published by: Eternity4Popsicle Publishing (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #MikeHartner, #IWalter, #YALit

About Mike Hartner

Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He’s traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
  • CanLit Reading Bingo Card 2015
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Posted Friday, 30 January, 2015 by jorielov in 15th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Canadian Literature, Cliffhanger Ending, Coming-Of Age, Elizabethan Era, England, Father-Daughter Relationships, High Seas Epic, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Kate Tilton's Book Bloggers, Kidnapping or Unexplained Disappearances, Nautical Fiction, Pirates and Swashbucklers, Spain, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Vulgarity in Literature, Young Adult Fiction

+Blog Book Tour+ East India by Colin Falconer

Posted Friday, 15 August, 2014 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Parajunkee Designs
East India Blog Tour via HFVBTs

East India by Colin Falconer

Author Connections: Facebook | Blog

Converse on Twitter: #EastIndiaBlogTour
OR Tweet @Colin_Falconer

Published by: Cool Gus Publishing (@CoolGusPub), 8 July, 2014 | Page Count: 314
Available Format: Paperback | E-book 

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Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a stop on “East India” Virtual Book Tour, hosted by HFVBT, in which I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher Cool Gus Publishing in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Reason I felt compelled to Read:

I previously read: Isabella: Braveheart of France whilst it was on tour with HFVBTs, however I did not make a strong connection to the narrative voice nor the content therein. I always give authors the benefit of the doubt when I first pick up a novel by them where I felt disconnected; as it could simply be that that one particular story-line was not one I could soak into. This is why I always keep my mind open to re-examining a novel by an author I previously did not connect with directly and/or felt that perhaps either the style of their story-telling might not have been the best fit for me as well. We’re all individual readers, and our approach into stories is as varied as the seven seas, but when I read the premise of this particular selection, I found at the heart of East India were two classic story-telling elements that I instantly can connect with: high seas epics intermixed with adventure! I previously adored Close to the Wind by Zana Bell and The Lost Duchess by Jenny Barden, hence why I felt perhaps with this vein of narrative, I might find a connection with Colin Falconer’s style of historical fiction.

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Book Synopsis:

In any other circumstance but shipwreck, rape and murder, a man like Michiel van Texel would never have East India by Colin Falconermet a fine lady such as Cornelia Noorstrandt.

He was just a soldier, a sergeant in the Dutch East India company’s army, on his way from Amsterdam to the Indies to fight the Mataram. Such a woman was far above the likes of him.

But both their destinies intertwine far away from Holland, on some god-forsaken islands near the Great Southland. When their great ship, the Utrecht, founders far from home, surviving the Houtman Rocks is the least of their worries.

As they battle to survive and the bravest and the best reveal themselves for what they are, Cornelia’s only hope is a mercenary in a torn coat who shows her that a man is more than just manners and money.

He makes her one promise: ‘Even if God forsakes you, I will find you.’

But can he keep it?

Described by one critic as ‘Jack and Rose in the seventeenth century’, East India will keep you wondering until the final page.

Author Biography:

Colin FalconerBorn in London, Colin first trialed as a professional football player in England, and was eventually brought to Australia. He went to Sydney and worked in TV and radio and freelanced for many of Australia’s leading newspapers and magazines. He has published over twenty novels and his work has so far been translated into 23 languages.

He travels regularly to research his novels and his quest for authenticity has led him to run with the bulls in Pamplona, pursue tornadoes across Oklahoma and black witches across Mexico, go cage shark diving in South Africa and get tear gassed in a riot in La Paz.

His most recent novels are Silk Road, set in the 13th century, and Stigmata, set against the backdrop of the Albigensian Crusade in Southern France in 1209. He currently lives in Barcelona.

For more information please visit Colin Falconer’s blog . You can also find him on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

 

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comA high seas epic adventure:

Falconer presents the cast of his story well as when you first open the pages of East India, you are brought full circle and center into each of the different character’s lives you are going to become fully acquainted with by the end of the story. What I appreciated was having a modern spin of focus at the opening, where you learn of how some of the main characters befell in death rather than in life; as the opening sequence is a forensic archaeological dig site, uncovering the skeletal remains of one of the key blokes of the story itself. I have a penchant for murder mysteries, and this non-traditional opening gave me a bit of insight as to the full scope of where the novel might take me over its course of being told. I liked how he kept the details simple yet telling in their depth of what was being revealed on the dig site itself. It left a curious taste of suspense, as to whether or not this story had more to share than first realised.

He paints the picture quite grim, as the conditions of tall ships and sailing great distances during centuries past is a well-documented living hell for those who dared to live and die by the sea. The rations of food being dispensed before land is seen again and the living squalor of having to deal with unsanitary refuse of living in tight quarters without ventilation and proper means of disposing of waste. Within this space of his narrative, he breathes a bit of light into how not all the men on the ship are hardened by their life’s work nor are they blind to how to best treat the gentler few who travel amongst them. The only bit that I denoted might have been a bit obvious was giving the captain a garnishing of brutish vile attributes, as that felt a bit cliche to me, but aside from that, I was caught up in the life above and below deck.

My Review of East India:

What stood out to me about East India is the energy Falconer stitched into the story, as he starts the novel off on a high note of intrigue, where a divide of class are brought together for the intention of leaving Holland in order to reach the Far East. A motley mix of everyday citizens, soldiers, and crew for the ship itself by which they are sailing are compelled to learn to live with one another for a sailing that will last nearly six months to reach their final destination. Each of them facing conditions that are riddled with strife for anyone taking to the high seas during that period of sea travel, as it was not the best of conditions aboard ship with the volatile seas churning against the ship itself provided the most arduous adaption for a person’s constitution, but it was also in how for a swallowing of time your entire world is confined to quarters and a few merciful glimpses of the deck.

I personally liked the interaction between Cornelia and two of the serving members of the crew, one is a soldier named Michiel van Texel and one is a Commander Ambrose Secor. Her fortitude of spirit to reach her husband currently settled in the East Indies enables her forward to transition through her own personal fears of leaving behind her country and the only life she knew whilst she was there. I like how her character is honestly written, including how she breaks her society’s etiquette by forging a bond with the two men as a way to not only give her hours a bit of worth, but to give her spirit a sense of connection outside the blight of her present circumstances.

Unfortunately for me, before I even went half-way into the novel I found myself in a bit of a quandary, as the vulgar aspects of the text were turning my mind against the story rather than merely showing a gruffness of the characters who live and die by their honour living on the sea. It was harder to shake off the choices Falconer was making to convey the darker pieces of the character’s souls against the thread of the story which interested me the most: the interactions Cornelia was having with Commander Secor and Texel. I decided for myself personally, I could not finish this novel as I simply did not want to even consider what might come next in the dialogue or narrative sequences. I think the writings of Colin Falconer are better suited to a reader who does not mind a rough approach to telling a story and for inclusion of passages that are more starkly raw in their contentions of narrative thought. I, personally appreciate an approach similar to the stories I mentioned earlier as to being of my liking.

On the writing style of Colin Falconer:

I’ve read two stories by this author now, and although the first disappointed me, this one held my attention to a certain point. His personal style of creating short chapters and cunning narrative within the short space of where each chapter begins and ends works for this particular story, as he is giving you just enough knowledge of where the characters are and where they need to be next to satisfy the curiosity you have as you read. I did not notice this to be jolting as I had originally with Isabella, as I rather noticed instead that the pace for me felt more tangible and true in East India. Except to say, in the end, I did feel disappointed as the momentum I felt when I began the novel ended up being dissolved by turns of phrase and descriptive choices that simply did not sit well with me visually.

Fly in the Ointment:

I did add the tag for Vulgarity in Literature, but blessedly, the occurrences are few and far between, although given the time and era of the novel, the brutish and disrespect for women aboard ship was par for course. However, the main reason I flagged this as a novel that twitched my brow a bit is the method of delivery and the insinuations that followed the stronger words of choice. There are various ways to approach language and supposition of where said language can take a reader whilst it is used to convey different emotions and actions per use. However, I do draw the straw a bit towards what I’m willing to read and what I am willing to accept. There are a few instances inside East India, where I felt a line was crossed or could have been better abated by a different choice of visual imagery.

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{SOURCES: Author photograph, Book Synopsis, Author Biography, and Book Cover of “East India” were provided by HFVBT and were used by permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 15 August, 2014 by jorielov in 17th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Arranged Marriages in Royalty, Blog Tour Host, East India Company, Edward II, Fly in the Ointment, France, High Seas Epic, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Late Middle Ages (1300-1500)