What a busy *April!* it has become for myself and my family – I haven’t been focusing on reading, I must admit, these past few weeks. There has been such a lot to get done – especially as I wanted to do whatever I could to help my Mum recover from her accident – which was three weeks ago this past Sunday.
Whilst at the same time, last week felt like a humdinger of a week simply due to have we had to stack our hours – wherein we were stuffing five hours of things to get done ahead of Mum’s double shifts! Oy. It did take its toll – this is why over the weekend, I focused more on cooking dishes in my new Instant Pot Rice & Grain cooker than I did sorting out where I left off with the books I was attempting to read! I just needed a bit of downtime – however, in regards to this blog tour directly, I had to shift a few things round how I am participating on the blog tour.
With everything going on lately, I had overlooked the fact the novel hadn’t yet arrived by Post – as I was originally meant to feature a book review on behalf of “A Whole New Me”. In lieu of having the book in hand to read – I’ve quickly taken a moment to put together a short & concise Author’s Q&A wherein I asked the author Ms Schuh a few questions I felt were pertinent to her story as well as a bit of a look behind her writerly style.
I am hoping you will enjoy getting this small preview about “A Whole New Me” whilst I await the book by post! I look forward to settling into the context of the story – as this is a New Adult novel and a Contemporary Romance all tied together! I rarely read New Adult – as the story truly has to speak to me before I’ll consider it – this one felt like a story I might find to surprise me. Let me know in the comments what your thoughts are and if you are a regular reader of New Adult Contemporary Romance!
Be sure to brew your favourite cuppa and enjoy this delightful convo we shared!
Acquired Book By: JKS is the first publicity firm I started working with when I launched Jorie Loves A Story in August, 2013. One of the benefits of working with JKS is the fact the publicists not only read my blog and understand my reading life but they have the knack for knowing what I want to be reading ahead of knowing which stories might captivate my own attention! I am thankful I can continue to read the stories the authors they represent are creating as they have the tendency of being beloved treasured finds throughout my literary wanderings.
I am honoured to continue to work with them now as a 5th Year Book Blogger. I received my complimentary ARC copy of “The Fourteenth of September” from the publisher She Writes Press courtesy of the publicist at JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
What inspired me to read ‘The Fourteenth of September’:
I personally love Feminist Historical Fiction – I trust the publisher as it’s one I’ve become fond of in recent years, whilst I adore finding strong female stories in #HistFic which are rooted in living histories and the persons who lived stories so incredible they are honoured in fiction. Definitely a good fit for me. Also, I never studied the Vietnam War in school – I had the memories of the era and generation from both my parents and my grandparents who openly discussed what was going on during those times but I never personally read or researched it myself. (with the exception of the Non-Fiction release ‘Those Who Remain’)
What captured me the most is the ‘coming to conscience’ moment for Judy and the choices she was facing which may or may not have correlated well with her military family.
Felt like the kind of dramatic story I would appreciate which is why I choose to read this title at the end of Summer in-line for celebrating it’s publication!
A side note about why I classified this as Historical Fiction rather than Contemporary – as I generally consider works post-1945 as being strictly ‘Contemporary’ but there are a few random exceptions to this particular self-driven ruling in regards to classifications of the stories I am reading on my blog. ‘The Fourteenth of September’ felt to me to be a brilliantly conceived and conceptionalised ‘time capsule’ of a particularly inclusive period of turbulence in American History – thereby, giving me a decided impression of a) a drama back-lit by a war everyone & their cousin has heard about irregardless of which decade/century of birth b) the particular mannerisms of the inclusivity of the story and c) although I am technically a close-cousin in years to the age of Judy, I feel like this was a firm step ‘back’ from whence I entered the world. Thereby, classifying this as ‘Feminist Historical Fiction’ because for me, it was a full generation behind me even if technically that is not theoretically accurate if you go by the fact I’m a GenX girl! (laughs)
IF your a regular reader of my blog, I won’t have to explain to you about my penchant for *Feminist Historical Fiction*, however, if your visiting with me through this review for the first time, you might want to give a nod of a glimpse into my archive for this niche of fiction I love discovering! Likewise, I have a few upcoming ruminations I’ll be sharing with you – the first of which will be ‘The Lost Queen’ by Signe Pike!
And, yes if you spied the collective works of Nicole Evelina featuring her incredible #Arthurian after canon series, I can happily *announce!* I shall be reading the concluding *third!* installment of her series this *October!* Mum’s the word on the rest of the titles which will be forthcoming!
Fifty years ago America was at a critical turning point in history as radical social and political unrest swept the nation. Tension built as the world watched the upheaval of change – from voting rights to feminism, from the assassinations of iconic leaders like civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Democratic presidential nominee Robert F. Kennedy, to the promise of space travel. Above all, the Vietnam War came to a head, casting a shadow over American life that profoundly affected most aspects of that and every generation since.
We think we know it well. And yet, with a half-century of distance, we’re only now fully appreciating the full impact and diversity of perspectives possible, and parallels to today, as evidenced by, for example, the recent Ken Burns PBS documentary “The Vietnam War.” Among what we’ve learned: we’ve only scratched the surface of the female stories of the time.
In her compelling debut novel, “The Fourteenth of September” (Sept. 18, 2018, She Writes Press), author Rita Dragonette uses her personal experiences as a student during one of the most volatile years of the war and gives voice to the women of her generation. In the story, Private First Class Judy Talton celebrates her 19th birthday by secretly joining the antiwar movement on her college campus. As the recipient of an army scholarship and the daughter of a military family, Judy has a lot to lose. But her doubts about the ethics of war have escalated, especially after her birthdate is pulled as the first in the new draft lottery. If she were a man, she would have been among the first off to Vietnam with an under-fire life expectancy measured in seconds. The stakes become clear, propelling her toward a life-altering choice as fateful as that of any lottery draftee.
“The Fourteenth of September” portrays a pivotal time at the peak of the Vietnam War through the rare perspective of a young woman, tracing her path of self-discovery and a “coming-of- conscience.” Judy’s story speaks to the poignant clash of young adulthood, early feminism, and war, offering an ageless inquiry into the domestic politics of protest when the world stops making sense.
“Though women weren’t in danger of actually being drafted, they were ‘in it’ sharing fear, outrage, and activism, particularly during the days of the first Draft Lottery and Kent State, when it felt an age group — a generation — was in jeopardy, not a gender, even if that wasn’t always fully appreciated,” Dragonette says. “It’s an important perspective with a rich and complex backstory that has informed the involvement of women in protests through to and including today’s ‘Never Again’ movement.”
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook
Converse via: #FourteenthOfSeptember, #HistFic or #HistNov & #SheWritesPress
About Rita Dragonette
Rita Dragonette is a former award-winning public relations executive turned author. Her debut novel, “The Fourteenth of September,” is a woman’s story of Vietnam which will be published by She Writes Press on Sept. 18, 2018, and has already been designated a finalist in two 2018 American Fiction Awards by American Book Fest, and received an honorable mention in the Hollywood Book Festival.
She is currently working on two other novels and a memoir in essays, all of which are based upon her interest in the impact of war on and through women, as well as on her transformative generation. She also regularly hosts literary salons to introduce new works to avid readers.
I have an announcement – I decided to start hosting for Xpresso Book Tours for showcasing new books which interest me to be #amreading, such as this spotlight blitz post and/or hosting guest features for authors on behalf of the stories I want to be reading! They mostly feature digital releases on their blog tours, which is why I am not expecting to be hosting review tours for them but I do like to find new Indie published authors and from what I can gather from their list of tours, they have the tendency of featuring quite a lovely variety of Indie writers!
As you know, my search for new Contemporary authors has had its fair share of ups and downs over the past few years, yet when I first read the premise behind this one it felt like it stepped out a bit from what I would usually expect to find inside a Contemporary plot. Especially since this is a story which is anchoured to someone who is trying to not just overcome a particular moment of their life but to find distance and peace from it as well.
Romantic Suspense threads of intrigue are becoming my jam lately – as you well know, I am over the moon in *love!* with #LoveInspired Suspense novels – each of those lovelies is a #RomSusp knitted taut and tight out of high emotions, dramatic passageways and the eclipse of a Thriller you are never fully sure if your prepared to handle but you *keep turning the pages!* all the same! Meanwhile, outside of my INSPY readings – I still love to see out these sorts of stories on the mainstream side of the ledger!
What set this particular book apart in my mind is the fact it’s #NewAdult – a tricky category of interest for me as I rarely if ever find an NA I can soak into and find myself enthused. Ms Acerbo held my attention in the extracts provided on this Blitz tour and that in of itself was a happy surprise! I am truly hopeful as I ever am this Digital First will one day be released into print or audio – thereby allowing me to read it.
What do you currently find yourself drawn into when it comes to Rom Suspense plot threads & especially when it comes to New Adult!? What are you personally seeking when you try to find stories which fit inside these particular categories of interest!?
As an aside, when I first saw the publisher was ‘Torrid’ – it brought back fond memories of a clothing store heralding the same name – you know, from the 90s and early 2000s before it was ‘altered’ out of its funkified state of loveliness to be just another ‘lemming’ of bland!?
Dani can’t wait for senior year at college. A straight-A scholar whose anxiety is a daily struggle, being awkward, introverted, and studious has become a way of life. She vows this year will be different. It’s time to move beyond her comfort zone, but that’s not easy.
Dani’s wild roommate and handsome best friend hate each other; her crazy family won’t leave her alone; and a new job forces her to be social. Unfortunately, when college romance finally calls, Dani is unable to answer thanks to a stalker who has her all tied up.
Can she stay alive long enough to find love and graduate?
Available Formats: this is a Digital First release into ebook
*I am hoping this goes into print or POD eventually so I can read it!
Converse on Twitter via: #Contemporary #RomSusp
About Lisa Acerbo
Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and adjunct instructor at a local community college. Her previous novels have been published through a variety of indie presses. She has a short story “Carnivorous” coming out in October as part of an anthology titled Carnival of Nightmares. When not writing or teaching, she spends time with her family, friends and pets. She also fosters dogs to help them find their forever homes.
Acquired Book By: I have been a blog tour hostess with Cedar Fort for the past three years, wherein I took a brief hiatus from hosting before resuming August 2016. I appreciate the diversity of the stories the Indie publisher is publishing per year, not only for fiction and non-fiction but for healthy eats within their Front Table Books (cookbooks). I appreciate their dedication to writing general market, INSPY reads and LDS focused stories across the genres they publish.
I received a complimentary copy of “Brush with Love” direct from the publisher Bonneville Books (an imprint of Cedar Fort Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
Why I wanted to read this story:
To be honest, the main reason I wanted to read this novel is because I wanted to give the author a second chance – the first time I read one of her novels, I couldn’t get excited about it as much as I had wanted to be excited about it. Even though I read quite a lot of the previous release, there were key issues I encountered moving through the story which I thankfully was hoping had either been polished in this release or were no longer an issue at all. Writers grow through their stories – you can even see the growth a writer undergoes through their career by how they approach telling their stories, which is why I try to remember to keep an open mind about reading a different story by an author I’ve previously found not to my liking.
Aside from this second chance attempt to read this author, I personally liked the premise behind the story but I was a bit surprised within the premise, it was not entirely highlighting how interesting the back-story was on the story itself. From the humble beginnings of Lana being left at an Eastern European orphanage before being adopted by an American family to the fact, part of the story is a reflection of what happens during memory loss and the pains of watching a loved one go through a degenerative disease which seeks to erase their time on Earth.
There is a lot of depth to this novel but I felt the premise and blurb on the back cover might not be as convincing to readers they should take a chance on this story – thereby, missing its heart.
Lana, a talented Ivy League artist, is thrilled for a summer internship program where she'll get to study under an acclaimed artist, but she is soon disappointed to find that she'll be going to Bluegill, Idaho, for six weeks to study under the brilliant but aging artist LeVan Hitchpost.
As she spends more time with him, though (and more specifically with LeVan's grandson, Walt), Lana realises she may have to choose between following her dreams or following her heart.
Lisa McKendrick lives in Lakeland, Florida where she divides her time between writing, carpools, and occasionally folding laundry. The mother of seven children (all accustomed to wearing unmatched socks), Lisa is author of other books for the LDS market, including On a Whim , and thanks to her husband's support, has earned a master's degree in English from BYU. Lisa enjoys hearing from her readers and can be contacted at Utterance.org (linked below via Website).