Category: Non-Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “Brush with Love” by Lisa McKendrick

Posted Sunday, 10 December, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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

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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Brush with Love” by Lisa McKendrickBrush with Love
by Lisa McKendrick
Source: Direct from Publisher

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.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1462121250

Also by this author: Letters to my Future Husband

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Romance Fiction, Sweet Romance


Published by Bonneville Books

on 10th October, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 257

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFort)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Stories I’ve read by this author:

Letters to my Future Husband by Lisa McKendrickBrush with Love by Lisa McKendrick

Converse via: #SweetRomance & #Contempoary #Romance

About Lisa McKendrick

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).

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Posted Sunday, 10 December, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Adoption, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, College & University Years, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Indie Author, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Modern Day, Mormonism, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, New Adult Fiction, Orphans & Guardians, Realistic Fiction, Sisterhood friendships, Sweet Romance

Audiobook Review | “Life as a Spectrum Mom (Volume 1): The Ups, Downs, and Upside Downs of Parenting Autistic Kids” by Karen Pellett, narrated by Sara K. Sheckells

Posted Friday, 27 October, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a new blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I started hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions at the end of [2016] during “The Cryptic Lines” tour wherein I became quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Life as a Spectrum Mom” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the author Karen Pellett) in exchange for an honest review. The difference with this complimentary copy I received is I had a 90 day window to listen and review the book whilst given a soft deadline where I could post my ruminative thoughts at an hour which worked for me on the day the review was due; this differs from a blog tour which has a more set schedule of posting. The audiobooks are offered to ‘adopt’ for review consideration and are given to readers to gauge their opinions, impressions and insight into how the audiobook is resonating with listeners. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: Due to my unexpected hiatus in September, my adopted audiobooks (‘Life as a Spectrum Mom’, ‘Sharpe Shooter’ and ‘Sharpe Edge’) as well as the blog tour ‘The Supernatural Pet Sitter’ were delayed from posting until October.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What initially prompted me to listen to Life as a Spectrum Mom:

I started to seek out stories in both Fiction and Non-Fiction which speak to motherhood and mumhood for the past few years now. I am a Prospective Adoptive Mum myself, as I know I will be adopting from foster care in the future – part of my path as an Auntie has been seeking out Children’s Lit (from Picture Books, Middle Grade novels to Young Adult titles) which led me back into a realm of literature which I hadn’t visited in quite a long time! Finding, I have a newfound joy of immersing into stories writ for younger audiences – I have found so many incredible stories, characters and portals of imaginative ‘thought’ – I cannot wait to share these lovelies with my own children ‘one day’.

Whilst seeking out stories involving parenthood directly, I am finding myself inspired by the honest approach writers are able to convey the ins and outs of being a parent in today’s technologic world! I appreciate reading stories about the foster care system (my favourite thus far is ‘The Language of Hoofbeats’), stories of international adoption (my favourite being ‘Red Thread Sisters’) and even, of alternative means of conception (such as the heart-centred & emotional journey as seen in ‘Claiming Noah’).

I was keenly uplifted reading the journey towards ‘balance’ and ‘self-directed growth’ Ms Bure was endeavouring to share with us in her latest memoir (she writes a series of them at different stages of her life) ‘Dancing Through Life’ – whilst owning to the difficulties of being a pro-active Mum juggling work and opportunities which arrive unexpected to give you a jolt of growth you hadn’t realised you needed. And, even though I felt a bit short-changed after reading the memoir ‘The Mother God Made Me To Be’, there was still a lot of moments of joy reading this mother’s journey towards re-awakening her own spirit for defining life on her terms.

Ergo, when it came time to settle into this audiobook – I was already primed and ready to hear a mother’s story about how raising three Special Needs children has led her onto the path she was always meant to walk. Sometimes, we never realise what our ‘purpose’ in life will be until it is revealled to us whilst we’re already moving in a direction towards where we ‘think we’re meant to be’ even if there are things in motion to let us arrive ‘where we’re needed’ instead. All our paths into mumhood are different – each of us is feeling led and guided towards the moment where we can fully embrace being Mums (and Dads!) – raising our children and endeavouring to nurture their hearts towards being well-rounded persons who can go out and share their individual spirits with the world. Each child has a gift to share, a lesson to give and a joy to multiple simply by their presence in our lives.

As I continue to read stories of motherhood and parenthood (as I love the father’s perspective just as much!) –  I feel a step closer to where my path will start to interconnect to the future where I too, will one day be a ‘Mum’. The fortitude of strength all parents have is given to them in the moments where they feel they aren’t strong enough because this is one special gift parents are given by Him to help see them through the situations which test us all for how we can transition through life’s uncertainties in order to continue to celebrate the joys.

One thing I knew going into this memoir is part of what would make it easier to read (er, listen to) is the ‘humour’ Ms Pellett put inside it! I, myself, thrive on HUMOUR! My family was infamous for finding ways to insert humour into our everyday lives – something which continues to be our mainstay even now, throughout my adult life. Humour is the balm to our soul – it’s a way to see the lighter side of ‘everything’ even if nothing feels *that!* funny whilst we’re living through it! Oy.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Audiobook Review | “Life as a Spectrum Mom (Volume 1): The Ups, Downs, and Upside Downs of Parenting Autistic Kids” by Karen Pellett, narrated by Sara K. SheckellsLife as a Spectrum Mom
Subtitle: The Ups, Downs, and Upside Downs of Parenting Autistic Kids
by Karen Pellett
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Sara K. Sheckells

From candy explosions and safety spaces to patience pills and mattress slides, autism turns normal on its head and stomps on it for good measure. For this family and their three autistic children, life is chaotic but glorious. Experience everyday life from the perspective of a spectrum mom and defy the label as only an exceptional family can.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ASIN: B0741NBX68

Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Memoir, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction


Published by Self Published Author

on 20th July, 2017

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 3 hours, 22 minutes (unabridged)

Self-Published Audiobook

Karen Pellett | Blog | Site | @KarenPellett | Facebook | Instgram

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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Posted Friday, 27 October, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Audiobook, Autism, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brothers and Sisters, Clever Turns of Phrase, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Debilitating Diagnosis & Illness, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Equality In Literature, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Indie Author, Learning Difficulties, Memoir, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Mother-Son Relationships, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Siblings, Special Needs Children, Vignettes of Real Life, Women's Health

Non-Fiction Book Review | “Be Fierce” by Gretchen Carlson

Posted Sunday, 22 October, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am a reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, where I started reading titles by FaithWords which is their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been wicked happy I can review for their imprints Grand Central Publishing, FaithWords & Center Street.

I received a complimentary copy of “Be Fierce” direct from the publisher Center Street (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

On the recent selections I am reading by Hachette Books (via FaithWords & Center Street):

Shortly after my unexpected hiatus this September, I came to learn about some quite extraordinary selections by Hachette Books (of the Non-Fiction variety) which encouraged my curiosity to read! The titles were different than the ones I had found in the past as they were not your traditional Biography or Autobiography or even Self-Help or Inspirational Subject or Topic to digest – no, these were a beautiful collection of stories by people who had unusual experiences to share with the world. Experiences which would test other people’s resolve or faith whilst giving others a bolster of courage to carry on with their own life paths with a bit more strength than they had before they read the stories.

The titles I am reading right now include:

* God is for Real by Todd Burpo

* Goodnight, I Love You by Jene’ Ray Barranco

* The Impossible by Joyce Smith

Whilst resuming where I left off reading:

* Living with No Excuses by Noah Galloway

* The Happiness Prayer by Evan Moffic

The reason I wanted to read “Be Fierce” is because all women can relate to the premise of Ms Carlson’s story – it is something which continues to happen and go unchecked by most in society. If anything, I can definitely understand why she felt like she was going against the tides just to tell her story and to take action against the person who caused her so much grief through his actions. It isn’t easy to stand-up for yourself in the workplace, but what is most distressing is how a lot of women are being silenced from sharing their experiences overall. Whether it’s for sexual harassment or any of the crimes highlighted through Law & Order: SVU – being a woman in today’s world is not for the faint of heart!

I should mention, I haven’t heard of Ms Carlson previous to receiving her book – I never watched Fox News regularly – I was more inclined to watch MSNBC. Likewise, I’m not a newshound or junkie – I purposefully limit the news I drink in regularly as at some point, all of what is being featured on the news can get overwhelming rather quickly. This isn’t to say I’m not informed – between Twitter and the radio, trust me, I get the 411 on everything that is important to know whilst my local community’s social mill provides the rest. I went into reading this book without any preconceived ideas or revelations – it was brilliant because I could be ‘introduced’ to someone everyone else most likely ‘knew of’ and yet for me, I was just making her acquaintance as she told her story. To me, that was the best gift of all!Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Non-Fiction Book Review | “Be Fierce” by Gretchen CarlsonBe Fierce
Subtitle: Stop harassment and take your power back
by Gretchen Carlson
Source: Direct from Publisher

A groundbreaking manifesto from journalist Gretchen Carlson about how women can protect themselves from sexual harassment in the workplace and reclaim their power against abuse or injustice.

In BE FIERCE, Gretchen shares her own experiences, as well as powerful and moving stories from women in many different careers and fields who decided they too weren't ready to shut up and sit down. Gretchen became a voice for the voiceless.

In this revealing and timely book, Gretchen shares her views on what women can do to empower and protect themselves in the workplace or on a college campus, what to say when someone makes suggestive remarks, how an employer's Human Resources department may not always be your friend, and how forced arbitration clauses in work contracts often serve to protect companies rather than employees. Her groundbreaking message encourages women to stand up and speak up in every aspect of their lives.

Gretchen also discusses why this fight will require both women and men working together to ensure that our daughters and sons will have a brighter future.

BE FIERCE is a cultural movement and a motivating testament to what we can accomplish if we collectively decide to become warriors in the path for a better future.

The time is now. Take back your life, your career, and your dignity.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781478992172

Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Self-Improvement & Self-Actualisation


Published by CenterStreet

on 17th October, 2017

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 256

Published by: Center Street (@centerstreet.com)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks) via Hachette Nashville

Formats Available: Hardback, Audiobook & Ebook

Converse via: #NonFiction, #WomensRights

About Gretchen Carlson

Recently honored as one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People in the World and a 2017 recipient of the prestigious Matrix Award, Gretchen Carlson is one of the nation's most successful and recognized news anchors and a tireless advocate for female empowerment.

Formerly, Carlson was co-host of the number-one rated cable morning news show, Fox and Friends, as well as the host of her own signature show, The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson. An honors graduate of Stanford University, Carlson also serves as a trustee for several national non-profit boards and in 2017 established her own fund, Gift of Courage, to empower women and young girls to realize their full potential. Since making the decision to speak out against sexual harassment, she has sparked an international conversation about the pervasiveness of the problem and, in doing so, discovered that every woman has a story.

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Posted Sunday, 22 October, 2017 by jorielov in Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), CenterStreet, Domestic Violence, Dsylexia & the Dsylexic, Equality In Literature, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Life Shift, Memoir, Mental Health, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Psychological Abuse, Realistic Fiction, Social Change, Sociological Behavior, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Vignettes of Real Life, Vulgarity in Literature

#SpooktasticReads Book Review | “#Paranormal Texas: Your travel guide to Haunted Places near Dallas & Forth Worth” by Tui Snider

Posted Thursday, 19 October, 2017 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I used to attend two weekly chats quite regularly when I first joined Twitter in late Autumn 2013, extending into 2014 and 2015; by 2016 I started to withdraw from the chat community on Twitter due to the increases in my chronic migraines. Whilst I was attending #K8Chat (hosted by Kate Tilton) in 2014, I won one of the weekly bookaways whilst being asked by the author if I would like a second book by her to consider for review purposes. Therefore, I received two books in the Post: “Paranormal Texas” and “Unexpected Texas”; this marks the first of two reviews I am showcasing this year during my fortnight of Spooktastic Reads! Thereby, I received a complimentary copy of “Paranormal Texas” direct from the author Tui Snider without obligation to post a review; I decided to post one for my own edification and to share with my readers what I found within this lovely Guide! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Being a former chatter during #StoryDam & why these books interested me:

I cannot remember exactly if I first crossed paths with Tui Snider during #StoryDam and/or #K8Chat; the latter was disbanded a few weeks ‘before’ I was going to return to the chat after taking a sabbatical (due to my migraines). I was crestfallen by the news but fully understood why Ms Tilton decided to ‘move on’. There are seasons in everything in life, including the chats which are happily taking their entrances and exits on Twitter!

I believe I lamented on my #SpooktasticReads post we first met during #StoryDam – either way you slice it, the reason I was most keen on her Non-Fiction works is because we share an interest in the following things:

*paranormal shows (fiction & non-fiction)

*paranormal fiction

*haunted houses

*the unexplained

Finding Ms Snider was a blessing in my life – as I previously mentioned, she has the kind of spirit your hoping to find online – one which is accepting and encouraging whilst having a bubbly personality who makes you feel welcome as soon as you start to chat with her! The best part of course of crossing her path was becoming attuned to the Non-Fiction works she was developing which speak to the heart of another love we share: stories of the Historical Past which are still being discovered today!

Despite the time delay in reading her books and posting my ruminative thoughts, one thing which staid with me is the manner in which she wrote them! She makes them a lively romp through unexpected historical notations on both the living persons who lived interesting lives and the ‘afterlife’ adventures of those spirits who have not yet crossed into the Light! These are the spirits who I am sure “The Ghost Whisperer” would love to chat with and find out their ‘true story’ of why they feel they need to stay ‘inbetween’. If you loved the series as much as I did, you are surely going to love Ms Snider’s companionable way of entertaining your curiosity with newfound lore, legend and the mysteriously interesting incidents which make North Texas a keen place to visit!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#SpooktasticReads Book Review | “#Paranormal Texas: Your travel guide to Haunted Places near Dallas & Forth Worth” by Tui SniderParanormal Texas
Subtitle: Your travel guide to Haunted Places near Dallas & Forth Worth
by Tui Snider
Source: Direct from Author, Won a Bookaway

Why creep around at night when so many haunted places in north Texas are open to the public & active during the day?

Not only does Tui Snider explain the intriguing stories behind the paranormal activity in the Dallas - Ft. Worth area, but she gives directions to places you can visit in person, such as the:

* Serial Killer’s Grave where EVP’s & Anomalous Photos are common
* Amusement Park where a Little Girl Haunts the Candy Store
* Country Graveyard with a Mysteriously Glowing Tombstone
* Hotel so Haunted that a University teaches Parapsychology there
* Historic Cemetery where people get EVP’s and Orbs in Broad Daylight
* Ghost Town with an Operatic Apparition & a Haunted Restaurant
* B&B with a Gentlemanly Ghost who seems Protective of Women
* Theatre that kept it’s Resident Ghost in mind when remodeling
* Historic Town Squares where nearly Every Shop has a Ghost!

… & much more!

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1500766085

Genres: Current Events, Ghost Story, Gothic Literature, Non-Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics


Published by Self Published Author

on 19th August, 2014

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 183

Self-Published Non-Fiction

The two books I am reading by Ms Snider this October:

Paranormal Texas by Tui SniderUnexpected Texas by Tui Snider

1. Tui’s first book, Unexpected Texas,  is a travel guide to quirky, offbeat and overlooked places within easy reach of the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex. It was released on March 2, 2014 and remains a bestseller in Dallas – Fort Worth Travel on Amazon. In 2015, this book won first place in the North Texas Book Festival.

2. Tui’s second book, Paranormal Texas is a travel guide to haunted places in north Texas. It was released in October 2014 and also remains an Amazon bestseller.

3. Tui’s third book, The Lynching of the Santa Bank Robber, is a strange-but-true tale of West Texas history. This book was released in March of 2016, and came in 2nd place in the North Texas Book Festival that year.

4. Tui’s fourth book, Come to My Senses, is a companion book of lyrics and photos for the dream pop CD she released in conjunction with her first photography exhibit and writing residency for Tarleton State University’s Langdon Review in 2016.

5. Tui’s fifth book, Understanding Cemetery Symbols: A Workbook for Exploring Historic Graveyards, is being cross-released as both a paperback and an ebook.The book officially released on August 19, 2017.

Converse via: #TexasHistory, #Paranormal, #Ghosts & #NonFiction

About Tui Snider

Tui Snider

Tui Snider is an award-winning author, speaker, photographer, and musician who specializes in quirky, offbeat and overlooked places, historic graveyards, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!”

After living in Belgium, Italy, and a tiny island with a population of 7, Tui now calls the state of Texas her home. Even so, she has experienced as much culture shock in the Lone Star State as she ever did overseas!

For Tui, travel is a mindset. Her motto is “Even home is a travel destination,” and she believes “The world is only boring if you take everyone else’s word for it.”

Snider’s best-selling books include Paranormal Texas, The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber, and Unexpected Texas.

In August 2017, Tui Snider released her 5th book called Understanding Cemetery Symbols, this book is a guide to the forgotten meaning of symbols and acronyms our ancestors left on their headstones. Preorder sales went so well Understanding Cemetery Symbols became an Amazon best seller!

Tui lectures frequently at universities, libraries, conferences and bookstores. In 2016, she was the writer-in-residence for Tarleton State University’s Langdon Review. In 2017, she taught a series of courses at Texas Christian University based on her books.

Snider’s writing and photography have been featured in a variety of publications, including Coast to Coast AM, FOX Travel News, LifeHack, Langdon Review, the City of Plano, Wild Woman Waking, Shades of Angels and many more.

In addition, Tui is a singer/songwriter who plays several instruments. Listeners frequently describe her dream pop album, Come to My Senses, as “mystical” and “magical.”

Tui has worn a lot of hats in her life – literally – and is especially fond of berets. In addition to writing and music, she is an avid photographer.

Snider has several more books in progress, and is working on her next album. She enjoys connecting with writers and readers all over the globe through social media, her newsletter and her website.

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Posted Thursday, 19 October, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cemeteries & Graveyards, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, History, Modern Day, Non-Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Small Towne USA, Travel, Travel Writing, Travelogue