Category: Publishing Industry & Trade

Non-Fiction Book Review | “Looking to the Stars from Old Algiers and Other Long Stories Short” by Jan Risher

Posted Saturday, 29 December, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for this unique collection of stories hosted by iRead Book Tours. I haven’t been reviewing or hosting iRead authors in quite a long while – for most of the year, outside of the fact I did host the Marilyn Wilson blog tour as it was her second release. I couldn’t find stories which excited me to read and/or there were a heap which I felt would fit other readers better than they would my own readerly inclinations. When I came across ‘Old Algiers’ I thought it was such an interesting collection of personal history, experience, reflective insight and philosophical enquiry – it was something I was keenly looking forward to reading.

I received a complimentary copy of Looking to the Stars from Old Algiers direct from the author Jan Risher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

On why I was eager for this book & how life interfered with my plans in

reading ‘Looking to the Stars from Old Algiers’:

When I first learnt about this collection of stories – I thought it would be wicked interesting to read which is why I was excited about signing on for the blog tour! I had wanted to read the stories and curate a conversation with the author to coincide with my review, however, a few things ended up derailing all my lovely plans for this blog tour – which is in effect, why I am posting off-tour instead. In fact, I’ve been attempting to get this review put to order since a week ago Friday, except to say, my physical unwellness has been a bit extreme these past three weeks ever since I came down with a beast of a Winter virus. Secondly, my father had a medical emergency where we spent 4+ hours in the ER which rattled my nerves and my emotions never did quite settle down that particular week until the start of the next one. My father, is fine – thankfully, the fall was not serious but we had to ensure it was nothing major as Thanksgiving weekend marked his 2nd year past his stroke.

To return back into reading, I had to wait til a) my health was less stricken and b) my mind could re-attach into reading and blogging. It wasn’t until Sunday (last weekend) where I felt well enough to resume where I had left off with a lot of different stories but my return has been slow going which is why my posts are populating at a bit of an odd rate of progression. This review is one I wanted to finish earlier in the week, but I’ve literally been plagued with health issues and honestly, it took extra time to compose.

Having said that, I decided to make my journey into this book a bit uniquely different than most readers might have approached it. I knew in my heart I couldn’t traditionally read this start to finish, as I just didn’t have the capacity to do that right now – therefore, I hope you’ll enjoy the notes, ruminative reflections and takeaways I am sharing on behalf of Old Algiers!

Likewise, I am hoping my note of apology reached the author – somehow, for whichever reason, life became a bit of a determining factor of how I was unable to release this review in step with the blog tour itself whilst I had to realise also, the conversation would have to remain unknown as just to get this featured before the New Year I felt was more priority after having missed the blog tour.

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Non-Fiction Book Review | “Looking to the Stars from Old Algiers and Other Long Stories Short” by Jan RisherLooking to the Stars from Old Algiers
Subtitle: And Other Long Stories Short
by Jan Risher
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

Jan Risher took the long way to get from Mississippi to Louisiana with stops in between in Slovakia, Mexica, China, Burkina Faso and more than 40 other countries. Since moving to Louisiana, she has been a Sunday columnist for The Daily Advertiser and has written a column every single Sunday since 2002.

Looking to the Stars from Old Algiers and Other Long Stories Short is the collection of columns written over 15 years. Arranged in chronological order, the collection creates a narrative of one woman's aim to build her family, build up her community and weave the stories and lessons learned from the past into the present.

From her family's move to Louisiana, adoption of a daughter from China, covering Hurricane Katrina, travels near and far, author Jan Risher attempts, sometimes failing and sometimes succeeding, to do her small part to make the world a better place.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781946160331

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Biography / Autobiography, Non-Fiction, Short Story or Novella


Published by Lafayette Press, Sans Souci Books, University of Louisiana

on 11th September, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 312

Published by: Sans Souci Books

an imprint of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press

Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #NonFiction & #ShortStories

About Jan Risher

Jan Risher

Jan Risher is an award-winning journalist and investigative reporter. She was managing editor of The Times of Acadiana. Before and after her time as a full-time journalist, she was an English teacher. She has taught English near and far, in its most basic and most lyrical forms. She continues her career as a freelance writer and now owns Shift Key, a content marketing and public relations firm. She, her husband and their two daughters have made their home on the banks of the Vermilion River.

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Posted Saturday, 29 December, 2018 by jorielov in Anthology Collection of Stories, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Daily Devotions of Inspiration from Life, Equality In Literature, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Memoir, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Orphans & Guardians, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Publishing Industry & Trade, Short Stories or Essays, Sociological Behavior, Sociology, Stories of Adoption, Travelogue, Vignettes of Real Life

Non-Fiction Book Review | “The Wisdom of Listening” (#RealPeopleRealLives) by Marilyn R. Wilson

Posted Friday, 12 October, 2018 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

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

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for the second release by Marilyn R. Wilson hosted by iRead Book Tours. I was thankful to be a part of her debut release blog tour a few years ago where I learnt about her life’s work and what inspires her to write. I haven’t been reviewing or hosting iRead authors in quite a long while – for most of the year, I couldn’t find stories which excited me to read and/or there were a heap which I felt would fit other readers better than they would my own readerly inclinations. I am thankful I could host Ms Wilson on this second tour and gain more insight into what inspires her to share this inspiring collection of voices, hearts and lives.

I received a complimentary copy of The Wisdom of Listening direct from the author Marilyn R. Wilson in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

On why I was keenly interested in wanting to read ‘The Wisdom of Listening’:

I wanted to dig into the heart of how she organised the sequences of discloses within this release as it has a unique rhythm of disclosures – as I initially settled into reading the individual passages, I noted how they strike a hearty balance between a slice of memoir, a candor of conversationalism and the kind of insight you would expect from a woman whose dedicated her life to listening to others who tell their story with the hope of inspiring someone by the experience of hearing their story told.

It is quite true – when she encourages you to read the passages out of sequence from how their arranged – you can take it upon yourself to curate a bit of a personal experiment – which passages are drawing your eye towards them first? Which ones speak to you the most? Try it! You might be pleasantly surprised – as I knew I was as I was reading – I was automatically seeking out more of her own personal declarations – the pieces of this installment in her evolving series of Real People | Real Lives which takes on its own canon of originality with each book she writes – something which struck me as interesting as I was not expecting this to be the case.

Similar to reading anthologies – I took this edition to be of the same vein – a wanderlust of inspiration wherein you are never quite certain which piece or short will draw you into the folds of the message it has left behind for you to find. Each of these pieces curate their own fingerprint of insight into what Ms Wilson has gleamed as an interviewer but also, as an experiencer of life spent observing the keen awareness we all have within us to contemplate as we shift through our transitions – where memory and experience intermix and re-settle the thoughts as they once percolated to mind when inspiration alights within us.

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Notation on Cover Art: Being an artist who wants to increase her toolbox of media choices, one of the future journeys I wish to take visually is into watercolours. Especially coming from a history of using oils and pastels; the effects you can achieve with watercolours never fails to impress me or inspire me. If you see the collective works of Stephanie Pui-Mun Law floating into my feeds on Twitter it is not by accident – she has an incredible gifted eye and story-telling arc of narrative within her paintings which I simply :love: dearly. This cover is a spasm of colour, thoughtfulness and it speaks to sometimes you have calm your voice in order to hear what others are saying – sometimes that requires removing our sensory awareness – to close our eyes in order to see what is being said is a great metaphor to have on the cover.

Non-Fiction Book Review | “The Wisdom of Listening” (#RealPeopleRealLives) by Marilyn R. WilsonThe Wisdom of Listening
Subtitle: Pieces of Gold from a decade of interviewing and life
by Marilyn R. Wilson
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

The next time you're out in public, take a moment to look around you. Each and every person you see holds wisdom in their pockets--pieces of gold they've accumulated as they walked their own unique life journey.

Within these pages, Marilyn shares some of the many pieces of gold she has received over her decade-long career. They have been offered to her during interviews, through random encounters and while facing difficult challenges. The most important? We are each unique and exactly who we are meant to be.

Are you ready to dig for gold? All you need to do is be brave, be present in the moment and be open to the possibilities--then start a conversation.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780995314726

Also by this author: Life Outside The Box: The Extraordinary Journeys of 10 Unique Individuals, Author Interview with Marilyn R. Wilson, (Guest Post) The Wisdom of Listening

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


Published by Influence Publishing Inc.

on 28th May, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 220

Published by: Influence Publishing Inc. (@influencepub)

Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

Life Outside the Box by Marilyn R. WilsonThe Wisdom of Listening by Marilyn Wilson

You might remember my conversation with Ms Wilson or my ruminations on behalf of her first release Life Outside the Box, Volume One – this week, I have the joy of her guesting on Jorie Loves A Story with an insightful response about how she fleshed together her inspiring idea behind her latest release: The Wisdom of Listening.

Converse via: #NonFiction & #RealPeopleRealLives

About Marilyn R. Wilson

Marilyn R. Wilson

Marilyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for interviewing. It all began in 2006 when she answered a Craigslist ad from a NY magazine asking for story submissions. Two were accepted. The first live interview was life changing and Wilson has never looked back. With over 150 interviews now behind her, the love of interviewing is still as strong as ever. Whether through a random encounter on the New York subway or via a “one-on-one” interview with an internationally recognized artist, the goal is the same—to share the unique journeys of inspiring individuals.

In 2007, this goal led the author to co-launch a successful, innovative magazine focused on professionals working in the fashion industry, paired with photography and illustrations by local artists. Now on staff at Raine Magazine (NY/Miami/LA), as well as freelancing for other publications, Wilson has taken her passion to a new audience with the release of her first book.

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Posted Friday, 12 October, 2018 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Memoir, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Publishing Industry & Trade, Sociological Behavior, Sociology, Vignettes of Real Life

#WaitingOnWednesday No.4 | “Ignoring Gravity” (Identity Detectives series, Book One) by Sandra Danby on the eve of the second installment being published: ‘Connectedness’

Posted Wednesday, 9 May, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: In [2015] I crossed paths with Sandra Danby – as I originally found her debut novel “Ignoring Gravity” as part of a pitched book to be published via the publishing platform BNB or Britian’s Next Bestseller. Shortly thereafter, our paths crossed via Twitter and we connected  as writer and book blogger. I was meant to showcase ‘Ignoring Gravity” closer to the time I received the book, however, I was delayed due to personal and health reasons until this Spring 2018. Therefore, I received a complimentary (original) copy of “Ignoring Gravity” direct from the author Sandra Danby in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. By ‘original’, I refer to the fact my edition has the original cover art for the novel.

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a word about ‘waiting on Wednesday’:

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

I have decided to start participating in this book blogsphere meme with a few small changes of how it’s regularly blogged about by my fellow book bloggers. I will either be introducing my current reads of upcoming releases as I am in the process of reading them and/or I might be releasing a book review about a forthcoming title by which I had been blessed to read ahead of publication. The main purpose behind the meme is to encourage readers and your fellow book bloggers to become aware of new books being released which caught your eye and which held your interest to read. Sometimes if your still in the process of reading the books, its the titles which encouraged your bookish heart. I look forward to spending the next seasons of the year, talking about the books I have on hand to read, the books I’ve been reading and the books I might not even have a copy to read but which are of wicked sweet interest to become a #nextread of mine.

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In celebration for the second installment of the Identity Detectives series releasing on Thursday, I wanted to take a moment to share my musings about the first novel: Ignoring Gravity. As most of my readers are aware of – I’m a Prospective Adoptive Mum – who will be adopting out of foster care in the future, which is why there is a focus on adoptive and foster care stories both in Fiction and Non-Fiction throughout Jorie Loves A Story. I have garnished an appreciation from seeing all viewpoints and lifestyles within the parameters of this focus whilst finding the stories themselves are wicked uplifting for their honesty to portray characters with real-world composites in both circumstances and believable outcomes.

In this vein of interest, one thing I am aware of going into Adoption is there is going to come a time in the future of my own adoptive children’s lives where they are going to ask about their past, the family they had to leave and their birth origins. I want to be supportive throughout this process but also, honest about the realities of what they are facing when they try to ‘go back’ to their families. It can honestly go either way – positive or negative, where either the return is reciprocated or it is found unwanted. I’ve kept an eye on these kinds of stories for most of my life – I grew up in a family who was interested in Adoption years ago (in the 80s/90s) however the availability of legally free children is not what it is today (as the laws were changed) – to where I’ve seen both outcomes come alive in documentaries, Unsolved Mysteries (a tv series) and other outlets of exploration – such as the film Philomena.

What I appreciated about finding the Identity Detective series by Ms Danby is how she has dedicated her series to exploring the harder stories – the stories which evoke a longing of finding oneself and the family you’ve never known but with mixed outcomes during the search itself. In essence, she is carving out a footprint of the ‘other side’ of Adoption and placement – where some children as adults are finding their way ‘back to family’ is not quite the path they felt it might be – whether due to lost connections (ie. missing records, or unknown information blockages) or a disinterest on the side of the family (as an example) – there are hidden stories out there which speak to the ‘other side’ of where Adoption stories do not oft tread.

As this series is still underway, I thought it would be a wonderful selection for #WaitingOnWednesday – as this is my first reading of the novel and it has been a pleasure to assemble a few showcases on behalf of the series overall. Aside from this review, please take note of the following dates:

10th May | Connectedness Spotlight with Author Interview

17th May | Author Guest Post and Series Spotlight

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Before you read my ruminative thoughts this #WaitingOnWednesday, kindly take a moment to play this lovely book trailer for Ignoring Gravity and gather a proper sense about what this novel explores through it’s dramatic story re-linking lives together and sorting personal identity.

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This is my 4th #WaitingOnWednesday showcase, be sure to visit my 1st, my 2nd and 3rd!

A new meme inspired by Waiting on Wednesday is Can’t Wait Wednesday for which this marks my first #WaitingOnWednesday post I’ve been able to share with the bloggers following this version of the meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings! (Tressa introduces her meme) Here is the post by which I shared my link. Be sure to find out which book bloggers I visited who helped ADD to my #TBRList by finding my blog hop route below this showcase!!

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#WaitingOnWednesday No.4 | “Ignoring Gravity” (Identity Detectives series, Book One) by Sandra Danby on the eve of the second installment being published: ‘Connectedness’Ignoring Gravity
Subtitle: Two pairs of sisters, separated by a generation of secrets
by Sandra Danby
Source: Direct from Author

Rose Haldane is confident about her identity. She pulls the same face as her grandfather when she has to do something she doesn't want to do, she knows her DNA is the same as his Except it isn't: because Rose is adopted and doesn't know it. Ignoring Gravity connects two pairs of sisters separated by a generation of secrets. Finding her mother's lost diaries, Rose begins to understand why she has always seemed the outsider in her family, why she feels so different from her sister Lily. Then just when she thinks there can't be any more secrets...

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780993113413

Also by this author: Connectedness

Also in this series: Connectedness


Genres: Adoption & Foster Care, Amateur Detective, Motherhood | Parenthood, Realistic Fiction, Women's Fiction


Published by Beulah Press

on 4th December, 2014

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 433

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the Identity Detective series:

Ignoring Gravity by Sandra DanbyConnectedness by Sandra DanbySweet Joy by Sandra Danby

Series Overview:

Rose Haldane, journalist and identity detective, reunites the people lost through adoption. The stories you don’t see on television shows. The difficult cases. The people who cannot be found, who are thought lost forever. And each new challenge makes Rose re-live her own adoption story, each birth mother and father, adopted child, and adoptive parent she talks to, reminds her of her own birth mother Kate. Each book in the ‘Identity Detective’ series considers the viewpoint of one person trapped in this horrible dilemma. In the first book of the series, Ignoring Gravity, it is Rose’s experience we follow as an adult discovering she was adopted as a baby. Connectedness is the story of a birth mother, her hopes and anxieties, her guilt and fear, and her longing to see her baby again. Sweet Joy, the third novel, will tell the story of a baby abandoned, and how the now elderly woman is desperate to know her story before it is too late.

Ignoring Gravity | No.1

Connectedness | No. 2 | Synopsis → Happy Pub Day, 10th of May, 2018!

Sweet Joy | No. 3 → forthcoming third installment!

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Published By: Beulah Press (2014)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #IdentityDetective

About Sandra Danby

Photo Credit: Ion Paciu

Sandra Danby is a proud Yorkshire woman, tennis nut and tea drinker. She believes a walk on the beach will cure most ills. Unlike Rose Haldane, the identity detective in her two novels, Ignoring Gravity and Connectedness, Sandra is not adopted.

Photo Credit: Ion Paciu

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Posted Wednesday, 9 May, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Memes, Equality In Literature, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, Modern Day, Publishing Industry & Trade, Vulgarity in Literature, Waiting on Wednesday