Category: A Father’s Heart

Blog Book Tour | “The Judgment” by D.J. Niko #Biblical #HistoricalFiction

Posted Friday, 10 June, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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

On how I acquired the book & my connection to the publicist:

I was selected to participate on The Judgment blog tour coordinated by Hook of a Book Media & Publicity, run by a fellow book blogger and friend of mine: Erin Al-Mehairi. I crossed paths with Erin via her book blog Oh for the Hook of a Book when I first started hosting blog tours for historical fiction writers via HFVBTs. Our friendship developed out of a shared passion for riveting historicals with compelling stories and incredibly dimensional characters who felt they could walk off the pages! Friendship aside, as I start to host for her authors my opinions are based solely on the story I am reading for review and are never influenced by my connection to Erin. I take each story I am reading as a new experience whether or not I know the author or publicist directly or have only met them for the first time by accepting a book to review.

I received my complimentary copy of The Judgment direct from the author D.J. Niko in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read ‘The Judgment’:

(initial reaction)

I’ve seen her novels on blog tours, but the timing was never good for me to participate or get involved whilst the tours were progressing. I liked the fact this historical takes place in Ancient History! I’ve been wanting to find authors who write during this section of history, as Biblical Historical Fiction fascinates me! I also love the Ancient Civilisations of Egypt and Rome, whilst learning more about History so far removed from our present world to soak inside something wonderfully different! This was one reason I was so keen to read Stephanie Thornton’s “Daughter of the Gods” which I thoroughly LOVED!

Expanding on my initial joyous celebration of being selected to read my first Niko novel, and thereby my second Biblical Historical novel, I wanted to recaptialise on things I had shared during a blog tour about Women of the Bible: Scripture Princesses by Rebecca J. Greenwood (see Review & the Q&A) wherein I talked about my appreciation for ‘meeting’ some of the remarkable women of the Biblical Historical past. When I first encountered the book blogosphere, I went instinctively to my favourite author’s blogs (i.e. Lauren Willig* & Julie Lessman) before finding The Word Wenches*, Heroes, Heroines & History, and routed myself through the INSPY Fiction blogs which took me to a lot of incredible authors & book bloggers sites alike! I was stumbling across writers for Biblical Historical Fiction along that route as well, except to say, this isn’t a new pursuit of mine!

Going back into my childhood, when I would visit book shoppes quite regularly, seeking a wicked good story that may or may not be designated for my age group (as once I fought to understand how to read, I grew easily bored remaining inside my age group of selections! thus, I read adult novels by thirteen; although I sampled a bit prior to that! there wasn’t such a designated genre to explore like there is today for ‘young adult’.) – thus, I started to fetch an eye of interest for the Biblical fiction authors even back then! At the time, I knew the issues and story-lines facing those characters were going to be difficult to read, so I side-stepped them for lighter INSPY novels – mostly Historical Romance or a story of the Amish, as Amish & Mennonite Fiction always delighted me, as I had a bakery IRL as a teenager run by a local Mennonite family.

My curiosity for this section of literature, was re-inspired by Stephanie Thorton’s novel (as foresaid) but also by the Early Reader introduction by Ms Greenwood! I simply haven’t had the proper chance to sort through what is readily available to read whilst dipping further back into the past, than perhaps, I routinely do! We all have our ‘favourite’ timescapes and settings; for me, I like to continue to challenge myself to even move further back into the past, root out new heroines and heroes of time I may never have heard of or only know by ‘name’ but not on a personal level of saying ‘this person lived this life & accomplished this’.

When I caught sight of the premise behind The Judgment, I felt this was as good of a place as any to continue my journey — reading a story set against the backdrop of Kings would be an easy transition for me, as I spend enough hours wrapped up in the Royal Courts of England (throughout their extensive historical past!) to know a bit about life at court inasmuch as the political potboilers & changing tides that goes along with that kind of a life.

Some (aspects) of the story I know loosely based on lessons I learnt ages ago in Sunday School but I never would say my classes dipped past the superficial acknowledgement of things; hence one of the wrinkles I oft found with Sunday School. We might have been told about King Solomon being a ruler, but the lessons fell flat just as my lessons in school always did as well – names, dates, event markers in time; but never the exploration of who a particular person was or how that person lived or even, what happened between their birth, major event and date of death?

There is so much between ‘dates’ and ‘events’ – this is one reason I have drawn a pleasurable passion in reading Historical Fiction; imagine what is awaiting me in Biblical Historical Fiction!? Not to mention, in this instance it’s partially ‘Biographical Historical Fiction’, too! To say I was excited would be putting it mildly!

*NOTE: As I read across genres, I also read across Mainstream & INSPY literary spectrums; these two were earmarked to say, they were not INSPY but Mainstream. As literature to me is forever all-encompassing. To find out which INSPY authors are marked on my most immediate ‘next reads’ list, please visit my 70 Authors Challenge!

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Notation on Cover Art: It is hard not to readily notice the cover art on behalf of ‘The Judgment’ due to how strong the woman on the cover is portrayed! You immediately think back towards King Solomon’s era of life – where boldness was paramount to power; where women had to endeavour to overcome great odds & find the will to reign even when their heart was not fully invested. It was a time of uncertainty and a time where bold colours are felt to have flourished; thus I felt the make-up choices and the darker lit design befitted the quick impression that flitted to mind after reading the  premise of the story! Once I greeted Basemath in the first Chapter, everything pulled together nicely! It truly is a striking book cover but to match the character is beyond brilliant! Unfortunately for me, I believe my first inclination to believe which character is featured on the cover was mistaken.

Blog Book Tour | “The Judgment” by D.J. Niko #Biblical #HistoricalFictionThe Judgment
by D.J. Niko
Source: Direct from Author via Hook of a Book Media & Publicity

965 BCE

Upon the death of his father, Solomon has been appointed king of the united monarchy of Israel and Judah and charged with building the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. He travels to Egypt to negotiate with Pharaoh Psusennes II for gold for the temple and to improve relations between the two nations. There he falls in love with the pharaoh’s beautiful daughter, Nicaule, and the two kings agree to an arranged marriage. Against her will, for she loves another, Nicaule follows her new husband to Israel.

Forty years later, Solomon’s empire is on the verge of collapse. Power has made him arrogant, permissive, and blind to the scheming of his wife and one of his lieutenants to topple the united monarchy. As the king’s faith falters and his people’s morals collapse, enemies gather at the gates of Israel. A visit from a mysterious queen restores Solomon’s perspective in time to save his soul—but it is too late to preserve his kingdom.

Someone who once was loyal to King Solomon has come back to claim the crown of Israel—and tear Solomon’s empire asunder.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Ancient Civilisation, Biblical Historical Fiction, Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction


Published by Medallion Press

on 10th May, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 317

Published By: Medallion Press (@medallionpress)

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #TheJudgment, #AncientHistory & #WomenInHistory

+ #BiblicalFiction or #HistFic

Read the Guest Post attached to the blog tour I appreciated the most | The Lit Bitch

About D.J. Niko

D.J. Niko

D.J. Niko is the pseudonym for Daphne Nikolopoulos, an award-winning journalist, author, editor, and lecturer who has spent her entire adult life traveling the world.

As a former travel writer and zealous adventurer, she has visited remote spots on six continents, many of which have inspired her archaeological thriller series, The Sarah Weston Chronicles. She was born and raised in Athens, Greece, and now resides in Florida with her family.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 10 June, 2016 by jorielov in 10th Century BC, 1st Millennium BC, A Father's Heart, Ancient Civilisation, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Israel, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biblical Fiction, Biblical History, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Cover | Original Illustration & Design, Christianity, Content Note, Domestic Violence, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Hook of a Book Media & Publicity, Important Figures of Ancient Times, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Iron Age, King Solomon, Mental Health, Military Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature, Warfare & Power Realignment, Women of Power & Rule

Book Review | “Along the Way” by Jacqueline Kolosov

Posted Friday, 3 June, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I was selected to review “Along the Way” by JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. JKS is the first publicity firm I started working with when I launched Jorie Loves A Story in August, 2013. I am honoured to continue to work with them now as a 3rd Year Book Blogger.

I was originally contacted to review this novel last year [2015] however, due to different reasons, I was never able to share my thoughts on behalf of this Luminis Books title until now. This is one of the books from my backlogue of reviews, I am thankful I can now set mind and heart to read. Luminis Books was one of the publishers I was most grateful to have discovered in [2014] due to their compelling Children’s Literature.

I received my complimentary copy of Along the Way from the publicist at JKS Communications 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 wanted to read ‘Along the Way’:

As “Along the Way” is reading to me to be a new book that paints a similar portrait of personal growth on a trail that re-defines your life by what you learn and what you gain by the experience itself. In a similar way, this is why I want to borrow the film “Wild” from my local library, as I read the review of a fellow book blogger I follow who gave me clarity of the story from her own ruminations but halted me from wanting to read it due to the heaviness of the abuse/neglect and acting out behaviour the author survived. The film thankfully glosses over some of it, but sometimes I find I can drink in a film better than a book.

“Along the Way” feels more akin to “Not Without My Father” and a topical non-fiction I can handle rather than the harder hitting “Wild”.

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Book Review | “Along the Way” by Jacqueline KolosovAlong the Way
by Jacqueline Kolosov
Source: Publicist via JKS Communications

Three friends, 33 days, and 500 miles walking the Camino de Santiago add up to one journey they'll never forget.

Piper Rose, Dani Shapiro, and Alexandra 'Tessa' Louise De Mille Morrow share a history that goes back to their preschool years in Chicago when their families were still intact. Now Piper lives in Evanston with her divorced dad, her estranged, unstable mother popping in and out of her life at random moments.

Meanwhile, Dani's been living in Santa Fe with a psychologist mom pregnant with her fiancé's IVF babies. The blueblood Tessa resides on a prominent street in Boston and dreams of a romantic and well-heeled love story like that of her great-grandmother who went to France during World War II.

Now that it's the summer before college, these radically different friends decide to celebrate their history and their future by walking the legendary pilgrimage along the Way of St. James, from the French Pyrenees to the Spanish city of Santiago. Along the way, each young woman must learn to believe in herself as well as in her friends, as their collective journey unfolds into the experience of a lifetime.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1-941311-47-9

Genres: Upper YA Fiction, YA Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Luminis Books

on April 2015

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 300

Published By: Luminis Books (@LuminisBooks) | Blog

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #LuminisBooks + tags used together: #UpperYA #Contemporary

About Jacqueline Kolosov

Jacqueline Kolosov teaches creative writing and literature at Texas Tech University. She is the author of the young adult novels Grace from China, Red Queen's Daughter, and A Sweet Disorder, and the poetry collection Memory of Blue. She lives in Lubbock, Texas.

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Posted Friday, 3 June, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, A Father's Heart, ARC | Galley Copy, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Coming-Of Age, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Mental Health, Modern Day, Pilgrims and Pilgrimages, Realistic Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Upper YA Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Book Tour | Sophomore release continues the story first read inside “Pierced by Love”, as Laura L. Walker carries her story forward in this INSPY sequel!

Posted Tuesday, 26 January, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , , 4 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: 

I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “The Matchup” direct from the publisher Bonneville Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Disclaimer:

“The Matchup” is not considered a sequel to “Pierced by Love” by the author and publisher, however, as you will denote from how I’ve written my review, my own personal thoughts on this matter are disclosed. Likewise, the second paragraph of the author’s biography was written by Jorie as a way to highlight the succession of the author’s two published works.

A New Year of author surprises for this book blogger:

Before [2016] began to emerge out from the ending chapters of [2015], I started to receive author mail from Cedar Fort’s debut novelists and established authors who were going to have new releases upcoming in Winter and Spring. I was quite delighted by their enquiries, as some of them were fond readings of mine whilst I discovered their writings for the first time when I serendipitously found their blog tours; as for me blog tours have been a lovely niche of an opportunity to discover #newtomeauthors and a diverse array of stories I may or may not have been able to read otherwise. They allow us a breadth of discovery outside our usual wanderings and a chance to interact directly with an author in a way we might not normally have the chance to do. My heart is blessed by the tours I have hosted and the stories which have entered my hands to read in other words.

At the very same time, when I receive a note from an author I’ve previously read about a new release of theirs my heart warms a bit, because it gives me the chance to remember why I appreciated reading their last novel (or in rarer cases, their last non-fiction). I sometimes forget to ‘check-in’ with the authors I’ve previously read as life takes us on a bit of a ride after we’ve met such stirring stories, thus it’s a wonderful surprise to learn when their next release will become published and what kind of story they are going to be featuring next. I am curating a list of next reads based on the stories I’ve blogged who held me so tight inside their chapters, I was quite anxious to read another story by their authors; but to receive a note from an author directly is truly a blessing indeed!

I still recall when Ms Walker contacted me about her new release, a story which would take forward one of the supporting characters of Pierced by Love whilst giving us a taste of what happens to Pierce and Noelle in the hours since we last saw them. I was quite delighted as I had hoped there might be more to this novel than what was left on the page, but sometimes a sequel or a duology (where two stories are anchoured together but go no further than two installments) are not a guarantee. I am not sure who was more surprised: Ms Walker for realising I was dearly interested in reading The Matchup or myself when receiving the news of it’s publication!?

This prelude to [2016] did not start or end with Ms Walker, as I enjoyed a return to Ms Steele’s writings before December concluded and I have happily enjoyed an invitation to read three debut novelists throughout the Spring! The authors I am referring to are: Aaron Blaylock (of The Land of Look Behind), Lindsay B. Ferguson (of By the Stars) and Kaki Olsen (of Swan and Shadow: A Swan Lake Story). What is quite champion is I had unearthed advance notice of two of these releases from Cedar Fort’s catalogue on Edelweiss whilst finding six others dearly as captivating which I will be revealling when I post  my *End of the Year Survey: 2016*.

For now, it’s been a pleasure and a joy receiving a bit of author mail by writers who are gaining my interest by penning stories that wick together wicked good drama and/or adventure! For a girl who is scaling back hosting blog tours, I must say, I am finding a diverse array of stories to choose amongst to host!

Blog Book Tour | Sophomore release continues the story first read inside “Pierced by Love”, as Laura L. Walker carries her story forward in this INSPY sequel!The Matchup
by Laura L. Walker
Source: Direct from Publisher

Valerie's heart hammered in her rib cage. That deep voice could only belong to one person - Gage Logan.

The last thing Valerie wants or needs is to work for her childhood tormentor, Gage. But Valerie's husband walked out on her and her children. Now she needs a job. Gage, on the other hand, has just taken custody of his four-year-old son and is swamped trying to balance his career, be a daddy, and fix past mistakes.

Together they discover that when it comes to the Church and each other, it's all about second chances. This sweet romance will renew your faith in love and redemption.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781462117529

Also by this author: Pierced by Love

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Motherhood | Parenthood, Realistic Fiction, Sweet Romance, Women's Fiction


Published by Bonneville Books

on 1st January, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 240

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks),

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #LDSFiction, #INSPYRom, #INSPYFiction, #SweetRomance,

#realisticfiction, #ChristFic,  + #TheMatchup

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Laura L. Walker

Laura Walker is a native Arizonan. Having lived there all their lives, she and her husband, Rob, think it’s a great place to raise their six kids. They enjoy camping, reading, and learning history together. Laura loves to settle in with a good romance just as much as she loves to write one.

Her first novel was Pierced by Love wherein her second novel continues the story-line of her character Gage (the younger brother to Pierce) within the pages of The Matchup.

Website | @llwalkerauthor | Facebook | GoodReads | Pinterest

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Posted Tuesday, 26 January, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, A Father's Heart, Autism, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Contemporary Romance, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Divorce & Martial Strife, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Learning Difficulties, Life Shift, Modern Day, Mormonism, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Mother-Son Relationships, Motherhood | Parenthood, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Siblings, Single Fathers, Special Needs Children, Sweet Romance, Writing Style & Voice