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.
Borrowed Book By: I originally crossed paths with Ms Kellie Coates Gilbert in  wherein I met her through her participation in the group author blog “Southern Belle View Daily” which was affectionately known as ‘Southern Belle View’. I was a regular visitor who chatted with the authors on the blog and engaged in the content they were sharing. I had the opportunity to receive the first two novels of the Texas Gold series shortly afterwards, however, due to a variety of adversities which took me away from the joys of reading these past several years, it wasn’t until this New Year 2018 where I could lay heart and mind back into the stories I had to shelve for another day where I could focus properly on their contents.
I was originally gifted a copy of “A Reason to Stay” by my Mum, who knew how excited I was to start reading the Texas Gold series – this is within the year or so of this third installment’s release. I was going to surprise the author and read all three novels back to back whilst sharing my reactions with my readers as I have a self-directed focus on INSPY authors I am either re-discovering or just now becoming aware of as I re-start my readings in earnest into the INSPY realms of Fiction.
I go into why I had to borrow through ILL’ing (interlibrary loaning) this novel in this top anchour ahead of revealling my ruminations on the emotionally evocative story Ms Gilbert has written for us – however, I wanted to mention I am choosing to share my thoughts on behalf of this story for my own edification inasmuch as inspiring my readers to become acquainted with a #newtomeauthor I am truly blessed to have found. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
A unique introduction into the Texas Gold series – or rather,
why INSPY Lit is an important part of Jorie’s bookish life:
a retrospective whilst celebrating entering a 5th Year as a Book Blogger
I originally crossed paths with Ms Gilbert whilst she was part of Southern Belle View – a lovely group author blog I used to frequent six years ago, a bit prior to becoming a book blogger – of which I am celebrating my 5th Blogoversary *today!* on the 31st of March, 2018! This was the day I love to observe as the day I created Jorie Loves A Story – whereas I honour the day I launched my blog to the world on the 6th of August every year as the day in which my blog has its public ‘birthday’.
I was thankful to receive two of her novels – which she offered to send me to help me become acquainted with her Texas Gold book series as well as her writing style – as this was a few years ago, the series had just the first two novels recently released. I had hoped to have read both of them close to the time I first received them – however, most of the years I’ve been a book blogger, I’ve had a few set-backs with the plans I’ve made along the way. My health has been a big factor as well as personal strife & tribulations – as we all have lives outside of our bookish and readerly lives of which give us the most joy to share with our readership.
Earlier this year, I reconnected with Ms Gilbert – as I was trying to explain the distance between receiving her novels and being able to fully appreciate reading them this New Year, 2018 – as it was going to become my year back into reading Inspirational Fiction (#INSPY as I like to nickname it on Twitter) whilst proving to be the year I can focus on my *70 Authors Challenge* which specifically focuses on the INSPY niche of Literature as you can see on the main page I created for this personal exploration of a branch of Lit I am definitely passionate about reading! I’ve been a hybrid reader my entire life – moving in and out of INSPY and mainstream channels of interest since I was a young girl. This equated to regular visits to Christian bookstores (at the time, in the 80s and 90s the only place truly to find INSPY being sold) as well as big box, Indie and mall (remember those?) chain bookstores – to see a wide spectrum of both titles, genres and bookish realms!
I would also frequent used book shoppes – even before it was fashionable to gather a bit of insight into the books falling ‘off’ publication and/or the backlist of authors I might one day feel inclined to be reading. In essence, I’ve led quite a bookish life despite having a rocky start at learning to read (ie. as a dyslexic learner).
INSPY was a joy to be reading simply due to the beautiful uplift of JOY I received from reading the story-lines inasmuch as disappearing into fascinating worlds where kids like me were taking on keenly lived adventures! The Cooper Kids series and the Mandie series were personal favourites – of the latter, I had only hoped Ms Leppard could have lived long enough to pen the College years of Mandie’s personal growth rather than the single chapter of her University days. I cherish all of my Mandie editions, singularly regretting I never wrote the author a letter (if you can imagine, I have shy tendencies – these days I tend to reach out to authors directly on a regular basis – but I still have moments where I hesitate) and hope I have all of the installments as I had to remember which number I was on and collect as many as I could before they went out of print. Due to those fond memories of walking beside Mandie, Joe, Celia, Uncle Ned and her Grandmother – I started to explore adult INSPY Literature in my formative years. (see also the Mandie page on Wikipedia)
I settled on Judith Pella and then took a proper hiatus til I discovered Dee Henderson, Deeanne Gist and Julie Lessman. More recently in the early days as a book blogger (my 1st Year) I crossed paths with Brenda S. Anderson – of whom is now a beloved author for me to read with the added blessing of being on her Street Team. (see also the archive of my posts for Ms Anderson) I am still reading her Coming Home series this Spring – wherein I hope to reveal my thoughts on the last two installments of this series before moving into her Where the Heart Is series.
Moving forward – when I first found Southern Belle View, I also found The Word Wenches (another beautifully lovely group author blog), the writerly reader blog of Ms Lauren Willig, the many blog visits of Ms (Julie) Lessman which were ‘organic blog tours’ of their own kind and the lovely blog of Ms (Mary) Ellis. I had a singular route I would visit and comment upon regularly – hence why I initially conceived of the spark of inspiration which lateron became ‘Jorie Loves A Story’.
In those early days of laying down the foundation of my blog, I wanted to re-focus on INSPY Literature – start reading the stories of the authors I was visiting with regularly in the book blogosphere and start to share my bookish life. However, I was such a newbie to book blogging – trying to sort out how I wanted to articulate my writerly style as a book blogger, whilst mindful there was a larger community out there I was slowly becoming a part of – from readers, to fellow book bloggers, to authors who had other author group blogs as well as wading into the realms of both INSPY and mainstream publishing channels of interest.
What I was surprised by is not finding a lot of other hybrid readers – those of us who move between both worlds of thought and regularly love to share our readerly adventures. I’ve been wanting to share glimpses into why I am drawn into certain INSPY authors and why I love reading INSPY Non-Fiction whereas in the past I was mostly a Historical INSPY kind of gal! Truly, as a regular time traveller of fictional worlds – you would have thought it would have dawned on me the historic past played such a pertinent role in my readerly tendencies! (sadly, it hadn’t fused to my heart until I was somewhere between my 2nd & 3rd Year as a Book Blogger!)
Fast forward – Southern Belle View was a group author blog who had a rotation of guest authors being featured each of the days they would host new posts & discussions. A few times they would host bookaways, but mostly it was a place to engage in light-hearted chatter, bookish topics and get to know the ‘writers’ themselves in an interpersonal way as you were commenting directly with them on each of their ‘daily’ posts – which is why the full name was ‘Southern Belle View Daily’ as each of the Belles themselves were living in the ‘Southern’ tier of the States – from Texas to Mississippi to Louisiana (I believe?) and someone I believe was in the Carolina’s. The uniqueness of their writing styles and the ways in which they interacted with their readership was what pulled me into their posts.
I fell lin love with Ms (Lisa) Wingate’s writing style when I first read “The Prayer Box” which touched my spirit and my heart alike – it also marked my first ‘blog tour’ as a book blogger of which I was forever grateful for JKS Communications for giving me a chance to participate in such an event during my first ‘live’ month on Jorie Loves A Story. My parents would gift me a copy of the next story in sequence as this became a series of stories – known best as the Carolina Chronicles – however, I still need to gather a copy of the omnibus edition of the novellas which released betwixt the others and the final story in the trilogy. I was planning to let this series become my gateway into other stories of the Belles but then, of course – I was honestly ‘distracted’!
As I became more active in book blogging and started to sort out how to work with authors, publisher and publicists – I sort of started to focus on garnishing a readership for Jorie Loves A Story whilst sorting out the kind of stories I wanted to focus on reading overall. I also was gaining traction on how best to balance my personal library readings with the stories I was borrowing through my public library – the balance of course remained elusive to my intentions until two years ago – wherein during 2016 I started to implement changes in my blogging schedules. I began a personal Renaissance of redirection and re-focus of my personal goals for Jorie Loves A Story in other words.
You can see the fuller effect of those efforts now in 2018 – as I purposefully schedule less blog tours, am ever more vigilant about being particularly particular about the stories I accept for review and am starting to reap the rewards of being able to read ‘more’ but read without hard deadlines (for the most part). I am also merging into a new vein of my bookish life where I am shifting towards a goal of reading 50% of the books via print editions and listening to 50% of the books via audio editions. This became more apparent as a personal need of mine when I noticed a reduction in my chronic migraines – hence why you see more audiobook reviews populating on my blog!
Towards that end – this year, I am gathering more audiobooks outside of blog tours – whilst taking advantage of being able to ILL (interlibrary loan) audiobooks on CD and borrowing eaudiobooks directly from my library’s OverDrive catalogue as well.
All of these small personal changes were leading me back to the world of INSPY Lit – whilst my Mum and Dad have been helping me as for the past year and a half they have spent my blogoversarsies and blog birthdays gifting me anthologies of INSPY novellas! You’ll see my reading adventures into those as the months move forward as I am slowly working my way through a personal list of #nextreads and #mustreads – most of which are listed on my *70 Authors Challenge* page. This gives a keen insight into the genres and themes of INSPY Lit I gravitate towards whilst owning to the fact even when I set a plan into action, I do deviate and ‘add’ more authors of focus! Laughs with mirth.
This journey of mine has led me to the writings of Kellie Coates Gilbert – she blessed me with the first two Texas Gold novels whereas Mum gifted me the third novel “A Reason to Stay” – however, during an end of Summer cleaning, I ended up packing up a large portion of my books to unpack as I finish the ones I had on my bookshelves – as I had to reduce my bookcases two years ago. This gives me a rotation of stories rather than keeping them all unpacked all at once – of course, one day I hope to have a designated room again for all the lovely stories but until then, I sorted out how to make due with less space to greet them all on a daily basis. I thought for sure I had kept all of Ms Gilbert’s novels together – yet, one went missing! This very novel – the third installment of the series!
I fretted over it for a bit longer than I ought to have in February before Mum came to my rescue and said – before you go hog wild trying to find which box has which book, why don’t you just simplify it and borrow it through ILL’ing? You know how much you love to seek out your ILLs! lol She surely does know me well! The novel came rather promptly (in early March) however, March became a wicked horrid month for personal health – this is why I was severely under-read at the start of Spring.
I wanted dearly to read this series in order – though it is a true test of patience and faith to acknowledge not everything is meant to go according to plan! It is our continued quest towards remaining humble in our lives to realise it is ‘okay’ to do things outside of the plans we set for ourselves – owning to the fact sometimes doing things out of sequence is actually a ‘good thing’. At least this is what I resolved realising as ILLs are only with us for three weeks – given how I spent those weeks under the weather, I chose to read “A Reason to Stay” ahead of “A Woman of Fortune”.
The reason I wanted to share this longer back-story with you is to give you an insightful view of my journey back to INSPY Literature. I’ve yearned to pick up where I left off during those years where I was trapped inside a reader’s rut – researching authors and stories but never reading them. I even gathered half of my personal library during those years – spilt between as aforesaid INSPY and mainstream authors. (whether they were Indie or traditionally published as well)
One of the biggest blessings I’ve had these past five years is the JOY of reading without failure to connect to the stories – meaning, there was such a time where I felt disconnected from how novels were written as motion pictures were easier for me to ‘connect’ with in a quasi-visceral manner of enjoyment. Somewhere between the initial inspiration for Jorie Loves A Story – I not only healed my reading life but I reclaimed a passion for ‘writing’ as well. As my blog is an extension of my writerly life in a way I am sure might remain overlooked by most of my readers. You get a sense of my personal writing life if you move in and out of my posts – all five years worth – as there is a growth amongst the archives from day one to the present day.
I am overjoyed the story I get to share with you, as I celebrate my 5th Blogoversary as a Book Blogger – where I found a newfound passion for being a book cheerleader and a author’s advocate is “A Reason to Stay” because even before I read the story itself, the title struck a chord in my own heart. I found my own ‘reason to stay’ a book blogger when I realised by sharing my bookish ruminations, I get to leave notes of gratitude back to the writers who are enriching my life with their stories. I get to acknowledge how their stories affect me and what impressed me about how they approached their individual perspective of how stories can thrive when fused so eloquently with their own personal imagination and vision for the craft of writing.
I am staying a book blogger due to the pure celebration of ‘stories’ I love reading but also the continued love of pursuing the written word in all its facets of exploration – wherein the story itself is where my own enlightenment is actively found. I love spreading bookish JOY – thank you for being a part of my journey here on Jorie Loves A Story. May you remain with me as I continue to seek out the stories which touch my mind, heart and soul.
And, may 2018 be a year where I can finally re-merge my INSPY readings into my regular readerly life, as they become fused directly into my life once more – as they have been an absence I have missed reconnecting with these past five years. They’ve been there, of course, hovering in the background – but now, I am thankful they can take their rightful spot as co-navigators of my bookish world!
postscript: I am sitting on a lovely SURPRISE I received this year, connected to the Texas Gold series – as I am reading this series back to back – resuming where I left off within Faith’s story (ie. A Reason to Stay) by pursuing the journey I am about to take with Claire (ie. A Woman of Fortune) – you’ll simply have to wait to find out about the blessing I received and my further ruminations on behalf of this heart and soul centred series!
Notation on the condition of this paperback: Did you notice how well-loved this interlibrary loaned copy of “A Reason to Stay” is ?? This curling of the bottom pages is how it reached my hands – the cover is now ‘soft’ to the touch, hinting towards how many bookish spirits have entered this novel and the ways in which the pages easily turn speaks of how this story has touched a lot of hearts ahead of my own. Although I am dearly particular how I read my own books – I can recognise a smile of joy in seeing how well-read a library book is by the patrons like me who amplify their reading life by the collections of public libraries which give us a renewal of hope to be able to seek out all the stories we readily wish to be reading irregardless of our purchasing budget – as public libraries fuell our reading lives as much as our intellectual curiosities (in the Non-Fiction realms).
Kellie Coates Gilbert has won readers’ hearts with her compelling and highly emotional stories about women and the relationships that define their lives. A former legal investigator, she is especially known for keeping readers turning pages and creating nuanced characters who seem real.
Born and raised near Sun Valley, Idaho, Kellie now lives with her husband of over thirty-five years in Dallas, where she spends most days by her pool drinking sweet tea and writing the stories of her heart.
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  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!
Be Fierce Subtitle: Stop harassment and take your power back
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.
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.
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)
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!
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!
The two books I am reading by Ms Snider this October:
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.
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.