Category: Self-Harm Practices

Blog Book Tour | “Right Next to Me” by Rachel Ward The sophomore release of a #SweetRomance author I discovered last August whose given me another lovely Contemporary Rom!

Posted Monday, 4 September, 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 “Right Next to Me” 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.

Inspired to Read:

I first came across the writing style of Ms Ward last August, when I reviewed her debut novel “Dear Jane” which was a spin on a ‘Dear John’ letter! Here are some of my takeaways from my reading of her debut which truly struck a chord with me, as it was one of the few times a Contemporary gave me a lot of fodder to chew and appreciate whilst I was engaged with the story-line! Contemporaries for me are rather hit/miss a times – I love them, but ironically or not, I find them to be a difficult ‘fit’ for my own particular interests in what I am looking for in a Contemporary read. To find a debut novelist who added such a heap into their novel which not only was to my liking but provided such a strong entrance with an overall approach of giving a reader new to their style such a lot to contemplate was the truer gift within the chapters of ‘Dear Jane’!

Ward chose to tackle heady issues in her debut novel – as she talks openly about having to readjust after losing grace within the church and the tragic loss of a loved one from suicide. These are difficulties rooted into the fabric of where Quinn’s life is taking her once she’s back home, realising that the world has arrived at her doorstep. It’s the juxtaposition all children go through when their maturing past the school years, where everything that once felt rosy and bubbly full of light and spirit was suddenly a bit marred by a swelling darkness of reality. I felt Ward broached the difficulties well whilst giving Quinn a humble and honest reaction to each new trial she was facing as her family worked through the impossible.

I loved how Ward surprises her readers by introducing Nick’s backstory slowly as Quinn starts to spend more time with him. The interesting bit is that it’s a good life lesson about not always understanding a person’s past or their personality as sometimes their stand-offish behaviour has a reason behind it. Further curious is how through her conversations with Nick, Quinn started to soften her own guarded heart and openly talk about what bothered her on a personal level. They were each others’ huckleberry friend in brewing chaos where a new friendship was fast developing without their awareness. I felt this was the most authentic part of the turning point for Quinn’s life; where she was getting a feel for how first impressions are not always accurate and how serendipity has a way of affecting your life positively even if everything else feels upturnt.

Keeping true to a coming-of age tale, not everything is as it appears to be – even when things start to look like their turning round in Quinn’s favour. This was a bit frustrating if your reading the novel and want to see Quinn’s story end in happiness at some point. It felt like everything she felt was righting itself for the good in her life was being taken from her soon thereafter. However, as relationships are naturally complicated, Ward does present good folly for her characters to wrangle inside whilst trying to sort out what they truly want from each other and from life.

Ward etched in so much behind the relationships and the growing season for Quinn, that you nearly are not entirely ready to meet each new scene where tensions are as high as the emotions! I was a bit shocked by the depth of spite from Quinn’s mother at various intervals of the story as it developed; her paltry apology at the conclusion didn’t quite warm me to her or feel as if she vindicated herself from the misery she subjected her daughter(s) too. The best part I felt was the developing love story and the arc of narrative that proves that emergencies and non-traditional trajectories are more commonplace than you realise. Life comes around the corner so blaring fast, you have to bolster your strength out of your faith and hope you have the courage to face what tomorrow brings. If you do, you’ll find butterflies of joy alighting throughout the days where you feel you cannot be surprised in a good way after a succession of adversity.

-quoted from my review of Dear Jane

When Ms Ward contacted me about her sophomore release “Right Next to Me” – I must say, I was quite captured by the premise! I am always quite eager to read a ‘next book’ by an author who gave me such a stirring read the first time round and as I’m one of those readers who has the tendency to fall ‘behind’ on when the new releases are pending for her beloved authors – it is quite a lovely surprise to hear from one of them and be offered to read their ‘next story’!

I truly love Sweet Roms for their ability to have an undercurrent of simple joys and generally a walk of faith knitted into them (although not always, there are mainstream Sweet Roms, too) which gives a little added dimensional joy in reading them as I do love a wicked good INSPY! This one felt quite realistic to me – as there are times when you do wonder if the person you’ll find as your true match is hidden in plain sight – either near you in the present or unexpectedly will cross your path in the future in such a way as to take you off-guard and not realise you’ve ‘met’ your true love. I think everyone muses about how they will meet ‘whom’ their meant to be with in marriage and in life; who they will walk through life’s adventures and share their thoughts, hopes and dreams with whilst engaged in the art of living and the discoveries of the world. I was simply overjoyed Ms Ward reached out to me as this became a special ‘surprise’ for the ‘end of Summer’!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Right Next to Me” by Rachel Ward The sophomore release of a #SweetRomance author I discovered last August whose given me another lovely Contemporary Rom!right next to me
by Rachel Ward
Source: Direct from Publisher

She has a crush on her boyfriend's best friend.

How long can a good thing last? Sydney was sure Gavin was the perfect boyfriend until he moved across the country for school. After spending more time with her best friend, James, she's now rethinking everything. Sydney's once sure footing in life slips even more as she discovers new details about her own father's betrayal. Scared she'll hurt Gavin like her father hurt her, Sydney must decide if she'll stay with the perfect boyfriend or the perfectly flawed boy who's been there all along.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781462128396

Also by this author: Dear Jane

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Sweet Romance


Published by Bonneville Books

on 8th August, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 208

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

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Stories by Rachel Ward

Dear Jane by Rachel WardRight Next to Me by Rachel Ward

Dear Jane | debut novel | (see also Review)

Right Next to Me | sophomore release

Converse via: #RightNextToMe, #ContemporaryFiction, #CleanFiction

About Rachel Ward

Rachel Ward Photo Credit: Lindsay Walden Photography

Rachel Turner Ward graduated from Hillcrest High School after spending two years writing for the yearbook and the creative writing magazine. She then studied English at Brigham Young University­—Idaho, graduating with an emphasis in Literary Studies. She has contributed to several online publications, including Mormon Mommy Blogs and SheSteals. She has written a personal blog since 2009, Trapped Between a Scream and a Hug. Rachel lives in Salt Lake with her six children and husband of 15 years.

Photo Credit: Lindsay Walden Photography

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Posted Monday, 4 September, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brothers and Sisters, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Coming-Of Age, Disillusionment in Marriage, Family Drama, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Loss of an unbourne child, Modern Day, Mormonism, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Realistic Fiction, Self-Harm Practices, Siblings, Sisterhood friendships, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Unexpected Pregnancy, Upper YA Fiction, Utah

Book Review | #whoaretheclan | “The Gate to Futures Past” (Book No.2 of the Reunification trilogy) by Julie E. Czerneda #FuellYourSciFi with Jorie!

Posted Thursday, 8 September, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I was invited to participate in Julie E. Czerneda’s #futurespasttour wherein I am continuing my readings of The Clan Chronicles where I left off last November. I participated in the #timeandstarstour on behalf of the seventh volume of The Clan Chronicles ‘This Gulf of Time and Stars’. I reached out to the author to sort out a way to read her entire series spilt between two trilogies: Stratification (the prequel) and The Trade Pact (inaugural trilogy) which launched the series as a whole. She offered to have DAW Books send me the series in paperback editions which I was blessed to receive and would have finished reading if I had hadn’t taken ill shortly after I read “A Thousand Words for Stranger”. Due to personal reasons between the end of 2015 and the start of 2016, I was not able to continue my readings until now. I have spent a lot of hours contemplating what ‘comes next’.

This year, I reached out to her publicist at DAW (at the author’s suggestion) to receive “The Gate to Futures Past” to conclude the scope of the series ahead of the final novel. I spoke to Ms Czerneda about completing my readings of her beautifully conceived hard sci-fi series by releasing my reviews of the books in graduated succession during the #futurespasttour; she agreed it would be a great way to celebrate. Therefore, ‘Ties of Power’ kicks off my showcases on Monday, 22nd of August, followed by ‘To Trade the Stars’ on Tuesday, 30th August finishing ‘the Trade Pact Universe’ trilogy. I am anchouring the Reunification reviews together on 4th & 8th of September. Right in time for #PubDay celebrations which were on the 6th!

I received a complimentary ARC copy of ‘The Gate to Futures Past’ the first novel the final trilogy of The Clan Chronicles known as Reunification; in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

On where we left off into The Clan Chronicles:

As I disclosed on my review of Reap the Wild Wind this is my first reading of the works by Julie E. Czerneda. This is my continuing journey deep into the heart of The Clan Chronicles whilst conversing on Twitter via the tag #whoaretheclan. Occasionally alternating with #TheClanChronicles and #futurespasttour.

There is nothing more gutting for a reader than to arrive in the midst of a direction of narrative that not only pushes you to the brink of your emotional depths of despair, but it rebounds to give you a reason to carry-on and continue forward with the characters; such heart wrenching dialogue and expressions of absolute horror as realisation of what was happening was affecting the Clan one by one, heart by heart and family by family was truly one of the hardest passages I’ve read in recent history! Even moreso than some of the war dramas, because this was a blindsided attack, no one in the Clan knew they were on the brink of war or in effect being targeted for erasure!

Frantic reassurances of heart-kin messages were greeted by the enlarging loss which blanketed through the M’hir as more and more Clan woke up to the horrific reality of what had happened. The chasm of loss was so deep and so invasive, no one was left unaffected. Further gutting was the fact some of the Clan who fled to live for tomorrow were greeted by death only due to trusting their contacts would protect them by aiding their flight. This too, was horribly difficult to read – as your watching beloved characters meet their fates and you’re not in a position to aide them yourself. You simply have to watch. You have to breathe and you have to know there’s a reason for it all. There has to be a light at the end of this brutal tunnel of reverse fortunes and of cataclysmic loss.

-quoted from my review of This Gulf of Time and Stars

The result of which was absolute chaos – wherein all Clan chose to flee and take flight away from the places they felt they would be in danger, only to find that some of their places of safety were equally unsafe for them to find safe harbour. The measures Sira and Jason had to take to escape was not for the faint of heart, nor for the ease of the future of their species; as they dared to go where none of the Clan in Trade Pact space felt was possible to re-visit! This is where Czerneda shined whilst re-bridging together the entire trifecta of her three trilogy series!

Returning to Cersi brought back the delicate balance the world encompassed – as I never forgot how important it was to follow the guidelines of Cersi wherein each of the sentient species who called Cersi home were bound to certain ‘living rights and regulations’ which kept each in turn on a rotation of ‘balance’ within their populations. It was a very interesting foundation of how life could succeed through ascension of transfer and by controlled perimeters where each of them could not outnumber each other without consequence. At the time I was enthralled by it, as each person on Cersi was never entirely safeguarded against a merger between Clans; similar a bit to the Drapsk, except that the Drapsk merged to embetter themselves and exchange duties whereas on Cersi, the mergers were fatal.

What was impressed on me is how we see Jason (being his cheeky trader-self) and Sira (taking lead in a place that has protocol!) accumulate to Cersi with the full blessing of their experiences prior to arrival! It’s hard not to smirk seeing how they are dealing with Om’ray and Tikitik and the Oud! Seeing Thought Traveler in a more vulnerable situation than he was normally viewed was wicked good, too!

Further interesting, is on my return to Cersi, I sympathised with Aryl – Cersi had changed!

More to the point – Cersi held the ultimate secret in regards to #whoaretheclan!

And, like most mysteries – what is in plain sight of all is the best hidden secret!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on the Cover Art: I positively love the way in which Sira is portrayed on the cover for GATE! Her hair is electric – just like I have envisioned it, as it has it’s own personality & sense of purpose as much as it’s an extension of her own emotional core of being. Truly loved her clothes & the sense that you can tell she’s trying once again to ‘save her Clan’ from a fate worst than death whilst attempting to prepare herself to appear brave even if she doesn’t entirely feel courageous in the moment. Sira always had to make hard choices; she was never one to balk at duty or responsibility but she was far stronger than most of her peers & those of her extended Clan cousins. The background is equally alluring – we get to see the ships directly behind her and the Clan technology that is so far advanced its left nothing behind to explain its purposes is on full display, too! What dear reader is not to love about this book cover!? #suchstrength & vision of Sira!

Book Review | #whoaretheclan | “The Gate to Futures Past” (Book No.2 of the Reunification trilogy) by Julie E. Czerneda #FuellYourSciFi with Jorie!This Gulf of Time and Stars
Subtitle: A Novel of The Clan Chronicles : Reunification No.2
by Julie E. Czerneda
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Matt Stawicki
Source: Direct from Publisher

Synopsis on the Back Cover:

Betrayed and attacked, the Clan fled the Trade Pact for Cersi, believing that world their long-lost home. With them went a lone alien, the Human named Jason Morgan, Chosen of their leader, Sira di Sarc. Tragically, their arrival update the Balance between Cersi's three sentient species. And so the Clan, with their newfound kin, must flee again.

Their starship, powered by the M'hir, follows a course set long ago, for Clan abilities came from an experiment of their ancestors - the Hoveny - conducted on themselves. but it's a perilous journey. The Clan must endure more than cramped conditions and inner turmoil.

Their dead are calling.

Sira must keep her people from answering, for if they do, they die. Morgan searches the ship for solutions, afraid the Hoveny tech is beyond his grasp. Their only hope? To reach their destination.

Little do Sira and Morgan realize it is their destination that holds the gravest threat of all...

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780756408701

Also by this author: Reap the Wild Wind, Riders of the Storm, Rift in the Sky, A Thousand Words for Stranger, Ties of Power, To Trade the Stars, This Gulf of Time and Stars, Julie E. Czerneda Interview (#futurespasttour), , Guest Post: Julie E. Czerneda (Clan Chronicles Finale Tour)

Also in this series: This Gulf of Time and Stars


Genres: Science Fiction


Published by DAW Books

on 6th September, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 416

 Published By: DAW Books (@DAWBooks)
an imprint of Penguin Group USA

Cover art by Matt Stawicki | Site | Facebook

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Series Synopsis and Overview:

The Clan Chronicles is set in a far future with interstellar travel where the Trade Pact encourages peaceful commerce among a multitude of alien and Human worlds. The alien Clan, humanoid in appearance, have been living in secrecy and wealth on Human worlds, relying on their innate ability to move through the M’hir and bypass normal space. The Clan bred to increase that power, only to learn its terrible price: females who can’t help but kill prospective mates. Sira di Sarc is the first female of her kind facing that reality. With the help of a Human starship captain, Jason Morgan, Sira must find a morally acceptable solution before it’s too late. But with the Clan exposed, her time is running out. The Stratification trilogy follows Sira’s ancestor, Aryl Sarc, and shows how their power first came to be as well as how the Clan came to live in the Trade Pact. The Trade Pact trilogy is the story of Sira and Morgan, and the trouble facing the Clan.

Reunification will conclude the series and answer, at last, #whoaretheclan.

Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback and Ebook

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

About Julie E. Czerneda

Julie E. Czerneda Photo Credit: Roger Czerneda Photography

Since 1997, Canadian author/editor Julie E. Czerneda has shared her love and curiosity about living things through her science fiction, writing about shapechanging semi-immortals, terraformed worlds, salmon researchers, and the perils of power. Her fourteenth novel from DAW Books was her debut fantasy, A Turn of Light, winner of the 2014 Aurora Award for Best English Novel, and now Book One of her Night`s Edge series.

She began her first fantasy series: Night’s Edge with A Turn of Light, winner of the 2014 Aurora Award for Best English Novel. A Play of Shadow followed, winning the 2015 Aurora. While there’ll be more fantasy, Julie’s back in science fiction to complete her Clan Chronicles series. Reunification #1: This Gulf of Time and Stars, came out in 2015. #2: The Gate to Futures Past released September, 2016. Volume #3: To Guard Against the Dark, follows October 2017.

An award-winning editor as well, Julie’s edited/co-edited sixteen anthologies of SF/F, including the Aurora winning Space Inc. and Under Cover of Darkness. Her most recent anthology is the 2017 Nebula Award Showcase, to be published May 2017, a singular honour.

Biography updated November 2016
Photo Credit: Roger Czerneda Photography

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Posted Thursday, 8 September, 2016 by jorielov in #FuellYourSciFi, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Original Illustration & Design, Book Review (non-blog tour), Canadian Literature, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Equality In Literature, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Hard Science Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Methodology of Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Neurosciences | Neurogenetics, Parapsychological Gifts, Quantum | Mechanics Physics Theory, Science Fantasy, Science Fiction, Self-Harm Practices, Space Opera, Speculative Fiction, String Theory, Telepaths & Telepathy, Unexpected Pregnancy

Blog Book Tour | “Dear Jane” by Rachel Ward An alternative story about receiving a ‘dear john’ letter from a feminine perspective.

Posted Sunday, 14 August, 2016 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I have been a blog tour hostess with Cedar Fort for the past two years, wherein I took a brief hiatus from hosting before resuming this 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 was selected to be a part of the “Dear Jane” blog tour wherein I received a complimentary copy of “Dear Jane” 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.

Inspired to Read:

I love a good re-telling of a classic story-line and when I first read the premise behind ‘Dear Jane’, I had a feeling I would curl up inside this novel quite well! Who wouldn’t appreciate reading the female perspective on behalf of a ‘dear john’ letter?! Women were sent so many of those during the war eras – it was such a hard way of ending a relationship, especially difficult if the other person felt blindsided! I oft felt these were the hardest letters to receive – one moment your cruising along thinking all is well and then, bam! Your world is turnt upside down by such an incredibly deflating life moment erupting through your ordinary hours with such a force as to knock you down.

I wanted to see how Ms Ward would approach the classical bit of the story-line – the moment of realisation that her character Quinn was not on the path to matrimony but she was about instead to do an about-face and re-chart her life’s path. How would Quinn respond initially and what would re-ignite her joy to resume her path when all her plans are shredded and tossed into the bin!?

This is why I wanted to read this story! I wanted to see what kind of chutzpah Quinn had in her belly to take life’s unexpected fires and paint the sky with her own starlight as she rebuilds after feeling broken-hearted and alone.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Dear Jane” by Rachel Ward An alternative story about receiving a ‘dear john’ letter from a feminine perspective.Dear Jane
by Rachel Ward
Source: Direct from Publisher

Quinn had her life perfectly planned out when she left on her mission: come home in eighteen months, marry her stunningly handsome boyfriend, and live happily ever after. But all that changed when Quinn got a Dear Jane email from the man she thought she was meant to be with. Now she's stuck at home with no boyfriend, no job, no major, and absolutely no social life.

Will Quinn ever find the path that leads to her eternal happiness?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781462118939

Also by this author: right next to me

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


Published by Bonneville Books

on 1st August, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 256

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

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #DearJane, #ContemporaryFiction, #CleanFiction, #INSPY or #LDSFiction

About Rachel Ward

Rachel Ward Photo Credit: Lindsay Walden Photography

Rachel Turner Ward graduated from Hillcrest High School after spending two years writing for the yearbook and the creative writing magazine. She then studied English at Brigham Young University­—Idaho, graduating with an emphasis in Literary Studies. She has contributed to several online publications, including Mormon Mommy Blogs and SheSteals. She has written a personal blog since 2009, Trapped Between a Scream and a Hug. Rachel lives in Salt Lake with her six children and husband of 15 years.

Photo Credit: Lindsay Walden Photography

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Posted Sunday, 14 August, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brothers and Sisters, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Disillusionment in Marriage, Family Drama, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Loss of an unbourne child, Modern Day, Mormonism, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Realistic Fiction, Self-Harm Practices, Siblings, Sisterhood friendships, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Unexpected Pregnancy, Upper YA Fiction, Utah

Blog Book Tour : #EyreApril | “The Jane and Bertha in Me” (a collection of #poetry) by Rita Maria Martinez celebrating Jane Eyre & Bertha!

Posted Friday, 22 April, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 3 Comments

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

Gifted: I was blessed by being gifted a copy of this collection of poetry, which blessedly was in time to participate in the blog tour on it’s behalf via Poetic Book Tours. Even though I was gifted a copy of “The Jane and Bertha in Me” by someone who understood my passion for Brontë and my love of “Jane Eyre”, I was not obligated to post a review nor did it influence my opinions or impression of reading the collection. I chose to post my thoughts on this collection as a tie-in to my own celebrations this April on behalf of “Jane Eyre”; they reflect my honest impressions herein. Likewise, I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Why I was motivated to become involved with this blog tour:

Jane Eyre has become a part of my being – from the very first moment I learnt of the story, to the first time I took in the adaptation which forever changed my impression on behalf of the story and the manner in which the author penned her story originally. The adaptation I most appreciate (thus far along) is the 1996 version starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and William Hurt.

Let me share a bit more about why this adaptation touched my heart:

My initial introduction to Ms. Jane Eyre: Came during the early hours of a morning wretched by the plight of the sickly girl frustrated beyond hilt and despite to do something that could advert her misery! She plucked the remote control up off the nightstand and dared the tv to illuminate a movie that could curtail sleep and cast aside her anguish! She had to flip through several channels before stumbling across a seemingly British teleplay with gothic underpinnings! A few scenes in, she was not only hooked but she had abandoned the remote! A few scenes more and she deduced she was watching an adaptation of Jane Eyre! She felt betwixt with herself for even considering to watch this film knowing full and well that she had intended always to read this particular novel ahead of seeing its adaptation,… her eyes veered back to the discarded remote and her heart leapt out a response to qualm her furrowed brow. Her tired eyes moved back to the screen and she became fully entranced with Thornfield Hall!

– as quoted from my Books of Eyre Reading Challenge

Since the original Septemb-Eyre event in the book blogosphere [September, 2013] I have been attempting to re-enter Jane Eyre and the beautiful after canons: re-tellings and/or sequels thereafter. This is why I was so thrilled to bits to find there was an ‘Books of Eyre’ reading challenge – however, the time-frame was not a good one for me, thus I have extended it as a personal challenge outside it’s original scope. This parlays well as I’m a member of The Classics Club, wherein I am championing Classical Lit on as I’m quite keen to entreat inside the lovelies of literature I have not yet had the pleasure of reading!

I must confess – I had absolutely no foreknowledge that *April, 2016* was such a historic moment for readers who love Jane Eyre and respectively her author Charlotte Brontë! It’s a bit like how I missed the anniversary of reading/re-reading Pride and Prejudice a few years ago whilst the rest of the book blogosphere was well underway in their celebratory events. I seem to be on the fringes of knowing when certain bookish milestones are upcoming – not because I don’t have my ear to the rails but because, I think sometimes you get caught up inside your own life – not just the books on our shelves we’re constantly reading or hoping to read next – but the seasons of our lives which occupy our hours outside of this bookish reprieve, where we settle our thoughts and share our bookish lives through the output of our blogs (and/or tweets via the twitterverse; for me, it’s my micro-blog!).

Imagine then – my dearest joy in finding I could curl back inside Jane Eyre, pick up Wide Sargasso Sea for the very first time all the whilst finding two after canon writers who’ve put their mark on Eyre! The first author I have the pleasure of sharing with you dear hearts, is Rita Maria Martinez whose taken her pen to creatively fuse the characters we belove inside a hearty collection of poetry whilst Luccia Gray has given us a thrilling trilogy which is a curious splice between Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea!

I’ve determined my Eyre celebrations will be tagged #EyreApril to ring in ‘Eyre in April’ whilst everyone else is yielding to the established tag of #Bronte200. To whichever way we choose to share conversely our thoughts and murmurings on behalf of characters who have bewitched us for two hundred years, let’s be happy for the chance to revel in the fact Classical Lit is still relevant to today’s literary audience!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour : #EyreApril | “The Jane and Bertha in Me” (a collection of #poetry) by Rita Maria Martinez celebrating Jane Eyre & Bertha!The Jane and Bertha in Me
by Rita Maria Martinez
Source: Gifted

This spring marks the bicentennial of Charlotte Brontë’s birth.

In her ambitious and timely debut, The Jane and Bertha in Me, Rita Maria Martinez celebrates Brontë’s classic novel Jane Eyre.

Through wildly inventive, beautifully crafted persona poems, Martinez re-imagines Jane Eyre’s cast of characters in contemporary contexts, from Jane as an Avon saleslady to Bertha as a Stepford wife.

These lively, fun, poignant poems prove that Jane Eyre’s fictional universe is just as relevant today as it was so many years ago. The Jane and Bertha in Me is a must-read for any lover of Brontë’s work.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 978-0692543412

Genres: After Canons, Poetry & Drama, Re-telling &/or Sequel


Published by Aldrich Press

on 12th January, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 89

Published By: Aldrich Press an imprint of Kelsay Books

Converse via: #JaneEyre, #Bronte200, #CharlotteBronte and #JaneAndMe*

*this is a celebration of showing photos of your books of ‘Eyre’ and/or reading ‘Jane Eyre’

About Rita Maria Martinez

Rita Maria Martinez

Rita Maria Martinez is a Cuban-American poet from Miami, Florida. Her writing has been published in journals including the Notre Dame Review, Ploughshares, MiPOesias, and 2River View.

She authored the chapbook Jane-in-the-Box, published by March Street Press in 2008. Her poetry also appears in the textbook Three Genres: The Writing of Fiction/Literary Nonfiction, Poetry and Drama, published by Prentice Hall; and in the anthology Burnt Sugar, Caña Quemada: Contemporary Cuban Poetry in English and Spanish, published by Simon & Schuster. Martinez has been a featured author at the Miami Book Fair International; at the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Florida; and at the Palabra Pura reading series sponsored by the Guild Literary Complex in Chicago. She earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Florida International University.

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Posted Friday, 22 April, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, After the Canon, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Classical Literature, Equality In Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Jane Eyre Sequel | Re-telling, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Poetic Book Tours, Poetry, Self-Harm Practices, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Health, Women's Rights

Blog Book Tour | “The Vineyard” by Michael Hurley

Posted Wednesday, 12 November, 2014 by jorielov , , 3 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

The Vineyard by Michael Hurley

Published By: Ragbagger Press
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, E-book

Converse on Twitter via:#TheVineyard

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Vineyard” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Michael Hurley, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Note about the Cover Art Design:

Prior to receiving the novel for review, there was a discussion threaded through TLC Book Tours via Twitter on which cover art design we would vote for in regards to the cover art for this particular novel. I must confess, I didn’t quite understand why the woman underwater would make any sense to be used, as I voted for the cover that placed the image of a woman at the edge of the shore instead. At least, I believe that was the scene I opted to choose, as it was a bit ago since I cast my vote! It wasn’t until I opened up the first chapter of “The Vineyard” that I had realised the basis for the cover image is the fact one of the women in the story is contemplating ending her life; and of all the methods available to her it is drowning in the ocean that appeals to her the most. On this level, the feeling of overwhelming emotion and to be put within the vise of a life-altering choice between life and death; yes, the cover art makes a bit more sense. The title however, I do agree was slightly misleading if you did not realise it was the shortened name for “Martha’s Vineyard” in regards to where the story is set.

The author included a small bookmark with the original cover art on display, which was a green and blue colour theme with leaves of a vine between both colours which take up 50% of the space for the cover itself. Almost as if the leaves were an underlay and overlay at the same time. To me it clued in to a dimensional thread of narrative where what is not readily known or able to be seen becomes a puncture of emotional drama. Or perhaps I prefer ambient gestures in cover art sometimes as opposed to curious images that do not always feel they are a strong fit such as the woman underwater tipping her finger to the surface. It does paint a different image altogether when pondering the story itself.

Blog Book Tour | “The Vineyard” by Michael HurleyThe Vineyard
by Michael Hurley
Source: Author via TLC Book Tours

Ten years after college, three very different women reunite for a summer on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. As they come to grips with various challenges in their lives, their encounter with a reclusive fisherman threatens to change everything they believe about their world—and each other.

Places to find the book:

Genres: Literary Fiction


Published by Ragbagger Press

on 25th November, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 384

About Michael Hurley

Michael Hurley and his wife Susan live near Charleston, South Carolina. Born and raised in Baltimore, Michael holds a degree in English from the University of Maryland and law from St. Louis University.
The Prodigal, Michael’s debut novel from Ragbagger Press, received the Somerset Prize for mainstream fiction and numerous accolades in the trade press, including Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, ForeWord Reviews, BookTrib, Chanticleer Reviews, and IndieReader. It is currently in development for a feature film by producer Diane Sillan Isaacs. Michael’s second novel, The Vineyard, is due to be released by Ragbagger Press in December 2014.
Michael’s first book, Letters from the Woods, is a collection of wilderness-themed essays published by Ragbagger Press in 2005. It was shortlisted for Book of the Year by ForeWord magazine. In 2009, Michael embarked on a two-year, 2,200 mile solo sailing voyage that ended with the loss of his 32-foot sloop, the Gypsy Moon, in the Windward Passage between Cuba and Haiti in 2012. That voyage and the experiences that inspired him to set sail became the subject of his memoir, Once Upon A Gypsy Moon, published in 2013 by Hachette Book Group.
When he is not writing, Michael enjoys reading and relaxing with Susan on the porch of their rambling, one-hundred-year-old house. His fondest pastimes are ocean sailing, playing piano and classical guitar, cooking, and keeping up with an energetic Irish terrier, Frodo Baggins.

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My Review of The Vineyard:

Charlotte Harris a mother on a mission to save her daughter’s soul in death and to quell the anguish of her mother’s heart from the disillusionment her life became in the circumstances which catapulted her from a woman with a zest of life to one who was broken by the absurdity of regulations of the Catholic Church; at least to her mind and reason. Any mother grieving the loss of her deceased child would feel bound by angst out of spiteful rules that felt cruel and indifferent to the choices she had wanted to give her daughter; the baptismal blessing of a daughter whose mother wanted her to align on the side of Heaven was given a hard choice between accepting the limits of her faith and pursuing a route towards self-redemption. Her entire state of mind within the opening chapter hinges between sanity and the furrowing line of insanity — a sanction only Charlotte Harris could make a discernible ascertain as to which line she was living at that particular moment.

Charlotte received an invitation to the Vineyard which would single-handedly allow her to shape where her destiny was attempting to align her stars — Dory, the vagabond free-spirit friend of her youth encouraged her a Summery respite from the city to spend time with her by the ocean and hours filled to the brim with spontaneity. Dory was the type of friend who saw a friend spiraling into a well of depression and before it could be fully rotated into a sea of darkness, attempts to pull you out of your malaise. Dory’s family is old money as they say, a woman of means who lives an ordinary life (by her own justifications) but Charlotte is straight-up middle class with insecurities about her body image as much as the choices she made in life that feel unwarranted of declaring she lived life well.

Charlotte is a strong willed woman whose mission to greet her daughter in the in-between worlds of life and death blurred a bit whilst she attempted the unthinkable. In one figurative moment of where you could not back out of a course you struck out on, an intervention is given on behalf of what could have been Charlotte’s final hour. There is an immediate mystery surrounding how Charlotte is found bobbling offshore in a boat she doesn’t even remember taking out on her own as much as the identity of the person she’s convinced saved her life. Meanwhile, a third woman joins Dory and Charlotte; Turner who appears to be stuck in her own void whilst seizing an opportunity to promote Charlotte’s mysterious resurrection on her blog. The story not only goes viral but becomes the turning point for how their lives are suddenly stop drifting and start taking a trajectory that has merit of being explored.

Terminal illnesses play a central focus on the story – which I was a bit surprised to find but they are included at different integral parts of the novel. In regards to Charlotte’s daughter and in regards to the health of her beloved friend Dory; I generally steer clear of stories involving terminal illnesses due to the heavy weight of the yoke these stories affect on my mind and heart. However, I can say, that despite the heaviness of the subject they are treated with respect and consideration not only for the reader but for the characters who are living through the circumstances as revelations become known to them.

The issues started to arise for me after the mid-way point of the novel, where the entire foundation of where I felt this story was taking me ended up being shattered by a completely different story-line. Prior to my detachment with the novel and stopping to read it forthwith, I was perplexed by how the style and tone of the novel changed so suddenly. I had originally felt this about the writing style of the author:

Hurley has an incredible arc of characterising the level of depth a human can emote through life as much as internalise in an attempt to process what is perceived, felt, and layered into our unconscience. He knits into his story a level of uncanny perceptive intuition, where the details he describes are both perspicacious and viscerally accurate. His narrative prose gives this literary novel an elevation of tone, body, and attachment to the reader’s own ruminations to fall in step with the words he’s left behind for us to read off the printed page.

Yet at the point where I stopped reading his novel, I no longer felt the same. The transition from the first half to the second half of The Vineyard simply did not sit well with me. Especially as it explores the darker side of how vulnerable women can be taken advantage of, but the fact that the assault is attached to the priest was stepping a bit too far outside the lines of where I want to see a story shift forward. Prior to that moment, I appreciated the intuitiveness of his writing, but afterwards, I felt as though I wasted my time reading the built-up of emotional drama.

On the writing style of Michael Hurley:

Although I grew up in an industry akin and adjacent to the life of a medical examiner, the way in which Hurley chooses to describe the desperate act of a mother resolute in her belief that committing suicide is the only way in which to free her child and herself in oblique harmony can only be taken straight from an medical examiner’s journal of cases. Yet even within the framework of how the act could theoretically be carried through, he gives his character a pause to allow reason and the humanistic desire of holding onto life a chance to breathe. He gives Charlotte the window of exploring the depths of her soul and the gutting reality of a mother who has lost her child; allowing her the time to sort through her emotional heart and her soul wrenched memories of gutting grief.

Having the fisherman who gives Charlotte the shrimp in the beginning a scant view of the note Charlotte intended to leave behind for Dory to find was a nice eclipse of tide. It gave Charlotte a crimson flush of embarrassment yes, but it also alerted her mind to realise she was in a deeply wrought depression. A stop-start of realisation of where her act could lead and how it would affect everyone in her wake of sudden death.

Fly in the Ointment:

At first the inclusions of stronger choices of words was intermittent and infrequent, but by the time I reached the middle of the novel, they became a bit more repetitive and inclusive. They are still not the main focal point of the tone or voice of the novel itself, as they are included in moments of high tension and/or emotional disbelief. However, I will always contend I can read a novel without any vulgarity within its pages and still perceive the eclipse of the emotional turbulence all the same.

I do have issues with stories that involve impropriety between spiritual leaders and their flock; as it simply isn’t a story-line I would normally walk into blind. I originally felt this was a story rooted in sisterhood friendships and a life affirmative jaunt of a Summer where they would renew their spirits whilst celebrating their friendship. What I received instead is a darkening cloud of a drama leading me into a story I felt I hadn’t signed up to read. If that one thread of narrative had been removed, it would have told a completely different story. One that I might have wanted to finish reading.

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This blog tour stop was courtesy of TLC Book Tours:
{ click-through to follow the blogosphere tour }

TLC Book Tours | Tour Host

See what I am hosting next by stopping by my Bookish Events page!

I created a list on Riffle to share the books that I simply could not become attached to as a reader myself, but stories which would benefit a reader to find them, and appreciate them for what each writer gave to their story. For me, the reason I included The Vineyard is because I did not feel it appropriate to explore the infidelity and impropriety of a priest nor to have such an illicit disconnect from the opening first half of the novel tot he middle portion. Therefore, this is now listed on my Riffle List entitled: Stories Seeking Love from Readers.

{SOURCES: Cover art of “The Vineyard”, author photograph, author biography, book synopsis and the tour badge were all provided by TLC Book Tours and used with permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Wednesday, 12 November, 2014 by jorielov in Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cancer Scare, Cape Cod, Catholicism, Clever Turns of Phrase, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Diet Weight & Body Image, Disillusionment in Marriage, Divorce & Martial Strife, Family Drama, Fly in the Ointment, Go Indie, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Life Shift, Light vs Dark, Literary Fiction, Mental Health, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Near-Death Experience, Passionate Researcher, Reading Challenges, Realistic Fiction, Self-Harm Practices, Terminal Illness &/or Cancer, TLC Book Tours, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction, Women's Health, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Style & Voice

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