Category: Firefighters & Paramedics

Book Review | “His One and Only Bride” (The Business of Weddings series, Book Six) by Tara Randel A series by #HarlequinHeartwarming

Posted Thursday, 25 January, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

I received a complimentary copy of “His One and Only Bride” direct from the author Tara Randel in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I was intrigued by this story-line:

I truly love wedding stories – when I caught sight of this title, I was instantly hooked – as I perused the synopsis this felt like the kind of story I needed right now. I was recovering from my virus (a three week affair, plus one week to recover my energy, focus and stamina!) when I first spied this blog tour – which is why unexpectedly I made a bit of a blunderment! This is a series in-progress! In fact, I originally thought this was the fifth book in the series but it turns out, it’s the *sixth!* and final story to anchour the ENTIRE Business of Weddings series together! Oy vie. As I mentioned in this tweet – sometimes a girl just needs to be #amreading!

Which was my way of overstating the obvious – I have missed being curled up inside stories these past four weeks with reckless abandon! I’ve only been able to dip my toes into a few novels, two suspenseful audiobooks and partially re-listened to a Cosy Mystery audiobook I’m finishing this week. I simply couldn’t focus on reading or dissecting what I was reading with any kind of regularity until after I recovered. Finding myself struck down by a migraine this past weekend (of the 20th) was not exactly the step ‘forward’ I was hoping to have this side of the virus! Mind you, I wasn’t even going to attempt to read too much Non-Fiction (despite my shelves leaning in this direction!) as those take a bit more attention as I like to read those titles whilst analysing them from a different perspective altogether! Expect more of those kinds of ruminations sprinkled throughout the coming month of February and well into Spring!

However, despite the lows of spending most of the first month of the New Year quite muddled in health woes – I did capture a happy spirit for a few lovely exchanges of convo and delightful discoveries on Twitter! I even hosted my first Romance + Women’s Fiction chat of the year: @SatBookChat which happily has started on good footing for bringing readers and writers together! (smiles) On the foot-heels of this good news, I am thankful I can start resuming my Romantic Reads – as I do love a wonderfully light Rom, a historically intriguing Romance, a mind-tingling Rom Suspense or a dramatic Women’s Fiction story to thread through my yearly reads!

It is true – I do have a keen preference for reading serial fiction in order of sequence, except for when I make a gaffe like this and recognise sometimes it’s okay to read them ‘out of order’! Laughs with mirth. Part of the reason I think I have trouble discerning which novel is in sequence is because these are not always exclusively marketed by their sequencing – meaning, oft-times I do try to source their origins and numerical sequencing but still find myself falling a bit short of knowing ‘which came first’ and ‘which should I read next’! I wonder if there is a repository for all Harlequin (and Mills & Boon) titles in a database which catalogues their serial fiction?

Ironically or not, I also notice a bit of a pattern here – for the Harlequin and Mills & Boon novels I’ve been reading of late, I’ve been reading them ALL out of sequence! *le sigh* Apparently I keep ‘leaping’ before I double-check which book is in which order of their individual series! The only happy bit, of course, is being able to re-find these lovelies through my local library, inter-library loan and used book shoppes – as not all of these are kept in print past their initial print runs! More adventure for the bookish girl who loves a ready challenge in gathering books in sequence! Ha!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Review | “His One and Only Bride” (The Business of Weddings series, Book Six) by Tara Randel A series by #HarlequinHeartwarmingHis One and Only Bride
Subtitle: The Business of Weddings
by Tara Randel
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

He never thought he’d see her again!

After being reported missing, presumed dead, globe-hopping photojournalist Mitch Simmons never thought he’d see his estranged wife, Zoe, again. Yet here he is back in their coastal Florida town, where Zoe is mayor. Turns out she isn’t the only one he left behind.

Discovering he has a baby son awakens thrilling new emotions in Mitch. And there are his still-powerful feelings for the high school sweetheart he vowed to love and honor forever. Thankfully, they’ll have the chance to find the love that was always there…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1-335-63346-0

Also by this author: His Honor, Her Family, Trusting Her Heart

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Foodie Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Suspense


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 1st January, 2017

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming

Converse via: #Contemporary + #Romance and #HarlequinHeartwarming

The Business of Weddings Series:

Magnolia Bride | Book One | Synopsis

Orange Blossom Brides | Book Two | Synopsis

Honeysuckle Bride | Book Three | Synopsis

The Bridal Bouquet | Book Four | Synopsis

The Wedding March | Book Five | Synopsis

Read Excerpts via the author’s site

About Tara Randel

Tara Randel

USA Today Bestselling Author Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn't come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. Family values, mystery and, of course, love and romance are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Tara lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Divider

Posted Thursday, 25 January, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Creative Arts, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Firefighters & Paramedics, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Foodie Fiction, Indie Author, JLAS Update Post, Kidnapping or Unexplained Disappearances, Life Shift, Men's Fiction, Mental Health, Modern Day, Mother-Son Relationships, Neurosciences | Neurogenetics, Photography, Prism Book Tours, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Suspense

Book Review | “Before You” by Kathryn Freeman #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 21 October, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and created #ChocLitSaturday (the chat via @ChocLitSaturday):

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of marriage enveloped by characters written honestly whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read!

I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other!

I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb! Whilst sorting out how promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. As of June 2016, I became a member of the ChocLit Stars Team in tandem with being on the Cover Reveal Team which I joined in May 2016. I reference the Stars as this is a lovely new reader contribution team of sending feedback to the publisher ahead of new book releases. As always, even if I’m involved with a publisher in this sort of fashion, each review is never influenced by that participation and will always be my honest impression as I read the story. Whether the author is one I have previously read or never had the pleasure to read until the book greets my shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of “Before You” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Why I enjoy reading Kathryn Freeman’s Contemporary Roms:

I love reading this Contemporary it was edgy on the level of taking an inside look into the Pharma Industry and it was sophisticated due to the pacing and slow-building romance. It had a lot of volley between the two lead characters which is something that I love to see as they weren’t exactly the type to admit at having an insta-attraction to each other. Both were cautious for their own reasons but it was how the romance played out in a tightly controlled working environment that had me fondly think back to certain movies that held the same appeal. On a personal note I have no idea how Tessa wore all those high heels! The descriptions made me smile but knowing what they were doing to Tessa’s feet made me cringe! Oy. Oy.

Some of the best bits for me were the cheeky moments Freeman knit into the office scenes such as Jim realising his growing attraction to Tessa or how Tessa is noticing the same feelings are returned towards Jim. Freeman cheekily highlights those quasi-embarrassing moments between two co-workers trying to keep secrets from each other. The awkward long looks, the accidental bump-ins and Jim’s growing appreciation for Tessa’s shoes was too comical for words! Likewise it developed the chemistry between the two and each of them were trying to downplay their attraction. Each hoping the other had not picked up on any subtle clues. This is exactly the kind of Contemporary Rom I love to read because it keeps you on your toes! Whilst giving you so many wicked delights as a reader to live through the moments right alongside the lead characters!

-quoted from my review of Search for the Truth

As this expresses why I love reading Ms Freeman’s fiction, the reasons why I was eagerly excited to read ‘Before You’ were actually expressed already when I hosted the Cover Reveal, where I said the following:

The lovely discovery about ‘Before You’ is that it’s centred around Formula 1 racing – the reason this is wicked to me, is because it’s a full stone of a step outside of everything I know about racing culture, lifestyle and the type of cars which buzz right round a track at such speeds to make me want to hide my eyes for fear of seeing a crash! My heart always flutters when I’m thinking about the casualty side of racing as it’s a known gamechanger for those who race and those of whom are left behind in the wake of a tragedy.

I like learning about things I am not as well versed about because it takes me inside a whole new environment to explore and to become acquainted – most enticing is how the focus on the characters inside this novel are set towards finding a path towards each other, when they’ve been living independently so long they nearly forgot to think about being a ‘couple’ and what that would entail for both of them. I like how the story starts out on the presumption about ‘who they were’ before each of them met each other and how their individual histories might in turn influence the chance they have to be together.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Book Review | “Before You” by Kathryn Freeman #ChocLitSaturdaysBefore You
Subtitle: Is it a risk worth taking?
by Kathryn Freeman
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

When life in the fast lane threatens to implode…

Melanie Hunt’s job working for the Delta racing team means she is constantly rubbing shoulders with Formula One superstars in glamorous locations like Monte Carlo. But she has already learned that keeping a professional distance is crucial if she doesn’t want to get hurt.

New Delta team driver Aiden Foster lives his life like he drives his cars – fast and hard. But, no matter how successful he is, it seems he always falls short of his championship-winning father’s legacy. If he could just stay focused, he could finally make that win.

Resolve begins to slip as Melanie and Aiden find themselves drawn to each other –with nowhere to hide as racing season begins. But when a troubled young boy goes missing, everything is thrown into turmoil, including Aiden’s championship dream.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

Book Page on World Weaver Press

ISBN: 978-1781893937

Also by this author: Search for the Truth Cover Reveal, Before You Cover Reveal, Search for the Truth, A Second Christmas Wish Cover Reveal, A Second Christmas Wish

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction


Published by ChocLitUK

on 10th August, 2017

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 339

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback & E-Book

The collective works of Kathryn Freeman I’ve been keen on reading:

Search for the Truth by Kathryn FreemanA Second Christmas Wish by Kathryn FreemanBefore You by Kathryn Freeman

Ms Freeman’s ChocLit Contemporary Roms:

Before You (see also Cover Reveal w/ Notes)

A Second Christmas Wish (see also Cover Reveal w/ Notes)

Search for the Truth (see also Review)

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance + #ChocLit

About Kathryn Freeman

Kathryn Freeman

Kathryn was born in Wallingford, England but has spent most of her life living in a village near Windsor. After studying pharmacy in Brighton she began her working life as a retail pharmacist. She quickly realised that trying to decipher doctor’s handwriting wasn’t for her and left to join the pharmaceutical industry where she spent twenty happy years working in medical communications. In 2011, backed by her family, she left the world of pharmaceutical science to begin life as a self-employed writer, juggling the two disciplines of medical writing and romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) the romance in her life is all in her head. Then again, her husband’s unstinting support of her career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo. Read More

Divider

Posted Saturday, 21 October, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, A Father's Heart, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Domestic Violence, England, Family Drama, Firefighters & Paramedics, Fly in the Ointment, Green-Minded Publishers, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Life Shift, Loss of an unbourne child, Mental Health, Modern British Author, Modern British Literature, Modern Day, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Second Chance Love, Single Fathers, Small Towne Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Vulgarity in Literature, Widows & Widowers, Women's Fiction, Women's Health

Book Review | “Learning to Love” by Sheryl Browne #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 30 September, 2017 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and created #ChocLitSaturday (the chat via @ChocLitSaturday):

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of marriage enveloped by characters written honestly whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read!

I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other!

I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb! Whilst sorting out how promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. As of June 2016, I became a member of the ChocLit Stars Team in tandem with being on the Cover Reveal Team which I joined in May 2016. I reference the Stars as this is a lovely new reader contribution team of sending feedback to the publisher ahead of new book releases. As always, even if I’m involved with a publisher in this sort of fashion, each review is never influenced by that participation and will always be my honest impression as I read the story. Whether the author is one I have previously read or never had the pleasure to read until the book greets my shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of “Learning to Love” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Why I have been looking forward to reading Sheryl Browne’s Contemporary Roms:

If you take a ganderment around my blog and the reviews I am featuring for Romance Fiction and Women’s Fiction – you’ll start to notice a bit of a threading of ‘hope filled stories’ where all is never quite lost and despite your obstacles, adversities and storm brewing difficult seas to navigate in life – there is a better tomorrow just about to surface on the horizon. I love stories of redemption inasmuch as stories of life affirming new possibilities. I love rooting out stories that make your heart lift and your spirit to feel a bit of an intact of joy as your reading about characters who are finding their way inside their lives – moment by moment, striving to arrive inside their tomorrow with a bit more confidence and a lot more affirmative conviction life is surely going to be alright.

I love finding families who are struggling to right what went wrong too, such as the family we are stepping inside to find occupying the story of Learning to Love. These are people whose spirits are on the lower end of the spectrum where hope feels like a far-off dream – not quite in reach and a bit difficult to fuse into their living reality. I like taking the healing journey with characters who aren’t quite sure how tomorrow is going to pan out but aren’t quite ready to throw in the towel either! Characters who have a bit of moxie or just a pure belief in themselves to overcome ‘whichever’ curveball life wants to hand them to face – to strengthen themselves through the journey.

I appreciate writers who are writing about non-traditional families, as there are so many routes towards parenthood as there is family – to root out the stories of everyday people and give back a bit of a shining light to guide a troubled ship into a safe harbour is a keen discovery! I am passionate about small towne fiction too! I love writers who write about community togetherness and the interactions of community members who have a genuine respect and care about everyone’s well-being – it’s the throwback to the way life always used to be, but isn’t quite as noticeable now.

Ms Browne never fails to ignite my curiosities about how her characters will live through their circumstances and find the will to right their sails towards a better tomorrow. She writes with a heart-centred focus on second changes and new beginnings. We all need stories like this to read, to re-bolster what we all know to be true – no matter how difficult our difficulties might seem, there is a way forward and through to an even keel of shared happiness with those we love most.

-quoted from my Cover Reveal for ‘Learning to Love’

I did want to take a moment to explain my interest in Ms Browne writings are for her Contemporary Romance novels rather than her gritty Romantic Crime novels – as she has a series of crime stories being published through ChocLit but for me personally they were a full step outside my comfort zone, which is why I haven’t been participating in the ChocStars Cover selections nor hosting the Reveals; sometimes a girl has to be honest with herself about her boundaries in Crime Fiction! However, I had previously learnt about her Contemporary Romances – not just through the Reveals themselves but through conversations during #ChocLitSaturday, where I had the joys of hearing about her writings and the stories which were going to be released or were released (depending on when the chat took place).

Having said this, you do get a proper sense of what you’d find in Ms Browne’s Death by ChocLit line of stories because there is an infusion of gut-stopping suspense hovering in the background of ‘Learning to Love’. So much so, you nearly forget how the story began and where you’ve been during it’s discourse – as there is an about-turn of truth, action and sequencing where I half laughed to myself realising the beauty of the story was more in the unexpected revelations than in the calm pacing increasing the climax!

I was definitely on the edge of my chair – curious about how this tangled web would unweave itself but moreso, curiously content to watch it all unfold – the horror of it all, watching as these characters I now felt so dearly attached too were once again jettisoned into a sieve of unknown trauma and emergency situations! I can see why those who like True Crime or Hard-Boiled Crime Dramas would find their niche in her Crime series – for me, there just outside my cuppa, but the suspense threaded into this novel was ‘just the right balance’ for me to be included! Your heart nearly stops a beat just awaiting the ‘ooh’ moment!

Therefore, as I am making my way through both ChocLit’s FrontList and BackList titles as I review for them – I wanted to select this particular title as my ‘first’ novel by Ms Browne due to the premise of the story and of how I felt this story would be a fitting read right now as Summer starts to fold into Autumn.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

On my connection to the author:

I happily have had the pleasure of interacting with Ms Browne through #ChocLitSaturday the chat off/on for the past two years (or thereabouts). She is a delightful presence to have in the chats and I am thankful she found a niche where she felt comfortable chattering with fellow ChocLit authors, Romance novelists, book bloggers, readers, and other bookishly chatty spirits who alight on Saturdays!

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her ahead of reading her novels. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. This is also true when I follow-up with them on future releases and celebrate the book birthdays that come after their initial publication.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Book Review | “Learning to Love” by Sheryl Browne #ChocLitSaturdaysLearning to Love
Subtitle: When is the right time to love again?
by Sheryl Browne
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

Sometimes help comes from the most unlikely places…

Living in a small village like Hibberton, it’s expected that your neighbours help you in a time of need. But when Andrea Kelly’s house burns down, taking all her worldly possessions with it, it’s the distant and aloof Doctor David Adams – the person she would least expect – who opens his door not just to her, but to her three kids and slightly dotty elderly mother as well.

Andrea needs all the help she can get, dealing with the aftermath of the fire and the suspicious absence of her husband, Jonathan. But as she gets to know David and his troubled son, Jake, she begins to realise that maybe they need her help as much as she needs theirs…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

Book Page on World Weaver Press

ISBN: 9781781893524

Also by this author: The Rest of my Life Cover Reveal, Learning to Love Cover Reveal, Learning to Love

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Women's Fiction


Published by ChocLitUK

on 6th April, 2017

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 320

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback & E-Book

The Rest of my Life by Sheryl BrowneLearning to Love by Sheryl Browne

Ms Browne’s ChocLit Contemporary Roms:

The Rest of my Life (see also Cover Reveal w/ Notes)

Learning to Love (see also Cover Reveal w/ Notes)

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance + #ChocLit

About Sheryl Browne

Sheryl Browne

Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, poignant fiction. A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for Innovation in Romantic Fiction, Sheryl has seven books published with Safkhet Publishing.

Sheryl’s new contemporary romance novel was recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer. THE REST OF MY Life comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo. Read More

Divider

Posted Saturday, 30 September, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, A Father's Heart, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Domestic Violence, England, Family Drama, Firefighters & Paramedics, Fly in the Ointment, Green-Minded Publishers, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Life Shift, Loss of an unbourne child, Mental Health, Modern British Author, Modern British Literature, Modern Day, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Second Chance Love, Single Fathers, Small Towne Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Vulgarity in Literature, Widows & Widowers, Women's Fiction, Women's Health

Blog Book Tour | “Proof of Angels” by Mary Curran Hackett

Posted Friday, 21 November, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 7 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Proof of Angels by Mary Curran Hackett

Published By: William Morrow (@WmMorrowBks),
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #ProofofAngels

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

Blog Book Tour | “Proof of Angels” by Mary Curran HackettProof of Angels
by Mary Curran Hackett
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

From the critically acclaimed author of Proof of Heaven comes an unforgettable tale that asks the question “Are there angels among us?”

Sean Magee is a firefighter—a hero who risks his own life to save others, running into dangerous situations few have the courage to dare. While fighting a horrific blaze, Sean becomes trapped by flames and is nearly overcome by smoke. Just when it seems that all is lost, he’s led to a window, by what he swears is divine intervention. And then he jumps . . .

. . . into a new life. For years, Sean has shut down his feelings, existing in a state of emotional numbness. Coming through that fire, he knows he can no longer be that man whose heart is closed to the world. But before he can face his future, he must confront his past and everyone in it: the family, the friends, the woman—and the love—he carelessly left behind.

Read the Author's Note to her Readers : on behalf of 'Proof of Angels'

Places to find the book:

Series: Proof Of,


Published by William Morrow

on 4th November, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 320

About Mary Curran Hackett

Mary Curran Hackett lives with her husband and children in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Photo Credit: Laura Winslow

Find out more about Mary on her website, like her on Facebook, and connect with her on Twitter.

My Review of Proof of Angels:

When I was younger (perhaps a bit too young even), I saw the film Backdraft when I was thirteen years old, and the film was so chokingly gutting of emotion – raw reality of the life of a firefighter, I truly felt bereft with a soul-wrenching anguish I could not quite describe but felt to my very core. Comparatively, the lesser known (and sadly short-lived) Rescue 77 was by far my favourite firefighter and medic tv series, as it combined the reality of the job with the humanity side of living your life outside of the firehouse. I also appreciated the family friendly film Firehouse Dog, but what gave me a chilling sense of Hackett’s personal style of telling a firefighter’s story was etched inside an emotionally charged scene of faith with a seed of hope writ inside the opening pages of Proof of Angels.

We enter into the story directly at a flash point of death centering it’s flickering breath onto a firefighter trapped inside a fire which wants to claim his life; yet Sean Magee has a destiny outside this fire, this hell of flame. We enter the story through his internal thoughts and his near-prayer clarity of understanding bare bone truths in the height of a personal descent into a medical emergency where his calm attitude will ultimately give him a balm of peace to survive. His emotions and his actions have an acute sense of urgency, but Hackett honours the situation and the vehicle of the crisis by writing in a realistic portrait of how fire and man can find themselves in a fight against time.

As Sean emerged out of his injuries and was on the road towards recovery, but only just — he made a phone call to his brother-in-law Gaspar, the one person who thankfully understood him and could accept his insecurities. Sean is a hardened man in a lot of ways, bent against his own shoulders for a life he lived where circumstances had taken the better part of his spirit. Gaspar is a saint of a brother-in-law in many ways, as he was the encourager to set a bridge between a brother whose sister was anguished without hearing of his life; a brother like Sean who walked out one day and refused to knit together any lasting ties outside of the odd phone call. It is only fitting I thought as I read these passages, that the one person Sean can rely on in time of need is Gaspar; the brother-in-law he wasn’t even sure had accepted him.

The most soulful insight threaded throughout this novel are the heartprints – the little moments where our hearts have a way of guiding us through a truth only they can see and hear. Our heart is such a powerful source of knowledge, it is well known and recorded how heart transplant parents start to take on the personality and acquire the life goals of the person who gave them them the heart. Our heart is a vessel of our emotional soul, it grieves and it ignites through our experiences, our sorrows, and gather happiness through our laughter. The heart stores everything we are inside it’s small vessel but it’s reaction to who we are and how we live that curates our ‘heartprints’ — invisible impressions etched into our heart speaking the language of the soul itself.

This is a story where choosing to acknowledge a deeper level of meaning out of your life when an intervention alights on your path is the cosmic way of signaling your course is making an about-face turn. Your heading on a new course, charted by where your heart and soul always knew you were meant to tread but where your mind talked yourself out of your own living truth. Proof of Angels is a testament of one sign of how we’re never quite as alone as we feel nor are we ever quite out of step with the path our lives are meant to take. We simply have to remain open to where the guidance we receive is leading us to travel and to be vigilant in understanding the depth of how one life can change another’s path.

I have observed many angels on earth because at any given point of time, each of us has the capability to be an angel to someone else; an unexpected mirth of goodwill or a shelter from a rising storm of anguish. We’re interconnected but there are times where fear and anxiety can overrun the logic of trusting who cares about you during a time of adversity. The pebbles and rocks which jut into our lives can metaphorically represent the little corkscrew knots of life lessons interceding on our journey to teach us something we have not yet come to understand. So too, can we receive the blessing of a gift disguised as adversity, crisis and trauma. Sometimes you have to stand still in order to move forward.

Writ inside Proof of Angels are eight original key signs (and 11 extraordinary new ones) which have the greatest impact on Sean, but they are a clue to the reader of how to re-see what is already known within their own life. To see past where our sight is limited and to truly see what is stitched around us as we walk, live, and breathe.

On the introspective writing style of Mary Curran Hackett:

I loved the fact as soon as I started to dig inside Proof of Angels, the author did not disappoint me; not even once, where she could have taken the lighter road towards telling Sean’s story, but if she had it would only have led to a half-truth. No, Ms. Hackett knitted into her novel (the sequel to Proof of Heaven) a confluence of how the human condition within all us attempts to process, accept, and forge a new path out of the ashes of what our previous life contained when everything is lost. We have seasons within our lives, where we go through different cyclic motions of changes but there are critical life affirming and life altering seasons where true growth is only obtained by living through a moment of time wherein we live on faith and through faith alone.

Hackett conveys the discovery period of what a mind and heart can resolve as much as how much strength is required to see past the injuries and the flawed remains of where our bodies heal yet require a bit of re-understanding on how to live a well-rounded life. She dives straight into the spirit of where our soul and mind are fused into one; breathing alive a narrative that gives reflective pause and angst out of emotional recovery: a chance to knit inside your own heart and transform your thoughts on a subject you may or may not have considered.

The greatest struggles all humans have is belief without proof – to trust without sight and to walk without a path. Hackett exemplifies this through teaching through her character Sean how everyone can become whole again after tragedy and how time is a bit more forgiving than anyone would ever dare hope possible. She’s a story-teller who I know I will be seeking more stories to read (the first of this series most definitely!) and an author I am blessed to have found whilst hosting her on a blog tour! How blessed indeed!

I personally adore stories such as these which speak directly to your heart, leave you ruminatively pensive, and create such a living well of joy from having read the story, as to uplift you as only a well-crafted story can! I am ever so thankful to have been in the position of receiving such a beautiful bounty of William Morrow stories this year — their P.S. Editions have given me such a pause of thought and head full of imaginative blissitudes, I am dearly full of gratitude for their keen choices of gracing us with incredible authors who pen incredible stories!

Follow the tag “P.S. Edition” or the posts should generate below this review to see where my thoughts alighted on the other lovelies who have alighted in my hands!

A note on the vulgarity in the story:

I did not attach a ‘Fly in the Ointment’ on this novel for vulgarity inclusive to the story, because I do have one ‘free pass’ for vulgarity in literature which is when a character is going through an emotional upheaval and/or a psychological trauma; to where it is only befitting and honest to say the character(s) are not always going to use ‘calming language’ nor are they going to be blessedly delighted by the changes in their life nor the circumstances that upturnt their internal and external lives. Therefore, despite the vulgarity, it is blessedly apt where it appears and not sprinkled on every page, for which I applaud Hackett for her choices and her infrequency. If you’d prefer not to read any vulgar words (which is my general rule of thumb myself!), I would not advise you to pick this one up as it is a colourful novel in this regard.

Notation on Diversity in Lit:

I was so engrossed with this novel from the start to the finish, I had barely had the proper chance to realise Sean’s brother-in-law was Indian! He had this entire life in India before he transitioned stateside and had a second chance at love with Sean’s sister Cathleen. Gaspar is authentic on the level his ethnicity isn’t out of step with who he is nor is his character’s presence one that feels out of step with the story’s heart. I loved Gaspar’s inclusion into the story because he had to learn a few things alongside Sean; both had fractured pasts and emotional angst to recover from but it was how he was written to reflect a doctor’s point of view on the art of healing – not just by spirit and emotion but by physically allowing yourself the grace to heal was a lift of spirits. He was humbled enough to realise he did not understand everything but his character had a growth spurt in transitioning out of a mindset where only his thoughts and/or impressions on a subject were the only ones logical and acceptable.

As an extension of the #K8Chat (read the transcript; or my review of “Softly Falling” where I wrote a bit more about it), Thursday night on Twitter I made the choice to start to remember when I find diverse characters alighting in the stories I am reading where the characters are honestly represented as natural as if they walked off the page and sat down next to you in real life sharing a cuppa java to include a note on my reviews! I can attest, Gaspar feels natural and real to me; he has a special part in the story and I was thankful to make his acquaintance!

(threaded throughout my blog is the tag “Equality in Lit”
my preference for showcasing #diverselit)

(a note on the missing links: will update the transcript & review links as they post)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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!

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Proof of Angels”, 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.

The live reading tweets in regards to “Proof of Angels”:

{ favourite & Re-tweet if inspired to share }

Comments on Twitter:

Divider

Posted Friday, 21 November, 2014 by jorielov in Agnostic (Questioning & Searching or Unsure), Angels, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Equality In Literature, Firefighters & Paramedics, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Life Shift, Literary Fiction, Medical Fiction, Modern Day, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Public Service | Community Officers, Realistic Fiction, TLC Book Tours, Uncategorized, Vulgarity in Literature, Writing Style & Voice