Category: Family Life

+Blog Book Tour+ Sense & Sensibility: A Latter-Day Tale by Rebecca H. Jamison A twice-published after canon author of Jane Austen’s works!

Posted Monday, 18 August, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , 5 Comments

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Sense & Sensibility Blog Tour with Cedar Fort

Sense & Sensibility: A Latter-Day Tale by Rebecca H. Jamison

Published By: Bonneville Books, ( )

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFort)

Official Author Websites: Site @RebeccaHJamison
|
Facebook | Pin(terest) Boards

Available Formats: Paperback
Page Count247

Previously she wrote: Persuasion & Emma as ‘Latter-Day Tales’ too!

Converse via: #SenseandSensibility

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

Inspired to Read: this girl is a Janeite!

I am not sure when the exact moment occurred in my childhood, but I started to feel a kinetic bond with Jane Austen, to the brink that I knew that once I started to read her beloved works by all who already knew her, … I would become a Janeite. She simply had a convincing way of expressing life as it was lived during her own era, of the minute details of ordinary life intermingled with the reflections of a keen observant eye. My first forays into Austen’s canons was a bit of a hit/miss for me, as I began originally with “Sense & Sensibility”, although I attributed this false start due to what had been on my mind and heart at the time I had first picked it up. The gift I spoke about on my participation page for ‘Austen in August‘ is the very reason I approach this particular blog tour without the benefit of reading the canon. I wanted to reaquaint myself with the gifted books and step back through a door I had not yet fully opened.

It was not until Keira Knightley’s edition of “Pride & Prejudice” that I was able to ascertain the focus I wanted to garnish for Austen, as I nestled into a pocket edition of Pride. Forestalling my visit to the local cinema and barely making it to see the new adaptation before it left the theater completely! In my further expeditions into Classical Literature, I’ll have to talk about my passion for ‘pocket’ hardback editions, as I only briefly mention them in quirkily placed positions on my blog thus far along! Knightley’s motion picture will always hold a special place in my heart, despite what others might express on her behalf. I already ruminated previously that Colin Firth’s mini-series would be my most adored adaptation, but there is always room for adaptations that draw a measure of liberty with their scope.

*At this point in time I have not yet seen Colin Firth’s mini-series, a future viewing during Austen in August is planned

I had fully intended to read “Emma” this August, as previously disclosed but due to an increase in demand for the novel to be checked out of my local library, I had to pull it from my reading list; rather unfortunate, but in doing so, I cancelled my queue to receive “Emma: A Latter-Day Tale” as I quite literally felt I ought to wait. I’m still going to be reading “Persuasion” in step with the Jane Austen Reading Challenge, which will allow me to queue “Persuasion: A Latter-Day Tale” at that point in time. Blessedly, I have a ready copy of Persuasian on hand, and Jamison’s novels are easily acquired through ILL’ing. (inter-library loan)

You could say, in the future I shall have enough of Austen’s tomes to spread about between my personal library and the backpack I’ll take with me on my travels. The editions I’m collecting are most decidedly of the ‘bookish soul’ who appreciates not only the quality of the volumes, but the unique differences of each presentation of the text.

By joining this blog tour, I am one step closer to my goals of reading through the breadth of Jane Austen and the authors who are as transfixed on her legacy as I am myself. I am hoping participants in this year’s ‘Austen in August’ and thus forthcoming years as well, will lay their comments in the threads below and give way to a hearty conversational thread! I also plan to write a cross-comparison post at such a time as to when I can read Sense & Sensibility!

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Book Synopsis Read Aloud for Sense & Sensibility: A Latter Day Tale by BonnevilleBooks

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As if it wasn’t bad enough to be getting food from Church welfare, I had to meet one of the Ferreros–a good-looking Ferrero, at that.

Elly Goodwin, a brilliant programmer, is so desperate for a job that she takes one from her ex-boyfriend–the same man who put her family out of business. Then she meets Ethan Ferrero, who seems too good to be true–especially for her ex’s brother-in-law. At the same time, she must help her sister Maren recover from a severe case of depression. Elly is far too busy for love, especially not with Ethan Ferrero.

Meanwhile, Elly’s dramatic sister, Maren, has recovered enough to fall in love, and when she falls, she falls hard. Elly must intercede before Maren’s passion clouds her common sense. Together, Elly and Maren must learn that a mixture of sense and sensibility is the perfect recipe for love.

Fans of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility will love this modern retelling of the classic romance novel.

Author Biography:

Rebecca H. Jamison
Photo Credit: Rachael Nelson

Rebecca H. Jamison wrote novels just for fun until she made a New Year’s resolution in 2011 to submit a manuscript to publishers. Since then, she’s published three books, starting with Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale.

Rebecca grew up in Virginia. She attended Brigham Young University, where she earned a BA and MA in English. In between college and graduate school, she served a mission to Portugal and the Cape Verde islands. Her job titles have included special education teacher’s aide, technical writer, English teacher, and stay-at-home mom.

Rebecca enjoys running, dancing, reading, and watching detective shows. She lives with her husband and children in Utah.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 18 August, 2014 by jorielov in 21st Century, Adoption, After the Canon, Austen in August, Autism, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Synopsis Read Aloud, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Bout of Books, California, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Charity & Philanthropy, Classical Literature, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Contemporary Romance, Dairy-Free Foods, Dating & Humour Therein, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Fly in the Ointment, Food Panties & Community Assistance, Foreclosure | Short Sale | House Auction, Gluten-Free Foods, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Inspired By Author OR Book, Jane Austen Sequel, Library Catalogues & Databases, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Maryland, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Modern Day, Mormonism, Multicultural Marriages & Families, Psychiatric Facilities, RALs | Thons via Blogs, Re-Told Tales, Reading Challenges, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Sense & Sensibility Re-telling, Siblings, Singletons & Commitment, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Special Needs Children, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, World Religions

+Book Review+ Flight to Coorah Creek by Janet Gover #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 16 August, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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Flight to Coorah Creek by Janet GoverFlight to Coorah Creek by Janet Gover

Author Connections:

Personal Site | @janet_gover | Facebook

Converse via: #ChocLit & #FlightToCoorahCreek

Illustrated By: Berni Stevens

 @circleoflebanon | Writer | Illustrator

Genre(s): Fiction | Romance | Adventure

the Australian Outback | Second Chances

Published by: ChocLitUK, 7 March, 2014

Available Formats: Paperback, E-Book

Page Count: 306

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Acquired Book By:

I am a ChocLit reviewer who receives books of my choice in exchange for honest reviews! I received a complimentary copy of “Flight to Coorah Creek” from ChocLit via IPM (International Publisher’s Marketing) in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Inspired to Read:

Mind you, the mere fact that this story is set inside an area of a far-off continent that has both intrigued me and enchanted me since I was a young child was only partially the reason for my selection of receiving this particular book for review! I will go into my appreciation for the Outback in a moment, but part of what I wanted to relay is that I always loved stories of medical practice until I reached my mid-twenties where a lot of what I was either watching through tv serials, motion pictures, or reading in novels was becoming a bit much for me emotionally. I even attempted to watch a Canadian tv serial (via HuLu): Combat Hospital except I had to bow out after two or three episodes as clearly the series was wrecking my emotional heart.

I’m the girl who dreams of obtaining the first five years of ER (my beloved medical drama of my teenage years) and the ‘Martini’s & Medicine’ special boxed set of M* A* S* H (my beloved medical drama of my twenties) yet being able to re-alight inside medical narratives has been a bit of a difficulty I had not felt I would ever experience. The only solace I had is that perhaps I OD’d on the stories themselves and had to step away in order to return. This is why as I learnt of the inclusion of the air ambulance story thread for Flight to Coorah Creek, internally the wheels of curiosity started to click together and unite. Back in late Spring, whilst hosting the #ChocLitSaturdays chat which is the sister companion to this blog feature, I knew I had made the right choice as Ms. Gover happily gave out tidbits of her research and writing process to stitch the story together. Ever since that lovely conversation I have been attempting to dig back into the heart of the novel and attach myself into the world therein.

Dear hearts, kindly forgive my lack of focus and attention, as the time between late Spring and late Summer were a bit consuming for me personally. I wanted to soak into the story when my heart and spirit could allow me the grace of full attention and focus. I never want to rush a ChocLit novel, and it is a grace for me as a book blogger the publisher has such a kind heart understanding how life can intercede on a blogger’s reading life. Their authors are equally accepting in this regard, which has not only encouraged me but taken away the guilt I’ve had for the lost hours between then and now. Coincidentally, we’re not even going to acknowledge I’m posting this a week later than intended as the previous Saturday was a mixture of computer technical issues and a myriad sea of stress. Notwithstanding all the lightning storms occurring at such a fast clip over the past fortnight or so, to boggle this book blogger’s mind with a fierce vexation!

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Book Synopsis: 

What happens when you can fly, but you just can’t hide?

Only Jessica Pearson knows the truth when the press portray her as the woman who betrayed her lover to escape prosecution. But will her new job flying an outback air ambulance help her sleep at night or atone for a lost life?

Doctor Adam Gilmore touches the lives of his patients, but his own scars mean he can never let a woman touch his heart.

Runaway Ellen Parkes wants to build a safe future for her two children. Without a man – not even one as gentle as Jack North.

In Coorah Creek, a town on the edge of nowhere, you’re judged by what you do, not what people say about you. But when the harshest judge is the one you see in the mirror, there’s nowhere left to hide.

Author Biography:Janet Gover

Janet lives in Surrey with her English husband but grew up in the Australian outback surrounded by books. She solved mysteries with Sherlock Holmes, explored jungles with Edgar Rice Burroughs and shot to the stars with Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. After studying journalism at Queensland University she became a television journalist, first in Australia, then in Asia and Europe. During her career Janet saw and did a lot of unusual things. She met one Pope, at least three Prime Ministers, a few movie stars and a dolphin. Janet now works in television production and travels extensively with her job.

Janet’s first short story, The Last Dragon, was published in 2002. Since then she has published numerous short stories, one of which won the Elizabeth Goudge Award from the Romantic Novelists’ Association. She has previously published three novels with Little Black Dress, Flight to Coorah Creek is her debut with Choc Lit and Bring Me Sunshine her first Choc Lit Lite ebook novella.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comThe Bush | Outback as a setting from Australia:

I suppose you could say that I am not unlike most Americans who are deeply curious about the Australian Outback and life ‘Down Under’ as it was regularly referred to in my youth. I grew up on hearty Australian classics such as “Crocodile Dundee” and my beloved horse dramas “The Man from Snowy River” and “Return to Snowy River”; all of which left a deep impression on a young girl’s heart. I always wanted to seek out more Australian Literature, and despite a few start/stops to unearthing authors who penned stories set there and/or were Australian authors outright, I never did get the proper chance to read their stories! One of the goals I had set out for myself as a book blogger was to sort out a way to read all the lovely stories in fiction that had excited my heart and lit a fire inside my imagination. The best gift whilst being a reviewer for ChocLit, is that they have writers submitting stories from different regions of the world. This particular story is a case-in-point as much as my previous readings of The Reluctant Bride (by an Australian author) and Close to the Wind (by an New Zealand author).

The stark and ominous setting of the story is the Outback itself — a holds no bar locale, where even the strongest bloke and gal might find a bit beguiling to encroach a living out of. The Outback is a lot like the American West, a land who never fully gave itself into being civilised anymore than it stopped being wild. The animals and natural make-up of the land has survived without hardly any interference from man nor man’s pursuit of his own endeavours which led him to go there. For myself, I especially love how the Outback was left to it’s natural graces and natural inclinations of evolving into what it was destined to be without the touch of man to muddle it. There are so many beautiful places that we have the tendency to wreck simply by overtaking what is not meant to be conquered that the few places which can shine as their naturally allowed is a celebration to me. I always had a conservation mind-set, and a determined passion for preservation, which is why soaking into this novel was such a leap of joy; to read the passages in the opening sequences where Jess and Adam are flying further into the remote bits of the Outback to save a life.

Visually Gover does a stunning job of descriptive narrative and lends an eye for sight for those of us who have not yet been blessed to visit Australia. She pulls the setting of the locale forward through her story and creates a tangible vortex of an experience for the reader to directly integrate into ‘where’ Flight to Coorah Creek takes them. The reddening of the soil, however, flickered back inside my own memory to the soil I found in Alabama. An enriched red clay that was never beloved by locals but was quite the curious discovery for a girl who grew up on sandy beaches within the breath of the Gulf States!

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Posted Saturday, 16 August, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Australia, Australian Literature, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Cookery, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Novel, Divorce & Martial Strife, Domestic Violence, Family Drama, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Indie Author, Life Shift, Medical Fiction, Modern British Literature, Nun, Passionate Researcher, Psychological Abuse, Religious Orders, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Second Chance Love, Single Mothers, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne Fiction, Writing Style & Voice

+Blog Book Tour+ The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

Posted Wednesday, 6 August, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 8 Comments

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The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

Published By: William Morrow (@WmMorrowBks),
5 August, 2014 (reprint – paperback edition)
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Official Author Websites: Site | @yangszechoo  | Facebook
Available Formats: Hardback, Paperback, Ebook Page Count: 384

Converse via: #TheGhostBride

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Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Ghost Bride” 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.

The reason I wanted to be on the tour:

I am always amazed at the journey we take as readers towards reading a particular book or becoming entranced by the words an author leaves behind for us to find. We (here refers to the collectively diverse readership of the world) all strive towards reading books when that leap of ignited joy and mirth of the discovery catalysts inside our mind and jumps out through our excited speech whilst we’re sharing the bits and bobbles of what we’ve just been blessed to discover with another bookish soul. Those wickedly delightful moments where you stumble across quite an extraordinary story during a more than ordinary hour of your life, and within that moment, you’re on the precipice of taking a journey to a place quite different from where you live and occupy your own murmurings on life; a place that will feel as though it bewitched you as it spoke to you to be read, to be devoured, and consumed.

When I first started reading a heap of recollections and ruminations on behalf of The Ghost Bride during the Autumn on 2013, I was a very new book blogger growing my wings and entering into the book blogosphere myself. I was sorting things out as I went along, and getting my feet wet with blog tours, reviewing books in a style that felt right for me, and gaining a bit of ground within the network of book bloggers in general who are as diverse as the four winds. I appreciate the fact that each of us who blogs about our reading lives takes on a different angle of insight as we read and review the books we want to share with the dear hearts who find us. It was during this particular exploration I came across a review where the blogger had not found the story was able to resonate with her but she had hoped others who appreciated everything that she felt did not work for her might work for someone else instead. Coincidently, I attempted to re-find the book blogger and my own comments therein, but it is lost out in the blogosphere at this point in time. She encouraged me in a way that other reviewers and bloggers hadn’t at that time to seek out the novel. I knew after reading her thoughts I could soak into The Ghost Bride.

I had not thought much about this at the time, but over the course of months since I have found that to read a negative or neutral review is quite an extraordinary thing; especially if you were like me, and took out such a positive take-away! I mused about that for a moment, and thought, but isn’t that why we blog?! Isn’t that why we read book blogs? To garnish a wider net of opinion, commentary, and muse filled thoughts of the readers behind the blogs themselves? To help us better articulate an idea of which novel might whet our palette of interest and encourage our own spirit to read the works of an author we’ve not yet become acquainted with?

In September of 2013, I also had the joy of contacting the author whilst she was hosting a bookaway through Shelf Awareness; I did not win the book, as my reply was received after the book was given away, however, these were my original thoughts on why the book captivated me in such a keen way:

Whilst I was participating in a bookish community event [Bout of Books], I was led to a variety of lovely blogs, whereupon I stumbled across a review of this book! Ironically, the reader wasn’t as enlightened by it as I would be, as they were not a keen fan of literary fiction, but its that review that earmarked this book in my mind to read! :) Isn’t that interesting!? It simply proves that there are as many diverse readers as there are books!!

Ever since then, I’ve had it in the back of my mind to make sure to see if my local library is going to be getting a copy of this lovely book, as I am a proud supporter of libraries!! I do love to buy books as much as the next person, but only when budget affords! What I wanted to say about your lovely book, is how heart-wretching and heart-aching the story sounds from afar! Talk about a character who has to undertake a journey that is not quite easy to understand, much less explain! I have watched documentaries on tv that showcase different traditions, not only for marriage but for a person’s life, as one draws to mind where in one country they select young girls who have the essence of the reincarnated deity and that that girl must live in confinement without the ability to communicate or speak, until she’s around 16!! She ‘ages out’ of the life, and is allowed to resume living, only to find that the available men are afraid that if they are with her in life and marriage that she would be a curse not a blessing! I wish I could draw to mind the exact details of the country & of this ritual, you’ll have to forgive me on this short-coming! However, the reason I drew it to mind, is because your character Li Lan is being placed into a situation that she didn’t choose and yet its a situation which custom and tradition demands!

Ms. Choo kindly replied back to me, and helped me remember that the documentary I had watched was about the “living goddesses” of Nepal! I am not certain why I had not had the proper chance to borrow this book from my local library, but as I have oft mentioned before, there are moments where we are meant to read certain books, and perhaps the time in which I was meant to read The Ghost Bride simply had not yet arrived! I am always very mindful of how coincidental certain moments are in life have turnt out to be quite serendipitous instead. It all depends on your perception of how life unfolds along your path.

Today is my blog’s official 1st birthday and it is an honour that I am celebrating it with a novel that quite bewitched me whilst it originally toured the book blogosphere! Today let’s celebrate the diversity of readers and the joy of selecting books that challenge us and dare us to always be willing to step outside our comfort zones and engage inside a narrative that is wholly different from our own cultural background yet grounded in a connective thread we can all relate too.

*a blog birthday is the day in which a blog goes live to the public whereas a blogoversary is the celebration of the day you created your blog 

Note: The curious bit for me is that I travelled through the original blog book tour for “The Ghost Bride” last year (also hosted by TLC Book Tours), within the first months I was a book blogger with a newly launched blog! To look back on my reflections of wanting to read the novel whilst visiting other book bloggers who were reviewing it and now, a full year forward to where I have the opportunity to read the novel myself and post my own ruminations on my own book blog is quite wicked karma! I have felt as though I have travelled with the book before it reached my own heart and hands to read!

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Book Synopsis:

Yangsze Choo

A wondrous coming-of-age story infused with Chinese folklore, romantic intrigue, adventure, and fascinating, dreamlike twists

Malaya, 1893 Li Lan, the daughter of a genteel but bankrupt Chinese family, has few prospects. But fate intervenes when she receives a proposal from the wealthy and powerful Lim family. They want her to become a ghost bride for the family’s only son, who died under mysterious circumstances. Rarely practiced, ghost marriages are often meant to placate a restless spirit. Such a union would guarantee Li Lan a comfortable home for the rest of her days, but at what cost?

As she reluctantly considers the offer, Li Lan is unwillingly drawn into the shadowy parallel world of the Chinese afterlife, with its ghost cities and vengeful spirits. There Li Lan must uncover the Lim family’s darkest secrets—and the truth about her own family—before she is trapped in this ghostly world forever.

Author Biography:

Yangsze Choo is a fourth-generation Malaysian of Chinese descent. She lives in California with her husband and their two children, and loves to eat and read (often at the same time).

The author had the honour of being selected to read her novel aloud for the audiobook version of The Ghost Bride, and after listening to Chapter 1, I can see why they selected her as she has a captivating speaking voice which brings the words off the page to life in such a lovely manner! Click to read the full story on her blog!

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Yangsze Choo’s Introduction to “The Ghost Bride” via Yangsze Choo

Inspired to Share: I am always fascinated by the back-story revelations of an author’s work, as to me, to hear about the process of their inspiration towards writing a novel quite literally heightens the joy for me as a reader. I realise there are other readers who would disagree with me on that score, but I have always found something quite remarkable in how stories are written and the methodology of each writer who chooses to pen a story to give back to the world in the form of a book. I was struck by the joy of how a bit of knowledge and research into one particular vein of thought led Ms. Choo to not only expand on a seedling of an idea but gave it such a measure of a breath to illuminate it fully by the scope she took the story!

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An Eastern Ghost Story and how it differs from the West:

The first main difference I found is an Eastern Ghost story is rooted within the relationship and interpersonal connection to the dead rather than focusing on the psychological thrill of having a ghost crossing into your lifepath. Western stories tend to focus on the shock and intensity of finding an ethereal presence in your life, an interruption of your hours, and a mindful sea of curious unknown questions and ramifications that are difficult to process and work through. There tends to be a lot of factors pulling the ties together for a Western ghost story, which parellel the leftover work of the deceased and a willingly earnest desire to see the work completed by a second or third party who was not particularly connected to the events or the deceased in life. From what I am gathering in The Ghost Bride the main concern is not unfinished business but rather a continuance of a life cut short of being lived. A way of progressing the life of the deceased to a fulfilling present; merely without their flesh and bone presence.

Elements of the story had me thinking back to my love of the South American and Latin American cultural celebration known as Day of the Dead in which family surround their loved ones’ graves and celebrate the life they lived whilst they were alive. It is a ritual influenced celebration and joyous one at that! Traditionally this has been a holiday centered around Halloween (All Hallow’s Eve) and All Saint’s Day (All Soul’s Day) in Mexico, and there lies the connection for me, as I was able to explore my love of the cultural heritage of Mexico whilst I travelled there as a teen. My furlough was in Summer, not Autumn, which was the only disappointment in regards to not seeing the festivities live in person.

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The Ghost Bride: Western vs Chinese Ghost Stories via James Cham

To extend into this a bit more I felt it best to allow the author

to speak on behalf of her own body of work.

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Posted Wednesday, 6 August, 2014 by jorielov in 19th Century, A Father's Heart, All Hallow's Eve, All Saint's Day, All Soul's Day, Astral Projection, Audiobook, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Bout of Books, Buddhism, Cemeteries & Graveyards, Chinese Literature, Christianity, Clever Turns of Phrase, Clockmakers & Watchmakers, Clockwork & Mechanisations, Clogs & Gears, Confucianism, Cultural & Religious Traditions, Day of the Dead, Death & Burial Rites, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Dreams & Dreamscapes, Earthen Magic, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Father-Daughter Relationships, Folklore and Mythology, Gaming, Ghost Marriage Ritual, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Haunting & Ethereal, Historical Fiction, Interviews Related to Content of Novel, Life Shift, Light vs Dark, Literary Fiction, Magical Realism, Mahjong, Malacca, Malaya, Marriage Rituals, Parapsychological Suspense, Passionate Researcher, Psychological Suspense, Qing Ming Festival, Reincarnation, Rituals for the Afterlife, Scribd, Soundcloud, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, Taboo Relationships & Romance, TLC Book Tours, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage

+Blog Book Tour+ Sweet Water by Christina Baker Kline

Posted Tuesday, 5 August, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 7 Comments

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Sweet Water by Christina Baker Kline

Sweet Water

Published By: William Morrow (@WmMorrowBks),
7 July 2014 (reprint – paperback edition)
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Official Author Websites: Site@bakerkline | Facebook
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook Page Count: 320

Converse via: #ChristinaBakerKline

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Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Sweet Water” 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.

The reason I wanted to be on the tour:

There are moments in our lives where our paths cross with a novel that we have a near-sixth sense about how we will enjoy reading it. This is exactly what happened to me whilst I won a copy of Orphan Train from a contest from Shelf Awareness and received the novel from the author herself. The bits and pieces of my life from that moment in April 2013 to a full score year later were one of the most consuming experiences thus far along on my lifepath. I always had the intention of reading Orphan Train close to when I had received it. Yet. Life ebbed away and took my focus off the novel that I felt I was meant to read. It was one of those books I knew I would acquire even if I had not been able to receive one from the author. I never had the proper chance to follow-up with Ms. Kline; nor explain my absence but to attempt to explain why I had not yet read the story that captured my attention front line and center.

When I learnt of two novels by Kline going on tour with TLC, I knew I had found my way of redeeming myself and of a way back to Orphan Train! Part of the reason I had ended up holding off reading the novel is because I knew it was going to be an emotional read for me as I’m a Prospective Adoptive Mum. The fate of orphans is very near and dear to my maternal heart, and the plight of those children who were sent out on orphan trains always tugs at the core of my soul.

I had felt a connection to not only the story within the sleeper bestseller but I had felt one with the writer who penned the story, which is why I had written her a heartfelt personal note at the time. This entire year I’ve been a book blogger I have learnt how to yield to stress and how to read stories which are emotionally gutting yet intellectually satisfying whilst going through incredible circumstances that otherwise might only lend themselves to beach reads and uplifting romances. I found that I have the ability to write with a clarity that I had not had in previous years whilst juggling through intense personal stress and I found that the best grace in the world as a writer and reader is the direct focus of stories and the writers who create them.

Christina Baker Kline is one writer who crossed my path at a time I could not devout my heart to read her stories, nor approach them with a mindfulness they deserved. It is only one full year later, but this is my way of not only thanking her for the work she has put forward and into the hands of all of us, but a small gesture of acknowledgement from a reader who was captivated by her sincerity, creativity, and immersive research she conducts to breathe life into her characters and stories. I am the blessed one this year, as this is my second chance at discovering what is inside Kline’s body of work.

Note: There are a total of four novels by Christina Baker Kline on tour with TLC Book Tours, however, Orphan Train is not amongst them. I am going to read Orphan Train in September for my own edification and pleasure. I want to take my time to absorb into it and soak through the emotions I know I shall greet when I open the pages of a story I have not stopped thinking about since it arrived.

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Book Synopsis:

Christina Baker KlineFrom the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train comes a novel about buried secrets and the redemptive power of forgiveness

Cassie Simon is a struggling artist living in New York City. When she receives a call from a magistrate telling her she has inherited sixty acres of land in Sweetwater, Tennessee, from her grandfather, whom she never knew, she takes it as a sign: it’s time for a change. She moves to the small Southern town where her mother, Ellen, grew up—and where she died tragically when Cassie was three.

From the moment she arrives in Sweetwater, Cassie is overwhelmed by the indelible mark her mother’s memory left behind. As she delves into the thicket of mystery that surrounds her mother’s death, Cassie begins to discover the desperate measures of which the human heart is capable.

Author Biography:

Christina Baker Kline was born in England and raised in Maine. The author of five novels, including the runaway bestseller Orphan Train, Kline has taught literature and creative writing at Yale, New York University, and Fordham. She lives outside of New York City.

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A novel which shifts both forward & backward through time:

Quite cleverly ahead of each new chapter featuring Cassie’s current life and affairs, there is a flashback sequence to a darker moment in the past; of a time where a woman lived inside of a marriage that was not quite as loving and centered in joy as Cassie’s own life was lived. A woman whose voice is not entirely quiet nor passive, but illuminating a darker truth about herself, her situation, and where her path led her. Her life spills out in small passages of emotional angst and an intuitive glimmer of introspection. This ‘other woman’ who is living a radically different existence to Cassie is connected to Cassie’s world and time-line, even if we are not entirely certain how this could be, as we first begin to delve between the chapters and the context.

Further in, we realise that we are reading a sequence of memories being shared with us by Cassie’s grandmother, Constance (later known as Clyde) who raised her mother Ellen. Ellen was one of three children Constance had with her husband Amory, and it is within their story that part of Cassie’s past I felt would intervene on her future; as families tend to have threads of time stretching between generations, as much as they have secrets that have a tendency of bubbling back to the surface. Constance has her own way of speaking and expressing her grief whilst dealing with her in-affectionate husband and the oddities of having to deal with life when you felt you were living within a love centered romance.

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Posted Tuesday, 5 August, 2014 by jorielov in A Father's Heart, Adoption, Adulterous Affair, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Bookish Discussions, Brothers and Sisters, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Novel, Disillusionment in Marriage, Domestic Violence, Family Drama, Family Life, Father-Daughter Relationships, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Literary Fiction, Mother-Daughter Relationships, New York City, Pottery, Psychological Suspense, Scribd, Sculpture, Single Fathers, Small Towne USA, Taboo Relationships & Romance, Throwing Pots, TLC Book Tours, Unexpected Inheritance, Vulgarity in Literature, Widows & Widowers, Working with Clay

+Book Review+ Go Away Home by Carol Bodensteiner : A #histfic coming-of age story!

Posted Friday, 18 July, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , 7 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

 Go Away Home by Carol Bodensteiner

Go Away Home Virtual Tour with HFVBT

Published By: Rising Sun Press, 1 July, 2014
Official Author Websites:
Site | @CABodensteiner| Facebook | GoodReads | LinkedIn

Available Formats: Paperback Page Count: 382

Converse on Twitter: #GoAwayHome, #GoAwayHomeBlogTour, & #HFVBTBlogTour

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Go Away Home” virtual book tour through HFVBT: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher Rising Sun Press, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Go Away Home by Carol Bodensteiner Book Synopsis:

Liddie Treadway grew up on a family farm where options for her future were marriage or teaching. Encouraged by suffragette rhetoric and her maiden aunt, Liddie is determined to avoid both and pursue a career. Her goal is within her grasp when her older sister’s abrupt departure threatens to keep her on the farm forever.

Once she is able to experience the world she’s dreamed of, Liddie is enthralled with her independence, a new-found passion for photography, and the man who teaches her. Yet, the family, friends, and life of her youth tug at her heart, and she must face the reality that life is not as simple, or the choices as clear-cut, as she once imagined.

GO AWAY HOME is a coming-of-age novel that explores the enduring themes of family, friendship, and love, as well as death and grief. This novel will resonate with anyone who’s confronted the conflict between dreams and reality and come to recognize that getting what you want can be a two-edged sword.

Author Biography:Carol Bodensteiner

Carol Bodensteiner grew up in the heartland of the United States, and she continues to draw writing inspiration from the people, places, culture, and history of the area. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society. She is the author of Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl, a memoir. Her essays have been published in several anthologies. Go Away Home is her first novel.

 

Mid-West America : Americana as a setting:

I grew up reading a heap of Children’s Literature and Classical Literature for Young Readers which dealt with the Heartland of America, as much as the life on the frontier whilst America was just starting to sprout wings as settlers moved further West from the East. I also was fortunate to settle into stories which developed a positive outlook and relationship of the Native American tribes between Canada and America; not always focusing on the war between the settlers and the Indians, but rather stories which enriched the notion that oft-times a truce of peace and an alliance in trade was able to be transacted. What always fascinated me by the hearty life of ranching and farming, is the ordinary joys that whispered into the hearts and minds of those who lived aplenty off the land they worked, harvested, and grew families upon. Even in Native American cultures and societies there was a pure sense of honour and pride knowing that what you could either hunt or grow could not only sustain your own family but your neighbours and community.

My own ancestral roots include farmers and workers for civil rights and liberties, which is why I was thankful to see Aunt Kate and her suffrage movement work included in this particular story. The quality of food from farm to fork (or plate; there are two ready phrases in use nowadays) cannot be compared to industrial methods, and I am happily a locavore and have been for most of my days. The convenience of purchasing locally grown foods in places outside larger cities is still a means to an end to achieve, but the idea of lowering our footprint and supporting local farmers is at the core of my being. The best way to impact the economy is in direct support of local producers of food, commerce, and supplies. I also appreciate settling into stories where there is an ‘other age’ quality to the story-telling, where life was not bent against the wheel towards working one’s soul into an early grave, but rather, the work which was done was in effort to create a better living for yourself and those you took care of. To give industry to the hours of daylight and mirth to the hours that waxed into the moon.

Communication was limited (for the most part) to postal mail – letters and the correspondences exchanged between family and friends alike was not only a convenience but a lifeline built between everyone. In my own childhood, I came to appreciate the joy of sending and receiving letters quite readily; a tradition that I carry forward today. My eyes always glisten with a bit of eager happiness when a writer includes samples or full passages of the ‘letters’ being sent back and forth between their characters. In Go Away Home, the letters are warm reminders of how special a connection is to be kept and how dear the conversation is to those who send and receive postal mail.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Friday, 18 July, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Bread Making, Child out of Wedlock, Children's Classics, Children's Literature, Coming-Of Age, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Family Life, Father-Daughter Relationships, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Iowa, Locavore, Mid-West America, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, Prior to WWI, Sewing & Stitchery, Siblings, Story knitted out of Ancestral Data, The House of Elliott, the Nineteen Hundreds, The World Wars, Unexpected Pregnancy, Women's Suffrage