Category: War-time Romance

Book Review | “Where Dragonflies Hover” by AnneMarie Brear #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 8 July, 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 “Where Dragonflies Hover” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I wanted to read this lovely new release:

When this title was initially released (Digital First), I do remember I was charmed by it’s premise – to find an older estate and an diary of a life lived during WWI through the eyes of the nurse who has such a strong connection to the same house? It felt like it had a lot of the components and elements I enjoy finding in this particular niche of #HistFic which brokers into #timeslip or even #timeshift – where you are moving between more than one time in the narrative whilst having the full pleasure of being anchoured equally into the shoes of the characters who are pulling you in and out of their time-line! These are gems because we can re-walk through History, from a unique perspective whilst finding there is a plausible curiosity about having a portal such as a journal or diary carting us back into a specific time and place where a particular story or ‘truth’ hidden from sight needs to be unearthed, understood and brought forward into the light where it can reside without a shroud.

In regards to nursing fiction, I started finding Midwife stories I liked in Amish Fiction, short story or novella INSPY collections or stand-alone releases as well as a few selections in Historical Fiction across theme or sub-genre. One in particular was the discovery of the Bess Crawford Mysteries (see also Review) wherein I found a delightful new heroine! This series is one I want to re-address when time allows me – as I would LOVE to be able to re-read it straight from the beginning through to the latest installment! Secondly, sometimes you find nurses are strong characters within an established series, such as ChocLit’s #ChartonMinster series wherein I truly felt hugged close into Rose’s situation during the war sequences within the chapters of The Silver Locket (see also Review).

Having said this, there are moments where I feel Nursing Fiction can walk the fine line between being realistic and being a bit over the edge of where I can handle Medical Fiction. I never know until I get into the throes of a story where the line will be walked but I had caught a reader’s takeaway about Where Dragonflies Hover ahead of reading it myself, which made me wonder – oh, dear my! I think I might be in for a few scenes or sequences which could top my bookish sensitivities!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art Design: When you really pull this image into a larger context of viewing, you can see how the timeines are equally spilt between the war era and the Contemporary find of the estate! I love how each is a slice of the story but also, how each half of the timeline visited int he story is pivotal to the understanding of the story as a whole!

Book Review | “Where Dragonflies Hover” by AnneMarie Brear #ChocLitSaturdaysWhere Dragonflies Hover
by AnneMarie Brear
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

Sometimes a glimpse into the past can help make sense of the future…

Everyone thinks Lexi is crazy when she falls in love with Hollingsworth House – a crumbling old Georgian mansion in Yorkshire – and nobody more so than her husband, Dylan. But there’s something very special about the place, and Lexi can sense it.

Whilst exploring the grounds she stumbles across an old diary and, within its pages, she meets Allie – an Australian nurse working in France during the First World War.

Lexi finally realises her dream of buying Hollingsworth but her obsession with the house leaves her marriage in tatters. In the lonely nights that follow, Allie’s diary becomes Lexi’s companion, comforting her in moments of darkness and pain. And as Lexi reads, the nurse’s scandalous connection to the house is revealed…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

Book Page on World Weaver Press

ISBN: 9781781893739

Also by this author: Where Rainbows End (Cover Reveal)

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Time Slip and/or Time Shift, War Drama


Published by ChocLitUK

on 7th June, 2017

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 320

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #ChocLit & #HistFic + #TimeSlip OR #WhereDragonfliesHover

About AnneMarie Brear

AnneMarie Brear

AnneMarie has been a life-long reader and started writing in 1997 when her children were small. She has a love of history, of grand old English houses and a fascination of what might have happened beyond their walls. Her interests include reading, genealogy, watching movies, spending time with family and eating chocolate – not always in that order!

AnneMarie grew up in Australia but now lives in the UK.

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 8 July, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, ChocLitUK, Content Note, Debilitating Diagnosis & Illness, During WWI, England, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Family Drama, Family Life, Fly in the Ointment, France, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inheritance & Identity, Life Shift, Medical Fiction, Mental Health, Military Fiction, Nurses & Hospital Life, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Story in Diary-Style Format, The World Wars, Time Shift, Time Slip, Unexpected Pregnancy, Vulgarity in Literature, War Drama, War-time Romance, Warfare & Power Realignment, Women's Health

Blog Book Tour | “A Moment Forever” by Cat Gardiner

Posted Wednesday, 31 August, 2016 by jorielov , , 4 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I have been hosting blog tours with Poetic Book Tours whilst hoping to engage in hosting Small Press titles that are reflective of the diverse breadth of literature I welcome into my readerly life each year. This is why I was most delighted by the blog tour for ‘A Moment Forever’ as it simply felt like the type of World War era drama I would love to curl up inside reading! I received a complimentary copy of the novel “A Moment Forever” by the author Cat Gardiner in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What I enjoyed about learning about ‘A Moment Forever’:

Do you consider your novel to be a time slip or a time shift story? For instance, does the continuity of how it’s being told ‘slip’ between the two years of importance or does time ‘shift’ between perspectives of your lead characters? What do you like most about the styling of bending ‘time’ to the will of your muse?

Gardiner responds: I would consider A Moment Forever (AMF) a time slip-shift story. LOL. There are actually four lead characters, two in each time period, and the perspective does change. The main story that we begin with is in 1992 and it shifts and slips every few chapters back to 1942. The 1992 discovery of “something” in a letter will follow with the details of that “something” in 1942, painting the picture, drawing the reader into the life of our WWII couple, building their relationship until the climax of reunion five decades later. This was integral because I wanted the reader to see our 1942 lovers as those vibrant, youthful hearts in 1992 when they finally come back to each other.

One detail that I loved about AMF was that both eras are 20th Century historical fiction, both requiring research. The shifting and the timeline continuity was a challenge for my muse, but I dig challenges. I took her to task many times on Facebook because there were occasions when she wanted to stay in 1942 and I had to get her mind back to more modern times. Music helped … and copious amounts of wine.

I had to smile where you felt your novel fits both descriptions! Especially you’ve described how you’ve anchoured the story-line to certain pertinent revelations per ‘time of era’, I agree with your assessment of where this fits within the framework of time slip or time shift narratives! It had to be a ready challenge – not just to layer the story through it’s convicting core of thought but to control what was revealled (how, when, why, etc) whilst needling through the eyes of your characters, too! Smiling at the mention of wine – red or white, I wonder? I’m definitely into ‘red’. Music is such a beautiful constant in my own writerly endeavours – I love Hearts of Space for cluing into my muse.

-quoted from my interview with Ms Gardiner

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Whenever I find out about a war drama set during the World War eras, there is a good chance I’ll find my way into tucking inside the story-line and being caught up inside the drama unfolding around me as I soak inside the author’s story. I have the tendency to focus on stories stateside, throughout Europe and especially centred in focus between the UK and France. One reason this particular war drama appealed to me is how it’s a curiously time slip which shifts forwards and backwards in order for the fuller context of the story to be absorbed. I have a small weakness for time slips and shifts, so it wasn’t too hard to realise I’d be smitten by an interest to read this release! The added joy was being able to interview the author ahead of this review! We share a lot of mutual interests even though if out of the two of us, I’m the self-declared pack rat with a purpose! Laughs.

This will mark my first review for Vanity & Pride Press ahead of my first Austenesque sequel by Pamela Lynne coming in Autumn 2016! I look forward to that as I want to pick up my readings of Austen this Autumn & Winter, as I have dearly missed tucking inside the canon of Austen inasmuch a few sequel authors who’ve garnished my attention by how their choosing to re-invent the focus on beloved characters for generations of readers! I, myself, am only familiar with PRIDE, so it will be a lovely journey to dig back into PRIDE sequels whilst attempting my first readings of the two Austen novels I was gifted as a 1st Year Book Blogger!

Thus, there is more to come featuring the duo behind “Vanity & Pride Press!”

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “A Moment Forever” by Cat GardinerA Moment Forever
by Cat Gardiner
Source: Author via Poetic Book Tours

In the summer of 1992, a young writer is bequeathed the abandoned home of a great-uncle she never knew. The house has a romantic history and is unlike any home she has ever seen. Juliana Martel felt as though she stepped into a time capsule—a snapshot of 1942. The epic romance—and heartache—of the former occupant unfold through reading his wartime letters found in the attic, compelling her on a quest to construct the man. His life, as well as his sweetheart’s, during the Second World War were as mysterious as his disappearance in 1950.

Carrying her own pain inflicted by the abandonment of her mother and unexpected death of her father, Juliana embarks on a journalist’s dream to find her great-uncle and the woman he once loved. Enlisting the reluctant assistance of a man whose family is closely related to the secrets, she uncovers the carefully hidden events of her great-uncle’s and others’ lives – and will ultimately change her own with their discovery.

This story of undying love, born amidst the darkest era in modern history, unfolded on the breathtaking Gold Coast of Long Island in 1942. A Jewish, Army Air Forces pilot and an enchanting society debutante—young lovers—deception—and a moment in time that lasted forever.

A Moment Forever is an evocative journey that will resonate with you long after you close the book. Romance, heartache, and the power of love, atonement, and forgiveness transform lives long after the horrors and scars of the Second World War have ended.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9780997313000

Also by this author: Author Interview (AMF)

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Time Slip and/or Time Shift, War Drama


Published by Vanity & Pride Press

on 28th May, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 600

Published By: Vanity & Pride Press (@VPPressNovels)

Converse via: #HistFic, #HistRom, #WWII, #HistoricalFiction or #HistoricalRomance

About Cat Gardiner

Cat Gardiner

Born and bred in New York City, Cat Gardiner is a girl in love with the romance of an era once known as the Silent Generation, now referred to as the Greatest Generation.

A member of the National League of American Pen Women, Romance Writers of America, and Tampa Area Romance Authors, she and her husband adore exploring the 1940s Home Front experience as living historians, wishing for a time machine to transport them back seventy years.

She loves to pull out her vintage frocks and attend U.S.O dances, swing clubs, and re-enactment camps as part of her research, believing that everyone should have an understanding of The 1940s Experience™. Inspired by those everyday young adults who changed the fate of the world, she writes about them, taking the reader on a romantic journey. Cat’s WWII-era novels always begin in her beloved Big Apple and surround you with the sights and sounds of a generation.

She is also the author of four Jane Austen-inspired contemporary novels, however, her greatest love is writing 20th Century Historical Fiction, WWII-era Romance. A Moment Forever is her debut novel in that genre.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Wednesday, 31 August, 2016 by jorielov in 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Multi-Generational Saga, New York City, Poetic Book Tours, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, The Nineties, The World Wars, Vulgarity in Literature, War Drama, War-time Romance

Book Review | “The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley”by Susan Ornbratt My second novel of #SwedishLit by an writer who soulfully stirs the reader’s heart.

Posted Saturday, 20 February, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: One day in June I ducked inside #LitChat and discovered a hearty conversation about Indie Publishers and the stories they publish. There were two publishers in attendance, with Light Messages Publishing being the one who happily corresponded with me a bit after the chat concluded. Whilst in communication with their publicity department, I was encouraged to look through their beautifully lovely catalogue and see if one of their upcoming Autumn releases might suit my bookish curiosities. I picked two which fancied me the most, one of which was not mentioned to me but I discovered on my own: “Tea and Crumples” by Summer Kinard, who had attended the chat. If your curious about the Small Press Showcase #LitChat I attended you can replay the conversation in whole by visiting the Nurph Channel for LitChat where it’s archived.

I love hosting Indie Publishers and Press on Jorie Loves A Story, as it speaks to the wicked quality of editing and crafting of stories in today’s book market. I nearly read more Indie authors on a yearly basis than I do Major Trade, a credit to being a book blogger whose bookish world has tenfold increased since she started blogging. You get further into the book world as a blogger and I’m incredibly blessed due to the connections I am making in the twitterverse.

This marks my first review for Light Messages Publishing and I will be following it with a review of “Tea and Crumples”. After which I am hoping to make a new selection and continue to support the writers and team behind this inspirational Indie Publisher! I received a complimentary copy of “The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley” direct from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

A bit of an introduction to Light Messages Publishing:

Light Messages is a family run publishing company founded in 1998, and we began expanding to general trade in 2011. We now have close to 100 titles in our catalog and release 6-8 titles per year. We pride ourselves on publishing meaningful books by emerging authors.

This is the official mission statement of Light Messages as a publisher and one that is aptly suited to their publishing house. One of the takeaways I took from my interactions with them in the #LitChat I attended and the research I did on their publishing website, this is a publisher whose entire focus is on crafting uplifting stories rooted in heart and soul story-lines. They give specific attention to their authors and their stories whilst being open-minded about book bloggers and reviewers who are seeking stories to review. They are a gem of a find if your a blogger, as similar to my admiration for World Weaver Press (on my review of FAE and on this post) they give us a lot to work with whilst we’re hosting their authors!

The flexibility to read through their catalogue of front list and backlist titles is one that I appreciate, as this reminds me of my readings of ChocLitUK; where your are not limited to front list selections. I enjoy getting the opportunity to read the stories which nestle into my imagination long before I pick them up as a bit of a precursor of what I might find inside their chapters. Reading for review is a bit like sorting out which writer and which story not only appeals to you in the moment of discovery, but one that will have a lasting curiosity by the time you sit down to read it. Oft-times we’re making selections a bit ahead of our blogging schedules (by three to six months!), and the beauty for me is finding the stories which are uniquely individualistic to both their authors and their publishing house. This is in part why I love reading Indies, they have their own styling and their own written voice which sets them apart from Major Trade.

I have blogged in the past about being a hybrid reader of both Mainstream and INSPY (my shortened endearing name for ‘Inspirational Fiction’ as found via the twitterverse or most directly the INSPY Awards) novelists and the selections I’m making via Light Messages speaks to that particular appreciation of reading across literary boundaries. I love being uplifted by hard-hitting story-lines which speak to the human condition and the state of humanity. (hence why I read a heap of war dramas!) At the very same time, I love the lightness and joyfully blissful story-lines where the drama is lightly touched upon and comic moments intersect the character’s lives. I am eclectically happy experiencing my literary wanderings and I am quite thankful I discovered Light Messages as they are creating a balance of what I appreciate out of both ‘umbrellas’ so to speak of literature.

Equally lovely is how they do not limit the kinds of stories their authors are writing, as I happily found selections in a cross mixture of genre and styles of literature, including science fiction and suspense!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Review | “The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley”by Susan Ornbratt My second novel of #SwedishLit by an writer who soulfully stirs the reader’s heart.The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley
Subtitle: a love story
by Susan Ornbratt
Source: Direct from Publisher

To satisfy her wandering feet, eighteen-year-old Gillian McAllister is sent from Ireland to Canada in the summer of 1932. She arrives with her Irish ways intact, determined not to let the wiles of crop duster Christian Hunter woo her into submission. Yet as the summer unfolds and the sweet taste of love grows,

Gillian’s appeal lures more than she anticipates, shattering the life they’ve built. From the shores of The Great Lakes to the slums of Bombay and a tiny island in between, this love story takes the reader on an intimate journey to unravel a family secret that’s laid hidden for generations.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1-61153-111-4

Also by this author:

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Time Slip and/or Time Shift, War Drama, Women's Fiction


Published by Light Messages Publishing

on 23rd April 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 318

Published By: Light Messages Publishing (@LMpublishing)

Author Page @ Light Messages Publishing
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

I elected to shorten the title to encourage bookish chatter in the twitterverse!

Converse via: #GillianPugsley

I am not even sure I grabbed all the tweets I referenced over the months I spent with this novel as I used this shortened tag quite a heap as it was a way to convey a short code nod towards what I was reading but also, to bring to light a name shared by two characters!

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 Susan Ornbratt

Susan Ornbratt

Susan Örnbratt was born in London, Canada and grew up on the dance floor until her brother’s high school rowing crew needed a coxswain. Quickly, she traded in her ballet shoes for a megaphone and went on to compete in the Junior and Senior World Championships and the XIII Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland.

A graduate from the University of Western Ontario in French and the University of Manitoba in elementary education, as well as attending L’Université Blaise Pascal Clermont-Ferrand II in France while she worked as a fille au pair, Susan has gone on to teach and live in six countries.

Although a maple leaf will forever be stitched on her heart, she has called Sweden her home for the past sixteen years with a recent three-year stint in North Carolina, USA for her husband’s work. It was there where Susan wrote The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley.

Susan lives in Gothenburg with her husband and two children and an apple tree beloved by the local moose population. If she isn’t shooing away the beasts, you can find her in her garden with some pruning shears, a good book and always a cup of tea. If Susan were dried out, she could be brewed.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 20 February, 2016 by jorielov in 20th Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Clever Turns of Phrase, Debut Author, Debut Novel, During WWI, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Ireland, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Light Messages Publishing, Modern Day, Poetry, Prior to WWI, the Thirties, The World Wars, Time Shift, Time Slip, War Drama, War-time Romance, Women's Fiction, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Style & Voice

Book Review | “Those Who Remain: Remembrance and Reunion After War” by Ruth W. Crocker

Posted Monday, 2 November, 2015 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I was approached to read a different book than the one I asked to read, as the original choice the publicist made for me didn’t feel like a good fit, to be honest. I asked to receive “Those Who Remain” because I have a strong connection to the war eras as I regularly read war dramas and historical fiction set during this period; yet I do not often think to pick up a work of non-fiction that is connected to the eras. I was thankful I could step out of my comfort zone and read a creative non-fiction account set during the Vietnam War. I received a complimentary copy of the “Those Who Remain” direct from the publicist at Claire McKinney Public Relations, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why letters and correspondences interest me within a story of a war drama:

Oft-times letters and correspondences are all that will remain after a war between wives and husbands; daughters and fathers; sons and mothers, etc. as war is an uncertain time of unforeseeable tragedy. The words etched into postcards, pieces of paper or scribbled onto napkins or other bits of mail become a lasting tribute to not only the person who gave those words to their loved ones but to the receiver who knew a bit of their thoughts before they passed. Not everyone perishes at war, but for the families who lose their relatives, the sudden separation and the lack of a proper good-bye is mind-numbingly anguishing for many years.

When it comes to reading war dramas in fiction, I appreciate the writers who fuse history and fact into their stories, but also allow a breath of connection between those at the front and those back home. Finding letters caught inside the tethers of a war drama is one way to anchour me into that story because of how important those letters were in reality. I read quite a lot of war dramas per year, but I also appreciate certain tv serials who augment the same connections I find in their fictional counterparts such as Foyle’s War and As Time Goes By. The latter had the plot focused on a missing letter which was never delivered and thus, became the impetus of how a soldier and a nurse reunited years later in their golden years.

The novel which illuminated the necessity for correspondence at war the best, I felt, was Letters from Skye a novel writ around the letters themselves; taking me to a new vein of reality of how a novel can be told. Reviewing this novel twice was a way I could give the author a second note of gratitude for how convicting her story moved my emotional heart.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Book Review | “Those Who Remain: Remembrance and Reunion After War” by Ruth W. CrockerThose Who Remain
Subtitle: Remembrance and Reunion After War
by Ruth W. Crocker
Source: Direct from Publisher

She was 23 years old when she was widowed by war and rather than bury her husband in his coffin, she buried every memory of their brief life together. Forty years later she exhumed the grave and came to terms with her loss and her grief.

Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2013 writer-teacher-actress Ruth W. Crocker brings her journey of love, loss, and inspiration to the page in her beautiful memoir THOSE WHO REMAIN: Remembrance and Reunion after War (Elm Grove Press).

Sometimes the reaction to loss is anger along with the need to be reckless and to search for meaning in what has happened. In THOSE WHO REMAIN, Ruth W. Crocker was propelled by her complex emotions at the time. On the one hand she needed to close the door on her previous life, and on the other she wanted to pay tribute to her husband's memory and escape from her grief. To this end she hiked up to the treacherous North Face of the Eiger, the most notorious mountain in the Swiss Alps, to spread her husband's ashes at the top of the climb they were supposed to do together.

Weaving her beautifully-written recollections with diary entries, letters between her and her husband, and conversations with his comrades, Ruth gives readers an intimate glimpse into the life of a woman who faced her fears and braved the forces of nature to learn that she could survive anything that came her way. A unique true story of grief and recovery with a surprising revelation, THOSE WHO REMAIN demonstrates the tenacious will of the human spirit to heal.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781940863009

Genres: Memoir, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, War Drama


Published by Elm Grove Press

on 13th May 2014

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 294

Published by: Elm Grove Press 

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Ruth W. Crocker

Ruth W. Crocker

Ruth W. Crocker, PhD, is a 2013 Pushcart Prize nominated author, writing consultant, and expert on recovery from trauma and personal tragedy. Her memoir Those Who Remain: Remembrance and Reunion After War describes her experience following her husband’s death in Vietnam and how she found resources for healing.

Crocker’s essays have been recognized in Best American Essays and her articles have been
featured in the Gettysburg Review, Grace Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, O-Dark-Thirty, and T.A.P.S. Magazine.

She received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Bennington College, a PhD in Nutrition and Human Development from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Education from Tufts University. Along the way she also became a Registered Dietitian.

Crocker worked in health care administration and clinical nutrition before becoming a full-time writer. Currently, she is the Writer-In-Residence at Riverlight Wellness Center in Stonington, Connecticut, where she teaches the art of writing memoirs and personal essays to aspiring writers who want to express their own stories. She lives, cooks, and writes in Mystic, Connecticut.

Why the past (and the memories carried therein) can rekindle hope and our humanity’s will towards accepting grace:

There is a point in the story where Crocker mentions the true blessing of living histories (what my family refers to as the stories of our relatives and relations throughout our ancestral past) where we become tethered to our family through the living memories of people who lived before our own time. Sometimes these can be peppered with your living relatives recollections of their lives in the decades before your birth, but generally speaking, it’s a way to keep a tangible impression of your family’s journey through time refreshed and known for the generations who are coming down the line.

I appreciated these stories because they clarified a few finer points of the historical past where I found a bit of fault with lessons in school; as I was being given a wider picture than the option only to recount facts and tidbits someone else deemed worthy of my attention. In a conversation on Twitter earlier in 2015 (believe during #HistoricalFix; follow @HistoricalFix), it was mentioned that if historical fiction was taught in school (especially the authors of today or yesterday who conduct such impressive research to ground their stories) we would have a whole new appreciation for history as a whole. I tend to agree with this sentiment whole-heartedly because when the ‘past’ comes alive for me as I read a novel, it is a kind reminder of how much the past was ‘alive’ for me through the stories of my family. We have a need to make connections whilst we’re alive, it’s not only how we process information and keep a stronghold of knowledge vibrant and a part of who we are, it’s a way of how we internalise what we’re experiencing.

If we start to forget to share the stories, we will soon find ourselves without a path towards reacquiring the hope of where we’ve been and the joy of where we are about to venture forward next. Read More

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Posted Monday, 2 November, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, #NonFictionFriday, 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Claire McKinney Public Relations, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, History, Indie Author, Memoir, Military Families of the Deployed, Non-Fiction, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, Quakers, Special Needs Children, Story knitted out of Ancestral Data, The Vietnam War, Travel the World in Books, War Widow, War-time Romance, Warfare & Power Realignment

Blog Book Tour | “The Beautiful American” by Jeanne Mackin

Posted Tuesday, 29 September, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Beautiful American” virtual book tour through HFVBT: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Jeanne Mackin, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I felt I might fancy this novel:

I have a personal penchant for what I refer to as ‘Biographical Historical Fiction’ wherein the historical persons who lived are aptly portrayed through a historical treatment of their lives by a novelist who has a flaire for bringing their lives so fully to life, we feel as though we’ve met them in person. You’ll find that I have read quite a hearty array of historicals which befit this category and am always quite in full search of new writers who can lead me back through the corridors of the past and introduce me to someone who will bring history alive to me in all it’s glory and heartache. As for each life told, there is a happy balance of joy and strife, such is a well-rounded life well lived and told thereafter the person has passed on.

I personally find joy in this section of historical stories because the past becomes fiercely alive through the voices of the authors who pen these kinds of stories. We get to take an up close and personal voyage back through the tides of time whilst being caught up in the livelihood of a person who truly lived and felt every inch of the emotions we hope to catch sight of in the novel.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Note on the Cover Art: Did anyone else notice the sepia tone of hue on the cover when Lee Miller is being highlighted and how Paris in the background is a more muted reverie? I felt this was a fitting touch to the novel, especially as you become further into her folds, this novel doesn’t quite want to let you go – it stays with you, and you realise things you hadn’t seen at first glaance.

Blog Book Tour | “The Beautiful American” by Jeanne MackinThe Beautiful American
by Jeanne Mackin
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

As recovery from World War II begins, expat American Nora Tours travels from her home in southern France to London in search of her missing sixteen-year-old daughter. There, she unexpectedly meets up with an old acquaintance, famous model-turned-photographer Lee Miller. Neither has emerged from the war unscathed. Nora is racked with the fear that her efforts to survive under the Vichy regime may have cost her daughter’s life. Lee suffers from what she witnessed as a war correspondent photographing the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.

Nora and Lee knew each other in the heady days of late 1920’s Paris, when Nora was giddy with love for her childhood sweetheart, Lee became the celebrated mistress of the artist Man Ray, and Lee’s magnetic beauty drew them all into the glamorous lives of famous artists and their wealthy patrons. But Lee fails to realize that her friendship with Nora is even older, that it goes back to their days as children in Poughkeepsie, New York, when a devastating trauma marked Lee forever. Will Nora’s reunion with Lee give them a chance to forgive past betrayals, and break years of silence?

A novel of freedom and frailty, desire and daring, The Beautiful American portrays the extraordinary relationship between two passionate, unconventional woman.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9780451465825

Also by this author:

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by New American Library

on 3rd June 2014

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 352

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.

Published By: New American Library (NAL)
( ) an imprint of Penguin Group (USA
)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #TheBeautifulAmerican

About Jeanne Mackin

Jeanne Mackin

Jeanne Mackin’s novel, The Beautiful American (New American Library), based on the life of photographer and war correspondent Lee Miller, received the 2014 CNY award for fiction. Her other novels include A Lady of Good Family, about gilded age personality Beatrix Farrand, The Sweet By and By, about nineteenth century spiritualist Maggie Fox, Dreams of Empire set in Napoleonic Egypt, The Queen’s War, about Eleanor of Aquitaine, and The Frenchwoman, set in revolutionary France and the Pennsylvania wilderness.

Jeanne Mackin is also the author of the Cornell Book of Herbs and Edible Flowers (Cornell University publications) and co-editor of The Book of Love (W.W. Norton.) She was the recipient of a creative writing fellowship from the American Antiquarian Society and a keynote speaker for The Dickens Fellowship. Her work in journalism won awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, in Washington, D.C. She has taught or conducted workshops in Pennsylvania, Hawaii and at Goddard College in Vermont.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Tuesday, 29 September, 2015 by jorielov in 20th Century, Adulterous Affair, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Bookish Discussions, Clever Turns of Phrase, Fashion Industry, Father-Daughter Relationships, France, French Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Lee Miller, Literary Fiction, Parfum Industry, Passionate Researcher, Photography, The World Wars, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, War-time Romance, Women's Health, Women's Rights, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Style & Voice