Category: Aquaculture

Blog Book Tour | “Reef Libre: An In-Depth Look at Cuban Exceptionalism” by Robert Wintner

Posted Tuesday, 17 November, 2015 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

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 part of the blog tour for “Reef Libre” hosted by iRead Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book and DVD (accompaniment to the book) direct from the publisher Taylor Trade Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why the oceans have fascinated my mind:

I grew up surrounded by the oceans as my state is one of the Gulf States hugged so close to shoreline we’re perpetually below sea level; a fact that never shied me away from wondering which hurricane season might cause catastrophic destruction; not only to the humans who live within my state but to the ecological habitats who call this area home. There have been many disasters within the Gulf region since I was bourne and unfortunately they were not limited to mother nature. Each time something has happened to cause a disruption in the harmony of the natural world of my state and the surrounding ones, a part of my heart has been full of remorse and grief.

Mankind has not found kindness nor humility in understanding there are limits to what we can effectively do and what we can not undo due to our greed and our progression forward through industry. Too often the progress of mankind is placed first rather than taking into consideration the benefit of living in conjunction with the natural world; in this case, the oceans. The oceans were studied quite widely throughout my school years, but it wasn’t until 7th grade where I truly caught on to the specifics of weather patterns, wave formations, tidal histories and the incredible density of how large our oceans are whilst cross-compared to how much of the oceans have been mapped, researched and understood on even a basic level of insight. It’s truly our greatest ‘unknown’ frontier outside of Space.

I grew up going to the beach as oft as time would allow and part of my appeal of visiting those sandy shores were to feel the connection from the sand under my feet to the humming clarity of the waves. There is something altogether spiritual about walking the beach, acknowledging the shells and connecting to the lifeblood of what the oceans give us per annum. I originally felt I would grow up to be professionally connected to the oceans, as I explored different options from interspecies communications (i.e. dolphins or whales; similar scope to Zeus and Roxanne); dolphin research; Nautical Archaeology; Marine Biology or one of the many sub-fields therein that stimulated a personal curiosity to know more. I even yearned to get my PADI license until I realised that I appreciated being a bit more disconnected from this enveloping world of dark and light; of where the underwater ecology is as reverent as the one on the surface and mimics certain attributes therein.

I found that my greater passion was to become a writer whose stories would be soulfully connected to the ocean and allow me the chance through research to develop more knowledge than what I could have gained if I had selected only one field to pursue. I appreciate the freedom being a writer and photographer can yield, but also, it’s finding a way to give credence to an ecological living system that so many of this world take for granted. If non-fiction releases like Reef Libre and my own personal wanderings within fiction can shed a light on the beauty and the case for conservation with preservation forward thinking solutions, I think we have a chance to reset the balance we’ve destroyed.

Blog Book Tour | “Reef Libre: An In-Depth Look at Cuban Exceptionalism” by Robert WintnerReef Libre
Subtitle: Cuba: The Last, Best Reefs in the World. An in-depth look at Cuban Exceptionalism

Cuba reefs host apex predators and coral cover at optimal levels. While Cuban reef vitality may be linked to economic default and no shoreline development, no agricultural pesticides or fertilizers and limited human population growth, the Castro regime is aggressively developing its reef potential.

Seas to the south are now 100% shark protected.

Most Cuba travelogues advise “getting off the beaten path,” but Reef Libre examines that path, to see where it might lead as things change. Will Cuba reefs remain protected? Or is this perilous age of natural decline a last chance to see a healthy reef system?

Robert Wintner and the Snorkel Bob Jardines de la Reina Expedition herein provide narrative insight with photos and video. First stop is the baseline: Havana urban density. Down south at Cayo Largo, reef collapse seems imminent with 600 guests changing daily, and the phosphate-laden laundry water flowing directly to the deep blue sea. Will Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism step up with the Jardines de la Reina paradigm? Rising from the Golfo de Ana María, Jardines is a thousand square miles of mangrove estuary, for ages compromised by constant extraction of its biggest predators, taken as food. Protected, it now rises on the world reef stage.

A DVD comes with the book in a paper sleeve glued to the inside cover. Reef Libre, the movie, runs about an hour.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781630760731

on 1st February, 2015

Pages: 272

Available Formats: Hardback with the DVD

Published by: Taylor Trade Publishing

An imprint of Rowan & Littlefield (@RLPGBooks) known for their academic publications within the Humanities and Social Sciences. They also focus on Educational publications.

Converse via: #ReefLibre

About Robert Wintner

Robert Wintner

Best known as Snorkel Bob in Hawaii and around the world, Robert Wintner captures Cuba above and below the surface with urgency and hope. As a pioneer in fish portraiture, Wintner demonstrated social structure and etiquette in reef society. Reef Libre goes to political context, in which human folly will squander Cuba’s reefs as well—unless natural values can at last transcend political greed. As pundits joust over who did what to whom and why, Wintner ponders reef prospects in view of political changes.

Robert Wintner has authored many novels and story collections. Reef Libre is his fourth reef commentary with photos and his first overview of survival potential in a political maelstrom. He lives and works in Hawaii, still on the front lines of the campaign to stop the aquarium trade around the world.

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Posted Tuesday, 17 November, 2015 by jorielov in Aquaculture, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Charity & Philanthropy, Climate Change, Conservation, Ecology, Education & Learning, Environmental Activism, Environmental Advocacy, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Science, Environmental Solutions, Indie Author, Life in Another Country, Marine Biology, Nature & Wildlife, Non-Fiction, Oceanography, Preservation, Science, Social Change, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, The Natural World, Travel Narrative | Memoir, Travel Writing, Travelogue

Book Review | “The Walking Fish” by Rachelle Burk & Kopel Burk A new #MGLit novel speaking directly to girls & boys who love science and the curious realms they can endeavour to explore!

Posted Tuesday, 5 May, 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 review “The Walking Fish” by JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. JKS is the first publicity firm I started working with when I launched Jorie Loves A Story in August, 2013. I am honoured to continue to work with them now as a 2nd Year Book Blogger. I received my complimentary copy of The Walking Fish direct from JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

When I was first approached to read The Walking Fish it nearly felt like kismet to find science re-entering my life because I was the kind of girl who grew up in her local Science Center and ached for Summer because it meant she could spend more hours at the Center absorbing science through hands-on learning opportunities and field trips which were not available during regular school sessions. The beauty for me growing up at the Science Center is being in control of the ‘academics’ and ‘choices’ of which fields of study I could focus on without the added stress of worrying about ‘grades or homework’. You could simply go to the Center, enjoy your days, and get caught up in the joy of science without the hassles that regular school provides.

I thrived in this environment because having a curious mind was encouraging to the teachers, who loved it when we asked questions that challenged them in return to provide a plausible response. It was a mecca for science geeks – girls and boys together, whilst having a living ecosystem of sorts at our fingertips. We even had a resident boa constrictor I helped save when I was the only kid there who noticed Monty wasn’t in his cage but rather the latch on his environment was ‘unhooked’. We had resident tarantulas, an iguana I adopted, various snakes I gave a wide birth (outside of Monty, I was not keen on snakes!), and a lovely outdoor garden filled with footpath tiles and hidden nooks where you could enjoy the flowers.

I have been wanting to dig back into my readings of science, not just as an adult but to seek out titles that would stimulate a fascination for children within the realms of Children’s Lit. This branch of literature is quite dear to me, and I was thankful to be considered for a title I hope will inspire younger readers to get as excited as I had about science and the possibilities therein!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Book Review | “The Walking Fish” by Rachelle Burk & Kopel Burk A new #MGLit novel speaking directly to girls & boys who love science and the curious realms they can endeavour to explore!The Walking Fish
by Kopel Burk, Rachelle Burk
Source: Publicist via JKS Communications

A humorous, exciting tale of an ordinary girl who makes an extraordinary scientific discovery—a blind fish that walks.

When seventh-grader Alexis catches an unusual fish that looks like a living fossil, she sets off a frenzied scientific hunt for more of its kind. Alexis and her friend Darshan join the hunt, snorkeling, sounding the depths of Glacial Lake, even observing from a helicopter and exploring a cave. All the while, they fight to keep the selfish Dr. Mertz from claiming the discovery all for himself. When Alexis follows one final hunch, she risks her life and almost loses her friend. This is a scientific adventure not to be missed.

With great settings and vivid characters, lively and at times hilarious, this book presents the adventure of science in a way that’s sure to appeal to girls and boys in grades 4-7.

Genres: Children's Literature, Science, Middle Grade

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0990782933

Published by Tumblehome Learning

on 1st April, 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 192

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: Tumblehome Learning (@TumblehomeLearn)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Hardback

Converse via: #WalkingFishBook & #RachelleBurk

OR  #MGFiction, #MGLit, #KidsLit or #MiddleGrade

About Kopel Burk

Kopel Burk is a retired physician who writes, sculpts, and remains active on the bioethics committee at his hospital. He conceived the idea for Walking Fish over 40 years ago, when he told early versions of the story to his young children, nieces and nephews. His co-author is one of those nieces. At 86, this is his first book.

About Rachelle Burk

Rachelle Burk is a children’s author, social worker, clown, and storyteller. She writes fiction and nonfiction for children, including books, magazine pieces, and poetry. Rachelle scuba dives, explores caves, and volunteers on a rescue squad. With her background as a children’s entertainer, she’s a hit in classroom visits.

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Posted Tuesday, 5 May, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Aquaculture, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Films, Chefs and Sous Chefs, Childhood Friendship, Children's Literature, Clever Turns of Phrase, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cookery, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Documentary on Topic or Subject, Ecology, Environmental Activism, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Science, Equality In Literature, Father-Daughter Relationships, Fishing, GeoPhysical History, Green-Minded Social Awareness, Hard Science Fiction, History, Indie Author, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Juvenile Fiction, Literature of India, Meteorology, Middle Grade Novel, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Realistic Fiction, Science, Science Fiction, Social Change, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, The Natural World

+Blog Book Tour+ A Matter of Mercy by Lynne Hugo

Posted Tuesday, 30 September, 2014 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

Parajunkee Designs

A Matter of Mercy by Lynne Hugo
Published By: Blank Slate Press (@blankslatepress) | Blog
Official Author Websites:  Site | @LynneHugo| GoodReads | Facebook
Available Formats: Trade Paper

Converse via: #AMatterOfMercy

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “A Matter of Mercy” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the publisher Blank Slate Press, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

+Blog Book Tour+ A Matter of Mercy by Lynne HugoA Matter of Mercy
by Lynne Hugo
Source: Direct from Publisher

Caroline Marcum thought she’d escaped the great mistake of her life by leaving Wellfleet harbor, but is forced to face it when she returns, reluctantly, to care for her dying mother. Ridley Neal put his past-and his prison term-behind him to return home to take over his father’s oyster and clam beds. Casual acquaintances long ago, when a nor’easter hits the coast, Rid and Caroline’s lives intersect once again. When Rid and two other sea farmers are sued by the wealthy owners of vacation homes who want to shut them down, and Caroline accidentally meets the person she most wronged, they each must learn to trust-and love.

Inspired by a 1996 lawsuit, A Matter of Mercy is a riveting novel about treasuring the traditional way of life in the shallows of beautiful Cape Cod bay by discovering where forgiveness ends. And where it begins.

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945)

Places to find the book:

Published by Blank Slate Press

on 1st August, 2014

Pages: 278

Author Biography:

Lynne Hugo

Lynne Hugo is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship recipient who has also received grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. She has published five previous novels, one of which became a Lifetime Original Movie of the Month, two books of poetry, and a children’s book. Her memoir, Where The Trail Grows Faint, won the Riverteeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize. Born and educated in New England, she and her husband currently live in Ohio with a yellow Lab feared by squirrels in a three state area.

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My Review of A Matter of Mercy:

The pull of narrative evoking out of the initial chapters of A Matter of Mercy propell the reader into a haunting ether-world between reality and the expanse of the next life past the one we walk on Earth. The emotional tug of understanding a daughter is on the precipice of saying good-bye to her mother, whose walk is ending through cancer is magnified by the subtlety of the setting being as serene and calm as a whisper of hope. You walk straight into the anguish of near-loss, ebbing out of the shadows of a recovered life being lived first by the daughter and then by an unknown secondary character who alights unexpectedly across the page during a random visit to the beach. You gather a foreboding sense there is an enriched history within the pages of the novel – stemming out of the place it is set as much as the characters who occupy it’s heart.

Although I had known the story was etched out of a daughter watching over her dying mother’s last days, reading the emotional taut passages choked my mind with the despair and the distraught feelings Caroline was facing as she tried to be brave in the face of uncertainty. There is no guideline to follow when your loved one is terminally ill and her character is writ with realistic truth of how a daughter musters the strength to deal with the routine of caregiving and the fleeting worry of unspoken conversations which emerge out of the fog of morphine.

Whilst reading about the tenacity the shell fishermen curate out of the angst of breathing a living out of a gamble against stacked odds made me re-value the delicacy of seafood; wild, caught, and captured by those whose belief in their trade outweigh the logic of the tides. A living brokered against the will to survive on less than a living wage whilst building their harvest is the measure of true grit and true iron spirit of survival. I was quite impressed with the interworkings of the way in which all of this takes place just offshore and away from land and sand. An entire world of a hard-won livelihood barely known to those outside the place in which the world exists.

I struggled to put my finger on the tone of the novel – the elusive narrative tone guiding the story forward at first felt like reading a realistic interlude of one woman’s story being interrupted through grief. On the opposite hand it felt like a grueling realistic quick-paced exploit of a law pervading through the hardworking men and women who lived off the grants for fishing off the shores where private land owners were attempting to upsurge their claims. I am normally not one who appreciates blatant and raw narratives, and although there were elements within this story I could appreciate and alight inside, there were full chapters where I had wished the roughness was polished out a bit more.

This is a story that aches with raw emotional tides of upturnt lives and washes out against the backdrop of two lives coming together from opposite backgrounds. The sincerity of their relationship felt stilted to me, as if they were simply being together out of necessity rather than any sort of honest attraction or mirth of reconciling their past. I felt myself pulled in and out of the story as it  proceeded to shift forward as I couldn’t find an anchor to keep me rooted in caring about how their lives were either going to continue to spiral out of control or find a bearing to make things right for once in their lives. I think it would be best for a reader to pick this novel up who appreciates stories that are more brutal in honesty and raw in intensity; whereas I appreciate stories that are rounded out a bit more and where the climax doesn’t feel as overpowering.

A direct appreciation for dedicated research & how a writer enhances their story:

Lynne Hugo deserves to be commended for the level of research she conducted to breathe authenticity into A Matter of Mercy, as even without a direct point of reference to clarify a few images wrought out of the trade of shellfishing, what I was able to grasp was the hardened life of those who walked the shores hoping their traps would yield a harvest they could live on. The certainty of how the imbalance of variables they cannot control ultimately wreck their fates was even more wrenching than realising how much joy they have in their work. Farmers of all backgrounds (by sea or land) are at the mercy of nature and the endurable buoyancy of trust and belief in what their able to harvest out of their endurance. It is a novel which breeches past the plate of where their toils end and humanises the reality of where the delicacies are procured.

Fly in the Ointment:

There was an undercurrent of abrasive language edging around the dialogue of the story, a bit intermittent and a bit unexpected in where it alighted in the thread of the narrative itself, but a presence that I cannot say added to the story itself but rather was inserted here or there. The only time I felt it might have relevancy is when Caroline’s mother started to use certain expressions in her conversations with her daughter – but rather than blame it on her terminal illness, it was blamed on a divorce. I had heard that sometimes people can change their personalities due to medications and due to life altering illnesses, so for me that felt more apparent of why she suddenly changed her spots for language rather than merely living a life alone without her husband.

I felt the entire arc of the story was hinged by two lost souls who were attempting to repair the damage they wrought out of bad choices and the sins of wrongs they could never fully find forgiveness for as the aftereffects ran too deep. What I hadn’t sorted out is why their emotional baggage was dispersed with a bit of recklessness and without a consequence or an emotional response. When Caroline first started to tell Rid for instance how she caused the fatality which took the life of a child, I found his sudden exit out of the scene and out of the conversation a bit circumvent and convenient. I was expecting an emotional response not a grab my clothes and leave without any hint of what his reaction could have been; as if she hadn’t spoken anything gutting at all.

I also had a small issue with Rid’s name itself – Rid I am sure makes sense to some who read this story, but for me, it felt like an annoyance, as though he had half a name rather than full name? Short for Ridley I must say I preferred the fullness of his name over the shortened nickname.

This blog tour stop was courtesy of TLC Book Tours:

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “A Matter of Mercy”, 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. Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.


Posted Tuesday, 30 September, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Aquaculture, ARC | Galley Copy, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Blog Tour Host, Cape Cod, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Fly in the Ointment, Geographically Specific, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Life Shift, Literary Fiction, Modern Day, Realistic Fiction, Terminal Illness &/or Cancer, TLC Book Tours, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Health