Category: Seclusion in the Natural World

Blog Book Tour | “Death Comes” (Book Two of the #WillaCather and Edith Lewis Mysteries) by Sue Hallgarth Such a special treat to continue reading Willa & Edith’s adventures!

Posted Wednesday, 20 December, 2017 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I have been hosting for Poetic Book Tours for a few years now, where I am finding myself encouraged to seek out collections of poetry or incredible fiction being published through Small Trade publishers and presses. I have an Indie spirit and mentality as a writer and I appreciate finding authors who are writing creative works through Indie resources as I find Indies have a special spirit about them. It is a joy to work with Poetic Book Tours for their resilience in seeking out voices in Literature which others might overlook and thereby, increasing my own awareness of these beautiful lyrical voices in the craft.

When I realised this was the first ‘book’ in a series, I requested to receive the first book (“On the Rocks”) in order to understand the continuity and flow between the lead characters within the second installment. It is a personal preference of mine to read series ‘in order’ and I was blessed I could start this one at the beginning! I received a complimentary copy of “Death Comes” direct from the publicist of Sue Hallgarth in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I love reading the Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mysteries:

Edith arrives first – her observational notations on gulls in flight offer a fond glimpse into how I’m not the only one who likes to contemplate our aerial companions! Her perspective also grounds us ‘where’ she is at the moment she’s seen – she’s just off the coast of what is known as ‘Downeast’ Maine – specifically by a city known for it’s grain mustard and a revitalisation of it’s community identity through the Arts: Eastport. To the starboard side of the towne, you will happily see you’re only a stone’s throw from the Fundy Isles and this part of where Edith & Willa’s story is uniquely set. This part of the North Atlantic has it’s own pulse and tone – life is not lived in the same fashion as elsewhere nor does the world touch this part of the world with the same fierce fire. Here, is a place where time is not measured in hours but in how far you’ve come to create a piece you’re working on whilst celebrating the journey you’ve taken to funnel your creativity into something ‘new’. I could ‘see’ Edith here – the heart of a naturalist who appreciates being out-of-doors (but with dirt beneath her feet, not the unease of water) where she can feel one with the harmonic rhythm of the natural world. No wonder she appreciated the art of painting in ‘Plein Air’ fashion!

Edith charmed me and Willa encouraged my inquisitive nature – the two of them have such an ease about their personalities. They find a companionable equality in how where one thinks about something specific, the other is ready for a follow-up remark – they are two minds which sometimes act as one, as most couples tend to claim for themselves. They knew how to get the neighbours to talk about the idle things no one suspects would mean something whilst they kept a steady eye on their own affairs, too. Their sleuthing simply fit into the background of their days; it was a welcome addition but not one which overshadowed their other interests, either! As they continued to seek answers to questions which seemed unending – you started to notice why they thrived outside the city (here: New York City). This community of Grand Manan is as quirky and humbly eccentric as all my favourite small townes in fiction (or IRL).

This was a thinking man’s mystery – the ‘mystery’ in of itself is also unique, because instead of being an isolated incident it’s a piece of a wider puzzle! I like how mysteries take on an enlarged cusp of an area’s secrets – of how whilst the reader has to stay patient to understand the different components of what is being fused together, it’s the manner of how things pull apart and are put back together in proper order which is the most exciting! For me, this mystery was wicked enjoyable if only to draw further insight into understanding the people of Grand Manan and how where they live influences their lives.

The way Hallgarth paints the portrait of the island community rings true of what I know of this area myself – of where neighbours pitch in to help one another and where no one is ever left without assistance for something they’re working on. It’s the opposite of how many townes and cities function on the mainland stateside – where there are clear distinctions and disconnections amongst neighbours and community members; where each are practically living on their own ‘island’ (metaphorically speaking!).

The pace of the narrative is set in such a way to encourage you to sip tea and musefully ponder what your reading – to fully sense and feel this world, whilst allowing Willa and Edith to share the duties for how you navigate it. It’s one of those lovely immersive narratives where you can get lost in the descriptive narrative and feel as if you’ve lived half a moon in this setting. She has given all of us the chance to ‘know’ Willa Cather up close and personal – ahead of reading her stories – of peering into what was important to her and why she felt the legacy she left behind might slip past people who hadn’t realised the point behind her stories. Intuitive readers would notice and see her messages, but to the casual reader? I can see how her narratives might be glossed over for what was readily taken as the truth of what they revealled.

-quoted from my review of On the Rocks

As soon as I returnt back inside the series – I found myself alighting so readily true to where we’d find Willa and Edith, it felt as if no time had elapsed between visitations! I truly love the continuity of this series, but also, the authentic voice Ms Hallgarth has given her characters – they truly feel as if they are the women themselves, recaptured for us to acquaint ourselves directly of their living hours. It is a special treat indeed, to find myself wholly enthused by such an intricately written Cosy Historical Mystery series – but to have the benefit of being able to read the first and second novels in successive order, is simply wicked divine!

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Blog Book Tour | “Death Comes” (Book Two of the #WillaCather and Edith Lewis Mysteries) by Sue Hallgarth Such a special treat to continue reading Willa & Edith’s adventures!Death Comes
Subtitle: A Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mystery
by Sue Hallgarth
Source: Publicist via Poetic Book Tours

Death Comes gives us another glimpse into the life and work of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and her talented life partner. The year is 1926. Willa and Edith return to Mabel Dodge Luhan’s pink adobe in Taos, New Mexico.

Willa is writing Death Comes for the Archbishop. Edith is sketching Taos Pueblo and hoping for a visit to the nearby D.H. Lawrence ranch. The previous summer they had stumbled onto a woman’s body. Now the headless bodies of two women add to the mystery. Sue Hallgarth presents an intimate portrait of Cather, Lewis, the spectacular New Mexico landscape, and the famous artists and writers Mabel Dodge Luhan gathered in Taos.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9780985520045

Also by this author: On the Rocks,

Also in this series: On the Rocks


Genres: Amateur Detective, Biographical Fiction, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction


Published by Arbor Farm Press

on 1st October, 2017

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 268

Published By: Arbor Farm Press

Available Formats: Paperback & Ebook

The Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mysteries:

On the Rocks (Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mysteries) by Sue HallgarthDeath Comes (Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mysteries) by Sue Hallgarth

Book One: On the Rocks (see also Review)

Book Two: Death Comes

Converse via: #WillaCather and #EdithLewis + #CosyMysteries or #Mysteries

About Sue Hallgarth

Sue Hallgarth

Sue Hallgarth is former English professor. She has written scholarly articles on Willa Cather and Edith Lewis, and Death Comes is her second book of fiction featuring the two of them. Her first book in the series On The Rocks, set in 1929 on the island of Grand Manan in New Brunswick, Canada. She lives in Corrales, New Mexico.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Wednesday, 20 December, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Amateur Detective, Apothecary, Art, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bootleggers & Smugglers, Canada, Canadian Maritimes, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cosy Historical Mystery, Creative Arts, Crime Fiction, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Edith Lewis, Equality In Literature, Fundy Isles, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction, Naturopathic Medicine, Poetic Book Tours, Seclusion in the Natural World, Sisterhood friendships, Small Towne Fiction, Social Change, the Nineteen Hundreds, the Roaring Twenties, Village Life, Walking & Hiking Trails, Willa Cather, Women's Rights

Blog Book Tour | “True East” by Raymond Ahrens

Posted Monday, 23 October, 2017 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

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

Acquired Book By: I have been hosting for Poetic Book Tours for a few years now, where I am finding myself encouraged to seek out collections of poetry or incredible fiction being published through Small Trade publishers and presses. I have an Indie spirit and mentality as a writer and I appreciate finding authors who are writing creative works through Indie resources as I find Indies have a special spirit about them. It is a joy to work with Poetic Book Tours for their resilience in seeking out voices in Literature which others might overlook and thereby, increasing my own awareness of these beautiful lyrical voices in the craft.

I received a complimentary copy of “True East” direct from the publicist of Raymond Ahrens in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “True East” by Raymond AhrensTrue East
by Raymond Ahrens
Source: Publicist via Poetic Book Tours

Katy Givens, thirty and brilliant, learns in a static-filled phone call that her husband Andrew is missing in the Amazon and possibly dead. Although still mourning the death of their infant son, Katy flies to Brazil in search of Andrew, discovering that the man she married has secrets. As the mysteries surrounding Andrew’s disappearance mount, so does the list of shadowy forces benefitting from the recent discovery of oil in the Amazon.

Katy’s field of genetic anthropology proves useful when accounts of the Unnamed Ones, a primitive and possibly pre-human tribe, are rumored to exist in the same valley as the oil reserves. Katy tracks Andrew through the jungle, deciphering riddles he left before disappearing. Along the way, she barters with a Jewish coin merchant, challenges chance with a fortune teller, and argues the merits of prayer with a Jesuit priest, before placing her faith with the indigenous Tadi.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781934690864

Genres: Literary Fiction


Published by Tasora Books

on 15th July, 2017

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 390

Published By: Tasora Books

Available Formats: Paperback & Ebook

Converse via: #LiteraryFiction

About Raymond Ahrens

Raymond Ahrens is curious. As a scientist, father, and novelist, he peers under the surface to discover what contradictions lie beneath. His genre of “mythic-realism” synthesizes both the rational and the mythic to arrive at a different way of seeing. His first novel, Drive, explores an old man’s perspective in both a real and imagined world filled with mysteries, myths, and memories. He lives in Newton, MA and Del Ray Beach, FL.

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Posted Monday, 23 October, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Ancient Civilisation, Blog Tour Host, Indie Author, Literary Fiction, Modern Day, Poetic Book Tours, Seclusion in the Natural World

Blog Book Tour | “On the Rocks” (Book One of the #WillaCather and Edith Lewis Mysteries) by Sue Hallgarth

Posted Wednesday, 18 October, 2017 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I have been hosting for Poetic Book Tours for a few years now, where I am finding myself encouraged to seek out collections of poetry or incredible fiction being published through Small Trade publishers and presses. I have an Indie spirit and mentality as a writer and I appreciate finding authors who are writing creative works through Indie resources as I find Indies have a special spirit about them. It is a joy to work with Poetic Book Tours for their resilience in seeking out voices in Literature which others might overlook and thereby, increasing my own awareness of these beautiful lyrical voices in the craft.

When I realised this was the first ‘book’ in a series, I requested to receive the first book in order to understand the continuity and flow between the lead characters within the second installment. It is a personal preference of mine to read series ‘in order’ and I was blessed I could start this one at the beginning! I received a complimentary copy of “On the Rocks” direct from the publicist of Sue Hallgarth in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I wanted to read the Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mysteries:

I am unsure when I first stumbled across ‘living persons’ being amateur sleuths in Mysteries & stories of Suspense – however, ever since I was first smitten by the idea, I have taken to these kinds of stories like a duck to water! I only vaguely ‘knew of’ Willa Cather – she’s the kind of woman you might hear about in literary circles as her own legacy of stories has quite the following. However, in regards to her personal life or the adventures she had as an novelist – these are the missing gaps in my knowledge! If anything, I knew her ‘in name only’ rather than of having a biographical sketch of an idea about her person.

This is one reason I am drawn into Biographical Fiction stories – generally speaking, I lean on the branch of ‘Historical Fiction’ to chart my course through time whilst alighting in the footsteps of either novelists (such as the Brontés) or well-known figureheads (such as Eleanor Roosevelt) whilst feeling a bit attached to some of the dexterities of creative muses (such as the Jane Austen Mysteries). Throughout each story I pick up to read, I am drawn closer to the ‘person’ who lived the life either being re-transmitted through a portion of their own living hours or re-identified in a different lifestyle altogether! It makes for a fascinating jaunt through time, history and known fact!

I hadn’t fused to mind ‘where’ the story was set – coming into fuller knowledge as I sat down to read the novel, I realised it was hugged close to the Canadian Maritimes – specifically the region of the Bay of Fundy and the Fundy Isles. This is an especially lovely area where artists, artisans, writers and other creatives have found a renewing peace to create in this part of the world where life is laid back & the natural scenery etches out its own inspiration to the creator. The Bay of Fundy in recent years is a bit better known due to a hard-won battle to secure the sanctity of the waters in the North Atlantic by the conjoined efforts of the Americans, Canadians & Passamaquoddy Indians.

Realising this connection, when it came time to ‘step forward’ into Ms Hallgarth’s vision for the series, I was more than ready to lay pause on her prose and feel absorbed into this area of the Northern Hemisphere where the lights like to dance, ice meets the sea and where there is an enchantment of wonderment lit over the land. It was then, I realised I was supposed to read this series!

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Blog Book Tour | “On the Rocks” (Book One of the #WillaCather and Edith Lewis Mysteries) by Sue HallgarthOn the Rocks
Subtitle: A Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mystery
by Sue Hallgarth
Source: Publicist via Poetic Book Tours

The year is 1929 and Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Willa Cather and her partner Edith Lewis are summering on Grand Manan, an island in the Bay of Fundy. In their cottage’s sparsely-furnished attic room, Cather is at work writing Shadows on the Rock, her tenth novel. Edith is painting watercolors from the cliffs two hundred feet above the rising tides of Whale Cove.

Out of the corner of her eye, Edith sees a body plunge from the edge of a cliff to the rocks below…. Solving the mystery, first-time novelist Sue Hallgarth’s intimate view of village politics and the goings-on of two women’s communities long lost to history is also a suspenseful and surprising crime novel. Hallgarth draws the reader into a unique retreat and an inside glimpse of the lives of a great American novelist and her talented life partner.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 978-0985520007

Also by this author: , Death Comes

Also in this series: Death Comes


Genres: Amateur Detective, Biographical Fiction, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction


Published by Arbor Farm Press

on 13th January, 2013

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 262

Published By: Arbor Farm Press

Available Formats: Paperback & Ebook

The Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mysteries:

On the Rocks (Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mysteries) by Sue HallgarthDeath Comes (Willa Cather & Edith Lewis Mysteries) by Sue Hallgarth

Book One: On the Rocks

Book Two: Death Comes (Synopsis)

Converse via: #WillaCather + #CosyMysteries

About Sue Hallgarth

Sue Hallgarth

Sue Hallgarth is former English professor. She has written scholarly articles on Willa Cather and Edith Lewis, and Death Comes is her second book of fiction featuring the two of them. Her first book in the series On The Rocks, set in 1929 on the island of Grand Manan in New Brunswick, Canada. She lives in Corrales, New Mexico.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Wednesday, 18 October, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Amateur Detective, Apothecary, Art, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bootleggers & Smugglers, Canada, Canadian Maritimes, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cosy Historical Mystery, Creative Arts, Crime Fiction, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Edith Lewis, Equality In Literature, Fundy Isles, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction, Naturopathic Medicine, Poetic Book Tours, Seclusion in the Natural World, Sisterhood friendships, Small Towne Fiction, Social Change, the Nineteen Hundreds, the Roaring Twenties, Village Life, Walking & Hiking Trails, Willa Cather, Women's Rights

Audiobook Review | “Halfway Dead: Halfway Witchy, No.1” by Terry Maggert, narrated by Erin Spencer

Posted Wednesday, 11 January, 2017 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a new blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I started hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions at the end of [2016] during “The Cryptic Lines” tour wherein I became quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Halfway Dead” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the author Terry Maggert) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I am so wicked happy about tucking into a Paranormal Suspense:

I have the tendency to appreciate certain Paranormal Suspense, Mystery and Thrillers which are just this side of Cosy Horror but occasionally push the envelope to take me straight out of my personal comfort zones. This began when I was a teenager who would try to blink away the grittier scenes attached to The X-Files, smiled at the irony of enjoying Buffy the Vampire Slayer and happily enjoyed most of the Charmed series before the serial took off into a tangent of nonsense that truly was utterly pointless.

As a reader, it’s quite a hard needle to thread – which Paranormal novelists are curating stories I can handle or even find  pleasure in reading when my bookish heart is quite sensitive to most overtly horrific and grisly scenes too oft found inside the genre itself!? This is why I have the tendency to lean more towards PNR (or Paranormal Romance) but even then, I am quite particularly particular; seeking out the stories where the relationships and the paranormal elements can walk hand in hand without giving me that jolt of something quite horrific or a nightmaric ghoulish feast that would leave me wrecked for dreamscapes afterwards.

The balance of course, is one part world-building to where setting, texture and sound of a narrative can fully immerse me into an ‘other place’ for the spell I send inside it but not overtly dark or without light, because I am not entirely the kind of reader who can cosy up into a Dystopian-esque world either. I like sophisticated layers and humour that is not in the gutter whilst the scenes where something quite fowl takes place can have the ability to pull-back and off-set the reality of that moment with either compassion, mercy or a somberness that befits the scene. Strong characters and a cheeky inclusion of wit or banterment would be most ideal; but I also, happen to love the ‘unexpected’. The moments you cannot foresee coming ahead of time and how the psychological suspenseful bits also can encourage you to get properly lost in the story.

Whatever it is I’m seeking as it depends on the sub-genre, the premise and the overall conjecture of what a story could elude to including – I like to seek out unique voices in fiction. I prefer to find the writers who have something intrinsically their own and a way of crafting a story that is both informative (for whichever sub-focus they include) and wicked entertaining on the other end! I like to rally behind characters who are in the middle of their journey and of whom interact with an eclectic supporting cast of people or creatures you might never suspect would become such a crucial point of the story itself.

Thus, I decided to take a chance on the Halfway Witchy series; as the author originally found me on Twitter whilst he was promoting another novel of his (Heartborn) which I was on the fence about for nearly the duration of it’s blog tour. It was only after following the tour route and reading a few incredibly personal reviews of it’s contents, I realised I was most intrigued by this author! I ended up adopting a copy of the audiobook (of which I will be featuring in a few short weeks) for review consideration and found myself pulled into the orbit of this universe – the Witchy world of Carlie.

I originally began listening to this audiobook soon after I received it and a few moments whilst my Dad was first brought home recovering from his stroke. As I mentioned on Twitter to the author, finding this series was a lovely blessing of joy; and as I move through the series, I look forward to exploring what I like about this curious section of literature which continues to draw my eye. As sometimes what appeals to me to read (or listen too) isn’t quite what you might think would be on my palette of stories but has something contained within it’s chapters that is wholly original and happily consumed. Sometimes we all have to embrace our quirky natures and as readers, I think we’re naturally quirky!

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Audiobook Review | “Halfway Dead: Halfway Witchy, No.1” by Terry Maggert, narrated by Erin SpencerHalfway Dead
Subtitle: Come for the waffles, stay for the magic
by Terry Maggert
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Erin Spencer

Carlie McEwan loves many things. She loves being a witch. She loves her town of Halfway, NY - a tourist destination nestled on the shores of an Adirondack lake. Carlie loves her enormous familiar, Gus, who is 25 pounds of judgmental Maine Coon cat, and she positively worships her grandmother, a witch of incredible power and wisdom. Carlie spends her days cooking at the finest - and only - real diner in town, and her life is a balance between magic and the mundane, just as she likes it.

When a blond stranger sits at the diner counter and calls her by name, that balance is gone. Major Pickford asks Carlie to lead him into the deepest shadows of the forest to find a mythical circle of chestnut trees, thought lost to forever to mankind. There are ghosts in the forest, and one of them cries out to Carlie across the years. Come find me.

Danger, like the shadowed pools of the forest, can run deep. The danger is real, but Carlie's magic is born of a pure spirit. With the help of Gus, and Gran, and a rugged cop who really does want to save the world, she'll fight to bring a ghost home, and deliver justice to a murderer who hides in the cool, mysterious green of a forest gone mad with magic.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B013KLF9HO

Also by this author: Halfway Bitten, Heartborn, , Halfway Hunted

Also in this series: Halfway Bitten, Halfway Hunted


Genres: Cosy Horror, Ghost Story, Sci-Fantasy, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal Suspense, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Terry Maggert

on 7th August, 2015

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 7 hours and 15 minutes (unabridged)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

the halfway witchy series:

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A photo posted by Terry Maggert (@terrymaggert) on

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

About Terry Maggert

Terry Maggert

Left-handed. Father of an apparent nudist. Husband to a half-Norwegian. Herder of cats and dogs. Lover of pie. I write books. I've had an unhealthy fascination with dragons since the age of-- well, for a while. Native Floridian. Current Tennessean. Location subject to change based on insurrection, upheaval, or availability of coffee. Nine books and counting, with no end in sight. You've been warned.

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Posted Wednesday, 11 January, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Apothecary, ArchDemons or Demonic Entities, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Author Found me On Twitter, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cats and Kittens, Charmed, Classic Motion Pictures, Clever Turns of Phrase, Coming-Of Age, Conservation, Cosy Horror, Cosy Horror Suspense, Dreams & Dreamscapes, Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, Environmental Activism, Environmental Advocacy, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Science, Equality In Literature, Faeries & the Fey, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Good vs. Evil, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Horror-Lite, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Immortals, Indie Author, Light vs Dark, Methodology of Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Modern Day, Nature & Wildlife, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Preservation, Realistic Fiction, Seclusion in the Natural World, Shapeshifters, Small Towne USA, Sociology, Speculative Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Suspense, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, The Natural World, Upper YA Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Vulgarity in Literature, Walking & Hiking Trails, Werewolves, Witches and Warlocks, Writing Style & Voice, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction

Book Review | “Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace” by Andra Watkins Autobiographical account of a daughter & father

Posted Thursday, 15 January, 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:

Last year, I participated in an epic historical fiction blog tour on behalf of a novel I was itching to delve into ever since it was first offered to me to review for the tour itself! The novel I’m referring to ended up being one of my Top Picks for 2014 (which is included on my End of the Year Survey for 2014; not yet released at time of this posting) due to the breadth of the story combined with the scope of a story-teller who left me ruminatively happy! “To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis” changed my perception of historical fiction as much as “Inscription” by H.H. Miller. Both writers wrote genre-bending narratives that etch themselves into your mind and heart, to a level that sets the bar quite high for others who follow suit.

I was captured by the journey Ms. Watkins was taking on the Trace, camping out in front of a computer with my Mum & Da, watching her videos like you might serial tv! Each video was honest and shot straight from the Trace itself! The only takeaway we wished we had of that experience is the little green calling card for “To Live Forever” which Ms. Watkins held up during each video! She captured our spirits by her unwavering honesty and her cheeky humour which gave us a lift of joy! Whilst she was on the Trace, I hosted her for a review and an interview (the latter of which she replied to at a stop!), but I knew then, what I know now… Ms. Watkins was one author I would support throughout her career. She has something quite special to share with the world and I knew I had discovered something quite extraordinary!

I was contacted by Ms. Watkins who put me in touch with her publicist in regards to reviewing her first non-fiction release, an autobiography of her journey on the Trace and the time she spent with her father. I was honoured she had reached out to me and I quite happily returned a reply to accept. I received a complimentary copy of “Not Without My Father” from Word Hermit Press in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

On my connection to Ms. Watkins: 

I felt connected to Ms. Watkins before and after I read her debut novel, “To Live Forever” whilst attempting to keep in touch with her via her blog. Life ebbed and flowed in the months between when I first met her through the blog tour and January 2015 when I am hosting her for the second time, but one moment in particular I remember we both experienced the same agony at the same time! In July 2014, we were both bitten by spiders and equally allergic to them! We had a lovely conversation about it on Twitter, and I couldn’t help smiling realising despite the miles, she understood what I was going through! She’s an incredible writer and motivating spirit — a person I am genuinely thankful my path has crossed with and of whom I am thankful to interact with during the year.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her through her blog as much as I enjoy our random conversations on Twitter. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time.

Book Review | “Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace” by Andra Watkins Autobiographical account of a daughter & fatherNot Without My Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace
by Andra Watkins
Source: Direct from Publisher

Can an epic adventure succeed without a hero? Andra Watkins needed a wingman to help her become the first living person to walk the historic 444-mile Natchez Trace as the pioneers did. She planned to walk fifteen miles a day. For thirty-four days.

After striking out with everyone in her life, she was left with her disinterested eighty-year-old father. And his gas. The sleep apnea machine and self-scratching. Sharing a bathroom with a man whose gut obliterated his aim.

As Watkins trudged America's forgotten highway, she lost herself in despair and pain. Nothing happened according to plan, and her tenuous connection to her father started to unravel. Through arguments and laughter, tears and fried chicken, they fought to rebuild their relationship before it was too late. In Not Without My Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace, Watkins invites readers to join her dysfunctional family adventure in a humourous and heartbreaking memoir that asks is one can really turn I wish I had into I'm glad I did.

Places to find the book:

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Also by this author: To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, Interview (To Live Forever)

Genres: Memoir, Non-Fiction


Published by Word Hermit Press

on 15th January, 2015

Pages: 238

Published By: Word Hermit Press, 15 Janaury, 2015
Converse via: #NotWithoutMyFather | #AndraWatkins | #NatchezTraceWalk444miles
Available Formats: Paperback

About Andra Watkins

Andra WakinsAndra lives in Charleston, South Carolina. A non-practicing CPA, she has a degree in accounting from Francis Marion University. She's still mad at her mother for refusing to let her major in musical theater, because her mom was convinced she'd end up starring in porn films.

In addiction to her writing talent, Andra is an accomplished public speaker. Her acclaimed first novel To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis was published by Word Hermit Press in 2014.

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Posted Thursday, 15 January, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, A Father's Heart, ARC | Galley Copy, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Father-Daughter Relationships, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story, Memoir, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Natchez Trace, Non-Fiction, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Seclusion in the Natural World, The Natural World, Travel Narrative | Memoir, Vignettes of Real Life, Walking & Hiking Trails