Category: Clever Turns of Phrase

Blog Book Tour | “Amy’s Choice” {sequel to “Call Me Amy”} by Marcia Strykowski – a #YA sequel to a heart-warming #middlegrade novel!

Posted Tuesday, 7 October, 2014 by jorielov , , , 4 Comments

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Amy’s Choice by Marcia Strykowski
Published By: Luminis Books (@LuminisBooks) | Blog
Official Author WebsitesSite | @MarciaStry | GoodReads

Available Formats: Paperback, Hardback

Converse via: #AmysChoice, #middlegrade, & #KidLit

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Amy’s Choice” virtual book tour through JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. As this was the second novel in a book series, I was able to put in a request to receive the first novel Call Me Amy of which I received a complimentary copy of direct from the publisher Luminis Books without obligation to review. I received my complimentary copy of Amy’s Choice 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:

I am always on the hunt for wicked quality Children’s Literature – stories which carve out a special niche of childhood innocence and the mirth of exploring how to find growth through life experiences. I want to find even more stories than I had as a young child myself – striving to find the writers who keep the tone of their novels radiating with light and the darkness can be erased through the resolutions at the ending of any conflict that a character needs to overcome. I like finding stories which give children a free sense about how to differentiate between right and wrong, whilst allowing them the grievance for understanding there is a measure of wisdom in living through our mistakes, our misunderstandings, and our ability to be humbled through adversity. I like stories that break down barriers and also serve to teach a lesson of stewardship and diplomacy. When I first saw this series going on tour on behalf of the publisher’s showcase, I simply knew that I wanted to take part and high shine a light on two stories that would benefit any library of a child or adult who appreciates the same types of stories I am passionately addicted to myself.

Blog Book Tour | “Amy’s Choice” {sequel to “Call Me Amy”} by Marcia Strykowski – a #YA sequel to a heart-warming #middlegrade novel!Amy's Choice
by Marcia Strykowski
Source: Direct from Publicist

Amy’s freshman year starts with a new best friend, Cat, and a newfound confidence. But she misses her crush, Craig, who has gone to live with his aunt in Boston. Craig has promised to write, and Amy checks the mail daily, but to no avail. There are new adventures, even so. Cat’s brother, Ricky, seems interested in Amy, but is she interested in him? And a new friendship with Finn, the lighthouse keeper, who Amy discovers is a talented artist, keeps Amy and Cat busy as they arrange for him to exhibit his work. But things get complicated when Craig returns from Boston and Finn is accused of arson. There are more questions than answers for Amy as life becomes as turbulent as the cold and stormy ocean of her coastal Maine town. Ideal for preteens, this novel is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Call Me Amy and touches upon issues of friendship, boyfriend troubles, and the power of believing in oneself.

Places to find the book:

Also by this author: Call Me Amy

Series: Amy,


Also in this series: Call Me Amy


Genres: Children's Literature, Middle Grade


Published by Luminis Books

on 3rd November, 2014

Pages: 200

Author Biography:

Marcia Strykowski

Marcia Strykowski works at a public library. Earlier, between earning her BS in Fine Arts and raising her children, she worked for seven years in textbook publishing. Marcia participates in writing groups and enjoys family, art, music, travel, and theater. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. After numerous magazine and anthology contributions, CALL ME AMY was Marcia’s first novel. It was chosen for the 2014 Bank Street College of Education’s prestigious Best Books of the Year list. AMY’S CHOICE, a sequel to CALL ME AMY, is now available. You can find out more about her and her books at marciastrykowski.com.

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Call Me Amy by Marcia Strykowski

Amy’s voice in the novel is bang-on brilliant for her age in the story, as her curiosity and inquisitiveness about her life and the world around her comes out strongly perceptive. Her heart is open to the possibilities that first impressions are not always as receptively accurate as you first think they would be as much as she cares for those who are in need. I enjoyed watching her slowly emerge out of her shell once she had a project she could focus on that was outside of her own worries and insecurities. Amy starts to see the intricate balance of life, how staying true to who you are is key, and how being open to learning from misunderstandings enriches the spirit of who you become.

– quoted from my book review of Call Me Amy

Alighting inside Amy’s life as a freshman:

By the conclusion of the first novel, we were ready to see where Amy’s life would take her next, as she had a newly acquired voice of confidence that had led her heart towards a path of community spirit and innovative restitution. I loved how at the end of Call Me Amy, she truly lived up to the title as she had a newfound bold confidence in who she was and understood better the way in which she understood life itself. In my own life, my Mum would have simply said “Amy has finally found the *big!* C!”, and therein lies the best bit of reading Call Me Amy ahead of Amy’s Choice! The very first sentence of the sequel begins with the very last expressed words of Amy allowing complete continuity between the two stories.

Seeing how her progression out of holding back from interactions with her peers due to her shyness and shedding a bit of her introverted moments of unease, Amy steps forward out of her 13th year a strong 14 year old ready to tackle high school. She learnt quite a heap from her friendship with Miss Cogshell and Craig, giving her the ability to seek out other new friends and relationships as life afforded the connections to cross her path. She maintains her kismet insight to knowing when a moment has arisen to give her an unexpected friend, as this is how she came to know Cat and Cat came to love her company.

My Review of Amy’s Choice:

I am always hopeful there will be seamless continuity between installments of series, and I was not disappointed with the beginning chapters of Amy’s Choice as I felt as though I was merely turning ‘the next page’ rather than opening a new book! This is quite the feat, as previously it is rare that a writer will pick up right where we leave off – although I did have the blessing of finding this in the Daughters of Boston series by Julie Lessman.

I couldn’t help but shimmer a happy glow of delight seeing that Amy is now regularly volunteering at her new towne’s library! I was happily wandering my own libraries growing up that I should have thought to ask if I could volunteer – my mind was always happily wrapped up in a topic to research or a new author to discover, that I never gave any credence to the idea of being able to help others find wicked reads of their own! Unless of course, I stumbled across someone who was plumb lost in the stacks and/or I was at an Indie bookshoppe and simply supplied information as though it was commonplace and not unusual. Sometimes I think sorting out where your best to alight to give back your gifts of insight is a bit tricky, not to mention that most of the libraries I have always known were heavily regulated and had more rules to understand than a DMV driving manual!

Troll dolls with wild hair – now that brought back happy memories; even if it did take me half of forever to sort out which troll I wanted to bring home with me! The flickering visual clues to the seventies are happily still evermore present in the sequel, yet what strikes me the most about seeing them is just how much I can personally relate to knowing about! From the music to the toys to the series on television – one would have thought I was brought up a full decade before I was actually bourne by the way I can honestly attest all the familiarity of Amy’s childhood is wrapped inside my own! Lest I mention that I used to make the folded paper ‘magic solution’ boxes as easily as Amy and Cat! Except to say, they called them something a bit different in the 80s!

Lighthouses have simply captured my wonderment for absolute ages – the fact they are beacons of safety for seamen and captains notwithstanding, there is an allure of wonder attached to them for me. We have a few where I live but they are not as readily well-known as the ones sprinkled up and downeast the starboard side of Maine! From what I can gather about the lighthouses up there, you could island hop half your life and still never quite see them all in their glory. What a fantastic adventure though? To nip around, camera in hand, and a heart full of salt air and vistas that are hard to describe as they are felt in the spirit of the moment? Getting to cosy up to a lighthouse keeper inside Amy’s Choice was a treat for me! Especially considering I spent how many hours watching Pete’s Dragon as a child and young teen?

A very inspiring companion is found inside Amy’s Choice, as the title eludes to a choice Amy needs to make that may or may not be an obvious answer to the question that is eating away at her the most. Like most girls her age, she is trying to decide where she stands on the more difficult issues that start to arise when your in high school. The best part of the story is that the setting of her life is in Maine, where life ambles forward at a slower pace and allows the grace of growing through your childhood to have a rhythm of it’s own that is not always dependent on the fast pace of the outside world. In this setting, children can grow as they take on responsibilities inside their communities and needle out where their focus should be in the long term whilst appreciating the short expanse of childhood itself. What staid with me throughout the sequel is how reassuring the heart of the story is left in your mind. No matter what obstacles try to forfeit your plans or upset your course, you can find the strength to handle life as it comes along to you. There is a powerful life lesson etched in this novel and I was quite happy to see it included.

Establishing herself as a stronghold in Children’s Lit:

Not since I showcased Carol Antoinette Peacock {Red Thread Sisters}, Jackie Gamber {the Leland Dragons series}, Hannah L. Clark {Uncovering Cobbogoth}, R.J. Palacio {Wonder}, Laura Stoddard {The Dreamosphere}, Nancy Lorenz {The Strength of Ballerinas}, Mandy Madson Voisin {Star of Deliverance} and my forthcoming showcases on behalf of the published works of Laura Resau have I settled into such a heart-warming style of a writer who is contributing such a positive mirth of stories for children, young adults, and the young at heart who appreciate soaking inside stories of how we start to awaken into ourselves whilst growing up. I appreciate their styles of story-telling (as well as the writers I spotlighted on my Children’s Lit page) as they convey such a breadth of story yet tell the tales in a way that not only uplifts the reader but helps to teach through the craft of story-telling — the benefit that I believe reading provides across the spectrum of literature itself.

Strykowski has established herself as a stronghold in Children’s Lit inasmuch as the other writers have given us the chance be introduced to characters we can respond too and stories we do not want to soon forget having read. I could even imagine her stories becoming family films, as they are light-hearted yet full of the lessons all children have to learn somewhere along the corridors of their growing years. The fact these stories are set in the 1970s doesn’t diminish their impact, and in fact, I think in many ways the impact is heightened. I know she has a few stories she is currently working on completing and I cannot wait to see what is released next!

One happenstance moment of a lightbulb going off for me was realising I had forgotten the story of Andre the seal had a foothold in Maine! It was quite clever how this bit of trivia was worked into a conversation between Craig and Amy!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com
Previously I shared my thoughts on:
“Call Me Amy” – where the story begins,…

Call Me Amy by Marcia Strykowski

This blog tour stop is courtesy of:
JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm

Luminis Books Blog Tour with JKS Communications

 See what I will be hosting next with:

JKS Communications Literary Publicity Firm

By visiting my Bookish Events page!
I positively *love!* comments in the threads below each of my posts, and as CommentLuv only requires Email to leave a note for me I cannot wait to see what starts to populate below! Kindly know that I appreciate each thought you want to share with me and all the posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary! Short or long, I appreciate the time you spent to leave behind a note of your visit! Return again soon!

{SOURCES: The tour badge was provided by JKS Communications and used with permission. Book Cover Art for “Call Me Amy” & “Amy’s Choice”, Author Biography & Book Synopsis provided by the author Marcia Strykowski and used with permission. The book trailer for “Call Me Amy” had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it.Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets are embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

The ‘live reading’ tweets I shared as I read & reviewed “Amy’s Choice”:

{ favourite & Re-tweet if inspired to share }

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Posted Tuesday, 7 October, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, ARC | Galley Copy, Art, Blog Tour Host, Bullies and the Bullied, Children's Literature, Clever Turns of Phrase, Coming-Of Age, Family Life, Geographically Specific, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Maine, Middle Grade Novel, Nature & Wildlife, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, Rescue & Adoption of Animals, School Life & Situations, Siblings, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, The Natural World, The Seventies, Walking & Hiking Trails

+Blog Book Tour+ A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable : A #histfic narrative wrapped up in the mystery of art & antiques

Posted Sunday, 5 October, 2014 by jorielov , , , 6 Comments

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A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable

Published By: Minotaur Books (@MinotaurBooks), (a Thomas Donne book)
imprints of St. Martin’s Publishing Group, which is now a part of MacMillian Publishers
Official Author Websites:  Site @MGableWriter | Facebook

Available Formats: Hardback, Ebook

Converse via: #AParisApartment & #FranceBT

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “A Paris Apartment” virtual book tour through France Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher St. Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

Somewhere in my wanderings on Twitter recently in the bookish realms I frequent, this particular novel came up in a conversation! Then, if I am remembering correctly it was broached in the book blogosphere (of which I am also a participant), so you could say, my interest has become piqued!

I believe I also came across this book not just in Shelf Awareness but on another bookish site recently, as I remember my musings when I first read the premise! To take a real-life mystery and purport it into a fiction telling of ‘what could have been’ I think was a smashing idea on your behalf! I love when writers dig into the realm between fact & fiction, as much as a mystery which involves around art and antiques. Within the silence and the hours in-between what is known and what needs to be found is good folly for a story to inhabit as it allows your lead character to grow and seek what they are intuitively striving to locate as well.

As you can gather from my initial reactions on behalf of A Paris Apartment, I was quite excited about the prospect of not only reading the story but in the realisation of what the story involves! I had contacted the author directly in April of 2014 as there was a bookaway through Shelf Awareness inasmuch as she was visiting #LitChat for a bookish topical discussion that I was quite keen on attending. This was one of those rare moments where everything felt as thought it were set to rights and serendipitously aligning to work out quite well. I have appreciated each and every writer I have become introduced too through #LitChat, as much as I appreciate the ability to write personal notes to the authors who host bookaways through Shelf Awareness, as I love making personal connections to the writers I am finding myself encouraged to read. It brings the book industry closer to home and it allows the writers to get to know their readers a bit as far as who is keen to see their books in print and who is itching to read them once they are released. I find it to be quite the lovely circle of positivity and creative acceptance of the living arts.

What struck me the most about this particular novel is how remarkable the backstory set within its perimeters truly sounded as you delve into the make-up of the circumstances of the ‘apartment’ in question. Or rather, I ought to be saying ‘the flat’ in question!

My singular regret is that I had to postpone my tour stop until I recovered from a horrid stomach flu and by having the hours dissolved off the clock, I had to forfeit my opportunity to interview the author. I was so chuffed it had worked out I could interview her and then, as the fates so happened to align I missed the chance afterall.

+Blog Book Tour+ A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable : A #histfic narrative wrapped up in the mystery of art & antiquesA Paris Apartment
by Michelle Gable
Source: Author via France Book Tours

THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER!

Bienvenue à Paris!

When April Vogt’s boss tells her about an apartment in the ninth arrondissement that has been discovered after being shuttered for the past seventy years, the Sotheby’s continental furniture specialist does not hear the words “dust” or “rats” or “decrepit.” She hears Paris. She hears escape.

Once in France, April quickly learns the apartment is not merely some rich hoarder’s repository. Beneath the cobwebs and stale perfumed air is a goldmine, and not because of the actual gold (or painted ostrich eggs or mounted rhinoceros horns or bronze bathtub). First, there’s a portrait by one of the masters of the Belle Epoque, Giovanni Boldini. And then there are letters and journals written by the very woman in the painting, Marthe de Florian. These documents reveal that she was more than a renowned courtesan with enviable decolletage. Suddenly April’s quest is no longer about the bureaux plats and Louis-style armchairs that will fetch millions at auction. It’s about discovering the story behind this charismatic woman.

It’s about discovering two women, actually.

With the help of a salty (and annoyingly sexy) Parisian solicitor and the courtesan’s private diaries, April tries to uncover the many secrets buried in the apartment. As she digs into Marthe’s life, April can’t help but take a deeper look into her own. Having left behind in the States a cheating husband, a family crisis about to erupt, and a career she’s been using as the crutch to simply get by, she feels compelled to sort out her own life too. When the things she left bubbling back home begin to boil over, and Parisian delicacies beyond flaky pâtisseries tempt her better judgment, April knows that both she and Marthe deserve happy finales.

Whether accompanied by croissants or champagne, this delectable debut novel depicts the Paris of the Belle Epoque and the present day with vibrant and stunning allure. Based on historical events, Michelle Gable’s A Paris Apartment will entertain and inspire, as readers embrace the struggles and successes of two very unforgettable women.

Read about Marthe de Florian

Places to find the book:

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


Published by A Thomas Donne Book

on 22nd April, 2014

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 384

Author Biography:

Michelle Gable

Michelle Gable is a writer and also a mom, wife, financial executive, sports-obsessed maniac (Go Chargers! Go Aztecs!), Southern California native, barre class fiend, tennis player, and card-carrying member of the Chickasaw Nation.

She grew up in sunny San Diego and attended The College of William & Mary, where she majored in accounting as most aspiring writers do. Throughout a career that started in public accounting and then moved to private equity, then investment banking, and ultimately to the head of FP&A for a publicly-traded software company, Michelle continued to write. And write and write. Her first novel {A Paris Apartment}was released on April 22, 2014, her second scheduled for Spring 2016.

Michelle currently resides in Cardiff by the Sea, California, with her husband, two daughters, and one lazy cat.

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A catacomb cache of antiquity and art:

As we first cross the threshold of a locked away apartment in a section of Paris which begets instant recognition, we step properly inside April’s shoes — seeing everything her eyes drink in and with a deep appreciation for finding items of art once thought to either be lost or nonexistent altogether. As I lamented on my ruminations on behalf of Lost in Thought, I have always been a bit piqued in apt fascination for the history of antiques and the items from estates cast back into the world via emporiums and boutiques where everyone can find something they fancy to collect or gather for their own homes. There is a particular keen attraction to having a sense of a living legacy of a singular life attached to the item, as a vehicle of immortality in the sense that someone’s essence was entwined with the piece. Touch is a sense most convicting for our sensory perceptions – it allows us a tangible connection to what cannot be seen but rather felt and thereby internalised on a deeper level of awareness. There was a true catacomb cache of antiquity and art held within the walls of the apartment time and history were kept unawares in knowing about; and within that cache held a curiosity of a person not easily understood nor quenched once her life was brought out into the open.

My Review of A Paris Apartment:

As soon as April mentioned being in need of ‘catching a redeye’ my mind flickered backwards into my own past whereupon I stranded myself in the Pacific Northwest simply due to a mild curiosity over controlled rock climbing walls & a certain outdoors expedition store called REI. I daresay I was always an adventurous lass, but to forfeit my return flight and had to opt instead for the redeye — wells, there are times where I question my own sanity! My reverie continued whilst observing her ‘techniques’ to pinch out every spare inch of her suitcase for ‘necessities’ she’d need on her holiday; the memories of my own ingenuity of achieving the same impossible task left me inside of a smirk!

April’s fragmented life is in a reckless disarray filt with disillusion and an honest sense of being caught in flux; betwixt the present and the future whilst unresolved about the past. Her life is a fitting juxtaposition to the apartment by which she is hired to sort and recover what has been left behind to be found. Her emotional health is a frayed rope of nerves, and whilst she finds herself drawn into the legacy of Boldini and of Madame Florian, it nearly felt as though she were searching for a resounding clarity that would give credence and enlightenment to her own life.

The time shift sequences giving us a jolt of Madame de Florian’s life as she transcribed it down into her diaries was a rare and exquisite treat. Yet one of the surprising twists of everyday life for me in the modern area of the story, is when it was disclosed that dog walkers do not pick up after their animals have taken care of business. It is a well-known fact that no one can walk their dogs (or in some rare cases their cats) without the courtesy of removing what is left behind for someone not to unexpectedly walk through it. I had no idea that Paris has a problem similar to Venice as far as a stench of foulness emitting out of a situation that is containable. It gives a new dimension of awareness I had not yet stumbled across and had me left wondering how you can truly appreciate walking the streets if there are more little ‘surprises’ to be found along the sidewalks? I agree with April on this note on how indifferent it would be to have the joy of being in the city replaced by a bit of furrowed discontempt of such an everyday difference of living.

I felt the energy of the first half of the novel started to muddle towards the middle bits, as April’s suspicious nature towards her husband’s past infidelity was starting to grow a bit old as the old ‘dialogue’ continued to play out. I think it would have been best if she had been more honest with herself that she had already taken an exit out of her marriage. Although, truth to life, perhaps she was not yet aware of what she wanted and thereby had this disconnection growing larger between her and her husband simply due to distance and lack of direction to take next. Even Madame de Florian took a bit of a backseat, and the joy of the art discovered in the apartment ended up being bogged down by bureaucracy and red tape. The further I read into the story, the more crude the humour ended up becoming or rather the more crude the direct references were to the story’s internal threads. I was a bit aghast to find this happening, as foresaid the beginning had such a sprite of energy and sophistication, and watching everything start to derail before my eyes was not something I enjoyed. If I were to be honest, it felt as though there were two halves of a whole and they were not equally connected.

The cheeky humour and the intricacies of Michelle Gable’s writing style:

Gable has an intrinsic method of revealing the well-established stigmas attached to Americans whilst on holiday in France as much as she has a clairvoyant way of using cheeky humour to establish the short tolerance Americans feel in return. The French have always had a certain level of discontempt for Americans, as even I have found this to be threaded through conversations during intermittent connections I’ve had with them, yet what always struck me the most off-character about the whole absurdity of this tension between the countries is how genuine Americans love France and everything most decidedly French! And, for those of us who are of French descent directly, it is a curious stone to overturn. I honestly believe this is due to a disconnection between us: a break down in communication or at the very least an understanding of our different personalities and perceptions of how we live our lives.

Gable allows her American and French characters to respond and react within the perimeters of this well-established awareness between the two cultural divides, yet she always attempts to step out of the stigma and re-align a sense of forward progression.

Fly in the Ointment:

I am not sure why I felt I was awaiting the shoe to drop but call it reader intuition as I had a stirring sense of knowledge the strongest of words would start to trickle out into the enriched descriptive narrative like water snaking out of a busted drain. And, rather unsatisfying to me, of course by page 45 we had to see reveal the one word I despise amongst all others flaunted on display. I truly have yet to find a reason for such inclusions, but on this particular novel’s behalf what felt even more flat is the layers of depth Gable gave to her descriptions.

She breathes words which are not regularly found in Contemporary nor Historical Contemporary Fiction, and somehow the additions of vulgarity felt as though she were depreciating the level of sophistication she started the novel off with at the beginning. In the same sense where April felt vexed when a causal touch or disrespect for the pieces in the apartment were being unceremoniously contaminated by carelessness.

These strong words can be blinked out of today’s fiction for my own sake of sanity, as when I find wicked quality on behalf of the story-teller I am walking a line betwixt wanting to recommend the work for the level of literary quality vs shirking away from realising the recommendation is on a work that is inclusive of language I cannot fathom needing being included. I am as indecisive of knowing how best to augment my final thoughts as I had been after concluding “I Shall Be Near to You”.

I wish I could say the saving grace within this particular tome of narrative voice is that the vulgarity was as intermittent as a wayward fly at a baseball game, however, they were bent on making such striking appearances as to remind me why I do not appreciate the surge in love bugs during Autumn! The annoyance level is always on extreme high as try as you might you cannot outwit a love bug deluge.

On a separate note, I felt the French words writ straight into the dialogue sequences would have felt more second nature to the reader if there were (translated English words) running counterpoint to the French. I positively love when language is used as a vocal representation of setting and of a time of era, yet when all I have is a language opposite of the one I natively speak, all I can do at best is give a smile of a nod to the words themselves without a proper sense of what is actually being said. As a for instance, if one wanted to say “Autumn is such a proper renewal of spirited joy after a languishing of Summer.” Why not write it like this: (or a variant therein)

"L'automne est un tel renouvellement correct de joie vive après une langueur de l'été."  (Autumn is such a proper renewal of spirited joy after a languishing of Summer.)  she expressed in full measure of unexpected happiness.

I used an online French / English Translation app and thereby am not responsible if the French to English has acceptable loss of error. I simply wanted to convey how frustrated I felt whilst caught up in the French expressions without an English translation in-text. This is not a quote from the novel either – I crafted the entire exchange on the fly so to speak.

I also noted that whenever we were re-visiting Madame de Florian’s life through her diary of letters, the language of English she used was American rather than British, and that was a unique observation for me. I realise most works of American novels in historical fiction do not encompass British English in preference of historical accuracy but I am always struck at a loss to understand why they do not? She wouldn’t be using the spelling of ‘endeavor’ for instance as she would have writ it as ‘endeavour’. It is almost as though the historical points of view are translated yet the language bits are not; a bit of a wench in the wheel to me.

I would have given a celebratory nod of realism had the modern bits [focused on April] had solidified her speaking vernacular of American English with French in-text translations of English; fused counter-current with Madame de Florian’s diaries writ in British English with overlays of French (with in-text translations as well).

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

 Read an Excerpt of the Novel:

{Provided by Issuu.com}

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Virtual Road Map for “A Paris Apartment” Blog Tour:

A Paris Apartment Blog Tour via France Book Tours

A special notation at the end of my post is dedicated to the writers like Ms. Gable & Ms. Alexander (of Dare to Kiss who supports a PTSD charity), who give proceeds of their novels to charity, in this particular instance Ms. Gable has a rotation of charitable organisations she is contributing towards each month there are net proceeds from A Paris Apartment. I found the list on her website and have linked the charities for easy reference to click-through & discover more about each of them.

MAY: The Chloe Nichols Foundation
JUNE: Wounded Warrior Project
JULY: Monarch School (San Diego)
AUGUST: Help4HD International
SEPTEMBER: Safe Horizon

I have been supporting the Wounded Warrior Project in small ways and one day hope to strengthen my support to make a larger impact, as I find it a difficult pill to swallow that we are not taking care of our returning servicemen & women. The crisis of our Veterans is knitted close to my heart and it is an on-going mission of mine to help find ways to improve their lives; not only through this charity but the outreach Hire Heroes USA as well. I have been supporting the troops through Soldiers’ Angels since 2011.

I was hoping to find an organisation and/or charity that would help the homeless stand stronger and put their lives together through positive hope and obtainable goals; seeking a footprint towards a stronger future. I am blessed to have found the Monarch School on this list as I think this is a concept that needs to be taken nationwide.

Likewise, through the 8 years I devouted to watching Law & Order in my twenties, I became especially keen on the charity of Mariska Hargitay : The Joyful Heart Foundation. As much as watching the mission behind No More flourish and take root. Women have always been rock solid innovators, and every step of the way the more we all choose to reach out to those in need of assistance, empathy, hope, and a bit of joy — we endeavour our own spirits to be lifted up in universal love.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comBe sure to scope out upcoming tours I will be hosting with:

France Book Tours

 on my Bookish Events page!

Please take note of the Related Articles as they were hand selected due to being of cross-reference importance in relation to this book review. This applies to each post on my blog where you see Related Articles underneath the post. Be sure to take a moment to acknowledge the further readings which are offered.

I positively *love!* comments in the threads below each of my posts, kindly know that I appreciate each thought you want to share with me and all the posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary! Short or long, I appreciate the time you spent to leave behind a note of your visit! Return again soon! 

{SOURCES: Cover art of “A Paris Apartment”, book synopsis, author photograph of Michelle Gable, author biography, and the tour host badge were all provided by France Book Tours and used with permission. The Excerpt of “A Paris Apartment’ on Issuu had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Tweets were able to be embedded by the codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. France Book Tours badge created by Jorie in Canva.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Related Articles:

The Complete Works of Giovanni Boldini – (giovanniboldini.org)

Madame de Florian’s Abandoned Apartment – (anothermag.com)

House Tour the Secret Paris Apartment of Madame De Florian – (blog.decoratorsnotebook.co.uk)

Suspended in Time – (blogofthecourtier.com)

The ‘live reading’ tweets I shared as I read & reviewed “A Paris Apartment”:

{ favourite & Re-tweet if inspired to share }

Comments on Twitter:

The best blessing for me tonight as I read A Paris Apartment is the beautiful happenstance conversation I had with a British Historical fiction author, Ms. McGrath who is a close personal friend to two lovely story-tellers I have not only featured on Jorie Loves A Story but cannot stop talking about their stories to anyone who fancies the same types of narratives as I do! I am referring to Ms. Liz Harris (A Bargain Struck & The Road Back) and Ms. Jenny Barden (The Lost Duchess). Our conversation is inside my feeds on Twitter as I stopped copying them over as they became our own convo independent of Ms. Gable’s novel. I was wicked happy in another regard – now that I have my landing page set up, I can start commenting once more on the English Historical Fiction Author’s Blog as oft as I can the Heroes, Heroines, & History Blog! Champion! All is never quite as lost as we first fear!

I truly believe in what I tweeted just shy of 2am:

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Posted Sunday, 5 October, 2014 by jorielov in 21st Century, Adulterous Affair, Antiques, Art History, Artwork Provenance, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Clever Turns of Phrase, Courtesan & Cocottes, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Disillusionment in Marriage, Fly in the Ointment, France, France Book Tours, French Literature, Geographically Specific, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Life Shift, Literary Fiction, Madame de Florian, Passionate Researcher, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Shelf Awareness, Spontaneous Convos Inspired by Book, Time Shift, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage

+Book Review+ Lost in Thought {Book No. 1: Sententia series} by Cara Bertrand #YA #bookseries

Posted Monday, 29 September, 2014 by jorielov , , , 5 Comments

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Lost in Thought by Cara Bertrand
Published By: Luminis Books (@LuminisBooks) | Blog
Official Author Websites:  Site | @carabertrand | GoodReads | SenteniaSeries Site
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #SententiaSeries

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Second Thoughts” virtual book tour through JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. As this was the second novel in a book series, I was able to put in a request to receive the first novel Lost in Thought of which I received a complimentary copy of direct from the publisher Luminis Books without obligation to review. I received my complimentary copy of Second Thoughts 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:

I am a bit of a quirky bookish soul on the level of being attracted to a particular style of paranormal stories which may or may not fit into the norm as far as industry standard selections on a per annum basis might include. I am particularly particular in my choices of both vocal styling of characters within the paranormal genre and the nature of how the undertone of these types of stories will befall. I am a reader who has a penchant for light being a fuelled undertone to novels, and thus, I am forever and a half seeking out the few paranormal stories out there that match my idealistic impression of the genre and the reality of what is being written. I nearly tucked tail out of the paranormal genre completely due to my previous interactions with other Adult Paranormal stories which tipped the scale in an unfavourable way.

I decided to forego seeking Adult Paranormal titles for blog tours and/or off-tour reviews and focus instead on the YA portion of the selections being published quite readily. Even then, I find myself not attracted to the heavier end of the spectrum but rather the intuitive side of YA Paranormal Fiction. I have always amassed a certain propensity for parapsychological story-lines (in both books & tv series/motion pictures), but my inclination of what I elect to read or to watch are a far cry outside the ones you’d expect I would have been drawn to read OR watch. Part of my participation in Horror October (by Oh! The Books) will carve out the dance I walk on the fringes of a supremely popular genre. 

What drew my eye immediately into this book series was the premise – as I have to admit I was the girl in the darkened front row of The Sixth Sense who had worked herself up into a bit of a panic frenzy of not being able to handle half of the film; until a kind-hearted young bloke next to me (of whom I never knew previously or had the chance to properly thank afterwards; he disappeared that quickly!) told me *exactly!* when to ‘watch’ and when to ‘duck your eyes’; he clearly had been a groupie of the film director’s having seen this particular release 10x within the first few days of it’s release! I, on the other hand was a causality of a last-minute duck & dive into the theater with my best friend and as ill planned as we were, the front seats were the very last available to be had. Aside from the wicked horror of seeing it too close to the screen, what I appreciated was the premise of the film (perhaps not the straight-up horror bits mind you!) as a thesis of a theory of what happens when people see the dead amongst us. It is a thematic I was attracted too most intrinsically as forementioned on my blog having a connection to a field close-to that of a medical examiner. (see review of Daughter of the Gods).

Death by nature is always presented either in the light of faith-based stories or the gruesome after effects of being newly deceased on medical examiner series and/or police procedurals or detective mysteries. It is quite rare to find offerings of where the dead are alongside the living in a way that is representative of who they are after they pass and in such a way as to honour the spirit of the person who had died. Hence why I positively love watching Ghost Whisperer via seasonal dvds I loan through ILL’ing at my local library. The curiosity was always perked to find stories and characters who walk amongst the dead and/or are in communication with the dead on a parallel plane of acknowledgement as I think it has a bevy of choice as to how to portray not only the characters speaking to the dead but how to illuminate the dead themselves. 

Now imagine my excitement on having discovered the Sententia series!

And, the blessing to read the series from Book 1 straight into Book 2!

+Book Review+ Lost in Thought {Book No. 1: Sententia series} by Cara Bertrand #YA #bookseriesLost in Thought : First Book of the Sententia
by Cara Bertrand
Source: Publisher via JKS Communications

Lainey Young has a secret . . .

She's going crazy. Everyone thinks she has severe migraines from stress and exhaustion. What she really has are visions of how people died - or are going to die. When doctors insist she needs a new and stable environment to recover, Lainey's game to spend two years at a private New England boarding school. She doesn't really think it will cure her problem, and she's half right. There is no cure, but she's not actually crazy.

Almost everyone at Northbrook Academy has a secret too. Half the students and nearly all of the staff are members of the Sententia, a hidden society of the psychically gifted. A vision of another student's impending death confirms Lainey is one of them. When she's finally getting comfortable with her gift of divining deaths, and with Carter Penrose, a recent Academy graduate and resident school crush, they uncover her true Sententia heritage. Now Lainey has a real secret. 

Once it's spilled, she'll be forced to forget protecting secrets and start protecting herself.

Places to find the book:

Also by this author: Lost in Thought : First Book of the Sententia

Series: Sententia


Also in this series: Lost in Thought : First Book of the Sententia


Genres: YA Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Luminis Books

on 25th April, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 288

Author Biography: 

Cara Bertrand
Photo Credit: Vallarta Adventures

Cara Bertrand is a former middle school literacy teacher who now lives in the woods outside Boston with: one awesome husband, two large dogs, one small daughter, and lots of words. LOST IN THOUGHT is her first novel and was a finalist for the Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Teenagers are not naturally attracted to antiques?:

I was a bit surprised to read this sentiment being expressed in the opening bits of learning more of Lainey’s past, a smirk of a recognition seeing a bit of myself in Lainey, if truth be told. I fell in love with antiques as a young girl as I grew up in a home and family of whom appreciated unique pieces and aged eclectic finds. By thirteen I was attending auctions regularly and getting the feel for discerning what was worth bidding on and what was worth letting slide by. I always appreciated the subtle differences in glass, china, and dishware – not only for distinction of style but for the artistry of where the pieces originally came from. We even had a factory of sculpture straight out of Italy nearby from where I was attending high school, so you could say, I grew up not only surrounded by art, music, and cultural events but a proper sense of ageless curiosity about curios!

Wandering around emporiums of antiques in tucked away small townes is simply a day ‘out’ I can always drink in with a smile, a nod to the out-of-doors walking paths, and a happy spirit. I love the spontaneous conversations evolving around something I find my eye is drawn to learn a bit more about and how each antique shoppe has it’s very own unique way of putting everything on display. I love the photographs which are framed and hung on the wall as much as the shoeboxes stuffed to the gills with individual photos you can purchase in large batches or separately if you want to go for the ‘unfamiliar relations’ mosaic. The furniture of the 1800s is intermixed with pre-1950s and early 20th Century, and the moment of anticipation to check out the estate jewelry in the cases is always a bit of happenstance glowing excitement! Yet, it is the furniture and the kick knacks I personally adore the most (except for how my mind wanders about sorting through the ‘china’ room to percolate a personal style of ‘necessary  items’ in the dining room), as you can find such an array of hand-crafted artisan quality separates! One of my favourite finds are the pull down drawer desks and of course, an armoire that can fit and bemuse a woman’s wardrobe!

Hmm, yes, I do suppose being into antiques is not fashionably akin to being a teenager, but then who says you have to lead a conventional life!? I love Lainey’s spunk and her individualism!

My Review of Lost in Thought:

Realising you have a gift (especially a parapsychological gift) is innocuous enough, but to fully fathom how to encompass the truth of how far your gift can take you is quite another matter entirely! The paradoxical internal conflict at the jump-start of Lost in Thought set me inside the head of Lainey and etched out a time vortex to be wholly absent from my own living hours for the duration of her story to be told. There is something alluring about murder mysteries and to have orientated her revelation to know the dead through an act of murder was quite an ingenious hook for a potential reader to find on page 1! Of course, to be truthful, the reader would have to be a life-long appreciator ‘of murder mysteries’ such as myself to become rooted in their chair!

We quickly shift directly into Lainey’s life as she starts to end her gypsy life with her Aunt and takes up residence at a boarding school to finish out her tenure of high school. We start to watch her blossom by being able to have a bit of a routine rather than an unorthodox existence of following her Aunt Tessa around as she tours the country as a professional artist. It is whilst she is starting to settle into the Academy as a student we start to see her develop more as a person who is not only curious about what caused her headaches originally but if there was any truth to the origins therein. Her doctors always felt she was living too much out of sync with the normalcy other teens experienced during adolescence but she was never quite certain if her doctors understood her as they never had the fuller truth of what caused her the most duress. Lainey is a girl on the verge of understand who she is and why she was endowed with the gifts she has inside her, but there is always a pinch of foreshadow inside the story — alluring to a bit of a darker truth outside of the light.

I appreciated seeing the central core of the Sententia having roots in spirituality and watching how ethically they were attempting to do what was right whilst walking the fine line between interference with free will and observation. The internal core of the novel reminded me a bit of the Prime Directive from Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek and seeing theology discussed inside the novel was an unexpected surprise as I personally appreciated of whom the credit was given for having given the gifts to the Sententia. Each world is built differently inside the Fantasy genre, but what drew me to appreciate the Sententia is how humanistic they were whilst they understood a higher plane of existence. They are a bit advanced at discovering natural bourne gifts and how to wield them; yet they are a bit of a mystery to the outside world at large. This brought together an interesting proposition to the story’s central threads as they (the Sententia) are a unique sub-culture of humanity living on the fringes of ordinary society.

Lainey’s best friend Amy (who is also her roommate at the Academy) reminds me so much of Kit from Pretty Woman because she has her energetic enthused way of celebrating her roomie’s life that made me flash to mind her persona each time Amy walks into view or is wrapped up in a conversation with Lainey; which points closer to how this novel read more adult to me than high school teen; a bit more college than secondary school at least. Lainey never had a grounding of a friendship with a peer before due to all her expeditions but what she was truly gaining was further insight into who she was as an individual and how she wanted to proceed forward into her future. She is at the age where being given a gift came with certain responsibilities and certain consequences and I appreciated seeing how she was trying to align the balance she wanted in her life. Balance between trusting those who knew more than she did about the Sententia and trusting her gut instincts about everything else.

The only thing I was truly disappointed about aside from the strong language is that the story took an unexpected turn from what I had originally felt it was being projected as going towards — as far as the dead and the living are concerned. This is a story that is about the dead but it isn’t about helping the dead as I first had perceived but rather a unique bent on another vein of thought that walks alongside the dead and a bit on the level of the theory of the Grim Reaper if truth be told. Yet that isn’t entirely what it is about either. It is a very interesting story-line threaded through parapsychological phenomena that doesn’t allow you to fully guess where this novel is taking you; even when you think you understand everything you need to know about Lainey and her friends. Bertrand weaves in a twist or two that you are not expecting nor do you fully understand as this first installment ends on the tip of a cliffhanger; but not one that is hard to swallow but rather one that is most foreboding in where we shall enter Lainey’s life in “Second Thoughts”; because the title of the series itself is a leading clue to what lies within. 

On the writing style of Cara Bertrand:

Bertrand excells at painting a story that feels real and is lush on descriptive narrative as much as sense of place for Lainey and the other students at the Academy; straight down to the local haunt of the bookshoppe. She has a knack for carving out a setting that feels as real as breathing and gives the YA genre a solid footing as far as how to paint the whole of the world whilst developing the characters inside it. The only flaw I found was the inclusion of a brass word early-on when Lainey met her roommate which not only felt out of step with the rest of the story but was a deep disappointment for me, as I was thinking I had finally found a writer who had curbed using strong language and left the genre to stand on the merit of the story and their characters without falling into the pattern of where modern YA is taking younger audiences.

I personally do not consider any novel YA or for an audience of Children if it is going to include strong language. I am going to start to talk more about this on my blog as I index my reviews, but what is disappointing to me is why there appears to be such a need to include the words at all? Despite my grievances for the language choices within this novel, I did appreciate the story as the words were flittered about like those flies I mentioned on previous reviews and not the total distractment they could have become. Evenso, I would not be recommending this to a teenager as the language for me puts this firmly in the Adult Lit category; similar to how I have felt each time I pick up a (supposed) YA title and find the same inside their pages.

I’m disappointed writers feel they have to add these words in order to find an audience because to me literature should stand as an example that improves our lives rather than detract from the causal way in which language has become outside literature and school. It is sad to me because when I find a wordsmith who breathes such a breath of positive narrative prose into her books, I am regrettably saddened to see words flicker onto the page that make me inwardly cringe. Their absence would not deflect from the message of the story but their absence would be applauded for carrying a story without abrasive words to narrow the audience the story could have had. I truly love the way in which Bertrand writes her stories, and the few intermittently brassier words do not reflect her writing as a whole.

Especially considering how much effort she put into having ‘cursing’ occurring ‘off-camera’ in some instances and/or finding unique phrases to ‘cover-up’ a stronger explicit phrase. I was a bit confused why more than half the book is writ with a young mind in consideration and the other half letting certain words erupt onto the page? It was quite confusing to me as like I said, she has a singularly strong strength in writing the voice of a teenager and in evoking what a teen’s mind, heart, and process of thought will entreat whilst dealing with a personal crisis and a revelation of identity. To say reading this story left me betwixt reactions is putting it mildly; especially considering when the coarse words started escalating in both frequency of appearance and the choice of which ones would be included.

Fly in the Ointment : is it me, or are there two versions of YA?

Is it me or has the book world gone upturnt crazy, lately!? Now, I have already established I purposely stopped reviewing Adult Paranormal novels for my blog with the express reason to avoid vulgarity in stories yet what curious little word did you think I found on page 18? It wasn’t the worst of the worst (of which I have absolutely positively no tolerance for at all) but it was still a word I wasn’t expecting to find in a novel branding itself as YA! I mean, isn’t the point of being a Young Adult novel to adhere to a certain ground rule of exclusion for explicit vulgarity and violence? Am I missing the boat OR is literature becoming so muddled these days it is growing harder to know which way is up? Sighs. And, here I was thinking this would be the one book series I would not be composing a Fly in the Ointment on!

I run searches on this topic every blue moon as I had tonight to check to see if my definition had miraculously changed since I first picked up Young Adult fiction as a young adult myself over a decade and a half ago! The results of which run the full gambit of if your not exclusively akin to reading vulgar words in literature you are either: too sensitive, too prudish, too religious, or too blind to see where society has taken our youth. I do not concur with any of the statements, because of the mere fact when I was in high school (and quite frankly elementary & middle too!) we had our own set of perimeters on language. If you heard foul words flying out of the mouth of a classmate you knew to give them a wide birth and they were never one to emulate. I admit to overhearing teens in my own towne sporting words out of their mouths which make me wonder what has changed since I graduated, but that aside, my main concern is the habit of finding there is no longer a ‘filter’ for Children’s Literature and the young minds of whom pick up the books.

I read a comment tonight from a concerned reader (who sounded a lot like me; open-minded but with a conscience) who lamented about how the ‘age’ of who regularly reads Young Adult novels are not teens but rather graduating elementary schoolers and run of the mill middle schoolers. The teens already graduating into adult fiction and/or pursuing interests outside of literature completely. As a future parent I am finding more angst in finding vulgarity in Young Adult fiction than as a reader who has appreciated YA fiction for most of her life. I never ran into any of this in the 1980s through mid-1990s which begs the question: what exactly has changed and why are certain words so rabid inside modern literature? As a book blogger — I never fathomed I’d have to find over 30 ways to Sunday to opine my discontempt for vulgarity in literature!

I’d never advocate for banning books but I do advocate for books to be marked with explicit content for language as a method of understanding what we will find inside and therefore start to curb our disillusioned disappointment. If they can mark books for science fiction & fantasy as much as lyrics in music, I am thinking it is time to start marking books with ‘strong language included’ and ‘explicit violence’ if the case might be as well.

What was more puzzling for me is the mission of the publisher (Luminis Books) is to curate books which are meaningful as they are thought-provoking, yet how can a novel be meaningful if the language is brought down by the commonality of cursing and using abrasive words where they could have been tempered and softly spoken by more creative means? I am not sure I am appreciating YA novels being overrun with language that parents and teachers alike are trying so very hard to discern them from using on a regular basis. Even on my own behalf in the not so far off future, I am not going to allow my children to talk with such reckless abandon; it was not how I was raised nor is it how I will be raising my children. Teens can feel anger and they can feel vehemently overwhelmed, as who didn’t feel that way as a teenager? The anguish and angst of growing up is always deeply wrought and felt, but we were always told to use our words and to express our emotions by choosing words which helped to douse the flames of the fires we felt surging inside us. To find better ways to express what we wanted to say and to own who we were without muddling our speaking voices with the words of sailors as the saying used to go.

I am not certain what has changed or why certain books are being found with such inclusions, but I personally will rally behind each writer of YA who doesn’t use language in a negative way but rather uses language to teach a more appropriate way to understand our world. The stories with stronger language I will advocate for adult readers only.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Stay tuned!

Next I will be hosting an Author Q&A with Cara Bertrand:

Cara Bertrand
Photo Credit: Vallarta Adventures

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This blog tour stop is courtesy of:
JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm

Luminis Books Blog Tour with JKS Communications

Discover what I am hosting next by visiting:

Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

I positively *love!* comments in the threads below each of my posts, and as CommentLuv only requires Email to leave a note for me I cannot wait to see what starts to populate below! Kindly know that I appreciate each thought you want to share with me and all the posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary! Short or long, I appreciate the time you spent to leave behind a note of your visit! Return again soon! 

{SOURCES: The tour badge was provided by JKS Communications and used with permission. Book Cover Art for “Lost in Thought” & “Second Thoughts”, Author Biography & Book Synopsis provided by the author Cara Bertrand 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. Tweets are embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

The ‘live reading’ tweets I shared as I read & reviewed “Lost in Thought”:

{ favourite & Re-tweet if inspired to share }

 

Comments on Twitter:

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Posted Monday, 29 September, 2014 by jorielov in 21st Century, Agnostic (Questioning & Searching or Unsure), Antiques, Art, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Discussions, Children's Literature, Clever Turns of Phrase, Coming-Of Age, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Gothic Literature, Indie Author, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Life Shift, Light vs Dark, Mental Health, Modern Day, Orphans & Guardians, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Questioning Faith as a Teen, Realistic Fiction, Sculpture, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Transfer Student at School, Transitioning into Private School, Unexpected Inheritance, Vulgarity in Literature, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction

+Blog Book Tour+ Blade of the Samurai (Book 2 of the Shinobi Mystery series) by Susan Spann

Posted Monday, 1 September, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , 4 Comments

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Blade of the Samurai by Susan Spann

Published By: Minotaur Books (@MinotaurBooks), (a Thomas Donne book) 15 July, 2014
imprints of St. Martin’s Publishing Group, which is now a part of MacMillian Publishers
Official Author Websites: Site | @SusanSpann | Blog
Available Formats: Hardcover & Ebook Page Count: 304

Converse via: #ShinobiMystery#ShinobiMysteries OR #BladeOfTheSamurai


Katana

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Blade of the Samurai” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I opted to receive the first novel of the Shinobi mystery series to formulate a better impression about where the series began and where the series is continuing in this sequel. I received a complimentary hardback copy of the “Blade of the Samurai” direct from the author Susan Spann, in exchange for an honest review. However, I received a complimentary hardback copy of “Claws of the Cat” without obligation to post a review or comment on its behalf. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein on either novel. I elected to post this review for my own edification as much as my enjoyment for the introduction to a new series I will be in full support of watching grow through successive installments!

Inspired to Read: 

I personally always have a preference of reading serial fiction in ‘order’ of the established series, and I can go to great lengths to sort out the order of series too! This is especially true for the Elm Creek series (by Jennifer Chiaverini) and the Aunt Dimity series (by Nancy Atherton)! When I first started to research this novel going on tour this Summer (referencing Blade), I discovered that it is the type of series where you could ‘side step’ from the opening bits of the series, but I had feeling you’d miss quite a heap in doing so! Therefore, I was instantly inspired to read Claws ahead of Blade, and thus took up the offer to receive Claws with Blade for the tour! I simply love having a good footing into the momentum of how the key characters interact, what motivates them, and how the series expands by relieving more of their internal natures as much as a clue into their outward lives outside of their investigations (especially for cosies!).

On my connection to Ms. Spann:

I started visiting the chats hosted by @LitChat in the latter months of 2013, as it was around the time of the conference at The Betsy in which I started to cross paths with regular chatters, amongst whom were Natalia Sylvester (début novelist of “Chasing the Sun”) and Susan Spann. I am unsure which month I first started to notice Ms. Spann as a friendly presence who always reminded me of myself — someone who provided cheerful commentary, engaging questions for each visiting guest author, and a wicked knowledge base on a variety of topics. Generally speaking, I always click-over to read a person’s Twitter profile, but whilst engaged in those #LitChat(s) I felt like it was this magical rendezvous for the bookish and those who are attuned to bookish culture.

In this way, it wasn’t until I learnt of Blade of the Samurai was going on tour through TLC Book Tours (the touring company I am hosting for this Interview & my forthcoming book review) I had decided to discover a bit more about her! In so doing, I learnt who she was ‘behind the curtain’ so to speak! I always considered her one of my ‘friends in the twitterverse’ but I never disclosed this to her until I was on the blog tour! Such serendipity as the tour has brought us a bit closer and I am grateful that Twitter is a social-positive method of reaching past our distances in geography to connect to people who share a passion for the written word.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Spann through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst attending #LitChat; 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.

A lovely surprise arrived within the pages of the book: 

Ms. Spann offered to send me a bookmark with the novels, as her husband had kindly designed two special editions to celebrate the series thus far along! Imagine my pure delight in finding I had received a “Blade of the Samurai” bookmark with my parcel of Shinobi mysteries! She tweeted me this picture as a ‘teaser’ and I must say, it hardly does the bookmark justice, as they are ‘slimline’ markers with the featured ‘cover art’ images per each book cover in the series. This one is a close-up on the hilt of the sword and the rolled blue & white paper; overlaid with the title and subtitle of ‘A Shinobi Mystery’. Eek. For a girl who is wholly giddy about a new cosy historical mystery series having read the first and fallen in love with it head over foot – this small gift will forevermore make me happy to use as I read each newly published installment!

Cleverly on the opposite side is a full listing of the series in print & the one title scheduled to be in print: “Flask of the Drunken Master” for July 2015! Incredibly next Summer will give me a new adventure for two of my favourite cosy investigators, whose charming method of fighting crime is nearly being indifferent to the request to solve them! Indifferent in the way that only a priest and ninja can elect to reveal as their own preferences of how to occupy their days are quite different from each other. I love how they simply ‘fall into’ a scene of a crime or are handed an offer to investigate nearly as if by accidental acquaintance. It is such a curious method of how a mystery can alight in your life and path, that I love seeing who they are connected too which will lead to a new case!

+Blog Book Tour+ Blade of the Samurai (Book 2 of the Shinobi Mystery series) by Susan SpannBlade of the Samurai
by Susan Spann
Source: Author via TLC Book Tours

June 1565: Master ninja Hiro Hattori receives a pre-dawn visit from Kazu, a fellow shinobi working undercover at the shogunate. Hours before, the shogun’s cousin, Saburo, was stabbed to death in the shogun’s palace. The murder weapon: Kazu’s personal dagger. Kazu says he’s innocent, and begs for Hiro’s help, but his story gives Hiro reason to doubt the young shinobi’s claims.

When the shogun summons Hiro and Father Mateo, the Portuguese Jesuit priest under Hiro’s protection, to find the killer, Hiro finds himself forced to choose between friendship and personal honor. . .

The investigation reveals a plot to assassinate the shogun and overthrow the ruling Ashikaga clan. With Lord Oda’s enemy forces approaching Kyoto, and the murderer poised to strike again, Hiro must use his assassin’s skills to reveal the killer’s identity and protect the shogun at any cost. Kazu, now trapped in the city, still refuses to explain his whereabouts at the time of the murder. But a suspicious shogunate maid, Saburo’s wife, and the shogun’s stable master also had reasons to want Saburo dead. With the shogun demanding the murderer’s head before Lord Oda reaches the city, Hiro and Father Mateo must produce the killer in time . . . or die in his place.

Blade of the Samurai is a complex mystery that will transport readers to a thrilling and unforgettable adventure in sixteenth-century Japan.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Also by this author: Author Q&A : Susan Spann (on behalf of her Shinobi mysteries), Claws of the Cat, Flask of the Drunken Master, Interview with Susan Spann (FLASK), The Ninja's Daughter, Author Interview (Hiro Hattori Novels), Betrayal at Iga

Series: Shinobi Mystery, Hiro Hattori


Also in this series: Claws of the Cat, Flask of the Drunken Master, The Ninja's Daughter, Betrayal at Iga, Trial on Mount Koya, (Interview) Trial on Mount Koya


Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Historical Thriller Suspense, Japanese Fiction, Martial Art History, Suspense, World Religions


Published by A Thomas Donne Book

on 15 July, 2014

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 304

Author Biography:

Susan Spann Susan Spann is a transactional publishing attorney and the author of the Shinobi Mysteries, featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori and his Portuguese Jesuit sidekick, Father Mateo. Her début novel, CLAWS OF THE CAT (Minotaur Books, 2013), was named a Library Journal Mystery Debut of the Month. Susan has a degree in Asian Studies from Tufts University, where she studied Chinese and Japanese language, history, and culture. Her hobbies include cooking, traditional archery, martial arts, and horseback riding. She lives in northern California with her husband, son, two cats, and an aquarium full of seahorses.

Precursor to Blade: Claws of the Cat: {Book One}

Claws of the Cat by Susan SpannI could not stop reading Claws of the Cat once I found myself inside this beautiful world of Feudal Japan! I simply devoured the story, daring my eyes to read further and faster, yet wanting to take a pause to allow the scenery and the words to sink in to my conscience. This is a story of honour as much as it is a story of supposition without the ability to see past a suspicion. The fact that there is a cheeky and beloved cat, er, kitten in the household of where Father Mateo and Hiro keep their residence gave me an added joy! The very, very last scene of the novel left me in a happy smile as even though I do not understand Portuguese I recognised a ‘cognate’ of Spanish! The humour of that reply was not lost on my eyes! I love the pace of the novel, because Claws is set to have an expanse of time envelope the community, giving you the chance to know the layout and the rituals of their beliefs. There is a clever balance between Japanese spirituality, Zen Buddhism, Christianity, and a few others in-between all three. I love writers who find a way to etch a spiritual presence as part of the make-up of a character’s mind. If you appreciate crime fiction that allows you to work through the muddling puzzle as it starts to unravell and thread through the needling of proof – you will findClaws of the Cat most enjoyable to read!
– quoted from my book review of Claws of the Cat

  Katana  

Resuming where Claws left off:

As soon as I opened the pages of Blade of the Samurai, I felt as though time had stopped moving forward as I greeted Hiro and his kitten Gato as though only a few hours had transpired between visiting with them! I am still mirthfully enjoying a cheeky chuckle over the origins of his kitten’s name! Even his dear friend Kazu returns in the opening pages, which is quite wonderful considering that I had enjoyed observing their close friendship in Claws. I was hoping he might come back in successive novels in this series of the Shinobi mysteries, and thankfully, I did not have very long to wait!

I believe Hiro has grown a bit through his close companionship with the Priest, as although he is classically trained and carries on his shinobi heritage well, there are parts of his being that are being reasoned a bit outside of his traditional view and beliefs. If not, I daresay he would not work well alongside Father Mateo, as the Priest holds law, truth, and justice to such high accords. In this way, I appreciate the way Hiro is being conveyed and how his differences under Father Mateo’s influence of friendship continue to show how unique of man he is when projected against his peers. Even in consideration of other shinobi, Hiro tends to walk a line between two cultures and two distinct ways of living through practice of conviction. Read More

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Posted Monday, 1 September, 2014 by jorielov in #LitChat, 16th Century, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Bookish Discussions, Bout of Books, Clever Turns of Phrase, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Cultural & Religious Traditions, Equality In Literature, Geographically Specific, Green-Minded Publishers, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Japan, Japanese Fiction, Martial Art History, Martial Arts, Passionate Researcher, Psychological Suspense, Scribd, Suspense, TLC Book Tours, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, World Religions

+Blog Book Tour+ Maggie’s Wars by Phil Pisani A war drama as lived through the courage of a woman re-defining her position in a man’s world.

Posted Tuesday, 26 August, 2014 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

 Maggie’s Wars by Phil Pisani

Published By: All Classics Books, an imprint of American Book Incorporated
(aka American Book Publishing, a defunct publisher)(author is actively seeking a new publisher)
Official Author Websites:  Site | Maggie’s Wars on Facebook | @PhilPisani1

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook

{I found the Trade Paperback available on Powells.com}

Converse via: #MaggiesWars

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Maggie’s Wars” virtual book tour through HFVBT: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the author Phil Pisani, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Due to personal issues arising from self-hosting my book blog (Jorie Loves A Story) within the 24 hours ahead of my stop last Friday, the 22nd of August. I am posting my book review post-tour instead, and am grateful for the understanding of the author Mr. Pisani, of whom I spoke to on Twitter the day of my original tour scheduled stop.

Inspired to Read:

I have percolated my keen interest (and most dearest desire, mind you!) in vintage typewriters ever so often on my blog, and within the links (of which are temporarily ‘missing’ from my sidebar) threaded on my blog I have left a curious little nudge of this passion left within the mentions of ‘The Typosphere’ and all things geekily befit a girl bent on owning a retrofitted (vintage) typewriter from the 1930s-1940s. I have the mind of finding a workhorse (one so powerful the happy merriment of clacking away on my own manuscripts will not put it into an earlier grave) and one wherein only the occasional missive could be typed out for a friend. I daresay, once I start ‘growing’ my collection I’ll most likely be one of those lovely souls I see in ‘type-in’ photographs whose sporting a variety of machines, and letting everyone write-off a note to a friend of theirs to mail by post.

Part of what encouraged my interest in this particular novel, was not merrily the cover-art sporting a curious shot of a typewriter, but the very synopsis of it; of finding a wicked strong female character charging into a life bourne of men and a long honoured past of service where peers are not easy to come by and where a backbone of tenacity is commonplace! I am referring to the trade of journalism, and the strong boiled grit of any woman who wants to take-on a field so rife and known for being for men and men alone. I love stories where women are shown as not only courageous but trail-blazing forerunners for everyone else who rises after them in successive generations. I, also, happen to have a particular fondness for journalism – albeit in fictional stories, and most especially the newspaper trade! Mostly I have come to find stories in motion picture that whet my fancy of interest (i.e. “The Paper” starring Marisa Tomei & Michael Keaton; “One Fine Day” starring Michelle Pfeiffer & George Clooney; and of course, “I Love Trouble” starring Julia Roberts”. I also fancy classic films like “His Girl Friday” starring Rosalind Russell & Cary Grant and “It Happened One Night” starring Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable.) yet there are a few novels I have found as well over the years. One in particular was part of a series, but the publisher went under before the series could alight and find its footing. A bit sad on that note, as the lead character was a typing secretary with her own portable typewriter by which she travelled with job to job. Loved the premise and the fact she solved cosies as she typed or rather stumbled upon murderous circumstances made it even lovelier.

I have always wanted to seek out more story-lines in fiction, told by authors and settled inside the bounded pages of novels; the stories my mind is so fanciful to watch on film. Seeing an excerpt of this novel prior to electing to participate in the blog tour sealed the initial joy I had in reading the synopsis. Even seeing Maggie for a few short paragraphs, I knew I wanted to spend time with the feisty blonde who dared to carve out a path where most women would not have dared to walk! And, if typewriters were involved, ooh, all the more reason to dive into the heart of the novel! Dare I say, if she were a redhead Maureen O’ Hara would have played her on camera!

+Blog Book Tour+ Maggie’s Wars by Phil Pisani A war drama as lived through the courage of a woman re-defining her position in a man’s world.Maggie's Wars
by Phil Pisani
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Combatting wars on two fronts – one of fame and the other love – Maggie Hogan never wavers as a rare woman reporter on the battlefields of World War II, the Nuremburg Trials and the beginnings of the cold war. But she makes the mistake of falling for an officer, complicating her ambitions. Learn of what one woman feels she must do in order to make it in a man’s world, no matter what. Maggie’s Wars is a story about the ultimate battle between love and prestige, and how you can’t win them both.

Places to find the book:

Series: Maggie's Wars,


Genres: Historical Fiction, Military Fiction, War Drama


Published by All Classics Books, American Book Incorporated

on 6th November, 2013

Pages: 232

Author Biography:

Phil Pisani grew up on the north side of the railroad tracks in an upstate New York blue-collar industrial town in a rough neighborhood filled with the most colorful characters in the world. Factory and tannery workers mingled with bar and restaurant owners, gamblers and gangsters, good people and bad people, brash rogues and weak loudmouths, all spawned by the early immigrant movement to America. Italians, Russians, Slovacks, Irish, and Germans formed a rough and tough section of town where few from the south side dared to venture. He learned to fight at a very young age, both in the ring and on the streets. Fights became badges of honor. He also was a voracious reader. His mother worked in the village’s library. After school, or fights or sandlot football games he would curl away into the adult reading section. Enjoying the polished blonde oak bookshelves, tables and chairs, he would choose a book from the stacks and delve into its smells and contents. Reading soothed him.

He studied history and humanities in Pisa, Italy, and Oswego State in New York and later earned a MA in Political Science from Binghamton University.

He worked as a labor investigator for NY and rose in the ranks through the years but never stopped writing or reading. He currently lives in Albany NY, with his wife Joanne.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Inserting yourself into a field wrought of men:

Maggie has more gumption than most women her age, older, or younger combined – she has the forthwith and stalwart attitude of never backing down when your in the right, and bending the conventional roles as far as she dared to re-direct them! She solidified in her own heart and mind, the will of a working woman in an age of war and with the determined grit to realise she was not going to be happy within a traditional role; expected by her suitors to take-on. No, Maggie was the rare breed of women whose bliss was attached to the hip of the adventure she was embracing, the pulse of the news breaking before her eyes, and the danger of being in a moment of raw horror. She took the courage in her veins to heighten her awareness of the living environment around her, as much as she credited her initial responses to living horror as a surviving method of acknowledgement as a reporter. To distance herself yet contain herself in the emotional angst all the while reporting the news with a modicum of sensibility and tact.

The callus way the men in her field short-change her abilities and throw her darts at her gender only further inspire her fire to be stoked inside her belly. To refute their sneers and vocal jabs by keeping her head bent on the assignment and her heart outside of swaths of emotional angst.

My Review of Maggie’s Wars:

typewriterThe Preface of Maggie’s Wars held within its simplicity an inspiring nod towards how serendipitously our lifepaths can unfold before us, and within the observations of where our feet have taken us a measure of kismet is always alongside the hopeful dreams we cast into the cosmos. A beautiful soliloquy of one woman’s fond remembrance of where her past led her into her future, and it was such a wonderful way to begin the story! By the time you enter into the first chapter, your quite aware of the author’s knitted style of giving breath to the craft of story-telling; allowing a fluidity of his lead character Maggie to overtake your senses, endear your heart, and ignite your imagination with a clarity of her driven passion for the life she’s lived. It is in the way he chooses to write in her observations, the manner of her speech, and the ticking nod of her essence, as she starts to bloom alive on the page. I knew from the moment I turnt page 2 I was in for a sweet surprise of narrative, underlit by a light of a joyful narrating current of story inked out of the author’s pen.

By page 15, I was curling into a smile, knowing exactly what was drawing my eye further into the story at such a fast clip: Pisani has written a war drama in the style and favour of a classic movie! Almost as if the characters and the setting were set behind one of the classical story arcs caught on camera, and your nestled in for the duration, popcorn a finger grasp away and eyes absorbing everything in as though your seeing this style of film for the first time. His approach to the craft is one that I appreciate, as he gently glides you into the world where Maggie has alighted; the cross-hairs between choosing a life of a reporter and the traditional route as a wife. She lingers over the choice until her room-mate Flora points out the obvious nature of her character. Flora is the classic best friend you want to room with whilst your living on your salt in Greenrich.

I only snuck a cursory glimpse at a review on this novel posted by a friend of mine (Erin @ Oh for the Hook of a Book), and it was at this passage of time I understand the words which lifted into my focus ‘he wrote a novel befit a noir motion picture’ or perhaps it was worded differently but the meaning was the same! Noir, oh, my yes, and how pleasantly I was to be surprised by this realisation! Generally speaking, Erin & I have the propensity to appreciate the same authors, novels, and styles of literary voice. Her reviews (like those of Audra @ Unabridged Chick) are always a delight to dissolve into after or even before, I’ve picked up the book myself! On this particular instance, I was saving my visits until afterwards,… as I sometimes do.

Maggie’s moxie of proving her worth as a reporter early-on whilst attempting to nail the coveted interview with Madame Chiang Kai-shek, murmured a stir of a memory of another strong-willed woman I always loved watching a fire light inside her eyes; the character of Tess (portrayed by Melanie Griffith) in Working Girl. Defining the role you’re given and taking it a step further is the making of any character who bends convention and attempts to supersede away from the norm. Pisani stitched in just enough moxie into Maggie to already know what her contemporary Tess would have told her: don’t wait for the story, go out and get the story! I love her ingenuity and her eagle eye observations on the politico world of New York City!

There is an undercurrent connection to organised crime as Maggie’s heart is attached to a curious cat known as Johnny Pero, er, Stone rather as he prefers to be called. She wasn’t flummoxed by this bit of information but rather guessed it herself yet respected him enough not to draw out an enquiry. He, on the other hand was bewildered by his feelings for this woman he first caught sight of on the street – back when she was first attempting to land a job at the coveted Trib; a journalist dream starting gate. Their two paths crossed at times in their lives where forging a relationship wasn’t quite optimal. His connections to organised crime and the exploits of his role inside the family therein are explained in full as you read Johnny’s perspective of the events as they unfolded. This is where Pisani makes a good choice in first revealing Maggie’s life from her own point-of-view before re-visiting it again from Johnny’s. He keeps the scenes tempered a bit, giving out the raw details but holding back just enough to where you get the gist and sometimes even more than that, but he doesn’t cross the line. I appreciated the honesty and the fact that despite knowing Johnny’s actions were outright unlawful, the man had a conscience.

As Maggie & Johnny equally started to have their fill of the war on the front lines, both started to question their motivations on going there at all. Maggie was high on the thirst for getting ‘the story’ — blinded by ambition and a zest for danger, she was absolutely clueless to understand what the she would witness in reality. Johnny on the other hand was forced into serving on a special unit, placing his life and his comrades on dangerous grounds the entire time he served. Pisani remains true to etching in the humanity of the story, the undertone is always focused on the hope even in the middle of the darkness of the battlefield. The story ends on the wings of a cliffhanger, as I have a feeling the story is not yet done. The saddest part of the novel is the knowledge that both Johnny and Maggie ended up being pawns for other people whose goals went against the logics of humanity.

On the writing style of Phil Pisani | a classic story-teller of the war era:

Pisani has written a war drama intermingled with an organised crime family angle that gives new definition to the offerings inside historical fiction overall. He draws you into this close-centered world of crime, drama, city politics, and the interior life of a button man on the job. Maggie happens to be the woman who draws the eye of the gangster without his realisation of how that would effect both their lives; their paths start to merge together even though both are not willing to commit. Pisani handles both of their characters with a grace and ease, he is honest and upfront about Johnny’s nefarious dealings in the neighbourhood (if your familiar with Mario Puzo, especially The Last Don; none of these sequences will be unfamiliar) as much as he counter-balances his life on the outskirts of society by giving him a chance to meet someone he never felt he could compliment.

The tone of the novel is underpinned by the desires of Maggie to prove her salt and worth as a reporter in a field as much as it is a juxtaposition of Johnny’s life on the streets and at war. Neither of them realised what they would be getting into once their agreed for their own reasons to be shipped overseas, and it is the drama of how they live through and what they gain back tenfold in experience and maturity that makes the story an enjoyable read. The fact that Pisani is creative with how he chooses his characters to ‘express’ themselves gave me a smile, as this is one question I am always quick to ask any writer who chooses to take the opposite route. This story is enjoyable because although a stronger word or two might be implied, it is how Pisani knits their personality through the words he uses that left me full of appreciation. And, the few times a word might have been used was very well placed.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour Stop,
courtesy of Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Virtual Road Map of “Maggie’s Wars” Blog Tour found here:
I recommend this novel for anyone who loves reading Kate Mosse!
(review of ‘Citadel’)

Maggie's Wars Virtual Tour via HFVBTs

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

See what I’m hosting next for:

Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in CanvaHistorical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBT

and mark your calendars!

Reader Interactive Question:

What pulls you inside the narrative of a war drama the most!? This one was quite a unique story overall, as it the main point of view exchanges between the two lead characters; at times overlapping and conjoining to become one. I appreciated this style of story-telling as it added extra layers of depth and meaning. Which perspective do you prefer!? First person or two interchanging points of view like this one!?

{SOURCES: “Maggie’s Wars” Book Cover, synopsis, tour badge and HFVBT badge were provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and were used by permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva. Typewriter clipart inserted through the ClipArt Plug-In via WP for the Open Clip Art Library (OCAL) – all clip art images are in the public domain and are free to use without restrictions. Tweets embeded by codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

The ‘live reading’ tweets I shared as I read & reviewed “Maggie’s Wars”:

{ favourite & Re-tweet if inspired to share }

Comments via Twitter:

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Tuesday, 26 August, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, ARC | Galley Copy, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book for University Study, Bookish Discussions, Clever Turns of Phrase, Cliffhanger Ending, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Espionage, Film Music Book Typewriter Focus, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Good vs. Evil, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Horror-Lite, Indie Author, Life Shift, Light vs Dark, Military Fiction, New York City, Organised Crime, Passionate Researcher, Psychological Suspense, The World Wars, Typewriter Culture, Vulgarity in Literature, War Drama, War-time Romance, Warfare & Power Realignment