Category: Writing Style & Voice

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

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

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B013KLF9HO

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

Also in this series: Halfway Bitten, Halfway Hunted


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


Published by Terry Maggert

on 7th August, 2015

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 7 hours and 15 minutes (unabridged)

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the halfway witchy series:

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A photo posted by Terry Maggert (@terrymaggert) on

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About Terry Maggert

Terry Maggert

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

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

UK Blog Book Tour | Remember my enthused reaction to Tracey Warr’s #HistFic style? This is her new epic Medieval Ages in the Anglo-Norman kingdom series (#Conquest)!

Posted Friday, 30 September, 2016 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By:  If your a regular reader or frequent visitor of Jorie Loves A Story, you might have seen my review for my first EPIC Historical novel published by Impress Books (UK) entitled: Almodis: The Peaceweaver! This novel marked my introduction to the historical crafting style of Impress Books authors and the impressive layer of breadth Ms Warr knits inside her historical fiction! I originally crossed paths with the publisher on Twitter in late 2015, whilst finding the novels of Ms Warr, as I quite seriously have a penchant for well-conceived historical stories set during eras of time I am keenly interested in visiting through literature!

I participated in the Cover Reveal on behalf of #Conquest No.1 “Daughter of the Last King” in July, 2016. I received a complimentary ARC copy of “Conquest: Daughter of the Last King” direct from the publisher Impress Books (UK) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I was so wicked excited for #Conquest after having read Almodis!

I love going back to the author’s origins, especially to read their debut release as a good foundation to understand their approach to writing their collective works. I was most impressed by the layered realism and intricate attention to detail whilst building a strong level of grounding for the back-story of Almodis as well. Thus, I am thrilled to announce I am a part of the upcoming blog tour for the #Conquest series featuring this novel which sets off the pace for the trilogy!

Warr has constructed such an intricate plot around Almodis, as her fate is mirror to Guinevere in some ways, as neither woman could fully believe they were being deceived at every turn. Almodis had a servant working against her and a second marriage optioned to her to increase her brother’s steed of wealth and power. She was being used and taken by men, without any consideration for how this might affect her psychological well-being or her very spirit as a woman who had always believed in the purpose of her role as a wife and mother. She had a sharpened mind which caught her a few breaks along the way, without which she might not have fared as well as she did. Except to say, it was not without it’s hurdles.

The fact Almodis’s story is living history is a testament to the imagination of Tracey Warr who presented her life in such a fashion as to encourage us to draw closer to her journey towards ruling land, home and her mind with such an intricate understanding for order. I agree with Warr, this is definitely a story that played out well in a historical narrative, as there are such far reaching scenarios to understand what happened between her marriages, the births of her children and how everything knitted together in the end where different children took over the original three regions which were always succumbing to war. She wasn’t just the weaver of peace for her generation but for multi-generations down through her descendants as the works she accomplished whilst she was alive remained a living memory of who she was whilst she dared to entrust herself to live authentically towards the honour she felt she was always bestowed to upheld.

-quoted from my review of Almodis: The Peaceweaver

As you can see, I love how Warr is able to write-in the moments of a lost era where we not only can visually conceptionalise that particular part of a living history (as Almodis is Biograhpical Historical Fiction based on the life of a real person) but she etches out the fuller scope of that generations layers of place, time and setting. It’s a fully realised immersion into a hidden corridor of history that is such a pleasure to read as you become wholly absorbed by Warr’s vision and her understanding of her characters’ lives to such a degree, you feel like you’ve lived through their heartaches & the journey it took them to find their own levels of success as they fought against the tides of tradition.

Having been properly introduced to her writing style so wondrously tied to her knack for research, I was beyond elated to be in a position to continue to read her stories, starting with the #Conquest trilogy!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

UK Blog Book Tour | Remember my enthused reaction to Tracey Warr’s #HistFic style? This is her new epic Medieval Ages in the Anglo-Norman kingdom series (#Conquest)!Conquest: Daughter of the Last King Cover Reveal
by Tracey Warr
Source: Direct from Publisher

1093. The three sons of William the Conqueror – Robert Duke of Normandy, William II King of England and Count Henry – fight with each other for control of the Anglo-Norman kingdom created by their father’s conquest.

Meanwhile, Nesta ferch Rhys, the daughter of the last independent Welsh king, is captured during the Norman assault of her lands. Raised with her captors, the powerful Montgommery family, Nesta is educated to be the wife of Arnulf of Montgommery, in spite of her pre-existing betrothal to a Welsh prince.

Who will Nest marry and can the Welsh rebels oust the Normans?

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on Impress Books (UK)

ISBN: 9781907605819

Also by this author: Almodis, Conquest: Daughter of the Last King Cover Reveal

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


Published by Impress Books

on 1st October, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Published by:  Impress Books (@ImpressBooks1)

RELEASE DATE: 1st October, 2016 | Formats Available: Paperback & Ebook

Converse via: #Conquest on Twitter & Instagram (see ImpressBooks via Instagram)

About Tracey Warr

Tracey Warr

Tracey Warr is a writer based in Wales and France, and has published novels and books on contemporary art. She was Senior Lecturer, teaching and researching on art history and theory of the 20th and 21st centuries, at Oxford Brookes University, Bauhaus University and Dartington College of Arts.

Her first novel, Almodis: The Peaceweaver (Impress, 2011), is set in 11th century France and Spain, and was shortlisted for the Impress Prize for New Fiction and the Rome Film Festival Book Initiative and received a Santander Research Award. Her second historical novel, The Viking Hostage (Impress, 2014), is set in 10th century France and Wales.

She received a Literature Wales Writer’s Bursary for work on her new trilogy, Conquest , set in 12th century Wales, England and Normandy. She received an Authors Foundation Award from the Society of Authors for work on a biography of three medieval sisters, entitled Three Female Lords. She is also working on a new historical novel featuring a 12th century female troubadour in Toulouse, and on a future fiction novel set in the debatable territory of a river estuary, between water and land, in the 22nd century.

Her writing on contemporary artists has been published by Phaidon, Merrell, Black Dog, Palgrave, Manchester University Press. Her latest art publication is Remote Performances in Nature and Architecture (Ashgate, 2015). She reviews for Times Higher Education, Historical Novels Review and New Welsh Review.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 30 September, 2016 by jorielov in 11th Century, ARC | Galley Copy, Arranged Marriages in Royalty, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, Brothers and Sisters, Clever Turns of Phrase, Coming-Of Age, Early Middle Ages [the Dark Ages] (1001-1300), Family Drama, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Impress Books, Indie Author, Inheritance & Identity, Jorie found the Publisher on Twitter, Kidnapping or Unexplained Disappearances, Life Shift, Passionate Researcher, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Realistic Fiction, Siblings, Story in Diary-Style Format, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Unexpected Inheritance, Unexpected Pregnancy, Wales, Warfare & Power Realignment, Women's Rights, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Style & Voice

Cover Reveal | A *new!* #HistFic trilogy by Tracey Warr kicks off this October! The #Conquest Trilogy is set in the Medieval Ages in the Anglo-Norman kingdom!

Posted Friday, 29 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Stories Sailing into View Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

If your a regular reader or frequent visitor of Jorie Loves A Story, you might have seen my review for my first EPIC Historical novel published by Impress Books (UK) this week entitled: Almodis: The Peaceweaver! This novel marked my introduction to the historical crafting style of Impress Books authors and the impressive layer of breadth Ms Warr knits inside her historical fiction! I originally crossed paths with the publisher on Twitter in late 2015, whilst finding the novels of Ms Warr, as I quite seriously have a penchant for well-conceived historical stories set during eras of time I am keenly interested in visiting through literature!

Originally this reveal was scheduled for August, however, as we all know time schedules in publishing are fluid and I was thankful I was online this morning to catch the missive the publicist sent me in order to help spread the news now rather than await my tour stop to share my ruminations!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

I love going back to the author’s origins, especially to read their debut release as a good foundation to understand their approach to writing their collective works. I was most impressed by the layered realism and intricate attention to detail whilst building a strong level of grounding for the back-story of Almodis as well. Thus, I am thrilled to announce I am a part of the upcoming blog tour for the #Conquest series featuring this novel which sets off the pace for the trilogy!

Warr has constructed such an intricate plot around Almodis, as her fate is mirror to Guinevere in some ways, as neither woman could fully believe they were being deceived at every turn. Almodis had a servant working against her and a second marriage optioned to her to increase her brother’s steed of wealth and power. She was being used and taken by men, without any consideration for how this might affect her psychological well-being or her very spirit as a woman who had always believed in the purpose of her role as a wife and mother. She had a sharpened mind which caught her a few breaks along the way, without which she might not have fared as well as she did. Except to say, it was not without it’s hurdles.

The fact Almodis’s story is living history is a testament to the imagination of Tracey Warr who presented her life in such a fashion as to encourage us to draw closer to her journey towards ruling land, home and her mind with such an intricate understanding for order. I agree with Warr, this is definitely a story that played out well in a historical narrative, as there are such far reaching scenarios to understand what happened between her marriages, the births of her children and how everything knitted together in the end where different children took over the original three regions which were always succumbing to war. She wasn’t just the weaver of peace for her generation but for multi-generations down through her descendants as the works she accomplished whilst she was alive remained a living memory of who she was whilst she dared to entrust herself to live authentically towards the honour she felt she was always bestowed to upheld.

-quoted from my review of Almodis: The Peaceweaver

As you can see, I love how Warr is able to write-in the moments of a lost era where we not only can visually conceptionalise that particular part of a living history (as Almodis is Biograhpical Historical Fiction based on the life of a real person) but she etches out the fuller scope of that generations layers of place, time and setting. It’s a fully realised immersion into a hidden corridor of history that is such a pleasure to read as you become wholly absorbed by Warr’s vision and her understanding of her characters’ lives to such a degree, you feel like you’ve lived through their heartaches & the journey it took them to find their own levels of success as they fought against the tides of tradition.

Having been properly introduced to her writing style so wondrously tied to her knack for research, I was beyond elated to be in a position to continue to read her stories, starting with the #Conquest trilogy!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Read More

Divider

Posted Friday, 29 July, 2016 by jorielov in 11th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight & Announcement, British Literature, Early Middle Ages [the Dark Ages] (1001-1300), France, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Impress Books, Indie Author, Inheritance & Identity, Jorie found the Publisher on Twitter, Life Shift, Midwife | Midwifery, Midwives & Childbirth, Passionate Researcher, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Siblings, Spain, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Vulgarity in Literature, Warfare & Power Realignment, Writing Style & Voice

Book Review | “Almodis: The Peaceweaver” by Tracey Warr My first EPIC historical novel from Impress Books!

Posted Wednesday, 27 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Impress Books (from the UK), as I found Impress Books at the conclusion of [2015] and have been blessed to start reviewing for them. I crossed paths with one of their publicists on Twitter and started a convo about the historical novels of Tracey Warr. This led me to ask if they would consider a book blogger stateside to review her stories and thankfully my enquiry was well-timed as Warr has a new series launching in 2016! I look forward to hosting their authors (either for review or guest features) and finding well-researched stories of convicting historical story-lines in the process.

I received a complimentary copy of “Almodis: The Peaceweaver” direct from the publisher Impress Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What initially drew my eye to read Almodis:

I love EPIC Historical dramas – especially the ones where your being treated to an unknown chapter of history you’ve yet to visit properly! The 11th Century is one of my under-read centuries of interest and when it comes to the locale for this novel (Languedoc) I’ve visited this setting previously in the war drama that crushed my soul: Citadel. I entreated inside the Early Middle Ages previously when I read Illuminations, wherein I was so distraught for Hildegard’s plight, I was thankful her story had a bit of restitution at it’s conclusion. By the time I re-visited this part of the Middle Ages in Camelot’s Queen, I had noted how guttingly difficult the Medieval Ages were overall.

I am drawn to fiercely strong female protagonists in historical fiction narratives – this has been true throughout my wanderings in literature for the past three years I’ve been blogging my bookish life. Inasmuch as it held true as a reader who sought out one wicked good read after another that would bring the gravity of historical perspectives through a living spirit of a character you felt you could emphatically respond too outright.

When I first read the synopsis for this novel, I was struck by several things all at once: the centreing of the timescape by Warr, the determined grit of her lead character Almodis and the conviction of proving to everyone that you can carve out your own destiny, even if others around you are not as easily convinced your living in an era where a woman can choose her own path to walk. The backdrop of war felt fitting for the era, as most of the early centuries were torn by war and by power re-alignments to such a madding level of frequency, it’s curious how anyone felt any measure of peace to simply ‘live their lives’ without a cloud of fear looming over them; especially to see if war would touch them directly.

Going into my readings, I was wicked happy to be reading a well-researched and well-thought out portion of the historical past, as evidenced by Warr’s approach to conceive this story but also, how she aligned her vision by the way her story is laid out inside the novel itself. I also had in the back of mind the notion that before I could address her newest novels (the Conquest series), I wanted to pull back time and retreat inside the debut novel that set the tone and score of everything that would come lateron.

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Book Review | “Almodis: The Peaceweaver” by Tracey Warr My first EPIC historical novel from Impress Books!Almodis
Subtitle: The Peaceweaver
by Tracey Warr
Source: Direct from Publisher

"Some say Almodis was a serpent, a scandal, a whore. They say wrong."

After generations of fighting amongst the ruling families of eleventh-century Occitania, the marriage of Almodis de la Marche to Hugh of Lusignan is intended to bring peace and harmony to the region. But at a time when a noblewoman's purpose is to produce heirs, Almodis resolves to create her own dynasty.

Almodis' path to power and happiness is fraught with drama. Having escaped her marriage blanc to God-fearing Hugh, she weds the lascivious Pons of Toulouse and takes over the administration of the great city. However, his distrust leaves him plotting to imprison her at a nunnery. Fearing for her life, Almodis flees in the dead of night - the young, gallant Count of Barcelona might be her one chance, if only he wasn't betrothed to another...

Intrigue, forbidden love and murder underpin this extraordinary story based upon the life of a real medieval countess, whose children went on to rule southern France and northern Spain.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781907605093

Also by this author: Conquest: Daughter of the Last King Cover Reveal, Conquest: Daughter of the Last King Cover Reveal

Genres: Biographical Fiction, French Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


Published by Impress Books

on 12th October, 2011

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 345

Published by: Impress Books (@ImpressBooks1)

Formats Available: Hardcover & Ebook

Warr’s second novel was The Viking Hostage (Book Synopsis) | Pub Date: 1st September, 2014

Warr’s upcoming NEW RELEASE is the 1st novel of the Conquest series:

Daughter of the Last King (Book Synopsis) | #PubDay is 1st September, 2016

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistRom

About Tracey Warr

Tracey Warr

Tracey Warr is a writer based in Wales and France, and has published novels and books on contemporary art. She was Senior Lecturer, teaching and researching on art history and theory of the 20th and 21st centuries, at Oxford Brookes University, Bauhaus University and Dartington College of Arts.

Her first novel, Almodis: The Peaceweaver (Impress, 2011), is set in 11th century France and Spain, and was shortlisted for the Impress Prize for New Fiction and the Rome Film Festival Book Initiative and received a Santander Research Award. Her second historical novel, The Viking Hostage (Impress, 2014), is set in 10th century France and Wales.

She received a Literature Wales Writer’s Bursary for work on her new trilogy, Conquest , set in 12th century Wales, England and Normandy. She received an Authors Foundation Award from the Society of Authors for work on a biography of three medieval sisters, entitled Three Female Lords. She is also working on a new historical novel featuring a 12th century female troubadour in Toulouse, and on a future fiction novel set in the debatable territory of a river estuary, between water and land, in the 22nd century.

Her writing on contemporary artists has been published by Phaidon, Merrell, Black Dog, Palgrave, Manchester University Press. Her latest art publication is Remote Performances in Nature and Architecture (Ashgate, 2015). She reviews for Times Higher Education, Historical Novels Review and New Welsh Review.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Wednesday, 27 July, 2016 by jorielov in 11th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), British Literature, Brothers and Sisters, Bullies and the Bullied, Castles & Estates, Child out of Wedlock, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Disillusionment in Marriage, Early Middle Ages [the Dark Ages] (1001-1300), Family Life, Father-Daughter Relationships, France, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Impress Books, Indie Author, Inheritance & Identity, Jorie found the Publisher on Twitter, Life Shift, Midwife | Midwifery, Midwives & Childbirth, Monastery, Monk, Passionate Researcher, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Religious Orders, Siblings, Sisterhood friendships, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Spain, Spontaneous Convos Inspired by Book, Twin Siblings, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Vulgarity in Literature, Warfare & Power Realignment, Women's Health, Women's Rights, Writing Style & Voice

Book Review | “Pieces of Granite” (Prequel, Coming Home series) by Brenda S. Anderson Jorie happily returns to a series that touched her heart!

Posted Friday, 22 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I answered a call to become a member of Ms. Anderson’s Author Street Team which was posted on her blog in March 2014. She accepted me as part of her Street Team, whereby I am one of her early readers who has the opportunity to read her novels a bit ahead of their published release or just after their release date, whilst finding ways to talk about why I love reading her novels on my blog and Twitter feeds. I truly love championing her collective works as she’s writing wicked good INSPY fiction for today’s modern reader. I re-affirmed my commitment to her Street Team in July 2016, as I never truly left but my participation was on hold until this Summer. Most of my participation between 2014 and 2016 occurred on Twitter; you can still find my tweets threading through the twitterverse about the Coming Home series!

I received a complimentary copy of “Pieces of Granite” direct from the author herself, Brenda S. Anderson in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein

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Why I personally love reading the Coming Home series:

When Ms. Anderson says she writes ‘gritty fiction’ she is referring to the fact she likes to dig deeper than the superficial layering of telling a story. She likes to go directly into a character’s soul and walk of faith, rooting out their emotional and psychological stability or instability if the case might be, in order to best show the growth and spiritual awakening they need to embark towards. For some it is a spiritual renewal and for others, it’s an awakening because they never gave themselves the proper credit towards understanding God in the first place. She breathes honesty and raw emotions into the context of her stories, and her vision for her characters is realistic humility in recognition of everyman’s faults, fragilities, and sensitivities. She organically digs deeper to tell a more compelling and openly captivating story which pulls you in from page one and does not leave your heart even after the last page is turnt; the story fully absorbed and known. She is most definitely an emerging voice in Inspirational Fiction to keep an eye out for new releases and a finger-tap on interlocking book series!

She maintains the spirituality of Christianity in a gentle way of allowing you to oversee the character going through the motions of returning to a God-centered life which is cross-referenced by light commentary of scriptures and affirmations of God’s grace. It is through the lessons of her character’s actions that the greatest arc of spirituality is found.

-quoted from my review of Chain of Mercy

I realise Ms Anderson softens her approach to writing the tone within the Where the Heart Is series which follows publication after the Coming Home series – however, what personally tethered me to her writerly core of heart initially was how honest she was to write an emotionally raw and convicting story-line about wicked real characters who were struggling to find a bridge through adversities and life-changing moments erupting through their ordinary hours. They were in the midst of changing who they were internally as much as spiritually – re-awakening themselves to mercy and forgiveness.

Her cardinal approach to cut a slice of life affirmative fiction into our readerly hours is a lift of joy to me as a reader, as these are the kinds of stories I love to find within the realms of today’s Contemporary INSPY! I also love how she follows her heart, penning stories that are a firm step outside the box of where Inspirational Fiction has the tendency to become a bit too predictably stagnant and re-writes how all INSPY writers can find fuller freedom in painting a portraiture of our everyday world.

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The Coming Home series by Brenda S. Anderson

 Converse via: #ComingHomeSeries + #ChainOfMercy + #PiecesOfGranite

PREQUEL: Pieces of Granite | December 2014

BOOK 1: Chain of Mercy | April 2014 | (see Review)

BOOK 2: Memory Box Secrets | April 2015 | (Synopsis)

BOOK 3: Hungry for Home | September 2015 | (Synopsis)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comWhen you first set out to write the Coming Home series did you envision each individual book in the series or has the series knitted together organically one story at a time?

Anderson responds: When I first started writing, I had no clue that I would end up with a four book series. Each book grew organically from the previous. I first wrote Chain of Mercy and realized that I actually had two stories in one, so that’s how Memory Box Secrets was born. The story expanded from there. Pieces of Granite came about because I kept hearing from agents and editors that female readers didn’t want to read a book about male issues, so I decided to create a story from the female perspective.

In Chain of Mercy, the hero (Richard) talks about a fight he’d had with his younger sister (Debbie), a rift he created when Debbie told him about her daughter having Down syndrome. I took Debbie’s story and expanded it. I wrote Finding Home because I left a few loose threads dangling at the end of Memory Box Secrets (that’s all the spoiler I’ll give!) I needed to address those threads properly.

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Read our full conversation

Read an Excerpt from Pieces of Granite

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On my two year absence on reviewing the Coming Home series:

I initially intended to read and review the books as they were releasing as an active member of the author’s Street Team, however, [2015] proved to be quite the difficult year for myself and my family. As previously reflected on my End of the Year Survey, 2015 – I even garnished a bit of a backlogue of reviews and titles I was seeking to read. I elected to focus on the stories I was able to read and remained hopeful the tides would turn to where I could reclaim the stories I was not yet able to greet against the page!

Thus, as 2016 started to unfold, I was hoping I could arrive inside a moment where I could lay heart and mind back inside this beautifully conceived Realistic INSPY series as my first reading of Chain of Mercy was such a powerful one, I was drawn immediately inside the vision Ms Anderson had for the series as a whole! I knew from that one reading, I would be forever grateful to be amongst the readers who not only sought out her collective works but could continue to find out what she drew together for these characters I had become so dearly attached too knowing more about!

It so happens, this Summer I felt was a renewing season for myself as a reader – where I could not only dig back inside the stories on my bookshelf I longed to soak inside but I could pull together stories on parallel themes that truly touch my spirit and heart as I am reading them. Be sure to watch for my upcoming reviews on behalf of stories of mumhood & alternative families: Claiming Noah by Amanda Ortlepp this July, followed closely by Ignoring Gravity by Sandra Danby, Dear Carolina by Kristy Woodson Harvey and Inconceivable by Tegan Wren in early August. As together with Pieces of Granite I am reflecting on all aspects of being a Mum and how family enters our lives whilst grounding us on a path that is a true blessing to be given.Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art: I personally love how Ms Anderson was able to get synchronicity and harmony with her cover art designs for the Coming Home series – she truly found designers who knew how to create a certain textural feel to the undercurrent thematic of the series but also, the level of hope within any story writ under the INSPY umbrella. I felt collectively they are an incredibly layered series creatively etched to mind through their covers and the choices wherein the story-lines are represented.

Book Review | “Pieces of Granite” (Prequel, Coming Home series) by Brenda S. Anderson Jorie happily returns to a series that touched her heart!Pieces of Granite
by Brenda S. Anderson
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Think-Cap Design Studios
Source: Direct from Author

A distressing diagnosis
A retreating husband
A prodigal brother
Debbie Verhoeven is not your typical woman.

• She sacrificed a counseling career to be a full-time mother
• She’d rather pound a nail than round steak
• Oprah? No way! Give her ESPN any day
• Nothing could be more stressful than scrap-booking

Nothing, except…
A distressing diagnosis,
A husband who is pulling away,
And two older brothers who refuse to get along
When the counselor is caught in the middle,
when she needs to be strong for those around her,
who is left to be strong for her?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9780986214707

Also by this author: Brenda S. Anderson (Author Interview: Coming Home Series), Chain of Mercy, Brenda S. Anderson (Author Q&A: Pieces of Granite)

Also in this series: Chain of Mercy


Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Motherhood | Parenthood, Realistic Fiction, Women's Fiction


Published by Vivant Press

Pages: 356

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Author Biography of Brenda S. Anderson

Brenda S. Anderson

Author Photo Credit: Portraits from the Heart

Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty and authentic, life-affirming fiction. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is currently President of the ACFW Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball (Go Twins!), and she loves watching movies with her family. She resides in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband of 28 years, their three children, and one sassy cat.

Her debut novel, Chain of Mercy Book #1 in the Coming Home series, came out in April of 2014. Pieces of Granite the prequel to Chain of Mercy was a semi-finalist in the ACFW Genesis Awards released on November 18, 2014!

Official Author WebsitesSite | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads | Pin(terest) Boards
Active in Book Blogosphere: Personal Blog
+ Guest Blogger @ Inkspirational Messages
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Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

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Posted Friday, 22 July, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Brenda S. Anderson's Blog, Brothers and Sisters, Christianity, Clever Turns of Phrase, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Down Syndrome, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Mid-West America, Minnesota, Modern Day, Realistic Fiction, Self-Published Author, Siblings, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Special Needs Children, Street Team for Author, Unexpected Pregnancy, Women's Fiction, Women's Health, Women's Right to Choose (Health Care Rights), Writing Style & Voice