Category: #LitChat

Book Review | “A Sinner in Paradise” (a duology) by Deborah Hining Women’s Fiction with an uplifting centre focus of a character in search of herself.

Posted Saturday, 2 July, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: Whilst participating in #LitChat last Summer [2015] about Indie Publishers and the stories they publish, I happily discovered Light Messages Publishing! If your curious about the Small Press Showcase #LitChat I attended you can replay the conversation in whole by visiting the Nurph Channel for LitChat where it’s archived. Since my first introduction to their publishing house, I’ve had the pleasure of becoming a reviewer for them! I have felt blessed to read stories of such uplifting candor on everyday life, pursuing faith in ordinary hours and finding a spirit of humanity interwoven into the stories themselves!

This marks my third review for Light Messages Publishing as I received a complimentary copy of “A Sinner in Paradise” direct from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On how I picked what to read next after

The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley (review) and Tea & Crumples (review):

Currently Reading A Sinner in Paradise banner created by Jorie in Canva. Book Photography Credit: Jorie of jorielovesastory.com.

One of the blessings of Light Messages, is the fact they publish a multi-genre collective of stories – crafted by writers who are etching into the background of their stories an uplifting turn of inspiration & cross-section of faith. If your a reader who likes to seek out stories that have true-blue characters who are living lives whilst arriving at cross-sections of their personal journey, your going to find a blessed home in the offerings of Light Messages; as this has been my perception and happenstance observation on behalf of their authors’ selections!

I wasn’t truly thinking of any particular genre or style of story – moreso, I was thinking of staying within the framework of a theme parlaying towards another ‘character’ (female or male) who was either overcoming something or transitioning through something; a story with a bit of a bite to it, but also, plenty of introspection as I have the tendency to appreciate those sorts the best! When I wandered over to the publisher’s site, I picked up on the offerings of Ms Hining as being the ones that might appeal to my readerly heart at this present time. I had no idea I’d be blessed with a duology – knitted so close together – as those are the joys of reading in our modern age, the finding of two stories anchoured together, either through a character, a setting or place or even a timescape! Duologies are a heap of fun to read, as they are each individually one half of the whole story.

Coming through the emotional tidal-waves of my first two choices, I wasn’t sure if these stories by Hining would be a bit light-hearted with dashes of cheeky humour or seriously on the same level of tone as the prior two I have loved to read. I can sway either way – on the emotional depth of stories – I admit, I like to break-up the heavier novels with lighter subject matters as it gives my heart a refreshing bit of joy before easing back into another one. Contemporary Fiction & Rom are selections I am trying to focus on a bit more, as I have the tenacious knack for rooting out a Historical at the drop of a hat! Laughs. I used to read a better balance of Contemporaries & Historicals; but in recent years, I’ve lopsided myself worse than a lop-eared rabbit!

I’ve even spied a few thematics at Light Messages that made me curious about how they might read with the threading of INSPY – as they have Suspense and Science Fiction choices hidden amongst the Women’s Fiction & happily a lovely Historical that fetched my eye as well by Lindsey Barlow! I am happily enjoying the journey I am taking with this publisher, as I am finding the stories are wicked sweet finds for a reader who loves convicting fiction fused with fiercely strong characters!

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Book Review | “A Sinner in Paradise” (a duology) by Deborah Hining Women’s Fiction with an uplifting centre focus of a character in search of herself.A Sinner in Paradise
by Deborah Hining
Source: Direct from Publisher

Set in 1977 West Virginia, this is a heartwarming, uproarious affair with love in all its forms.

Jilted by her fiancee, Geneva watches her seemingly idyllic life suddenly fall apart. Bereft and desolate, she packs up her nine cats and leaves her home in Washington, DC to return to her native hills of West Virginia where she plans rest and heal from her heartbreak.

When Geneva's ambition, and machinations run up against rugged mountain ways, she finds herself flung from one perilous adventure, romance, crazy circumstance, and heartbreak to another.

After facing illness, disaster in the wilderness and an encounter with an old mountain man who teaches her that her soul needs more than men, courtship, and adventure, Geneva finally finds what she's been missing. Ultimately, Geneva realizes she must face herself before she is free to truly love and be loved.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1-­61153-­057-­5

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


Published by Light Messages Publishing

on August 2013

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 423

Published By: Light Messages Publishing (@LMpublishing)

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

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A duology by Deborah Hining

A Sinner in Paradise by Deborah HiningA Saint in Graceland by Deborah Hening

A Sinner in Paradise | Book 1

A Saint in Graceland | Book 2 | Book Synopsis

The long-awaited sequel to Deborah Hining’s award-winning debut
novel, A Sinner in Paradise.  is novel stands strong on its own while
offering a deep satisfaction to her existing readers.

Converse via: #ASinnerInParadise & #duology

About Deborah Hining

Deborah Hining

Deborah Hining believes that life is pretty much perfect as long as it holds a sense of destiny. Her destiny has led her to be many things: wife, mother, and grandmother, and also actress, award-winning playwright, theatrical director, college instructor, and Certified Financial Planner (or as she calls it, “Financial Fairy Godmother”).

Now she is a farmer and best-selling author. Her debut novel A Sinner in Paradise won the Foreword Reviews INDIEFAB Bronze Medal for Romance and a Benjamin Franklin
Awards Silver Medal. Deborah and her husband Mike live at Corinne’s Orchard, a farm in Durham County, North Carolina.

You can ¬find her most days working in one of the gardens, writing, and generally giving thanks for her abundant life.

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Posted Saturday, 2 July, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, #LitChat, 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Christianity, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Light Messages Publishing, Modern Day, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction, World Religions

Book Review | “Tea & Crumples” by Summer Kinard

Posted Sunday, 29 May, 2016 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: Whilst participating in #LitChat last Summer [2015] about Indie Publishers and the stories they publish, I found two publishers in attendance. Light Messages Publishing happily corresponded with me a bit after the chat concluded. Whilst in communication with their publicity department, I was encouraged to look through their beautifully lovely catalogue and see if one of their upcoming releases might suit my bookish curiosities. This selection was suggested to me due to my appreciation for tea: “Tea & Crumples” by Summer Kinard, who had attended the chat. If your curious about the Small Press Showcase #LitChat I attended you can replay the conversation in whole by visiting the Nurph Channel for LitChat where it’s archived.

This marks my second review for Light Messages Publishing, as I began reviewing for them with my review of “The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley” of which I loved! I received a complimentary copy of “Tea & Crumples” direct from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I applaud Light Messages as an Inspiring Publisher of Realistic Stories:

Of the two stories I picked to read first by Light Messages, it was Tea & Crumples I nearly felt I might not have the strength to read as I knew it hit on a harder story arc than I generally allow myself to read. I am mindful of my emotional sensitivities as much as other ‘triggers’ in fiction that are outside of what I can tolerate to read (most of which are listed on my Review Policy; but a few surprises still can happen despite my self-control to recognise what will affect me) – however, with this story, I felt a connection to the novel’s heart as I read about it’s premise. It’s hard to describe – sometimes I feel like I’m guided by grace and the faith I lean on everyday – my entire blog life (and my activities in Twitter) have been a walk of faith in other words.

I get certain intuitive glimpses about stories – sometimes it’s a miss on my judgment calls, but more times than naught when I feel especially keen on a story such as this one, I decide to trust that instinctive nudge to read a story! I should have realised Light Messages would challenge my heart in a good way rather than an adverse one – as despite my trepidation, as soon as I settled into the narrative and the graceful textured style Kinard’s writings spilt out into the novel – I found myself comfortably relaxed inside where Tea & Crumples would take me!

This was quite similar to how I felt wrapped up inside The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley, as I could not take my eyes off the text nor fully yield to pull myself out of the world Örnbratt created! The writers being published at Light Messages have an intuitive way of alighting their readers inside a fully conceptionalised story with strong inspirational messages and lives backlit by faith, love and hope. It’s a pleasure for a lifelong reader of INSPY fiction to discover but moreso than that, I applaud the strength of the stories they are publishing as a whole.

My third author I’ll be reading is Deborah Hining – I have a feeling she’s going to leave an equally strong impression on me, as all three authors combined have a bit of a common threading between them, if you think on it a bit! Laughs. I am simply drawn into lives of strong women who have an obstacle in life or faith affirming moment arising out of their ordinary hours to embrace. I love finding INSPY stories who have a textural element of insight of real-life inside them – where they broach inside what I refer to as INSPY Realistic Fiction as they are such hearty composites of our modern lives or the historical past; depending on the story.

I also like writers who stitch together the faith of their characters through their internal thoughts and show how faith is a cornerstone of their lives; as natural as breathing and as readily important! Thus far, I am happily soaking inside the works by Light Messages authors – finding the publisher truly understands what modern INSPY readers are seeking and how blessed we are the authors are writing such grounded stories of strength and perseverance!

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Book Review | “Tea & Crumples” by Summer KinardTea & Crumples
Subtitle: faith, tea, love : a novel
by Summer Kinard
Source: Direct from Publisher

“Tea is how I love people.”

Welcome to Tea & Crumples where tea brewed strong with grace has the power to bring people together. The click of chess pieces and susurrus of fine papers mingle with aromas of warm pastries, tea,
and the caramel of hospitality. Through it all, the steady love of God pours out in daily rituals.

Meet Sienna, whose spiritual gifts are the heart of the shop. Walk with her as she struggles to believe in miracles even while she walks in the shadow of death under the weight of temptation.

Tea makes Sienna remember. She remembers pain in order to hold fast the joy of her lost daughter and happiness gone in order to hold fast to Peter’s love. Tea is there with Sienna when every bit of her has
been poured out. So are her friends. They keep vigil when all that’s left is faith, tea, and love.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1-61153-123-7

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


Published by Light Messages Publishing

on 2nd November, 2015

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 314

Published By: Light Messages Publishing (@LMpublishing)

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

Converse via: #TeaAndCrumples

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

About Summer Kinard

Summer Kinard

Summer Kinard is the mother of five, a tea lover, soprano, and author of inspiring novels and curricula for active learners.

She writes about faithful people overcoming trials with the help of tea, friendships, and love. Summer’s first novel, Can’t Buy Me Love, was a USA TODAY Happy Ever After pick for Women’s Fiction. Her paranormal Orthodox Christian romance, The Salvation of Jeffrey Lapin, has received glowing reviews from readers.

Summer writes about faith, tea, and love in journeys of healing. Follow her family’s journey with tea at TeaAndCrumples.com. You will find up to date posts on her writing life at her site: WritingLikeAMother.com, or follow her on Instagram for up to the moment updates. All links are below.

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Balancing Life Amidst Chaos:

Although I have taken up java since I turnt twenty-nine (soon to be eight years past), there is something quite authentic about how ‘tea’ can calm your ever last nerve; the aromatherapy notwithstanding; when you brew a cuppa tea – it’s almost as if the act itself has a calming effect long before the brew sets the leaves into the water. I could readily see why Kinard showed how tea fused serenity into Sienna’s life and how the art of tea-drinking was a ritual she appreciated with her husband Peter. Tea has this way of encompassing more of your life than it detracts. I even know java won’t last as long as tea in my drinking habits, except for a return to the ‘green bean’ of Yirgacheffe (the one brew of java that tastes like tea!)!

If tea can help purport balance into one’s life, it’s healthy attributes for your wellness is equally as keen! Sienna knows tea is only one component, she leans hard on her faith even during the hours where her mental focus is off-kilter; she prays as readily as I used to find meditative bliss in the motions of Tai Chi Chaun! Sometimes your prayers change through how you approach a prayerfulness in your life’s activities; ebbing in and out of you as you find new ways to sort through your thoughts and become mindful of your spirit’s rhythm. Read More

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Posted Sunday, 29 May, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, #LitChat, 21st Century, African-American Literature, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, ARC | Galley Copy, Author Found me On Twitter, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Book Trailer, Bookish Films, Bread Making, Cancer Scare, Christianity, Clever Turns of Phrase, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Contemporary Romance, Cookery, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Foodie Fiction, Gluten-Free Foods, Healthy Baking, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Judaism in Fiction, Judiasm, Life Shift, Light Messages Publishing, Loss of an unbourne child, Medical Fiction, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Nurses & Hospital Life, Parapsychological Gifts, Realistic Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Terminal Illness &/or Cancer, Using Natural Sweeteners, Women's Fiction, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, World Religions, Writing Style & Voice

Blog Book Tour | “Balm” by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Posted Friday, 3 July, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

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

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on “Balm” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours.  I received a complimentary ARC copy of “Balm” direct from the publisher Amistad (an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers), in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Whilst I was requesting to be placed on this blog tour, I requested a copy of the author’s debut novel “Wench” to become introduced to her style and possible continuity; blessedly I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher Amistad (an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers), without being obligated to post a review, as my ruminations on behalf of this novel are for my own edification only.

Interest in reading the stories:

Loved the continuity of the historical era in which the author started inside Wench. I regularly read Southern Lit in regards to the Deep South, plantations, abolitionists and the Underground Railroad in general. My first TLC Book Tour was for The House Girl and since then I have continued to find novels set within this era either for TLC or other publicists; the last of which was Redfield Farm.

Blog Book Tour | “Balm” by Dolen Perkins-ValdezBalm
by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours
Narrator: Lisa Renee Pitts

The New York Times bestselling author of Wench—called "a fascinating and tragic story" by NPR.org, "deeply moving" by USA Today, and "lyrical and devastatingly beautiful" by People magazine—returns to the Civil War era to explore history's next chapter in this powerful story of love and healing.

The Civil War has ended, and Madge, Sadie, and Hemp have each come to Chicago in search of a new life.

Born with magical hands, Madge has the power to discern others' suffering and ease it, but she cannot heal her own damaged heart. To mend herself and continue to help those in need, she must return to Tennessee to face the women healers who rejected her as a child.

Sadie can commune with the dead, but until she makes peace with her father, she, too, cannot fully engage her gift.

Searching for his missing family, Hemp arrives in this northern city that shimmers with possibility. But redemption cannot be possible until he is reunited with those taken from him.

In the bitter aftermath of a terrible, bloody war, as a divided nation tries to come together once again, Madge, Sadie, and Hemp will be caught up in an unexpected battle for survival in a community desperate to lay the pain of the past to rest.

Beautiful in its historical atmosphere and emotional depth, Balm is a stirring novel of love, loss, hope, and reconciliation set during one of the most critical periods in American history.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Historical Fiction, War Drama, Literary Fiction, Southern Lit


Published by Amistad

on 3rd January, 2015

Format: Paperback

Pages: 374

Length: 9.2 hours

Published By: Amistad (@AmistadBooks)
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Available Formats: Hardcover, Softcover, Audiobook, and Ebook

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Wench
by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours
Narrator: Quincy Tyler Bernstine

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Series: P.S. Series


Genres: Historical Fiction, Southern Lit


Published by Amistad

on 25th, January 2011

Format: P.S. Edition Paperback

Pages: 294

Length: 8 hours, 17 minutes

Wench Available Formats: Hardcover, P.S. Edition paperback, Audiobook, and Ebook

Listen to an Excerpt: WENCH via audiobooks.com

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Converse via: #Balm and #DolenPerkinsValdez

 

About Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Dolen Perkins-Valdez is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Wench. Her fiction has appeared in the Kenyon Review, StoryQuarterly, StorySouth, and elsewhere.

In 2011 she was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction. She was also awarded the First Novelist Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

She teaches in the Stonecoast MFA program in Maine. A graduate of Harvard and a former University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA, Dolen Perkins-Valdez lives in Washington, D.C., with her family.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 3 July, 2015 by jorielov in #LitChat, 19th Century, African-American History, ARC | Galley Copy, Audiobook, Audiobook Excerpt, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Novel, Domestic Violence, Equality In Literature, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Historical Fiction, History, Literary Fiction, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Passionate Researcher, Psychological Abuse, Small Towne USA, Soundcloud, Taboo Relationships & Romance, The Deep South, TLC Book Tours, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Underground Railroad

+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

Parajunkee Designs

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 & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, 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