Category: #SRC2015 | BookSparks

Book Review | “Blonde Eskimo” by Kristen Hunt My first #ReadingIsBeautiful reading on behalf of BookSpark’s Summer Reading Challenge for YA Lit!

Posted Sunday, 15 November, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am becoming a regular tour hostess and reviewer for BookSparks, as I began to host for them in the Spring ahead of #SRC2015. I am posting my Summer Challenge reviews during November/December due to the aftereffects of severe lightning storms during July and August. As I make amends for the challenge reads I was unable to post until Autumn; I am also catching up with my YA challenge reads and the blog tours I missed as well. This blog tour marks the last novel I selected to be a part of the YA challenge which coincidentally now becomes my first posted review for the challenge, too! I look forward to continuing to work with BookSparks once I am fully current with the stories I am reading for review.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “Blonde Eskimo” direct from the publicist at BookSparks in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Happily finding myself drawn into stories of the Vikings:

As I had mentioned on my review for Avelynn, my keen interest to read Viking literature was percolating in the back corner of my reading queues. Find two stories about the Vikings in the score of a few short months of each other is quite remarkable. This next story I am reading (Blonde Eskimo) stood out to me from the choices of books for the Summer reading challenge hosted by BookSparks – the YA side of it by the way. My full intention was to be posting throughout the last season all the lovelies I’ve received, but due to events I’ve blogged about quite extensively, Summer ended on a hard note

Since I’ve resumed my readings this Autumn, a quirky turn of events has me posting this as my first contribution for #SRC2015 past my reading of Wishful Thinking! I will be following this review with more insights into my #summerreads but for now, the best discovery was realising how keenly wicked it is finding out Blonde Eskimo is a genre-bender where the different tides of it’s inner core are such a lovely read for me to enjoy! I never thought I’d find different pathways into understanding the legacy of the Vikings, but in many ways, I felt Blonde Eskimo was a way to continue forward whilst in full pursuit of Magical Realism.

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Notation on Cover Art: The watermark spirit animal which acts as a faint tattoo against the image of Neiva on the cover is a signal of how the story within ‘Blonde Eskimo’ are heart centred on the natural world and our connection to nature. Totem animals and spirit guides are a quintessential component of life in Alaska; and this particular motif is not only gracing the cover but the chapters as well. The spirit animals alternate between raven, fox, bear and eagle. I love the softness of the book cover, it’s not glossy but matte with a curiously soft touch. I am unsure if this will have the same textural feel outside of the ARC but this edition (even being an early copy) has all the benefits of layout, styling and the little unique touches that I hope made the final copy!

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Book Review | “Blonde Eskimo” by Kristen Hunt My first #ReadingIsBeautiful reading on behalf of BookSpark’s Summer Reading Challenge for YA Lit!Blonde Eskimo
by Kristen Hunt
Source: Publicist via BookSparks

Part Viking, part Eskimo, Neiva Ellis knew her family’s ancestral home, the island of Spirit, Alaska, held a secret. A mystery so sensitive everyone, including her beloved grandmother, was keeping it from her. When Neiva is sent to stay on the island while her parents tour Europe she sets out on a mission to uncover the truth, but she was not prepared for what laid ahead. On the night of her seventeenth birthday, the Eskimo rite of passage, Neiva is mysteriously catapulted into another world full of mystical creatures, ancient traditions, and a masked stranger who awakens feelings deep within her heart. Along with her best friends Nate, Viv and Breezy, she uncovers the truth behind the town of Spirit and about her own heritage.

When an evil force threatens those closest to her, Neiva will stop at nothing to defend her family and friends. Eskimo traditions and legends become real as two worlds merge together to fight a force so ancient and evil it could destroy not only Spirit but the rest of humanity.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781940716626

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Historical Romance, Magical Realism, Suspense, YA Fantasy


Published by SparkPress

on 13th October 2015

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 308

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

Published By: SparkPress (@SparkPress)
an imprint of Spark Points Studio LLC GoSparkPoint (@GoSparkPoint)
& BookSparks
(@BookSparks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #BlondeEskimo | #ReadingIsBeautiful

About Kristen Hunt

Kristen Hunt

Kristen Hunt is an artist and writer based in Phoenix, Arizona. She is an avid fan of movies, graphic novels and Young Adult literature. Anything evolving fantasy and supernatural experiences captures her interests.

As a young child Kristen visited her family in Nome, Alaska and learned of her Eskimo heritage. Her Grandmother, known as the blonde Eskimo because of her golden hair and blue eyes, told Kristen the many legends found throughout Alaska, such as the Ishegocks, totems, and much more. It was these stories that inspired Kristen to write her current novel.

UPDATE: 6 January, 2017 finding the author's social presence has been altered, I reflected the changes in the links attached to her biography.

On reading my first novel of the Inuit:

You may or may not recall a tv series from Canada entitled Due South but for me this was a beautiful series that owned the diverse heritage of Canada alongside a lovely heart-centred mystery series who followed the life of a Mountie. I picked up the soundtrack to the series before the seasonals were released as they tend to release music before the shows themselves. On the soundtrack there is a beautiful evocation through song about the Inuit sung by Paul Gross; who is a singer-songwriter in his own right not just the lead actor in Due South. His soulful performance on behalf of the Inuit in the story of that song never left me. It’s soul-stirring and it’s epic in scope when you think about what the story is truly highlighting and giving insight into during that one brief moment of verse.

Ever since I heard the song (Inuit Soliloquy) I have wanted to read stories of the Inuit and draw closer to the heart of where that song took my mind. I have had a full respect of Native Americans on this side of the border since I was quite young, as I might have mentioned in past posts where I grew up in a city where a Native American art gallery and bookstore was a happy place for me to visit with my family due to how the owner took me under his wings sharing stories of his tribe the Cherokee. The First Nations of Canada came fuller into my mind when I watched the documentaries during the Vancouver Games, but it wasn’t until I discovered Blonde Eskimo that I found a pathway back inside the lore and heart of who the Inuit are as a whole. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #ReadingIsBeautiful
  • #SRC2015 | BookSparks
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Posted Sunday, 15 November, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, #SRC2015 | BookSparks, 21st Century, Alaska, Angels, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, ARC | Galley Copy, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, BookSparks, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Magical Realism, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Native American Spirituality, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Reincarnation, Scandinavian Literature, Small Towne Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Tattoo Art & Design, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Transfer Student at School, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Vulgarity in Literature, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction

Book Review | “Wishful Thinking” by Kamy Wicoff #SRC2015 No.2

Posted Tuesday, 30 June, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge 2015

I quite happily am spending Summer soaking through the lovely discoveries I am making through the annual BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge! This particular Summer challenge has become quite dear to me due to how wicked lovely my local library has been in giving me an added layer of joy whilst BookSparks has coordinated the blog tours attached to the reading challenge in such a way to continue to *surprise!* me by finding books arriving by Post I was not even sure would be posted! (full story revealed on this post)

This marks my second review out of ten, and although I was originally meant to post my ruminations on Monday, the 29th of June, I needed the extra hours to fully immerse myself into Wishful Thinking! Partially due to a slow-shift back into reading after my illness and partially due to a *major!* upgrade my blog undertook over the weekend yielding to a few wonky tech issues that left me unable to blog.

My next review for #SRC2015 was meant to appear on Thursday, however, I believe it will be closer to Saturday, as I equally need more time to fully embrace my next summer read! I am hoping after I post #SRC2015 No.3, I’ll be back on track with my pre-booked schedule!

It was such a joy to snuggle into this novel – it nearly felt autobiographical, too! Wicoff is definitely an author I want to keep my eyes on and continue to see where her bookish endeavours take us!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.
Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I originally found BookSparks PR last Spring, when I came upon the Summer Reading Challenge a bit too late in the game. I hadn’t forgotten about it, and was going to re-contact them this Spring to see if I could join the challenge this year instead. Coincidentally, before I sorted this out, I was contacted by one of their publicists about Linda Lafferty’s Renaissance historical novel, “The Sheperdess of Siena”. 

At the time when I was confirmed to be a part of the #SRC2015 official blog tour schedule, we were not able to get confirmation on which books we selected to review on our respective blogs would be sent to us by the publishers and/or publicist at BookSparks, thereby I submitted purchase requests at my local library for all *10!* books I selected to read and review.

I elected to read “Wishful Thinking” via the complimentary copy I received by BookSparks as the library copy arrived just after this lovely book arrived by postal mail. By participating in the #SRC2015 challenge I am reading the novels in exchange for my honest reviews; whether I am receiving a complimentary copy or borrowing them through my local library. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Book Review | “Wishful Thinking” by Kamy Wicoff #SRC2015 No.2Wishful Thinking
by Kamy Wicoff
Source: Direct from Publicist

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Women's Fiction, Motherhood | Parenthood, Magical Realism, Time Travel Fiction, Quantum Physics


Published by She Writes Press

on 21st April, 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 384

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.

written by Kamy Wicoff | Site | @kwicoff | Facebook | Instagram

Published By:She Writes Press (@shewritespress)
originated from She Writes (@shewritesdotcom)
an imprint of Spark Points Studio LLCGoSparkPoint (@GoSparkPoint)
& BookSparks
(@BookSparks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #WishfulThinking & #SRC2015 Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #SRC2015 | BookSparks
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Posted Tuesday, 30 June, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, #SRC2015 | BookSparks, 20th Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Cover | Original Illustration & Design, Bookish Films, BookSparks, Cats and Kittens, Clever Turns of Phrase, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Disillusionment in Marriage, Divorce & Martial Strife, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, Genre-bender, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Inspiring Video Related to Content, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Library Love, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Life Shift, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Magical Realism, Modern Day, Mother-Son Relationships, Motherhood | Parenthood, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, New York City, Passionate Researcher, Public Service | Community Officers, Quantum | Mechanics Physics Theory, Realistic Fiction, Science Fantasy, Scribd, Second Chance Love, Single Mothers, Sisterhood friendships, Story in Diary-Style Format, Terminal Illness &/or Cancer, Time Shift, Time Travel, Time Travel Adventure, Time Travel Romance, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction

Book Review | “The Grown-Ups” by Robin Antalek #SRC2015 No.1

Posted Friday, 26 June, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge 2015

Something quite wicked awesome happened to me this Spring – I had the sweet opportunity to begin hosting for BookSparks which led to my participation in my *1st!* ever #SummerReadingChallenge bonanza of bookish loveliness! I marked my first blog tour with BookSparks with a super wicked historical fiction which touched on every emotional keel a historical novel can yield and then arched back over into such a depth of humanity that I simply found it hard to put the novel down! I’m speaking on behalf of The Sheperdness of Siena!
The beauty about the #SRC2015 challenge is that it is OPEN to readers everywhere – especially those who are following the book bloggers who are a part of the official blog tour of Summer (i.e. most of us are sporting the badges on our blog’s sidebars and/or our social media accounts. Likewise, I included the badges per blog tour I am participating in on my Bookish Events page for quick reference for my regular readers and subscribers!
BookSparks included a nifty bookmark and guide for us to follow and help inspire our Summer Reading Challenge journey! On the list, I am focusing mostly on *three!* key things: using photography to help showcase the books as they arrive in by my local library (see this post for explanation) and via postal mail; tweeting using the #SRC2015 as I am reading *each!* novel (there are 10 total!) I selected to read and review during the blog tours; and I am posting a review on a pre-determined schedule of my choosing! I have dates lined up starting right now in late June and ending in early September!

#SRC2015 Goals of participation provided by BookSparks and used with permission.

I fell slightly behind on my in-between review post updates due to my back-to-back illnesses, which is why I am going to be back-posting approx. 3-4 ’10 Bookish, Not Bookish Thoughts’ to chart my journey with the reading challenge inasmuch as share the bookish and non-bookish joys that have alighted in my life since my first entry posted on 14th of May! From here on out, on *Thursdays!* there will be a new post arriving filled with #SRC2015 news!
I elected to participate on Twitter and Riffle as compliments to my bookish blog as I do appreciate being connected to other social readers, however, other plausible networks simply weren’t my cuppa tea. Part of my future entries of ’10 Bookish, Not Bookish Thoughts’ will be scouting out other wicked sweet entries of the book bloggers who are uploading keenly awesome content and supporting all the lovely authors who were selected in this year’s showcase! Due stay tuned not only to my blog but my bookishly delightful tweets, as you never know which book I will be #currentlyreading and thereby, sharing my readerly reactions as I make my way through Summer! I encourage you to tweet me back and/or leave comments on each #SRC2015 threaded post on my blog! Let’s converse about the stories we’re reading in common and our conjoined thoughts and reactions therein!
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Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Borrowed Book from my local library: I originally found BookSparks PR last Spring, when I came upon the Summer Reading Challenge a bit too late in the game. I hadn’t forgotten about it, and was going to re-contact them this Spring to see if I could join the challenge this year instead. Coincidentally, before I sorted this out, I was contacted by one of their publicists about Linda Lafferty’s Renaissance historical novel, “The Sheperdess of Siena”. 

At the time when I was confirmed to be a part of the #SRC2015 official blog tour schedule, we were not able to get confirmation on which books we selected to review on our respective blogs would be sent to us by the publishers and/or publicist at BookSparks, thereby I submitted purchase requests at my local library for all *10!* books I selected to read and review.

I elected to read “The Grown-Ups” via my local library, as they purchased this novel ahead of my submission of requests; the novel arrived into my local library ahead of further confirmation and postal mail via #SRC2015. By participating in the #SRC2015 challenge I am reading the novels in exchange for my honest reviews; whether I am receiving a complimentary copy or borrowing them through my local library. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Book Review | “The Grown-Ups” by Robin Antalek #SRC2015 No.1The Grown-Ups
by Robin Antalek
Source: Borrowed from local library
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romance


Published by William Morrow

on 27th January, 2015

Format: P.S. Edition Paperback, Audiobook Excerpt | SoundCloud

Pages: 384

Length: 11 hours, 46 minutes

written by Robin Antalek | Site | @robinantalek | Facebook

Published By: William Morrow (@WmMorrowBks),
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Available Formats: P.S. Edition paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #TheGrownUps & #SRC2015 Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #SRC2015 | BookSparks
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Posted Friday, 26 June, 2015 by jorielov in #SRC2015 | BookSparks, 20th Century, Audiobook, Audiobook Excerpt, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, BookSparks, Brothers and Sisters, Coming-Of Age, Contemporary Romance, Disillusionment in Marriage, Family Drama, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, Fly in the Ointment, Life Shift, Modern Day, Realistic Fiction, Soundcloud, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction

10 Bookish (& Not-Bookish Thoughts) No.1: from the BBC to @ChocLitUK to Indie #SFF & a dash of #HistFic; this #bookblogger is celebrating quite a heap! Including a special note of gratitude to her #library in regards to the #SRC2015!

Posted Thursday, 14 May, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

10 Bookish Not Bookish Thoughts banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Week of Thursday, 30th of April thru 7th 14th of May, 2015 | Hostess List

I’ve honestly wanted to start participating in this weekly meme in 2014, however, I would always seem to get distracted during the hours leading up to Thursdays OR completely forget to compose my thoughts for this meme until into the weekend; at which point, the time had come and gone. I like the fact we can exchange thoughts percolating in our minds that run the gambit of the bookish world, creative outlets, or thoughts we want to share that might show a bit more about who we are behind the bookish blog we maintain. I am going to attempt to thread the journal of my 10 Bookish / Not Bookish Thoughts by order of the entries arrival into my life rather than a preference of 1-10.

NOTE: This list was originally meant to publish on the 7th of May, however, due to unforeseen reasons which delayed it’s posting, I had intended to share it on the 14th of May when I came down with a migraine, thus taking me away from finishing the edits as I found out a few things earlier in that second week I had not known originally on the 7th. I am back-posting this on the 14th (today) on the 19th of May, as that is the day it belongs hereafter to be seen. A new list will be generated for this upcoming Thursday, the 21st!

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No. 1 | Borrowing the BBC through my local library

One of my favourite joys of being a regular library patron is the access to the BBC through either direct  purchases made by my local library OR the ability to ILL serial dvd collections for mini-series, tv serials, or motion pictures! For the past two to three weeks, I’ve had the incredible joy of being able to catch up with one of my favourite BBC serials: Foyle’s War! I have a soft spot for war dramas and for mystery series because I truly grew up on murder mysteries on tv!

Michael Kitchen plays the title lead as Foyle, and it is such a convicting narrative of stories pulled out of research by the series creator and writer Anthony Horowitz. I knew of his works previously through Alex Rider, as I watched the motion picture hoping there would be more installments; however, this was a bit like hoping the latest Nancy Drew film would have sequels starring Emma Roberts. I cannot even express how much I celebrated there is a Series 7 and a Series 8, except to say, it equaled the joy I had in realising there is a Series 3 for Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries!

You’re taking back to the world wars of the early 20th Century going straight through to the start of the Cold War; the transition in Series 6 to 7 is impressive because Horowitz has amazing continuity by giving his audience the pleasure of staying with characters they are attached too and seeing them move forward with their lives. The only characters I regretted not seeing come forward were Foyle’s partner Paul Milner and of course, Foyle’s son Andrew. Andrew was portrayed by singer Julian Ovenden and his exit I believe was nearly predicted by the fact his career took off. I was thankful I could participate in a live chat with him via PBS last year, and he even answered one of my questions! This was not in reference of Foyle’s War but for his guest starring role on Downton Abbey.

To see Honeysuckle Weeks return as Sam and Foyle to be back as the moral backbone of MI5 is such a true delight of authenticity, I can only hope others are seeking out Foyle as much as I am! He has become such a delight to watch, my family hopes like I do that we have much more Foyle yet to come! It is definitely a series where fans are helping guide the series forward, as it was cancelled and revived!

After Foyle, I wanted to keep the joy of selecting to see new BBC serials, (either newly released or past releases still unknown) which is why I selected to watch Last Tango in Halifax. A drama about two families that are on the verge of coming together due to the fact their Mum and Dad have fallen in love with each other after reuniting after living 60 years apart! It’s such a tragic opening to the story, where a lost letter does not get delivered and they each went their separate ways!

They find each other on social media and as they meet-up for the first time after all these decades, learnt that they are still very much as important to each other as they were then. However, the drama of what ensues is both honest and representative of a families in transition and shifting in/out of difficulties that arise whilst life continues to carry on. The last episode of the 1st Series nearly put me under, because of what happens to Alan, but thankfully, we read up a bit about the series finding that as this is based on a real-life couple who found each other and wedded after a 60 year absence, the series is thriving on fans in the UK who love the show! Already in it’s 3rd Series and moving towards it’s 4th, I can say we devourted the 1st and are about to embark on the 2nd! Read More

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Posted Thursday, 14 May, 2015 by jorielov in #SRC2015 | BookSparks, 10 Bookish (& Not-So-Bookish Thoughts), Blogosphere Events & Happenings, CSI: Cyber, Foyle's War, Last Tango in Halifax, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, NCIS, When Calls the Heart