Category: Women’s Right to Choose (Health Care Rights)

Book Spotlight w/ Notes and Extract | “Off-Island” by Marlene Hauser

Posted Tuesday, 23 October, 2018 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

As you know, I have a keen interest in Women’s Fiction & Contemporary Romances – not just from the fact I host my own chat (@SatBookChat) but due to the nature of the stories themselves! I love reading dramatic fiction – of tucking into the realistic lives of women who are striving to either overcome a personal adversity or situations out of their control or simply pick up the pieces of their lives when something has gone awry. Sometimes this can be early-on in their careers, in the middle of a marriage, after a divorce or the sudden loss of a spouse – or in other instances, it is when they reach a cross-roads of their lives – where they need to make an honest choice about their futures irregardless of what others in their lives might think about their final decision(s).

This novel deals with a woman’s right to choose what is right for her in regards to her reproductive health and her overall wellness. It is a right we’ve had in our country since Roe vs Wade and it is explored through different genres as much as it is a critical journey explored by various authors of both mainstream & INSPY Women’s Fiction. Previously, I read a very heart-centred story-line about the choice and the remorse of abortion through one of the Coming Home series novels by Brenda S. Anderson which explores this through an INSPY lens of perspective. Anderson stands out for her realistic grit and her ability to tuck into hard-hitting subjects in a refreshing style that is not typical of today’s INSPY Lit but a new direction I hope continues to take hold as others like her are paving the way towards this new level of insight for INSPY readers (such as Dee Henderson, Kellie Coates Gilbert & Becky Wade for Contemporary novelists and Julie Lessman for Historical).

When I read the premise of ‘Off-Island’ I knew I wanted to read Ms Hauser’s novel to see how she approached the subject herself and how she took us through Krista’s journey.

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Book Spotlight w/ Notes and Extract | “Off-Island” by Marlene HauserOff-Island
by Marlene Hauser

Krista Bourne has always been surrounded by the strength, love and wealth of her family and their homes in New York City and Martha’s Vineyard. She has never had to think for herself. Living with boyfriend Michael and her elderly grandfather, she can also summon up the comforting ghosts of her beloved father and grandmother. In vivid dreams she flies with her pilot father, and when awake remembers idyllic childhood holidays spent with her bohemian grandmother.

When Krista impulsively walks out on her career as a professional dancer, it is the beginning of a new chapter in her life. She feels unsettled and excited by the sense of imminent change around her.

This feeling turns to panic, then fear when she realises that she is pregnant and is uncertain whether or not she wants to keep the baby, bringing her and Michael to a crossroads in their relationship. Adamant that she alone must deal with the situation, Krista rejects all offers of support from him, isolating her at a time when she most needs help.

Krista’s journey and emotional upheaval take her back to her summer home on Martha’s Vineyard, where she is surprised to find out that she does not know her family history quite as well as she imagined.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781789014495

Also by this author: Off-Island

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Realistic Fiction, Women's Fiction


on 28th September, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Published By: Troubador Publishing (@matadorbooks)

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #RealisticFiction, #WomensRights, #WomensRightToChoose + #WomensFiction

About Marlene Hauser

Marlene Hauser

Marlene Hauser is a professional writer based in Oxford, UK, where she lives with her husband and teenage son. She served as editor of the Writer’s New York City Source Book and originated the television film Under the Influence, going on to serve as Associate Producer and Technical Consultant. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University and has received numerous awards, including a residency at the Millay Arts Colony in Upstate New York.

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Posted Tuesday, 23 October, 2018 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Excerpt, Book Spotlight, Women's Fiction, Women's Right to Choose (Health Care Rights), Women's Rights

Blog Book Tour | “Lilli de Jong” by Janet Benton

Posted Friday, 14 September, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “Lilli de Jong” direct from the author Janet Benton 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 inspired to read Lilli de Jong:

The premise is INCREDIBLY strong, fierce and very pro-positive for today’s cultural climate where women are *still!* fighting for their rights – I wish the stigmas were gone for unwed Mums! I love the fact it’s told through the character’s journal! Eek.

I was wicked thankful I could join this blog tour – not only to read and review the novel but to converse with the author about the subject(s) explored therein.

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Blog Book Tour | “Lilli de Jong” by Janet BentonLilli de Jong
by Janet Benton
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Philadelphia, 1883. Twenty-three-year-old Lilli de Jong is pregnant and alone—abandoned by her lover and banished from her Quaker home. She gives birth at a charity for wronged women, planning to give up the baby. But the power of their bond sets her on a completely unexpected path. Unwed mothers in 1883 face staggering prejudice, yet Lilli refuses to give up her baby girl. Instead, she braves moral condemnation and financial ruin in a quest to keep the two of them alive.

Lilli confides this story to her diary as it unfolds, taking readers from a charity for unwed mothers to a wealthy family’s home and onto the streets of a burgeoning American city. Her story offers a rare and harrowing view into a time when a mother’s milk is crucial for infant survival. Written with startling intimacy and compassion, this accomplished novel is both a rich historical depiction and a testament to the saving force of a woman’s love.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9780525563327

Genres: Current Events, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Motherhood | Parenthood, Realistic Fiction, Social Science, Women's Fiction, Women's Studies


Published by Anchor Books

on 10th July, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 352

 Published By: Anchor Books (@VintageAnchor)

an imprint of Penguin Random House (@penguinrandom)

Converse via: #LilliDeJong, #WomensRights, #mumhood & #HistFic or #HistNov
Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Janet Benton

Janet Benton

JANET BENTON’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Glimmer Train, and many other publications. She has cowritten and edited historical documentaries for television.
She holds a B.A. in religious studies from Oberlin College and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

For decades she has taught writing at universities and privately and has helped individuals and organizations craft their stories. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. Lilli de Jong is her first novel.

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Posted Friday, 14 September, 2018 by jorielov in 19th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Child out of Wedlock, Coming-Of Age, Fathers and Daughters, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Literary Fiction, Mental Health, Quakers, Single Mothers, Unexpected Pregnancy, Women's Fiction, Women's Health, Women's Right to Choose (Health Care Rights), Women's Rights

Blog Book Tour | feat. The Bradford Sisters Romance series by Becky Wade, especially “Then Came You” (prequel, audiobook), “True to You” (book one) and “Falling for You” (book two)

Posted Sunday, 17 June, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquired about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

I received a complimentary copy of “Falling for You” direct from the publisher Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The Digital Audiobook copy of the novella “Then Came You” was a self-purchase of my own which I added to my personal digital audiobook library. The copy I read of “True to You” was borrowed via my local library. My ruminations on behalf of the audiobook novella and the first book in the series are being shared for my own edification and to help introduce my readers to the series overall whilst sharing my own journey in its discovery. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On the joy of finding a new INSPY Contemporary novelist I love reading,

within the *prequel!* novella ‘Then Came You’ | #BradfordSistersRomance series

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I truly have been thankful for my discovery of reading this series by Ms Wade, as I journalled my initial reactions to listening to the *prequel!* audiobook on Twitter, sharing the following:

As you can gather, I hadn’t connected the dots – nor the sequencing of the series – in essence, if I hadn’t listened to the audiobook (don’t worry, I’ll be sharing my reactions soon!) I might have missed the beautiful back-story of how this series centres on one man’s joyful presence as a father to three darling daughters! They are the ‘Bradford Sisters’ who populate the series, as the novella (Then Came You) explores what happened to Garner Bradford, how he fell in love with parenthood and how he took a rather unconventional approach to both marriage & becoming a Dad!

Initially, it took me a bit to get my bearings within the novella, as this was writ within the style of narrative I personally *adore!* called: Epistolary, where the main format alters points of view from a variety of sources. The traditional approach are through letters (postal mail), postcards & telegrams as I have found this style most present in Historical Fiction. However, in Contemporary story-lines with the advantage of technology, you can see these perspectives explored using a variety of different entries of thought from cell phones, voicemail, text messages, chat interfaces, email exchanges whilst still pulling together a feel for the traditional by augmenting the ‘tech’ with passages from diaries, journals or the letters themselves.

Ms Wade opted to use a journalling approach to allow Garner to get his thoughts down onto paper whilst she used the letter-writing approach to anchour the thoughtful musings of Kathleen into the context of the story-line as well. Supplemented by  phone calls (ie. voicemail or live calls), official office memos or notes used for personal correspondence and other variables, you have to get your ‘head’ to wrap round how this novella unfolds in an audiobook narration. Thus, there are some prompts to help you navigate it which I found to be the best way to segue into the story itself, as those prompts helped me realise what was ‘shifting’ in and out of focus. I would presume the shifts would be as easy to read in the print edition as generally speaking that’s where publishers get creative by showing the differences in straight dialogue exchanges and background narrative by selecting certain bits of text to ‘stand-out’ from the rest.

Either way, if I had to choose how I wanted to first ‘greet’ this series, I would hands-down pick the novella audiobook!! By the time I reached the concluding chapters, I was so emotionally taxed and committed to the characters, I felt this true ache in my heart just to *know!* the ending! You truly are on the edge of your soul listening to this story unfold – due to the circumstances contained within it but also, the heart-pulse of watching a relationship build through the aftermaths of how sometimes life doesn’t quite go according to plan. In truth, I felt like I had found a new beloved INSPY Contemporary novelist I could enjoy reading for years to come which is why I capstoned my notes on Twitter by saying the following:

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Posted Sunday, 17 June, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Adoption, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Child out of Wedlock, Clever Turns of Phrase, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Debilitating Diagnosis & Illness, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Domestic Violence, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Family Drama, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Library Love, Life Shift, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Modern Day, Passionate Researcher, Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Siblings, Single Fathers, Single Mothers, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Small Towne USA, Social Services, Sweet Romance, Terminal Illness &/or Cancer, The Writers Life, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Unexpected Pregnancy, Washington, West Coast USA, Women's Fiction, Women's Right to Choose (Health Care Rights), Women's Rights, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, 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

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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 LibraryThing

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, 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