Category: Mormonism

Blog Book Tour | “Brush with Love” by Lisa McKendrick

Posted Sunday, 10 December, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I have been a blog tour hostess with Cedar Fort for the past three years, wherein I took a brief hiatus from hosting before resuming August 2016. I appreciate the diversity of the stories the Indie publisher is publishing per year, not only for fiction and non-fiction but for healthy eats within their Front Table Books (cookbooks). I appreciate their dedication to writing general market, INSPY reads and LDS focused stories across the genres they publish.

I received a complimentary copy of “Brush with Love” direct from the publisher Bonneville Books (an imprint of Cedar Fort Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I wanted to read this story:

To be honest, the main reason I wanted to read this novel is because I wanted to give the author a second chance – the first time I read one of her novels, I couldn’t get excited about it as much as I had wanted to be excited about it. Even though I read quite a lot of the previous release, there were key issues I encountered moving through the story which I thankfully was hoping had either been polished in this release or were no longer an issue at all. Writers grow through their stories – you can even see the growth a writer undergoes through their career by how they approach telling their stories, which is why I try to remember to keep an open mind about reading a different story by an author I’ve previously found not to my liking.

Aside from this second chance attempt to read this author, I personally liked the premise behind the story but I was a bit surprised within the premise, it was not entirely highlighting how interesting the back-story was on the story itself. From the humble beginnings of Lana being left at an Eastern European orphanage before being adopted by an American family to the fact, part of the story is a reflection of what happens during memory loss and the pains of watching a loved one go through a degenerative disease which seeks to erase their time on Earth.

There is a lot of depth to this novel but I felt the premise and blurb on the back cover might not be as convincing to readers they should take a chance on this story – thereby, missing its heart.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Brush with Love” by Lisa McKendrickBrush with Love
by Lisa McKendrick
Source: Direct from Publisher

Lana, a talented Ivy League artist, is thrilled for a summer internship program where she'll get to study under an acclaimed artist, but she is soon disappointed to find that she'll be going to Bluegill, Idaho, for six weeks to study under the brilliant but aging artist LeVan Hitchpost.

As she spends more time with him, though (and more specifically with LeVan's grandson, Walt), Lana realises she may have to choose between following her dreams or following her heart.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 978-1462121250

Also by this author: Letters to my Future Husband

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Romance Fiction, Sweet Romance


Published by Bonneville Books

on 10th October, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 257

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFort)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Stories I’ve read by this author:

Letters to my Future Husband by Lisa McKendrickBrush with Love by Lisa McKendrick

Converse via: #SweetRomance & #Contempoary #Romance

About Lisa McKendrick

Lisa McKendrick lives in Lakeland, Florida where she divides her time between writing, carpools, and occasionally folding laundry. The mother of seven children (all accustomed to wearing unmatched socks), Lisa is author of other books for the LDS market, including On a Whim , and thanks to her husband's support, has earned a master's degree in English from BYU. Lisa enjoys hearing from her readers and can be contacted at Utterance.org (linked below via Website).

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Posted Sunday, 10 December, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Adoption, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, College & University Years, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Indie Author, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Modern Day, Mormonism, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, New Adult Fiction, Orphans & Guardians, Realistic Fiction, Sisterhood friendships, Sweet Romance

#PubDay Non-Fiction Book Review | “Dennis and Greer: A Love Story” told through a young couple’s letters & correspondences edited by Greer’s daughter Molly Gould

Posted Tuesday, 3 October, 2017 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I crossed paths with Ms Gould in 2015 in the twitterverse wherein we had a convo about the book she was writing which contained a series of letters & correspondences which would knit together a real-life love story about ‘Dennis & Greer’. At the time, I hadn’t realised Greer was her mother and how incredible of a story this would turn out to be! In July 2017, Ms Gould re-contacted me to see if I was still interested in reading the book – to which I happily replied I am! I received a complimentary ARC copy of “Dennis & Greer: A Love Story” direct from the editor Molly Gould in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

On wanting to read ‘Dennis & Greer’:

In July of 2015, I had a conversation with the editor of this Epistolary Story: Molly Gould. She had found me on Twitter (where most of my readers find me as I am bookishly chatty!) whilst finding a post I had written about reading Epistolary stories – something which comes up every now and then as I blog my reading life here on Jorie Loves A Story. She was talking to me about how she was ‘writing about a love story in letters’ which truly captured me at the time, as I was still holding memories of ‘Letters from Skye’ within my heart.

She had mentioned to me ‘My book tells the story of 2 youth from the moment they lay eyes on each other until the boy is killed in the Vietnam War.’ To which I had replied ‘What an epic love story! quite sad too, but bet there is an uplifting twist because of the letters left behind, etc. *evoking!’

After this short exchange, we parted ways – her to finish editing the book itself and I left hoping to hear back from her once the book was drafted for publication. In July of this year, Ms Gould re-contacted me announcing her mother’s story was finalised and ready to be shared with the world: “Dennis and Greer: A Love Story” would be published this October. She asked me if I was still interested in reading their story and if she could send me an ARC; to which I happily agreed knowing the curiosity was going to stay with me until I finally did indeed read how Dennis & Greer connected before he died.

There is something to be said for ‘letters & correspondences’ – for all of us who have put our lives and heart into exchanging letters with those of whom live far away from where we are – we know the truth about how letters can transform our lives and enable us to make strong connections to those of whom we correspond. When you purport this outside of friendship directly, letters have a way of conveying an emotional bond far quicker than a traditional relationship because within letters you can share your innermost thoughts and soulful perspectives without the fear of misunderstandings. Letters operate on a different time scale than ordinary vocal conversations where a quickness is necessary to maintain the pacing – letters, of course, ebb and flow over time – where patience and thoughtfulness outweigh quantity of thought.

This is also my second book to read of this nature – as the first was “3,000 Miles to Eternity” which talks about the real-life love story of a modern couple who met through both traditional and non-conventional means to write their own story of love in the 21st Century. If you appreciated reading my review of their story, you will enjoy reading my takeaways about Dennis & Greer – as although the two couples are separated through war and times of peace (approx. four decades to boot!) – they each share one major thing in common: they connected to each other through the words they wrote and exchanged – drawing them closer to each other with each bit of correspondence they received.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#PubDay Non-Fiction Book Review | “Dennis and Greer: A Love Story” told through a young couple’s letters & correspondences edited by Greer’s daughter Molly GouldDennis & Greer: A Love Story
by (Editor) Molly Gould
Source: Direct from Editor

A true story that encapsulates the horrors of war and the innocence of young love.

Buried in a trunk for fifty years, this long-forgotten tale, told through letters and journals from the war-torn Vietnam era, has been resurrected.

College students, Dennis and Greer, met and felt a spark just before moving to different states. Their witty correspondence through letters conjured a desire to meet again, but Dennis tried to keep his distance; duty is more important than love.

Dennis joined the Marines against Greer's wishes, but he tried to win her heart before going to war. As the two embarked on their journey into adulthood and navigated their relationship against the backdrop of war, they were writing a love story that will span the test of time.

This nonfiction that reads like fiction is perfect for lovers of memoir, historical romance, and historical fiction.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 978-0692919910

Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Epistolary | Letters & Correspondences, Non-Fiction


Published by Belle Reve Press

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 324

About (Editor) Molly Gould

Molly Gould

Molly Gould lived in the wilderness for 28 days when she was 16 years old (she’s your go-to-girl in the zombie apocalypse). She now confines herself indoors, AC full-blast in sunny AZ. Occasionally, she’ll brave the scorching heat with her husband and four children.

Molly is an ASU graduate and the editor of Dennis and Greer: A Love Story.

When Molly inherited a treasure of vintage journals and letters from the Vietnam era, she was swept away by the love story and coming-of-age tale contained within those writings. She couldn’t keep the story of Dennis and Greer to herself, so she began transcribing and Dennis and Greer was born.

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Posted Tuesday, 3 October, 2017 by jorielov in 20th Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Mormonism, Non-Fiction, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, Story in Diary-Style Format, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, The Sixties, Vignettes of Real Life

Blog Book Tour | “Right Next to Me” by Rachel Ward The sophomore release of a #SweetRomance author I discovered last August whose given me another lovely Contemporary Rom!

Posted Monday, 4 September, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I have been a blog tour hostess with Cedar Fort for the past three years, wherein I took a brief hiatus from hosting before resuming August 2016. I appreciate the diversity of the stories the Indie publisher is publishing per year, not only for fiction and non-fiction but for healthy eats within their Front Table Books (cookbooks). I appreciate their dedication to writing general market, INSPY reads and LDS focused stories across the genres they publish.

I received a complimentary copy of “Right Next to Me” direct from the publisher Bonneville Books (an imprint of Cedar Fort Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I first came across the writing style of Ms Ward last August, when I reviewed her debut novel “Dear Jane” which was a spin on a ‘Dear John’ letter! Here are some of my takeaways from my reading of her debut which truly struck a chord with me, as it was one of the few times a Contemporary gave me a lot of fodder to chew and appreciate whilst I was engaged with the story-line! Contemporaries for me are rather hit/miss a times – I love them, but ironically or not, I find them to be a difficult ‘fit’ for my own particular interests in what I am looking for in a Contemporary read. To find a debut novelist who added such a heap into their novel which not only was to my liking but provided such a strong entrance with an overall approach of giving a reader new to their style such a lot to contemplate was the truer gift within the chapters of ‘Dear Jane’!

Ward chose to tackle heady issues in her debut novel – as she talks openly about having to readjust after losing grace within the church and the tragic loss of a loved one from suicide. These are difficulties rooted into the fabric of where Quinn’s life is taking her once she’s back home, realising that the world has arrived at her doorstep. It’s the juxtaposition all children go through when their maturing past the school years, where everything that once felt rosy and bubbly full of light and spirit was suddenly a bit marred by a swelling darkness of reality. I felt Ward broached the difficulties well whilst giving Quinn a humble and honest reaction to each new trial she was facing as her family worked through the impossible.

I loved how Ward surprises her readers by introducing Nick’s backstory slowly as Quinn starts to spend more time with him. The interesting bit is that it’s a good life lesson about not always understanding a person’s past or their personality as sometimes their stand-offish behaviour has a reason behind it. Further curious is how through her conversations with Nick, Quinn started to soften her own guarded heart and openly talk about what bothered her on a personal level. They were each others’ huckleberry friend in brewing chaos where a new friendship was fast developing without their awareness. I felt this was the most authentic part of the turning point for Quinn’s life; where she was getting a feel for how first impressions are not always accurate and how serendipity has a way of affecting your life positively even if everything else feels upturnt.

Keeping true to a coming-of age tale, not everything is as it appears to be – even when things start to look like their turning round in Quinn’s favour. This was a bit frustrating if your reading the novel and want to see Quinn’s story end in happiness at some point. It felt like everything she felt was righting itself for the good in her life was being taken from her soon thereafter. However, as relationships are naturally complicated, Ward does present good folly for her characters to wrangle inside whilst trying to sort out what they truly want from each other and from life.

Ward etched in so much behind the relationships and the growing season for Quinn, that you nearly are not entirely ready to meet each new scene where tensions are as high as the emotions! I was a bit shocked by the depth of spite from Quinn’s mother at various intervals of the story as it developed; her paltry apology at the conclusion didn’t quite warm me to her or feel as if she vindicated herself from the misery she subjected her daughter(s) too. The best part I felt was the developing love story and the arc of narrative that proves that emergencies and non-traditional trajectories are more commonplace than you realise. Life comes around the corner so blaring fast, you have to bolster your strength out of your faith and hope you have the courage to face what tomorrow brings. If you do, you’ll find butterflies of joy alighting throughout the days where you feel you cannot be surprised in a good way after a succession of adversity.

-quoted from my review of Dear Jane

When Ms Ward contacted me about her sophomore release “Right Next to Me” – I must say, I was quite captured by the premise! I am always quite eager to read a ‘next book’ by an author who gave me such a stirring read the first time round and as I’m one of those readers who has the tendency to fall ‘behind’ on when the new releases are pending for her beloved authors – it is quite a lovely surprise to hear from one of them and be offered to read their ‘next story’!

I truly love Sweet Roms for their ability to have an undercurrent of simple joys and generally a walk of faith knitted into them (although not always, there are mainstream Sweet Roms, too) which gives a little added dimensional joy in reading them as I do love a wicked good INSPY! This one felt quite realistic to me – as there are times when you do wonder if the person you’ll find as your true match is hidden in plain sight – either near you in the present or unexpectedly will cross your path in the future in such a way as to take you off-guard and not realise you’ve ‘met’ your true love. I think everyone muses about how they will meet ‘whom’ their meant to be with in marriage and in life; who they will walk through life’s adventures and share their thoughts, hopes and dreams with whilst engaged in the art of living and the discoveries of the world. I was simply overjoyed Ms Ward reached out to me as this became a special ‘surprise’ for the ‘end of Summer’!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Right Next to Me” by Rachel Ward The sophomore release of a #SweetRomance author I discovered last August whose given me another lovely Contemporary Rom!right next to me
by Rachel Ward
Source: Direct from Publisher

She has a crush on her boyfriend's best friend.

How long can a good thing last? Sydney was sure Gavin was the perfect boyfriend until he moved across the country for school. After spending more time with her best friend, James, she's now rethinking everything. Sydney's once sure footing in life slips even more as she discovers new details about her own father's betrayal. Scared she'll hurt Gavin like her father hurt her, Sydney must decide if she'll stay with the perfect boyfriend or the perfectly flawed boy who's been there all along.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781462128396

Also by this author: Dear Jane

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Sweet Romance


Published by Bonneville Books

on 8th August, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 208

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks)
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFort)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Stories by Rachel Ward

Dear Jane by Rachel WardRight Next to Me by Rachel Ward

Dear Jane | debut novel | (see also Review)

Right Next to Me | sophomore release

Converse via: #RightNextToMe, #ContemporaryFiction, #CleanFiction

About Rachel Ward

Rachel Ward Photo Credit: Lindsay Walden Photography

Rachel Turner Ward graduated from Hillcrest High School after spending two years writing for the yearbook and the creative writing magazine. She then studied English at Brigham Young University­—Idaho, graduating with an emphasis in Literary Studies. She has contributed to several online publications, including Mormon Mommy Blogs and SheSteals. She has written a personal blog since 2009, Trapped Between a Scream and a Hug. Rachel lives in Salt Lake with her six children and husband of 15 years.

Photo Credit: Lindsay Walden Photography

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Posted Monday, 4 September, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brothers and Sisters, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Coming-Of Age, Disillusionment in Marriage, Family Drama, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Loss of an unbourne child, Modern Day, Mormonism, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Realistic Fiction, Self-Harm Practices, Siblings, Sisterhood friendships, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Unexpected Pregnancy, Upper YA Fiction, Utah