#WYChristmasReadathon No.1 | Book Review of “Finding Father Christmas” (omnibus ed.) & “Engaging Father Christmas” by Robin Jones Gunn

Posted Sunday, 20 November, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna

Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, starting with FaithWords which is their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been wicked happy I can review for their imprints Grand Central Publishing, FaithWords & Center Street.

I received a complimentary copy of “Finding Father Christmas (omnibus) Engaging Father Christmas” direct from the publisher FaithWords (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I wanted to read Christmas Romances & Fiction this year:

A few years back I wanted to participate in Christmas #readathons – one hosted by an author who likes to pull people together in the book blogosphere and on social media but the other one was meant to be co-hosted between myself and my friend Christine (of whom had maintained her own bookish blog at readerlymusings.com). I never had the proper chance to focus on either one – even as December had a way of coming back round, none of the Decembers I tried to participate was successful; last year notwithstanding as I had a thirty day virus! Oy!

This year, I wanted to make a new tradition of settling into holiday stories between November and December – even extending into January if I found stories I felt would resonate with me at that point in time. I have the hardest time ‘letting go’ of the holiday movies on tv by early to mid January – as it’s the end of the season I love so much to watch! Those films which air on Hallmark Channel and Lifetime are such a delight to become caught up inside due to the innocent joys and the pure happiness of being connected to family and community. We can all use extra joy and I celebrate the light of the festive season being played out on the dramas and romances or comedies this time of the year!

I used to read Christmas stories all the time – long before I blogged my reading life, but somewhere along the way I fell out of step with why I loved reading them! I would queue them from my library or purchase copies outright to include on my own bookshelves, yet the joy of simply ‘reading them’ left me curiously detached! Until this year, where I decided – I don’t want to just ‘watch!’ the holidays unfold this year or listen to the music on the radio starting Thanksgiving week – I want to fully embrace what I’ve always loved doing – reading select Christmas stories and/or inspiring books which make me smile or uplift my spirit in some way that co-relates to the Christmastide and Wintry season!

Therefore, this review of the newly released omnibus of Ms Gunn’s novellas in the Father Christmas series will kick-off my readings which throughout November and December will offer a bit of a capstone glimpse inside the stories which lift up my spirit and make my heart smile! A true mixture of fiction and non-fiction releases – including a few surprises along the way! I happened to have found all of these to read and/or review ahead of the #WYChristmasReadthon which splendidly worked out well for cross-promoting purposes where I can engage in what are you reading this Christmas Season with other readers seeking out wicked good #ChristmasReads!

It’s a beautiful time of the year, and settling back into the stories I always loved reading is an immeasurable joy of mine! These readings and showcases are running a bit concurrent to my science fiction showcases this month, so you’ll always have something unexpectedly awesome to read about if you continue to visit with me this November!

I’d love to know what your picking up to read this season

– be sure to leave your #currentreads and recommendations in the comment threads!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#WYChristmasReadathon No.1 | Book Review of “Finding Father Christmas” (omnibus ed.) & “Engaging Father Christmas” by Robin Jones GunnFinding Father Christmas | Engaging Father Christmas
Subtitle: Two Novels in One (Omnibus)
by Robin Jones Gunn
Source: Direct from Publisher

By beloved author Robin Jones Gunn, two timeless, heartwarming Christmas novellas bound together for the first time in an omnibus edition.

In FINDING FATHER CHRISTMAS, Miranda Carson's search for her father leads her unexpectedly to London with only a few feeble clues as to who he might be. Immediately welcomed into a family that doesn't recognize her, and whom she's quickly coming to love, she faces a terrible decision. Should she reveal her true identity and destroy their idyllic image of her father? Or should she carry the truth home with her to San Francisco and remain alone in this world? Whatever choice she makes during this London Christmas will forever change the future for both herself and the family she can't bear to leave.

In ENGAGING FATHER CHRISTMAS Miranda Carson can't wait to return to England for Christmas and to be with her boyfriend, Ian. She has spent a lifetime yearning for a place to call home, and she's sure Carlton Heath will be it, especially when a hinted-at engagement ring slips into the conversation. But Miranda's high hopes for a jolly Christmas with the small circle of people she has come to love are toppled when Ian's father is hospitalized and the matriarch of the Whitcombe family withholds her blessing from Miranda. Questions run rampant in Miranda's mind about whether she really belongs in this cheery corner of the world. Then, when her true identity threatens all her relationships in unanticipated ways, Miranda is certain all is lost. And yet . . . maybe Father Christmas has special gifts in store for her after all.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781455565948

Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Short Story or Novella, Spirituality & Metaphysics


Published by FaithWords

on 6th September, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 352

Published by: FaithWords (@FaithWords)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks) via Hachette Nashville

Formats Available: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

The Father Christmas Series includes:

Finding Father Christmas & Engaging Father Christmas (omnibus edition) by Robin Jones GunnKissing Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn

Finding Father Chistmas

Engaging Father Christmas

Kissing Father Christmas (Synopsis)

Converse via: #INSPYbooks, #ChristmasReads

About Robin Jones Gunn

Robin Jones Gunn Photo Credit: Ross Gunn III

Robin Jones Gunn has written 82 books over the past 25 years, with almost 4.5 million copies sold worldwide. She received a Christy Award for her novel Sisterchicks in Gondolas, and speaks at events around the US and Canada as well as in South America, Africa, Europe, and Australia.

Photo Credit: Ross Gunn III

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WYChristmasReadathon
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Posted Sunday, 20 November, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Christianity, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, England, FaithWords, Family Life, Inheritance & Identity, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Modern Day, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Romance Fiction, Single Mothers, Spirituality & Metaphysics, When Calls the Heart

Blog Book Tour | “The Loudest Actions” (sequel to The Remnant in the Stars) by Cindy Koepp #IndieSciFi #RRSciFiMonth

Posted Friday, 18 November, 2016 by jorielov , , 5 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a stop on the “The Loudest Actions” an Indie Science Fiction release focusing on Space Opera. The tour is hosted by Tomorrow Comes Media who does the publicity and blog tours for Seventh Star Press and other Indie and/or Self Published authors. I am a regular blog tour host with Tomorrow Comes Media, seeking out new authors and stories within Science Fiction, Fantasy and Cosy Horror wherein my readerly journey takes me inside novellas, short stories and full-length novels.

I was especially appreciative of Ms Koepp for understanding why I needed an ARC print copy to read due to my chronic migraines; truly blessed she understood and I had the opportunity to read this sequel. I received a complimentary ARC copy of “The Loudest Actions” direct from the author Cindy Koepp in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On why jorie loved the first novel of this series:

Any writer who can insert humourous nods of irony involving knitting and sewing get a full clap of wicked sweet joy from me! Being  a knitter, I especially loved the riddling but it was hope it was inserted at key moments of punch that delighted me the most! The humour is deliciously quirky and it was such a lovely backdrop to the action! Koepp has a natural capacity for etching in humanistic thematics focusing on family and the life of the stars in balance with one another – wherein you feel pulled into the emotional throes of her characters, even at first meeting! Her characters feel vibrantly real – sincerely honest and particularly human, even the ones who are most decidedly from another world!

Koepp bridges spoken speech and telepathic communication well – you are never guessing what is being exchanged or by which method either!  A true joy is watching how her characters interact and express emotion – as their emotion is nearly surmised by their body language and their choice of words, enveloping you in the urgency of the crisis they are facing. Koepp has developed this world quite well – as each character in turn wholly feels fully fleshed together with their individual quirks and trademarks of personality.

– quoted from my review of The Remnant in the Stars

I was thankful to be able to read books one and two in direct sequence on behalf of this lovely series – when I first joined the blog tour, I hadn’t realised they were part of a series, as I thought they were two independent stories without connective threads between them. Finding out there is a third novel coming next is quite exciting as I had a feeling ahead of reading The Loudest Actions, I would want this to keep moving forward!

The reason Sora left such a strong impression on me originally is because his spirituality and approach to life reminded me of the Japanese and the Vulcans; he approached his life with patience with a directed intent of being mindful of his actions, the consequences of his mistakes and the way in which he communicated. There are a lot of layers to this series, not just in finding a connection with characters, but with concepts and first contact meetings of other beings which bring to centre how enlightening it is to traverse outside one’s homeworld and discover who or whom is living amongst the stars.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “The Loudest Actions” (sequel to The Remnant in the Stars) by Cindy Koepp #IndieSciFi #RRSciFiMonthThe Loudest Actions
by Cindy Koepp
Source: Author via Tomorrow Comes Media

First contact missions are hard enough, but they get even tougher when the negotiator has an ego the size of a gas giant. Burke Zacharias, a first contact researcher, is chosen to spearhead humanity’s first official contact with Montans, an insect race that has already had a run-in with less friendly humans. Although his words and overtures toward the Montans are cordial enough, the Montans are put off by how he treats the crew of the scout ship that brought him to the world.

With other, less friendly forces trying to establish a foothold on the world, the negotiation must succeed in spite of Burke, or the Montans could be facing extinction.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

Also by this author: Hero's Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, Remnant in the Stars, Q&A Cindy Koepp

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Science Fiction, Space Opera


Published by Under the Moon

on 27th August, 2016

Format: Spiral Bound ARC

Pages: 210

Published By: Under the Moon
Available Formats: Softcover and Ebook

Converse on Twitter: #IndieSciFi + #SpaceOpera

About Cindy Koepp

Cindy Koepp

Originally from Michigan, Cindy Koepp has a degree in Wildlife Sciences and teaching certification in Elementary Education from rival universities. After teaching for fourteen years, she pursued a master’s degree in Adult Learning with a specialization in Training and Performance Improvement. Cindy has five published science fiction and fantasy novels, a serial published online, short stories in five anthologies, and a few self-published teacher resource books. When she isn’t reading or writing, Cindy spends time whistling with a crazy African Grey. Cindy is currently working as an optician in Iowa and as an editor with PDMI Publishing and Barking Rain Press.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • SFN Bingo 2016
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Posted Friday, 18 November, 2016 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Equality In Literature, Fathers and Daughters, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Hard Science Fiction, PTSD, Science Fiction, Space Opera, Tomorrow Comes Media

Blog Book Tour | “Remnant in the Stars” by Cindy Koepp #IndieSciFi #RRSciFiMonth

Posted Wednesday, 16 November, 2016 by jorielov , , 4 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a stop on the “Remnant in the Stars” an Indie Science Fiction release focusing on Space Opera. The tour is hosted by Tomorrow Comes Media who does the publicity and blog tours for Seventh Star Press and other Indie and/or Self Published authors. I am a regular blog tour host with Tomorrow Comes Media, seeking out new authors and stories within Science Fiction, Fantasy and Cosy Horror wherein my readerly journey takes me inside novellas, short stories and full-length novels.

I received a complimentary copy of “Remnant in the Stars” direct from the author Cindy Koepp in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On why jorie loves space opera:

There has been an allure for reading and/or watching Space Operas ever since I was a young girl who became wicked fascinated with the Cosmos and the Universe. Even the new mini-series MARS (by NatGeo) has me enthralled – I cannot wait to see it! It became quite innocently enough – a mild curiosity, but it developed into a life-long appreciation of everything intergalactic and exploratory!

I am truly dedicated to old school story-tellings of the genre – inasmuch as I’m a purist who appreciates the original canons of: Star Trek, Star Wars & Battlestar Gallatica (who knew you had to be that specific?) – however, there is such a wide sea of choices to read and to watch across mediums of creative thought, I find myself wicked amazed by the discoveries I am continuously able to make!

Most recently, it was Ms Czerneda who charmed me with the breadth of her Clan Chronicles – an EPIC of a saga set in Space whilst Mr Sullivan gave me the kind of Spacer collective of shorts I was itching to find as well! You truly have to love taking on adventurous risks reading Space Opera – because in order to fully feel engrossed & a part of the stories, a part of your own heart has to take that daring leap of faith to insert yourself into the character’s shoes! This is one reason I love reading Space Opera as much as I do! You’re exploring the uncharted and unknown – your risking it all to see a portion of the cosmos most will never be able to drink in with their own eyes.

The allure of course is the wonderment of what is waiting for you to see & find; to discover the stories of the cultures and creatures who are just outside of naked sight and of whom live these ordinary lives light years away from our own world. There is a big wide universe out there just past this spinning globe of light and water we call Earth; by anchouring your imagination into Space Opera you get to creatively see what writers see as they enrich our lives with these fantastic worlds!

How truly blessed am I? I get to dig inside two of these lovelies by Ms Koepp and journey inside an anthology of shorts called FAR ORBIT soon hereafter!

Bring on the Spacer stories!
I heart this kind of Science Fiction!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Remnant in the Stars” by Cindy Koepp #IndieSciFi #RRSciFiMonthRemnant in the Stars
by Cindy Koepp
Source: Author via Tomorrow Comes Media

Two hundred years ago, the Aolanian home world exploded and a remnant of survivors escaped. As their convoy combed the galaxy looking for a new world to colonize, they discovered Earth and were given permission to establish a temporary base while they continued their search for a new home world. When an Aolanian exploration vessel goes missing after transmitting a garbled distress call, the uneasy alliance between the humans and the Aolanians is put to the test as two anti-Aolanian groups jockey to use this opportunity to press their own agendas by foiling the rescue mission.

Because his daughter was onboard the Kesha when it vanished, Calonti Sora reluctantly signs on as an astrogator with the Gyrfalcon, one of the ships in the search party. There he meets up with an old human friend, Kirsten Abbott. Together, they work to overcome prejudice and political plots as they race toward an enemy no one could expect.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1934153314

Also by this author: Hero's Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, The Loudest Actions, Q&A Cindy Koepp

Genres: Science Fiction, Space Opera, Spirituality & Metaphysics


Published by Under the Moon

on 2012

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 242

Published By: Under the Moon
Available Formats: Softcover and Ebook

Converse on Twitter: #IndieSciFi + #SpaceOpera

About Cindy Koepp

Cindy Koepp

Originally from Michigan, Cindy Koepp has a degree in Wildlife Sciences and teaching certification in Elementary Education from rival universities. After teaching for fourteen years, she pursued a master’s degree in Adult Learning with a specialization in Training and Performance Improvement. Cindy has five published science fiction and fantasy novels, a serial published online, short stories in five anthologies, and a few self-published teacher resource books. When she isn’t reading or writing, Cindy spends time whistling with a crazy African Grey. Cindy is currently working as an optician in Iowa and as an editor with PDMI Publishing and Barking Rain Press.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • SFN Bingo 2016
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Posted Wednesday, 16 November, 2016 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brothers and Sisters, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Debilitating Diagnosis & Illness, Equality In Literature, Fathers and Daughters, Hard Science Fiction, Science Fiction, Siblings, Space Opera, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Tomorrow Comes Media, Women's Health

SFN Guest Post | Julie E. Czerneda introduces her Web Shifters series which is blessedly quirky with a heap of sci-fi quirks! #RRSciFiMonth

Posted Tuesday, 15 November, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 2 Comments

Guest Contributor and/or Reviewer of JLAS banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Welcome everyone who is following the wicked joy of Sci Fi November courtesy of #RRSciFiMonth, this lovely November! Today, I have a special guest for you to introduce you to her newly re-released Web Shifters series Ms Julie E. Czerneda! Last November, I was introduced to the series which I happily continued reading at the end of this Summer: The Clan Chronicles. This time around, her quirky and delightful series focusing on those interesting “Quebits” is the focus of the hour today!

I haven’t read this particular series, as I am starting her Fantasy series which begins with A turn of Light. The interesting part about this particular series is how much it reminded me of why I loved reading A Wrinkle in Time and Flatland due to how dimensional space and the proponents of a person’s biometrics and biomass can be altered or affected by proportional controls! It sounds rivetingly quirky with a new lead character who has her own issues to work through whilst giving us a unique perspective of her world in the process!

I am delighted to bring several excerpts from the novels today along with a companion piece by the author who explains the heart of the Web Shifters series to each of you! If this is your first time hearing of the author or if your a lover of her collective works, I look forward to hearing your commentary after you’ve read the guest feature!

On a personal note, I am *loving!* the artwork all over again by Mr Royo!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Concerning Quebits

by Julie E. Czerneda

Creating aliens is fun. When it comes to my Web Shifters series? It’s hilarity. These books and short stories are such a treat to write, I consider them my vacation.

Some of you are familiar with the main character: Esen-alit-Quar, Esen between friends, Es in a hurry. The semi-immortal blue blob of goodness who, with diligent effort, can alter her physical structure into that of another sentient species’. Unless or until she blows up from stress. Which happens.

Before then, Esen grants me—and readers—a singular perspective: the alien from the inside-out. Her inner self remains constant and true, you see, but she’s different. Different senses. Different patterns of thinking, ways of feeling. New appetites and even esthetics. Manners or lack of—all right in the open where she must struggle and we get to chuckle, as often as not.

(I love my life. And Esen’s.)

Many know the effort I put into my alien and world-building. In fact, most of the weirder alien senses and behaviours Esen has to deal with come straight from real life biology. I collect every strange but true bit I can find, just for her.

That said, not all my alien-building starts with the same rigour. Far from it. For #RRSciFiMonth, I invite you to journey back with me to a time when I’d sold my first novel, and was writing the second.

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Posted Tuesday, 15 November, 2016 by jorielov in Author Guest Post (their topic), Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction