Format: Paperback

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 & Reviewer, 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

Blog Book Tour | An #MGLit #CanLit horse drama writ by an actress on #ThePinkertons! “Wonder Horse” by Anita Daher is an uplifting treat!

Posted Friday, 12 June, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Chapter by Chapter, where I receive opportunities to host Cover Reveals & Author Guest Features on behalf of the Indie Publisher Month9Books. This is the second time I was offered to host a blog tour outside of Month9Books, featuring another Indie Publisher: Rebelight Publishing! I jumped at the chance to read this exciting novel for Middle Grade readers, as I am always seeking out light infused Children’s Lit which has a resounding story-line stitched together with a life lesson and/or a character who children can relate too as much as they can celebrate having found. For a bit of background on Rebelight Publishing, please read my anchour supplement on the top of my review for “Missing in Paradise”.

I received a complimentary copy of “Wonder Horse” direct from the publisher Rebelight Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Horse dramas and Jorie:

I grew up with a wicked fascination with horses and the horse dramas writers would spin into creation via novels and motion pictures. I still remember staying up way past my bedtime in order to finish reading one of the Black Stallion series novels or one from the Thoroughbred series! I was the girl who cherished The Saddle Club and wished she had a wicked awesome group of girls to ride horses with and develop a keenly wicked friendship circle!

Horse dramas were simply an organic progression of where I would want to go literally through stories from the moment I stepped outside the saddle as I was a young rider. I have loads of happy memories following the hooves and dramas of horse girls, women, and men in motion pictures inasmuch as I get a wicked excitement in my heart when I find a new book coming out about the strength of the bond between horse and humans. Young or old, Children’s Lit related or Western Fiction, if the story has a grounding of insight into horses and the inseparable connection of love they give back to those of us who have realised the friendship they give so freely, than the odds are favourable I am going to find the next story which reaches my hands to be a memorable read!

Hence why when this blog tour was only a whisper of a thought on Twitter when Rebelight started tweeting about it, I *knew!* I had to take part! I wanted to read the story which has been re-translated into English from it’s original published Norwegian!

By the by, with the current winner of the Triple Crown creating a buzz in the twitterverse with the tag #WonderHorse, methinks we should have started tweeting out with #WonderHorseMG to create the distinction. Sometimes I worry books will be overshadowed by more popular tags whose ‘chatter’ is anything but on the publishing industry radar.

Blog Book Tour | An #MGLit #CanLit horse drama writ by an actress on #ThePinkertons! “Wonder Horse” by Anita Daher is an uplifting treat!Wonder Horse
by Anita Daher
Source: Publisher via Chapter by Chapter

Fitting into a new school in a new city isn’t easy, but dreams come true for Sera with a gift from her parents: a gorgeous and spirited American Paint horse. Sera’s bubble bursts when a mean girl, Brittany, tells her that neither she nor her less than well-trained horse belong with the rest of the “reiners” in their riding class. As Sera sets out to prove Brittany wrong, she risks losing her passion for training and the friendship of Dev, another girl who truly understands her.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Children's Literature, Middle Grade


Published by Rebelight Publishing Inc.

on 8th May, 2015

Format: Paperback

Originally published as “Wager the Wonder Horse” by Stabenfeldt (Stavanger, Norway) in 2011 and distributed in six languages: Norwegian, Hungarian, Czech, German, Finnish and Swedish.

Published By: Rebelight Publishing, Inc. (@RebelightBooks)
Converse via: #WonderHorse & #MGLit
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

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About Anita Daher

Anita Daher has been entrenched in the publishing industry since 1995, and is (thus far) author of fourteen books for children and teens. Aside from short stints as grave-plot seller, tour guide, and children’s party clown, she’s worked in aviation, publishing and broadcasting. When not word wrangling, she enjoys inhabiting characters on stage and screen.

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Posted Friday, 12 June, 2015 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Films, Canada, Canadian Literature, Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours, Childhood Friendship, Children's Literature, Coming-Of Age, Equality In Literature, Juvenile Fiction, Middle Grade Novel, Modern Day, Motion Picture Inter-related to Bookish Topic, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Transfer Student at School

Blog Book Tour | “To Ride A White Horse” by Pamela Ford An evoking nautical #histfic which enriches your spirit simply by the tangible ache you have in your heart as you devour it’s pages.

Posted Tuesday, 2 June, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

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

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on “To Ride A White Horse” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Pamela Ford, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

A Note on the Cover Art Design:

What makes the cover design for To Ride A White Horse so epic is the convergence of the two halves of the whole – you have two leading characters opposite of the horse and the horse itself is rising up in such a dramatic pose! The woman’s eyes are downcast and unseen whereas the sturdy gaze of the man and the intensity of his stare eludes to a larger whole. It is quite an evoking cover to place on a historical romance novel, but this novel’s premise is anything but typical. It was the premise itself which had such a strong sense of urgency to be read that gave me the most wicked anticipation to see it arrive by Post!

As I like to listen to music as a back-drop to my readings as I blog:

I can definitely say I am appreciating the Classical Music selections on Earbits.com, as I have ducked inside the Renaissance and Classical Folk channels of music to serve as ambiance behind my readings of ‘To Ride A White Horse” as the undertone of the selections matched well with the evoking drama within the novel. Some of the selections felt a bit Irish by inspiration, even though I am most certain they were not of Irish origin (at least not all save a few), but there are similarities within music and for me, it felt quite natural to have this running in the background as I devoured the words and blogged my ruminations. Although the selections on both channels were not of my own choosing more times than naught it felt the music playing in the background were serving a greater purpose – a soundscape of this novel if you will. I shall not soon forget how aptly in-tune the selections were with the drama and the angst as it played out across the pages.

Blog Book Tour | “To Ride A White Horse” by Pamela Ford An evoking nautical #histfic which enriches your spirit simply by the tangible ache you have in your heart as you devour it’s pages.To Ride A White Horse
by Pamela Ford
Source: Author via TLC Book Tours

Ireland 1846. The potato crop has failed for the second year in a row and Ireland is in famine. When Kathleen Deacey’s fiancé doesn’t return from a summer working in the Newfoundland fisheries, she faces a devastating choice—leave Ireland to find work or risk dying there. Despising the English for refusing to help Ireland, she crosses the Atlantic, determined to save her family and find her fiancé.

But her journey doesn’t go as planned and she ends up in America, forced to accept the help of an English whaling captain, Jack Montgomery, to survive. As Jack helps her search for her fiancé and fight to save her family and country, she must confront her own prejudices and make another devastating choice—remain loyal to her country or follow her heart.

A love story inspired by actual events, To Ride a White Horse is a historical saga of hope, loyalty, the strength of the human spirit, and the power of love.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Literary Fiction


Published by Aine Press

on 3rd January, 2015

Format: Paperback

Pages: 374

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: Aine Press

[Aine was the Queen of the Faeries in Irish mythology, the Goddess of wealth and summer]

as revealled to me as the inspiration on behalf of her company by the author

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #ToRideAWhiteHorse

 

About Pamela Ford

Pamela Ford is the award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance. She grew up watching old movies, blissfully sighing over the romance; and reading sci-fi and adventure novels, vicariously living the action. The combination probably explains why the books she writes are romantic, happily-ever-afters with plenty of fast-paced plot.

After graduating from college with a degree in Advertising, Pam merrily set off to earn a living, searching for that perfect career as she became a graphic designer, print buyer, waitress, pantyhose sales rep, public relations specialist, copywriter, freelance writer - and finally author. Pam has won numerous awards including the Booksellers Best and the Laurel Wreath, and is a two-time Golden Heart Finalist. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and children.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Tuesday, 2 June, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 19th Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Folklore and Mythology, Historical Fiction, History, Indie Author, Ireland, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Literary Fiction, Literature of Ireland, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Newfoundland, Realistic Fiction, TLC Book Tours