Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

+Book Review+ Debut novelist Brenda S. Anderson gives readers a heartfelt story of redemption in “Chain of Mercy” (Book One: Coming Home Series)

Posted Sunday, 18 May, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

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Chain of Mercy by Brenda S. Anderson

Chain of Mercy by Brenda Anderson

Published By: Winslet Press () 7 April, 2014
Official Author WebsitesSite | Twitter | Facebook | Pin(terest) Boards
Active in Book Blogosphere: Personal Blog
+ Guest Blogger @ Inkspirational Messages

Available Formats: Softcover
Page Count: 360

Converse on Twitter: #ChainOfMercy & #ComingHomeSeries

#ChristianFiction, #InspirationalFiction#ChrisFic, #ChristIndie & #cleanromance

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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. I received a complimentary copy of “Chain of Mercy” 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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comOn how I know Brenda S. Anderson: Before I was a book blogger, I was a happy-go-lucky blog commenter who loved to visit bookish blogs around the book blogosphere, sharing the joy of reading and blissfully spending time soaking up the booklove the bloggers would knit into their blogs! Through my wanderings in late 2012 and into the early bits of 2013, I stumbled across quite a few author-driven book blogs in both the mainstream and inspirational fiction markets. One author I was pleasantly thrilled to bits to discover was a writer in pursuit of a publishing contract for her novels: Ms. Brenda S. Anderson hailing from Minnesota and of whom has the sweetest personality you’ve ever been graced to find in the blogosphere! Her encouragement on behalf of fellow writers always warmed my heart, as she gets as giddy as I do about upcoming book releases and truly celebrates each milestone another author is experiencing! I felt as though I had found a kindred soul in that regard, as we were both #bookcheerleader(s) before I ever thought to create the tag!

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her through her blog as much as I am a member of her Author Street Team. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time.

Previously I was able to describe exactly why I am drawn into stories knitted together with powerful honesty and an exercise in a faith-based lifepath. Let me copy the paragraph which also applies to why I appreciate Ms. Anderson’s style of writing as she is now firmly in my heart alongside Ms. Lisa Wingate for whom this paragraph was originally on her behalf:

I applaud strong characters who embark on a journey, whether internal, spiritual, or in life. Pieces of the premise reminded me a bit of a Hallmark Christmas film I tend to see during the holidays, starring Richard Thomas, “The Christmas Box”. I love when characters are set up to be in a place they are not intending to stay for a long period of time, yet the place they find themselves is the very place a transformation can occur. That is always powerful to read or watch, because there is such a hearty breath of living truth to the stories! Each of us are walking through life as best we can, growing and learning as we move forward, and never quite knowing when God has an alternative course in mind to restore something to us that has become lost or hidden from view. quoted from my disclosure of connection to Lisa Wingate on my “The Prayer Box” book review

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Book Synopsis:

They forgave him for the accident that killed their son, but he will never forgive himself. Manhattan businessman Richard Brooks was at the top of the world, drunk with success, wealth, and women. Until one disastrous evening, when his world came crashing down. Richard flees to Minneapolis where he repairs ancient boilers instead of solving corporate problems, and he’s determined to live the solitary life he now deserves. But Executive Sheila Peterson has other plans for the handsome custodian. Richard appears to be the perfect match for the no-strings-attached romance she’s after, but she soon discovers that he’s hiding more than the designer suits in his closet.

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Brenda S. Anderson
Author Photo Credit: Portraits from the Heart

Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty, life-affirming fiction that offers hope and reminds the reader they’re not alone. 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 26 years, their three children, and one sassy cat. Her début novel, Chain of Mercy, Book #1 in the Coming Home series, comes out on April 22, 2014, and Pieces of Granite, the prequel to Chain of Mercy, is scheduled to release on September 16, 2014!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comRealistic Fiction by honest portrayal of turmoil:

What I appreciated from the moment I started reading Chain of Mercy, is that I knew that I was going to go through a story where the lead characters would not only have to handle life-altering choices in regards to parenthood but they would have to dig deeper to re-set the internal balance of their soul’s spirit. A person can walk a thin line towards redemption and forgiveness, but surely the worst battle to win is not even the act of accepting grace, but the choice in letting go of what cannot be changed, resolved, or fixed. There are parts of everyone’s past where we might want to go back and opt to do something differently, but the one part about the past is simply that: it is past and done.

Humans have the hardest difficulty to understand that full acceptance of where you are on your lifepath is that you have to acknowledge the threads of your own tapestry. You have to accept each stumbling block, each diversion of your plans, and each wrong choice you made whilst you were doing the best you could at the time in which you erred. No one is perfect on Earth, but the hardest part for any of us is recognising our fragility and our humanity. Being human is the greatest gift we are given, but with it comes a swath of emotions which are not easy to reconcile nor overcome. I would suspect that the circumstances where we might have played a minor role in the outcome to the level that the full outcome was left for someone else to decide is even the worst of all because inside that hour of despair there is not a single thing anyone can do to sway the other opinion towards a different outcome.

Tackling real-life choices such as determining what to do when you arrive at an unexpected pregnancy and a conception of a child out-of-wedlock is a bold choice for any author, but especially I think in Inspirational Fiction as I still stand by what I said in the supplemental Author Interview to this book review. There is another element of real-life conflict that I am not going to disclose as it will reveal too much of the character (Richard Brooks) story arc, and yet, this other element is just as strong of a topic of interest to the former! Not every author would have taken on either of the subject matters, but I always feel not every author would have been the right choice to tell the story. Anderson has a gift for rooting out the heart of what is wrong inside each of her character’s lives, but it is her deft hand to guide the reader and the character through their journey that I celebrated the most within the context of Chain of Mercy!

My Review of Chain of Mercy:

Richard Brooks is a man whose downtrodden soul does not believe he’s warranted mercy to enter his life anymore than happiness. His mind and spirit is bogged down in the remembrance of his mistakes and how those mistakes placed him in circumstances that would allow society to judge him by actions rather than the changes he made in the present. A man with a mind for business gave himself the displeasure of choosing the wrong relationship which cast his attention off his duties as a power player in a firm long enough to be unabashedly dismissed.

In this single act of a life shift moment, he not only weighs the absence of redemption of his past indiscretions but the measure of how far he must go to overcome the guilt he carries in his soul. A man’s emotional baggage and guilt infested conscience can cause far more harm in the long-term than most are willing to admit. His path spilt in half – where two guttingly difficult incidents erupted into his everyday hours causing him the most pain of his soul. The story is half hinged to his present life where he is attempting to rise like a Phoenix whilst part of him is unable to shift out of the past completely living his life through a mess of ashes. The juxtaposition is strongly supported by how the narrative shifts back and forth in the threadings of where Richard is in the present and of whom he was in the past. Including the shifting perspectives of his previous girlfriend with that of his current.

Choices which can alter the course of an individual’s life is one aspect of humanistic turmoil but a choice in which affects three lives at once, where one individual makes the decision without the consult of a second is by far the hardest to reconcile. Especially if the third life is a child not yet bourne, and the second is a father who was never fully given the chance to fill his role in the child’s life nor the mother’s whose only motivation is to abort a life not planned. I cannot even imagine what Richard Brooks went through realising that it wasn’t a violent act of crime which would end the life of his child nor would it be an act of domestic violence which brought a child into his life. No, it would be the choice of whether or not to accept an unexpected blessing at a time in life when other plans had already come into action. Watching Brooks’ anguish over the choice made by his girlfriend which did not match his own heart’s will is the centerpiece of the story. Understanding his perspective of how an act of lust can lead to an act of love (through conception) and then pulled out from under him by a woman whose scorn was lit aflame by selfish preservation is a gutting punch to the conscience.

What is appreciated in the path Anderson took to tell the story is that both sides of the argument on Women’s Rights and the Women’s Right to Choose are explained, identified and explored through different points of view of equal merit. She doesn’t allow you to take sides initially because she wants to be honest in the representation of what real counterpart people of her characters are facing during the same moments where their lives intersect the characters. She even takes a different approach on the topic depending on which character is in the driver seat of the conversation. For this, I applaud her ability to remain neutral as a narrator as oft-times a writer’s own voice can narrate where the direction of the story will head next.

Yet his revelation of his girlfriend’s choice is the tipping stone of what would happen next, as it was a catalyst of where he would take his own actions and what would become of a night lived in shadows. Guilt takes all forms and snakes into our conscienceness if we allow it to overtake our sanity. Richard Brooks found a way to chain irrevocable absolution to his past and thus allowing him the sanction of a living purgatory bent on anguished nightmares of what he could not accept as his own living truth.

The story isn’t a work of judgement but rather an exploration of a living truth: come what may in our lives we are still able to be forgiven even if for choices that we feel are the ultimate sacrifice of receiving forgiveness. No one has the right to judge anyone else, not on the level of where they stand on this topic of political and sociological charging narrative but what can be spoken about is how we choose to handle what life presents us. We can choose our attitudes on how we survive what happens to us in life and we can choose how we will walk forward even when we no longer feel we have the ability to walk at all. That is the strength of the story in Chain of Mercy, in seeing how the fragments can be put back together and how nothing is ever truly lost if we are willing to remain humble.

The hidden beauty of the life affirming message knitted into Chain of Mercy is that all three principal characters (Richard Brooks, Sheila Peterson, and Meghan Keene) are each walking their own path towards self-acceptance, self-forgiveness, and ache for a redemptive measure of mercy and grace none of them believe they deserve. It is how they are all threaded together and how their individual lives are interwoven into the plot that left me wanting to turn each new page to see what was coming along next! Brooks own walk of faith can easily be translucently applied to the other two as each of these three characters reached cross-roads whilst their own lives intersected with each other.

 

A notation on Anderson’s writing style:

What endeared me to the story is Anderson’s compelling way of knitting a realistic story-line set in the modern era and yet denote a hint of a layering of complexity which speaks directly to the human condition to persecute rather than accept self-forgiveness. In the opening chapters, I knew knowingly Richard Brooks was about to embark on one incredible character journey towards self-acceptance and spiritual renewal.

I loved reading the natural world symbolism stitched into the secondary main character Sheila Peterson as it was not only reflective of her unique personality, but a harkening to how we all need to remember to slow down and appreciate what is around us. What I had not realised in those early chapters is that the symbolism of nature and of slowing down was a bit of a foreshadowing of coming events and tides. In regards to Brooks, our past is never an edification of our future nor can our past ever truly shackle us inside its steadfast hold — unless we allow the darkness of bad choices convince us that we are not redeemable from the errors in judgement which besotted our minds with nauseous unease.

I even enjoyed how the flashbacks to the past were represented by text in italics which creatively fit into the regular pace of the story. Sometimes I find flashbacks and/or time slips do not always correlate to the dialogue or the narrative as they can come across as being a jolt out of step. Anderson fuses the flashbacks to the moment in the story which would give the reader the most advantage at connecting with Richard Brooks and the anguish of why he believes he has to live without mercy, grace, and forgiveness.

The reason why I enjoy reading books by Dee Henderson, Julie Lessman, Deeanne Gist, Lisa Wingate, Susan Meissner, and now Brenda S. Anderson is due to the new approach in Inspirational Fiction being rooted in open honesty of real-life circumstances yet grounded in faith, hope, and charity of spirit. These are the authors and women I applaud and seek out as they are the women I could read their back-list and new releases completely enraptured by their stories. They each have their own individualistic style, voice, and choice of time and setting, yet within their stories I breathe in an inspiring breath of calm. The first two authors I mentioned were the foundation of why I wanted to undergo my 70 Authors Challenge, in which I am challenging myself to read 1-5 books by the Inspirational Authors you will find in my sidebar under the challenge countdown badge. I have been slightly delayed in getting my challenge off the ground, but this novel combined with “The Prayer Box” and “A Fall of Marigolds” has inspired me to pick up where I’ve left off! Further details shall follow soon. Stories like these which seek to invigorate and inspire the spirit and heart are always ones that I will fully support.

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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com This author’s Interview is courtesy of the Author’s Street Team:

Brenda S. Anderson
Author Photo Credit: Portraits from the Heart

For which I am blessed and thankful to be a part of!

Previously I interviewed Ms. Anderson on behalf of her début as an author!

Please visit my Bookish Events page to stay in the know for upcoming events!

{SOURCES: Book cover for “Chain of Mercy”, Author photograph of Brenda S. Anderson, and Book Synopsis were provided by the author Brenda S. Anderson and used with permission. Author Interview badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers & My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

What I’ve shared on Twitter about ‘Chain of Mercy’ or Brenda S. Anderson:

The following is a sampling of the tweeting I’ve done.

Read a convo on Twitter where I recommended “Chain of Mercy” to the author who wrote the incredibly layered “Lemongrass Hope”. (my review of ‘Lemongrass Hope’) | Twitter convo

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Sunday, 18 May, 2014 by jorielov in 21st Century, A Father's Heart, Abortion, Agnostic (Questioning & Searching or Unsure), Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blogs I Regularly Read, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Discussions, Bout of Books, Brenda S. Anderson's Blog, Contemporary Romance, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Geographically Specific, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Lessons from Scripture, Life Shift, Mental Illness, Minnesota, Modern Day, New York City, RALs | Thons via Blogs, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Special Needs Children, Women's Right to Choose (Health Care Rights), Women's Rights

+Blog Book Tour+ Reclamation by Jackie Gamber {Book No. 3 of the Leland Dragons series} Dragon Fiction at its best!

Posted Saturday, 8 March, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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Reclaimation | Book 3 Leland Dragons by Jackie Gamber
Artwork Credit: Matthew Perry

Published By: Seventh Star Press, 19 December 2013
Official Author Websites: Twitter Site
Author Page: @ Seventh Star Press
Leland Dragons Official Website
Artist Page: Matthew Perry @ Seventh Star Press; Portfolio

Available Formats: Softcover and E-Book
Page Count: 270

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Acquired Book By: I was simply overjoyed with happiness when I first learnt “Reclamation” was going to release and have its own blog tour! I wasn’t a book blogger when “Redheart” and “Sela” made their rounds through the bookish blogosphere, but I was thankful I could become introduced to “Redheart” and this lovely dragon series all the same in Autumn 2013! I was selected to be a tour stop through Tomorrow Comes Media.  I received a complimentary copy of this book direct from the publisher Seventh Star Press, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Anxious to Read the Exciting Conclusion:

After emerging from the ending of Sela, where all of Dragonkind was on the verge of war, my heart was warm from the realisation that Sela had the ability to transcend the harbinations of ill-thoughts towards both dragons and humans simply by being true to herself. She was of both species and she could live in harmony inside her skin knowing of her heritage. The journey she took was just as important as the revelation revealed inside of Jastin Artmitage, and its their combined path towards freedom from primal fear and desolation that endeavoured to believe the concluding arm of this trilogy of dragon fiction would leave me ruminative and pensive for quite a long while yet to come! My mind is always flickering with afterthoughts from reading the Leland Dragon series, mostly as the characters who are entrenched in the drama encourage your mind to ponder the greater picture of what is happening to them. The whole of the arc rather than merely seeing the individual struggles.

My heart still flutters back to the very beginning, when I first became invested into the lives of Kallon and Riza, as it was the singular moment I had realised that there is truly a niche inside dragon fiction which has captured my heart! I was struck by the breadth of the world-building as much as the genuine dialogue of how dragons live, work, and interact with not only their kind but with the humans who live on the fringes of their societies. Not everything was always roses, mind you, but it was a bit like gathering an insider’s glimpse into a world you never expected to have such an intimate portrait of! As I walked further into their realm, I started to see the similarities and the differences between their culture and the humans they were always afeared to become close too.

And, even though I had resolved this is a trilogy without the hope of a story to be revealed down the road inside this world I’ve hinged my heart too, its with trepidation that I picked up Reclamation! Worried I was not yet ready to let go!

Life gives us trials that we do not even realise we can overcome, much less face until they are presented. Is this why you entitled it “Reclamation”? You reclaimed your gift as your characters reclaimed their home? observation from Jackie Gamber’s Reclamation tour interview by Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story

About the Author | Jackie Gamber

Jackie Gamber

As an award winning author, Jackie writes stories ranging from ultra-short to novel-length, varieties of which have appeared in anthologies such as Tales of Fantasy and Dragons Composed, as well as numerous periodical publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, The Binnacle, Mindflights Magazine, Necrotic Tissue, and Shroud. She is the author of the fantasy novel Redheart and Sela, and writing an alternate history time travel novel. She blogs professionally for English Tea Store.com, where she reviews classic science fiction and fantasy novels and pairs them with the ideal tea-sipping companion.

Jackie is a member of the professional organizations Science Fiction Writers of America and Horror Writers Association. She was named honorable mention in L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Award, and received a 2008 Darrell Award for best short story by a Mid-South author. She is the winner of the 2009 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award for Imaginative Fiction for her story The Freak Museum, a post-apocalyptic tale that looks closely at perceptions and outward appearances and how they affect the way we see ourselves. Jackie Gamber was co-founder and Executive Editor of Meadowhawk Press, a speculative fiction publisher based in Memphis. One of their novels, Terminal Mind by David Walton, won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award in 2009. Jackie also edited the award winning benefit anthology, Touched By Wonder. She has been a guest lecturer at Memphis Options High Schools, and is a speaker at writers’ conferences from Michigan to Florida. Jackie is also the visionary behind the MidSouthCon Writers’ Conference, helping writers connect since 2008.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

The exciting conclusion of the Leland Dragon Series!

Leland Province remains in danger. The sinister Fordon Blackclaw has returned from the shadows to strike at the heart of neighboring Esra, killing its Venur and making clear his intentions to retake what was once his: Mount Gore, seat of the Leland Dragon Council.

All around, the land grows weaker and weaker. Leland, once thought saved by Kallon Redheart, is without purpose, and within its borders, Murk Forest, a place of mystery and danger, has driven its inhabitants to seek aid. Esra is in flames, and the Rage Desert grows. Dragon and human alike struggle to find their way, and the wizard Orman can sense that there may be more at stake than the affairs of dragons.

Hope remains, yet it is not without obstacles. In Esra, Sela, the daughter of Kallon and Riza, found the well, a source of life, and made herself whole again. But her homecoming is not what she had imagined.

Old wounds buried deep must reopen if life is to continue. Dragons, humans, wizards, and shape shifters are all at risk as the peace between dragon and human has finally been broken.

War is here.

The stakes?

Perhaps the whole world.

 

On the footsteps of war:

Reclamation by Jackie Gamber | Illustration
Leesa & Jastin attempting escape into Murk Forest
Artwork Credit: Matthew Perry

As I mentioned in my review of Sela, Gamber has this keen sensibility of bringing the reader full circle through her Leland Dragon series, to where each ending of one installment of the trilogy is a transition into the next! I was not disappointed whilst picking up Reclamation in finding only a few days had passed since the exit of the characters fleeing Riddess Castle! War is bursting onto the page, lit aflame by the re-surging presence of Fordan Blackclaw the villainous dragon of Redheart whose strength to overturn order in exchange for pure chaos is in part due to his comrade in arms Fane Whitetail! Of whom I have rarely mentioned because his motivations are even more vile than his leader; of whom he’d prefer to overtake if given the chance! A mutiny within an insurrection to ensure his own desires for Esra Province and Dragonkind is playing out through the war which has been brought on by ill choices of those who were too blind to see what was encroaching into their lives by those who only acted to deceive!

Keenly written into the opening chapters is the apathy of disinterest amongst the Dragon Counsel to even consider taking action at the first murmurings of war. I appreciated this angle because I think for a lot of wars which erupt out of the shadows of peace, there are those who will always feel indifferent towards change. Towards standing up for what is right no matter the cost of the discourse to follow verse turning the other cheek and hoping for their problems to dematerialise as easily as they were formed.

The theory of time’s fragile fabric knitted together with the internal clockwork of their known world’s pulsebeat was refreshing as it insinuates that all action has its consequences on a higher plane. A bit how in our own realm of living within the sphere of Earth is jolted and disintegrated by industrialism and shifting powers. There is an internal balance to how a living sphere of a world can function and thrive. The more outside influences which disrupt the habitat and makeup of that sphere’s natural origins, the more precarious the situation can grow! We are meant to be caretakers and caregivers of the land bestowed to us, rather than the bullied force of brutality and harshness the land and environs flinch and shirk away from once our presence is known.

My Review of Reclamation:

Reclamation by Jackie Gamber | Ilustration
Jastin Armitage & Kallon Redheart
Artwork Credit: Matthew Perry

Reclamation by definition is the act of reclaiming what was once considered lost yet in its origins of Latin, it’s an exclamation of force against what has been done against you. The two main provinces in the Leland Dragons series are Esra & Leland, yet there is another lesser known area called Murk Forest, which is as elusive to the reader as the Rage Desert; as previously revealed in Sela. As I started to entrench myself into the action of the heated scenes of flight for both Jastin & Leesa, my mind wondered how far the Redheart clan and those who stood with them would have to go to find resolution and peace?!

Fane Whitetail meets his match in Ela Greenscale, who is a defector from Leland Province to aide Blackclaw’s pursuit of ill-willed control over the provinces. In Ela, Whitetail’s equal on levels he never considered, he starts to see that he is not alone in wanting to pursue a path few would understand and the majority would balk against. Whitetail’s true nature and how he identifies his perception of self is explored whilst giving the reader more pause about his principles. Sela is caught in-between the past and the present whilst resolving the future she hopes everyone will be courageous enough to embrace. Her key role is truly the unlocking of the New Age of a new Kind of existence. I tip-toed around this revelation in my review of Sela, as I wanted the element of surprise to be a kiss of joy to the reader. However, without disclosing how Sela is uniquely different from her Kind, I can say, the strength she has within her I believe truly surprises herself at times. She’s a quiet girl with extraordinary gifts who doesn’t always believe in herself the way in which she should. Her heart guides her but at times, it’s the mistrust of her instincts which lead her on a path towards embracing self-confidence.

Drell on the other hand is starting to pull the pieces of his ancestry together whilst embracing the fact his future truly lies in where he finds himself the most at home. He was raised in the Rage Desert yet bourne of Leland ancestry, where he has only just become familiar of. His only connection to Blackclaw is by appearance and blood relation, as where his father’s heart is blackened, Drell’s is empathic.

The morale fiber of dragon culture and the dignity of the humans who live near them is underscored by the inability to see each other as equals rather than as nemesis’s. Each species has always attempted to live without the other interfering into their lives but the true measure of their growth is if they can transcend their fears and walk into an era of contractual peace. Working together rather than against each other, with full acceptance and support.

I loved the exploration of Murkens within Murk Forest, because Gamber has such a gentle hand in giving you reason to draw a breath of pause whilst drinking in the more fantastical elements of her narrative! The Murkens by definition are shapeshifters, but it’s how they are presented that delighted me the most! They are as akin to the natural world as the dragons, living in a quandary of a balance that even they do not fully understand. There is always a hidden depth to the story, which I appreciate more than I may even let on! My mind is always rampant to explore the wholeness of the trilogy whilst caught up in one of the installments!

Gamber forces you to look internally and introspectively as you read her stories, especially in regards to prejudicial inclinations which can do the most harm if they are not seen for what they are. Jastin Armitage’s character goes through the most catalytic changes over the score of the saga. He is the classic hero whose soul was entrapped by rage and prejudice without the foundation of understanding what prompted his innermost hatred. She explores the depth of his character’s ability to emerge out of the darkness and back into a path towards the Light. For me, this is one of the quintessential elements she stitched into the fabric of the Leland Dragons series. To not only present war but to take the harder road as a writer to endeavour to uncover what provoked it from all sides, angles, and hearts. War doesn’t begin on the battlefield afterall, nor does war end in battle.

Peace is always obtainable through forgiveness and love, but it’s how we get to the bridge of acceptance that truly tests the measure of what we can evolve to embrace.

An appreciator of ‘dragon fiction’:

Ever since I was a young child who couldn’t rent a copy of “Pete’s Dragon” enough times to satisfy her need to visit the world in which a kind-hearted dragon resided, I am a girl who always appreciated the connection between humans and dragons. There is a unique bond that sparks inside us when we are innocent and young, towards the animals and creatures who are just out of focus from our view such as dragons, unicorns, fairies, and wood nymphs. The enchanted realms which are coaxed out of our imaginative hearts and the spirit of the unknown being just outside grasp of our reach is what endears us the most to fantasy and the literature which alights their stories into our memories. I always wanted to seek out dragon fiction stories, but part of me was always on the fence knowing if I would find the kind of dragon I could warm up too, like I had whilst watching “Pete’s Dragon”. Redheart & the Leland Dragons series proved that this was not only plausible but possible!

I started an open discussion on my review of “Redheart”, seeking to inspire an on-going conversation about dragons and the literary worlds in which writers have left them behind for us to seek out and find. One day I hope the discussion can get started, but until then, I am seeking dragons as a solo project. I’m looking specifically for writers like Gamber who infuse their narratives with more than mere warfare and darkness, but the transitional arc of true growth, understanding, and enlightenment to where whether you are dragon bourne or humantiscially tethered, you can find a story which ignites the magic and the passion for dragons!

I am an appreciator of dragon fiction who cannot wait to get her hands on the next novel and author who betwitches her fever for devouring more stories! Join with me on Twitter using the hashtag I accidentally created which is featured below! Let us converse, discuss, and discover together!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Join the celebration as you amble through the tour!

{ converse via: #LelandDragons, #7thStar & #dragonfiction }

Virtual Road Map for “Reclamation” Blog Tour:

Reclamation Tour by Tomorrow Comes Media

Be sure to visit of Jackie Gamber’s posts showcased on JLAS:

Previously, Jorie reviewed “Redheart” (Book 1 of Leland Dragons)
interviewed Ms. Gamber soon thereafter. Before featuring a Character Post from Reclamation’s tour, and a second interview with Ms. Gamber specifically geared towards the Leland Dragons series. She also reviewed “Sela” (Book 2 of Leland Dragons) ahead of posting “Reclamation”.

Be sure to scope out upcoming tours I will be hosting with:

Tomorrow Comes Media Tour Hoston my Bookish Events page!

Cross-listed on: Sci-Fi & Fantasy Fridays via On Starships & Dragonwings

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Reclamation” by Matthew Perry, book synopsis, author photograph of Ms. Gamber, author biography, and the tour host badge were all provided by Tomorrow Comes Media and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Saturday, 8 March, 2014 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Dragon Fiction, Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Science, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Good vs. Evil, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Tomorrow Comes Media, Warfare & Power Realignment, YA Fantasy