Format: Trade Paperback

Book Spotlight | “The Traitor” (Book Two: The Rebels and Redcoats Saga) by T.J. London

Posted Friday, 16 November, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “The Traitor” direct from the author T.J. London in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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The parts which resonated with me from “The Tory”:

London takes her time settling you into the re-constructed glimmer of Revolutionary American life – she wants you to make a connection to her lead character, John Carlisle first – as he is a crucial part of the saga’s arc – it is his journey that is what launches the tales into the height of seeing the #RevWar from a behind-the-scenes angle of insight. His is not a life easily lived; he takes risks and he challenges himself to improve his life even if he falters with carry through towards those newfound ideals. He sees the present more than the future but hasn’t found a way to purge the past. In essence, he’s conflicted, complicated and has a war within himself which is just as important to win as the one he is currently fighting.

We arrive on scene in 1776 – for history buffs you’ll denote immediately how important it is to dropped into History’s time capsule inside this particular year. The British have a gallant pride in believing themselves to be the true champions of the war, even without proof of knowing if they could succeed. Whereas Washington’s spies and allies are making their own headway towards defeating the British. Told mostly from the perceptive of where the Brits are in the war, we get to re-tunnel through the lens where our prior knowledge of this era left off and where we were hoping to take our knowledge further if we were to research the particulars again.

I, for one enjoyed how she went the character route of inclusiveness – to anchour history to characters you want to read about and see what becomes of them. They might act or behave in ways that are in-line with their generation and peers, but it is the story they have to share – about their roles in History and the actions they took to carve out the historical records we still have now that makes reading period specific Historical Fiction such as this one so dearly fascinating!

London strives to give her novel the kind of pacing where you don’t stop to let it drag between intervals of informational sequences about what is happening away from her focus on John and his high command or with his women friends; instead, she pauses long enough to fill in the gaps within our education and pulls the lens wide to show what else is shaping this war.

-quoted from my review of The Tory

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I felt conflicted about what I found inside the pages of “The Tory” and what I had hoped to have found instead – as the bits which put me at a disadvantage to read the story in full were the grisly gritty sequences where you truly do not have a lot of separation between what is visually being described and what is laid out on the pages – for me personally, I like a bit of a distance between those kinds of scenes and the page. I know every writer has their own personal style and approach, but when it gets to be visually graphic – as a reader, I tend to feel myself pulling out of the context of the story-line.

It was a bit complicated because it was violence against women and it involved a scalping which by definition is brutal in of itself. I honestly just was hoping for ‘less than more’ and had to put “The Tory” down from continuing as I was a bit discomforted by what I found. I was also worried about the direction of the story-line as it was shifting in tone and how it was being delivered. A bit more intensive on the side of being a different kind of story than I perceived it to be before reading it and thereby, when it came to the sequel, I was unsure how to approach it.

I decided to see if I could read even a partial amount of the sequel “The Traitor” – not just to confirm or speculate on what happened ‘after’ I felt uncomfortable reading “The Tory” but to also, see if in this part of the story-line where the characters have moved forward. I know there is a bit of distance between John & Dellis – naturally, as just by the synopsis alone you can gleam this much foresight but in regards to where they personally stand in regards of feelings and thoughts, I was curious how they each found themselves ‘now’.

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Book Spotlight | “The Traitor” (Book Two: The Rebels and Redcoats Saga) by T.J. LondonThe Traitor
by T.J. London
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Spy. Liar. Scoundrel. Redcoat.

Provocateur and spy for His Majesty, Captain John Carlisle returns to Fort Niagara with the secrets he stole in the arms of the beautiful Oneida innkeeper, Dellis McKesson. Determined to complete his mission and clear his name, he’ll see justice done—and damn the consequences. Now, he finds himself drawn into political intrigue as the British prepare to launch a three-pronged attack that will bring the Rebels and the Mohawk River Valley to its knees.

A dangerous revelation finds Dellis as whispers of intrigue insinuate her beloved is not all that he seems. Unwilling to wait for her lover’s return, she sets out in search of the truth as the Onieda begin negotiations with the Rebels, breaking the neutrality agreement with the crown. A bold move that will stoke a fire between the brother tribes and lead to a bloody inter-confederacy war—one Dellis predicted, and one John incited.

While war between the colonies and the King smolders, the punishing winter of 1777 allows the perfect opportunity for old enemies to settle scores, lying in wait, ready to exploit John’s one weakness—his heart. John is not an innocent man. The truth he’s long tried to hide from can no longer be ignored, the ghosts of the past seeking justice, and karma wanting payment for sins so dark they cannot be forgiven.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0692197479

Also by this author: The Tory

Also in this series: The Tory


Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, War Drama


Published by Self Published Author

on 24th October, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 505

The Rebels & Redcoats Saga:

The Tory by TJ LondonThe Traitor by T.J. London

The Tory (book one) | (see also Review)

The Traitor (book two)

Converse via: #RebelsAndRedCoatsSaga + #RevWar
#HistFic or #HistNov

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About T.J. London

T.J. London

T.J. London is a rebel, liberal, lover, fighter, diehard punk, and pharmacist-turned-author who loves history. As an author her goal is to fill in the gaps, writing stories about missing history, those little places that are so interesting yet sadly forgotten. Her favorite time periods to write in are first and foremost the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolution, the French and Indian War, the Russian Revolution and the Victorian Era.

Her passions are traveling, writing, reading, barre, and sharing a glass of wine with her friends, while she collects experiences in this drama called life. She is a native of Metropolitan Detroit (but secretly dreams of being a Londoner) and resides there with her husband Fred and her beloved cat and writing partner Mickey.

Read More

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Posted Friday, 16 November, 2018 by jorielov in 18th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Feminine Heroism, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Revolutionary War era, War Drama

Blog Book Tour | “The Tory” (Book One: The Rebels and Redcoats Saga) by T.J. London

Posted Tuesday, 13 November, 2018 by jorielov , , , 5 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “The Tory” direct from the author T.J. London in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On reading about the #RevWar:

I, personally inherited my love of the Revolutionary War era from my Mum – who inspired me to start to take stock & notice of this lovely niche of Historical Fiction out of her love of researching John & Abigail Adams! Over the years I have stumbled across stories set either just ahead of the #RevWar beginning, during the war itself (war dramas are a personal preference of readerly joy) or shortly thereafter. I also appreciate Early Colonial era stories or any story set during a period of time which hugs close to either eras in general.

The reason I love stories set around early Americana history is because it was quite the exciting time during my country’s initial years of foundation and formulation. These were quite exciting times to be living – even if it brought with it a lot of harrowing trials where we needed strong people to either see us through the rougher patches or we needed heroes & heroines alike to help lead us forward into a better tomorrow where we could overcome the things which set out to delay our progresses.

One of my favourite films is “1776” (1972) which is a musical about the Declaration of Independence – it is an unique spin on History and I love the cast who brings this film to life. I felt it had such a clever view into the lives and hearts of the men who were striving for a better America during the Colonial era – which is the kind of drama I enjoy finding in Historical Fiction.

Aside from this film, I’ve become aware of Roseanna M. White’s The Cupler Ring series and Alex Myers “Revolutionary” – two writers I am keenly interested in reading at some point as I held off starting the first as it is a series and the second, as after I read a similar story set during the Civil War, I wasn’t sure if my heart was ready (at the time) to read a second one set during a different war. I might love reading war dramas but sometimes I find the storylines push me a bit for what I can handle reading.

-quoted from my spotlight of The Petticoat Letters

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Over the years as a book blogger, I have had the chance to read a few stories set during the #RevWar era whilst I have also been gathering a list together for stories I wish to be reading in the future. It is a curious chapter in our country’s history and it is oft overshadowed by the war dramas situated during the Great War eras of the 20th Century or the Civil War; the latter of which I am less enthused to read or explore.

The novel I discovered ahead of this blog tour was “The Petticoat Letters” which appealled to me due to the nature of how it was penned with a bent towards embracing what I endearingly refer to as Feminist Historical Fiction.

In [2016] I discovered “Becoming George Washington” by Stephen Yoch, which found to be a rather personal account of Washington’s life and gave us deeper insight into the man behind what is generally known about him. He had quite the incredible life and I enjoyed the style in which Yoch delivered this keen insight into Washington.

It is not often I get to read a story during the #RevWar – which is why I took a chance on reading both “The Tory” and “The Traitor” – with the hopefulness of a reader who appreciates realistic historical dramas & the backdrop of a historical romance. I wasn’t sure what I would find exactly within these novels – as each writer who approaches crafting their vision and voice for a highly well-known era has their own choices to make for authenticity and the continuity they wish to maintain; all I knew, is that it sounded like one incredible story.

And, for me, as a reader inasmuch as a book blogger – it all begins with the curiosity about ‘a story’,…

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Blog Book Tour | “The Tory” (Book One: The Rebels and Redcoats Saga) by T.J. LondonThe Tory
by T.J. London
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

It is the winter of 1776, and Captain John Carlisle, one of His Majesty’s not-so-finest, has gone back to the scene of the crime to right a wrong so dark it left a permanent stain on what was once an illustrious career and left a man broken, defeated, in search of justice…

In an effort to win back his commission, he must discover the true nature of the relationship between the Six Nations of the Iroquois and the Colonial Army. Undercover as a war profiteer, John travels to the treacherous Mohawk River Valley and infiltrates local society, making friends with those he’s come to betray.

But a chance meeting with a beautiful half Oneida innkeeper, whose tragic history is integrally linked to his own, will provide him with the intelligence he needs to complete his mission—and devastate her people.

Now, as the flames of war threaten to consume the Mohawk Valley, John has the chance to not only serve King and country, but to clear his name. When the truth he uncovers ties his own secrets to those in the highest positions of the British military and threatens the very life of the woman he’s come to love, he will be forced to make a choice…

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780692061282

Also by this author: The Traitor

Also in this series: The Traitor


Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, War Drama


Published by Self Published Author

on 11th April, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 458

The Rebels & Redcoats Saga:

The Tory by TJ LondonThe Traitor by T.J. London

The Tory (book one)

The Traitor (book two) | Synopsis

four-half-flames

I’ve been adding flames to those stories of Romance which have extra heat inside them and are more intensively written than others. This one definitely qualifies as there are certain interludes within John’s relationships. I hadn’t earmarked this as a #HistRom until the books arrived and I saw the cover art a bit differently than I had when I first requested the series. I didn’t really notice the art then as I was focused more on the context of the story-line but on arrival, I thought, hmm, this might be going in a secondary direction than I first realised.

Converse via: #RebelsAndRedCoatsSaga + #RevWar
#HistFic or #HistNov

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About T.J. London

T.J. London

T.J. London is a rebel, liberal, lover, fighter, diehard punk, and pharmacist-turned-author who loves history. As an author her goal is to fill in the gaps, writing stories about missing history, those little places that are so interesting yet sadly forgotten. Her favorite time periods to write in are first and foremost the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolution, the French and Indian War, the Russian Revolution and the Victorian Era.

Her passions are traveling, writing, reading, barre, and sharing a glass of wine with her friends, while she collects experiences in this drama called life. She is a native of Metropolitan Detroit (but secretly dreams of being a Londoner) and resides there with her husband Fred and her beloved cat and writing partner Mickey.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Tuesday, 13 November, 2018 by jorielov in 18th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Content Note, Excessive Violence in Literature, Feminine Heroism, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Revolutionary War era, War Drama

SFN: #RRSciFiMonth | Part One of #JorieReads “The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet” by Becky Chambers

Posted Sunday, 11 November, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

Sci Fi November | Mythothon | NonFiction November banner created by Jorie in Canva

Borrowed Book By: This was a purchase request* of mine from a few years ago – when we, stateside were having to wait extra long to read “The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet”, I took a rather pro-active interest in obtaining a copy I could read! I checked in with readers online and even the author herself, Becky Chambers to get an arrival approximation for the novel. In the end, I submitted a purchase request which was accepted and I am now reading this novel for the first time!

Uniquely enough, it is a very beloved copy!! Many patrons and readers have definitely read this copy ahead of me which warms my heart! This is why I love to submit purchase requests at my local libraries! (yes, plural!) Secondly, there were handwritten notes tucked into this copy which mirrored my own curious musings and they will stay with me, as the last time I tried to leave in a reader’s note in a library book my librarians put it in the bin! (*le sigh*) When I am able to purchase my own copy for my personal library, I’ll add the notes as a reminder of how I met the story originally!

As this is my own personal choice to participate and co-host this readalong for “The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet” by Becky Chambers I was not obliged to post a review (in full or in part) as I am sharing my readings of this novel (with chapter breaks per the Twitter chats schedule) for my own edification as much as I love to share my readerly life with my readers. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

(*) Originally requested and purchased September, 2016 ahead of the 2016 #RRSciFiMonth – however, for those of whom follow my blog you know why that particular November was impossible for me to focus on anything outside of family.

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This year, I also wanted to have light duties officially as I love doing something behind the scenes to assist our lovely hostesses: Lisa (@deergeekplace) + Imyril (@imyril) who give us wicked good celebrations through the years as we all come together to champion the stories of Science Fiction (and their sub-genres/niches) which happily alight in our lives. We’re always reading similar stories – either together in tandem (such as we are this year with our RAL/readalong “The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet”) or on opposite years.

#smallangryplanet readalong badge created by Jorie in Canva

As Lisa is taking the reins to offer a recap of the lovely convo we shared @ 3p NYC | 8p UK on the 11th of November to kick-off our book club style readalong chat – I wanted to offer a chance to give readers, bloggers & visitors on the #RRSciFiMonth feeds a chance to answer the Qs I pitched during our first convo for #smallangryplanet.

Please REMEMBER: add #smallangryplanet to your replies/responses in order for us to find your messages on Twitter. You can also respond directly to the Qs themselves for easy referencing *but!* without the tag itself your reply is LOST.

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The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
by Becky Chambers
Source: Borrowed from local library

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780062444134

Genres: Science Fiction, Space Opera


Published by Harper Voyager

on 5th July, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 433

Published by: Harper Voyager (@HarperVoyagerUS)
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

The Wayfarer Series:

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet (book one) | Synopsis

A Closed and Common Orbit (book two) | Synopsis

Record of a Spaceborn Few (book three) | Synopsis

Converse via: #smallangryplanet + #RRSciFiMonth* (during November 2018!)

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Sci Fi November 2018
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Posted Sunday, 11 November, 2018 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Dystopian, Fantasy Fiction, Hard Science Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Non-Fiction, RALs | Thons via Blogs, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction, Soft Science Fiction, Time Travel, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

Blog Book Tour | “Legacy of Mercy” (Book Two: Waves of Mercy) by Lynn Austin An #INSPY Historical Fiction, I had the pleasure of becoming introduced by the prequel “Waves of Mercy” ahead of reading the sequel on the blog tour!

Posted Wednesday, 24 October, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , 0 Comments

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

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

I received a complimentary copy of “Legacy of Mercy” direct from the publisher Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The Digital Audiobook copy of the novel “Waves of Mercy” was inclusive of the audiobooks I am able to listen to due to my Scribd subscription. My ruminations on behalf of the audiobook (and the borrowed print edition from my local library) which serves as a prequel are being shared for my own edification and to help introduce my readers to the series overall whilst sharing my own journey in its discovery. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I love reading INSPY Historical Fiction, especially Sagas:

I am a hybrid reader of both mainstream and INSPY Fiction – the kind of stories I love to read are reflective of my ardent passion for the collective works of Julie Lessman (which will start to be reflection on #JLASblog this coming Winter) wherein I discovered one of my favourite INSPY Historical saga writers! Her family within the original trilogy ‘Daughters of Boston’ became such a firm fixture of my heart and soul, I can’t wait to re-enter their lives starting inside the prequel this December wherein I finally get to read Marcy and Patrick’s courtship story! (A Light in the Window)

From there – I could aptly remember stories of my childhood which befit this category – even some one-offs such as Frontier Lady (which became a trilogy lateron) by Judith Pella were quite beloved (a series I dearly need to find second-hand if only to resume from whence I once left off) – whilst as a book blogger I’ve carved out a list of authors I am pursuing to read to curate a greater list of #mustread authors of both Historical and Contemporary INSPY Fiction.

This is why being a part of this blog tour was such a blessing – as I was hoping Ms Austin would become a new author I could continue to read and enjoy following – from a backlist and frontlist perspective of interest! As soon as I began reading Waves of Mercy, I recognised my instincts for finding a saga writer I could love was well founded!

The key reason I love reading sagas (especially of the historical past!) is the continuation of spending time with the characters! Of knitting out a well-rounded history of their families and of being able to stay with them as they grow, mature and move through the milestones of their lives! Oft-times sagas also embrace the next generations of their lives – through their children and grand-children – where each new story is an extension of the originals but moving deeper into their descendants and sometimes shifting backwards into their ancestors lives; depending on which way the writer wishes to take their focus.

I have an affinity of passion for serial fiction – this is why sagas are a wicked good fit for me! I have trouble parting with characters I feel especially close as a kindred spirit and being able to re-visit with them in latter installments if the best kind of joy I know as a reader! By extension, I also love this when it happens in motion pictures – such as the mini-series or tv serials on television or in motion pictures – a few which come to mind are the Love Comes Softly series, Avonlea, Anne with an E, Murdoch Mysteries (up til a certain season), Downton Abbey (up til a certain season), Legacy (prior to the final year), Dr Quinn Medicine Woman (prior to the final few seasons) and most adaptations based on Classical Literature. The one I never had the chance to see (as of yet) is Wind at my Back which is a Canadian series.

These are only a few of the ones I’ve appreciated over the years and I continuously find myself smitten by sagas in fiction – there is such a breadth of joy in seeing how the worlds are built and how the characters themselves become the touchstones of reading about our human condition whilst we sort out our lives as we live each day fully present and captured in the moments which become the memories we cherish in the future.

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Blog Book Tour | “Legacy of Mercy” (Book Two: Waves of Mercy) by Lynn Austin An #INSPY Historical Fiction, I had the pleasure of becoming introduced by the prequel “Waves of Mercy” ahead of reading the sequel on the blog tour!Waves of Mercy
Source: Scribd | Audiobook Subscription, Borrowed from local library
Narrator: Rachel Dulude

Haunted by the Unknowns of Their Pasts,
Two Women Search for Answers Along the Shores of Lake Michigan

Chicago socialite Anna Nicholson retreats to the Hotel Ottawa in Holland, Michigan, after breaking her engagement with her wealthy fiancé. Filled with questions about her newfound faith and troubled by a recurring nightmare, Anna finds solace in Derk Vander Veen, a seasonal hotel worker who plans to go into the ministry.

Prompted by a request from her son, Geesje de Jonge begins to sift through memories of emigrating from the Netherlands almost fifty years ago. As she writes them down for the Semi-Centennial anniversary of the town's settlement, her story takes on a life of its own as she honestly and painfully recalls her regrets, doubts, hardships, and joys. Her story captivates Derk, who sees similarities between Geesje and Anna, and wishes to bring the two together.

Past and present collide as Anna and Geesje seek clarity, but neither expects the revelations that await them.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0764217616

ASIN: B01LYI8NFZ

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction


Published by Recorded Books

on 4th October, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback, Audiobook | Digital

Pages: 384

Length: 14 hours, 15 minutes (unabridged)

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Anna is terrified by her nightmares about being aboard a ship during rough weather crossing Lake Michigan from Chicago to the Michigan shore – to such an extent, that when she’s starting to experience this nightmare coming real to life it overtakes her sensibility to separate fantasy from reality. Her thoughts in turmoil over how her boyfriend and her separated – over a disagreement about a church and the beliefs therein are what brought her heart to be torn and spilt between letting go of the past and embracing the future. She was still tucked inside those moments they exchanged and the last fragments of her life she had lived in Chicago – all the while the storms continued to plague her anxieties and the manner in which she was about to arrive via the steamship which was a trial of nerves in of itself.

Despite her mother’s kind assurances and her faithfulness in prayer and the virtues of affirmative thoughts to carry you through the roughest of situations – not even her memories of sermons and easier times could dissuade herself from rolling through afflicted memories which caused her more discomfort. It wasn’t until her ship allowed her disembark did she first find her feet and heart able to ease out of their quaking displeasure to give way towards a calmer beginning on solid ground once more.

This first chapter of the novel I listened to via audiobook – wherein I found the narrator had a pleasant way of bringing Anna to life even though a few of her phrases and wordings felt a bit harder in tone than what was necessary, she aptly described how the churnings of a worried mind could inflict undue duress during a lake crossing aboard a ship which was cast against a difficult storm. I felt she brought Anna’s emotional state to life quite well and allowed us to peer into this young woman’s thoughts in such a way as to make us feel as if we were aboard this ship ourselves, standing near to Anna and observing her discomfort first-hand.

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We first become introduced to Geesje as she observes the changes in her town – from communication and lightning changes to simply the way people were approaching their lives. Although she’s still in her sixties, people have the tendency to treat her as modern people would treat the elderly – as if she is fragile and not with a lot of her youth still left to give a spring to her step – yet as you observe her directly, she’s a young sixty-something who loves life, even if the changes round her leave her a bit unsettled as she remembers a simpler time before the complications of industry and progress catapulted everyone forward. How well we can all stipulate the same even over the past thirty to forty years where technology has almost superseded our own lives.

The irony here is how where progress can inflict a nuance in some ways it allows for shortages in others – how ironic Geesje would find it that infrastructure (ie. roads, etc) are still an oversight of progress (left to be the last of priority) and how we’re a disposal society inasmuch as the one she observed in the late 1800s just ahead of the dawning of the 20th Century! She was commenting how in the Netherlands they reused their buildings, cherished their architectural designs and yet, in Holland, Michigan (where this story is set) they would prefer to demolish and rebuild forsaking the old for the new; the irony dear hearts is that our society today in the 21st Century has the same pattern of destruction and reconstruction!

I love how Geesje is a knitter! If only I could one day master the art and complexities of socks, I think I shall be a happier knitter! For now, I appreciate what I can stitch into prayer shawls and friendship shawls – though to be honest, I yearn to aspire to master Fair Isle knitting patterns as much as wearables inasmuch as expound into fibre artist and textile arts of all varieties, techniques and styles. Once your hands enjoy the tactical blissitude of yarn, you find yourself drawn further inside Old World Arts & Crafts – though, of course, what I was most curious over is the pattern she was knitting as the style wasn’t mentioned.

You feel for her, truly! She’s being asked to write about her exodus from the Netherlands and what inspired the journey to Michigan – her family emigrated to the States when she was seventeen, which brought back memories of my own relatives who made the journey from their European countries to the States (as I am only a few generations down from when my relatives crossed the Atlantic inasmuch as I enjoy being an Ancestry Sleuth alongside my Mum) – as she started to talk about her honest emotions and the conflicting ways she struggled against her faith and finally found reconciliation – you could tell the journey to a new country was not without its depths of strife and adversity. It had to be incredibly despairing for her and even my own relatives – as I am sure not every person in every family who made the trip overseas wished to leave their home countries – some perhaps, but all? Surely, not! It was a daunting prospect – leaving everything behind to risk a stake of claim to set down new roots elsewhere? You can just imagine how that would lead to a conflict in faith and prayer – of where you might even feel distanced from your spirituality rather than closer in the walk you always felt endured through your life’s path. Especially of course if the hardest part of reconcile were the circumstances you faced after you arrived – if tragedy struck or affliction of illness took away lives – how do you rally against the darkness to resume your walk in the Light?

This is the conflict Geesje is having now – of weighing how to best explain the past without revealling herself in such a way where she could lose favour with her neighbours, family and friends alike – as if being completely transparent about the journey and the settlement in a new country could somehow become a negative influence or muddled in such a way with emotional anguish as to paint her life’s story in a different light than it was previously viewed. This gave a deeper scope of insight into how everyone is at times hesitative to share portions of their story – of sharing the living truth of their own lives if it runs against what society or community perceive of a person’s life. Where strife and adversity afflict the memories, there are moments where it feels as if absence of disclosure is a better course than honesty; however, it isn’t the best way of leaving behind a historical artifact of the hours lived but a gentler course if you don’t want to erase someone elses perception of the past. It was interesting watching her work through her emotions and sort out her thoughts on the subject – seeing how she chose what was best for her and what might benefit the community of Holland.

Before we can resume Anna’s story, we must first experience Geesje’s through a series of flashbacks and recollective memories. As we move backwards into her childhood in the Netherlands we learn about how her family were Separatists from the main church striving to hold-fast to a living God and not to be confined by the rituals of change ordained by man taking them further away from the scriptures they lived by. For her family, their faith was their rock and foundation of how they approached living – they were tethered to their beliefs as it was as important as air, shelter and food. They believed so dearly strong in their faith their attempts to outwit their opposition and repressive tactics of those who felt they had no right to rebel against the status quo set them apart from most of their family members who despite holding their same thoughts on the subject were not as strong as they were to leave and seek a better place to live.

As your reading about Geesje’s family’s history it reflects back on the stories I’ve read during the World War eras – of how irregardless of which country of origin or which era in history you move back inside – there have been many instances of persecution and violence. The manner in which Austin approaches this realistic truth of Geesje’s past points towards her compassionate heart for writing convicting narrative rooted out of History itself and re-fuelled inside fiction to offer keen insight into lives which were once lived but perhaps are not as readily known as other stories oft-times gain the spotlight more often.

Anna has gone to Michigan to find recovery after her spilt with her ex and to heal a heart which is still in the process of understanding why relationships can splinter a person’s resolve. Her very first day at the hotel she runs into Geesje’s nephew (an adopted one by association and neighbourly love) Derk which didn’t surprise me as this is a close-knit community. I had a feeling this is the kind of place where most know each other quite well if not by reputation and regards to visitors or tourists, I would imagine they would readily separate a stranger from familiar community members rather quickly. Likewise, I was not surprised either when Derk started to mention how many ships have been lost on the Lake – as the Great Lakes are notorious for keeping their dead, especially shipbound souls as the Lakes hold many watery graves. Anna’s fears of drowning were not misguided whims – especially if you consider the song The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald.

What perked my interest is learning Anna was adopted – as I love sourcing stories of adoption and foster care story-lines. It was revealled through her conversation with Derk who presumed she was from Holland or had family settled there due to how she appeared to be of Dutch ancestry. I could understand where he was coming from as people from similar origins have the tendency of taking on the same features of each other – from hair colour to eyes, as well as the features which make them stand out from others such as height or bone structure or even how they speak or use certain phrases in their speech. There are little hintings towards our origins without even realising we’re giving away clues to our present or past.

Due to my migraines and my eye injury this October, I wasn’t able to read this story in full – however, the first four chapters were so illuminating towards the arc and journey Anna and Geesje were taking I felt as if I could predict how their lives would start to intersect and unite! It was such a warm-hearted insight into both their lives – especially as it was revealled in this opening bridge of the novel what stirred so strongly inside Anna’s heart – why she felt lost inside her relationship with her fiance and why she ached to learn about her birth parents and the origins of her birth if not strictly the country of her origins. I knew after the fourth chapter I had enough insight to head into Legacy of Mercy as this was tracking into a beautifully lovely saga following in Anna’s footsteps and building on the foundation set forth within Waves of Mercy. At my leisure this Autumn or Winter, I would love to re-explore Waves of Mercy and seeing for myself how Geesje and Anna’s paths finally united, though I suspected I might learn a bit about this as I moved into reading Legacy of Mercy!

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Blog Book Tour | “Legacy of Mercy” (Book Two: Waves of Mercy) by Lynn Austin An #INSPY Historical Fiction, I had the pleasure of becoming introduced by the prequel “Waves of Mercy” ahead of reading the sequel on the blog tour!Legacy of Mercy
by Lynn Austin
Source: Publisher via Prism Book Tours
Narrator: Rachel Botchan, Stina Nielsen, Suzanne Toren, Amanda Leigh Cobb, Laura Knight Keating, Andrea Gallo

She Knew Her New Life Would Not Be Easy,
But Nothing Could Prepare Her For What Waits Ahead

Having returned to Chicago, young socialite Anna Nicholson can't seem to focus on her upcoming marriage. The new information she's learned about her birth mother continues to pull at her, and she hires Pinkerton detectives to help her discover the whole truth.

But as she meets people who once knew her mother and hears stories about the past, Anna soon discovers that some secrets are better left hidden. With pressure mounting to keep the past quiet, she discovers daily that her choice to seek God's purpose for her life isn't as simple as she had hoped.

When things are at their darkest, Anna knows she can turn to her grandmother, Geesje de Jonge, back in Holland, Michigan. Geesje's been helping new Dutch immigrants--including a teen with a troubled history--adjust to America. She only hopes that her wisdom can help all these young people through the turmoil they face.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

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ISBN: 978-0764217630

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction


Published by Bethany House Publishers, Recorded Books

on 2nd October, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 400

Length: 12 hours and 17 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: Bethany House Publishers (@bethany_house)

an imprint of Baker Publishing Group

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Stories within the series Waves of Mercy:

Waves of Mercy by Lynn AustinLegacy of Mercy by Lynn Austin

Book One: Waves of Mercy (prequel) | Pub’d 4th October, 2016

Book Two: Legacy of Mercy

Converse via: #INSPYbooks, #INSPYHistFic, #INSPY or #HistRom

About Lynn Austin

Lynn Austin

Lynn Austin has sold more than one and a half million copies of her books worldwide. A former teacher who now writes and speaks full-time, she has won eight Christy Awards for her historical fiction. One of those novels, Hidden Places, has also been made into an Original Hallmark Channel movie. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and make their home in western Michigan.

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Posted Wednesday, 24 October, 2018 by jorielov in 19th Century, Adoption, Audiobook, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Christianity, Clever Turns of Phrase, Coming-Of Age, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Family Drama, Fathers and Daughters, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Historical Fiction, Immigrant Stories, Inheritance & Identity, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Intergenerational Saga, Knitting, Library Find, Life Shift, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Marriage of Convenience, Mental Health, Mid-West America, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-traditional characters, Pinkerton Detective | Pinkerton Agency, Prism Book Tours, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Self-Harm Practices, Small Towne Fiction, Story in Diary-Style Format, the Gilded Age, Widows & Widowers, Women's Fiction, Writing Style & Voice