Format: Trade Paperback

Blog Book Tour | “Starving Hearts” and “Never Past Hope” by Janine Mendenhall

Posted Friday, 14 December, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish created by Jorie in Canva.

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In keeping with the change of name for my Romance & Women’s Fiction Twitter chat [@SatBookChat previously known as @ChocLitSaturday] – I am announcing a change of features here on Jorie Loves A Story. Since January, 2014 I carved out a niche of focus which I named #ChocLitSaturdays as I have felt the best time to read romantic and dramatic stories are the weekends. This spun into a Twitter chat featuring the authors of ChocLit whilst I supplied weekly topics which would appeal to readers, writers and book bloggers alike. We grew into our own Saturday tribe of chatters – then, somewhere round the time of my father’s stroke in late [2016] and the forthcoming year of [2017] I started to feel less inspired to host the chat.

I had new plans to re-invent the chat in its new incantation as @SatBookChat but I also wanted to re-invent the complimentary showcases on my blog which would reflect the diversity of stories, authors and publishers I would be featuring on the chat itself. As at the root and heart of #ChocLitSaturday the chat were the stories I was reading which complimented the conversations.

After a difficult year for [personal health & wellness] this 2018, I began anew this Autumn – selecting the stories to resume where I left off featuring the Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I am discovering to read whilst highlighting a story by the author I am chatting with during #SatBookChat. Every (forthcoming) Saturday will feature a different author who writes either Romance or Women’s Fiction – wherein I concluded the year of hosting @SatBook during October & November featuring special guest authors whose stories I have either read, were reading or had hoped to read in the future if their newer releases. Going forward, the reviews on Saturdays might inspire the topics in the forthcoming chats or they might be directly connected to the current guest author.

Our holiday break for the month of December will find us resuming #SatBookChat the week after New Year’s, 2019 where new guests and new stories will lay down the foundation of inspiring the topics, the conversations and the bookish recommendations towards promoting Romance & Women’s Fiction.

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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 enquried 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 “Starving Hearts” direct from the author Janine Mendenhall in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read “Starving Hearts” & “Never Past Hope”
and why life didn’t seem to want to give me a break in order to read them:

I have penchant for reading INSPY Fiction – I’ve been a hybrid reader of mainstream and INSPY Fiction since I was a young girl, finding myself attracted to both branches of literature, as to me they are two halves of a whole rather than two seemingly separate enterprises concurrently releasing titles each year. I try to keep a ready eye out on #newtomeauthors of INSPY narratives I feel are either a) going to be uplifting to read or b) are going to give me a wicked good thrill of a read! This is why in July I had such a heap of fun talking about what I was reading during the Christian & Clean Fiction Reading Safari as I was reading authors who publish under the #LoveINSPIRED Suspense imprint from Harlequin! I read a bit outside that imprint as well – but what I loved most was the chilling reading atmospheres of the novels! They had just enough wicked thrills to leave me on the edge of my seat but they pulled back just ‘enough’ to where I felt more uplifted than fatigued reading them! I also loved the fact they were writ under an INSPY imprint and were dearly free of any other concerns I might have had due to content issues.

Shortly after the novels arrived however, my life turnt a bit upside down. To the brink where I lost too many hours to read both novels for the tour and had to reschedule my stop on the tour! My Mum came down with one of those naughty viruses going round – whilst my Dad had a medical emergency the week of the tour spending time in the ER where I consumed copious amounts of cookies (courtesy of the volunteer staff who watch over families/individuals waiting in ERs) and a few cuppas of coffee. I, tried to dodge the virus as best as I could but I was fatigued and exhausted by battling it which is why I was resting quite a heap in the week prior to the tour beginning. On top of all this, our car had a bad tire due to a road hazard and that became a slight nightmare in of itself to resolve which is why my hopes of reading both stories on Thursday (the 13th) flew out the window as I needed to help my parents transition through the week’s unexpected woes instead.

I was able to get back on my blog and settled into my reading chair late into the night on Thursday which in reality was really (early!) on Friday morning! Until, unfortunately life caught up with me – I had a migraine which felt dearly impossible to shake and it made reading extremely difficult. I took a long rest and by the time I woke up, I had to battle through heavy rains and high winds to help my parents with a few necessary errands late in the afternoon / early evening of Friday. I’m accustomed to rainshowers they go with the region, however, what I’m never experienced before are these kind of freezing rains as it proved to be too much for my system to handle! It was late on Friday night when I could finally resume my readings of Starving Hearts though sadly the virus was overtaking rather quickly! You really can catch a cold out in the rain! Or, at least in my case, if your trying to hope not to catch a virus its not the best way to avoid one! I threw in the towel when the heat in the house wasn’t enough to warm me and I felt like my whole body was in shock!

I know it sounds horrid – but what I really wanted to do was have a bit of normalcy in my life – just to get a chance to sit and think about characters and a story felt rather ideal as my emotions were a wreck as much as I was exhausted by life. You know how you just reach your fill and need some downtime? This is why I kept trying to read the stories whilst trying to get through life’s emergencies this week. Unfortunately, I had to take care of myself before I could read Starving Hearts in full and I do regret I basically missed the blog tour as a result.

Thereby, I’m trying to read these stories back to back – releasing my thoughts on behalf of Starving Hearts on Saturday (part of my #SaturdaysAreBookish feature) and posting my thoughts on behalf of Never Past Hope on Sunday/Monday (depends on how I feel) – due to this, I’ll be featuring a few snippets of insight from the rest of the tour below this review as Saturday is the day we’re celebrating the tour itself where everyone gets to have a light shine on their blogs for one final go round! I do apologise if you’ve been following the tour and wondered ‘where is Jorie?’ – let’s just say Jorie ‘had a week’ to end all weeks and is thankful she can have a relaxing bookish weekend!

Specifically what interested me though is the fact this is another release and author originating from a publisher I’ve come to trust as one of my favourites for INSPY Fiction! As you might remember my passion for the series Jennifer Lamont Leo is publishing with them! It is wonderful when you can find new stories by a publisher you’ve come to trust and look forward with anticipation for reading the next new author who might become another beloved favourite!

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Blog Book Tour | “Starving Hearts” and “Never Past Hope” by Janine MendenhallStarving Hearts
Subtitle: Triangular Trade Trilogy
by Janine Mendenhall
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Carol Award Finalist | Selah Award Finalist

Plagued by nightmares, Annette yearns to find her anonymous rescuer — the man who saved her life from a near deadly assault. Deep inside she is starving for companionship and a mutually respectful relationship. When Mr. Peter Adsley, an abolitionist pastor dealing with his own emotional baggage, agrees to a clandestine meeting, the event appears providential. But self-doubt, deception, and the schemes of a mutual enemy threaten to keep the pair apart. A phantom adversary will stop at nothing to win Annette’s dowry for himself, even if it means killing Peter.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781938499845

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


Published by Heritage Beacon Fiction

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 290

Published by: Heritage Beacon Fiction

an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (@LPCTweets)

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

Triangular Trade Trilogy:

Starving Hearts by Janine MendenhallNever Past Hope by Janine Mendenhall

Converse via: #INSPYbooks, #INSPY, #HistRom

About Janine Mendenhall

Janine Mendenhall Photo Credit: https://www.photosbycassie.com/

I love losing myself somewhere in time with Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice or a number of other classics like Jane Eyre and Redeeming Love. I cry over most things Nicholas Sparks (because they usually end sadly) and Amazing Grace,, both the movie and the hymn, because they lead to the Ultimate happily ever after.

Photo Credit: Photos by Cassie

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 14 December, 2018 by jorielov in #SaturdaysAreBookish, 18th Century, Agnostic (Questioning & Searching or Unsure), Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Content Note, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Prism Book Tours, Questioning Faith as a Teen, Romance Fiction

#SaturdaysAreBookish | “The War Between Us” by Sarah Creviston Lee

Posted Saturday, 8 December, 2018 by jorielov , , 4 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish created by Jorie in Canva.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

In keeping with the change of name for my Romance & Women’s Fiction Twitter chat [@SatBookChat previously known as @ChocLitSaturday] – I am announcing a change of features here on Jorie Loves A Story. Since January, 2014 I carved out a niche of focus which I named #ChocLitSaturdays as I have felt the best time to read romantic and dramatic stories are the weekends. This spun into a Twitter chat featuring the authors of ChocLit whilst I supplied weekly topics which would appeal to readers, writers and book bloggers alike. We grew into our own Saturday tribe of chatters – then, somewhere round the time of my father’s stroke in late [2016] and the forthcoming year of [2017] I started to feel less inspired to host the chat.

I had new plans to re-invent the chat in its new incantation as @SatBookChat but I also wanted to re-invent the complimentary showcases on my blog which would reflect the diversity of stories, authors and publishers I would be featuring on the chat itself. As at the root and heart of #ChocLitSaturday the chat were the stories I was reading which complimented the conversations.

After a difficult year for [personal health & wellness] this 2018, I began anew this Autumn – selecting the stories to resume where I left off featuring the Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I am discovering to read whilst highlighting a story by the author I am chatting with during #SatBookChat. Every (forthcoming) Saturday will feature a different author who writes either Romance or Women’s Fiction – wherein I concluded the year of hosting @SatBook during October & November featuring special guest authors whose stories I have either read, were reading or had hoped to read in the future if their newer releases. Going forward, the reviews on Saturdays might inspire the topics in the forthcoming chats or they might be directly connected to the current guest author.

Our holiday break for the month of December will find us resuming #SatBookChat the week after New Year’s, 2019 where new guests and new stories will lay down the foundation of inspiring the topics, the conversations and the bookish recommendations towards promoting Romance & Women’s Fiction.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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 War Between Us” direct from the author Sarah Creviston Lee 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 author:

What is interesting is the story within The War Between Us was directly inspired by the author’s Great Aunt and Uncle, though, her Aunt married a Chinese man during the war era not  Korean, which is where history and the novel take their separate directions. What is curious is how her Great Aunt went against convention and traditionalism at a time in our history where being independently different was challenging. I also, noticed it was quite lovely to think her Great Aunt was inspired to take a risk in love due to a book she had read – as it speaks to the embodiment of life bubbling inside the pages of the stories we’re reading – of how, stories themselves can ignite inspiration for life and how sometimes, it is the stories which guide us forward.

The artfulness of her attention to details and the clever passageways she took towards researching this novel was wonderful to read about – as I especially love when authors go into a bit of detail about how their stories took shape. There is a process behind the words – of where the research encourages the writer deepen into the heart of the narrative – which you can clearly see is true of Ms Lee as you read the Appendixes of this novel. She happily shares all the little bits of real life vs fictional life with you – from how she sourced her information to how she fell in love with war era rationing cooking!

I also hadn’t heard V-Mail described as easily as she had herself – as it gave a better impression of why it was was a preferred way of writing correspondences during the war and how it helped everyone stay in touch far faster than traditionally posted letters! It was these kinds of tidbits which made reading the end pages of the novel ahead of the story itself a charming way of feeling introduced to the writer’s style, her inspiring story of what fuelled her passion for writing this novel and all the curious bits we, as writers, discover along the path of carving out a story from the ethos of our imaginations!

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#SaturdaysAreBookish | “The War Between Us” by Sarah Creviston LeeThe War Between Us
by Sarah Creviston Lee
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Alex Moon is not the enemy.

Six months after Pearl Harbor’s tragedy, Korean American Alex Moon is sent away from his home in California for refusing his father’s request to join the fight against the Japanese. On his journey, Alex is attacked and stranded in the small town of River Bluff, Indiana just for looking like America’s most hated enemy.

Unexpectedly, Alex is befriended by a local girl, Lonnie Hamilton, who comes to his defense, saving him from doubt and despair while placing herself in the cross hairs of prejudice. Alex falls in love with his ally—a love that is clearly forbidden. Torn between his dual identities, Korean and American, and grappling with how everyone sees him, Alex must wage the war within himself—of defending who he is, resolving his tortured feelings about the war, and fighting for the woman he loves.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781516988679

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, War Drama


Published by Self Published Author

on 14th December, 2015

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 330

Self-Published Author

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Sarah Creviston Lee

Sarah Creviston Lee

Sarah Creviston Lee was born and raised as a proud Hoosier. She can usually be found tinkering in the kitchen with WWII ration recipes, haunting local antique shops, homeschooling her kids, clacking away on her laptop writing one story or another, or watching old school movies with her family.

She currently lives in Maryland with her husband, three children, and flock of feisty chickens.

In 2016, her book, The War Between Us, received the Editor’s Choice Award from the Historical Novel Society.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Saturday, 8 December, 2018 by jorielov in #SaturdaysAreBookish, 20th Century, Aftermath of World War II, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, the Forties, The World Wars

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

Posted Sunday, 25 November, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 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 LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780062444134

Also by this author: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

Also in this series: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet


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) | Add to LibraryThing

A Closed and Common Orbit (book two) | Add to LibraryThing

Record of a Spaceborn Few (book three) | Add to LibraryThing

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, 25 November, 2018 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Content Note, Dystopian, Fantasy Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, 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, Vulgarity in Literature

#ThanksgivingReadathon | as #JorieReads and discovers her *first!* book hug: “A Mortal Song” by Megan Crewe

Posted Wednesday, 21 November, 2018 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

#ThanksgivingReadathon badge created by Jorie in Canva

This lovely readathon is hosted by Jackie @DeathbyTsundoku

You can find the Announcement Page on her lovely blog!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

There are some stories which feel as if their world is not wholly unfamiliar to us, as if our first entrance into their setting is a returnt visit rather than the initial immersion! This is how I felt about reading A Mortal Song. The story which was unfolding right before my eyes was the kind of story you truly are hopeful to discover – where the author & the world they’ve left behind for us to find is achingly lush and spilling out into your imagination as if you’ve crossed this fantastical threshold many times and have become so familiar with what you’d see, you do not need a guide nor a map in hand to find your way again.

Of all the stories I borrowed from the libraries, this was the one I was most anxious about – I had no idea if it would even arrive in time, as I had to fetch it through inter-library loan – so imagine my happiness in finding it amongst the #libraryhaul selections I collected just ahead of the #ThanksgivingReadathon getting underway! It felt rather kismet – I was meant to read this story right now and it was a story which would evoke such an awareness of itself inside my mind, if I had been able too – I would have truly done as I tweeted: forsaken sleep and DEVOURED it straight-through on Wednesday night!

However, as I revealled on my #ThanksgivingReadathon TBR post – a serious back injury prevented me from being able to sit, type and read for any length of time. Hence why I grabbed an hour here or a few hours there between Wednesday & Friday to where I could chisel down my library holds into the thirteen stories I was most anxious to read in full! A Mortal Song simply percolated to the top of the list as soon as the world gave me something I was seeker as a reader who loves to #EnterTheFantastic whenever she can!

Nothing about Thanksgiving week went according to plan – not in the hours to read, not in the hours to plan a Thanksgiving feast and surely not, the ‘day’ in which we’d celebrate Thanksgiving. For starters, Mum was called into extra & double shifts – blessedly, our family is the most adaptive when it comes to holidays, as it was something we were always doing when my Dad worked as his industry was 24/7 as much as Mum’s is now. We decided we could cook the bird on Friday and feast after her shift; which turnt into cooking the bird from 8p to 1a on Friday rather than the morning/afternoon until after a double shift we decided a lighter dinner of chicken melted cheese sandwiches was closer to being a cosy comfort than a full-on turkey dinner with the fixings! Thereby, we re-shifted our plans once again – to where the bird is cooking happily in the oven (today) which is Saturday, by 7a the day of the #Mythothon chat! (hence why I’m trying to get two of my posts up on my blog ahead of it!)

Travelling back to Wednesday, a day and night which altered itself per hour – Mum and I found ourselves in a neighbouring towne, shopping for last minute bits for Thanksgiving and our weekly groceries – as sometimes, you just want a switch-up from going to your regular local haunts as it can become a strain of familiarity. Not to mention, our local shoppes and stores were more Grinch than Eggnog cheer this year; so by switching cities, we were able to find the ‘jolly’ we were dearly missing otherwise!

It was here, amongst free samples from cooking demos, bakery delights & deli specials we found our little cozy comfort of joyfulness the holidays generally exhume into our lives!! It was on our return trip where everything went slightly haywire – we passed by a petrol station and that is where our lungs & our eyes were inundated by a petrol leak! It contaminated the air in the car & I personally could not breathe – I have horrid environmental & seasonal allergies – which wasn’t helping at all to curb the smell – as I was trying to breathe through my shirt (and failing miserably!), I told Mum to head towards the diner which was slightly outside of the city back towards home.

There was wood smoke outside and petrol in the car – ironically enough with a biting chill to the air which gave us the most hope of all the smell would erase whilst we were tucked into the warmth of the diner. This is after hours for most places – well past the hour you’d think a place would be open but it is one of those dives you can’t help but return due to a kind-hearted staff and cosy comfortable foods! I grabbed all the bags full of our food choices and slammed the doors to walk in the brisk air and try not to hyperventilate in a delayed panic reaction to lack of breath!

As we made our ways into the front section of the diner (as who knew they’d be slammed the day before Thanksgiving?) – we settled in for coffee and conversation, as what is better than recovering from such a horrid and putrid air attack than coffee & a fireside chat!? I looked at the side dish menu of the day and spied a favourite: fried okra! Ooh, yes, please! We ordered a basket (which was plenty to share for two hungry foodies!) with bleu cheese dressing (beyond YUM) and had an unlimited mug of java to keep the conversation flowing!

The interesting bit is one of the waiters thought I was hyper excited due to the coffee – what he failed to know though is I’m naturally hyper and coffee actually has the reverse effect on me – it calms me down to my bones! I was so chill it was hilarious! What he mistook for coffee induced reactions is I was seriously on a high of love for A Mortal Song as I had just spent a considerable amount of time fully animated (with hand gestures!) discussing the ENTIRE 25 pages I had read earlier in the day!!

I wanted Mum to experience what I had experienced – thus, I tucked straight in- talking about the kami – from the crane and the monkey; commenting I hadn’t realised monkeys would be so keen for styling hair til Mum reminded me that Steve Irwin (we’ve been thrilled to bits the Irwin’s are back with their new show “Crikey! Its the Irwins” which we’re LOVING) met an orangutan who not only climbed down the tree – *he played with his hair* – I added! Ooh, I had forgotten that!

We didn’t even see the crowd in the diner, nor realise about twenty minutes went past before my mug was re-filled as they were making fresh decaf (I like to drink half/half so I’m not drinking straight fully loaded cuppas) – we were so invested in the moment, the height of the revelations and the curiosity of what is coming *after!* those first twenty-five pages! I am not even sure if anyone overheard us if they would understand the conversation as I was even delving into how Sora could morph dimensionally through solid rock of Mt Fuji!!

I’ll never forget Wednesday – the best gift I gave myself was participating in the #ThanksgivingReadathon – similar to July when I was participating in the INSPY Reads readathon – I’ve noticed, sometimes I need a proper nudge to get me back into the stories I most desire to read. Sometimes I need to pull myself out of my routines and rhythms and simply focus on a niche of literature I’m either wholly passionate about (like INSPY) or keenly curious over (such as Mythological After Canon Fiction) – it allows you to step through literature in a condensed state of concentration and walk out the other side with a renewed passion for reading, discovery of the stories and a better sense of who you are as you evolve through a new heightened layer of being an inquisitive and intuitive reader!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

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My #25PagePreview of the VERY first #Mythothon story which gave me such a warm bookish hug & inspired me to have a coffee klatch discussing it as if the pages were re-illuminating in front of my cuppa!

during the 2018 #ThanksgivingReadathon !!

A Mortal Song badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit jorielovesastory.com

A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe

was happily #borrowed via my local #library!

It ought to go without saying, but I am sharing my bookish ruminations for my own edification but also in a continued method of sharing my bookish life to help my readers find their own #mustreads and follow my own readerly journey into the stories I’m reading myself. I was not compensated for sharing my opinions and thoughts herein.

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A Mortal Song
by Megan Crewe
Source: Borrowed from local library (ILL)

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780995216907

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Mythological Fantasy, YA Fantasy


Published by Another World Press

on 13th September, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 380

Site | @megancrewe | Pub’d by Another World Press
*Ill’d (inter-library loan)
Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #ThanksgivingReadathon 2018
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Posted Wednesday, 21 November, 2018 by jorielov in #ThanskgivingReadathon, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, RALs | Thons via Blogs

Blog Book Tour | “A Pivotal Right” (Book Two: Shaking the Tree series) by K.A. Servian with recollections and thoughts on behalf of (book one) “A Moral Compass”

Posted Monday, 19 November, 2018 by jorielov , , , 2 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! When I saw this was a series in-progress, I submitted a purchase request at my library for the first novel “A Moral Compass” which was accepted and I happily had the chance to read the first novel before moving into the sequel. I decided to share my thoughts on the first installment for my own edification as much as continuing to share my readerly life with readers of my blog. I was not obliged to post my opinions or thoughts and likewise was not compensated for their inclusion.

I received a complimentary copy of “A Pivotal Right” direct from the author K.A. Servian in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On reading ‘A Moral Compass’: the first installment

You truly are attached to the approach Servian makes to alight inside the world of this young woman – travelling abroad, facing tempests of rage on the sea with her father and her brother. As this was writ in an Epistolary styling, you feel even closer to her ordeal as emotionally, Servian has her readers well by entrusting us with the truth straight out of the gate without softening the directness of what must be told. When travelling by ship, it is hard to reconcile loss – cast off so far from where you started your journey and not even yet arrived to where you were destined; it is a loss on all fronts, and this is what made the opening pages so very dramatic to read! You can instantly connect with the protagonist – not just for the heartache but the desolation and uncertainty which follows.

I appreciated the poet nature of Servian, to tuck us close inside how Florence perceives the world inasmuch as how she internalises her experiences. It is lovely to find an author such as this whose a wordsmith who can deepen the historical backdrop by placing us inside the eloquence of sophisticated depictions and declarations. I love finding this style – it is one of my favourites for reading Historicals as the writers who marry the older variants of speech and historic detail whilst consuming our minds with an enlightening plot are the ones who hold my attention the most!

Time continues to shift forward as we settle into the relationship being built between Florence and Emile. Theirs was a relationship forged out of a circumstance that by default of the customs of their day ought not to have happened as it was against social norms. There are moments like these where you truly see how restrictive women were and how despite the earnest interest of men, they did not have as much freedom to pursue someone they were keen on growing attached unless they could come up with a few creative ways to ensure their rendezvous.

Why brothers would even consider to dilute the love of their sisters is unknown, though in truth I believe he was trying to save her feelings and her heart; knowing the extent of their father’s distrust of the French. For Florence had falling in love with a Frenchman and her secreted relationship was clearly against all boundaries of society – the fact her brother aided her attempts to see this man was telling. For he had his own reasons to keep Florence’s secret and that in of itself spoke volumes about his own character inasmuch as his morals.

There is a moment in the early pages where we first learn what A Moral Compass encompasses and how it cross-relates into the narrative itself. Despite knowing the definition used and how it is brokering to affect the connection Florence shares with Emile, what is critical to note is how interesting it is limited to only one point of view and places the blame on women when it takes two to make a relationship. Both of Florence and Emile had chosen to go against the rules of their own houses in order to let the sparks between grow into a mutually accounted love affair. They knew what they were doing and they still decided to go against convention – it is not just a question of morality and spiritual enlightenment but rather, what is the truer cost of living in the height of the moment in pursuit of (perceived) true love?

I had to smile – the Bracknells were such an unexpected delight! The kind of neighbours Florence and her brother needed in New Zealand! I agree with Florence, the choice in relocation felt odd but if you stacked the oddity of its location against the crimes their father was guilty of committing – it felt like it was the only place he could secure them a future without society’s long arm of judgement reaching them. As soon as they arrived – not to an established farm but a shack on watery ground, I knew it was going to grow even more interesting from here!

This is a story broaching a heavier topic of what happens when your fate is reversed, where your safety nets are erased and where you have only your wit, grit and determination to turn round the clock on what has suddenly become your new normalcy of life. For Florence it was nearly too much to overturn and yet, here her brother was suddenly finding himself empowered to make a go of the place. It proves that sometimes a change as radical as the one they were experiencing now is enough to give someone a swift kick in the right direction after living a life on the rails!

When Jack entered the picture, your heart went out to him as he was talking about the prejudices of the English against the Scots; he, being of the latter, it was a proper shock to him that these issues were crossing the ocean and finding him in New Zealand. An honest trader by trade, he was intending to set-up his own shoppe and create a foundation on the reputation he had with his customers; except to say, not everything goes according to this ideal plan! Whilst making his final rounds and seeing the Bracknell’s before moving straight into Wellington, he comes across Florence and her ill-gotten brother. The brother of course, has made a deal against her and even forsaken the land in which they inherited from their late father. To think even this small ounce of land was stolen by cards and the drink which aches to be consumed by her brother, even Florence had reach a tipping point in what she could handle.

By the time she learnt of the deal associating her with Jack, she was wretched beyond what her nerves could handle and it did not surprise me she went straight to Mrs Bracknell to see if she could ink out a different path for her to endure. This was a hard land – a country still finding itself towards civilisation and with all the hardships of the American West; where you have colonists and natives at odds with each other, re-pleat with the distrust and the animosity that went with it.

Here we can understand why Florence is hesitating to accept Jack but without his mercy, I am unsure how long she thinks she can last as she has already withered away to mere bone and slackened skin. Her heart might be strong but without the proper nutrition and a way to make a living, her fate is nearly sealed to the grave without any further action on her behalf. For Jack, you can truly see he was changed by what he found when he came across the two – living as they were and finding that their naivety and their distrust was slowly churning into their doom.

Shortly after I wrote these notes, I became so dearly attached to the dramatic upheavals of Florence and Jack’s lives – I stopped writing down my reactions! It is hard to even put into words how gutting it was to read what became of them and how, through a lot of sinister and under-handed goings-on outside their control, they ultimately were dealt a hard fate to swallow! There were portions of their lives which I felt were a bit slightly over the top – there were separations I felt which were unnecessary past the first one – where truly, it was sounding more fictional than realistic; even so, I couldn’t stop reading the story!

What staid with me the most is how Florence truly staid a woman of her faith, strongly attached to her moral convictions and each time life sought to destroy her, she proved her fragility was only of the surface. She was a remarkable woman of strength, seeking to right the sails of her life even when everything was shattering round her and that I think, is a testament of how not allowing adversity to best you. Even when it felt there was no recourse for what she knew and what she had witnessed, she still found a way to redeem herself. She never gave up the hope of finding out what became of Jack – a part of her I think never truly let go of him. How unkind it was for them to truly become separated not out of a lack of love or commitment but due to the actions of others who were acting on their behalf without even a measure of remorse for those actions.

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Blog Book Tour | “A Pivotal Right” (Book Two: Shaking the Tree series) by K.A. Servian with recollections and thoughts on behalf of (book one) “A Moral Compass”A Pivotal Right
by K.A. Servian
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Florence struggled for breath as she stared into the face of a ghost. “Jack?”

Twenty years after being forced apart Jack and Florence have been offered a second chance at love. But can they find their way back to each other through all the misunderstandings, guilt and pain?

And what of their daughter, Viola? Her plan to become a doctor is based on the belief she has inherited her gift her medicine from Emile, the man she believed was her father. How will she reconcile her future with the discovery that she is Jack’s child?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780473449698

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, War Drama


Published by Self Published Author

on 15th August, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 428

Shaking the Tree series:

The Moral Compass (book one)

Add to LibraryThing | Borrow from a Library

A Pivotal Right (book two)

Converse via: #ShakingTheTree + #HistFic or #HistNov

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About K.A. Servian

K.A. Servian

As a life-long creative, Kathy gained qualifications in fashion design, applied design to fabric and jewelry making and enjoyed a twenty-year-plus career in the fashion and applied arts industries as a pattern maker, designer and owner of her own clothing and jewelry labels.

She then discovered a love of teaching and began passing on the skills accumulated over the years’ design, pattern-making, sewing, Art Clay Silver, screen-printing and machine embroidery to name a few.

Creative writing started as a self-dare to see if she had the chops to write a manuscript. Writing quickly became an obsession and Kathy’s first novel, Peak Hill, which was developed from the original manuscript, was a finalist in the Romance Writers of New Zealand Pacific Hearts Full Manuscript contest in 2016.

Kathy now squeezes full-time study for an advanced diploma in creative writing in around working on her novels, knocking out the occasional short story, teaching part-time and being a wife and mother.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 19 November, 2018 by jorielov in 19th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Diary Accountment of Life, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Feminine Heroism, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Story in Diary-Style Format, the Victorian era, Vulgarity in Literature, War Drama