Genre: Memoir

Blog Book Tour | A Poetic Memoir within the poetry collection of “Who’s Your Daddy” by Arisa White

Posted Wednesday, 21 April, 2021 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Non Fiction Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By:

I have been hosting for Poetic Book Tours for a few years now, where I am finding myself encouraged to seek out collections of poetry or incredible fiction being published through Small Trade publishers and presses. I have an Indie spirit and mentality as a writer and I appreciate finding authors who are writing creative works through Indie resources as I find Indies have a special spirit about them. It is a joy to work with Poetic Book Tours for their resilience in seeking out voices in Literature which others might overlook and thereby, increasing my own awareness of these beautiful lyrical voices in the craft.

I received a complimentary copy of “Who’s Your Daddy” direct from the publisher Augury Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Re-visiting what I loved about reading Arisa White’s poetry:

As you disappear into the mind of Ms White – you see how raw and visually acute she leaves behind her impressions of not only sexuality but of life – of the differences between cultures and the mindfulness of sensing what is not yet spoken aloud. She has a way of intuiting what is meant to be understood out of the recesses of memory whilst augmenting her own experiences against that of what is perceived by others of being a truth they could accept by their own observations. She tucks into the hearty topics of our world – whilst owning the rawer bits that are not always spoken about – in poetry or in everyday conversations.

White etches out her own authentic truth and the truth of everyone seeking to find love, compassion, acceptance and beauty in their life. She humbling approaches her poetry with the intrinsically of a woman who breathes a lifeblood of passion for living and the joy of embracing each new day as one full of possibility. Some of the poems are hard to read due to their emotional conviction and others, are a bit more sublime in how they can articulate the moment of life being captured within their poetic home. There is an umbrage of living narrative running throughout the collection that celebrates how life is lived and deeply felt whilst granting us a view of a passage of life different from our own.

-quoted from my review of You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened

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Blog Book Tour | A Poetic Memoir within the poetry collection of “Who’s Your Daddy” by Arisa WhiteWho's Your Daddy
by Arisa White (2021)
Source: Publisher via Poetic Book Tours

A lyrical, genre-bending coming-of-age tale featuring a queer, Black, Guyanese American woman who, while seeking to define her own place in the world, negotiates an estranged relationship with her father.

Genres: LGBTQIA Fiction, Non-Fiction, Memoir, Poetry & Drama



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781936767618

Published by Augury Books

on 1st March, 2021

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 137

Published By: Augury Books (@augurybooks)

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #Poetry

About Arisa White (2021)

Arisa White Photo Credit: by Nye Lyn Tho

Arisa White is a Cave Canem fellow and an assistant professor of creative writing at Colby College. She is the author of four books, including the poetry collection You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, and coauthor of Biddy Mason Speaks Up, winner of the Maine Literary Book Award for Young People’s Literature and the Nautilus Book Award Gold Medal for Middle Grade Nonfiction. She serves on the board of directors for Foglifter and Nomadic Press.

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Posted Wednesday, 21 April, 2021 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Introspective Literary Fiction, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Memoir, Modern Day, Non-Fiction, Poetic Book Tours, Poetry, Vignettes of Real Life, Vulgarity in Literature

A Non-Fiction Audiobook Review | “My Life in Plants” (Flowers I’ve Loved, Herbs I’ve Grown, and Houseplants I’ve Killed on the Way to Finding Myself) by Katie Vaz, narrated by Taylor Meskimen courtesy of #NetGalley

Posted Thursday, 3 September, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#AudioReads banner created by Jorie in Canva. Unsplash Photography (Creative Commons Zero) Photo Credit: Alice Moore

Acquired Book By: Earlier this year, in late Winter (February) I joined NetGalley for the first time as they finally announced they were going to be offering full-length audiobooks for reviewers. I was never able to join NetGalley due to having chronic migraines and being unable to read ebooks. I started requesting audiobooks to review as soon as they opened their audiobook catalogue in July, 2020. I am an eclectic reader and thereby, you will see all genres in Fiction explored from both markets of interest: mainstream and INSPY as well as from Major Trade, Indie Publishers & Press and other routes of publication, too. There might be the occasional Non-Fiction title appearing in my NetGalley queue of reviews as well. This marks a new adventure for me seeking stories for review consideration and I look forward to seeing where the stories lead me to venture.

I received a complimentary digital and temporary audiobook copy of “My Life in Plants” direct from the publisher Andrews McMeel Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All audiobooks via NetGalley are able to be heard via the NetGalley Shelf which is why I was thankful to be gifted an android tablet by my parents to celebrate my 7th Blog Birthday on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: As a new reviewer on NetGalley, I’m sorting out how to get the Press Materials for each of the audiobooks I’m reviewing when I share them on my blog Jorie Loves A Story. When I contacted NetGalley Support they informed me if a separate Press Kit is not included on the audiobook’s book page we’re allowed as reviewers to use the book cover and synopsis provided when we go to share our review of that audiobook on our blogs; as long as we give attribution as I have done at the bottom of this review in “Sources”. Those materials are provided with permission of the publishers to be used by reviewers via NetGalley.

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

Why I was intrigued to listen to
“My Life in Plants”:

What first drew me into wanting to hear this story about one woman’s life centred round the plants which populated her memories was the fact I needed a segue story to resume my current reading queue as the world’s news headlines were getting to me this week. We all have our level of tolerances for how much news we can sustainably read before it all becomes a bit too much to filter and this week, my tolerances simply vacated.

I decided to see if I could find a short audiobook about something completely outside my own purview as a reader and as an audiobook listener to where it would be a dynamic shift outside my current wanderings as much as be a story I could get behind because of its own authentic voice to tell its own story. What I found was a curiously titled Memoir about a woman who stored her memories from the seeds and experiences she had with plants. To me that was a wholly original concept and I wanted to follow in her stead!

What I found was a thought-inducing Memoir which helps you think about your own life as your listening to her adventures whilst finding inspiration along the way. The only downside for me (despite how much I loved this book!) is that some of the chapters and snippets of her life are quite on the shortened end of the spectrum – so don’t be too surprised if you’re hugged into one of her memories and suddenly that chapter ends!Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

A Non-Fiction Audiobook Review | “My Life in Plants” (Flowers I’ve Loved, Herbs I’ve Grown, and Houseplants I’ve Killed on the Way to Finding Myself) by Katie Vaz, narrated by Taylor Meskimen courtesy of #NetGalleyMy Life in Plants
Subtitle: Flowers I've Loved, Herbs I've Grown, and Houseplants I've Killed on the Way to Finding Myself
by Katie Vaz
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Katie Vaz
Source: Audiobook Direct from Publisher via NetGalley
Narrator: Taylor Meskimen

From stumpy potted houseplants to intricate and delicate flower arrangements, My Life in Plants is a heartfelt, honest memoir that intertwines the complex nature of houseplants with a journey of self-discovery.

From Katie Vaz, author of Don’t Worry, Eat Cake, the beloved Make Yourself Cozy, and The Escape Manual for Introverts, comes My Life in Plants. Her newest book tells the story of her life through the thirty-nine plants that have played both leading and supporting roles, from her childhood to her wedding day. Plants include a homegrown wildflower bouquet wrapped in duct tape that she carried on stage at age three, to a fragrant basil plant that brought her and her kitchen back to life after grief. The stories are personal, poignant, heartwarming, and relatable, and will prompt readers to recall plants of their own that have been witness to both the amazing moments of life and the ordinary ones. This illustrated memoir covers the simplicity of home, the sharpness of loss, the lesson of learning to be present, and the journey of finding your way.

Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Botany, Horticulture, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Self-Improvement & Self-Actualisation



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781524864019

ASIN: B08FJFKJDC

Published by Andrews McMeel Audio, Andrews McMeel Publishing

on 1st September, 2020

Format: Audiobook | Digital Review Copy (NetGalley)

Length: 1 Hour, 36 Minutes, 58 Seconds (unabridged)

Published By: Andrews McMeel Audio
an imprint of Andrews McMeel Publishing (@AndrewsMcMeel)

Genre(s) of Interest: Non-Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, Self-Help and Botany
as well as Gardening & Horticulture and Foodie centric memories

Formats Available: Hardback, Audiobook and Ebook

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7th Annual Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

This story received my award for Best Non-Fiction: Memoir.

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Enjoy a preview of the artwork in the book!:

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

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 3 September, 2020 by jorielov in 21st Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Anthology Collection of Stories, Audiobook, Autobiographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Book Review (non-blog tour), Botany, Diary Accountment of Life, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Horticulture, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Journal, Memoir, Modern Day, NetGalley, Non-Fiction, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Short Stories or Essays, Vignettes of Real Life

Author Q&A | Speaking with Jim Turner about his inspiration for reaching out to other ‘disconnected men’ and finding purpose within his message to effect change in others.

Posted Thursday, 1 March, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

You might have remembered a very personal reaction to my readings of “The Disconnected Man”, as not only could I find takeaways which cross-applied to my own experiences of having disconnected men in my family – what was quite interesting as I continued to think about the subject after I finished reading Mr Turner’s book is how it is true – there are some women who are also emotionally disconnected as I had experienced this as well. Therefore, it truly is an inspiring book to be reading – if only to better understand those who see and experience life differently from those of us who are emotionally connected to everything.

I wanted to start a conversation on my blog with Mr Turner which would examine what inspired him to draw the idea of the book together but also, to reach out to him and see if he could explain how this particular topic is not just of an interest of his but how this should be something everyone takes stock of and finds an a reason to become involved with how it affects more lives than you might first imagine it could. I am a strong believer in how books – Fiction or Non-Fiction – are beautiful gateways into encouraging empathy and compassion, of expanding our world-view and of giving us a path towards understanding those who are different from us. Books are a way of understanding something we might feel confused about or something we never truly knew existed until the subject was broached by an author who understood the subject well enough to make it palatable for us to feel a connection with as well. In essence, if we have an open-mind, through reading we constantly learn & grown dynamically throughout our lives.

I wanted to take a moment to have Mr Turner share his thoughts with us as an anchour to revealling my readerly reactions wherein I left behind a personal response as the book was evocative of my own experiences of striving towards better patience & humility to better understand how & why men who are disconnected need us to take extra measures to not allow our frustrations to turn to feeling bitter or left behind. You’ll have to read my ruminative thoughts to better understand why I connect to the message of The Disconnected Man – however, today, it is Mr Turner who is imparting a bit of clarity about how he approached writing his book.

I look forward to reading your responses & I am thankful I could chat with Mr Turner giving you an insightful conversation to read! Remember: brew a cuppa & enjoy your visit!

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Mr Turner did not disappoint me with his frank and earnest approach to piecing together this condition of being emotionally removed from all aspects of a lived life – except to say, no one is keenly that far removed from their experiences – it’s simply a matter of how each of us approaches how to process our experiences. Of how we shape our emotional reactions and if we choose to share those bits of ourselves with others – there are layers of vulnerability not everyone is comfortable with revealling to the outside world – this in effect is one cause of disconnection.

At the end of Chapter Two is a beautiful pause of thought in how to approach the men who are disconnected in your own life. From my own experiences – leading into a conversations head-on about something that is affecting a loved one’s life hasn’t been the best approach to be honest! If anything, it’s been the wrong way round completely! I take after my Mum and the rest of the women in my family – we like a more direct approach – of understanding what is going on and how we can focus our energies on either fixing it or repairing it – depending on what it is exactly that is affecting us. We’d rather know what we can ‘do’ rather than sit and wait to see how things will resolve without taking action. This isn’t just physical action – it’s also through our own walk in prayer and our own conversations with God. Of seeking out our internal wellness even if we’re working on a physical bout of unwellness – yet, I’ve noted that not everyone likes to know exactly what is wrong or how something they are afflicted with actually has a definition and ‘name’. Some take the longer approach to resolving whatever it is they are conflicted with and that in of itself is also (at times) frustrating for others in the family.

This is a beautiful primer for women who are frustrated with the men in their lives who are not translating their emotions into their conversations and are not being ‘present’ in their lives in an emotionally connectable way. For men, I think it might take them a bit longer to accept the message and to consider the implications – of how staying disconnected truly isn’t advantageous to them because it allows them to live superficially removed from the people who are important in their lives.

As I was reading the story about Mr Turner, I was cross-comparing his journey with those men in my lives I know this condition relates to directly. There are commonalities and there are differences as everyone is individually unique unto themselves and of course, on a different path from one another as well. What was pivotal and insightful is how he presented the case for disconnection becoming the mainstay in our society and how there are more disconnected men than there are connected men.

-quoted from my review of “The Disconnected Man”

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Author Q&A | Speaking with Jim Turner about his inspiration for reaching out to other ‘disconnected men’ and finding purpose within his message to effect change in others.Author Q&A (The Disconnected Man)
Subtitle: breaking down walls and restoring intimacy with him

THE DISCONNECTED MAN tracks the journey of one man's surprise discovery of his own disconnectedness and his desire to help other men, and the women who love them, before it is too late.

Disconnected men hide out in plain view: in our churches, in our families and in our communities. They are competent, capable men who quietly 'do their duty' and attract little attention. They are fairly happy guys, relatively unemotional and capable of carrying heavy loads of responsibility, but are very difficult to get to know beyond superficial friendship. A closer examination inside their marriages reveals a desert strewn with emotionally emaciated spouses. While their competence may build the church, organize a group, or run a company, they haven't the slightest notion how to connect intimately with those they love. Their wives suffer, usually in silence, while the church and culture press past this couple secretly falling apart.

Jim Turner was that disconnected man going about his life, happily fulfilling his duty within his own self-protective bubble, until God suddenly burst it in a most horrific way. His story starts when that devastation left him clinging precariously to the remaining shreds of his broken marriage. Jim longs to share with other disconnected men what he learned through that ordeal, to help them understand their disobedience and show how they can achieve real connection with those they love.


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781478975649

on 12th December, 2017

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

Formats Available: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

Converse via: #INSPYbooks, #NonFiction #SelfHelp & #TheDisconnectedMan

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What did you initially do to change your disconnected life from the moment you realized this was something which was going to adversely affect the rest of your life?

Turner responds: I wish I had a really clever answer to this question. I mostly fumbled around in a blank haze initially. I didn’t know what to do. Once the fog started lifting and I had spent enough time praying and asking God to help me, I started with my adult children. I sat them down and asked them for help. I told them what I had discovered about myself, that I really didn’t know how to do relationships, and asked them to teach me, keep me accountable, and even rebuke me when they saw me fail. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done. My kids have taught me a great deal about relating and being emotionally available!

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Posted Thursday, 1 March, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host, Christianity, FaithWords, Family Life, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Modern Day, Spirituality & Metaphysics

Non-Fiction Book Review | “The Disconnected Man” by Jim Turner

Posted Tuesday, 13 February, 2018 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

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

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

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

What drew me into reading this story:

I am sure like most families, the subject of this book is going to ring true of the men you’ve known all of your life – not all of them, but the ones who struggle with connecting emotionally and being emotionally vulnerable to how they connect to others. At least, this is true of my family. When I read the premise of this memoir which is written like a self-help guide for men (and women who have disconnected men in their lives) I had a suspicion it was a well-timed release I ought to be reading straight-away! And, I did begin it within a short period of time of receiving it – had I not been as afflicted by health issues the latter half of 2017, I might have honestly had the chance to share my thoughts on this story before the close of December!

What was very empowering about the authentic nature of the voice inside the book is how openly raw the writer is sharing his story about disconnecting. There was only one small fraction of the book I didn’t feel fit as well with the purpose behind it (which I outlined below my review) – as it seemed to take away from the momentum which began very early on in the Introduction – yet even with this small wrinkle, the joy for me was reading a book which was so incredibly clarifying about a quite maddening reality so many of us face whilst trying to understand why some of us disconnect whilst the rest of us are permanently connected.

I highly encourage everyone who feels they can relate to the context of this memoir to take a leap of faith and read it. It might not only change your perspective about the foundational issues affecting this condition of being emotionally distant from others but it strikes the heart of the reader for endeavouring to talk openly about a subject not many would feel comfortable broaching in private much less in such a public forum of discussion. I applaud the author for taking a bold step and sharing his story to better enable all of us to best understand those who cannot share a part of themselves as openly as the rest of us.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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Non-Fiction Book Review | “The Disconnected Man” by Jim TurnerThe Disconnected Man
Subtitle: breaking down walls and restoring intimacy with him

THE DISCONNECTED MAN tracks the journey of one man's surprise discovery of his own disconnectedness and his desire to help other men, and the women who love them, before it is too late.

Disconnected men hide out in plain view: in our churches, in our families and in our communities. They are competent, capable men who quietly 'do their duty' and attract little attention. They are fairly happy guys, relatively unemotional and capable of carrying heavy loads of responsibility, but are very difficult to get to know beyond superficial friendship. A closer examination inside their marriages reveals a desert strewn with emotionally emaciated spouses. While their competence may build the church, organize a group, or run a company, they haven't the slightest notion how to connect intimately with those they love. Their wives suffer, usually in silence, while the church and culture press past this couple secretly falling apart.

Jim Turner was that disconnected man going about his life, happily fulfilling his duty within his own self-protective bubble, until God suddenly burst it in a most horrific way. His story starts when that devastation left him clinging precariously to the remaining shreds of his broken marriage. Jim longs to share with other disconnected men what he learned through that ordeal, to help them understand their disobedience and show how they can achieve real connection with those they love.


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781478975649

on 12th December, 2017

Pages: 160

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

Formats Available: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

Converse via: #INSPYbooks, #NonFiction #SelfHelp & #TheDisconnectedMan

About Jim Turner

Jim Turner

Jim Turner has been in youth or pastoral ministry for over twenty-five years and has personally experienced the pain and damage caused by disconnection. He is divorced as a direct result of his former disconnection, father of four incredible young adults, and now remarried and living in the delight of being truly connected with his wife. He has individually fought the battle to overcome disconnection and has entered into rich and fruitful relationships that reflect the commands of Christ for intimacy with Him and His followers. He "gets it" now and wants everyone else to join him!

Jim is also the author of SO-CALLED CHRISTIAN, and coauthor of the discipleme discipleship workbooks (and soon to be released app) based on the need for disciple leaders to develop connected relationships with disciples rather than simply teaching them lessons.

Jim, his wife Tanya, and their blended family of ten children (only seven still at home!) live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. They enjoy music, theater, beach trips, great food, entertaining friends and family, and most of all being together!

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Posted Tuesday, 13 February, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host, Christianity, FaithWords, Family Life, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Modern Day, Spirituality & Metaphysics