Genre: Native American Fiction

6th #Blogoversary celebrating #Harlequin Heartwarming | Series Book Review feat. “Bachelor Remedy” and “In the Doctor’s Arms” (Book Five & Six: Seasons of Alaska) by Carol Ross Otherwise known as the small towne romance series Jorie has wickedly found #unputdownable! So much so, she nudged her Mum to read it!

Posted Sunday, 31 March, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , 0 Comments

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Borrowed Book By: I’ve been hosting for Prism Book Tours since September of 2017 – having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. As I enquired about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. 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 when I’m not showcasing book reviews on behalf of Harlequin Heartwarming which has become my second favourite imprint of Harlequin next to my beloved #LoveINSPIRED Suspense. I am also keenly happy PRISM hosts a variety of Indie Authors and INSPY Fiction novelists.

This particular review is slightly different from my regular blog tours and hosting features for Prism Book Tours – as an opportunity came along this March to secure a spot on a ‘review tour’ rather than a ‘blog tour’ for a novel within the Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross. I had previously read a novel by Ms Ross when I was attached to the five-book series “Return of the Blackwell Brothers” review tour wherein I read the entire series as a hostess for Prism Book Tours.

This time round – I borrowed most of the “Seasons of Alaska” book series through my local libraries – either through ILL (inter-library loan) and/or local borrowing opportunities as one of my libraries had more of the books in their local catalogue than the others. My readings of this series will be spilt into review showcases of two books in sequence leading into my review for the review tour of “In the Doctor’s Arms” which is the latest release for this Harlequin Heartwarming series.

We had a lot of flexibility with this review tour – we were not required to read the entire series, however, being a serial fiction reader who likes to read more of a series than less – I elected to seek out the series in full to be read before “In the Doctor’s Arms”. The author herself was kind enough to send me a copy of the one novel I couldn’t borrow through my library which is “Bachelor Remedy”. The scheduling of my readings and my review postings for this review tour are as follows: “Mountains Apart” and “A Case for Forgiveness” (post one); “If Not for a Bee” and “A Family Like Hannah’s” (post two) and “Bachelor Remedy” and “In the Doctor’s Arms” (post three) – the third of which will be featured on my 6th Blogoversary the 31st of March, 2019.

I decided to read all the stories in this series ‘blind’ – meaning, I didn’t read each of the synopsis’s before setting into the stories as I was reading them. I knew I could trust where Ms Ross would take me as I loved her instincts for Return of the Blackwell Brothers – therefore, it became a bit of a lovely adventure seeing how her characters within this new series would develop, strengthen and grow!

I received a complimentary copy of “Bachelor Remedy” and “In the Doctor’s Arms” direct from the author Carol Ross in exchange for an honest review.. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What I have been enjoying about reading the #SeasonsOfAlaska series:

I was so caught inside the evolution of Emily and Bering’s romance, I somehow missed seeing or even acknowledging Emily’s brother Aidan! This clearly was a character I ought to have taken a few notes about though as he’s making a return appearance whilst he also is not winning over Janie with his nonchalant attitude over a spoilt cake! I could almost see his reasoning about the bee which led to the cake fiasco but it how he was dismissing the obvious emotional reactions out of Janie and her son which felt like he was a bit clueless round the edges. Either that or he was just misconstruing the whole situation which wasn’t any kinder to the other parties involved.

Something told me this might have been a special cake for Gareth, Reagan and Janie – considering their father had died I was thinking this might have been a cake in his honour or it was for celebrating one of their birthdays or perhaps even, their twin siblings? Either way – the disappointment over what befell the cake’s demise was dearly felt by everyone except for Aidan, of course, who thought everything could simply be re-purchased or re-made. Clearly he hasn’t lived within set perimeters and the limits of food allergies to recognise how futile his attempts were at rectifying this particular upset.

Your heart simply goes out to Janie and her four sons; this cake meant something special to them and after you find out what the cake was representing you can re-feel the sense of emotions this young family has been struggling through over the years. Finding out Aidan is in Alaska because he’s an expert on bees shouldn’t have surprised me even though it had as being that bees are his field of experience, I would have thought he would have understood people’s hesitations about being too close to them? As a lot of people are seriously allergic to bee stings?

I never would have realised he was Emily’s brother – part of his personality is quite opposite of her own it didn’t quite seem like they were related! They both are seriously focused on their careers which they shared in common with one another and that single-mindedness was definitely a sibling trait of theirs as well.

I must admit, I’d love to take a table and experience the Cozy Caribu myself – though, mind, I’m not entirely sure if their menu includes some lovelies of the vegetarian kind but it is the ambiance Ross etched into this #musteat restaurant of Rankins which makes your mouth water whenever your making a return trip into this cosy small towne! It is the kind of haunt the locals love to be caught inside and it has the essence of a wicked good restaurant you can’t wait to experience for yourself! I could see why Aidan was immediately attracted to the place and why he felt like his foodie self had finally landed in a place where his palette would be treated to a lot of savoury delights!

Laughs with mirth! Immediately connecting with the antidote of Ms Ross’s life – as she shared how her family sees the positive even if life turnt into lemons and gave you a heck of a ride for adversity! Her example led me to remember when our car broke down in the Everglades (whilst we were on holiday with a short time window to appreciate our visit) – there is a spot down there where you can literally be stranded for hours due to how infrequent it is travelled at certain times of the day or night. It was before the golden twilight hours – in the heat of a humid Summer, where the mosquitoes and other lovelies were starting to emerge but the blessing for us like her, the storms of intensity were at bay and a kind Samaritan came to our rescue. We decided that perhaps our stay-over needed a small extension? And/or – perhaps our arrival to where we were heading needed a short delay? Whichever way you look at it – we were being watched over as later we learnt that stranded motorist on that stretch were notoriously having issues with people who had nefarious intentions. Blessedly we left that patch of road unscathed.

There are other instances of where I can relate to what she’s talking about, too. Where we choose how we set our attitude to get through our harder days, we immediately rejoice when life brings a spirit of joyfulness into our lives as well. We’re generally known as the positive-minded family or the ones with the cheerful spirits. Ironically, we do not oft hear this said of others – as wherever you are in life, your either going to have a wicked run of good days, a spurt of adverse days or perhaps somewhere betwixt the two – without the rougher patches, the sweetness of joy isn’t as appreciated as you learn through your experiences; good, bad or indifferent, life has a well of circumstances to take something away from,… which is why I felt I was identifying with what Ms Ross was sharing in her lovely author’s note. This might also point towards why reading this particular series is now in my top 3rd position of bookish love for Harlequin Heartwarming!

Ross has continued to etch out the families in Rankins to where you feel like you get an inside edge into knowing the major families who call this community their home. The James family (ie. Bering and Janie) have a stronghold in the towne but it is how their extended family, friends and their neighbours play such a distinctive role in their lives which makes returning here such a pleasant experience each time I settle into a new novel within the series! This time round it is due to how familiar I feel inside the series – being my third reading of the Seasons of Alaska series, I feel like Ross has carved out a place I have come to know quite well.

She has a keen sense of what makes the most interesting stories to knit into a Contemporary Romance but also does it with an uplifting insight of hope to encourage you forward into the series itself. Each time you soak into one of these stories, you feel your heart charged with the beauty of the setting but also the beauty of the people – they really are down to earth people who love their families and their community members. It is lovely to celebrate fiction like this and the other series I’ve become fond of within Harlequin Heartwarming who give me this same kind of takeaway – as these are the kinds of stories you can relax inside and know you’re going to be treated to a wickedly brilliant story within a larger arc of narrative that lets you root a bit in one particular place until the last of its story is told.

I love her instincts for rounding out her characters – for instance, within If Not for a Bee – one of the main interests of Janie is knitting. This is something I could insta-relate too being a knitter myself – from the calming influence of the patterns to the curious ways in which the tacticle benefits enrich your joy as your knitting with different fibres. I loved this portion of Janie’s life and I liked seeing how it developed throughout the story.

-quoted from my reviews of If Not for a Bee and A Case for Forgiveness

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6th Blogoversary banner created by Jorie in Canva. Jorie Loves A Story badge embedded in the banner was created by Ravven.

As you can see, I have a special announcement to share with those of whom enjoy visiting with me as I’m sharing my readerly life here on Jorie Loves A Story! Today [the 31st of March] marks the beginning of my 6th Year as a Book Blogger! I created Jorie Loves A Story in 2013 at the tail-end of March where it was only a whisper of a thought of what it *could become!* as I spent the next several months tweaking it, creating content and sorting out how I wanted to approach my own niche of a space in the book blogosphere.

It became quite the daring adventure – there was no blueprint to follow and I sorted out my writerly voice, the style of how I wanted to articulate my thoughts and ruminations inasmuch as I sorted out how I wanted the aesthetic of this space to ‘look’ – which is why I didn’t release this lovely blog of mine to the world until the 6th of August, 2013! However, for me both days are of keen importance – it was the 31st of March where I quite literally took the plunge, created [jorielovesastory.com] and began the journey. All bloggers have a beginning and this particular day marked my own. Hence why I celebrate both my blogoversary (31st of March) and my blog’s birthday (6th of August) each year. I’ve had parties thrown in their honour by my family and each year I get a lovely surprise – either bookish or lifestyle inclined from my fam as well! It is a special treat – this journey of mine, not just for the memories – the stories, the writers, the characters and the worlds – but the conversations online & off, the celebrations and milestones along the way and the beauty of taking a risk to sort out how to have a quasi-public life in-line with having a private one offline. It is a balance I’ve sought and feel I have claimed in the years since I first started walking down this path.

At the root and heart of what I love sharing is my readerly wanderings in literature – I’ve striven for better balance between what I request to review and what I personally want to read off my shelves – or borrow from my local libraries; something I still feel I am working ‘towards’ achieving rather than saying I’ve mastered the art of this bookish balance in my life! Laughs. One day, surely I’ll find that golden blissitude of joy knowing I’ve sorted it out! Til then, I love settling into stories which are both heartfelt and soul lifting – outside of my historical and suspenseful wanderings, I find a hearty joy in Speculative Fiction but in the background of my literary interests are Contemporaries and Classical wanderings. These two are the ones I’ve struggled with finding enroads with over the years but have thankfully made strides towards sorting out which Contemporary Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I can follow as they continue to write the stories I am most keen to be reading!

Last year, during my 5th Blogoversary, I focused on the joyful discovery of Kellie Coates Gilbert and shared my affection for INSPY Literature. This year, I am also highlighting a Contemporary novelist whilst I want to ring a bell of delight for the Harlequin Heartwarming writers who have given me such a burst of happiness in my readerly life these past few years! Specifically the authors behind the following series: Return of the Blackwell Brothers, Karen Rock of the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series, Ms Ross with Seasons of Alaska and Catherine Lanigan with her series Shores of Indian Lake. The next series I will be reading in earnest is Ms Lanigan’s as I am participating in the next novel in sequence’s blog tour. I want to back-read as many of the stories as I can as I’ve read the last two releases out of step with the fuller arc of her series.

Similar to what attracted me to the Contemporary Romances by ChocLitUK – the novelists behind Harlequin Heartwarming are writing the kinds of relationship-based romances my heart swoons to find! I also like the fact that unlike with ChocLit novels, there is one small difference which makes me feel a bit at ease seeking out the Heartwarming line a bit more frequently – the absence of strong language! There were a few Heartwarming stories where the language went strong but it is nothing compared to having to blink out a lot of language which are more inclusive to ChocLit novels. I’m just not that kind of girl – I’d much prefer to read a wicked awesomesauce romance without strong language than to have it peppered to death! I still have my favourite ChocLit authors who’ve touched my heart with their stories, their characters and their series – blessedly over the years, they know how fond I am of their writing styles – however, overall, I noticed a distinctive change in the direction of the ChocLit line of Romance.

Most of the Heartwarming stories are also set in small townes rather than large cities – this brings me to my second favourite bit of seeking them out – and let’s face it, there are so many lovely series in this Harlequin imprint, I could be seeking them out for the rest of my life just to read through them all and finding my top favourites! The small towne effect is something close to my bookish heart because instead of reading a one-off, you get the pleasure of joy of ‘staying with the characters’ as the stories not only evolve forward through the natural progressive evolution of their lives but such as you observe in Rankins with Ms Ross’s Seasons of Alaska – the towne and community grows behind them, too!

This 6th Year as a Book Blogger, I am overjoyed and grateful to being a blogger and reader working with Prism Book Tours as my time as a hostess for them has given me a renewed appreciation for Harlequin as previously I used to read their imprint Mira and other imprints of theirs which are now discontinued. I knew I was a solid appreciator of their #LoveINSPIRED Suspense novels – as this is a passion of joy I share with my Mum as we tag-team reading those all the time! In fact, Mum encouraged me to read those for ‘pleasure’ rather than for blogging purposes, which is why last July during a readathon for INSPY / Christian Fiction, I read quite a heap in that regard! I’m still a bit behind in the stories Mum’s read herself but our pursuit of those stories and series is a Mum and daughter scavenger hunt of joy!

Now I get to return the favour and am nudging Mum to read the Harlequin Heartwarming stories I’m enjoying myself! As initially I encouraged her to read #LoveINSPIRED Suspense as a method of decompressing her intensive work weeks as a caregiver for seniors – nowadays, we’re finding our readerly habits are a united front when it comes to Harlequin – both on the traditional side of the ledger and on the INSPY side! Since I first started reading Seasons of Alaska, she’s now finished Mountains Apart and we’ve been enjoying discussing both Rankins and the characters together!! The hardest bit though is being hush-hush about the details *til!* one of us gets to the end of all these stories we’re co-reading in tandem! Laughs. What a great challenge to have, eh?

Therefore – this 6th Year of mine is still a progressive journey towards readerly balance but also a renewal of celebration for seeking out Contemporaries which give my heart a burst of joy and a keen sense of readerly satisfaction knowing I’m finding the writers who make my heart swoon and give me that wicked good uplift for having read their romances! Here’s to a wonderful new year of romance and small towne fiction! I am overjoyed to have found this new imprint of bookish joy from Harlequin and I hope my showcases on my blog help encourage other readers seeking the same relationship-based romances I am to take a chance on these authors!

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Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross

Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross

Mountains Apart (book one)

A Case for Forgiveness (book two)

If Not for a Bee (book three)

A Family Like Hannah’s (book four)

Bachelor’s Remedy (book five)

In the Doctor’s Arms (book six)

Bachelor Remedy
Subtitle: Seasons of Alaska
by Carol Ross
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335633583

Also by this author: The Rancher's Twins, Mountains Apart, A Case for Forgiveness, If Not for a Bee, A Family Like Hannah's

Also in this series: Mountains Apart, A Case for Forgiveness, If Not for a Bee, A Family Like Hannah's


Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Native American Fiction


Setting: Alaska


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 3rd April, 2018

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming (@HarlequinBooks) | imprint of Harlequin

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin

& #SeasonsOfAlaska

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About Carol Ross

Carol Ross

USA Today bestselling author Carol Ross grew up in small town America right between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains, in a place where you can go deep sea fishing in the morning and then hit the ski slopes the same afternoon. The daughter of what is now known as free range parents, she developed a love of the outdoors at a very early age.

As a writer, Carol loves to breathe the life she has lived into the characters she creates, grateful for the “research material” that every questionable decision, adrenaline-charged misstep, and near-death experience has provided.

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Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Sunday, 31 March, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Family Drama, Family Life, Indie Author, Life Shift, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Small Towne Fiction

#HistoricalMondays | Book Review | “The Gift of the Seer” [long awaited sequel to “The Spirit Keeper” (2013)] by K.B. Laugheed

Posted Monday, 11 February, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

I am launching a new weekly featured concentration of book reviews on Jorie Loves A Story which celebrates my love and passion for the historical past! For those of whom are regular readers and visitors to my blog, you’ll denote a dedicated passion for reading Historical Fiction (and all the lovely segues of thematic therein) – I am a time traveller of the historical past every chance I get to disappear into a new era and/or century of exploration. There isn’t a time period I haven’t enjoyed ruminating over since [2013] and there are a heap of lovely timescapes I’ve yet to encounter.

This feature was inspired by the stories I’ve read, the stories I’ve yet to experience and the beauty of feeling interconnected to History through the representation of the past through the narratives being writ by today’s Historical Fiction authors. It is to those authors I owe a debt of gratitude for enlightening my bookish mind and my readerly heart with realistic characters, illuminating portals of living history and a purposeful intent on giving each of us a strong representation of ‘life’ which should never become dismissed, forgotten or erased.

I am beginning this feature with the sequel to a beloved historical novel I first read in [2013] – it was one of the first ARCs I received and it was the first year I was a book blogger though it was through a connection outside my life as a blogger. I am celebrating K.B. Laugheed’s literature to kick-off this feature and hopefully will inspire my followers to take this new weekly journey with me into the stories which are beckoning to read their narrative depths and find the words in which to express the thoughts I experienced as I read.

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Acquired Book By: In [2013] I was still participating in the Early Reviewer programme via Book Browse wherein I received an ARC for “The Spirit Keeper” – a new Historical Fiction narrative which sought to break boundaries of its genre and which captured me heart and soul as I read it. It was an emotionally gutting read, a historical reckoning of a story and it left me ruminatively curious about what the ‘next’ chapter of this extraordinary character’s life would be in the sequel. 

I decided to write an expanded review on my blog for my own edification after having contributed my Early Reviewer review to Book Browse – it was one of the few times I was able to do this even though there are a few other ARCs I received from Book Browse I’d like to still blog about in the near future which fittingly have more to be said on their behalf from my readerly experience.

Likewise, I also reached out to the author directly shortly after I posted my review in September of 2013; remember dear hearts, I launched my blog live on the 6th of August, 2013 – so this expanded review became one of the first officially celebrated novels of Jorie Loves A Story in the beginning of finding my writerly voice and my bookish presence in the book blogosphere. It pre-dated hosting blog tours and working with publishers, publicists and authors directly.

Although I remained in contact with the author a bit over the years – simply checking the status on the sequel or offering encouraging thoughts on writing it – I don’t consider this a conflict of interest as to be honest, it was not constant contact and we weren’t in contact on a regular basis nor did we touch base each year since 2013.

When I received an email from Ms Laugheed this past December, 2018 – to say I was pleasantly gobsmacked to have heard from her after a long absence of communication is putting it mildly! I was overjoyed – more for her than for me – as she was announcing the sequel was being published! She decided at long last to go the Indie route towards  publication and I was full of joy and happiness for her as this was a very long and dedicated route back to publishing a sequel I believed in as a reader (and there are others like me out there) but of which I wasn’t sure if any of us would get a chance to embrace it in published form.

Thereby, I did not hesitate to respond to her request to accept this new novel for review consideration – the only thing which delayed my entrance into its chapters was my five week Winter virus (from before Christmas to the early weeks of January, 2019) and my three successive migraines (from mid-January to early February). I read this immediately after recovering from my third migraine and was thrilled I could finally attach my mind and heart round the continuing journey of Katie and Hector!

I received a complimentary copy of “The Gift of the Seer” by the author K.B. Laugheed in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Re-visiting “The Spirit Keeper”

My original motivation to read the novel: I wanted to partake in her journey untoward becoming one man’s living vision of ‘a creature of fire and ice’ and to see if they could fulfill each other’s destinies therein. It is such a curious proposition, to be taken by force from one’s own family, and re-positioned into a life, by which, you’re in complete unfamiliar territory, amongst people who speak a different tongue than your own, and by your own wits, have to determine how to survive. I was curious by how she was going to effectively change her life and heart; and to what end she must do so! This felt to me like a piece of Magical Realism wrapped up inside a Historical Fiction, rooted into the conscience of the American Frontier! I was besotted with the plot, and needed to read it to ascertain what the story truly was about! The Spirit Keeper spoke to me, as a book I needed to read rather than merely a book I wanted to read! I listen to my intuition in other words!

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Ms Laugheed advised me to re-read “The Spirit Keeper” ahead of reading “The Gift of the Seer” – what I hadn’t the heart to tell her is my copy of the novel is packed as most of my personal library has been packed for the last four years. I couldn’t sort out which box it is held within if I had a compass as I literally have quite the expansive library being stored right now. This is one key reason why I can’t always re-read the novels I’m reviewing – as I only have a handful of books I’ve reviewed the past few years unpacked and shelved – most of which, are first or seconds in series, awaiting new releases to where I can turn back to and re-read a bit ahead of delving into the next installment. I did have The Spirit Keeper prominently shelved for quite a few years after it was released – it was only recently I had to make the hard choice to pack it away for safe keeping til I can restore my library back to rights.

Therefore, I did what any other book blogger would do in this situation – I borrowed a well-loved copy from my local library and as I re-entered the story, I was quite shocked by what I discovered! I hadn’t forgotten as much as I was expecting, too! I re-read the opening bridge of the novel – re-visiting how Katie was taken from her family, the traumatic transitioning into life with the Spirit Keeper and Hector as much as re-aligning in my mind the era this series is set and the mannerisms of how the story is told. As Ms Laugheed has a very distinctive style of historical story-telling; it is one reason I was hugged so dearly close into the story originally.

Secondly, as I noticed a lot of readerly flashbacks moving through my mind’s eye after that particular re-visitation – I immediately flipped to the last quarter of the novel, resumed as if I hadn’t been absent from this story for :six: long years and re-lived the concluding chapters, as fresh as dew on recently mowed grass. I seriously was re-captured by what was left behind for my eyes and heart to find – thereby, I knew with certainty I was prepared as I ever could be to re-enter Katie and Hector’s world.

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For those of you who might never have had the pleasure of joy reading this novel, let me select a few quotations from my original review – both from what I shared with Book Browse after first reading the ARC and what I expounded upon on Jorie Loves A Story thereafter.

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The inertia of reality that besots you as soon as you enter into the world of The Spirit Keeper, is quite a hard bullet to bite, because before you can wrap your eyes and heart around what your visually aware of, your niched into the story! I credit this to the author, as Laugheed endeavours you to jump straight out of your comfort zone, wholly free-falling into a brutal, raw, and untamed section of the American Frontier in the mid-1700s and take a quest towards unraveling the complexities of building a new life in a foreign land. The thematics that are entrenched in the story parlay an exposition on language, translation, and sense of being. She readily elevates our awareness that our words can draw an impact that is not always aware to us, but like the life paths we are walking, we are not always in charge of their meaning or purpose of use.

I will lament, that if you’re a reader who begs off for lighter faire, you might want to caution yourself, as within Chapter One, the author does not hold back on the grim realities of what it was like in the 1700s when an Indian War Party descended upon a settler’s family.

The beauty of the outside world envelopes you from the jump-start, as the open wilderness is the footing for setting this story outside the reach of our known world. Even for those of us who are akin to the natural environment and the inhabitants therein, there is still so much of that world that is readily just outside our scope, outside our understanding. The Native Americans who are on the forefront of the story, evoke a cultural education into accepting stark differences of living, as much as embracing traditions that hold merit  (such as the menstrual huts for women).

Flickerments of “Medicine Man” (the motion picture) streamed through my mind, as did “Dances with Wolves” (the motion picture), as in each story, those who only spoke English, learnt to adapt and to live amongst the natives by which they found themselves belonging too better than their own kind. I am drawn into stories that attach us to whole new cultures, traditions, religions, and walks of life. Stories that etch into our imaginations a wholly new world, where there are similarities, but otherwise, as we dip into their narratives, we find ourselves in a foreign land, attempting to understand what we cannot yet conceive possible.

An incredible journey of self-preservation, fortitude of spirit, and overwhelming grief: I was not quite prepared for the journey that Katie, Syawa, and Hector embark upon! It wasn’t so much the long distances that they must traverse through rough hewn terrain, but rather, they are each going through a personal, intimate, internal journey concurrent to their outward journey towards the men’s originating homeland! Each is carrying secrets of their own experiences, and in Katie’s instance, her life is muddled and blighted with far more devastation than anyone could ill-afford possible to a seventeen year old young lady!

Her lot in life has been tempered by abuse and misguided notions of love, unto where she has encouraged a naĂŻve sense of the living world, and has grown an ignorance of how right a life can be lived! I grieved for her and bleed emotions with her recollections of past memories,.. memories that were nearly too hard to bare and to ruminatively lay pause upon. It is through Syawa’s gentleness and effective way of easing her out of her shell, that she truly started to see who she was and who she could be. I only wish I could pronounce Syawa’s name, as I feel as guilty she does in her own story, about the misunderstandings that evolve out of not understanding language and meaning of words, phrases, or names outside our own native tongues!

Language & Translation: the Invisible Barriers we never foresee: Laugheed paints a clear window towards our greatest struggle in accepting and understanding each other, as we present ourselves to each other in our conversations! Each inflection of tone, voice, and the words we use to explain ourselves, can lead us down a path of misunderstanding and of misalignment in what we are attempting to represent as our thoughts, hopes, dreams, and passions. Throughout the story, we are seeing the story as a first-hand account of a diary the protagonist is writing to assert her own history back in her life, as she’s amongst those who do not understand the necessity of having a living history or a story to be told of one’s heritage. She values her experiences, her struggles of faith, and the lessons she is ought being taught as she walks forward into her future. She hasn’t had the easiest of lives, but she isn’t going to allow herself to wallow in the situations she could never effectively change, but rather, pull out a strength deep from within her, to carry her through the tribulations that she was certain were still to come.

Whilst she’s (Katie O’ Toole) recounting her days in her diary, I mused about how this differed from the diary of Robinson Crusoe as it contained more of her essence, her internal quagmire of thoughts, and the irrevocable distraught by which she plagued herself with for most of her arduous journey towards Syawa and Hector’s homeland. From the moment I read the opening page, by which the author departed a precognitive knowledge of how the story might transform as you read the words, I was left with a museful pre-occupation of how that would transpire, and further still, of one particular scene that I had presumed was forgotten within the re-writes and draughts, leading up to publication! However, this falls perfectly into this category of observation about ‘language and translation’, about how what we first perceive to be just and truth, can altogether change and alter, either by the different perception we’ve learnt through experience OR through reading a book that is quite unlike another! This book truly lives up to the proportions of what Laugheed mentions at the start gate: the words transcend their own meaning as you etch closer to the ending, the whole of the story is much larger than the sum of the parts as they are revealed!

In this way,  she is giving each of us to turn on our heels, the gross misconception of how we drink in words, knowledge, and observational data. The reader is very much at the heart of this story, and I think, is as central as Katie’s voice in re-telling her own history. What is humbling too, is how as our knowledge expands, the words that were once lost on us, as being completely irreverent suddenly take on new meanings, as they now evoke an ’emotion’, a ‘resolution’, or a ‘truth’ we did not understand previously. An Irish girl cast out into the wilderness of the wild frontier, with two Indian’s as her sole guides and protectors, makes for a curious precept initially, but it’s how they interact with each other, during the everyday hours, that Laugheed excels in not disappointing her reader! She never makes their interactions dull or predictable, because she has woven their personalities into the core of how they interact with each other! You pick up little character traits that come to play a larger part of the story as it threads through its climax, but inside these key portals of frontier life in campsites and canoes, you start to see how its possible to thread a new life together out of the ashes of the old! In this way, I was quietly savouring each exchange between the threesome, curious how they would come to depend on each other, and how they would draw strength by each others’ presence.

The art of story-telling plays a center part of The Spirit Keeper’s heart, but it’s the transformative power of understanding the words that are imparted throughout the story, that turn everything into a new light once the conclusion arrives. What the reader first mistook as a course of events, was truly a resounding precognitive journey that guided two characters forward into a future they would not have been strong enough to embrace otherwise. It’s the redemptive nature of grasping a hold of the essence of those who pass forward and away from our living world that is truly the most remarkable arc of the story! For we all have the ability to be a keeper of a spirit whose touched us deeply and left us remorseful for their presence! We only need the strength to transcend our perception and view our experiences from a different angle to see how the threads stitch together the pattern of our living tapestry!

An environmental conscience: Is cleverly hidden within the context of the story, but is one of the inclusions that I found to be the most illuminating to see!! I oft have found myself the most happiest amongst the trees, rivers, lakes, streams, and out-of-door hideaways that only a person can walk to find! Nature’s door is ever beckoning us to re-enter that sacred space between the natural world and the world by which we live as men. We are drawn towards nature as keenly as we are attached to water as a source of lifeblood, but it isn’t always an easy attachment to maintain, when the hectic nature of our lifestyles can circumvent our efforts to keep our hearts and souls aligned with the seasons and timescape of the natural world just past our windows! Laugheed draws a breath of vitality into the forest, where you can nearly hear the echoings of the trees, the rushing power of the rivers, and the harmonious tickings of the inhabitants therein. I appreciated that the animals that were killed in the book were used for what they could give back to the ones who fell them. I always respected this aspect of Native American beliefs, as they take what they need and only what they can use, at the time they go hunting. It’s a beautiful circle of life, as nothing is wasted and everything is respected. She wants you to see the beauty past what you expect to find whilst out in the deep woods, as the forest plays a fourth character or rather, that of a narrator that has not yet found its voice.

-quoted from my review of The Spirit Keeper

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#HistoricalMondays | Book Review | “The Gift of the Seer” [long awaited sequel to “The Spirit Keeper” (2013)] by K.B. LaugheedThe Gift of the Seer
by K.B. Laugheed
Source: Direct from Author

Katie O' Toole's epic adventure began in "The Spirit Keeper" (Plume 2013) when she was rescued from a 1747 frontier massacre only to find herself chosen as the "Spirit Keeper" of a dying Indian seer. She hesitated to accept this mysterious obligation until she fell in love with the Seer's bodyguard, an Indian man she called Hector.

Much has happened since my last writing,..

In The Gift of the Seer, Katie and Hector continue their journey across the continent, but the more Katie learns about the peculiar ways of her husband's people, the more she dreads arriving at their destination. Will anyone believe she is the Spirit Keeper she pretends to be? Equally troubling, Katie knows the Seer expected her to prove his Vision - a Vision which foretold of infinite Invaders coming to his world - but to prove this prophecy, she must give his people the great Gift he also predicted. The only problem is that Katie has no gift to give.

Years pass as she desperately searches for a way to fulfill her promise to the dead Seer, but when his former rival threatens to expose her as a fraud, Katie finally understands that her life and the life of all the people in her new world hang in the balance. That's when she knows she must give a Gift - she must - before it is too late.

Did you honestly think you could get so much and give nothing in return?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1732886216

Genres: Feminist Historical Fiction, Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Literary Fiction, Magical Realism, Native American Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Women's Studies


Published by Self Published Author

on 7th January, 2019

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 372

the spirit keeper duology:

The Spirit keeper & the gift of the seer

This is a Self-Published novel

Available Formats: Hardback, Paperback and Ebook

Converse on Twitter: #GiftOfTheSeer, #TheSpiritKeeper Sequel + #KBLaugheed
as well as #HistNov + #HistoricalFiction or #HistFic

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About K.B. Laugheed

The Gift of the Seer by K.B. Laugheed

K.B. Laugheed is an organic gardener and master naturalist who wrote her first published novel, The Spirit Keeper, as part penance for the sins of her family’s pioneer past, part tribute to all our ancestors, and part grandiose delusion as she hopes to remind modern Americans of the grim price we paid for the glorious life we take for granted today.

But The Spirit Keeper is not a story about guilt. It’s about gratitude.

The Gift of the Seer is officially available worldwide as it was published on the 7th of January, 2019.

To support the author directly, kindly consider purchasing her novels through her online store.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 11 February, 2019 by jorielov in #HistoricalMondays, #JorieLovesIndies, 18th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Browse, Book Review (non-blog tour), Brothers and Sisters, Bullies and the Bullied, Colonial America, Coming-Of Age, Content Note, Cultural & Religious Traditions, Cultural Heritage, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Diary Accountment of Life, Domestic Violence, Early Colonial America, Environmental Conscience, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, First Impressions, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Folklore, Genre-bender, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, History, Horror-Lite, Indie Author, Kidnapping or Unexplained Disappearances, Life Shift, Literary Fiction, Loss of an unbourne child, Magical Realism, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Midwives & Childbirth, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Motherhood | Parenthood, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Multicultural Marriages & Families, Native American Fiction, Native American Spirituality, Old World Arts & Crafts, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Prejudicial Bullying & Non-Tolerance, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Psychological Abuse, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Self-Published Author, Siblings, Sisterhood friendships, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Social Change, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Story in Diary-Style Format, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, Taboo Relationships & Romance, Terminal Illness &/or Cancer, The American Frontier, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Unexpected Pregnancy, Vulgarity in Literature, Wilderness Adventures, Women's Health

*Release Day* The Spirit Keeper by K.B. Laugheed |A Ruminative Tome of Introspective Freedom

Posted Tuesday, 24 September, 2013 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

The Spirit Keeper by K.B. Laugheed

Published By: Plume, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), 24 September 2013
Official Author Websites:  Site | Twitter | Facebook
Available Formats: Softcover
Page Count: 352

Converse on Twitter: #TheSpiritKeeper

The Spirit Keeper on Book Browse
Excerpt on Penguin Group’s site

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comAcquired Book By: Book Browse First Impressions Programme: I received a complimentary ARC in exchange for my honest review on Book Browse from the publisher Plume. The Spirit Keeper was amongst the offerings for August 2013, as this book will be published 24th of September 2013. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared therein or herein.

Initially I Wanted to Read: I wanted to partake in her journey untoward becoming one man’s living vision of ‘a creature of fire and ice’ and to see if they could fulfill each other’s destinies therein. It is such a curious proposition, to be taken by force from one’s own family, and re-positioned into a life, by which, you’re in complete unfamiliar territory, amongst people who speak a different tongue than your own, and by your own wits, have to determine how to survive. I was curious by how she was going to effectively change her life and heart; and to what end she must do so! This felt to me like a piece of Magical Realism wrapped up inside a Historical Fiction, rooted into the conscience of the American Frontier! I was besotted with the plot, and needed to read it to ascertain what the story truly was about! The Spirit Keeper spoke to me, as a book I needed to read rather than merely a book I wanted to read! I listen to my intuition in other words!

Inspired to Share: The book trailer for The Spirit Keeper, keeps the atmospheric liltings of the novel fully intact! The fiery crimson hair and pure, glistening blue eyes of Katie O’ Toole are visually represented as well!

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“The Spirit Keeper” by K.B. Laugheed Book Trailer by Penguin Group (USA)

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A brutal and savage world envelopes you as you dip into this narrative: Within the opening sequences, I was at first, rather taken aback by the imagery that was greeting me, and on reflection of the story’s arc, I shook off my fright, and realised, how else could it have been writ!? I warmed a bit to the ensuing exchanges, and limited my scope of the worst bits that would befall Katie’s family, as I am not one who endeavours to be explicitly aware of such horrific events! I was much more keen to arrive at the heart of the story, by which, I had first been curious to read! The bit about how an ordinary girl suddenly finds herself in the middle of an extraordinary journey! I will lament, that if you’re a reader who begs off for lighter faire, you might want to caution yourself, as within Chapter One, the author does not hold back on the grim realities of what it was like in the 1700s when an Indian War Party descended upon a settler’s family.

Flickerments of “Medicine Man” (the motion picture) streamed through my mind, as did “Dances with Wolves” (the motion picture), as in each story, those who only spoke English, learnt to adapt and to live amongst the natives by which they found themselves belonging too better than their own kind. I am drawn into stories that attach us to whole new cultures, traditions, religions, and walks of life. Stories that etch into our imaginations a wholly new world, where there are similarities, but otherwise, as we dip into their narratives, we find ourselves in a foreign land, attempting to understand what we cannot yet conceive possible.

Whilst in the opening chapters of her journey, with her new traveling companions, they reached a village of Native Americans, by which, upheld the custom of women’s huts. I had first learnt of this tradition awhile ago, but the memory of where and how is lost to me! More readily to depart is that the same sequence of knowledge was included in my reading of The Forest Lover, which was a selection of mine for Bout of Books, 8.0! I am still in-progress with that particular book, but what I found fascinating is the depictions of this ritual that both authors gave to their readers! I will be attaching an article about these huts, as I find it rather curious how intimate and safe they truly were for women! They achieved a heightened sense of freedom in asking questions and conversing on topics that might not otherwise have been considered kosher in their everyday lives!

An incredible journey of self-preservation, fortitude of spirit, and overwhelming grief: I was not quite prepared for the journey that Katie, Syawa, and Hector embark upon! It wasn’t so much the long distances that they must traverse through rough hewn terrain, but rather, they are each going through a personal, intimate, internal journey concurrent to their outward journey towards the men’s originating homeland! Each is carrying secrets of their own experiences, and in Katie’s instance, her life is muddled and blighted with far more devastation than anyone could ill-afford possible to a seventeen year old young lady!  Her lot in life has been tempered by abuse and misguided notions of love, unto where she has encouraged a naĂŻve sense of the living world, and has grown an ignorance of how right a life can be lived! I grieved for her and bleed emotions with her recollections of past memories,.. memories that were nearly too hard to bare and to ruminatively lay pause upon. It is through Syawa’s gentleness and effective way of easing her out of her shell, that she truly started to see who she was and who she could be. I only wish I could pronounce Syawa’s name, as I feel as guilty she does in her own story, about the misunderstandings that evolve out of not understanding language and meaning of words, phrases, or names outside our own native tongues! Read More

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Posted Tuesday, 24 September, 2013 by jorielov in 18th Century, Book Browse, Book Trailer, Debut Novel, Diary Accountment of Life, Early Colonial America, Environmental Conscience, Equality In Literature, First Impressions, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Native American Fiction, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, That Friday Blog Hop, The American Frontier