Genre: Non-Fiction

Author Interview | Conversing with Rojé Augustin about her poetic dramatic release: “Out of No Way: Madam CJ Walker & A’Lelia Walker”

Posted Wednesday, 28 October, 2020 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva. Updated version July 2020.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I love seeking out Biographical Historical Fiction stories in order to better understand the persons who’ve lived before me and to have an interpersonal glimpse into their lives – which is why I seek out an equal amount of Biopics in motion pictures to watch as well. This is how I came to watch the Netflix original mini-series “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam CJ Walker”. (see also Wikipedia) Coincidentally, this aired whilst I was preparing my interview questions for this blog tour and thankfully it gave me an inside glimpse into the back-history of what inspired this poetic drama by the author.

Those of us on the tour received a PDF copy of the story by Ms Augustin – as you know, due to my chronic migraines, I cannot read stories electronically but I do sometimes read chapter samplers of stories online to gather a bit about a writer’s style and to better understand what the story might yield in print when I go to read it in a format better suited for me. In this instance, as I was moving through the PDF to find a section to preview for my interview questions I noticed there are photographs included with this story. I wanted to post an advisory on my tour stop that if you are a sensitive reader one photograph did concern me as it actually shows a lynching which I was not personally expecting to be included myself.

Outside of that photograph, the few sections I previewed helped inspire this conversation and I was thankful to have this copy of the book to use in my research to present a better rounded picture of what inspired the poet to create this dramatic story about the Walkers and how the Walkers are continuing to inspire everyone who finds their story. This is a well-timed conversation as many are still watching “Self Made” and I know others are regularly chatting about Madam CJ Walker and the impact she had on both industry and women-led companies who re-wrote what a woman can accomplish in whichever endeavour of business she chooses to become involved and find success.

I found watching “Self Made” to be an incredible story of both internal strength and belief in one’s self to pursue your own dreams and goals in life whilst embracing the fortitude one needs as a woman to achieve the impossible in a male-dominated world. There is so much truth in this mini-series about what women have faced in different generations to overcome the oppression of yesterday – it is a rising light of how hard we have had to fight for what we have as women of industry as much as how hard it is to build a brand when the concept for the brand isn’t one that everyone wants to embrace.

I loved the fact Octavia Spencer had the lead role in bringing Madam CJ Walker to life as I loved her performance and her instincts for telling Walker’s story. I have long admired her acting and am wicked thankful she is now in high demand as she deserves to continue to get these kinds of roles where she can shine such a wonderful light on the characters I feel she was bourne to portray! She’s just a wicked good actress and its a delight to see her in roles which I feel are strengthened due to how she’s approached them as an actress.

I also feel we are undeserved as both readers and citizens not to embrace more of the diversity of our country and of the persons who have made historical impacts on our society. We have such a beautiful diverse citizenship and yet, a lot of the historical stories which need to be told are never brought to light. I am thankful Walker’s story is finally coming into the mainstream in order to reach a broader audience but I have always maintained we need more stories about living histories of all persons in our country’s past in order to have a better rounded view of our History. All voices and lives need representation and all lives are important to be heard and shared.

It is an absolute joy for me to highlight the life and history of Madam CJ Walker and to share this interview on the blog tour celebrating her life and story. I hope you will walk away with some inspiration for your own life as much as have a better understanding of what Madam CJ Walker had to endure in order to reach for her dreams and bring to reality the world she saw in her dreams.

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Author Interview | Conversing with Rojé Augustin about her poetic dramatic release: “Out of No Way: Madam CJ Walker & A’Lelia Walker”Out of No Way
Subtitle: Madam CJ Walker and A'Lelia Walker : A Poetic Drama
by Rojé Augustin
Source: Author via Poetic Book Tours

Author, producer, and emerging poet Rojé Augustin has written a groundbreaking debut collection of dramatic poems about hair care entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker and her daughter, A'Lelia. Rojé's singular and accomplished work is presented through the intimate lens of the mother-daughter relationship via different poetic forms — from lyric to haiku, blackout to narrative. (One poem takes its inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven.) Written in tribute to Walker, Out of No Way deftly and beautifully explores themes of race, motherhood, sacrifice, beauty, and the meaning of success in Jim Crow America.

Born Sarah Breedlove to former Louisiana slaves in 1867, Madam C.J. Walker was orphaned at seven, married at 14, became a mother at 17, and was widowed at 20. After the death of her first husband, Sarah moved to St. Louis with her daughter where she earned $1.50 a day as a washerwoman. When her hair started falling out she developed a remedy and sold her formula across the country. In the process, she became the wealthiest Negro woman in America.

Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Poetry & Drama, Women's Studies


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Published by Self Published

Format: epub | PDF editon

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Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

NOTE: I do want to advise readers about a content warning in regards to a photograph inclusive of this release which does show a lynching which took me by surprise as well.

Converse via: #NonFiction, #Biography and #Poetry Drama
& #MadamCJWalker and #ALeliaWalker

About Rojé Augustin

Rojé Augustin

Rojé Augustin is a native New Yorker who grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Her first novel, The Unraveling of Bebe Jones, won the 2013 National Indie Excellence Award in African American fiction. She wrote the novel while living in London and Sydney as a stay-at-home-mom. Rojé continues to work as a producer while also writing in her spare time. She currently lives in Sydney with her husband and two daughters.

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Posted Wednesday, 28 October, 2020 by jorielov in A'Lelia Walker, African-American History, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Dramatic Poetry, Indie Author, Madam CJ Walker, Memoir, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Poetic Book Tours, Poetry, Vignettes of Real Life

An #EnterTheFantastic Author Interview | feat. “Lost and Waiting” by Amanda Read which has a heart of the natural world set within a Magical Realism world!

Posted Sunday, 25 October, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva. Updated version July 2020.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

As I previously disclosed on my spotlight about “Tree Magic” – I have a soul connection to the natural world. I am a nature and wildlife photographer as well – as being out in nature is soul lifting as much as it is inspiring. You have to stand still in order to see the natural world as it is living in harmony with our world but is slightly removed from our time scales as well. If you’ve ever caught a squirrel eating a nut and realised the trance they were in without ‘seeing’ you until they were finished you see the veil between the natural world’s rhythm and our own synchronicity with nature.

I have regularly spoken about the natural world on Jorie Loves A Story – from the stories I am reading to the context of the stories which seek to bring an ecological mindset and heart for conservation onto my blog because I believe strongly those stories are necessary for today’s world. Not just due to the climatic changes we’re all experiencing but to help re-connect readers with the knowledge about the natural ecosystems they might overlook and not be as familiar with as I have become myself. Knowledge is the first step towards change and to remain connected to the connectivity of how the natural world and our world intersect is one step closer to finding better balance in how to keep Earth a healthier place.

Today, I am wicked thankful I can bring you this conversation I had with the author of “Lost and Waiting” – especially on the fringes of experiencing the loss of trees in my neighbourhood due to the nausating ways in which city planners due not consider the natural world in their plans for progress. I shared a *thread about this on my social feeds on Twitter in case anyone is curious. However, I regularly seek out literature which has a soulful connection to the natural world as I readily love to champion those stories and to help carry a torch for others to seek out similar stories for themselves.

If you love fantastical stories featuring Magical Realism plots and the curious connections between nature and humans, I think this might be a good fit for you as a reader as I feel it is for myself. Likewise, I recently spotlighted “Tree Magic” and am in the process of reading it ahead of sharing an interview with the author on the “Tree Slayer” blog tour. One of my favourite stories I’ve read involving the natural world was when I reviewed The Kinship of Clover. As much as I loved The Walking Fish for Middle Grade readers who are just discovering the natural world round them.

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An #EnterTheFantastic Author Interview | feat. “Lost and Waiting” by Amanda Read which has a heart of the natural world set within a Magical Realism world!Lost and Waiting
by Amanda Read
Source: Chapter Sampler

When Evangeline comes across a Victorian plant hunter’s journal at Kew, it is the sign she’s been waiting for. Its author, Edwin ‘Chile’ Morgan, claims to have discovered a living myth: the World Tree. Morgan’s words share life lessons and reflections on the natural world, offering Evangeline a way to overcome the grief of a stillbirth.

With journal in hand, Evangeline sets off to Chile on a journey in search of the tree at the centre of all: heaven, life and the afterlife. In her way are an unprincipled pharmaceutical multinational, an oil company set on deforestation, and an enigmatic art aficionado whose interest in her takes an unsettling turn.

A genre-bending adventure.

Genres: Biological Diversity, Botany, Ecology, Epistolary | Diaries and Journals, Horticulture, Magical Realism, Sci-Fantasy


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1838534110

on 26th June, 2020

Format: Chapter Sampler | Online

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This is a Self-Published novel.
I love celebrating Self-Pub stories on Jorie Loves A Story!

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #MagicalRealism, #Nature and #Genrebender
as well as #LoveBooksTours & #LostAndWaiting

About Amanda Read

Amanda Read

Amanda Read is a novelist and short story writer. She was awarded the MA in Creative Writing, with distinction, from Bath Spa University.

In an earlier life, she received a Royal Horticultural Society Fellowship through which she trained as a plant taxonomist/systematist at the University of Reading, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Natural History Museum, London.

Amanda lives with her husband in rural Wiltshire, UK, where she can be spotted hot on the heels of Carlos and Carmen, the border terriers. She works as an agricultural research programme manager for international development.

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Posted Sunday, 25 October, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Botany, Conservation, Ecology, Environmental Activism, Environmental Advocacy, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Science, Horticulture, Indie Author, Love Books Tours, Magical Realism, Preservation, Science, Self-Published Author

A #SpooktasticReads audiobook review | “Jorvik Calling” (Soul Riders: Book One) by Helena Dahlgren, narrated by Jennifer Jill Araya; courtesy of #NetGalley

Posted Monday, 19 October, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , 0 Comments

#SpooktasticReads Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

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 “Soul Riders” 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 that 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.

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Why I wanted to read &/or listen to “Soul Riders”:

I was attracted to a few elements about this story when I first found it on NetGalley – the horses, the sisterhood friendships of the girls’ and the fact this is all set in a fantastical world. I originally thought this was a story that was ‘set elsewhere’ without any tangible connection to our own living reality however as I shifted into the audiobook itself, I realised this is an Urban Fantasy wherein there are elements of modern life (our world) within the sphere of the series but there are elements of the fantastical in the background running concurrent to the girls’ school and life experiences.

I have a personal attachment to horse dramas & Westerns – whenever I can find one or the other which suits my interests, I love to soak inside the stories! Having had a close connection to horses when I was a child I believe plays a strong part in why I continue to seek out stories which features horses and/or the world of horses – from Contemporary &/or Historical Westerns to Contemporary Western Romances or Cowboy Romances (such as my Harlequin Heartwarming readings).

Finding a story set in a blended Middle Grade & Young Adult world for Fantasy which brings into focus my love of horses with the added advantage of hidden talents and special gifts given to the girls who ride star horses – honestly, what could be a better bookish find!?

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A #SpooktasticReads audiobook review | “Jorvik Calling” (Soul Riders: Book One) by Helena Dahlgren, narrated by Jennifer Jill Araya; courtesy of #NetGalleyJorvik Calling
Subtitle: Soul Riders (series), Video Game Tie-In (Star Stable)
by Helena Dahlgren
Source: Audiobook Direct from Publisher via NetGalley

Step into the universe of the massively popular adventure game Star Stable, and follow four friends who discover their magic powers and learn that every girl can be a hero in this fantasy trilogy.

Soul Riders tells the heroic tale of four young girls who have been chosen by destiny to save the world from the ancient demon: Garnok and his band of dangerous Dark Riders. Lisa is a teenage girl who is still coming to terms with the tragic loss of her mother in a riding accident and has sworn never to go near a horse again until she met Starshine, a mysterious blue-maned steed who comes to her in dreams. New on the island of Jorvik, Lisa befriends Alex, Linda, and Anne. Under the guidance of mystical druids, they discover they each have a special bond to their horses that gives them magical powers. While trying to balance school, family, and friendships they have to figure out what it means to be a Soul Rider. They are attacked by the Dark Riders and the mysterious Mr. Sands discover that their horses are in danger. Instead of relying on their combined strength, they decide to split up on their quest to find answers and learn to fight back against their enemies. However, will it be too late before they realize their mistake?

Jorvik Calling is the first installment in the epic, fantasy trilogy, Soul Riders, about magic, friendship, and horses bound to thrill all young equestrian fans.

Genres: Dark Fantasy, Equestrian Fiction, Horse Drama, Upper YA Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Video Game Tie-In Series, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal Suspense, YA Urban Fantasy


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781524855338

ASIN: B087D8F3SW

Published by Andrews McMeel Audio, Andrews McMeel Publishing

Format: Audiobook | Digital Review Copy (NetGalley)

Length: 5 hours and 40 minutes (unabridged)

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

NOTE: When I first started listening to this title I thought for sure it would be considered Middle Grade Fantasy – however, as it progressed forward, I started to see it leans into YA Fantasy. It might be on the fence of merging Upper YA into Adult Fantasy within an Urban Fantasy world-building and setting. Ergo, if your considering this for younger readers rather than adult, know that this has the innocence of a Middle Grade Fantasy intermixed with the darker villains of an Upper YA/Adult Fantasy wherein if you are seeking lighter readers for Middle Grade readers I would advise against this one.

Converse via: #UrbanFantasy as well as #DarkFantasy and Upper #YAFantasy
+ #SoulRiders, #audiobook or #audioreads as well as #JorikRising and #StarStable

Available Formats: Trade paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 19 October, 2020 by jorielov in Book Review (non-blog tour), Bullies and the Bullied, Childhood Friendship, Coming-Of Age, Dark Arts (Dark Magic), Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, NetGalley, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Upper YA Fiction, Urban Fantasy, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Book Spotlight and Extract | Featuring Notes by Jorie on behalf of “Dragonflies at Night” by Anne Marie Bennett

Posted Tuesday, 6 October, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

My selected featured story today was one I was looking forward to reading myself as I was marked down for a review on this lovely blog tour. However, for whichever reason as we are all aware of our mail has started to become a bit delayed in reaching us and thereby, I had to amend how I was hosting this tour this week. Combine mail woes with some technical issues I’ve been having with my connectivity over the weekend and into this first half of a new week and you’ve found me at sixes and sevens trying to sort through it and not feel dragged down by it all. Hopefully others on the blog tour have simply been wrapped inside the story and haven’t had to sort through as much as I have whilst awaiting for the book to arrive.

I happen to like stories which tuck us away from our lives and give us something new to consider and contemplate – as this particular romantic Contemporary has a lot of symbolic and metaphysical sensibility about it in regards to the overall theme of the story and how it was written. I hadn’t realised when I signed up for this one that the main plot theme surrounds Cancer which is generally the kind of story I try to avoid reading about as I have a very sensitive heart and whenever I read about terminal illnesses, I find myself retreating from the storylines.

This particular story though holds a lot of promise and hope within it though if you read the synopsis and even within the short extract I am hosting today, there appears to be more about this story than what can be gleamed about it on the surface of its components. Which for me as a reader is a good thing as I liked to be surprised by the stories I am reading as much as I like going into a story already knowing what to expect. Sometimes it is also good to shake things up in your reading life and perhaps pick a book to read you hadn’t expected would be a wicked good story for you at the time in which it arrived in your life. Reading such as life has a beautiful cadence to it and I am oft observing how stories come into our hands to read at the moments we’re meant to read them even if it doesn’t feel like the right timing when we first receive them.

I was also quite taken by how dragonflies play such a strong role in the story and I had read they equally play a role in the author’s life as well. There are a lot of moments in our lives which cannot be explained through ordinary means and must be trusted with faith. I like finding stories which bridge the gap between what can be perceived and what can be intuited as much as how our lives are also felt on a spiritual level of understanding. In essence, I felt the heart of this story was one that I was going to enjoy reading and I hope one day I will be able to experience it for myself.

For now – I hope this puts this story on your own radar and perhaps even encourage you to add it to your own #mustread list! Enjoy the extract and the links wherein you can interact with the author and/or find out more about the story itself.

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Book Spotlight and Extract | Featuring Notes by Jorie on behalf of “Dragonflies at Night” by Anne Marie BennettDragonflies at Night
Subtitle: More than a love story. Somewhere in his mind, a new song began... Somewhere in her heart, healing stirred...
by Anne Marie Bennett

A dragonfly brings a mother’s love to a grieving daughter.

Meet Savannah, the thirty-something owner of Life Celebrations, a party planning business. Despite losing both parents as a teenager, Savannah is creating a positive life for herself, surrounded by friends and co-workers who are now her family. But she also has a secret—as much as she wants to settle down and have children, she is afraid to, for fear of getting cancer and having to leave them without their mother, as she herself was left behind years ago.

Meet Deirdre Rose, Savannah’s mother. She continues to watch over Savannah, who feels deeply connected to her mother whenever she sees a dragonfly.

Now meet Ben, a thirty-something recording artist who is good-looking, talented, and a household name. Despite his fame, Ben is lonely. He trusts few people because it seems everyone wants something from him instead of getting to know who he really is.

Savannah and Ben cross paths when they meet at a yoga retreat in the Massachusetts Berkshires. They are drawn to each other’s creativity and outlook on life. She sees beyond his celebrity and he admires her strength in what she’s had to overcome.

What happens when the retreat ends and they go their separate ways? Will they be able to make a long distance relationship work? Can Savannah put aside her fears, and will Ben allow himself to be truly vulnerable?

Above all . . . what message do Deirdre Rose and Dragonfly have for both of them?

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Motherhood | Parenthood, Women's Fiction


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8663865104

Published by Self Published

on 7th July, 2020

This is a Self-Published novel

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance or Contemporary #Romance
as well as #WomensFiction and #DatNPrism

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Posted Tuesday, 6 October, 2020 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Women's Fiction