Genre: Presidential Life & History

Book Review | “Vote for Remi” by Leanna Lehman #SRC2015 No.4 read during #ElectionWeek 2016 #BookSparksMarathon

Posted Thursday, 10 November, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge 2015

I had fully intended to read my #SRC2015 selections hugged closer to the months when the books were meant to be reviewed, however, those of whom have caught my posts relating to circumstances which wicked out hours and derailed my attempts to read along with the rest of the book bloggers who took up the same challenge are already in the loop realising my readings of these stories will come quite a bit later than planned.

To recap the events for those who are visiting me for the first time,
please direct your attention to the following posts:

What turnt this whole situation around for me, is being able to talk to the publicists at BookSparks on two separate occasions when I felt I was treading water as I knew time had wicked itself off the clock and I was at a proper loss as to where to ‘begin’ despite the fact I have a shelf full of BookSparks reading challenge and blog tour lovelies to read which I’ve been itching with curiosity about since they each arrived and/or since I first met them through my local library who purchased my requests on behalf of the #SRC2015 and #FRC2015 selections.

I had felt quite a bit guilty regarding the latter, as despite having my purchase requests accepted and added to the card catalogue: time was unfortunately never on my side to soak inside the stories themselves. There was an unexpected moment of clarity though about my requests, where I found myself talking to different librarians and finding they were encouraged to read new authors of whom they never would have ‘met’ had I not requested the reading challenge titles! Talk about putting everything into a different prospective of understanding!

This method of mine to recapture the reading queue of my BookSparks lovelies was working just fine up until I posted my review of “all in her head” (see Review) as soon thereafter, all was lost when my chronic migraines returnt in Spring and late Summer; marking another moment this year where my reading life was affected. It truly wasn’t until I finished my readings of The Clan Chronicles in August and September of this year, I was able to finally reach the point where reading was more pleasurable and where the stories were settling inside my mind’s eye with quite a bit of ease. I spent most of the year frustrated and in an attempt to recapture the joy reading had always given me.

This marks my fifth review overall spilt between #SRC2015,#ReadingIsBeautiful (the YA selections) and #FRC2015, however, it is the fourth Summer Reading Challenge selection I am reading.

I am overjoyed to be in a position to lay heart and mind inside the stories I’ve dearly wanted to read and now can give them my full attention! As you will see by a clever badge I created, I am going to be consistently reading ALL my BookSparks lovelies straight through til New Year! I randomly pulled the reading queue back together – I’m not reading them in reverse order now, but rather quite spontaneously! I hope you will continue to take this journey with me and see how the stories resonate with me as I soak inside their worlds!Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

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

Acquired Book By: I originally found BookSparks PR Spring 2014, when I came upon the Summer Reading Challenge a bit too late in the game. I hadn’t forgotten about it, and was going to re-contact them this Spring to see if I could join the challenge in 2015 instead. Coincidentally, before I sorted this out, I was contacted by one of their publicists about Linda Lafferty’s Renaissance historical novel, “The Sheperdess of Siena”. 

I started to participate in #SRC2015 during Summer 2015 until lightning storms quickly overtook my life and the hours I could give to the reading challenge. Summer ended hard and with a newfound resolve to pick up where I had left off, I posted as many reviews on behalf of BookSparks blog tours and/or the three reading challenges I had committed myself to participate inside (i.e. #SRC2015, #ReadingIsBeautiful (YA version), and #FRC2015).

It should be noted that I haven’t participated in any blog tours past the ones I’ve committed myself too reviewing on the list at the foot of this post. I am unsure if I can resume hosting with BookSparks once my backlogue is erased, however, my main motivation in resuming where I left off was to ‘meet the stories’ even if my days of being a blogger with BookSparks ended the day I couldn’t keep up with the reviews when life interrupted my postings. I continue to hope as my reviews arrive on my blog the authors and the publisher(s) will forgive my delays.

I elected to read “Vote for Remi” via the complimentary copy I received by BookSparks as the library copy I had requested is happily being read by other patrons. By participating in the #SRC2015 challenge I am reading the novels in exchange for my honest reviews; whether I am receiving a complimentary copy or borrowing them through my local library. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

My selection process for #sRC2015 & a note on #election2016:

As 2016 marked the year where Feminist Historical Fiction took such a pivotal role of interest in my readerly life, you could say 2015 opened up the door for Presidential Literature – both in fiction and non-fiction realms of enquiry! When I first read the premise behind Vote for Remi, I knew it was a title I wanted to read outright due to the nature of the premise and how it was a fittingly apt story to be read in our modern era! I previously had read The Residence, showcasing the history of the White House through the eyes of the staff and the historical presence of how the house itself was the best observer of its own history. It was such an interesting narrative and one that was layered with insight and preserved memories which I think anyone would appreciate reading.

Moving forward a year, as I was fully interested in reading Vote for Remi, ahead of the 2016 Presidential Election – I found myself settling into its story-line on #ElectionDay itself! I even started to tweet about the joy of immersing myself into its dialogue and how bang-on brilliant the opener was to how the fictional life of Remi was cross-relating to the real-life story of Hillary Clinton. I keep my politics hugged close to centre, as I decided to not politicise my blog nor my Twitter feeds – except for showing on certain occasions where I take a stand and let my thoughts be known. At the bottom of this post is the full collection of tweets I tweeted about this novel and how I let my thoughts reflect my reaction to the campaign season and the election itself. I relied on those who had tweeted ahead of mine whilst sharing a link to an essay written by Mr RJ Sullivan of whom is an author I love reading! (view his showcases)

I am sure by the choices of Twibbon’s on my Twitter badge and the explanation I provided for why I placed them on my Twitter Profile have caught notice of those who might suspect my political views. Other instances of notice would be how open-minded I am in regards to Equality in Literature and how I constantly seek out Diversity in Literature as well. I read eclectically – across political spectrum’s, philosophy, religion and lifestyles. The world is a melting pot and my personal literary adventures reflect the diversity and eclectic nature of the human experience.

Some of the authors I follow on Twitter spoke concerns about losing their followers due to their political views; here’s my take on that particular issue: I follow people I appreciate finding on Twitter. This could be a musical group I love listening too, an author I’m keen to ‘meet’ for the first time, an actor or actress whose collective work I love admiring; an author I love to devour reading or any other person or organisation I have found who has left an impression on me one way or another. This includes publishers – as although I amassed a list of publishers I watch on Twitter, I am slowly following each in turn of whom I have read stories by which truly left me pensive and wickedly delighted for reading.

Due to the variety of people I follow, I am quite certain we all have our own views and opinions which might align or are completely opposite; I honestly never looked that hard into my followers private lives. For those who tweet more vocally, I champion and cheer their honesty and bravery to openly disclose their opines and for those who are equally vocal but on a smaller scale (like me), I celebrate them, too! I even celebrate those who keep their blogs and Twitter feeds apolitical for most of the year and like me, fuell their thoughts at appropriate times when everyone is feeling the same emotions.

Point being, I will always follow people I find a reason to follow – because I celebrate their artwork, their creative voice or the causes they are advocating on behalf of to curate a better world for all of us. I will never unfollow someone just because we have a different opinion or have a different political party affiliation. We’re all united in the global community and our shared humanity; we must strive to find ways to communicate and build bridges of acceptance and tolerance. If someone unfollows me due to my personal thoughts, opinions or political views, I accept that as it is their right. However, I am not going to go back and unfollow them, just because they let go of me. #LoveNotHate and #ChooseKindness in combination with #MakeAmericaKindAgain are my new trumpets of Hope. We must find unity together and find a way to embrace our differences and not let them separate us.

Stories such as Vote for Remi and the non-fiction debut by Julissa Arce (My Underground American Dream) are stories which are needed in today’s climate of uncertainty. Stories which start a conversation and keep the dialogue in focus for change and for a better future of tomorrow are the stories I will always champion and appreciate reading. This is why I anchoured my readings of these two stories together and why I decided during #ElectionWeek 2016 it was the right time to read both of these lovelies!

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

Book Review | “Vote for Remi” by Leanna Lehman #SRC2015 No.4 read during #ElectionWeek 2016 #BookSparksMarathonVote for Remi
by Leanna Lehman
Source: Publicist via BookSparks

Fiery US government teacher Remi Covington is relentless in her desire to impart the genius of the democratic process to her students. Her so-called “academically challenged” high school seniors sometimes find her enthusiasm more than a little annoying—so, in an effort to teach her a lesson, they execute a brazen, high-tech, social media blitz touting her as the newest candidate in the upcoming US presidential race. Much to everyone’s surprise, Remi plays along with her students’ ruse—and in a nation weary of politics and career politicians, she unexpectedly finds herself the darling of the American public.

As the campaign takes on a life of its own, Remi is forced to confront a myriad of long-held social biases and cultural clichés, and realizes she isn’t quite the woman she thought was. Vote for Remi is about a would-be a presidential candidate who, despite being all wrong—the wrong gender, the wrong party, and certainly the wrong social status—discovers that she might be exactly what America needs: someone with a passion for doing what is right.

Places to find the book:

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Current Events, Presidential Life & History, Women's Studies


Published by She Writes Press

Format: Paperback Edition

Published By:She Writes Press (@shewritespress)
originated from She Writes (@shewritesdotcom)
an imprint of Spark Points Studio LLC GoSparkPoint (@GoSparkPoint)
& BookSparks
(@BookSparks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Read the Interview with the author about Vote for Remi on BookSparks Blog!

Read an Excerpt of the Novel via the author’s website!

Converse via: #VoteForRemi & #SRC2015

About Leanna Lehman

Leanna Lehman

Leanna Lehman is the author of quirky political fiction novel, Vote For Remi (She Writes Press). She worked in the education field for six years, and specialized in developing online educational programs that assist at-risk teens.

She lives in Fallon, Nevada, with her rescued dog Henry Higgins, and spends her free time painting, hiking, snowboarding, camping, and traveling to the coast. She found her passion for writing while undergoing chemo therapy in 2008-2009, when she began journaling her experience.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #SRC2015 | BookSparks
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Posted Thursday, 10 November, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Herbalist, Indie Author, Life at Thirtyten, Life Shift, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Public Service | Community Officers, Realistic Fiction, School Life & Situations, Social Change, Sociological Behavior, Teacher & Student Relationships, Vulgarity in Literature, West Coast USA, Women's Fiction, Women's Rights

Guest Post | “The Men Behind the First Feminists” by Eva Flynn (author of: “The Renegade Queen”)

Posted Friday, 12 February, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

As you might have noticed, I love hosting authors in conjunction with blog tours I am reviewing their books as there are certain stories I am coming across which spark a renewed interest to know a bit more about either the writer behind the story and/or the story itself. In this particular case, my own topic was not able to reach the author in time to have a response, and I must admit, after having read the author’s suggested topic, I believe in a way she answered the question I had originally provided! For starters, I was seeking a way to better understand how the women of the American Reformation era were able to stand independent of men, seek out professions not yet readily available to them and how through her writings, she found inspiration by the women who are the focal point of her novel(s).

In some ways, I think she pitched a better topic to work the thesis I had only outlined in broader strokes, as you will be reading shortly below, how certain men (such as the men of today; if @HeforShe is a good barometer of cross-gender support!) who had recognised the progression of women’s rights and the freedoms women were rightly deserving to have at their command; gave their support and helped the cause move forward. It’s a good bit of insight into how the traditions of the past were colliding with a future where equality would become a mainstay and where women would find a voice to stand on their own merits and prove their independence from men.

In some regards, I have been finding stories championing strong women and/or strong views on how life can proceed forward with process since the New Year began if you consider my first review was on behalf of George Washington* (read my thoughts), followed by a legacy of writerly pursuits by the Brontës (read about this interesting origin story), and I recently composed my thoughts on women pioneers in Science of whom could provide inspiration for everyone who takes a moment to read their living histories.

*It’s the very end of the novel involving George Washington where you gather a better sense about how important it was for Washington to find Martha and what Martha gave back to Washington. Without her support and their mutual equality, he would have been a far different man.

I am concluding my reading of a Swedish author’s heart-stirring novel about a woman who lived outside of tradition and on her own terms (The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley) whilst moving back inside Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea in order to re-pick up the momentum to read two Jane Eyre sequel novels (All Hallows at Eyre Hall and Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall) set after the original canons conclude. I even have a non-fiction story in my hands this weekend (More than the Tattooed Mormon) which is meant to be inspiring in of itself to reach the audience of modern women seeking a way to stay in step with their walk of faith.

I have a penchant for strong female leads and strong willed characters of woman who either stepped outside their family’s constrictive upbringings and/or rallied against society’s sharp edge of tongue and propriety to seek a different life and live radically courageous for the eras in which they lived. I love pulling back the layers of History and finding these women in historical fiction, such as I will be revealling in my forthcoming review of The Renegade Queen however, it’s just as keenly enjoyable for me to read these sorts of characters across genre and set inside non-fiction as well. For every woman (and man) has a story to share and a story which may endear us to a hidden aspect of the past we had not uncovered until our readings of their stories.

Postscript [1pm]: The author graciously offered to respond to my original topic and I am working with her to feature it within the next week or two as I found it quite kind of her to offer to do this! I cannot wait to read her response and to bring the second essay to my readers!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Renegade Queen by Eva Flynn
Presidential Election of 1844. James Polk 1795-1849 and George Dallas 1792-1864 ran as the Democratic candidates. .; Shutterstock ID 245959642

Two Renegades So Controversial, They Were Erased From History

Discarded by society, she led a social revolution. Disgusted by war, he sought a new world.

She was the first women to run for President, campaigning before women could vote.

He was the Hero of Vicksburg, disillusioned with the government after witnessing the devastating carnage of the Civil War.

Their social revolution attracted the unwanted who were left out of the new wealth: the freed slaves, the new immigrants, and women.

Who were they?

This is the true story of Victoria Woodhull and the love of her life, James Blood.

Adored by the poor, hated by the powerful, forced into hiding during their lifetimes and erased from history after death, the legend of their love lives on.

It’s 1869 and Victoria has a choice to make. She can stay in an abusive marriage and continue to work as a psychic, or she can take the offer of support from handsome Civil War general James Blood and set about to turn society upside down. Victoria chooses revolution.

But revolutions are expensive, and Victoria needs money. James introduces Victoria to one of the wealthiest man in America—Commodore Vanderbilt. Along with her loose and scandalous sister, Tennessee, Victoria manipulates Vanderbilt and together they conspire to crash the stock market—and profit from it. Victoria then parlays her fortune into the first female-owned brokerage firm.

When her idol Susan B. Anthony publishes scandalous rumors about Victoria’s past, Victoria enters into a fierce rivalry with Susan to control the women’s movement. James supports Victoria’s efforts despite his deep fears that she may lose more than the battle. She might lose part of herself.

Victoria starts her own newspaper, testifies to Congress, and even announces her candidacy for President. But when Victoria adopts James’s radical ideas and free love beliefs, she ignites new, bruising, battles with Susan B. Anthony and the powerful Reverend Henry Beecher. These skirmishes turn into an all-out war, with Victoria facing prejudice, prosecution, and imprisonment. Ultimately, Victoria and James face the hardest choice of all: the choice between their country and their love.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Men Behind the First Feminists by Eva Flynn

In researching The Renegade Queen, I was inspired by the sacrifices of the women suffragists but I was also impressed by the powerful men who supported them:

Commodore Vanderbilt

Cornelius Vanderbilt was born in 1794 in Staten Island, New York, son of poor farmers, and began working at age 11. In 1810, when he was 16 years old, he borrowed $100 from his mother to purchase a sailboat and start a Staten Island-Manhattan ferry and freight service. Vanderbilt showed a ruthlessly competitive streak early, undercutting the competition by charging dramatically low fares, investing without his parents’ knowledge in other ferries, and even physically beating competitors who encroached on his customers. Read More

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Posted Friday, 12 February, 2016 by jorielov in Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, History, Indie Author, Passionate Researcher, Presidential Life & History, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Susan B. Anthony, Victoria Woodhull, War Drama, Women's Fiction, Women's Rights, Women's Suffrage

Blog Book Tour | “Becoming George Washington” by Stephen Yoch

Posted Friday, 1 January, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Becoming George Washington” virtual book tour through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of “Becoming George Washington” direct from the author Stephen Yoch, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Interest in reading:

I garnished an appreciation for the Revolutionary War era from my Mum, who is a passionate researcher and reader about the Adams: John and Abigail along with Mr Adams friendship with Thomas Jefferson. They were a unique couple during those turbulent times, and as my Mum’s affection for them grew, so too did my own interest in the era as a whole. When I was younger, History was one of my most favourite subjects in school (shocking, eh? you were thinking I’d say ‘English’ but you would be grossly mistaken!) as I definitely loved watching ‘history’ come to life through the stories of the people who lived lives during historical eras of prime importance and of lesser known generations of whom impacted us just as deeply or gravely, depending on the circumstances.

If you were to credit me with a deep admiration for Science and the multitude of ‘ologies’ I fancy to explore in the scientific realms – you’d be equally cheerful to learn that I have a wicked heart for the historical past, and why it took me three decades of my life to unearth that ‘historical fiction and biographical historical fiction’ are my two primary interests to read is quite unnerving to say the least! Mind you, science fiction and fantasy are a close second before Romance takes up the final third quadrant. I digress.

One of my intentions this New Year of 2016 is to purposely find mindful ways of re-organising my focuses on what I am devouring as to entertain a bit more thought to seeking out wicked good non-fiction and historical fiction (in equal portions) that ascertain a working knowledge of the Revolutionary War era or even (Early) Colonial America inasmuch as entreating inside more biographies which are set to a pace where I find them both drinkable and enjoyable to consume. At hand, when I first caught sight of this novel about Washington, I was most keen to read it, as Washington held an appeal when I was in 4th Grade having spent a year on Presidential History (some of which spilt out as I reviewed The Residence in 2015). I even have a miniature statue of Washington and Martha – as they were the first couple I was focusing on learning more about at that age.

I even remember watching an interesting tv movie called: The Crossing (1999) starring Jeff Daniels as Washington, as pertaining to the crossing of the Delaware River in December 1776. Equally to this, I caught portions of 1776 (1972) the musical on TCM (Turner Classic Movies) a handful of years ago over Fourth of July weekend, to where I would very much like to see it in full as soon as time allows. It was curious to see all of the historical persons I’ve come to know through my school years and my own independent readings outside of it in such a way as to purport the era in time by which they lived.

This particular novel takes us back to the young man Washington was prior to marriage and I was curious to learn more about him during that scope of time. Every man has a beginning to their lives, but in Washington’s case, everything prior to when he became the ‘first President’ is even more curious as how did a man define himself prior to taking office for a new ‘country’ emerging out of independence from the British Crown and right his sails well enough to take on the courage he would need to lead a fragile new era of American life?

I was very grateful the author enclosed a small and compact bookmark for this novel, as I used it once before as I read ‘Soda Springs’ (review) prior to residing inside his own. I had originally intended to read them earlier in the weeks proceeding my tour stops in December, but illness took me away from books and left me with only my curiosity of what I would find inside them. The blessing for me, is to have such a handy bookmark and to have a note from the author wishing me godspeed in my readings. A nice surprise for a book blogger and a nice extension of the readings.

Blog Book Tour | “Becoming George Washington” by Stephen YochBecoming George Washington
by Stephen Yoch
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

George Washington, action hero . . .

Long before Washington was the old man on the dollar bill, he was a fatherless boy with few resources and even less education. So how did he become the most famous person in American history?

Becoming George Washington tells the story of a young man with boundless energy, bravery, and passion, who grew from a fatherless boy into a self-confident leader. At the same time, he struggled to suppress both an awful temper and his love for a married woman, Sally Fairfax. A courageous war hero, Washington rose to the pinnacle of Virginia politics. His experiences as a young man allowed him, decades later, to lead the Revolution.

This compelling historical novel reveals the person behind the famous face and how he grew to become America’s leading Founding Father.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781940014524

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Presidential Life & History, War Drama


Published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing

on 1st September, 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 382

Published By: Wise Ink Creative Publishing (@Wiseink)
Available Formats: Paperback & Ebook

About Stephen Yoch

Steve doesn’t golf or fish and is a below average hunter, but his love of history and writing compelled him to pick up his pen and tell the little-known stories behind the men that made American history. After years of extensive research, Steve wrote his first book on young George Washington.

Steve lives in a suburb north of St. Paul, Minnesota with his supportive wife and two fantastic teenage sons. He graduated with honors from Boston College and the University of Minnesota Law School. He has enjoyed over two decades of practicing law in the Twin Cities, helping individuals and businesses solve complex problems.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 1 January, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 18th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Early Colonial America, Equality In Literature, Fly in the Ointment, George Washington, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, History, Indie Author, Literature for Boys, Military Fiction, Mother-Son Relationships, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Passionate Researcher, Presidential Life & History, Revolutionary War Era, Revolutionary War era, Siblings, Vulgarity in Literature, War Drama, Wilderness Adventures