Genre: Short Story or Novella

#WYChristmasReadathon No.1 | Book Review of “Finding Father Christmas” (omnibus ed.) & “Engaging Father Christmas” by Robin Jones Gunn

Posted Sunday, 20 November, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

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

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

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

Why I wanted to read Christmas Romances & Fiction this year:

A few years back I wanted to participate in Christmas #readathons – one hosted by an author who likes to pull people together in the book blogosphere and on social media but the other one was meant to be co-hosted between myself and my friend Christine (of whom had maintained her own bookish blog at readerlymusings.com). I never had the proper chance to focus on either one – even as December had a way of coming back round, none of the Decembers I tried to participate was successful; last year notwithstanding as I had a thirty day virus! Oy!

This year, I wanted to make a new tradition of settling into holiday stories between November and December – even extending into January if I found stories I felt would resonate with me at that point in time. I have the hardest time ‘letting go’ of the holiday movies on tv by early to mid January – as it’s the end of the season I love so much to watch! Those films which air on Hallmark Channel and Lifetime are such a delight to become caught up inside due to the innocent joys and the pure happiness of being connected to family and community. We can all use extra joy and I celebrate the light of the festive season being played out on the dramas and romances or comedies this time of the year!

I used to read Christmas stories all the time – long before I blogged my reading life, but somewhere along the way I fell out of step with why I loved reading them! I would queue them from my library or purchase copies outright to include on my own bookshelves, yet the joy of simply ‘reading them’ left me curiously detached! Until this year, where I decided – I don’t want to just ‘watch!’ the holidays unfold this year or listen to the music on the radio starting Thanksgiving week – I want to fully embrace what I’ve always loved doing – reading select Christmas stories and/or inspiring books which make me smile or uplift my spirit in some way that co-relates to the Christmastide and Wintry season!

Therefore, this review of the newly released omnibus of Ms Gunn’s novellas in the Father Christmas series will kick-off my readings which throughout November and December will offer a bit of a capstone glimpse inside the stories which lift up my spirit and make my heart smile! A true mixture of fiction and non-fiction releases – including a few surprises along the way! I happened to have found all of these to read and/or review ahead of the #WYChristmasReadthon which splendidly worked out well for cross-promoting purposes where I can engage in what are you reading this Christmas Season with other readers seeking out wicked good #ChristmasReads!

It’s a beautiful time of the year, and settling back into the stories I always loved reading is an immeasurable joy of mine! These readings and showcases are running a bit concurrent to my science fiction showcases this month, so you’ll always have something unexpectedly awesome to read about if you continue to visit with me this November!

I’d love to know what your picking up to read this season

– be sure to leave your #currentreads and recommendations in the comment threads!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#WYChristmasReadathon No.1 | Book Review of “Finding Father Christmas” (omnibus ed.) & “Engaging Father Christmas” by Robin Jones GunnFinding Father Christmas | Engaging Father Christmas
Subtitle: Two Novels in One (Omnibus)
by Robin Jones Gunn
Source: Direct from Publisher

By beloved author Robin Jones Gunn, two timeless, heartwarming Christmas novellas bound together for the first time in an omnibus edition.

In FINDING FATHER CHRISTMAS, Miranda Carson's search for her father leads her unexpectedly to London with only a few feeble clues as to who he might be. Immediately welcomed into a family that doesn't recognize her, and whom she's quickly coming to love, she faces a terrible decision. Should she reveal her true identity and destroy their idyllic image of her father? Or should she carry the truth home with her to San Francisco and remain alone in this world? Whatever choice she makes during this London Christmas will forever change the future for both herself and the family she can't bear to leave.

In ENGAGING FATHER CHRISTMAS Miranda Carson can't wait to return to England for Christmas and to be with her boyfriend, Ian. She has spent a lifetime yearning for a place to call home, and she's sure Carlton Heath will be it, especially when a hinted-at engagement ring slips into the conversation. But Miranda's high hopes for a jolly Christmas with the small circle of people she has come to love are toppled when Ian's father is hospitalized and the matriarch of the Whitcombe family withholds her blessing from Miranda. Questions run rampant in Miranda's mind about whether she really belongs in this cheery corner of the world. Then, when her true identity threatens all her relationships in unanticipated ways, Miranda is certain all is lost. And yet . . . maybe Father Christmas has special gifts in store for her after all.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781455565948

Also by this author: Kissing Father Christmas

Also in this series: Kissing Father Christmas


Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Short Story or Novella, Spirituality & Metaphysics


Published by FaithWords

on 6th September, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 352

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

Formats Available: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

The Father Christmas Series includes:

Finding Father Christmas & Engaging Father Christmas (omnibus edition) by Robin Jones GunnKissing Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn

Finding Father Chistmas

Engaging Father Christmas

Kissing Father Christmas (Synopsis)

Converse via: #INSPYbooks, #ChristmasReads

About Robin Jones Gunn

Robin Jones Gunn Photo Credit: Ross Gunn III

Robin Jones Gunn has written 82 books over the past 25 years, with almost 4.5 million copies sold worldwide. She received a Christy Award for her novel Sisterchicks in Gondolas, and speaks at events around the US and Canada as well as in South America, Africa, Europe, and Australia.

Photo Credit: Ross Gunn III

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WYChristmasReadathon
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Posted Sunday, 20 November, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Christianity, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, England, FaithWords, Family Life, Inheritance & Identity, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Modern Day, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Romance Fiction, Single Mothers, Spirituality & Metaphysics, When Calls the Heart

Blog Book Tour | “A Song of War: A Novel of Troy” by Christian Cameron, Libbie Hawker, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Stephanie Thornton, SJA Turney, and Russell Whitfield

Posted Thursday, 3 November, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary ARC copy of “A Song of War” direct from the publisher Knight Media in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why this title interested me to read:

When it comes to Helen of Troy, the Trojan War and Greek Myths such as The Iliad, you could say I took an about-face course of action whenever these subjects were broached in school. I did not see a need to change that status until recently, when an opportunity to read an anthology collection based on the Trojan War appeared in my blog tour folder. I will say, the Trojan War fascinated me when I was younger (as I loved studying key moments in History; a budding History buff & appreciator of war dramas in fiction) however, it was Helen herself that keenly intrigued me. I wanted to take the discussion in school to a deeper level than the bare bone facts and trivia soundbites, but alas, my peers were not as keen as I was on that front, and thus, I grew bored. The trend for me is that once I turnt bored on a topic or subject in school, I simply tuned it out. Frustrating to my teachers but I was more vexed how tediously repetitive and superficial most discussions were and how ironic my classmates were never bored.

One of the reasons I love reviewing anthologies (previously I’ve spent more attention on seeking out Science Fiction, Fantasy and Cosy Horror anthologies!) is the nature of how you get the proper chance to ‘meet’ multiple authors, or renew interest in ones you already know and appreciate. Sometimes it’s a mix of the two, if you read successive anthologies and find the same authors are represented and/or if in this instance, you find the happy surprise of a historical author you appreciate is included (for me, this would be Stephanie Thornton).

I approach reviewing anthologies differently than novels – for me, it’s seeking out the stories contained in the anthology that garnished the most connection to the context, character and timescape. If this were SF/F/H I would also be focused on the layering of thematic or the depth of the world-building. With my readings of Troy, I was looking for the aesthetics of the era, the general cohesiveness of how the time was represented and of course, the clarity shining through the point-of-view of the lead and supporting characters.

The best part of anthologies is never knowing how many of the stories you’ll feel wholly enthused about reading nor which story stands out in the end. It’s like a grab bag of literary gold – each story has the chance to touch your heart and imagination – but will it?! And, if so, why!? I also like reading biographies or Appendixes in anthologies – my ARC copy included Author Notes but was re-missive on the Introduction by Glyn Iliffe. Thankfully I let my fingers do the walking and I found it included in the “behind the book” preview on Amazon. The blessing for me, it was only a short paragraph and not a few pages, as reading length digitally is not something I can do.

Imagine then, my wicked joy in descending into this historical anthology – dearly curious on my own behalf of which author would etch such a strong impression as to leave me even more full of wonder about the Trojans, Helen and a period of history that still paints a fever pitch of interest in today’s modern literary world.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “A Song of War: A Novel of Troy” by Christian Cameron, Libbie Hawker, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Stephanie Thornton, SJA Turney, and Russell WhitfieldA Song of War
Subtitle: A Novel of Troy
by Christian Cameron, Kate Quinn, Libbie Hawker, Russell Whitfield, Sja Turney, Stephanie Thornton, Vicky Alvear Shecter
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Troy: city of gold, gatekeeper of the east, haven of the god-born and the lucky, a city destined to last a thousand years. But the Fates have other plans—the Fates, and a woman named Helen. In the shadow of Troy’s gates, all must be reborn in the greatest war of the ancient world: slaves and queens, heroes and cowards, seers and kings . . . and these are their stories.

A young princess and an embittered prince join forces to prevent a fatal elopement.

A tormented seeress challenges the gods themselves to save her city from the impending disaster.

A tragedy-haunted king battles private demons and envious rivals as the siege grinds on.

A captured slave girl seizes the reins of her future as two mighty heroes meet in an epic duel.

A grizzled archer and a desperate Amazon risk their lives to avenge their dead.

A trickster conceives the greatest trick of all.

A goddess’ son battles to save the spirit of Troy even as the walls are breached in fire and blood.

Seven authors bring to life the epic tale of the Trojan War: its heroes, its villains, its survivors, its dead. Who will lie forgotten in the embers, and who will rise to shape the bloody dawn of a new age?

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781536931853

Also by this author: Daughter of the Gods, Author Interview (Stephanie Thornton), The Tiger Queens

Genres: Ancient Civilisation, Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Historical Fiction, Short Story or Novella, War Drama


Published by Knight Media LLC

on 18th October, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 483

Originally Published By: Knight Media
Available Formats: Paperback

Converse via: #HistFic, #Illaid + #HTeam

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Thursday, 3 November, 2016 by jorielov in 12th Century BC, Ancient Civilisation, Ancient Greece, Andromache (Hector's wife) of Troy, Anthology Collection of Stories, ARC | Galley Copy, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brothers and Sisters, Equality In Literature, Feminine Heroism, Gods & Goddesses, Greek Mythology, Hector of Troy, Helen of Troy, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, History, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Military Fiction, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Paris of Troy, Prejudicial Bullying & Non-Tolerance, Re-Told Tales, Short Stories or Essays, Siblings, The Bronze Age (Trojan War era), Twin Siblings, Vulgarity in Literature, War Drama, Warfare & Power Realignment, Women of Power & Rule

Cover Reveal | “Murder in the Generative Kitchen” by Meg Pontecorvo, a novella published by #IndiePub World Weaver Press!

Posted Friday, 8 July, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Stories Sailing into View Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

I have been on a bit of a hiatus from reviewing for World Weaver Press, as with everything that transpired at the close of 2015 & throughout the first six months of 2016, finding a way to re-enter my reading life was an uphill climb. For whichever reason, it wasn’t until now as July begins to gather into sight, I felt I could re-attach my mind to Science Fiction, Fantasy & Cosy Horror.

Imagine my surprise then, as I was making plans for my #FuellYourSciFi showcases, to receive an email from World Weaver Press in regards to hosting a *Cover Reveal!* for them this Friday! I had vaguely remembered joining the Reveal Team half an age ago – yet curiously, never heard from them!?

I read the premise of this upcoming September release (which blessedly includes a print edition!) finding myself rather intrigued by it’s premise! I had a lot of things going through my mind as I contemplated it’s topic, but the best part for me was finding a segue back to World Weaver Press! This Cover Reveal broke the ice, wherein I found there was a ‘changing of the guard’ where there is a new Editor in Chief at the helm (who worked as editor on this story!) of the publishing house whose a true delight to interact with as she has a wonderful passion for the stories she’s publishing whilst continuing the legacy of the publisher’s founders.

Sarena Ulibarri was not only understanding about absences but truly understood how you can fall out of love of reading when life interferes with your reading life! Therefore, I am wicked happy to say, the story I will be reading after my current queue is cleared will be *THIS!* novella: Murder in the Generative Kitchen! And, boy! Am I thrilled to bits to have this on the horizon to read!

Take a wicked sweet gander at this design, too! Isn’t it beyond lovely!?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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Posted Friday, 8 July, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Cookery, Crime Fiction, Futuristic Fantasy, Hard Science Fiction, Human & Computer Interfaces, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Legal Drama | Courtroom Drama, Science Fiction, Short Stories or Essays, Speculative Fiction, World Weaver Press

Blog Book Tour | “Commanding the Red Lotus” (a novel in a triptych of novellas) by R.J. Sullivan

Posted Sunday, 3 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , , 5 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a stop on the “Commanding the Red Lotus” blog tour from Seventh Star Press. The tour is hosted by Tomorrow Comes Media who does the publicity and blog tours for Seventh Star Press and other Indie and/or Self Published authors. I received a complimentary copy of “Commanding the Red Lotus” direct from the author R.J. Sullivan in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I love reading R.J. Sullivan stories:

Even whilst I was becoming first introduced to Sullivan’s style of writing within the pages of Virtual Blue and finding it was quite a bit too intense for me overall to appreciate in a fuller capacity than the one I expressed on my review; there as an inkling of a style I wanted to read more of, to see what else this author could create that might allow me the grace to soak inside his other stories with a happier heart. It wasn’t that Virtual Blue was too far outside of an Urban Fantasy I’d love, but it was the Horror undertones that nudged it a bit past the envelope of what I can pleasantly say agrees with me. No, instead, it simply gave me a glimpse into the craft of how a story is assembled and granted me a reason to keep my eyes peeled for further releases by the author.

The next chance I took was on behalf of Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy – an anthology collection of short stories written over an expanse of a decade – wherein I found the style I had snuck a glimpse at previously & happily found more than a few shorts that I truly enjoyed reading! It was such a happy discovery for me, and it was a great second-step into Sullivan’s collective works before I turnt my eye towards his Classically told Space Opera threading through the Red Lotus series!

I was quite surprised finding Sullivan has a softer and more intuitive side to his writings, as I came into his collective works through the Dark Fantasy and Horror side of the ledger! Immediately as I was settling into what became my favourite short (‘The Assurance Salesman’) I recognised he has a lot of heart and depth of purpose towards how he paints a story with emotional conviction and centering on the intricate complexity of exploring the depth of the human soul. He enriches his audience with thought-provoking stories which stir a knowing sense the writer has fully embraced the moment of his inspiration to tell them and given a wicked read to his readers (who like me) might not have found their ‘niche’ within his writings until now! -quoted from my Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy review

I also like how there is a lot of optimism running in the background of his stories – even in Virtual Blue, there were moments where all hope was never quite lost even if everything felt rather impossibly difficult to return to any sort of normalcy afterwards. I like to see the light flickering back through any level of darkness a character has to encounter, but I also, love a certain nod of cheeky humour, humbling arcs of a character’s journey and a story owning its genre by how it’s crafted to shine in its chosen world.

As I read part of the opening bits of Fate of the Red Lotus prior to composing my questions for the interview I showcased ahead of this review, you could say I felt I had become treated to a Classic Space Opera written from the prospective of a writer who knew how to fuse everything together that he personally loved himself inside his genre of choice! The more you learn about what drives Mr Sullivan’s own passion for Science Fiction, the more elements of inspiration you discover inside his stories. To me, this is a true blessing of reading an author you slowly start to become familiar with through their collective writings, their blog and/or the conversations or guest essays which feature another dimension of what makes their writing personally unique to their own imaginative eye!

Please note: I have a special anthology I’m reviewing for the Christmas 2016 Season (Gifts of the Magi) in which Mr Sullivan has a short story featured. I look forward to sharing my thoughts & impressions on behalf of that collection come December, however, the book shoppe it’s contributing towards is Indy Reads Books, a local establishment in Indianapolis, I first came to know through Sullivan & Ms Chris respectively and further still, through my readings of Indy Writes Books (an anthology for booklovers), a review that is forthcoming this week! I also have a special surprise for Mr Sullivan lateron this month on my blog, so due stay tuned if you love Science Fiction as I #FuellYourSciFi throughout JULY!Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art: The only flicker of a question I had when I first saw this artwork was if that is Sayuri on the cover, why do I question if she’s Japanese!? She’s turnt away from the camera so to speak, so this might be what is throwing me off a bit about her cultural heritage, but for me – everything else on this cover bespoke of what I wanted to find inside the story! I love ramshackle ships, curiously fierce characters & a motley crew of opposites who find they have a bit more in common with each other than what first appearances might lend to understand! It even speaks of the aesthetic of what I personally feel ‘Space travelling’ might feel like to be a part of and that was a brilliant method of using art to capture a reader’s imagination at ‘hallo’!

Blog Book Tour | “Commanding the Red Lotus” (a novel in a triptych of novellas) by R.J. SullivanCommanding the Red Lotus
by R.J. Sullivan
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Enggar Adirasa
Source: Author via Seventh Star Press

Money Can’t Buy Respect

Sayuri Arai, privileged daughter of a corporate mogul, abandons a promising career to find her own path. She invests in a broken-down asteroid mining ship and steps in as the commander of its crew. Every day presents a new challenge just to keep her ship from falling apart and the bitter crew from killing each other. Can Sayuri unite the feuding factions, or will her rivals turn the entire complement against her?

Commanding the Red Lotus offers a classic sense of wonder for today’s science fiction readers.

Volume One of the Red Lotus Stories, now in softcover for the first time. Commanding the Red Lotus includes the previously released ebook novelettes:

Fate of the Red Lotus
Red Lotus: Innocence Lost
Plus the brand-new novella Mutiny on the Red Lotus

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781941706701

Also by this author: Virtual Blue, Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy, Author Interview (Red Lotus, Vol.1), Gifts of the Magi

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Short Story or Novella, Space Opera


Published by Seventh Star Press

on 18th April, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 236

Published By: Seventh Star Press (@7thStarPress)
Available Formats: Softcover, E-book

Special Note on Sullivan’s blog about reading Fate of the Red Lotus FREE!

Converse via: #RedLotusNovel, #ShortStories & #7thStar

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Author Biography:

R.J. Sullivan

Best known for his ghost story thrillers, Commanding the Red Lotus is R.J.Sullivan’s fifth book and his first release in the genre he most adores. R.J.’s critically acclaimed, loosely connected ghost story trilogy and his short story collection are all available in paperback and ebook though Seventh Star Press. R.J. resides with his family in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. He drinks regularly from a Little Mermaid coffee mug and is man enough to admit it.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads | Instagram

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Posted Sunday, 3 July, 2016 by jorielov in #FuellYourSciFi, #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Bookish Discussions, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Equality In Literature, Fathers and Daughters, Indie Author, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Science Fiction, Space Opera, Space Science, Speculative Fiction, Tomorrow Comes Media, Vulgarity in Literature

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