Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

Spotlight on Music & Compositions | The Six Suites for ‘Cello Solo: Volume 4: From Tragedy to Transcendance by Steven Hancoff

Posted Thursday, 3 December, 2015 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

Spotlight on Music banner made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired CD set By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for “Bach, Casals & The Six Suites for ‘Cello Solo: Volumes 1-4” hosted by iRead Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the CD set Volume 4: From Tragedy to Transcendence direct from the author Steven Hancoff without obligation to post a review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why my interest was piqued with this collection:

I have a secret in my closet. A secret instrument to be exact! When I was six and twenty I made the bold choice to purchase a wicked stellar electric guitar – it’s in a lovely deep crimson red colour and has a lovely strap that is super comfy against my shoulder. I have an equally delightful amp that has yet to emerge out of it’s box! What pray tell would prevent me from picking up said guitar and amp whilst curating my own musical styling? Apparently the absence of an open-minded community for left-handed guitar players! No. Seriously. I couldn’t find one instructor who would teach me to play whilst accepting the fact I play left-handedly despite the fact I’m predominately right-handed. Clearly my community is overlooking the obvious: left-handers rock the music world! (i.e. I loved watching Josey Scott playing alongside Chad Kroeger for “Hero”; wave your hands fellow Spider-Man fans of the films with Tobey Maguire!) This guide to left-handed musicians should be passed out in pamphlets round here!

This curious fact stems out of my dyslexic past and a sombering story of pre-school choices – none of which is relevant except to say I also play baseball left-handed! Yes, you read that right *baseball!* not softball! I digress. I’ve been an appreciator of classical music and classical compositions since I was quite young as I cut my teeth on Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Tchaikovsky (clearly my passion for the 1812 Overture was a precursor to a life-long passion for devouring war dramas?) – whilst appreciating contemporary symphonies and orchestras. I loved attending musical concerts and developed a passion for soundcapes lateron as I developed my writing style, as I found the evocations of ambient and trance electronica created this ethereal creative well of inspiration. One of my favourite outlets for these soundscapes is Hearts Of Space, whose programmes are a feast of a writerly soul! Originally I listened to them on the radio until their station dissolved and I re-found them online in 2014! If you can find music that allows your mind the ability to relax into your creative synergy, it’s something to hold onto as creativity is quite obtuse at the best of times!

Although being an electric guitar owner goes a bit against the principles of acoustic guitar sessions (as the whole point is to be ‘unplugged’ rather than ‘plugged’ in) — I must admit, I like finding ways to bridge gaps and musical styles; including finding a balance of pause between electric and acoustic techniques. Rebel musicians like David Garrett (info on the album I own of his via Wikipedia) truly inspire me, as who knew you could emote such a wicked sweet sound out of a violin, such as he? I’d love to learn classical guitar techniques prior to cutting into a vein of style that befits my eclectic personality as I am duly passionate about classical opera as much as the rock operas of Broadway musicals! I am happily eclectic by musicality too, as my heart thunders into a rhythm of joy whilst I listen to Indie artists (especially the kind found on CDbaby!) whose vibes are their own niche of musical revolution. I can take-on quite a heap of music and find the beauty of all of it – combined or singularly separate. Even the decades of the past are a vortex of inspiration as I can hunker down inside the early 20th Century alongside Cole Porter, Bing Crosby, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, and the legends of Jazz.

Swinging back into the classics for a moment, there is something quite tangible about the music of Bach’s generation – it’s not only dimensional, it’s thought-provoking. It’s invigorating but it’s emotionally connecting to you on a level only music can penetrate. Rather than focus solely on the musical notes and experiences of listening to this collection on CD – I wanted to step inside the booklet itself, and relate to you what I found about about Bach directly!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A notation on the Cover Art: Being a visual artist who wants to take up sketching and illustration in the future, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful etchings of the drawings being featured as the cover art design. It’s such a creative way to tell a short story about how man and music can blend together to create a harmony of a new class of dimension that it’s hard to see where man begins and music ends or rather, how the circle is so finite and conjoined the two become entwined. The sketching also focuses on the ‘fundamentals’ of the human form, and thus, seemed to tip the nod to working on the fundamentals of the crafting of musicality. To encourage practice out of the pleasure of developing the ear for what music can give you as much as what you can give back to the process.

The Six Suites for ‘Cello Solo Series:

The Six Suites for 'Cello Solo (J. Sebastian Bach) For Acoustic Guitar Vol. 1: The Life of JS Bach by Steven HancoffThe Six Suites for 'Cello Solo (J. Sebastian Bach) For Acoustic Guitar Vol. 2: The Legacy of JS Bach by Steven HancoffThe Six Suites for 'Cello Solo (J. Sebastian Bach) For Acoustic Guitar Vol. 3: Pablo Casals and the Six Suites by Steven Hancoff

Spotlight on Music & Compositions | The Six Suites for ‘Cello Solo: Volume 4: From Tragedy to Transcendance by Steven HancoffThe Six Suites for 'Cello Solor: Volume 4: From Tragedy to Transcendance
Subtitle: J. Sebastian Bach | For Acoustic Guitar
by Steven Hancoff
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

FROM TRAGEDY TO TRANSCENDENCE

ENTER THE CREATIVE WORLD OF J.S. BACH IN INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED GUITARIST STEVEN HANCOFF’S GROUNDBREAKING FOUR-VOLUME E-BOOK: BACH, CASALS AND THE SIX SUITES FOR ’CELLO SOLO

A Totally Immersive Multimedia Experience. Richly Detailed Text Embedded with More Than 1,000 Illustrations Illuminating Bach’s Masterpiece, from Its Creation to Its Legacy. Bach, Casals and the Six Suites for ’Cello Solo and 3-CD set Audio Recording of ’Cello Suites to be Released June 23rd

Exclusively on iTunes and CD Baby

Includes Hancoff’s Complete Recording Of His Acoustic Guitar Transcription of Bach’s ’Cello Suites

From tragedy to transcendence is the theme that embodies the essence of the life and work of Johann Sebastian Bach. “This man, ‘the miracle of Bach,’ as Pablo Casals once put it, led a life of unfathomable creativity and giftedness on the one hand and neglect and immense tragedy on the other,” says Hancoff.

Bach’s life was rife with hardship and tragedy from the start. By the time he was nine years old, he had witnessed the deaths of three siblings and then, within a year, his father and mother also passed away.

For all his education and talent, however, his first job was serving as a lackey for a drunkard duke. Subsequently, he spent the next fifteen years in the employ of Weimar’s harshly ascetic Duke Wilhelm Ernst, who cared little for music. When he was twenty-two, he married the love of his live, his distant cousin, Maria Barbara Bach. During the thirteen years they were married, she bore him seven children, three of whom died at birth.

In 1717, Prince Leopold of Cöthen offered Bach a position as the musical director for Cöthen. Bach jumped at the chance. The officials of Weimar, however, threw him in jail for “the crime” of daring to resign his present position. Still, Bach was on the verge of a career breakthrough.

Three years into his happy and contented tenure in Cothen, Prince Leopold and Bach visited the spa town of Carlsbad for a month of vacationing and music-making. Unfortunately, upon his return Bach learned of the death of his wife and then only when he entered into his home. Imagine the shock, the impact. He never even discovered the cause of death.

Yet this tragic setback in Bach’s life was a major turning point because he came to grips with his personal tragedy by unleashing a flood of masterpieces for which he is and will be forever revered. First came the Six Violin Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo and then the Six Suites for ’Cello Solo.

In the ’Cello Suites we hear Bach expressing his own seeking, yearning, love, loss, sorrow, grief and determination and their overtones of surrender, resolution affirmation and transcendence. He aspired to articulate an ultimate personal confession, a revelation, entirely unique, entirely sublime, as an ultimate act of artistic and creative testimony, a heavenly statement about his own life and even of life itself—as a final gift and an enduring, heavenly send-off for his beloved wife.

Bach, Casals and the Six Suites for ’Cello Solo invites readers and music lovers into a unique experience, contained in an immersive four-volume e-book from Steven Hancoff – a virtuoso musician’s restless, passionate, multimedia exploration of a musical masterpiece that only grows in stature almost three centuries after it was written.

The many fascinating and inspiring aspects of the book include:

• How Bach struggled and overcame adversity and the lessons his example offer us today.

• The ultimate meaning of the Six Suites for ’Cello.

• How almost all of Bach’s works would have nearly sunk into oblivion were it not for the extraordinary efforts of Sara Levy, the great aunt of Felix Mendelssohn, to rescue them.

• How Felix Mendelssohn singlehandedly created with the performance of the St. Matthew Passion a Bach renaissance and a legacy that continues to be enjoyed to the present day.

• The miraculous discovery of the six ’Cello Suites by Pablo Casals in a Barcelona thrift shop and why he studied them for twelve years before performing them in public.

• What Pablo Casals meant when he spoke of “the miracle of Bach.” Bach, Casals and the Six Suites for ’Cello Solo promises to be an adventure for anyone fascinated by the enduring power of music, art and why they matter.

Places to find the book:

Genres: Classical Music, Music for the Guitar, Music History, Non-Fiction


Published by Out of Time Music Co.

on June 2015

Format: CD | MP3 | disc or set

Converse via: #JohannSebastianBach + #cello + #classicalmusic

About Steven Hancoff

Steven Hancoff

Steve Hancoff began playing guitar when he was 13 years old, captivated by the folk music craze of the 1960s. Within a year he was performing in coffeehouses around Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

For nearly 15 years, he toured the world—about 50 countries—as an official Artistic Ambassador representing the United States of America. His recordings include Steel String Guitar, New Orleans Guitar Solos, Duke Ellington for Solo Guitar, and The Single Petal of A Rose. He is also the author of Acoustic Masters: Duke Ellington for Fingerstyle Guitar and New Orleans Jazz for Fingerstyle Guitar. He is a graduate of St. John’s College, home of the “100 Great Books of the Western World” program and has a Masters degree in clinical social work. He is a psychotherapist, a Rolfer, and a practitioner of Tai Chi. An avid hiker, he is also a member of the Grand Canyon River Guides Associations.

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Posted Thursday, 3 December, 2015 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Classical Music | Composers, iRead Book Tours, Music History, Musical Fiction | Non-Fiction, Non-Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “Yellow-billed Magpie” by Nancy Schoellkopf

Posted Monday, 19 October, 2015 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

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 part of the blog tour for “Yellow-billed Magpie” hosted by iRead Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Nancy Schoellkopf in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why my interest was piqued with this novel:

I like novels which ask questions of it’s readers inasmuch as a story whose heart is aching for a reader to dig a bit deeper than the superficial level of insight. I like finding novelists who write a story with it’s own uniqueness to where it cannot be measured against another novel; for it’s originality sets it apart. I like finding authors who are daring in their courage to tell stories other writers might not feel they can write as eloquently but I appreciate all writers who strive towards pushing themselves past their own set of comfort zones.

I was enthralled with the idea behind Yellow-billed Magpie by the title and then the synopsis. Generally titles may or may not sway me one way or the other; usually because until you sit down with a novel, the title is a bit elusive in explaining itself to you. A synopsis is only a short breath of a clue to what a novel could speak to you about as you read it, but it’s a hint of a suggestion nonetheless. For book bloggers and reviewers (like myself) the synopsis either wins us over in curiosity or we might take a pass on a title until lateron down the road.

In this instance, I was finding myself enjoying the pleasure of seeking out Indie Writers and/or Self Published Writers who were happily giving me a story-line which did not feel repetitive nor re-invented. I like finding writers whose stories tend to stand out from the pack and give you a character who might stay with you longer than the time it takes to read their story. All novels effect us in different ways, some even flutter back inside our memories at later dates – randomly overtaking our thoughts. I like seeking out the stories which give me something to chew on and give me a hearty story to appreciate as I read the words their author left behind for me to find. I was hoping this might be one I would find I couldn’t quite put down without gratitude for taking a chance on it’s author’s style.

Blog Book Tour | “Yellow-billed Magpie” by Nancy SchoellkopfYellow-billed Magpie
by Nancy Schoellkopf
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

Unlike their black-billed cousins, yellow-billed magpies are rarely found outside California’s central valley. So when they begin showing up in Samantha O’Malley’s dreams, she wonders: are they calling me home?

Disappointed by failed fertility treatments and the break-up of her marriage, Samantha returns to her home town and slips into old habits, resuming her teaching career, even hooking up with an old lover. But she also renews her friendship with Craig, the school custodian she honors as her spiritual guide. The work they do together with Samantha’s special education students will lead her to discoveries she never thought possible.

Yellow-Billed Magpie is a love story, a spiritual journey, a quest to look beyond appearances to the mystical rhythms that guide the human heart.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780692445730

Also by this author: Red-tailed Hawk

Also in this series: Red-tailed Hawk


Genres: Literary Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Women's Fiction


Published by Butterfly Tree Publishing

on 3rd August 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 216

Available Formats: Paperback

Converse via: #YellowbilledMagpie

About Nancy Schoellkopf

Nancy Schoellkopf

Nancy Schoellkopf has been telling stories and writing poems for many lifetimes. It goes without saying she’s needed a second income, so this time around she happily taught amazing children in special education classes in two urban school districts in Sacramento, California.

A full time writer now, she enjoys lavishing attention on her cat, her garden and her intriguing circle of family and friends.

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Posted Monday, 19 October, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Cats and Kittens, Debut Author, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Modern Day, Vulgarity in Literature

Blog Book Tour | “Inspector Dewey” by Kristen Heimerl and illustrated by Irene Bofill A cosy #mystery for #catlovers!

Posted Friday, 2 October, 2015 by jorielov , , , 4 Comments

Illustrated Stories Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for “Inspector Dewey” hosted by iRead Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the author Kristen Heimerl in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Beautiful extras arrived with my ARC:

I wish I had thought to take a photograph of the extras which were included with this lovely ARC copy of Inspector Dewey! The author truly made it a special treat to become a part of her publicity campaign via this lovely blog tour! The other bloggers I noticed have mentioned the lovely surprises on their posts, too, and even one tweeted about them! I wanted to simply give an extra note of gratitude to Ms Heimerl for coming up with not only clever little ‘extras’ to tuck inside a review copy’s envelope, but to put a lot of thought into what a book blogger and reader might enjoy as a surprise gift!

Even the attention to detail in gift wrapping the ARC in yellow tissue, sealed inside a plastic bag with a delicate silvery white bow and placed in a non-bendable mailing envelope was top notch! Placing the Inspector Dewey promotional sticker and artwork on the mailer was something that winked out a smile when I caught sight of it in my postbox yet it was the amount of time she took to make this a special memory for each of us that touched me the most. Well done!

Blog Book Tour | “Inspector Dewey” by Kristen Heimerl and illustrated by Irene Bofill A cosy #mystery for #catlovers!Inspector Dewey
by Kristen Heimerl
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Irene Bofill
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

My name is Dewey--Inspector Dewey.

I live in the big green house on Hampshire Avenue with my family: Thumper, Lily, and Anna. I am the Big Cat—responsible for keeping everyone safe and in order. I do this quite well, in spite of the fact that managing my family is like, well, herding cats!

Mostly our life is peaceful. But one night it wasn’t. That was the night the bad guy showed up on our block. Of course, I knew exactly how to outsmart the outlaw, but—miserable mullet!—would Anna and the police understand my instructions?

To find out how the adventure ended, you’ll have to read my book. But I’ll give you a hint: there’s a reason I’m called Inspector Dewey.

Fifty percent of the profits from the sale of this book will fund veterinary care for pets whose families are in financial need, so that the animals can remain in their homes and out of the shelter system.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781939710277

Genres: Artistic Adaptations &/or Picture Books, Children's Literature, Cosy Mystery, Illustrated Stories


Published by Orange Frazer Press

on 1st September 2015

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 32

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

Available Formats: Hardback

Converse via: #InspectorDewey

About Kristen Heimerl

Kristen Heimerl

Marketing Officer, Strategy Expert, Innovator and Brand Builder, Kristen’s business career spans 20+ years serving the biggest brands in industry and the biggest hearts of start-ups and entrepreneurs. Kristen revels in bringing compelling products and services to life and helping leaders and individuals with big dreams realize their big goals.

Kristen’s life joys include her 2+ year obsession creating the most beautiful self-published picture book possible, the breathtaking forests and lakes of her Minnesota birthplace, the family that really does love her no matter what, and her three magnificent Norwegian Forest Cats who together, with Kristen, helped catch the bad guy on their block that inspired her upcoming book (stake out and high speed chase included!)

She holds a master of science in eCommerce from Carnegie Mellon University, an MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, and a BA from the University of St. Thomas. As the great transformer in her life, Kristen supports others’ education and literacy as an adjunct professor of business and strategy and, more recently, through her children’s book, Inspector Dewey (Available September 2015).

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Posted Friday, 2 October, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Cats and Kittens, Children's Literature, Cosy Mystery, Debut Author, Illustrations for Stories, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Modern Day, Picture Book

Blog Book Tour | “Riding” by Cassia Cassitas with a featured Guest Post to accompany my review!

Posted Sunday, 20 September, 2015 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 part of the blog tour for “Riding” hosted by iRead Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Cassia Cassitas in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I love reading translated works of fiction:

Prior to being a book blogger I hadn’t had the chance to read translated works of literature, which I’ve mentioned previously, especially when I reviewed my first Swedish thriller The Swimmer which blew my mind at how intricate and intense a high octane suspense novel can read whilst in translation! However, expanding out of translated works from their original languages, I also have had a healthy curiosity about authors whose first language is not English, who are writing heart-centered fiction and/or historical fiction, as I love reading women’s fiction as much as I love reading historicals. Another niche I thought I might appreciate would be literary fiction, as the breadth of what can be told and explored would expand through the narrative arc.

When I first read the premise of Riding I felt connected to the story, but also recognised this was an original type of story told through a perspective that I haven’t come across beforehand and warmly looked forward to reading. I’ll express a bit more about why I appreciate the Olympic and Paralympic Games as I move into my review, but right now I simply wanted to say how joyful it was to encounter a wholly original premise from an author whose first language is not English. I am celebrating multi-cultural and multi-language authors as my discovery of their works helps enrich my reading circle with a bounty of unknown stories of whom I am blessed and grateful to have alight on my path!

Blog Book Tour | “Riding” by Cassia Cassitas with a featured Guest Post to accompany my review!Riding
by Cassia Cassitas
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

Amidst real events and landscapes, men and women like us wander the cities we inhabit, rehearsing happier lives in the pages of this motivational narrative. From each one, destiny took a part to make them perfect.

When he is born, Andre propels his mother's life in a new direction. His father, an executive who organizes Olympic competitions around the world and doesn't know when to come back home, strives to make him a worldly citizen. Cycling, his life acquires purpose: becoming an Olympic para-athlete.

Together with his friends, he experiences disappointments and new beginnings. A doctor that builds robots, the daughter of a lonely teenager, and a retired athlete teach André how to overcome his limits and live his dream.

Set in Curitiba with breaks in Los Angeles, Seoul, Johannesburg and Soweto, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London, the narrative ends in 2012, in Rio de Janeiro.

As a tribute to all those who choose to sign the next episodes of their lives, this book is about overcoming one’s self amid achievements, obstacles, love and heroism, written behind the scenes of life.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781511966139

Genres: Literary Fiction


Published by Self Published Author

on 31st April 2015

Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

Pages: 252

Self-Published by the Author
Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Cassia Cassitas

Cassia Cassitas

In my mind, words came in strides. They aligned themselves in arguments that were ready for combat after rebelling themselves - and that was just inkling. Where was my certainty to support the new image? And where were my emotions, with their brushes to bring color to life?"

Born in the interior of the state of Paraná, Cassia Cassitas accumulated various degrees throughout her career in Information Technology. The author of three novels, her texts convey ideas accumulated amidst the smell of coffee plantations, shoe factories, and the technology of the 20th century. These texts deal with life-altering episodes, in a path lit by a harmonious blend of memories and imagination.

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Posted Sunday, 20 September, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Debut Author, Equality In Literature, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Life Shift, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, South America, Special Needs Children, Sports, The Olympic Games (Winter or Summer), Women's Fiction