Source: Direct from Author

#SpooktasticReads Book Review | “#Paranormal Texas: Your travel guide to Haunted Places near Dallas & Forth Worth” by Tui Snider

Posted Thursday, 19 October, 2017 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I used to attend two weekly chats quite regularly when I first joined Twitter in late Autumn 2013, extending into 2014 and 2015; by 2016 I started to withdraw from the chat community on Twitter due to the increases in my chronic migraines. Whilst I was attending #K8Chat (hosted by Kate Tilton) in 2014, I won one of the weekly bookaways whilst being asked by the author if I would like a second book by her to consider for review purposes. Therefore, I received two books in the Post: “Paranormal Texas” and “Unexpected Texas”; this marks the first of two reviews I am showcasing this year during my fortnight of Spooktastic Reads! Thereby, I received a complimentary copy of “Paranormal Texas” direct from the author Tui Snider without obligation to post a review; I decided to post one for my own edification and to share with my readers what I found within this lovely Guide! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Being a former chatter during #StoryDam & why these books interested me:

I cannot remember exactly if I first crossed paths with Tui Snider during #StoryDam and/or #K8Chat; the latter was disbanded a few weeks ‘before’ I was going to return to the chat after taking a sabbatical (due to my migraines). I was crestfallen by the news but fully understood why Ms Tilton decided to ‘move on’. There are seasons in everything in life, including the chats which are happily taking their entrances and exits on Twitter!

I believe I lamented on my #SpooktasticReads post we first met during #StoryDam – either way you slice it, the reason I was most keen on her Non-Fiction works is because we share an interest in the following things:

*paranormal shows (fiction & non-fiction)

*paranormal fiction

*haunted houses

*the unexplained

Finding Ms Snider was a blessing in my life – as I previously mentioned, she has the kind of spirit your hoping to find online – one which is accepting and encouraging whilst having a bubbly personality who makes you feel welcome as soon as you start to chat with her! The best part of course of crossing her path was becoming attuned to the Non-Fiction works she was developing which speak to the heart of another love we share: stories of the Historical Past which are still being discovered today!

Despite the time delay in reading her books and posting my ruminative thoughts, one thing which staid with me is the manner in which she wrote them! She makes them a lively romp through unexpected historical notations on both the living persons who lived interesting lives and the ‘afterlife’ adventures of those spirits who have not yet crossed into the Light! These are the spirits who I am sure “The Ghost Whisperer” would love to chat with and find out their ‘true story’ of why they feel they need to stay ‘inbetween’. If you loved the series as much as I did, you are surely going to love Ms Snider’s companionable way of entertaining your curiosity with newfound lore, legend and the mysteriously interesting incidents which make North Texas a keen place to visit!

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#SpooktasticReads Book Review | “#Paranormal Texas: Your travel guide to Haunted Places near Dallas & Forth Worth” by Tui SniderParanormal Texas
Subtitle: Your travel guide to Haunted Places near Dallas & Forth Worth
by Tui Snider
Source: Direct from Author, Won a Bookaway

Why creep around at night when so many haunted places in north Texas are open to the public & active during the day?

Not only does Tui Snider explain the intriguing stories behind the paranormal activity in the Dallas - Ft. Worth area, but she gives directions to places you can visit in person, such as the:

* Serial Killer’s Grave where EVP’s & Anomalous Photos are common
* Amusement Park where a Little Girl Haunts the Candy Store
* Country Graveyard with a Mysteriously Glowing Tombstone
* Hotel so Haunted that a University teaches Parapsychology there
* Historic Cemetery where people get EVP’s and Orbs in Broad Daylight
* Ghost Town with an Operatic Apparition & a Haunted Restaurant
* B&B with a Gentlemanly Ghost who seems Protective of Women
* Theatre that kept it’s Resident Ghost in mind when remodeling
* Historic Town Squares where nearly Every Shop has a Ghost!

… & much more!

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1500766085

Genres: Current Events, Ghost Story, Gothic Literature, Non-Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics


Published by Self Published Author

on 19th August, 2014

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 183

Self-Published Non-Fiction

The two books I am reading by Ms Snider this October:

Paranormal Texas by Tui SniderUnexpected Texas by Tui Snider

1. Tui’s first book, Unexpected Texas,  is a travel guide to quirky, offbeat and overlooked places within easy reach of the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex. It was released on March 2, 2014 and remains a bestseller in Dallas – Fort Worth Travel on Amazon. In 2015, this book won first place in the North Texas Book Festival.

2. Tui’s second book, Paranormal Texas is a travel guide to haunted places in north Texas. It was released in October 2014 and also remains an Amazon bestseller.

3. Tui’s third book, The Lynching of the Santa Bank Robber, is a strange-but-true tale of West Texas history. This book was released in March of 2016, and came in 2nd place in the North Texas Book Festival that year.

4. Tui’s fourth book, Come to My Senses, is a companion book of lyrics and photos for the dream pop CD she released in conjunction with her first photography exhibit and writing residency for Tarleton State University’s Langdon Review in 2016.

5. Tui’s fifth book, Understanding Cemetery Symbols: A Workbook for Exploring Historic Graveyards, is being cross-released as both a paperback and an ebook.The book officially released on August 19, 2017.

Converse via: #TexasHistory, #Paranormal, #Ghosts & #NonFiction

About Tui Snider

Tui Snider

Tui Snider is an award-winning author, speaker, photographer, and musician who specializes in quirky, offbeat and overlooked places, historic graveyards, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!”

After living in Belgium, Italy, and a tiny island with a population of 7, Tui now calls the state of Texas her home. Even so, she has experienced as much culture shock in the Lone Star State as she ever did overseas!

For Tui, travel is a mindset. Her motto is “Even home is a travel destination,” and she believes “The world is only boring if you take everyone else’s word for it.”

Snider’s best-selling books include Paranormal Texas, The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber, and Unexpected Texas.

In August 2017, Tui Snider released her 5th book called Understanding Cemetery Symbols, this book is a guide to the forgotten meaning of symbols and acronyms our ancestors left on their headstones. Preorder sales went so well Understanding Cemetery Symbols became an Amazon best seller!

Tui lectures frequently at universities, libraries, conferences and bookstores. In 2016, she was the writer-in-residence for Tarleton State University’s Langdon Review. In 2017, she taught a series of courses at Texas Christian University based on her books.

Snider’s writing and photography have been featured in a variety of publications, including Coast to Coast AM, FOX Travel News, LifeHack, Langdon Review, the City of Plano, Wild Woman Waking, Shades of Angels and many more.

In addition, Tui is a singer/songwriter who plays several instruments. Listeners frequently describe her dream pop album, Come to My Senses, as “mystical” and “magical.”

Tui has worn a lot of hats in her life – literally – and is especially fond of berets. In addition to writing and music, she is an avid photographer.

Snider has several more books in progress, and is working on her next album. She enjoys connecting with writers and readers all over the globe through social media, her newsletter and her website.

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Posted Thursday, 19 October, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cemeteries & Graveyards, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, History, Modern Day, Non-Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Small Towne USA, Travel, Travel Writing, Travelogue

Audiobook Review | “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc” by Jennifer Kincheloe Jorie re-visits one of her beloved reads of 2016!

Posted Monday, 13 March, 2017 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

How I first came to read ‘Anna Blanc’: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction. I received a complimentary copy of “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc” direct from the publisher Seventh Street Books (an imprint of Prometheus Books) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared therein. This selection marked my ‘first’ choice of novels from Prometheus Books – which is why being able to listen and review the audiobook was such a sweet blessing!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

How I acquired this Digital Audiobook and my connection to the author: Jennifer Kincheloe

I remained in touch with the author – as I had hoped this would turn into a series – where this would only be the first installment of Anna Blanc’s life. When I caught sight of the audiobook being published on Twitter, I reached out directly to the author, to ask if she were seeking reviews on it’s behalf. Blessed to say, she was and I offered to re-read this novel via the audiobook in exchange for an honest review in December 2016, thinking I would post my ruminations on behalf of the narrator’s vocalisation of Anna Blanc in January 2017.

Except to say, I couldn’t get motivated to re-listen to this title – I was still adjusting to my father’s recovery from his stroke as he was just getting through his recovery period at home. I struggled with finding the inspiration to read in mid to late December and throughout January; although I did find a few stories which took hold. Sadly, this story I pushed forward to listen too, as I wanted to be in a better frame of mind to listen to Anna’s story for the second time, as became such a dear joy of mine the first time round! I had mentioned to the author about possibly contacting the Audiobookworm about promoting the audiobook, too. Turns out whilst I had a few months of a reader’s rut to trudge through, this audiobook and story made it into Audiobookworm Promotions!

I requested to be an ‘additional’ reviewer and to interview the narrator originally as I didn’t want to affect the blog tour – yet at the same time, I was so inspired by the narrator’s take on Anna Blanc, I was wicked excited about setting up a conversation with her about her performance. This conversation ended up being canncelled on my end, as I simply couldn’t pull it together on a short deadline. I also remained on the blog tour to be a ‘second time reader’ of the novel.

Therefore, I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc” via the author Jennifer Kencheloe in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein nor for recommending her to use Audiobookworm Promotions for publicity for this title or series.

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What I initially loved about the story of ‘Anna Blanc’ – quoted from my original review of the print edition:

Anna Blanc is self-assured and a women who doesn’t take kindly to be ‘put in place’ by her controlling father – as soon as she announces her presence on the scene, you want to know more about her as she’s a formidable woman straight from the gate! Her cheeky cleverness to hide whilst attempting to flee by rail and to be fashionable even though necessity dictates that to be a difficulty when trying to outfox someone from finding out your whereabouts – Anna Blanc has a charm about her that lends well to become entranced by a character you can tell is going to surprise you at each new turning of her story! How can you not help but smile when things go her way? She has this curious aplumb about her that delights the expectation of where she’s about to take you on her adventure!

Kincheloe has this cheeky sense of humour threading through her ink, as right when you think Anna Blanc has mastered the art of deceiving her father for the goodwill of her future, he pulls back twice as strong as before – leaving Anna with a shattered bit of hope and a firm displeasure of injustice. When she meets up with the Suffragettes, I was not too shocked to find her winning a wink towards their cause – as their cause was her cause!

The best attribute Anna Blanc has within her is a self-motivating resolve to become self-educated as it was such a joy to watch her expand her mind in a fervent attempt to understand the underpinnings of motives and causes of the crimes that were leeching through her city at such a fast rate of alarm. She did not just want to sleuth for the sake of detection but to fully understand the methodology behind the crimes and I think this is a nod to the writer’s (Kincheloe) curiosity being piqued by true crime stories straight out of the historical archives from whence she draws her inspirations. Kincheloe also under-writ a stunning historical survey of early Forensic techniques which inspired Anna with her investigating – especially in regards to understanding the differences between murder and suicide. This became quite pivotal in the story as Anna Blanc made her transition from socialite to female detective.

The beauty of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc are the little bits of plot your not expecting to find encircle through the evolving story – there were little clues fluttering through it’s context, but the joy was not completely sorting it all out until the very last chapter – wherein, your heart swoons with glee and you champion the success Anna Blanc had in closing her second case! This is a bit of a guilty pleasure for historical fiction readers – Kincheloe has tempted us with her wicked sweet prose where a heroine peppers the scenes with her feisty personality and a penchant for seeking out the truth from a sea of lies!

Sophisticated in her ascertainment of conception behind Anna Blanc, Kincheloe has writ such a lively character, you drink in her words with such a joy of delight! She has a fast paced narrative, where the humour is smitten by the sophisticated edging of her character’s personality, matched equally brilliantly by the grace of a Cosy Historical Mystery backdrop! She’s captured the turn of the century atmosphere aptly, as she tucks in recognisable familiarities to alight in your imagination as you turn the pages; replete with gaslights and other bits which correlate with the era.

I loved the way in which Kincheloe turnt a phrase, using words not oft found in historical fiction as her novel is a good primer of words that are wicked to say aloud and used in descriptive narratives such as this one! The phrases themselves are a delight for readers who love words as much as wordsmiths, which Kincheloe definitely excels at including whilst giving Anna Blanc a crafty choice of words to express her emotional duress! She also found a clever way to include Anna’s religious background by having her talk to the Saints when a mood or a moment fitted the hour; it was quite an interesting way to thread faith inside a mainstream novel and I liked the author’s candor.

I found this unputdownable – I read it straight through in one sitting!

I found it deliciously refreshing as Anna Blanc is a heroine who made her mark on the world on her own terms whilst owning the truth of her heart. I cannot wait to see what Ms Kincheloe will give us to devour next when this novel’s sequel is released – with a bit of hope, she won’t leave us in suspense too long!

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Audiobook Review | “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc” by Jennifer Kincheloe Jorie re-visits one of her beloved reads of 2016!The Secret Life of Anna Blanc
Subtitle: Read by Moira Quirk
by Jennifer Kincheloe
Source: Direct from Author
Narrator: Moira Quirk

It's 1907 Los Angeles. Mischievous socialite Anna Blanc is the kind of young woman who devours purloined crime novels—but must disguise them behind covers of more domestically-appropriate reading. She could match wits with Sherlock Holmes, but in her world women are not allowed to hunt criminals.

Determined to break free of the era's rigid social roles, Anna buys off the chaperone assigned by her domineering father and, using an alias, takes a job as a police matron with the Los Angeles Police Department. There she discovers a string of brothel murders, which the cops are unwilling to investigate. Seizing her one chance to solve a crime, she takes on the investigation herself.

If the police find out, she'll get fired; if her father finds out, he'll disown her; and if her fiancé finds out, he'll cancel the wedding and stop pouring money into her father's collapsing bank. Midway into her investigation, the police chief's son, Joe Singer, learns her true identity. And shortly thereafter she learns about blackmail.

Anna must choose—either hunt the villain and risk losing her father, fiancé, and wealth, or abandon her dream and leave the killer on the loose.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Also by this author: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc

Also in this series: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc


Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Historical Fiction


Published by Jennifer R. Kincheloe Ltd

on 14th November, 2016

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 12 hours 44 minutes (unabridged)

(Audiobook) Published By: the author herself

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

Converse via: #SecretLifeOfAnnaBlanc

About Jennifer Kincheloe

Jennifer Kincheloe Photo Credit: Fola Akinyemi

Jennifer has been a block layer, a nurse's aid, a fragrance model, and on the research faculty at UCLA, where she spent 11 years conducting studies to inform health policy. A native of Southern California, she now lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two teenagers. She's currently writing book three in the Anna Blanc Mystery series. Book two, THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK, is coming out in Fall of 2017 from Seventh Street Books.

Photo Credit: Fola Akinyemi
Biography updated: March 2017

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Monday, 13 March, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Father-Daughter Relationships, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, Prometheus Books, the Nineteen Hundreds, True Crime, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Rights, Women's Suffrage

#TwelfthNightReadathon | “Gifts of the Magi: A Speculative Holiday Collection” an anthology with a charitable heart benefiting Indy Reads Books!

Posted Saturday, 14 January, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Twelfth Night Readathon badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Ahead of Christmas 2015, I received a beautifully lovely gift: a specially released anthology celebrating Speculative Fiction authors and the gift of charity. Indy Reads Books is an independent bookstore in Indianapolis, Indiana giving back to authors, readers and members of their community on a yearly basis whereas the other half of “Indy Reads” is a non-profit literacy organisation. This is a bookstore I have come to know through the authors who are behind this anthology: Mr (RJ) Sullivan, Mr (John F.) Allen and Ms Chris (E. Chris Garrison) of whom I have had the joy of interacting with both on blog tours or outside of them for Tomorrow Comes Media and/or Seventh Star Press.

This particular book was offered to me knowing how much I love holiday stories and the beauty of having such a strong presence of Speculative stories contained in one singular anthology with the heart of the holidays a central theme running through them! I personally love reading anthologies within the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Cosy Horror genres, which in of itself felt like a good fit to read this collection. I was unexpectedly taken ill during December 2015 (my infamous thirty day flu!) and this past December, whilst I had re-scheduled this to be a part of my #ChristmasReads and #WYChristmasReadathon series of posts, I was otherwise distracted by the recovery process after my Dad’s stroke. You can read about the first twenty-four hours after his stroke (per this post) and a bit of a background on my inability to read during December (per this anchour section of a recent review). Thus, my idea of recapturing the Christmas Spirit during Twelfth Night weekend was bourne!

I received a complimentary copy of “Gifts of the Magi” 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

#TwelfthNightReadathon & what sparked the idea:

I personally love reading holiday stories around Christmastime, however, this year, proved to be quite a unique year all the way round; starting Thanksgiving weekend. I dearly wanted to dig inside these lovely stories which are winking at me to read but with a heavy heart and a mind weighed down by anxieties attached to stroke patient’s recoveries, you could say the timing was definitively ‘off’ this year for posting anything remotely lit with the Christmas Spirit in December. I had to fight my way back into reading just to secure a passageway back into the hours I love spending inside stories and the journey of characters; as let’s face it, I had a lot on my heart and soul this year.

The blessing is being able to find my bookish joy emerged through a succession of Rom Novellas through a blog series I entitled: #MidnightChocLit (see the thread). This enabled me not only to retrieve my bookish heart but my bookish joy – the curiosity about stories and the lives of characters started to renew inside my imagination and it started me off again on solid ground. Spending this past week tucked inside an INSPY #HistRom also provided me with the hours I needed to heal my nerves and resume enjoying the hours I could spend inside a fictional world (see also Review).

Despite my progress back to my blog and back into an active reading life, there were ebbs of guilt murmuring inside my heart because more than anything I had wanted this to be a December where I could fully embrace reading stories of the season. This is when a lightbulb flashed in my mind – wait! The Christmas season isn’t fully extinguished until Twelfth Night and Twelfth Night is a celebration of the three kings! I knew I should start by reading and live tweeting my responses to Gifts of the Magi on this particular Friday, as it marks Twelfth Night officially! Ergo, all the lovely stories of Christmas Spirit across genre and literary selections could now be happily read during my own personal #TwelfthNightReadathon!

Except to say, Mother Nature had other plans in store for me – we had an epic storm arriving in the afternoon hours of Twelfth Night itself and it continued into Saturday; therefore, my tweets were quite a bit delayed – thus kicking off this readathon as a ‘weekend’ celebration; perhaps it was meant to be all along, as this is what I had put on the badge I created to celebrate the series of reviews! My readings of this anthology truly were encased during #TwelfthNight weekend, however, my reviews I wanted to feature over the weekend are running this week instead. The best part for me – is to be able to recapture stories of a season I cherish so dearly during a year where my heart was full of anxiety and now just a stone’s throw in the New Year, I can reattach the joys of soaking into stories of Yule & Christmastide!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This of course, would have remained true if my dear Maine Coon / tabby hadn’t been struck quite ill whilst I was trying to kick-off this readathon. Turns out, as a senior cat of nearly 13 years he’s developed horrid food allergies and was quite miserable; his sister-in-arms is one year his junior (my little Tux!) of whom now has ‘food intolerance’s’. Despite being earnestly hopeful to find something that would work for them (as in their kittenhood and early years of growth, they had (as did their two siblings) multiple health issues which is why Mum and I were consistently ‘on the road’ to new places to purchase high quality pet foods whilst the Vets and my fam were growing more discouraged by the hour when even the best quality you can find isn’t working for your four cats. Hence why we were advised to go with what worked for our darlings and not worry about what is working for everyone else. This worked out quite well – until now.

Turns out!? The *best!* cat food our cats need was developed by Rachael Ray! Her Nutrish line for cats (esp the Chicken and Potato dry food!) is what turnt this crazy insanity around in *one!* feeding! ONE! Our Coon / Tabby who was *always!* Alpha is now a Beta cat whose so relaxed and happy, his Tux of a sister is still trying to get used to him being less playful around her and just go with the flow. All his issues are gone as are hers, to such a degree it’s a true miracle. They used to eat only wet food, but this dry food has done so many marvels for their health (i.e. vision, fur, digestion, etc) I cannot see them returning to wet food! Their so happy right now, it’s a beautiful thing to see – ergo, I am continuing this readathon in the spirit of Twelfth Night – as a closing of the holiday season and the stories of Yule.

This is why you’ll see my tweets stopped for a short break – as everything prior to Unraveled was written by the 9th before I was able to resume and conclude my ruminations.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com#TwelfthNightReadathon | “Gifts of the Magi: A Speculative Holiday Collection” an anthology with a charitable heart benefiting Indy Reads Books!Gifts of the Magi
Subtitle: A Speculative Holiday Collection
by A.D Roland, Chantal Noordeloos, Debra Holland, Herika R. Raymer, John F. Allen, Katina French, Ms Chris (E. Chris Garrison), R.J. Sullivan
Source: Direct from Author

Stories for Christmas-- authors for the New Year!

Find within this magical tome 14 NEW original holiday-themed stories of fantasy, horror and science fiction by a talented group of authors--plus one holiday essay. The tales from our Magi vary from the light and satirical to the dark and serious, and we've shuffled the deck to keep you guessing.

· A time guardian may have to choose between preserving reality or destroying the man she loves.
· A snowman comes to life, but he's not a happy soul.
· Santa makes a terrible bargain in order to save Christmas.
· On Christmas Eve, a furious fairy princess attacks a double-decker bus.
· Two secret agents attend an exclusive Christmas party with an unusual price of admission.
· Soldiers in the midst of the zombie apocalypse try to find the Christmas spirit.
· A boy and his father confront an alien creature on the Longest Night.
· A mercenary packing magical pistols battles a monster while Christmas shopping for her werewolf boyfriend.
· Steampunk detectives find themselves fending off Christmas "elves."
· Humans exiled to an alternate world blend alien and human holiday traditions.
· A banished prince with a magic chicken finds a nearly drowned soldier--so says the storyteller.
· A bounty hunter searches for a rogue elf.
· A traumatized punk girl confronts the spirits from the worst night of her life.
· In a dystopian future, Christmas is outlawed.
· ...And Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author Nicole Cushing reveals the holiday specials that she feels deserve "lumps of coal."

100% of all proceeds from this book benefit Indy Reads.

Indy Reads is a not-for-profit organization that relies on volunteers to provide basic literacy tutoring to illiterate and semi-literate adults. Indy Reads operates a bookstore in downtown Indianapolis. Learn more at www.indyreads.org.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1502902528

Also by this author: Hero's Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, Blue Spirit, Guest Post (Restless Spirit), Restless Spirit, Virtual Blue, Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy, Author Interview (Red Lotus, Vol.1), Commanding the Red Lotus

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Cosy Horror, Fantasy Fiction, Science Fiction


Published by Speculative Fiction Guild

on Halloween, 2014

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 196

Published By: Speculative Fiction Guild | Facebook | @sfg2013

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #SpecFict + #anthology (or #SpeculativeFiction)

About John F. Allen

John F Allen

John F. Allen is an American writer born in Indianapolis, IN. He is a member of The Indiana Writers Center, began writing stories as early as the second grade and pursued most forms of writing at some point, throughout his career. John studied Liberal Arts at IUPUI with a focus in Creative Writing, received an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force and is a current member of the American Legion. John's debut novel, The God Killers was published in the Summer of 2013 by Seventh Star Press. He also has published short stories in several anthologies including: Thunder on the Battlefield, Vol I, also by Seventh Star Press and In The Bloodstream, by Mocha Memoirs Press.

John currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.

About Ms Chris (E. Chris Garrison)

Ms Chris Garrison

E. Chris Garrison writes Fantasy and Science Fiction novels and short stories. She used to publish as Eric Garrison, but has since upgraded.

Her latest series is Trans-Continental, a Steampunk adventure with a transgender woman as its protagonist. Chris’s supernatural fantasy stories include the Road Ghosts trilogy and the Tipsy Fairy Tales published by Seventh Star Press. These novels are humorous supernatural fantasies, dealing with ghosts, demonic possession, and sinister fairy folk.

Her novel, Reality Check, is a Science Fiction adventure released by Hydra Publications. Reality Check reached #1 in Science Fiction on Amazon.com during a promotion in July 2013. Chris lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her wife, step-daughter and cats. She also enjoys gaming, home brewing beer, and finding innovative uses for duct tape.

About R.J. Sullivan

R.J. Sullivan with his characters

R.J. Sullivan’s novel Haunting Blue is an edgy paranormal thriller and the first book of the adventures of punk girl Fiona “Blue” Shaefer and her boyfriend Chip Farren. Seventh Star Press also released Haunting Obsession, a Rebecca Burton Novella, and Virtual Blue, the second part of Fiona’s tale. The short stories in this collection have been featured in such acclaimed anthologies as Dark Faith Invocations by Apex Books and Vampires Don’t Sparkle. His next book due out very soon will be Commanding the Red Lotus, which collects the series of science fiction novelettes in the tradition of Andre Norton and Gene Roddenberry.

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.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #TwelfthNightReadathon
  • #WYChristmasReadathon
  • Sci Fi Experience 2017
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Posted Saturday, 14 January, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, BlogTalkRadio, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cosy Horror, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Futuristic Fantasy, Guest Author on the Chamber, Indie Author, Parapsychological Suspense, Podcast, Supernatural Fiction, Telepaths & Telepathy, The Star Chamber Show, Vulgarity in Literature

Book Review | “Pieces of Granite” (Prequel, Coming Home series) by Brenda S. Anderson Jorie happily returns to a series that touched her heart!

Posted Friday, 22 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I answered a call to become a member of Ms. Anderson’s Author Street Team which was posted on her blog in March 2014. She accepted me as part of her Street Team, whereby I am one of her early readers who has the opportunity to read her novels a bit ahead of their published release or just after their release date, whilst finding ways to talk about why I love reading her novels on my blog and Twitter feeds. I truly love championing her collective works as she’s writing wicked good INSPY fiction for today’s modern reader. I re-affirmed my commitment to her Street Team in July 2016, as I never truly left but my participation was on hold until this Summer. Most of my participation between 2014 and 2016 occurred on Twitter; you can still find my tweets threading through the twitterverse about the Coming Home series!

I received a complimentary copy of “Pieces of Granite” direct from the author herself, Brenda S. Anderson in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein

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Why I personally love reading the Coming Home series:

When Ms. Anderson says she writes ‘gritty fiction’ she is referring to the fact she likes to dig deeper than the superficial layering of telling a story. She likes to go directly into a character’s soul and walk of faith, rooting out their emotional and psychological stability or instability if the case might be, in order to best show the growth and spiritual awakening they need to embark towards. For some it is a spiritual renewal and for others, it’s an awakening because they never gave themselves the proper credit towards understanding God in the first place. She breathes honesty and raw emotions into the context of her stories, and her vision for her characters is realistic humility in recognition of everyman’s faults, fragilities, and sensitivities. She organically digs deeper to tell a more compelling and openly captivating story which pulls you in from page one and does not leave your heart even after the last page is turnt; the story fully absorbed and known. She is most definitely an emerging voice in Inspirational Fiction to keep an eye out for new releases and a finger-tap on interlocking book series!

She maintains the spirituality of Christianity in a gentle way of allowing you to oversee the character going through the motions of returning to a God-centered life which is cross-referenced by light commentary of scriptures and affirmations of God’s grace. It is through the lessons of her character’s actions that the greatest arc of spirituality is found.

-quoted from my review of Chain of Mercy

I realise Ms Anderson softens her approach to writing the tone within the Where the Heart Is series which follows publication after the Coming Home series – however, what personally tethered me to her writerly core of heart initially was how honest she was to write an emotionally raw and convicting story-line about wicked real characters who were struggling to find a bridge through adversities and life-changing moments erupting through their ordinary hours. They were in the midst of changing who they were internally as much as spiritually – re-awakening themselves to mercy and forgiveness.

Her cardinal approach to cut a slice of life affirmative fiction into our readerly hours is a lift of joy to me as a reader, as these are the kinds of stories I love to find within the realms of today’s Contemporary INSPY! I also love how she follows her heart, penning stories that are a firm step outside the box of where Inspirational Fiction has the tendency to become a bit too predictably stagnant and re-writes how all INSPY writers can find fuller freedom in painting a portraiture of our everyday world.

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The Coming Home series by Brenda S. Anderson

 Converse via: #ComingHomeSeries + #ChainOfMercy + #PiecesOfGranite

PREQUEL: Pieces of Granite | December 2014

BOOK 1: Chain of Mercy | April 2014 | (see Review)

BOOK 2: Memory Box Secrets | April 2015 | (Synopsis)

BOOK 3: Hungry for Home | September 2015 | (Synopsis)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comWhen you first set out to write the Coming Home series did you envision each individual book in the series or has the series knitted together organically one story at a time?

Anderson responds: When I first started writing, I had no clue that I would end up with a four book series. Each book grew organically from the previous. I first wrote Chain of Mercy and realized that I actually had two stories in one, so that’s how Memory Box Secrets was born. The story expanded from there. Pieces of Granite came about because I kept hearing from agents and editors that female readers didn’t want to read a book about male issues, so I decided to create a story from the female perspective.

In Chain of Mercy, the hero (Richard) talks about a fight he’d had with his younger sister (Debbie), a rift he created when Debbie told him about her daughter having Down syndrome. I took Debbie’s story and expanded it. I wrote Finding Home because I left a few loose threads dangling at the end of Memory Box Secrets (that’s all the spoiler I’ll give!) I needed to address those threads properly.

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Read our full conversation

Read an Excerpt from Pieces of Granite

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On my two year absence on reviewing the Coming Home series:

I initially intended to read and review the books as they were releasing as an active member of the author’s Street Team, however, [2015] proved to be quite the difficult year for myself and my family. As previously reflected on my End of the Year Survey, 2015 – I even garnished a bit of a backlogue of reviews and titles I was seeking to read. I elected to focus on the stories I was able to read and remained hopeful the tides would turn to where I could reclaim the stories I was not yet able to greet against the page!

Thus, as 2016 started to unfold, I was hoping I could arrive inside a moment where I could lay heart and mind back inside this beautifully conceived Realistic INSPY series as my first reading of Chain of Mercy was such a powerful one, I was drawn immediately inside the vision Ms Anderson had for the series as a whole! I knew from that one reading, I would be forever grateful to be amongst the readers who not only sought out her collective works but could continue to find out what she drew together for these characters I had become so dearly attached too knowing more about!

It so happens, this Summer I felt was a renewing season for myself as a reader – where I could not only dig back inside the stories on my bookshelf I longed to soak inside but I could pull together stories on parallel themes that truly touch my spirit and heart as I am reading them. Be sure to watch for my upcoming reviews on behalf of stories of mumhood & alternative families: Claiming Noah by Amanda Ortlepp this July, followed closely by Ignoring Gravity by Sandra Danby, Dear Carolina by Kristy Woodson Harvey and Inconceivable by Tegan Wren in early August. As together with Pieces of Granite I am reflecting on all aspects of being a Mum and how family enters our lives whilst grounding us on a path that is a true blessing to be given.Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art: I personally love how Ms Anderson was able to get synchronicity and harmony with her cover art designs for the Coming Home series – she truly found designers who knew how to create a certain textural feel to the undercurrent thematic of the series but also, the level of hope within any story writ under the INSPY umbrella. I felt collectively they are an incredibly layered series creatively etched to mind through their covers and the choices wherein the story-lines are represented.

Book Review | “Pieces of Granite” (Prequel, Coming Home series) by Brenda S. Anderson Jorie happily returns to a series that touched her heart!Pieces of Granite
by Brenda S. Anderson
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Think-Cap Design Studios
Source: Direct from Author

A distressing diagnosis
A retreating husband
A prodigal brother
Debbie Verhoeven is not your typical woman.

• She sacrificed a counseling career to be a full-time mother
• She’d rather pound a nail than round steak
• Oprah? No way! Give her ESPN any day
• Nothing could be more stressful than scrap-booking

Nothing, except…
A distressing diagnosis,
A husband who is pulling away,
And two older brothers who refuse to get along
When the counselor is caught in the middle,
when she needs to be strong for those around her,
who is left to be strong for her?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9780986214707

Also by this author: Brenda S. Anderson (Author Interview: Coming Home Series), Chain of Mercy, Brenda S. Anderson (Author Q&A: Pieces of Granite)

Also in this series: Chain of Mercy


Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Motherhood | Parenthood, Realistic Fiction, Women's Fiction


Published by Vivant Press

Pages: 356

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Author Biography of Brenda S. Anderson

Brenda S. Anderson

Author Photo Credit: Portraits from the Heart

Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty and authentic, life-affirming fiction. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is currently President of the ACFW Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball (Go Twins!), and she loves watching movies with her family. She resides in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband of 28 years, their three children, and one sassy cat.

Her debut novel, Chain of Mercy Book #1 in the Coming Home series, came out in April of 2014. Pieces of Granite the prequel to Chain of Mercy was a semi-finalist in the ACFW Genesis Awards released on November 18, 2014!

Official Author WebsitesSite | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads | Pin(terest) Boards
Active in Book Blogosphere: Personal Blog
+ Guest Blogger @ Inkspirational Messages
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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.

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Posted Friday, 22 July, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Brenda S. Anderson's Blog, Brothers and Sisters, Christianity, Clever Turns of Phrase, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Down Syndrome, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Mid-West America, Minnesota, Modern Day, Realistic Fiction, Self-Published Author, Siblings, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Special Needs Children, Street Team for Author, Unexpected Pregnancy, Women's Fiction, Women's Health, Women's Right to Choose (Health Care Rights), Writing Style & Voice

Blog Book Tour | “Been Searching for You” by Nicole Evelina

Posted Wednesday, 13 July, 2016 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By:

A bit of an interesting back-story, in regards to how I came to participate in this blog tour on behalf of Nicole Evelina’s debut Contemporary Rom release: “Been Searching for You”! I met her stories through the Historical releases attached to the Guinevere Trilogy (see also: Daughter of Destiny & Camelot’s Queen reviews) wherein I garnished a deep appreciation for her writing style and the methodology of incorporating her research into a historical timeline where legend, lore and memory can collide quite beautifully together! If you visit those reviews, you’ll understand why I have such an affinity for her style of writing!

She approached me about potentially reading her Contemporary Rom and I was overjoyed at the suggestion, as regular readers of my blog will recognise this one area of Romance Lit I am eager to discover but find it hard tracking through the plethora of releases to find a ‘style of Contemporary Rom’ that whets my thirst for stories set in our modern times. I’ve had a bit of good luck with the authors via ChocLitUK and with the Mary McNear series set at Butternut Lake; both of which I readily think of nowadays for Contemporary mainstream romance whereas if I think about INSPY my mind instantly goes to Brenda S. Anderson (see Chain of Mercy)!

Therefore, I was directly invited to participate in this blog tour, hosted by Goddess Book Tours via the author Nicole Evelina. I received a complimentary copy of “Been Searching for You” direct from the author Nicole Evelina in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read ‘Been Searching for You’:

I love well written relationship-based Romances but also, ones where you can see a thread of hope for love – no matter how old you are and no matter where you are on your path in life.

*I have to read this book!* No seriously — for a romantic optimist whose a singleton — I just have to read this! Thanks for writing such a lovely novel!!

-initial reactions I shared with Ms Evelina on behalf of Been Searching For You

It goes without saying that anyone who is delighted to read uplifting stories of entwining souls finding each other would be thrilled to bits to read the premise of this novel! My anticipation to read it’s chapters and find out how Annabeth found the one person who understood her and loved her as much as she loved him was definitely a story I knew I *had!* to read! I love reading Romance Fiction because at the heart of every story, is the journey towards finding someone who gets you without having to define who you are to them and who accepts you just as you are whilst believing in you unconditionally. Love and Romance are a lift of joy to read – I have the tendency to yield to the historical past moreso than the present, but it’s simply because I’m seeking a particular kind of Contemporary Rom!

As forementioned, nearly all the Contemporary Romances I’ve been able to pull my heart inside were published by ChocLitUK or set in a lovely small towne called Butternut Lake! One exception are the realistically authentic novels of Brenda S. Anderson (in regards to her Coming Home series) where you find compelling characters who are in the middle of a life altering circumstance to change their stars. I have a feeling I’ll have a similar reaction to the Contemporaries by Julie Lessman, as I know her Contemporary style & Historical differ a bit from each other, but when you truly love an author’s collective work you tend to move between genres with them. This isn’t always the case but most times it’s quite accurate of my reading habits. Prior to being a book blogger, I would claim the Cedar Cove series by Debbie Macomber and her Blossom Street series as being of interest alongside Sherryl Wood’s Sweet Magnolia’s series.

Another Indie Author who caught me at ‘hallo’ is T.S. Krupa, especially in regards to her debut and sophomore Contemporary Women’s Fiction releases: Safe and Sound and On the Edge. Krupa has such conviction and such emotional depth to her sequences, they grab you straight in the heart! Kamy Wicoff’s Wishful Thinking was such a genre-bender explosion of loveliness I have the tendency to forget it’s a Contemporary Romance! Laughs. As you can see, I love brilliantly conceived stories with realistically compelling characters in pursuit of love, happiness and the joys of living their lives on their own terms.

Technically, the stories of Coorah Creek also apply except being they are Contemporary Westerns, I held back from including them, opting instead to highlight the stories set within modern settings with contemporary women seeking a partner who truly understands her rather than seeing straight past her! I also omitted the Rom Suspense novels I love from Clare Chase, Henriette Gyland and Amanda James or the PNR wicked reads I love from Sarah Tranter, Berni Stevens and Christina Courtenay for similar reasons.

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Blog Book Tour | “Been Searching for You” by Nicole EvelinaBeen Searching For You
by Nicole Evelina
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Jenny Quinlan (JennyQ)
Source: Direct from Author

Annabeth is a hopeless romantic who believes in soul mates. In fact, she’s been writing to hers each year on her birthday since she was 16.

Now, at 34, she’s still holding out hope of finding Mr. Right even though he’d be fighting an uphill battle to gain her trust, thanks to a traumatic experience years before that’s left her unable to commit.

When Annabeth meets a handsome literature professor named Alex on her 34th birthday, she thinks her quest may finally be at an end. Things don’t quite go as planned, so Annabeth resolves to do everything she can over the next year to find the unknown recipient of her letters. But blind dates, Meetup events and online singles sites have nothing on what fate has in store for her when a co-worker unexpectedly quits and Annabeth finds herself working in close quarters with both Alex and her long ago ex, Nick. Fighting her attraction to one and loathing for the other, Annabeth is forced to face all of her old insecurities while keeping an eye on a scheming frienemy who may derail her hopes and dreams.

Written in the tradition of Bridget Jones' Diary, Kim Gruenfelder’s A Total Waste of Makeup, and Melissa Pimental’s Love By The Book, it shows that love on the sweet side can exist for the modern girl, if only she’s willing to trust herself and search hard enough. Been Searching for You was the winner of the 2015 Romance Writers of America Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9780996763165

Also by this author: Daughter of Destiny, Nicole Evelina (Guest Post: Camelot's Queen), Camelot's Queen, Madame Presidentess

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


Published by Lawson Gartner Publishing

on 2nd April, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 312

Collective works of Nicole Evelina:

 Guinevere Tale Trilogy: Book No. 1 Daughter of Destiny (review)

Guinevere Trilogy: Book No. 2 Camelot’s Queen (review)

Guinevere Tale Trilogy: Book No. 3 Mistress of the Legend releases late 2016/early 2017

Madame Presidentess (Book Synopsis) #PubDay 25 July 2016

About Nicole Evelina

Nicole Evelina

Nicole Evelina is an award-winning historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her current novel, Been Searching for You, a romantic comedy, won the 2015 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests.

She also writes historical fiction. Her debut novel, Daughter of Destiny, the first book of an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere’s life story from her point of view, took first place in the legend/legacy category of the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Women’s Fiction/Romance, and was short-listed for the Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction. Later this year (2016), she will release Madame Presidentess (July 25), a historical novel about Victoria Woodhull, America's first female Presidential candidate, which was the first place winner in the Women’s US History category of the 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction.

Nicole is one of only six authors who completed a week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness. Nicole has traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, where she consulted with internationally acclaimed author and historian Geoffrey Ashe, as well as Arthurian/Glastonbury expert Jaime George, the man who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon.

Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for the The Historical Novel Society, and Sirens (a group supporting female fantasy authors), as well as a member of the Historical Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America, the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Women Writing the West, Broad Universe (promoting women in fantasy, science fiction and horror), Alliance of Independent Authors and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Author biography was updated July 2016.

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Posted Wednesday, 13 July, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Chicago, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Humour Therein, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Equality In Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Modern Day, Romantic Comedy, Singletons & Commitment, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction

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