Tag: Blood Moon

Author Interview | Conversing with Biographical Historical Fiction writer Ruth Hull Chatlien whose narratives feature unknown women in History whose stories deserve to be told.

Posted Friday, 1 September, 2017 by jorielov , , 4 Comments

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Yesterday, I had the joy of sharing my ruminations on behalf of the second novel penned by Ms Chatlien which steps through the threshold of time and resides inside the footsteps of a woman who lived with a courageous heart and a fortitude of faith during one of the most arduous situations anyone could face – living captive during a conflict involving Native Americans and the fallout of a missing payment owed to them which would have provided means to live on throughout the Winter and coming months instead of facing food insecurity and the horrors of death through hunger and starvation.

Similarly, it was my honour to read this author’s debut The Ambitious Madame Boneparte wherein I felt an equally riveting attachment to Betsy Boneparte! Three years separate the two narratives but the critical eye given to the details of etching out a realistic portrait of these women’s lives is a credit to the creative eye for detail and biographical research embraced by Ms Chatlien. If you’ve missed my review for her latest (Blood Moon) let me share an overview of what I posted on my review – as this will give you a precursor of insight into why this narrative was such a convicting story to read:

about finding my spirit in sync with sarah:

Sarah is not afraid to share the realities of her marriage, her duties as a mother or her life on the prairies of Minnesota where tensions between the settlers and the Sioux are quite strenuous due to how the Sioux felt they were being cheated out of what they were due (in regards to payment) which put Sarah and her young family at risk. She has a calming sense of center in her spirit – she might have lurches of anxiety and the fears which assault anyone who was living in such a precarious time of ‘peace’ but she finds her will to stay on target with her duties and it’s how she puts her worries into her work which I think helped her the most.

Sarah was such a tall woman – six feet! I had to smile reading about her height, as the way in which she carried herself, you wouldn’t have guessed her height! In some ways, as we first get to know Sarah she doesn’t seem to have a lot of confidence in herself which I think is attributed to how she grew up and how she feels indifferent to those who have more education or had more opportunities to do more with their lives than she was allowed. Despite her insecurities – what is quite incredible is what she is able to accomplish, despite her fears and the obstacles soon to be standing in her path.

Sarah is a God-fearing woman – taking her faith seriously at all times, turning to prayer and seeking solitude to understand the harder issues of the day. Through these introspective musings we see Sarah twisting over the hardest aspects of faith, where not everything is understood as it is lived nor can all problems have a ready resolution. Her faith is tested quite often but she turns inward to seek understanding and mercy or grace for her own transgressions where she fears she has erred on the wrong side of her beliefs.

I truly loved how Ms Chatlien approached giving us a way into Sarah’s life – she took a very direct route, dropping us into Sarah’s life on the very fringe of the uprising, where things start to happen quite quickly. There were little nudges of insight of how Sarah’s view of the Sioux differed from her neighbours and her husband John whilst there were still personal impressions which Sarah was contemplating might not fit in step with her walk of faith. Chatlien added layers of depth and centreing to Sarah – to give us a more exploratory experience of her psychological state and the intuitive approach she took to guiding herself through trying times of adversity.

One thing which is a strong credit to Ms Chatlien’s passion for taking on these women in history is how she presents a realistic image of their lives. She holds nothing back – she let’s you into their life bit by bit – laying bare the facts of their days and how they would fill those hours either through work, duty or the intimate moments with their spouse. She sought to find a way to give these woman dimension in the present by re-tracing their footsteps in the past and I believe she’s done this twice over now and will continue to find the hidden voices who are clamouring for a writer like her to take up their stories and give them the freedom to be seen at long last.

-quoted from my review of Blood Moon: A Captive’s Tale

Throughout my conversation with Ms Chatlien, I wanted to dig a bit deeper into the heart of what inspires her to tell these heart-capturing stories of women whose lives can still inspire us today. I found equal inspiration by reading both Betsy and Sarah’s Historical Biographies as they were told through Chatlien’s narratives. When you can dive into the soul of a living person who lived whilst embracing everything they saw as they lived as readily and as real as they did themselves, we start to draw empathy out of their experiences and find what resonates out of their life experiences which leaves a striking impression on us; these many generations lateron.

I asked some deeper questions too about perspectives and opinions inter-related to the stories themselves whilst allowing Ms Chatlien to share a bit about her writerly process to pen the stories which motivate her own spirit to create. She revealled she has survived Breast Cancer in our conversation, and I am at a loss to remember if I had known this at the time I first crossed paths with her in [2014] however, to the best of my knowledge, I did not know of this health crisis affecting her at that time. I definitely understood why she is appreciative of living in our era of time for the advancements in modern medicine; not just for surviving Cancer but for overcoming Stroke such as my father’s journey these past nine months.

I also understood her hesitation to reveal too much about her current writing project even though I admit, I have my curiosity piqued! In some ways, I think Mrs Madison still qualifies as ‘unknown’ from our historical perspectives as the bits of her life Ms Chatlien wants to highlight are not part of the well-known bits all of us might have come across at one point or another whilst studying American History or the US Presidents in school.

Remember – the best way to enjoy the conversations I present to you here on Jorie Loves A Story is to brew your favourite cuppa, settle into a comfy chair and gleam new insight into a writer you may or may not have come across previously!

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Blood Moon by Ruth Hull Chatlien

Southern Minnesota, August 1862. Smoke fills the horizon and blood soaks the prairie as the Sioux fight to drive white settlers from their ancestral homeland. Sarah Wakefield and her young son and baby daughter are fleeing for their lives when two warriors capture them. One is Hapa, who intends to murder them. The other is Chaska, an old acquaintance who promises to protect the family. Chaska shelters them in his mother’s tepee, but with emotions running so high among both Indians and whites, the danger only intensifies. As she struggles to protect herself and those she loves, Sarah is forced to choose between doing what others expect of her and following her own deep beliefs.

Converse via: #HistFic, #HistoricalFiction + #BioFic & #BloodMoon

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Posted Friday, 1 September, 2017 by jorielov in 19th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, The American Frontier

Blog Book Tour | “Blood Moon: A Captive’s Tale” by Ruth Hull Chatlien The sophomore release by one of my favourite Biological Historical Fiction authors!

Posted Thursday, 31 August, 2017 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

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

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 copy of “Blood Moon: A Captive’s Tale” direct from the author Ruth Hull Chatlien in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

What drew me eye into wanting to read this novel:

I had the joy of finding this author when her debut novel was released – whilst participating on a blog tour to celebrate Madame Boneparte! I was struck by the beauty of her narrative and the insightfulness of her approach in telling the story through Betsy’s perspective! As you can see through this quotation of my review, she truly has a gift for breathing to life ‘Biological Historical Fiction’:

Ms. Chatlien is one prime example of an eloquent wordsmith who is a decidedly passionate researcher of her book’s subject, setting, and tone! She is one of the writers I am thankful to uncover for her guiding hand with witticism and cunning turns of phrase which bolster the novel’s setting within the era in which the story exists. The elaborate and delicate attentions to details, to endue the genteel society’s preferences of colours, textiles, and surroundings allows your mind to sink into the artistry of the story’s set decorations as much as the words of the author’s palette. I am always championing the writers who take such a decisive hand to interweave such realism into their historical fiction novels which impart a duality of purpose: a slice of a historical antidote set to life in fiction and the intimate portrait of a living historical person lit inside a biographical fiction. Appreciators of stories like these will find a balm in the wind whilst making sure their settled into a comfy chair to whittle away the hours enraptured in a time portal back into the 1700s!

The intrigue of the politics of both America on the footheels of Revolution and of France, caught up in a new regime of power struggling to keep itself afloat left me in the full grip of Chatlien’s ability to tone down the complexity and examine the era from both sides of the Atlantic! The intricacies threaded through their lives became thwarted and entangled at each turn due to Jerome’s connection to Napoleon, who very much was attempting to control his brother’s life at such a distance as France. As they made a determined effort to restore themselves to France, the intrigue of the harrowing journey Betsy would take to reach French soil was beyond riveting as it was etched in danger at each turn. Including whilst trying to protect her unbourne babe for whom had not yet had the pleasure of meeting his father who was kept separate from them. Her tumultuous return to the States gave me a window of what lengths war and insurrection can separate those who are caught up in the actions of others.

I could only imagine what was rollicking through Betsy’s mind and heart whilst she was being tested against will to re-acquire her beloved’s presence. I am thankful to have this particular biographical fiction cross my path, because it has inspired me to seek out more historical novels set around the Bonaparte’s. For every imagined truth we all perceive about those who lived in the historical past, there is oft-times a hidden story surrounding the very people who might have repelled our interest. I oft wondered about the lives interconnected to Napoleon, the unsung voices of his reign, and through Becoming Josephine and The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte I am embarking towards that end; of unveiling the incredible women who not only backed their men but forged through all the doubts of their eras to secure their futures. And, for this I thank the authors who are giving their readers quite a heap to ruminate on!

-quoted from my review of The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte

It is interesting how life ebbs and flows; over the years, I have wondered if the writer I loved so much from Madame Boneparte might have attached her pen and muse to another woman’s story and/or if she had taken up a new direction in her Historical wanderings. I have oft-times meant to follow-up with all the lovely beloved authors I’ve blogged about here on Jorie Loves A Story, but the project keeps getting pushed forward. It is often when I see a story go on a blog tour, I might first get clued into forthcoming titles by the authors I love to read and/or I might stumble across their newsbits via the twitterverse or browsing bookish sites or a book shoppe!

Part of my journey into my 5th Year (in 2018) will be re-exploring where the writers are now in their writerly paths and the books they might have published since I first ‘met’ them either through their debut release or one of their other titles. The joy for me was not only finding out Ms Chatlien had a new story being published this past June but in realising there was a space left on the blog tour celebrating it’s publication! I truly smiled after I had ‘made’ the tour – she is one author I’ve hoped would keep finding her muse to bring forward the living persons of whom History has a way of either marginalising or leaving behind tucked into the hidden corridors of historical archive where their voices are left unknown. Through her efforts and other Historical authors like Ms Chatlien who write captivating and emotionally convicting Biographical Historical Fiction, I get to re-examine the past through fresh eyes and the emotional introspection these characters bring to their stories.

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Notation on Cover Art: One of the most striking cover art designs I’ve seen in Historical Fiction is this one for ‘Blood Moon’. Not only does the imagery have ‘flight of motion and depth of emotion’ it is simply an incredible capture of ‘one moment’ of Sarah’s life – and of the dire situation she was encapsulated inside for those terrifying weeks where the world was upturnt. I loved how evocative the palette of colours adds to the dimension of the ‘scene’ – all in, it’s wicked good!

Blog Book Tour | “Blood Moon: A Captive’s Tale” by Ruth Hull Chatlien The sophomore release by one of my favourite Biological Historical Fiction authors!Blood Moon
Subtitle: A Captive's Tale
by Ruth Hull Chatlien
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Southern Minnesota, August 1862. Smoke fills the horizon and blood soaks the prairie as the Sioux fight to drive white settlers from their ancestral homeland. Sarah Wakefield and her young son and baby daughter are fleeing for their lives when two warriors capture them. One is Hapa, who intends to murder them. The other is Chaska, an old acquaintance who promises to protect the family. Chaska shelters them in his mother’s tepee, but with emotions running so high among both Indians and whites, the danger only intensifies. As she struggles to protect herself and those she loves, Sarah is forced to choose between doing what others expect of her and following her own deep beliefs.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

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ISBN: 9781937484460

Also by this author: The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte, Author Interview: Ruth Hull Chatlien

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Amika Press

on 14th June, 2017

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 412

Published By: Amika Press | @AmikaPress

Converse via: #HistFic, #HistoricalFiction + #BioFic & #BloodMoon

About Ruth Hull Chatlien

Ruth Hull Chatlien

Ruth Hull Chatlien has been a writer and editor of educational materials for nearly thirty years, specializing in U.S. and world history. She is the author of Modern American Indian Leaders for middle-grade readers. Her award-winning first novel, The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte, portrays the tumultuous life of Elizabeth “Betsy” Patterson Bonaparte. Her latest novel, Blood Moon: A Captive’s Tale was published in June 2017.

She lives in northeastern Illinois with her husband, Michael, and a very pampered dog named Smokey. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found gardening, knitting, drawing, painting, or watching football.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Thursday, 31 August, 2017 by jorielov in 19th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, The American Frontier

The Sunday Post | No.1 | An #unboxing, an intriguing dramatic #HistFic and a heap of lovely #bookmail surprises!

Posted Sunday, 16 July, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 10 Comments

The Sunday Post badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

My participation in this meme was directly inspired by my new bookish friends: Avalinah + Savanah via this post!

[Official Blurb] The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog. This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little. Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies. Link up once a week or once a month, you decide. Book haul can include library books, yard sale finds, arcs and bought books..share them!

  • Enter your link on the post- Sundays beginning at 12:01 am (CST) (link will be open all week)
  • Link back to this post or this blog
  • Visit others who have linked up

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Hallo, Hallo, dear hearts!

Jorie takes on ‘The Sunday Post’!

There is a small back-story about this particular meme I never shared – it was one of the first memes all the wayy back in 2013 I considered participating in weekly, however, true to my nature – it was also one of the memes I felt (at the time) would be the hardest to write each week! Mostly as per my usual with these kinds of posts, I put a lot of thought into them and I take a heap of time just to sort out how I want to share what it is that I feel is pertinent to share in the hour of inspiration! Honestly, there are times where I wish I could be a tad bit more productive on the in-between posts (those which are not review or blog tour related) except to say, I put a lot into those posts as I have the tendency of blogging the heart out about the books I am reading whilst at times, finding reasons to have a hearty top anchour section attached to them or a spontaneous discussion involved with the book in question as well. Not always, but moreso than naught.

This year has become muddled quite a heap by my Spring allergies – of which  I am happy to declare are ‘over!’ thanks in part to a series of EXTREME lightning storms and thunderous monsoon downpours which has blessed me with air without the deadly pollen! Isn’t that something to cheer and shout about?! Yes, I do believe it is because I was ‘put under’ so often this Spring and early Summer (my allergies extended into June, sighs) I never thought I’d be free of them, to be honest! The new medicine my Dad fetched for me (of which I referenced on Twitter) was the best find of all – it helped me ride out the last bits of the season of pollen and allowed me a ‘breathier of a break’ to just get my health back into check!

Ironically or not, I did have a slight bout with the stomach flu this past week ahead of coming into the weekend – which left me knackered and fatigued. Hence why my readerly tweets are a bit on the limited side of the ledger for The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds – as I am so engrossed into the story-line but my mind is still a bit tired to where I’m focusing on the story moreso than I am on sharing my joy of reading it! Of course, this could also be said for my readings of the Kate Clifford series – wherein A Twisted Vengeance is going to be reviewed without blinking on Twitter ahead of time!

A note about the format I am using to journal #TheSundayPost: I am finding I like being able to give my readers who cannot visit my blog each time a new post, review or guest feature goes live a digest journal of what is happening on #JLASblog each week! If you are familiar with the style in which I journal my readerly adventures via #WWWednesdays (see also Archive) you’ll know why I like this journalled style for #TheSundayPost!

It’s a way of talking about what is bookishly on my mind whilst sharing where my travels in Fiction & Non-Fiction took me through the last seven days! Quite stellar – so very thankful I was encouraged to participate as I love being able to think about which stories settled into my heart and which of the stories I am most eager to see arrive by postal mail and/or via audiobook! It’s a bit of a lovely way to journal your bookish life and have a weekly reminder of the experiences of you’ve gathered and love to remember! In regards to getting back into the groove with #WWWeds – I’m either going to make the meme bi-monthly or monthly which I’ll decide within the next fortnight.

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The three stories which surprised me (from JUNE & JULY):

The Fortune Teller, Marion Hatley and Heartbeat of the Bitterroot bookmail. Book Photography Credit: Jorie of jorielovesastory.com. Photo edits and collage created in Canva.

The following stories were sent to me in exchange for an honest review by either the publisher or publicist.

NOTE: the quotes are taken from my reviews.

I truly felt it was magnetically guiding me to read it’s story when thinking back upon The Fortune Teller – as I personally adore stories which shift between one historical era and another! This one, took my breath because everything I loved within the author’s debut novel The Memory Painter had become elevated and heightened; in both depth and scope of where she could take her narrative further into the heart of where History and Time intersect with one another! I did not want to exit this world – I felt the characters were so well etched into being – you could nearly forsake they were alive! I love when stories give you such a welcoming depth to their world-building and their ability to allow you to suspend yourself out of your own timescape to enter into theirs! The best reasons for reading truly are to be able to time travel through the hidden experiences of where characters and writers enchant us to tread!

I am truly taken right now with Ionna + Semele; their dual timelines are wickedly drawn together and the duality of voice + strength of their heroism is wicked brilliant. They were each ahead of their time and wholly independent for their social conventions which did not affect their independence. 

As we move between Semele (in the present) and Ionna (in Alexandria) we are entreated to entreating inside Ionna’s journal; the book which was hidden from view and left for Semele to find by Marcel. Ionna is the librarian’s daughter from Alexandria and one which lived with a bit of spunk and rebellious spirit. She was the one who walked into sunken chambers locked by key and accessed by only a select few where she would find a treasure of uncertain value: a deck of tarot. You know what she’s discovered before she recognises their worth; as the flow of narrative is held eclipsed by what she understands and by what her translator-in-arms Ariston reveals to her by reading the words she is blind to understand (she only knows her native tongue).

This novel felt as if it had been written with me in mind as a reader who would not only be charmed by how the author wrote the story but of how it was told! This particular story pulls together a lot of different aspects of literature I love most to discover – the dual time-lines, the shifting POVs, the Epistolary inclusions but most of all – the way in which the historic past is beautifully brought back to life in a way which makes it feel tangible and inspiring despite the dramatic events which are upsetting the characters’ lives!

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When I first heard about Heartbeat of the Bitterroot, I was instantly captured by where it was set – in fact – if things had been equal and my allergies hadn’t derailed my plans, I would have been able to put together a guest feature to coincide with my review – as I truly wanted to bring the beauty of the Bitterroot Valley and the essence of it’s region to my readers in the form of a conversation between myself and the author. It’s still something I hope to do in the future – as the Bitterroot Valley is quite unique unto it’s own in the North-South region of NorthWestMontana!

Ms Mineer has a comfortable confidence in her writing – where you can tell she’s been perfecting her craft for quite awhile. I am unsure if the original manuscript differs from this newer version or if it even went under a revision (by adding or removing scenes, etc) but what impressed me most about this edition is how comfortable the author is writing the story. She allows the reader to warm into the story; to first understand her characters as they wish to tell their stories and then, enveloping us in this lovely setting and with a compelling plot which moves forward at a good pace. I even liked how she included the little nuances – such as how aggravating a cell can go off multiple times and everything (of course) has it’s own level of ‘importance’ of being answered in the moment of the first buzz alerting the call in the first place!

There is a warm sincerity threading throughout the context of the novel; you feel it almost immediately and as you move deeper into the story itself, it simply engulfs you. The nice bit about the novel is how compassionate it is written and how it hones in on the good of humanity. Whilst owning to the truths – not all of life is fun and games nor something to smile over as there are moments which test our resolve, courage and the will we have to see the goodness in our lives. Mineer touches on the harder issues of resolving past events and the emotional baggage of when the adverse times in one woman’s life are the hardest to forgive and move past.

As you can see, reading this novel was a complete joy and an unexpected one – as I wasn’t entirely sure what I would find inside the story itself. I knew it would be Contemporary Realistic Fiction – as you could gather it wasn’t  your typical Sweet Romance or Contemporary Drama; however, it’s how Ms Mineer told the story which charmed me the most! When it comes to Contemporary story-lines, I’m the hardest to convince when it boils down to how a story is written and how everything pulls together. I think it’s because we live in the Contemporary age – therefore, we have a much more stronghold of understanding this time-line in fiction vs a historical era, as those timescapes are a bit further afield from our present knowledge and area of experience.

We can endeavour to gain knowledge of the historic past (since I think this is why most of us read Historicals!) but as far as sorting out the nuance and the ready knowledge of what makes or breaks an era directly; I for one, give a bit of a liberal pass to Historicals; meaning, if I feel the story is authentic to it’s era, I’m not overly critical if writers take a few creative liberties here or there. I’m far more critical about Contemporaries – which is why I’m always presently surprised when I find one which I love reading due to how convicting the author wrote the story! Thus, this one is one of my favourites to talk about!

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Posted Sunday, 16 July, 2017 by jorielov in Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Memes, The Sunday Post