Tag: Kathleen Shoop

Blog Book Tour | “The Strongman and the Mermaid” [The Donora Story Collection: Book Two] by Kathleen Shoop with reflections on behalf of reading the first novel in the series “After the Fog”

Posted Monday, 20 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

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I’ve launched a new weekly featured concentration of book reviews on Jorie Loves A Story which celebrates my love and passion for the historical past! For those of whom are regular readers and visitors to my blog, you’ll denote a dedicated passion for reading Historical Fiction (and all the lovely segues of thematic therein) – I am a time traveller of the historical past every chance I get to disappear into a new era and/or century of exploration. There isn’t a time period I haven’t enjoyed ruminating over since [2013] and there are a heap of lovely timescapes I’ve yet to encounter.

This feature was inspired by the stories I’ve read, the stories I’ve yet to experience and the beauty of feeling interconnected to History through the representation of the past through the narratives being writ by today’s Historical Fiction authors. It is to those authors I owe a debt of gratitude for enlightening my bookish mind and my readerly heart with realistic characters, illuminating portals of living history and a purposeful intent on giving each of us a strong representation of ‘life’ which should never become dismissed, forgotten or erased.

I am began this feature with the sequel to a beloved historical novel I first read in [2013] – it was one of the first ARCs I received and it was the first year I was a book blogger though it was through a connection outside my life as a blogger. I celebrated K.B. Laugheed’s literature to kick-off this feature and hopefully will inspire my followers to take this new weekly journey with me into the stories which are beckoning to read their narrative depths and find the words in which to express the thoughts I experienced as I read.

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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! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. It has been a wicked fantastical journey into the heart of the historic past, wherein I’ve been blessed truly by discovering new timescapes, new living realities of the persons who once lived (ie. Biographical Historical Fiction) inasmuch as itched my healthy appetite for Cosy Historical Mysteries! If there is a #HistRom out there it is generally a beloved favourite and I love soaking into a wicked wonderful work of Historical Fiction where you feel the beauty of the historic world, the depth of the characters and the joyfulness in which the historical novelists brought everything to light in such a lovingly diverse palette of portraiture of the eras we become time travellers through their stories.

My path first crossed with Kathleen Shoop in [2015] whilst I was participating in a summer reading challenge by BookSparks. I was also a reviewer and blog tour hostess with the  publicity firm whilst I was joining the SRC reading challenge they were quite infamous of hosting for the very first time. My experiences that summer were less than gratifying as I lost traction with the challenge itself and only posted a few reviews out of the ones I was meant to be posting. Ms Shoop and I crossed paths that year due to her latest Letter series release “The Road Home” which was part of the SRC challenge for [2015]. During that summer I also received a #bookmail parcel from the author which include a variety of her stories for me to start reading. They were not for review consideration but if I was inspired to blog about them after I read them that was up to my own discretion and choice. I had a feeling I might be leaning in that direction as just by browsing through the stories and where they could be taking me, I felt they would be the #nextreads I would most enjoy experiencing.

Life and health afflictions (especially my chronic migraines) conflicted with my start/stop attempts to read the books themselves until I felt re-inspired to re-attempt to read one of the novels – “After the Fog” this Spring which I had no idea was being anchoured to a sequel “The Strongman and the Mermaid” which was also going to be featured on a blog tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. Thereby, it felt like the timing was aligning properly for me to start to read her canon of stories and with my newfound inspiration I couldn’t wait to begin my journey into her collective works.

I received a complimentary copy of “After the Fog” direct from the author Kathleen Shoop without obligation to post a review. I am choosing to share my ruminative thoughts on behalf of this novel for my own edification and of continuing to share my readerly life with those who follow m y blog Jorie Loves A Story. Whilst at the same time, I read it in conjunction with the sequel being released and touring on a blog tour in the book blogosphere on behalf of Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours of which I am a regular reviewer and tour hostess.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Strongman and the Mermaid” direct from the author Kathleen Shoop in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein on either “After the Fog” or “The Strongman and the Mermaid”.

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My journey towards reading

the collective works of Kathleen Shoop:

If I would have speculated it would take me from 2015 to 2019 to read my first Kathleen Shoop novel, I might have questioned the distance early-on from my first discovery of her novels and the point in time which I could put my heart into reading her collective works. The sad bit really is I was perpetually distracted by my health, the adversities of life and if you take out [2017] (the year my father recovered from his stroke) and [2018] the year I had 10 months of health afflictions – it doesn’t appear to be as long of a distance on the surface of things.

The truth is – I’ve been picking up her novels off/on since I first received them – each time thinking I had picked the right moment to read them, to spend time dissolving into the words and the worlds she’s built and unfortunately finding myself unable to attach into the narrative. I planned to read the Letter series first – as I have the first two novels of that series on hand to be read. And, this is where my journey into her novels begins as the reason our paths first crossed is because I used to review for BookSparks (ie. the publicity team attached to She Writes Press, etc) – in [2015] I participated in their blog tours & their Summer Reading Challenge – which was quite epic back then. You’d select the authors you were most keen on becoming acquainted with and they would pick a variety of books to send you for review consideration – the second Letter series novel “The Road Home” was amongst the offerings and thus, my path first crossed with Ms Shoop.

From there – a lot of life intervened and this has been the first year I’ve been able to focus on reading my *backlogue!* despite the fact by appearances it would seem I took five months to begin doing that as I had some health issues shifting into 2019 from 2018. The best news of all is this Spring I started to see a positive reduction in my migraines (even though this #WyrdAndWonder I had a rather epic one which relapsed twice this May; it was a side effect to allergy medicine) which I feel will give me more bookishly delightful hours in the future.

The main reason I decided to join the blog tour featuring the second novel in the Donora Story Collection [The Strongman & the Mermaid] is because I wanted to purposefully begin reading my Shoop novels. I’ve dreamt of what they involve and the literary environment I would encounter once I began reading her stories – thereby, it felt like [2019] was the year the stars were aligning to where I could finally focus on the STORIES I most desired to be reading and finally ‘greet!’ the authors I’ve most wanted to read.

The beauty of course, is “After the Fog” begins this series and the novel itself has been lovingly looked after on my book shelves – it has moved round quite a bit and it was finally able to make it to my desk. I was overjoyed I could finally soak inside Shoop’s narrative(s) and hoped this would mark a beginning where I could pick up the rhythm of her stories anew in JUNE by settling into the Letter series and seeing where this journey of mine into her collective works would take me next. It might take me a bit of time to return to a book I received in the earlier days of Jorie Loves A Story – but this much is true: NONE of those books have been forgotten,.. each of them is being read with eager anticipation as if they just reached me now to be read.

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prefacing my reading of “after the fog” with a personal observation:

Whilst embarking on a 15,000 mile road trip with my Mum over a score of three years in the middle of the 2000s – criss-crossing through the Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West states – I still remember what it was like driving through areas of Pennsylvania where the industrial pollution was still effecting its residents. There were townes where the houses facing the industrial plants across the street were tar black and smokey grey – you could barely tell they were houses as the grim covering the outside of their buildings felt like a film set from a Dystopian location. It gave thought to how far we have progressed and how far we have receded in regards to taking care of air pollution, industrial pollution and the health risks of living in cities and small townes where there is no distance between quality of life and the pollutants which can cause harm.

I had forgotten what the premise was within this novel but as soon as I re-read it – I immediately drew back to mind what it was like driving through the coal townes of West Virginia, the industrial townes of Pennsylvania and the insanity of having my hamster nearly suffocate himself in the Upper Mid-West region where we were passing through Omaha, Nebraska due to not having quality air even inside of a closed windowed car. There are distinct issues throughout the states from an environmental perspective – most of which you hear on the news or see on your feeds via social media; however, when your ‘driving through’ it makes a more pointed reality quite crystalised and clear for anyone who takes a harder look at what they are observing from afar.

reflections on reading after the fog:

You can hardly draw a breath as you enter into Rose’s life as a nurse in a small industrial towne which barely has enough medical practitioners that it needs to be medically sound in a place where emergencies were commonplace. In this instance, Shoop begins on a sombering note – of a mother and child who both exited the world the same night as the child’s arrival. It was difficult on Rose – a nurse who grieved for her patients as readily as the doctor she served, but what was one nurse to do with a patient whose birth went sideways as soon as it began? The house she was birthing inside was less than ideal – the light was missing but the effects of the hard birth were not lost on Rose. In many ways, this Rose reminded me of the Rose from Charton Minster (the historical series I loved reading by Margaret James) as both are nurses who go above and beyond their calls of duty.

We also get a firm overview of the towne – of how Donora is co-dependent on her industries and how those industries are co-dependent on each other. Situated below Pittsburgh, its location is on the opposite end of the state than I am familiar though I have passed through the Amish area north of Pittsburgh; it is one city I never had the proper chance to visit. The fact this story is rooted in the steel industry was not a surprise – though like most industrial stories, I found this one refreshing as I haven’t learnt as much about the Industrial Revolution as I ought to have before I graduated. Interestingly enough, no one was ever interested in talking about History after the Civil War or outside of the war eras of the early 20th Century. You have to rally together the missing pieces of history on your own and through reading Historical Fiction these past six years I’ve filled in the gaps far easier than all the years I was in school (which is telling in of its own).

Shoop writes with historical realism – the descriptive details you’d nearly expect out of a Historical narrative but also with a grittiness you might not be fully prepared for reading. Rather than gloss over certain aspects of the novel’s period history, Shoop delves into the gritty depictions of what this kind of life can lead to observing as you live through the era in which it is written about – from the visuals of what Rose must endure as a nurse to the ways in which the lives within the novel are spoken about or referenced. This is a historical novel that tucks you close to the edges – where you can peer at these people’s lives with a rawness as if they were going about their hours without realising someone was taking notes about how they were living, what they were doing or how they occupied their hours. It is an examination on a sociological layer of insight but it is also a gut-punch reality of how people lived through a particular jarring era in history where personal health and the environmental toxicity in their air was assaulting their lungs – “After the Fog” – is a cautionary story about how a disaster in the past can be a foreshadow to the future.

Despite this – I found reading After the Fog to be quite tedious as although I was looking forward to reading it for quite a long while – I couldn’t find my footing inside its story-line. The rhythm was hard to root out as I was constantly distracted by either the grittiness of the layers within it, the language choices liberally shining out of it or the fact the story felt harder edged somehow than most of the Historicals I usually read. It was not a good fit for me and although I worried how that would effect my readings of the sequel The Strongman and the Mermaid – I knew most of Shoop’s novels can be read as stand-alone editions and I felt perhaps this sequel might resonate with me a bit better than After the Fog as I honestly did not get past a quarter’s length of reading.

The sad bit is I couldn’t find a character I felt drawn to emotionally – I thought at first I might feel a connection to Rose but she felt emotionally cold and reclusive; she was living through a difficult time in her life where the whole of her family was co-dependent on everyone else but it was difficult to get a stronger impression about her as she did not seem approachable as some historical characters tend to feel in historical stories. Therefore, the more I tried to read of the novel – the less enthused I was about completing it due to how I simply felt disconnected from the characters and did not feel as if I wanted to know the outcome of their stories.

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Blog Book Tour | “The Strongman and the Mermaid” [The Donora Story Collection: Book Two] by Kathleen Shoop with reflections on behalf of reading the first novel in the series “After the Fog”The Strongman and the Mermaid
by Kathleen Shoop
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Myscowa, Poland—1910

Once upon a time in tiny, rural Myscowa, Lukasz Musial competes in feats of strength against his lifelong nemesis to win passage to America. He leaves behind grinding poverty and despair, to seek the clear blue skies, and better life he sees on a postcard. Settled in Donora’s Polish community, Lukasz secures a coveted job in the wire mill, and is matched to marry Donora’s very own Polish princess. Life is set on course. The American Dream is nearly his.

Donora, Pennsylvania—1910

Mary Lancos is no princess. A tall, athletic girl who loves the water, she spends her days keeping house for families in town, digging coal out of a backyard seam and rowing her father across the Monongahela River for work. Mary is dependable, tenacious, and always ready to help when someone needs her. She dreams of a gas-heated home, a bedroom for each of her future children, and good meals on the table each night. To help make that happen Mary attends local dances, waiting for the few men who are taller than her to ask her to dance, hoping one of them is right for her.

An unexpected Christmas Eve visitor brings bad luck, and Lukasz’s world crumbles. Meanwhile, tension grows at the Lancos home when money is short and Mary’s dreams clash with her parents’ old world expectations. Just when Mary and Lukasz are at their lowest, they find themselves under an odd pink moonlit sky and Lukasz rescues Mary from a fall into frigid river water. The attraction between them is sudden and consuming, turning the pair onto an unexpected path. With mounting disapproval from Mary’s parents, and increased pressure on Lukasz, they must decide if love is enough to risk losing everything else that matters.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781731561138

Genres: Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Women's Fiction


Published by Self Published Author

on 28th February, 2019

Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

Pages: 563

This is a self-published novel

The Donora Story Collection:

After the Fog by Kathleen ShoopThe Strongman and the Mermaid by Kathleen Shoop

After the Fog (book one)

The Strongman & the Mermaid (book two)

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About Kathleen Shoop

Kathleen Shoop

Bestselling author, Kathleen Shoop, holds a PhD in reading education and has more than 20 years of experience in the classroom. She writes historical fiction, women’s fiction and romance. Shoop’s novels have garnered various awards in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, Eric Hoffer Book Awards, Indie Excellence Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the San Francisco Book Festival. Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. She lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 20 May, 2019 by jorielov in #HistoricalMondays, 20th Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Content Note, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, History, Self-Published Author, The Steel Industry, Vulgarity in Literature

#20BooksOfAutumn 2018 | #JorieReads twenty books which dance through genres and timescapes | *re-attempted Autumn, 2018!!

Posted Thursday, 29 June, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 10 Comments

#20BooksOfSummer reading challenge badge created by Jorie in Canva.

#20BooksOfSummer is hosted by 746 Books | @cathy746books

Read the Rules | Link your Book List | Follow the tag on Twitter

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In JULY 2018, I decided to resume this challenge as #20BooksOfAutumn due to the insanity of electrical storms last Summer which took the JOY out of reading these lovelies. Due watch my Twitter @joriestory for updates and reading queues for which story is being read next!

I created a new badge for this redemptive attempt to read *20!* specific books for *20!* unique reasons of interest throughout one Season of the Year. The first review will be the wild card selection “Like There’s No Tomorrow” by Camille Eide (as it replaced the previously inclusive “Ignoring Gravity”) before the schedule I set forth on this challenge commences from how it was meant to begin – where the following stories will be featured back-to-back:

As Death Draws Near | Allie & Bea | Worthy

Join me on the Autumnal Equinox 2018 : 22nd of September until 21st December.

#20BooksOfAutumn banner made by Jorie in Canva.

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In the interest of the challenge, I should mention this is one reading challenge I have wanted to join in on the bookish fun since I first started blogging in [2013] similar to how I was most anxious to join #AustenInAugust when coincidentally, this blog went LIVE in August 2013. This year, I had projected to participate in a variety of reading challenges (see Challenge List 2017) however, I ought to have known it was going to be a ‘unique year’ once my Spring allergies took such a lockhold of me to where I was unable to read nor blog; much less tweet to my bookish heart’s desire.

I was wicked enthused finding out about the challenge (see this tweet) even if I wasn’t fully able to devout any attention to creating my own #20BooksOfSummer List until two days before the month of June concluded! Ironically or not, I might be late to the party, but I am wicked excited about my selections – which is why I am posting this List on my blog and Riffle.

DUE NOTE: all the books featured on my #20BooksOfSummer were books sent to me for review consideration at some point or another over the past few years. The exception being ‘Memory Box Secrets’ of which was a purchase of my own and ‘Allie and Bea’ which I received as a bookaway. Ergo for one reason or another all of these lovelies were TBR in the most humblest of ways: books ‘to be read’ and quite wickedly itching with curiosity by the reader whose about to broach into their folds!

I have been working earnestly towards erasing my backlogue (of reviews) for almost a full year and this challenge is helping me to become re-inspired to read after two seasons of personal angst. Let’s face it – JUNE was a wash-out. It barely blinked into view before it extinguished out of sight – and I barely posted anything during it’s duration. The one thing I did accomplish is finding a way to bring ART back into my life and to resume KNITTING giving myself a way to put some Zen into my downtime. Especially imperative as I was ill more than well this Spring. As the monsoon Summer rains start to begin now as we enter into JULY, I am most hopeful my seasonal allergies will start to relent and give me back the clarity of calm I’ve missed all SPRING.

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The exact order of how I will be reading these stories is UNKNOWN except for the first three selections which will be the following: WORTHY | As Death Draws Near | Allie and Bea.

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Interestingly enough, for those of you curious how we order things without thinking specifically about how we want to sort the books we’re reading, here is the organic nature of how the books were stacked as I sorted out which books would make into this challenge list:

  1. As Death Draws Near by Anna Lee Huber | Synopsis
  2. Inconceivable by Tegan Wren | Synopsis
  3. Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica | Synopsis
  4. Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain | Synopsis ← re-reading
  5. Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan | Synopsis
  6. Fatal Mistake by Susan Sleeman | Synopsis
  7. Memory Box Secrets by Brenda S. Anderson | Synopsis
  8. Ignoring Gravity by Sandra Danby | Synopsis ← (see also Review) guest feature forthcoming!
  9. Dear Carolina by Kristy Woodson Harvey | Synopsis
  10. The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling | Synopsis
  11. A Lesson in Hope by Philip Gulley | Synopsis
  12. True Believer by Nicholas Sparks | Synopsis
  13. A Saint in Graceland by Deborah Hining | Synopsis
  14. Just the Facts by Ellen Sherman | Synopsis
  15. Worthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde | Synopsis
  16. Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde | Synopsis
  17. Satisfaction by Andee Reilly | Synopsis
  18. Rooville by Julie Long | Synopsis
  19. The Last Letter by Kathleen Shoop | Synopsis
  20. Twain’s End by Lynn Cullen | Synopsis
  21. Like There’s No Tomorrow by Camille Eide | Synopsis | to replace Ignoring Gravity

| by the numbers |

2 rescheduled blog tour books | 2 LibraryThing books | 1 bookaway | 7 BookSparks Reading Challenge Books

7 postponed reads = 17 books erased from my Book Blogger’s Backlogue

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #20BooksOfSummer 2017
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Posted Thursday, 29 June, 2017 by jorielov in #20BooksOfSummer, #20BooksOfSummer, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, JLAS Update Post, Reading Challenges, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

10 Bookish (& Not-Bookish Thoughts) No.6: When life throws you a heap of lemons, you best find a large pitcher to store the lemonade!

Posted Thursday, 1 October, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 4 Comments

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Week of Thursday, 26st of September through 1st of October, 2015 | Hostess List

I’ve honestly wanted to start participating in this weekly meme in 2014, however, I would always seem to get distracted during the hours leading up to Thursdays OR completely forget to compose my thoughts for this meme until into the weekend; at which point, the time had come and gone. I like the fact we can exchange thoughts percolating in our minds that run the gambit of the bookish world, creative outlets, or thoughts we want to share that might show a bit more about who we are behind the bookish blog we maintain. I am going to attempt to thread the journal of my 10 Bookish / Not Bookish Thoughts by order of the entries arrival into my life rather than a preference of 1-10.

BE SURE to visit my FIRST ENTRY: Bookish Not Bookish No.1

No, your eyes did not lie to you, this is No. 6, No. 2-5 will be released this Autumn.

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No. 1 |  Corvidae + Scarecrow | Anthologies by World Weaver Press

As you might have recalled I happily devoured the stories in Rhonda Parrish’s first anthological series debut FAE, wherein I found myself quite delighted to find stories of the fae represented in such a uniquely clever collection of inspiration and craft of story-telling. After concluding my review on behalf of FAE, I wasn’t quite sure what I should request next via World Weaver Press, when happily their publicist Ms Wagner suggested I follow FAE with the next two anthologies in sequence:

CORVIDAE banner by World Weaver Press

What is so wicked awesome about these two anthologies is there is a serial short between them, which outside of pulp fiction and the classical serials found in zines decades inside the early 20th Century, I haven’t come across serial shorts inside anthologies! I’m quite a newbie to anthologies of the 21st Century, and thereby, each time I make a discovery I am wicked excited by the possibilities of what I am about to read!

I am now piqued with keen interest to read Sanctuary and Judge & Jury! I had agreed knowingly with the reviewer – sometimes you come across a short so profoundly moving, if you never found another you loved dearly as much, the collection was worth it’s weight in gold! This happened to me once in another anthology where I found a writer so tapped into the human condition and the emphatic heart we all have within us, I was forever moved! Shorts despite their length are powerful in what they convey! The four I focused on myself from FAE are still with me, even now.

I must confess, this fellow book blogger out here in the book blogosphere is as keenly passionate about these anthologies as I am, as it’s his reviews on behalf of these two anthologies that encouraged me to take the plunge into reading them myself!

I must admit – reading the reviews on Tangent in combination with reading the Press Kits helped make my decision because Tangent has bloggers who knit out the heart of each story and give me ‘just enough’ to whet a thirst of interest.

Do visit his reviews, ahead of my own which will be arriving in October!

Tangent’s review of Corvidae by Eric Kimminau

Tangent’s review of Scarecrow by Eric Kimminau

And, dear hearts guess what!? Parrish isn’t yet done with her Magical Menagerie! She’s putting together a new collection entitled: SIRENS! Eek. Can you just imagine!? Watery stories of EPIC MYTHOLOGICAL loveliness?!  I’m not sure about you, but World Weaver Press has bewitched me!

Scarecrow banner by World Weaver Press

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No. 2 |  Being a part of DAW’s blog tour for This Gulf of Time and Stars by Julie E. Czerneda

I initially thought my path had crossed with Ms Czerneda during Sci Fi November 2014, until I ran a search for our tweet convos and realised it was a bit earlier in 2014 during the Sci Fi Writer’s chat! Who knew!? I used to duck inside the #sffwrtcht on a regular basis, as I have a healthy appetite for SFF whilst getting the opportunity to talk to writers who are enveloping us in worlds that are a jolt outside our own realities to the brink of epic intraspace proportions! As we do not just jettison ourselves off of Earth or into the orbit surrounding Earth, we sometimes traverse the divides of time itself whilst visiting territorial systems beyond our line of sight. Then, there is the hidden joy of writers who write an arbitrage of stories contained on Earth herself but within the light years of time ahead of our own living futures, taking us both on land and sea to explore new frontiers and the plausiblilties of life therein. Read More

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Posted Thursday, 1 October, 2015 by jorielov in 10 Bookish (& Not-So-Bookish Thoughts), Blogosphere Events & Happenings

10 Bookish (& Not-Bookish Thoughts) No.1: from the BBC to @ChocLitUK to Indie #SFF & a dash of #HistFic; this #bookblogger is celebrating quite a heap! Including a special note of gratitude to her #library in regards to the #SRC2015!

Posted Thursday, 14 May, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

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Week of Thursday, 30th of April thru 7th 14th of May, 2015 | Hostess List

I’ve honestly wanted to start participating in this weekly meme in 2014, however, I would always seem to get distracted during the hours leading up to Thursdays OR completely forget to compose my thoughts for this meme until into the weekend; at which point, the time had come and gone. I like the fact we can exchange thoughts percolating in our minds that run the gambit of the bookish world, creative outlets, or thoughts we want to share that might show a bit more about who we are behind the bookish blog we maintain. I am going to attempt to thread the journal of my 10 Bookish / Not Bookish Thoughts by order of the entries arrival into my life rather than a preference of 1-10.

NOTE: This list was originally meant to publish on the 7th of May, however, due to unforeseen reasons which delayed it’s posting, I had intended to share it on the 14th of May when I came down with a migraine, thus taking me away from finishing the edits as I found out a few things earlier in that second week I had not known originally on the 7th. I am back-posting this on the 14th (today) on the 19th of May, as that is the day it belongs hereafter to be seen. A new list will be generated for this upcoming Thursday, the 21st!

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No. 1 | Borrowing the BBC through my local library

One of my favourite joys of being a regular library patron is the access to the BBC through either direct  purchases made by my local library OR the ability to ILL serial dvd collections for mini-series, tv serials, or motion pictures! For the past two to three weeks, I’ve had the incredible joy of being able to catch up with one of my favourite BBC serials: Foyle’s War! I have a soft spot for war dramas and for mystery series because I truly grew up on murder mysteries on tv!

Michael Kitchen plays the title lead as Foyle, and it is such a convicting narrative of stories pulled out of research by the series creator and writer Anthony Horowitz. I knew of his works previously through Alex Rider, as I watched the motion picture hoping there would be more installments; however, this was a bit like hoping the latest Nancy Drew film would have sequels starring Emma Roberts. I cannot even express how much I celebrated there is a Series 7 and a Series 8, except to say, it equaled the joy I had in realising there is a Series 3 for Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries!

You’re taking back to the world wars of the early 20th Century going straight through to the start of the Cold War; the transition in Series 6 to 7 is impressive because Horowitz has amazing continuity by giving his audience the pleasure of staying with characters they are attached too and seeing them move forward with their lives. The only characters I regretted not seeing come forward were Foyle’s partner Paul Milner and of course, Foyle’s son Andrew. Andrew was portrayed by singer Julian Ovenden and his exit I believe was nearly predicted by the fact his career took off. I was thankful I could participate in a live chat with him via PBS last year, and he even answered one of my questions! This was not in reference of Foyle’s War but for his guest starring role on Downton Abbey.

To see Honeysuckle Weeks return as Sam and Foyle to be back as the moral backbone of MI5 is such a true delight of authenticity, I can only hope others are seeking out Foyle as much as I am! He has become such a delight to watch, my family hopes like I do that we have much more Foyle yet to come! It is definitely a series where fans are helping guide the series forward, as it was cancelled and revived!

After Foyle, I wanted to keep the joy of selecting to see new BBC serials, (either newly released or past releases still unknown) which is why I selected to watch Last Tango in Halifax. A drama about two families that are on the verge of coming together due to the fact their Mum and Dad have fallen in love with each other after reuniting after living 60 years apart! It’s such a tragic opening to the story, where a lost letter does not get delivered and they each went their separate ways!

They find each other on social media and as they meet-up for the first time after all these decades, learnt that they are still very much as important to each other as they were then. However, the drama of what ensues is both honest and representative of a families in transition and shifting in/out of difficulties that arise whilst life continues to carry on. The last episode of the 1st Series nearly put me under, because of what happens to Alan, but thankfully, we read up a bit about the series finding that as this is based on a real-life couple who found each other and wedded after a 60 year absence, the series is thriving on fans in the UK who love the show! Already in it’s 3rd Series and moving towards it’s 4th, I can say we devourted the 1st and are about to embark on the 2nd! Read More

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Posted Thursday, 14 May, 2015 by jorielov in #SRC2015 | BookSparks, 10 Bookish (& Not-So-Bookish Thoughts), Blogosphere Events & Happenings, CSI: Cyber, Foyle's War, Last Tango in Halifax, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, NCIS, When Calls the Heart