Tag: The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley

Author Interview | A story inspires Jorie to seek out the back-story behind the genesis of the novel’s creation whilst developing a wicked good convo with author Susan Ornbratt on behalf of her #GillianPugsley!

Posted Friday, 4 March, 2016 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

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As soon as I finished reading #GillianPugsley’s story, I felt so connected to the heart and spirit of the characters’ of whom had entertained my mind for so many lovely moons of a stay, I did not wish to depart them. Even though I knew my time with them was coming to a close, I wanted to learn a bit more about the back-story of how this particular novel was composed so eloquently but also, how real-life provided such a hearty level of inspiration, as there are points within the novel’s scope of depth where you can feel quite attune and attached to the author’s journey inasmuch as her characters!

This is one of those special novels which becomes an experience of it’s own to read – where you feel inter-connected through time and the pages of where words bridge the gap between what can be well-envisioned of a lived life and where fiction tucks in the differences and grants us a personal glimpse of ‘what could have been’. Such is the beauty behind “The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley” as you are treated to such a heart-moving story about a granddaughter’s search for the truth about her grandmother’s life!

I was overjoyed when Ms Örnbratt was open to an interview, as there were questions which were coming to me as I read the story and some came after I concluded the final bits which left my cheeks watered with tears and a choking realisation all is known, and all is quite a bit lost except for the happiness of having crossed paths with both Gilly and Gillian Pugsley! Two women who should leave an impression on each woman who reads their story, for they had such a legacy of words, love and a voice of a life lived whilst in pursuit of finding one’s voice and owning the path you choose.

Here is the conversation the novel inspired me to compose
and the responses on behalf of Ms Örnbratt I believe will inspire you!

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The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley by Susan Ornbratt

She has written a heart-centred story befit for granddaughters who achingly miss their grandmothers whose close-knit connection was a dear part of their lives. This is a story told from a granddaughter’s perception about their grandmother’s story – as Gillian is best understood through the graceful wisdom of Gilly; two women who share not only a name but an old soul mentality about life, living and the circles of love. It has such a powerful thread of story, you do not realise at first how hard-hitting #GillianPugsley will be until you tuck yourself inside it’s chapters and fear for the moment where your fingers turn the ending pages, revealling not only the fuller scope of what you’ve consumed but the theory you first realised when you began reading it.

The ‘particular appeal’ of #GillianPugsley is she’s an ‘every woman’ character, writ solid with a dimensional story arc not limited by time nor country. Hers is a story of fortitude of strength and a zest for adventure; where accepting limitations is not her mantra and where embracing life as it arrives is part of her nature. She’s particularly appealing because of her moxie and her deep commitment to living life on her terms. She softens by love and she is renewed in the spirit of living by the one man she never had to explain herself too as he already understood her quirky nature. If war and time had not been erased of the clock, you start to wonder – would their lives have been writ differently?

This is a story written from the living hours straight through to the resolution of the tomorrow Gilly captures from her grandmother. It’s an ode to grandmothers and granddaughters of whom intrinsically know more than they let on about each other.

-taken from my review of The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley

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From the opening sequences of the novel, I instinctively felt the poems were the foreshadowing of this story to be layered through autobiographical data left behind and/or passed down to you. How did you approach crafting the story out of the poems, as this was also a measure of Gilly’s journey as well? Were the two connected or did you expound a bit away from your own living truth?

Örnbratt responds: The poems are autobiographical. Of this, I have no doubt. How I interpreted them on the other hand, was left to my imagination. Indeed, they foreshadow much of the story and yes, I drew bits and pieces from my own and my grandmother’s life, eg. setting (London, Tobermory, Berkshire), my grandmother working as a nanny for a maharaja of India, a sister named Beaty, etc. But the actual story is fictional.

I had a general idea of where I wanted the story to go. In this way, the crafting was rather loose, at least far from rigid. I let the feeling of the poems drive the story. My writing was very much connected to them through the entire process. At times, I would write a chapter and the poem I had originally chosen to accompany it, fit better somewhere else. There was shifting throughout which was easy to do because I understood there was a common thread through all of them. They were about love, passion and commitment. This worked well for the story’s purpose. I drew from between those lines. Even if my interpretation wasn’t my grandmother’s actual history, I could imagine some of the poems deriving from a first love and others, the settled, familiarity of marriage.

Gilly, the granddaughter’s journey is definitely connected to the poems. It is a journey that also mirrors my own in ways. Both my character and myself as a writer became reacquainted with a grandmother and the writer neither of us knew she was. As I learned that my own grandmother had a past, that she was once a young woman filled with passion and dreams, so did my character. Read More

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Posted Friday, 4 March, 2016 by jorielov in Author Interview, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Light Messages Publishing

Book Review | “The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley”by Susan Ornbratt My second novel of #SwedishLit by an writer who soulfully stirs the reader’s heart.

Posted Saturday, 20 February, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: One day in June I ducked inside #LitChat and discovered a hearty conversation about Indie Publishers and the stories they publish. There were two publishers in attendance, with Light Messages Publishing being the one who happily corresponded with me a bit after the chat concluded. Whilst in communication with their publicity department, I was encouraged to look through their beautifully lovely catalogue and see if one of their upcoming Autumn releases might suit my bookish curiosities. I picked two which fancied me the most, one of which was not mentioned to me but I discovered on my own: “Tea and Crumples” by Summer Kinard, who had attended the chat. If your curious about the Small Press Showcase #LitChat I attended you can replay the conversation in whole by visiting the Nurph Channel for LitChat where it’s archived.

I love hosting Indie Publishers and Press on Jorie Loves A Story, as it speaks to the wicked quality of editing and crafting of stories in today’s book market. I nearly read more Indie authors on a yearly basis than I do Major Trade, a credit to being a book blogger whose bookish world has tenfold increased since she started blogging. You get further into the book world as a blogger and I’m incredibly blessed due to the connections I am making in the twitterverse.

This marks my first review for Light Messages Publishing and I will be following it with a review of “Tea and Crumples”. After which I am hoping to make a new selection and continue to support the writers and team behind this inspirational Indie Publisher! I received a complimentary copy of “The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley” direct from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

A bit of an introduction to Light Messages Publishing:

Light Messages is a family run publishing company founded in 1998, and we began expanding to general trade in 2011. We now have close to 100 titles in our catalog and release 6-8 titles per year. We pride ourselves on publishing meaningful books by emerging authors.

This is the official mission statement of Light Messages as a publisher and one that is aptly suited to their publishing house. One of the takeaways I took from my interactions with them in the #LitChat I attended and the research I did on their publishing website, this is a publisher whose entire focus is on crafting uplifting stories rooted in heart and soul story-lines. They give specific attention to their authors and their stories whilst being open-minded about book bloggers and reviewers who are seeking stories to review. They are a gem of a find if your a blogger, as similar to my admiration for World Weaver Press (on my review of FAE and on this post) they give us a lot to work with whilst we’re hosting their authors!

The flexibility to read through their catalogue of front list and backlist titles is one that I appreciate, as this reminds me of my readings of ChocLitUK; where your are not limited to front list selections. I enjoy getting the opportunity to read the stories which nestle into my imagination long before I pick them up as a bit of a precursor of what I might find inside their chapters. Reading for review is a bit like sorting out which writer and which story not only appeals to you in the moment of discovery, but one that will have a lasting curiosity by the time you sit down to read it. Oft-times we’re making selections a bit ahead of our blogging schedules (by three to six months!), and the beauty for me is finding the stories which are uniquely individualistic to both their authors and their publishing house. This is in part why I love reading Indies, they have their own styling and their own written voice which sets them apart from Major Trade.

I have blogged in the past about being a hybrid reader of both Mainstream and INSPY (my shortened endearing name for ‘Inspirational Fiction’ as found via the twitterverse or most directly the INSPY Awards) novelists and the selections I’m making via Light Messages speaks to that particular appreciation of reading across literary boundaries. I love being uplifted by hard-hitting story-lines which speak to the human condition and the state of humanity. (hence why I read a heap of war dramas!) At the very same time, I love the lightness and joyfully blissful story-lines where the drama is lightly touched upon and comic moments intersect the character’s lives. I am eclectically happy experiencing my literary wanderings and I am quite thankful I discovered Light Messages as they are creating a balance of what I appreciate out of both ‘umbrellas’ so to speak of literature.

Equally lovely is how they do not limit the kinds of stories their authors are writing, as I happily found selections in a cross mixture of genre and styles of literature, including science fiction and suspense!

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Book Review | “The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley”by Susan Ornbratt My second novel of #SwedishLit by an writer who soulfully stirs the reader’s heart.The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley
Subtitle: a love story
by Susan Ornbratt
Source: Direct from Publisher

To satisfy her wandering feet, eighteen-year-old Gillian McAllister is sent from Ireland to Canada in the summer of 1932. She arrives with her Irish ways intact, determined not to let the wiles of crop duster Christian Hunter woo her into submission. Yet as the summer unfolds and the sweet taste of love grows,

Gillian’s appeal lures more than she anticipates, shattering the life they’ve built. From the shores of The Great Lakes to the slums of Bombay and a tiny island in between, this love story takes the reader on an intimate journey to unravel a family secret that’s laid hidden for generations.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1-61153-111-4

Also by this author:

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Time Slip and/or Time Shift, War Drama, Women's Fiction


Published by Light Messages Publishing

on 23rd April 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 318

Published By: Light Messages Publishing (@LMpublishing)

Author Page @ Light Messages Publishing
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

I elected to shorten the title to encourage bookish chatter in the twitterverse!

Converse via: #GillianPugsley

I am not even sure I grabbed all the tweets I referenced over the months I spent with this novel as I used this shortened tag quite a heap as it was a way to convey a short code nod towards what I was reading but also, to bring to light a name shared by two characters!

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.

About Susan Ornbratt

Susan Ornbratt

Susan Örnbratt was born in London, Canada and grew up on the dance floor until her brother’s high school rowing crew needed a coxswain. Quickly, she traded in her ballet shoes for a megaphone and went on to compete in the Junior and Senior World Championships and the XIII Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland.

A graduate from the University of Western Ontario in French and the University of Manitoba in elementary education, as well as attending L’Université Blaise Pascal Clermont-Ferrand II in France while she worked as a fille au pair, Susan has gone on to teach and live in six countries.

Although a maple leaf will forever be stitched on her heart, she has called Sweden her home for the past sixteen years with a recent three-year stint in North Carolina, USA for her husband’s work. It was there where Susan wrote The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley.

Susan lives in Gothenburg with her husband and two children and an apple tree beloved by the local moose population. If she isn’t shooing away the beasts, you can find her in her garden with some pruning shears, a good book and always a cup of tea. If Susan were dried out, she could be brewed.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 20 February, 2016 by jorielov in 20th Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Clever Turns of Phrase, Debut Author, Debut Novel, During WWI, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Ireland, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Light Messages Publishing, Modern Day, Poetry, Prior to WWI, the Thirties, The World Wars, Time Shift, Time Slip, War Drama, War-time Romance, Women's Fiction, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Style & Voice

#WWWWednesday No.4: Jorie welcomes Autumn w/ a heap of lovely #fallreads and a touch of #summerreads still in progress!

Posted Wednesday, 14 October, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

WWWWednesday a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

I loved the premise of this meme {WWW Wednesdays} due to the dexterity that it gives the reader! :) Clearly subject to change on a weekly rotation, which may or may not lead to your ‘next’ read which would provide a bit of a paradoxical mystery to your readers!! :) Love the concept! Therefore, this weekly meme was originally hosted by Should Be Reading who became A Daily Rhythm. Lovingly restored and continued by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Each week you participate, your keen to answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading!?
  • What did you recently finish reading!?
  • What do you think you’ll read next!?

After which, your meant to click over to THIS WEEK’s WWWWednesday to share your post’s link so that the rest of the bloggers who are participating can check out your lovely answers! :) Perhaps even, find other bloggers who dig the same books as you do! I thought it would serve as a great self-check to know where I am and the progress I am hoping to have over the next week!

Join the Convo via: #WWWWednesday

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

What are you currently reading!? (Wednesday to Wednesday)

  • A Woman of Note by Carol M. Cram (blog tour Thursday!) (Synopsis)
  • Decorum by Kaaren Christopherson* (Synopsis)
  • Those Who Remain by Ruth W. Crocker (Synopsis)
  • The Tulip Resistance by Lynne Leatham Allen* (Synopsis)
  • Summer Campaign by Carla Kelly* (Synopsis)
  • Fool’s Gold by Zana Bell (Synopsis)
  • A Thousand Words for Stranger by Julie E. Czerneda (Synopsis)
  • The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley by Susan Örnbratt (Synopsis)
  • Yellow-billed Magpie by Nancy Schoellkopf (Synopsis)
  • #SRC2015: Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave (Synopsis)
  • #ReadingIsBeautiful: Summer by Summer by Heather Burch (Synopsis)
  • Ignoring Gravity by Sandra Danby (Synopsis)

*Titles were blog tours I missed hosting over the Summer.

A beautiful mixed bag of readerly delights await me, as I tackle the stories I had meant to read and review over the Summer (June – September) whilst dipping into my first reads for Autumn! As you might have noticed I have an appreciation for stories during the war eras and for war dramas in particular, but I took a chance on a non-fiction piece that is set around redemption and solace when I elected to read Ruth W. Crocker’s book. The Tulip Resistance will be taking me behind the lines of war from a Dutch perspective whereas I generally enter through the World Wars through the British or French lines of perception. Read More

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Posted Wednesday, 14 October, 2015 by jorielov in 18th Century, 19th Century, Anthology Collection of Stories, Back to the Classics, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Discussions, Books for Review Arrived by Post, Chunkster Reading Challenge, Classical Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Foodie Fiction, France Book Tours, Get Steampunk'd, Go Indie, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Library Find, Love for Books Readathon, RALs | Thons via Blogs, Reading Challenge Addict, Reading Challenges, Rewind Challenge, Science Fiction, Seriously Series Reading Challenge, SFN Bingo, TBR Pile Challenge, tCC The Classics Club, The Dystopia Challenge, Tomorrow Comes Media, Wicked Valentine's Readathon, William Shakespeare Challenge, Wuthering Heights, WWW Wednesdays, Xchyler Publishing