Monday, May 18, 2015

REVIEW: The Soul Retrieval (+$75 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: The Soul Retrieval
Author: Ann W. Jarvie
Series: N/A
Pages: 434
Date Published: March 23rd 2015
Publisher: JazzComm Publishing
Format: Kindle
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours

Inspired by a true story, The Soul Retrieval is a suspenseful tale of love, loss and healing which follows traumatized southern beauty Henrietta Clayborn as she moves between her home in a small South Carolina town and the New Mexico Native American reservation whose spontaneous healings keep drawing her physician husband back. Tortured by her awful secrets, Henrietta struggles to thrive in either locale, but it is her unlikely friendship with Joe Loco--an eccentric Native American mystic with an Elvis fetish and a gift for healing--that shows her the way to be whole again.

Set in the late 1950s, The Soul Retrieval is richly woven with spiritual insights but also deadly secrets, forbidden healings, a murder mystery, stunning scenery and an unforgettable cast of characters.

A story of transcendent and inspiring power that is both entertaining and enlightening, readers will be cheering for the uptight woman from South Carolina to push through her fears of the forbidden as she searches for truth and healing, faces great obstacles on the frontier of self and ultimately becomes more than she ever thought possible.

~My Thoughts~
After marrying the man of her dreams, Henrietta is brought roughly down to earth by the scourge that is her father in law. In order to escape his long reach and influence, the couple moves to an Indian reservation to start over. Through their experience dealing with some new found friends, Henrietta is able to move past her own history and begin to heal and find herself in her marriage. 

Urgh, Dr Colonel is the father-in-law from hell, and is pretty much the reason I'm terrified of meeting all of my boyfriends' parents. Who knows if you are going to get a nasty snake like that? 

Henrietta and Jeff were wonderfully realistic characters...and they should be. Apparently this story is based off of fact and isn't entirely fiction. I am all about books that were inspired by true stories. It just means that much more when you realize that these characters made these choices, fell in love, and were real-are still alive possibly-and have made such an impact on someone else that a story had to be written. It's always great to get a peek into an author's head, but better yet when it's someone's real life. 

Ann's writing style is so personal and very relatable. When you're reading her work, you feel like you're having a casual conversation with a friend in your kitchen. Everything is bright, friendly, and flows as though you've known each other forever. I love this kind of style because it helps me slip into the character and feel as though I'm right there with her. I felt this way about Henrietta and felt her pain and her struggles. It was a very emotional book and I'm glad I got to be along for the ride! 

This book was warm and dramatic, very emotional, and occasionally bitingly funny. I enjoyed it quite a bit!
~Try an Excerpt!~
“It’s just as Bear foretold,” the Apache said. He closed his eyes and moved his hands in small circles with palms out. “The fire’s burning, but no one’s home in your teepee.”

“Excuse me?”

“You don’t feel like yourself, you’re feeling vacant and disconnected, like something’s missing.” Joe spoke as he opened his eyes.

She gaped at him in stunned silence before whispering: “How … why would you say something like that?” Henrietta’s heart thumped in her chest as she nervously glanced toward the living room. Her husband was still talking on the phone.

“Your soul speaks volumes through your eyes.”

“You see something in my eyes?” And she rubbed them again with her handkerchief.

“I see what was there, what should be there, but is not now.”

“Don’t be silly. I’m fine. My eyes were just watering, that’s all.” She winced, knowing that it wasn’t true, hating that she’d become such a liar.

“It’s okay, I’m here to help,” Joe said. He placed his folded hands on the table after sitting down.

His smile and disarming empathy surprised Henrietta, but she wasn’t going to be moved by what seemed like a sweet and insightful gesture. Joe Loco was absolutely the last person in the world she’d choose to confide in.

“Don’t worry. It’s obvious your soul has fragmented and is in need of repair,” Joe said with a calm certainty, as if it was an everyday matter to be dealt with.

“What?” Henrietta put her hands down and stared into space, bewildered by his words. In the quietude, the sizzle of the frying eggs and bacon filled the room like a choir of rattlers. My soul has what? When she looked again at Joe, planning to demand exactly what he meant, his eyes were closed, and he was whispering and holding his palms up as though in prayer.

So she placed the cooked food on a plate, poured a glass of milk and put both down in front of him. He opened his eyes and smiled up at her.

“That’s one of the strangest things I’ve ever heard—a soul fragmenting,” she said. “How would something like that even be possible?”

“It can happen when we believe or experience something bad we don’t want to face.” He took a bite of eggs and grits, closing his eyes again to savor the combination. “Oh, this is yum-yum,” he said.

When he looked up, it was Henrietta who was staring.

“The good news is that lost soul fragments can be recovered and healed. It’s not hard, if you know how, if you know the secret,” Joe said.

“Are you saying you know how to do that? That you know the secret?”

“The Great Spirit works hitherto and I work.”

She crossed her arms. “So what are you, some kind of soul repairman?”
~Meet Ann!~ 
Ann W. Jarvie has a B.A. in journalism and more than twenty-five years’ experience as an award-winning writer in advertising and public relations agencies, both in South Carolina and Chicago. She now lives near Phoenix, Arizona, where she spends part of her time as a freelance copywriter and the rest writing fiction.

The Soul Retrieval was inspired by Jarvie’s maternal grandmother’s fascinating life on Indian reservations, where she lived with her physician husband until his mysterious and untimely death.

Ann W. Jarvie will be awarding a $75 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. I always appreciate "realistic characters".

  2. It was overall a great post! I loved the excerpt and the review!

  3. Thank you for sharing this incredibly interesting story!

  4. Hi Andra,

    Thank you so much for hosting me today and for your wonderful review. Researching, writing and sharing The Soul Retrieval has been a labor of love, and I'm both delighted and grateful that it's being well received. I enjoyed reading your "My Thoughts" and love that you connected with the characters, especially Henrietta!

    Thanks also to everyone for your comments and for joining me on this literary journey.

    All the best,

  5. Great excerpt! Thanks for the review!

  6. Fascinating reading was that

  7. This sounds like an interesting read. I enjoyed the excerpt.