Month: October 2015

Book Review | “The Untied Kingdom” by Kate Johnson Rom with a twist of alternative reality! #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 31 October, 2015 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By:

I am a ChocLit reviewer who receives books of my choice in exchange for honest reviews! I received a complimentary copy of “The UnTied Kingdom” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

On my connection to Kate Johnson:

I host a weekly Romance chat (#ChocLitSaturdays | @ChocLitSaturday) in conjunction with my book reviews and showcases on behalf of the publisher ChocLitUK. The weekly chat was inspired by the authors and stories I was devouring as a book reviewer, as I wanted to create a space online where sisterhood friendships could develop between readers and writers of Rom. My focus was to first unite the authors of ChocLit with readers of ChocLit and then, expand the conversation. Eleven in the morning of a Saturday, has become a favourite hour for me to exchange conversation and joy with everyone who shows up to participate in the lively convos. You can visit the homepage for #ChocLitSaturdays via Nurph, where you can choose to RSVP future chats or replay past chats.

Ms Johnson and I have been happily conversing through the chats for a good portion of the past year, as she ducks in to the conversations as her time allows. Through those chats, depending on the topic that is broached during the hour, book recommendations are one of the highlights for everyone attending. For me, it’s a chance to get to know about stories I might not be drawn too outright or had previously been on the fence about reading. One of these titles was ‘The Untied Kingdom’ which soon became highly recommended. From what I gathered in one of the chats, I knew I had to at least give it a go myself to see how Johnson wrote the intriguing story-line.

Similar to my previous thoughts I shared about Ms Courtenay and Ms Harris, I have come to appreciate chatting with Ms Johnson through #ChocLitSaturdays chats. She has a bubbly personality, a sharp wit and a humour that never fails to make me smile or laugh outright. She’s very open about talking about her characters and stories, whilst not one to be shy from expressing her appreciation for what gives her the most joy as a reader and writer.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Johnson through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I host #ChocLitSaturdays; I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time.

Why I enjoy embracing the chance to read an ‘alternative’ story-line:

I think everyone will recognise there are alternative realities in science fiction and fantasy, inasmuch as their are alternative historical fiction plot-lines where the writer has bent the genre to their will. For me personally, I appreciate dipping into this creative well of dexterity when I find a story which becomes it’s own personal niche in a genre of it’s writer’s choosing. I do not oft read these kinds of stories, so it’s a bit of a mystery if I will soak inside the narrative as readily as I do other stories, but one thing is for certain: I like taking risks with my literary wanderings, because without a risk once in awhile, how do we know if we will like something completely new and out of the regular realms we are reading if we don’t take that chance?

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.Book Review | “The Untied Kingdom” by Kate Johnson Rom with a twist of alternative reality! #ChocLitSaturdaysThe Untied Kingdom
by Kate Johnson
Source: Direct from Publisher

The portal to an alternate world was the start of all her troubles – or was it?

When Eve Carpenter lands with a splash in the Thames, it’s not the London or England she’s used to. No one has a telephone or knows what a computer is. England’s a third world country and Princess Di is still alive. But worst of all, everyone thinks Eve’s a spy.

Including Major Harker who has his own problems. His sworn enemy is looking for a promotion. The general wants him to undertake some ridiculous mission to capture a computer, which Harker vaguely envisions running wild somewhere in Yorkshire. Turns out the best person to help him is Eve.

She claims to be a pop star. Harker doesn’t know what a popstar is, although he suspects it’s a fancy foreign word for ‘spy’. Eve knows all about computers, and electricity. Eve is dangerous. There’s every possibility she’s mad.

And Harker is falling in love with her.

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Alternative Reality | History, Genre-bender, Romantic Suspense, Time Slip and/or Time Shift, War Drama



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781906931681

Published by ChocLitUK

on 7th October 2014

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 320

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.

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

Formats Available: Paperback, Large Print, Audiobook and E-book

Converse via: #ChocLit

About Kate Johnson

Kate Johnson

Kate Johnson is a prolific writer of romantic and paranormal fiction. Kate is Choc Lit’s youngest author and lives near Stansted, Essex. She is a self-confessed fan of Terry Pratchett, whose fantasy fiction has inspired her to write her own books. Kate worked in an airport and a laboratory before escaping to write fiction full time. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and has previously published short stories in the UK and romantic mysteries in the US. She’s a previous winner of the WisRWA’s Silver Quill and Passionate Ink’s Passionate Plume award.

Her first UK debut novel, The Untied Kingdom was shortlisted for the Contemporary Romantic Novel Category Award in 2012. It also won an online Best Book Award.

Kate’s Choc Lit novels include: The UnTied Kingdom, Run Rabbit Run and Impossible Things (February 2014).

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Posted Saturday, 31 October, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Action & Adventure Fiction, Alternative Reality, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, British Literature, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Debut Author, Debut Novel, England, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Futuristic Fantasy, Green Publishing, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Military Fiction, Modern British Author, Modern British Literature, Modern Day, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Sci-Fi November, Science Fantasy, Time Slip, Time Travel, Time Travel Adventure, Time Travel Romance, Vulgarity in Literature, Warfare & Power Realignment

Blog Book Tour | “Decorum” by Kaaren Christopherson

Posted Thursday, 29 October, 2015 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: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Decorum” virtual book tour through HFVBT: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Kaaren Christopherson, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Note of Gratitude to the author:

I was happily surprised by what came in the Post for me when Decorum arrived because the author included a few extras for me to enjoy finding tucked inside with my copy of the book! I was very grateful to her for being thoughtful enough to make this book one of my ‘book surprise parcels’ as whenever an author or publisher includes a few unknown extras for me to find in their parcels, it’s a wonderful gift of random joy for me on the other end! Finding the copy was autographed was a true delight, too! I tend to forget to mention this on previous reviews, but seeing the author’s handwritten note or signature is a mark of joy for me! Especially if they sign an ARC not just a finished copy, as it connects the moment of discovering their novel with the moment I’m reading it for the first time! Little bits of joy like these do a world of good for a book blogger who doesn’t expect to find anything except the book she’s reviewing!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Note on the Cover Art: I was captured by the image of this woman from the moment I first laid eyes upon the cover art. Not merely for reasons of sorting out if it followed the timescape of the novel but there was something ‘curious’ about her pose and the manner in which she held herself in this portrait. I love studying Art History and this particular portrait reminded me of that passion I have for classical artists and the confluence of period specific portraiture giving us a lens backwards into the historical past. The author has more info on her site.

Blog Book Tour | “Decorum” by Kaaren ChristophersonDecorum

Kaaren Christopherson’s brilliantly observed novel captures the glamour and grit of one of the world’s most dazzling cities during one of its most tumultuous eras–as seen through the eyes of a singularly captivating heroine…

In 1890s New York, beautiful, wealthy Francesca Lund is an intriguing prospect for worthy suitors and fortune hunters alike. Recently orphaned, she copes by working with the poor in the city’s settlement movement. But a young woman of means can’t shun society for long, and Francesca’s long-standing acquaintance with dashing Edmund Tracey eventually leads to engagement. Yet her sheltered upbringing doesn’t blind her to the indiscretions of the well-to-do…

Among the fashionable circle that gathers around her there are mistresses, scandals, and gentlemen of ruthless ambition. And there is Connor O’Casey–an entirely new kind of New Yorker. A self-made millionaire of Irish stock, Connor wants more than riches. He wants to create a legacy in the form of a luxury Madison Avenue hotel–and he wants Francesca by his side as he does it. In a quest that will take her from impeccable Manhattan salons to the wild Canadian Rockies, Francesca must choose not only between two vastly different men, but between convention and her own emerging self-reliance.


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781617735219

on 31st March 2015

Pages: 417

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.

Published By: Kensington Publishing Corp. ()
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and E-book

Converse via: #KaarenChristopherson OR #DecorumBlogTour

About Kaaren Christopherson

Kaaren Christopherson

Kaaren Christopherson is the author of Decorum—a novel about Gilded Age New York—that began taking form in 1999 during a course on writing historical fiction. From that moment, Connor O’Casey (who had been rattling around in her brain for months) finally appeared one night and said, “All right, woman. Here I am. What are you going to do about my story?”

So she began to put his words on paper, and he hasn’t kept quiet since. Soon Francesca, Blanche, Tracey, Vinnie, and the rest of the characters began arguing, gossiping, loving, and forming themselves into Kaaren’s first novel.

Kaaren has had a professional career writing and editing for over 30 years and is a senior editor for an international development nonprofit organization in Washington, DC.

She has written fiction since her school days, story poems, children’s books, historical fiction, and time travel, and continues to be active in writer’s groups and writing workshops. In addition to her career as a writer, Kaaren was the owner of a decorative painting business. She loves to travel and prowl through historical sites, galleries, and museums. She is active in several churches in DC and in her local Northern Virginia community, where she shares her home with feline brothers, Archie and Sammy.

A Michigan native, Kaaren received her BA in history and art and her MA in educational administration from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Photo Credit: Pat Everett Photography

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Thursday, 29 October, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 19th Century, Blog Tour Host, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Bookish Discussions, British Literature, Clever Turns of Phrase, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Novel, Family Drama, Family Life, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Honeymoons & Weddings, Indie Author, Inheritance & Identity, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, New York City, Orphans & Guardians, Passionate Researcher, Unexpected Inheritance, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Style & Voice

Book Review | “Reading the Sweet Oak” by Jan Stites

Posted Thursday, 29 October, 2015 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: I am becoming a regular tour hostess and reviewer for BookSparks, as I began to host for them in the Spring ahead of #SRC2015. I am posting my Summer Challenge reviews during November due to the aftereffects of severe lightning storms during July and August. As I make amends for the challenge reads I was unable to post until Autumn; I am also catching up with my YA challenge reads and the blog tours I missed as well. This blog tour marks one of the books I felt curious to read independent of the previous selections. I look forward to continuing to work with BookSparks once I am fully current with the stories I am reading for review.

I received a complimentary copy of “Reading the Sweet Oak” direct from the publicist at BookSparks in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why this title stood out to me to read:

I fancy family centered stories inasmuch as relationship-based Romances as I grew up in a close-knit family where it was key to maintain the connection to both the past and the present. I grew up with living histories of my relatives who were not alive at my birth, of whom, I felt a close bond too all the same due to how their stories were translated through memories.

I think we need more stories of home and hearth showing how courage and strength of family can overtake adversity as much as it can become the glue that binds you through the uncertainty of life itself. Without a circle of people to sound off when times are tightly taut with stress or to celebrate when life enfolds you with blissitudes that launch smiles as round as the moon; it’s a hard walk to find where you fit inside the world.

I have held a deep appreciation for multi-generational sagas for a long time as well; not only for those historicals which arch over centuries but for inter-connected story-lines where characters are of different age and station in their lives. To find a story about a grand-daughter and her grandmother facing the world together felt like a good fit for a next read! Especially since family can denote different things to different people – in this case, a young girl came to live with her grandparent when her parent(s) had passed; finding both comfort and freedom. I like finding stories which curate a non-traditional family life because there are as many families out there as their are fish in the sea.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Review | “Reading the Sweet Oak” by Jan StitesReading the Sweet Oak
by Jan Stites

Along the banks of the Sweet Oak River, deep in the heart of the Ozarks, a romance novel book club takes five women on stunning journeys of self-discovery.

After losing first her husband, then her daughter, seventy-eight-year-old grandmother Ruby wants to teach her risk-averse granddaughter, Tulsa, that some leaps are worth taking, no matter how high the potential fall. Tulsa loves her grandmother dearly, but she has a business to run and no time for romance—not even the paperback version. But when Ruby ropes her into a book club, Tulsa can’t bring herself to disappoint the woman who raised her.

Together with Ruby’s best friend, Pearl, as well as family friends BJ and Jen, the women embark on an exploration of modern-day love guided by written tales of romance. What they discover is a beautiful story that examines the bonds of friendship and the highs and lows of love in all its forms.


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781503945159

on 29th September 2015

Pages: 375

Published By: Lake Union Publishing
Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About Jan Stites

Jan Stites

Jan Stites is the author of the novels Edgewise and Reading the Sweet Oak . She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree from Purdue University, both in history and English.

She has held a multitude of jobs, including screenwriter, screenwriting instructor at San Francisco State University and the University of California–Berkeley, waitress, secretary, middle school teacher, scuba diving travel writer, journalist, transcriber for doctors and documentary filmmakers, teacher in Kenya and the Yucatán, and translator for American doctors in Mexico.

She is from Missouri, where she has vacationed extensively in the Ozarks. She currently resides in Northern California with her husband.

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Posted Thursday, 29 October, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, BookSparks, Brothers and Sisters, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Equality In Literature, Indie Author, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Siblings, Small Towne USA, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction