Author Guest Post | As August marks the #printbook release of “The Lost Girl” by Liz Harris, I’m wicked happy to be sharing this readerly insight behind the author’s bookish life!

Posted Monday, 8 August, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts! I have such a special treat for you today!

I am featuring a special guest post by an author I quite literally have loved to devour when her pen takes my mind into the historical past! I am simply over the moon for her historicals for reasons I regularly express throughout my blog and the twitterverse! However, for those of you who might not be aware of this fascination of mine, I can quickly give you a bit of a clue as to what nods in the authors favour when it comes to my initial impressions whilst fully soaking inside one of her Historical stories:

I wasn’t surprised that Ms Harris tackled another hard-hitting dramatic story-line in her new book The Lost Girl as I have previously come to find she has a way of elevating historical fiction to an emotional keel of clarity. There is a richness to her stories – she dares to capitalise on the emotional heart of her character’s journey; even within the pages of A Bargain Struck this was true, and she did it by taking a seemingly ordinary story-line and moulding it into such a convicting story of life, love and second chances.

Harris has a way to broaching History with such a refinement of shaping the past through a lens of eloquence and clarity, that you simply devour her stories. I appreciate finding an author whose not only dedicated to research but dedicated to writing the stories she’s most passionate telling to a readership whose thankful she’s writing her heart out. – originally shared on the cover reveal for this novel

I have been wanting to get back into hosting guest features on behalf of the ChocLit authors’ I’ve recently been reading as I have missed anchouring my ChocLit readings with the opportunity to step inside the story from a different perspective – either a guest author essay or an interview, where I could help illuminate another light on the story itself whilst having the opportunity to get to know the writers behind the books, too! I am even fine tuning an interview about Some Veil Did Fall at the moment, as I was so fully gone from this world as I entered the cleverly crafted time slip!

This is why I jumped at the chance to host Ms Harris, who was seeking bloggers who wanted to help promote her #PubDay for the print book release of “The Lost Girl” – a novel I first learnt about during #ChocLitSaturday and have been awaiting to read it for over a year now – as it was a Digital First release! I’m quite patient when it comes to these things – as I know it’s a shift of focus for publishers to market books into the digital markets ahead of the print releases. I understand this even though I’m a traditional reader who can only read books in print or their audiobook counterparts!

I honestly would have loved to say I picked this topic on behalf of Ms Harris, however, it was author inspired and due to how she picked a topic that is after my own heart as a writer whose a voracious reader, I felt it was a fitting one to share with my readers! I love finding other writers who devour as many books as I do per annum inasmuch as who love to dissect why we love reading the books which enchant our imaginations!

I hope you have a cuppa tea or java on hand, as you sit back to enjoy this essay!

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On my Connection to Ms. Harris:

I have been hosting #ChocLitSaturday chats on a regular basis for a bit over two years now. 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 a chat centered around ChocLit novels and the Romance branch of literature in general.

Similar to my previous thoughts I shared about Ms. Courtenay, I have come to appreciate chatting with Ms. Harris, either through #ChocLitSaturdays chats or privately. She is most giving of her time and I have appreciated the opportunity to know the writer behind the stories I enjoy reading! She always shares her happy spirit in the chats too, and her insights into why she enjoys writing the books that speak to her the most.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Harris through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I host #ChocLitSaturday the chat as well as privately; 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. Similarly this applies to spotlighting new books by an author I appreciate such as this one.

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I’m sharing both the paperback cover & the ebook cover, as I’m still a bit partial to the ebook cover, even though I respectively understand it’s not as representative of the story as much as the print book cover encompasses. I’m hoping after I’ve read the novel, I can make my final assessment, as ahead of reading it – I still lean towards the first cover. Therefore, the cover featuring the ‘small towne’ is the one on the print release.

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What if you were trapped between two cultures?

Life is tough in 1870s Wyoming. But it’s tougher still when you’re a girl who looks Chinese but speaks like an American.

Orphaned as a baby and taken in by an American family, Charity Walker knows this only too well. The mounting tensions between the new Chinese immigrants and the locals in the mining town of Carter see her shunned by both communities.

When Charity’s one friend, Joe, leaves town, she finds herself isolated. However, in his absence, a new friendship with the only other Chinese girl in Carter makes her feel like she finally belongs somewhere.

But, for a lost girl like Charity, finding a place to call home was never going to be that easy …

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Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Book Page on ChocLitUK

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

RELEASE DATE: Happy #PubDay 7th August, 2016 – print edition

Formats Available: Paperback & Ebook

Genre(s): Historical Fiction | Western | Adoption | Chinese-American ancestry

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Topic: Reading as a Writer by Liz Harris

Like most authors, not only do I write books, but I read them, too. I always have a novel on the go. In the last month alone, I’ve read a saga, a romance, a contemporary women’s fiction with a love story embedded in it, and last night I finished a psychological thriller. You’ll see from the above that I read novels of every genre. I love all types of books, and ask only for a story that grips me, and a satisfying conclusion. Yes, you’re right – I don’t ask for much!

As I say, for me, the story is crucial, and so, too, the characters whose actions and emotions give rise to the story. So when I write a book for others to read, the first thing I ensure is that I have a really good story. I hope you’ll agree that there’s a strong story in The Lost Girl, which is true to the period and the characters to whom I gave birth, which will engage your emotions and make you want to turn the page.

To come back to the novels I read, if I stop reading before the end of the novel, or if I’m unhappy with some aspect of it when I come to the end, I ask myself what felt went wrong, or why it didn’t grab me, and I try to learn from that. After all, I’m writing for other readers, who’ll want the same thing as I do, and I want to get it right.

To illustrate something which recently annoyed me: I came to the end of a novel that hadn’t been advertised as being part of a series, and found that one of the two main story lines in the novel had been left open. Clearly, the plan had been for the reader to buy the second in the series to find out what happened in one of the main story lines in the first.

I was particularly irritated because this was a favourite author of mine, and I’d had such high expectations of his latest work.

Had it been easy to see that the novel was the first in a series, I wouldn’t have been so annoyed, although I still would have been a little bit annoyed. I don’t mind returning to the same characters and locations, or reading a second book to which a hook has been subtly introduced into the first, but I do feel it’s unfair on the reader not to complete within that first novel a main story line.

Talking through my website-blog with other readers, I found that I was not alone in thinking this. Our discussion went further than readers just agreeing with me – it ranged from the issue I’d raised, to the expectations of series’ novels as opposed to serial novels, and to the situation today where, increasingly, the first chapter of the next novel is written at the end of the last novel.

I’ve learned a lot from readers. Guest blogs are a marvellous way for authors to meet readers and to speak with them. I’m always grateful to those who contribute their points of view, and I’m always grateful to the fabulous bloggers who give people like me an opportunity to meet readers.

Thank you very much for allowing me to speak to you
and your readers today. I’ve really enjoyed it.

Liz Harris

Liz was born in London and now lives in South Oxfordshire with her husband. After graduating from university with a Law degree, she moved to California where she led a varied life, trying her hand at everything from cocktail waitressing on Sunset Strip to working as secretary to the CEO of a large Japanese trading company, not to mention a stint as ‘resident starlet’ at MGM. On returning to England, Liz completed a degree in English and taught for a number of years before developing her writing career.

Liz’s debut novel, The Road Back, won a Book of the Year Award from Coffee Time Romance in the USA and her second novel A Bargain Struck was shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Author Connections:

 Personal Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Converse via: #TheLostGirl & #ChocLit

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I have had the pleasure of chatting with Ms Harris off and on over the past two years during #ChocLitSaturday wherein throughout these conversations, I have come to find that Ms Harris has a particularly curious eye for literature and like me, she’s seeking a certain kind of book to entreat inside that will give her that readerly glow of happiness!

I am overjoyed so many writers like meeting up with me during #ChocLitSaturday as we share our bookish and writerly lives with each other. Most authors are incredibly dexterous in their reading habits, as we like to flex our minds and our imaginations to take us ‘further’ and ‘farther’ each time we can happily reside inside a story that simply illuminates our mind aflame with a wicked awesome world!

Similarly to Ms Harris, I am constantly dancing through genres and styles of story-telling – I love being able to act as a accidental time traveller whose fusion of time and historical artifacts of civilised history is happily transparent with each book I consume! Like her, I seek out the emotionally dense stories where characters have such a wholly thorough journey to take us on that it feels as if we’ve lived twice rather than the timeline we’re walking through!

I love how she has the tenacity to seek out what is causing her discomfort from a book she’s picked for pleasure and to use that as a reference tool to improve her own writings! I’ve done this myself – to such an extent – as whenever I’m giving a more critical review on my blog (as an example) I’m using that experience as an exercise to understand ‘what’, ‘why’, and ‘how’ it all derailed for me. It goes beyond the ‘bookish turn-offs‘ I wrote as a 1st Year Book Blogger, too. There are simply certain things within stories that ‘take us out’ of the vision an author intended to provide us with exploring. Those are the times where we learn the most about the craft – how best to avoid the same hurdles for our own future readers and somberly, to acknowledge why that particular author let us down.

I dearly understand Ms Harris’s frustration as she outlined what can go wrong in serial fiction as I’m still resolving my angst over #LadyDarby. Sometimes I think there are errors or mistakes of choice taken in the creative process that go down one thread of insight and these are not always on par with what is agreeable to the reader whose trying to understand those choices. It’s frustrating on such a high level but moreso, I think, when it’s a beloved author of yours; it’s just not an easy experience to filter out of your memory or to re-begin reading their stories. You have to find a way to re-attach after you felt taken afield whilst withdrawing interest to continue forward. Being a reader is as emotional of a process as it is being a writer! In many ways, readers complete the circle writers begin as they create the story – as readers pick up the trail and rebuild the story within their own minds.

It is so interesting she pitched this topic to me – especially as I was asking similar questions on behalf of my own readers when I released my thoughts on A Study in Death before I offered my summation on the spotlight for As Death Draws Near. Unfortunately, my posts did not yield in the discussion within the comment threads I had hoped they could encompass, but I am thankful for Ms Harris her readers could bolster her hope that she wasn’t alone in how she reacted to the story she had read. I, on the other hand, feel as if I’m truly in the minority. If your keen to know what threw me for a loop, kindly visit those posts or backtrack and read through each of my #LadyDarby posts, as you will see what was brewing and building to such a wonderful climax and then, properly shattered me when I realised I would not be privy to a very, very major life event for Lady Darby!

Woe is the reader who feels deeply for the stories that alight in our lives to grant us such incredible hours of joy whilst at the same time, knock us off our chairs at times pondering why certain choices were made on their behalf. Here’s to all readers who find their reading lives are sometimes disrupted and have to take a step-back to re-adjust after being disappointed.

I am especially grateful to Ms Harris to openly share her thoughts on this topic as it’s one that I’ve been trying to sort through myself ever since the first fortnight of July! Bless her! By hosting her today, I feel as if I’ve received a bit of closure for my own issues with the Lady Darby series and perhaps, I too, can finally walk back into the series I love so very much!

Rock on, Ms Harris! Rock on!

I only wonder, which series was the one that wrinkled her brow? Hmm.

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I previously had the joy of showcasing The Lost Girl during it’s Cover Reveal in Autumn 2015! It was on that particular post of mine where I disclosed originally why I am motivated to read the collective historical works by Ms Harris and how we had a lovely impromptu convo about this release!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via This guest post is courtesy of: ChocLitUK

Choc Lit Star Badge provided by ChocLitUK.

I have been quite wicked happy to feature Ms Harris on more than one occasion, as the first novel I read of hers was A Bargain Struck (review); followed by her debut novel The Road Back (review). I also featured a Guest Post about her passion for Wyoming as well as a Guest Post about what inspired The Road Back. Before I proceeded to read her Contemporary release Evie Undercover (review) wherein I realised I prefer her Historicals.

I did enjoy learning more about barristers vs solicitors, though!

Visit my ChocLit Next Reads List on Riffle to see which stories I fancy to devour in 2016!

I have already released The Lost Girl for review in my next batch of ChocLit selections!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comKindly leave your questions, comments, and notes for Liz Harris!
If you are passing through via #MondayBlogs, thank you for your visit! I hope you will take a brief moment to let me know this is how you’ve found this guest post! I welcome your comments on behalf of the topic Ms Harris and I have pitched which is truly:
“How do you overcome your disappointments whilst your reading serial fiction?”

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Join the convo & add your comments! 'How do you overcome series let-downs?' #amreading Click To Tweet

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Similar to blog tours where I feature book reviews, as I choose to highlight an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog. I provide the questions for interviews and topics for the guest posts; wherein I receive the responses back from publicists and authors directly. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them; I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers.

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{SOURCES: Cover art of  “The Lost Girl” (digital & print release), Author Biography, Author Photography of Liz Harris, Book Synopsis and ChocLit Star badge were provided by ChocLitUK and were used by permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.

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Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2016.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie


Posted Monday, 8 August, 2016 by jorielov in Author Guest Post (their topic), Blog Tour Host, British Literature, ChocLitUK, Historical Fiction, Immigrant Stories, Indie Author

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