Blog Book Tour | “You’re the Cream in My Coffee” (Book No. 1 of Marjorie Corrigan novels) by Jennifer Lamont Leo A Historical INSPY debut novel which truly gave me hours of readerly blissitude!

Posted Thursday, 5 January, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

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! I received a complimentary copy of “You’re the Cream in My Coffee” direct from the author Jennifer Lamont Leo in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why this title interested me to read:

I have a soft spot in my heart for INSPY novels – always have and I think I always will. I’ve been trying to seek out new INSPY authors since I started blogging here at Jorie Loves A Story, but my INSPY self-directed 70 Authors Challenge has nearly been placed on a backburner over the past three years; something I wish to amend in 2017!

This author first found me via Twitter and I reached out to her about reviewing this title – I  personally adore the early 20th Century – the Twenties especially, plus who wouldn’t want to soak inside a historical INSPY novel!? The plot was inviting and the author’s website made for some wicked fun reading ahead of soaking into the novel – thus, when this book went on a blog tour for December, I thought the timing would be brilliantly perfect. Except I had to push forward my review from it’s original date of the 16th until the 23rd; and even then, I started off running a bit behind the eight ball in regards to sharing my thoughts with my dear readers and the tour visitors. The honest truth is I couldn’t lay thought or mind nor heart to the fullest extent of the novel until the ending hours of 2016. I am blessed the author was understanding of my need to extend my readings until now.

Despite my early zest to read this particular INSPY, I must confess with everything going on with my Dad lately – my focus has been less than stellar. If anything, I found myself unable to focus on books whilst feeling even less motivated to blog. It took me a bit to find my rhythm after my Dad’s stroke and even now, I’m still struggling to ‘come back’ to that beautiful place of where blogging, reading and sharing my bookish life feels organically cohesive rather than something I tell myself to ‘focus on’.

Also, my Dad’s recovery and healing from major surgery as well as the stroke has been a larger part of my hours right now, as Mum and I have helped him re-adjust back home whilst keeping his spirits lifted as he recovers a bit more of himself each week. My apologies to the author and the tour visitors – I know you’ve been patiently awaiting this particular review. I am hoping this week, my blog will start to re-populate with posts and commentary on the bookish things which interest me to share with each of you.

This is one of three blog tours I had to push forward for HFVBTs, the next two I shall be sharing are The Semper Sonnet and Who is to Blame? in case you’ve been re-visiting me and wondering what I have been working on next to feature for Ms Bruno. I had wanted to get current before the New Year begins and then, start anew in January with a new year of wicked good historicals to ‘meet and greet’ whilst saying ‘good-bye’ to another wonderful year full of History painting stories alive in my imagination. Except to say, posting these three reviews during the first week of 2017 isn’t so bad, either! Especially as I want to spilt them over three days where each one can shine on my blog. (which is why I shared the s/o via this tweet!) Rock on, dear hearts! Don’t let life get you down – things eventually re-settle and the stories are always there waiting our open hearts and thirst for literary wonderment!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “You’re the Cream in My Coffee” (Book No. 1 of Marjorie Corrigan novels) by Jennifer Lamont Leo A Historical INSPY debut novel which truly gave me hours of readerly blissitude!You're the Cream in my Coffee
Subtitle: A Roaring Twenties Novel
by Jennifer Lamont Leo
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

In 1928, Chicago rocks to the rhythm of the Jazz Age, and Prohibition is in full swing. Small-town girl Marjorie Corrigan, visiting the city for the first time, has sworn that coffee’s the strongest drink that will pass her lips. But her quiet, orderly life turns topsy-turvy when she spots her high school sweetheart–presumed killed in the Great War–alive and well in a train station. Suddenly everything is up for grabs.

Although the stranger insists he’s not who she thinks he is, Marjorie becomes obsessed with finding out the truth. To the dismay of her fiancé and family, she moves to the city and takes a job at a department store so she can spy on him. Meanwhile, the glittering world of her roommate, Dot, begins to look awfully enticing–especially when the object of her obsession seems to be part of that world. Is it really so terrible to bob her hair and shorten her skirt? To visit a speakeasy? Just for a cup of coffee, of course.

But what about her scruples? What about the successful young doctor to whom she’s engaged, who keeps begging her to come back home where she belongs? And what, exactly, is going on at the store’s loading dock so late at night?

Amid a whirlwind of trials and temptations, Marjorie must make a choice. Will the mystery man prove to be the cream in her coffee–the missing ingredient to the life she yearns for? Or will he leave only bitterness in her heart?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781938499074

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction


Published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

on 15th September, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 292

Originally Published By: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Available Formats: Paperback

NOTE: This series is referred to as “Roaring Twenties Novels” however, I personally found it a bit more fitting to refer to this as the Marjorie Corrigan series.

Converse via: #HistFic + #INSPY

About Jennifer Lamont Leo

Jennifer Lamont Leo

With a passion for all things historical, Jennifer Lamont Leo captures readers’ hearts through stories set in times gone by. She is also a copywriter, editor, and journalist. An Illinois native, she holds a deep affection for Chicago and its rich history. Today she writes from the mountains of northern Idaho, where she shares her home with her husband, two cats, and abundant wildlife.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

My review of You’re the cream in my coffee:

On the offset of reading this delightfully quick paced INSPY, Ms Lamont Leo has charmed me by her way of entrance into the life of Ms Corrigan! Especially considering a lot of scuttlebutt was travelling through Ms Corrigan’s small towne; of all the ills of speculation, I am uncertain what stung more to her the auspicious suspicions she was withchild or the truth behind why she really fainted! I loved watching how one lie spun itself into a new rumour and how the whole towne soon became betwixt and betide itself with red herrings gone a flutter! This within the opening first paragraphs of Chapter One – dear hearts – to say Ms Lamont Leo had garnished my eye early-on is an understatement!

As we get carried into the life of Ms Corrigan, we find a mid-twenties woman on the brink of marriage yet her heart hasn’t recovered from the loss of her true love during the war. She finds joy in watching the pictures as her cinema house gets them, but the delays in new releases does vex her a bit, as she likes the reprieve. Not that it entirely helps with what is quite dear on her mind and heart; she has felt a bit of a vacuum since her beloved was lost – including a pulling back from her walk in faith. She goes through the motions surely (including weekly Sunday visits courtesy of her step-mother) but if she were to be honest, she’s still hurting from the pain of losing Jack. Concurrent to her woes of sorting out her heart, her younger sister is ribbing her a bit for attention and earnest sisterly advice whilst the prospect of being a doctor’s wife is less than appetizing to Ms Corrigan; if her current course of action were to take root.

Contrary to what her step-mother (although not identified as such initially but implied, as she is referred to as ‘her father’s wife’ rather than as her own Mum) believes, sometimes a winning match isn’t what a girl prefers for herself. Mix in a rise in status in the community and Ms Corrigan was truly betwixt what is that she truly wanted not only for herself but for her sister Helen. As you gather the feeling that whatever she chooses to do with her life will have a direct impact on her younger sister, too. She is also a woman in-decided about her walk in faith – half of her wishes she could have the solace you would feel whilst you walked in the light of your faith and half of her heart was uncertain how to repair the distance she was accruing bit by bit each fraction of a moment where she felt more turnt away than close to her spiritual balance of years past. She didn’t exactly relish in this truth about herself, as Ms Lamont Leo illustrates a broad stroke towards ferreting out what has caused the spiritual insurrection and how Ms Corrigan wishes to approach re-aligning her mind and heart with her spiritual well-being. It is another layer of honesty where realistic truism of everyday life takes a serious turn of being highlighted throughout the journey Ms Corrigan embarks on inside this riveting debut!

I delighted in the ‘first impressions’ of Chicago as seen through Ms Corrigan’s eyes upon her solitary explorations whilst awaiting her test results (as a gentlewoman wouldn’t do well continuing to faint!); this of itself was unknown in her time; to simply walk into a big city such as this one and see all there was to drink in? It was not only unheard of – it had the small makings of a slight scandal on her reputation; blessedly, she cast caution to the wind and left the stuffiness of rules and regulations with her fiancee’s family! I had to smirk noticing she had gone straight to the Art Institute and then followed it with a trip to Marshall Field’s; all the stories I grew up with from my grandparents and Mum felt like they were being re-visited. Mostly, as I have a history with Chicago and being able to read stories set there is a prime delight, dear hearts! Oh, if only Marshall Fields was at it’s post and illuminated with a light to draw in visitors still today!

The author underpinned the evolving drama of Ms Corrigan’s life with humble and authentic moments of individual discovery. There was a beautiful scene at the Art Institute in particular – where it is one part an expose of artistic interpretation and one part spiritual intervention. The gentleness in which the author handled this scene made it feel a bit more real somehow, as if you could insert yourself into Ms Corrigan’s shoes and sense everything she was feeling in that particular moment. What it started to yield is the turning point in the character’s life; an unwinding of etiquette and expectations and a beginning of personal vindication.

To help illustrate the period, Ms Lamont Leo inserted certain critical references to the timeline of Chicago (such as speakeasies) but also of the era itself, by mentioning the famed actresses Theda Bara and Greta Garbo. She did this in such an organic fashion, nothing felt ‘put on’ for show or to simply be ‘required’ for the sake of dressing the era itself. Each page turn, you felt closer to Ms Corrigan and the journey she was taking to sort out not only her own true self but the truth of her heart. Not an easy undertaking but the gentle mirth of knowing her father supported her and understood her earnest doubt in regards to marriage made her even more relatable.

Ms Corrigan is a woman coming into her own skin – Chicago was a place where she could own her own choices whilst sorting out exactly what those choices should be. It wasn’t that she didn’t have her own thoughts back in Kerryville; but the small towne had stifled her ability to trust her own instincts and set her mind on what she truly felt was right or best for her own life. Chicago was tempting on many levels, especially for a swell gal like Ms Corrigan caught up in it’s tides; but she was resolute and firm in her morals. She also brightened up a bit under the tutelage of Dot, who took her under wings – setting her up in a job at Marshall Field’s and encouraging her to ‘live a bit’ before committing to eternity in matrimony. She had a good point, as Dot was noticing the more time her new roomie spent living her life as if she hadn’t had a future tethered around her, the more calm she became and the more open she was to new experiences.

In part, you could tell what was causing the fainting spells all along – it was due to a woman trying to live against her soul and shutting off her heart. She felt she had to live a certain life due to her station and the fact she was a woman; but what she hadn’t expected is that she had inherited a bit of the moxie her own mother had within her as well. In that lead of thought, she was seeking out experiences which would allow her to heighten her knowledge of life a bit higher than she originally dreamt would be possible. Including taking classes in textiles and finding that selling clothes is not as appealing as properly displaying them for catching the customer’s eye. You saw the most growth of her life emerging out of the shadows of who she was back home in Kerryville and who she had become in Chicago; if anything, she was her most authentic self.

Comparatively speaking about Richard and Jack:

Richard is definitely a career man, so entombed in his doctor lifestyle and the goings-on of keeping up appearances in his local community (whilst impressing a certain half of the locals!) he doesn’t always see why Ms Corrigan holds back quite a bit from being as overly acquiescent about joining in on what he perceives as a joyous affair (such as a society events); she was much more reclusively particular than Richard. When Richard started to talk about her quitting her job my  mind fluttered to memory a similar conversation in one of my favourite Hallmark Channel Christmas movies (The Christmas Card) where Faith didn’t think her boyfriend would upturnt her life as much as he was planning too after they were wed. It brokered a good conversation about how two different people enter into a commitment to marry from two very different points of view; which isn’t always meant to work together, as sometimes a match you think is a fair one isn’t your cuppa at all. I was curious to watch how Ms Lamont Leo would treat this discourse and see how Ms Corrigan would set her mind to realising her own heart’s will.

Jack (or rather) the bloke Ms Corrigan felt he was (or honestly wasn’t) became a bit of a shine on her joy; occupying her thoughts and running through her prayers. She was seeking to find what became of her beau but also, how this new bloke could possibly be the former if he was so dearly different from everything she remembered about him. One thing was for certain, a decade is a long time to pine and hope for a return of a lost love; especially if there was ample time for personal change from both parties. Ms Corrigan is wrestling with her heart and her mind throughout most of the novel; does she give into her instincts or does she trust the truth she’s always known?

On how Ms Corrigan asserts her mind and independent thinking:

Some might say it was giving cheek – but I lament, the opening of Ms Corrigan’s spirit to accept she might not be like others her age was the moment she felt a stirring of curiosity towards the art classes she unexpectedly found whilst at the Art Institute. She might have been raised in a traditional household with traditional routes of expectations to go alongside her upbringing but that isn’t to say, she didn’t hold a few nontraditional views of her own!

Seeing her eyes light up in the joyous moment of first meeting Dot and finding a yellow hat might prove to be the linchpin of freedom – Ms Corrigan started to unravel from the inside out. Her whole life was based on the expectations of others but not on her own heart and mind. When she purchased the yellow hat, it was almost as if she was owning to herself, it is alright to be different to have a mind of one’s own.

Finding a hidden talent buried inside her soul, Ms Corrigan took to trimming displays at Marshall Field’s like a regular pro! She surprised even herself at how natural the designs came to her but it was her taste for colour and layout that truly set a new standard. During this daring exploit of hers for work, she started to notice how independent she had become; not just from her family and the man she was meant to wed but from even her co-workers. She had sprouted wings and was starting to fly to the music in her heart.

The inspy style of ms lamont leo:

Ms Lamont Leo has captured the innocence of small towne life and the charming glow of why reading about the Roaring Twenties is such a delish joy of my own! Her turns of phrase and light-hearted approach to voicing the cares and concerns of Ms Corrigan definitely delight me on an equal level of appreciation as the Marjorie Trumaine mysteries! (see also my Reviews) You can genuinely tell how much Ms Lamont Leo loved writing this story because the finalised copy of the novel is set to such a rhythmic tone of literary joy!

I even loved how she has hints of a war drama bubbling into the background – wherein her lead character contemplates what might have been if her solider boy had returnt rather than being caught in a relationship with a bloke she constantly tried to measure and weigh against everyone but himself. It’s a curiously spun tale, one that involves an equally enticing small towne as Trumaine’s – as Kerryville is the epitome of rural life where a girl might want to dream of a life full of a bit more promises of tomorrow than her small towne can afford to spin into action on her behalf.

Ms Lamont Leo touches on PTSD and the effects of war through Charlie, Ms Corrigan’s brother – the pair can relate so well to each other, as she was engaged to his best friend before war spilt her heart apart. Charlie wasn’t as fortunate to have a sweetheart willing to accept his return, but even on this note, it was important to see how the author spoke humbly about how no one knows their feelings or reactions until situations present themselves. It was an honest look at how ‘after war’ life does carry on but it’s how ordinary people re-pick up their lives that is the truer test of the human spirit.

She also did not shy away from showing how there are moments in a person’s life where their spiritual life is tested by the ebbs of adversity and anguish. She pointedly proved she can approach this sensitive topic with not only heartfelt honesty in highlighting her character’s internal journey inasmuch as her character’s growth but she can carry forward a believable subtext of focus on how to re-bridge your spirituality back to your life after living without an anchour or mooring.

You simply get swept away into this novel: from Dot’s flapper lifestyle to Ms Corrigan’s journey back to centre and the emergence of what became of Jack; you’re truly settled into the flowing narrative of how one woman chose to take the reigns of her life and do something rather incredible with her time. Especially brilliant, is through her dedicated research she was able to bring to light, the incredibly fast-paced life of working at Marshall Field’s. In of itself, those passages were some of my favourite because the author truly tapped into how working in a popular department store is both tiring and endlessly engaging in how to keep up with the customers!

There are so many wonderful passages – of where Ms Corrigan is realising who she is for the very first time and of the mistakes that come from daring to live outside your comfort zones. Ms Lamont Leo has etched out a heroine you want to rally behind and learn more about in successive volumes of a series you can only hope has first sparked to life in You’re the Cream in my Coffee.

A most enjoyable reading experience was being curled up inside this beautifully lovely debut novel, of which I hope will become the guiding light towards deepening the appreciation of Ms Corrigan’s adventures in successive installments of the series. Mind, I hope it does readily become a full-on series of novels, because the foundation laid down in the shoes & mind of Ms Corrigan are to be treasured!

Truly, a sweet novel for those who love Inspiring HistFic with a glimmer of a pinch of Romance set in an exciting period of history whilst coming alive with a coming-of age story that is simply not meant to be missed! Definitely my first #unputdownable read of the New Year: 2017! Such a blessing to have been on this blog tour!

As an aside, the truer blessing was having such an inspiring read on hand whilst I fought my way back into the joys of reading once again. This was a beautiful story to get lost inside and feel your spirit renew itself against the pages of drama evolving in and out of Ms Corrigan’s search for individual truth & the path she was meant to walk.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This blog tour is courtesy of: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

You're the Cream in My Coffee blog tour via HFVBTs.Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Reader Interactive Question:
What do you personally enjoy about the Roaring Twenties & the early 20th Century!? What makes you giddy with joy in reading an INSPY Historical novel!?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Follow my bookish journey:

{subscribe in my blog’s footer}

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

{SOURCES: Cover art of “You’re the Cream in My Coffee”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Jennifer Lamont Leo, and the tour badge were all provided by HFVBTs (Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours) and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2017.

I’m a social reader | I tweet as I read:

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
Divider

Posted Thursday, 5 January, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bootleggers & Smugglers, Chicago, Christianity, Coming-Of Age, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Family Life, Fashion Fiction, Father-Daughter Relationships, Fathers and Daughters, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Lessons from Scripture, Life Shift, Organised Crime, Prohibition, Romance Fiction, Sewing & Stitchery, Singletons & Commitment, Sisterhood friendships, Small Towne USA, the Roaring Twenties, War Drama

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.






All posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary! I try to visit your blog in return as I believe in ‘Bloggers Commenting Back’. Comments are moderated. Your email address is hidden and never shared. Read my Privacy Policy.

Ready! Set! Type! Share your bookish thoughts!