Author Guest Post | “All That Jazz: how music soothes the savage author” a topic explored by Jennifer Lamont Leo whose recently released the second novel in Jorie’s beloved #INSPY series: the Roaring Twenties Novels!

Posted Thursday, 17 May, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Guest Contributor and/or Reviewer of JLAS banner created by Jorie in Canva.


Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Today, I have the wonderfully lovely joy of welcoming the INSPY author I have truly *loved!* reading per each new release she is blessing our readerly lives with reading: the Roaring Twenties Novels by Jennifer Lamont Leo encapsulate a timelessness your expecting out of a series set during the early Nineteen Hundreds whilst the heart she pours into her characters and the world in which they thrive is quite the lovely experience as you soak inside her narratives!

These stories are gentle on the heart, uplift the mind and are a true inspiration to be reading as they are cleanly written for readers seeking a respite out of the offerings of the mainstream whilst providing you convicting story-lines which seek to be dramatic as much as they are historically authentic to the era in which they are set. In essence, the stories have become a happy delight of mine to be reading each time Ms Lamont Leo entices us with a new installment whilst we follow in the footsteps of Marjorie Corriagn, her family and her eclectic group of friends!

As you might have remembered, I had a different start to [2018] and haven’t had the best of health during the [Spring] therefore, I opted to host Ms Lamont Leo today with a topic of her own choosing which talked about a topic I could personally relate to myself – in essence, despite not realising what the topic would entail, somehow I ‘lucked out’ finding a kindred spirit in Ms Lamont Leo! (as I will be explaining in a moment!)

Without a moment to delay, kindly make sure your favourite cuppa is brewed & let’s find out what Ms Lamont Leo wanted to share with us about ‘music, books & the art of writing’ – however, before we tuck into her essay, let me give you a summarised impression of why her writing style is especially keen in my readerly heart:

Ms Lamont Leo has such an ease about her narrative – she drops you straight back into her plot, giving us ample reason to feel a reason for wanting to take up residence therein and allows us the beauty of joy to re-align ourselves with her characters from one installment of her series to the next. The only regret I have is knowing the stories between the novels are still strictly only released into ebook formats, rather than being included in the forthcoming novels, released separately in print or perhaps even in audiobook. The latter is the option I am enjoying discovering lately, as was the case with Ms Becky Wade’s Bradford Sisters Romance series – where I could enjoy the prequel novella in audio ahead of reading the two novels in print. I do hope other authors might take that route as it helps those of us who are traditional readers to seek out the stories which inter-connect a series together.

I enjoyed noting Marjorie made her own wedding dress – she always had a knack for design and it’s something she enjoyed doing all along. Of course, I had forgotten how her sense of style in ready-made fashion had the tendency to make Dot cringe – laughs – but the good nature and spirit of friendship seems to settle all disputes such as those! I liked how Ms Lamont Leo continues to strengthen the background of the series by the breadth of her characters – of giving them dimension and heartache, whereas the dramatic bits are lead-ups to either redemptive sequences or new beginnings.

The series never shies away from the harder realities of both the era and of the individuals who populate the series – as this is 1929, from our perspective, we know the Crash is imminent but for people like Charlie who wanted to take a risk on their future, 1929 felt like the year their tides could not just change but become substantially better. Knowing the fuller scope of the history though, you nearly cringe awaiting the fall-out and the repercussions of what happens once everyone realises the full weight of how the stock market would affect their lives. It is a good place to hinge the series – in the 1920s, as the Twenties had such a lifeblood of American life within their decade. Not just in music and art, but in the sequencing of events which would define generations yet to come.

In the background of the series, there is an impression of INSPY living practices and of the Christian faith – not overtly so, but rather, spoken about as it relates to signature moments within Ms Lamont Leo’s characters’ lives or as takeaway conversations therein where someone is trying to sort through something rather important. It never feels forced and if anything, it shows a healthy outlook on how faith and life collide together – how sometimes you don’t see boundaries or barriers even if they exist in front of you. It also takes stock at how different people move in and out of their faith, how faith is defined for different people and of course, the other side of the spectrum entirely where faith might become soured by a bad influence.

One interesting bit of trivia is how the titles of the series relate to songs made popular during Marjorie Corrigan and Dot’s era, as this is brought full to life by how Dot is seen singing the titled songs at Veronica’s party. It is wonderful continuity but also, it is a keen way of bridging together how the series is rooted in it’s time-line of influence.

-quoted from my review of Ain’t Misbehavin’

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Author Guest Post | “All That Jazz: how music soothes the savage author” a topic explored by Jennifer Lamont Leo whose recently released the second novel in Jorie’s beloved #INSPY series: the Roaring Twenties Novels!Ain't Misbehavin' (Guest Post on Music)
Subtitle: A Roaring Twenties Novel
by Jennifer Lamont Leo

In Jazz Age Chicago, Dot Rodgers sells hats at Marshall Field while struggling to get her singing career off the ground. Independent and feisty, she’s the life of the party. But underneath the glitter, she doesn’t believe she’s worth the love of a good man. Why would a strong, upstanding man want to build a future with a shallow, good-time girl like her?

Small-town businessman Charlie Corrigan carries scars from the Great War. After all he’s been through, he wants nothing more than to marry and start a family. But the woman he loves is a flamboyant flapper with no intention of settling down. She’s used to a more glamorous life than he can offer. As his fortunes climb with the stock market, it seems he’s finally going to win her love. But what happens when it all comes crashing down?

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

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781946016423

Also by this author: You're the Cream in my Coffee, Ain't Misbehavin'

on 13th March, 2018

Published By: Smitten Historical Romance

an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

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.

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All That Jazz: how music soothes the savage author by Jennifer Lamont Leo

When you think of Chicago in the Roaring Twenties, what comes to mind? Black cars chasing each other through dark alleyways? Sooty-eyed women in fringe and beads? The rat-a-tat of a machine gun?

When I first thought about setting a fiction series in 1920s Chicago, the first thing that popped into my mind wasn’t an image. It was a sound—the sound of jazz. Jazz rippling up from the basement speakeasies or floating out over the lake from rooftop parties.

For any historical novelist, tuning in to the music of the era is extremely inspiring way to kick off a powerful writing session. In my latest novel, Ain’t Misbehavin’, music plays a key role. The main character, Dot Rodgers, is a jazz singer. Her ambition to sing with a well-known band drives part of the plot, and the story is laced with references to peppy songs from the 1920s like “Charleston,” “Black Bottom,” and, of course, the title tune. Queuing up a few of those songs on YouTube gets me in the mood to write.

For me, music plays an important role off the page as well. Many authors prefer stone-cold silence while they’re working, or at the other end of the spectrum, can tune out a brass band or a jackhammer in service to their art. I fall somewhere in between. I find silence unnerving (and never truly silent, short of a soundproof room or noise-canceling headphones). On the other hand, I get distracted easily by too much noise and motion, like in a coffee shop. One good solution is to listen to music while I write.

I do most of my writing at home, a place that is ordinarily pretty quiet. But when I’m trying to concentrate, even ordinary household sounds can be distracting, like the chime of the dryer or the noisy chirping of a robin outside my window. At such times, putting on my earbuds and cranking up the tunes helps me concentrate and not feel bombarded by every squeak, rattle, and hum. Linking certain songs or albums with specific projects is also a helpful technique, so that even the opening notes signal my brain, “Time to work on this story now.” I even subscribe to an app called Focus at Will that streams instrumental music geared specifically to aid concentration.

Another surprise benefit of listening to music while I write is how it affects my mood and, by extension, the mood of the scene I’m working on. To capture a certain effect, sometimes it helps to match the type of music to the emotion I’m trying to convey on the page. For example, bright, cheerful tunes translate well to happy or high-energy scenes. Minor-key pieces feel sadder or more heart-wringing. Pounding cellos or a prominent bass section help build suspense and tension.

For me, books and music go hand in hand.

How about you?

Do you like to listen to music while you read or write?

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Why thank you for asking, Ms Lamont Leo!

I started sharing how music has played an important role in my life as a book blogger over the past few years – there are notes on behalf of which online apps or sites work best for me, whilst which selections of music work well in sync with both the stories I am reading and the atmosphere I am curating whilst I read. It’s an extension of how as a writer, I too, find I turn to music to purport a particular synthesis of processing what I am thinking, feeling and articulating through my writing.

Music has a way of transporting us to a particular part of our minds where we can intellectually process what we are creating in a way which both benefits us as a person and as a creator – thereby, I could totally relate to this guest post & whole-heartedly found myself concurring with it’s sentiments! Music truly speaks to us on a dimensional level of where spoken words cannot always reach – which is why music is a renewing component to all creative artists and spirits – irregardless of their medium of choice!

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

Ain't Misbehavin' blog tour via HFVBTsPreviously, I shared my ruminative thoughts on behalf of ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ for this lovely blog tour – please take a moment to visit my review! I truly was captured by how this series is continuing to become developed & found this delightful sequel to the novelists debut to be wicked brilliant!

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Ain’t Misbehavin'”, book synopsis, author photo & biography 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: Guest Contributor/Review banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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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)

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Posted Thursday, 17 May, 2018 by jorielov in 20th Century, Author Guest Post (their topic), Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Dating & Humour Therein, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Realistic Fiction, the Roaring Twenties

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