Book Spotlight | Featuring notes by Jorie and an extract from “Starting Over at Acorn Cottage” by Kate Forster

Posted Saturday, 21 March, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Books in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am wicked delighted to be featuring a lovely #newtomeauthor today – as I recently had the chance to select quite a few Head of Zeus and Aria Fiction novelists to be spotlighting throughout the Spring months this year – wherein I was rather delighted finding so many keenly interesting stories to start seeking out to read! These are stories which dance between Romance & Women’s Fiction – from Contemporary to Historical settings. Being an avid reader of these genres I couldn’t miss the chance to bring the JOY of discovering these lovely authors to my readers of Jorie Loves A Story!

It is my intention to start requesting these novels via my local library if they are not available in audio formats via Scribd. At the moment my library is experiencing an unprecedented sabbatical on requests which put me in a bit of a pickle as I’m an active patron whose constantly requesting purchases every month – which is why I’m simply saving my queue lists and will turn them in once the services resume. For now at least – I can champion the discoveries and the joy of finding the stories whilst hosting the blog tours!

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Why I wanted to host a spotlight & extract
for “Starting Over at Acorn Cottage”:

As the founder and host of @SatBookChat – I am constantly seeking to find new stories featuring strong women in the centre of Romance & Women’s Fiction. I read an equal amount of Contemporary and Historical stories within these genres of interest whilst encompassing all the lovely sub-niches of their literary styles as well. This New Year 2020 I am also seeking out Feminist Lit which celebrates the kind of stories I am enjoying to discover as well. All of which I try to champion and showcase in the chats I host on Saturdays – wherein writers, readers, book reviewers, book bloggers and the rest of the bookish community on Twitter get to engage with one another. Thereby as a regular reader of these stories I was delighted to find a #newtomeauthor to start seeking out to read!

I *definitely!* feel drawn to plots which evolve through a lens of ‘new beginnings and second chances’ – there is a lot of hope inside those kinds of stories. Especially of how characters are striving to seek a different way of life and/or want to find a way to restart their path somewhere else. Having had the joys of living in different environments throughout my life – knowing the excitement of a high paced city and the slower pacing of a country setting – I can attest there is a bit of unexpected reprieve in being able to find yourself ‘elsewhere’ than where you might expect to find happiness. As both settings provide their own joys but its the loveliness of exchanging one for the other where you can discover the most about yourself.

*laughs!* I also have a soft spot for stories which remind me of “Under the Tuscan Sun” – where there is this seemingly *large!* reno project that is going to take half of forever to resolve and as you’re watching the character go through those hours & moments, life has resumed for them in uniquely different ways. It is the ending of that film (which yes, I realise was a book as well but I never read it) which has the best capstone of the story – how even when you think you’re life hasn’t resolved in a way you had projected or hoped – things have a way of being brought into your life in a way which renews your faith in serendipity. Which is the best way I can describe the ending without having it spoilt for someone who hasn’t yet seen it!

Reading the premise of this novel feels like a cuppa of comfort – just to tuck close to Clara and observe how she’s going to react to all the unexpected joys awaiting her as she undertakes the renovation of the cottage which of course most likely will serve as a renovation of her life!

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Did I grab your eye and attention?

Sound like the kind of bookish read you’ve been needing?

Be sure to brew your favourite cuppa and enjoy this extract from the novel.

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Book Spotlight | Featuring notes by Jorie and an extract from “Starting Over at Acorn Cottage” by Kate ForsterStarting Over At Acorn Cottage
by Kate Forster

Buying a thatched cottage in the country may not be the usual cure for a broken heart. But after Clara Maxwell finds out her boyfriend and best friend have been sneaking around behind her back, packing her bags and leaving everything in London behind feels like it's the only way forward.

Clara knew Acorn Cottage would be a fixer-upper... Yet in person, the cottage is less charmingly ramshackle and more a real health and safety concern. When Henry Garnett, her (rather handsome) new contractor, turns up with his little daughter Pansy and a van shaped like a cottage in tow, she isn't sure whether to laugh or cry. What on earth has she gotten herself into?!

Still, there is something strangely lovable about the people in the little village of Merryknowe, from Rachel Brown, the quiet, lonely girl who bakes magical confections for the tearooms, to Tassie McIver, a little old lady with a lot of wisdom and a penchant for reading tea leaves. And Clara can't deny that Henry and Pansy are quickly worming their way into her heart...

With all the heartbreak of the year behind her, could Acorn Cottage be the fresh start Clara so desperately wants?

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Women's Fiction

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing


Also by this author: Finding Love at Mermaid Terrace

Published by Aria Fiction

on 19th March, 2020

Published By: Aria Fiction (@Aria_Fiction)
a Digital First imprint of Head of Zeus (@HoZ_Books)

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Available Formats: This is a Digital First Release

Converse via: #StartingOverAtAcornCottage, #Contemporary #WomensFictionFun Stuff for Your Blog via

Enjoy this Extract from “Starting Over At Acorn Cottage”

Picking up the last of her paperback novels and cookery books, Clara shoved them into the large rubbish bag. She looked around the apartment they had shared for the past eleven months. Most of her things had been packed and were already on the van, and she had taken great pleasure in leaving Giles with the bare essentials.

One knife.

One spoon.

One fork.

One plate.

One cup.

One glass.

One towel.

One roll of loo paper.

She knew it was petty but sometimes petty was the only answer a person had in the face of extreme humiliation, and that was what she felt. A red-hot shame flushed from her toes to her scalp when she thought about the duplicitous behaviour of the two people who were supposed to love her.

Clara picked up the file that had all their shared paperwork in it for the flat and their savings account. She had loved this little flat they had rented while they supposedly saved for their dream house, but she seemed to be the only one who contributed to the savings account. Giles always had an emergency expense such a golf club membership or a work function ticket or something last-minute that meant he couldn’t put money into the account each month.

Clara had supplied everything in the flat they shared and had decorated it, so it was cosy, thanks to her touches of soft throw rugs and houseplants. She had tried to create a home for them and instead Giles had created an affair, with her best friend, Judy.

Judy, who had always been the more interesting friend while Clara was the sensible one. Judy, who was a feminist pole dancer and who made her own scented candles and owned cats named Dali and Gala. Judy, who was tall and lithe and blonde (thanks to a bottle of Nordic Mystery peroxide) and had tattoos of climbing roses on her chest. Judy, who was the exact opposite of Clara.

Clara was what her grandmother used to call old-fashioned pretty. Dark bobbed hair, big eyes and bow-shaped lips, but short at just over five foot and with a tiny waist but curvy elsewhere. People told her she was cute, which made her feel angry, as though she was a kewpie doll, so she strived to annul this assumption by being business-like in her life. She had a finance degree. One of the youngest and few female bank managers at her bank, and very good with money, Clara never did anything that was a real risk. She always bought tickets early to events, she had insurance for everything – including a very good life insurance policy that Giles would have benefitted from if she popped her clogs early – and she kept receipts for everything she ever bought, just in case she had to return it. She wished she could return Giles and Judy.

More like Piles and Judas, she thought, as she put her Learn to Knit books into the bin bag and tied it off at the top and threw her River Cottage Cookbook that Giles had given her into the actual bin.

How could her best friend and boyfriend have betrayed her? She wiped away the tears that hadn’t seemed to stop falling since the dinner four weeks ago. Why hadn’t she seen the signs? No real intimacy. No real connection. No real love. But then again, Giles had not been into sex even before they moved in with each other, and Clara was tired from her job at the bank, so they were like housemates: polite and respectful, but with no passion. But Giles was stable, a sensible accountant; he would be reliable for life. And with her best friend, who was now dancing on his pole. God, Clara hated her.

Clara had always tried to be what she thought was a responsible, sensible adult. The business degree, the savings account, the accountant boyfriend who didn’t drink or swear, the most sensible man she had ever met, so far removed from her own father – she was so sure she had chosen well.

Judy was her best friend because Judy had said so – and Clara agreed because she didn’t have time for friends. Judy had sort of pushed her way into Clara’s life a few years ago when she came for a loan at the bank for a mobile pole dancing service. Clara declined the opportunity for the bank to invest in Judy’s Pole Dancer on the Move bus, but Judy still pursued the friendship.

Giles had always said Judy was a flake and she was pretentious. He’d also said she was a slut, and Clara had told him off for that because having sex didn’t make you a slut. He’d always made fun of Judy’s pole dancing career and told Clara off when she loaned Judy money as a friend, not as a bank manager. Not that it was ever paid back, as Judy was always in some sort of financial and emotional crisis. It seemed to be her default position. But mostly Clara had felt sorry for Judy. She was always wanting something that other people had. A dress, a necklace, a handbag, a boyfriend.

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I enjoyed how this extract gives you a full glimpse into where Clare is at the start of her journey towards the cottage itself – of peering into her emotional state and seeing how recent events have affected her soul. It isn’t just destructive to her heart but her whole sense of sense and the impressions that others have on her person from an observational POV. It also is a sad glimpse at a woman whose trying to find resolve about being exchanged for her best friend by her boyfriend – where there is a suddenness to the loss she is experiencing and how she’s trying to put a cap on those emotions in order to move on and shift forward.

It is also a bit like seeing someone in their most vulnerable state right after a hard break-up and realising they need a bit more space, a bit more time and how sometimes a proper transitional period is what is in order to find a way forward after realising that the truth of the matter is that she felt worse for Judy. I had a feeling once she was able to shake off the shock of this new path her life was taking – she might find herself in the best position to truly find a bit of happiness she never expected she could be given to embrace.

Also felt this is a story which capitalises on the ‘one door closes and another one opens’ philosophy because even if you can’t see the future path you’re about to walk there are already steps being placed before you to place your feet. There is something about the texture of the towne, too – the community members you only gather a sense about in the synopsis and the humbling ways this story felt to be bursting to life showcasing how an ordinary place can be the perfect place to find healing and a second chance at living your best life. Those are the kinds of stories I *love!* to find and I was delighted I could share this insight about this novel with my readers in case they were seeking the same kind of story I am!

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About Kate Forster

Kate Forster

Kate Forster lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, two children and dogs and can be found nursing a laptop, surrounded by magazines and talking on the phone, usually all at once. She is an avid follower of fashion, fame and all things pop culture and is also an excellent dinner party guest who always brings gossip and champagne.

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I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary! Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. Are you a reader of Contemporary Women’s Fiction? Is Kate Forster on your bookshelf already or an author you’re considering to add to your TBR? Which novels of Women’s Fiction do you appreciate and which ones do you think I should consider? Either for Contemporary and/or Historical storylines!?
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Bookish conversations are always welcome on Jorie Loves A Story.

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Follow this Blog Tour:

Starting Over at Acorn Cottage blog tour banner provided by Head of Zeus.Starting Over at Acorn Cottage blog tour banner provided by Head of Zeus.

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NOTE: Similar to blog tours wherein I feature book reviews, book spotlights (with or without extracts), book announcements (or Cover Reveals) – I may elect to feature an author, editor, narrator, publisher or other creative person connected to the book, audiobook, Indie film project or otherwise creative publishing medium being featured wherein the supplemental content on my blog is never compensated monetarily nor am I ever obligated to feature this kind of content. I provide (98.5%) of all questions and guest topics regularly featured on Jorie Loves A Story. I receive direct responses back to those enquiries by publicists, literary agents, authors, blog tour companies, etc of whom I am working with to bring these supplemental features and showcases to my blog. 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. Whenever there is a conflict of connection I do disclose those connections per post and disclose the connection as it applies.

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “Starting Over At Acorn Cottage”, book synopsis, author photograph of Kate Forster, author biography and the blog tour banners were all provided by Head of Zeus and used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Stories in the Spotlight banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life

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 Saturday, 21 March, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight of E-Book (ahead of POD/print edition), Head of Zeus, Women's Fiction

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