Blog Book Tour | Celebrating her debut #ChristmasRomance with #HallmarkPublishing – #JorieReads “Christmas In Bayberry” by Jennifer Faye for #ChristmasInJuly!

Posted Tuesday, 14 July, 2020 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I’ve been hosting for Prism Book Tours since September of 2017 – having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. As I enquired about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors when I’m not showcasing book reviews on behalf of Harlequin Heartwarming which has become my second favourite imprint of Harlequin next to my beloved #LoveINSPIRED Suspense. I am also keenly happy PRISM hosts a variety of Indie Authors and INSPY Fiction novelists.

I received a complimentary copy of “Christmas in Bayberry” direct from the author Jennifer Faye in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read this story:

This marks my 9th novel I’ve read by Ms Faye – as I discovered her stories in [2018] whilst hosting for PRISM. My 1st story I read by her was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast (see also Review) and I moved into her Greek Island Brides series before I decided to take a break from reading her stories after The Prince and the Wedding Planner. (see also Review)

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On why I’ve been enjoying reading this author:

When I first started seeking out authors via the imprints of Harlequin, one of the authors who stood out to me initially from the Harlequin Romance line (as at the time, I was sampling stories from Romance, Super Romance & Heartwarming – sorting out which of the three imprints suited me best as a reader; as I had already realised how much the LI: Suspense line fit me!) was Jennifer Faye.

In a large part due to her consistency, her continuity when she wrote duologies, specialised focused serials and the ways in which she drew you into her Contemporary Romance worlds within this curious imprint which features pink covers in handle portable sized paperback editions! I liked the convenience of the size, the realistic characters she pulled into her world(s) and the ways in which our contemporary modern lives were explored elsewhere from where we generally live our own lives. It gave a sense of place but also, of how uniquely you can find a Contemporary placed in a setting you are itching to visit such as her Greek Isles Brides series which took me back to Greece.

I’ve enjoyed re-visiting Greece through Faye’s eyes due to how many fond memories I have of corresponding with a friend who lived on the Isles themselves. She truly captured a bit of that kind of lifestyle I had remembered reading through letters & correspondences but also, she brought a convicting narrative together which interlocked three different women in their pursuit at their own ‘happily ever after’.

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I’ve been keeping my eye on the releases by Hallmark Publishing because I knew it was partially a gateway of finding new stories to feature in Hallmark Channel movies – being part of a family who *loves!* watching Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries as well as the content available on Hallmark Movies Now (as we rotate our streaming services; currently we’re devouring new favourites on Netflix!) – I had a feeling if her debut with Hallmark Publishing went on tour with PRISM, it would most likely be a story I’d enjoy reading because of how many blissful hours I’ve had with their content on their network. For streaming Hallmark Channel & Hallmark Movies & Mysteries – my preferred app is Frndly (as its budget friendly) but I also enjoy Philo as it has more channels in their line-up overall. I do not regret being a #cablecutter and finding alternative ways to watch both television and movies; outside borrowing titles from my local library.

I happen to love the Christmas Season on Hallmark Channel and that is truly what drove my interest in reading this lovely release! I like the charm and small towne settings Hallmark knits into their Christmas movies – they always have a lot of heart, a lot of Christmassy joy and are either light-hearted or more dramatic depending on which channel their airing the Christmas story. Hallmark for my family has become a home base for seasonal films, Cosy Mystery series and content which seeks to give you an uplift of joy. Thereby I am thankful that an author I first discovered through Harlequin Romance is now finding her career wings with Hallmark Publishing! I truly hope this might get greenlit into production once filming can resume!

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Blog Book Tour | Celebrating her debut #ChristmasRomance with #HallmarkPublishing – #JorieReads “Christmas In Bayberry” by Jennifer Faye for #ChristmasInJuly!Christmas in Bayberry
Subtitle: A small-town Christmas romance from Hallmark Publishing
by Jennifer Faye
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours, Scribd | Audiobook Subscription
Narrator: Emily Rankin

She’s trying to save the family candle company.

He’s trying not to fall for Bayberry—and her—again.

Kate Taylor knows what she wants in life: to one day run her family’s candle business, which is at the heart of the close-knit community of Bayberry, Vermont. But the company isn’t doing well.

Wesley Adams is on the fast track to be an assistant vice president at his financial firm in Manhattan. Before the promotion is announced, he’s sent to this small town from his past to do an analysis of the candle company.

He doesn’t expect to bump into his childhood crush, Kate, and when he does, sparks fly. As he spends time in Bayberry, he falls for the town’s Christmas traditions—and for her. But he has a responsibility to submit an honest report. Will it extinguish Kate’s dreams…along with any chance they have for a future together?

This heart-warming romance contains a free Hallmark original recipe for Cast Iron Beef Stew.

Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1947892811


Also by this author: Beauty and Her Boss, Miss White and the Seventh Heir, Heiress's Royal Baby Bombshell, Carrying the Greek Tycoon's Baby, Claiming the Drakos Heir, Wearing the Greek Millionaire's Ring (Spotlight), Wearing the Greek Millionaire's Ring , Her Christmas Pregnancy Surprise, The Prince and the Wedding Planner, Love Blooms

Published by Hallmark Publishing

on 7th July, 2020

Format: Audiobook | Digital, Trade Paperback

Length: 8 hours and 46 minutes (unabridged)

Pages: 333

Published by: Hallmark Publishing (@HallmarkPublish)

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance, #ChristmasInJuly, #ChristmasRomance
as well as #HallmarkPublishing and #CBPrism

About Jennifer Faye

Jennifer Faye

Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.

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my review of christmas in bayberry:

As we first get introduced to Wesley, we find a young man whose hunger for the next stage of his career and he’s inching his way towards having his boss realise that he is the man he’s seeking for the promotion. The only rub with those plans however are the fact that Wesley seems to be the only person whose on that dedicated path! I had to chuckle really – when it was first his Mum who tried to get him to consider a different route of focus and then, it was his boss, who restated what his Mum had told him – about the importance of visiting Bayberry! Mind you, this was hardly a stopover for Wesley as he only lived there for a handful of hours before his family moved on. Yet, for whichever reason – whether this new assignment by his boss would come to haunt him or if his Mum had been decidedly telepathic in her declaration of asking him to go to Bayberry; one thing was for certain, Wesley was caught between two worlds!

Seeing Bayberry through Kate’s eyes and then Wesley’s – you gathered a sense this was a small towne which had its own sense of heritage and identity. The whole towne was lit aflame in Christmas – from how it decorated itself to how it carried its own soulful personality into the Christmas season itself. At the heart of the towne is Aunt Penney’s candle company – the same company which sparked an interest in Wesley to investigate further and the key reason why Kate was employed. Kate was the company’s accountant and knew the books better than any of the other residents, which in this case was both a blessing and a curse! She knew where the company stood and where it was heading towards a zone of danger in its own longevity.

This is the kind of small towne that as soon as you enter into the city limits, people stop to take notice of you and can determine if your a visitor, a long lost friend, a former resident or someone whose just passing through; which made the fact Kate hadn’t recognised Wesley a bit sweeter. For her sake, she was caught up in her preparations for the annual sale at the candle company – a last ditch effort to have a positive cash flow into the a company which was starting to fail for the first time in its legendary history of success. The condition of the company’s financials reminded me vididly of a lot of smaller companies which are struggling in today’s economy as they rely so heavily one foot traffic, old fashioned gossip mills for social networking and the quality of their product for customer loyalty.

You have to love the way in which the presence of having Wes round the company was starting to nettle with the nerves of Kate. She liked things to be organised a certain way – this year, it was a marked change for her – from how her Aunt was aiding with the display for the sale to the ways in which she had no control over what Wes would uncover and find out about their company. She had definite trust issues – not just in men, but in allowing others to help her in business and in life. There was a history there – a hidden one, where I felt there was more to be known about why Kate gave so many people the brush-off and why she’d prefer to hold everyone else at such a distance away from her own heart.

This was one of those friendlier communities where the whole community thrived on the success and tourism of its business district. To find Kate receding from that kind of internal activity where people genuinely care about knowing what is going on in each others’ lives made me a bit more  curious about her character; especially towards understanding what is motivating her to double-down on her efforts to succeed this year whilst not having the faith to believe something would work out. Perhaps though that is too strong of an observation – I felt Kate might be simply overworked and overstressed; to where she couldn’t see things as they were but rather how she felt they were teetering on the edge. That’s never a comfortable place to be and perhaps that is why everything that was positive was turning sour in her eyes.

Aunt Penney had the keen insight to know when to hire outside help for her candle company but the choice to hire help also brought some unexpected random joy into the life of her niece Kate. Kate the kind of dedicated employee who put herself second and her job first; a trait she shared in common with Wes as they were both professional workaholics who had a very toxic work life balance. It wasn’t that they were both immune to a personal life but it is rather they had this driven idea in their minds that they had to make certain goals and milestones before they could consider themselves ‘successful’ enough to start to settle down. Kate on the other hand had a few extra stipulations which made dating a bit of a dream rather than a reality.

One interesting element to the story is the omnipresence of Santa and how sometimes you have a serendipitous encounter with someone who seems to see into your soul and simply know things about you without having any foreknowledge prior to when you’re crossing their path. It was a humbling scene, a small one at that which sought to re-encourage Kate to see things outside her own perspective and to simply believe in the potential of what was plausible. Except for Kate, I felt she was much more analytical than she was able to take something on faith alone – she needed facts and proof, rather than hope and prayer to see herself through a thickening situation of circumstances outside of her own control.

This developed into a bit of a theme for the story – about how to take a leap of faith, how to perceive of a way forward outside your own developed opinion about the context of your own life and to take a chance on things that you might have overlooked the potential of in the past. In true Hallmark Channel fashion, this is a story which has an HEA and a homey afterglow – where you know that for the towne of Bayberry, nothing is ever impossible until you reach the point where you cannot believe in the small miracles which evoke the most change in your life.

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Post Script banner created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I have a subscription to Scribd for audiobooks and despite checking for stories I’m keenly interested in listening on audiobook, sometimes when I run a search for stories, the audiobooks are not showing in the Scribd library (as was the case with a previous title I spotlighted for HFVBTs which is now available) – thereby, I was not obligated to post my opinions about the audiobook, as I am adding these notes about the performance and sound of the audiobook for my own edification as I personally love listening to them! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Due note: I only found this available after I had received the complimentary print copy from the author.

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specifically in regards to the audiobook:

As I am relatively new to reviewing audiobooks and listening to them with a greater frequency than of the past, I am appreciative of Ms Jess providing a cursory outline of how best to articulate my listening hours on behalf of this audiobook and the others I shall be blogging about or reviewing in future. I’ve modified the suggestions to what I felt were pertinent to respond too on my own behalf as well as keeping to the questions I felt were relevant to share.

Number of Times I’ve heard the Narrator(s):

This marks the first time I’ve heard an audiobook narrated by Emily Rankin.

Regards to the Narrator’s Individual Character performances:

Wesley Adams: I liked how Rankin voiced Wesley’s stressful tension in his life as he’s trying to find the balance between his work and life. He had a certain layer of confidence in his own abilities but overall, with a promotion looming over him, he had the kind of tense anxiety you’d expect to hear in his voice about his future.

Secondary Characters:

Wes’s MumI love when narrators can age their characters by how they voice them – Wesley’s Mum was wonderfully voiced as she had a spark of life in how she talked but also, you inferred she was his mother by how she was talking as well. I felt she was a great addition to the storyline because it anchoured you to what was important to Wesley outside of work.

The office staff in Wesley’s office: His boss came across as you would expect him to be – however, the delight of joy was hearing Jan’s character. She sounded like such a dear to have round you, courteous and kind and with a warm heart of compassion. I enjoyed how the characters felt fully alive in the background – where their voices were altered in equal fashion as the lead characters to give you a measure of scope and depth for the storyline. I love when narrators can alter their voice and enlarge the ensemble feel of their narration.

overall impression of the style of narration:

I was enjoying listening to the audiobook because of how Rankin was differentiating between her characters – she altered her voice for the men and the women quite well. She had a subtle way of changing how her voice sounded between both genders whilst she added a bit of personality to some of the characters whom were being given a voice in the story.

This was definitely a spoken narrative audiobook with an enjoyable narrator who had a clean and crisp style of delivery. I would have enjoyed finishing the audiobook if time would have allowed me to get through the audiobook in tandem with reading the print edition.

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Special Announcement:

As you know, this is a giveaway-free book blog – as I do not host giveaways here on Jorie Loves A Story (per my Review Policy) however, there is one exception to the rule – I love to talk about and happily promote authors who are hosting a giveaway on *their website or blog!* whilst my review is posting via a blog tour! For this reason, it is with a joy and pleasure to bring this to your attention:

Bookmark offer from Jennifer Faye.

All you have to do is go to Jennifer’s Contact Page

and let her know your physical mailing address*.

NOTE: Please state the quantity you desire and which bookmarks/titles you are interested in. And remember you can order extra to share with your favorite bookstore, library and family/friends.*for readers in the continental USA

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This book review is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

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Christmas in Bayberry blog tour banner provided by Prism Book Tours and is used with permission.

End of the Blog Tour badged provided by Prism Book Tours

By clicking this badge you can find out about the giveaway associated with the tour;
my particular tour stop doesn’t host the giveaway as I’m a review stop, however,
you’ll find many other bloggers who are hosting the information!

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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.
I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst
readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read.
Bookish conversations are always welcome!
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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Christmas in Bayberry”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Jennifer Faye, the bookmark giveaway badge and the Prism Book Tours badge were all provided by Prism Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers & My Thoughts badge 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, Post Script banner (using Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo) 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 Tuesday, 14 July, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Family Life, Life Shift, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction

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2 responses to “Blog Book Tour | Celebrating her debut #ChristmasRomance with #HallmarkPublishing – #JorieReads “Christmas In Bayberry” by Jennifer Faye for #ChristmasInJuly!

    • Thank you, Ms Faye!

      I was grateful I could read your debut with Hallmark Publishing! I usually start to read Christmas Romances just before or after Thanksgiving – however it was nice to get a head-start on seeking out those lovelies this past July. Sorry I wasn’t able to respond sooner – seems like Summer has been one flickering crisis after another and I’m just thankful Autumn is soon at hand. It would be nice for life to slow down a bit. Though after the news tonight about the wildfires of the West, I wish I could send some of the heavier rains here over there. Hosting you is always a pleasure and I had a lot of fun on this blog tour. I hoe you and yours are having a good 2020 – all the best, Ms Faye!

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