Category: 19th Century

Blog Book Tour | “The First Lady and the Rebel” by Susan Higginbotham (aka. #JorieReads more about the Civil War)

Posted Tuesday, 15 October, 2019 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! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring.

It has been a wicked fantastical journey into the heart of the historic past, wherein I’ve been blessed truly by discovering new timescapes, new living realities of the persons who once lived (ie. Biographical Historical Fiction) inasmuch as itched my healthy appetite for Cosy Historical Mysteries! If there is a #HistRom out there it is generally a beloved favourite and I love soaking into a wicked wonderful work of Historical Fiction where you feel the beauty of the historic world, the depth of the characters and the joyfulness in which the historical novelists brought everything to light in such a lovingly diverse palette of portraiture of the eras we become time travellers through their stories.

I received a complimentary of “The First Lady and the Rebel” direct from the publisher Sourcebooks exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I wanted to read “The First Lady & the Rebel”:

I will say – when it comes to studying the Civil War, I am not the reader most would suspect would be interested. This stems from a bad experience of studying this era in high school – where the focus was askewed towards the Confederacy and excluded most of the context of the North’s position whilst it completely took out of proportion a lot of the crucial aspects of the war itself as  it related to Lincoln and his desire to end slavery.

There was a lot of frustrating moments for me realising that I had a full year of the Civil War ahead of me but without a lot of enjoyment to look forward to because it was all a regeneration of dates & facts; no biographical information on the persons involved, no stories in context or subtext and if it was outside the scope of the textbook, it simply did not exist. In other words, like a lot of structured education – my study of the Civil War was flawed. I was so discouraged by those semesters, I tabled any further research into Civil War History.

Although, being a reader of Historical Fiction – I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for stories which might tuck me back into the folds of this war in a way where my studies failed to take me originally. When I read the premise of “The First Lady & the Rebel” – I thought, perhaps for once, I’ve found the story I wished I could have read in high school. Where there is a balance of focus between the North & South with both perspectives presented in equal measure & worth to each other and where the reader gains a keen insight into what fuelled the war itself and how important it is to remember what caused the division of the States due to how far reaching the end result has become to modern history.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “The First Lady and the Rebel” by Susan Higginbotham (aka. #JorieReads more about the Civil War)The First Lady and the Rebel
Subtitle: One North. One South. Two Todd Sisters Fighting to Shape Lincon's War.
by Susan Higginbotham
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

From the celebrated author Susan Higginbotham comes the incredible story of Lincoln’s First Lady

A Union’s First Lady

As the Civil War cracks the country in two, Mary Lincoln stands beside her husband praying for a swift Northern victory. But as the body count rises, Mary can’t help but fear each bloody gain. Because her beloved sister Emily is across party lines, fighting for the South, and Mary is at risk of losing both her country and her family in the tides of a brutal war.

A Confederate Rebel’s Wife

Emily Todd Helm has married the love of her life. But when her husband’s southern ties pull them into a war neither want to join, she must make a choice. Abandon the family she has built in the South or fight against the sister she has always loved best.

With a country’s legacy at stake, how will two sisters shape history?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781492647089

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Women's Fiction, Presidential Life & History, Southern Lit, War Drama


Published by Sourcebooks Landmark

on 1st October, 2019

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 386

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark (@sbkslandmark)
an imprint of Sourcebooks (@Sourcebooks)

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction, #HistFic or #HistNov
and #MaryToddLincoln, #Lincoln, #CivilWarHistory or  #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Divider

Posted Tuesday, 15 October, 2019 by jorielov in 19th Century, Abraham Lincoln, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Civil War era, Civil War History | era, Content Note, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, History, Literary Fiction, Mary Todd Lincoln, Mid-West America, Military Fiction, Presidential Life & History, Women's Fiction

#HistoricalMondays showcasing #HistRom series | The Spinster Chronicles by Rebecca Connolly feat. “The Merry Lives of Spinsters”

Posted Monday, 7 October, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

I’ve launched a new weekly featured concentration of book reviews on Jorie Loves A Story which celebrates my love and passion for the historical past! For those of whom are regular readers and visitors to my blog, you’ll denote a dedicated passion for reading Historical Fiction (and all the lovely segues of thematic therein) – I am a time traveller of the historical past every chance I get to disappear into a new era and/or century of exploration. There isn’t a time period I haven’t enjoyed ruminating over since [2013] and there are a heap of lovely timescapes I’ve yet to encounter.

This feature was inspired by the stories I’ve read, the stories I’ve yet to experience and the beauty of feeling interconnected to History through the representation of the past through the narratives being writ by today’s Historical Fiction authors. It is to those authors I owe a debt of gratitude for enlightening my bookish mind and my readerly heart with realistic characters, illuminating portals of living history and a purposeful intent on giving each of us a strong representation of ‘life’ which should never become dismissed, forgotten or erased.

I am began this feature with the sequel to a beloved historical novel I first read in [2013] – it was one of the first ARCs I received and it was the first year I was a book blogger though it was through a connection outside my life as a blogger. I celebrated K.B. Laugheed’s literature to kick-off this feature and hopefully will inspire my followers to take this new weekly journey with me into the stories which are beckoning to read their narrative depths and find the words in which to express the thoughts I experienced as I read.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By: I have been hosting blog tours with Cedar Fort Publishing and Media for several years now, wherein their new blog tour publicist (Ms Sydney Anderson) also runs her own publicity touring company: Singing Librarian Book Tours (or SLB Tours for short!). I happily joined her team of book bloggers as a hostess in late Spring, 2018 wherein my first tours with her as a hostess began Summer, 2018. I appreciate reading INSPY literature and was happy to find these are most of the stories she is showcasing through SLB Tours! Most of her authors are published through Cedar Fort, though she does work with authors who are either Self-Published or Indie published through different publishers as well.

There is a bit of a long gap between when I first received these novels for review consideration and when I am actually reading them for review. I cannot remember exactly what took me away from reading them – however, I have a suspicion it was due to migraines and health afflictions as throughout [2018] I had ten months of health issues and severe bouts of high frequency of migraines to battle through – whilst [2019] has gone better in that regard, I have still had issues dealing with migraines despite the fact this year has had a more limited frequency of them compared to last year. When I learnt this author was going on a blog tour for the fourth novel in the series – I knew this was a second chance to redeem myself and properly bring the series to Jorie Loves A Story. Therefore, I am reading all four novels and reviewing them within the week of the blog tour.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Merry Lives of Spinsters” direct from the author Rebecca Connolly in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The reasons why this particular series of Historical Romance (ie. #HistRom) charmed me:

IF you’ve been visiting with me for awhile now, you’ve noticed a particular appreciation for Historical Fiction & the lovely niche of Historical Romance floating into my archives here at Jorie Loves A Story! This is because I was charmed by the Historical past eons ago in childhood wherein I first picked up my very first #HistRom round the age of eight or nine – the exact year alters depending on which day I remember gathering those Victorian & Regency Christmas novella anthologies! Those gentle stories of yesteryear centred inside two eras of British History I fell head over heels in love with at *first sight!* became the moment where my bookish heart could not get enough Historical Romances in my life!

I believe Historical Romances should keep in mind the people in power, the situations of the world during the specific time period being explored and of course, keeping mindful of living persons whilst having the internal time-line of the story altered in scope against the known one in History. Some writers alter historical time for literary time which is generally alright for me if it is done in such a way to be believable within their story.

When it comes to Historical Romance, I am not reading it strictly to learn about ‘history’  per se but rather want to feel caught in the joy of the relationship being built against the historical backdrop it is placed. Which tracks well with the choices I make in which Historical Romance authors draw my eye towards their works of literature! In this particular instance, what drew me into a curiosity about the Spinster Chronicles is the curious point of entrance into the women whose lives are at the centre of the series! It is a unique perspective but also an interesting premise – of how thread a series out of a particular set of circumstances and yet, leaving the door ajar for these women to find their happier-ever-afters as well!

Last Autumn, I had the pleasure of joy learning more about the writer’s (Ms Connolly’s) writing process and a few insights into her series (the Spinster Chronicles) when I shared my interview which was featured during the “Spinster and I” blog tour. This Autumn, I am happily reading the series which inspired the conversation – the stories which have charmed me from afar and of which I was happily soaking inside as the Regency is one of my top favourite #HistRom settings to settle inside!

May your #AutumnReads be as excitingly awesome as mine this year!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#HistoricalMondays showcasing #HistRom series | The Spinster Chronicles by Rebecca Connolly feat. “The Merry Lives of Spinsters”The Merry Lives of Spinsters
Subtitle: How do you solve a problem like a spinster? | A Spinster Chronicles Romance
by Rebecca Connolly
Source: Direct from Author

Spinster is as Spinster does...

Georgina Allen is a spinster and everybody knows it. She also happens to be one of the writers for the Spinster Chronicles, and everyday knows that as well. She's accepted her lot in life, and, along with the other spinsters in her circle, takes great pride in the articles she's writes and the influence she has. Then Captain Anthony Sterling infiltrates their group, and her life, and Georgie impossibly begins to hope once more.

Tony Sterling had no idea what to expect when he agreed to break up the Spinsters for his cousin, but he certainly did not expect Georgie Allen. From the very first meeting, she upends everything he thought a spinster would be, and her beauty and wit keeps him on edge in thrilling ways. The more he gets to know the Spinsters, the less he wants to break them up. And the more he wants Georgie in his life. Permanently.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781943048533

Also by this author: Author Interview Rebecca Connolly (Spinster Chronicles), My Fair Spinster

Series: Spinster Chronicles


Also in this series: My Fair Spinster


Genres: Historical Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Women's Fiction, Historical Romance, Sweet Romance


Published by Phase Publishing

on 1st May, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 284

Reflections from My Fair Spinster, Book Four:

I read the fourth novel concurrently to reading the first due to the blog tour – it is also why some of my reflections on behalf of Grace co-merge between the two reviews.

At the heart of the Spinster Chronicles, there is an undercurrent theme which runs through all the stories – friendship alongside the love and concern for your fellow peers of whom you might not have realised would become your best mates through serendipitous first meetings. I love how Connolly evokes us to take a close look at her characters – through their associations, their personal friendships and how they understand their own duties within their given families. She also has the knack for showing the ‘other side’ of the Regency – the roguish rakes and the men of whom think they’re every woman’s gift to be unwrapped. She does this quite cleverly against the main backdrop of showing honourable gentleman who may or may not realise how ready they are to tackle marriage and a life with a wife who has taken them by charm, wit and a sophisticated level of independence.

Interlinking this novel with the first was a good turn of surprises, as throughout the series you get so dearly attached to previous characters, you want to seem them continue to ‘step forward’ into future installments. Anchouring Aubrey to Sterling (ie. Georgie’s husband) also gave a unique perspective on why Sterling and Georgie make such a winsome match themselves; as they truly always shared much more in common with each other than they first realised, though the evidence was there it is more present to be observed when you see how Sterling himself fathered his mates as much as Georgie attempted to mother hers. They were each the unexpected hero who looked out for others and tried to look out for themselves in the process and that is one of the most admirable traits within the Spinster Chronicles – don’t just own your individual truths and the path your life is taking but do something with your hours outside of your own endeavours, too.

Connolly has a champion way of enticing us into her plots – just when we think we understand the pattern or direction a particular installment is going to take, she re-knits us close to her heroine and hero, giving us a measured joy in carting off after them to see what shall unite them further together. In this story, what is truly wickedly engaging is how indifferent Aubrey is to the scheme he is employed to undertake and how willingly Grace is attempting to thwart her father’s plans. They were quite literally thrown back together again and that in of itself was the brilliant stroke of luck Connolly could have given them!

-quoted from my review of My Fair Spinster

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Spinster Chronicles:

The Merry Lives of Spinsters by Rebercca ConnollyThe Spinster and I by Rebecca ConnollySpinster and Spice by Rebecca ConnollyMy Fair Spinster by Rebecca Connolly

The Merry Lives of Spinsters (book one) – Georgie

The Spinster & I  (book two) – Prue

Spinster & Spice (book three) – Izzy

My Fair Spinster (book four) –  Grace
(see also my review)

Published By: Phase Publishing (@PhasePubLLC)

Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #SpinsterChronicles, #Regency and #HistRom

About Rebecca Connolly

Rebecca Connolly

Rebecca Connolly writes romances, both period and contemporary, because she absolutely loves a good love story. She has been creating stories since childhood, and there are home videos to prove it! She started writing them down in elementary school and has never looked back. She currently lives in the Midwest, spends every spare moment away from her day job absorbed in her writing, and is a hot cocoa addict.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Divider

Posted Monday, 7 October, 2019 by jorielov in 19th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Romance Fiction, Singing Librarian Book Tours, Sweet Romance, the Regency era

#HistRom series book review | The Spinster Chronicles by Rebecca Connolly feat. “My Fair Spinster” (Book Four) of a #Regency series I find delishly #unputdownable and wickedly addictive to be #amreading!

Posted Saturday, 5 October, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I have been hosting blog tours with Cedar Fort Publishing and Media for several years now, wherein their new blog tour publicist (Ms Sydney Anderson) also runs her own publicity touring company: Singing Librarian Book Tours (or SLB Tours for short!). I happily joined her team of book bloggers as a hostess in late Spring, 2018 wherein my first tours with her as a hostess began Summer, 2018. I appreciate reading INSPY literature and was happy to find these are most of the stories she is showcasing through SLB Tours! Most of her authors are published through Cedar Fort, though she does work with authors who are either Self-Published or Indie published through different publishers as well.

There is a bit of a long gap between when I first received these novels for review consideration and when I am actually reading them for review. I cannot remember exactly what took me away from reading them – however, I have a suspicion it was due to migraines and health afflictions as throughout [2018] I had ten months of health issues and severe bouts of high frequency of migraines to battle through – whilst [2019] has gone better in that regard, I have still had issues dealing with migraines despite the fact this year has had a more limited frequency of them compared to last year. When I learnt this author was going on a blog tour for the fourth novel in the series – I knew this was a second chance to redeem myself and properly bring the series to Jorie Loves A Story. Therefore, I am reading all four novels and reviewing them within the week of the blog tour.

I received a complimentary copy of “My Fair Spinster” direct from the author Rebecca Connolly in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What I am enjoying about the Spinster Chronicles:

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

My Fair Spinster quote badge provided by SLB Book Tours and is used with permission.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

There is a wicked sense of ease of alighting inside the Spinsters novels by Ms Connolly – in fact, she charms you outright with her sense of pacing, direction of insight she gives her characters and the fact, that as a whole she uses the turns of phrase you’d expect to find in a Regency Romance. I love the fact that this is an atypical Regency Romance in that traditional regard, as there is much more to the plot than a trajectory of interest which would lead into a settled relationship. No, there are layers here to pull apart and appreciate – as Ms Connolly has written a very modernly apt series re-positioned into the Regency where we find lovely young women who are as independently minded as we are today (and I am quite sure, there must have been a few back then as well!) who are determined to right their own fates against what they deem is right for themselves. What isn’t to love about a Historical Romance series like this one? Feminist driven story-lines, wholly curious characters and the entire backdrop of the series is an era you feel most at home re-visiting as it has become a favourite mainstay of your readerly life – or at least, it has been for me!

I loved at the start of each of the chapters are portions of the Spinsters column – you can denote what is most fetching on their minds by what they are disclosing to their readers; those observations also serve as a foreshadow of what the chapter will next reveal within their lives – a bit of a clever way of nudging you along their thought-process and to better understand their motivations overall. They were a bit more complicated and complex than you first imagine them to be as there are hidden layers which are earnestly drawn out as you read further into the context of the novel.

You have to give credit where its due and that lies in the cheek and frankness of Lady Hetty! She has this clever way of speaking truth when you aren’t suspecting she’s still observing enough of the singletons to know of their ‘secrets’ or at least, what they are attempting to hide from others; for her eyes, she sees them as they are and of whom they are rather than what they wish to mask. She’s one of the supporting cast members who truly strikes your fancy because she is as affirmative as Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey but with a bit less abrasive moxie! She’s also the type of person you would like to strike a conversation with yourself – if only to preen the observations she can grant you and give you something to chew over whilst you contemplate how the tea in your cup was brewed.

Connolly takes us into the balls, the places where the dances, the conversations and the choices in fashion are only part of the story being played out – the other half, the slight murmurs of a match, the potential suitors striking out to find their winsome partners and the girls’ themselves either ready to embrace that next stage of their life or not, find themselves in the march towards courtship. It is here where Connolly develops the keenest of insight into her characters’ – to put on display what is instinctively motivating Sterling to advocate for the Spinsters and where Georgie most feels like the Queen Protector for all the girls’ who may or may not know of her existence.

Watching them as you do – being swept into the intrigue of the scene ‘behind’ the ball itself and having Lady Hetty ready on the sidelines to pull back the veils of what is hidden from the surface, you have a ready made drama to soak inside. It isn’t just the fact the Spinsters consider themselves necessary to be present at these kinds of events for the sake of future knowledge to impart lateron in their articles but it is earnestly their desire to be more visible to those girls’ they are trying to impress upon the better sensibility they wish they had had someone give to them at their younger ages. And, that dear hearts is the beauty of the novel itself – how women who have lived their lives caught up in the motions of tradition, duty and expectation wish to give back to the generation behind them. In that, you become one of their cheerleaders, second only to Sterling.

There are little nudges of insight threading through the narrative – something you start to notice as you dive deeper into the heart of the first installment The Merry Lives of Spinsters – Connolly has left behind a lovely little world for you to entreat inside. You get to enjoy the aspects of Pride and Prejudice which whisk you into new variants of the novel whilst giving you a wholly refreshed view of the Regency with characters who were penned with an honesty of purpose and position. I loved how Connolly re-visits an era I readily read but re-illuminates it through a door not oft opened.

-quoted from my review of The Merry Lives of Spinsters

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#HistRom series book review | The Spinster Chronicles by Rebecca Connolly feat. “My Fair Spinster” (Book Four) of a #Regency series I find delishly #unputdownable and wickedly addictive to be #amreading!My Fair Spinster
Subtitle: Oh, what a beautiful spinster... | A Spinster Chronicles Romance
by Rebecca Connolly
Source: Direct from Author

The spinster next door…

Grace Morledge is a failure. Or so her father believes, as she is unmarried despite her advantages. In his mind, Grace must have significant flaws to be a spinster and something must be done about them. To her mortification, he demands she be fully examined and all flaws recorded. And the man he chooses is the worst possible candidate of all.

Aubrey Flint, Lord Ingram, has known Grace since childhood, but he never anticipated Lord Trenwick demanding he examine her for flaws. How can perfection have faults? Reluctantly, he accepts the assignment, and finds far more than he bargained for, and perfection becomes more and more tempting.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781943048885

Also by this author: Author Interview Rebecca Connolly (Spinster Chronicles), The Merry Lives of Spinsters

Series: Spinster Chronicles


Also in this series: The Merry Lives of Spinsters


Genres: Historical Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Women's Fiction, Historical Romance, Sweet Romance


Published by Phase Publishing

on 1st October, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 298

The Spinster Chronicles:

The Merry Lives of Spinsters by Rebercca ConnollyThe Spinster and I by Rebecca ConnollySpinster and Spice by Rebecca ConnollyMy Fair Spinster by Rebecca Connolly

The Merry Lives of Spinsters (book one)

The Spinster & I  (book two)

Spinster & Spice (book three)

My Fair Spinster (book four)

Published By: Phase Publishing (@PhasePubLLC)

Published on: 1st November, 2018 | ISBN: 9781943048700

Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #SpinsterChronicles, #Regency and #HistRom

About Rebecca Connolly

Rebecca Connolly

Rebecca Connolly writes romances, both period and contemporary, because she absolutely loves a good love story. She has been creating stories since childhood, and there are home videos to prove it! She started writing them down in elementary school and has never looked back. She currently lives in the Midwest, spends every spare moment away from her day job absorbed in her writing, and is a hot cocoa addict.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Divider

Posted Saturday, 5 October, 2019 by jorielov in 19th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Romance Fiction, Singing Librarian Book Tours, Sweet Romance, The London Season, the Regency era