Category: the Roaring Twenties

Author Guest Post | C.W. Gortner relates the beauty of inspiration behind how Coco Chanel’s effervescent presence in fashion and parfum have endured her legacy forty years after her death. {on behalf of “Mademoiselle Chanel”}

Posted Tuesday, 24 March, 2015 by jorielov , , , 6 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

I had the opportunity to become introduced to the writings of Mr Gortner whilst I participated on his blog tour for The Tutor Vendetta, marking a special moment for me as it was Gortner’s writings which had first intrigued me to start hosting for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I had the chance to interview him about his writings and the Spymaster Trilogy, and now, only a handful of months since I first picked up a novel of his, I have the beautiful opportunity to dig inside an historical biographical fiction novel about Chanel! Chanel as I will reveal on my book review lateron tonight, held a key part of my personal growth with an affection for parfum which went back through my own maternal line of heritage without my realisation until I ‘met’ Chanel via a novel which changed my life.

I wanted to ask Mr Gortner about what inspired him to focus on Chanel but also, on how Chanel’s life has continued to have an impact on everyone who crosses path with either her personal history of what she’s left behind for us to discover about her or a part of her legacy in the fashion and/or parfum industries where she not only set a certain standard but directly had an impact on the direction of where both industries were going to break out into new territories.

It was further interesting to me, the synopsis for Mademoiselle Chanel mentions a previous novel I have held quite close to my heart: Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald as I had the pleasure of reading and discovering Zelda through such an authentic voice as portrayed in her biographical fiction novel from Therese Fowler as to be full of thanksgiving for the novel to cross my path via the First Impressions programme at Book Browse. I believe this speaks to the authenticity of the work as a whole, as I had previously encountered Gortner’s passionate dedication to research in the Spymaster series, and this tip-off with Chanel, gave me a bit of insight of what I might find inside the pages herein.

You see Zelda wasn’t simply spoken about in a third person point of view or a narration thus far removed from her living hours; no, to me Zelda’s voice was captured so surely by Fowler as to give definition to her character and a direct line of insight into who Zelda was whilst she was alive. On this note, I am perceiving the same must have been felt by early readers and the editors on behalf of Gortner’s take on Chanel. To knit together such a convincing portrait as if Chanel herself were echoing her thoughts directly into the pen of Gortner and thus, presenting us with a story which speaks as true as the woman who lived the life.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Mademoiselle Chanel

For readers of “The Paris Wife” and “Z” comes this vivid novel full of drama, passion, tragedy, and beauty that stunningly imagines the life of iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel—the ambitious, gifted laundrywoman’s daughter who revolutionized fashion, built an international empire, and became one of the most influential and controversial figures of the twentieth century.

Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her siblings are sent to an orphanage after their mother’s death. The sisters nurture Gabrielle’s exceptional sewing skills, a talent that will propel the willful young woman into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood.

Transforming herself into Coco—a seamstress and sometime torch singer—the petite brunette burns with ambition, an incandescence that draws a wealthy gentleman who will become the love of her life. She immerses herself in his world of money and luxury, discovering a freedom that sparks her creativity. But it is only when her lover takes her to Paris that Coco discovers her destiny.

Rejecting the frilly, corseted silhouette of the past, her sleek, minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As Coco’s reputation spreads, her couturier business explodes, taking her into rarefied society circles and bohemian salons. But her fame and fortune cannot save her from heartbreak as the years pass. And when Paris falls to the Nazis, Coco is forced to make choices that will haunt her.

An enthralling novel of an extraordinary designer who created the life she desired, Mademoiselle Chanel explores the inner world of a woman of staggering ambition whose strength, passion and artistic vision would become her trademark.

Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner

Published By: William Morrow (@WmMorrowBks),
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Available Formats: Hardback, Unabridged Audiobook, Ebook

Public Library | Add to Riffle

Converse on Twitter via: #MademoiselleChanel, #CocoChanel Read More


Posted Tuesday, 24 March, 2015 by jorielov in 19th Century, 20th Century, Adoption, Belle Epoque Era, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Coco Chanel, Courtesan & Cocottes, Equality In Literature, Fashion Fiction, Fashion Industry, France, France Book Tours, French Literature, Historical Fiction, History, Parfum Industry, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Realistic Fiction, the Edwardian era, the Roaring Twenties

Blog Book Tour | “Girl Runner” by Carrie Snyder

Posted Wednesday, 25 February, 2015 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Girl Runner” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the publisher HarperCollins Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I grew up watching the Winter (Olympic) Games, whilst the Games themselves inspired me to correspond with other girls who lived overseas, as my original pen pals were sought through a friendship exchange linked to the Norwegian Games in the early 1990s. Those friendships dissolved in my early to mid twenties, but the friendships sparked a love of exchanging postal mail and letters of correspondence! A tradition that I still carry forward today, as I will be blogging a bit more about my love for postal mail, stationeries, mixed media collage and postal mail art; intermixed with my love of knitting, as segues of how a bookish girl like me has found beauty and joy in lost arts of the recent past.

The Games themselves by definition and by example, lead us towards a world that is close-knit and tied together through sportsmanship and the honour of competing not merely against each other on teams, but against our ‘best moment inside the sport itself’ to better ourselves and strengthen our abilities therein. It’s a magical and inspirational time every four years, as we get to dip inside a country’s history and the passion they have for not only the continuation of the Games themselves but the diplomacy and the curated friendships that athletes find amongst the community of which they find themselves living for this moment in time and history. The Olympic Village stories combine with the Opening & Closing Ceremonies and the documentaries on the host country, to knit together my overall joy of watching from afar as the Games pursue as the telecast feeds are limited by time zone and distance.

I anchoured myself into the Winter Games a bit quicker than the Summer Games, but I enjoy each of them quite equally, whilst finding the X-Games are a wicked sweet surprise in-between! I have fond memories extending out of Nagano, Japan; Vancouver, British Columbia; London, England; and Beijing, China which gives an overview of my favourite Winter & Summer Games of the past decade or so. When I came to discover the narrative behind Girl Runner, I must confess I had an intense cascade of beautiful memories alighting through my mind’s eye as I considered accepting this novel for review. To explore a part of the Olympic past cast against a fictional character’s story simply enveloped me in full anticipation of what I would discover within the pages themselves!

On a separate note, I had to remind myself that I was a charity runner when I was nine years old who accomplished more than the runners twice her age or older. I hadn’t even realised I was running further and faster than the others around me; as I did experience a bit of what Snyder talks about in her novel Girl Runner where everything outside your run starts to blur and it is you alone on the track or path you’ve elected to race. Running a race isn’t always about a specific end result, it can be for the clock in competition or it can simply be a defining moment where you seek to prove your own fortitude of strength. How far can you personally take yourself to run? How far will you go? The irony is that before I picked up Girl Runner I had forgotten I was a runner myself; one who elected not to run for sport, but to run for myself. I gave myself the freedom to pace my extensions and my distance by what I knew I could achieve against the clock of how long the charity run would last. The best joy was knowing my true best was better than I could have dreamt.

Running gives you an honest account and assessment of your capabilities — how far you can push yourself and how where your own barriers might lie to hold you back from what you can do. There is freedom of spirit in running over and beyond where you felt you physically could travel.

I was encouraged to run during recess and P.E. even though I knew I could not compete with the girls who would make the track team. I decided to find my own buoyancy of rhythm, to tap into where my breath could match my feet and where my gait could extend itself into an individual pace of quickness. I hadn’t realised how I have missed that feeling of achieving something I never expected to gain. Running is an elevated joy from walking; but being in motion in and out of time itself is the appeal.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Blog Book Tour | “Girl Runner” by Carrie SnyderGirl Runner
by Carrie Snyder
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

An unforgettable novel about competition, ambition, and a woman’s struggle to earn a place in a man’s world, Girl Runner is the story of 1928 Olympic gold medalist Aganetha Smart. Will Aganetha’s undeniable talent help her to outrun the social conventions of her time, or the burden of her family’s secrets?

As a young runner, Aganetha Smart defied everyone’s expectations to win a gold medal for Canada in the 1928 Olympics. It was a revolutionary victory, because these were the first Games in which women could compete in track events—and they did so despite opposition. But now Aganetha is in a nursing home, and nobody realizes that the frail centenarian was once a bold pioneer.

When two young strangers appear asking to interview Aganetha for their documentary about female athletes, she readily agrees. Despite her frailty, she yearns for adventure and escape, and though her achievement may have been forgotten by history, her memories of chasing gold in Amsterdam remain sharp. But that triumph is only one thread in the rich tapestry of her life. Her remarkable story is colored by tragedy as well as joy, and as much as Aganetha tries, she cannot outrun her past.

Part historical page-turner, part contemporary mystery, Girl Runner peels back the layers of time to reveal how Aganetha’s amazing gift helped her break away from a family haunted by betrayals and sorrow. But as the pieces of her life take shape, it becomes clear that the power of blood ties does not diminish through the years, and that these filmmakers may not be who they claim to be. . . .

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Canadian Lit, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

Published by Harper Books

on 3rd February, 2015

Pages: 288

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published by: Harper Books (@harperbooks)

an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)

Available FormatsHardback & Ebook

Converse via: #GirlRunner

About Carrie Snyder

Carrie Snyder’s Girl Runner is shortlisted for the 2014 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Her previous book, The Juliet Stories, was shortlisted for the prestigious Governor General’s Literary Award and named one of the Globe and Mail‘s Top 100 Books of the Year. Her first book, the short story collection Hair Hat, was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award for Short Fiction. A mother of four, Carrie lives with her family in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

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Posted Wednesday, 25 February, 2015 by jorielov in 20th Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, ARC | Galley Copy, Audio Play, Audiobook, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Bookish Films, Canada, Canadian Literature, Cats and Kittens, Chapter or Novel Adaptation in Audio, Clever Turns of Phrase, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, During WWI, Geographically Specific, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Herbalist, Historical Fiction, Interviews Related to Content of Novel, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Literary Fiction, Lyrical Quotations, Midwife | Midwifery, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Realistic Fiction, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Soundcloud, Sports, The Olympic Games (Winter or Summer), the Roaring Twenties, TLC Book Tours, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage

Blog Book Tour | “Hunting Shadows” by Charles Todd

Posted Monday, 9 February, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Hunting Shadows” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher William Morrow, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

I borrowed the first book in this series from my local library’s ILL (inter-library loan) services for my own edification and was not obligated to post my reflections and/or review on the story’s behalf. I wanted to understand a bit of the back-story on the principle character of Inspector Ian Rutledge prior to reading the 16th book in the series. I originally perceived the idea to read this book and the 15th book in the series prior to my tour stop, however, the hours disappeared before I could. I appreciate the chance to get to know new mystery and suspense authors I haven’t yet stumbled across myself.

Blog Book Tour | “Hunting Shadows” by Charles ToddHunting Shadows
by Charles Todd
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

In the latest mystery from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd, Inspector Ian Rutledge is summoned to the quiet, isolated Fen country to solve a series of seemingly unconnected murders before the killer strikes again

August 1920. A society wedding at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire becomes a crime scene when a guest is shot just as the bride arrives. Two weeks later, after a fruitless search for clues, the local police are forced to call in Scotland Yard. But not before there is another shooting in a village close by. This second murder has a witness; the only problem is that her description of the killer is so horrific it’s unbelievable. Badgered by the police, she quickly recants her story.

Despite his experience, Inspector Ian Rutledge can find no connection between the two deaths. One victim was an Army officer, the other a solicitor standing for Parliament; their paths have never crossed. What links these two murders? Is it something from the past? Or is it only in the mind of a clever killer?

Then the case reminds Rutledge of a legendary assassin whispered about during the war. His own dark memories come back to haunt him as he hunts for the missing connection—and yet, when he finds it, it isn’t as simple as he’d expected. He must put his trust in the devil in order to find the elusive and shocking answer.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Also by this author: An Unwilling Accomplice, A Duty to the Dead

Genres: Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense

Published by William Morrow

on 21st January, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 336

Published By: William Morrow (@WmMorrowBks),
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #HuntingShadows, #InspectorIanRutledge

About Charles Todd

Charles Todd is the author of the Bess Crawford mysteries, the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother and son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina, respectively.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

Posted Monday, 9 February, 2015 by jorielov in 20th Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogs I Regularly Read, British Literature, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Crime Fiction, England, Equality In Literature, Good vs. Evil, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Military Fiction, PTSD, Readerly Musings, Realistic Fiction, Suspense, the Roaring Twenties, The World Wars, TLC Book Tours

#ChocLitSaturdays | A Twitter Chat focused on #Romance & #Booklovers; inspired by #ChocLit book reviews!

Posted Thursday, 24 April, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 4 Comments

#ChocLitSaturdays | a feature exclusive to Jorie Loves A Story

I truly would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has dropped by over the past week to *vote!* on the hour in which #ChocLitSaturdays the weekly Twitter chat will meet! I have appreciated your feedback and have had the difficult choice in sorting out what to trust more: the top vote cast in the Poll itself OR knowing the reality of the time zones! Therefore, let me break everything down and let you know how I came to my conclusion!

The final results of the Poll:

ChocLitSaturdays Poll Results bby Screen Capture
Screen Capture of Poll Results to determine #ChocLitSaturdays Twitter Chat Hour

And, therein lies the dilemma for me!

California | New York | London | Europe | Australia

8a | 11a | 4p | 5p | 1a = 30%

9a | Noon | 5p | 6p | 2a

10a | 1p | 6p | 7p | 3a = 15%

11a | 2p | 7p | 8p | 4a

1p | 4p | 9p | 10p | 6a

Noon | 3p | 8p | 9p | 5a

3p | 6p | 11p | Midnight | 8a

5p | 8p | 1a | 2a | 10a = 15%

Of the majority votes, my own personal inclination is to host #ChocLitSaturdays at either 11a OR 1p as it is more agreeable for my own time zone. Of the two choices, I cannot in my heart host the chat at 1p because asking someone in Australia or New Zealand to pop online after 3a in the morning is beyond inconsiderate! Moreso, I could theoretically yield to 11a as being a night owl (and many writers will agree with me!) 1a is not too late for a chat if you are regularly up past midnight!

On the flipside, as a lot of ChocLit authors are located in England, the reverse is equally plausible if the chat is held at 8p, as it would be 1a for them! My heart tells me that a more convenient hour for everyone concerned is actually going to be:

#ChocLitSaturdays Twitter Chat & Blog Feature of Jorie Loves A Story
#ChocLitSaturdays Twitter Chat & Blog Feature of Jorie Loves A Story

My Inspiration for #ChocLitSaturdays Twitter Chat:

By uniting readers & writers alike in a conversation where we can talk about why we love Romance and the kind of stories which encourage our spirits & hearts, as much as give us a calming balm when we sit down to read. I know the chat will expand and grow as time shifts forward however, I’d love to invite ChocLit authors to drop in if they were available to do so, as much as welcome other writers to join in on the fun too! I see it as a celebration of Romance for all that Romance offers but at the same time have it a bit hinged to the book I am reviewing that particular Saturday and use the themes inside the novel as a jumping off point of what to talk about in the Romance field in general.

I have been wanting to incorporate what the tagline on my #ChocLitSaturdays badge declares: romance, chocolate, and a cuppa tea is simply divine on the weekends! I’d love to talk and share about our favourite bits of chocolate, romance reads, and which cuppa tea or tea latte works brilliantly with the book in our hands! I’d like to start off the chat with the focus on the recent ChocLit novel I read and then, segue from there to talk about the themes inside it before going into the Romance genre as a broad stroke of conversation. Again, I’d like to offer the authors of ChocLit a chance to drop in and converse with us as well.

Join the Convo on Saturdays: @ChocLitSaturday

Watch the hashtag: #ChocLitSaturdays for weekly updates

OR login to auto-post the tag via:

Full Archives via Storify (*under construction*)

And, I look forward to seeing you on the morrow: 26 April, 2014!  We will be discussing the thematic complexity of “The Maid of Milan” as well as delving into how other romance writers have treated the same elements of psychological suspense & the depth of deceit. Be sure to read my book review ahead of joining in on the conversation as a ‘head’s up’! Thank you for your support!

The following is a guide to know when the book reviews will alight on my blog!

#ChocLitSaturdays Collage of Upcoming ChocLit Book Reviews

{Sources: #ChocLitSaturdays collage was created by Jorie in PicMonkey. Book Covers for ChocLit novels provided by ChocLitUK and used with permission. Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Ravven, with edits by Jorie in Fotoflexer. Screen capture of #ChocLitSaturdays Poll results via provided by keyboard shortcuts & edited in PicMonkey. #ChocLitSaturdays Twitter Chat Badge created by Jorie in PicMonkey.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.


Posted Thursday, 24 April, 2014 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy Romance, Gothic Romance, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Jorie Loves A Story, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Paranormal Romance, Romance Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense, Small Towne Fiction, the Edwardian era, The London Season, the Regency era, the Roaring Twenties, Time Slip, Time Travel Romance, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Victorian Era, War-time Romance