Category: the Thirties

Book Review | “Design for Dying” (Book No.1 of the Lillian Frost & Edith Head novels) by Renee Patrick A wicked new Cosy Historical Mystery series set during Hollywood’s Golden Years!

Posted Wednesday, 19 April, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I received an enquiry from a publicist at Tor/Forge in regards to this lovely new Historical Mysteries series I had not had the pleasure of finding out about previously! I was quite excited about what the scope of the series might entertain as I have a fond appreciation for Old Hollywood and the treasure trove of movies one can experience through the channel Turner Classic Movies (or TCM for short). Being one of the lead characters was Edith Head (a woman of interest of my own from Hollywood’s past) it felt like a wicked good fit for me to accept this series for review. Especially as I love watching old films as a stepping stone towards ‘discovering’ new actors and actresses I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing before and in effect become my ‘new favourites’ even decades after their careers ended. There is a pulse inside those films and I love watching the fashions change as much as the settings and story-lines!

I received a complimentary copy of “Design for Dying” direct from the publisher Forge (an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates) 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

Why I was keenly interested in this new Mystery series:

First of all, I have a deep appreciation for Old Hollywood and Classic Movies of yesteryear – I grew up with this passion for black and white movies – going back to a quintessential holiday favourite of mine: ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ followed by ‘White Christmas’. I grew up on James Stewart films especially, as he was such a wicked good actor who could move between family films, drama and suspense (ie. Hitchcock!). By the time I discovered TCM (Turner Classic Movies) in my late teens / early twenties, it was a bit of a foregone conclusion Classic Movies would become a fixture of my viewing pleasure; yet it wasn’t until my mid to late twenties and early thirties that I started to *devour!* the offerings of TCM!

I even stumbled across the collective works of Cari Beauchamp (a wicked sweet Hollywood biographer!) prior to being a book blogger whilst fully engaged in the context of her book: Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary: Her Private Letters from Inside the Studios of the 1920s. Ever since I came across her writings, I’ve longed to attend the TCM: Classic Film Festival and mingle with others who love Classic Hollywood! I still itch to read through her collective works and seek out other titles by writers who are encompassing the same zest of love for this wicked time in film history!

One of my pet projects prior to being a book blogger was compiling a list of titles about Old Hollywood – most of the books were hard to fetch via ILL (inter-library loan) due to the heaviness of their volumes, which is why my ILL List soon became a Wish List of Purchases! lol On that list are biographies about Edith Head, as I had come to find her styles being represented through the films I was watching on TCM. The beauty of TCM is being able to find #newtomeactors of a begone age where women had the luxury of having a healthy body image & a definitive style where the fashions of Hollywood not only pushed new boundaries of fabric & craft but gave an eloquence to film-making at the same time! I love drinking in the styles of the 1920s – 1940s especially as they are such a cardinal imprint of class, sophistication and individuality.

When the publicist at Tor/Forge reached out to me about the mysteries involving Edith Head, I didn’t even have to think hard about accepting them! I did request receiving ‘Design for Dying’ alongside ‘Dangerous to Know’ as I felt the best way to entreat into an established series is to read the very first entry, wherein I could get a solid footing for the background of the characters and feel the continuity between installments!

As I will be blogging my ruminations back to back – if you return on Friday, you’ll get a special delight in reading my conversation with the authors behind this delishly vintage series, too! I loved how I even have a small tidbit about the ‘length and scope of time’ we all have coming towards us as the series expands and continues to grow! I am ever so excited for these two showcases as one thing I love about Old Hollywood is how quirky and comedic the ‘back-stories’ can be surrounding what is readily known but also, how delightfully quirky their lives were because they were defining the rules as they lived! There wasn’t a structure to everything back then – you could carve out a life between the lines and craft together a living on sheer determined will, pure wit and the daring conviction to pull it all off! And, that is what I loved about this series – as it embodies the fierce grit of daring possibilities to carve out your own path and live it with confidence!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art Design: For a girl who once considered studying Costume Design at Ole Miss, I must confess I love the whole vintage texture and vibe of this cover art! I even love how there is this allure of ‘who could that be entering through the theshold’ whilst focusing on the dress of the woman in front of the mirror! Part of my allure of following the legacy of Edith Head is my passion for vintage fashion and costume design. A bit of this was revealled recently on my review of ‘How to be a Hepburn in a Kardashian World’ – but more to the point, I love how the typography, the setting and the art direction of this cover pull you forward into a plausible entry point to re-trace the footsteps of Edith Head.

Book Review | “Design for Dying” (Book No.1 of the Lillian Frost & Edith Head novels) by Renee Patrick A wicked new Cosy Historical Mystery series set during Hollywood’s Golden Years!Design for Dying
Subtitle: A Lillian Frost and Edith Head Novel
by Renee Patrick
Source: Direct from Publisher

The salon and the case files are open...

Meet Lillian Frost. A transplanted New Yorker with a boundless love of the movies and a single lousy screen test to her credit.

Meet Edith Head. The costume designer who, over the course of a career spanning seven decades, would be nominated for more Academy Awards than any other woman. Who dressed the most glamorous stars in history. Who worked closely with directors like Alfred Hitchcock and Billy Wilder.

Meet the sleuthing duo about to become Hollywood’s greatest detectives.

Los Angeles, 1937. Lillian Frost has traded dreams of stardom for security as a department store salesgirl ... until she discovers she’s a suspect in the murder of her former roommate Ruby Carroll. Party girl Ruby died wearing a gown she stole from the wardrobe department at Paramount Pictures, domain of Edith Head.

Edith has yet to win the first of her eight Academy Awards; right now she’s barely hanging on to her job, and a scandal is the last thing she needs. To clear Lillian’s name and save Edith’s career, the two women join forces. Unraveling the mystery pits them against a Hungarian princess on the lam, a hotshot director on the make, and a private investigator who’s not on the level.

All they have going for them are dogged determination, assists from the likes of Bob Hope and Barbara Stanwyck, and a killer sense of style. In show business, that just may be enough…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780765381859

Also by this author: Dangerous to Know

Also in this series: Dangerous to Know


Genres: Amateur Detective, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Fashion Industry, Film History | Classic Hollywood, Noir Crime Drama


Published by Forge

on 7th March, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 320

Published By: Forge (@torbooks) | Read their incredible BLOG

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Hardcover + Ebook

About Renee Patrick

Married writing team of Rosemarie & Vince Keenan, known as Renee Patrick. Photo Credit: David Hiller, 2015

Renee Patrick is the pseudonym for married authors Rosemarie and Vince Keenan. Rosemarie is a research administrator and a poet. Vince is a screenwriter and a journalist. Both native New Yorkers, they currently live in Seattle, Washington.

Photo Credit: David Hiller, 2015

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Wednesday, 19 April, 2017 by jorielov in 20th Century, Amateur Detective, Barbara Stanwyck, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Review (non-blog tour), California, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Detective Fiction, Edith Head, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Inspired by Stories, Lady Detective Fiction, Noir Crime Drama, Old Hollywood, the Nineteen Hundreds, the Thirties, Vintage Clothes & Boutiques, Vulgarity in Literature

Book Review | “The Golden Chain” (Charton Minster No.2) by Margaret James #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 25 June, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and created #ChocLitSaturday (the chat via @ChocLitSaturday):

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of marriage enveloped by characters written honestly whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read!

I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other!

I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb! Whilst sorting out how promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. As of June 2016, I became a member of the ChocLit Stars Team in tandem with being on the Cover Reveal Team which I joined in May 2016. I reference the Stars as this is a lovely new reader contribution team of sending feedback to the publisher ahead of new book releases. As always, even if I’m involved with a publisher in this sort of fashion, each review is never influenced by that participation and will always be my honest impression as I read the story. Whether the author is one I have previously read or never had the pleasure to read until the book greets my shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Golden Chain” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. It should be noted ‘The Golden Chain’ was requested prior to the two teams I joined on behalf of ChocLitUK. I simply have become more active with the Reveal Team & begun my journey as a ChocLit Star in-between receiving this novel and the day my review posts.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Why Jorie Loves reading the Charton Minster series:

Ms James has such a keen writerly talent for inserting us straight into the Nineteen Hundreds as if we were always meant to re-visit them with such felicity of spirit and moxie as the story of Rose Courtenay translates inside The Silver Locket! I love the expressions and the centreing of this timescape, she does well to include a breath of pause for the traditionalism and the society conventions of the day, allowing us to see the full scope of what is causing Rose the most duress.

The background of the story is cross-set between the small countryside area of Dorset where Rose’s family estate resides and London; as the story first introduces us to her family before moving straight into the heart of war, where nurses are in limited supply! The moxie it would have taken for an eighteen year old not weathered on life or experience to embrace a full-on charge of nursing rotations is hard to get your mind around until you meet Rose Courtenay, who proves everyone is able to do far more than they originally dare possible! Ms James definitely sets a high standard for war dramas and for the glimpses of an era beseeched by war and the after effects of how war changes everyone involved.

How Ms James was able to write such convincingly real passages of WWI straight from the trenches to the field units for the nursing staff, I am unsure; as she is one historical author who grants you such a harrowing view of what it must have felt like to be there. Research is brilliant but James has found a way to see past what can be researched and grant us this portrait of trench warfare and on-call nursing staff that brings to full light the difficulties and the brutality of serving aboard during an on-going war.

-quoted from my review of The Silver Locket

You can well understand why I am quite delighted I can continue to read each installment of this series, and become caught up in the drama and lives of each of the characters as they make their entrance and take their cue to exit. It’s one of those timeless classics you hope you can stumble across & dearly love!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

 Book Review | “The Golden Chain” (Charton Minster No.2) by Margaret James #ChocLitSaturdaysThe Golden Chain
by Margaret James
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Steve West
Source: Direct from Publisher

Can first love last forever?

1931 is the year that changes everything for Daisy Denham. Her family has not long swapped life in India for Dorset, England when she uncovers an old secret.

At the same time, she meets Ewan Fraser - a handsome dreamer who wants nothing more than to entertain the world and for Daisy to play his leading lady.

Ewan offers love and a chance to escape with a touring theatre company. As they grow closer, he gives her a golden chain and Daisy gives him a promise – that she will always keep him in her heart.

But life on tour is not as they’d hoped, Ewan is tempted away by his career and Daisy is dazzled by the older, charismatic figure of Jesse Trent. She breaks Ewan’s heart and sets off for a life in London with Jesse.

Only time will tell whether some promises are easier to make than keep …

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 9781906931643

Also by this author: The Silver Locket, The Penny Bangle, Girl in Red Velvet

Also in this series: The Silver Locket, The Penny Bangle, Girl in Red Velvet


Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Realistic Fiction


Published by ChocLitUK

on 1st May, 2011

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 336

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook & E-Book

Order of Sequence of Charton Minster series:

The Silver Locket Book One (review)

The Golden Chain Book Two | The Penny Bangle Book Three

The Wedding Diary Book Four | Magic Sometimes Happens Book Five

Converse via: #ChartonMinsterSeries, #HistFic, #HistRom + #ChocLit

About Margaret James

Margaret James

Margaret James was born and brought up in Hereford and now lives in Devon. She studied English at London University, and has written many short stories, articles and serials for magazines. She is the author of sixteen published novels.

Her debut novel for Choc Lit, The Silver Locket, received a glowing review from the Daily Mail and reached the Top 20 Small Publishers Fiction List in November 2010 and in the same year a Reviewers’ Choice Award from Single Titles. The Golden Chain also hit the Top 20 Small Publishers Fiction List in May 2011. The Wedding Diary was shortlisted for the 2014 Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Novels: The Silver Locket, The Golden Chain, The Penny Bangle, The Wedding Diary and Magic Sometimes Happens which are part of the Charton Minster series.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 25 June, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Adoption, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, Brothers and Sisters, Child out of Wedlock, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Coming-Of Age, England, Family Drama, Fathers and Daughters, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Green-Minded Publishers, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Modern British Author, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Multi-Generational Saga, Romance Fiction, Siblings, Small Towne Fiction, the Thirties, Twin Siblings, Unexpected Pregnancy, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Health

Blog Book Tour | “By the Stars” (inspired by a true story) by Lindsay B. Ferguson

Posted Friday, 29 April, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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 part of the “By the Stars” blog tour wherein I received a complimentary copy of “By the Stars” direct from the publisher Bonneville Books (an imprint of Cedar Fort Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Biographical Historical Fiction | Inspired by Real Life:

There is a sub-genre within Historical Fiction I truly appreciate reading – and this is what I have fashioned to coin ‘Biographical Historical Fiction’ and if you move through the threading of this genre (which I left broad to encompass Contemporaries as well as Historicals)  on my blog, you’ll find I have quite the hearty appetite for it! I have a penchant for Biographical Fiction as a whole as I find it much more enticing to read a fictional account of a lived life than a traditional biography as too oft-times I find biographies to be writ a bit dull. It’s simply how I interpret the story through that approach and how better I find myself akin to reading biographies in fiction because they are emotionally centred and focused on the life which had been lived rather than the specific data and facts that were attached to the person.

It’s a bit of a segue of why I appreciate Creative Non-Fiction rather than regular Non-Fiction (with exceptions, especially when the topics broker into Science) as again, the focus is emotionally driving a story forward whilst giving a full eclipse of the story through a narrative arc rather than a technical re-telling absent of a living experience version. We all process stories differently and for me, I appreciate the writers who are going into the vein of ‘Biographical Fiction’ to tell a story that is both enjoyable and visually stimulating to those of us who are not traditional readers of biographies.

This particular account of the story was second hand and then first hand told to the writer, who took it up as a bit of a happy challenge to translate one man’s life into a fictional story which would resonate with historical fiction readers! You can learn more about the back-story of By the Stars on Ms Ferguson’s Guest Post! I was curious to see how it would unfold but also, how Cal would render the story to Ms Ferguson who in turn would re-create the story whilst honouring the privacy of the people involved.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

To find out why I am thankful the authors of Cedar Fort are reaching out to me directly this year to read their novels, please read my review on behalf of The Matchup!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “By the Stars” (inspired by a true story) by Lindsay B. FergusonBy the Stars
Subtitle: Inspired by a True Story
by Lindsay B. Ferguson
Source: Direct from Publisher

Deep in the alcoves of 93-year-old Cal Morgan’s mind is an unexpected and intriguing past. Recollections of growing up a farm boy during the Great Depression, learning to foxtrot in the largest ballroom in America, and serving as an infantry soldier in World War II are fragments of his memories. But perhaps above all, a once in a lifetime love story is seared in his soul, reminding us that some things in life are meant to be.

When Cal finally gets a chance with Kate, the girl he’s loved since grade school, their easy friendship quickly blossoms into a meaningful romance. Spirited and independent, Kate keeps a guarded heart due to a painful past, and Cal wants nothing more than to gain her trust. But the WWII draft calls him to the war in the Pacific and with no way of knowing when and if he will return, Cal prepares to part from her for good. After he’s gone, what Kate does next changes everything.

In the suffocating jungles of the Philippines Cal encounters the chilling life of a soldier and deadly battles of war. But with Kate’s memory always near and willing him on he puts his trust in God, ultimately driven to return to her. Inspired by a true story, By the Stars shows that love, faith, and perseverance can overcome insurmountable obstacles.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781462118151

Also by this author: Guest Post: Back-story for "By the Stars"

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Men's Fiction, War Drama


Published by Bonneville Books

on 1st March, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 320

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks),

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #ByTheStars & #HistFic

About Lindsay B. Ferguson

Lindsay B. Ferguson

LINDSAY FERGUSON has been immersing herself in stories since her childhood days of sneaking a flashlight into her room and staying up reading The Babysitters Club series way past her bedtime, writing spinoffs of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and imagining herself in fascinating, far-off places.

She still dreams of traveling the world one day, and finds getting lost in a good book almost as absorbing as penning her own stories and experiencing them unfold.

A Communication graduate from the University of Utah, she worked as a PR and marketing writer for a computer software company for several years before resigning to focus on raising her family. She has also contributed lifestyle articles to various media outlets.

When she felt the itch to attempt novel writing a fascination with history created a natural inclination toward historical fiction, with a romantic flare, of course. She lives in a suburb of Salt Lake City with her husband and four children. By the Stars is her first novel.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 29 April, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, the Thirties, The World Wars, War Drama

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