Category: 21st Century

Double Showcase: Book Review & Author Interview | “Red-tailed Hawk” the sequel of “Yellow-billed Magpie” by Nancy Schoellkopf

Posted Tuesday, 25 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 was selected to be a part of the blog tour for “Red-tailed Hawk” hosted by iRead Book Tours. I was thankful to be on the blog tour as I originally participated on the previous release ‘Yellow-billed Magpie’ tour which is when I first read a work by the author. It is a joy to resume where I left off as this is a connected story; a duology if you will. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Nancy Schoellkopf in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What I enjoyed about Yellow-billed Magpie:

I happen to love introspective stories – the kind where you can tug yourself inside a person’s soul whilst your soaking inside their life’s journey. Schoellkopf writes inter-personal narrative with a keen insight into an emotional rewinding of memory and the questions which taut you to interlope back against one’s life. She has crafted a story which has it’s own set of pacing and tone; it’s a lovely layout to read, because the paragraphs are chunky and free-form in how their delivered. A novel which is half poetic in it’s centering and artful in it’s descriptive details. You nearly feel this is partially written as a journal, as your peering through a window into Samantha’s life at a rate of acceptance she is giving you to learn of her story.

Ms Schoellkopf’s writings are a bit raw in places and openly vulnerable in others – she gives her characters breathing room to explore their emotions and the inner turmoil they are facing with an openness towards self-reflection. She finds a way to give her characters the ability to think about what they are going through in a way that translates well to the reader about where their frustrations lie and how they sometimes feel immobilised by their fears.

I enjoyed how she broke the narrative into pieces of introspective wanderings, internal musings of a woman’s dreams, and the conversations of dialogue which sparked interactions between her characters. She found a fusion between traditional story-telling and a new hybrid version where the pace of her story has it’s own rhythm and way of giving us an inside view of one woman’s journey towards self-understanding and acceptance of what her life is providing her to live through. She’s questioning everything and anything in order to make herself rooted in her experience. Taking out what she hopes is self-assurance and reconstructive criticism to rebuild her life in a new place that feels more like home than where she last laid her hat.

Schoellkopf is writing about how sometimes the journey which leads you backwards is the only method you can take to move forward. Within this space of time, is where the most learning and awakening of spirit can happen because your on the fringes of arriving inside your future. Curiously, I wrote this last sentiment about the novel chapters before the author had Samantha realise it herself!

-quoted from my book review of Yellow-billed Magpie

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Double Showcase: Book Review & Author Interview | “Red-tailed Hawk” the sequel of “Yellow-billed Magpie” by Nancy SchoellkopfRed-tailed Hawk
by Nancy Schoellkopf
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

When Mariah Easter encounters a large hawk in her urban midtown neighborhood, her father Charlie is concerned. He can see a wild and mystical path opening before his daughter, a path he himself would never be able to resist. The hawk soon reappears: engraved with its twin on a golden thimble that has been an Easter family heirloom for generations. After the thimble is stolen at a funeral reception, Mariah and her mother Samantha set off on a road trip to find it, a journey that will bring healing to the grieving family and change Mariah's life forever.

Red-tailed Hawk is a coming of age story, the tale of a young woman's quest to discover the source of her own longing and to understand the mystical legacy of her family.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ASIN: B01MUGZJ8K

Also by this author: Yellow-billed Magpie

Also in this series: Yellow-billed Magpie


Genres: Literary Fiction, Magical Realism, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Women's Fiction


Published by Butterfly Tree Publishing

on 11th March, 2017

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 177

Available Formats: Paperback

Converse via: #RedtailedHawk

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Posted Tuesday, 25 April, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Autism, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, California, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Equality In Literature, Father-Daughter Relationships, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Learning Difficulties, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Native American Fiction, Parapsychological Gifts, Special Needs Children, Vulgarity in Literature

Cover Reveal | NEW #ChocLit #RomCom by Jane Lovering “Little Teashop of Horrors”!

Posted Tuesday, 28 March, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Stories Sailing into View Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

If your a regular reader or frequent visitor of Jorie Loves A Story, you know I’ve been smitten with the novelists who publish their relationship-based Romances with ChocLitUK for a good two years now! I love being on the cusp of learning about a ‘new release’ whilst I remain patient to see if the Digital First new ChocLit novel will make it to a print release further down the road of it’s lifetime. I don’t mind the gaps between the ebooks and the print editions – as it’s always given me the pleasure of balancing my ‘next ChocLit reads’ to include both Front List and Back List offerings. Thus, I am enjoying being a member of the Reveal Team at ChocLit whilst it gives me a chance to introduce my readers to a variety of sub-genres within Romance I appreciate picking up to read!

You may or may not realise how quirky my humour is by what you’ve previously read here on Jorie Loves A Story, as comedy is not something I always focus on nor is it easy for me to find contemporary favourites in the comedic world. For instance, it might surprise you to learn Mum and I sometimes find ourselves caught up in comedies that might be considered ‘outside our comfort zones’ and far to the outside of where we regularly travel in the world of comedy! A prime example of this would be the film ‘So I Married an Axe Murderer’ and our ill-fated attempt to watch ‘The Little Shop of Horrors’.

More recently we have dipped into the Contemporary comedies on television which have garnished a following for those of us who appreciate quirky humour, dashes of romance and a slightly dysfunctional view on family life such as: Schitt’s Creek (from Canada) and Grace and Frankie (from Netflix). Of these two, the first one lost it’s luster in Series 3 where the timing and writing were so far off the mark of the original two series, we stopped laughing + watching outright. Similar to how the first series of Younger had a plausible reason for being watched (especially for anyone who is caught up in the world of books and publishing!) but by the sophomore year, they quashed the joy so distinctively it was hard to remember what was good about it! (similar to why ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ was let go of as well before the end of series two!) Now, the third series mentioned is on that fringe state of losing it’s ‘quirkified style’ and merit of being wicked funny.

Reason being — despite all of these being slightly blunt around the proverbial edge to include vulgarity* in more sprites and frequency than what I would accept in novels — at the core of the series themselves, there was a lifeblood of realistic drama, cunning dialogue and a soulfulness of relating to the human condition whilst life is being evolved in ordinary hours. They might be billed as comedies, but somewhere the lines blurred and were more dramedies than comedies. Yet. They all had their quirks – to understand properly what I’m referencing you’d have to borrow the seasonals like I did or pop over to Netflix for a trial go at membership! lol (if you want to catch the first three seasons of Grace and Frankie)

*I would of course love to see them temper the inclusions but that’s wishful thinking on my behalf! Sometimes I like to see what others’ are watching in order to ‘keep in step’ with my contemporaries but also choosing what works for me at the same time. I’d rather not have a blind eye but an informed eye. Sometimes I make exceptions to understand my peers and sometimes what I ‘try’ for awhile fades into the background of a ‘miss’ but something that was briefly appreciated.

Now, why do I like quirky humour!? To say life is far too serious and jarring IRL is too obvious to state; but to clarify that I’ve always had a quirky funnybone is more readily the point! You see, I was in middle school when I met ‘Beetlejuice’ as much as I was entralled with the Addams Family; not to mention the Munsters! There are classics in comedy and there are ground-breakers like Carol Burnett who redefined how sophisticated you can make comedy even if it’s fully on the level of ‘quirk’. I might dip inside well-known shows for a spell, but my personal favourites tend to be more traditionally writ and/or have something inside them that proves timeless (such as Carol Burnett or Dick Van Dyke).

On the flipside, the drama ‘Monarch of the Glen’ falls inside a lovingly brilliant dramedy where Highland life in Scotland with a cleverly writ dysfunctional family is fully engaging round a story-line of where one son endeavours to bail out a failing Scottish Castle and mindfully embrace the quirky family he’s a part of in the process! I loved every inch of that zany comedic series – even when it turnt quite emotionally jarring!

When it comes to the comedy of Ms Lovering, I am a bit in the ‘dark’ so to speak. I do not know how she flavours her stories (by language choices) or how she adds layers of quirky situation comedy to her characters’ lives, but one thing is for sure – I think I have an inside glimpse at what could be involved as I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with her during #ChocLitSaturday! (see also @ChocLitSaturday for chat updates) During the chats she was able to duck inside were the ones I laughed so hard I nearly split a kidney as they say! Her cheeky and insightful humour never fails to leave me in stitches of joy, and I have a feeling I’ll feel the same about her fiction!

Of course, mind you, one of the joys of featuring this ‘cover reveal’ today is not only my participation as a ChocLit Star but as a second entry of blogging about Ms Lovering’s fiction! I’ve been wanting to duck into her comedies – but as the Yorkshire series is full-on established, I never knew which book to begin with or when to enter it properly! I know her stories are one-offs as much as they are part of a threading of a series, but I sometimes am shy about how to start series. My general intent is to start at the beginnings, but I’ve broken that tradition several times for different reasons, so it’s not a strict hard fast rule if series like this are not traditionally anchoured round each story continuing the previous installment.

FYI: I have a secret of my own right now about how I’ve resolved this curiosity of mine but today, we are celebrating her latest release! You might remember me hosting her Reveal for ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ last May!? (see also this post!)

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On my connection to the author:

I happily have had the pleasure of interacting with Ms Lovering through #ChocLitSaturday the chat off/on for the past three years; up until when she had to take a hiatus from joining us Autumn 2015 or thereabouts. I am always thankful when the ChocLit authors can find a niche where they feel comfortable chattering with fellow ChocLit authors, Romance novelists, book bloggers, readers, and other bookishly chatty spirits who alight on Saturdays! Ms Lovering always knows how best to give us a heap of laughter, a wicked good smile and happily make #ChocLitSaturday a lovely place to be!

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her ahead of reading her novels. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. This is also true when I follow-up with them on future releases and celebrate the book birthdays that come after their initial publication.

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Posted Tuesday, 28 March, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight & Announcement, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Modern Day, Romance Fiction, Romantic Comedy

Book Review | “The Girl in the Painting” (Book No.2 of the Rossetti Mysteries) by Kirsty Ferry #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 4 March, 2017 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 Girl in the Painting” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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

On re-reading the ending of ‘Some Veil Did Fall’:

The interesting bit about this particular Rom Suspense is how capturing it was to watch the lead character ‘travel’ back intuitively through the corridors of the past; whispers of windowing moments of another person’s lived life if you will. Becky becomes so attached to the mirroring connective tissues of the past, she has trouble recognising it’s not a life she once lived but the life of another woman: of Ella’s. The two women are fused together – through circumstances Becky has to unravell in order to understand and of whose paths slowly knit together in a chase towards tomorrow! What is underwrit into the narrative is this sense of urgency and purpose; of fine tuning the details to pull together the secrets but also, to understand what is lost and hidden through time itself. The ‘veil’ which falls is the curtain separating the present from the past; where all truths let out and bubble back to the surface – to be examined and understood.

There is a strong case presented for reincarnated lovers – where two souls who were entwined in the past are thus now re-acquainted with in the present; drawing to each other like magnets and finding each other unable to resist being together as a couple. The interesting bit is how the pieces fit together and how Ms Ferry presented her thesis on how this could happen with a strong viable cause for plausibility rather than mere fanciful thought towards that end. Ms Ferry also wrote about how losing trust and confidence in the partnership of relationships is something that is hard to re-build and re-affirm in the relationship which rebounds off a sour one. Coincidentally, this was part of the topic thread we discussed during our last #ChocLitSaturday held on 25th of February. When you lose the ability to trust the men your dating and the capacity you have as a woman to trust your instincts in how to balance the relationship bits with your own independence is a mark for trouble. Part of what held back Becky is recognising not every bloke she’d meet past Seb would be an ill-fated relationship; she had to take a leap of faith but part of her wasn’t quite ready to dive into the unknown; even if her heart was pulling her in that direction.

And of course, one thing that made this story so brilliantly effective of co-merging the past with the present is how Ella whispered into Becky’s mind the voice of reason; for Ella was connected to Becky on a heart-level of insight. It was almost like a form of telepathy except to say, Ella was long since dead and Becky was very much alive! The two shared a symbiotic connection all the same; where their feelings could be felt between them and where Ella was stronger about voicing her feelings than Becky felt she could herself. At the same time, Jon felt Adam moving round his person and attempting to connect with him as well. This was something that stood out to me originally and which I appreciated re-visiting; how Ms Ferry weaved the time threads into her story-line by making unconventional choices of how the ‘past’ and ‘present’ could cross-sect together.

In my re-visit, I was caught up in the emotions of Ella & Adam whilst walking alongside Jon and Becky; there is so much inside this first installment, where the pace is set, the ebbing of the past into the present is well-placed and the duality of the time-lines is well played by Ms Ferry! I felt exactly as I had originally – torn between Ella & Adam and Jon with Becky; as they each had so much to gain and so much to lose; their romance(s) were bittersweet at times and so very tender as well. Both men understood the women they loved in such a startling deep way, it nearly cut off their chances to be with them; as both Ella and Becky were at times very private individuals who did not always champion the men who understood them inside and out!

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

Book Review | “The Girl in the Painting” (Book No.2 of the Rossetti Mysteries) by Kirsty Ferry #ChocLitSaturdaysThe Girl in the Painting
Subtitle: Rossetti Mysteries
by Kirsty Ferry
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

What if you thought you knew a secret that could change history?

Whilst standing engrossed in her favourite Pre-Raphaelite painting – Millais’s Ophelia – Cori catches the eye of Tate gallery worker, Simon, who is immediately struck by her resemblance to the red-haired beauty in the famous artwork.

The attraction is mutual, but Cori has other things on her mind. She has recently acquired the diary of Daisy, a Victorian woman with a shocking secret. As Cori reads, it soon becomes apparent that Daisy will stop at nothing to be heard, even outside of the pages of her diary …

Will Simon stick around when life becomes increasingly spooky for Cori, as she moves ever closer to uncovering the truth about Daisy’s connection to the girl in her favourite painting?

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 9781781893609

Also by this author: Some Veil Did Fall

Also in this series: Some Veil Did Fall


Genres: Art & Art History, Ghost Story, Romantic Suspense, Thriller, Time Slip and/or Time Shift


Published by ChocLitUK

on 7th March, 2017

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 301

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Order of Sequence of Rossetti Mysteries:

Some Veil Did Fall by Kirsty FerryThe Girl in the Painting by Kirsty FerryThe Girl in the Photograph by Kirsty Ferry

Some Veil Did Fall | Book One | Read more on Author’s blog

The Girl in the Painting | Book Two (Synopsis) | Read more on Author’s blog

#PubDay for the third novel is *7th of March, 2017* which shares the release of the 2nd in print!

The Girl in the Photograph | Book Three | Read the Author’s Convo (via Ms Morton Gray’s blog)

whilst being sure to | Read more on the Author’s blog

Converse via: #RossettiMysteries + #ChocLit

About Kirsty Ferry

Kirsty Ferry

Kirsty lives in the North East of England with her husband and son. She won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition in 2009 and has had articles and short stories published in Peoples Friend, The Weekly News, It’s Fate, Vintage Script, Ghost Voices and First Edition.

Her work also appears in several anthologies, incorporating such diverse themes as vampires, crime, angels and more.
Kirsty loves writing ghostly mysteries and interweaving fact and fiction. The research is almost as much fun as writing the book itself, and if she can add a wonderful setting and a dollop of history, that’s even better.
Her day job involves sharing a building with an eclectic collection of ghosts, which can often prove rather interesting.

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Posted Saturday, 4 March, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 19th Century, 21st Century, Art, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Britian, British Literature, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Deaf Culture in Fiction, England, Equality In Literature, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Gothic Romance, Green-Minded Publishers, Haunting & Ethereal, Indie Author, Modern British Author, Modern Day, Paranormal Romance, Parapsychological Suspense, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, the Victorian era, Time Slip