Category: Artwork Provenance

Blog Book Tour | “Lady of a Thousand Treasures” (The Victorian Ladies, No. 1) by Sandra Byrd

Posted Friday, 19 October, 2018 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

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! I received a complimentary copy of “Lady of Thousand Treasures” direct from the publisher Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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My favourite takeaways from my first reading of a Sandra Byrd novel:

I had noticed the quick-fire cross-references being mentioned throughout this blog tour on behalf of Mist of Midnight to lay a correlated thought of insight to the story if readers were familiar with Jane Eyre. I believe this is a bit of a misstep, as despite my fanciment for Gothic Lit intermixed into Historical Fiction, even I can appreciate how diversely eclectic and unique the offerings are within the genre-benders. It is a bit as to say that every Classic Psychological Suspense (i.e. Classic Horror) motion picture is going to be a cardinal carbon copy of the previous release. Although there are inherent similarities to Eyre or any novel within this subset of literature, there is a striking originality to Byrd’s narrative voice, and the way in which she stirs the setting to alight in your mind’s eye.

I did not hear any footfall or echo of Eyre’s voice in the character of Rebecca Ravenshaw, as instead, I heard Rebecca’s voice quite clearly on her own grounds. She’s a full-bodied character not a composite of a previous incarnation of a previous era’s most beloved heroine. The misstep for me is the presumption on what the story entails, as this isn’t a Governess tale, no, this is an inheritance and right of identity tale which pushes far past where Eyre ventured. Atmospherically I do agree, there are certain hidden clues and nudges to elude to where Eyre resided, but again, this isn’t a novel I’d cross-compare Byrd’s narrative, as it would deceive the readers who are wanting to soak inside it unless there is a definitive explanation about ‘what’ directly refers to setting and what is ‘different’ altogether in the story’s arc.

I found more crumbs of cognisant triggers of familiarity stemming out of Mists of Midnight to previous novels I’ve read by ChocLitUK and several via HFVBTs. More readily I would say the styling of how Bryd has writ her new series for the Daughters of Hampshire is a beautiful compliment to how ethereally and historically stimulating I’m finding the Lady Darby series by Anna Lee Huber. Wordsmiths who breathe a stability of place, time, character depth and arc of journey will always leave me perpetually museful for their discovery. Byrd is amongst my top favourites for giving us a story which transcends straight out of where we’ve planted our seat to hold the pages, which as they are turnt, lead us into the murky shadows of where truth and light are sometimes cast in gray.

Each Gothic Lit Historical Narrative is wholly original into itself, as the creator who inked the words alighted upon the premise by a different series of avenues before committing pen to creation. The die is cast so to speak with a uniqueness that is not quite like another story, but whose individual elements can bewitch you with their cosy comfortness of relating a particular sensory experience you had whilst reading other novels within the genre.

I only took sparse pauses away from this novel, as I have the tendency to want to devour a text such as this, save for slumber and a quick nosh; devouring it’s elegant world-building, as it’s secondary characters who alight on the page as if their histories were being writ as they lived. I love seeing secondary cast members as fully true in their bones as their lead counterparts. There is a realism in having this underwrit into a novel, and I must say, Byrd has excelled.

– as disclosed on my review of Mist of Midnight,
Daughters of Hampshire, Book One

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Blog Book Tour | “Lady of a Thousand Treasures” (The Victorian Ladies, No. 1) by Sandra ByrdLady of a Thousand Treasures
by Sandra Byrd
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1496426833

Also by this author: Mist of Midnight

Genres: Art & Art History, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction


Published by Tyndale House Publishers

on 9th October, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 464

Published By: Tyndale House Publishers (@TyndaleHouse)
secondary site: Crazy4Fiction (@Crazy4Fiction)

Formats Available: Trade paperback, ebook and audiobook

Converse via: #SandraByrd, #VictorianLadies + #HistRom or #HistFic

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About Ms Sandra Byrd

Sandra Byrd

Bestselling author Sandra Byrd has published more than fifty books over her editing and writing career. Her traditionally published books include titles by Tyndale House Publishers, Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, WaterBrook Press, a Penguin Random House imprint, and Bethany House. She’s also an independent author.

Sandra’s series of historically sound Gothic romances launched with the best-selling Mist of Midnight, which earned a coveted Editor’s Choice award from the Historical Novel Society. The second book, Bride of a Distant Isle, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The third in the series, A Lady in Disguise, published in 2017 and was named by the American Library Association’s Booklist as one of the Top Ten Inspirational Fiction books of the year.

Her contemporary adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, which was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2011, and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012.

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Posted Friday, 19 October, 2018 by jorielov in 19th Century, Antique Jewelry, Antiques, Antiquities, Art, Art History, Artist's Proof, Artwork Provenance, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Britian, British Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Passionate Researcher, the Victorian era, Writing Style & Voice

Blog Book Tour | “Quicksand: A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery” by Gigi Pandian Readers who appreciate Lara Croft or Tia Carrere’s ‘Relic Hunter’ will happily find a new Professor Adventurer who finds extreme joy in digging up the past!

Posted Wednesday, 29 April, 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 “Quicksand: A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery ” virtual book tour through France Book Tours. I received a complimentary spiral-bound* ARC copy of the book direct from the author Gigi Pandian, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

*This is my first spiral-bound ARC copy of a novel to receive, as what is unique about it is the layout of the pages, as there are ‘two pages per sheet’ of the ARC itself! The flow of the narrative goes from right to left, as the first ‘page’ is set to the right and then the first full page shifts back to ‘left to right’, then if you turn to the third page, it’s in the right order but all the pages are double-sided. It goes with saying I had to adjust to reading it in this style, as at first I thought it was all in reverse! It is the first time I can honestly say I understand other dyslexics and how reading can cause you unexpected problems, as I never had the issue with left to right or right to left, but as I’m finding as an adult dyslexic, everything changes once you leave your childhood years!

A notation on why I love my local library: I borrowed the first two novels in the series via ILL (inter-library loan) in order to understand the flow and pace of the character’s journey. The unique part is that both paperback copies of “Artifact” and “Pirate Vishnu” arrived from public libraries in the PNW: Pacific Northwest! This is an example of how blessed I am for being able to use inter-library loan via my local library and how awesome WorldCat is to connect us to books which are outside the collections of our local library systems! This is one key reason I link books I am highlighting on my blog to WorldCat because depending on where you live, the book will let you know if it’s available to request; either locally or through ILL’ing!

“Artifact” arrived via the North Central Regional Library in Wenatchee, Washington whereas “Pirate Vishnu” arrived via the Timberland Regional Library in Turnwater, Washington. Both copies were paperbacks and only lightly read which made the experience for me as a book blogger discovering a ‘new to me author’ truly enjoyable! I have added the entire series and the novella to my “Book Wishes” List on Riffle! I hadn’t realised there was a ‘prequel’ to the series hidden inside of an anthology until after I received the books via inter-library loan; much to my delight the anthology is also available to borrow in the future!

This is why I stress that local libraries are a wicked resource for readers everywhere to use, not just for those of us who blog our reading lives but for anyone who is curious about an author, a book, or a non-fiction topic to research: a local library and the resources they can provide you with are unparallelled! When I am being writerly I can happily attest I love conducting my research via my local library as well, because you can quantitatively gather materials you cannot have on hand otherwise.

Why adventure and archeological artifacts interest me :

A very little known fact about myself is the original dream I had as a youngster, wells, wait, if I were to be truly honest, the second dream I had as a ‘field of choice’ was to become a Historical Archaeologist. Mind you, I was greatly attached to the aspects of being a Paleontologist prior to settling on archaeology, but my interests wavered a bit to settle on ‘historical’ as I toyed with the idea of ‘Nautical’ (although that would need a PADI certification to achieve!) before uncovering Forensic Anthropology; for the 80s this was a radical idea of thought as the 90s were only just on the fringe of beginning. Not quite your typical rising sixth grader who had a penchant for parapsychology ontop of digs, bones, and the past hidden below the ground!

I was always quite intrigued and motivated by the ‘explorers’ in fiction, as my favourite childhood adventurer series was penned by Frank Perretti and called the Cooper Kids Adventure Series. Ironically or not, it’s not a trilogy or a quad, and has more books in the series now than when I first read them as I have the original boxed set with the original illustrations! Smiles. It was a natural curiosity to become attached to Indiana Jones (movies 1, 3, and 4 respectively; the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles serial most definitely) and Lara Croft as brought to life by Angelina Jolie in the motion pictures. I truly loved Tia Carrere’s serial as well (Relic Hunter) but only had the pleasure of seeing it sporadically. Definitely a serial to see if I can borrow on dvd whilst I’m not gathering a ‘new to me’ BBC serial! (Hallo, Foyle’s War and Last Tango in Halifax!)

To me, living vicariously through adventure novels (oh, I had forgotten I read the novels for Indiana Jones too! oh! I had forgotten to mention the Graphic Novels, too!) is a wicked sweet joy of mine! I do not read adventure novels often enough, and it’s definitely an under-read area of literature I’d like to explore in the future! I even have my eyes on Classical Lit offerings such as the Joseph Conrad novels, and of course, definitely reading about Aubrey and Maturin throughout Master and Commander! I love a wide range of adventures, from deep sea diving to archaeological digs to the high sea epics of the historical past to a contemporary jewel heist or an espionage thriller. Honestly, there is so much randomness to the adventure genre that you just never know what you will uncover next! Isn’t that the beauty of it?! For me, it definitely is! Hence why I am grateful to have found Gigi Pandian and Henery Press!

Blog Book Tour | “Quicksand: A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery” by Gigi Pandian Readers who appreciate Lara Croft or Tia Carrere’s ‘Relic Hunter’ will happily find a new Professor Adventurer who finds extreme joy in digging up the past!Quicksand: A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery
by Gigi Pandian
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Fayette Terlouw
Source: Author via France Book Tours

A thousand-year-old secret room. A sultan’s stolen treasure. A missing French priest. And an invitation to Paris to rekindle an old flame…

Historian Jaya Jones finds herself on the wrong side of the law during an art heist at the Louvre. To redeem herself, she follows clues from an illuminated manuscript that lead from the cobblestone streets of Paris to the quicksand-surrounded fortress of Mont Saint-Michel. With the help of enigmatic Lane Peters and a 90-year-old stage magician, Jaya delves into France’s colonial past in India to clear her name and catch a killer.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Series: ,


Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Archaeological | Anthropological Historical Perspectives, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Cosy Mystery


Published by Henery Press

on 10th March, 2015

Pages: 280

Published By: Henery Press (@HeneryPress), part of their Mystery Collection
Available Formats: Hardback, Paperback and Ebook

{ Book One: Artifact: A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery }

Add to Riffle + Public Library

{ Book Two: Pirate Vishnu: A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery }

Add to Riffle + Public Library

{ Prequel Novella of the series: Fool’s Gold part of ‘Other People’s Baggage’ Anthology }

Uniquely it is mentioned all three novellas in the set are inter-connected!

Add to Riffle + Public Library

Converse on Twitter via: #JayaJones

About Gigi Pandian

USA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian is the child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the southern tip of India. After being dragged around the world during her childhood, she tried to escape her fate when she left a PhD program for art school. But adventurous academics wouldn’t stay out of her head.

Thus was born the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series (Artifact, Pirate Vishnu, and
Quicksand
). Gigi’s debut mystery novel was awarded a Malice Domestic Grant and named a “Best of 2012” Debut Novel by Suspense Magazine.
Her short fiction has been short-listed for Agatha and Macavity awards, and she also writes the new Accidental Alchemist mystery series.

She takes photos of gargoyles wherever she goes, and posts them on her Gargoyle Girl blog.

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Read an Excerpt of the Novel:

Quicksand by Henery Press

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Posted Wednesday, 29 April, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Amateur Detective, ARC | Galley Copy, Archaeology, Art, Art History, Artwork Provenance, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Cover | Original Illustration & Design, Bookish Discussions, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Contemporary Romance, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Equality In Literature, France, France Book Tours, French Literature, History, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, Library Catalogues & Databases, Library Find, Library Love, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, Scribd, Travel, Treasure Hunt

Blog Book Tour | “The Witch of Painted Sorrows” {Book 1: of the Daughters of La Lune series} by M.J. Rose #HistFic is captured within the essence of a traditional Gothic tale where a woman has to choose what she desires more? Passion or Freedom?

Posted Wednesday, 18 March, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 5 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 tour stop on the “The Witch of Painted Sorrows” virtual book tour through France Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher Atria (an imprint of Simon & Schuster), in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Intrigued to Read:

I previously hosted Ms Rose during her blog tour for The Collector of Dying Breaths, whereupon I also interviewed her for the same tour. I had a fascination inside me about the Reincarnationist series, but it ended up my heart was attached quite dearly to the second trilogy making up the volumes of: The Book of Lost Fragrances, Seduction, and The Collector of Dying Breaths. I went into details about this on my previous M.J. Rose book review, but what intrigued me about returning into her next novel is how it was set to life in Paris itself.

I have come to appreciate different eras of French History through the writers who write stories that surround us in the history and lore of France. In regards directly to the Belle Époque 1890s of this highly regarded city, I last ducked inside it’s chapters of time in Heather Webb’s Rodin’s Lover. The eras of salons where writerly and artistic immersions of the crafts could be celebrated and explored through peers of the same inclinations was quite the intrigue for me, as it is hard to pin-point where the ‘meeting of the minds’ meet-up in latter centuries which have provided as much feedback as camaraderie amongst like-minded spirits.

The layers she knitted into the story to encourage a back-drop of suspense mixing inside Gothic Lit undertones and the possessiveness of a long-dead master of darkness, was imploring as I wanted to see how this story would balance most of what I’ve come to love inside an M.J. Rose novel! I was thinking this was in-part a departure from her Reincarnationist series as much as an extension of the passionate drive her characters have for not only their pursuit of joy but their pursuit of how to live their lives without the attachments which might not allow them to live as freely as their soul desires. Rose tends to write convicting fiction where her characters are seeking ‘something’ in relation to who they are at their innermost core whilst giving the reader a depth of back-story to soak inside whilst the characters thrive through the journey they undertake.

Blog Book Tour | “The Witch of Painted Sorrows” {Book 1: of the Daughters of La Lune series} by M.J. Rose #HistFic is captured within the essence of a traditional Gothic tale where a woman has to choose what she desires more? Passion or Freedom?The Witch of Painted Sorrows
by M.J. Rose
Source: Publisher via France Book Tours

Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Also by this author: The Collector of Dying Breaths, The Secret Language of Stones

Series: The Daughters of La Lune,


Also in this series: The Secret Language of Stones


Genres: Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense


Published by Atria Books

on St. Patrick's Day, 2015

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 384

Published By: Atria ()
{imprint of} Simon & Schuster (

Converse via: #TheWitchOfPaintedSorrows, #MJRose, & #FranceBT
Available Formats: Hardback and E-Book

About M.J. Rose

M.J. Rose

New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed.

She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice…books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it. She is the author of more than a dozen novels, the co-president and founding board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.

(Biography updated August 2016)

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Posted Wednesday, 18 March, 2015 by jorielov in 19th Century, Antiques, Art, Art History, Artist's Proof, Artwork Provenance, Belle Epoque Era, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Crime Fiction, Disillusionment in Marriage, Earthen Magic, Father-Daughter Relationships, France, France Book Tours, Freedom of Expression, Gothic Literature, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, Parapsychological Gifts, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Psychological Suspense, Sculpture, Supernatural Fiction, Witches and Warlocks