Category: Australian Literature

Book Review | “Claiming Noah” by Amanda Ortlepp A jolt of heart-clutching emotional drama as we teeter on the brink of understanding the fuller picture of this drama!

Posted Tuesday, 26 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, I started by reviewing releases by FaithWords (the novels of Stephanie Grace Whitson), their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been blessed to start reviewing for them.

This marks my first review on behalf of Center Street which is also a pivotal imprint for readers seeking inspiring & realistic stories for today’s contemporary world. Stories on topics highlighting current events and/or pivotal life lessons wherein a level of uplift is gained by having the stories grace our lives with their presence. I love seeking out inspirational fiction in all it’s incantations of expression and I am finding Center Street is quite the impressive imprint for unique voices in modern literature.

I received a complimentary copy of “Claiming Noah” direct from the publisher Center Street (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read ‘Claiming Noah’ and continue to highlight stories of mumhood:

I have been featuring stories of motherhood on my blog since I first posted my review on behalf of an incredible adoption story: Red Thread Sisters. I was further moved emotionally by the incredibly layered story within the chapters of The Language of Hoofbeats which I had the pleasure of reading for review a short time later. My own path towards motherhood is going to be through adoption as I have been researching adoption for most of my life; as originally if all had been equal my parents would have adopted a younger brother for me. My parents wanted to expand our family first and foremost, but the added benefit at the time I felt was that I would have a younger brother! Something I felt my peers took for granted as I felt it was a blessing to have siblings rather than feeling resentful of them. This goes back to before children were legally free to be adopted and were not being forestalled from prospective adoptive parents; in other words, before Tipper Gore changed adoptive history.

I knew when I began Jorie Loves A Story I wanted to take time to highlight adoptive stories (specifically those featuring foster children) as well as different routes towards motherhood and parenthood, as there are so many different routes towards that end, the stories I could read are limitless. Part of my inspiration to do so is to curate a small library of choices to share with my future children; as I know self-identifiable story-lines are important to children who are growing up in non-traditional families as much as they are for everyone else who has a traditional home environment. Secondly, I wanted to read about motherhood because I feel there are wonderful writers out there who are writing about mumhood in a way that is tangible for today’s contemporary women and men. I think sometimes they are overlooked at being convicting and emotionally centering by the heart of their narrative depths by modern readers; thus inspiring me to seek them out and start to showcase them directly.

I love discovering stories of motherhood and fatherhood; single, married, divorced, widowed or newly married for a second time where the children are natural bourne, adopted, conceived through IVF or involve kinship related-adoptions. These are only a handful of ways children can enter our lives, too, giving us such a breadth of choice where fiction can take us. I knew when I read the premise of this novel it was going to be hard-hitting and downright thought-provoking as there are certain questions that would challenge the reader as much as the characters themselves. The best fiction are the ones that give us something to chew on and attempt to present a scenario that realistically highlights a life or a journey that not everyone takes but is worth considering how you might react inside that same situation. I was thankful Claiming Noah was amongst the books I could consider to review; as I felt it was a story that deserved being known.

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Book Review | “Claiming Noah” by Amanda Ortlepp A jolt of heart-clutching emotional drama as we teeter on the brink of understanding the fuller picture of this drama!Claiming Noah
by Amanda Ortlepp
Source: Direct from Publisher

This riveting debut novel of psychological suspense explores the dilemmas that arise when motherhood and science collide.

Catriona Sinclair has always had a well-developed sense of independence--in fact the one sore point in her otherwise happy marriage is her husband James's desire to take care of her. As she's often tried to explain to him, she took care of herself before she met him, and did a good job of it. But James has been especially attentive lately as they struggle to have a baby. They succeed at last through in vitro fertilization, but unwilling to risk the heartbreak of another miscarriage, they decide to make their "spare" frozen embryo available to another family.

Diana and Liam Simmons are desperate for a child. Unable to conceive, they are overjoyed to learn that as the closest genetic match to the Sinclairs they are the recipients of the embryo donation. Diana's only concern is her mother's disapproval of IVF, but any doubts raised are quickly eclipsed by Diana's joy of being pregnant.

As Diana is finding delight in every aspect of motherhood, Catriona keeps waiting for the rush of adoration she knows she is supposed to feel, but instead slips into a deep depression. Just as Catriona begins to find her way back to normalcy, one of the babies is kidnapped. Suddenly, all of their lives begin to unravel and intertwine, and none of them will ever be the same.

Places to find the book:

ISBN: 9781455565986

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Current Events, Motherhood | Parenthood, Realistic Fiction, Women's Fiction, Women's Studies


Published by Center Street

on 5th July, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 384

Published by: Center Street (@centerstreet.com)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks) via Hachette Nashville

Formats Available: Hardcover & Ebook

  • Trade Paperback has a #PubDay of 4th April, 2017 (ISBN: 9781455565993)

Converse via: #motherhood, #IVF or #mumhood

+ these two in combo: #Contemporary #Suspense

About Amanda Ortlepp

Amanda Ortlepp Photo Credit: Philip Klaunzer

AMANDA ORTLEPP lives in Sydney, Australia, where she is already at work on her second novel.

Photo Credit: Philip Klaunzer

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Posted Tuesday, 26 July, 2016 by jorielov in Adoption, Australia, Australian Literature, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut in United States, Debut Novel, Family Drama, Family Life, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Kidnapping or Unexplained Disappearances, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Loss of an unbourne child, Medical Fiction, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Mother-Son Relationships, Psychiatric Facilities, Realistic Fiction, Sudden Absence of Parent, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction, Women's Health

Cover Reveal | #CoorahCreek my beloved Outback series by Janet Gover, has a lovely NEW BOOK! This is the third in the series set in a small towne you’d love to call home!

Posted Thursday, 30 June, 2016 by jorielov , , , 4 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!

On my new position as a ChocLit Star member: Whilst I am part of the ChocLit Reviewers having brought reviews & guest author features to Jorie Loves A Story for the past two years, I have recently become a part of the Cover Reveal Team, as disclosed when I hosted the first Reveal on behalf of Sheryl Browne’s ‘Learning to Love’. This new team works with ChocLit providing honest feedback on ‘projects’ such as title & book cover design choices as well projects in development on behalf of the publisher. I accepted being a ChocLit Star as I felt my love of the stories would be a good fit to give in-depth responses to the projects pitched to the Stars. Therefore, when I blogged about the cover for “Revenge is Sweet” it was the first reveal where my input as a ChocLit Star helped the reveal become possible!

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Celebrating the Coorah Creek series by Janet Gover

This is one of those lovely series which simply sweeps you into it’s heart and never quite let’s you go once  you’ve become entrenched into the lives of the residents of Coorah Creek! This charmingly small Outback towne is on the outskirts of everything but holds within it’s folds the beauty of community & the togetherness of family which extends itself into your life through close-knit friendships with people who genuinely care about your well-being. It’s the kind of place where you can take your baggage from life and find a caring place to heal whilst you transition forward into a new chapter where everything becomes possible again, simply because you’ve changed your setting & taken a chance on a towne that has more going for it than meets the eye.

My love of Coorah Creek has been widely blogged & tweeted about since I first laid eyes on ‘Flight to Coorah Creek’ (see Review) two years ago – as it gave me such a sweet hankering for a Contemporary Western Romance within the setting of this amazing place in a country I’ve been charmed by since I was a young girl! I grew up with Westerns – in both films and stories, fully in love with the companionship & workmanship surrounding horses, whilst enjoying the reprieve from reality getting caught inside the lives of those who either fought to carve out a new life on the wilds of the Frontier or tried to homestead their way into a new chapter of their ancestral saga.

Coorah Creek marked the first foray I had into Australian Outback fiction – granting me a new appreciation for Australian Literature, and a heart-warming story that treated me to such wonderfully crafted characters by an author who dearly knows how to capture everything you hope to find inside of a Contemporary story whilst anchouring you to the natural beauty surrounding her setting. It’s such a deeply enriched balance – it makes returning to Coorah Creek so wicked sweet for me, as the only story in the series I have thus far gone without reading or listening too is ‘Christmas at Coorah Creek’ which is not yet in audio or print.

I do elude to how Ms Gover treats us diehard series readers to inside information about this novella as she firms together the missing bits inside the second installment ‘The Wild One’. Thus, I consider this new title the third book in the series, but the fourth story of the overall saga. I dearly hope to have a good listen to the novella one day (*fingers crossed* it goes to Audiobook!) whilst re-reading the series start to finish; not that I am ever quite prepared for ‘the final chapter’ of Coorah Creek; I am sure at some point, there will come the time where the last chapter is revealled. It’s just hard to find characters such as these and a setting you feel so dearly attached too – this is one reason I have a penchant for serial fiction; you don’t have to retreat & leave everyone so quickly as you do in one-offs!

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Posted Thursday, 30 June, 2016 by jorielov in Australian Literature, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight & Announcement, ChocLitUK, Indie Author, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Western Fiction, Western Romance

Book Review | “The Wild One” (#CoorahCreek No.2) by Janet Gover #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 23 April, 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. I received a complimentary copy of “The Wild One” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I fell in love with Coorah Creek:

To fully capture my initial excitement about learning this series was going to continue, you can click to view the first tweet I shared! I have a soft spot for Westerns – stemming out of my love for horse-back riding but also, because I fell in love with the country having spent equal portions of my life between city and rural environs. Being close to the natural world and being cognisantly aware of wildlife and the natural habitats which play such an important role in our cyclic health on Earth has left an impression on my heart, mind and imagination.

I started reading Westerns as a young girl – curled up inside Cowboy fiction and the Americana of the Western Frontier is one way I spent a happy afternoon engrossed inside the pages of novels whose spirit of the West and of a particular kind of lifestyle championed a spark of joy inside me. This is why to this day, I love seeking out Westerns – either straight-up traditional historicals or the Contemporaries who are breaking new frontiers as they bring us a new endearing locale to frame our minds around a setting which can resonate as readily as the historical past!

This is one reason you’ll find more of these stories emerging on my blog as time moves forward, because I have two favourite authors (Liz Harris and Janet Gover) who write the novels I am seeking from ChocLit but also, because I have stories on my TBR List (of whom I need to add to my Leafmarks!) which are my ‘itching to read next’ choices! If you’ve caught sight of my reviews on behalf of the novels of Carolyn Steele (Willow Springs and Soda Springs) you will recognise instantly what I love about modern day Western authors! Even MK McClintock has a heap of lovelies I want to explore whilst finishing my stay inside her Alaina Claiborne! (see this conversation I had with her last year) Even Carla Kelly endeared me to her style as soon as I stepped through the pages of Softly Falling! It is an incredible time to be a reader of Western fiction!

When it comes to Coorah Creek, I was happily surprised by what I found inside the novel, so much so, I ached for a sequel long before I ever realised one was being breathed into life! Here is a sampling of my review on behalf of the first story which I did not want to end:

Creating a realistic impression of the Australian Outback is Janet Gover’s gift:

I honestly could not stop reading Flight to Coorah Creek, and in doing so, left myself at a bit of a loss as to how to properly leave behind my esteem and love of the story! I simply did not want to leave my comfy chair and make my way to my keyboard! I absorbed myself so fully into this story, as I had ached to get into the heart of it for most of Spring & Summer, that by the time I found the pages flying past my fingers, there simply was not one second to spare! I was thankful to soak into a light medical drama which did not affect me as medical dramas generally do these days (ooh, how I miss reading them!), as I was quite fascinated with Gover’s ability to take research & first hand experience (as she had disclosed in a #ChocLitSaturdays : chat on Twitterthat she had experienced an air ambulance service) and turnt it into such a believable and commendable tale of second chances, new beginnings, and atonement!

The subtle way she included what I would generally think of as a ‘third’ character: the Australian Outback itself was an alarming treat for your senses! And, how interesting that most of what was spoken about are part of the natural beauty I appreciate myself, even if the frying in the laser sharp heat of the sun might not be as keen, it was how she turnt the natural world into a visual backdrop I appreciated the most. The Outback was also quite the character, as the winds would shift and reveal a few things about where all of these lovely characters had settled into a sense of home and stability of calm. I honestly cannot wait to read another novel where she takes me on another epic journey of an adventure!

I have seen many a motion picture which involves drama on a plane, but I must say, Gover had me on the very edge of my seat and I nearly forgot to breathe whilst reading the passages where the flying was anything but routine!

as quoted from my review of Flight to Coorah Creek, the first book in the series

Sadly, there is anchour to this story, a novella which is currently only available in ebook format (Christmas at Coorah Creek) rather than being released into print or audiobook. It’s my mission to gather the audiobooks by ChocLit for the novellas and/or any novel that doesn’t make it to print but goes into audio release! I would love to say one day I have a lovely bookcase full of ChocLit paperbacks and audiobooks on CD! Until then, I gather in my mind which ones I wish to collect and hope for the best!

For those of you whose thirst for this series is intrigued to seek out the stories, let me share the synopsis for the novella! Remember this follows the time-line straight after Flight to Coorah Creek!

What if you don’t want to be home for Christmas?

Spending Christmas away from home is one thing but English nurse Katie Brooks is spending hers in Coorah Creek; a small town in the Australian outback.

Katie was certain leaving London was the right decision, but her new job in the outback is more challenging than she could have ever imagined.

Scott Collins rescued Katie on her first day in Coorah Creek and has been a source of comfort ever since. But Scott no longer calls the town home – it’s too full of bad memories and he doesn’t plan on sticking around for long.

Scott needs to leave. Katie needs to stay. They have until Christmas to decide their future …

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

Book Review | “The Wild One” (#CoorahCreek No.2) by Janet Gover #ChocLitSaturdaysThe Wild One
Subtitle: A Coorah Creek Novel
by Janet Gover
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

Can four wounded souls find love?

Iraq war veteran Dan Mitchell once disobeyed an order – and it nearly destroyed him. Now a national park ranger in the Australian outback, he’s faced with another order he is unwilling to obey …

Photographer Rachel Quinn seeks out beauty in unlikely places. Her work comforted Dan in his darkest days. But Quinn knows darkness too – and Dan soon realises she needs his help as much as he needs hers.

Carrie Bryant was a talented jockey until a racing accident broke her nerve. Now Dan and Quinn need her expertise, but can she face her fear? And could horse breeder Justin Fraser, a man fighting to save his own heritage, be the one to help put that fear to rest?

Sometimes, the wounds you can’t see are the hardest to heal…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781781892664

Also by this author: Flight to Coorah Creek, The Wild One Cover Reveal, Little Girl Lost Cover Reveal

Series: Coorah Creek


Also in this series: Flight to Coorah Creek


Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction, Western Fiction


Published by ChocLitUK

on 2nd April, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 278

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook, Large Print & E-Book

Coorah Creek series:

Flight to Coorah Creek | No.1 (review)

Christmas at Coorah Creek | Novella

The Wild One | No.2

(read my Cover Reveal celebration for The Wild One)

Converse via: #CoorahCreek or #TheWildOne and #ChocLit

About Janet Gover

Janet Gover

Janet lives in Surrey with her English husband but grew up in the Australian outback surrounded by books. She solved mysteries with Sherlock Holmes, explored jungles with Edgar Rice Burroughs and shot to the stars with Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. After studying journalism at Queensland University she became a television journalist, first in Australia, then in Asia and Europe. During her career Janet saw and did a lot of unusual things. She met one Pope, at least three Prime Ministers, a few movie stars and a dolphin. Janet now works in television production and travels extensively with her job.

Janet’s first short story, The Last Dragon, was published in 2002. Since then she has published numerous short stories, one of which won the Elizabeth Goudge Award from the Romantic Novelists’ Association. She has previously published three novels with Little Black Dress, Flight to Coorah Creek is her debut with Choc Lit and Bring Me Sunshine her first Choc Lit Lite ebook novella.

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Posted Saturday, 23 April, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Australia, Australian Literature, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Indie Author, Life Shift, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Modern British Literature, Modern Day, Passionate Researcher, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne Fiction, TV Serials & Motion Pictures, Vulgarity in Literature, Western Fiction, Western Romance, Women's Fiction, Women's Health, Writing Style & Voice