Category: Blog Tour Host & Reviewer

Book Spotlight with Notes | “The Emperor’s Assassin” by Autumn Bardot

Posted Friday, 15 November, 2019 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Book Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva

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! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring.

It has been a wicked fantastical journey into the heart of the historic past, wherein I’ve been blessed truly by discovering new timescapes, new living realities of the persons who once lived (ie. Biographical Historical Fiction) inasmuch as itched my healthy appetite for Cosy Historical Mysteries! If there is a #HistRom out there it is generally a beloved favourite and I love soaking into a wicked wonderful work of Historical Fiction where you feel the beauty of the historic world, the depth of the characters and the joyfulness in which the historical novelists brought everything to light in such a lovingly diverse palette of portraiture of the eras we become time travellers through their stories.

I received a complimentary of “The Emperor’s Assassin” direct from the author Autumn Bardot 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 “The Emperor’s Assassin”:

I have had a keen curiosity about the Roman Empire for quite a long while and have longed to dig further into reading more about Ancient Civilisations. I’ve had a few hits / misses along the way – one novel in particular I had trouble adjusting to which I hope to get the chance to finally settle inside in the New Year (don’t worry, you’ll know which one once it comes along!) – however, when I heard the premise behind this lovely, the girl who grew up watching forensic science, detective series & all manners of police procedural or mysteries of suspense on television was giddy happy!

Mostly as who even *knew!* there was an original serial killer (supposedly) from the Roman Empire who set a new standard for all to follow suit when it came to seeking a way to cause death by poison? The curiosity I have for Forensic Science and the methodologies of deduction from forensic practices and by modern day medical examiners is what led me into seeking this out from a readerly perspective! I’ve quite literally watched Quincy, ME, Crossing Jordan, Rizzoli & Isles; & NCIS (Duckie & Abby) for the forensic teams!

A part of me was also hopeful this might prove a changing of the guard – of being able to read epic stories of more ancient times whereas previously I struggled to connect inside them as readily as I could say the 18th or 19th Centuries. I have been wanting to reach further into the past more frequently and hoped this might be one of the lovelies that points me more in that direction rather than relying on my regular haunts whenever I go to seek out a new Historical to read!

Likewise, you’ll be finding me focusing on the Tudors over the weekend which is also a keenly curious time slot in History but one in which I have been trepiderious about examining as I don’t find the Tudors to be as approachable as the Victorians, Edwardian’s or even the Regency! Truth to tell, I find Revolutionary France more keen to approach than the Tudor Court! Laughs.

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Book Spotlight with Notes | “The Emperor’s Assassin” by Autumn BardotThe Emperor's Assassin
by Autumn Bardot
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

History paints her as the first female serial killer…

Locusta is the daughter of a winemaker in the Roman province of Gaul. She enjoys the indulged childhood of the elite, her concerns only about the day’s amusements. She rides gentle ponies, attends parties, reads Ovid, and learns the herbal arts from her servant. But the day after meeting her betrothed, Locusta discovers the consequences of possessing such dangerous knowledge.

Ordered to leave her pastoral life, Locusta is thrust into a world of intrigue, scandal, and murder—where treason lurks behind every corner and defying an emperor means death. Locusta’s life changes forever when a young Emperor Nero requires her herbal expertise. And commands her to be his personal poisoner. Caught in an imperial web, Locusta must embrace her profession or die.

Or is there another way out?

History paints her as the first female serial killer. Or is she yet another maligned woman in history?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780988209299

Genres: Ancient Civilisation, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Flores Publishing

on 14th September, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 437

Published by: Flores Publishing

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction, #HistFic or #HistNov
+ #RomanHistory and  #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Autumn Bardot

Autumn Bardot

Autumn Bardot writes historical fiction and historical erotica. Her debut historical fiction is THE IMPALER’S WIFE. Her debut historical erotica is LEGENDS OF LUST.

Autumn, a pen name, has worked as an educator for more than sixteen years. She teaches literature, writing, and the magic of words. She has a passion for history and a special affinity for the unsung courageous females that history has neglected. Or misunderstood. Autumn lives in Southern California with her husband and every-growing family. She wishes she was one-tenth as brave as the women she writes about.

Historical Fiction:
(*) The Impaler’s Wife
(*) Dragon Lady
(*) The Emperor’s Assassin ( published Oct 1, 2019 )

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Posted Friday, 15 November, 2019 by jorielov in 1st Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Classical Era, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, History

A #SciFiMonth Book Review | “The Why-entist and the Wild Weather” by Jane Lowry A STEM #MGLit story to encourage scientific curiosity!

Posted Thursday, 14 November, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

SFN Book Review Badge created by Jorie in Canva

Acquired Book By:

I am a new hostess with Aunt Addie’s Book Tours wherein I have the chance to feature and review Children’s Lit – specifically focusing on Middle Grade and/or Young Adult as well as Picture Books for younger readers. I was attracted to this blog touring company due to how they are passionately proactive in highlighting the latest in Children’s Literature whilst giving me a hearty selection of authors and publishers I can potentially host for whilst on one of the blog tours. This was a tour I had meant to read and review the book – except to say, the book was delayed reaching me and as I had posted a Spotlight with Notes about why was curiously keen on reading it whilst on the tour, I requested to hold off posting my review until November to run during #SciFiMonth.

I received a complimentary of “The Why-entist and the Wild Weather” direct from the author Jane Lowry via Aunt Addie’s Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I am consistently looking for STEM stories in MGLit & YALit:

I grew up enjoying the benefits of having a local Science Center – where I could study a variety of Sciences and have hands-on learning experiences. One of the saddest days of my adult life was finding out my old Science Center changed from being open & accessible to all learners to being a test-in center where you literally had to ‘prove’ you belonged and deserved to attend those classes, labs and workshops. It also became an accredited center where those classes were not just strictly taken for personal enrichment & the curiosity of the Sciences themselves but rather as another box to tick off as completed towards a final transcript for the students portfolio.

I found that to be quite off-putting as an adult who has a curiously healthy appetite for seeking new frontiers to explore in all STEAM & STEM disciplines – the reason that saddens my heart is because of the children that will automatically exclude who do not test well or who cannot take a test to prove their deserving of taking those classes simply due to an innate curiosity about their topics, subjects & lessons which the teachers will help them explore. I firmly believe the Sciences should remain open to ALL learners – especially for children without having to have this stacked requirement just to get into the door. That benefits no one and it makes learning as a child as structured as school – I for one, did not thrive in structured learning environments & as a dyslexic learner I fell behind a lot of those cracks in the organisation of traditional learning. The Science Center of my youth is where I spent thirteen years exploring the Sciences and developing a curiously scientific mind as an adult.

This is why as a book blogger – I was naturally attracted to reading Science & Mathematics topics in Non-Fiction inasmuch as I wanted to seek out pro-positive Science narratives for young readers within the realms of Middle Grade & Young Adult – whilst recognising there are a heap of talented illustrators and Picture Book authors who are also contributing a positive ray of light on encouraging children to cosy into Science and their own wings to fly within the subjects & fields which personally interest them to explore.

When I saw this story was going to be featured on a blog tour – I quite literally jumped at the chance to focus on it because who wouldn’t want to question the weather & the practices of others who are helping to do more harm than good in our physical environments? Be sure to earmark this on your #mustread list and/or if you find it an inspiring premise – maybe tuck in a copy for your young reader for Christmas?

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A #SciFiMonth Book Review | “The Why-entist and the Wild Weather” by Jane Lowry A STEM #MGLit story to encourage scientific curiosity!The Why-entist and the Wild Weather
by Jane Lowry
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Sukarno Achmad
Source: Publicist with Aunt Addie's Book Tours

The Why-entist is a girl who asks a lot of questions!

After her uncle cuts down a forest and causes a lot more carbon dioxide to get into the air, the weather gets wild with big winds and storms. The Why-entist asks librarians, an environmentalist, her family and a scientist about the change. They explain green house gas and how global warming works. She and her friends and everyone in town, except her uncle, decide to clean up the air by planting trees and using clean energy like solar and wind power. Can she and her friends help her Uncle change his mind?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1733837507

Also by this author: The Why-entist and the Wild Weather

Genres: Children's Literature, Climatology, Illustrated Stories, Meteorology, Middle Grade, Science, Science Fiction


Published by Quoi Happens Publishing

on 10th October, 2019

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 44

Published By: Quoi Happens Publishing

Illustrated by: Sukarno Achmad

this begins the ask-a-lot kids series!

Available Formats: Hardcover

Converse via: #MGLit #CliFi + #STEM and #SciFiMonth

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About Jane Lowry

Jane Lowry

Since the first time Jane Lowry saw a headlamp shine while pedaling her bike, she has been in love with renewable energy and what it can do.
As a former teacher, Jane knows the importance of motivating children to learn more STEM/STEAM material. She believes that it’s never too early to gently introduce young minds to real world vocabulary and ideas in a friendly story.

Her love of teaching and energy has taken her as far away as Japan. She’s active in the United Way’s “Read With Me” program.
Today, Jane works with engineers and scientists who research renewable energy technology from solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, to biomass.

Born in Canada, she now resides in Colorado with her Navy veteran husband, two growing up fast teens, Jasmine the rescue dog, and Pickles and August, her cats. Her love of writing, discovering what clean energy can do, coupled with cooking, travel and what’s new in the delicious world of chocolate keep her busy.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 14 November, 2019 by jorielov in Aunt Addie's Book Tours, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Debut Author, Debut Novel, Indie Author, Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction

Blog Book Tour during #HoHoHoRAT | “The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby” (Book Three: The Sweetheart Ranch) by Cathy McDavid a Contemporary Romance series by #Harlequin Heartwarming

Posted Wednesday, 13 November, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I’ve been hosting for Prism Book Tours since September of 2017 – having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. As I enquired about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors when I’m not showcasing book reviews on behalf of Harlequin Heartwarming which has become my second favourite imprint of Harlequin next to my beloved #LoveINSPIRED Suspense. I am also keenly happy PRISM hosts a variety of Indie Authors and INSPY Fiction novelists.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby” direct from the author Cathy McDavid in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What I loved most about the first novel of the Sweetheart Ranch series:

Of all the places I’ve stayed as I’ve travelled the best places by far are Bed and Breakfast Inns!! They have a cosy comfort level to them, most are in historic homes and all of them have their quirky hosts and hostesses who are welcoming you into their home for the duration of your stay! Unless, like what Molly and her Grandma Em were trying to accomplish – the B&B was also inclusive of cabins, which is rather ideal as it enlarges your booking possibilities!

McDavid doesn’t hesitate to talk about the worries and grief associated with historic properties either – from how issues can arise out of the blue with utilities to how doors can become warped or knobs can be frustrating to open; she presents a realistic impression on historic buildings and their upkeep which is a refreshing find as it anchours her story firmly in reality.

I did have a good chuckle over how strained Molly felt realising her and Bridget were going to have open the Sweetheart Ranch on their own! She was just getting to the point where she believed in this idea her grandmother had of focusing on hosting weddings in a unique setting which could draw clients to their B&B when she encounters a shocking surprise the day of the ‘big reveal’!! Watching her interact with Owen, the father of three who is still trying to sort out his life one hour at a time, gave me a heartfelt smile, as even Molly was having trouble staying upset with Owen – as he was an unexpected arrival. Owen for his part was trying to smooth things over with Molly, even encouraging her to let him help due the tasks which were either inclusive of heavy lifting or tasks she could easily delegate to him.

I was overjoyed finding out what McDavid had in store for Owen!! I sensed it was going to head in that direction (in regards to his career) but watching it unfold was priceless! I also liked how she brought back Grandma Em right at a moment where the girls (Bridget and Molly) needed her to return. This is a novel centered round family and how sometimes, in order to find the tomorrow your wanting most in your life – you have to be willing to take risks. Without risking your heart, you lose the chance to find someone who is your rightful match and without being willing to go outside your comfort zones – sometimes you miss opportunities for self-growth.

What I noticed straightaway is how McDavid places us into the heart of the drama as it is unfolding – the curious bit there is you get to see her characters off-guard and out of confidence from who they are when things are going right. It leads to seeing their faults a bit earlier on in the story-line but also, to see their hearts and what makes them individualistically centred. For Molly and Bridget might have different personalities, there is no denying their sisters. Each of them helps compliment the other by what they are able to do in the pinch of a moment where life throws them a few curve balls! For this, I appreciated the choices McDavid was making on their behalf – as she was guiding us into where their lives shifted into the chaotic before giving us a path back to the serenity they once had known.

I look forward to seeing what develops through the series – being a quartet, I can imagine the POV is going to switch back and forth from characters we’ve become introduced too already in this first installment and newer characters we might meet in future ones. The best part of how this series was founded though is that McDavid kept family center-most of importance but also, how sometimes you have to encourage yourself to see life from different angles. Similar to how Bridget kept trying to encourage her sister Molly. It is one thing to see life from one perspective all the time but if you give yourself a chance to exchange one view for another, the surprises it affords could make the biggest differences.

-quoted from my review of A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal

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Blog Book Tour during #HoHoHoRAT | “The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby” (Book Three: The Sweetheart Ranch) by Cathy McDavid a Contemporary Romance series by #Harlequin HeartwarmingThe Cowboy's Christmas Baby
Subtitle: The Sweetheart Ranch
by Cathy McDavid
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

She gifted him with a daughter

He stunned her with the truth

When Tanner Bridwell discovers he’s a father, he gains some much needed hope. A year ago, Tanner lost his livelihood as a champion bull rider, and—more important—Jewel Saunders, the love of his life. Now this cowboy wants to do right by his family. But first he must reveal a stunning secret that will send Jewel and his beloved daughter either packing…or into his arms forever!

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335510891

Also by this author: A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal, The Cowboy's Perfect Match

Also in this series: A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal, The Cowboy's Perfect Match


Genres: Contemporary Romance, Heartland Fiction, Ranches & Cowboys, Western Fiction, Western Romance


Published by Harlequin Books, Harlequin Heartwarming

on 1st November, 2019

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming,
an imprint of Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

The Sweetheart Ranch series:

A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal by Cathy McDavidThe Cowboy's Perfect Match by Cathy McDavidThe Cowboy's Christmas Baby by Cathy McDavid

A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal (book one) | see also review

The Cowboy’s Perfect Match (book two) | see also review

The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby (book three)

This series is evolving into a proper quartet – there are four books planned!

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin Heartwarming

About Cathy McDavid

Cathy McDavid

In the third grade, NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathy McDavid made it her goal to read every Black Stallion book ever written. Who knew such an illustrious ambition would eventually lead to a lifelong love of all things western and a career writing contemporary romances for Harlequin? With over 1.2 million books sold, Cathy is also a member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll.

An “almost” Arizona native, she’s married to her own real-life sweetheart, whom she re-met a few years ago at a high school reunion. Her grown twins are out on their own and finding their happily-ever-afters. In 2014, Cathy retired from the corporate world to write full-time. She now spends her days penning stories about good looking cowboys riding the range, busting a bronc, and sweeping gals off their feet. It a tough job, but she’s willing to make the sacrifice.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 13 November, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Life Shift, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Sweet Romance, Western Fiction, Western Romance