Category: Author Interview

Author Interview | Diving behind the story of “Lady August” by Becky Michaels and her writerly styling for #HistRom!

Posted Monday, 7 June, 2021 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts and fellow book bloggers from the #LadyAugust tour!

I had a lot of lovely plans for last week on Jorie Loves A Story – I was going to run a finale week for my beloved #WyrdAndWonder event I happily co-host with Imyril and Lisa every May and October. I was also planning to run this interview with Ms Michaels on Friday, which was the last day of the blog tour for Lady August. Sometimes best laid plans go a bit awry as they had for me this past week. Between the seriously serious thunderstorms, the wreck of a work week and a bit of illness thrown into it – I decided to throw the towel in on it all late Sunday night whilst stuck in my car due to another fierce storm for two hours after my shift.

Whilst there is a lot of finale celebrations happening today via #booktwt, I had already sorted out I could feature this interview today. Apparently, time is now in my favour and I can bring this conversation to you at long last! I wanted to dive into the topics and subjects being explored in the context of the novel as well as give Ms Michaels a chance to talk about her writerly style and process of creating her stories.

For those who haven’t read the novel, this is a different kind of Regency Romance as it delves more into topics which will relate to women which is why for me it felt a bit more like a Historical Women’s Fiction novel than a traditional Regency Romance. I also felt this was a work of Feminist Historical Fiction with a 21st Century sensibility attached to it as well. As although I do agree Jane Austen was a Feminist, she showed her feminism in a different way than how the romance and relationships were presented in Lady August. And, of course, none of the traditional Regencies bespoke of relationships in such an open manner of approach – as things like that might have been held in more private conversations or at least, that is what it has felt like since I’ve been reading Regencies and other #HistRoms throughout my life.

Lady August broaches a conversation I felt today’s reader would enjoy seeing explored especially since a lot of our Women’s Rights are always on the fringes of being expelled. It has been an incredible several years on that front and the battle continues to see where our rights will remain and which of our rights as women will be unceremoniously removed. It is a good novel to open a discussion with your friends and all the women in your life.

And, without further adieu – enjoy where the conversation I had with Ms Michaels took us!

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Author Interview | Diving behind the story of “Lady August” by Becky Michaels and her writerly styling for #HistRom!Lady August
by Becky Michaels
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

August Summer thinks she is a nobody until a London solicitor barges into her employer’s drawing room, revealing not only is she the daughter of an earl but a wealthy heiress as well. Optimistic about a new life, she travels to her ancestral home of Linfield Hall, only for her brother to banish her to London to live with her aunt, a dowager duchess with a reputation.

When Lord Bolton asks him to fetch his illegitimate daughter, solicitor Samuel Brooks does not expect himself to become so invested in the young woman’s debut after wanting nothing to do with dinners and balls before. But as August navigates her way through this new world of the British aristocracy, Brooks is the one who is most dazzled by her unexpected charms.

Since society demands every young girl must marry, August decides she will accept nothing less than someone’s heart in exchange for possession of her newfound fortune. Forced to reexamine his negative views of love and marriage or lose August forever, Brooks soon realizes his heart is the only thing in danger of becoming possessed.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1735140131

Also by this author: Lady August

Published by Mildred Press

on 30th March, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

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On the Historical & Romantic styling of Becky Michaels:

You easily fall into step with Ms Michaels reading this lovely story because of the charm and the delivery of the novel itself. She has captured the Regency well, with descriptive narrative and dialogue which alights through the pages as if we were timewinders ourselves and could easily remove ourselves back into the Regency to experience these scenes firsthand. I love whenever I find a writer who can write a Regency like this one, as it allows your mind to suspend itself into a timescape you enjoy reading! It has all the essences of the Regency, too, from the mindset of the men to the priorities of the women  – Michaels happily carts you backwards into a time where there wasn’t as much equality between men and women as much as the fact young children oft found themselves betwixt and between their parents rows! (ie. arguments)

Michaels is exploring topics and subjects not generally inclusive of a Regency Romance – such as a woman’s right to explore her sexuality even at a young age such as Lady August – there were a few content warnings attached to this novel post-receival but so far, I haven’t had any issues in the pages I’ve read this far along. It is a wonderfully Feminist driven storyline as well – as Michaels have all her female characters in the story feel more well-rounded in their abilities to choose their own paths and speak their own minds; which wasn’t always the case in the Regency.

Even when she shifts back to the male perspective in the novel, she is writing with a realism that is oft found in more contemporary novels than historical; though there have been quite a few I’ve read in the Historical market too, which re-explores sentiment and opinion on these subjects as well. It was a bit refreshing to find this kind of voice in a Historical Regency – wherein its not your traditional Regency by the constructs you’re familiar with finding inside one – but rather a more contemporary Regency by way of how this novel re-explores a look into a time period in History with the sensibility and perspective of a 21st Century writer who is tapping into previously unspoken moments in people’s lives which has merit of being explored.

-quoted from my #25PagePreview of Lady August

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Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov as well as #HistRom
+ #LadyAugust and #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Becky Michaels

Becky Michaels

Becky Michaels is a historical romance author and self-proclaimed Anglophile. After graduating from Boston University with a degree in English, she reluctantly decided to get a day job but never stopped writing—or dreaming. THE LAND STEWARD’S DAUGHTER, a Regency romance set in 1815 England, is her debut novel. Despite the cold winters and high rent, she still lives in the Boston area with her boyfriend and cat.

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Posted Monday, 7 June, 2021 by jorielov in #HistoricalMondays, 19th Century, Author Interview, Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, the Regency era

Conversations with the Bookish | conversing with Heather Rose Jones about her series Alpennia whilst featuring her newest release “Floodtide” during #FFFeb!

Posted Saturday, 29 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I admit – this interview was meant to be shared on Jorie Loves A Story quite a long while ago – between my illnesses in December & February, and the hard start I had to [2020] in January – I have somehow managed to delay the showcase I was thankful to have put together for #Floodtide on behalf of a series I was blessed to have discovered via the twitterverse in [2019]. I cannot apologise enough to the author, Heather Rose Jones for consistently being unable to run this feature and for pushing my spotlight & interview on her series further afield from the time-frame she intended her promotions to run in the book blogosphere.

What first drew my eye towards this series was the author found me on Twitter! From there, I started to do some digging on her website, rooted round and found out more about her Alpennia series and decided it was something I’d readily enjoy reading. Therefore, in October of 2019 I started to put this together – however, that was also right in the middle of my Autumnal health afflictions (as I had issues with my migraines in September & November; whilst I took ill during the months of October & December) and sadly, that is at the heart of why this featured interview and series showcase was getting rescheduled quite consistently!

I have been a ready fan of Historical Fantasy series for quite a long while now – however, most recently I am quite sure my readers might remember my listenings to Richard Storry’s series the Ruritanian Rogues series – a series I am still listening to now, as I had to take a few breaks from my listenings of the series which included an issue with my ears during my last cold virus this February. The reason I broach this series is because the world within Alpennia is also described as being “Ruritanian” which I felt was quite kismet; having previously becoming intrigued by Storry’s version of this kind of world-building.

More curious is the fact Ms Jones recently featured Edale Lane on her blog wherein Ms Lane discusses her world-building through her research for the #NightFlyerTrilogy; which similar to the world of Alpennia is also feminist driven Historical Fantasy! This was an interesting coincidence as I recently reviewed the first novel in the series “Merchants of Milan” and hosted a special vlog interview with Ms Lane! It truly never surprises me about how bookish connections online have the tendency of keeping me ruminatively surprised by how close the book world truly is and how interconnected we all are with each other! The other connection of course, is how Ms Lane & Ms Jones have both writ series which are rooted in f/f character arcs and befit the reading concentration this February for those sharing their sapphic reads this #FFFEbruary | #FFFeb.

I have always been keen on reading Feminist driven Literature – even though I have read and sought out more of this niche of stories as a book blogger, there was an interest to find more of them prior to becoming a book blogger. As I decided to redirect the focus of @SatBookChat to be more inclusive of Feminist Lit this year whilst honouring our past focusing on Romance & Women’s Fiction – this particular series is a great compass point of the kinds of Speculative Fiction and series I am seeking as I move forward as a book blogger and as a chat hostess. I love finding uniquely spun stories which have a world unlike others and which have a unique presence of self within their own world-building.

As I was reading about Alpennia as a whole it isn’t any easy world to pin down as the series itself is quite all-encompassing. I normally would seek out to read the first books in a series but the more I learnt of this series through this conversation with Ms Jones, the more I felt comfortable that perhaps “Floodtide” would be a good fit for me as a reader to embrace the larger world in which this story is set. I am going to be requesting this book as a purchase request at my local library and I am hopeful it might get accepted and arrive in time for Wyrd and Wonder this May, 2020 – the Fantasy event I co-host every year with Imyril and Lisa (@WyrdAndWonder).

For now, the honour is mine to share an up close and personal view into Alpennia as we tuck closer to what inspires the series and how Ms Jones has crafted it. I am grateful our paths crossed in the twitterverse as this is one of my favourite routes of connecting to authors and of being able to discover new Indie Authors and voices within Speculative Fiction and the other genres I regularly seek out to read!

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Without further adieu :

brew your favourite cuppa & enjoy the convo!

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Conversations with the Bookish | conversing with Heather Rose Jones about her series Alpennia whilst featuring her newest release “Floodtide” during #FFFeb!Floodtide
by Heather Rose Jones
Source: Direct from Publisher

The streets are a perilous place for a young laundry maid dismissed without a character for indecent acts. Roz knew the end of the path for a country girl alone in the city of Rotenek. A desperate escape in the night brings her to the doorstep of Dominique the dressmaker and the hope of a second chance beyond what she could have imagined. Roz’s apprenticeship with the needle, under the patronage of the royal thaumaturgist, wasn’t supposed to include learning magic, but Celeste, the dressmaker’s daughter, draws Roz into the mysterious world of the charm-wives. When floodwaters and fever sweep through the lower city, Celeste’s magical charms could bring hope and healing to the forgotten poor of Rotenek, but only if Roz can claim the help of some unlikely allies.

Set in the magical early 19th century world of Alpennia, Floodtide tells an independent tale that interweaves with the adventures. A stand-alone book in the Alpennia series (Alpennia #4)

Genres: Historical-Fantasy, LGBTQIA Fiction



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781642470468

Published by Bella Books

on 15th November, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

“In the first quarter of the 19th century, Alpennia, like the rest of Europe, has seen the rise and fall of the French Empire under Napoleon and is struggling to find their place in the aftermath. The greatest Alpennian asset in that struggle is their strong tradition of thaumaturgy, calling on the Mysteries of the Saints to answer the challenge of more powerful neighbors. At first, Margerit Sovitre has little thought for nations and politics. Her interest in mystical studies is entirely personal. But as the Alpennian stories progress, Margerit and her circle of friends will be drawn ever deeper into intrigues at the highest levels, and they will learn that the ancient rituals that protect Alpennia are only one face of the magical forces at work.”

Published by: Bella Books (@bellabooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #Floodtide, #FFFebruary or #FFFeb

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Posted Saturday, 29 February, 2020 by jorielov in 19th Century, Author Interview, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “Repentance” by Andrew Lam One part medical drama, one part war drama – this is a uniquely told realistic look into how a father and son come to terms of their disconnection.

Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2019 by jorielov , , 4 Comments

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! 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 ARC copy of “Repentance” direct from the publisher Tiny Fox Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I was drawn towards “Repentance”:

As you know, I love reading a heap of Historical Fiction throughout the year – I’ve had to pull back from reading certain kinds of war dramas these past several years, ever since I read Citadel and found myself unable to ‘let go’ of the haunting story of what happened during that period of the war after I concluded my readings of it. It was a firm reminder that we all have limitations in our readerly lives and it also, encouraged me to seek out the writers who are writing human interest stories set during the war generation as much as the stories on the homefront or the after effects of war in the ensuing years following the end of WWII.

I have previously read a Historical drama set round the internment of the Japanese in America during WWII – it opened my eyes to what they went through but also, how I hadn’t learnt nearly enough in school to see a fuller picture of what was going on during the forties and how there are hidden pockets of information kept just out of reach until we find a writer who can bridge the past to the present – re-affirming a lost generation’s truth and instilling us with a memory of the past which bears reckoning to acknowledge in the present. This first story I read was called “How Much Do You Love Me?” by Paul Mark Tag – it is keenly insightful and I loved how he paced the revelations of what is disclosed. You truly feel jettisoned back to a time where Japanese were dealing with the impossible and where the mindset in America was not as it is today..

This is the second novel I’ve found highlighting this hidden history and I was thankful it also lead me to discovering a new #IndiePub at the same time! I am always overjoyed whenever I find a new publisher in the Indie side of publishing as I love championing Independent Press & Publishers who are publishing the stories which might have become overlooked by larger publishers of the same genre(s) of interest.

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Blog Book Tour | “Repentance” by Andrew Lam One part medical drama, one part war drama – this is a uniquely told realistic look into how a father and son come to terms of their disconnection.Repentance
by Andrew Lam
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

France, October 1944. A Japanese American war hero has a secret.

A secret so awful he’d rather die than tell anyone–one so entwined with the brave act that made him a hero that he’s determined never to speak of the war. Ever.

Decades later his son, Daniel Tokunaga, a world-famous cardiac surgeon, is perplexed when the U.S. government comes calling, wanting to know about his father’s service with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during WWII. Something terrible happened while his father was fighting the Germans in France, and the Department of Defense won’t stop its investigation until it’s determined exactly who did what.

Wanting answers of his own, Daniel upends his life to find out what his father did on a small, obscure hilltop half a world away. As his quest for the truth unravels his family’s catastrophic past, the only thing for certain is that nothing–his life, career, and family–can ever be the same again.

Genres: Historical Fiction, War Drama



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781946501127

Also by this author: Repentance Interview (Andrew Lam)

Published by Tiny Fox Press

on 1st May, 2019

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 297

Published By: Tiny Fox Press (@TinyFoxPress)

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

About Andrew Lam

Andrew Lam

Andrew Lam, M.D., is the award-winning author of Repentance, Two Sons of China, and Saving Sight. His writing has appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Born in Philadelphia and raised in central Illinois, he graduated summa cum laude in history from Yale University, where he studied military history and U.S.-East Asian relations. He then attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by specialty training to become a retinal surgeon. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and resides in western Massachusetts with his wife and four children.

His newest book is Repentance, a historical novel and riveting family drama entwined with the history of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a group of Japanese American soldiers who fought valiantly in Europe during WWII while many of their families were incarcerated in camps like Manzanar at home. The 442nd became the most decorated unit in U.S. military history.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 15 May, 2019 by jorielov in 20th Century, Author Interview, Blog Tour Host, Content Note, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, The World Wars, Vulgarity in Literature

Author Interview | Learning about Nellie Bly and the vision Kate Braithwaite had of her life as shared with us through her novel “The Girl Puzzle”

Posted Monday, 6 May, 2019 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts,

When I originally signed on for this blog tour, I had confused it with another tour – I had a lot on my mind at the time and for whichever reason, I had two of the titles confused for each other. When the novel arrived by Post, I was quite surprised and then, a bit worried – could I handle reading the story or would it be a bit much for me? Over the past years I’ve been blogging my readerly life – there are some stories which I have had a bonefide interest in reading but had learnt the harder truth that some stories out there are just not my cuppa tea or they are a bit outside the scope of what I regularly read – to where something inside them has affected me.

When it came to sorting out how to read about Nellie Bly – my first instinct was to think this might be too much for me as when I read “Emmy Nation” I found myself having issues getting through some of the harder points within the story-line as much as I generally have noticed plots surrounding asylums are ones which are a bit much for me to handle as they tend to dig into areas I might not personally feel motivated to explore.

Despite having a bad week with my Spring allergies which led-in to a migraine as I had a side effect to the new allergy medicine I was taking – I did attempt to read “The Girl Puzzle” which is how this interview was inspired to be shared with my readers. I was hoping to get further along than where I had left off for the questions I pitched to the author in this conversation – however, my head has been crushing me and the allergies – unfortunately are quite severe at the moment to where I haven’t had the chance to give this story the attention it deserved. I wasn’t sure if I could finish the story as it were but I had wanted to progress a bit more into the story – as one thing I observed about how it was written is how well in-tune Ms Braithwaite was with Nellie and how she understand the people she surrounded herself with in life. I found Bly to be a complicated woman but one whom understood herself well and kept her circle of acquaintances to those of whom would understand her best. I believed Braithwaite might have actually tapped into a truer voice of whom Bly had been as she had lived her life similar to how Fowler gave us “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald”.

I hope as you read through this interview, you’ll have a better scope of understanding this infamous woman from History but with the sensibility Braithwaite instilled into her story. She truly loves writing Historicals and breathing new life and awareness into the people she is exploring through her own vision of their lives.

Be sure to brew your favourite cuppa, sit in a comfy chair and enjoy where the conversation leads! If your a reader of Historical novels with a penchant for Biographical Historical Fiction (as much as I am) I hope this conversation might encourage you to pick up this novel.

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Author Interview | Learning about Nellie Bly and the vision Kate Braithwaite had of her life as shared with us through her novel “The Girl Puzzle”The Girl Puzzle Interview (Kate Braithwaite)
by Kate Braithwaite

Her published story is well known. But did she tell the whole truth about her ten days in the madhouse?

Down to her last dime and offered the chance of a job of a lifetime at The New York World, twenty-three-year old Elizabeth Cochrane agrees to get herself admitted to Blackwell’s Island Lunatic Asylum and report on conditions from the inside. But what happened to her poor friend, Tilly Mayard? Was there more to her high praise of Dr Frank Ingram than everyone knew?

Thirty years later, Elizabeth, known as Nellie Bly, is no longer a celebrated trailblazer and the toast of Newspaper Row. Instead, she lives in a suite in the Hotel McAlpin, writes a column for The New York Journal and runs an informal adoption agency for the city’s orphans.

Beatrice Alexander is her secretary, fascinated by Miss Bly and her causes and crusades. Asked to type up a manuscript revisiting her employer’s experiences in the asylum in 1887, Beatrice believes she’s been given the key to understanding one of the most innovative and daring figures of the age.

Genres: Historical Fiction, War Drama



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781798936382

Published by Crooked Cat Books

on 5th May, 2019

Published By: Crooked Cat Books (@crookedcatbooks)

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

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How did you approach digging into the truer history and legacy of Nellie Bly after so much has been disclosed on her behalf? How did you find a new voice to bring her life into our purview which would give us a better insight into who she was and what had motivated her personally as well as professionally?

Braithwaite responds: My starting point for getting to know Nellie Bly was with her own writing. I bought and a copy of Ten Days in a Madhouse and read it in one sitting. In some ways it was a let-down – I think I was expecting great drama, but Nellie was a newspaper reporter, tasked with setting out facts. She didn’t dwell on how the experience felt to her at all, but that was the aspect that really intrigued me. After all, she was only 23 years old in 1887. So I kept reading about her.

I read Brooke Kroeger’s excellent biography and Matthew Goodman’s wonderful book about Nellie and Elisabeth Bisland racing around the world. From Kroeger’s biography I was able to source articles from Nellie’s life after her great initial success and that gave me a whole new perspective on her story. Although there is a very public record of her work, she was very private and didn’t keep diaries or write volumes of deeply personal letters. For a novelist, that can be mean opportunity. It’s often the gaps in the record where you explore the most. That said, I kept rigidly to her biography, while trying to convey my idea of who she must have been as a person. Read More

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Posted Monday, 6 May, 2019 by jorielov in Author Interview, Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours