Category: Xpresso Book Tours

A #PubDay Stories in the Spotlight | [the stories on Jorie’s readerly radar] feat. notes and an extract of “Breathing Underwater” by Sarah Allen

Posted Tuesday, 30 March, 2021 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am a HUGE champion of Middle Grade Fiction! I started to re-immerse myself into this wonderful landscape of stories through my local library in [2008] when I realised how many wicked wonderful authors were publishing the kind of stories I would have itched to have been able to read whilst I was a Middle Grade reader in elementary school! These are the stories which are either set in Contemporary or Historical worlds enriched by the breadth of their character’s journeys and leveraged with emotional conviction by their writers.

I had intended to interview this lovely author for the blog tour – however, whilst I started working full-time after a long hiatus this February and was re-adjusting to working after being my Dad’s carer for the past five years since his stroke – it took me away from my blog and left me a bit out of hours to complete some of the interviews I had planned to feature this Spring. Thereby, I was grateful to Xpresso for helping me feature an extract for this lovely release instead today!

Being that is is #MiddleGradeMarch – I had hoped to release some of the reviews I had planned to champion last year (see also Post) whilst talking about the new ones I’ve been finding on #bookTwitter and/or through my local library which has been a wicked wonderful resource for me in discovering the latest #MiddleGrade releases which capture my bookish eye of curiosity! You will be seeing a few of those coming up during #WyrdAndWonder this May – keep your eyes on @WyrdAndWonder via Twitter for announcements and the event’s feeds wherein everyone in the book blogging community who joins us for our 4th Year of celebrating Fantasy will be having features, reviews and other content on their blogs throughout May, 2021.

Be sure to read the extract and my thoughts about the story to see if this perhaps might wink an interest into your own readerly wanderings this year! And, let’s all take a moment to give a shout of joy to our beautiful Middle Grade authors who still enchant us with their stories as adults! As all stories are for all readers!!

Remember – brew your favourite cuppa and enjoy your stay!

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A #PubDay Stories in the Spotlight | [the stories on Jorie’s readerly radar] feat. notes and an extract of “Breathing Underwater” by Sarah AllenBreathing Underwater
by Sarah Allen
Source: Chapter Sampler

Breathing Underwater is a sparkly, moving middle grade novel from Sarah Allen, and a big-hearted exploration of sisterhood, dreams, and what it means to be there for someone you love.

Olivia is on the road trip of her dreams, with her trusty camera and her big sister Ruth by her side. Three years ago, before their family moved from California to Tennessee, Olivia and Ruth buried a time capsule on their favorite beach. Now, they’re taking an RV back across the country to uncover the memories they left behind. But Ruth’s depression has been getting worse, so Olivia has created a plan to help her remember how life used to be: a makeshift scavenger hunt across the country, like pirates hunting for treasure, taking pictures and making memories along the way.

All she wants is to take the picture that makes her sister smile. But what if things can never go back to how they used to be? What if they never find the treasure they’re seeking? Through all the questions, loving her sister, not changing her, is all Olivia can do—and maybe it’s enough.

Genres: Children's Literature, Middle Grade


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0374313258

Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers

on 30th March, 2021

Format: Chapter Sampler | Online

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Converse on Twitter via: #BreathingUnderwater as well as #MGLit and #MiddleGrade

About Sarah Allen

Sarah Allen

Sarah Allen has been published in The Evansville Review, Allegory, and on WritersDigest. She has an MFA from Brigham Young University. Like Libby in her novel What Stars are Made Of, Allen was born with Turner Syndrome.

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Posted Tuesday, 30 March, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Blitz, Book Spotlight, Xpresso Book Tours

Stories in the Spotlight | [the stories on Jorie’s readerly radar] feat. notes and an extract of “Simply You” by Maggie Wild

Posted Saturday, 16 January, 2021 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Welcome to a New Year of discovering stories with me on Jorie Loves A Story! The past few weeks, I admit, I’ve been struggling to get back into the rhythm of reading. After a hard-won Christmas and New Year’s this year as Mum worked over 130+ hours within a fortnight which re-arranged our holidays quite a heap and after a turbulent beginning to our New Year 2021 (ie. collectively, per current events) – I’ve been tucked offline, focusing on my health & wellness this January rather than soaking inside books which is how I thought I’d spend the first weeks of the New Year.

Happily I’m seeing improvement with my health (ie. #migrainefree), increased stamina through actively pursuing hiking in nature and redirecting myself to eat less but eat more purposefully by augmenting healthy protein shakes and a heap of greens into my regular diet. I’ve missed focusing on my health with a dedicated passion which is why Mum and I decided if we could make one change this New Year, it was going to be a decided co-effort to get back to basics and see true change in how we approached the year on a personal level.

Thus, whilst I work on getting my health squared away, I am also in the process of sorting out my shelves – wherein I’m getting some organisational totes to decrease what is visible on my shelves in order to read better this New Year, 2021 as well. The books left on the shelf will reflect my current reads and once those are consumed, the ones in the totes will be up on the shelf until I reach my goals of erasing my backlogue! This is in conjunction with developing a TBR dice game I’ll be revealling at the end of January – stay tuned for those details, especially if you find reading stories off your TBR is always a wrenching hard choice and you’d like to spice things up by removing making the ‘choices’ of what to read from your TBR List.

All the while, I have a keen eye on the horizon for new stories and authors who are itching a thirst of interest to be read. This particular Contemporary Romantic Comedy stood out to me and as lovely as it sounds, I have to await a format I can enjoy reading – as this is strictly a Digital First release at this junction of time. If it goes to print or audio, I hope to update you in future when I’ve had a chance to get a copy to read.

I am reading more Contemporary Romances but I am still a bit under-read in RomComs as they have the tendency of being a harder sell for me as a reader. The reason why this is one might suit me is the premise of it – especially for the series as a whole – the setting, the community concept and the promise of hope in finding relationships which are strongly built between the characters. Plus, who doesn’t like a romance spilt between city and country life? Wherein you have to truly choose the kind of life your heart beckons to be lived vs the life you expected to have? I love those kinds of romantic dramas and the fact this is spun with a comedic touch I felt sounded like a wicked brilliant read!

Be sure to read the extract and my thoughts about the story to see if this perhaps might wink an interest into your own readerly wanderings this year! Especially if you’re able to read ebooks – you won’t have to wait for future formats and can dive straight into it! Remember – brew your favourite cuppa and enjoy your stay!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Stories in the Spotlight | [the stories on Jorie’s readerly radar] feat. notes and an extract of “Simply You” by Maggie WildSimpy You
Subtitle: A Heart Valley Romance | All you need is love... and a bit of luck
by Maggie Wild
Source: Chapter Sampler

She needs someone she can count on.
He’s gun-shy after being hurt.
Can a brush with fate in a rained-out English village turn into enduring love?

Sarah Tildon thinks she’s found the perfect man. But after her overbearing future mother-in-law insists her quiet country wedding become a high-society shindig, she sets out on a two-week ride to rethink her plans. Stranded when her bicycle is stolen in a picturesque hamlet, she’s touched by the kindness of a handsome young farmer who comes to her rescue.

The big city failed Michael Marsden’s ample ambitions. After his fiancée cheats on him, he turns his back on the hustle and bustle and takes on a farm to prove he can lead a self-sufficient life. And taken by surprise when a charming outsider helps sing his hens into laying, he realizes his newfound Eden is missing its Eve.

Unexpectedly falling for the sweet homesteader, Sarah is torn between the security of a gilded cage and the precarious freedom of raising chickens. And when her fiancé arrives to bring her back to London, Michael fears she’ll leave him with yet another shattered heart.

Will this unlikely couple throw caution to the wind and embrace a destined second chance?

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction, Romantic Comedy (Rom Com)


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B08NY3421P

Published by Steel Rose Press

on 12th January, 2021

Format: Chapter Sampler | Online

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About the Hope Valley Romance series:

Simply You is the first book in the heartwarming Hope Valley Romance series. If you like fun heroines, pastoral backdrops, and endearing courtships, then you’ll adore Maggie Wild’s sweet tale.

Read Simply You to start fresh today!

The second novel is Back Home to You ← forthcoming 31 May, 2021!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Converse on Twitter via: #SimplyYou and/or #MaggieWild
as well as #HopeVallyRomance and #ContemporaryRomance

About Maggie Wild

Simply You novel promo badge for Maggie Wild's Hope Valley Romance series provided by Xpresso Book Tours and is used with permission.

Maggie Wild lives in California Wine Country with her own Mr. Right and a small collection of furry friends. A native of Yorkshire, England, she returns “home” every day through her fictional worlds. When not writing her fun, contemporary romance stories, she loves to watch the birds in her garden and hike through the local redwoods.

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Posted Saturday, 16 January, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Blitz, Book Spotlight, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Romance Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Xpresso Book Tours

#Blogmas Book Spotlight | “For This Christmas Only” (Masterson, Texas, Book Three) by Caro Carson

Posted Monday, 7 December, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#blogmas badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am quite sure it won’t be too much of a surprise I like to seek out other imprints by Harlequin Books every so often throughout the year? I have sorted out my top favourites to read regularly are *Harlequin Heartwarming* & *Love Inspired: Suspense* however, this gives quite a bit of wiggle room to seek out their other imprints and find other authors who might be writing stories which are going unnoticed by me throughout the year as they’re writing under imprints I might not regularly have access too and/or have more trouble borrowing through ILL’ing (interlibraryloaning). This is one keen reason I enjoy hosting spotlights like this one today as it gives me a chance to know which authors I might want to seek out next and which stories I might fancy reading within their other imprints.

Harlequin Books has long held a curiosity of interest for me as a reader – as I’ve moved from different imprints to the ones I currently focus on reading the most out of – although, I still mourn the loss of Love Inspired: Historical. I also read a lot of Mira books in the past before settling on Heartwarming. Heartwarming to me held within its scope of writers and stories the kind of stories I was seeking out of Mira but didn’t always feel were executed the way I hoped they might be as a reader who loves relationship based romances. This is why the Romance and Special Edition imprints are on my radar as sometimes, I surprise myself and find a Heartwarming-esque story within their imprints as well.

I’ve only read a handful of stories by this particular imprint and am still sorting out if it is a good fit for me overall or if its just an imprint I’ll read every odd moon but keep with LI: Suspense and Heartwarming full time. I have an extract to share and a few takeaways after I read the extract to share with you as you decide if you want to pick up this title yourself, too.

If you’re a regular reader of Harlequin novels and imprints, which imprints are your top choices and favourites? Which writers and/or their series are making an impression on you as a reader and which do you think might be a wicked good fit for me as well? I’d love to hear your thoughts – especially if you read Heartwarming, Romance or Special Edition imprints by Harlequin on a semi-regular basis as you’d have the best feedback to share.

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#Blogmas Book Spotlight | “For This Christmas Only” (Masterson, Texas, Book Three) by Caro CarsonFor This Christmas
Subtitle: He was successful in business but not in love
by Caro Carson

He was successful in business but not in love in this great romance by USA TODAY bestselling author Caro Carson

His book changed her life…

But he no longer believes his own advice.

After nearly dying in a plane crash, business icon Eli Taylor has become a recluse, until a chance encounter at a small town’s Yule log lighting leads to an evening spent as the fake boyfriend of his superfan Mallory Ames. When she finds herself homeless for the holidays, he invites her to stay with him—if she’ll return the favor and be his fake girlfriend, so he can show his siblings what a loving partnership should look like. Their arrangement will end when the new year begins…or will it?

From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.

Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335894977

Published by Harlequin Special Edition

on 1st December, 2020

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The Masterson, Texas series:

The Bartender’s Secret (book one)

The Slow Burn (book two)

For This Christmas Only (book three)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published by: Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)

Converse on Twitter via: #ChristmasReads and/or #HolidayReads
as well as #ChristmasRomance and #ContemporaryRomance

About Caro Carson

Caro Carson

Despite a no-nonsense background as a West Point graduate and U.S. Army officer, Caro Carson has always treasured the happily-ever-after of a good romance novel. After her military service, she worked in the healthcare industry with a Fortune 100 company, talking science with doctors who were rarely handsome bachelor Texans like the doctors in her books.

Now a USA Today bestselling author and RITA™ award winner, Caro is delighted to be living her own happily-ever-after with her husband (who actually is a handsome Texan) and their two children. They live in the great state of Florida, a location which has saved the coaster-loving theme park fanatics a fortune on plane tickets.

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Posted Monday, 7 December, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Blitz, Book Spotlight, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Xpresso Book Tours

#Blogmas Book Spotlight | “Christmas Actually: Bite-sized Sweet Holiday Romance Reads” (anthology) [edited by] Teri Wilson

Posted Sunday, 6 December, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

#blogmas badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

If you’re a regular visitor of Jorie Loves A Story, you’ll notice I have a hearty affection for reading anthologies! Generally, those happen to be in the Speculative Fiction category of influence but I am known to pick up a Romance anthology every blue moon as well! Especially as it were those varieties which launched me into becoming a Romance reader all those lovely moons ago in childhood! Laughs. This particular anthology stood out to me because I am one of those readers who gets really enthused and excited about reading (or watching) Christmas Romances as soon as Thanksgiving concludes and Twelfth Night hasn’t yet reached us in January.

Christmas Romances are quite addictive because they are set during one of my favourite seasons of the year and I would daresay, my top favourite overall!! There is a fever of excitement and joy about Christmas and the pending New Year’s – where Hope is lit aflame and the unexpected delights of the season are just round the corner from enveloping you on your path. Christmas romances to me always have that little bit of something ‘extra’ to hold your eye and attention inside them. They have a way of developing a giddiness within them to keep your heart set on seeing how the story ends on a happier note than it first began and if something has to be resolved, all the better because what is more beautiful than redemption at Christmas?

Anthologies are a great way for me to sort out which authors I want to be reading and which author has a style of preference I prefer to seek out. This particular anthology is a digital first release (sadly, it seems I’ve picked more digital first releases this year than dual released stories!) which means I won’t be able to partake in reading the stories it contains. Once you read my reaction to the story in the extract on this post, you’ll see how disappointing that kind of news is for a reader like me whose just found an author she dearly wants to keep reading!!

I’d love to hear from you dear hearts – which kinds of anthologies do you love to read the most and have you ever picked up a holiday themed or romantic themed anthology? If so, whose the editor and publisher? Which stories/authors stood out to you and is it a habit of reading anthologies for you like it is for me or is it more of a random find and not one you chase after (like I do myself)!!?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#Blogmas Book Spotlight | “Christmas Actually: Bite-sized Sweet Holiday Romance Reads” (anthology) [edited by] Teri WilsonChristmas Actually
Subtitle: Edited by Teri Wilson

Christmas actually is all around…

Join eleven best-selling and award-winning authors under the mistletoe as they share bite-sized holiday romances celebrating the joy and romcom sweetness of the Christmas season!

Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B08BH7XL6H

Published by Pretty Bliss Press

on 1st December, 2020

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The following are the stories you will find within “Christmas Actually”:

The Christmas Wedding Date by Shirley Jump

When Holly McDaniels gets roped into attending her hometown Christmas ball, she convinces her handsome neighbor, workaholic Nick Corvino, to play the part of husband, giving the bah humbug bachelor a taste of Christmas magic that just might lead to a very real holiday happy-ever-after.

Gingerbread and Jingle Bells by Caro Carson

A big-city businesswoman answers her grandma’s plea for holiday-rush help at the family bakery, only to find herself apologizing to the small town’s handsome veterinarian each time she thwarts her grandma’s matchmaking schemes—until she discovers the mastermind behind all the romantic plans wasn’t her grandma, after all.

A Merry Aussie Christmas by Stefanie London

Their relationship is so fake it comes with costumes… Will spending a whole month as Patterson’s Bluff’s official Mr. and Mrs. Claus give a golden girl and the town outcast a second chance at love?

Mission: Merry Christmas by Nancy Naigle

A physical therapist finds her client bah-humbugging the Christmas spirit out of everyone and decides to focus on getting him back on the nice list.

Christmas In Sweetland by Lacey Baker

A restless hometown girl strikes a deal with the uptight guy next door to win a neighborhood holiday decorating contest—but they’ll both need a little Christmas magic to survive missing cupcakes, broken twinkle lights and falling in love.

The Matchmaking Christmas Spirit by Lindsay Emory

An event planner and a handsome handyman keep getting thrown together by a matchmaking Christmas spirit who won’t stop meddling in matters of the heart.

Christmas Eve at the USO by Tif Marcelo

When former college sweethearts and Army soldiers reunite at the Dallas Airport USO during a Christmas Eve snowstorm, they try to ignore the love they lost—until the Christmas spirit decides to play Cupid, leaving them with no choice but to go after the love wished they still had.

A Midnight Clear by Victoria Schade

A dog sitter booked to spend the Christmas holiday caring for a client’s new puppy is surprised to discover that an approaching snowstorm has trapped her with the handsome man of the house.

Love Letters for Christmas by Sasha Summers

When a soldier decides it’s time to meet his long-time teacher pen pal, his visit to her classroom brings all sort of surprises—and might just give them their greatest Christmas gift ever: love.

A Snow Maiden for Christmas by Sariah Wilson

Christina and Jack were high school sweethearts until he left her behind to follow his dreams. Now he’s back and their meddling mothers are determined to give Christina and Jack’s former romance a second chance by forcing them to play roles opposite one another in their local winter festival.

A Merry Royal Layover by Teri Wilson

When a veterinarian traveling to a remote European village to volunteer at an animal shelter during the Christmas holidays gets an unexpected first-class upgrade, she meets a charming stranger in the airport lounge who may or may not be the country’s crown prince.

This is a Digital First Release by Pretty Bliss Press

Converse on Twitter via: #ChristmasReads, #HolidayReads, #anthologies
as well as #ChristmasRomance and #ChristmasActually

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Posted Sunday, 6 December, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Blitz, Book Spotlight, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Xpresso Book Tours