Category: Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity

Blog Book Tour | “The Secret Life of Mrs London” by Rebecca Rosenberg

Posted Thursday, 15 February, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , , 9 Comments

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

Acquired Books By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “The Secret Life of Mrs London” direct from the author Rebecca Rosenberg 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 interested in the premise behind this novel:

My first entrance into Biological Historical Fiction was prior to becoming a book blogger – it was when I read the back-story about Mrs (Charles) Dickens in the beautifully conceived novel Girl in a Blue Dress. At the time, I was mesmorised by how realistically the story-line flowed and how wonderfully intricate the novel revealled the finer points of how Mrs Dickens had much more to give than what she personally felt she had in self-worth. Another critical entry in this section of Literature for me was Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald of which I had the happenstance to read as an ARC – the narrative clarity of Zelda’s voice inside this novel was incredibly layered! I still think about my readings of this novel – as I spread it out over several months, savouring the respite I had outside it but hungry for more insight into Zelda’s life all the same. It is a haunting account truly of one woman’ spiral and her journey back to ‘self’ out of the chaos of health issues which were never fully addressed until the very last chapter of her life. It’s beyond tragic how Zelda never felt she realised her own artistic merit in the literary world and how suppressed she had become as a writer due to her overbearing husband whose ego would not allow him to admit her writerly strength of voice.

Over the past four and a half years, I’ve encountered quite a large number of entries of Biological Historical Fiction – each in turn giving me such an incredibly humbling experience as I held close to the whispers of truth etching out of the lives by the living persons who had lived these lives I was now attached to through the renditions the writers had given them in their novels. When I read the premise about Mrs London and how her life intersected with the Houdini’s – there was a moment in my mind as I contemplated the plot itself wherein I felt I heard an echo of Zelda’s life. Of two women who were caught inside a marriage which was not the healthiest of relationships for them nor was it a marriage built on love or trust. They were each caught into a cycle of living which worked against them and in part, this is why I wanted to read Mrs London’s story. I wanted to know how she worked through the anguish of living in Jack’s shadow but also, how she dealt with the absence of having a husband who appreciated her and held her interests in his own heart.

In regards to Jack London – although I have an omnibus of his stories (in hardback) which my family gave me as young girl, there was something about his stories which put me off reading them. I could say the same about Dickens, too. When it came to disappearing inside either of their stories a part of me ‘held back’ interest despite the fact they both had concepts of stories I felt I would have loved reading. And, in turn, I came to know them better through their film adaptations than I did in their original canon of release! Uniquely enough. The two which stood out to me were White Fang and A Christmas Carol – which of course, remain two my favourite films of all time. The latter of which I consistently seek out as they re-invent the wheel every so many years in how to properly explore the story & the message within it.

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Blog Book Tour | “The Secret Life of Mrs London” by Rebecca RosenbergThe Secret Life of Mrs London
by Rebecca Rosenberg
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

San Francisco, 1915. As America teeters on the brink of world war, Charmian and her husband, famed novelist Jack London, wrestle with genius and desire, politics and marital competitiveness. Charmian longs to be viewed as an equal partner who put her own career on hold to support her husband, but Jack doesn’t see it that way…until Charmian is pulled from the audience during a magic show by escape artist Harry Houdini, a man enmeshed in his own complicated marriage. Suddenly, charmed by the attention Houdini pays her and entranced by his sexual magnetism, Charmian’s eyes open to a world of possibilities that could be her escape.

As Charmian grapples with her urge to explore the forbidden, Jack’s increasingly reckless behavior threatens her dedication. Now torn between two of history’s most mysterious and charismatic figures, she must find the courage to forge her own path, even as she fears the loss of everything she holds dear.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

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ISBN: 9781542048736

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Women's Studies


Published by Lake Union Publishing

on 30th January, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 348

In retrospect, after re-reading my review, I realised I needed to add the flames to this review, as I felt the sensuality and sexuality explored in the story was on the higher end of what I am comfortable about finding in either Romance or Historical Romance novels. I also felt in this story, the subject was threaded throughout the context of the novel and re-highlighted to the point where it nearly felt like it was the main focus of the story rather than on the dynamics of the who the characters were outside their boudoir exploits.

four-half-flames

Published By: Lake Union Publishing

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #HistFic, #HistoricalFiction + #JackLondon

About Rebecca Rosenberg

Rebecca Rosenberg

A California native, Rebecca Rosenberg lives on a lavender farm with her family in Sonoma, the Valley of the Moon, where Jack London wrote from his Beauty Ranch. Rebecca is a long-time student of Jack London’s works and an avid fan of his daring wife, Charmian London. The Secret Life of Mrs. London is her debut novel.

Rebecca and her husband, Gary, own the largest lavender product company in America, selling to 4000 resorts, spas and gift stores. The Rosenbergs believe in giving back to the Sonoma Community, supporting many causes through financial donations and board positions, including Worth Our Weight, an educational culinary program for at-risk children, YWCA shelter for abused women, Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center to provide performances for children, Sonoma Food Bank, Sonoma Boys and Girls Club, and the Valley of the Moon Children’s Home.

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Posted Thursday, 15 February, 2018 by jorielov in 20th Century, Adulterous Affair, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Charmian London, Creative Arts, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Disillusionment in Marriage, During WWI, Equality In Literature, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Inspired By Author OR Book, Jack London, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Mental Health, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Psychological Abuse, Realistic Fiction, Self-Harm Practices, Taboo Relationships & Romance, the Nineteen Hundreds, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction, Women's Health, Women's Rights, Women's Suffrage, Writer, Zelda Fitzgerald

Blog Book Tour | “Kiss Carlo” by Adriana Trigiani A story inspired by the author’s family becomes a rivetingly brilliant inter-generational saga in which to entreat inside to discover how this family found the truest joy to celebrate whilst alive!

Posted Wednesday, 31 January, 2018 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I happily have been hosting for Italy Book Tours alongside hosting for iRead Book Tours; however, it has been quite a few years since I’ve seen a novel come along for this touring company which I felt as excited about reading as ‘Kiss Carlo’! I will explain momentarily why this was the case, however, I was wicked enthused finding out I had been selected to be part of this lovely blog tour celebrating the title and the author! I received a complimentary copy of the book “Kiss Carlo” direct from the publisher HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

What initially drew my attention to read this novel:

The interesting back-story on this author, is I actually purchased two of the novels in her series focused on Big Stone Gap for my best friend. I never had the joy of giving my friend the novels (long story) nor did I read them, as that felt awkward; but I did watch the film through my local #library — it is such a wicked brilliant film, too! I encourage you to see this if you haven’t already – it has the soul of the author’s narrative voice threading throughout it’s heart. For me personally, the film was a better introduction to the author’s literary style.

When I saw this novel coming along for a blog tour, I didn’t hesitate to request a position on the tour – I *love!* multi-generational sagas which go through one family’s lineage; however, this one is ‘inter-generational’ as it’s the scope of the living relatives who are living through a generation together. Similar to how we all have immediate family whilst we’re alive – I didn’t read too much about this one, as I wanted to go into it a bit blind. I knew the girth of what the author can yield in her stories based on Big Stone Gap, but as soon as the book arrived in the Post, I did sneak glimpses of it’s pages!

I loved reading the additional bits (which I’ll discuss properly on my forthcoming review) however, what I can say now is this is quite literally inspired by the author’s family! Living histories are spoken about more regularly on my blog – of how writers are fusing their own histories into the fiction they are writing? Whether or not they go into the historic past, to centuries outside their living years or whether, like this author have kept the stories closer to the hip (so to speak) they are finding ways to impart the breadth of their own ‘story’ into the fiction their creating. I, for one, find this wicked inspiring and am so very thankful I caught sight of this blog tour because as soon as I first opened the novel, I had sense I’d become dearly attached to this family,… in a similar vein of attachment as I am to the O’ Connor’s by Julie Lessman.

-quoted from the Top Ten Tuesday Ten Books I’m Looking Forward to Reading 2018

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Blog Book Tour | “Kiss Carlo” by Adriana Trigiani A story inspired by the author’s family becomes a rivetingly brilliant inter-generational saga in which to entreat inside to discover how this family found the truest joy to celebrate whilst alive!Kiss Carlo
by Adriana Trigiani
Source: Publisher via Italy Book Tours

From Adriana Trigiani, the beloved New York Times-bestselling author of The Shoemaker’s Wife, comes an exhilarating epic novel of love, loyalty, and creativity—the story of an Italian-American family on the cusp of change.

It’s 1949 and South Philadelphia bursts with opportunity during the post-war boom. The Palazzini Cab Company & Western Union Telegraph Office, owned and operated by Dominic Palazzini and his three sons, is flourishing: business is good, they’re surrounded by sympathetic wives and daughters-in-law, with grandchildren on the way. But a decades-long feud that split Dominic and his brother Mike and their once-close families sets the stage for a re-match.

Amidst the hoopla, the arrival of an urgent telegram from Italy upends the life of Nicky Castone (Dominic and his wife’s orphaned nephew) who lives and works with his Uncle Dom and his family. Nicky decides, at 30, that he wants more—more than just a job driving Car #4 and more than his longtime fiancée Peachy DePino, a bookkeeper, can offer. When he admits to his fiancée that he’s been secretly moonlighting at the local Shakespeare theater company, Nicky finds himself drawn to the stage, its colorful players and to the determined Calla Borelli, who inherited the enterprise from her father, Nicky must choose between the conventional life his family expects of him or chart a new course and risk losing everything he cherishes.

From the dreamy mountaintop village of Roseto Valfortore in Italy, to the vibrant streets of South Philly, to the close-knit enclave of Roseto, Pennsylvania, to New York City during the birth of the golden age of television, Kiss Carlo is a powerful, inter-generational story that celebrates the ties that bind, while staying true to oneself when all hope seems lost.

Told against the backdrop of some of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, this novel brims with romance as long buried secrets are revealed, mistaken identities are unmasked, scores are settled, broken hearts are mended and true love reigns. Trigiani’s consummate storytelling skill and her trademark wit, along with a dazzling cast of characters will enthrall readers. Once again, the author has returned to her own family garden to create an unforgettable feast. Kiss Carlo is a jubilee, resplendent with hope, love, and the abiding power of la famiglia.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

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ISBN: 9781471136405

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Emigration & Immigration, Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction


Published by Harper Books

on 15th June 2015

Pages: 560

Published by: Harper Books (@harperbooks)
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Available Formats: Hardback, Audiobook (Digital & CD), P.S. Edition Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #KissCarlo or #AdrianaTrigiani

About Adriana Trigiani

Adriana Trigiani

Adriana Trigiani is the bestselling author of 17 books, which have been published in 36 countries around the world. She is a playwright, television writer/producer and filmmaker. She wrote and directed the film version of her novel Big Stone Gap, which was shot entirely on location in her Virginia hometown. She is co-founder of the Origin Project, an in-school writing program that serves more than a thousand students in Appalachia. She lives in Greenwich Village with her family.

Photo Credit: Tim Stephenson

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Posted Wednesday, 31 January, 2018 by jorielov in 20th Century, African-American Literature, Aftermath of World War II, Ancestry & Genealogy, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Brothers and Sisters, Catholicism, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cookery, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Foodie Fiction, Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, History, Immigrant Stories, Inheritance & Identity, Intergenerational Saga, Italy, Italy Book Tours, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, New York City, Philadelphia, Siblings, Singletons & Commitment, Sisterhood friendships, Story knitted out of Ancestral Data, the Forties, The World Wars, Vignettes of Real Life, Village Life, Vulgarity in Literature, William Shakespeare, Women's Fiction

Book Review | “The Seven Sisters” (Book No.1 of the Seven Sisters series) by Lucinda Riley A beautifully conceived novel about adoptive sisters, the search for identity and birth origin whilst happily cast against a back-drop of a time shifting series which moves seamlessly between the present and the past.

Posted Monday, 29 January, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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

Borrowed Book By: I’ve known about the Seven Sisters book series for quite awhile now, however, I haven’t had the proper chance to dig into the series – therefore, when I was approached by the publisher to considering being on the blog tour this February, I decided it was time to borrow the books via my local library! Although, as a member of the blog tour I was receiving the fourth release “The Pearl Sister” for my honest ruminations, I decided to back-read the entire series ahead of soaking into the newest installment – my personal preference is to read serial fiction in order of sequence; even if sometimes I find myself bungling the order, I love to see how the writer has set the stage for a series which becomes progressively engaging! To start at the beginning is the best way to see how they laid down the foundation for both the series, their writing style and how the characters first make their entrances into our lives.

I borrowed the first novel in the Seven Sisters series “The Seven Sisters” in hardback edition from my local library. I was not obligated to post a review as I am doing so for my own edification as a reader who loves to share her readerly life. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

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On what appealed to me about reading the Seven Sisters series:

When I realised this was going to be a story about adoptive sisters, I was instantly captured by the premise as I’m a Prospective Adoptive Mum – who wants to adopt a sibling group out of foster care in the future. However, prior to realising this key thread of the series dramatic arc and connection, what moved me more is how it was layered through History and dual time-lines of different characters who were in essence inter-connected in a way they did not even realise it at the time. This felt like quite an epic Historical series – where it would move in and out of the Contemporary world and the recent past; where histories of each of the sisters’ origins might become revealled in each new installment of the series.

The layers the author was assembling into the series was quite alluring as well – such as the overlay between Mythological Histories and the reasons why the Seven Sisters are such a key point of reference in both spoken histories and the mythologies we know have become beloved favourite stories passed down through different generations whilst the stories themselves are sometimes altered by who is telling them. Combine this with the clever mind of a writer who was able to visit the locales in which she is writing about – absorbing what was there to be seen and felt as she was writing the stories and I had a feeling this is one series which would give me the sensation of living ‘elsewhere’ quite wondrously until the final chapter of the final novel was read – as it’s not yet composed into life, I have a bit of a wait ahead of me!

Blessedly I’m a patient reader – I don’t mind waiting for the next sequences of a beloved series. I might get wicked excited and wish to read them sooner – but in the end, I respect the time needed to create them and I’d rather have patience than to have an installment feel it was rushed into existence. Somehow, I have stumbled across another writer who writes like I do – not something I generally find, but within the pages of Ms Riley’s #SevenSistersSeries, I see my own writing style mirrored within her own. It’s interesting to observe as this is the first time I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading her stories and I can tell I shall be spending a lot time seeking out her stories and wickedly delighted to see where she continues to take me,… one thing I can attest as being an inspiring segue from reading this novel is by watching adoptive stories on YT.

I took moments outside the text to watch videos of adoptive families being spotlighted on Ellen, Rachael Ray and other outlets celebrating the joys of being part of a blended family. I even learnt about an adoptive family of fourteen siblings – from various countries of origin – who surprised their Mum and Dad with a new living room as they wanted to give back part of the joy and happiness they had received throughout their lives to two selfless parents who never took time to focus on themselves because they had always put the children first (as it should be). I love stories which parlay into our own heart’s wishes and dreams whilst acknowledging the journey all children go through who are on a path of adoption. (see also the 14 adoptees who surprised their parents)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comNotation on Cover Art: I had agreed with the author in one of her YT videos about how the constellation cover art truly suited this first novel of her series, however, having read the hardcover American edition – I personally liked how the evidence left behind by Pa Salt was imprinted (similar to a watermark) behind the author’s name (the armillary sphere) whilst below the title, we can see Rio and the sculpture of Christ the Redeemer whilst Maia is looking away from Rio – it’s a clever way of positioning you into the setting of where Maia starts to understand who she is and why she is one of Pa Salt’s daughters.

Book Review | “The Seven Sisters” (Book No.1 of the Seven Sisters series) by Lucinda Riley A beautifully conceived novel about adoptive sisters, the search for identity and birth origin whilst happily cast against a back-drop of a time shifting series which moves seamlessly between the present and the past.The Seven Sisters
by Lucinda Riley
Source: Borrowed from local library

Synopsis on the Inside Flap:

Maia D' Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, "Atlantis" - a fabulous, secluded castle on the shores of Lake Geneva - having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as infants, has died. Each of the sisters is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage - a clue that takes Maia, the eldest, across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to piece together the story of her own life's beginnings.

Eighty years earlier, in the Rio of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio's newly wealthy father has aspirations for his beautiful daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find a sculptor capable of completing his vision. Izabela - passionate and longing to see the world - convinces her father to allow her to accompany the da Silva Costa family to Europe before she is married off to a man whom she hardly knows. In Paris, at Paul Landowski's studio and in the heady, vibrant cafes of Montparnasse, she meets ambitious young sculptor Laurent Brouilly, and knows at once that her life will never be the same again.

In this beguilling entrancing novel, Lucinda Riley brings vividly to life two extraordinary women whose intertwining stories, set decades apart are a reminder of the courage it takes to accept love when it is offered.

Places to find the book:

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ISBN: 978-1-4767-5990-6

Also by this author: The Storm Sister, The Shadow Sister, The Pearl Sister

Also in this series: The Storm Sister, The Shadow Sister, The Pearl Sister


Genres: Adoption & Foster Care, Biographical Fiction, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Epistolary | Letters & Correspondences, Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Time Slip and/or Time Shift, Women's Fiction


Published by Atria Books

on 5th May, 2015

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 480

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

I *love!* finding videos by authors who love to engage with readers about the inspiration behind their stories – the more I learn about Ms Riley the more I see a lot of myself in her intuitive instincts for drawing out a story which she is as passionate about writing as I am to be reading it. I loved this video & thought you’d enjoy it, too.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Seven Sisters Series: of whom are Maia, Ally (Alcyone), Star (Asterope), CeCe (Celeano), Tiggy (Taygete), Electra and Merope – the series is based on the mythology of the Seven Sisters of the Pleiades – interestingly enough, this is a constellation in close proximity to Orion*.

The Seven Sisters : Maia’s Story (Book One)

The Storm Sister : Ally’s Story (Book Two) | Synopsis

The Shadow Sister : Star’s Story (Book Three) | Synopsis

The Pearl Sister : CeCe’s Story (Book Four) | Synopsis *forthcoming review 1st of February, 2018!

Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook, Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #SevenSistersSeries

#whoispasalt ← I advise not visiting the second tag on Twitter as it tends to reveal a few things ahead of reading the stories themselves.

*NOTE: My favourite constellation since I was young girl who lived at her Science Center, whilst finding the awe and wonder of studying a wide diversity of the Sciences through interactive play, experiments and lively engaging Summer camps – I had a focus of interest on Cosmology and Astronomy which had a healthy appreciation for the constellations and the intriguing stories behind how they were named and the lives ‘they’ once lived. All of this is a segue of interest which also parlays into my fascination and appreciation of the Quantum Realms and AstroPhysics. I hadn’t realised the connection to Orion until I opened The Seven Sisters; after which I immediately smiled – this series was meant to be read by me. The girl who looks for Orion every Autumn and wickedly smiles musefully at him throughout Winter and Spring. Geographically speaking, he’s not even meant to be seen outside one season a year yet I find him more frequently than most – a constant presence overhead and a comforting sight at that!

About Lucinda Riley

Lucinda Riley Photo Credit: Boris Breuer

Lucinda Riley is the #1 internationally bestselling author of sixteen novels, including Hothouse Flower and The Seven Sisters. Her books have sold more than ten million copies in over 30 languages. Lucinda divides her time between West Cork, Ireland, and Norfolk, England with her husband and four children.

Photo Credit: Boris Breuer

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Posted Monday, 29 January, 2018 by jorielov in #SatBookChat, 20th Century, 21st Century, A Father's Heart, Adoption, Ancestry & Genealogy, Art, Art History, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Films, Brazil, Childhood Friendship, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Father-Daughter Relationships, Fathers and Daughters, Genre-bender, Heitor da Silva Costa, Historical Fiction, History, Immigrant Stories, Inheritance & Identity, Inspiring Video Related to Content, Library Find, Library Love, Life Shift, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Marriage of Convenience, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Multi-Generational Saga, Orphans & Guardians, Passionate Researcher, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, Sculpture, Single Fathers, Sisterhood friendships, the Roaring Twenties, Time Shift, Unexpected Inheritance, Women's Fiction, Women's Rights, Women's Suffrage, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Working with Clay

Double-Showcase | Book & Audiobook Review of “The Woman in the Camphor Trunk” (Anna Blanc series, No. 2) by Jennifer Kincheloe

Posted Wednesday, 10 January, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Woman in the Camphor Trunk” direct from the publisher Seventh Street Books (an imprint of Prometheus Books) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On why I can’t wait to read more about Anna Blanc:

The Secret Life of Anna Blanc by Jennifer KincheloeThe Woman in the Camphor Trunk by Jennifer Kincheloe

Series Overview: Young socialite turned police matron Anna Blanc bucks society’s mores to solve crime in early 1900s Los Angeles.

The main reason I find myself so very attached to the world in which Anna Blanc lives is because of how she is beautifully brought to life by Ms Kincheloe. She has a way of fusing Anna into our hearts whilst winning us over with her quirkily humourous prose which not only dictates a keen awareness of Anna but of the times in which she is alive. It’s a curious door into the historical past as these were my parting words after having read the first novel of the series:

Sophisticated in her ascertainment of conception behind Anna Blanc, Kincheloe has writ such a lively character, you drink in her words with such a joy of delight! She has a fast paced narrative, where the humour is smitten by the sophisticated edging of her character’s personality, matched equally brilliantly by the grace of a Cosy Historical Mystery backdrop! She’s captured the turn of the century atmosphere aptly, as she tucks in recognisable familiarities to alight in your imagination as you turn the pages; replete with gaslights and other bits which correlate with the era.

I loved the way in which Kincheloe turnt a phrase, using words not oft found in historical fiction as her novel is a good primer of words that are wicked to say aloud and used in descriptive narratives such as this one! The phrases themselves are a delight for readers who love words as much as wordsmiths, which Kincheloe definitely excels at including whilst giving Anna Blanc a crafty choice of words to express her emotional duress! She also found a clever way to include Anna’s religious background by having her talk to the Saints when a mood or a moment fitted the hour; it was quite an interesting way to thread faith inside a mainstream novel and I liked the author’s candor.

The best attribute Anna Blanc has within her is a self-motivating resolve to become self-educated as it was such a joy to watch her expand her mind in a fervent attempt to understand the underpinnings of motives and causes of the crimes that were leeching through her city at such a fast rate of alarm. She did not just want to sleuth for the sake of detection but to fully understand the methodology behind the crimes and I think this is a nod to the writer’s (Kincheloe) curiosity being piqued by true crime stories straight out of the historical archives from whence she draws her inspirations. Kincheloe also under-writ a stunning historical survey of early Forensic techniques which inspired Anna with her investigating – especially in regards to understanding the differences between murder and suicide. This became quite pivotal in the story as Anna Blanc made her transition from socialite to female detective.

The beauty of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc are the little bits of plot your not expecting to find encircle through the evolving story – there were little clues fluttering through it’s context, but the joy was not completely sorting it all out until the very last chapter – wherein, your heart swoons with glee and you champion the success Anna Blanc had in closing her second case! This is a bit of a guilty pleasure for historical fiction readers – Kincheloe has tempted us with her wicked sweet prose where a heroine peppers the scenes with her feisty personality and a penchant for seeking out the truth from a sea of lies!

-quoted from my review of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc

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Double-Showcase | Book & Audiobook Review of “The Woman in the Camphor Trunk” (Anna Blanc series, No. 2) by Jennifer KincheloeThe Woman in the Camphor Trunk
Subtitle: An Anna Blanc Mystery
by Jennifer Kincheloe
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions, Direct from Publisher
Narrator: Moira Quirk

In early-1900s Los Angeles—an era of courting, ragtime, suffragettes, and widespread corruption—a socialite turned police matron tracks down the murderer of a white woman in Chinatown, while trying to prevent the outbreak of a bloody tong war.

Los Angeles, 1908. In Chinatown, the most dangerous beat in Los Angeles, police matron Anna Blanc and her former sweetheart, Detective Joe Singer, discover the body of a white missionary woman, stuffed in a trunk in the apartment of her Chinese lover. If news about the murder gets out, there will be a violent backlash against the Chinese. Joe and Anna work to solve the crime quietly and keep the death a secret, reluctantly helped by the good-looking Mr. Jones, a prominent local leader.

Meanwhile, the kidnapping of two slave girls fuels existing tensions, leaving Chinatown poised on the verge of a bloody tong war. Joe orders Anna to stay away, but Anna is determined to solve the crime before news of the murder is leaked and Chinatown explodes.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781633883635

Also by this author: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, The Secret Life of Anna Blanc

Series: Anna Blanc


Also in this series: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, The Secret Life of Anna Blanc


Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Jennifer R. Kincheloe Ltd, Seventh Street Books

on 14th November, 2017

Format: Audiobook | Digital, Trade Paperback

Pages: 304

Published By: Seventh Street Books (@SeventhStBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

About Jennifer Kincheloe

Jennifer Kincheloe Photo Credit: Fola Akinyemi

Jennifer has been a block layer, a nurse's aid, a fragrance model, and on the research faculty at UCLA, where she spent 11 years conducting studies to inform health policy. A native of Southern California, she now lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two teenagers. She's currently writing book three in the Anna Blanc Mystery series. Book two, THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK, is coming out in Fall of 2017 from Seventh Street Books.

Photo Credit: Fola Akinyemi
Biography updated: March 2017

Converse via: #AnnaBlanc + #HistoricalMystery or #HistMyst

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Posted Wednesday, 10 January, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Civil Rights, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cosy Historical Mystery, Cosy Horror, Crime Fiction, Equality In Literature, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, History, Indie Author, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Prometheus Books, Realistic Fiction, Religious Orders, Self-Published Author, Taboo Relationships & Romance, the Nineteen Hundreds