Category: Fly in the Ointment

Blog Book Tour | “The Sky Throne” by Chris Ledbetter A new approach to the back-story of #Zeus with a #GuestPost by the author explaining the ‘Sky Throne’.

Posted Monday, 16 October, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I have been aware of the publisher Month9Books for quite a few years now, as I used to host their Reveals & other special tours – even interviewing a lovely batch of their authors as books released I felt I would appreciate reading. However, in truth – I have only read two releases by them (as of yet) and this one marked an interest as it is a gateway into Greek Mythology. I received a complimentary copy of “The Sky Throne” direct from the author Chris Ledbetter in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Ahead of my review, I asked a topic of interest for Mr Ledbetter:

How did you conceive of the ‘the Sky Throne’ and how did you best want to endeavour to describe the power of the Gods previously only generally known through Myth and Legends? How did you want your story to stand separate and together from the legacy of what has already been written?

Since I primarily write for the young adult audience, I ultimately wanted to tell an “origin” story that re-imagined the deities of ancient Hellas as teenagers. From that genesis point, I had to decide which myth to begin with. One of the most well known myths is that of Kronos eating his children to prevent a prophecy from coming true. This is a huge cornerstone of the Hellenic gods’ creation myth as told in Hesiod’s Theogony.

From there, I had to choose which deity I’d focus on as the main character. Even though the number of myths containing each deity varies widely, from a source material perspective, I love each of the Olympians. But I’ve always been drawn to Zeus strictly from the lightning and thunder aspect of things. And because he’s the king of the Gods. I realize the myths paint him as a bit of a sordid character… and I’m not excusing his colorful behavior in the myths, but I sought to create a more sympathetic version, while still remaining generally true to his essence. He is indeed one of the most dynamic figures in myths.

After I’d conceived the story concept, I tried to describe their otherworldly powers and abilities as if they were super heroes and heroines. In many ways, the Gods of pantheons past were our first super heroes and villains.

In the marketplace, there was a plethora of young adult titles in which the main character was a half blood, demigod child of an ancient god. I wanted to go to the source and tell the story of the deities themselves. That’s what separates The Sky Throne from its peers.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art: I personally love the image of Zeus which is not only gracing the cover but it is inclusive to every ‘chapter’ page within the novel! There is simply something quite striking about this representation of Zeus and it stays with you as you read the story!

Blog Book Tour | “The Sky Throne” by Chris Ledbetter A new approach to the back-story of #Zeus with a #GuestPost by the author explaining the ‘Sky Throne’.The Sky Throne
by Chris Ledbetter
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

Duality dwells at every turn, and an adolescent Zeus will learn that all too well when Hyperion attacks his family on Crete.

When the dust settles, his mother is unconscious and his best friend left for dead.

Stacking epic insult upon fatal injury, Zeus discovers the woman who raised him is not his biological mother. But to ensure her safety while she recovers, a heavy-hearted Zeus leaves her behind to seek answers at Mount Olympus Preparatory Academia.

Zeus embarks on a quest to discover who ordered the attack on his home, avenge the death of his friend, and find his birth mother. When some of his new schoolmates vanish, Zeus's quest is turned upside down, and the only way to make things right is to access the power of The Sky Throne, confront a most dangerous enemy, and take his life back.

On his way to becoming king of the Greek gods, Zeus will learn to seize power, neutralize his enemies, and fall in love.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781945107870

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, After Canons, Alternative History, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Genre-bender, Greek Mythos | Legacies, Quantum Physics, Re-telling &/or Sequel, Sci-Fantasy, Science Fiction, Superhero Fiction, Upper YA Fiction, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Month9Books

on 18th April, 2017

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 311

Published by: Month9Books (@Month9Books)

Converse via: #Zeus, #GreekMythos + #CleanReads + #YALit

About Chris Ledbetter

Chris Ledbetter

Chris Ledbetter is an award-winning author of short fiction and novels for young adults. “Jason’s Quest,” a short story retelling of the Jason and Medea Greek myth was published in the anthology, Greek Myths Revisited. His first full-length novel, Drawn earned him two awards, Library of Clean Reads Best YA 2015 and Evernight Publishing Readers’ Choice Award Best YA 2015, as well as a USA​ ​
TODAY “Must Read” recommendation. His second novel, Inked, concludes that duology. The Sky Throne is his newest young adult novel. The second book in the series is set to release in 2018.

He's a proud member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and a strong supporter of the Need for Diverse Books. He now writes and lives in Wilmington, NC with his family, including three cats.

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Posted Monday, 16 October, 2017 by jorielov in After the Canon, Alternative History, Ancient Civilisation, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brothers and Sisters, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, Folklore and Mythology, Gods & Goddesses, Good vs. Evil, Greece, Greek Mythology, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Heroic Fantasy, Indie Author, Inspired by Stories, iRead Book Tours, Literature for Boys, Mother-Son Relationships, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Mythological Societies, Parapsychological Gifts, Quantum | Mechanics Physics Theory, Re-Told Tales, School Life & Situations, Science, Science Fiction, Shapeshifters, Siblings, Speculative Fiction, Superhero Adventure, Superhero Fiction, Supernatural Fiction, Teacher & Student Relationships, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Transfer Student at School, Upper YA Fiction, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Non-Fiction Book Review | “The Mother God Made Me To Be” by Karen Valentin

Posted Friday, 13 October, 2017 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 Hachette Books and their imprints, where I started reading titles by FaithWords which is their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been wicked happy I can review for their imprints Grand Central Publishing, FaithWords & Center Street.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Mother God Made Me To Be” direct from the publisher FaithWords (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I have been purposely seeking out titles like this one:

As you might have noticed, every so often I focus on stories of motherhood & mumhood – which can be seen on the reading schedule I have for #20BooksOfAutumn (previously known as #20BooksOfSummer) as well as the stories you’ll find in my Story Vault. I take an active glance at emerging Fiction & Non-Fiction for stories of motherhood as I’m a Prospective Adoptive Mum (which I talked a bit about whilst reviewing ‘Red Thread Sisters’). I enjoy finding wicked good real and fictional stories which focus positively on Adoption &/or Foster Care whilst appreciating motherhood from more traditional angles as well.

When I first read the synopsis for this memoir, I felt led to read it because something about this woman’s story felt it was meant for me to read it. You might know what I’m talking about – readers have a built in sixth sense about the stories they feel motivated to read. This is one of those for me – in truth, every story I’ve blogged about these past four years I felt were ones I should be reading at one point in time or another – as being a book blogger is a walk of faith in of itself. Yet, on a personal note – I felt inspired by the small bits of this mother’s journey I knew about ahead of reading her fuller story and I wanted to be fully engrossed inside the rest of it. This is why I requested this for review – because I felt inspired even before I opened the book to the first page!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Non-Fiction Book Review | “The Mother God Made Me To Be” by Karen ValentinThe Mother God Made Me To Be
Subtitle: My journey from newlywed, to mother of two, to single mom - trying to heal - and become the mother God made me to be.
by Karen Valentin
Source: Direct from Publisher

Karen lived an adventurous single life but longed for a family of her own. After years of maintaining her vow of purity and waiting for a man who shared her Christian faith, she fell in love with her best friend and co-worker. They married. She bore two sons. They divorced.

With humor, honesty and raw emotion, Valentin tells her story of wrestling between God's will and her own, with visions of happily ever after. In the midst of her weakness and grief, she experiences God's strength and restoration like never before. Through her family and friends, mission workers, the pastor of Graffiti Church, and her two beautiful boys, God turns her ashes to beauty and her sorrow into joy.

THE MOTHER GOD MADE ME TO BE contains a discussion guide for book clubs and church groups.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781455539871

Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Memoir, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Self-Improvement & Self-Actualisation


Published by FaithWords

on 5th September, 2017

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 192

Published by: FaithWords (@FaithWords)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks) via Hachette Nashville

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Hardback & Ebook

Converse via: #NonFiction, #INSPY, #Christian

About Karen Valentin

Karen Valentin

KAREN VALENTIN is an American born writer who is proud of her Puerto Rican heritage. Her books--ranging from narrative, to YA fiction and children's--have been published by Doubleday Religious, Judson, Harlequin and JustUs/Kensington. She is a graduate of Fordham University and taught English as a second language in France. An avid traveler who speaks English, Spanish and French, she resides in New York City with her two little boys.

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Posted Friday, 13 October, 2017 by jorielov in Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cliffhanger Ending, Equality In Literature, FaithWords, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Journal, Life Shift, Memoir, Mental Health, Midwife | Midwifery, Mother-Son Relationships, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Non-Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Siblings, Sociological Behavior, Vignettes of Real Life

Blog Book Tour | “Woman Enters Left” by Jessica Brockmole The novel which brings Jorie full-circle into the heart of #Epistolary Fiction by the author who penned Elspeth’s story!

Posted Sunday, 8 October, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , 1 Comment

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! I received a complimentary copy of “Woman Enters Left” direct from the publisher Ballantine Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I wanted to read this release and a note about why I had to postpone participating in the blog tour: or rather, (if you prefer) how Jorie is a lot like Ms Brockmole in her passion for Ephemera & the Historical Past!

I still remember when ‘At the Edge of Summer’ released and how enthused I was for the ‘next’ Jessica Brockmole novel – as she had truly captured everything I love about narrative prose in a uniquely stylised novel within her debut of “Letters from Skye”. Although, her sophomore release was strikingly different than her debut – I was still keenly interested in reading it – could have theoretically as my local library purchased a copy of it, however, it is one of the many titles I’ve placed myself in a holds queue to receive, finding the hours eclipsing off my clock as soon as it arrives to be read! Ergo, it’s her third novel ‘Woman Enters Left’ which is my second reading of hers, rather than my third entreaty into her literary style.

And, what a treat is is for me! I personally *love!* anything to do with the historic past and everything associated with ‘vintage or ephemera’! The two are not connected – as by the ‘historic past’ this is a broad stroke I’m using to talk about how large in scope History is to explore through literary fiction whereas when I refer to ‘vintage’ and ‘ephemera’ I’m talking about a more specific time period – generally contained within the 20th Century, though with some leanings into the 19th.

I first stumbled into vintage art practices when I took up small (mixed media) art collages in my late twenties – if your familiar with Tim Holtz, you know a smidge about what I’m referring too. Let’s just say ‘distressed inks’ were one of the greatest inventions! lol Resources such as vintage image and ephemeral discs curated by collectors and artists themselves helped move the artistic style forward for those of us unable to collect as much as we’d prefer!

However, despite taking a hiatus from my artistic wanderings (as I traded in my mixed media supplies for fibre; hereinafter being Knitty!) I still remember browsing through early-attic shoppes, vintage emporiums, yesteryear auction houses and thrift shoppes of all kinds – seeking not only the obvious, the tangible bits of the past (ie. Postcards, Letters, Photographs, etc) but the not so obvious – the artwork, the jewelry, the furniture, the quilts and the china! Have you ever just humbly browsed the dish rooms at these places? Still my soul!

You can step through a portal of time – not just observing the changes in technology and manufacturing but you can ‘touch’ time itself. You can peer into people’s lives simply by what is left behind after they’ve past on from this world and rightly, start to piece back together a fragment of ordinary life in specific time periods! This is one reason I’ve been drawn into Historical Fiction (and all it’s lovely sub-genres) – it’s a fusion of what is known, what is suspected and what is investigated (or rather sleuthed out) by writers to become ‘re-known’ once again.

I definitely could relate to the conversation with Ms Brockmole in the back of ‘Woman Enters Left’ about how one tangible fragment of the past can hold one of the keys to re-immersion into a time period earnestly being sought in today’s 21st Century world. It is similar to why I dreamt of owning a retro (manual) typewriter and was happily surprised when I saw a late 1930s/early 1940s Royal being gifted to me by my Mum and Dad a few years ago! It still needs a good cleaning and some new ink – but guess what? It still types! It is only one of many I shall be collecting to use – as I truly want to ink out my fiction and poetry on vintage typewriters – I started off with an electric typewriter before I moved to typing my words on a computer – something never quite ‘clicked’ as having the same attachment of ‘centre’ for me.

Computers are lovely (don’t get me wrong!) however, I think the Typosphere has one thing right: sometimes going back a few steps has more freedom than taking a leap forward. The Typosphere for those who are unfamiliar is a collective of typewriting bloggers – wherein, they ‘type’ their blog posts on ‘typewriters’ (most of which are vintage & retrofitted) then scanning their ‘posts’ to upload into their ‘blogs’ – hence it’s called “The Typosphere”. It’s quite the charming collective! I stumbled into their community several years ago whilst seeking out the ‘letter writers’ in our world of technology – as I’ve been a letter writer since I was eleven years old with perhaps, a decade of hiatus between then and now. It’s something I’m working towards returning too in full haste, as I do miss communicating through postal mail. There is a ‘whole’ world within the internet where people are scaling back their technologic presence and re-affirming things of the past which still are relevant for today. For those who are curious – point your browser to The Letter Writers Alliance, it’s a good place to start! Whilst the blog at The Missive Maven will be your best gateway into the community at large! If you’d like to see my Royal, direct your mouse to this Post!

In regards to the delay in my participation the blog tour, I hinted about the reason in brief during my Sunday Post; however, it is my absolute joy to have read this novel this first week of October as it was a wonderful reunion with an author I already admired and a novelist who entices us all into a special perspective on the past which has a breadth of wonder all of it’s own.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art: The arrangement of the cover design is right on ‘point’ to the title and has the best authentic to the era cognition you are hoping to find about a story which hinges on the legacy of a Mum re-visited through her daughter whose about to re-trace her steps quite unexpectedly on Route 66! Even the car, looks exactly how I was envisioning it whilst I was reading the story-line and I love her outfit!

Blog Book Tour | “Woman Enters Left” by Jessica Brockmole The novel which brings Jorie full-circle into the heart of #Epistolary Fiction by the author who penned Elspeth’s story!Woman Enters Left
by Jessica Brockmole
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

A woman sets out on a cross-country road trip, unknowingly tracing in reverse the path her mother traveled thirty years before.

In the 1950s, movie star Louise Wilde is caught between an unfulfilling acting career and a shaky marriage when she receives an out-of-the-blue phone call: She has inherited the estate of Florence “Florrie” Daniels, a Hollywood screenwriter she barely recalls meeting. Among Florrie’s possessions are several unproduced screenplays, personal journals, and—inexplicably—old photographs of Louise’s mother, Ethel. On an impulse, Louise leaves a film shoot in Las Vegas and sets off for her father’s house on the East Coast, hoping for answers about the curious inheritance and, perhaps, about her own troubled marriage.

Nearly thirty years earlier, Florrie takes off on an adventure of her own, driving her Model T westward from New Jersey in pursuit of broader horizons. She has the promise of a Hollywood job and, in the passenger seat, Ethel, her best friend since childhood. Florrie will do anything for Ethel, who is desperate to reach Nevada in time to reconcile with her husband and reunite with her daughter. Ethel fears the loss of her marriage; Florrie, with long-held secrets confided only in her journal, fears its survival.

In parallel tales, the three women—Louise, Florrie, Ethel—discover that not all journeys follow a map. As they rediscover their carefree selves on the road, they learn that sometimes the paths we follow are shaped more by our traveling companions than by our destinations.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780399178511

Also by this author: Letters from Skye, Cover Reveal: Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great War

Genres: Epistolary | Letters & Correspondences, Historical Fiction


Published by Ballantine Books

on 8th August, 2017

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 337

Published By: Ballantine Books,
an imprint of Random House Publishing Group

Converse via: #HistFic, #HistoricalFiction + #Epistolary

About Jessica Brockmole

Jessica Brockmole

Jessica Brockmole is the author of At the Edge of Summer, the internationally bestselling Letters from Skye, which was named one of the best books of 2013 by Publishers Weekly, and Something Worth Landing For, a novella featured in Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great War. She lives in northern Indiana with her husband, two children, and far too many books.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Sunday, 8 October, 2017 by jorielov in 20th Century, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Content Note, Debilitating Diagnosis & Illness, Disillusionment in Marriage, Divorce & Martial Strife, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Father-Daughter Relationships, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, History, Literary Fiction, Medical Fiction, Nurses & Hospital Life, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, Realistic Fiction, Small Towne USA, Story in Diary-Style Format, the Roaring Twenties, West Coast USA, Women's Fiction, Women's Health

Book Review | “Learning to Love” by Sheryl Browne #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 30 September, 2017 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and created #ChocLitSaturday (the chat via @ChocLitSaturday):

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of marriage enveloped by characters written honestly whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read!

I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other!

I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb! Whilst sorting out how promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

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

Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. As of June 2016, I became a member of the ChocLit Stars Team in tandem with being on the Cover Reveal Team which I joined in May 2016. I reference the Stars as this is a lovely new reader contribution team of sending feedback to the publisher ahead of new book releases. As always, even if I’m involved with a publisher in this sort of fashion, each review is never influenced by that participation and will always be my honest impression as I read the story. Whether the author is one I have previously read or never had the pleasure to read until the book greets my shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of “Learning to Love” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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

Why I have been looking forward to reading Sheryl Browne’s Contemporary Roms:

If you take a ganderment around my blog and the reviews I am featuring for Romance Fiction and Women’s Fiction – you’ll start to notice a bit of a threading of ‘hope filled stories’ where all is never quite lost and despite your obstacles, adversities and storm brewing difficult seas to navigate in life – there is a better tomorrow just about to surface on the horizon. I love stories of redemption inasmuch as stories of life affirming new possibilities. I love rooting out stories that make your heart lift and your spirit to feel a bit of an intact of joy as your reading about characters who are finding their way inside their lives – moment by moment, striving to arrive inside their tomorrow with a bit more confidence and a lot more affirmative conviction life is surely going to be alright.

I love finding families who are struggling to right what went wrong too, such as the family we are stepping inside to find occupying the story of Learning to Love. These are people whose spirits are on the lower end of the spectrum where hope feels like a far-off dream – not quite in reach and a bit difficult to fuse into their living reality. I like taking the healing journey with characters who aren’t quite sure how tomorrow is going to pan out but aren’t quite ready to throw in the towel either! Characters who have a bit of moxie or just a pure belief in themselves to overcome ‘whichever’ curveball life wants to hand them to face – to strengthen themselves through the journey.

I appreciate writers who are writing about non-traditional families, as there are so many routes towards parenthood as there is family – to root out the stories of everyday people and give back a bit of a shining light to guide a troubled ship into a safe harbour is a keen discovery! I am passionate about small towne fiction too! I love writers who write about community togetherness and the interactions of community members who have a genuine respect and care about everyone’s well-being – it’s the throwback to the way life always used to be, but isn’t quite as noticeable now.

Ms Browne never fails to ignite my curiosities about how her characters will live through their circumstances and find the will to right their sails towards a better tomorrow. She writes with a heart-centred focus on second changes and new beginnings. We all need stories like this to read, to re-bolster what we all know to be true – no matter how difficult our difficulties might seem, there is a way forward and through to an even keel of shared happiness with those we love most.

-quoted from my Cover Reveal for ‘Learning to Love’

I did want to take a moment to explain my interest in Ms Browne writings are for her Contemporary Romance novels rather than her gritty Romantic Crime novels – as she has a series of crime stories being published through ChocLit but for me personally they were a full step outside my comfort zone, which is why I haven’t been participating in the ChocStars Cover selections nor hosting the Reveals; sometimes a girl has to be honest with herself about her boundaries in Crime Fiction! However, I had previously learnt about her Contemporary Romances – not just through the Reveals themselves but through conversations during #ChocLitSaturday, where I had the joys of hearing about her writings and the stories which were going to be released or were released (depending on when the chat took place).

Having said this, you do get a proper sense of what you’d find in Ms Browne’s Death by ChocLit line of stories because there is an infusion of gut-stopping suspense hovering in the background of ‘Learning to Love’. So much so, you nearly forget how the story began and where you’ve been during it’s discourse – as there is an about-turn of truth, action and sequencing where I half laughed to myself realising the beauty of the story was more in the unexpected revelations than in the calm pacing increasing the climax!

I was definitely on the edge of my chair – curious about how this tangled web would unweave itself but moreso, curiously content to watch it all unfold – the horror of it all, watching as these characters I now felt so dearly attached too were once again jettisoned into a sieve of unknown trauma and emergency situations! I can see why those who like True Crime or Hard-Boiled Crime Dramas would find their niche in her Crime series – for me, there just outside my cuppa, but the suspense threaded into this novel was ‘just the right balance’ for me to be included! Your heart nearly stops a beat just awaiting the ‘ooh’ moment!

Therefore, as I am making my way through both ChocLit’s FrontList and BackList titles as I review for them – I wanted to select this particular title as my ‘first’ novel by Ms Browne due to the premise of the story and of how I felt this story would be a fitting read right now as Summer starts to fold into Autumn.

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

On my connection to the author:

I happily have had the pleasure of interacting with Ms Browne through #ChocLitSaturday the chat off/on for the past two years (or thereabouts). She is a delightful presence to have in the chats and I am thankful she found a niche where she felt comfortable chattering with fellow ChocLit authors, Romance novelists, book bloggers, readers, and other bookishly chatty spirits who alight on Saturdays!

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her ahead of reading her novels. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. This is also true when I follow-up with them on future releases and celebrate the book birthdays that come after their initial publication.

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

Book Review | “Learning to Love” by Sheryl Browne #ChocLitSaturdaysLearning to Love
Subtitle: When is the right time to love again?
by Sheryl Browne
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

Sometimes help comes from the most unlikely places…

Living in a small village like Hibberton, it’s expected that your neighbours help you in a time of need. But when Andrea Kelly’s house burns down, taking all her worldly possessions with it, it’s the distant and aloof Doctor David Adams – the person she would least expect – who opens his door not just to her, but to her three kids and slightly dotty elderly mother as well.

Andrea needs all the help she can get, dealing with the aftermath of the fire and the suspicious absence of her husband, Jonathan. But as she gets to know David and his troubled son, Jake, she begins to realise that maybe they need her help as much as she needs theirs…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 9781781893524

Also by this author: The Rest of my Life Cover Reveal, Learning to Love Cover Reveal

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Women's Fiction


Published by ChocLitUK

on 6th April, 2017

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 320

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback & E-Book

The Rest of my Life by Sheryl BrowneLearning to Love by Sheryl Browne

Ms Browne’s ChocLit Contemporary Roms:

The Rest of my Life (see also Cover Reveal w/ Notes)

Learning to Love (see also Cover Reveal w/ Notes)

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance + #ChocLit

About Sheryl Browne

Sheryl Browne

Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, poignant fiction. A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for Innovation in Romantic Fiction, Sheryl has seven books published with Safkhet Publishing.

Sheryl’s new contemporary romance novel was recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer. THE REST OF MY Life comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

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Posted Saturday, 30 September, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, A Father's Heart, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Domestic Violence, England, Family Drama, Firefighters & Paramedics, Fly in the Ointment, Green-Minded Publishers, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Life Shift, Loss of an unbourne child, Mental Health, Modern British Author, Modern British Literature, Modern Day, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Second Chance Love, Single Fathers, Small Towne Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Vulgarity in Literature, Widows & Widowers, Women's Fiction, Women's Health

Book Review | “Magic Sometimes Happens” (Charton Minster No.6) by Margaret James #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Sunday, 27 August, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and created #ChocLitSaturday (the chat via @ChocLitSaturday):

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of marriage enveloped by characters written honestly whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read!

I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other!

I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb! Whilst sorting out how promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

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

Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. As of June 2016, I became a member of the ChocLit Stars Team in tandem with being on the Cover Reveal Team which I joined in May 2016. I reference the Stars as this is a lovely new reader contribution team of sending feedback to the publisher ahead of new book releases. As always, even if I’m involved with a publisher in this sort of fashion, each review is never influenced by that participation and will always be my honest impression as I read the story. Whether the author is one I have previously read or never had the pleasure to read until the book greets my shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of “Magic Sometimes Happens” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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

Why Jorie Loves reading the Charton Minster series:

There is a whisper of a nod towards Dorset winding through the opening chapters – it’s the setting of Cat’s supposed wedding but it isn’t until she arrives to meet the people behind the wedding of her dreams giveaway where she meets Rosie Denham – a twenty-something assistant to the forty-something executive in charge of the arrangements. This is the moment where the past and the present start to collide and bend through the continuity Ms James is infamous for in the series.

In the Historical side of the series, everything is centred round the Denham family – as there is a strong presence of multi-generational connections – where the parents and the children are inter-connected as is the small community in which they are living. Even during the Land Girl generation, the family, friends and neighbours were strengthened through their close connections, however, as the series shifts forward into the latter half of the 20th Century (told through flashbacks to help pull forward Daisy Denham’s story-line) and the early start of the 21st Century (post-Harry Potter, as this is one critical reference to ‘when’ this story is set) we start to see the disconnections between family and community. It’s almost a map of how time has altered all communities and neighbourhoods – not just in Dorset but even here in America, as neighbourhoods are not as inter-connected as they once were I’m afraid. (at least not in all communities)

Rather than having the matriarch and patriarch at the head and centre – we are threading through where singletons have flat mates and where even if they have a strong bond to their parents, we do not see them ‘in-scene’ but rather as odd mentions here or there for the sake of realising they do have a connection to their Mums and/or Dad’s. Being Contemporary and Modern, there are other changes too – where the boundaries and guidelines of the war era are erased for a more causal acceptance of life and the harmony of how one gets on in their single life vs. the check point of having Rose in your life or looking after you if you were Land Girl. Rose was a mentor and a surrogate Mum to many but it was how she approached accepting the choices her children made and the choices others made on their behalf which made her a strong character inside the series. She had incredible strength running through her veins and she overcame so very much during her lifetime.

In this section of the series, we’re meeting two people who are at a proper cross-roads of their lives – where they can either turn right or left (cheekily this reminds me of that particular Doctor Who episode) effectively altering the course of where their path could take them. They aren’t even sure if they want what they thought they wanted out of life (ie. marriage and a steady life partner) as everything has gone quite sour in that regard. Yet, they aren’t quite able to ‘pick up and start anew’ either. Owning to the emotional upheaval of bad endings to relationships you never knew were one-sided.

I even had a smidge of a taste for what is going to greet me in Girl in Red Velvet – as Rosie Denham (in this story) is Lily Denham’s niece! You see – for each new turning of this series you get another glimpse of how Ms James has knitted it all together into one luscious saga!

-quoted from my review of The Wedding Diary

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

Notation on Cover Art: A perfect splice of dual-locales – it was interesting because this is a globetrotting story-line and the cover reflects this perfectly! It’s also a dash whimsy in how it’s arranged and the colours work well together to pull it off!

 Book Review | “Magic Sometimes Happens” (Charton Minster No.6) by Margaret James #ChocLitSaturdaysMagic Sometimes Happens
Subtitle: It takes one life changing decison...
by Margaret James
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

Passport to love

London-based PR and promotions consultant Rosie Denham has just spent a year in Paris where she’s tried but failed to fall in love. She’s also made a big mistake and can’t forgive herself.

American IT professor Patrick Riley’s wife has left him for a Mr Wonderful with a cute British accent and a house with a real yard. So Patrick’s not exactly thrilled to meet another Brit who’s visiting Minnesota, even if she’s hot.

Pat and Rosie couldn’t be more different. She’s had a privileged English upbringing. He was raised in poverty in Missouri. Pat has two kids, a job that means the world to him and a wife who might decide she wants her husband back.

So when Pat and Rosie fall in love, the prospects don’t seem bright for them.

But magic sometimes happens – right?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 9781781891759

Also by this author: The Silver Locket, The Golden Chain, The Penny Bangle, Cover Reveal w/ Notes (Girl in Red Velvet), The Wedding Diary

Also in this series: The Silver Locket, The Golden Chain, The Penny Bangle, Cover Reveal w/ Notes (Girl in Red Velvet), The Wedding Diary


Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance


Published by ChocLitUK

on 7th November, 2014

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 352

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook & E-Book

Order of Sequence of Charton Minster series:

The Silver Locket Book One (review)

The Golden Chain Book Two (review) | The Penny Bangle Book Three (review)

A writer to reader explanation of how to read the last three novels: I wrote to Ms James (whilst in the throes of reading ‘The Wedding Diary’) to understand my slight confusion on how ‘The Wedding Diary’ fits into the canon of Charton Minster wherein I learnt a few things quite extraordinary! In regards to time-line, the sequence ought to be this way round: ‘Girl in Red Velvet’ (hugs closer to ending of 1st trilogy being set in the 1960s) then ‘The Wedding Diary’ and ending off with ‘Magic Sometimes Happens’.

This is due to the fact ‘The Wedding Diary’ is set in modern day (ie. the 21st Century present day) and is only a handful (say two) years ahead of ‘Magic Sometimes Happens’. Ergo, I was at a deficient reading what I perceived as books 4 & 5: the truth is 6 becomes 4 and 5 becomes 6, thereby making the 4th book the 5th in sequence. I have re-aligned the proper sequence below as well as updated my slideshow of covers. This also makes the cover art illustrations more relatable as well – four books hug the war eras & emerge into the 60s; the latter two in sequence change style of cover art to reflect the new century they reside inside. Mystery solved!

PS: You know ‘The Wedding Diary’ is set in the 21st Century as ‘Harry Potter’ is referenced; mind you, the way in which he’s referenced it felt 2000+ not ending chapters of 1990s. It’s close though – it could be interpreted either way – I am only sharing where I feel it fits.

Girl in Red Velvet Book Four (see also Cover Reveal Notes)

The Wedding Diary Book Five (review) | Magic Sometimes Happens Book Six

NOTE: When ‘Girl in Red Velvet’ releases into print, I will be re-reading this series in order to anchour the sequence into the proper order and to see what I might have missed by reading the series out of it’s proper continuous time-line. This isn’t the first series I have read which was published out of sequence of the order of the story. I am truly blessed Ms James was available to help me work out the details and thereby giving me the chance to help you read this in the time-line she intended. My instincts of suspecting there was a switch-up was on the nose but it wasn’t until I spoke to Ms James all the pieces of the puzzle were fully understood. The truth in the pudding truly was the cover art illustrations!

Converse via: #ChartonMinster, #HistFic, #HistRom + #ChocLit

About Margaret James

Margaret James

Margaret James was born and brought up in Hereford and now lives in Devon. She studied English at London University, and has written many short stories, articles and serials for magazines. She is the author of sixteen published novels.

Her debut novel for Choc Lit, The Silver Locket, received a glowing review from the Daily Mail and reached the Top 20 Small Publishers Fiction List in November 2010 and in the same year a Reviewers’ Choice Award from Single Titles. The Golden Chain also hit the Top 20 Small Publishers Fiction List in May 2011. The Wedding Diary was shortlisted for the 2014 Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Novels: The Silver Locket, The Golden Chain, The Penny Bangle, The Wedding Diary and Magic Sometimes Happens which are part of the Charton Minster series.

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Posted Sunday, 27 August, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, British Literature, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, England, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Family Drama, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Green-Minded Publishers, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern British Author, Modern British Literature, Modern Day, Multi-Generational Saga, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Single Fathers, Story in Diary-Style Format, Vulgarity in Literature