Category: Geographically Specific

Blog Book Tour | “A Rancher to Remember” (Book Six: Rocky Mountain Cowboys) by Karen Rock This one has a thrilling opening chapter and doesn’t let up on the dramatic revelations thereafter!

Posted Wednesday, 3 April, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

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

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

I received a complimentary copy of “A Rancher to Remember” direct from the author Karen Rock in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I love reading the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series:

*2019* has begun quite uniquely – as some years have the tendency of doing – I was still recovering from my five week virus in January which nixed my idea of a re-reading of this series for #ContemporaryJanuary. At the end of January and within the early bits of February brought the return of my chronic migraines in full force, to where I started to seek out more research into what was [potentially] triggering them & how I could sort out a path forward with the hope of lessening them. This lead me to the book “The Migraine Relief Plan” and a new protocol of medicine which has kept me migraine-free for over five weeks now.

However, despite my earnest yearnings to re-read this series – the timing has still been a bit off for me personally – *March!* proved the warning about the ‘ides of March’ ought to be taken a bit more seriously some years over others – where the writing was simply on the wall very early-on it was going to be a month of woe & adversity. I still remember a few weeks coupled in the middle where I was questioning how I was even able to continue posting to my blog as my heart and mind were simply ‘elsewhere’ offline.

I knew I didn’t want to rush my introduction into the one story of the series I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading (“Bad Boy Rancher”; the book is eyeing me from the shelf and questioning why I keep holding off reading it!) which is why I decided to continue reading this series with the sixth installment. I’ll find a moment of peace & serenity when my life calms back down again to where I can re-read the whole series with the benefit of not having a deadline to chase into but rather just have the hours to spend a respiteful holiday soaking in the life of my favourite cowboys and cowgirls! Except to say, I had forgotten – I need to chase down a copy of “A Cowboy to Keep” as apparently this title has gone *out of print!* somewhere between when I first started reading this series and now! It is the only story (the prequel, too!) I haven’t been able to add to my Rocky Mountain Cowboy shelf of joy. I previously inter-library loaned a copy to read and I might still have to continue doing that when I get into re-reading this series!

This marks one of my first readings of the Rocky Mountain Cowboys without a migraine and for me that is something to be celebrating! I’m also entering into my sixth year as a book blogger whilst reading the *sixth!* installment of a series which has charmed my heart & soul!

You might remember I had shared ahead of revealling my thoughts about “Winning the Cowboy’s Heart”- how the Rocky Mountain Cowboys is a series I fell in love with reading since I first started borrowing the books through my library – adding ‘Christmas at Cade Ranch’ to my local library as they accepted my purchase request and having the joy of hosting a few of the blog tours connected to the series which led me to this lovely sixth novel!

There is a seventh novel on the horizon this *2019!* as well – as I received a bookmark which happily alerted me about the release schedule for the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series – thereby books 5-7 are releasing in 2019 whilst books 8 & 9 are scheduled for 2020! This gives me plenty of time to schedule my personal re-reading of the series and be right in-line with one of the forthcoming releases! I was trying to see when the seventh novel was going to publish (wondering if it was going to be a Summer or Autumn release!) however it isn’t yet listed online. [ until I read the Author’s Note and discovered whose story is arriving this Summer! ]

IF this is the first review you’ve stumbled across of mine for this lovely Western Cowboy series you might be wondering what draws my eye into this series and to the writer’s style of story-telling – one of the best joys for me as a reader, outside of my love of the Cade family and the men of the series is where Ms Rock set the series to reside: deep in the heart of the Rockies! There is something about mountain living and the atmosphere of ranching that uplifts a girl’s soul!

Ms Rock does a great job of taking you into the heart of addiction – first through the opinions of family who feel they are being helpful but in reality their falling a bit short with a few good observations. Secondly, she takes you into an NA meeting to hear the stories of other addicts who are struggling just like Sofia to quash their innermost doubts and to remain above the pains of addiction whilst re-setting their lives free of the substance of their choice. It was in one of those meetings where Sofia felt both ashamed to be present and rather awkwardly at first, comfortable amongst those who she could relate too.

Ms Rock also highlights what it is like to have a controlling personality – someone who is unable to yield or bend – this was spoken about in regards to Sofia’s father but in the present time-line of the series it is mostly directed towards James who has a definitive way of ‘taking over’ and claiming roles he was not meant to lead because doing so would jeopardise another person’s sense of self.

One of my favourite parts of the story is how closely Sofia and Joy (the Cade siblings mother) bonded over being in such close quarters whilst she was recuperating. Joy still had quite a bit of spunk left in her and she had a right to want to keep living her life to the fullest she could. Sofia inspired her in equal measure of Joy inspiring Sofia to take new risks and to keep bettering herself for her future and her son’s (Javi). Javi was an impressionable child but he also understood what was important in his young life. I can see why Sofia stressed about how he might react around James and why being around James for both of them was proving to be a bit too difficult.

One of the beautiful things about this series is how redemption and second chances permeate through the stories. Erstwhile, you are becoming closer in acquaintance with the Cade family themselves – the ranch they live on becomes the anchour to their lives, the place where they gather and they grow; where love nurtures their present and where it breathes hope into the future. Each installment of this series builds on the last story in sequence – thereby, by the time you start at A Cowboy to Keep whilst reading each new story thereafter, you are given a wonderful portrait of a resilient family. A family whose honest about the hardships in life and where good or bad, this is a family who remains evermore true of themselves.

Everything comes full circle in the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series – you get to see where loose ends knit back together and the one beautiful thing about this series is you get to have continual updates about all the characters you’ve loved reading about in prior installments! If you take the title of this one for a second to ruminate – you’ll find the word “pride” speaks volumes towards understanding where this story was leading you to venture. It isn’t just the pride of the current cowboys in the Cade-Loveland families but of all the cowboys within their mutual lineages who led to the current heroes of the series.

One of the things I admire most about how Ms Rock writes her stories is the continuity aspects of her series – where you can move from one installment to another in a seamless transition. I’ve started reading this series from the prequel into the first and second novels – before arriving into the fourth ahead of the third. I almost thought that was a mistake on my part, as I wasn’t sure if this fourth installment would pick up directly out of the third or return to an earlier conflict. The beauty of reading this series slightly out of sequence is how compelling it was for the feud to take precedent and thereby allowing me to continue the continuity I have been appreciating by reading this fourth novel.

The feud itself was established in the earlier stories – setting down the foundation of how both families are at war with each other – not just over the water rights (though those are a valid reason for the ill will between them) but it goes back to a matter of principle and honour. Of the circumstances relating to the original feud’s origins and how unsettling it is for the details which have remained behind paint a rather dark portrait of their ancestor’s lives.

Through all of this, Ms Rock has rooted us into the Cade and Loveland families – showing us how human each of the families are and how vulnerable the members of their families are to the adversities of life. In many ways, both the Cades and Lovelands have each endured a lot of obstacles and have made their own sacrifices over the years – over and beyond the feud which has always stood between them. Ms Rock makes this a living reality for us as readers – as you don’t have to get too far into the stories to feel the tension coming the Cades or the Lovelands – their natural reactions to each other is out of spite and anger; fuelling the feud and deepening the chasm between them.

-quoted from my reviews of “Christmas at Cade Ranch”,
“Falling for a Cowboy” and “A Cowboy’s Pride”

As you can see – I am truly emotionally attached to this beautifully lovely series and I am honoured I get to be on the blog tour to welcome in the sixth installment of a series which gives me so much love & joy to be reading!

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Blog Book Tour | “A Rancher to Remember” (Book Six: Rocky Mountain Cowboys) by Karen Rock This one has a thrilling opening chapter and doesn’t let up on the dramatic revelations thereafter!A Rancher to Remember
by Karen Rock
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

They can’t change the past…

but they can choose their future

Globe-trotting journalist Cassidy Fulton is back in Carbondale, Colorado. Only she can’t remember why—or the accident that killed her estranged sister. Helping her piece together this mystery is her brother-in-law and former fiancé, Daryl Loveland. Overcoming their grief seems impossible. Yet one thing is clear: Cassidy can’t imagine her life without Daryl or her adorable niece and nephew. But can the ranch ever really be her home?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335510617

Also by this author: A League of Her Own, Author Interview (Christmas at Cade Ranch) Karen Rock, A Cowboy's Pride (Spotlight w/ Notes), A Cowboy's Pride, Christmas at Cade Ranch, Winning the Cowboy's Heart

Also in this series: Author Interview (Christmas at Cade Ranch) Karen Rock, A Cowboy's Pride (Spotlight w/ Notes), A Cowboy's Pride, Winning the Cowboy's Heart


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


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 2nd April, 2019

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Pages: 384

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming

Converse via: #Contemporary #Western + #Romance

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The Rocky Mountain Cowboys series:

A Cowboy to Keep (Prequel) (see also Review)

Christmas at Cade Ranch (Book One) (*reviewed)

Falling for a Cowboy (Book Two) (*reviewed)

Bad Boy Rancher (Book Three)

A Cowboy’s Pride (Book Four) (see also Review)

Winning the Cowboy’s Heart (Book Five) (see also Review)

A Rancher to Remember (Book Six)

Forthcoming release: Book Seven! (Summer 2019!)
feat. Maverick Loveland and Ella Parks!

(*) Christmas at Cade Ranch and Falling for a Cowboy
were reviewed in-line with A Cowboy’s Pride

About Karen Rock

Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary romance author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time writer. Currently she writes for Harlequin Heartwarming and her first novel for the line, WISH ME TOMORROW, has won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2014 Golden Quill Contest and a finalist in the Published Maggie Awards. The first novel in her co-authored YA series, CAMP BOYFRIEND, has been a finalist in the Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards.

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Posted Wednesday, 3 April, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Equality In Literature, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Indie Author, Modern Day, Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, West Coast USA, Western Fiction, Western Romance

#SaturdaysAreBookish | Celebrating a #LakeUnion debut novelist (Kristin Fields) and her story “A Lily in the Light” – a review and a convo during #SatBookChat

Posted Saturday, 30 March, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish created by Jorie in Canva.

After launching this lovely new feature of mine during [Autumn, 2018] it is a pleasure of joy to continue to bring #SaturdaysAreBookish as a compliment focus of my Twitter chat @SatBookChat. If you see the chat icon at the top of my blog (header bar) you can click over to visit with us. The complimentary showcases on my blog will reflect the diversity of stories, authors and publishers I would be featuring on the chat itself. As at the root and heart of the chat are the stories I am reading which compliment the conversations.

#SaturdaysAreBookish throughout [2019] will be featuring the Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I am discovering to read across genre and point of interest. Every Saturday will feature a different author who writes either Romance or Women’s Fiction – the stories I am reading might simply inspire the topics in the forthcoming chats or they might be directly connected to the current guest author.

I am excited about where new guests and new stories will lay down the foundation of inspiring the topics, the conversations and the bookish recommendations towards promoting Romance & Women’s Fiction. Here’s a lovely New Year full of new authors and their stories to celebrate!

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Acquired Book By: I originally crossed paths with Ms Fields several years ago on Twitter – before she was under contract with Lake Union and became a published author. We kept in touch off/on throughout her publishing journey and I had a delightful surprise in hearing from her earlier this year in January about how “A Lily in the Light” was publishing this Spring on the 1st of April. She enquiried if I would be interested in reading the novel and/or hosting her for a guest feature – to where I invited her to join me during @SatBookChat to discuss the novel whilst assembling a secondary interview to run on my blog to compliment a review before her #PubDay.

This was especially lovely considering this is the weekend I am celebrating my 6th blogoversary on Jorie Loves A Story – as the 31st of March, 2019 marks the sixth year I’ve been a book blogger and the day I first created what has become the blog you’re reading today. It is a pleasure of joy to look back at the authors whose paths I have crossed – either through being a book blogger and/or through my interactions on Twitter – I am humbled and honoured I get to take this journey with each of them whilst digging into the worlds they have illuminated through their stories.

I received a complimentary copy of “A Lily in the Light” direct from the author Kristin Fields in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On why this story appealled to me:

I love stories about artists and dancers – in fact, I had planned to finish reading the duology by Nancy Lorenz – as I had previously read “The Strength of Ballerinas” and have for a few years now regretted that I haven’t had the chance to focus on reading the sequel “American Ballerina”. I will be reading this in April – as similar to this novel, there are some stories which ache to be read and to be known.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect out of the story itself – as I knew Esme was passionate about ballet and I knew she was a dancer at her core – dance was a balancing centre in her life. To where she could find a way to redirect her attention off the traumas in her life and find a new reason to focus outside of those adversities. Ballet was something Esme not only was gifted and talented to pursue but in many ways I felt ballet renewed Esme’s soul.

Those moments where Fields is taking us into the everyday routines and the internal thoughts of Esme whilst she is eleven years old is a great blueprint of understanding who she becomes at the age of nineteen. Her dedication and her fortitude to dance is what strengthens her throughout the story but it also a pursuit which gave her a purpose and a future.

The reason I first wanted to read this story is because of knowing the author on Twitter but what what appealled to me about the plotting of the story is how does a family shift through this kind of adversity – do they lose themselves? Do they lose each other? OR do they find a way to rally, to muddle through and stay together? These are questions I didn’t answer on my review as it goes to the heart of the story’s evolution for each reader who reads it – however, it is just as aptly important to mention that this is also a story about a girl who grows into the woman known as Esme. This is her story and has a firm grip on the emotional depths a Women’s Fiction novel can take the reader who is dedicated to reading these kinds of stories.

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#SaturdaysAreBookish | Celebrating a #LakeUnion debut novelist (Kristin Fields) and her story “A Lily in the Light” – a review and a convo during #SatBookChatA Lily in the Light
by Kristin Fields
Source: Direct from Author

A harrowing debut novel of a tragic disappearance and one sister’s journey through the trauma that has shaped her life.

For eleven-year-old Esme, ballet is everything—until her four-year-old sister, Lily, vanishes without a trace and nothing is certain anymore. People Esme has known her whole life suddenly become suspects, each new one hitting closer to home than the last.

Unable to cope, Esme escapes the nightmare that is her new reality when she receives an invitation to join an elite ballet academy in San Francisco. Desperate to leave behind her chaotic, broken family and the mystery surrounding Lily’s disappearance, Esme accepts.

Eight years later, Esme is up for her big break: her first principal role in Paris. But a call from her older sister shatters the protective world she has built for herself, forcing her to revisit the tragedy she’s run from for so long. Will her family finally have the answers they’ve been waiting for? And can Esme confront the pain that shaped her childhood, or will the darkness follow her into the spotlight?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1542041690

Genres: Autobiographical Fiction, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Genre-bender, Realistic Fiction, Suspense, Women's Fiction


Published by Lake Union Publishing

on 1st April, 2019

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 275

Published by: Lake Union (@AmazonPub)

Follow Lake Union Authors (@LUAuthors) for updates on their releases!

Converse via: #ALilyIntheLight + #WomensFiction
as well as #LakeUnionAuthors

Available Formats: Hardback, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About Kristin Fields

Kristin Fields

Kristin Fields grew up in Queens, which she likes to think of as a small town next to a big city. Kristin studied writing at Hofstra University, where she was awarded the Eugene Schneider Award for Short Fiction. After college, Kristin found herself working on a historic farm, as a high school English teacher, designing museum education programs, and is currently leading an initiative to bring gardens to New York City public schools. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband.

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Posted Saturday, 30 March, 2019 by jorielov in #SaturdaysAreBookish, 21st Century, ARC | Galley Copy, Author Found me On Twitter, Autobiographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Ballet, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Discussions, Brothers and Sisters, Coming-Of Age, Contemporary Thriller, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Family Drama, Family Life, Fly in the Ointment, Genre-bender, Geographically Specific, Indie Author, Kidnapping or Unexplained Disappearances, Life Shift, Modern Day, Musical Fiction | Non-Fiction, New York City, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Realistic Fiction, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Sociological Behavior, Suspense, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “Claiming My Place: Coming of Age in the Shadow of the Holocaust” by Planaria Price with Helen Reichmann West

Posted Sunday, 3 March, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

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

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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 “Claiming My Place” direct from the author Planaria Price in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On why this story appealled to me:

When I was contacted about being on this blog tour, I must admit, I nearly declined it. Not because I wasn’t interested in the story – the reason stems from my childhood. As a young girl – an impressionable reader and a person with a sensitive heart, I was never able to read The Diary of Anne Frank – despite the nudges from my Mum and my grandparents; there was something preventing me from reading the book. I know I recognised a lot of myself in Anne – I was even her age when I re-attempted to read her words but there was an emotional reasoning in my head and heart; knowing if I walked into her world, I might have difficulty walking out knowing how she died. I had a lot of issues with death as a child and this in part could have played a role in not wanting to re-live Anne’s life as a young girl. The distance between her life and mine felt smaller somehow – when your the age of someone whose died tragically – somehow time, distance and proportional understanding of their life draws closer to your heart.

I also was frustrated by how my school teachers were avoiding talking about the war eras though they had no difficulty in speaking about the Civil War. Comparatively, I felt it was more relevant to everyone who grew up in the GenX generation to focus more on 20th Century History – from the war era straight into the heart of Civil Rights and the 1970s; than it would have been to dredge up history where both sides still were aggrieved about what happened. The relevancy of the 20th Century still had an important role in understanding our present and our future; at least, this was what I tried to reason in my arguments about a lack of proportional education for an engaged student losing interest in an education system which befitted no one due to how much was lost from being learnt.

As I researched the story itself – there is one particular reason why I said ‘yes’ to reading this story and why I knew I could handle the story I’d find within it. It has a happier ending than Anne Frank – hers is an uplifting story of a different nature; this one seeks to go into how someone survived but also found happiness after the war. I think for me, I needed this ‘extra chapter’ on a story which seeks to re-explain what was happening during Anne Frank’s living years whilst giving us an ending that is easier to swallow and accept.

There is a reason why I’ve altered the kind of war dramas I seek out to read – I used to read all sorts of them; including the guttingly convicting narratives which gave me nightmares. Why? I haven’t the foggiest clue. Something was directing me towards them and although I don’t regret reading them per se – I had to take a full step back from reading half of the war dramas I was naturally curious about reading. The one which crushed my soul and clued me into needing to make this change in selection was Citadel. I was within my first year of book blogging and although this novel opened my eyes to quite a heap of unknown history within the era in question, it also drew to my mind there are levels of reality I need to avoid finding in fiction.

Having said that – what inspired me to read Claiming My Place is knowing why Mum originally wanted me to read Anne Frank’s story. I knew why she wanted me to read it was simply a matter of a girl recognising she couldn’t read her story. I have regretted that personal choice over the years and as I’m inching towards turning thirtyten, it is nice to finally resolve this with being able to handle reading a different story which seeks to highlight the same truths within a classic I had to appreciate from afar.

In the same vein of interest, I did go to the theater to see Life is Beautiful and Saving Private Ryan; the latter not only gutted me emotionally but left me shell-shocked; in effect, it was too much to process. The former was my preferred experience of the two – guttingly realistic, emotionally powerful and at the root of the story is what truly was hard to reconcile about the second world war. It ends with a ray of hopefulness with the sombering tragedy of loss intermixed with your emotional reaction of having felt as if you had personally lived through the story. Notwithstanding the fact by the end of the film I no longer remembered it wasn’t in my native language. When other film goers complained about reading the subtitles – I still remember walking out going “What subtitles?” I was dearly invested in that film and I credit this to how Roberto Benigni wrote the story and brought his character to life in such a way as to transcend time, language and the human spirit.

Reading Claiming My Place is a daughter’s way of reconnecting to her mother’s memory of Anne Frank and of resolving not being able to read one of the most popular books for young readers.

I am grateful for this story, especially as the war eras have held a captivating impression on me since I was a young girl. I grew into a reader of war dramas & historical narratives set at the battlefields & on the home fronts; from one continent to the other – seeking the living truths of those who lived through the era and of the humbling ways in which History merits becoming known in each new generation past these marked fixtures in time which ought never become repeated.

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Blog Book Tour | “Claiming My Place: Coming of Age in the Shadow of the Holocaust” by Planaria Price with Helen Reichmann WestClaiming My Place
by Planaria Price
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Narrator: Ilyana Kadushin

A Junior Library Guild selection

Claiming My Place is the true story of a young Jewish woman who survived the Holocaust by escaping to Nazi Germany and hiding in plain sight.

Meet Gucia Gomolinska: smart, determined, independent, and steadfast in the face of injustice. A Jew growing up in predominantly Catholic Poland during the 1920s and ’30s, Gucia studies hard, makes friends, falls in love, and dreams of a bright future. Her world is turned upside down when Nazis invade Poland and establish the first Jewish ghetto of World War II in her town of Piotrkow Trybunalski. As the war escalates, Gucia and her family, friends, and neighbors suffer starvation, disease, and worse. She knows her blond hair and fair skin give her an advantage, and eventually she faces a harrowing choice: risk either the uncertain horrors of deportation to a concentration camp, or certain death if she is caught resisting. She decides to hide her identity as a Jew and adopts the gentile name Danuta Barbara Tanska. Barbara, nicknamed Basia, leaves behind everything and everyone she has ever known in order to claim a new life for herself.

Writing in the first person, author Planaria Price brings the immediacy of Barbara’s voice to this true account of a young woman whose unlikely survival hinges upon the same determination and defiant spirit already evident in the six-year-old girl we meet as this story begins. The final portion of this narrative, written by Barbara’s daughter, Helen Reichmann West, completes Barbara’s journey from her immigration to America until her natural, timely death. Includes maps and photographs.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780374305291

ASIN: B07BHQCW1B

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Biography / Autobiography, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Non-Fiction, Women's Fiction


Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers

on 13th March, 2018

Format: Audiobook | Digital, Hardcover Edition

Pages: 278

Length: 9 hours and 19 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers (@fsgbooks)
an imprint of Macmillan Publishing

Converse via: #WarDrama + #HistFic or #HistNov

Available Formats: Hardback, Ebook and Audiobook

About Planaria Price

Planaria Price

After graduating from Berkeley and earning a Master’s Degree in English Literature from UCLA, Planaria Price began her career teaching English to adult immigrants in Los Angeles. She has written several textbooks for University of Michigan Press and has lectured at over 75 conferences. In addition to her passion for teaching and writing, Planaria has worked with her husband to save and restore over 30 Victorian and Craftsman homes in her historic Los Angeles neighborhood. Claiming My Place is her first book for young adults.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Sunday, 3 March, 2019 by jorielov in 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, England, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, London, Prejudicial Bullying & Non-Tolerance, Realistic Fiction, Scribd, The World Wars, War Drama, Young Adult Fiction

Audiobook Review | “Bridge to Burn” (Book Seven: the Kay Hunter Detective series) by Rachel Amphlett, narrated by Alison Campbell

Posted Wednesday, 20 February, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions. Through hosting for the Audiobookworm I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks; see my sidebar). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I am hoping to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

Similar to the blog tour for the sixth novel of the #KayHunter series, the blog tour review copies are being provided directly by the author off-site from Audible. The key reason I decided to not accept the review copies from “Gone to Ground” and “Bridge to Burn” is because the new format is mostly directed for mobile listeners and I do not listen to audiobooks in that style of format. However, this time round as I switched my subscription from Audible to Scribd, I did not yet have the chance to purchase my copy of “Bridge to Burn” – which I shall be doing eventually as I want to have a full set of all the Kay Hunter installments – I was able to join this lovely blog tour because the audiobooks are readily available via Scribd! For which, I am especially grateful as I can continue to listen to one of my beloved and favourite Crime Drama series!

Thereby my copy of “Bridge to Burn” is self-provided through my subscription to Scribd rather than being provided with a complimentary copy of the story. Thereby, I am choosing to participate on the audiobook tour, sharing my ruminations with my readers for my own edification but also, as a continuation of a reader’s love for a dramatic crime serial. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What held me in the throes of “Gone to Ground” and why I was itching for the next novel:

Kay’s team has a few growing pains coming to it as with Kay’s recent promotion, the rest of the team remains a bit lopsided. Her first pick to gain a promotion soon after her was Barnes; unfortunately for Kay, Barnes was comfortable in the role he was already employed. She had to respect his choice even if it confused her why he wouldn’t want to rise in the ranks. Barnes was her right hand man on the team, a person she could trust without blinking and know he would have her back.

You can observe her own growth as a person finding traction in front of cameras whereas only a year prior being the lead spokesperson for the unit would have put her in a bit of a tailspin of anxiety. Now, she is shining as a voice for the police and hoped the words she spoke would encourage new leads to come forward after the report went out on the newscast. The case itself was perplexing – they had a clue towards what the crime involved but without ‘more evidence’ they could only speculate which was the one thing they didn’t want anyone to do. It would only lead to heartache for everyone involved.

I was definitely curious about how Larch decided to take early retirement and moved off into the Midlands as a result. This left an open space in the team and unit Kay was now overseeing alongside with the guidance of Sharpe. With Sharper in the overseeing role for the team, you start to see how the new dynamics are forming and keeping each of the team members a tightly knit team who know they can rely on each other. What was lovely though is how Kay is open to having her fellow detectives (including the junior ones) have equal respect in the bull room so to speak – to speak their theories and to explore (as a team) what they feel might be motive and opportunity. Even if they fall a bit short of a solid lead, it helps build their foundation as a team who everyone feels comfortable being an active part of growing into a well-oiled machine of efficiency.

At the morgue we get a keen insight into the gloom and the heart-wrenching cases the ME has to sort through when the caseload becomes unbearingly brutal with cases which are harder to reconcile than usual. I think any case that goes through the morgue which deals with children and youth, has to be the cases they struggle with the most to ‘let go’ once they’ve done all they can to determine the cause of death. Medical examiners don’t get a enough credit for how strong of mind and heart they have to be to constantly do their job and remain emotionally disconnected.

One of my favourite revelations was not even related to the case, it was about Adam’s inheritance, how horses played a keen role in his award and how the friendship he had with an older lady who wanted a guardian for her horses was the key to how Adam and Kay lived rather comfortably.

Outside of focusing on Kay and Adam at home and out about in their community, there were loads of cheeky humour sequences and workplace camaraderie which I love so much in this series! It helps re-affirm who these people are and how they interact with each other. When you listening to different installments of the series and a bit of time goes by – seeing how they react to each other is another way of re-aligning you right back into the dialogue from whence you had left off in the last installment.

Seeing Kay develop her confidence in her new position is a joy – each day she’s on the job, the more she becomes a confident leader. The irony of course, their current case involves team building exercises where their potential victim was spending time – the random joy for Kay is finding that her unit works well without the benefit of an official ‘time away’ from the office to come together as a united front.

When it is known what the title refers to ‘gone to ground’ – everything seemed to make better sense about the structure of this particular case. The key focus on the team and how they interact with each other has become the new standard of the series – as originally, when the series first began we would shift between the detectives and the one(s) they were pursuing – giving us a dual perspective from two different sides of every investigation.

In this particular instance – it proves how frustrating detectives become when they don’t have enough to guide them forward. I was hoping this particular case might have a decidedly brilliant wench in the wheel of the investigation and I must admit, Amphlett definitely gave us one!! It has to do with who you think is the person of interest and who the truer culprit turnt out to be – the curious bit here is how Amphlett constantly brings the sociological side of sleuthing into her stories. She focuses on the psychological and the sociological – of easing you through the hardest bits by re-focusing on the reasons ‘why’ certain behaviours are being explored and why some characters have more guilt within them than others. Sometimes your not even sure where a confession is going to lead you or if the confession your hearing is the right one for the case at hand.

I must admit, the crime(s) involved in this installment are really difficult to get through – although, I do credit Ms Amphlett for not making it worse than it was – she definitely pulls back when I have witnessed other authors who don’t have as much self-control as she does. This is a credit to her for giving us a chillingly suspenseful read but without ensuring we’ll have nightmares afterwards! You want to feel the suspense – similar to watching your favourite Hitchcock film but without feeling as if you can’t properly recover afterwards! Hitchcock and Amphlett both found the sweet spot in Suspense where they can give you chills but allow you the grace to know you can handle where the stories will lead.

-quoted from my review of Gone to Ground

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I can’t believe I’ve been outside this world since last [September]!

After finishing Gone to Ground, I was truly thankful there was a bit of a ‘gap’ between books six and seven as I felt I needed to put some distance between myself and Kay Hunter. This is a series I truly felt captivated to listen to throughout [2018] however, it is a very emotionally jarring series – you don’t realise how attached your going to become to the series until your in the throes of it and by then, your heart is gone. You are so intricately immersed inside this authentically writ world by Ms Amphlett and the heart-pulsing high octane paced narration styling of Ms Campbell – you simply can’t disconnect your ears from listening to the series once you’ve become smitten with the world, the characters and journey Kay Hunter is taking both personally and professionally.

This is why I was thankful the blog tour was in early [2019] as it gave me the distance and the breathier I need from the last installment before I entered the seventh story. I knew a few stories back this series was making a twist of a turn for being a bit more hard-boiled than most Thrillers and Suspense novels I’m reading but at the heart of the series is Kay, her team and the life she shares with Adam. I wrestled with feeling if I could continue to listen to the series and go forward with her on this journey or if I might one day need to back-out as the growing series was expounding on the grim sides of her job whilst it was also tucking us closer into her private world.

There are so many lovely layers of this series, in the end, I opted to ‘stay invested’ in the series and I credit that first and foremost to the author Ms Amphlett for how dedicated she is not to :push: the line too far afield to where I can’t get through the novels and to Ms Campbell for her passionate portrayal of Kay and how she intuitively hugs us back inside Kay’s world. The two of them together is why this increasingly dramatic crime series is dearly beloved by me – it might be on the upper tier of what I can consider reading and/or listening too – but I love the continuity, the layered insight into the life of these characters and the fact that I can trust the author for giving me an edgy read without making me feel as if I couldn’t survive it afterwards.

This is why I was wicked excited about finding the latest audiobook via Scribd as it was coordinated in such a way (ie. released to subscribers) to where I could join the blog tour – continue sharing my ruminations alongside my fellow enthused audiobook readers in the book blogosphere and tuck closer to Kay to see where we are on her personal journey whilst finding myself enchanted once more by Ms Campbell’s approach at giving me a new visitation with the whole cast of characters within the Kay Hunter series! This is definitely one that grabs you rather immediately and before you realise you’ve become addicted to hearing the stories, your already progressing through your seventh volume!

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Audiobook Review | “Bridge to Burn” (Book Seven: the Kay Hunter Detective series) by Rachel Amphlett, narrated by Alison CampbellBridge to Burn
Subtitle: A Detective Kay Hunter novel
by Rachel Amphlett
Source: Scribd | Subscription
Narrator: Alison Campbell

When a mummified body is found in a renovated building, the gruesome discovery leads Detective Kay Hunter and her team into a complex murder investigation.

The subsequent police inquiry exposes corruption, lies and organised crime within the tight-knit community – and Kay’s determination to seek justice for the young murder victim could ruin the reputations of men who will do anything to protect their business interests.

But as Kay closes in on the killer, tragedy strikes closer to home in an event that will send a shockwave through her personal life and make her question everything she values.

Can Kay keep her private and professional life under control while she tries to unravel one of the strangest murder cases of her career?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1-9993683-3-3

Also by this author: Scared to Death, Will to Live, One to Watch, Hell to Pay, Call to Arms, Author Inteview: Rachel Amphlett (Gone to Ground), Gone to Ground

Also in this series: Scared to Death, Will to Live, One to Watch, Hell to Pay, Call to Arms, Gone to Ground


Genres: Crime Fiction, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Police Procedural, Thriller


Published by Saxon Publishing

on 13th January, 2019

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 6 hours, 39 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: Saxon Publishing

Audiobooks by: Audiobook Factory (@audiofactoryuk)

Order of the Kay Hunter Detective series:
Scared to Death | Book One (see also Review)
Will to Live | Book Two (see also Review)
One to Watch | Book Three (see also Review)
Hell to Pay | Book Four (see also Review)
Call to Arms | Book Five (see also Review)
Gone to Ground | Book Six (see also Review)
Bridge to Burn | Book Seven

About Rachel Amphlett

Rachel Amphlettt

Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Robert Crais, Stuart MacBride, and many more.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore's TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 20 February, 2019 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), British Literature, Crime Fiction, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Detective Fiction, England, Good vs. Evil, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, Mental Health, Modern Day, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Psychological Suspense, Realistic Fiction, Sociological Behavior, True Crime

#SaturdaysAreBookish | “We Shall See The Sky Sparkling” by Susana Aikin

Posted Saturday, 16 February, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

#SaturdaysAreBookish created by Jorie in Canva.

After launching this lovely new feature of mine during [Autumn, 2018] it is a pleasure of joy to continue to bring #SaturdaysAreBookish as a compliment focus of my Twitter chat @SatBookChat. If you see the chat icon at the top of my blog (header bar) you can click over to visit with us. The complimentary showcases on my blog will reflect the diversity of stories, authors and publishers I would be featuring on the chat itself. As at the root and heart of the chat are the stories I am reading which compliment the conversations.

#SaturdaysAreBookish throughout [2019] will be featuring the Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I am discovering to read across genre and point of interest. Every Saturday will feature a different author who writes either Romance or Women’s Fiction – the stories I am reading might simply inspire the topics in the forthcoming chats or they might be directly connected to the current guest author.

I am excited about where new guests and new stories will lay down the foundation of inspiring the topics, the conversations and the bookish recommendations towards promoting Romance & Women’s Fiction. Here’s a lovely New Year full of new authors and their stories to celebrate!

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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 ARC copy of “We Shall See The Sky Sparkling” direct from the publisher Kensington 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 this novel appealled to me:

A good portion of the story is hinged on ancestral sleuthing and of keeping the living histories of our families alive for each new generation who has the chance to hear them told. Being one half of the Ancestry Sleuth team in my own family, I can attest to how the preservation and the exploration of one’s family line can become quite a wicked adventure! Especially if you only have subtle clues towards researching past your maternal and paternal great-grandparents or know the names of at least a few of your great-greats going back from there – genealogy is a pursuit of joy for both my Mum and I.

I keep missing the #HistFicChat’s on Thursdays as my hours during the chat are unfortunately taken elsewhere now to where I can’t chat with fellow enthused readers and the writers of Historical Fiction as I had been free to do the previous year. It was only this Friday where I realised this past Thursday the featured guest was Ms Aikin and as I read a part of the feeds for the chat, I soon unearthed that part of this story was inspired by her own ancestral lineage! In fact, she had an actress in her family (see this tweet) whilst she also was heavily read in pre-revolutionary Russian Lit which also inspired the story itself (see also this tweet).

I’m hopeful I can start to return to the chat – as Rachel Brimble is returning to speak about a sequel to her Pennington novel – of which I enjoyed discussing when it first published and Soraya Lane is going to be featured the following week for her latest release The Spitfire Girls which I enjoyed talking to her a bit about on Twitter previously during the last year. I purchased one of Soraya Lane’s past novels on audiobook via Audible and I placed a request for The Mistress of Pennington’s which was accepted by my local library. The paperback is on hand to be read and the audiobook is one I have slated to be listened to this Spring whilst I endeavour to read, listen and focus on Historical Fiction selections during my #HistoricalMondays showcases.

I decided to feature this during my #SaturdaysAreBookish feature as to me it spoke to me as being a Historical Women’s Fiction narrative – whereby, the main threads of the author’s muse were interconnected to her grandaunt and the legacy of the life she had lived. It is a particular lens into how one woman dared to live a different life – go to different places in the world and to curate her own path from her era’s conventions. To me that is at the heart of why Women’s Fiction is relevant today as it doesn’t matter if the stories are Contemporary or Historical in nature if they are focused on telling a woman’s journey – towards her own destiny on terms she determined herself or how she overcame adversity or tragedy and still found a way to move forward in the aftermath. These kinds of stories always interest me and are part of the inspiration behind both the feature and the the redirection of my chat @SatBookChat.

Thereby, you can see – I predominately focus on reading the historic past and attempt to find new voices in Historical Fiction every year, such as Ms Aikin!

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Notation on Cover Art: I could honestly envision Lily is on the cover – letter-writing was dearly important to her as it was a method of keeping in touch with her brother and sister. Her letters are a featured pause in the narrative arc and I, personally, loved how they were included in the chapters. Therefore, whomever designed this cover truly tapped into the heart of Lily and gave her a cover where you could almost see her coming in from a hectic day where she simply wanted to ink out her thoughts and draft a new letter to post! Even the outfit here reminds me of Lily from Ms Aikin’s pen!

#SaturdaysAreBookish | “We Shall See The Sky Sparkling” by Susana AikinWe Shall See The Sky Sparkling
by Susana Aikin
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Narrator: Rosalyn Landor

Set in London and Russia at the turn of the century, Susana Aikin’s debut introduces a vibrant young woman determined to defy convention and shape an extraordinary future.

Like other well-bred young women in Edwardian England, Lily Throop is expected to think of little beyond marriage and motherhood. Passionate about the stage, Lily has very different ambitions. To her father’s dismay, she secures an apprenticeship at London’s famous Imperial Theatre. Soon, her talent and beauty bring coveted roles and devoted admirers. Yet to most of society, the line between actress and harlot is whisper-thin. With her reputation threatened by her mentor’s vicious betrayal, Lily flees to St. Petersburg with an acting troupe–leaving her first love behind.

Life in Russia is as exhilarating as it is difficult. The streets rumble with talk of revolution, and Lily is drawn into an affair with Sergei, a Count with fervent revolutionary ideals. Following Sergei when he is banished to Vladivostok, Lily struggles to find her role in an increasingly dangerous world. And as Russian tensions with Japan erupt into war, only fortitude and single-mindedness can steer her to freedom and safety at last.

With its sweeping backdrop and evocative details, We Shall See the Sky Sparkling explores a fascinating period in history through the eyes of a strong-willed, singular heroine, in a moving story of love and resilience.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781496717658

ASIN: B07MQ3FCHR

Genres: Epistolary | Letters & Correspondences, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction


Published by Kensington Books

on 29th January, 2019

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 416

Length: 14 hours and 53 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: Kensington Books (@KensingtonBooks)

Converse via: #Epistolary #HistFic or #HistNov

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Susana Aikin

Susana Aikin

Born in Spain of an English father and a Spanish mother, Susana Aikin is a writer and a filmmaker who has lived and worked in New York City since 1982. She was educated in both England and Spain; studied law at the University of Madrid, and later Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.

In 1986 she started her own independent film production company, Starfish Productions, producing and directing documentary films that won her multiple awards, including an American Film Institute grant, a Rockefeller Fellowship, and an Emmy Award in 1997. She started writing fiction full time in 2010. She has two sons and now lives between Brooklyn and the mountains north of Madrid.

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Posted Saturday, 16 February, 2019 by jorielov in 19th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Content Note, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Domestic Violence, England, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, London, Mental Health, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, Psychological Abuse, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Scribd, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery