Category: Gothic Literature

Double Showcase: Book Review & Author Interview | “Red-tailed Hawk” the sequel of “Yellow-billed Magpie” by Nancy Schoellkopf

Posted Tuesday, 25 April, 2017 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for “Red-tailed Hawk” hosted by iRead Book Tours. I was thankful to be on the blog tour as I originally participated on the previous release ‘Yellow-billed Magpie’ tour which is when I first read a work by the author. It is a joy to resume where I left off as this is a connected story; a duology if you will. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Nancy Schoellkopf in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What I enjoyed about Yellow-billed Magpie:

I happen to love introspective stories – the kind where you can tug yourself inside a person’s soul whilst your soaking inside their life’s journey. Schoellkopf writes inter-personal narrative with a keen insight into an emotional rewinding of memory and the questions which taut you to interlope back against one’s life. She has crafted a story which has it’s own set of pacing and tone; it’s a lovely layout to read, because the paragraphs are chunky and free-form in how their delivered. A novel which is half poetic in it’s centering and artful in it’s descriptive details. You nearly feel this is partially written as a journal, as your peering through a window into Samantha’s life at a rate of acceptance she is giving you to learn of her story.

Ms Schoellkopf’s writings are a bit raw in places and openly vulnerable in others – she gives her characters breathing room to explore their emotions and the inner turmoil they are facing with an openness towards self-reflection. She finds a way to give her characters the ability to think about what they are going through in a way that translates well to the reader about where their frustrations lie and how they sometimes feel immobilised by their fears.

I enjoyed how she broke the narrative into pieces of introspective wanderings, internal musings of a woman’s dreams, and the conversations of dialogue which sparked interactions between her characters. She found a fusion between traditional story-telling and a new hybrid version where the pace of her story has it’s own rhythm and way of giving us an inside view of one woman’s journey towards self-understanding and acceptance of what her life is providing her to live through. She’s questioning everything and anything in order to make herself rooted in her experience. Taking out what she hopes is self-assurance and reconstructive criticism to rebuild her life in a new place that feels more like home than where she last laid her hat.

Schoellkopf is writing about how sometimes the journey which leads you backwards is the only method you can take to move forward. Within this space of time, is where the most learning and awakening of spirit can happen because your on the fringes of arriving inside your future. Curiously, I wrote this last sentiment about the novel chapters before the author had Samantha realise it herself!

-quoted from my book review of Yellow-billed Magpie

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Double Showcase: Book Review & Author Interview | “Red-tailed Hawk” the sequel of “Yellow-billed Magpie” by Nancy SchoellkopfRed-tailed Hawk
by Nancy Schoellkopf
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

When Mariah Easter encounters a large hawk in her urban midtown neighborhood, her father Charlie is concerned. He can see a wild and mystical path opening before his daughter, a path he himself would never be able to resist. The hawk soon reappears: engraved with its twin on a golden thimble that has been an Easter family heirloom for generations. After the thimble is stolen at a funeral reception, Mariah and her mother Samantha set off on a road trip to find it, a journey that will bring healing to the grieving family and change Mariah's life forever.

Red-tailed Hawk is a coming of age story, the tale of a young woman's quest to discover the source of her own longing and to understand the mystical legacy of her family.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ASIN: B01MUGZJ8K

Also by this author: Yellow-billed Magpie

Also in this series: Yellow-billed Magpie


Genres: Literary Fiction, Magical Realism, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Women's Fiction


Published by Butterfly Tree Publishing

on 11th March, 2017

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 177

Available Formats: Paperback

Converse via: #RedtailedHawk

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Posted Tuesday, 25 April, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Autism, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, California, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Equality In Literature, Father-Daughter Relationships, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Learning Difficulties, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Native American Fiction, Parapsychological Gifts, Special Needs Children, Vulgarity in Literature

Audiobook Review | “Keep on Believing: A Cinderella Story by Marie Higgins, narrated by Paula Slade

Posted Wednesday, 8 March, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a new blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I started hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions at the end of [2016] during “The Cryptic Lines” tour wherein I became quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Keep on Believing” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the author Marie Higgins) in exchange for an honest review. The difference with this complimentary copy I received is I had a 90 day window to listen and review the book whilst given a soft deadline where I could post my ruminative thoughts at an hour which worked for me on the day the review was due; this differs from a blog tour which has a more set schedule of posting. The audiobooks are offered to ‘adopt’ for review consideration and are given to readers to gauge their opinions, impressions and insight into how the audiobook is resonating with listeners. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: I had fully intended to listen to Keep On Believing somewhere between mid-to-late December and mid-to-late January; both months proved to be quite intense, most of which I recently blogged about on my latest #StoriesOfJorie. February proved to be an upturnt month for me – I simply couldn’t motivate myself to read nor blog. As such, I am running into my deadline to post my review for this adopted audiobook rather than being ahead of it.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What initially prompted me to listen to Keep On Believing:

One of the joys of being a book blogger is discovering new niches of literature – in this particular case, I have come to appreciate ‘Fairy Tale Re-Tellings’, which I feel this qualifies for as it’s a spin on the traditional ‘Cinderella’ story, which of course, is amongst my top favourites for seeking out. I wasn’t sure if this one would be a good fit for me, but I had hoped it might be enjoyable to listen too. It’s hard to find the type of fairy-tale re-tellings I enjoy most, but as my Story Vault reflects, I do find one every so often.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Audiobook Review | “Keep on Believing: A Cinderella Story by Marie Higgins, narrated by Paula SladeKeep On Believing
by Marie Higgins
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Paula Slade

Taking some of the family's jewels, Ella Spencer and her brother left the kingdom in the dead of night, escaping the clutches of their evil stepmother. Ella realized they need a different life than one of a servant. Now living in a new kingdom, Ella believes this is where they can start over again. So far, it's working - until her brother's school teacher starts poking his nose into their business. Ella cannot tell him the truth, yet deep down inside, she feels that he might be her Prince Charming after all, and be the one who will save her from danger.

Christopher Morgan is hiding secrets that he never plans to divulge. The sister of one of his students intrigues him, and he can't keep from wanting to know more about her. When a man comes around asking questions, Chris fears Ella is not safe and he needs to protect her. But he finds that he is the one in need of a dream-come-true. Can he hope that Ella will be the one to rescue him out of his life before these secrets destroy him?

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ASIN: B01N03DZPG

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Fairy-Tale Re-Telling


Published by Marie Higgins

on 14th November, 2016

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 6 hours, 16 minutes (unabridged)

Where Dreams Come True Series:

No.1 The Witch Hunt

No. 2 Her Own Fairy Godmother

No.3 Champion

No.4 Keep On Believing

Marie Higgins | GoodReads | @mariehigginsxox | Facebook

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Posted Wednesday, 8 March, 2017 by jorielov in Audiobook, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Marriage of Convenience, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Romance Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature

Audiobook Review | “His Trophy Wife” by by Leigh Michaels, narrated by Paula Slade

Posted Tuesday, 7 March, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a new blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I started hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions at the end of [2016] during “The Cryptic Lines” tour wherein I became quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “His Trophy Wife” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the author Leigh Michaels) in exchange for an honest review. The difference with this complimentary copy I received is I had a 90 day window to listen and review the book whilst given a soft deadline where I could post my ruminative thoughts at an hour which worked for me on the day the review was due; this differs from a blog tour which has a more set schedule of posting. The audiobooks are offered to ‘adopt’ for review consideration and are given to readers to gauge their opinions, impressions and insight into how the audiobook is resonating with listeners. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: I had fully intended to listen to His Trophy Wife somewhere between mid-to-late December and mid-to-late January; both months proved to be quite intense, most of which I recently blogged about on my latest #StoriesOfJorie. February proved to be an upturnt month for me – I simply couldn’t motivate myself to read nor blog. As such, I am running into my deadline to post my review for this adopted audiobook rather than being ahead of it.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What initially prompted me to listen to His Trophy Wife:

When I was first getting home from being at the hospital overseeing my father’s care as he recovered from his series of strokes, I couldn’t think of wanting to read anything too serious nor emotionally gutting. I had thought perhaps I could use a bit of lighter stories in my life – or at the very least, lighter Romances to serve as a bit of a distraction whilst I shifted back into reading more widely and regularly. The only error on my part is not realising I would vacillate between being inclined to read or listen to audiobooks and feeling a bit indifferent to either of them. This is one of those lighter Roms I thought might inspire me forward but hadn’t foreseen I’d be listening to it the day my review was due to post – as I hadn’t known then, at the time of my request I’d fall in and out of loving to read stories.

I typically read quite a lot of Romances per year – including having read quite a number of Harlequin Romances in the past, which is why I thought this might be a good fit for me. I knew going in the subject matter was a bit of a different turn of conflict than I normally read in Romances – as generally speaking, I read relationship-based Romances where both lead characters ‘want’ to be around each other; at least, generally speaking! There are times where I soak into a Rom where one characters falls for the other whilst waiting hopeful the feelings are returnt. in this particular case, it was more of a marriage of convenience where one party is gaining a bit more out of it than the other. These make for good folly – as does the convenience of the marriage act as subterfuge to a marriage which can last? Or is there more going on beneath the surface of what they’ve shared, lending towards a unique outcome once everything is revealled? In essence, this was picked to re-inspire me to listen and read during a time where I felt like doing anything else.

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Audiobook Review | “His Trophy Wife” by by Leigh Michaels, narrated by Paula SladeHis Trophy Wife
by Leigh Michaels
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Paula Slade

When Morganna Ashworth's father died, leaving her his debts, Sloan Montgomery realized he could finally achieve his two lifelong ambitions: the acquisition of a socially acceptable wife, and revenge on the Ashworth family!

In return for him paying off the debts, Morganna became Mrs. Sloan Montgomery. But once they were wed, Sloan didn't bargain on falling deeply in love with his trophy wife! Especially considering all the secrets and lies between them….

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ASIN: B01KYLGPTO

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


Published by Leigh Michaels

on 26th August, 2016

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 5 hours, 54 minutes (unabridged)

Leigh Michaels | Site | Blog | @leighmichaels | Facebook

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Posted Tuesday, 7 March, 2017 by jorielov in Audiobook, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Marriage of Convenience, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Romance Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature

Book Review | “The Girl in the Painting” (Book No.2 of the Rossetti Mysteries) by Kirsty Ferry #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 4 March, 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 “The Girl in the Painting” 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.

On re-reading the ending of ‘Some Veil Did Fall’:

The interesting bit about this particular Rom Suspense is how capturing it was to watch the lead character ‘travel’ back intuitively through the corridors of the past; whispers of windowing moments of another person’s lived life if you will. Becky becomes so attached to the mirroring connective tissues of the past, she has trouble recognising it’s not a life she once lived but the life of another woman: of Ella’s. The two women are fused together – through circumstances Becky has to unravell in order to understand and of whose paths slowly knit together in a chase towards tomorrow! What is underwrit into the narrative is this sense of urgency and purpose; of fine tuning the details to pull together the secrets but also, to understand what is lost and hidden through time itself. The ‘veil’ which falls is the curtain separating the present from the past; where all truths let out and bubble back to the surface – to be examined and understood.

There is a strong case presented for reincarnated lovers – where two souls who were entwined in the past are thus now re-acquainted with in the present; drawing to each other like magnets and finding each other unable to resist being together as a couple. The interesting bit is how the pieces fit together and how Ms Ferry presented her thesis on how this could happen with a strong viable cause for plausibility rather than mere fanciful thought towards that end. Ms Ferry also wrote about how losing trust and confidence in the partnership of relationships is something that is hard to re-build and re-affirm in the relationship which rebounds off a sour one. Coincidentally, this was part of the topic thread we discussed during our last #ChocLitSaturday held on 25th of February. When you lose the ability to trust the men your dating and the capacity you have as a woman to trust your instincts in how to balance the relationship bits with your own independence is a mark for trouble. Part of what held back Becky is recognising not every bloke she’d meet past Seb would be an ill-fated relationship; she had to take a leap of faith but part of her wasn’t quite ready to dive into the unknown; even if her heart was pulling her in that direction.

And of course, one thing that made this story so brilliantly effective of co-merging the past with the present is how Ella whispered into Becky’s mind the voice of reason; for Ella was connected to Becky on a heart-level of insight. It was almost like a form of telepathy except to say, Ella was long since dead and Becky was very much alive! The two shared a symbiotic connection all the same; where their feelings could be felt between them and where Ella was stronger about voicing her feelings than Becky felt she could herself. At the same time, Jon felt Adam moving round his person and attempting to connect with him as well. This was something that stood out to me originally and which I appreciated re-visiting; how Ms Ferry weaved the time threads into her story-line by making unconventional choices of how the ‘past’ and ‘present’ could cross-sect together.

In my re-visit, I was caught up in the emotions of Ella & Adam whilst walking alongside Jon and Becky; there is so much inside this first installment, where the pace is set, the ebbing of the past into the present is well-placed and the duality of the time-lines is well played by Ms Ferry! I felt exactly as I had originally – torn between Ella & Adam and Jon with Becky; as they each had so much to gain and so much to lose; their romance(s) were bittersweet at times and so very tender as well. Both men understood the women they loved in such a startling deep way, it nearly cut off their chances to be with them; as both Ella and Becky were at times very private individuals who did not always champion the men who understood them inside and out!

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

Book Review | “The Girl in the Painting” (Book No.2 of the Rossetti Mysteries) by Kirsty Ferry #ChocLitSaturdaysThe Girl in the Painting
Subtitle: Rossetti Mysteries
by Kirsty Ferry
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

What if you thought you knew a secret that could change history?

Whilst standing engrossed in her favourite Pre-Raphaelite painting – Millais’s Ophelia – Cori catches the eye of Tate gallery worker, Simon, who is immediately struck by her resemblance to the red-haired beauty in the famous artwork.

The attraction is mutual, but Cori has other things on her mind. She has recently acquired the diary of Daisy, a Victorian woman with a shocking secret. As Cori reads, it soon becomes apparent that Daisy will stop at nothing to be heard, even outside of the pages of her diary …

Will Simon stick around when life becomes increasingly spooky for Cori, as she moves ever closer to uncovering the truth about Daisy’s connection to the girl in her favourite painting?

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 9781781893609

Also by this author: Some Veil Did Fall

Also in this series: Some Veil Did Fall


Genres: Art & Art History, Ghost Story, Romantic Suspense, Thriller, Time Slip and/or Time Shift


Published by ChocLitUK

on 7th March, 2017

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 301

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Order of Sequence of Rossetti Mysteries:

Some Veil Did Fall by Kirsty FerryThe Girl in the Painting by Kirsty FerryThe Girl in the Photograph by Kirsty Ferry

Some Veil Did Fall | Book One | Read more on Author’s blog

The Girl in the Painting | Book Two (Synopsis) | Read more on Author’s blog

#PubDay for the third novel is *7th of March, 2017* which shares the release of the 2nd in print!

The Girl in the Photograph | Book Three | Read the Author’s Convo (via Ms Morton Gray’s blog)

whilst being sure to | Read more on the Author’s blog

Converse via: #RossettiMysteries + #ChocLit

About Kirsty Ferry

Kirsty Ferry

Kirsty lives in the North East of England with her husband and son. She won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition in 2009 and has had articles and short stories published in Peoples Friend, The Weekly News, It’s Fate, Vintage Script, Ghost Voices and First Edition.

Her work also appears in several anthologies, incorporating such diverse themes as vampires, crime, angels and more.
Kirsty loves writing ghostly mysteries and interweaving fact and fiction. The research is almost as much fun as writing the book itself, and if she can add a wonderful setting and a dollop of history, that’s even better.
Her day job involves sharing a building with an eclectic collection of ghosts, which can often prove rather interesting.

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

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Posted Saturday, 4 March, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 19th Century, 21st Century, Art, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Britian, British Literature, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Deaf Culture in Fiction, England, Equality In Literature, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Gothic Romance, Green-Minded Publishers, Haunting & Ethereal, Indie Author, Modern British Author, Modern Day, Paranormal Romance, Parapsychological Suspense, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, the Victorian era, Time Slip