Category: Gothic Mystery

Book Review | Jorie’s 1st-ever #vampireromance “Dance Until Dawn” by Berni Stevens A new paranormal trilogy by #IndiePub ChocLitUK! #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Tuesday, 31 March, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 40 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

{ A Special #ChocLitSaturdays on my 2nd Blogoversary! }

Acquired Book By:

I am a ChocLit reviewer who receives books of my choice in exchange for honest reviews! I received a complimentary copy of “Dance Until Dawn” from ChocLit via IPM (International Publisher’s Marketing) in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Growing up with Buffy & Angel:

I met my first vampire when I was thirteen whilst on holiday in New Orleans as I watched the motion picture “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” starring Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry. Perry I knew from 90210 as most of us who grew up in the 1980/90s were an appreciator of the series; however, Swanson was new to me then, but would later re-appear in another favourite series “Early Edition”. My parents had a meeting they were attending in the city, so I vegged out seeing Buffy whilst consuming copious amounts of bread pudding; courtesy of ‘room service’. This first introduction led me to the tv series spin-off lateron, wherein I would come to feel attached to both Buffy and Angel respectively. For me, the appeal of the tv series faded when Angel left, which is why I said ‘good-bye’ to Sunnydale and hallo to Los Angeles!

Along the way, I have contemplated reading works of vampire fiction, as my best friend in high school had an affinity for them, yet personally I couldn’t get the appeal myself. I respected Anne Rice as a writer and researcher, but as far as soaking inside one of her novels? I fear I side-stepped the notion because I had a feeling based on what my friend disclosed to me, I would have a very difficult time appreciating the narrative as a whole. Other vampire works would come up in conversation, but I sided with my joy in watching the tv serials, until of course, Angel left my interest too by jumping the rails on story-lines and believability. A bit quirky perhaps that the ‘believability’ was an issue for me, but it was!

I settled into Gothic Lit and Southern Gothic Lit as a gateway into psychological suspense and Gothic settings of atmospheric intrigue as a way to encompass what I was attracted too without going full throttle down a rabbit hole I might not enjoy visiting. Strangely, it is within these realms of literature I found sure footing and have continued to find myself attracted to books published fitting under one or both of these card catalogue headings.

One novel stands out to me as being potentially a ‘vampire’ novel except to say, I have only read the first several chapters of it and am uncertain where it’s leading me in the end; this would be “The Accursed” by Joyce Carol Oates. When I first discovered this novel from my local library I cannot even properly recollect the joy in devouring her narrative voice and the gutting suspense of ‘wondering’ what was truly going on. Thus, if you have read this novel, do not spoilt for me!

On my connection to Ms Stevens:

Similar to my previous thoughts I shared about Ms Courtenay, Ms Harris, and Ms Gover, I have come to appreciate chatting with Ms Stevens, either through #ChocLitSaturday chats or privately. We have been lightly talking about Gothic Lit and Vampire fiction since I first attempted to read Dance Until Dawn during Horror October 2014! I must say, it was through these conversations I garnished a newfound respect for Gothic Lit and even started to form a curiosity about reading Dracula as I had previously felt the novel was something completely different than it is! I find conversations like these quite the blessing, because you get to find like-minded persons who share your interests whilst endeavouring to expand your horizons in literature at the same time!

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Stevens through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I host #ChocLitSaturday the chat as well as privately; 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.

Book Review | Jorie’s 1st-ever #vampireromance “Dance Until Dawn” by Berni Stevens A new paranormal trilogy by #IndiePub ChocLitUK! #ChocLitSaturdaysDance Until Dawn
by Berni Stevens
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

Do you Believe in Love After Life?

At twenty-two, West-End dancer, Ellie Wakefield should be having the time of her life. The only problem is, since waking up in a three-hundred-year-old vampire’s leaky cellar, Ellie’s been very much dead. And to make matters worse, she’s found that an aversion to blood and a fear of the dark aren’t very helpful – especially when you’re a fledgling vampire.

William James Austen has fallen hard. He’s spent the last year loving Ellie from afar and now he’s finally able to be truthful about who and what he is. As the most powerful vampire in London, he’s used to getting what he wants. But this time, Will might just have bitten off more than he can chew.

*originally published as Fledging in 2011

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Also by this author: Revenge is Sweet Cover Reveal

Series: The London Vampire Chronicles, Immortals of London


Also in this series: Revenge is Sweet Cover Reveal


Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Gothic Literature, Romance Fiction, Vampire Romance


Published by ChocLitUK

on 7th April, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 356

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

Will Austen has his own Twitter! (@austen_will)

Read updates on the London Vampire Chronicles Blog!

Formats Available: Paperback & Ebook

Converse via: #ChocLit, #DanceUntilDawn OR #LondonVampireChronicles

About Berni Stevens

Berni Stevens lives in a four-hundred-year-old cottage in Hertfordshire, England, with her husband, son and black cat. She trained in graphic design and has worked as a book cover designer for more than twenty years.
Books and art remain her passion, and her love of the paranormal began when she first read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, aged fourteen. She is now on both the committee and the book panel of the Dracula Society, a society for fans of gothic literature and film.

Berni has had several short stories published, and her first novel, Fledgling, – a paranormal romance – was published in the US. This is Berni’s debut novel with Choc Lit and the first in a series of three.

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Posted Tuesday, 31 March, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Blog Birthdays & Blogoversaries, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Castles & Estates, Cemeteries & Graveyards, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Diary Accountment of Life, Domestic Violence, England, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Geographically Specific, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Gothic Romance, Indie Author, Inspiring Video Related to Content, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Modern Day, Paranormal Romance, Parapsychological Gifts, Romance Fiction, Singletons & Commitment, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Vampire Romance, Vampires, Vulgarity in Literature

Blog Tour | “Mist of Midnight” {Book 1: Daughters of Hampshire} by Sandra Byrd

Posted Thursday, 5 March, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By:

I was contacted by the author’s (Sandra Byrd) CBA Tour Coordinator (Renee Chaw) back in November, 2014 about the possibility of receiving “Mist of Midnight” in exchange for an honest review which would be included on Ms Byrd’s official blog tour for it’s March release! I was beyond delighted at having been approached by her and readily agreed. As I have a non-giveaway policy for Jorie Loves A Story, this blog tour stop is not hosting the tour giveaway, but rather is solely a book review of the novel which is posted whilst the official tour is going on. I received my complimentary ARC copy of Mist of Midnight direct from Howard Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. In December 2014, I received the press materials from her publicist Ms Chaw. I am thankful for this wonderful opportunity, not only to read my first novel by Ms Byrd but to host my first blog tour book review for Howard Books! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Intrigued to Read:

I unequivocally can declare when it comes to Gothic Lit & the Historical Fiction side of literature, I am unabashedly intrigued by each new story and author I stumble across! Imagine my good cheer in finding an author had found me for her blog tour? I hadn’t realised it at the time, but Ms Byrd has been on my TBR for awhile now, as I had to remind myself I had spied her Ladies in Waiting series previously!

When it comes to Gothic Lit, the reason I am caught instinctively inside the pages of stories which befall this category is because I have a passionate affection for ‘psychological suspense’ and most of what I enjoy reading within this realm of plausibility curates this experience for me! I have a penchant for the Victorian era of which I believe might be deduced by my literary wanderings time after time; however, it’s this wicked joy I have bubbling up inside me when I know I am about to plunder inside an enriched atmospheric novel I find the most inspiring! As well noted by now throughout my blog, I’m a hybrid reader (dancing through genres of literature between mainstream & INSPY markets) and I cannot even properly express how wicked happy I was to discover Mist of Midnight!

I have recently read a re-telling of Jane Eyre, entitled: Keeping Kate on behalf of a blog tour for Cedar Fort Publishing & Media; this on the footheels of having learnt there was a readalong for Jane Eyre! Mind you, my unhealthy time consumption in February solely focused on technical malfunctions and ISP unknown tech issues caused my blogging life to be put on hold for most of the month; notwithstanding, I simply lost too many hours within my personal life outside of this blog to soak inside even one book more than I managed to feature within the month just extinguished from view. I still fully intend to read Jane Eyre and go back through the readalong posts, however, sadly it was ill-fated for me to participate as a whole. Thrice this has happened to me, where I had sought out a RAL for Charlotte Bronté’s classic tale, yet it did not stop me from absorbing myself straight into Keeping Kate!

Bringing me round to what I wanted to share, as I have slated in my mind and gathered a bit of my intentions of what to read next on my tCC List in direct reflection to this curiously addictive focus I have on Gothic Lit! What comes to mind after I muse about Eyre, is how in earnest I attempted to borrow and consume the narrative within the pages of The Distant Hours by Kate Morton or even The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates; two novels continuously whetting my palette with hearty intrigue.

Now when it comes to ‘inheritance stories’ I must confess, I have a particular interest in them because they bring a swirl of excitement to central focus within the heart of where the story leads us to go as the lead character is nearly always at odds in these situations with an interloper! Someone who either has a hardened heart turnt black and whose ill will seeks to cause them extreme duress if not personal harm, has a shadowy allure to soak into your imagination due to the very nature of what pulls this context forward! You start to gather the facts inside your own mind, weigh and counterbalance what is perceived against what is known (as so oft-times the writer holds the reader in the dark and/or gives only ‘just so’ much information to leave the climax plausibly aloof) and hold a firm grasp on your emotional heart as the drama surrounding the entire tale will leave you up late into the night wicking at the flames of a candle!

Yes, I must confess, when it comes to seeking stories — the ones of which give me a hitch of wicked joy are the ones shrouded in suspense with the framework of a relationship that may or may not yield in romantic overtures. The mystery itself is well worth the wait to see how everything unfolds! With haste and felicity, I took up the pages of Mist of Midnight! Top cheers to Ms Byrd for allowing us the grace of seeing this is only one installment of a new series yet to bewitch us wholly and true!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Blog Tour | “Mist of Midnight” {Book 1: Daughters of Hampshire} by Sandra ByrdMist of Midnight
by Sandra Byrd
Source: Direct from Publisher

In the first of a brand-new series set in Victorian England, a young woman returns home from India after the death of her family to discover her identity and inheritance are challenged by the man who holds her future in his hands.

Rebecca Ravenshaw, daughter of missionaries, spent most of her life in India. Following the death of her family in the Indian Mutiny, Rebecca returns to claim her family estate in Hampshire, England. Upon her return, people are surprised to see her...and highly suspicious. Less than a year earlier, an imposter had arrived with an Indian servant and assumed not only Rebecca's name, but her home and incomes.

That pretender died within months of her arrival; the servant fled to London as the young woman was hastily buried at midnight. The locals believe that perhaps she, Rebecca, is the real imposter. Her home and her father's investments reverted to a distant relative, the darkly charming Captain Luke Whitfield, who quickly took over. Against her best intentions, Rebecca begins to fall in love with Luke, but she is forced to question his motives—does he love her or does he just want Headbourne House? If Luke is simply after the property, as everyone suspects, will she suffer a similar fate as the first “Rebecca”?

A captivating Gothic love story set against a backdrop of intrigue and danger, Mist of Midnight will leave you breathless.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Series: Daughters of Hampshire,


Genres: Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction


Published by Howard Books

on 10th March, 2015

Pages: 384

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published By: Howard Books (@Howard_Books)
(an imprint of Simon & Schuster: )

Available Formats:  Hardback & E-Book

Converse on Twitter: #MistOFMidnight

About Sandra Byrd

Sandra Byrd is a best-selling author and has earned Library Journal's Best Books of the year pick twice, in 2011 for To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn, and in 2012 for The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr. She's twice been a Christy Award finalist, for To Die For and for Let Them Eat Cake: A Novel. Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I published April 2013

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Posted Thursday, 5 March, 2015 by jorielov in 19th Century, ARC | Galley Copy, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, Castles & Estates, Cemeteries & Graveyards, Clever Turns of Phrase, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, England, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Genre-bender, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Gothic Romance, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Haunting & Ethereal, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, India, Inheritance & Identity, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Literature of India, Lyrical Quotations, Military Fiction, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Orphans & Guardians, Passionate Researcher, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Singletons & Commitment, Suspense, the Victorian era, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, World Religions

Book Review | “The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton” an anthology collection of ghost stories writ with a Victorian era curiosity on specters and parapsychological stories #OTBHorrorOctober

Posted Tuesday, 28 October, 2014 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Horror October 2014

Parajunkee Designs

The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton

Borrowed Book By: 

After I compiled my reading list for Horror October (of which I blogged about on my post about being a Cosy Horror Girl), I knew that I wanted to borrow this particular collection from my local library. The best resource I have always enjoyed in my life are local libraries, as they have a beautiful outreach for materials outside their collection through the ILL services they provide with other libraries. (I shorten “inter-library loan” to ILL) In my particular case, my local library is part of a consortium of libraries from a portion of the libraries within my state. This means that I can draw books out of collections from larger cities as well as from University libraries. I borrowed “The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton” and elected to blog my ruminations without any obligation to do so. The hardback edition arrived to me via a Community College library within the consortium via ILL.

Encouraged to Read By:

This was one of the novels that was compiled on the List I asked (Mr.) Gregory Fisher @ Riffle Horror to curate for me as a way for me to seek out the cosier side of the Horror genre. I have always had a pure fascination for ghost stories, as there is always such a curious route the individual writer can take as they yield to the supernatural and the presence of each ghost they bring to life on the written page. I personally have a preference for spunky & cheeky ghosts as much as spirits of the recently deceased who are in seek of help from living persons who can either aide them towards finding peace, redemption, and/or justice as a way to transition forward in peace. (I spoke more about this on my review of Lost in Thought)

I have been wanting to read more Classics since 2014 began, as I had all these wicked happy ideas of where I could soak inside the works of the writers’ who not only championed the cause for well-written fiction but who were dedicated to the craft of writing in such a way as to illicit immediate respect and admiration. When I was finally able to join tCC (the Classics Club : my List), I thought for sure each month I’d be reading at least two classic novels! Clearly my year did not pan out as I had forethought it would but that doesn’t discount the fact I knew during Horror October I could finally introduce myself to the writing style of Edith Wharton! As Wharton is already listed on my Classics TBR List due to my interactions with an after canon author during a 2013 blog tour!

The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton
by Edith Wharton
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Laszlo Kubinyi
Source: Borrowed from local library

The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton are a collection of Gothic Literature Shorts set around the parapsychological phenomenon of hauntings by way of ghosts & spirits who are attached to either physical properties, (i.e. houses) or living persons of whom the ghostly spirit has found an attachment. Each of the short stories transcends what is popularly disbelieved and unwilling to become accepted as bonefide fact that there are experiences past our vision of acceptance where the supernatural lies just outside the stretch of the living soul's observational mirror.

The setting of choice for Wharton to place these stories was inside three distinctly different locales: England, Normandy, & America. Her preference was for the inclusion of a family estate to be the central focus of where her characters not only interacted with the ghosts but where the action of the story itself takes place.

Illustrative plates are included per short story to help the reader fuse directly into the heart of where Wharton hoped to take her readers with the vision of the supernatural she wished to convey.

The following short stories are included in this collection:

  • The Lady's Maid Bell
  • The Eyes
  • Afterward
  • Kerfol
  • The Triumph of the Night
  • Miss Mary Pash
  • Bewitched
  • Mr. Jones
  • Pomegrante Seed
  • The Looking Glass
  • All Souls'

Other Works by Wharton listed inside the collection are:

  • The Moose Marathon
  • The Mudslipper (Children's Lit)
  • Mistress & Other Creative Takeoffs (Short Stories)
    with Desmond Sim & Kwan Loh

This summary of a synopsis was written & composed by Jorie @ Jorie Loves A Story.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Ghost Story, Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Suspense


Published by Charles Scribner's Sons

on 1973

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 276

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Tuesday, 28 October, 2014 by jorielov in #HorrorOctober, 19th Century, Anthology Collection of Stories, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Discussions, British Literature, Classic Mystery, Classical Literature, Clever Turns of Phrase, Cliffhanger Ending, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, England, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Haunting & Ethereal, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Library Find, Literary Fiction, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Mental Health, Motion Picture Adaptation, Parapsychological Suspense, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Reading Challenges, Short Stories or Essays, Speculative Fiction, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense, tCC The Classics Club, the Victorian era, Writing Style & Voice