Category: War Drama

Book Spotlight | Featuring notes by Jorie and an extract from “The Spitfire Girl: Over and Out” (Spitfire Girl series) by Fenella J Miller

Posted Sunday, 12 April, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Books in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am wicked delighted to be featuring a lovely #newtomeauthor today – as I recently had the chance to select quite a few Head of Zeus and Aria Fiction novelists to be spotlighting throughout the Spring months this year – wherein I was rather delighted finding so many keenly interesting stories to start seeking out to read! These are stories which dance between Romance & Women’s Fiction – from Contemporary to Historical settings. Being an avid reader of these genres I couldn’t miss the chance to bring the JOY of discovering these lovely authors to my readers of Jorie Loves A Story!

It is my intention to start requesting these novels via my local library if they are not available in audio formats via Scribd. At the moment my library is experiencing an unprecedented sabbatical on requests which put me in a bit of a pickle as I’m an active patron whose constantly requesting purchases every month – which is why I’m simply saving my queue lists and will turn them in once the services resume. For now at least – I can champion the discoveries and the joy of finding the stories whilst hosting the blog tours!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I wanted to host a spotlight & extract
for “The Spitfire Girl: Over and Out”:

As the founder and host of @SatBookChat – I am constantly seeking to find new stories featuring strong women in the centre of Romance & Women’s Fiction. I read an equal amount of Contemporary and Historical stories within these genres of interest whilst encompassing all the lovely sub-niches of their literary styles as well. This New Year 2020 I am also seeking out Feminist Lit which celebrates the kind of stories I am enjoying to discover as well. All of which I try to champion and showcase in the chats I host on Saturdays – wherein writers, readers, book reviewers, book bloggers and the rest of the bookish community on Twitter get to engage with one another. Thereby as a regular reader of these stories I was delighted to find a #newtomeauthor to start seeking out to read!

My first interest in reading and/or listening to an audiobook story about Spitfire Girls was interested by the release by Soraya M. Lane which was “The Spitfire Girls”. You might recall I have previously spotlighted Ms Lane’s novels whilst I also hosted her during #SatBookChat. I was meant to share a review of an mp3 audiobook version of her novel “The Girls of Pearl Harbour” however my personal health during a six month block of time from Autumn 2019 to Spring 2020 prevented me continuing to finish the novel until now. It is one of the stories I have requeued to finish this April.

I decided to see if one of the novels from this series (or the whole series really!) was available via Scribd and I was pleasantly surprised to find the first book “The Spitfire Girl” was listed!

The narrator for this novel is Sarah Ovens.

We first begin by having a smart introduction to the scene as it unfolds – Ellie has just returnt home from work at the airfield – her brother is on a 24 hour pass and her parents are experiencing the rougher edges of a marriage which most likely should have ended in either separation or divorce; theirs was not a happy union. Ellie looked the part with her coveralls and the kind of shine a girl would have working all day – a conflict for her mother who’d prefer a girl who looked less like a bloke and more dainty like herself.

You could feel the disapproving eye in Ellie’s mother – however, the joy for Ellie was the fact her brother was home, the fact he brought a friend notwithstanding and having to change for dinner was as much of a chore for Ellie as it were for her father! They both had a smart exchange before moving into their respective rooms – by the time we rejoined the brother and the mother, the sampler was nearly expiring and I felt it was quite a shame as I was already keenly locked into the drama as it was unfolding! Proving how thankful I am for samplers and how much I truly admire the work of narrators to bring to life the work of an author.

In regards to the narrator directly:

I found Ms Oven’s narration to be a smashingly classic voice for this kind of Saga – there is a particularly familiar intonation by narrators whose voices come from similar regions and as soon as I heard her voice narrating this story, I felt immediately drawn to Ellie and her family! I liked how she altered her voice between the genders – how her voice felt assured as a male and strong as a woman – the men of course in the story have quite a bit to contend with Ellie’s Mum and that of course came through by how she was narrating their parts. Her father seemed resigned to it and her brother was a bit more optimistic but Ellie herself was voiced with resignation at not wanting to humour her Mum; in any capacity! I was jolly happy with the sampler and was keen curious to finish off the story – as you just feel pulled into it!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Did I grab your eye and attention?

Sound like the kind of bookish read you’ve been needing?

Be sure to brew your favourite cuppa and enjoy this extract from the novel.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Spotlight | Featuring notes by Jorie and an extract from “The Spitfire Girl: Over and Out” (Spitfire Girl series) by Fenella J MillerThe Spitfire Girl: Over and Out
Subtitle: Is Ellie ready to fly one last time?
by Fenella J. Miller

All's fair in love and war for First Officer Ellie as she takes to the skies yet again in the final installment of Fenella Miller's Spitfire Girl series.

1943, White Waltham.

As Italy surrenders and victory looms on the horizon, Ellie's doing what she does best – flying. And this time, she's rising to the sky in four-engined Halifaxes. Determined to keep doing her bit, Ellie's successes in the airfield mount but so do tensions with her new beau, Squadron Leader Jack Reynolds.

When Ellie and Jack find their dream home, they discover they've bought more than they bargained for. With a cellar full of secrets, Jack and Ellie must stand united in the face of mystery, war and loss. And as family circumstance threatens to tear them apart, Ellie and Jack are stronger than ever.

Genres: Historical Fiction, War Drama, Women's Fiction


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B0844S8B64

Published by Aria Fiction

on 19th March, 2020

The Spitfire Girl series:

The Spitfire Girl (Book One)

The Spitfire Girl in the Skies (Book Two)

A Wedding for the Spitfire Girl (Book Three)

The Spitfire Girl: Over & Out (Book Four) ← final installment!

Published By: Aria Fiction (@Aria_Fiction)
a Digital First imprint of Head of Zeus (@HoZ_Books)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Available Formats: This is a Digital First Release

Converse via: #TheSpitfireGirl, #HistoricalFiction or #HistFicFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

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Posted Sunday, 12 April, 2020 by jorielov in Aftermath of World War II, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight of E-Book (ahead of POD/print edition), Head of Zeus, Historical Fiction, War Drama, Women's Fiction

Book Spotlight | Featuring notes by Jorie and an extract from “Home to the Hills” by Dee Yates

Posted Friday, 27 March, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Books in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am wicked delighted to be featuring a lovely #newtomeauthor today – as I recently had the chance to select quite a few Head of Zeus and Aria Fiction novelists to be spotlighting throughout the Spring months this year – wherein I was rather delighted finding so many keenly interesting stories to start seeking out to read! These are stories which dance between Romance & Women’s Fiction – from Contemporary to Historical settings. Being an avid reader of these genres I couldn’t miss the chance to bring the JOY of discovering these lovely authors to my readers of Jorie Loves A Story!

It is my intention to start requesting these novels via my local library if they are not available in audio formats via Scribd. At the moment my library is experiencing an unprecedented sabbatical on requests which put me in a bit of a pickle as I’m an active patron whose constantly requesting purchases every month – which is why I’m simply saving my queue lists and will turn them in once the services resume. For now at least – I can champion the discoveries and the joy of finding the stories whilst hosting the blog tours!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I wanted to host a spotlight & extract
for “Home to the Hills”:

As the founder and host of @SatBookChat – I am constantly seeking to find new stories featuring strong women in the centre of Romance & Women’s Fiction. I read an equal amount of Contemporary and Historical stories within these genres of interest whilst encompassing all the lovely sub-niches of their literary styles as well. This New Year 2020 I am also seeking out Feminist Lit which celebrates the kind of stories I am enjoying to discover as well. All of which I try to champion and showcase in the chats I host on Saturdays – wherein writers, readers, book reviewers, book bloggers and the rest of the bookish community on Twitter get to engage with one another. Thereby as a regular reader of these stories I was delighted to find a #newtomeauthor to start seeking out to read!

I have had a penchant of interest regarding war dramas for quite a long while now – however, my interest in reading them has altered slightly from the kinds I used to read in the past. I have been purposely trying to seek out stories about the homefront and/or stories set round a particular set of circumstances a character must overcome rather than strictly seeking out war dramas which are focusing more on the battle of the war itself. I felt for awhile I needed to re-address how I wanted to read war dramas as a lot of the time, whenever I would try to tuck into a traditional war drama – I would start to notice myself pulling out of the context of the setting as I felt I had finally reached the apex of no return.

Being that I still *love!* reading stories set during the war era, I’ve happily re-affirmed this love of fiction by re-finding stories which are an joy to be read. This is how I came to find Home to the Hills which I felt had a very inspiring premise in which I could enjoy getting invested into reading. Especially as this novel is set just after the war ended – of how people had to pick up their lives, forge ahead and find a way to re-define how they were going to live now that peacetime had become restored. You can feel the intensity of their choices – how determined they were to survive in this new environment but also, how heartwarming it would be to realise that they had to begin anew – without knowing what the future would yield.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Did I grab your eye and attention?

Sound like the kind of bookish read you’ve been needing?

Be sure to brew your favourite cuppa and enjoy this extract from the novel.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Spotlight | Featuring notes by Jorie and an extract from “Home to the Hills” by Dee YatesHome to the Hills
Subtitle: After the war, they must start afresh
by Dee Yates

1945.

After the Second World War, Ellen and her daughter Netta make the journey from Germany back to Scotland. Nestled in the hills of the Southern Uplands is the farm where Ellen grew up – the home she left to be with the only man she's ever loved. She is still haunted by her memories... and the secrets she dare not share with anyone.

Having grown up in Freiburg, farm life is new and exciting to Netta. Determined to be useful, she offers to help new shepherd, Andrew Cameron. But doing so might put her bruised heart at risk... The war took so much from Ellen and Netta. But maybe now the sanctuary of the hills can offer them the hope of a new beginning.

A heartwrenching Scottish saga, perfect for fans of Sheila Jeffries and Katie Flynn.

Genres: Historical Fiction, War Drama, Women's Fiction


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B0844S8B64

Published by Aria Fiction

on 19th March, 2020

Published By: Aria Fiction (@Aria_Fiction)
a Digital First imprint of Head of Zeus (@HoZ_Books)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Available Formats: This is a Digital First Release

Converse via: #HomeToTheHills, #HistoricalFiction or #HistFicFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

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Posted Friday, 27 March, 2020 by jorielov in Aftermath of World War II, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight of E-Book (ahead of POD/print edition), Head of Zeus, Historical Fiction, War Drama, Women's Fiction

Author Interview featuring the debut war drama “Royal Beauty Bright” (A Novel of WWI) by Ryan Byrnes

Posted Friday, 8 November, 2019 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva

Good afternoon, dear hearts!

I read a very stirring war drama set against the back-drop of WWI this week, wherein it hinges itself to the very real Christmas miracle those men experienced during the first Christmas season of the war. It has become a story etched through various outlets of how a story can be told – from novels to films, but Byrnes took a new approach – where he placed a man with special needs (he has Autism) on the front lines and showed how sometimes in the middle of a war, the people you grew up with in a small community might hold the keys to your survival.

Today, I am warmly welcoming this debut Historical Fiction novelist to my blog, as I had some questions to ask him about his writing craft and the story itself. I wanted to find out a few details ‘behind the debut’ which might also be of interest to my readers and those visitors who are following the blog tour route – to see what has inspired this story to be told in the way it was published. It was a rather unique read – you find yourself shifting points of view from the past when Luther was growing up with Rodney to the present, where they are in the height of the conflict in No Man’s Land.

It is gruelingly realistic from that perspective but Byrnes tempers what he visually shows you with the humanistic side of how brother to brother, those men helped each other through the worst of it. It is a character driven plot and you find yourself drawn into how their lives have remained interconnected despite the fact they each have grown up into their lives and careers.

To shift the perspective off the battlefield – Byrnes hugged us close to those who were living outside the battles but were closer still to the war than we were stateside. These were the families left behind in the ruts of what was left behind to be found in the townes, cities and harbours where supplies could be loaded and unloaded; where replacements could be housed or routed through – where everyday life was half stalled due to the war and progressively moving forward all the same. Byrnes gives out the smaller details – of how these communities had to harden themselves against the war itself and of making their children feel less fearful of the changes – as they constantly had to re-direct their focus and attention off what was happening round them into something resembling the normalcy their lives had lost. It was a humbling moment where a writer offset the front by showing what ordinary Mums and grandmothers were doing to do their bit in keeping the younger generations shielded as best they could be from the realities crowding into their childhoods.

The best moment I felt where Byrnes showed how Mums raising special needs children assert their power and strength to those in authority who do not respect them is how Mrs Baker (Luther and Jim’s Mum) gave that Doctor a bit of a run for his money! I would have hoped it would have affected his approach to his doctoring of others but something told me he was as closed minded as they come and given the era he lived, it might be expected but it is never easy to read.

The most gutting scene of course is what happened to Rodney in No Man’s Land and I was thankful for how Byrnes approached writing the scene itself. It could have become more visually graphic and more gruesome to read – but the way he depicted that incident – it was poetic in how it gave conscience thought to what your thinking about in those heightened moments of trauma and how if you were a person who felt obligated to protect someone – how in your own moment of crisis, your thoughts are not your own and there is something else protecting you from the pain which was surely buckling your resolve.

Rodney was raised in the same village as Luther – though the two were never quite close, their Mums were more distant themselves. Yet, here at war, Rodney had taken a kindness on Luther and had vowed to watch over the man – this is why this was difficult to read, as whenever you begin a war drama it is a bit like re-embarking through the Titanic exhibit – not knowing which ticket you’re holding in your hands – First Class or Third; what that foretells of your destiny had you been the person whose ticket is now yours for the day. You have to take it step by step and work through the story because that is what is pivotal – how everyone becomes connected to everyone else and how without understand the invisible lines which connect us, they are dearly important to respect.

The further you move into the context of Royal Beauty Bright the more you understand how this is a generational montage of persons who grew up in the same small community and found themselves at war at the same location of each other and all of them were inter-connected through Luther. They shared a similar history of knowledge of his character and in many ways, had interactions with him in a previous life before the war itself had overtaken their lives. In this regard, the novel is a time shift – where you move from the present moments at the front of the war itself and then you re-shift backwards by a few decades to reach into their past, to see how they first interacted with each other and how that laid down the foundation of how they would become reconnected in the future. To bridge into the theory that for every person you meet in life it is unknown whom of which might become the most important person you need to know lateron.

-quoted from my review of Royal Beauty Bright

As you can see, Byrnes has written a dramatic war drama which puts you close to the war but re-focuses your attention on the men and women who were directly afflicted by that war. It is also a partial Epistolary novel on the level that there are a healthy collection of letters and correspondences which are also important in the context of the story.

If you haven’t had the chance to read this novel, I am hopeful you might find interest in either what I’ve shared on my review and/or inside this insightful interview with the author. Be sure to brew yourself a cuppa and find a comfy chair to enjoy what we’ve conversed about in regards to “Royal Beauty Bright”!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Author Interview featuring the debut war drama “Royal Beauty Bright” (A Novel of WWI) by Ryan ByrnesRoyal Beauty Bright
Subtitle: A Novel of World War I
by Ryan Byrnes

Genres: Historical Fiction, War Drama


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781943075607

Also by this author: Royal Beauty Bright

Published by Blank Slate Press

on 5th November, 2019

Pages: 304

Published by: Blank Slate Press (@blankslatepress)
an imprint of Amphorae Publishing (@amphoraepub)

Read the story behind this women and veteran owned publishing company

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction, #HistFic or #HistNov
+ #WWI war drama and  #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Ryan Byrnes

Ryan Byrnes

Ryan Byrnes is a St. Louis native. His first foray into writing was founding the publishing imprint, Avency Press, where he wrote one illustrated chapter book, The Adventures of Wheatail, and four young adult fantasy novels in the Son of Time series.

Since then, he has worked with a publishing company, a literary agency, and various aspiring writers seeking to self-publish. Ryan now lives in Iowa as a student in mechanical engineering and English. Between work hours, he builds Mars Rovers with his roommates, plays with cats, and watches Wes Anderson movies.

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Posted Friday, 8 November, 2019 by jorielov in 20th Century, Blog Tour Host, During WWI, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, History, Mary Todd Lincoln, Military Families of the Deployed, Military Fiction, The World Wars, War Drama

Blog Book Tour (a pre-#blogmas Christmas Story) | “Royal Beauty Bright” (A Novel of WWI) by Ryan Byrnes

Posted Thursday, 7 November, 2019 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

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

Acquired Book By:

I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring.

It has been a wicked fantastical journey into the heart of the historic past, wherein I’ve been blessed truly by discovering new timescapes, new living realities of the persons who once lived (ie. Biographical Historical Fiction) inasmuch as itched my healthy appetite for Cosy Historical Mysteries! If there is a #HistRom out there it is generally a beloved favourite and I love soaking into a wicked wonderful work of Historical Fiction where you feel the beauty of the historic world, the depth of the characters and the joyfulness in which the historical novelists brought everything to light in such a lovingly diverse palette of portraiture of the eras we become time travellers through their stories.

I received a complimentary of “Royal Beauty Bright” direct from the publisher Blank Slate Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read “Royal Beauty Bright”:

I cannot remember when I first stumbled across the story of the truce of 1914 – however, it left quite the impression on me throughout the years. I’ve continued to find stories rooted round this phenom of WWI as well as select films – one of which I believe was released in French, which was one reason why I haven’t yet seen it as I wasn’t sure how much I would understand. Though technically I do watch foreign language films (such as those in Mandarin or Italian) but in this particular instance, I sometimes find French harder to follow as it is a language which has quite the fast clip of a pace to listen too.

Aside from those murmurs of insight, I haven’t had any direct readings about this particular moment in history which left such an endurable impression on every generations since the war era ended. It was a moment in time which no one felt could happen and yet it did. It was proving in a very humbling way there was still a heap of humanity left on the battlefield and how in at times of war, people can surprise you by their actions and the choices they make together.

Several years ago now, I made the conscience choice to re-select war dramas I am reading anchoured more into a human interest story, a romantic arc or a mystery plotting than I would continue to seek out war dramas which are more directly connected to the battles themselves. A few might slip into my readerly queues but overall, stories like “Royal Beauty Bright” are tipping my hat of interest more due to their humbling glimpse into the human condition and the enduring strength of all of us who simply want to see peace flourish in our world.

The irony of course is that this particular novel does take you directly into the heart of the battlefield – straight into No Man’s Land no less and hugs you close to where you would find the men who were serving on the front lines. However, part of me felt this would be a good choice to tuck closer to the truth of the truce and to find out might have inspired the action to host a cease-fire at Christmas; as that is what has always interested me the most – how did they choose to do that and take inaction at Christmas despite orders to do the opposite?

What also stood out to me is this a narrative with an autistic lead character and a diversely unique cast behind him – which gave further gravity to the fact not all the stories are yet known or readily told. I wanted to read this to see what the author’s vision was for the setting, the historic event itself and how he elected to have his characters in the middle of it all tell us a story which would touch our hearts and enrich our mind with their presence. It was also a selection I felt fitting as the lead-in towards seeking out #ChristmasReads & #ChristmasRomances as I seek out holiday stories which speak to me this holiday season 2019.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour (a pre-#blogmas Christmas Story) | “Royal Beauty Bright” (A Novel of WWI) by Ryan ByrnesRoyal Beauty Bright
Subtitle: A Novel of World War I
by Ryan Byrnes
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Genres: Historical Fiction, War Drama


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781943075607

Also by this author: Royal Beauty Bright

on 5th November, 2019

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 304

Published by: Blank Slate Press (@blankslatepress)
an imprint of Amphorae Publishing (@amphoraepub)

Read the story behind this women and veteran owned publishing company

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction, #HistFic or #HistNov
+ #WWI war drama and  #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Ryan Byrnes

Ryan Byrnes

Ryan Byrnes is a St. Louis native. His first foray into writing was founding the publishing imprint, Avency Press, where he wrote one illustrated chapter book, The Adventures of Wheatail, and four young adult fantasy novels in the Son of Time series.

Since then, he has worked with a publishing company, a literary agency, and various aspiring writers seeking to self-publish. Ryan now lives in Iowa as a student in mechanical engineering and English. Between work hours, he builds Mars Rovers with his roommates, plays with cats, and watches Wes Anderson movies.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 7 November, 2019 by jorielov in 20th Century, Blog Tour Host, During WWI, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, History, Mary Todd Lincoln, Military Families of the Deployed, Military Fiction, The World Wars, War Drama