Category: Women’s Land Army (Land Girls) Britain

An #HistoricalMondays Book Review | “The Dark Horizon” (The Linford Saga, Book One) by Liz Harris – a beloved author begins a new intergenerational series set in the early 20th Century!

Posted Monday, 6 July, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I was previously a regular reviewer and blog tour hostess for ChocLitUK which is where my path originally crossed with Ms Harris. It was through reading and reviewing their novels I came across the Historical stories of Liz Harris and simply fell in love. Two of my favourites are “A Bargain Struck” (see also Review) and “The Road Back” (see also Review). In the years since I’ve been keeping in touch with the authors I enjoyed reading – whilst I was overjoyed finding out there was a new release by Ms Harris for 2020 – as the last time I read one of her novels was in 2017! I love her passion for Historical narratives and the ways in which she creates the rhythm of her stories set in the historic past. This is the start of a new series and I was thankful to be able to host her for #SatBookChat (@SatBookChat) as well as read the novel in order to share my reflections and ruminations with my readers.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “The Dark Horizon” from Liz Harris in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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

Why I wanted to read “The Dark Horizon” & host Ms Harris on #SatBookChat:

One of the authors I felt blessed to have discovered during my years of reading and reviewing ChocLit was Liz Harris. She has such a wonderful capacity for writing a Historical drama and it wasn’t a surprise to have learnt she is now writing a Historical Saga which intergenerationally explores the Linford family through the early 20th Century.

I knew quite immediately I wanted to read this story and to host her during @SatBookChat during its release window because of how strongly I feel attached within the scope her stories. She has a wonderful way of presenting different opinions, perspectives and in regards to internal strife within the scope of a family – she owns that niche well in Historical Fiction (especially in relation to how I felt throughout The Road Back.

She writes her heart out, and I will always appreciate that style, as it mirrors my own. I even appreciate the fact that she can move and shift through locations, time sequences, and elements of distinction between where her characters and story are set alive. She has the ability to become a chameleon as she writes one story to the next. This is a quality that is appreciated because she gives us such an intense view of her worlds and characters, with a pulse on who they are and how they lived that each story becomes an experience your willingly thankful to have had afterwards. -quoted from my review of The Road Back

I have been following the careers of all the ChocLit authors I originally read as a reviewer for the publisher – as whenever you find authors who are able to write a story you can settle inside and find joy about residing in throughout the journey of the story itself is an author you want to keep in your readerly life.

The #SatBookChat wherein I featured Ms Harris and my review for The Dark Horizon continues to be my personal path back into their stories – finding where they are currently being published and continuing my pursuit of the stories I am wicked happy to be championing either directly on Jorie Loves A Story and/or my social feeds in the twitterverse. It is an honour to continue to engage with them and to tuck closer to their stories when I have the proper chance to read them. I was truly grateful I could celebrate this new series with Ms Harris and bring the announcement of it to my readers – many of whom are Historical Fiction buffs like I am and who love a wicked good #nextread in a genre we’re mutually passionate about exploring! 

Having Ms Harris as a guest on @SatBookChat is a true treat for me as a hostess – as she’s been dedicated to writing these past several years and hasn’t had a lot of free time to chat or participate in #SatBookChat – I was overjoyed we could book her the last Saturday in May – as it is within hours of the closing celebrations for the Fantasy event I co-host annually (#WyrdAndWonder). As May folded into June, I had planned to celebrate re-starting my pursuit of reading stories befitting my own readerly challenge #MyYASummer as well as sorting out which stories I want to read for #PrideMonth and taking a keen step forward in erasing my backlogue of reviews for the second half of the year. A good chunk of my backlogue quite ironically (or is it?) are Historical Fiction narratives, too! Due to health afflictions with seasonal allergies and toxic air pollution which required the need to purchase indoor air purifiers – I had to re-direct my reading goals to where I was not able to participate in #PrideMonth or #AudiobookMonth this June.

This felt like the best way to close out Wyrd And Wonder (and by extension ‘May’) whilst opening the window into Summer (and by extension my #SummerReads and goals) – the conversation and the discussion which would flow into #SatBookChat was a wicked sweet moment of personal joy, too. As I love connecting readers with authors and if it is a #newtomeauthor for them, I’ve passed forward the joy of what I’ve discovered myself to encourage another reader to find what I did and hopefully walk away with the positive reactions to the story itself.

It might have taken me a bit of extra time to finish reading The Dark Horizon as I had two migraines in mid-June and a series of migraines clustered at the end of June leading into July – but I am wicked thankful the first review to be featured for #SatBookChat this July will be a saga writ by one of my favourite Historical Fiction authors who has such a clear voice in the niches she occupies to allow us the grace to follow in her stead to the historic past.

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

On my Connection to Ms. Harris:

I have been hosting #SatBookChat chats on a regular basis for six years now. Eleven in the morning of a Saturday, has become a favourite hour for me to exchange conversation and joy with everyone who shows up to participate in a chat centered around Romance, Women’s Fiction and new for 2020 – Feminist Lit and strong female characters across genres of interest.

Similar to my previous thoughts I shared about Ms. Courtenay, I have come to appreciate chatting with Ms. Harris, either through #SatBookChat chats or privately. She is most giving of her time and I have appreciated the opportunity to know the writer behind the stories I enjoy reading! She always shares her happy spirit in the chats too, and her insights into why she enjoys writing the books that speak to her the most.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Harris through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I host #SatBookChat (or as it was previously known #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. Similarly this applies to spotlighting new books by an author I appreciate such as this one.

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

An #HistoricalMondays Book Review | “The Dark Horizon” (The Linford Saga, Book One) by Liz Harris – a beloved author begins a new intergenerational series set in the early 20th Century!The Dark Horizon
Subtitle: Secrets, schemes and deceit simmer beneath the surface, but love, loyalty and passion are no strangers
by Liz Harris, Ms Liz Harris
Source: Direct from Author

From the award-winning author of The Road Back comes the first in a sweeping saga set between the wars, which introduces the Linfords, a family simmering with secrets, schemes and lies.

Oxfordshire, 1919

The instant that Lily Brown and Robert Linford set eyes on each other, they fall in love. The instant that Robert’s father, Joseph, chairman of the family’s successful building company, sets eyes on Lily, he feels a deep distrust of her.

Convinced that his new daughter-in-law is a gold-digger, and that Robert’s feelings are a youthful infatuation he’d come to regret, Joseph resolves to do whatever it takes to rid his family of Lily.

As the young couple are torn apart, the Linford family is told a lie that will have devastating consequences for years to come.

The Dark Horizon is perfect for readers of The Thorn Birds
and the Cazalet Chronicles, and the novels of Fiona Valpy and Santa Montefiore.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Modern British Literature, Realistic Fiction


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1913687007

Also by this author: A Bargain Struck, Guest Post (A Western Heart) by Liz Harris, Guest Post (The Road Back) by Liz Harris, The Road Back, Book Spotlight w/ Notes (The Lost Girl), Evie Undercover, Guest Post (The Lost Girl) by Liz Harris, The Art of Deception, The Lost Girl

Published by Heywood Press

on 14th April, 2020

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 346

Published by: Heywood Press

Formats Available: Paperback & Ebook

Genre(s): Historical Fiction | Family Saga | World War era

Converse via: #LinfordSaga, #TheDarkHorizon and #LizHarris
as well as #HistRom, #HistFic, #HistoricalFiction

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

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 6 July, 2020 by jorielov in #HistoricalMondays, 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Book Review (non-blog tour), British Literature, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Intergenerational Saga, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Realistic Fiction, Taboo Relationships & Romance, the Nineteen Hundreds, the Roaring Twenties, Women's Land Army (Land Girls) Britain

Cover Reveal w/ Notes | A new war drama caught my eye recently “Shelter” by Sarah Franklin

Posted Monday, 2 April, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Stories Sailing into View Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I came across a new publisher in recent months who has been releasing stories which are catching my eye and are becoming part of a growing list of #mustreads! This one in particular catch my attention because it takes a war drama to a new layer of heightened awareness of another facet of the war era we might not have become aware of until a novel like this one highlights the hidden history. This isn’t the first time I’ve found myself properly intrigued by a war drama such as this one which separates itself from the others due to the original thread of entrance into a portion the war’s history we never would have heard about otherwise. It reminds me of when I first learnt of the Land Girls – who worked the fields and brought in the veg to keep the country (England) well fed during the war era.

In this instance, it’s the captivating drama behind finding yourself in the midst of a forest and doing work within it you might not have felt you could have previously if it hadn’t been for the war itself. It is also about a meeting of the minds – of how two people can find themselves during war and find a measure of peace through their connection – even if the rest of the world and their future isn’t quite as clear as their ‘everyday’ here and now. It sounds like the kind of dramatic story I would love to read and this is why I am joining in the celebration for the paperback release!

I love finding stories which stand out – curate a vein of entry into a portal of history which at times can feel overrun with stories (as I’ve become quite particular about which war dramas I read) – you still find the hidden gems which speak out from the crowd, draw your heart towards their words and find an uplift of joy to have stumbled across a part of History you haven’t yet had the chance to traverse inside. At least, this is how I felt when I first read the premise behind SHELTER and why I happily wanted to cheer about it today, on the 2nd of April.

I am sharing this announcement both on my blog and on Twitter – wherein the most intriguing part of the story itself – aside from the characters and the ports of entry therein – is how inspiring the back-story is about how the novel was conceived by the author! I’ve included a preview of insight from the author on this post – you’ll find out about where this story is set and what led the author to tell the story she did. If you have a penchant for war dramas like I do, I hope this might be one of your #mustreads as much as it has become mine!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Cover Reveal w/ Notes | A new war drama caught my eye recently “Shelter” by Sarah FranklinShelter
by Sarah Franklin

Spring 1944. Connie Granger arrives, alone, in the Forest of Dean. Fleeing her blitzed home and the war that’s fiercely raging on, she will train with the Women’s Timber Corps as a lumberjill. Deep in the heart of the forest, Connie’s duties will include felling, snedding, loading and crosscutting.

As she is drawn to the healing rhythms of the ancient forest and its remote local community – the forester and his wife, the shepherd, – Connie battles with the knowledge that she must soon make a life-changing decision.

Also arriving in the forest is Seppe, an Italian Prisoner of War, who is haunted by the past. Amongst the trees of the forest, he finds a strange kind of freedom and when Connie and Seppe cross paths in the forest, their meeting signals new beginnings. With the support of one another they will find the means to imagine their own lives anew and to face the fears that haunt them.

Genres: Historical Fiction, War Drama


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 978-1785762826

on 1st June, 2018

Published By: Zaffre Books (@BonnierZaffre)

an imprint of Bonnier Publishing (@bonnier_publish)

Formats Available: Hardcover, Ebook, Audiobook & the upcoming Trade Paperback Edition!

About Sarah Franklin

Sarah Franklin

Sarah Franklin grew up in rural Gloucestershire. She lectures in publishing at Oxford Brookes, is the founder and host of Short Stories Aloud and a judge for the Costa Short Story Award. She has written for The Guardian, Psychologies, The Pool, Sunday Express. In 2014, Sarah was awarded a Jerwood/Arvon Mentorship on the strength of her opening pages of SHELTER, and worked on the novel for a year with Jenn Ashworth, amongst others.

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Posted Monday, 2 April, 2018 by jorielov in 20th Century, Blog Tour Host, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight, Historical Fiction, The World Wars, War Drama, Women's Land Army (Land Girls) Britain

Book Review | “The Penny Bangle” (Charton Minster No.3) by Margaret James #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 25 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 Penny Bangle” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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

Why Jorie Loves reading the Charton Minster series:

This is such a heart-warming series – this section of the saga was very family-centred, about how you can grow closer through adversity and how being industriously hopeful towards your circumstances can lead to new tomorrows. The parents and the children alike never wavered in hope for their futures, whilst sorting out small ways to contribute to building a tomorrow they could all be proud to claim as a hard-won victory over the events that led to their financial insecurity after difficult situations affected their securities. I especially enjoyed seeing how returning to land and farm, built a strength of hearth and home; whilst giving new possibilities of how to self-sustain yourself along the way. Love can move mountains and in this case, the love of family is a bond made of sturdy fibre that can weather any storm that threatens to destroy them.

One of the best methods of delivering a sequel to a series in-progress for me is knitting up the characters’ story-lines whilst expanding on the supporting cast and the other curious sorts who take up residence in the background of where the central leads live and take our hearts for a walkabout. This is exactly what Ms James has done with the Charton Minster series, as she dropped us back inside the story soon after the close of the first novel – wells, time shifted forward a small bit, but evenso, Rose and Alex were right as rain against the page; just as I had remembered them. They were still two against the world, living their lives despite the adverse strife they ebbed in and out of, they were content and happy because they chose to be together.

Boiling behind the romance between Rose & Alex is a deeper scar that hasn’t healed through absence nor of the passage of time – seeing what had become of Charton Minster and the seething anger of who took up residence inside the ancient estate was difficult as one would hope time could heal even the most difficult of hearts. I applauded Ms James for keeping the continuity moving forward whilst owning the truths of difficult characters who truly haven’t quite learned how best to live. Throughout this installment, the flaws which gave the characters the most depth became the connective threads of where personal growth matured into such a warm new beginning.

I truly liked seeing how Rose & Alex alongside their children continued to ban together as a family, through thick and thin; rights and wrongs and all the lovely moments in-between. They were a true blue family, letting each other grow and make mistakes, but giving each other the warmth of encouragement only given out of the pureness of unconditional love. Their family was beyond blessed in that regard, as they understood each others worts and loved each other all the same! It will be quite interesting to see how the story picks up in the third installment ‘The Penny Bangle’ where Daisy’s brothers take centerstage as the series shifts forward. I grew quite found of Robert and Stephen as they became such enterprising young gentlemen!

-quoted from my review of The Golden Chain

You can well understand why I am quite delighted I can continue to read each installment of this series, and become caught up in the drama and lives of each of the characters as they make their entrance and take their cue to exit. It’s one of those timeless classics you hope you can stumble across & dearly love!

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

 Book Review | “The Penny Bangle” (Charton Minster No.3) by Margaret James #ChocLitSaturdaysThe Penny Bangle
by Margaret James
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Steve West
Source: Direct from Publisher

When should you trust your heart?

It’s 1942 when Cassie Taylor reluctantly leaves Birmingham to become a land girl on a farm in Dorset.

There she meets Robert and Stephen Denham, twins recovering from injuries sustained at Dunkirk. Cassie is instantly drawn to Stephen, but is wary of the more complex Robert – who doesn’t seem to like Cassie one little bit.

At first, Robert wants to sack the inexperienced city girl. But Cassie soon learns, and Robert comes to admire her courage, finding himself deeply attracted to Cassie. Just as their romance blossoms, he’s called back into active service.

Anxious to have adventures herself, Cassie joins the ATS. In Egypt, she meets up with Robert, and they become engaged. However, war separates them again as Robert is sent to Italy and Cassie back to the UK.

Robert is reported missing, presumed dead. Stephen wants to take Robert’s place in Cassie’s heart. But will Cassie stay true to the memory of her first love, and will Robert come home again?

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Realistic Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

Book Page on World Weaver Press

ISBN: 9781906931773

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

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


Published by ChocLitUK

on 15th March, 2013

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 286

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook & E-Book

Order of Sequence of Charton Minster series:

The Silver Locket Book One (review)

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

The Wedding Diary Book Four | Magic Sometimes Happens Book Five

*Wicked good news!* This series has a *sixth!* title! As I learnt this via a lovely convo with Ms James whilst conversing about the #ChartonMinster series on Twitter! More news lateron in 2017!

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

About Margaret James

Margaret James

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

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

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

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 25 March, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, British Literature, Brothers and Sisters, Child out of Wedlock, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Coming-Of Age, England, Family Drama, Fathers and Daughters, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Green-Minded Publishers, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Modern British Author, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Multi-Generational Saga, Romance Fiction, Siblings, Small Towne Fiction, Twin Siblings, Unexpected Pregnancy, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Health, Women's Land Army (Land Girls) Britain