Category: Women’s Suffrage

Audiobook Review | “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc” by Jennifer Kincheloe Jorie re-visits one of her beloved reads of 2016!

Posted Monday, 13 March, 2017 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

How I first came to read ‘Anna Blanc’: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction. I received a complimentary copy of “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc” direct from the publisher Seventh Street Books (an imprint of Prometheus Books) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared therein. This selection marked my ‘first’ choice of novels from Prometheus Books – which is why being able to listen and review the audiobook was such a sweet blessing!

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How I acquired this Digital Audiobook and my connection to the author: Jennifer Kincheloe

I remained in touch with the author – as I had hoped this would turn into a series – where this would only be the first installment of Anna Blanc’s life. When I caught sight of the audiobook being published on Twitter, I reached out directly to the author, to ask if she were seeking reviews on it’s behalf. Blessed to say, she was and I offered to re-read this novel via the audiobook in exchange for an honest review in December 2016, thinking I would post my ruminations on behalf of the narrator’s vocalisation of Anna Blanc in January 2017.

Except to say, I couldn’t get motivated to re-listen to this title – I was still adjusting to my father’s recovery from his stroke as he was just getting through his recovery period at home. I struggled with finding the inspiration to read in mid to late December and throughout January; although I did find a few stories which took hold. Sadly, this story I pushed forward to listen too, as I wanted to be in a better frame of mind to listen to Anna’s story for the second time, as became such a dear joy of mine the first time round! I had mentioned to the author about possibly contacting the Audiobookworm about promoting the audiobook, too. Turns out whilst I had a few months of a reader’s rut to trudge through, this audiobook and story made it into Audiobookworm Promotions!

I requested to be an ‘additional’ reviewer and to interview the narrator originally as I didn’t want to affect the blog tour – yet at the same time, I was so inspired by the narrator’s take on Anna Blanc, I was wicked excited about setting up a conversation with her about her performance. This conversation ended up being canncelled on my end, as I simply couldn’t pull it together on a short deadline. I also remained on the blog tour to be a ‘second time reader’ of the novel.

Therefore, I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc” via the author Jennifer Kencheloe in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein nor for recommending her to use Audiobookworm Promotions for publicity for this title or series.

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What I initially loved about the story of ‘Anna Blanc’ – quoted from my original review of the print edition:

Anna Blanc is self-assured and a women who doesn’t take kindly to be ‘put in place’ by her controlling father – as soon as she announces her presence on the scene, you want to know more about her as she’s a formidable woman straight from the gate! Her cheeky cleverness to hide whilst attempting to flee by rail and to be fashionable even though necessity dictates that to be a difficulty when trying to outfox someone from finding out your whereabouts – Anna Blanc has a charm about her that lends well to become entranced by a character you can tell is going to surprise you at each new turning of her story! How can you not help but smile when things go her way? She has this curious aplumb about her that delights the expectation of where she’s about to take you on her adventure!

Kincheloe has this cheeky sense of humour threading through her ink, as right when you think Anna Blanc has mastered the art of deceiving her father for the goodwill of her future, he pulls back twice as strong as before – leaving Anna with a shattered bit of hope and a firm displeasure of injustice. When she meets up with the Suffragettes, I was not too shocked to find her winning a wink towards their cause – as their cause was her cause!

The best attribute Anna Blanc has within her is a self-motivating resolve to become self-educated as it was such a joy to watch her expand her mind in a fervent attempt to understand the underpinnings of motives and causes of the crimes that were leeching through her city at such a fast rate of alarm. She did not just want to sleuth for the sake of detection but to fully understand the methodology behind the crimes and I think this is a nod to the writer’s (Kincheloe) curiosity being piqued by true crime stories straight out of the historical archives from whence she draws her inspirations. Kincheloe also under-writ a stunning historical survey of early Forensic techniques which inspired Anna with her investigating – especially in regards to understanding the differences between murder and suicide. This became quite pivotal in the story as Anna Blanc made her transition from socialite to female detective.

The beauty of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc are the little bits of plot your not expecting to find encircle through the evolving story – there were little clues fluttering through it’s context, but the joy was not completely sorting it all out until the very last chapter – wherein, your heart swoons with glee and you champion the success Anna Blanc had in closing her second case! This is a bit of a guilty pleasure for historical fiction readers – Kincheloe has tempted us with her wicked sweet prose where a heroine peppers the scenes with her feisty personality and a penchant for seeking out the truth from a sea of lies!

Sophisticated in her ascertainment of conception behind Anna Blanc, Kincheloe has writ such a lively character, you drink in her words with such a joy of delight! She has a fast paced narrative, where the humour is smitten by the sophisticated edging of her character’s personality, matched equally brilliantly by the grace of a Cosy Historical Mystery backdrop! She’s captured the turn of the century atmosphere aptly, as she tucks in recognisable familiarities to alight in your imagination as you turn the pages; replete with gaslights and other bits which correlate with the era.

I loved the way in which Kincheloe turnt a phrase, using words not oft found in historical fiction as her novel is a good primer of words that are wicked to say aloud and used in descriptive narratives such as this one! The phrases themselves are a delight for readers who love words as much as wordsmiths, which Kincheloe definitely excels at including whilst giving Anna Blanc a crafty choice of words to express her emotional duress! She also found a clever way to include Anna’s religious background by having her talk to the Saints when a mood or a moment fitted the hour; it was quite an interesting way to thread faith inside a mainstream novel and I liked the author’s candor.

I found this unputdownable – I read it straight through in one sitting!

I found it deliciously refreshing as Anna Blanc is a heroine who made her mark on the world on her own terms whilst owning the truth of her heart. I cannot wait to see what Ms Kincheloe will give us to devour next when this novel’s sequel is released – with a bit of hope, she won’t leave us in suspense too long!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Audiobook Review | “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc” by Jennifer Kincheloe Jorie re-visits one of her beloved reads of 2016!The Secret Life of Anna Blanc
Subtitle: Read by Moira Quirk
by Jennifer Kincheloe
Source: Direct from Author
Narrator: Moira Quirk

It's 1907 Los Angeles. Mischievous socialite Anna Blanc is the kind of young woman who devours purloined crime novels—but must disguise them behind covers of more domestically-appropriate reading. She could match wits with Sherlock Holmes, but in her world women are not allowed to hunt criminals.

Determined to break free of the era's rigid social roles, Anna buys off the chaperone assigned by her domineering father and, using an alias, takes a job as a police matron with the Los Angeles Police Department. There she discovers a string of brothel murders, which the cops are unwilling to investigate. Seizing her one chance to solve a crime, she takes on the investigation herself.

If the police find out, she'll get fired; if her father finds out, he'll disown her; and if her fiancé finds out, he'll cancel the wedding and stop pouring money into her father's collapsing bank. Midway into her investigation, the police chief's son, Joe Singer, learns her true identity. And shortly thereafter she learns about blackmail.

Anna must choose—either hunt the villain and risk losing her father, fiancé, and wealth, or abandon her dream and leave the killer on the loose.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Also by this author: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc

Also in this series: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc


Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Historical Fiction


Published by Jennifer R. Kincheloe Ltd

on 14th November, 2016

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 12 hours 44 minutes (unabridged)

(Audiobook) Published By: the author herself

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

Converse via: #SecretLifeOfAnnaBlanc

About Jennifer Kincheloe

Jennifer Kincheloe Photo Credit: Fola Akinyemi

Jennifer has been a block layer, a nurse's aid, a fragrance model, and on the research faculty at UCLA, where she spent 11 years conducting studies to inform health policy. A native of Southern California, she now lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two teenagers. She's currently writing book three in the Anna Blanc Mystery series. Book two, THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK, is coming out in Fall of 2017 from Seventh Street Books.

Photo Credit: Fola Akinyemi
Biography updated: March 2017

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Monday, 13 March, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Father-Daughter Relationships, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, Prometheus Books, the Nineteen Hundreds, True Crime, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Rights, Women's Suffrage

Blog Book Tour | “Madame Presidentess” (Historical Biographical Sketch of Victoria Woodhull) by Nicole Evelina

Posted Friday, 26 August, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “Madame Presidentess” direct from the author Nicole Evelina in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I appreciate reading Nicole Evelina’s Historicals:

I appreciate the extra care and attention Evelina goes too in being openly transparent with her readers – not only about the inclusions of what she is writing into the backbone of her sequel for Camelot but for why she’s finding the choices she’s made are backed up by the research and the lore left behind for her to find to inspire her writing as a whole. It helps not only understand the time-line but how the time-line affects the events and how through digging deeper into the lore and legends of Camelot you can root out strongly wrought conflict and afflictions that can affect any woman of any age. Evelina isn’t an author who shies away from harder subjects and topics, but rather meets them head-on and tries to assert her feelings on the events in a manner that is welcoming to her readers. She puts her heart on the line and owns the truth of her words as her pen inks out her stories.

It’s this attention to both detail and sensitivities of readers, wherein I felt I might appreciate reading her next historical release Madame Presidentess (read about the book on her author’s site) after having first met her title character Victoria Woodhull through my readings of The Renegade Queen (see my review); where I first began my journey into a new vein of interest for #HistFic – the Feminist driven side of Historical Fiction! I was quite grateful for the introduction (as it was soon followed by Emmy Nation (see my review) and my first introduction into Evelina’s writing via Daughter of Destiny.

The reason I felt I might find myself a bit more smitten to read Evelina’s version of Woodhull’s story is because I was very much challenged by how Flynn portrayed those harder scenes and the way in which Woodhull’s earlier life was fused to the novel. I survived the text and I was genuinely curious about the sequel by Flynn, but part of me wondered if the story could have found a softer edging – thus, imagine my joy in finding Evelina has penned a different take on the same tale! I bring up Victoria Woodhull because she shares a thread of connection with the Guinevere your meeting inside Camelot’s Queen; both women are brutally attacked and suffer aftereffects of how men treated them. Sometimes tempering the hardest and most challenging of scenes or memories of a character fit better with my own sensitive heart than the ones that breach my own level of tolerance.

quoted from my review of Camelot’s Queen

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Madame Presidentess” (Historical Biographical Sketch of Victoria Woodhull) by Nicole EvelinaMadame Presidentess
by Nicole Evelina
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Jenny Quinlan (JennyQ)
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

*Winner: U.S. Women’s History category – 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction

Forty-eight years before women were granted the right to vote, one woman dared to run for President of the United States, yet her name has been virtually written out of the history books.

Rising from the shame of an abusive childhood, Victoria Woodhull, the daughter of a con-man and a religious zealot, vows to follow her destiny, one the spirits say will lead her out of poverty to “become ruler of her people.”

But the road to glory is far from easy. A nightmarish marriage teaches Victoria that women are stronger and deserve far more credit than society gives. Eschewing the conventions of her day, she strikes out on her own to improve herself and the lot of American women.

Over the next several years, she sets into motion plans that shatter the old boys club of Wall Street and defile even the sanctity of the halls of Congress. But it’s not just her ambition that threatens men of wealth and privilege; when she announces her candidacy for President in the 1872 election, they realize she may well usurp the power they’ve so long fought to protect.

Those who support her laud “Notorious Victoria” as a gifted spiritualist medium and healer, a talented financial mind, a fresh voice in the suffrage movement, and the radical idealist needed to move the nation forward. But those who dislike her see a dangerous force who is too willing to speak out when women are expected to be quiet. Ultimately, “Mrs. Satan’s” radical views on women’s rights, equality of the sexes, free love and the role of politics in private affairs collide with her tumultuous personal life to endanger all she has built and change how she is viewed by future generations.

This is the story of one woman who was ahead of her time – a woman who would make waves even in the 21st century – but who dared to speak out and challenge the conventions of post-Civil War America, setting a precedent that is still followed by female politicians today.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780996763196

Also by this author: Daughter of Destiny, Nicole Evelina (Guest Post: Camelot's Queen), Camelot's Queen, Been Searching For You

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Women's Studies


Published by Lawson Gartner Publishing

on 25th July, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 400

About Nicole Evelina

Nicole Evelina

Nicole Evelina is an award-winning historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her current novel, Been Searching for You, a romantic comedy, won the 2015 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests.

She also writes historical fiction. Her debut novel, Daughter of Destiny, the first book of an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere’s life story from her point of view, took first place in the legend/legacy category of the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Women’s Fiction/Romance, and was short-listed for the Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction. Later this year (2016), she will release Madame Presidentess (July 25), a historical novel about Victoria Woodhull, America's first female Presidential candidate, which was the first place winner in the Women’s US History category of the 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction.

Nicole is one of only six authors who completed a week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness. Nicole has traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, where she consulted with internationally acclaimed author and historian Geoffrey Ashe, as well as Arthurian/Glastonbury expert Jaime George, the man who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon.

Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for the The Historical Novel Society, and Sirens (a group supporting female fantasy authors), as well as a member of the Historical Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America, the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Women Writing the West, Broad Universe (promoting women in fantasy, science fiction and horror), Alliance of Independent Authors and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Author biography was updated July 2016.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 26 August, 2016 by jorielov in 19th Century, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Disillusionment in Marriage, Domestic Violence, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Kidnapping or Unexplained Disappearances, Loss of an unbourne child, Marriage of Convenience, Midwives & Childbirth, Passionate Researcher, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Psychological Abuse, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Victoria Woodhull, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction, Women's Health, Women's Rights, Women's Suffrage

Book Review | “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc” by Jennifer Kincheloe

Posted Wednesday, 13 April, 2016 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

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

Acquired Book By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction. I received a complimentary copy of “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc” direct from the publisher Seventh Street Books (an imprint of Prometheus Books) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I picked this as my first Prometheus Books title:

(a portion this was originally shared with the publicist who sent me my copy)

I was most enthused finding The Secret Life of Anna Blanc in Seventh Street Books catalogue via their publishing website. The allure for me to read this title is due to how much I love reading Cosy Historical Mysteries and Historical Thrillers and Suspense. It’s a special niche of the Mystery | Suspense genre that I happen to fancy and my review history reflects this as I cannot help but become excited when I find a ‘new story and a new author’ to become introduced too! Equally joyful in this regard is that Seventh Street Books found me on Twitter and thus, introduced me to this lovely new imprint for Mystery novelists! This is how I originally started to interact with the publisher Prometheus Books whilst becoming acquainted with their imprints and releases.

I happen to be a Sherlockian to boot and I love finding spunky characters with the moxie to win-over their peers by proving their salt for the field they are passionately working inside! It’s hard not to be curious about this novel!

I remember when it arrived and how much I wanted to read this back in December, however, the timing was not right for me to soak inside it’s chapters until the Spring. I personally love finding Cosy Historical Mysteries as it happens to be an active pursuit of mine – a few lovely things have happened since I received my copy of the novel, including being able to interact a bit with the author via Twitter but also, finding out a favourite author of mine has joined Seventh Street Books! Susan Spann’s Shinobi Mysteries are now *Hiro Hattori Novels* under this imprint and are set to release August 2016! I cannot wait to find out where The Ninja’s Daughter will take me as previously I have been wondrously happy inside her novels! To learn how I came to review for Prometheus Books, kindly view my End of the Year Survey, 2015. The sweet part is that as I’m revealling my impressions on behalf of Anna Blanc, Spann’s latest novel has arrived by Post! Talk about celebratory blissitude for Seventh Street Books!!

When I first started working with Seventh Street Books, I wanted to focus on their Crime Fiction, as I have a penchant for well-conceived plots and strong characters within Crime Dramas & Suspense! I am a regular reader of these kinds of stories – therefore, from the offerings of front list titles, this is the one that stood out to me because of how convincingly brilliant the synopsis sounded! I could well see why Ms Kincheloe has attached the tagline of “for readers who love Phryne Fisher” as her character, Anna Blanc is also living inside a man’s world where women are not generally allowed to pursue a career outside of what society deems is proper and right.

I’ve followed the #MissFisher Murder Mysteries solely through the adaptive serial starring Essie Davis, and had entertained reading the mysteries starting lateron this year, until through a twitterverse convo with my bookish mates, I learnt the sad truth that revealled Jack isn’t the object of Miss Fisher’s eye in the novels! To me, having gone through the serial first rather than the books, it would be too hard to back-track and thereby, I’m a Miss Fisher supporter via the adaptations only. However, having said that, if this book holds true to the sentiment that Anna Blanc is a mirror composite of Phryne by strength, ingenuity and moxie, I knew instantly I’d become her ally! We need more characters like Phryne especially set in the historical past to help illuminate how women have always tried to find a foothold towards freeing the rights we deserve to stand on equal footing as our male peers.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art Design: This is the most dearly loved cover art I’ve come across recently – not just for the image of Anna Blanc but because of it’s velvety softness upon touch! This clever cover is lovely to hold in your hands because it’s texture is truly a one of a kind original! I even loved how the typography has this fade in / fade out styling and how Anna Blanc herself is tipping her hat away from the camera as if to take the attention off herself and leave it on the story!

Book Review | “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc” by Jennifer KincheloeThe Secret Life of Anna Blanc
by Jennifer Kincheloe
Source: Direct from Publisher

It's 1907 Los Angeles. Mischievous socialite Anna Blanc is the kind of young woman who devours purloined crime novels—but must disguise them behind covers of more domestically-appropriate reading. She could match wits with Sherlock Holmes, but in her world women are not allowed to hunt criminals.

Determined to break free of the era's rigid social roles, Anna buys off the chaperone assigned by her domineering father and, using an alias, takes a job as a police matron with the Los Angeles Police Department. There she discovers a string of brothel murders, which the cops are unwilling to investigate. Seizing her one chance to solve a crime, she takes on the investigation herself.

If the police find out, she'll get fired; if her father finds out, he'll disown her; and if her fiancé finds out, he'll cancel the wedding and stop pouring money into her father's collapsing bank. Midway into her investigation, the police chief's son, Joe Singer, learns her true identity. And shortly thereafter she learns about blackmail.

Anna must choose—either hunt the villain and risk losing her father, fiancé, and wealth, or abandon her dream and leave the killer on the loose.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781633880801

Also by this author: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc

Also in this series: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc


Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Historical Fiction


Published by Seventh Street Books

on 3rd December, 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 368

Published By: Seventh Street Books (@SeventhStBooks)

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #SecretLifeOfAnnaBlanc

About Jennifer Kincheloe

Jennifer Kincheloe Photo Credit: Fola Akinyemi

Jennifer has been a block layer, a nurse's aid, a fragrance model, and on the research faculty at UCLA, where she spent 11 years conducting studies to inform health policy. A native of Southern California, she now lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two teenagers. She's currently writing book three in the Anna Blanc Mystery series. Book two, THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK, is coming out in Fall of 2017 from Seventh Street Books.

Photo Credit: Fola Akinyemi
Biography updated: March 2017

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Wednesday, 13 April, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Father-Daughter Relationships, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, Prometheus Books, the Nineteen Hundreds, True Crime, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Rights, Women's Suffrage

Book Review | “The Silver Locket” by Margaret James begins the Charton Minster series! #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 5 March, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , , , 4 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

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 “The Silver Locket” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

An Introduction to the Charton Minster series:

Order of Sequence of Charton Minster series:

The Silver Locket Book One | The Golden Chain Book Two | The Penny Bangle Book Three

The Wedding Diary Book Four | Magic Sometimes Happens Book Five

The first story begins in 1914, where we enter the life of Rose Courtenay – the impression of how this story settled inside my mind will play out below this introduction, as I have decided to start at the beginning of this saga, as I make my way through each of the novels. I love reading series in order of how their stories are being told – mostly due to continuity but also, as I like to see how an author grows the arc of the character’s journey inasmuch as how the story evolves per installment of the series as a whole. I love finding the connective threads and the little nuances which knit everything together or leave a plausible line of thought to question certain motives or outcomes.

Serial fiction is one of my favourite mainstays when it comes to what I appreciate reading on a regular basis – so much so, I decided to dedicate this year to seeking the series within the catalogue of ChocLit; to see the beautiful diversity of characters and stories interacting through a myriad of timescapes which truly give my heart a heap of joy to discover! This is part of the beauty of reading ChocLit – if you love relationship-based Rom set in both the historical past or the contemporary modern world – you’ll always find something to cosy up inside as you pick up a ChocLit novel!

Here is the description for the original books which made up the series trilogy:

Starts in 1914 and ends in 1948. A compelling and intensely romantic tale of the lives of a Dorset family throughout the wars. Set in the UK, France, Belgium, Egypt and Italy.

If you love Downton Abbey, you’ll adore Charton Minster!

You can see what drew me to this series – I was a big appreciator Downton before they killed off Matthew and then, a test of wills followed whilst I have put-off seeing the last two series until they are available to borrow through my local library. It’s simply something that can await my attention, as the story-lines and choices Fellowes was making with his creation irked my ire more than once. Having said that, what I appreciated in the description for this series is how it’s similar to Downton by scope – focusing on a singular family and the trials which will befell them as the series proceeds forward in time.

I love sagas – you get to become so intimately familiar with the characters, caught up in their tides and get to have this extended visitation which you hardly ever want to see end. This is what was so fascinating for me when I realised there were two new novels attached to this trilogy: The Wedding Diary and Magic Sometimes Happens as I had a feeling this might prove to be a hard series to put down. The new installments sound as though they are set in the contemporary world, and perhaps, are linked through the descendants of the original characters – I tried to root out a back-story on these whilst reading through the author’s blog, but I did not find exactly what I was searching for to reveal the particulars.

Which makes my entrance into the series even more delightful, as I get to relate to you, dear hearts, what I am finding and how everything ties collectively together as I move through the series!

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

Notation on Cover Art: Being a mixed media collage artist who loves to focus on Vintage Ephemera supplies including old photographs from the early 20th Century, I must say, I loved the focus on the women of the Charton Minster series! I had hoped they might be spotlighting the lead characters per novel before the series turns contemporary and thereby the focus of the covers would surely shift. This vintage styling for the cover art truly matched my impressions of the stories by reading their synopsises as it’s a story told through it’s women & how their lives shaped the family’s destiny.

Book Review | “The Silver Locket” by Margaret James begins the Charton Minster series! #ChocLitSaturdaysThe Silver Locket
by Margaret James
Source: Direct from Publisher

If life is cheap, how much is love worth?

It’s 1914 and young Rose Courtenay has a decision to make. Please her wealthy parents by marrying the man of their choice – or play her part in the war effort? The chance to escape proves irresistible and Rose becomes a nurse.

Working in France, she meets Lieutenant Alex Denham, a dark figure from her past. He’s the last man in the world she’d get involved with – especially now he’s married

But in wartime nothing is as it seems. Alex’s marriage is a sham and Rose is the only woman he’s ever wanted. As he recovers from his wounds, he sets out to win her trust. His gift of a silver locket is a far cry from the luxuries she’s left behind.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781906931285

Also by this author: The Golden Chain, The Penny Bangle, Cover Reveal w/ Notes (Girl in Red Velvet), The Wedding Diary

Series: Charton Minster


Also in this series: The Golden Chain, The Penny Bangle, Cover Reveal w/ Notes (Girl in Red Velvet), The Wedding Diary


Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, War Drama


Published by ChocLitUK

on 29th May, 2012

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 320

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

Formats Available: Paperback, Audiobook and E-book

Converse via: #ChocLit

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.

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.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 5 March, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Britian, British Literature, Castles & Estates, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, During WWI, England, Father-Daughter Relationships, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Green Publishing, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Medical Fiction, Military Fiction, Modern British Author, Modern British Literature, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Nurses & Hospital Life, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, the Nineteen Hundreds, The World Wars, War Drama, Warfare & Power Realignment, Women's Fiction, Women's Rights, Women's Suffrage

Blog Book Tour | “Emmy Nation: Undercover Suffragette” by L. Davis Munro My second reading of Feminist driven Historical Fiction wherein I am championing the spirit of women who fought for our right to have Equality!

Posted Thursday, 25 February, 2016 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for “Emmy Nation: Undercover Suffragette” wherein I received a complimentary copy of “Emmy Nation: Undercover Suffragette” direct from the author L. Davis Munro in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

I am appreciating reading Feminist Historical Fiction:

I believe part of me was drawn into this sub-focus of historicals long before I cued the titles into my reading queues as I fondly recall seeking out strong female characters where the arc of the stories were not only focused on their lives but focused on how women could succeed in a highly dominated men’s world. For a girl who arrived on the scene and grew up in the decades where Working Girl and Baby Boom attempted to make a point about how successful a woman could be if she thought outside the proverbial box and/or wrote her own lifepath out of what was generally expected of her – you could say I was growing up in a potboiler of a new generation of Feminism without realising it!

What I find most inspiring by digging through the historical past via authors such as I am finding now, is this whole new plethora of stories wherein the women who rose out of the shadows to “effectively turn the tides of change” are brought so beautifully to life and within their characters journey we see bits of ourselves; where we can ascertain a focal point in history where women started to say ‘No’ and started to voice not only their opinions but their rights – to be wholly whole and true to themselves without having to back down due to socioeconomic pressure, familial protocol or society’s expectations which held them under a drowning sea of expectations.

I definitely am akin to reading more Feminist Historical Fiction and anxiously await where my next read will generate itself – this is to say, I can find a third author who whets my palette of thirst before either Ms Flynn (the Rebellious Times series) or Ms Munro (Emmy Nation series) complete their next books in sequence of their debuts!

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Blog Book Tour | “Emmy Nation: Undercover Suffragette” by L. Davis Munro My second reading of Feminist driven Historical Fiction wherein I am championing the spirit of women who fought for our right to have Equality!Emmy Nation
Subtitle: Undercover Suffragette
by L. Davis Munro
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

Being an independent woman in 1913 London is certainly empowering, but Emmy Nation is tired of the inescapable damp seeping through her worn shoes and the hopeless grumblings of her stomach.

When she receives an offer from Scotland Yard to boost her typist income by spying on the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), Emmy jumps at the chance. But as she grows closer to the WSPU women the lines begin to blur, and when a painful part of her past resurfaces Emmy begins to question her choices.

How far are you willing to go to secure your equality?

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781517529673

Also by this author:

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction, Women's Studies


Published by Self Published Author

on 22nd November, 2015

Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

Pages: 336

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.

About L. Davis Munro

L. Davis Munro

L. Davis Munro holds a master’s degree with a focus on women’s suffrage theatre and works in theatre and dance. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with her husband and her dog.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Thursday, 25 February, 2016 by jorielov in 20th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Britian, Debut Author, Debut Novel, England, Feminine Heroism, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Self-Published Author, the Nineteen Hundreds, The Writers Life, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction, Women's Rights, Women's Suffrage

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