Category: Jorie Loves A Story

A #HistoricalMondays #25PagePreview | feat. “Beauty Among Ruins” by INSPY Historical novelist J’nell Ciesielski

Posted Monday, 18 January, 2021 by jorielov , , , , , 1 Comment

#HistoricalMondays blog 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! 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. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “Beauty Among Ruins” direct from the publisher Thomas Nelson (an imprint of HarperCollins Christian Publishing) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTEI was originally scheduled to share my review of this novel earlier in the blog tour and had to amend my date for my post to be featured a week later in the tour. My apologies to those who are following the blog tour and to the author and publisher as well.

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On why I am sharing a shorter preview of my readings of
“Beauty Among Ruins”:

Recently, I started to mention how my readerly life this first half of January has been a bit stalled by current events – as like the rest of the country, it has been quite unsettling and it is hard to focus on reading. I thought if I rescheduled my review to post this week instead of last week, I’d have enough time to re-settle into books, re-find my rhythm with blogging and carry-on with my readerly plans for 2021. However, I’ll admit, I’ve been a bit glued to the newsfeeds recently and have been spending a lot of time offline – as my joy in both reading and being socially bookish hasn’t quite been the focus of how my January has begun. Except for the lovely distraction of #SatBookChat, I honestly have been absent from both the blogosphere & the twitterverse!

I decided to shorten my showcase for this novel rather than stall out in the middle of reading it – not due to disinterest as the story still appeals to me to be read but simply due to timing I’m meant to be reading it. I am sure there are others out there in the book blogosphere struggling to find their way with stories right now as well and I am hopeful I’ll be able to soak into stories with the same fierce joy I’ve always have had as a seventh year book blogger before January concludes. The past few weeks simply have felt a bit ‘off’ for me as a reader and I look forward to finding my way back into books whilst hoping for the calm & peace we all are hoping our country will embrace especially during this week of transitional changes.

For those of whom are new to Jorie Loves A Story, my #25PagePreview showcases are a way for me to get a wicked good sampling of an author’s style, voice and presence within the story they’ve written whilst offering my opinions and impressions of the pages I’ve read to my readers in the hopes that perhaps the story I am featuring might be a wicked good fit for them as well.

Today, I am featuring a #newtomeauthor from Thomas Nelson of whom is an INSPY publisher I’ve started to selectively find new stories & authors of whom interest me to be reading. Especially as they have had such a lovely batch of new Historicals this 2021, I am truly blessed they are touring with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours!

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A #HistoricalMondays #25PagePreview | feat. “Beauty Among Ruins” by INSPY Historical novelist J’nell CiesielskiBeauty Among Ruins
by J’nell Ciesielski
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

In Ciesielski’s latest sweeping romance, an American heiress finds herself in Scotland amid the fallout of the Great War, and a wounded Scottish laird comes face-to-face with his past and a woman he never could have expected.

American socialite Lily Durham is known for enjoying one moment to the next, with little regard for the consequences of her actions. But just as she is banished overseas to England as a “cure” for her frivolous ways, the Great War breaks out and wreaks havoc. She joins her cousin in nursing the wounded at a convalescent home deep in the wilds of Scotland at a crumbling castle where its laird is less than welcoming.

Alec MacGregor has given his entire life to preserving his home of Kinclavoch Castle, but mounting debts force him to sell off his family history bit by bit. Labeled a coward for not joining his countrymen in the trenches due to an old injury, he opens his home to the Tommies to make recompense while he keeps to the shadows. But his preference for the shadows is shattered when a new American nurse comes streaming into the castle on a burst of light.

Lily and Alec are thrown together when a series of mysterious events threatens to ruin the future of Kinclavoch. Can they put aside their differences to find the culprit before it’s too late, or will their greatest distraction be falling in love?

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, War Drama


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0785233565

ASIN: B0868WK6T1

Published by Thomas Nelson

on 12th January, 2021

Format: Paperback ARC

Length: 12 hours and 23 minutes (unabridged)

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Published by: Thomas Nelson (@ThomasNelson)
an imprint of HarperCollins Christian Publishing (@HCChristianPub)

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov as well as #INSPY #HistoricalFiction
+ #BeautyAmongRuins, #audiobook or #audioreads
as well as #TNZFiction and #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About J’nell Ciesielski

J'nell Ciesielski

With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages Award and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Monday, 18 January, 2021 by jorielov in #25PagePreview, #HistoricalMondays, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, During WWI, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Medical Fiction, Nurses & Hospital Life, Realistic Fiction, War Drama

#EnterTheFantastic Book Review | Exploring the first installment of the Light of Faerie series within “Fly Free” by Allison Rose

Posted Wednesday, 13 January, 2021 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

#EnterTheFantastic Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: During my 3rd Year of co-hosting @WyrdAndWonder, I was able to participate on my first blog tour with Storytellers on Tour which was featuring the author Brianna Sugalski on her “Disenchanted” blog tour. What I appreciated about Storytellers on Tour is their dedication to Indie Authors of Speculative Literature and their ability to find authors who are telling stories in Fantasy which intrigue me to read. Fantasy has been a challenging genre for me to explore even a bit moreso than Science Fiction – which is why I feel blessed to be on their blogger team. Whilst some of their tours I might seek out a book to consider for review, I also actively enjoy hosting creative content using book photography and/or featuring their authors in conversation (ie. interviews) or giving them the breadth of joy to write a guest post based on a topic of my choosing. Overall, Storytellers on Tour are dedicated to creating community and for championing those of us who are choosing to share our readerly lives each day we bring content to our book blogs. 

I received a complimentary copy of “Fly Free” direct from the author Allison Rose in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What initially drew me into “Fly Free”:

I’ve been delving into the realms of the fey ever since I became a book blogger as I knew I wanted to explore Fantasy more than I had before I blogged. For me, Speculative Fiction was a harder branch of literature to explore as a non-blogger because of the overwhelming stigma attached to girls’ who love reading it. I would run into hurdles at bookstores to seek out new voices in Speculative Fiction whilst other readers themselves never seemed inclined to think girls’ should be reading Fantasy; almost like it was exclusively a male-dominated genre of stories! Never one to let anything deter me, I trudged on with my own wanderings in the genre but what I was missing were the Independent voices of SpecFic – of which have fast become my favourites to read as a book blogger and as a reader!

Whilst book blogging opened the door wider for me to dive into genres of interest, it also presented a unique new issue of sorting out what kinds of stories within those genres I love to read I most wanted to explore. Finding literature about faeries has been a unique journey – from the Tipsy Fairy Tales by E. Chris Garrison to my discovery of #OctoberDaye and my first fey-centred Fantasy Romance by H.L. Burke!

I realise the October Daye series isn’t an Indie Fantasy series – however, as I read stories by all routes of publishing, I have found when I tabulate how many stories I read by Indie voices of genres I love against traditionally published authors – the Indie side of the ledger tends to yield a larger number of #booklove from me! Hence why I love hosting Indie authors of Fantasy during an event celebrating Fantasy I happily co-host every May called @WyrdAndWonder!

I first learnt about the two courts of the fey (generally referred to as the Seelie & Unseelie) when I read the anthology A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court. Concurrent to this, I also borrowed a few books from my library about the seelie and unseelie courts but those stories were a bit too dark for me to appreciate whilst the concept of the fey and their courts never fully left me. Which is why I had to smirk when I picked up my first October Daye novel, it was by extension re-examining the fey from a wholly different perspective than the one I had become attached to inside the Tipsy Fairy Tales!

You could say, a lovely niche I love to explore within Fantasy is the world of the fey and faerie and that is why dear hearts, I jumped at the chance to read this lovely novel by Allison Rose! Meanwhile, I have the final installment of the Tipsy Fairy Tales I’ll be reading this New Year 2021 (ie. Mean Spirit) whilst I will also be picking up where I left off with the October Daye series as well – as lo and behold, my local library completely surprised me and *bought!* the whole series!!

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#EnterTheFantastic Book Review | Exploring the first installment of the Light of Faerie series within “Fly Free” by Allison RoseFly Free
Subtitle: Light of the Faerie : Part One
by Allison Rose
Source: Author via Storytellers on Tour

In the land of Faerie, lies are easily disguised as truths.

They were raised like sisters, the heir to the Court of the Day and her guardian.

And as rebellion darkens the land of the Day—and the faeries of Court fall under a dark magic that disconnects them from the land, dooming them to a slow, agonizing death—they will question all they know to be true.

Sevelle, the Light of the Day, is destined to rule one day. She possesses a rare form of magic, the ability to heal the powerful connection between faeries and the magic in the land, the connection that gives them life—if only she could figure out how to use this magic, or even find it within herself.

Jae lives in the shadows, watching over Sevelle as her guardian and listening to the whispers of Court brought to her by the winds. She longs for a life outside of Court, but knows her duty to Sevelle is more important than her own desires.

But when an unexpected proposition comes from none other than Lex, son of the rebel leader, Sevelle and Jae realize their lives will never be the same—and that evil may be within their own court more so than in the rebels that oppose them.

Walking paths far different than they imagined separates the sisters, but then a secret is revealed that may break them apart forever.

Fly Free is the first installment of the Light of Faerie series. Enter a land of magic in the midst of a power struggle, where all is not as it seems and love may be found in the most unlikely places.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Mythological Fantasy, YA Fantasy


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1733077651

Published by Allison Rose Creations

on 17th September, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 250

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This is the first installment of the Light of Faerie series!

This is a Self-Published novel and series!

Converse via: #Fantasy, #YAFantasy or #Fey, #Faerie
as well as #StorytellersOnTour #  & #EnterTheFantastic as #JorieReads

About Allison Rose

Allison Rose

Driven by a lifelong passion for words and reading fantasy novels, award-winning author Allison Rose writes YA fantasy stories featuring faeries, magic, and strong heroines. She has a BA in psychology and is fascinated by how other people think, but her love for reading and writing is greater. When Allison isn’t writing, she is editing and proofreading the works of others. Allison lives with her husband, collie mix, bunny, and chinchilla in the place of wild weather also known as Buffalo, New York.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #EnterTheFantastic
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Posted Wednesday, 13 January, 2021 by jorielov in #EnterTheFantastic, Blog Tour Host, Dark Arts (Dark Magic), Faeries & the Fey, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Indie Author, Self-Published Author, Storytellers on Tour, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, YA Fantasy

#BestBooksOf2020 Retrospective | The 2020 End of the Year Reading Survey : The stories behind #JLASblog’s 7th Year!

Posted Monday, 4 January, 2021 by jorielov , 6 Comments

End of the Year [2020] badge created by Jorie in Canva. Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Ravven and used with permission.

The Questions for the 2020 End of the Year Survey are posted by Jaime @ the Perpetual Page Turner, who created this survey as a personal reflection of her year of bookish wanderings and readings, and never thought it would turn into a book blogosphere yearly event! I am thankful she encourages us all to participate even though over the past five years I haven’t had the best track record of joining in on the community in which she’s curated to share a summation of our readerly lives.

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*Please be Advised:*

This *End of the Year Survey* first landed on Jorie Loves A Story in [2016] whilst celebrating the previous year of [2015] and I made a determined effort to bring it back in [2017] except those plans are still in my Drafts folder for #JLASblog! Smiles. I have decided to create #timecapsule posts this Happy New Year 2021 to re-explore what my top favourites were as a book blogger for the *missing years!* of the Survey itself! Stay tuned for some bookish revelations,… whilst I have decided this year to bring back the Survey in its rightful place of cheerfully championing a signal of #booklove as one year exchanges itself for a new one – rather than withhold my responses til my next blogoversary as I had done in year’s past on the 31st of March.

As you already realise if you’re a ready reader + follower of Jorie Loves A Story – these posts become EPIC and MASSIVELY descriptive as I reveal my final thoughts, ruminations and musings about the STORIES which truly left the impressions this survey attempts to reveal about our past twelvemonths as a reader and inquistive book blogger.

This being said – this post is a full balance OF all the stories I’ve read and discovered giving a fuller scope of how I ended my 2020 as a reader who happily is blogging her life as a book blogger. As well bringing myself back to centre with my ruminations – allowing me the chance to re-think about the stories I’ve read and to put to rest the final thoughts I’ve had on behalf of the stories themselves.

Be sure to brew yourself a cuppa joy as you sit, read and ponder which of my #BestOf2020Reads need to seriously become added to your own #TBR!

If you’ve filled something out like this survey (OR this actual one!) – be sure to share your link to your post(s) in the *threads below this post so I can take a gander at which stories | authors | series | genres joyfully intrigued you throughout 2020! As I would like expand my own TBR with the stories you’ve read yourself which could be a wicked good fit for me.

REMEMBER: if a story wasn’t my cuppa it could be one better suited for you and vice versa if you had a story which you felt fell short of your own expectations and might resontate with me better. Reading is subjective to our individual experiences within the stories themselves and all our reactions are valid and important as they are markers of our readerly lives.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Let’s break this down a bit, shall we?

You can use this as a ‘preview guide’ of how to use my Story Vault. <— fully updated!

Note fo gratitude card for followers of Jorie Loves A Story created by Jorie in Canva.Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

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Posted Monday, 4 January, 2021 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, End of the Year Survey, JLAS Update Post, Jorie Loves A Story

A #Blogmas Retrospective | On all the lovely #ChristmasRomances I’ve showcased this December!

Posted Wednesday, 23 December, 2020 by jorielov 3 Comments

#blogmas badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

You might be dearly curious about my #blogmas rollout this year – as I admit, I originally had ideas of a more *predictaable hour* of revelation for these lovelies! My blog apparently has had a more unique approach to how these spotlighted posts with featured extracts arrived into my blog’s archive and for that, I hope you’ve at least enjoyed them once they blinked onto your feeds via email and/or WP Reader!

→ And, for those of you who are hitting the like button to alert me of your presence on my blog – bless you!! I cherish those clicks as I do not always receive notes under my posts. It is lovely to see a wink and a nod from my regular readers,.. likewise I hope to be doing more of that kind of activity myself in the New Year.

I presume most of you are enjoying my posts by those sources as much as being routed here on Jorie Loves A Story courtesy of my updates in the twitterverse! As this is what I’ve been surmising throughout December as I watch which way my blog posts are being clicked upon out in the wider scheme of the net. I find those stats a bit interesting to gain a small insight into how people find my blog – especially during my Decembers wherein I turn a bit more showcasey in what I present rather than full-on reviews filtering through the month.

Though to be frank, my reviews have been a bit delayed this year from alighting as I’ve had readerly fatigue for most of 2020 and almost complete readerly burnt out for the rest of it. It wasn’t even any one specific moment though I know it began in the hours waning out of 2019 & into 2020 – as the close of the former year into the new one last New Year’s week was a muddling nightmare for world events (ie. wildfires, wildlife loss, earthquakes and other disasters and all of *that!* predated the pandemic,..) which was soul wrecking in of its own right. Ergo, my yearly reads were built on a shaky start to 2020.

As the months stacked onto each other, I found myself withdrawing from reading – from my backlogue of reviews and from the blog tour reads I desired to be focusing on most. Not to mention how clogged I am in non-completed reads for @SatBookChat featured guests! :O It is quite shocking and I have had to deal with that guilt as well though part of me gives me credit for hosting the chats & organising the discussions for those authors without cancelling the chats themselves. Save one or two due to health and/or a no show for an author whom I still hope to reschedule in Winter 2021.

With all of *that!* weighing on a girl’s mind, I happily dove into an abridged schedule for the #FantasyForChristmas blog tour whilst trying to keep on schedule for the showcases I wanted to feature for the secondary blog tour this December which is the Sweet Romance for Christmas. During which I concluded my abridged foray into #SciFiMonth is going to remain shelved and blogged right where it was the first week of December. Again, readerly fatigue is real. I’ll update about those final reads for #SciFiMonth in a forthcoming yearly recap post lateron this December right before 2021 winks into starsight.

These final showcases for Prism Book Tours tucking me into featuring lovely #newtomeauthors alongside newly discovered authors has been a delight of joy as it gave me a further chance to blog some Christmassy themed journalling – you’ll have to backtrack through the Fantasy & Romance blog tours to see everything in all its glory this year – as each post was left with a different mind map of thoughts which spilt into the top anchour of those featured posts in both events! Some were more Christmas minded than others, some were happily referencing IRL binge watches of tv series or Christmas films and others, were notes from yours truly about the story, the author or what I hoped to reveal in connection to the featured book of the hour. In essence, I tried to remain mindful of the spirit of #blogmas whilst hosting both tours back to back on Jorie Loves A Story.

For those of you who were (or still are) in final preps for Christmas and Christmas weekend – this recapturing of the posts themselves will give you a keen overview of the stories I most desire to read throughout 2021 as much as a snapshot of why these stories caught my readerly eye this #blogmas 2020! You can easily click-over to my posts and/or you can happily search for these authors and their stories on your ownsome if one (or more hopefully!) winks its nod of curiosity into your own readerly heart.

And, without further adieu, let’s see which stories on this lovely romantic tour gave me a boost of bookish joy to host during the Sweet Romance for Christmas blog tour of 2020:

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Posted Wednesday, 23 December, 2020 by jorielov in #blogmas, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, JLAS Update Post, Jorie Loves A Story, Prism Book Tours

#SciFiMonth | Jorie’s Abridged @SciFiMonth 2020 : how I held onto this event the first week of December!

Posted Monday, 30 November, 2020 by jorielov 0 Comments

#SciFiMonth 2020 banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I never thought I’d be back-blogging my #SciFiMonth reviews & posts this first week of December but sometimes when life throws me lemons, I refuse to admit I can’t make lemonade! I had a larger stack of stories (both Fiction & Non-Fiction) I wanted to read this year but I shortened the list to 5x reviews and 2x posts (Intro/Wrap-Up) which could become an ‘abridged’ adventure this year for my favourite Autumn book blogosphere event I generally affectionately call “Sci Fi November”.

As you will soon see I had a rather interesting book list this year and as you read through my #SciFiMonth Launch Post, you’ll find a wicked lovely book tag full of Space Science & Spacer prompts with a keenly clever BOOK SPINE POEM* celebrating Sci Fi Month through selections off my Science Fiction TBR! I also took time to answer and respond to the “Get to Know the SF Reader” tag Imyril had shared on her own blog this year as well. I love tags but it is so rare my idea and response for them actually get onto Jorie Loves A Story!

(*) This is the second year I’ve created ‘book spine poetry’ (see also Post)

Rather than feel like I experienced an #epicfail this year – I am going to celebrate what I’ve accomplished and look forward to Spring’s @SciFiMonth mini-event called: All Systems Read (see announcement!) I’m shifting the books I have leftover into that readathon event and will consider myself #blessed. I didn’t give up and I didn’t throw in the towel – I fought through a 48 hour flu (and a relapse of it), loads of life as it evolves moments of insanity and the quirky chaotic ways in which being a caregiver can try your patience but at the end of the day you’re just thankful you keep trying to do everything you can for the person who needs your support. Whilst at the same time I had a fortnight of seriously horrid tech issues and wonkified connectivity to where I nearly considered myself cursed to be a participant this year all the way round! And, to think – it wasn’t my *migraines!* which derailed me this year! Oyy.

I might have had less hours to read and blog and tweet this year
but let’s celebrate what I did accomplish and let the rest of it ‘go’.

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

Jorie’s Abridged #SciFiMonth Reads:

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Posted Monday, 30 November, 2020 by jorielov in JLAS Update Post, Jorie Loves A Story, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction