Category: Jorie Loves A Story Features

An INSPY Book Review during #CFSRS20 | Diving into the Coastal Hearts series by Janet W. Ferguson whilst reading “Magnolia Storms”

Posted Friday, 7 August, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#CFSRS20 readathon badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I have been participating in the Christian Fiction & Clean Reads Reading Safari readathon for the past three years now. I have found the readathon to be personally enriching as it is a wonderful month of respite for book bloggers who want to focus on reading outside their blog schedules and tuck into the gentler side of fiction which is Inspirational Fiction (ie. INSPY). A portion of INSPY is Christian Fiction however, INSPY overall encompasses all faiths and religious backgrounds as it is faith-inspired literature. As a participant of the readathon – each reader moves through the event at their own pacing – seeking stories to read, authors to get to know socially online and reading the stories which interest them throughout the readathon. As you participate there is a chance you can win a book or several throughout the month. This year I am reading a mixture of stories I’ve won during past CFSRS readathons, stories I’ve won through bookaways with Christian Fiction authors or bloggers as well as stories on my shelf from my personal library as well as borrowing INSPY stories in print and audio from my local libraries.

I won a bookaway during #CFSRS18 wherein I received a copy of “Magnolia Storms” direct from the author Janet W. Ferguson which she happily surprised me with inscribing! I was not obligated to post a review on behalf of this novel and have elected to do so for my own edification as well as continuing to share my bookish and readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: The Press Materials seen on this book review were courtesy of the author’s Media Kit and are used with permission of the author as stated on her page.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I wanted to read this story:

I have been wanting to read this lovely ever since it first arrived – however, the past few years have been unique years wherein what I have wanted to read hasn’t always aligned with the ability to read the stories. I attempted to start reading the books I had won during the first year of the readathon last July – however, try as I had – something always pulled me away. I was just thankful I was able to read any INSPY last July as it seemed like the month was taking me up in its tides and not allowing me the grace to settle into the stories which give my heart such an uplift to read.

This year, about two months ahead of the readathon (or as I thought it would be – as I hadn’t known it was switched from July to August until the end of June) I started pulling the stories off my shelves I felt I might be inclined to read this year. I had more than enough to choose from as INSPY Lit is one of my favourite areas of literature to explore – as seen on my 70 Authors Challenge and through my Story Vault wherein I house my review archives. I knew I was going to read more Love Inspired this year – both Contemporary & Suspense whilst I had a few blog tours in August for Harlequin Heartwarming & Love Inspired respectively – however, I wasn’t going to count those in my readathon goals. I like to use the readathon to read the stories already in my personal library, won in bookaways and/or which can become borrowed through my local libraries in either audio or print; whilst seeking out INSPY Fiction on Scribd in audiobook as well.

What first drew my eye into the premise of ‘Magnolia Storms’ when I requested it as one of my book choices in [2018] was the fact this was rooted in the after effects of Hurricane Katrina and storm seasons in the Gulf. Being a traveller during Katrina and having had many conversations with the evacuating families who were fleeing out of its path who had found themselves where I had been at the time in Birmingham, Alabama was quite the experience. Most were on their way back to Louisiana, others were going west to either Colorado or Houston, Texas whilst others were staying in Birmingham as they were given a warm welcome. I couldn’t blame them – it was a friendly city.

Storms in any variety are a part of our everyday lives – they bring destruction and they bring a kind of wrath that is hard to understand. They have after effects that are felt long and wide after a storm has passed. Look at the cities decimated by tornadoes every year and you will see how powerful and how hard it is to find mercy in the dawn after those storms have passed. Hurricanes like their tornado cousins cause emotional trauma and personal loss.

I used to read and watch a lot of natural disaster stories – for reasons which are elusive to me, however several pushed me a bit over the edge of what I could handle – especially if it involved flash flooding, earthquakes, wildfires or a deluge of tornadoes. I had had my fill at the time and only recently re-watched one of my favourites which was about tornadoes affecting a power plant [Atomic Twister] which started Mark Paul Gosselaar and Sharon Lawrence – as it was available for free via Roku. It was hard to believe how terrifying it was all over again and how hard it was to watch one of the team sacrifice his own life to save everyone else when it come to going into the contaminated room to give the team more time to save the plant.

This first novel of the Coastal Hearts series felt like a beautiful segue into Realistic INSPY Fiction which combines the drama of living in today’s world as we each face the different (and complicated!) storms which set to unravel our internal and external worlds. It is how we choose to rise through those unforeseen adversities which seek to challenge our perspectives on life and how we want to be living – but with faith, hope and a bit of grit to get through those challenging hours – we can all seek solid ground on the other side of the ‘storms’. This is why I wanted to read “Magnolia Storms” and this year is the best year I believe for me to ‘meet’ the story as who hasn’t been shuffling their own sea of storms crashing ashore this 2020?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Magnolia Storms novel Photography Credit: © jorielovesastory.com.

Magnolia Storms
Subtitle: A Coastal Hearts novel
by Janet W. Ferguson
Source: Won a Bookaway

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780997658767

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Meteorology, Realistic Fiction, Southern Lit, Sweet Romance, Women's Fiction


on 20th August, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 280

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Coastal Heart series:

Magnolia Storms(book one)

Falling for Grace(book two)

The Art of Rivers (book three)

Star Rising (book four)

Published by: Southern Sun Press

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance, #INSPYRomance, #INSPYbooks,
as well as #SouthernLit and #CoastalHearts

About Janet W. Ferguson

Janet W. Ferguson

Janet W. Ferguson is a Grace Award winner and a Christy Award finalist. She grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served as a children’s minister and a church youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. She writes humorous inspirational fiction for people with real lives and real problems. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a cat that allows them to share the space.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Divider

Posted Friday, 7 August, 2020 by jorielov in #CFSRS20, #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Review (non-blog tour), Christianity, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Medical Fiction, Mental Health, Mississippi, Modern Day, Motherhood | Parenthood, Post-911 (11th September 2001), PTSD, Reading Challenges, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Single Fathers, Single Mothers, Singletons & Commitment, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Sweet Romance, Terminal Illness &/or Cancer, Trauma | Recovery in Hospital, Traumatic Injury, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Women's Fiction

#CrimeFicFridays Audiobook Series Spotlight | “Turn to Dust” (Book Nine: the Kay Hunter Detective series) by Rachel Amphlett, narrated by Alison Campbell

Posted Friday, 24 July, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions. Through hosting for the Audiobookworm I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks; see my sidebar). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I am hoping to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

Similar to the blog tour for the sixth novel of the #KayHunter series, the blog tour review copies are being provided directly by the author off-site from Audible. The key reason I decided to not accept the review copies from “Gone to Ground”, “Bridge to Burn”, “Cradle to Grave” and “Turn to Dust” is because the new format is mostly directed for mobile listeners and I do not listen to audiobooks in that style of format. Eventually as I want to have a full set of all the Kay Hunter installments – I will be purchasing the ones I am missing from Audible to house them all in one place unless I find them available on mp3 CD – until then, I was able to join this lovely blog tour because the audiobooks are readily available via Scribd! For which, I am especially grateful as I can continue to listen to one of my beloved and favourite Crime Drama series!

Thereby my copy of “Turn to Dust” is self-provided through my subscription to Scribd rather than being provided with a complimentary copy of the story. Thereby, I am choosing to participate on the audiobook tour, sharing my ruminations with my readers for my own edification but also, as a continuation of a reader’s love for a dramatic crime serial. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What hooked me into the eighth installment of this series “Cradle to Grave”:

When you first begin Cradle to Grave, the title itself was percolating round my mind a bit – as I being a ready listener to the series now, I knew it was murmuring a glimpse of a hint towards the central plot of the story. I hadn’t caught on to what it implied – as I went a different direction in my mind than what was ultimately revealled but I liked where Amphlett took her motivation to tell the story and how that served a central arc of exploration as it was quite a perceptive point of entry once you realise what it is referencing directly.

You get spoilt by how quickly you are inserted into these detective’s lives – where you forget that they have emotional baggage of their own and that for some of them, certain cases are going to affect their mental health moreso than others. This was the case I felt for Gavin who was taking this case especially hard as each time he attempted to make any kind of lead-way, he was being confounded by more dead ends. For a case which felt time sensitive, it was not the kind of process a detective could resolve in their heart of hearts – not when a missing child needed to be found sooner than later.

Happily as we are quite a far afield into the series now – Kay isn’t the only perspective we are focusing on now. Other characters are stepping forward into the foreground – where they can take the ‘lead’ focus for different sequences whilst Kay is still actively working the case in the background and/or delegating her other duties given the role Sharpe appointed her as she’s not just a lead investigator now. This became my mainstay of joy for Cradle to Grave – getting to hear the other characters have more ‘on-scene’ time in your ears – as they are beautifully developed by Ms Campbell and they are lovingly etched out by Ms Amphlett. Due to this the series feels fuller somehow as the team isn’t just a ragtag family of investigators – but they feel authentically true to themselves and the nature of their jobs.

One note of interest to reveal – as I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the shift in points-of-view from what was previously established early-on in the Kay Hunter series? Amphlett used to feature the villains in her stories on such a high level of disclosure, it was always a bit hard to progress through those passages because of how dark the story felt whilst you were in those sections of the audiobooks. Campbell did well to pull you through them – but there was a point where I noticed there was a general shift to re-establish the series back into the police perspective and keep this more anchoured in a dramatic crime focused through the police procedural thread of interest moreso than in re-shifting off Kay and the villains themselves.

By this installment, I can tell the switch was well-timed because it establishes what I loved about watching Rizzoli and Isles – you feel more connected to the detectives themselves and as such, the series re-evolves itself to be even more emotionally centred on their lives rather than just focusing in on how their solving the cases which test their strengths and their patience to solve the impossible on a time-clock which is constantly working against them.

-quoted from my review of Cradle to Grave

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#CrimeFicFridays Audiobook Series Spotlight | “Turn to Dust” (Book Nine: the Kay Hunter Detective series) by Rachel Amphlett, narrated by Alison CampbellTurn To Dust
Subtitle: A Detective Kay Hunter Novel
by Rachel Amphlett

When the body of a naked man is found in the middle of a barren field, a rural community is left in shock - and fear.

Discovering that someone is offering money in return for information about the dead man and anyone connected to him, Detective Kay Hunter realises there is a dark side to the victim’s past. When a key witness disappears and a web of deceit and lies threatens to derail the investigation, she fears the worst. Can Kay and her team of detectives find out who is behind the man’s murder before another victim is targeted?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B088KV7NJ6

Also by this author: Scared to Death, Will to Live, One to Watch, Hell to Pay, Call to Arms, Author Inteview: Rachel Amphlett (Gone to Ground), Gone to Ground, Bridge to Burn, Cradle to Grave

Also in this series: Scared to Death, Will to Live, One to Watch, Hell to Pay, Call to Arms, Gone to Ground, Bridge to Burn, Cradle to Grave


Published by Saxon Publishing

on 14th May, 2020

Length: 7 hours and 56 minutes (unabridged)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published by: Saxon Publishing

Audiobooks by: Audiobook Factory (@audiofactoryuk)

Order of the Kay Hunter Detective series:
Scared to Death | Book One (see also Review)
Will to Live | Book Two (see also Review)
One to Watch | Book Three (see also Review)
Hell to Pay | Book Four (see also Review)
Call to Arms | Book Five (see also Review)
Gone to Ground | Book Six (see also Review)
Bridge to Burn | Book Seven (see also Review)
Cradle to Grave | Book Eight (see also Mini Review)
Turn to Dust | Book Nine

About Rachel Amphlett

Rachel Amphlettt

Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Robert Crais, Stuart MacBride, and many more.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore's TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Divider

Posted Friday, 24 July, 2020 by jorielov in #CrimeFicFriday, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Features

#RomanceTuesdays | feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming author Cathy McDavid’s “Her Cowboy Sweetheart” (The Sweetheart Ranch) as Jorie has to ‘let go’ of a series which ends in a quartet!

Posted Tuesday, 21 July, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#RomanceTuesdays badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.

My review for this blog tour unfortunately was delayed – I was ran a spotlight in lieu of a review during the blog tour and happily can now share my thoughts on the fourth installment of a series I have been delighted in re-visiting each time Ms McDavid releases a new chapter in the lives of these characters. It has become one of my favourite Harlequin Heartwarming Western Romance series – in company with the Rocky Mountain Cowboys (by Karen Rock), the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series (by multi-authors) and Heroes of Shelter Creek (by Claire McEwen).

I received a complimentary copy of “Her Cowboy Sweetheart” direct from the author Cathy McDavid 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 continue to love returning back into The Sweetheart Ranch series:

You immediately get attached to Jewel, Ava and Tanner’s situation because of how heart-wrenching it truly is once you learn all the facts about what caused the distance to erupt between Jewel and Tanner! Tanner is the kind of son and brother you’d hoped to have in your family – the kind where honour and loyalty are his best attributes but when it comes to balancing his family with his girlfriend, this is where his first fault is revealled. Tanner didn’t handle himself well with Jewel and this is also why little Ava despite her innocent acceptance of him didn’t know him from Adam. I also loved how in the opening pages Tanner is fuming at Jewel, when in theory you’d have thought Jewel would have been beyond angry at Tanner; at least, she was initially but I think its the shock of being reunited which overtook her moreso than the anger itself.

Just acknowledging what had transpired in their lives felt like a soap opera – you can hardly believe any of that could be true and yet, the ways in which McDavid writes the story – you cannot help but believe the situation because of how true it truly is to believe plausible! If anything you have sympathy for these two beyond the obvious reasons and your empathy for their plight is what leads you into the next pages… with an itch to see if they can either work through their differences and heal the past or if they need to temper their own reactions for the sake of Ava. Whichever way McBride had envisioned this story to go, all I knew is that I was ready to take the journey!

I felt it was fitting Emily was the one who met and took Jewel round Sweetheart Ranch – she has this kind-hearted grandmotherly persona which suits her well and she still had that distinctive glow of the recently married about her as well. The irony of course is how readily Jewel is finding that this ranch and the community which surrounds it is a small world. Meaning, there are a lot of interconnections between the towne, the ranch and the overall region therein. If she felt that trying to cut out a new life for herself and Ava would be seamless whilst finding out Tanner was living here as well – wells, let’s just say she short-changed herself for a bit of grief!

McBride definitely sorted out a way to bridge us into the difficulties of where a hidden pregnancy once revealled can become the unexpected nightmare for the parents. Tanner was unfortunately being a stubborn as a bull in July – not wavering his stance or even trying to understand the path Jewel had walked without him present. Whilst at the same time, Jewel was trying not to just confront her feelings for Tanner or the repercussions of knowing his whereabouts given he’s the father of her child but there was a finer point towards what is best for not just the child but the parents of the child. This is one of those slippery slopes where because they weren’t officially married nor separated, they are in that gray area where the law recognises both of them but that doesn’t meant they are mutually exclusive in their claim for the child.

I liked how McBride was presenting the case for Ava – she didn’t add judgement to the situation but carefully started to weave in the consequences of what happens when a baby comes into your life when your not planning to conceive. It takes both parties to realise their roles and to feel comfortable in the role they inherently want to occupy but its even more complicated than that when you don’t have a custody agreement penned between you. I felt the rest of the story might bring us towards that conclusion – how do you deal with an unplanned pregnancy, a reluctant Mum who is wary of her ex-boyfriend (as there are a layer of trust issues) and legal circumstances above and beyond this situation which could wreck even more heartache on their fragile state of family?

The complexities of this story keep building the harder McBride takes us into the conspiracy of what is surrounding the key case at the centre of the drama. A conspiracy in this case to subvert the truth even of a worthy case felt to me to be a bit too much to ask of those who were remaining quiet because it put themselves in jeopardy. Not just for the rumours but the situational stickiness of never being able to be open with responses to even simple questions which might route back round to the issues of why they are choosing to remain silent. I felt McBride wrote a dearly realistic story-line which has a lot of hidden layers – she pulls apart her character’s emotional states by placing you centre-fold into their lives – to understand what is compelling them to lie or to at least cover the truth with half-truths for an outcome which on the surface seems to be the right way to go for this particular set of circumstances but overall, you just feel the worst for how unrealistic the plan is to execute.

The author’s note inside The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby revealled how McDavid had considered owning a ranch similar to this one she’s created in the Sweetheart Ranch series. I had to agree with her that the concept behind the ranch and the ways in which it is run is very alluring because you are focusing on the happier moments in all of our lives. To rejoice in that kind of goodwill and thankfulness on a continuing basis would be beyond uplifting because you’re helping to seal the memories of life changing events which become the cornerstones of people’s lives!

Similar to the seamless transition I felt when I was reading The Cowboy’s Perfect Match – I also felt transitioning into this novel after reading one earlier in Spring was as easy as regularly Saturday family dinners! You get to re-visit with beloved characters, re-settle into the time-line of Sweetheart Ranch and find new characters you’re drawn into reading about due to their aspirations and the stories they have to share with us all.

-quoted from my book review for The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#RomanceTuesdays | feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming author Cathy McDavid’s “Her Cowboy Sweetheart” (The Sweetheart Ranch) as Jorie has to ‘let go’ of a series which ends in a quartet!Her Cowboy Sweetheart
by Cathy McDavid
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

He’s been a good friend

But can he be her sweetheart?

At Sweetheart Ranch, single mom Carly Leighton finds a fresh start, and a friendly neighbor in former bull rider JD Moreno. Neither are looking for love—Carly must think first of her son, Rickie, while JD is recovering from a career-ending balance disorder. But when her former in-laws demand access to Rickie, Carly turns to JD for support and finds he is becoming more than a friend in need…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335889690

Also by this author: A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal, The Cowboy's Perfect Match, The Cowboy's Christmas Baby, Her Cowboy Sweetheart (Spotlight w/ Notes)

Also in this series: A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal, The Cowboy's Perfect Match, The Cowboy's Christmas Baby, Her Cowboy Sweetheart (Spotlight w/ Notes)


Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 5th May, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 384

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Sweetheart Ranch series:

A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal by Cathy McDavidThe Cowboy's Perfect Match by Cathy McDavidThe Cowboy's Christmas Baby by Cathy McDavidHer Cowboy Sweetheart by Cathy McDavid

A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal (book one) | see also review

The Cowboy’s Perfect Match (book two) | see also review

The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby (book three) | see also review

Her Cowboy Sweetheart (book four)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming,
an imprint of Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin Heartwarming

About Cathy McDavid

Cathy McDavid

In the third grade, NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathy McDavid made it her goal to read every Black Stallion book ever written. Who knew such an illustrious ambition would eventually lead to a lifelong love of all things western and a career writing contemporary romances for Harlequin? With over 1.2 million books sold, Cathy is also a member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll.

An “almost” Arizona native, she’s married to her own real-life sweetheart, whom she re-met a few years ago at a high school reunion. Her grown twins are out on their own and finding their happily-ever-afters. In 2014, Cathy retired from the corporate world to write full-time. She now spends her days penning stories about good looking cowboys riding the range, busting a bronc, and sweeping gals off their feet. It a tough job, but she’s willing to make the sacrifice.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #RomanceTuesdays
Divider

Posted Tuesday, 21 July, 2020 by jorielov in #RomanceTuesdays, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Western Fiction, Cowboys & Ranches, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Western Fiction, Western Romance

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

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

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

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.

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

Genres: Historical Fiction, Modern British Literature, Realistic Fiction


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.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Divider

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

An #HistoricalMondays Author Interview | a wicked awesomesauce convo I shared with Edale Lane (by phone!) wherein I interviewed her about the #behindthebook secrets of writing the “Secrets of Milan”!

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

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva. Updated version July 2020.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

You could say this has become tradition,…

I am anchouring the delightful #vlog interview I shared with Edale Lane with this lovely after I’ve read the book conversation for Secrets of Milan. I love having the chance to interview authors – either on Jorie Loves A Story directly and/or through my bimonthly (or sometimes weekly bookish chat @SatBookChat). It allows me to delve #behindthebook, seek out the author’s writerly style, voice and inspiration for writing said book whilst at the same time – peering into their writerly process and to better understand who they are as writers.

It isn’t oft I get to read a book in full ahead of sorting out the questions I want to ask the author – as generally speaking, for the life of my blog (til this point) for the past seven years, most of the conversations have been developed whilst doing research online into the writer’s collective works, their previous interviews and a few readerly reviews where book bloggers and/or reviewers have writ such an informatively insightful recollection of their readerly experiences I’ve been able to craft a conversation out of the research I’ve invested into that author. Other times, such as today – I’ve had the chance to develop a conversation to reflect my readerly ruminations on behalf of a book I’ve read – getting to hug closer to my own views I’ve shared in a book review and seeking to expound upon those views as I delve deeper into the back-story of how a story was first written, conceived or continued if it is part of a series such as the Night Flyer trilogy I’m featuring today with Edale Lane.

This is a second featured post during the blog tour hosted by the lovely Tomorrow Comes Media – who is a blog touring company I’ve been blessed to have worked with collaborating to host book reviews, interviews, guest posts and special non-conventional content for book bloggers such as when I interviewed two lead actors in a pilot film for a pitch for television and two vlog style interviews featuring both E. Chris Garrison (ie. Ms Chris) and Edale Lane.

There have been a few occasions in the past history of Jorie Loves A Story wherein I’ve had the pleasure of joy of interviewing an author by telephone but only a few of those made it through the editing rounds to reach my readership. One in particular I’m hoping to bring to my readers during #MyYASummer which was just recently announced as the conversation and the hard copy notes for the interview were lost until Spring 2020. Thereby, this is a special day to celebrate the joyful connections we can make as readers and authors as we celebrate being bookish in the book blogsophere.

Prior to book blogging, I also participated in phone-in interviews with authors via a now defunct programme which paired us with published authors on group calls wherein we could take turns asking questions of the authors and responding in real-time. A few of those transcripts also made it to Jorie Loves A Story as the conversations continued during my first year as a book blogger before they were shortly discontinued thereafter. It is a wonderful moment to have a real-time conversation with an author and I am blessed each time an author lets me interact with them on the phone and/or agrees to a bookish discussion during #SatBookChat as it is a virtual meeting space where readers and writers unite together to discuss a mutual passion for the crafting of stories.

Today marks a bit a of a tradition where I have read an installment of the Night Flyer trilogy and I am now able to discuss my ruminative findings of the story with the author Edale Lane. I hope as you tuck into our conversation you might consider giving this Historical Fantasy series a bit of a go in your own readerly pursuits as we’ve highlighted a lot of the key discussion points of both “Secrets of Milan” and the series overall. One aspect of the conversation I strived to shield my readers away from were *spoilers!* and those sections were omitted but happily disclosed and discussed privately between myself and Ms Lane. (big smiles)

As always – be sure to grab your favourite cuppa

and ENJOY where this conversation leads you!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

At the heart of this series is family – both the ones you create for yourself and the one you are bourne into which is what makes it such a compelling drama. Especially if you take into account the lengths Florentina has always gone to ensure the sanctity of honour for hers and the protective armour she tries to envelope over Maddie and her children. Yet there is a third carefully considerate character emerging in the background of their lives which is Maddie’s brother Alessandro who is just as observant as Florentina and has keen insight into their lives from an outisde perspective. He seemed to be the kind of brother who you’d want in your corner – kind, supportive and willing to let you live your life without interference or commentary.

Ah, yes, what can be said about the arch nemesis of the Night Flyer, Don Benetto Viscardi? He is truly a man whose torn himself between the choice of revenge (for his destruction in both status and in business) and of choosing to take the harder road towards redemption. He’s a man in conflict with not just himself but with life – how he chooses to deal with his disruptions in life would put anyone at ill ease because he doesn’t own the mistakes he’s made nor does he find any ill will towards placing blame onto others for actions he’s guilty of himself. In may regards, Viscardi is both the most intriguing character of the trilogy and the most vexing; he’s definitely a morally gray character but one who has given Lane the chance to present to the reader in a way that humbly speaks to the choices everyone has within them: do you revert back to your old ways of living after you’ve been interrupted in your vile plans or do you take heed of unwanted advice and choose an alternative path?

This is what intrigued me as I read his sections of the novel – I hadn’t wanted to be invested in his character’s path but there was something about how Lane wrote his sequences in this installment which implores you to hug close to his scenes and to root out what Viscardi chooses to do. Although at the same time, it was his family you grieve for the most – they had to put up with him vacillating in his ruminative state of uncertainty and in regard to his son, Niccolo I felt he was most unfair in how he handled disclosing the current state of their affairs. Children need to know they have security in life – even if you’ve lost your wealth and your way of living, children like the reassurance that they can trust their parents to figure a way forward if nothing else. Niccolo unfortunately was coming back to his family at a state of chaos as his father was not yet ready to step up to be the father he felt he had always been.

Part of the mystery within the folds of this story were also relating back to da Vinci – especially in regards to a particular horse he was commissioned to create for a certain Duke. What made this bit intriguing is how the back-history of this commission was even more interesting than how the horse itself was being used as a clue (at least for me) because of the tragedy of it really – how the Duke wasn’t able to have the horse he truly wanted despite the hard work da Vinci had put into creating it. It felt like such a hard ending to a project da Vinci had devouted himself to doing right – which of course speaks volumes about other characters in this series as well. How sometimes you are aligned on a certain path but suddenly find the trajectory you felt you’d take had to alter course?

I love how grounded this series is in how it is told through a philosophical, metaphysical and spiritual background of intuitive knowledge and observation. Lane happily inserts bits of her own research and her own keen insight into the Renaissance in nearly every chapter wherein a bit of back history or a murmuring of realistic foundation is necessary to carry-on the plot to re-anchour the era in the minds of her readers. I’ve been enjoying the disclosures but also how she’s set the pace of the trilogy – to first and foremost focus on the slow burning romance between her heroine and her lover (ie. Florentina and Maddie) whilst keeping our focus secondary on the evolving conspiracy which is shadowing round them.

And yet, what was most beautiful of all is the gift Alessandro gave to Maddie – because he saw her self-worth and her keen head for business, he rewarded her in a way she never felt she’d be able to embrace. It was such a wicked humbling moment because Maddie would never believe she should highlight her skills in front of others as I think she would believe that would be a bit too vain and to have her seen as worthy in his eyes was quite lovely because this was something I felt would help Maddie recognise how much she gives to others as much as how much she has stablised her own family after the death of her husband.

I was not quite prepared for how Secrets of Milan concludes because it owns to the title – wherein there are far more secrets afloat in the series now than there were previously! Including one that I felt would be difficult for Florentina to maintain as it might drive a wench in her relationship with Maddie – time will of course tell in that regard but for me personally, I loved how this one concluded because it honed in on the heart of the series – giving us more time to spend with Florentina and Maddie as their relationship drew closer together and allowed us further chance to peer into this hidden dark world Florentina is bent on exposing. Towards that end, the tenacles of how this secret world interacts with society is more intricate than a spider’s web and far more deadlier than a black widow.

-quoted from my book review for Secrets of Milan

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Quote banner for Secrets of Milan provided by the author Edale Lane and OWI Blog Tours; used with permission.

If you haven’t yet seen the lovely in-depth #behindthebook featured guest essay Ms Lane contributed to my stop on her tour with OWI – kindly take a moment to visit her words to find out how Art History and research into the world of art played such a strong role in how she developed the background of this series! This previous blog tour was a bit of a preview of what would come next during the Tomorrow Comes Media tour – I was thankful to be a part of both tours and have the chance to feature this author on three separate occasions whilst helping to relate to my readers why I am enjoying her stories and why they ought to consider placing her trilogy on their #nextreads list!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

An #HistoricalMondays Author Interview | a wicked awesomesauce convo I shared with Edale Lane (by phone!) wherein I interviewed her about the #behindthebook secrets of writing the “Secrets of Milan”!Secrets of Milan
Subtitle: Book Two of the Night Flyer Trilogy
by Edale Lane
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Enggar Adirasa
Source: Direct from Author

The Night Flyer had brought Florentina and Madelena together but now threatens to drive them apart. While Florentina searches for a mysterious underworld organization that has attempted to murder the woman she loves, Maddie struggles to deal with the danger Florentina is courting. Her brother, Alessandro, has become the most prominent merchant of Milan, but the Night Flyer uncovers a secret so shocking it could destroy them all.

Secrets of Milan is the second book in Edale Lane's Night Flyer Trilogy, a tale of power, passion, and payback in Renaissance Italy. If you like drama and suspense, rich historical background, three-dimensional characters, and s romance that deepens into true love, then you'll want to continue the Night Flyer saga. Order your copy today!

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8643642060

Also by this author: Merchants of Milan, (Video) Interview feat. Edale Lane (Merchants of Milan), Secrets of Milan (Guest Post by Author), Secrets of Milan

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical-Fantasy, LGBTQIA Fiction


Published by Past & Prologue Press

on 5th May, 2020

Format: Unbound Manuscript (ARC)

Pages: 262

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Merchants of Milan by Edale LaneSecrets of Milan by Edale Lane

The Night Flyer trilogy:

Merchants of Milan (book one) | see also Review

Secrets of Milan (book two) | see also Review

Chaos in Milan (book three) *forthcoming release!

Genre(s): Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Alternative History,
as well as Renaissance (time period), Action and Adventure, Superhero Fiction

Identities represented: F/F Romance, Lesbian friendship/relationships

Converse via: #WyrdAndWonder, #HistoricalFantasy, #SapphicFiction,
#SpeculativeFiction, #LGBTQ and #NightFlyerTrilogy with #EdaleLane

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Divider

Posted Monday, 6 July, 2020 by jorielov in Author Interview by Phone, Blog Tour Host, Fantasy Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Self-Published Author, Speculative Fiction, Tomorrow Comes Media, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event