Category: #25PagePreview

A #HistoricalMondays #25PagePreview | feat. “The Paris Dressmaker” by INSPY Historical novelist Kristy Cambron

Posted Monday, 22 February, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

#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 “The Paris Dressmaker” 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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On why I love time shift narratives (ie. duel POVs) and war dramas:

I have a bit of a hankering about chasing after time shift narratives wherein you are seeing a strong representation of a duel POV from two leading characters who are living in different eras of time and yet, their co-joined journeys are imperative to the cohesiveness of how the story is told by the author. It is an interesting perspective to explore because you are enjoying diving in and out of one generation’s influence on the story and peering into another generation’s spin on the same set of circumstances as it co-relates to their world and life.

The kind of war dramas I read in the past vs the kind I read now are a bit uniquely different from one another as I am preferring to tap into the human interest war drama stories such as this one rather than the traditional war drama which can become a bit more intensively difficult for me to read nowadays. I am enjoying seeing more of a Historical Women’s Fiction side of the genre in other words than being constantly at the sidelines of the battlefields. Sometimes that lens is seen through the men, too – but I just wanted to highlight how this new interest relates to my current story in focus on Jorie Loves A Story today.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

You might have noticed I had a change in date on the blog tour this month – my life truly shifted this February and as my parents and I worked through those transitions, I had to sort out how to resume both my readerly life and what I wanted to share on my blog. I moved this tour forward by a week but I underestimated how exhausted I would feel after the conclusion of the past week. Thereby I did struggle to get into the context of the story but still wanted to share a portion of my reactions with you today as I think I’ll have to table reading the rest of this story until I re-balance my hours as it is quite the serious read and with my mind and body a bit overly taxed lately re-adjusting through our adverse February, I admit, I wasn’t quite prepared to read this as I had before our lives had a personal emergency to shift through earlier in the month.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A #HistoricalMondays #25PagePreview | feat. “The Paris Dressmaker” by INSPY Historical novelist Kristy CambronThe Paris Dressmaker
by Kristy Cambron
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Based on true accounts of how Parisiennes resisted the Nazi occupation in World War II —
from fashion houses to the city streets — comes a story of two courageous women who risked
everything to fight an evil they couldn’t abide.

Paris, 1939. Maison Chanel has closed, thrusting haute couture dressmaker Lila de Laurent out of the world of high fashion as Nazi soldiers invade the streets and the City of Lights slips into darkness. Lila’s life is now a series of rations, brutal restrictions, and carefully controlled propaganda while Paris is cut off from the rest of the world. Yet in hidden corners of the city, the faithful pledge to resist. Lila is drawn to La Resistance and is soon using her skills as a dressmaker to infiltrate the Nazi elite. She takes their measurements and designs masterpieces, all while collecting secrets in the glamorous Hôtel Ritz—the heart of the Nazis’ Parisian headquarters. But when dashing René Touliard suddenly reenters her world, Lila finds her heart tangled between determination to help save his Jewish family and bolstering the fight for liberation.

Paris, 1943. Sandrine Paquet’s job is to catalog the priceless works of art bound for the Führer’s Berlin, masterpieces stolen from prominent Jewish families. But behind closed doors, she secretly forages for information from the underground resistance. Beneath her compliant façade lies a woman bent on uncovering the fate of her missing husband . . . but at what cost? As Hitler’s regime crumbles, Sandrine is drawn in deeper when she uncrates an exquisite blush Chanel gown concealing a cryptic message that may reveal the fate of a dressmaker who vanished from within the fashion elite.

Told across the span of the Nazi occupation, The Paris Dressmaker highlights the brave women who used everything in their power to resist darkness and restore light to their world.

Genres: Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Women's Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Time Slip and/or Time Shift, War Drama


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0785232162

Published by Thomas Nelson

on 16th February, 2021

Format: Paperback ARC

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov as well as #INSPY #HistoricalFiction
+ #TheParisDressmaker as well as #TNZFiction and #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About Kristy Cambron

Kristy Cambron

Kristy Cambron is an award-winning author of historical fiction, including her bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of nonfiction, including the Verse Mapping Series Bibles and Bible studies. Kristy’s work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10, Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books, RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations, and has been featured at CBN, Lifeway Women, Jesus Calling, Country Woman Magazine, MICI Magazine, Faithwire, Declare, (in)Courage, and Bible Gateway. She holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing and lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, where she can probably be bribed with a peppermint mocha latte and a good read.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
Divider

Posted Monday, 22 February, 2021 by jorielov in #25PagePreview, #HistoricalMondays, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Time Shift, War Drama

A #HistoricalMondays #25PagePreview | feat. “The Vanishing at Loxby Manor” by INSPY Historical novelist Abigail Wilson

Posted Monday, 25 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 “The Vanishing at Loxby Manor” 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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On what tempted me into this story & how I cheekily misspelt it!

I do not oft talk about my dsylexic slips, mistakes & misunderstandings within the English language, as frankly, this is partially why I’ve adapted and adopted an ancestral link in my heritage to help offset those key issues in my writerly style & voice (ie. I write in an AmeriBritish styling). However, in this particular instance I nearly did not catch a faux pas if you will in how I was spelling the title of this lovely novel: “The Vanishing of Loxby Manor” – now if you read this too quickly you’ll miss the variant of the title but for those diehard observers you’ll immediately see what my dsylexic brain twisted the title into and why that left me with a cheeky bit of quirkified dsylexic humour!

As it goes from “a vanishing @ the manor” to the “vanishing OF the manor!” wouldn’t that had been a uniquely ravishing novel to have read, eh? Most likely it would have been a heap of joy mashing into the Gothic side of the Historical Suspense category of loveliness but just the thoughts of how a whole manor can simply ‘slip out of sight & mind” is a delightful prospect for another time and matter altogether as I love tucking into those alternative reality plots of how time travelling, time shifting and time bending parellels can run concurrently to our own time intervals of our shifting living realities. Again – topic for another time and space but just the prospect had me riveted!

Now then, back to the story at hand – I have a penchant of joy for finding heart-stirring Romantic Suspense novels – as you might have spied from my personal notes & tidbits stemming out of co-passion for Love Inspired Suspense (of which I share with my Mum!) both on #JLASblog and on my socially bookish feeds on Twitter!! However, aside from Love Inspired lovelies – I love seeking out traditional #RomSusp stories, too! I literally itch after them because one of the mainstays of my readerly (and television life) are watching MYSTERIES!! Seriously. It has been a fabulous addiction since I was a young girl watching “Murder She Wrote” which quite literally spoke to me on multiple levels of interest – a) it was a graduation from Nancy Drew & an extension of love of Agatha Christie, b) I was an aspiring writer and c) who wouldn’t want to be Jessica Fletcher? I mean, not a hard sell!

Ergo, when I saw this was going on a blog tour, I thought – ooh! Now that sounds brilliantly atmospheric, slightly chilling in a Cosy Crime kind of wickedness & I have had my eye on this author for a bit now – so why not dive in, eh? So, I did!

Wait to you see what I FOUND INSIDE the story,.. except to say, I’ve only just begun to soak into the fuller scope of Loxby Manor! My reading hours have been muted lately by current events & the state of the country – each week this January, I’ve taken strides to resume from whence I’ve left off with the stories in progress and I’m starting to make a bit of headway.

However, a few of the stories I’ve attempted to read were only partially able to be consumed – such as the two by Thomas Nelson – last week’s “Beauty Among Ruins” and this week’s “The Vanishing of Loxby Manor”. Both of which I will continue to read in a time frame which suits me better as a reader – as lately, I’ve struggled to keep myself grounded in Historicals and have opted for some lighter reads instead such as a cheekily humourous Cosy Mystery!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A #HistoricalMondays #25PagePreview | feat. “The Vanishing at Loxby Manor” by INSPY Historical novelist Abigail WilsonThe Vanishing at Loxby Manor
by Abigail Wilson
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

A story of second chances and secrets, this mysterious Regency romance will transport you to 19th-century England as one young lady reunites with her childhood love to find his missing sister.

Her friend is missing.

After five years abroad, Charity Halliwell finally returns to Loxby Manor, the home of dear friends—and her lost love. No longer a young girl, she is now haunted by a painful secret and the demise of her dreams. Instead of the healing and happiness she hopes to find, she encounters a darkness lurking in the shadows of the once-familiar house. When her friend, Seline, disappears the very night of her arrival, Charity is determined to uncover the truth.

Her only hope is the man who broke her heart.

Branded a coward, Piers Cavanaugh has lived the last five years as an outcast far from his family home. When his sister presumably elopes with a stable hand, Piers joins forces with an unlikely partner—the one woman he thought he’d never see again. Together they launch an investigation that leads to strange nightly meetings in the ruins of an old abbey and disturbing whispers of a secret organization. The more they learn, the more desperate the situation becomes.

The house seems determined to keep its secrets.

As they struggle to piece together the clues, Charity and Piers also endeavor to rebuild their friendship. One cryptic letter changed everything between them. To find happiness they will have to overcome the grief and shame keeping them apart. But first they must discover why Seline vanished and confront the growing fear that she may never return.

Settle in, because once you start
The Vanishing at Loxby Manor, you won’t be able to put it down.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Romantic Suspense


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780785232957

Also by this author: Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey

Published by Thomas Nelson

on 26th January, 2021

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 324

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov as well as #INSPY #HistoricalFiction
+ #TheVanishingAtLoxbyManor as well as #TNZFiction and #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About Abigail Wilson

Abigail Wilson

Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A registered nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the national parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five contest and in 2016, ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a 2017 finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense.

She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
Divider

Posted Monday, 25 January, 2021 by jorielov in #25PagePreview, #HistoricalMondays, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction

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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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
Divider

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

A Contemporary Women’s Fiction #25PagePreview Spotlight | “Cupcakes & Crumbs” (Berry Lake Cupcake Posse, Book One) by Melissa McClone

Posted Thursday, 19 November, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner 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.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “Cupcakes and Crumbs” direct from the author Melissa McClone 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.comOn baking and having an aversion to pink and how the latter
didn’t discourage my interest in reading Cupcakes and Crumbs:

I’ve been attempting to dodge a rather keen secret – PINK has never been my favourite colour and if anything, its my least tolerable colour in the whole spectrum of the colour wheel. And, yet, whilst the colour pink has a disservice to me – as it nearly turns me off anything associated with the colour, this particular cover nearly put me off reading the story because I seriously felt it was overly pink. It was the cupcakes which left me curious and the fact this was a work of Contemporary Women’s Fiction. A topic of interest I not only regularly read and discuss on Jorie Loves A Story but one part of the focus of my Twitter chat @SatBookChat! (six years strong!)

Being a home baker and one who LOVES binge watching Great British Bake-Off whenever she swings into streaming NetFlix (as I have the tendency of switching up my streaming life by choosing different apps/streaming services to stream tv every odd moon or month; as you get the best variety this way!) and how she’s started to master the learning curve with more challenging bakes like scones, biscuits and sorting out her path into self-rising flour and bread flour; (without actually baking ‘bread’) – she’s focused more on lime cookies and a stellar alternative solution to the ‘best’ peach cobbler – you could say a baking central focus of a novel was right up her street!

There was a strong interest on the ambrosial and baking delights this novel promised to deliver but in regards to the Women’s Fiction side of the ledger – it has been a long spell since I’ve tucked into an ensemble cast within the genre like this one – outside of the fact I’m nearly entering S3 of “Army Wives” – given the fact Mum and I only started it a week ago and we’ve already cried, laughed and ploughed our way through two seasons of this kickin’ rockin’ Military Women’s drama of a tv serial – you could say I was in the mood for this kind of story long before Roku decided to grace us with the full series for *FREE* this November. It was one of those series Mum and I pushed off to watch – thinking, there will be a better time to see it. Reality? Never a good time to start a soul-crushing dearly dramatic and highly realistic military drama surrounding the lives of wives of the currently deployed and their life on (an Army) post! You just have to breathe, exhale and DIVE – trust me, its worth the emotional upheavals because this is wicked good drama!

You have to realise something else – one of  my favourite female vocalists over the last two decades has been PINK. Mind you, her world and mine are so far removed from each other you might blink twice and question that statement – however, despite the fact she’s had a very street and real lifestyle, she has a heart of gold, one powerful voice and writes lyrics which get into your soul. Mind, her name on the other hand made me smirk so much I’ve permanently have burnt my cheeks! Plus, I just love how she’s raising her kids and encouraging them to find their confidence, own their voice and walk their own path in life wherever that might take them. Who wouldn’t want her as a best friend? Which is why I admire her from afar, love her songs and appreciate her interviews as she shares her life with all of us.

Hence – when it came to choosing which blog tours to join and which books I wanted to consider for review, this book cover was a complete turn-off – which I bring up for one fair point – it is not the book covers which get me interested in reading. It’s the synopsis and the potential for the context of the story inside the covers – the topping (ie. cover) is just art – as without a solid story, realistic characters and a plausible reason to feel as invested to sink into the soles and spirits of the lives involved in the plot as any wicked good serial drama on tv can provide; the cover alone isn’t going to sway me to read the book. Or in this instance make me not pick it up as its cotton candied pink.

And, that dear hearts is why I selected *Cupcakes and Crumbs* because you have to take the sweet with the chaos – all our lives give us equal reasons to celebrate life and equal measures of sorrow to grieve the loss of people, companions (ie. animals) and the other bits round us which give measure of grace to our lives. To live is to love and to love is to live in other words. It isn’t always a perfect cupcake but sometimes when your drowning in the crumbs – it is like a flowering plant bursting up through concrete wholly sure of itself and the impossible path it took towards asserting the right to be present for whatever tomorrow might bring along.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A Contemporary Women’s Fiction #25PagePreview Spotlight | “Cupcakes & Crumbs” (Berry Lake Cupcake Posse, Book One) by Melissa McCloneCupcakes and Crumbs
Subtitle: Berry Lake Cupcake Posse
by Melissa McClone
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

After life takes five women on different paths, a death brings them home. But friendship might not be enough to keep them together.

When Bria Landon and her estranged father each inherit fifty percent of a small-town cupcake shop, her dad hires her worst enemy, and first love, to turn the place into a soulless franchise…or sell it.

To save her aunt’s legacy, Bria needs the help of people who love the bakery as much as she does—her old friends who worked there fifteen years ago. Except each woman is dealing with her own problem:

Juliet, who's trying to prove she’s more than a trophy wife; Missy, a widow who fears losing the job she loves; Nell, who's meddling mother won't stop playing matchmaker; and Selena, a life coach who excels at fixing everyone else's lives...but hasn't a clue what's missing in her own.

Each woman wants to believe their friendship can overcome anything. But as the Berry Lake Cupcake Posse reunite to save their beloved cupcake shop, they soon discover the undertaking will bring more trouble than they expected.

Genres: Baking, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Cookery, Women's Fiction


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1944777555

Also by this author: Book Spotlight: Sweet Yuletide

Published by Cardinal Press

on 10th November, 2020

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 237

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Berry Lake Cupcake Posse series:

Cupcakes & Crumbs

Tiaras & Teacups ← forthcoming February, 2021!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #CupcakesAndCrumbs, #WomensFiction and #Contemporary

About Melissa McClone

Melissa McClone

USA TODAY bestselling author Melissa McClone writes heartwarming Women’s Fiction and Sweet Contemporary Romance novels for Cardinal Press, Tule Publishing Group, and Harlequin Books.

When she’s not writing relatable characters and sigh-worthy happy endings, she spends rainy Pacific Northwest reading from her Kindle’s ever-growing TBR, napping, and decorating her Happy Planner. Melissa lives in Washington state with her husband, three children, a Norwegian Elkhound, and three cats who think they rule the house. They do!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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Posted Thursday, 19 November, 2020 by jorielov in #25PagePreview, Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction

An INSPY Victorian #25PagePreview Spotlight | “The Gentleman and the Thief” (The Dread Penny Society, Book Two) by Sarah M. Eden

Posted Wednesday, 18 November, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

This marks my first time hosting with Austenprose – although, I have been a long time admirer of her blog and it is an honour to start a new journey in hosting her blog tours! Ms Laurel reached out to me initially to host her authors for my bookish chat known for showcasing Romance & Women’s Fiction as well as stories of Feminist Lit – @SatBookChat meets on Saturdays January-November annually. Through conversing with her I had the pleasure of joy of becoming better acquainted with two authors I have been itching to start reading over the years – Ms Sarah M. Eden of whom I’m spotlighting today ahead of my review at the end of the blog tour and Ms Mimi Matthews of whom I am spotlighting on the morrow.

I started to come across Shadow Mountain Publishing authors & stories whilst participating in my favourite INSPY readathon every year during the Summer, hosted by Sydney @ Singing Librarian Books. Being a hybrid reader of both mainstream & INSPY throughout my life, I am constantly seeking out more authors who write Inspirational Fiction across both genre and publishing routes (ie. from major trade to Indie publishers (like Shadow Mountain) to self-published authors) – thus, I was delighted when I started to see Ms Eden’s novel popping up on my routes throughout the book blogosphere and being featured during Ms Sydney’s readathon.

When I first joined this blog tour, I hadn’t realised it was a series in-progress – as regular readers of Jorie Loves A Story know my personal preference for reading serials is to read them start to finish – even if that means, borrowing missing installments by inter-library loan if my local library or regional library does not carry the author, book or series. However, in this instance – between my health afflictions and my migraines, I wasn’t able to sort out a way to get a copy of “The Lady and the Highwayman” ahead of starting to read “The Gentleman and the Thief”. I decided instead to reply on a review I found quite wonderfully in-depth via Austenprose.

I even checked Scribd and was sad to see this series was not listed in their catalogue for audiobooks as that would have been a brilliant way to ‘catch’ up with the series – as being a migraineur, I regularly turn to audiobooks to help offset my migraines and/or to help me transition back into reading after having a supernova migraine such as the one I had earlier in November.

The main reason I am choosing to spotlight this novel today is because due to being taken ill at the end of October (as I was emotionally distraught over the fate of trees in my neighbourhood recently as well as other stress factors involved at the time) and the migraines I sustained as well – I haven’t had the proper chance to get into this novel and understand the story as I would  prefer as a book blogger. This novel also has a different technique in how it is being told and the layout of the novel as well – as the narrative shifts between two penny dreadful stories and the main thread of the story involving the characters of this installment.

I plan to continue reading this novel and posting my review on the last day of the tour, which is the 29th. Until then, I decided to share my thoughts on the first twenty-five pages and to give my readers & visitors alike a bit of a preview of where my thoughts are tracking as I read my first Sarah M. Eden novel as well as on diving into the second novel of the Dread Penny Society. I hope this might tip your hat towards selecting this novel and/or the fuller series to be put on your to read stack!

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An INSPY Victorian #25PagePreview Spotlight | “The Gentleman and the Thief” (The Dread Penny Society, Book Two) by Sarah M. EdenThe Gentleman and the Thief
Subtitle: Proper Romance
by Sarah M. Eden
Source: Publisher via Austenprose

A standalone novel in The Dread Penny Society set in 1865 London brimming with secrets, scandal, suspense, and romance.

From the moment Hollis Darby meets Ana Newport, he's smitten. Even though he's from a wealthy, established family and she isn't, he wishes he could have a life with her by his side. But Hollis has a secret: the deep coffers that have kept his family afloat for generations are bare, so he supports himself by writing penny dreadfuls under a pseudonym. If not for the income from his novels, he would be broke.

Ana Newport also has a secret. Though she once had a place in society thanks to her father's successful business, bankruptcy and scandal reduced his fortune to nothing more than a crumbling town house. So Ana teaches music during the day, and at night she assumes the identity of the "Phantom Fox." She breaks into the homes of the wealthy to reclaim trinkets and treasures she feels were unjustly stolen from her family when they were struggling.

When Hollis's brother needs to hire a music tutor for his daughter, Hollis recommends Ana, giving him a chance to spend time with her. Ana needs the income and is eager for the opportunity to get to know the enigmatic gentleman. What neither of them expects is how difficult it will be to keep their respective secrets from each other.

When a spree of robberies rocks the city, Ana and Hollis join forces to solve the crimes, discovering that working together deepens the affection between them. After all, who better to save the day than a gentleman and a thief?

Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1629727905

Published by Shadow Mountain Publishing

on 3rd November, 2020

Format: Paperback ARC

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Dreadful Penny Society:

The Lady and the Highwayman (book one)

The Gentleman and the Thief (book two)

The Merchant and the Rogue (book three) ← forthcoming, August, 2021!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published by: Shadow Mountain Publishing (@ShadowMountn)

Read a review of the first story in this series: The Lady and the Highwayman via Austenprose

Converse via: #HistoricalRomance or #HistRom
+ #TheGentlemanAndTheThief, #ProperRomance and #Austenprose

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

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Posted Wednesday, 18 November, 2020 by jorielov in #25PagePreview, Austenprose, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Content Note, Cosy Historical Mystery, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Romance Fiction