Category: Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards

A #WyrdAndWonder #MGFantasy Book Review | “The Princess and the Pirate” (Rahana Trilogy: Book Two) by Felicity Banks

Posted Wednesday, 26 May, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Gifted Book By: This novel “The Princess and the Pirate” was part of a gifted #bookhaul of mine from my Mum and Dad for #WyrdAndWonder, Year 4! They happily surprised me with a lovely bundle of books I featured last Wyrd And Wonder celebrating the Indie Publisher Odyssey Books! This kicks-off my readings of those novels as I was overjoyed I can read all the lovely stories I had either showcased and/or featured but wasn’t able to read during our Year 3 Wyrd And Wonder.

Thereby, I was gifted a copy of “The Princess and the Pirate” by my parents and I was not obligated to post an honest review on its behalf. I am sharing my thoughts on behalf of this novel for my own edification and a continued journey of sharing my readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Note: I received the Press Materials last year from the publisher and had asked if I could re-use them if and when I was able to read and/or review the stories I was featuring during Wyrd And Wonder Year 3 (2020); and thankfully was given permission to do so which is why I am using them during my readings this 4th Year of Wyrd And Wonder.

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Why I am in love with this series & couldn’t wait to read the next story:

I immediately took an interest in Dance – she was a brave young girl who understood the history of her island but also the growing tension of why her father worried about her safety and the safety of their community here. Even in the opening paragraphs there is a bit of urgency in the tone of how Banks started her story – where Dance can sense the heightened fear in the caller’s voice – the person intending to speak with her father and the voice which was drawing her to catch her breath.

I loved how art was introduced straight-away – a small bit of insight into the heart of her people – of how on this island (Luar) art was as sacred as the trees. And, trees apparently were quite revered because you can sense this yourself as Dance speaks about the art which comes from the raw materials of the trees. Trees for me have held such a high impression on my person since I first started staring after trees along highways and byways; whilst pausing whenever I was close to them in person and happily feeling museful about their lives. Especially the cycle of how other species laid claim to their boughs and branches; how connected they were to our source of life (ie. oxygen) and how throughout the ages of time, trees are resolute, proud and awe-inspiring just to be nearby. I could then imagine – any bit of art carved from a tree has a life spirit of its own etched out of the raw wood and drawing a new energy from the carver’s tools, hands and vision for what the art being created would represent.

Dance lives on an island tucked away from the world – what makes this one dearly unique in my eyes as I haven’t come across a lot of snowbound or ice encased worlds, is the fact this particular island would be right at home in the Arctic Circle! It is beyond cold here – where the frozen ice hides their greatest enemy (ie. Heest monsters) and where if you were brave enough, you wouldn’t consider what their presence unde the ice was foretelling about your own fate and the fate of your community. Banks goes into a bit of detail about how this island was fashioned together – from materials they could repurpose and from purchases they had made long ago giving them a bit of bolster of privacy from prying eyes on the outside. It was their sincere hope to remain hidden which inspired how they lived and how they choose to thrive in one of the coldest locations I’ve had a chance to visit.

I positively LOVE finding illustrative art inside novels – The Monster Apprentice is delightfully inclusive of renderings of the scenes you’re reading about as you walk beside Dance! The very first illustration was featuring the ‘sky cows’ – having spent time on a ranch with breeding stock, I know how stubborn cows can be and how particular they are once they’ve settled on a place they want to roost. Cows are gentle giants and have kind hearts but there are moments where like most animals, they simply want to be left alone and left to their own devices. The imagery provided in this illustration and the depictions of the cows and Dance’s interaction with them in the text was quite a heap of hilarity! It was interesting to see how Dance chooses to interact with her world and how she constantly likes to bend the rules in order to do what she is tasked to accomplish!

Banks does a wonderful job of keeping this first installment beautifully connected on her characters and on the priming of our introduction to their ice and sea world. Things are not quite as you expect them to be here – there are hints of magic, of intrigue and of binding bargains which may in the end be worse than their initial acceptance. Each person here – young or old alike has to find their own individual truth and path; similar to life, everyone is working through their own headspace and has to find the courage to be a bit braver than they feel.

One of my favourite features of this novel are the Heest – mostly because Banks keeps us in the dark for most of the novel about their truer nature and how they operate as a species. There is far more to the Heest than what is presumed and that is the true beauty of their kind for me. I’d love t see how this trilogy continues to develop – especially if we can entreat more into the magical perimeters of the world and the concepts of how those magical extras operate within a place that is a rather harsh physical environment of both ice and sea.

As this first novel is setting up the foundation of the trilogy – we were treated only to a hinting of the magic in this world. The curators of the magic are known as quickensmiths and this was broached at the time when Dance had to face the pirates because of how the ship itself was moving through the water. I found it interesting how the dynamics of the world and of the magic within it were not completely disclosed because this was a very character-centred introduction. You get a few hints towards what is coming in future installments but not overly enough to lose your curiosity because this novel does lend itself to being curious about what will become disclosed!

-quoted from my review of The Monster Apprentice

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The Princess and the Pirate collage created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: jorielovesastory.com

The Princess and the Pirate
by Felicity Banks
Source: Gifted

Genres: Children's Literature, Middle Grade, Fantasy Fiction, Middle Grade Fantasy, Mythological Fantasy, Pirate Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1925652680

Also by this author: The Monster Apprentice

Published by Odyssey Books

on 1st June, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 126

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The Rahana Trilogy:

Felicity Banks invented the fantasy world of Rahana while living in Indonesia. She grew up reading stories set in Narnia and Middle Earth, and she wanted to invent a fantasy world that was just as beautiful but didn’t feel British, or white, or male.

In Rahana the weather is tropical and the people are visually similar to Indonesians. Magic is common, and makes physical strength irrelevant. There are millions of islands both small and large, and sailing technology is more advanced that the other sciences. Rahana is a thriving tropical world where people are born with a love of the high seas.

Naturally, the world is full of pirates.

The Monster Apprentice (book one)

The Princess & the Pirate (book two)

Waking Dead Mountain (book three)

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Published by: Odyssey Books (@OdysseyBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #ThePrincessAndThePirate, #MGLit, #MGFantasy
as well as #pirates and #MiddleGrade; #IndieAuthor, #IndieFantasy

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About Felicity Banks

Felicity Banks

Felicity Banks is a Canberra author specialising in fantasy and interactive fiction, including her Antipodean Queen fantasy steampunk series, which is also published by Odyssey Books. All her interactive fiction is listed under “Felicity Banks” (visit site) and most of her interactive fiction can be read via an app.

She writes about all her various pirates tales (some appropriate for children, some definitely not) on her Facebook page as well as sharing stories and images that appeal to the not-so-secret pirate within all of us.

She met her husband at a pirate ball, and has two little pirates at home.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Wednesday, 26 May, 2021 by jorielov in #Unboxing BookMail, #WyrdAndWonder, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Book Review (non-blog tour), Childhood Friendship, Children's Literature, Coming-Of Age, Death of a Sibling, Fantasy Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Juvenile Fiction, Life Shift, Middle Grade Novel, Mother-Daughter Relationships, School Life & Situations, Siblings, Twin Siblings

#RomanceTuesdays | the return of one of Jorie’s beloved families from #HarlequinHeartwarming (the Blackwells) feat.”Montana Welcome” (Book One: Blackwell Sisters, sequel series to Return of the Blackwell Brothers) by Melinda Curtis [of a five book series!]

Posted Tuesday, 24 November, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#RomanceTuesdays badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I initially learnt about the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series through being part of the book blogger team with Prism Book Tours run by Tressa @ Wishful Endings. I’ve been enjoying hosting for her since [2016] and especially due to the fact by hosting her blog tours, I had the pleasure of joy of discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming line of stories and series for Contemporary Romance when I needed to fill a gap in my readerly wanderings for that genre! When it comes to the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series – I was signed on as a reviewer for the series wherein I had a bit of leeway to read the stories at my own pace and post my reviews as I read them.

My reviews ran from August 2018 through January 2019 beginning with the first novel by Carol Ross. This year, as I knew we were inching closer to the release of the sequel series for Return of the Blackwell Brothers known as BlackwellSisters, I reached out to one of the authors (Anna J. Stewart) who helped me collaborate with all 5x authors to bring together a special round robin chat via my Twitter chat @SatBookChat whilst coordinating with the authors for me to receive each of the Blackwell Sisters novels to read and review in connection with the chat itself. This review marks the first of those featured reviews which will run throughout November and December 2020.

I received a complimentary copy of “Montana Welcome” direct from the author Melinda Curtis in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: Be sure to view my #WaitingOnWednesday announcement post for the #BlackwellSisters series as well as the archives for #SatBookChat for the 14th November chat.

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a notation about where we’ve left off with the blackwell brothers:

I remember how I felt when I reached the fifth installment of the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series – it was bittersweet for me as a reader because I had become so hugged inside the series these lovely authors had written for us – those characters and the family of the Blackwells (as quirky as they were!) had become a part of my life and world. It was heartbreaking to realise my journey with them was ending – which is why in small ways I was putting it out there in the universe if there could be ‘more stories’ for this family I’d taken into my heart and hadn’t want to ‘let go’ of – to see if perhaps the authors could flex their writerly muses and sort out a way ‘back into the fold’ of the Blackwells?

I still recall to this day the JOY I had overflowing through me when Ms Webb first broke the good news with me on my blog – about how there was going to be a sequel series which I later learnt would be called the #BlackwellSisters! And, that threw me for a complete loop! As despite my ability to remember most of what I read (as a migraineur) I have lost some gaps of memory (blessed for this blog which houses my readerly memories!) when it comes to series and specific stories overall due to the higher frequencies of migraines I’ve traversed through from 2018-2020. I still remember important bits and bobbles of the stories and the series, but those minute details I love as a reader – sometimes those go by the wayside. Which is why for the longest time I was trying to drum up my memories to recollect just exactly how do we have ‘Blackwell sisters’? As from everything I did remember there weren’t any girls’ in the family!

And, then of course – it took Ms Curtis’s author’s note in Montana Welcome to set me straight and give me such an enriched new appreciation for how these lovely women are collaborating on these series for Harlequin Heartwarming! You see, the key to the whole 10x novels (spilt over 2x five novel series) is “Big E” – the infamous grandfather who meddles in his grandsons and now grand-daughters lives! Yes, you read that right – he has *granddaughters!* and can you just imagine the kind of mischief that might foretell about this new series!? I smirked to the moon when I read the disclosure of connection between the two series as honestly it was such a sweet surprise for me!

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This is a series that is both redemptive as it is empowering – as it is about ordinary people who are having these tiny interruptions sprinkled into their lives to where they can choose which direction they wish to take next – do they make a life altering choice or do they play it safe? Do they risk their heart or do they risk something more? I felt fully anchoured every bit of the journey with the Blackwells because each of the writers were bridging the gaps between installments with ‘just enough’ continuity to make this not just believable but realistically compelling. It is the kind of Western dramatic romance series you can’t put down and you hunger after new installments that might never arrive.

-quoted from my review of The Rancher’s Homecoming

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#RomanceTuesdays | the return of one of Jorie’s beloved families from #HarlequinHeartwarming (the Blackwells) feat.”Montana Welcome” (Book One: Blackwell Sisters, sequel series to Return of the Blackwell Brothers) by Melinda Curtis [of a five book series!]Montana Welcome
Subtitle: Blackwell Sisters
by Melinda Curtis
Source: Direct from Author

A bride on the run and a cowboy to show her the way home…

Lily Harrison’s wedding day isn’t quite what she imagined. Not only does her fiancé not love her, she’s just discovered she’s a Blackwell—a member of Montana’s well-known ranching family. Now Lily’s ditched her own wedding for a road trip with handsome cowboy Conner Hannah. But will Lily find her answers in Montana…or lose the cowboy she’s already begun falling for?

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Heartland Fiction, Ranches & Cowboys, Western Romance


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335889812

Also by this author: The Rancher's Redemption

Setting: Montana


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 1st August, 2020

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 380

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The #BlackwellSisters series:

Elias Blackwell never knew he had a second son. But now that he does, he’s determined to find him and get to know his five granddaughters. But when he shows up at his granddaughter’s wedding…

Some Secrets Lead You Home.

Montana Welcome by Melinda CurtisMontana Wishes by Amy VastineMontana Dreams by Anna J. Stewart

Montana Match by Carol RossMontana Wedding by Cari Lynn Webb

Montana Welcome (book one)

Montana Wishes (book two)

Montana Dreams (book three)

Montana Match (book four)

Montana Wedding (book five)

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Read about the series via Melinda Curtis’s page for the Blackwells!

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The series which started it all:

With his 80th birthday approaching, family patriarch Elias Blackwell has done some serious soul searching and has come to the conclusion he’s made some mistakes in his life – a lot of them! As a result, the grandsons he raised after his son and daughter-in-law’s tragic death want nothing to do with him, the Blackwell Ranch they’ll one day inherit, and in some cases each other. Elias doesn’t want to go to his grave with regrets. It’s well past time for all the Blackwell men to do a little soul searching of their own. And if they have to come home to do it, so be it. No one ever claimed Elias Blackwell played fair.

Return of the #BlackwellBrothers:

The Rancher’s Twins by Carol Ross → my review
The Rancher’s Rescue by Cari Lynn Webb → my review
The Rancher’s Redemption by Melinda Curtis → my review
The Rancher’s Fake Fiancée by Amy Vastine → my review
The Rancher’s Homecoming by Anna J. Stewart → my review

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Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming (@HarlequinBooks) | imprint of Harlequin

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance, #WesternRomance & #HarlequinHeartwarming

as well as the series tag: #BlackwellSisters and the previous series is now #BlackwellBrothers

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7th Annual Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

This story received my award for BEST Sequel Anchour Story:
(this anchours the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series
to the Blackwell Sisters series with brilliant continuity between both series)

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About Melinda Curtis

Prior to writing romance, award-winning, USA Today Bestseller Melinda Curtis was a junior manager for a Fortune 500 company, which meant when she flew on the private jet she was relegated to the jump seat—otherwise known as the potty. After grabbing her pen (and a parachute) she made the jump to full-time writer. A hybrid author, Melinda has over 60 titles published or sold, including 40 works to Harlequin and five to Grand Central Forever, mostly sweet romance and sweet romantic comedy. One of her books – Dandelion Wishes – was made into a TV movie. She recently came to grips with the fact that she’s an empty nester and a grandma, concepts easier to grasp than movies made from her books or jet-setting on a potty.

(Biography updated: November, 2020)

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Posted Tuesday, 24 November, 2020 by jorielov in Book Review (non-blog tour), Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Contemporary Romance, Equality In Literature, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Romance Fiction, Special Needs Children, Western Fiction, Western Romance

An early #blogmas #HarlequinHeartwarming Book Review | “An Alaskan Family Christmas” (Northern Lights: Book Seven) by Beth Carpenter

Posted Friday, 13 November, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

#blogmas book review 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 copy of “An Alaskan Family Christmas” direct from the author Beth Carpenter 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.comWhy I am loving finding #blogmas #ChristmasRomances this year:

Each year, I try to gather together quite a few #newtomeauthors and beloved authors alike to read Christmas stories by which are within my favourite genres of interest – such as Historical Fiction, Contemporary Romance or Historical Romance or even Speculative Fiction. I love to see what I can find each year – never knowing what I might discover, what might be publishing or in regards to blog tours – which stories are going on tour ahead of December!

Similar to past years, this November has seen quite a few #blogmas showcases ahead of Thanksgiving and right in-line with everyone sorting out what they want to read for the last season of the year where all of us are feeling rather festive and in the mood for a light read with a wicked good plot and an uplift of spirit by the conclusion! This is why I am thankful to be on this blog tour to return back to the Northern Lights series – as I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading Spring’s “Alaskan Dreams” which is slated to be read for one of my December #RomanceTuesdays showcases wherein I spotlighted this sixth novel of the series during its blog tour.

My health has been a bit of a juggling act the past few months – the first weeks of November I was hoping to dive into my Science Fiction reads to celebrate #SciFiMonth properly with a strong footing at the start of the month, however, I had to push those forward to this weekend and into next week. For now, I’m just grateful my migraine has finally ‘let go’ of me as it was a humdinger to get through recently whilst my overall health has improved to where I can start to focus on blogging, reading and being engaged online. I’ve missed reading and blogging the most – as reading is such a wonderful respite from our IRL adversities and concerns; we’ve all had a long and hard won 2020 – it is nice to find solace a bit in my health afflictions to start to reconnect to stories and the authors who are writing the stories I love to read!

Thereby this tour is my return to reading full-time and to championing the Harlequin Heartwarming authors who I find give me wicked good cheer all the year through! If you’re available tomorrow – please join us for a SPECIAL 5x author chat with ALL 5 of the #BlackwellSisters authors via @SatBookChat! More details at the bottom of this review!

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Why I loved the Northern Lights series coming into it at Book Five:

I liked how Carpenter connected a thread of faith into her Contemporary Sweet Romance – not all the authors in the Heartwarming line do this directly, though some I feel imply it which makes my heart happy. I liked how it applied in the context of this story – how being a doctor and/or a medic has a certain measure of faith associated with the careers. You can go only so far on your own merits before you have to recognise there is point where you have to lean on something outside of yourself in order to be the better medical professional. Not everything is understood through medicine and science – yet, how Carpenter broaches these topics within her narrative align well with two characters who haven’t yet decided what their final thoughts are on life, their careers or how they might still be attracted to one another!

When we first see Volta and Scott together – it is like a random snowstorm burrowing people in a house together who would otherwise not expect to be confined in the same place with each other. Volta has mixed feelings – which felt natural given their history and how she has become a widow in his absence and a single Mum. Her responsibilities are different now than they were before they had met even if there is still a bit of an open door to their hearts, it is interesting watching how Carpenter is going to reveal the story as we hug close to both of them as they ride out the volcanic ash which has grounded their plane.

As the ash storm passed over, what hadn’t released the tension of the hour is the friction between Volta and Scott. For her part, I think Volta was running a bit scared – she didn’t share her feelings very well – she came across as being guarded and reserved. I could see why – she had a lot she went through in her life in the short time they had been apart but evenso, when she was round Scott, you could tell she felt an ease about him. I almost thought perhaps she was frustrated with herself to find that she not only still have feelings for Scott but by reuniting with him, she felt a renewal of hope for her future. When it came to Scott, I sensed a lot of personal anguish in him – especially of the guilt of not establishing a life for himself. He had his career but how many people are happy to thrive on a career without a home base and family?

I could understand the angst of Emma (Volta’s daughter) – when you want to ride horses, it is quite amazing how difficult it is to find places that are not just affordable but are of the benefit of the rider not just the horse. Once you’re smitten by a horse, it is rather difficult to stop thinking about them and how companionable they are to be around. I had hoped she might find a way to have either a horse or at least regular lessons before she became an adult.

I loved when Carpenter re-shifted back into the planes and took us into the air to be with the air ambulance crews. It gave more foundation to the roles these people have IRL but also, how their shifts can run longer than your realise as Volta had a 24 hour rotation facing her when she agreed to be Scott’s liaison. This was another smart move I felt in the story itself – how Scott, was wanting to bring changes to the Alaskan methodology of approaching prenatal care in the state, he needed someone who understood how to interact with the locals. Someone who could give them assurances he couldn’t as an outsider and that someone felt perfect to be Volta even for me! I liked how he fuelled his desires to help others into plausible situations where he could yield the most good and be of the most help. This plan had to change the prenatal care of Alaska felt like the kind of forward-thinking leadership needed in rural medical inefficient areas need in order to find a gateway into a future where they are more self-sufficient.

You know when your watching a movie you’ve settled into about two people who can’t quite put their lives together but they seem to be making enroads towards finding common ground? Even though things continue to go astray and their lives seem to be going down different routes and avenues; there is something drawing them back together? This novel is a lot like that kind of movie! The more you dig into their lives – you see how dedicated they are to their jobs but what good is a job if it doesn’t allow you to live?

This is a critical question Carpenter wants her readers to chew on because it is the main thesis behind the story itself. Wells, at least one of them anyway! She wants you to see past their sense of honour and duty; past the point where they were unselfish in serving others who needed them and started to take stock of their own lives for a change. To sort out what Scott and Volta needed most in their lives – whether that meant making changes or being open to the change within themselves, Carpenter lets you see what they decide as you tag along for their journey.

Carpenter puts you front and centre on the action within her medically focused Contemporary (Sweet) Romance wherein you get to see first-hand what first responders go through in Alaska when their patients live rather remotely. Even the first case she presented in the novel wasn’t routine as it was a woman who had hypertension and it was causing issues with her pregnancy – I did give a bit of a pause of thought as to what would have happened if Volta and Scott hadn’t been there at that particular moment in order to intervene on the woman’s behalf. A credit to what Carpenter had already established about how due to how lean the state is on medical facilities and how the support staff in the more rural areas were limited to aides; you can see how Alaska can become a medically adverse state in which to live.

I definitely will be seeking out the rest of this Northern Lights series as I liked the pacing and the presentation of how Carpenter implores us to want to know more about this world she’s created for us to find! She hugs us so close to the hearts of her characters, it is easy to feel what they’re feeling and live a period of time in their shoes rather than our own. In essence, I love that this is another small towne series focused on family, hearth, home and a wicked dollop of romance! Best of all, she gave me a new reason to venture back to Alaska and that was the icing on the cake!

-quoted from my book review for Sweet Home Alaska

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An early #blogmas #HarlequinHeartwarming Book Review | “An Alaskan Family Christmas” (Northern Lights: Book Seven) by Beth CarpenterAn Alaskan Family Christmas
Subtitle: A Northern Lights Novel
by Beth Carpenter
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

A little mix-up…
Could make her Christmas wonderful!

Natalie Weiss is mortified. After mistaking handsome Tanner Rockford for his cousin, she’s followed him to rural Alaska. Now she’s stranded—until Tanner invites her to spend Christmas with his family in their rustic, cozy cabin. But in this idyllic winter wonderland, Natalie discovers the family she’s never had…and the love she never knew she needed. But what happens when they all discover why she’s really there?

Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335889959

Also by this author: Sweet Home Alaska, Alaskan Dreams, An Alaskan Homecoming

Also in this series: Sweet Home Alaska, Alaskan Dreams


Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 379

The Northern Lights series:

The Alaskan Catch by Beth CarpenterA Gift for Santa by Beth CarpenterAlaskan Hideaway by Beth CarpenterAn Alaskan Proposal by Beth Carpenter

Sweet Home Alaska by Beth CarpenterAlaskan Dreams by Beth CarpenterAn Alaskan Family Christmas by Beth Carpenter

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The Alaskan Catch (book one)

A Gift for Santa (book two)

Alaskan Hideaway (book three)

An Alaskan Proposal (book four)

→ Sweet Home Alaska (book five) ← *where I began the series! (see also Review)

Alaskan Dreams (book six)

An Alaskan Family Christmas (book seven)

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

Formats Available: Paperback* and Ebook

*Harlequin has the luxury of offering Regular, Large & Larger Print editions which I personally can attest are lovely to be reading! Especially after a migraine or when my eyes are fatigued.

Converse via: #BethCarpenter and #HarlequinHeartwarming

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7th Annual Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

This story received my award for Best Contemporary Romance.

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About Beth Carpenter

Beth Carpenter

Once upon a time ...

when Beth Carpenter was a little girl, she read everything she could get her hands on, and entertained herself on the school bus by making up stories in her head. Not a lot has changed. She's still consuming books like M&Ms, and spends her days creating happily-ever-afters for her imaginary friends.

She lives in Alaska and Arizona with her husband and an aggressively affectionate fifty-pound lap dog. She loves to hear from readers.

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Posted Friday, 13 November, 2020 by jorielov in Alaska, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Family Life, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, West Coast USA

#EnterTheFantastic an Audiobook Review during #RIPXV | “The Winter of Enchantment” by Victoria Walker (Clayton), narrated by Kim Bretton

Posted Thursday, 1 October, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made 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, knitting and playing solitaire agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I 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 Audiobookworm Promotions, 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. Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue wherein I can also request new digital audiobooks to become added to their OverDrive selections. Aside from OverDrive I also enjoy having Audible & Scribd memberships as my budget allows. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I have been able to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year since 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “A Winter of Enchantment” via Audiobookworm Promotion who is working with Kim Bretton on this blog tour in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why this series left me curious to listen too:

As one of the co-hosts of @WyrdAndWonder every year now for the past three years (2018-2020) I have been attempting to seek out Classics in Fantasy – especially Classical Children’s Fantasy stories as I would like to establish a better foundation for a genre I have loved since I was seventeen. I grew up loving the films within The Neverending Story series whilst I hungered after more Fantasy films ever since I first saw Pete’s Dragon (the original). There was a mysterious enchantment about those stories – about how magic was interstepping through our world and how sometimes the magical was just round the next corner in our own  individual journeys.

Knowing what I know now about my preferences for reading Fantasy, it shouldn’t have been such a keen revelation to realise I would learn to adore and become passionately enthused by reading (or listening) Urban Fantasy and/or Portal Fantasy. In this particular series, the two are interchangeable because it is partially within an Urban Fantasy framework as Sebastian must cross into the realm wherein Melissa has been living in confinement whilst Sebastian lives in our own world. Yet it is a beautiful Portal Fantasy wherein certain objects act as the transportation and teleportation channels of travelling through both worlds.

I was hoping this series might help me re-align into reading (and listening) to more Fantasy this Autumn. I’ve been attempting to get back into Fantasy since Wyrd And Wonder ended our third year in May; after a series of clustering migraines and other life adversities took me out of their stories. I fought hard during Summer to win back the joy I had in May and in some bursts of readerly blissitude, I had reattained that happiness I had felt in May but it never held. My migraines were a blustering nightmare this Summer and I am thankful as October has finally dawned I am hopeful they will start to lessen their hold on me.

I knew I would immediately connect with Ms Bretton’s voice but what surprised me so happily is how anchoured I felt inside this world of Sebastian & Melissa!! It is a world that is so engaging as you first start to read (or listen) to it – wherein you feel as if this isn’t your first foray into its world. Every turn of the story is a new chance to see something quite fantastical and there are creatures and sweet dialogue inside this story that warms your bookish heart, too! It is a charming representation of Classical Children’s Fantasy and the innocence of their journey together is what I loved most!

Thereby I was lead by earnest curiosity to listen to this series and through that curiosity I have found myself re-aligning back into a genre I love dearly! I am so thankful to be on this blog tour and to have found a new author whose artful crafting of Fantasy has become a new beloved favourite!

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#EnterTheFantastic an Audiobook Review during #RIPXV  | “The Winter of Enchantment” by Victoria Walker (Clayton), narrated by Kim BrettonThe Winter of Enchantment
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions

A magic mirror enables Sebastian to travel from his Victorian world of winter snow and Mrs Parkin to a magic world of Melissa, Mantari, and wicked Enchanter and many other exciting people.

This wonderful audiobook follows in the great tradition of the E. Nesbit magic books. Since its first publication in 1969 it has proved its appeal to children of every age. Long out of print until republished by Fidra Books in the UK and Purple House Press in the USA, it received praise from respected children's authors. The sequel to this book is called The House Called Hadlows.

Genres: Children's Literature, Classical Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Portal Fantasy, Middle Grade Fantasy, Middle Grade


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B08B4645R9

Published by Victoria Clayton Limited

on 15th June, 2020

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 4 hours and 13 minutes (unabridged)

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The Sebastian & Melissa series:

The Winter of Enchantment by Victoria WalkerThe House Called Hadlows by Victoria Walker

The Winter Enchantment (book one)

The House Called Hadlows (book two)

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Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #AudioReads, #Audiobook and #AudiobookwormPromotions

as well as #KidsLit, #ClassicFantasy, #MGFantasy or #MiddleGrade and #Fantasy; #PortalFantasy

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7th Annual Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

This story received my award for Best Middle Grade Fantasy.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 1 October, 2020 by jorielov in Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host, Children's Classics, Children's Literature, Classical Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Juvenile Fiction, Middle Grade Novel, Portal Fantasy, Self-Published Author