Category: Military Fiction

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

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

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By:

I am a ChocLit reviewer who receives books of my choice in exchange for honest reviews! I received a complimentary copy of “The Silver Locket” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

An Introduction to the Charton Minster series:

Order of Sequence of Charton Minster series:

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

The Wedding Diary Book Four | Magic Sometimes Happens Book Five

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If life is cheap, how much is love worth?

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

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

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

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781906931285

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

Series: Charton Minster


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


Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, War Drama


Published by ChocLitUK

on 29th May, 2012

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 320

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

Formats Available: Paperback, Audiobook and E-book

Converse via: #ChocLit

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

About Margaret James

Margaret James

Margaret James was born and brought up in Hereford and now lives in Devon. She studied English at London University, and has written many short stories, articles and serials for magazines. She is the author of sixteen published novels.

Her debut novel for Choc Lit, The Silver Locket, received a glowing review from the Daily Mail and reached the Top 20 Small Publishers Fiction List in November 2010 and in the same year a Reviewers’ Choice Award from Single Titles. The Golden Chain also hit the Top 20 Small Publishers Fiction List in May 2011. The Wedding Diary was shortlisted for the 2014 Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Novels: The Silver Locket, The Golden Chain, The Penny Bangle, The Wedding Diary and Magic Sometimes Happens which are part of the Charton Minster series.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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

Blog Book Tour | “Daughter of Destiny: Guinevere’s Tale No.1” by Nicole Evelina

Posted Saturday, 27 February, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

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

A note about how the author enscribed my copy:

The first thing which struck my fancy to notice is the red seal with a crown inside the wax which was quite cleverly affixed next to the author’s signature on the title page of this novel! The reason such a gesture from the old world signified such delight in me, is because I’m a letter-writer whose appreciation for all things papery and postal extend back into my childhood. Seals, waxes and emblems have bewitched my writerly heart for awhile now, and the hardest part to sealing wax is getting it to behave in such a manner as you can be certain of where it shall affix and how the look your hoping to gain will be presented exactly as you intended it.

This was definitely a special surprise for me, as it gave a bit of a definitive nod of the novel’s heart etched out of both history and lore entwined together. I definitely think the author gave me a strong impression on how to greet your book blogger ‘at hallo’ and give them a wink of a surprise as they settle inside your story!  It is always the small things that inspire the most happiness, I find, and this small gesture of yesteryear was wicked brilliant!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Daughter of Destiny: Guinevere’s Tale No.1” by Nicole EvelinaDaughter of Destiny
Subtitle: Guinevere's Tale Book One
by Nicole Evelina
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Jenny Quinlan (JennyQ)
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Before queenship and Camelot, Guinevere was a priestess of Avalon. She loved another before Arthur, a warrior who would one day betray her.

In the war-torn world of late fifth century Britain, young Guinevere faces a choice: stay with her family to defend her home at Northgallis from the Irish, or go to Avalon to seek help for the horrific visions that haunt her. The Sight calls her to Avalon, where she meets Morgan, a woman of questionable parentage who is destined to become her rival. As Guinevere matures to womanhood, she gains the powers of a priestess, and falls in love with a man who will be both her deepest love and her greatest mistake.

Just when Guinevere is able to envision a future in Avalon, tragedy forces her back home, into a world she barely recognizes, one in which her pagan faith, outspokenness, and proficiency in the magical and military arts are liabilities. When a chance reunion with her lover leads to disaster, she is cast out of Northgallis and into an uncertain future. As a new High King comes to power, Guinevere must navigate a world of political intrigue where unmarried women are valuable commodities and seemingly innocent actions can have life-altering consequences.

You may think you know the story of Guinevere, but you’ve never heard it like this: in her own words. Listen and you will hear the true story of Camelot and its queen.

Fans of Arthurian legend and the Mists of Avalon will love Daughter of Destiny, the first book in a historical fantasy trilogy that gives Guinevere back her voice and traces her life from an uncertain eleven year old girl to a wise queen in her fifth decade of life.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0-9967631-0-3

Also by this author: Nicole Evelina (Guest Post: Camelot's Queen), Camelot's Queen, Been Searching For You, Madame Presidentess, Mistress of Legend

Also in this series: Camelot's Queen, Mistress of Legend


Genres: After Canons, Arthurian Legend, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Historical-Fantasy, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Women's Fiction


Published by Lawson Gartner Publishing

on 21st December, 2015

Format: Softcover Edition

Pages: 327

Published By: Lawson Gartner Publishing

Book No. 2 Camelot’s Queen releases 12th of April 2016

Book No. 3 Mistress of the Legend releases late 2016/early 2017

Formats Available: Softcover, Audiobook and Ebook

About Nicole Evelina

Nicole Evelina

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

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

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

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

Author biography was updated July 2016.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 27 February, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 6th Century, After the Canon, Apothecary, Arthurian Legend, Avalon, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Britian, British Literature, Bullies and the Bullied, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, Folklore and Mythology, Herbalist, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, History, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Mythological Societies, Naturopathic Medicine, Parapsychological Gifts, Passionate Researcher, Prejudicial Bullying & Non-Tolerance, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Re-Told Tales, Sewing & Stitchery, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Supernatural Fiction, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, Warfare & Power Realignment, Women's Fiction, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Style & Voice

Blog Book Tour | “The Land of Look Behind” by Aaron Blaylock

Posted Monday, 22 February, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “The Land of Look Behind” direct from the publisher Bonneville Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

*Note: This novel came with a happy small surprise: the Marketing Manager enclosed his card within the pages of the book and I thought – how clever! On two counts: to have a calling card for a publisher I appreciate reviewing for and hosting their authors, and secondly, it makes a curiously portable ‘bookmark’! I spy the bookmarks for the novels on author blogs and social media feeds but this is as good as that for me! Plus, all the imprints at Cedar Fort are listed and it’s a nice bit of memorabilia for a book blogger who appreciates the publisher.

Why I was curious to read this one:

Mr Blaylock pitched his novel to me before I caught sight of it myself, and through his initial contact with me, I learnt a few insights about how an author reads my Review Policy. In other words, he gave me a lot of lovely compliments and he genuinely understood my selection process as a book blogger! I was quite chuffed to have seen the ‘other side’ of my blog and how what I am leaving behind in this niche of mine is being translated to both readers and authors alike. It was the kind of note your thankful to receive as it introduced you to a new author and allowed you to receive feedback on your own ‘pitch’ to authors who may be seeking a book blogger.

Sharing a portion of my response where I began by explaining why I would be open to reading an LDS focused story-line:

As you might have inferred from my previous Cedar Fort reviews, I’m a non-LDS Protestant but this doesn’t affect how I approach reading LDS Fiction or Non-Fiction as I review both styles on my blog. Quite happily so, as I am finding some of the best fiction today is coming out of Cedar Fort, not just for the discernible adult reader but for young adults and children (as reflected in my Story Vault; you’ll find many CF authors spilt through the genres).

I’m happy to make your acquaintance and I was especially surprised you’ve pitched me your book by going through my Review Request page! That spoke volumes to me on how your approaching your career and your willingness to interact with book bloggers and reviewers. It’s a compliment to you, in other words! Well done.

What drew my eye to CF in the first place was knowing I would be seeking out a wide spectrum of fiction wherein I would find stories that were writ with a gentler voice than most contemporary releases. Herein I refer to my discourse in highlighting the unnecessary need to use vulgarity in telling stories for today’s audience. I never felt I was a ‘clean fiction’ reader until I started to see such a surge of overt instances of both vulgarity and explicit violence (another no-no in my opinion) in stories for young adults and adults alike. For YA I’m quite particular about what I will accept as far as visuals, tone, voice and expression of story even moreso than adult because I believe YA should spare certain inclusions that are rampant in Adult Lit.

I personally love adventure novels, one of the last ones I’ve read was Ian Quicksilver by a fellow CF author; it re-established my desire to read more of it’s kind, as who doesn’t want to jettison off on a quest?  Previously it was Uncovering Cobbogoth that set my sails for seeking stimulating worlds where characters have to overcome an adventurous oft arduous journey.

At first glance, I love how the symbol or crest attached to your world is a watermark addition behind the overlay of text for your title. It’s a very cleverly pieced together book cover, which I will mention on my review.

Ooh! You’ve given me a time slip narrative where I can soak inside two timescapes at once? I love discovering parallel stories where there are two folds to the context of where we’re taken! Hence why I was so very appreciative of reading A Fall of Marigolds (review).

I was quite chuffed realising this novel is centered around your own personal experiences in Jamaica and how you were inspired by the country which hasn’t left your heart. I can relate to this, as I have a personal connection to Mexico and the Mayan ruins, of which I have blogged about on different reviews; giving out a bit of information about my adventures on each one. The latest was on the cookbook Daily Tortilla. (review)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

It should be mentioned Uncovering Cobbogoth was my first blog tour with Cedar Fort and my entrance into wicked sweet adventure fiction for Young Adult Lit! It set the bar high and gave me a new standard of what I was personally seeking inasmuch as what I hoped to find in the genre as a whole. So much of what I loved about Cobbogoth has directly influenced me to understand what I’m looking for the most in other works by authors who are focusing on a young adult audience. Upcoming this year I will be a new contributor to a Steampunk blog wherein I will be reading a heap of Steampunk spilt between my new venture and Jorie Loves A Story. The ones I am hand selecting for the new blog will have a specific list of ‘must haves’ I will be disclosing at a later point in time. The rest I’ll populate on my blog but will save the majority for Sci Fi November and the Sci Fi Experience where I purposely showcase a heap of science fiction loveliness each year (since I started in 2013).

The reason I remain transparent on my blog about my choices of what I read for review and the reasons behind what goes into my process to make a selection is to help my readers understand what first draws my attention first and foremost, but also, to a lesser extent to keep an open dialogue with my readers about what keeps us curious about the books we’re reading and the authors we continuously are discovering who are attempting to inspire us to such a level of an experience we will all but beg for more of the same to continue to enlighten us in their future releases.

As I move further into 2016 and beyond, you will find my selections growing more select as I enter into my Renaissance stage of Jorie Loves A Story. Hence why when an author takes the time to reach out to me via my blog’s Contact Form, by email or directly on Twitter (or through DMs) I take stock of how well they understand my reading life and the way in which I blog my literary adventures. If your an author following a book blogger, don’t shy away from talking to us. We’ll all bookishly geeky in our own ways, why not take the chance to open up a convo with us and see where that conversation might lead?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art and the symbolism of The Land of Look Behind:

On the cover and back cover copy is an embedded symbol which follows into the story itself as it’s on the Chapter Headers (whilst alternating with a second symbol just as important and pertinent to the story-line); the way in which the publisher had it as a textural raised (although subtle) symbol is what originally stood out to me about the cover, as it’s three in one: the image of the adventurer in the cave’s opening going into the light of; the typography of the title of the novel; and this symbol that nearly looked like a watermark from afar. In person it has more of a presence and isn’t flat. As it exists in it’s own dimensional space and draws your eye into being pensive of it’s significance.

It took a bit of digging around the internet but I learnt one important bit of trivia: ‘the land of look behind’ is a direct reference to Jamaica as soldiers used to keep their advantage whilst travelling through the country best by never yielding a look-out point in any one direction. They went so far as to ride horses where both riders were never facing forward as one looked forward as ‘one looked back’. This is gives a bit of new insight to the titling of the novel as I personally did not understand the title at first glance, second look or the third reading of it when I sat to read the story outright.

Blog Book Tour | “The Land of Look Behind” by Aaron BlaylockThe Land of Look Behind
Subtitle: A Jamaican Treasure Worth Dying For
by Aaron Blaylock
Source: Direct from Publisher

Jarvis tried to collect himself.
He needed a plan of action.
Captain Willard had given him strict orders -
but what weight should he give the orders of a dead man?

Three hundred years ago, a soldier named Jarvis journeyed deep into Jamaica and discovered a land of myth, treasure, and danger. Now Gideon, who served in Jamaica as a missionary, returns armed with Jarvis's journal to follow the enigmatic clues with his best friend. But they quickly discover there are forces who would kill to keep the treasure secret.

Travel into Jamaica's treacherous cockpit country in this spine-tingling thriller.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781462117956

Also by this author: , The Unsaid

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Men's Fiction, Thriller, Time Slip and/or Time Shift, War Drama


Published by Bonneville Books

on 1st February, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 320

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks),

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #LandOfLookBehind

About Aaron Blaylock

Aaron Blaylock

Born and raised in Arizona, Aaron is proud to call the desert home. He came of age in the suburbs of Sacramento, California and as a missionary in Jamaica, where he fell in love with the people and their culture, but he has always been drawn back to the valley of the sun.

He married his childhood crush, and the girl of his dreams, in 2001. Together they are raising four beautiful and rambunctious children. He worked as a freelance sports reporter for The Arizona Republic for nearly ten years, combining his love of writing and sports. In his storytelling he draws heavily on his love of history, adventure, his faith and his own life experiences.

*NEWSFLASH*

Don’t forget to read my *special announcement*

at the end of this review! Read More

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Posted Monday, 22 February, 2016 by jorielov in 17th Century, 21st Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, African-American Literature, Ancient Civilisation, Art, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biblical History, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Christianity, Content Note, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Perspectives, History, Illustrations for Stories, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Jamaica, Lessons from Scripture, Literature for Boys, Men's Fiction, Military Fiction, Modern Day, Mormonism, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Realistic Fiction, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Time Slip, Treasure Hunt, Warfare & Power Realignment, World Religions