Category: Orphans & Guardians

Book Review | “The Lost Girl” by Liz Harris #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 15 April, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and created #ChocLitSaturday (the chat via @ChocLitSaturday):

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of marriage enveloped by characters written honestly whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read!

I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other!

I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb! Whilst sorting out how promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

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

Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. As of June 2016, I became a member of the ChocLit Stars Team in tandem with being on the Cover Reveal Team which I joined in May 2016. I reference the Stars as this is a lovely new reader contribution team of sending feedback to the publisher ahead of new book releases. As always, even if I’m involved with a publisher in this sort of fashion, each review is never influenced by that participation and will always be my honest impression as I read the story. Whether the author is one I have previously read or never had the pleasure to read until the book greets my shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Lost Girl” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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

I wasn’t surprised that Ms Harris tackled another hard-hitting dramatic story-line in her new book The Lost Girl as I have previously come to find she has a way of elevating historical fiction to an emotional keel of clarity. There is a richness to her stories – she dares to capitalise on the emotional heart of her character’s journey; even within the pages of A Bargain Struck this was true, and she did it by taking a seemingly ordinary story-line and moulding it into such a convicting story of life, love and second chances.

Harris has a way to broaching History with such a refinement of shaping the past through a lens of eloquence and clarity, that you simply devour her stories. I appreciate finding an author whose not only dedicated to research but dedicated to writing the stories she’s most passionate telling to a readership whose thankful she’s writing her heart out. – originally shared on the cover reveal for this novel

Dear hearts, I have truly been itching to read this particular release by Ms Harris for well over a year! I learnt about bits of the story whilst chatting during #ChocLitSaturday and the more I would learn about the heart of this novel, the more I dearly wanted to read it! I was meant to receive this towards the close of 2016 – as the paperback release was originally flying into reader’s hands at the close of last Summer. However, it took a bit longer for this lovely novel to reach me – not that I mind! I have always felt that books reach us when we’re meant to read their stories – how are we to know which is the better time to read any particular story if we are moved by it’s chapters and it’s pearls of insights at the moment we’re tucked inside it’s pages? Reading is quite the journey – we never know which story will alight on our path or when we’re itching to read any particular story, but sometimes, we get advanced word about a story (such as this one) which simply touches our soul.

I personally love stories of immigration and adoption; these are two overlapping themes which do have the tendency of appearing through my readerly life time and time again. It’s because the two themes are quite close to my heart; my family has a strong background of ancestral emigration as much as I will be adopting out of foster care in the future. There are so many different paths to highlight both of these themes, and one thing I have credited to Ms Harris with in her previous releases for Historicals is the touching manner in which she hones in on the heart of her character’s story whilst grounding her Historical Fiction in the truism of the moment in which the story is placed to be set in History. She offers a connective threshold of emotions and timeless aspirations for finding one’s purpose and passageway through life’s ordeals. One of the reasons I love her Historicals so very much is how she interconnects the reader and her character as if the two are entwined. It’s wicked brilliant to find Historicals which feel as if you’ve left your reality and exchanged it for another person’s life if only for the expanse of the novel; but in so doing, we humbly expand our empathy, our compassion and our worldview.

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

On my Connection to Ms. Harris:

I have been hosting #ChocLitSaturday chats on a regular basis for a bit over two years now. Eleven in the morning of a Saturday, has become a favourite hour for me to exchange conversation and joy with everyone who shows up to participate in a chat centered around ChocLit novels and the Romance branch of literature in general.

Similar to my previous thoughts I shared about Ms. Courtenay, I have come to appreciate chatting with Ms. Harris, either through #ChocLitSaturdays chats or privately. She is most giving of her time and I have appreciated the opportunity to know the writer behind the stories I enjoy reading! She always shares her happy spirit in the chats too, and her insights into why she enjoys writing the books that speak to her the most.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Harris through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I host #ChocLitSaturday the chat as well as privately; I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. Similarly this applies to spotlighting new books by an author I appreciate such as this one.

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

I’m sharing both the paperback cover & the ebook cover, as I’m still a bit partial to the ebook cover, even though I respectively understand it’s not as representative of the story as much as the print book cover encompasses. I’m hoping after I’ve read the novel, I can make my final assessment, as ahead of reading it – I still lean towards the first cover. Therefore, the cover featuring the ‘small towne’ is the one on the print release.

The Lost Girl
by Liz Harris
Source: Direct from Publisher

What if you were trapped between two cultures?

Life is tough in 1870s Wyoming. But it’s tougher still when you’re a girl who looks Chinese but speaks like an American.

Orphaned as a baby and taken in by an American family, Charity Walker knows this only too well. The mounting tensions between the new Chinese immigrants and the locals in the mining town of Carter see her shunned by both communities.

When Charity’s one friend, Joe, leaves town, she finds herself isolated. However, in his absence, a new friendship with the only other Chinese girl in Carter makes her feel like she finally belongs somewhere.

But, for a lost girl like Charity, finding a place to call home was never going to be that easy…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 9781781893012

Also by this author: A Bargain Struck, Guest Post (A Western Heart) by Liz Harris, Guest Post (The Road Back) by Liz Harris, The Road Back, Book Spotlight w/ Notes (The Lost Girl), Evie Undercover, Guest Post (The Lost Girl) by Liz Harris, The Art of Deception

Genres: Emigration & Immigration, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Modern British Literature, Realistic Fiction, Western Fiction


Published by ChocLitUK

on 22nd February, 2017

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

Formats Available: Paperback & Ebook

Genre(s): Historical Fiction | Western | Adoption | Chinese-American ancestry

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

Liz Harris

Liz was born in London and now lives in South Oxfordshire with her husband. After graduating from university with a Law degree, she moved to California where she led a varied life, trying her hand at everything from cocktail waitressing on Sunset Strip to working as secretary to the CEO of a large Japanese trading company, not to mention a stint as ‘resident starlet’ at MGM. On returning to England, Liz completed a degree in English and taught for a number of years before developing her writing career.

Liz’s debut novel, The Road Back, won a Book of the Year Award from Coffee Time Romance in the USA and her second novel A Bargain Struck was shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Author Connections:

 Personal Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Converse via: #TheLostGirl & #ChocLit Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 15 April, 2017 by jorielov in 19th Century, Adoption, American Old West, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, Chinese Literature, ChocLitUK, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cultural & Religious Traditions, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Herbalist, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Immigrant Stories, Indie Author, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Multicultural Marriages & Families, Old West Americana, Orphans & Guardians, Passionate Researcher, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Realistic Fiction, Siblings, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Social Change, Stories of Adoption, Taboo Relationships & Romance, Western Fiction, World Religions

Blog Book Tour | “The Breedling and The City in the Garden” by Kimberlee Ann Bastian

Posted Friday, 9 December, 2016 by jorielov , , , 9 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for The Breedling & the City in the Garden hosted by iRead Book Tours. I was blessed to be able to receive a print copy of this novel in order to review it for the blog tour as I cannot read digital copies of novels due to chronic migraines; I do offset my reading ques now with audiobooks which is working brilliantly towards lessening the onset of them. This was a surprise for me – to be able to read and review the novel, as I originally thought I could only interview the author. Truly blessed by the author’s kindness. Secondly, I am thankful for the author’s grace in understanding why I had to push my review forward and why reading whilst blogging took a backseat in my life since Black Friday. iReads was one of the touring companies I work with who was able to accommodate a change of schedule last minute, for which I was full of gratitude as well.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Breedling & the City in the Garden” direct from the author Kimberlee Ann Bastian in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

I am drawn to curiously curious genre-benders of a certain variety:

Three stories came immediately to mind whilst I was setting my sights on participating on this particular blog tour – they were as follows: To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Merriweather Lewis by Andra Watkins (see Review); The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (see Review); and Angel of Losses by Stephanie Feldman (see Review). They are united in their individuality and their unique literary voicing of both their characterisations and of the layers of world-building their writers spun into their pages. They also happen to be three of the books I loved reading (despite my indifference to which ‘category’ of literature Angel of Losses was classified) which did not quite as ring as wicked brilliant to other readers – they were either a big hit or a bit of a miss with readers I’ve encountered of late – with the exception of Wecker’s novel, which seemed to gain the most traction overall. I’m one of the few readers whose anxiously awaiting her ‘next chapter’ of the Jinni in 2018!

I love finding stories which etch out their own niche in literature whilst curating an experience within an adventure which truth be told are set to their own wicked beat of literary exploration. There are other stories I’ve read (some I’ve even blogged about!) which fit within this nifty niche of stories, too – however, these three percolated in my memory because of how interestingly unique they were imagined and how their writers craftly write Speculative stories within quasi-mainstream genres or at least, which were recognisd by quasi-mainstream genres! lol I personally love different designations of genres in literature – not so much as a be all / end all route of where I will go visually through literature as my mind expands itself around the sphere of a story but rather, a bit of a road map of where I’d like to travel at any given point of time in my reading life. I love sorting out the different variances of how genre can become bent (in theory, you already know dedicated readers how much I love seeing how ‘time’ is bent: i.e. time shift, time travel and time slip are all readily explored on my blog!) whilst seeing how wickedly inventive writers are at curating their own spin on an established genre by re-creating what is plausible within it’s folds.

I think it has a lot to do with how I personally write my own fiction (something I explored in an essay via Priya’s blog [originally written in 2015] wherein I talked about being a ‘writer’ whose moonlighting as a book blogger) – I like to see where my muse can lead me and how the stories ‘talk’ to us as we’re creating the words to paint the palette of where our stories are guiding us to traverse.

It also speaks to my bookish heart firmly attached to Speculative Fiction – as first and foremost, the very first manuscript I dreamt into existence was Science Fiction based on Science Fact. I lean towards what is futuristically possible by what could be considered improbably impossible today – whilst keenly invested in the imaginative innovation of where our creativity can take us through the written vortex of worlds spun out our imaginations daring to ask the questions of ‘what if’ and chart new horizons where readers can continue to travel with us on this journey through stories.

This is one reason why I love participating in Sci-Fi November and the Sci-Fi Experience – even if my participation can get off-track due to illness or life’s unexpected emergencies – the joy I have for the Speculative heart of fiction is hardcore. I love finding the dreamspinners of inverted and invented genres who provide an unknown niche of literature by how their stories transcend through the needle of time in proportion to character driven literature. This is simply my ‘next find’ in a lifelong pursuit of originality and bookish joy in discovering the niche makers.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “The Breedling and The City in the Garden” by Kimberlee Ann BastianThe Breedling and the City in the Garden
Subtitle: The Element Odysseys : Book One
by Kimberlee Ann Bastian
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

Absolute obedience, servitude, neutrality.

​These were the laws that once governed Bartholomew, an immortal soulcatcher, until one ill-fated night when he was forced to make a choice: rebel against his masters or reveal an ancient, dangerous secret.

He chose defiance.

Imprisoned for centuries as punishment for his decision, Bartholomew wastes away—until he creates an opportunity to escape. By a stroke of chance, Bartholomew finds himself in the human world and soon learns that breaking his bonds does not come without a price. Cut off from the grace that once ruled him, he must discover a new magic in 1930s Chicago.

Armed with only a cryptic message to give him direction, Bartholomew desperately tries to resume the mission he had started so long ago. Relying on the unlikely guidance of the streetwise orphan Charlie Reese, Bartholomew must navigate the depressed streets of the City in the Garden. But in order to solve this riddle, he must first discover if choice and fate are one in the same.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781945769047

Also by this author: Author Interview (Kimberlee Ann Bastian)

Genres: Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism


Published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing

on 20th September, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 280

 Published By: Wise Ink Creative Publishing (@Wiseink)

Quite fittingly, I started 2016 by reading ‘Becoming George Washington’ by this publisher and I am now featuring a second title by them in the closing chapter of December. How wicked is that!?

 Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Kimberlee Ann Bastian

Kimberlee Ann Bastian

Kimberlee Ann Bastian has a unique love affair with American nostalgia, mythology, and endless possibilities. This melting pot of elements is what prompted the creation of her epic ELEMENT ODYSSEYS series, starting with the reboot of her debut novel now titled THE BREEDLING AND THE CITY IN THE GARDEN.

When she is not in her writer's room, working her current "day job", or consuming other literary worlds, she enjoys hiking and cycling around the bluffs of your Southeastern MN home and catching up on her favorite pop culture. ​

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 9 December, 2016 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Folklore and Mythology, Genre-bender, Good vs. Evil, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Magical Realism, Orphans & Guardians, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “The Cursed Dagger” (Book No.2 of the Ian Quicksilver series!) by Alyson Peterson

Posted Tuesday, 13 September, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I have been a blog tour hostess with Cedar Fort for the past two years, wherein I took a brief hiatus from hosting before resuming this August 2016. I appreciate the diversity of the stories the Indie publisher is publishing per year, not only for fiction and non-fiction but for healthy eats within their Front Table Books (cookbooks). I appreciate their dedication to writing general market, INSPY reads and LDS focused stories across the genres they publish.

I was selected to be a part of the “The Cursed Dagger” blog tour wherein I received a complimentary copy of “The Cursed Dagger” direct from the publisher Sweetwater Books (an imprint of Cedar Fort Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein

My connection to the author: Last year, I had a conversation with Ms Peterson whilst I was composing my thoughts on my review but it did not influence my reaction and/or change my honest opinion of the novel; something I disclosed at the top of my review for ‘Ian Quicksilver: The Warrior’s Return’. Since then, I’ve only touched based with the author off and on a few times in the interim, as we’re connected through Twitter. It’s always nice to keep in touch with an author you appreciate reading but also a renewed joy if you make a personal connection too. I am thankful my path crossed with Ms Peterson on the tour last year, and for the private conversations we’ve exchanged. 

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Ms Peterson through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse as well as privately; I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. Similarly this applies to all future novels I read by an author I appreciate reading due to the compelling story-lines and characters they continuously bring to their novels and/or novellas.

On returning to the world of Quicksilver:

The Warrior’s Return has a lot of undercurrent themes running into the narrative arc and giving readers a bit of an insight on how our differences are not meant to divide us but unite us. We’re different from each other because we each have something unique to contribute to the whole. It’s how we choose to focus on our strengths and embrace our faults is a mark of our character as much as it is a growth of maturity. I appreciated seeing how Peterson took two characters who were on the fringes of ‘coming-of age’ and instilled in them a grounding sense of who they could be simply by observing how someone else ‘saw them’ and understood them in a way they hadn’t felt would be possible.

Peterson gives her readers a wicked keen treat by inventing telepathic writing as a mode of communication when people are out of sight but not out of mind. I won’t say more about it because I don’t want to spoilt it for you, but let’s just say it takes telepathy to a new height of curious possibility! I also love the elements of TK (telekinesis) she’s knitted into the story inasmuch as the electrical hypersensitive paragifted capabilities of Ari’s hidden talent. This last element reminded of why I was wicked excited to read The Last Gatekeeper by Katy Haye. When it comes to manipulation of energy and sources of energy story-lines can jump into a mecca of interesting realms, because how energy can be shifted between stability and instability has the most intrigue for a reader. To gain access to a power source where energy in it’s rarest form can be harnessed and then re-distributed or altered to a level of power that is controllable to the person whose gifted with the talent is inspiring narrative. It’s also the cross-bridge uniting Fantasy with Science Fiction fusing it’s own new genre of ‘Sci-Fantasy’. (or in other words, Jorie’s newest sub-genre of interest!)

Enter the newfound reality of being a long-lost son of a King from a world known as ‘Bankhir’ whose sisterly bond to ‘Garfel’ is about to become a delicate race against time. The rulers of both decided the only way to save their worlds and to restore peace were to cast out two of their own into a world far removed from their societies intensive war, vying a hope towards re-setting the peace when the boy and girl return home. Only these are not ordinary planets like Earth or even Saturn, no these two are co-dependent on each other due to how the magic of their powers are generated and controlled.

What I appreciated about Peterson is her exclusion of strong language and opted instead to take a sociological-psychological approach to understanding Ian. She writes with a true focus on where he is right now as far as his maturity and development, but also, on the internal struggle for acceptance on self-image, self-esteem, and self-confidence. The kinds of issues most teens face but it’s how she wrote about them that endeared me to the novel’s heart because she’s approaching it with a mindfulness about how boys view the world vs how boys view themselves. This insight I know is intrinsic to the author as she’s a Mum of boys, but evenso, I think she might have understood them even if she weren’t!

-quoted from my review of Ian Quicksilver: The Warrior’s Return

The Warriors Return is like walking up to a precipice and only seeing half the world:

This was my takeaway moment of clarity at the bottom of my review last year, however, it is keenly intrinsically tied to the series as far as the scope of the world and the measurement of what is at stake. You can look at the world from one angle but until someone is able to bend that perspective and wholly refract back a different perspective, your knowledge remains limited. Thus, whilst you think you understand the world in which Quicksilver lives, it’s only through one lens of references until the fullness of his world expands and contracts to become something much larger than what is superficial seen.

Blog Book Tour | “The Cursed Dagger” (Book No.2 of the Ian Quicksilver series!) by Alyson PetersonThe Cursed Dagger
Subtitle: Never Accept a Challenge without Knowing the Rules : from the author of Ian Quicksilver
by Alyson Peterson
Source: Direct from Publisher

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781462118656

Also by this author: Ian Quicksilver: The Warrior's Return, Author Interview (The Cursed Dagger)

Series: Ian Quicksilver


Also in this series: Ian Quicksilver: The Warrior's Return


Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Sci-Fantasy, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Sweetwater Books

on 1st September, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 320

Published By: Sweetwater Books (@SweetwaterBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #IanQuicksilver

About Alyson Peterson

Alyson Peterson

Alyson Peterson lives in a mountainside gully –of all places– in northern Utah with her neurotic, shed-tastic dog, two ninja kids, and superhero husband. She spends her time painting, breaking bones at her Martial Arts class (mostly her own) and reading as many books as she can get her hands on.

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Posted Tuesday, 13 September, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Bullies and the Bullied, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Coming-Of Age, Fantasy Fiction, Foster Care, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, Orphans & Guardians, Science Fantasy, Small Towne USA, Supernatural Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction