Category: Family Drama

Blog Book Tour | “Right Next to Me” by Rachel Ward The sophomore release of a #SweetRomance author I discovered last August whose given me another lovely Contemporary Rom!

Posted Monday, 4 September, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I have been a blog tour hostess with Cedar Fort for the past three years, wherein I took a brief hiatus from hosting before resuming 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 received a complimentary copy of “Right Next to Me” direct from the publisher Bonneville 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.

Inspired to Read:

I first came across the writing style of Ms Ward last August, when I reviewed her debut novel “Dear Jane” which was a spin on a ‘Dear John’ letter! Here are some of my takeaways from my reading of her debut which truly struck a chord with me, as it was one of the few times a Contemporary gave me a lot of fodder to chew and appreciate whilst I was engaged with the story-line! Contemporaries for me are rather hit/miss a times – I love them, but ironically or not, I find them to be a difficult ‘fit’ for my own particular interests in what I am looking for in a Contemporary read. To find a debut novelist who added such a heap into their novel which not only was to my liking but provided such a strong entrance with an overall approach of giving a reader new to their style such a lot to contemplate was the truer gift within the chapters of ‘Dear Jane’!

Ward chose to tackle heady issues in her debut novel – as she talks openly about having to readjust after losing grace within the church and the tragic loss of a loved one from suicide. These are difficulties rooted into the fabric of where Quinn’s life is taking her once she’s back home, realising that the world has arrived at her doorstep. It’s the juxtaposition all children go through when their maturing past the school years, where everything that once felt rosy and bubbly full of light and spirit was suddenly a bit marred by a swelling darkness of reality. I felt Ward broached the difficulties well whilst giving Quinn a humble and honest reaction to each new trial she was facing as her family worked through the impossible.

I loved how Ward surprises her readers by introducing Nick’s backstory slowly as Quinn starts to spend more time with him. The interesting bit is that it’s a good life lesson about not always understanding a person’s past or their personality as sometimes their stand-offish behaviour has a reason behind it. Further curious is how through her conversations with Nick, Quinn started to soften her own guarded heart and openly talk about what bothered her on a personal level. They were each others’ huckleberry friend in brewing chaos where a new friendship was fast developing without their awareness. I felt this was the most authentic part of the turning point for Quinn’s life; where she was getting a feel for how first impressions are not always accurate and how serendipity has a way of affecting your life positively even if everything else feels upturnt.

Keeping true to a coming-of age tale, not everything is as it appears to be – even when things start to look like their turning round in Quinn’s favour. This was a bit frustrating if your reading the novel and want to see Quinn’s story end in happiness at some point. It felt like everything she felt was righting itself for the good in her life was being taken from her soon thereafter. However, as relationships are naturally complicated, Ward does present good folly for her characters to wrangle inside whilst trying to sort out what they truly want from each other and from life.

Ward etched in so much behind the relationships and the growing season for Quinn, that you nearly are not entirely ready to meet each new scene where tensions are as high as the emotions! I was a bit shocked by the depth of spite from Quinn’s mother at various intervals of the story as it developed; her paltry apology at the conclusion didn’t quite warm me to her or feel as if she vindicated herself from the misery she subjected her daughter(s) too. The best part I felt was the developing love story and the arc of narrative that proves that emergencies and non-traditional trajectories are more commonplace than you realise. Life comes around the corner so blaring fast, you have to bolster your strength out of your faith and hope you have the courage to face what tomorrow brings. If you do, you’ll find butterflies of joy alighting throughout the days where you feel you cannot be surprised in a good way after a succession of adversity.

-quoted from my review of Dear Jane

When Ms Ward contacted me about her sophomore release “Right Next to Me” – I must say, I was quite captured by the premise! I am always quite eager to read a ‘next book’ by an author who gave me such a stirring read the first time round and as I’m one of those readers who has the tendency to fall ‘behind’ on when the new releases are pending for her beloved authors – it is quite a lovely surprise to hear from one of them and be offered to read their ‘next story’!

I truly love Sweet Roms for their ability to have an undercurrent of simple joys and generally a walk of faith knitted into them (although not always, there are mainstream Sweet Roms, too) which gives a little added dimensional joy in reading them as I do love a wicked good INSPY! This one felt quite realistic to me – as there are times when you do wonder if the person you’ll find as your true match is hidden in plain sight – either near you in the present or unexpectedly will cross your path in the future in such a way as to take you off-guard and not realise you’ve ‘met’ your true love. I think everyone muses about how they will meet ‘whom’ their meant to be with in marriage and in life; who they will walk through life’s adventures and share their thoughts, hopes and dreams with whilst engaged in the art of living and the discoveries of the world. I was simply overjoyed Ms Ward reached out to me as this became a special ‘surprise’ for the ‘end of Summer’!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Right Next to Me” by Rachel Ward The sophomore release of a #SweetRomance author I discovered last August whose given me another lovely Contemporary Rom!right next to me
by Rachel Ward
Source: Direct from Publisher

She has a crush on her boyfriend's best friend.

How long can a good thing last? Sydney was sure Gavin was the perfect boyfriend until he moved across the country for school. After spending more time with her best friend, James, she's now rethinking everything. Sydney's once sure footing in life slips even more as she discovers new details about her own father's betrayal. Scared she'll hurt Gavin like her father hurt her, Sydney must decide if she'll stay with the perfect boyfriend or the perfectly flawed boy who's been there all along.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781462128396

Also by this author: Dear Jane

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


Published by Bonneville Books

on 8th August, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 208

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks)
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFort)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Stories by Rachel Ward

Dear Jane by Rachel WardRight Next to Me by Rachel Ward

Dear Jane | debut novel | (see also Review)

Right Next to Me | sophomore release

Converse via: #RightNextToMe, #ContemporaryFiction, #CleanFiction

About Rachel Ward

Rachel Ward Photo Credit: Lindsay Walden Photography

Rachel Turner Ward graduated from Hillcrest High School after spending two years writing for the yearbook and the creative writing magazine. She then studied English at Brigham Young University­—Idaho, graduating with an emphasis in Literary Studies. She has contributed to several online publications, including Mormon Mommy Blogs and SheSteals. She has written a personal blog since 2009, Trapped Between a Scream and a Hug. Rachel lives in Salt Lake with her six children and husband of 15 years.

Photo Credit: Lindsay Walden Photography

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Posted Monday, 4 September, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brothers and Sisters, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Coming-Of Age, Disillusionment in Marriage, Family Drama, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Loss of an unbourne child, Modern Day, Mormonism, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Realistic Fiction, Self-Harm Practices, Siblings, Sisterhood friendships, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Unexpected Pregnancy, Upper YA Fiction, Utah

Audiobook Blog Tour | “Next Stop Chancey” by Kay Dew Shostak (narrated by Suzanne Barbetta) This is Southern Contemporary Fiction I love finding as it’s written in the same vein as Sherryl Woods’s The Sweet Magnolia’s series!

Posted Tuesday, 29 August, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I have been hosting for nearly a year now and I appreciate the diversity of genre selections and styles of stories to choose from whilst I navigate the audiobook realms!

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Next Stop Chancey” via Audiobookworm Promotions in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why this particular audiobook interested me:

I personally love small towne fiction! If there is a story set in a small towne, odds are strong I am going to find it and hopefully fall in love! I love reading serial fiction for giving me the chance to soak inside a small towne where the quirky characters and the atmosphere of small towne living can be explored and pulled through the various ways in which layered story-telling can excel in this format of exploration! I have a particular attachment to Southern small townes and Southern Lit in general – which is why realising how attached I am to Sherry Wood’s Sweet Magnolia series, I had a hankering to give a new author a chance at wooing me with a new small towne I might come to find myself equally attached too!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Audiobook Blog Tour | “Next Stop Chancey” by Kay Dew Shostak (narrated by Suzanne Barbetta) This is Southern Contemporary Fiction I love finding as it’s written in the same vein as Sherryl Woods’s The Sweet Magnolia’s series!Next Stop Chancey
by Kay Dew Shostak
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Suzanne Barbetta

Looking in your teenage daughter's purse is never a good idea.

After all, it ended up with Carolina Jessup opening a bed & breakfast for railroad fanatics in a tiny Georgia mountain town. Carolina knows all about, and hates, small towns. How did she end up leaving her wonderful Atlanta suburbs behind while making her husband's dreams come true?

The town bully (who wears a lavender skirt and white gloves), an endless parade of teenagers through her house, and everybody's talk about a ghost have Carolina looking for an escape, or at least a way to move back home. Instead, she's front and center for all of Chancey's small town gossip.

Unlike back home in the suburbs with privacy fences and automatic garage doors, everybody in Chancey thinks your business is their business and they all love the newest Chancey business. The B&B hosts a Senate candidate, a tea for the county fair beauty contestants, and railroad nuts who sit out by the tracks and record the sound of a train going by. Yet, nobody believes Carolina prefers the 'burbs.

Oh, yeah, and if you just ignore a ghost, will it go away?

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ASIN: B01N5HHFQP

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Ghost Story, Women's Fiction


Published by Self Published Author

on 22nd December, 2016

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 10 hours, 8 minutes (Unabridged)

Self Published Audiobook

About Kay Dew Shostak

Kay Dew Shostak

“A new voice in Southern Fiction” is how a recent reviewer labeled Kay Dew Shostak’s debut novel, Next Stop, Chancey. Kay grew up in the South, then moved around the country raising a family. Always a reader, being a writer was a dream she cultivated as a journalist and editor at a small town newspaper in northern Illinois.

“Next Stop, Chancey”, published in 2015, was the first in the series set in the small, imaginary town of Chancey, Georgia. The fifth book in the series, “Kids are Chancey” will be released August 2017.

Seeing the familiar and loved from new perspectives led Kay to write about the absurd, the beautiful, and the funny in her South in both her fiction and non-fiction.

Visit Kay’s website to sign up for her newsletter and to read more about her journey. Kay is also on Facebook and twitter. All four Chancey books (along with the first in a new series set in Florida) are available on Amazon in print and eBook.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

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Posted Tuesday, 29 August, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Childhood Friendship, Coming-Of Age, Family Drama, Family Life, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, School Life & Situations, Small Towne Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Women's Fiction

Book Review | “Magic Sometimes Happens” (Charton Minster No.6) by Margaret James #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Sunday, 27 August, 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 “Magic Sometimes Happens” 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.

Why Jorie Loves reading the Charton Minster series:

There is a whisper of a nod towards Dorset winding through the opening chapters – it’s the setting of Cat’s supposed wedding but it isn’t until she arrives to meet the people behind the wedding of her dreams giveaway where she meets Rosie Denham – a twenty-something assistant to the forty-something executive in charge of the arrangements. This is the moment where the past and the present start to collide and bend through the continuity Ms James is infamous for in the series.

In the Historical side of the series, everything is centred round the Denham family – as there is a strong presence of multi-generational connections – where the parents and the children are inter-connected as is the small community in which they are living. Even during the Land Girl generation, the family, friends and neighbours were strengthened through their close connections, however, as the series shifts forward into the latter half of the 20th Century (told through flashbacks to help pull forward Daisy Denham’s story-line) and the early start of the 21st Century (post-Harry Potter, as this is one critical reference to ‘when’ this story is set) we start to see the disconnections between family and community. It’s almost a map of how time has altered all communities and neighbourhoods – not just in Dorset but even here in America, as neighbourhoods are not as inter-connected as they once were I’m afraid. (at least not in all communities)

Rather than having the matriarch and patriarch at the head and centre – we are threading through where singletons have flat mates and where even if they have a strong bond to their parents, we do not see them ‘in-scene’ but rather as odd mentions here or there for the sake of realising they do have a connection to their Mums and/or Dad’s. Being Contemporary and Modern, there are other changes too – where the boundaries and guidelines of the war era are erased for a more causal acceptance of life and the harmony of how one gets on in their single life vs. the check point of having Rose in your life or looking after you if you were Land Girl. Rose was a mentor and a surrogate Mum to many but it was how she approached accepting the choices her children made and the choices others made on their behalf which made her a strong character inside the series. She had incredible strength running through her veins and she overcame so very much during her lifetime.

In this section of the series, we’re meeting two people who are at a proper cross-roads of their lives – where they can either turn right or left (cheekily this reminds me of that particular Doctor Who episode) effectively altering the course of where their path could take them. They aren’t even sure if they want what they thought they wanted out of life (ie. marriage and a steady life partner) as everything has gone quite sour in that regard. Yet, they aren’t quite able to ‘pick up and start anew’ either. Owning to the emotional upheaval of bad endings to relationships you never knew were one-sided.

I even had a smidge of a taste for what is going to greet me in Girl in Red Velvet – as Rosie Denham (in this story) is Lily Denham’s niece! You see – for each new turning of this series you get another glimpse of how Ms James has knitted it all together into one luscious saga!

-quoted from my review of The Wedding Diary

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

Notation on Cover Art: A perfect splice of dual-locales – it was interesting because this is a globetrotting story-line and the cover reflects this perfectly! It’s also a dash whimsy in how it’s arranged and the colours work well together to pull it off!

 Book Review | “Magic Sometimes Happens” (Charton Minster No.6) by Margaret James #ChocLitSaturdaysMagic Sometimes Happens
Subtitle: It takes one life changing decison...
by Margaret James
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

Passport to love

London-based PR and promotions consultant Rosie Denham has just spent a year in Paris where she’s tried but failed to fall in love. She’s also made a big mistake and can’t forgive herself.

American IT professor Patrick Riley’s wife has left him for a Mr Wonderful with a cute British accent and a house with a real yard. So Patrick’s not exactly thrilled to meet another Brit who’s visiting Minnesota, even if she’s hot.

Pat and Rosie couldn’t be more different. She’s had a privileged English upbringing. He was raised in poverty in Missouri. Pat has two kids, a job that means the world to him and a wife who might decide she wants her husband back.

So when Pat and Rosie fall in love, the prospects don’t seem bright for them.

But magic sometimes happens – right?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 9781781891759

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

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


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


Published by ChocLitUK

on 7th November, 2014

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 352

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook & E-Book

Order of Sequence of Charton Minster series:

The Silver Locket Book One (review)

The Golden Chain Book Two (review) | The Penny Bangle Book Three (review)

A writer to reader explanation of how to read the last three novels: I wrote to Ms James (whilst in the throes of reading ‘The Wedding Diary’) to understand my slight confusion on how ‘The Wedding Diary’ fits into the canon of Charton Minster wherein I learnt a few things quite extraordinary! In regards to time-line, the sequence ought to be this way round: ‘Girl in Red Velvet’ (hugs closer to ending of 1st trilogy being set in the 1960s) then ‘The Wedding Diary’ and ending off with ‘Magic Sometimes Happens’.

This is due to the fact ‘The Wedding Diary’ is set in modern day (ie. the 21st Century present day) and is only a handful (say two) years ahead of ‘Magic Sometimes Happens’. Ergo, I was at a deficient reading what I perceived as books 4 & 5: the truth is 6 becomes 4 and 5 becomes 6, thereby making the 4th book the 5th in sequence. I have re-aligned the proper sequence below as well as updated my slideshow of covers. This also makes the cover art illustrations more relatable as well – four books hug the war eras & emerge into the 60s; the latter two in sequence change style of cover art to reflect the new century they reside inside. Mystery solved!

PS: You know ‘The Wedding Diary’ is set in the 21st Century as ‘Harry Potter’ is referenced; mind you, the way in which he’s referenced it felt 2000+ not ending chapters of 1990s. It’s close though – it could be interpreted either way – I am only sharing where I feel it fits.

Girl in Red Velvet Book Four (see also Cover Reveal Notes)

The Wedding Diary Book Five (review) | Magic Sometimes Happens Book Six

NOTE: When ‘Girl in Red Velvet’ releases into print, I will be re-reading this series in order to anchour the sequence into the proper order and to see what I might have missed by reading the series out of it’s proper continuous time-line. This isn’t the first series I have read which was published out of sequence of the order of the story. I am truly blessed Ms James was available to help me work out the details and thereby giving me the chance to help you read this in the time-line she intended. My instincts of suspecting there was a switch-up was on the nose but it wasn’t until I spoke to Ms James all the pieces of the puzzle were fully understood. The truth in the pudding truly was the cover art illustrations!

Converse via: #ChartonMinster, #HistFic, #HistRom + #ChocLit

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.

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

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Posted Sunday, 27 August, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, British Literature, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, England, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Family Drama, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Green-Minded Publishers, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern British Author, Modern British Literature, Modern Day, Multi-Generational Saga, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Single Fathers, Story in Diary-Style Format, Vulgarity in Literature

Book Review | “Where Dragonflies Hover” by AnneMarie Brear #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 8 July, 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 “Where Dragonflies Hover” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I wanted to read this lovely new release:

When this title was initially released (Digital First), I do remember I was charmed by it’s premise – to find an older estate and an diary of a life lived during WWI through the eyes of the nurse who has such a strong connection to the same house? It felt like it had a lot of the components and elements I enjoy finding in this particular niche of #HistFic which brokers into #timeslip or even #timeshift – where you are moving between more than one time in the narrative whilst having the full pleasure of being anchoured equally into the shoes of the characters who are pulling you in and out of their time-line! These are gems because we can re-walk through History, from a unique perspective whilst finding there is a plausible curiosity about having a portal such as a journal or diary carting us back into a specific time and place where a particular story or ‘truth’ hidden from sight needs to be unearthed, understood and brought forward into the light where it can reside without a shroud.

In regards to nursing fiction, I started finding Midwife stories I liked in Amish Fiction, short story or novella INSPY collections or stand-alone releases as well as a few selections in Historical Fiction across theme or sub-genre. One in particular was the discovery of the Bess Crawford Mysteries (see also Review) wherein I found a delightful new heroine! This series is one I want to re-address when time allows me – as I would LOVE to be able to re-read it straight from the beginning through to the latest installment! Secondly, sometimes you find nurses are strong characters within an established series, such as ChocLit’s #ChartonMinster series wherein I truly felt hugged close into Rose’s situation during the war sequences within the chapters of The Silver Locket (see also Review).

Having said this, there are moments where I feel Nursing Fiction can walk the fine line between being realistic and being a bit over the edge of where I can handle Medical Fiction. I never know until I get into the throes of a story where the line will be walked but I had caught a reader’s takeaway about Where Dragonflies Hover ahead of reading it myself, which made me wonder – oh, dear my! I think I might be in for a few scenes or sequences which could top my bookish sensitivities!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art Design: When you really pull this image into a larger context of viewing, you can see how the timeines are equally spilt between the war era and the Contemporary find of the estate! I love how each is a slice of the story but also, how each half of the timeline visited int he story is pivotal to the understanding of the story as a whole!

Book Review | “Where Dragonflies Hover” by AnneMarie Brear #ChocLitSaturdaysWhere Dragonflies Hover
by AnneMarie Brear
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

Sometimes a glimpse into the past can help make sense of the future…

Everyone thinks Lexi is crazy when she falls in love with Hollingsworth House – a crumbling old Georgian mansion in Yorkshire – and nobody more so than her husband, Dylan. But there’s something very special about the place, and Lexi can sense it.

Whilst exploring the grounds she stumbles across an old diary and, within its pages, she meets Allie – an Australian nurse working in France during the First World War.

Lexi finally realises her dream of buying Hollingsworth but her obsession with the house leaves her marriage in tatters. In the lonely nights that follow, Allie’s diary becomes Lexi’s companion, comforting her in moments of darkness and pain. And as Lexi reads, the nurse’s scandalous connection to the house is revealed…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 9781781893739

Also by this author: Where Rainbows End (Cover Reveal)

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Time Slip and/or Time Shift, War Drama


Published by ChocLitUK

on 7th June, 2017

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 320

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #ChocLit & #HistFic + #TimeSlip OR #WhereDragonfliesHover

About AnneMarie Brear

AnneMarie Brear

AnneMarie has been a life-long reader and started writing in 1997 when her children were small. She has a love of history, of grand old English houses and a fascination of what might have happened beyond their walls. Her interests include reading, genealogy, watching movies, spending time with family and eating chocolate – not always in that order!

AnneMarie grew up in Australia but now lives in the UK.

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 8 July, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, ChocLitUK, Content Note, Debilitating Diagnosis & Illness, During WWI, England, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Family Drama, Family Life, Fly in the Ointment, France, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inheritance & Identity, Life Shift, Medical Fiction, Mental Health, Military Fiction, Nurses & Hospital Life, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Story in Diary-Style Format, The World Wars, Time Shift, Time Slip, Unexpected Pregnancy, Vulgarity in Literature, War Drama, War-time Romance, Warfare & Power Realignment, Women's Health

Blog Book Tour | “The Belle of Two Arbors” by Paul Dimond feat. poetry by Martha Buhr Grimes

Posted Thursday, 1 June, 2017 by jorielov , , 3 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I have been hosting for Poetic Book Tours for a few years now, where I am finding myself encouraged to seek out collections of poetry or incredible fiction being published through Small Trade publishers and presses. I have an Indie spirit and mentality as a writer and I appreciate finding authors who are writing creative works through Indie resources as I find Indies have a special spirit about them. It is a joy to work with Poetic Book Tours for their resilience in seeking out voices in Literature which others might overlook and thereby, increasing my own awareness of these beautiful lyrical voices in the craft. I was thankful to be selected for the blog tour featuring a unique combination of historical fiction, poetry and a saga of one woman’s life lived through the story within ‘The Belle of Two Arbors’ as it sounded like such an original concept to be explored in Historical Fiction. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the publicist of Paul Dimond in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I felt inspired to read this novel:

Through my literary wanderings hosting for Poetic Book Tours, I have come to expand my Contemporary Poetry readings whilst continuing to seek out Indie Fiction by writers who may or may not become widely known in the bookish community. I love finding the innovating voices who write inspiring novels but one thing I also like to seek out are the writers who bend genre to their own will. One of my favourite sub-niches of literature are the genre-benders – where there is a fusion of influences from more than one genre or thematic of story-telling being bridged into one singular story or the arc of a character’s journey told through a series.

What intrigued me about this release is how it’s a story which is not only told from narrative prose but through poetic insight into the character’s internal mind. Poetry is a personal release of emotion, vision and imagination. Purporting through a styled layout of lyrical insightfulness, poetry can transcend a wide field of emotional range. I was inspired to seek out this title if only to see how poetry and narrative scope could interlink to each other and expound upon the telling of a character’s journey.

Interestingly enough, I knew this story was set in Michigan, however, it wasn’t until I started reading the story I learnt where in Michigan the story takes place as I didn’t look up the specifics until I was already inside the chapters. I have known about Ann Arbor for most of my life, as it’s a progressively diverse city and has been on the forefront of political liberalism for years. It’s a University city but moreso than that, it’s a city which likes to stand on it’s own – curating it’s own mind about things and taking a stand against what goes against it’s core beliefs. In effect, it’s been a rockstar city for the state. However, the other half of the story is set further North, just before you get to Sault Ste. Marie, there is this little tucked away corner of the Michigan Coast where the Traverse Bay region resides. I know a great deal about this portion of the state even if I haven’t stepped foot on her shores. This is partially why as I read more of the story, it tugged at my heart knowing about all the recent changes happening up there and around the rest of the state as a whole. I hint about this a bit but as the focus is not about Environmental Science, Geology or the cause for concern over contaminated water basins – I opted to yield to focusing on the literary side of the book rather than the grief I have felt over the issues most at hand for Michigan’s residents.

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Blog Book Tour | “The Belle of Two Arbors” by Paul Dimond feat. poetry by Martha Buhr GrimesThe Belle of Two Arbors
by Paul Dimond
Source: Publicist via Poetic Book Tours

Born at the turn of the twentieth century in Glen Arbor, near the dunes of Northern Michigan, young Belle is the first child of a gruff stove works boss and a crippled mother who weaned Belle on the verse of Emily Dickenson. When a natural disaster results in her mother’s death and nearly takes the life of her younger brother Pip, Belle creates a fierce, almost ecstatic farewell song. Thus begins her journey to compose a perfect Goodbye to Mama.

At 21, Belle ventures south to Ann Arbor for university, with teenaged Pip in tow. There, she befriends Robert Frost, Ted Roethke and Wystan Auden and finds that her poetry stands alongside theirs, and even with that of her hero, Dickinson. Her lyrics capture the sounds, sights, and rhythms of the changing seasons in the northern forests, amidst the rolling dunes by the shores of the Great Lake.

Despite the peace she finds, Belle also struggles in both homes. Up north, she battles her father who thinks a woman can’t run the family business; and clashes against developers who would scar the natural landscape. In Ann Arbor, she challenges the status quo of academic pedants and chauvinists.

Belle’s narrative brings these two places to life in their historic context: a growing Midwestern town driven by a public university, striving for greatness; and a rural peninsula seeking prosperity while preserving its natural heritage. Through the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, World War II, and the Post-War Boom, Belle’s story is hard to put down. Her voice and songs will be even harder to forget.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1943290215

Also by this author: Author Interview: Paul Dimond

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Women's Fiction


Published by Cedar Forge Press

on 4th April, 2017

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 696

Published By: Cedar Forge Press

Available Formats: Paperback

Read the article about the author via The Ann Arbor News

Converse via: #BelleOfTwoArbors

About Paul Dimond

Since birth Paul Dimond has shared his time between Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan, and Glen Arbor amidst Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northern Michigan.

Prior to researching and writing The Belle of Two Arbors, Paul Dimond served as the Director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, tried several major race case that divided the U.S. Supreme Court and served as the Special Assistant to President Clinton for Economic Policy. He has also practiced law, chaired a national real estate firm and continues to spend his time between the two Arbors. He is an alumni of Amherst College and the University of Michigan Law School.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Thursday, 1 June, 2017 by jorielov in 20th Century, ARC | Galley Copy, Astronomy, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Content Note, Cultural & Religious Traditions, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Father-Daughter Relationships, Fly in the Ointment, Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Inheritance & Identity, Life Shift, Literary Fiction, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Native American Fiction, Poetic Book Tours, Poetry, Realistic Fiction, Single Mothers, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne USA, Sports, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, Swimming & Competition, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, the Forties, the Great Depression, the Nineteen Hundreds, the Thirties, The World Wars, Upper Mid-West America, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction, Women's Health, Women's Rights, World Religions