Category: Historical Romance

An INSPY #HistRom | “Georgana’s Secret” (part of the Proper Romance, imprint series by the publisher Shadow Mountain) by Arlem Hawks

Posted Thursday, 11 February, 2021 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I started hosting for Austenprose in late 2020 – it is a joy to continue to find authors of both Historical Fiction & Historical Romance who are writing the kinds of stories I enjoy as a reader. These are two of my favourite genres of interest and it is lovely to start hosting for a book blogger whose organising blog tours of whom I have long admired in the book blogosphere. I am eager to see which publishing companies and which authors will round out my first full year of hosting for Austenprose and their authors on their blog tours.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “Georgana’s Secret” direct from the publisher Shadow Mountain Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

This is my third blog tour hosting with Austenprose and this tour marks the first of the New Year, 2021! Isn’t that grand!? I’ve been wanting to start reading & listening to stories from Shadow Mountain Publishing for a few years now as I first started to notice their stories when I was joining my favourite readathon over Summer – which was the Christian Fiction Reading Safari hosted by Singing Librarian Books!  Perhaps you’ve heard of it yourself and have joined in on the lovely self-directed readthon wherein as you read you have the chance to win free books by the conclusion of the event!?

I have been fascinated by romantic stories on the high seas for years – even before I was a book blogger and started to read such lovelies like Zana Bell’s Close to the Wind and The Secret Kimono by Christina Courtenay which I happily devoured! As Courtenay’s novel only partially took place over the high seas, I am aptly delighted I might be able to dive into her Kinross trilogy ahead of her Runes series which still is left officially unnamed though I did offer #RunesOfTime as an idea for it. (see also Tweet) And, of course, I have it in mind to read and/or listen to the full series of ‘Master & Commander’ now that I have fallen for the film which I blessedly saw with my Dad when it released into theaters.

I simply never fail in my admiration for these kinds of stories and that is what motivated me to enquiry if there were a date available for this lovely blog tour & an opening for a review as this is my first time reading a story by Ms Arlem Hawks!

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An INSPY #HistRom | “Georgana’s Secret” (part of the Proper Romance, imprint series by the publisher Shadow Mountain) by Arlem HawksGeorgana's Secret
Subtitle: Proper Romance
by Arlem Hawks
Source: Publisher via Austenprose

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1629727929

Published by Shadow Mountain Publishing

on 12th January, 2021

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 320

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published by: Shadow Mountain Publishing (@ShadowMountn)

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

Available Formats: Trade paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About Arlem Hawks

Arlem Hawks

Arlem Hawks began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the Western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. With her travels came an interest in history, especially the history of her English heritage. When she isn't writing, Arlem is baking her characters' favorite foods, sewing Regency dresses, learning how to play the tin whistle, and water coloring. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two children.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Thursday, 11 February, 2021 by jorielov in Austenprose, Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Romance Fiction

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

Posted Monday, 25 January, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “The Vanishing at Loxby Manor” direct from the publisher Thomas Nelson (an imprint of HarperCollins Christian Publishing) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Her friend is missing.

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

Her only hope is the man who broke her heart.

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

The house seems determined to keep its secrets.

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

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

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


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780785232957

Also by this author: Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey

Published by Thomas Nelson

on 26th January, 2021

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 324

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

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

Available Formats: Trade paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About Abigail Wilson

Abigail Wilson

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

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

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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

A #HistoricalMondays #25PagePreview | feat. “Beauty Among Ruins” by INSPY Historical novelist J’nell Ciesielski

Posted Monday, 18 January, 2021 by jorielov , , , , , 1 Comment

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “Beauty Among Ruins” direct from the publisher Thomas Nelson (an imprint of HarperCollins Christian Publishing) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTEI was originally scheduled to share my review of this novel earlier in the blog tour and had to amend my date for my post to be featured a week later in the tour. My apologies to those who are following the blog tour and to the author and publisher as well.

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On why I am sharing a shorter preview of my readings of
“Beauty Among Ruins”:

Recently, I started to mention how my readerly life this first half of January has been a bit stalled by current events – as like the rest of the country, it has been quite unsettling and it is hard to focus on reading. I thought if I rescheduled my review to post this week instead of last week, I’d have enough time to re-settle into books, re-find my rhythm with blogging and carry-on with my readerly plans for 2021. However, I’ll admit, I’ve been a bit glued to the newsfeeds recently and have been spending a lot of time offline – as my joy in both reading and being socially bookish hasn’t quite been the focus of how my January has begun. Except for the lovely distraction of #SatBookChat, I honestly have been absent from both the blogosphere & the twitterverse!

I decided to shorten my showcase for this novel rather than stall out in the middle of reading it – not due to disinterest as the story still appeals to me to be read but simply due to timing I’m meant to be reading it. I am sure there are others out there in the book blogosphere struggling to find their way with stories right now as well and I am hopeful I’ll be able to soak into stories with the same fierce joy I’ve always have had as a seventh year book blogger before January concludes. The past few weeks simply have felt a bit ‘off’ for me as a reader and I look forward to finding my way back into books whilst hoping for the calm & peace we all are hoping our country will embrace especially during this week of transitional changes.

For those of whom are new to Jorie Loves A Story, my #25PagePreview showcases are a way for me to get a wicked good sampling of an author’s style, voice and presence within the story they’ve written whilst offering my opinions and impressions of the pages I’ve read to my readers in the hopes that perhaps the story I am featuring might be a wicked good fit for them as well.

Today, I am featuring a #newtomeauthor from Thomas Nelson of whom is an INSPY publisher I’ve started to selectively find new stories & authors of whom interest me to be reading. Especially as they have had such a lovely batch of new Historicals this 2021, I am truly blessed they are touring with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A #HistoricalMondays #25PagePreview | feat. “Beauty Among Ruins” by INSPY Historical novelist J’nell CiesielskiBeauty Among Ruins
by J’nell Ciesielski
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

In Ciesielski’s latest sweeping romance, an American heiress finds herself in Scotland amid the fallout of the Great War, and a wounded Scottish laird comes face-to-face with his past and a woman he never could have expected.

American socialite Lily Durham is known for enjoying one moment to the next, with little regard for the consequences of her actions. But just as she is banished overseas to England as a “cure” for her frivolous ways, the Great War breaks out and wreaks havoc. She joins her cousin in nursing the wounded at a convalescent home deep in the wilds of Scotland at a crumbling castle where its laird is less than welcoming.

Alec MacGregor has given his entire life to preserving his home of Kinclavoch Castle, but mounting debts force him to sell off his family history bit by bit. Labeled a coward for not joining his countrymen in the trenches due to an old injury, he opens his home to the Tommies to make recompense while he keeps to the shadows. But his preference for the shadows is shattered when a new American nurse comes streaming into the castle on a burst of light.

Lily and Alec are thrown together when a series of mysterious events threatens to ruin the future of Kinclavoch. Can they put aside their differences to find the culprit before it’s too late, or will their greatest distraction be falling in love?

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, War Drama


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0785233565

ASIN: B0868WK6T1

Published by Thomas Nelson

on 12th January, 2021

Format: Paperback ARC

Length: 12 hours and 23 minutes (unabridged)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov as well as #INSPY #HistoricalFiction
+ #BeautyAmongRuins, #audiobook or #audioreads
as well as #TNZFiction and #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About J’nell Ciesielski

J'nell Ciesielski

With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages Award and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Monday, 18 January, 2021 by jorielov in #25PagePreview, #HistoricalMondays, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, During WWI, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Medical Fiction, Nurses & Hospital Life, Realistic Fiction, War Drama

An #INSPY Christmas Novella Spotlight with Notes | featuring “An Ivy Hill Christmas” (Tales from Ivy Hill series, Book 3.5) by Julie Klassen

Posted Friday, 18 December, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am unsure if I’ve blogged about my curiosity over Julie Klassen’s novels – I know I might have winked a bit about them during this year’s Christian Fiction Reading Safari in August – as I was seriously attempting to read my first Klassen novel *then!* – however, something has always distracted me and/or left me questioning which of her novels I need to be reading ‘first’ to where I have not made any progress at all in reading her collective works!! I wanted to change this sad fate of mine as she’s an author I’ve been following in the book blogosphere since a year before I became a book blogger (ie. 2012) as much as I have appreciated her guest posts, interviews and other interactions she gives to her readers whilst being a follower of hers on Twitter, too!

When I first learnt about “An Ivy Hill Christmas” – it was when this particular blog tour had been originally announced. I thought, hmm. This might be a good time to dive back into a Klassen novel and/or series – I especially love *Christmas stories* and at the time, I couldn’t discern if this was a novella which ‘fit into the series’ already established in the trilogy of stories released and/or if it was an extension of the series itself wherein new/old characters would be populating the storyline. It took some digging – both on Ms Klassen’s website, her group author’s blog (?) and a random search which led me onto a short Q&A (courtesy of Family Fiction) which revealled the truth! This is a novella within the series and it recaptures the series as it has already become established and thus, moves it forward – thereby, I anchoured this as Book 3.5 as it is a continuation of what was already established and follows suit after the third novel.

I originally borrowed a print copy of The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill thinking it would be an easier way for me to read the story – best laid plans, eh? – however, I quickly amended those plans and borrowed it via audiobook digitally via my local library’s CloudLibrary instead! Whilst I also borrowed An Ivy Hill Christmas – I wasn’t in enough time to provide a proper review today, though if you’re familiar with my #25PagePreview posts time after time on Jorie Loves A Story, I think you might get a hoot of a kick out of how I’ve assembled this spotlighted feature for the blog tour with Love Books Tours!

I must confess, this spotlight is arriving late in the night on my day of the blog tour because I misplaced the tour materials and the ‘date’ my spotlight was meant to run! After a seriously long week, I settled into sorting out my blog with some Christmas Coffeehouse songs via #Spotify and tucked into how I could ring out a post about Ivy Hill even if I had to forego the schedule for the tour as I honestly couldn’t sort out where my materials had gone off too! Then, right at the point I thought all was lost – I found everything I needed in two key places – Baker Publishing and a short scribbled note which revealled the 18th was my day! *whew!*

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An #INSPY Christmas Novella Spotlight with Notes | featuring “An Ivy Hill Christmas” (Tales from Ivy Hill series, Book 3.5) by Julie KlassenAn Ivy Hill Christmas
Subtitle: A Tales from Ivy Hill Novella
by Julie Klassen
Source: Borrowed from local library's CloudLibrary

Spend a festive Christmas in the English village of Ivy Hill, as divine hope, friendship, and unexpected romance work their magic. . . .

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill's most prominent family, hasn't been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life--unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents many surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled--and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, and joyous songs, change his heart . . . and hers as well?

Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780764233807

Published by Bethany House Publishers

on 1st September, 2020

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 7 hours and 35 minutes (unabridged)

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Tales of Ivy Hill series:

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie KlassenThe Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie KlassenThe Bride of Ivy Green by Julie Klassen

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill (book one)

Welcome to the English village of Ivy Hill,
where friendships thrive, romance blossoms, and mysteries await. . . .

The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant landlady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business, but with the town’s livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to overcome her losses and find purpose for the future. As she works with Jane, two men from her past vie for her attention, but Thora has promised herself never to marry again. Will one of them convince her to embrace a second chance at love?

As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane employs new methods, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, can Jane restore life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well?

The Ladies of Ivy Hill (book two)

Return to Ivy Hill as friendships deepen, romances blossom, and mysteries unfold . . .

A gentlewoman in reduced circumstances, Miss Rachel Ashford lives as a guest in Ivy Cottage. With her meager funds rapidly depleting, she is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. Her friend Jane Bell and the other village women encourage her to open a circulating library with the many books she’s inherited from her father. As villagers donate additional books and Rachel begins sorting through the volumes, she discovers mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but both find more than they bargained for.

Rachel’s hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and finds fulfillment in managing her girls school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what–or whom–has captured each man’s attention? The truth may surprise them all.

The Bride of Ivy Green (book three)

Come home to Ivy Hill, where friendship endures, romance triumphs,
and mysteries are revealed in this eagerly anticipated conclusion. . . .

Spring is in the air . . . and change is too. Mercy Grove has lost her girls’ school and is resigned to life as a spinster, especially as the man she admires is out of reach. She contemplates leaving Ivy Cottage to become a governess–a decision with consequences she never imagined.

Meanwhile, her friend Jane Bell is facing a difficult decision of her own. Should she accept Gabriel Locke even if it means giving up her inn and destining another man to a childless marriage?

When a secretive new dressmaker arrives in the village, Mercy, Jane, and the other ladies of Ivy Hill attempt to befriend her, but they soon suspect she isn’t who she claims to be.

Together, the women of Ivy Hill look forward to one wedding, but surprises lie in store and dearly held dreams may yet come true.

An Ivy Hill Christmas (book 3.5)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published by: Bethany House Publishers (@bethany_house)
an imprint of Baker Publishing Group

Available Formats: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #INSPY #HistoricalFiction or #HistFic as well as #ChristmasRomance
as well as #JulieKlassen, #HolidayReads or #ChristmasReads and #INSPYRomance

About Julie Klassen

Julie Klassen Photo Credit: © Farrow Media

Julie Klassen (www.julieklassen.com) loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. Her books have sold over a million copies, and she is a three-time recipient of the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing's BEST Award and has been a finalist in the RITA and Carol Awards. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Divider

Posted Friday, 18 December, 2020 by jorielov in 19th Century, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Love Books Tours, Sampler Chapters &/or Excerpt of Novel, the Regency era

#Blogmas | feat. #CleanRomanceForChristmas showcases | “The Promise of Miss Spencer” by Sarah L. McConkie

Posted Thursday, 17 December, 2020 by jorielov 0 Comments

#blogmas badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

When I used to be a blog tour hostess for Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, I loved their *Pure Romance* imprint of Historical Romances – each of them were a warm and cosy story within a genre I personally love to read and each other choose how to approach writing their #HistRom’s a bit differently from one another. When the blogging program discontinued I started hosting Cedar Fort’s blog tours with Singing Librarian Books until Sydney decided to close her touring company late this Summer, 2020. Therefore, I wasn’t sure if or when I’d get the chance to hear about forthcoming and new titles by Cedar Fort for awhile as most of their authors are in charge of their own marketing and publicity online or otherwise. Happily I found Ms McConkie was part of the Clean Romance for Christmas showcases via Prism Book Tours which is why I am celebrating her latest release with you today!

I originally read “Love and Secrets at Cassfield Manor” wherein I had this to share about the story:

What kept me grounded in the narrative though is the intricate natures of all the characters – their queues of moving in and out of the foreground, the flashbacks to yesterday where other truths are letting out their angst(s) of revelations and where, everyone is moving ‘towards’ each other and towards a larger moment of revelation. Each of them are acting on what they know or their instincts; some are making hard choices to thrive out of the necessity of choosing someone to walk through life together granting a better balance of equity and stability of accounting whilst your simply hoping those of whom have a harder road ahead of them have the courage to overcome the odds they never knew they had to face.

There were the usual hang-ups – the bloke who is a twin and whose business affairs on the surface look nefarious but what if the suppositions against him are the workings of a rumour mill? The girl who feels she has everything (Ivory) but longs to have the self-confidence to believe in herself? The quiet soul (Meg) who doesn’t seek for much and humbly accepts what comes her way. Whilst the bloke who has the most to gain, may or may not be the best of characters to trust? As you vacillate between which of the gentleman (Robertson or Davenport) are the better match for any girl who fetches after them with an open heart, you start to see the larger picture unfold through how McConkie draws you closer to where she wants you to walk past your assumptions and truly see her characters as the flawed individuals they always were but of whom could hold a few redemptive qualities within themselves.

Ms McConkie has writ an intricate drama – where the lives of four girls’ lingers in the balance against the men they choose to feel is their rightly match in life, love and a continuance of wealthy gains. Such was the hour of enlightenment in the Regency – girls’ were meant to marry well and secure their futures and the futures of their families. The men had a bit more flexibility but only justly so as everyone was under the same pressures and reputation had a lot of do with everything when it boiled down to marriage, matches and fortunes.

One of the pluses to reading this story is the ways in which the intrigue steps out of the shadows of a traditional scene of the Regency. Finding new entries into the romance and the courtship is a nice discovery to be made – for me, what I love most is how McConkie doesn’t let you rest on the laurels of what she discloses per each of her characters’. She wants you to think about everything that is happening in the story whilst countering that knowledge with the hopefulness she has etched into the path each of the girls’ are walking towards their own personal destiny. They each have different personalities with different goals – some are taking life as it comes, others are trying to curate the path they wish to walk and the others, wells, I think they are halfway between the duty and obligation of marriage and the carefree joy of youth.

I was blessed Singing Librarian Books had the blog tour – whilst I am now thankful to be hosting this spotlight for Prism as I hope more Cedar Fort authors might consider moving their tours to be hosted by Tressa @ Prism Book Tours as she has such a wonderful way of hosting, organising and featuring the kinds of stories and genres Cedar Fort is known for in the reading community.

Likewise, I look forward to adding this lovely release to my list for stories I want to be reading in 2021! It is nice to revisit an author you’ve previously read – seeing the changes in their style and voice as a writer since you’ve last read them whilst continuing to see how they’ve developed their niche within the craft of storytelling. I happen to love complicated love stories and this one – as it begins on the auspicious premise of a deathbed promise sounds like a lovely one to dive inside because what the heart wants and what is once promised could become two very different things!!

Curiously – what draws your eye into reading #HistRom’s? Do you like the lighter side of the Historical Romance genre wherein you’re either reading releases by publishers like Cedar Fort and/or through routes which feature INSPY narratives OR are you a bit more traditional seeking mainstream Historical Romances? Which eras are your preferred timescapes to explore and which authors would you recommend to me?

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Sarah L. McConkie's book photo provided by Prism Book Tours and is used with permission.

MISS SUZANNA SPENCER has successfully avoided marriage,
waiting for love and equality in a husband of her choice.

Yet when her father suddenly becomes ill, she agrees to his dying wish—to marry Mr. Lacy and secure her future. Cast suddenly into a mourning period, Suzanna and Mr. Lacy agree to keep their engagement a secret until the proper six months have passed. But when Suzanna and Mr. Lacy find themselves thrown together with Miss Grysham and her handsome uncle Lord Haversley, everything becomes complicated. If only Lord Haversley didn’t expose his true bravery.

If only there wasn’t so much more to him than a gaudy Lord in Parliament. If only he would leave Suzanna alone. As the threat of smallpox looms close, all four friends must work together—and apart—to save the lives of those they love. Forced into keeping a promise, or securing the promise of her future, Suzanna must reconcile her obligations with her heart as she searches for a love she never had.

Add to LibraryThing | ISBN: 978-1462135806

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Converse via: #CleanRomanceForChristmas and/or #HistoricalRomance OR #HistRom
as well #SweetRomance and/or #CleanRomance or #CleanReads

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Posted Thursday, 17 December, 2020 by jorielov in #blogmas, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction