Category: Small Towne Fiction

#INSPYSundays | Book Review tour feat. “Refuge at Pine Lake” (A Pine Haven novel) by Rose Chandler Johnson

Posted Sunday, 8 September, 2019 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

#INSPYSundays banner made my Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I’ve been hosting for Prism Book Tours since September of 2017 – having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. As I enquired about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors when I’m not showcasing book reviews on behalf of Harlequin Heartwarming which has become my second favourite imprint of Harlequin next to my beloved #LoveINSPIRED Suspense. I am also keenly happy PRISM hosts a variety of Indie Authors and INSPY Fiction novelists.

I received a complimentary copy of “Refuge at Pine Lake” direct from the author Rose Chandler Johnson in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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IF this is your first time seeing my #INSPYSundays showcases – let me explain why I am putting these together! I shared my first one in June & had intended for these to run weekly. I am thankful to resume them this August and will be continuing to have an inspiring story running on Sundays through the rest of the 2019. Thank you as always for following my bookish journey.

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You might be aware of my 7o Authors Challenge – wherein I am attempting to get to know more Inspirational Fiction authors and their series? I have been wanting to find a way to bring this reading focus into the life of my blog but also, highlight some of the stories I am receiving for review purposes as well – not all of them can be featured on the weekends, but those which can I’ll be highlighting through this new series of posts as I love the idea of showcasing them on a day meant for renewal of spirit & rest.

The short version of “Inspirational Fiction” is INSPY and I have enjoyed using the tag #INSPY on Twitter to talk about the stories which fall under this umbrella of literature. It is far more encompassing than strictly reading Christian based fiction as INSPY is inclusive of all religions and faith backgrounds of interest – which is why eventually I’ll be expounding outwards from my initial wanderings of my reading challenge and seeking out more authors who write stories of INSPY that are from new and differing perspectives. A lot of what I currently have marked to read are traditional Christian Fiction selections as they were found via a fellow book blogger’s blog.

Although I had intended to introduce this featured focus in January, 2019 – I decided the timing wasn’t right for me to do so until June. I look forward to seeing where my readerly wanderings will take me as this will be just as wicked interesting of a feature to follow as my #HistoricalMondays or #SaturdaysAreBookish!

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#INSPYSundays | Book Review tour feat. “Refuge at Pine Lake” (A Pine Haven novel) by Rose Chandler JohnsonRefuge at Pine Lake
Subtitle: A Pine Haven Novel
by Rose Chandler Johnson
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Robin Lancaster, a twenty-six-year-old former kindergarten teacher, has her summer and her life all figured out. She’s ready to be on her own, writing and illustrating her children’s stories at her family’s beloved lake house. Once there, she intends to rekindle a romance with Caleb Jackson, the area’s top hunting and fishing guide, and bag him for herself.

Complications arise from the start when Robin finds out her mother has rented the lake house to a man they know nothing about.

Matthew McLaughlin, forty-year-old widowed university professor and author from California, shows up at Pine Lake in crisis. A sabbatical might be his only hope to save much more than his career. He needs a place of refuge. Sharing the lake house with a lighthearted young woman and her dog is the last thing on his mind.

Caleb Jackson has his own plans. He’s used to things going his way, but a man staying in Robin’s house presents unforeseen challenges. When paths unavoidably tangle for these three, hearts are on the line.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780998493312

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Introspective Literary Fiction, Women's Fiction


Published by Chanson Books

on 6th March, 2019

Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

Pages: 373

Published By: Chanson Books

Formats Available: Trade paperback and ebook

Converse via: #RefugeAtPineLake and/or #PineHavenNovel
#INSPY w/ #ContemporaryFiction

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Sunday, 8 September, 2019 by jorielov in #INSPYSundays, #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Fathers and Daughters, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Introspective Literary Fiction, Life Shift, Modern Day, Prism Book Tours, Second Chance Love, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Terminal Illness &/or Cancer, Women's Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “Sweet Melody” (A Seabrook Romance, Book One) by Heidi McCahan

Posted Friday, 6 September, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

I received a complimentary copy of “Sweet Melody” direct from the author Heidi McCahan in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I was excited about reading my first novel by this author:

As mentioned recently, before I was a book blogger myself, I was actively following the lives of INSPY Authors I had come across through their respective blogs and/or group author blogs they were featured guests; it was somewhere in this journey of mine prior to blogging where I first crossed paths with Ms McCahan. I know it was also round the time I was first starting to read and develop a keen interest in the Coming Home series by Brenda S. Anderson as they once shared the same publisher before they each had to embark on new routes in their publishing lives as the former publisher folded quite unexpectedly. I lost track of Ms McCahan’s career for a bit of time until last year, I believe it was when I was starting to actively grow more invested in reading Harlequin Heartwarming stories?

I noticed Ms McCahan was now writing for the Love Inspired imprint on the Contemporary side of the ledger, whereas I regularly devour their Suspense imprint and previously loved their Historical. There are some authors on their Contemporary line I do appreciate reading as well but I sort of became so smitten by the Suspense stories, that I haven’t actively sought out the non-Suspense Contemporaries! Laughs.

When I saw she was one of the authors going on tour this September, I felt it was good timing to revisit a #newtomeauthor and finally get the chance to become introduced to her writerly style. I was delighted in the finding out the premise of this story as her debut novel Unravelled is still awaiting me on my mountainous TBR!

When it comes to *food trucks!* in particular, you could say I have a hidden history with them – as I definitely was the girl who devoured all the new Food Network series which aired during a particular period of time – wherein, I still remember the first seasons of the race to find the best new food truck! Since then, they are more commonplace and have such a diverse range of menus of interest, you can truly find something for every palette and option of diet which is brilliant!

What was quite the lovely surprise for me when I opened the bookmail with this novel is finding not only was the novel enscribed but it held a bookmark! I was truly thankful for both and used the marker as I read Sweet Melody. I find it a special treat whenever an author tucks in a bookmark and takes the time to write us a note in their book. Truly grateful when they do this as it adds a personal touch and a kind note of gratitude is always in my bookish heart when I open my bookmail to find these kind gestures of joy.

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Blog Book Tour | “Sweet Melody” (A Seabrook Romance, Book One) by Heidi McCahanSweet Melody
Subtitle: A Seabrook Romance
by Heidi McCahan
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

When a struggling bakery owner is rescued by a wannabe songwriter with hidden culinary talents, they discover they can make sweet harmony … if they can only learn to work together.

Rhett Foster longs to change the world with his music, yet he can’t even finish writing one song. Battered by a string of failures and disillusioned, he returns home to Portland, Oregon. While he desperately wants to create a chart-topping hit, his dad mandates a new mission: move to coastal vacation hotspot Seabrook, Washington and expand the family’s successful restaurant chain.

In danger of destroying her late parents’ legacy if she doesn’t diversify her menu, Lindsay Carmichael will try anything to save her bakery. But with a tiny budget and an injured employee who can’t work, she has no choice but to sink the last of her savings into buying a dilapidated food truck and hiring Rhett as a part-time barista. What she doesn’t know is that the handsome songwriter has a secret … one that could destroy her business and her heart.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1076432094

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Sweet Romance


Published by Snug Corner Cove Press

on 1st August, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 242

Published by: Snug Corner Cove Press

Converse via: #Contemporary + #Romance and #INSPYbooks

About Heidi McCahan

Heidi McCahan

Heidi secretly dreamed of writing a book for most of her childhood, but a particularly painful rejection letter in middle school convinced her to tuck that dream away. Instead, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine from Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington and a Master’s Degree in Athletic Training from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

After a brief career as a Certified Athletic Trainer, Heidi married her husband Steve, then she dusted off her big dream of becoming a published author and launched her first contemporary romance into the world in 2014. A huge fan of coffee, dark chocolate, and happily ever after, Heidi currently lives in North Carolina with Steve, three active boys and one amazing Goldendoodle.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 6 September, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Contemporary Romance, Cookery, Family Drama, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Sweet Romance

#HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “A Family for Jason” (Back to Bluestone River series, Book One) by Virginia McCullough

Posted Tuesday, 20 August, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

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

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

I received a complimentary copy of “A Family for Jason” direct from the author Virginia McCullough in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I was eager to read my first Virginia McCullough
Harlequin Heartwarming novel:

I know I’ve crossed paths in the book blogosphere with this author at some point over the past six years if not a bit before I started blogging. I’m unsure exactly when I first saw her name or in which capacity I saw her but I’ve had her name on my list of authors to seek out to read. When I saw the blog tour announced, I was thankful I was able to start reading one of her stories at the beginning of a new series whilst at the same time, the title of the series held a lot of promise for me!

I’ve happily read Return of the Blackwell Brothers this year, and therefore, any title which refers to ‘returning’ to a particular place or a particular set of characters who are going through a reunion of sorts are the kind of stories which are interesting me this year. I believe this is the author’s second Heartwarming series but as I was reading about Bluestone River on her author’s website, it felt like the kind of setting you can get lost inside reading – letting her be your guide as you navigate this new community and see their transitions as this is a towne who has been forced to undergo a bit of a Renaissance as most small townes need to embrace in today’s economy.

How they were vibrant in the past isn’t necessarily going to sustain them in the present and those are the kind of stories I am attracted to as well. Where communities come together, find a way to thrive and move forward into a future they built together. Overall, my anticipation for soaking into this story was quite high and as always, it was refreshing as a reader who loves the imprint to get the chance to ‘meet’ a #newtomeauthor as a series is just beginning to unfold!

As a side note, I love when authors tuck in bookmarks with their stories – the Heartwarming authors do this quite regularly and I have become a bit spoilt on those small little random acts of kindness as it makes reading their stories extra personal. Especially in the cases where their bookmarks are either about the series in-progress and/or about other series or one-offs they’ve written as it helps me expand my knowledge of what is in their backlist as much as their frontlist! In this case, I received a Two Moon Bay series bookmark and it is wicked lovely! I loved the curved edges, too!

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#HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “A Family for Jason” (Back to Bluestone River series, Book One) by Virginia McCulloughA Family for Jason
Subtitle: Back to Bluestone River
by Virginia McCullough
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

She’s not home for keeps

Unless he proves first love is forever

Bluestone River is a minefield of memories for Mike Abbot—all involving Ruby Driscoll. Twenty years after scandal divided them, they’re both back in their hometown. Ruby’s visit is strictly temporary. But as she uses her trauma expertise to help his vulnerable son, Mike faces what his heart has always known. Ruby’s still his one and only. This time, can he convince her to stay?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335510792

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


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 6th August, 2019

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming

Converse via: #Contemporary + #Romance and #HarlequinHeartwarming

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Back to Bluestone River series:

A Family for Jason (book one) : Ruby & Mike’s story

The Christmas Kiss (book two) : Emma & Parker’s story
← forthcoming 3rd December, 2019!

I love how the sequel involves Emma! She’s Ruby’s best friend & she helped Ruby become re-established back into Bluestone River. I thought it was fitting she’d get her own story after finding out how tied-in she is to the community & Ruby’s life!

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About Virginia McCullough

Virginia McCullough

Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia McCullough has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.

Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Tuesday, 20 August, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, A Father's Heart, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Contemporary Romance, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, Mute | Medical Loss of Voice, Prism Book Tours, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Single Fathers, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Special Needs Children

#HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “Trusting Her Heart” (Meet Me At The Altar series, Book Three) by Tara Randel

Posted Tuesday, 13 August, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

I received a complimentary copy of “Trusting Her Heart” direct from the author Tara Randel in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I appreciate reading the Meet Me At the Altar
series by Tara Randel:

I was quite chuffed this new series I am reading involves brothers, as previously mentioned I had just concluded another Harlequin Heartwarming series about the Blackwell Brothers! In this series, Randel has four brothers to keep her busy with their stories! Deke and his brothers, Dylan, Dante and Derrick were all law enforcement blokes with a dedication to their Mum. It was heartwarming to note how dedicated they were to their mother and to what lengths they were willing to take to ensure her safety and security. In this way, Randel had started to lay down a compelling foundation to this series – even though this is the second chapter of their lives rather than the first. She gives you quite a bit of back-story on the brothers but I am sure there was quite a bit more in The Lawman’s Secret Vow.

One of my favourite discoveries in this novel was seeing the ample time given for each character to introduce themselves – as you would expect to find them living their life. Meaning, when we were in the office with Grace, she held nothing back but revealled her strengths and a few of her faults; like the spiced tongue she had when she felt uncomfortable and let her spunk emerge to the point of turning people away. As we spent time with Deke, we learnt how close he is to his brothers but it didn’t feel like his section was being narrated through the lens of feminine perspective. It’s hard not to let that happen, especially as most of these kinds of stories are written by women. I always appreciate those who can keep either a dual focus spilt between their heroine and hero and/or allow their men to sound as you would envision them to sound as your reading. It brings more realism to the stories I think and it was lovely to see being done in His Honor, Her Family.

What you have is a story built out of the fragility of family, where adult children have to step up and help curate strong changes within their own families. Deke and his brothers were attempting to highlight a potential threat in their mother’s life whilst Grace was caught up in the drama of her own family’s trials. She was the caregiver of the family – constantly looking out for everyone but forgetting about her own self-care; a pattern of behaviour that stemmed all the way back to her days in high school. She had a bit of an edgy grudge against the towne itself – whilst part of her couldn’t break her conscience over the guilt it would take against her soul to return to her old life before she knew her siblings and mother were well cared after. For Grace, she took her role in her family quite seriously – to the brink of forsaking her own affairs.

Randel brings together all the hearty emotional drama you would expect out of an intergenertional saga – thereby, fusing the series with a heartfelt light of deciding what is most important to a person’s life. If family is important, than you have to determine what lengths you will embrace to resolve things once everything goes upside down. This is a story where you have people realising their reaching crossroads in their lives and they need to find the courage to follow through with their plans to either a) fix what is wrong or b) find a new beginning to effectively change their life before its too late to live it.

-quoted from my review of His Honour, Her Family
(Meet Me At the Altar series, Book Two)

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#HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “Trusting Her Heart” (Meet Me At The Altar series, Book Three) by Tara RandelTrusting Her Heart
Subtitle: Meet Me At The Altar
by Tara Randel
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Can a love built on lies…

…survive the truth?

Serena Stanhope fears her dark past might ruin the life she’s built as a successful shop owner. Especially when handsome Logan Masterson suddenly arrives in town asking questions about her background. He seems to have his own secrets, but the pair share an instant connection and Serena finds herself falling for Logan. He could destroy everything—or he could be the chance at love she thought she’d never have…

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335510808

Also by this author: His One and Only Bride, His Honor, Her Family

Also in this series: His Honor, Her Family


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


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 6th August, 2019

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming

Converse via: #Contemporary + #Romance and #HarlequinHeartwarming

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Meet Me At The Altar series:

The Lawman's Secret Vow by Tara RandelHis Honor, Her Family by Tara RandelTrusting Her Heart by Tara Randel

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how this series began within the pages of : The Lawman’s Secret Vow

To have and to hold — until the case is solved?

When an undercover assignment pairs laid-back Florida detective Dante Matthews with by-the-book cop Eloise Archer, he knows it won’t be easy. And not just because they’re competing for the same promotion. Now they’re living together under the same roof, and it’s getting harder to ignore his deepening feelings for his “wife.” Can he convince Eloise to partner up—for life?

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About Tara Randel

Tara Randel

USA Today Bestselling Author Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn't come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. Family values, mystery and, of course, love and romance are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Tara lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Tuesday, 13 August, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA