Category: War-time Romance

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!

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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 LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

Book Page on World Weaver Press

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 | “A Moment Forever” by Cat Gardiner

Posted Wednesday, 31 August, 2016 by jorielov , , 4 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I have been hosting blog tours with Poetic Book Tours whilst hoping to engage in hosting Small Press titles that are reflective of the diverse breadth of literature I welcome into my readerly life each year. This is why I was most delighted by the blog tour for ‘A Moment Forever’ as it simply felt like the type of World War era drama I would love to curl up inside reading! I received a complimentary copy of the novel “A Moment Forever” by the author Cat Gardiner in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What I enjoyed about learning about ‘A Moment Forever’:

Do you consider your novel to be a time slip or a time shift story? For instance, does the continuity of how it’s being told ‘slip’ between the two years of importance or does time ‘shift’ between perspectives of your lead characters? What do you like most about the styling of bending ‘time’ to the will of your muse?

Gardiner responds: I would consider A Moment Forever (AMF) a time slip-shift story. LOL. There are actually four lead characters, two in each time period, and the perspective does change. The main story that we begin with is in 1992 and it shifts and slips every few chapters back to 1942. The 1992 discovery of “something” in a letter will follow with the details of that “something” in 1942, painting the picture, drawing the reader into the life of our WWII couple, building their relationship until the climax of reunion five decades later. This was integral because I wanted the reader to see our 1942 lovers as those vibrant, youthful hearts in 1992 when they finally come back to each other.

One detail that I loved about AMF was that both eras are 20th Century historical fiction, both requiring research. The shifting and the timeline continuity was a challenge for my muse, but I dig challenges. I took her to task many times on Facebook because there were occasions when she wanted to stay in 1942 and I had to get her mind back to more modern times. Music helped … and copious amounts of wine.

I had to smile where you felt your novel fits both descriptions! Especially you’ve described how you’ve anchoured the story-line to certain pertinent revelations per ‘time of era’, I agree with your assessment of where this fits within the framework of time slip or time shift narratives! It had to be a ready challenge – not just to layer the story through it’s convicting core of thought but to control what was revealled (how, when, why, etc) whilst needling through the eyes of your characters, too! Smiling at the mention of wine – red or white, I wonder? I’m definitely into ‘red’. Music is such a beautiful constant in my own writerly endeavours – I love Hearts of Space for cluing into my muse.

-quoted from my interview with Ms Gardiner

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Whenever I find out about a war drama set during the World War eras, there is a good chance I’ll find my way into tucking inside the story-line and being caught up inside the drama unfolding around me as I soak inside the author’s story. I have the tendency to focus on stories stateside, throughout Europe and especially centred in focus between the UK and France. One reason this particular war drama appealed to me is how it’s a curiously time slip which shifts forwards and backwards in order for the fuller context of the story to be absorbed. I have a small weakness for time slips and shifts, so it wasn’t too hard to realise I’d be smitten by an interest to read this release! The added joy was being able to interview the author ahead of this review! We share a lot of mutual interests even though if out of the two of us, I’m the self-declared pack rat with a purpose! Laughs.

This will mark my first review for Vanity & Pride Press ahead of my first Austenesque sequel by Pamela Lynne coming in Autumn 2016! I look forward to that as I want to pick up my readings of Austen this Autumn & Winter, as I have dearly missed tucking inside the canon of Austen inasmuch a few sequel authors who’ve garnished my attention by how their choosing to re-invent the focus on beloved characters for generations of readers! I, myself, am only familiar with PRIDE, so it will be a lovely journey to dig back into PRIDE sequels whilst attempting my first readings of the two Austen novels I was gifted as a 1st Year Book Blogger!

Thus, there is more to come featuring the duo behind “Vanity & Pride Press!”

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “A Moment Forever” by Cat GardinerA Moment Forever
by Cat Gardiner
Source: Author via Poetic Book Tours

In the summer of 1992, a young writer is bequeathed the abandoned home of a great-uncle she never knew. The house has a romantic history and is unlike any home she has ever seen. Juliana Martel felt as though she stepped into a time capsule—a snapshot of 1942. The epic romance—and heartache—of the former occupant unfold through reading his wartime letters found in the attic, compelling her on a quest to construct the man. His life, as well as his sweetheart’s, during the Second World War were as mysterious as his disappearance in 1950.

Carrying her own pain inflicted by the abandonment of her mother and unexpected death of her father, Juliana embarks on a journalist’s dream to find her great-uncle and the woman he once loved. Enlisting the reluctant assistance of a man whose family is closely related to the secrets, she uncovers the carefully hidden events of her great-uncle’s and others’ lives – and will ultimately change her own with their discovery.

This story of undying love, born amidst the darkest era in modern history, unfolded on the breathtaking Gold Coast of Long Island in 1942. A Jewish, Army Air Forces pilot and an enchanting society debutante—young lovers—deception—and a moment in time that lasted forever.

A Moment Forever is an evocative journey that will resonate with you long after you close the book. Romance, heartache, and the power of love, atonement, and forgiveness transform lives long after the horrors and scars of the Second World War have ended.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9780997313000

Also by this author: Author Interview (AMF)

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Time Slip and/or Time Shift, War Drama


Published by Vanity & Pride Press

on 28th May, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 600

Published By: Vanity & Pride Press (@VPPressNovels)

Converse via: #HistFic, #HistRom, #WWII, #HistoricalFiction or #HistoricalRomance

About Cat Gardiner

Cat Gardiner

Born and bred in New York City, Cat Gardiner is a girl in love with the romance of an era once known as the Silent Generation, now referred to as the Greatest Generation.

A member of the National League of American Pen Women, Romance Writers of America, and Tampa Area Romance Authors, she and her husband adore exploring the 1940s Home Front experience as living historians, wishing for a time machine to transport them back seventy years.

She loves to pull out her vintage frocks and attend U.S.O dances, swing clubs, and re-enactment camps as part of her research, believing that everyone should have an understanding of The 1940s Experience™. Inspired by those everyday young adults who changed the fate of the world, she writes about them, taking the reader on a romantic journey. Cat’s WWII-era novels always begin in her beloved Big Apple and surround you with the sights and sounds of a generation.

She is also the author of four Jane Austen-inspired contemporary novels, however, her greatest love is writing 20th Century Historical Fiction, WWII-era Romance. A Moment Forever is her debut novel in that genre.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Wednesday, 31 August, 2016 by jorielov in 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Multi-Generational Saga, New York City, Poetic Book Tours, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, The Nineties, The World Wars, Vulgarity in Literature, War Drama, War-time Romance

Book Review | “The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley”by Susan Ornbratt My second novel of #SwedishLit by an writer who soulfully stirs the reader’s heart.

Posted Saturday, 20 February, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: One day in June I ducked inside #LitChat and discovered a hearty conversation about Indie Publishers and the stories they publish. There were two publishers in attendance, with Light Messages Publishing being the one who happily corresponded with me a bit after the chat concluded. Whilst in communication with their publicity department, I was encouraged to look through their beautifully lovely catalogue and see if one of their upcoming Autumn releases might suit my bookish curiosities. I picked two which fancied me the most, one of which was not mentioned to me but I discovered on my own: “Tea and Crumples” by Summer Kinard, who had attended the chat. If your curious about the Small Press Showcase #LitChat I attended you can replay the conversation in whole by visiting the Nurph Channel for LitChat where it’s archived.

I love hosting Indie Publishers and Press on Jorie Loves A Story, as it speaks to the wicked quality of editing and crafting of stories in today’s book market. I nearly read more Indie authors on a yearly basis than I do Major Trade, a credit to being a book blogger whose bookish world has tenfold increased since she started blogging. You get further into the book world as a blogger and I’m incredibly blessed due to the connections I am making in the twitterverse.

This marks my first review for Light Messages Publishing and I will be following it with a review of “Tea and Crumples”. After which I am hoping to make a new selection and continue to support the writers and team behind this inspirational Indie Publisher! I received a complimentary copy of “The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley” direct from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

A bit of an introduction to Light Messages Publishing:

Light Messages is a family run publishing company founded in 1998, and we began expanding to general trade in 2011. We now have close to 100 titles in our catalog and release 6-8 titles per year. We pride ourselves on publishing meaningful books by emerging authors.

This is the official mission statement of Light Messages as a publisher and one that is aptly suited to their publishing house. One of the takeaways I took from my interactions with them in the #LitChat I attended and the research I did on their publishing website, this is a publisher whose entire focus is on crafting uplifting stories rooted in heart and soul story-lines. They give specific attention to their authors and their stories whilst being open-minded about book bloggers and reviewers who are seeking stories to review. They are a gem of a find if your a blogger, as similar to my admiration for World Weaver Press (on my review of FAE and on this post) they give us a lot to work with whilst we’re hosting their authors!

The flexibility to read through their catalogue of front list and backlist titles is one that I appreciate, as this reminds me of my readings of ChocLitUK; where your are not limited to front list selections. I enjoy getting the opportunity to read the stories which nestle into my imagination long before I pick them up as a bit of a precursor of what I might find inside their chapters. Reading for review is a bit like sorting out which writer and which story not only appeals to you in the moment of discovery, but one that will have a lasting curiosity by the time you sit down to read it. Oft-times we’re making selections a bit ahead of our blogging schedules (by three to six months!), and the beauty for me is finding the stories which are uniquely individualistic to both their authors and their publishing house. This is in part why I love reading Indies, they have their own styling and their own written voice which sets them apart from Major Trade.

I have blogged in the past about being a hybrid reader of both Mainstream and INSPY (my shortened endearing name for ‘Inspirational Fiction’ as found via the twitterverse or most directly the INSPY Awards) novelists and the selections I’m making via Light Messages speaks to that particular appreciation of reading across literary boundaries. I love being uplifted by hard-hitting story-lines which speak to the human condition and the state of humanity. (hence why I read a heap of war dramas!) At the very same time, I love the lightness and joyfully blissful story-lines where the drama is lightly touched upon and comic moments intersect the character’s lives. I am eclectically happy experiencing my literary wanderings and I am quite thankful I discovered Light Messages as they are creating a balance of what I appreciate out of both ‘umbrellas’ so to speak of literature.

Equally lovely is how they do not limit the kinds of stories their authors are writing, as I happily found selections in a cross mixture of genre and styles of literature, including science fiction and suspense!

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Book Review | “The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley”by Susan Ornbratt My second novel of #SwedishLit by an writer who soulfully stirs the reader’s heart.The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley
Subtitle: a love story
by Susan Ornbratt
Source: Direct from Publisher

To satisfy her wandering feet, eighteen-year-old Gillian McAllister is sent from Ireland to Canada in the summer of 1932. She arrives with her Irish ways intact, determined not to let the wiles of crop duster Christian Hunter woo her into submission. Yet as the summer unfolds and the sweet taste of love grows,

Gillian’s appeal lures more than she anticipates, shattering the life they’ve built. From the shores of The Great Lakes to the slums of Bombay and a tiny island in between, this love story takes the reader on an intimate journey to unravel a family secret that’s laid hidden for generations.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1-61153-111-4

Also by this author:

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Time Slip and/or Time Shift, War Drama, Women's Fiction


Published by Light Messages Publishing

on 23rd April 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 318

Published By: Light Messages Publishing (@LMpublishing)

Author Page @ Light Messages Publishing
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

I elected to shorten the title to encourage bookish chatter in the twitterverse!

Converse via: #GillianPugsley

I am not even sure I grabbed all the tweets I referenced over the months I spent with this novel as I used this shortened tag quite a heap as it was a way to convey a short code nod towards what I was reading but also, to bring to light a name shared by two characters!

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

About Susan Ornbratt

Susan Ornbratt

Susan Örnbratt was born in London, Canada and grew up on the dance floor until her brother’s high school rowing crew needed a coxswain. Quickly, she traded in her ballet shoes for a megaphone and went on to compete in the Junior and Senior World Championships and the XIII Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland.

A graduate from the University of Western Ontario in French and the University of Manitoba in elementary education, as well as attending L’Université Blaise Pascal Clermont-Ferrand II in France while she worked as a fille au pair, Susan has gone on to teach and live in six countries.

Although a maple leaf will forever be stitched on her heart, she has called Sweden her home for the past sixteen years with a recent three-year stint in North Carolina, USA for her husband’s work. It was there where Susan wrote The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley.

Susan lives in Gothenburg with her husband and two children and an apple tree beloved by the local moose population. If she isn’t shooing away the beasts, you can find her in her garden with some pruning shears, a good book and always a cup of tea. If Susan were dried out, she could be brewed.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 20 February, 2016 by jorielov in 20th Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Clever Turns of Phrase, Debut Author, Debut Novel, During WWI, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Ireland, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Light Messages Publishing, Modern Day, Poetry, Prior to WWI, the Thirties, The World Wars, Time Shift, Time Slip, War Drama, War-time Romance, Women's Fiction, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Style & Voice