Category: Sports

#ChristmasReads | “A Second Christmas Wish” by Kathryn Freeman #JorieReads her first #ChocLit Christmas Romance whilst enjoying an extension of her holiday reads! #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 6 January, 2018 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

#ChocLitSaturdays banner created in Canva by Jorie.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and I feature Romance & Women’s Fiction authors during @SatBookChat:

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!

As ChocLit begins to highlight Women’s Fiction authors and stories under their new imprint Ruby Fiction, I look forward to spotlighting those authors with guest features ahead of seeing their novels go into print as it’s a Digital First imprint for the publisher. 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 “A Second Christmas Wish” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

On feeling blessed to read a Christmas Romance in January:

Originally, I had hoped to read this story round Christmastime – however, the Christmas Post held this little parcel in its grasp until the first week of January – whilst a fierce and brutal Winter virus had straggled its grip on me! I wouldn’t have been able to read this delightful story during Christmas as much as I would have wanted; it’s a wonder how I managed to get through those days at all. The best joy though of settling into this story now, on the first weekend in January is how lovely the weather has been outside! We’ve received a lovely dash of cold weather – making it feel evermore like Winter, even if my region rarely feels like it knows what Winter is truly about compared to other parts!

Winter is a time I love to settle into Christmas stories – from the month of Thanksgiving (November) until Twelfth Night (January) or a bit extended til the latter weeks of January – it just depends on the year. This past Winter, I’ve had the joy of highlighting quite a lot of wonderfully exciting Christmas Romances & Contemporary stories set during Yule; many of which I am hopeful to collect in time to read before the next holiday season. This particular novel I’ve been itching to read since I first talked about my thoughts on it’s behalf during it’s Cover Reveal (October, 2016).

Not all the Christmas stories I find I want to read are light-hearted, most this year are more dramatically inclined – hitting on harder story-lines and blessedly find redemption or restitution in the end. At the heart of my #ChristmasReads though is seeking out the relationships which start during the holidays and find traction to hold together afterwards – in essence of what makes the best part of reading Romances set during Christmas!

Reading A Second Christmas Wish marks my first Christmas Rom by a ChocLit author as well – I’ve been happily seeing more Christmas lovelies release (all Digital First) and have hoped more might go into print runs as the years move forward. There is nothing wickeder than seeing stories set during your favourite holiday season have enticed the writers you love reading (or hope to discover reading soon) to write a bit of Christmas into their canon of works.

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

Notation on Cover Art Design: (as previously shared) 

It’s the quintessential cover for me that speaks about this kind of story! I know it might not be the most popular but ooh! That cover just spoke volumes about why I love tucking inside Christmas stories, Yuletide celebrations and the festive nature of Winter bringing round all my favourite holidays!! It’s such an incredibly magical time of the year and I adore snow even if my state is one of the few that doesn’t get any – I long to live closer to snow country, to be caught up in that treasure of snowflakes and the stillness of a wintry walk. For me it was more the aesthetic of what resonates with this kind of story. It’s the allure of the story for me rather than the specifics.

#ChristmasReads | “A Second Christmas Wish” by Kathryn Freeman #JorieReads her first #ChocLit Christmas Romance whilst enjoying an extension of her holiday reads! #ChocLitSaturdaysA Second Christmas Wish
by Kathryn Freeman
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

Do you believe in Father Christmas?

For Melissa, Christmas has always been overrated. From her cold, distant parents to her manipulative ex-husband, Lawrence, she’s never experienced the warmth and contentment of the festive season with a big, happy family sitting around the table.

And Melissa has learned to live with it, but it breaks her heart that her seven-year-old son, William, has had to live with it too. Whilst most little boys wait with excitement for the big day, William finds it difficult to believe that Father Christmas even exists.

But then Daniel McCormick comes into their lives. And with his help, Melissa and William might just be able to find their festive spirit, and finally have a Christmas where all of their wishes come true…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

Also by this author: Search for the Truth Cover Reveal, Before You Cover Reveal, Search for the Truth, A Second Christmas Wish Cover Reveal, Before You

Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance


Published by ChocLitUK

on 9th November, 2017

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 221

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

Genre(s): Contemporary Romance | Christmas Romance | New Beginnings & Unexpected Love

Converse via: #ChocLit & #Contemporary #ChristmasReads

The Collective works I’ve Enjoyed Reading by Kathryn Freeman:

Search for the Truth by Kathryn FreemanA Second Christmas Wish by Kathryn FreemanBefore You by Kathryn Freeman

Ms Freeman’s ChocLit Contemporary Roms:

Before You (see also Review)

A Second Christmas Wish (see also Cover Reveal w/ Notes)

Search for the Truth (see also Review)

About Kathryn Freeman

Kathryn Freeman

Kathryn was born in Wallingford, England but has spent most of her life living in a village near Windsor. After studying pharmacy in Brighton she began her working life as a retail pharmacist. She quickly realised that trying to decipher doctor’s handwriting wasn’t for her and left to join the pharmaceutical industry where she spent twenty happy years working in medical communications. In 2011, backed by her family, she left the world of pharmaceutical science to begin life as a self-employed writer, juggling the two disciplines of medical writing and romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) the romance in her life is all in her head. Then again, her husband’s unstinting support of her career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises.

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

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Posted Saturday, 6 January, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, ChocLitUK, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Divorce & Martial Strife, England, Family Drama, Family Life, Indie Author, Modern Day, Motherhood | Parenthood, Psychological Abuse, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Sports, Tennis, Vulgarity in Literature

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

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

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

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

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I felt inspired to read this novel:

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

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

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

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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

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

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

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

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

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1943290215

Also by this author: Author Interview: Paul Dimond

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


Published by Cedar Forge Press

on 4th April, 2017

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 696

Published By: Cedar Forge Press

Available Formats: Paperback

Read the article about the author via The Ann Arbor News

Converse via: #BelleOfTwoArbors

About Paul Dimond

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

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

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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

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