Category: Western Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “Rogue Most Wanted” (Book Five: The Cavensham Heiresses) by Janna MacGregor

Posted Thursday, 4 July, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

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

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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.

It has been a wicked fantastical journey into the heart of the historic past, wherein I’ve been blessed truly by discovering new timescapes, new living realities of the persons who once lived (ie. Biographical Historical Fiction) inasmuch as itched my healthy appetite for Cosy Historical Mysteries! If there is a #HistRom out there it is generally a beloved favourite and I love soaking into a wicked wonderful work of Historical Fiction where you feel the beauty of the historic world, the depth of the characters and the joyfulness in which the historical novelists brought everything to light in such a lovingly diverse palette of portraiture of the eras we become time travellers through their stories.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “Rogue Most Wanted” direct from the publisher St. Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Ahead of reading “Rogue Most Wanted” I also borrowed copies of the rest of the novels in this series: “The Bad Luck Bride” and “The Good, the Bad and the Duke” which I happily shared ruminations about on this post for my personal edification and for continuing to share my bookish life with my readers. I was not obligated to do so in other words and felt it was benefical to sharing my joy of the series.

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On why this story appealled to me:

I  have loved reading the Regency for a long while now – as there is something special about soaking inside this particular era of interest. Of all the eras I love – from the Regency to the Victorian & the Edwardian – it is hard for me to pick amongst them more than the Regency. I seem to fall into step with the stories quite naturally and it is a delight of joy to read a new author’s spin on the era I feel as if I’ve lived through for a portion of my life.

Due to this particular curiosity I have with the Regency – it felt rather keen to try a new author who was about to settle me into her vision of where she wanted me to alight through a series I hadn’t heard about until I saw the blog tour announcement.

Only in a Historical Romance can I lay claim to appreciating the dramatic joltings of a rebellious rogue or a decidedly cheeky rake! More oft than not those are the characters which are of most interest in Historical Romances as they a) have the most to gain and b) have the most to learn. I do not readily find it as easy to appreciate these kinds of characters (for me) in romances when it reverts into Contemporaries.

I was quite excited about the prospect of reading another HistRom so close to when I read Project Duchess as I need to re-pick up this genre – it is true joy & happiness to reside inside as a reader!

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Blog Book Tour | “Rogue Most Wanted” (Book Five: The Cavensham Heiresses) by Janna MacGregorRogue Most Wanted
Subtitle: The Cavensham Heiresses
by Janna MacGregor
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Wanted: an engagement of convenience. Found: A noble suitor.

Raised on a remote Scottish estate by her adoring grandfather, Lady Theodora Worth has inherited an earldom as well as the land itself. But when an upstart duke challenges her claim to the title and the Ladykyrk estate, Thea is suddenly in need of a husband—in name, at least. An elderly neighbor with a thoroughly modern sensibility and a dashing great-nephew just might be the answer to Thea’s prayers. Except she has no intention of marrying the first man she meets. That would be utterly ridiculous.

It just can’t be him. . .

Lord William Cavensham is entirely too devoted to his family’s estate—ever since he was jilted as a lad–to wed, but he agrees to meet the woman his aunt has taken under her wing—and introduce her to possible suitors. But after just one meeting with beautiful, spirited Thea, Will is determined to help her reclaim her title. And even moreso, he can’t stop thinking that perhaps marriage to this bold, passionate woman may be the one thing he’s been missing all along?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781250295996

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


Setting: Regency, England


Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks

on 25th June, 2019

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 371

The Cavensham Heiresses series:

→ The Bad Luck Bride (book one)

The Bride Who Got Lucky (book two)

The Luck of the Bride (book three)

→ The Good, the Bad & the Duke (book four)

Rogue Most Wanted (book five)

Wild, Wild Rake (book six)

Published By: St. Martin’s Press (@StMartinsPress)
imprints of St. Martin’s Publishing Group,
which is now a part of MacMillian Publishers

Converse via: #HistoricalRomance OR #HistRom

Available Formats: Hardback, Ebook and Audiobook

About Janna MacGregor

Janna MacGregor

Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 4 July, 2019 by jorielov in 19th Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Marriage of Convenience, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, the Regency era

Blog Book Tour | “The Cowboy’s Perfect Match” (Book Two: The Sweetheart Ranch) by Cathy McDavid a Contemporary Romance series by #Harlequin Heartwarming

Posted Thursday, 16 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

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

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 “The Cowboy’s Perfect Match” direct from the author Cathy McDavid in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What I loved most about the first novel of the Sweetheart Ranch series:

Of all the places I’ve stayed as I’ve travelled the best places by far are Bed and Breakfast Inns!! They have a cosy comfort level to them, most are in historic homes and all of them have their quirky hosts and hostesses who are welcoming you into their home for the duration of your stay! Unless, like what Molly and her Grandma Em were trying to accomplish – the B&B was also inclusive of cabins, which is rather ideal as it enlarges your booking possibilities!

McDavid doesn’t hesitate to talk about the worries and grief associated with historic properties either – from how issues can arise out of the blue with utilities to how doors can become warped or knobs can be frustrating to open; she presents a realistic impression on historic buildings and their upkeep which is a refreshing find as it anchours her story firmly in reality.

I did have a good chuckle over how strained Molly felt realising her and Bridget were going to have open the Sweetheart Ranch on their own! She was just getting to the point where she believed in this idea her grandmother had of focusing on hosting weddings in a unique setting which could draw clients to their B&B when she encounters a shocking surprise the day of the ‘big reveal’!! Watching her interact with Owen, the father of three who is still trying to sort out his life one hour at a time, gave me a heartfelt smile, as even Molly was having trouble staying upset with Owen – as he was an unexpected arrival. Owen for his part was trying to smooth things over with Molly, even encouraging her to let him help due the tasks which were either inclusive of heavy lifting or tasks she could easily delegate to him.

I was overjoyed finding out what McDavid had in store for Owen!! I sensed it was going to head in that direction (in regards to his career) but watching it unfold was priceless! I also liked how she brought back Grandma Em right at a moment where the girls (Bridget and Molly) needed her to return. This is a novel centered round family and how sometimes, in order to find the tomorrow your wanting most in your life – you have to be willing to take risks. Without risking your heart, you lose the chance to find someone who is your rightful match and without being willing to go outside your comfort zones – sometimes you miss opportunities for self-growth.

What I noticed straightaway is how McDavid places us into the heart of the drama as it is unfolding – the curious bit there is you get to see her characters off-guard and out of confidence from who they are when things are going right. It leads to seeing their faults a bit earlier on in the story-line but also, to see their hearts and what makes them individualistically centred. For Molly and Bridget might have different personalities, there is no denying their sisters. Each of them helps compliment the other by what they are able to do in the pinch of a moment where life throws them a few curve balls! For this, I appreciated the choices McDavid was making on their behalf – as she was guiding us into where their lives shifted into the chaotic before giving us a path back to the serenity they once had known.

I look forward to seeing what develops through the series – being a quartet, I can imagine the POV is going to switch back and forth from characters we’ve become introduced too already in this first installment and newer characters we might meet in future ones. The best part of how this series was founded though is that McDavid kept family center-most of importance but also, how sometimes you have to encourage yourself to see life from different angles. Similar to how Bridget kept trying to encourage her sister Molly. It is one thing to see life from one perspective all the time but if you give yourself a chance to exchange one view for another, the surprises it affords could make the biggest differences.

-quoted from my review of A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal

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Blog Book Tour | “The Cowboy’s Perfect Match” (Book Two: The Sweetheart Ranch) by Cathy McDavid a Contemporary Romance series by #Harlequin HeartwarmingThe Cowboy's Perfect Match
Subtitle: The Sweetheart Ranch
by Cathy McDavid
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

He may not be perfect…

But he’s perfect for her!

Ryan DeMere is definitely enjoying the perks of being Sweetheart Ranch’s new wrangler—the best is working with head chef Bridget O’Malley. He’s fallen head over spurs for the talented and determined beauty. There’s just one hiccup. Bridget is holding out for Mr. Right—and Ryan doesn’t quite meet her requirements. But he’s determined to win Bridget over, because Ryan may not be perfect…but maybe their love could be.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335510655

Also by this author: A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal

Also in this series: A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal


Genres: Contemporary Romance, Heartland Fiction, Ranches & Cowboys, Western Fiction, Western Romance


Published by Harlequin Books, Harlequin Heartwarming

on 1st May, 2019

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming,
an imprint of Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

The Sweetheart Ranch series:

A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal by Cathy McDavidThe Cowboy's Perfect Match by Cathy McDavid

A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal (book one) | see also review

The Cowboy’s Perfect Match (book two)

The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby (book three) → coming November, 2019!

This series is evolving into a proper quartet – there are four books planned!

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin Heartwarming

About Cathy McDavid

Cathy McDavid

In the third grade, NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathy McDavid made it her goal to read every Black Stallion book ever written. Who knew such an illustrious ambition would eventually lead to a lifelong love of all things western and a career writing contemporary romances for Harlequin? With over 1.2 million books sold, Cathy is also a member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll.

An “almost” Arizona native, she’s married to her own real-life sweetheart, whom she re-met a few years ago at a high school reunion. Her grown twins are out on their own and finding their happily-ever-afters. In 2014, Cathy retired from the corporate world to write full-time. She now spends her days penning stories about good looking cowboys riding the range, busting a bronc, and sweeping gals off their feet. It a tough job, but she’s willing to make the sacrifice.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 16 May, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Life Shift, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Sweet Romance, Western Fiction, Western Romance

Blog Book Tour | “A Rancher to Remember” (Book Six: Rocky Mountain Cowboys) by Karen Rock This one has a thrilling opening chapter and doesn’t let up on the dramatic revelations thereafter!

Posted Wednesday, 3 April, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

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

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 “A Rancher to Remember” direct from the author Karen Rock in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I love reading the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series:

*2019* has begun quite uniquely – as some years have the tendency of doing – I was still recovering from my five week virus in January which nixed my idea of a re-reading of this series for #ContemporaryJanuary. At the end of January and within the early bits of February brought the return of my chronic migraines in full force, to where I started to seek out more research into what was [potentially] triggering them & how I could sort out a path forward with the hope of lessening them. This lead me to the book “The Migraine Relief Plan” and a new protocol of medicine which has kept me migraine-free for over five weeks now.

However, despite my earnest yearnings to re-read this series – the timing has still been a bit off for me personally – *March!* proved the warning about the ‘ides of March’ ought to be taken a bit more seriously some years over others – where the writing was simply on the wall very early-on it was going to be a month of woe & adversity. I still remember a few weeks coupled in the middle where I was questioning how I was even able to continue posting to my blog as my heart and mind were simply ‘elsewhere’ offline.

I knew I didn’t want to rush my introduction into the one story of the series I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading (“Bad Boy Rancher”; the book is eyeing me from the shelf and questioning why I keep holding off reading it!) which is why I decided to continue reading this series with the sixth installment. I’ll find a moment of peace & serenity when my life calms back down again to where I can re-read the whole series with the benefit of not having a deadline to chase into but rather just have the hours to spend a respiteful holiday soaking in the life of my favourite cowboys and cowgirls! Except to say, I had forgotten – I need to chase down a copy of “A Cowboy to Keep” as apparently this title has gone *out of print!* somewhere between when I first started reading this series and now! It is the only story (the prequel, too!) I haven’t been able to add to my Rocky Mountain Cowboy shelf of joy. I previously inter-library loaned a copy to read and I might still have to continue doing that when I get into re-reading this series!

This marks one of my first readings of the Rocky Mountain Cowboys without a migraine and for me that is something to be celebrating! I’m also entering into my sixth year as a book blogger whilst reading the *sixth!* installment of a series which has charmed my heart & soul!

You might remember I had shared ahead of revealling my thoughts about “Winning the Cowboy’s Heart”- how the Rocky Mountain Cowboys is a series I fell in love with reading since I first started borrowing the books through my library – adding ‘Christmas at Cade Ranch’ to my local library as they accepted my purchase request and having the joy of hosting a few of the blog tours connected to the series which led me to this lovely sixth novel!

There is a seventh novel on the horizon this *2019!* as well – as I received a bookmark which happily alerted me about the release schedule for the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series – thereby books 5-7 are releasing in 2019 whilst books 8 & 9 are scheduled for 2020! This gives me plenty of time to schedule my personal re-reading of the series and be right in-line with one of the forthcoming releases! I was trying to see when the seventh novel was going to publish (wondering if it was going to be a Summer or Autumn release!) however it isn’t yet listed online. [ until I read the Author’s Note and discovered whose story is arriving this Summer! ]

IF this is the first review you’ve stumbled across of mine for this lovely Western Cowboy series you might be wondering what draws my eye into this series and to the writer’s style of story-telling – one of the best joys for me as a reader, outside of my love of the Cade family and the men of the series is where Ms Rock set the series to reside: deep in the heart of the Rockies! There is something about mountain living and the atmosphere of ranching that uplifts a girl’s soul!

Ms Rock does a great job of taking you into the heart of addiction – first through the opinions of family who feel they are being helpful but in reality their falling a bit short with a few good observations. Secondly, she takes you into an NA meeting to hear the stories of other addicts who are struggling just like Sofia to quash their innermost doubts and to remain above the pains of addiction whilst re-setting their lives free of the substance of their choice. It was in one of those meetings where Sofia felt both ashamed to be present and rather awkwardly at first, comfortable amongst those who she could relate too.

Ms Rock also highlights what it is like to have a controlling personality – someone who is unable to yield or bend – this was spoken about in regards to Sofia’s father but in the present time-line of the series it is mostly directed towards James who has a definitive way of ‘taking over’ and claiming roles he was not meant to lead because doing so would jeopardise another person’s sense of self.

One of my favourite parts of the story is how closely Sofia and Joy (the Cade siblings mother) bonded over being in such close quarters whilst she was recuperating. Joy still had quite a bit of spunk left in her and she had a right to want to keep living her life to the fullest she could. Sofia inspired her in equal measure of Joy inspiring Sofia to take new risks and to keep bettering herself for her future and her son’s (Javi). Javi was an impressionable child but he also understood what was important in his young life. I can see why Sofia stressed about how he might react around James and why being around James for both of them was proving to be a bit too difficult.

One of the beautiful things about this series is how redemption and second chances permeate through the stories. Erstwhile, you are becoming closer in acquaintance with the Cade family themselves – the ranch they live on becomes the anchour to their lives, the place where they gather and they grow; where love nurtures their present and where it breathes hope into the future. Each installment of this series builds on the last story in sequence – thereby, by the time you start at A Cowboy to Keep whilst reading each new story thereafter, you are given a wonderful portrait of a resilient family. A family whose honest about the hardships in life and where good or bad, this is a family who remains evermore true of themselves.

Everything comes full circle in the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series – you get to see where loose ends knit back together and the one beautiful thing about this series is you get to have continual updates about all the characters you’ve loved reading about in prior installments! If you take the title of this one for a second to ruminate – you’ll find the word “pride” speaks volumes towards understanding where this story was leading you to venture. It isn’t just the pride of the current cowboys in the Cade-Loveland families but of all the cowboys within their mutual lineages who led to the current heroes of the series.

One of the things I admire most about how Ms Rock writes her stories is the continuity aspects of her series – where you can move from one installment to another in a seamless transition. I’ve started reading this series from the prequel into the first and second novels – before arriving into the fourth ahead of the third. I almost thought that was a mistake on my part, as I wasn’t sure if this fourth installment would pick up directly out of the third or return to an earlier conflict. The beauty of reading this series slightly out of sequence is how compelling it was for the feud to take precedent and thereby allowing me to continue the continuity I have been appreciating by reading this fourth novel.

The feud itself was established in the earlier stories – setting down the foundation of how both families are at war with each other – not just over the water rights (though those are a valid reason for the ill will between them) but it goes back to a matter of principle and honour. Of the circumstances relating to the original feud’s origins and how unsettling it is for the details which have remained behind paint a rather dark portrait of their ancestor’s lives.

Through all of this, Ms Rock has rooted us into the Cade and Loveland families – showing us how human each of the families are and how vulnerable the members of their families are to the adversities of life. In many ways, both the Cades and Lovelands have each endured a lot of obstacles and have made their own sacrifices over the years – over and beyond the feud which has always stood between them. Ms Rock makes this a living reality for us as readers – as you don’t have to get too far into the stories to feel the tension coming the Cades or the Lovelands – their natural reactions to each other is out of spite and anger; fuelling the feud and deepening the chasm between them.

-quoted from my reviews of “Christmas at Cade Ranch”,
“Falling for a Cowboy” and “A Cowboy’s Pride”

As you can see – I am truly emotionally attached to this beautifully lovely series and I am honoured I get to be on the blog tour to welcome in the sixth installment of a series which gives me so much love & joy to be reading!

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Blog Book Tour | “A Rancher to Remember” (Book Six: Rocky Mountain Cowboys) by Karen Rock This one has a thrilling opening chapter and doesn’t let up on the dramatic revelations thereafter!A Rancher to Remember
by Karen Rock
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

They can’t change the past…

but they can choose their future

Globe-trotting journalist Cassidy Fulton is back in Carbondale, Colorado. Only she can’t remember why—or the accident that killed her estranged sister. Helping her piece together this mystery is her brother-in-law and former fiancé, Daryl Loveland. Overcoming their grief seems impossible. Yet one thing is clear: Cassidy can’t imagine her life without Daryl or her adorable niece and nephew. But can the ranch ever really be her home?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335510617

Also by this author: A League of Her Own, Author Interview (Christmas at Cade Ranch) Karen Rock, A Cowboy's Pride (Spotlight w/ Notes), A Cowboy's Pride, Christmas at Cade Ranch, Winning the Cowboy's Heart

Also in this series: Author Interview (Christmas at Cade Ranch) Karen Rock, A Cowboy's Pride (Spotlight w/ Notes), A Cowboy's Pride, Winning the Cowboy's Heart


Genres: Contemporary Romance, Ranches & Cowboys, Romance Fiction, Western Fiction


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 2nd April, 2019

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Pages: 384

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming

Converse via: #Contemporary #Western + #Romance

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The Rocky Mountain Cowboys series:

A Cowboy to Keep (Prequel) (see also Review)

Christmas at Cade Ranch (Book One) (*reviewed)

Falling for a Cowboy (Book Two) (*reviewed)

Bad Boy Rancher (Book Three)

A Cowboy’s Pride (Book Four) (see also Review)

Winning the Cowboy’s Heart (Book Five) (see also Review)

A Rancher to Remember (Book Six)

Forthcoming release: Book Seven! (Summer 2019!)
feat. Maverick Loveland and Ella Parks!

(*) Christmas at Cade Ranch and Falling for a Cowboy
were reviewed in-line with A Cowboy’s Pride

About Karen Rock

Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary romance author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time writer. Currently she writes for Harlequin Heartwarming and her first novel for the line, WISH ME TOMORROW, has won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2014 Golden Quill Contest and a finalist in the Published Maggie Awards. The first novel in her co-authored YA series, CAMP BOYFRIEND, has been a finalist in the Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 3 April, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Equality In Literature, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Indie Author, Modern Day, Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, West Coast USA, Western Fiction, Western Romance

#HistoricalMondays | Book Review | “The Gift of the Seer” [long awaited sequel to “The Spirit Keeper” (2013)] by K.B. Laugheed

Posted Monday, 11 February, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

I am launching a new weekly featured concentration of book reviews on Jorie Loves A Story which celebrates my love and passion for the historical past! For those of whom are regular readers and visitors to my blog, you’ll denote a dedicated passion for reading Historical Fiction (and all the lovely segues of thematic therein) – I am a time traveller of the historical past every chance I get to disappear into a new era and/or century of exploration. There isn’t a time period I haven’t enjoyed ruminating over since [2013] and there are a heap of lovely timescapes I’ve yet to encounter.

This feature was inspired by the stories I’ve read, the stories I’ve yet to experience and the beauty of feeling interconnected to History through the representation of the past through the narratives being writ by today’s Historical Fiction authors. It is to those authors I owe a debt of gratitude for enlightening my bookish mind and my readerly heart with realistic characters, illuminating portals of living history and a purposeful intent on giving each of us a strong representation of ‘life’ which should never become dismissed, forgotten or erased.

I am beginning this feature with the sequel to a beloved historical novel I first read in [2013] – it was one of the first ARCs I received and it was the first year I was a book blogger though it was through a connection outside my life as a blogger. I am celebrating K.B. Laugheed’s literature to kick-off this feature and hopefully will inspire my followers to take this new weekly journey with me into the stories which are beckoning to read their narrative depths and find the words in which to express the thoughts I experienced as I read.

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Acquired Book By: In [2013] I was still participating in the Early Reviewer programme via Book Browse wherein I received an ARC for “The Spirit Keeper” – a new Historical Fiction narrative which sought to break boundaries of its genre and which captured me heart and soul as I read it. It was an emotionally gutting read, a historical reckoning of a story and it left me ruminatively curious about what the ‘next’ chapter of this extraordinary character’s life would be in the sequel. 

I decided to write an expanded review on my blog for my own edification after having contributed my Early Reviewer review to Book Browse – it was one of the few times I was able to do this even though there are a few other ARCs I received from Book Browse I’d like to still blog about in the near future which fittingly have more to be said on their behalf from my readerly experience.

Likewise, I also reached out to the author directly shortly after I posted my review in September of 2013; remember dear hearts, I launched my blog live on the 6th of August, 2013 – so this expanded review became one of the first officially celebrated novels of Jorie Loves A Story in the beginning of finding my writerly voice and my bookish presence in the book blogosphere. It pre-dated hosting blog tours and working with publishers, publicists and authors directly.

Although I remained in contact with the author a bit over the years – simply checking the status on the sequel or offering encouraging thoughts on writing it – I don’t consider this a conflict of interest as to be honest, it was not constant contact and we weren’t in contact on a regular basis nor did we touch base each year since 2013.

When I received an email from Ms Laugheed this past December, 2018 – to say I was pleasantly gobsmacked to have heard from her after a long absence of communication is putting it mildly! I was overjoyed – more for her than for me – as she was announcing the sequel was being published! She decided at long last to go the Indie route towards  publication and I was full of joy and happiness for her as this was a very long and dedicated route back to publishing a sequel I believed in as a reader (and there are others like me out there) but of which I wasn’t sure if any of us would get a chance to embrace it in published form.

Thereby, I did not hesitate to respond to her request to accept this new novel for review consideration – the only thing which delayed my entrance into its chapters was my five week Winter virus (from before Christmas to the early weeks of January, 2019) and my three successive migraines (from mid-January to early February). I read this immediately after recovering from my third migraine and was thrilled I could finally attach my mind and heart round the continuing journey of Katie and Hector!

I received a complimentary copy of “The Gift of the Seer” by the author K.B. Laugheed in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Re-visiting “The Spirit Keeper”

My original motivation to read the novel: I wanted to partake in her journey untoward becoming one man’s living vision of ‘a creature of fire and ice’ and to see if they could fulfill each other’s destinies therein. It is such a curious proposition, to be taken by force from one’s own family, and re-positioned into a life, by which, you’re in complete unfamiliar territory, amongst people who speak a different tongue than your own, and by your own wits, have to determine how to survive. I was curious by how she was going to effectively change her life and heart; and to what end she must do so! This felt to me like a piece of Magical Realism wrapped up inside a Historical Fiction, rooted into the conscience of the American Frontier! I was besotted with the plot, and needed to read it to ascertain what the story truly was about! The Spirit Keeper spoke to me, as a book I needed to read rather than merely a book I wanted to read! I listen to my intuition in other words!

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Ms Laugheed advised me to re-read “The Spirit Keeper” ahead of reading “The Gift of the Seer” – what I hadn’t the heart to tell her is my copy of the novel is packed as most of my personal library has been packed for the last four years. I couldn’t sort out which box it is held within if I had a compass as I literally have quite the expansive library being stored right now. This is one key reason why I can’t always re-read the novels I’m reviewing – as I only have a handful of books I’ve reviewed the past few years unpacked and shelved – most of which, are first or seconds in series, awaiting new releases to where I can turn back to and re-read a bit ahead of delving into the next installment. I did have The Spirit Keeper prominently shelved for quite a few years after it was released – it was only recently I had to make the hard choice to pack it away for safe keeping til I can restore my library back to rights.

Therefore, I did what any other book blogger would do in this situation – I borrowed a well-loved copy from my local library and as I re-entered the story, I was quite shocked by what I discovered! I hadn’t forgotten as much as I was expecting, too! I re-read the opening bridge of the novel – re-visiting how Katie was taken from her family, the traumatic transitioning into life with the Spirit Keeper and Hector as much as re-aligning in my mind the era this series is set and the mannerisms of how the story is told. As Ms Laugheed has a very distinctive style of historical story-telling; it is one reason I was hugged so dearly close into the story originally.

Secondly, as I noticed a lot of readerly flashbacks moving through my mind’s eye after that particular re-visitation – I immediately flipped to the last quarter of the novel, resumed as if I hadn’t been absent from this story for :six: long years and re-lived the concluding chapters, as fresh as dew on recently mowed grass. I seriously was re-captured by what was left behind for my eyes and heart to find – thereby, I knew with certainty I was prepared as I ever could be to re-enter Katie and Hector’s world.

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For those of you who might never have had the pleasure of joy reading this novel, let me select a few quotations from my original review – both from what I shared with Book Browse after first reading the ARC and what I expounded upon on Jorie Loves A Story thereafter.

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The inertia of reality that besots you as soon as you enter into the world of The Spirit Keeper, is quite a hard bullet to bite, because before you can wrap your eyes and heart around what your visually aware of, your niched into the story! I credit this to the author, as Laugheed endeavours you to jump straight out of your comfort zone, wholly free-falling into a brutal, raw, and untamed section of the American Frontier in the mid-1700s and take a quest towards unraveling the complexities of building a new life in a foreign land. The thematics that are entrenched in the story parlay an exposition on language, translation, and sense of being. She readily elevates our awareness that our words can draw an impact that is not always aware to us, but like the life paths we are walking, we are not always in charge of their meaning or purpose of use.

I will lament, that if you’re a reader who begs off for lighter faire, you might want to caution yourself, as within Chapter One, the author does not hold back on the grim realities of what it was like in the 1700s when an Indian War Party descended upon a settler’s family.

The beauty of the outside world envelopes you from the jump-start, as the open wilderness is the footing for setting this story outside the reach of our known world. Even for those of us who are akin to the natural environment and the inhabitants therein, there is still so much of that world that is readily just outside our scope, outside our understanding. The Native Americans who are on the forefront of the story, evoke a cultural education into accepting stark differences of living, as much as embracing traditions that hold merit  (such as the menstrual huts for women).

Flickerments of “Medicine Man” (the motion picture) streamed through my mind, as did “Dances with Wolves” (the motion picture), as in each story, those who only spoke English, learnt to adapt and to live amongst the natives by which they found themselves belonging too better than their own kind. I am drawn into stories that attach us to whole new cultures, traditions, religions, and walks of life. Stories that etch into our imaginations a wholly new world, where there are similarities, but otherwise, as we dip into their narratives, we find ourselves in a foreign land, attempting to understand what we cannot yet conceive possible.

An incredible journey of self-preservation, fortitude of spirit, and overwhelming grief: I was not quite prepared for the journey that Katie, Syawa, and Hector embark upon! It wasn’t so much the long distances that they must traverse through rough hewn terrain, but rather, they are each going through a personal, intimate, internal journey concurrent to their outward journey towards the men’s originating homeland! Each is carrying secrets of their own experiences, and in Katie’s instance, her life is muddled and blighted with far more devastation than anyone could ill-afford possible to a seventeen year old young lady!

Her lot in life has been tempered by abuse and misguided notions of love, unto where she has encouraged a naïve sense of the living world, and has grown an ignorance of how right a life can be lived! I grieved for her and bleed emotions with her recollections of past memories,.. memories that were nearly too hard to bare and to ruminatively lay pause upon. It is through Syawa’s gentleness and effective way of easing her out of her shell, that she truly started to see who she was and who she could be. I only wish I could pronounce Syawa’s name, as I feel as guilty she does in her own story, about the misunderstandings that evolve out of not understanding language and meaning of words, phrases, or names outside our own native tongues!

Language & Translation: the Invisible Barriers we never foresee: Laugheed paints a clear window towards our greatest struggle in accepting and understanding each other, as we present ourselves to each other in our conversations! Each inflection of tone, voice, and the words we use to explain ourselves, can lead us down a path of misunderstanding and of misalignment in what we are attempting to represent as our thoughts, hopes, dreams, and passions. Throughout the story, we are seeing the story as a first-hand account of a diary the protagonist is writing to assert her own history back in her life, as she’s amongst those who do not understand the necessity of having a living history or a story to be told of one’s heritage. She values her experiences, her struggles of faith, and the lessons she is ought being taught as she walks forward into her future. She hasn’t had the easiest of lives, but she isn’t going to allow herself to wallow in the situations she could never effectively change, but rather, pull out a strength deep from within her, to carry her through the tribulations that she was certain were still to come.

Whilst she’s (Katie O’ Toole) recounting her days in her diary, I mused about how this differed from the diary of Robinson Crusoe as it contained more of her essence, her internal quagmire of thoughts, and the irrevocable distraught by which she plagued herself with for most of her arduous journey towards Syawa and Hector’s homeland. From the moment I read the opening page, by which the author departed a precognitive knowledge of how the story might transform as you read the words, I was left with a museful pre-occupation of how that would transpire, and further still, of one particular scene that I had presumed was forgotten within the re-writes and draughts, leading up to publication! However, this falls perfectly into this category of observation about ‘language and translation’, about how what we first perceive to be just and truth, can altogether change and alter, either by the different perception we’ve learnt through experience OR through reading a book that is quite unlike another! This book truly lives up to the proportions of what Laugheed mentions at the start gate: the words transcend their own meaning as you etch closer to the ending, the whole of the story is much larger than the sum of the parts as they are revealed!

In this way,  she is giving each of us to turn on our heels, the gross misconception of how we drink in words, knowledge, and observational data. The reader is very much at the heart of this story, and I think, is as central as Katie’s voice in re-telling her own history. What is humbling too, is how as our knowledge expands, the words that were once lost on us, as being completely irreverent suddenly take on new meanings, as they now evoke an ’emotion’, a ‘resolution’, or a ‘truth’ we did not understand previously. An Irish girl cast out into the wilderness of the wild frontier, with two Indian’s as her sole guides and protectors, makes for a curious precept initially, but it’s how they interact with each other, during the everyday hours, that Laugheed excels in not disappointing her reader! She never makes their interactions dull or predictable, because she has woven their personalities into the core of how they interact with each other! You pick up little character traits that come to play a larger part of the story as it threads through its climax, but inside these key portals of frontier life in campsites and canoes, you start to see how its possible to thread a new life together out of the ashes of the old! In this way, I was quietly savouring each exchange between the threesome, curious how they would come to depend on each other, and how they would draw strength by each others’ presence.

The art of story-telling plays a center part of The Spirit Keeper’s heart, but it’s the transformative power of understanding the words that are imparted throughout the story, that turn everything into a new light once the conclusion arrives. What the reader first mistook as a course of events, was truly a resounding precognitive journey that guided two characters forward into a future they would not have been strong enough to embrace otherwise. It’s the redemptive nature of grasping a hold of the essence of those who pass forward and away from our living world that is truly the most remarkable arc of the story! For we all have the ability to be a keeper of a spirit whose touched us deeply and left us remorseful for their presence! We only need the strength to transcend our perception and view our experiences from a different angle to see how the threads stitch together the pattern of our living tapestry!

An environmental conscience: Is cleverly hidden within the context of the story, but is one of the inclusions that I found to be the most illuminating to see!! I oft have found myself the most happiest amongst the trees, rivers, lakes, streams, and out-of-door hideaways that only a person can walk to find! Nature’s door is ever beckoning us to re-enter that sacred space between the natural world and the world by which we live as men. We are drawn towards nature as keenly as we are attached to water as a source of lifeblood, but it isn’t always an easy attachment to maintain, when the hectic nature of our lifestyles can circumvent our efforts to keep our hearts and souls aligned with the seasons and timescape of the natural world just past our windows! Laugheed draws a breath of vitality into the forest, where you can nearly hear the echoings of the trees, the rushing power of the rivers, and the harmonious tickings of the inhabitants therein. I appreciated that the animals that were killed in the book were used for what they could give back to the ones who fell them. I always respected this aspect of Native American beliefs, as they take what they need and only what they can use, at the time they go hunting. It’s a beautiful circle of life, as nothing is wasted and everything is respected. She wants you to see the beauty past what you expect to find whilst out in the deep woods, as the forest plays a fourth character or rather, that of a narrator that has not yet found its voice.

-quoted from my review of The Spirit Keeper

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#HistoricalMondays | Book Review | “The Gift of the Seer” [long awaited sequel to “The Spirit Keeper” (2013)] by K.B. LaugheedThe Gift of the Seer
by K.B. Laugheed
Source: Direct from Author

Katie O' Toole's epic adventure began in "The Spirit Keeper" (Plume 2013) when she was rescued from a 1747 frontier massacre only to find herself chosen as the "Spirit Keeper" of a dying Indian seer. She hesitated to accept this mysterious obligation until she fell in love with the Seer's bodyguard, an Indian man she called Hector.

Much has happened since my last writing,..

In The Gift of the Seer, Katie and Hector continue their journey across the continent, but the more Katie learns about the peculiar ways of her husband's people, the more she dreads arriving at their destination. Will anyone believe she is the Spirit Keeper she pretends to be? Equally troubling, Katie knows the Seer expected her to prove his Vision - a Vision which foretold of infinite Invaders coming to his world - but to prove this prophecy, she must give his people the great Gift he also predicted. The only problem is that Katie has no gift to give.

Years pass as she desperately searches for a way to fulfill her promise to the dead Seer, but when his former rival threatens to expose her as a fraud, Katie finally understands that her life and the life of all the people in her new world hang in the balance. That's when she knows she must give a Gift - she must - before it is too late.

Did you honestly think you could get so much and give nothing in return?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1732886216

Genres: Feminist Historical Fiction, Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Literary Fiction, Magical Realism, Native American Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Women's Studies


Published by Self Published Author

on 7th January, 2019

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 372

the spirit keeper duology:

The Spirit keeper & the gift of the seer

This is a Self-Published novel

Available Formats: Hardback, Paperback and Ebook

Converse on Twitter: #GiftOfTheSeer, #TheSpiritKeeper Sequel + #KBLaugheed
as well as #HistNov + #HistoricalFiction or #HistFic

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About K.B. Laugheed

The Gift of the Seer by K.B. Laugheed

K.B. Laugheed is an organic gardener and master naturalist who wrote her first published novel, The Spirit Keeper, as part penance for the sins of her family’s pioneer past, part tribute to all our ancestors, and part grandiose delusion as she hopes to remind modern Americans of the grim price we paid for the glorious life we take for granted today.

But The Spirit Keeper is not a story about guilt. It’s about gratitude.

The Gift of the Seer is officially available worldwide as it was published on the 7th of January, 2019.

To support the author directly, kindly consider purchasing her novels through her online store.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 11 February, 2019 by jorielov in #HistoricalMondays, #JorieLovesIndies, 18th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Browse, Book Review (non-blog tour), Brothers and Sisters, Bullies and the Bullied, Colonial America, Coming-Of Age, Content Note, Cultural & Religious Traditions, Cultural Heritage, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Diary Accountment of Life, Domestic Violence, Early Colonial America, Environmental Conscience, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, First Impressions, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Folklore, Genre-bender, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, History, Horror-Lite, Indie Author, Kidnapping or Unexplained Disappearances, Life Shift, Literary Fiction, Loss of an unbourne child, Magical Realism, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Midwives & Childbirth, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Motherhood | Parenthood, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Multicultural Marriages & Families, Native American Fiction, Native American Spirituality, Old World Arts & Crafts, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Prejudicial Bullying & Non-Tolerance, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Psychological Abuse, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Self-Published Author, Siblings, Sisterhood friendships, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Social Change, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Story in Diary-Style Format, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, Taboo Relationships & Romance, Terminal Illness &/or Cancer, The American Frontier, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Unexpected Pregnancy, Vulgarity in Literature, Wilderness Adventures, Women's Health