Category: Dating & Humour Therein

Author Guest Post | “All That Jazz: how music soothes the savage author” a topic explored by Jennifer Lamont Leo whose recently released the second novel in Jorie’s beloved #INSPY series: the Roaring Twenties Novels!

Posted Thursday, 17 May, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Guest Contributor and/or Reviewer of JLAS banner created by Jorie in Canva.

 

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Today, I have the wonderfully lovely joy of welcoming the INSPY author I have truly *loved!* reading per each new release she is blessing our readerly lives with reading: the Roaring Twenties Novels by Jennifer Lamont Leo encapsulate a timelessness your expecting out of a series set during the early Nineteen Hundreds whilst the heart she pours into her characters and the world in which they thrive is quite the lovely experience as you soak inside her narratives!

These stories are gentle on the heart, uplift the mind and are a true inspiration to be reading as they are cleanly written for readers seeking a respite out of the offerings of the mainstream whilst providing you convicting story-lines which seek to be dramatic as much as they are historically authentic to the era in which they are set. In essence, the stories have become a happy delight of mine to be reading each time Ms Lamont Leo entices us with a new installment whilst we follow in the footsteps of Marjorie Corriagn, her family and her eclectic group of friends!

As you might have remembered, I had a different start to [2018] and haven’t had the best of health during the [Spring] therefore, I opted to host Ms Lamont Leo today with a topic of her own choosing which talked about a topic I could personally relate to myself – in essence, despite not realising what the topic would entail, somehow I ‘lucked out’ finding a kindred spirit in Ms Lamont Leo! (as I will be explaining in a moment!)

Without a moment to delay, kindly make sure your favourite cuppa is brewed & let’s find out what Ms Lamont Leo wanted to share with us about ‘music, books & the art of writing’ – however, before we tuck into her essay, let me give you a summarised impression of why her writing style is especially keen in my readerly heart:

Ms Lamont Leo has such an ease about her narrative – she drops you straight back into her plot, giving us ample reason to feel a reason for wanting to take up residence therein and allows us the beauty of joy to re-align ourselves with her characters from one installment of her series to the next. The only regret I have is knowing the stories between the novels are still strictly only released into ebook formats, rather than being included in the forthcoming novels, released separately in print or perhaps even in audiobook. The latter is the option I am enjoying discovering lately, as was the case with Ms Becky Wade’s Bradford Sisters Romance series – where I could enjoy the prequel novella in audio ahead of reading the two novels in print. I do hope other authors might take that route as it helps those of us who are traditional readers to seek out the stories which inter-connect a series together.

I enjoyed noting Marjorie made her own wedding dress – she always had a knack for design and it’s something she enjoyed doing all along. Of course, I had forgotten how her sense of style in ready-made fashion had the tendency to make Dot cringe – laughs – but the good nature and spirit of friendship seems to settle all disputes such as those! I liked how Ms Lamont Leo continues to strengthen the background of the series by the breadth of her characters – of giving them dimension and heartache, whereas the dramatic bits are lead-ups to either redemptive sequences or new beginnings.

The series never shies away from the harder realities of both the era and of the individuals who populate the series – as this is 1929, from our perspective, we know the Crash is imminent but for people like Charlie who wanted to take a risk on their future, 1929 felt like the year their tides could not just change but become substantially better. Knowing the fuller scope of the history though, you nearly cringe awaiting the fall-out and the repercussions of what happens once everyone realises the full weight of how the stock market would affect their lives. It is a good place to hinge the series – in the 1920s, as the Twenties had such a lifeblood of American life within their decade. Not just in music and art, but in the sequencing of events which would define generations yet to come.

In the background of the series, there is an impression of INSPY living practices and of the Christian faith – not overtly so, but rather, spoken about as it relates to signature moments within Ms Lamont Leo’s characters’ lives or as takeaway conversations therein where someone is trying to sort through something rather important. It never feels forced and if anything, it shows a healthy outlook on how faith and life collide together – how sometimes you don’t see boundaries or barriers even if they exist in front of you. It also takes stock at how different people move in and out of their faith, how faith is defined for different people and of course, the other side of the spectrum entirely where faith might become soured by a bad influence.

One interesting bit of trivia is how the titles of the series relate to songs made popular during Marjorie Corrigan and Dot’s era, as this is brought full to life by how Dot is seen singing the titled songs at Veronica’s party. It is wonderful continuity but also, it is a keen way of bridging together how the series is rooted in it’s time-line of influence.

-quoted from my review of Ain’t Misbehavin’

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Author Guest Post | “All That Jazz: how music soothes the savage author” a topic explored by Jennifer Lamont Leo whose recently released the second novel in Jorie’s beloved #INSPY series: the Roaring Twenties Novels!Ain't Misbehavin' (Guest Post on Music)
Subtitle: A Roaring Twenties Novel
by Jennifer Lamont Leo

In Jazz Age Chicago, Dot Rodgers sells hats at Marshall Field while struggling to get her singing career off the ground. Independent and feisty, she’s the life of the party. But underneath the glitter, she doesn’t believe she’s worth the love of a good man. Why would a strong, upstanding man want to build a future with a shallow, good-time girl like her?

Small-town businessman Charlie Corrigan carries scars from the Great War. After all he’s been through, he wants nothing more than to marry and start a family. But the woman he loves is a flamboyant flapper with no intention of settling down. She’s used to a more glamorous life than he can offer. As his fortunes climb with the stock market, it seems he’s finally going to win her love. But what happens when it all comes crashing down?

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781946016423

Also by this author: You're the Cream in my Coffee, Ain't Misbehavin'

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


on 13th March, 2018

Published By: Smitten Historical Romance

an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #HistFic + #INSPY

About Jennifer Lamont Leo

Jennifer Lamont Leo

With a passion for all things historical, Jennifer Lamont Leo captures readers’ hearts through stories set in times gone by. She is also a copywriter, editor, and journalist. An Illinois native, she holds a deep affection for Chicago and its rich history. Today she writes from the mountains of northern Idaho, where she shares her home with her husband, two cats, and abundant wildlife.

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Posted Thursday, 17 May, 2018 by jorielov in 20th Century, Author Guest Post (their topic), Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Dating & Humour Therein, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Realistic Fiction, the Roaring Twenties

Blog Book Tour | “Ain’t Misbehavin'” (Book No. 2 of the Roaring Twenties novels) by Jennifer Lamont Leo Otherwise known as the debut INSPY novelist Jorie happily discovered last year!

Posted Monday, 14 May, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

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! I received a complimentary copy of “Ain’t Misbehavin’” direct from the author Jennifer Lamont Leo 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 was especially wicked thrilled to have discovered Jennifer Lamont Leo:

A most enjoyable reading experience was being curled up inside this beautifully lovely debut novel, of which I hope will become the guiding light towards deepening the appreciation of Ms Corrigan’s adventures in successive installments of the series. Mind, I hope it does readily become a full-on series of novels, because the foundation laid down in the shoes & mind of Ms Corrigan are to be treasured!

You simply get swept away into this novel: from Dot’s flapper lifestyle to Ms Corrigan’s journey back to centre and the emergence of what became of Jack; you’re truly settled into the flowing narrative of how one woman chose to take the reigns of her life and do something rather incredible with her time. Especially brilliant, is through her dedicated research she was able to bring to light, the incredibly fast-paced life of working at Marshall Field’s. In of itself, those passages were some of my favourite because the author truly tapped into how working in a popular department store is both tiring and endlessly engaging in how to keep up with the customers!

There are so many wonderful passages – of where Ms Corrigan is realising who she is for the very first time and of the mistakes that come from daring to live outside your comfort zones. Ms Lamont Leo has etched out a heroine you want to rally behind and learn more about in successive volumes of a series you can only hope has first sparked to life in You’re the Cream in my Coffee.

Truly, a sweet novel for those who love Inspiring HistFic with a glimmer of a pinch of Romance set in an exciting period of history whilst coming alive with a coming-of age story that is simply not meant to be missed! Definitely my first #unputdownable read of the New Year: 2017! Such a blessing to have been on this blog tour!

As an aside, the truer blessing was having such an inspiring read on hand whilst I fought my way back into the joys of reading once again. This was a beautiful story to get lost inside and feel your spirit renew itself against the pages of drama evolving in and out of Ms Corrigan’s search for individual truth & the path she was meant to walk.

-quoted from my review of You’re the Cream in my Coffee

I didn’t enter [2017] at the best of circumstances as my head, heart and spirit were still recovering from the medical crisis of my father’s stroke from the previous November. However, when I found stories like this one – penned by Ms Lamont Leo, I found myself recovering my spirit and fortitude to move forward both in life and in my reading adventures one story at a time. It was back then when I had considered for another considerable amount of time if I were to continue to blog my reading life or even tweet my readerly joy – if you fast forward to how [2018] began, I have had new reasons to find a renewal of bookish joy just as pertinent as it was to find them in [2017].

The end of the year [2017] concluded as hard as it began, followed by a difficult start to Spring, similar to the previous one – where it was my health which was being affected not my father’s. As I start to shift forward in both my blogging life and my readerly adventures – I’m finding myself happily museful for my return to reading INSPY Lit more regularly if you caught sight of my 5th Blogoversary post and my recent Spotlight w/ Notes on behalf of the Bradford Sisters Romance series – as we start to shift into Summer, my readings of INSPY will happily continue to expand.

This year, I was delighted beyond measure finding out the sequel was going on a blog tour – truly humbled and blessed I could join it and finding myself wicked anxious to dive back into Marjorie Corrigan’s life!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Ain’t Misbehavin'” (Book No. 2 of the Roaring Twenties novels) by Jennifer Lamont Leo Otherwise known as the debut INSPY novelist Jorie happily discovered last year!Ain't Misbehavin'
Subtitle: A Roaring Twenties Novel
by Jennifer Lamont Leo
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

In Jazz Age Chicago, Dot Rodgers sells hats at Marshall Field while struggling to get her singing career off the ground. Independent and feisty, she’s the life of the party. But underneath the glitter, she doesn’t believe she’s worth the love of a good man. Why would a strong, upstanding man want to build a future with a shallow, good-time girl like her?

Small-town businessman Charlie Corrigan carries scars from the Great War. After all he’s been through, he wants nothing more than to marry and start a family. But the woman he loves is a flamboyant flapper with no intention of settling down. She’s used to a more glamorous life than he can offer. As his fortunes climb with the stock market, it seems he’s finally going to win her love. But what happens when it all comes crashing down?

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781946016423

Also by this author: You're the Cream in my Coffee, Ain't Misbehavin' (Guest Post on Music)

Also in this series: You're the Cream in my Coffee


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


Published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

on 13th March, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 199

Published By: Smitten Historical Romance

an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #HistFic + #INSPY

About Jennifer Lamont Leo

Jennifer Lamont Leo

With a passion for all things historical, Jennifer Lamont Leo captures readers’ hearts through stories set in times gone by. She is also a copywriter, editor, and journalist. An Illinois native, she holds a deep affection for Chicago and its rich history. Today she writes from the mountains of northern Idaho, where she shares her home with her husband, two cats, and abundant wildlife.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 14 May, 2018 by jorielov in 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Dating & Humour Therein, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Realistic Fiction, the Roaring Twenties

Blog Book Tour | “Forever A Father” (Book One: Delaneys of Sandpiper Beach series) by Lynne Marshall part of #Harlequin Special Edition

Posted Friday, 2 March, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

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

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

I received a complimentary copy of “Forever A Father” direct from the author Lynne Marshall in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I wanted to read this story:

Even before I started reading the story, I appreciated what was being disclosed in the Author’s Note as I love reading all the little ‘extras’ included with stories. Harlequin puts these notes right at the beginning of the books – this way, it feels like you personally know a bit of keen insight about the characters, the setting or the thread of narrative your about to embark inside! Before I mention what warmed my heart about the note itself – I wanted to say, I love reading about families. Either the traditional kind or the unconventional – I love when people come together where love is concerned and where children also play a part in their story.

This novel is about a single Mum and her daughter, Anna whose become smitten with her boss, the doctor; in of itself, this was enough to draw my eye into wanting to read the book! I love second chance romances and new beginnings – those two themes are some of the most uplifting to be reading and this is why I love seeking them out! I also, was thankfully remembering to ‘double-check’ if this was a series in-progress or one which was just about to begin: cheers, dear hearts, Jorie finally finds a ‘first’ of a series for Harlequin! Laughs with mirth.

Now, back to the author’s note – my smile grew as I read Keela is from Ireland and the doctor is one of three brothers of whom has a family who owns one of the hotels at this seaside slice of paradise! I oft wondered what it would be like to live so close to the ocean – of hearing the serenity of that setting as the waves crash and the gulls cry. The saltiness of the air and the fact, your never in wont for conversation as there is a high volume of people constantly coming and going. All in, you can see what was so very tempting for me to be reading this novel!

PS: Isn’t the cover art delightful? You can almost see why Anna felt such a strong kinship with the doctor and he to her – he had a natural instinct for children even if part of him feared he might not yet be ready for fatherhood (per the extract I recently shared).

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Blog Book Tour | “Forever A Father” (Book One: Delaneys of Sandpiper Beach series) by Lynne Marshall part of #Harlequin Special EditionForever A Father
by Lynne Marshall
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

“Will you be my dad?”

Ask me anything but that.

Once upon a time, Dr. Daniel Delaney had it all. But he lost it in the blink of an eye, and he won’t let himself fall again—not even for his dedicated new assistant, Keela O’Mara, and her adorable, lonely little girl, Anna. Resisting a starry-eyed four-year-old is tough enough. Denying her perfect, loving single mom may be more than Daniel can handle…

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335465641

Also by this author: Book Spotlight w/ Notes: Forever A Father

Also in this series: Book Spotlight w/ Notes: Forever A Father


Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Motherhood | Parenthood, Women's Fiction


Published by Harlequin Books

on 22nd February, 2018

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 218

Published by: Special Edition (@HarlequinBooks) | imprint of Harlequin

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

Happily there are more installments for this book series:

Soldier Handyman Family Man by Lynne MarshallReunited with the Sheriff by Lynne Marshall

Soldier, Handyman, Family Man | Synopsis | Pub Day: 20th March, 2018

Reunited with the Sheriff | Synopsis | Pub Day: 17th April, 2018

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin

About Lynne Marshall

Lynne Marshall

Lynne Marshall has been traditionally published with Harlequin as a category romance author for more than ten years with over twenty-five books, and more recently with TULE Publishing, she has also gone hybrid with self-publishing. She is a Southern California native, has been married to a New Englander for a long time, and has two adult children of whom she is super proud. She is also an adoring grandmother of two beautiful little girls, a woman of faith, a dog lover, a cat admirer, a meandering walker, a curious traveler, and an optimistic participant in this wild journey called life.

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Posted Friday, 2 March, 2018 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Child out of Wedlock, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Humour Therein, Disillusionment in Marriage, Divorce & Martial Strife, Family Life, Indie Author, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Life Shift, Loss of an unbourne child, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Single Mothers, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne Fiction, Women's Fiction, Women's Health

Audiobook Blog Tour | “Meeting Lydia” by Linda MacDonald

Posted Friday, 17 February, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a new blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I started hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions at the end of [2016] during “The Cryptic Lines” tour wherein I became quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Meeting Lydia” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the author Linda MacDonald) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I wanted to read this story:

Shortly ahead of this review, I posted an author guest post in relation to the topical inclusions of ‘Meeting Lydia’ where the author and I share different points of view on behalf of being bullied whilst being integrated into a co-ed learning environment which was once boys-only.

I do find stories like this which seek out the social-psychological perspectives to be most interesting to read – as we all react differently to situations we might share in common. In essence, despite the amount of bullying I’ve endured in my life, I have yet to find another who has experienced the same who felt the way I did about all of it. I do credit my rebounding approach to find the goodness in others and to find something to be thankful for each day. Whilst my parents were steadfast in their support but also had the foresight to pull me in and out of public and private schools to where I was never in the same bad situation twice even if it repeated at another school.

To me though, this did not initially feel like a story of someone who was once bullied and lateron had issues moving forward in life but rather it presented itself more of a mid-life change of philosophy about life, love and second chances when it comes to romance and relationships. How to off-set hormonal changes as well (ie. menopause) and how to deal with possible regrets (of roads not taken) which might come back to haunt someone whose still not quite where they wanted to be at the age in which they felt their lives would have been fully resolved by now.
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Audiobook Blog Tour | “Meeting Lydia” by Linda MacDonaldMeeting Lydia
by Linda MacDonald
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Harriet Carmichael

Edward Harvey. Even thinking his name made her tingle with half-remembered childlike giddiness. Edward Harvey, the only one from Brocklebank to whom she might write if she found him.”

Marianne Hayward, teacher of psychology and compulsive analyser of the human condition, is hormonally unhinged. The first seven years of her education were spent at a boys’ prep school, Brocklebank Hall, where she was relentlessly bullied. From the start, she was weak and frightened and easy prey for Barnaby Sproat and his gang. Only one boy was never horrible to her: the clever and enigmatic Edward Harvey, on whom she developed her first crush.

Now 46, when Marianne finds her charming husband in the kitchen talking to the glamorous Charmaine, her childhood insecurities resurface and their once-happy marriage begins to slide. Teenage daughter Holly persuades her to join Friends Reunited, which results in both fearful and nostalgic memories of prep school as Marianne wonders what has become of the bullies and of Edward Harvey. Frantic to repair her marriage, yet rendered snappy and temperamental by her plummeting hormones, her attempts towards reconciliation fail.

The answer to all her problems could lie in finding Edward again...
But what would happen if she found what she seeks?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ASIN: B01N74OZJ5

Also by this author:

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Women's Fiction


Published by Essential Music

on 17th November, 2016

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 8 hours and 43 minutes (unabridged)

About Linda MacDonald

Linda Macdonald

Born and brought up in the town of Cockermouth in the Lake District in England, Linda MacDonald has a degree in psychology from Goldsmiths’, London University, and a PGCE in biology and science. She retired in 2012 from teaching psychology in a 6th Form College in order to focus on writing, and has now published three print novels, the first of which is now an audiobook. She lives in Beckenham in Greater London, and travels to speak to various groups about the inspiration behind the ‘Lydia’ series and the psychology of internet relationships.

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Posted Friday, 17 February, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Dating & Humour Therein, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Modern Day, Realistic Fiction, Sociology, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction

Guest Post | “How I Came to Write ‘Meeting Lydia'” by Linda MacDonald whilst talking about bullying, internet relationships & midlife

Posted Monday, 13 February, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Guest Contributor and/or Reviewer of JLAS banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, dear hearts! To be perfectly fair – when it came time to start to host ‘Meeting Lydia’, I had completely forgotten I had signed on to host a guest (author) feature, until of course, the day arrived where my particular guest feature was arriving by email! This intriguingly current topical essay landed in my Inbox, much to my chagrin – as how was it possible I was receiving a guest feature, I honestly had no memory of sending off to be responded too? I must confess – somewhere between November and now, my memories are a bit ‘altered’ by circumstance(s).

Quite pleasantly, as I was reading over the proof of the draft sent to me, I noticed the author touched on some key cornerstones of not only her life but the life of Lydia, her lead protagonist. I did not quite agree with some of the sentiments shared as being someone who was bullied in school and outside of it, I had different takeaways – for instance, I came out of being bullied a bit differently. If anything part of what inspired me forward to graduating as early as I could was to be free of the confines of school, where in effect bullies can thrive because it’s a ‘closed shoppe’ of situations limited in scope to the school grounds. It’s much easier to ‘walk away’ when you have freedom of movement and accessibility of exit options. I never felt due to being bullied, I was ‘less than’ my peers – if anything, the words stung, the assaults on my character hurt my soul (how could they not?) but throughout the bad days, I had two wicked fierce supporters in my corner: my Mum and Dad. They picked me up when life dragged me into the gutters of emotional anguish and angst – they gave me a renewed sense of self and they helped me dodge my worst aggressors by changing schools or districts. In essence, they were my advocates before I gained the strength to voice my own advocacy and stand up for the rights I knew were innate and inherent to all.

Each of us who is bullied has a different response mechanism and each of us is bullied in different ways. I still have moments where bullies find me and try to find a way to erode my serenity… even online, you will find bullies who seek to destroy you (as I have found since being a book blogger and tweeter); however, the key is always to strive to live your own personal truth, own your truth and not to let others change your perspective on who you are nor the worth you have within you to share to the world. I can only hope those who are bullied can find strength in their selves as I have over the years, and may they have a blessed supportive network of friends and/or family such as I have as well.

As a side note, I was one of the first girls who integrated into an all-boys secondary school – it turnt out to be the best year of my life, because the boys and I respected each other to the degree of learning more during our 6th Year than any year which came after it straight through high school graduation. I realise this might sound unique – but for me, the co-ed classrooms were in their infancy and due to the gradual way in which girls’ were being added to the student body, allowed us a bit more flexibility to find our wings to fit in with our peers. It wasn’t without it’s hurdles, mind you, as it was a large campus and entertained seven different grade levels – however, for my own personal sphere and grade, it was heaven. I felt bad when I learnt of the author’s own experiences – as apparently, the school she attended was going through more growing pains with the transitional period than my own.

Also, I never heard of ‘bullying’ being a rite of passage – if anything, it was the unspoken, often ‘unaddressed’ behaviour of childhood. Similar to learning difficulties being cast aside for the attempt to mainstream children without addressing their individual learning needs and/or help them learn at a pace which befitted their own intellectual abilities. The old standby of ‘one method of learning’ for everyone never sat well with me. I find it heart-warming and remarkable, the author found a cathartic self-ending resolution to her years being bullied – to turn inward and outward within the vein of writing a novel had to be quite remarkable seeing the words light up the pages – turning personal strife into a release of positive energy to touch other lives and tell a portion of her own story in the process. Writers are fuelled by personal experiences, memories and the internalisation of everything we can breathe through our souls whilst we live our lives – to find a way to use transformative narrative to set a back-story for a character is writerly bliss – especially if it taps into something a lot of people can relate too, even if circumstances differ – we can all be empathic to the shared reality.

I hadn’t realised the story-line was going to delve into bullying – as at the time I signed on for the tour, I was focusing on the two other aspects of it’s narrative: midlife, second chance romance and the hormonal changes a woman goes through during menopause. Mostly as I grew up watching “The Golden Girls”, ached to watch “Maude”, cheered for Diane Lane in “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “Must Love Dogs” and have found mid-life stories and second chance romances of characters past thirty-ten to be some of my most beloved finds as both a reader and a film appreciator. Not everyone has the chance to meet their true love or find their true happiness in both life or life at a younger age where longevity in marriage might feel either daunting or an exciting adventure. 

To have the story layered through strife and self-esteem issues is an interesting angle to dissect. I also appreciated the author taking the lead on this essay and giving me a though-provoking ‘start’ to share with everyone following the blog tour. I look forward to your comments in the threads below – especially if you can relate to the topic today and/or are interested in listening/reading the story. If you’ve already read the story, I’d be keen to know your reactions to the author’s guest post. Due return in a few short days, as I’ll be revealling my own impressions on how ‘Meeting Lydia’ resonated with me. Until then, brew a cuppa and enjoy the author’s revelations about how she approached writing this novel.
Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Meeting Lydia by Linda Macdonald

Edward Harvey. Even thinking his name made her tingle with half-remembered childlike giddiness. Edward Harvey, the only one from Brocklebank to whom she might write if she found him.”

Marianne Hayward, teacher of psychology and compulsive analyser of the human condition, is hormonally unhinged. The first seven years of her education were spent at a boys’ prep school, Brocklebank Hall, where she was relentlessly bullied. From the start, she was weak and frightened and easy prey for Barnaby Sproat and his gang. Only one boy was never horrible to her: the clever and enigmatic Edward Harvey, on whom she developed her first crush.

Now 46, when Marianne finds her charming husband in the kitchen talking to the glamorous Charmaine, her childhood insecurities resurface and their once-happy marriage begins to slide. Teenage daughter Holly persuades her to join Friends Reunited, which results in both fearful and nostalgic memories of prep school as Marianne wonders what has become of the bullies and of Edward Harvey. Frantic to repair her marriage, yet rendered snappy and temperamental by her plummeting hormones, her attempts towards reconciliation fail. The answer to all her problems could lie in finding Edward again… But what would happen if she found what she seeks?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

School Bullying, Internet Relationships and Midlife Love

How I came to write Meeting Lydia

Guest post by Linda MacDonald

When I was 5 years old and living on the edge of England’s Lake District, my parents sent me as a day girl to a boys’ private boarding school. They thought it would be less rough than the local elementary. They were wrong. Girls were scattered thinly throughout the school and from the age of 9 to 10, I was the only girl in the class. I was bullied. It was the usual stuff: name-calling, stealing equipment, being left out. No single incident was what you might call ‘serious’, but it happened every day. And if someone makes fun of you often enough, you begin to believe it.

In the past bullying was accepted as a rite of passage, even ‘character building’. But does it really help children to cope better as adults? The Kidscape children’s charity thinks not. In a survey of 1000 adults, they found early bullying experiences often led to a lack of self esteem. Some reported depression, shyness, and less likelihood of success in education, the workplace or in social relationships. Most said they felt bitter and angry about their experiences. Read More

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Posted Monday, 13 February, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Author Guest Post (their topic), Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Dating & Humour Therein, Indie Author, Modern Day, Realistic Fiction, Sociology, Women's Fiction

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