Category: Multicultural Marriages & Families

Book Review | “The Lost Girl” by Liz Harris #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 15 April, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and created #ChocLitSaturday (the chat via @ChocLitSaturday):

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of marriage enveloped by characters written honestly whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read!

I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other!

I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb! Whilst sorting out how promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

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

Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. As of June 2016, I became a member of the ChocLit Stars Team in tandem with being on the Cover Reveal Team which I joined in May 2016. I reference the Stars as this is a lovely new reader contribution team of sending feedback to the publisher ahead of new book releases. As always, even if I’m involved with a publisher in this sort of fashion, each review is never influenced by that participation and will always be my honest impression as I read the story. Whether the author is one I have previously read or never had the pleasure to read until the book greets my shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Lost Girl” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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

I wasn’t surprised that Ms Harris tackled another hard-hitting dramatic story-line in her new book The Lost Girl as I have previously come to find she has a way of elevating historical fiction to an emotional keel of clarity. There is a richness to her stories – she dares to capitalise on the emotional heart of her character’s journey; even within the pages of A Bargain Struck this was true, and she did it by taking a seemingly ordinary story-line and moulding it into such a convicting story of life, love and second chances.

Harris has a way to broaching History with such a refinement of shaping the past through a lens of eloquence and clarity, that you simply devour her stories. I appreciate finding an author whose not only dedicated to research but dedicated to writing the stories she’s most passionate telling to a readership whose thankful she’s writing her heart out. – originally shared on the cover reveal for this novel

Dear hearts, I have truly been itching to read this particular release by Ms Harris for well over a year! I learnt about bits of the story whilst chatting during #ChocLitSaturday and the more I would learn about the heart of this novel, the more I dearly wanted to read it! I was meant to receive this towards the close of 2016 – as the paperback release was originally flying into reader’s hands at the close of last Summer. However, it took a bit longer for this lovely novel to reach me – not that I mind! I have always felt that books reach us when we’re meant to read their stories – how are we to know which is the better time to read any particular story if we are moved by it’s chapters and it’s pearls of insights at the moment we’re tucked inside it’s pages? Reading is quite the journey – we never know which story will alight on our path or when we’re itching to read any particular story, but sometimes, we get advanced word about a story (such as this one) which simply touches our soul.

I personally love stories of immigration and adoption; these are two overlapping themes which do have the tendency of appearing through my readerly life time and time again. It’s because the two themes are quite close to my heart; my family has a strong background of ancestral emigration as much as I will be adopting out of foster care in the future. There are so many different paths to highlight both of these themes, and one thing I have credited to Ms Harris with in her previous releases for Historicals is the touching manner in which she hones in on the heart of her character’s story whilst grounding her Historical Fiction in the truism of the moment in which the story is placed to be set in History. She offers a connective threshold of emotions and timeless aspirations for finding one’s purpose and passageway through life’s ordeals. One of the reasons I love her Historicals so very much is how she interconnects the reader and her character as if the two are entwined. It’s wicked brilliant to find Historicals which feel as if you’ve left your reality and exchanged it for another person’s life if only for the expanse of the novel; but in so doing, we humbly expand our empathy, our compassion and our worldview.

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

On my Connection to Ms. Harris:

I have been hosting #ChocLitSaturday chats on a regular basis for a bit over two years now. Eleven in the morning of a Saturday, has become a favourite hour for me to exchange conversation and joy with everyone who shows up to participate in a chat centered around ChocLit novels and the Romance branch of literature in general.

Similar to my previous thoughts I shared about Ms. Courtenay, I have come to appreciate chatting with Ms. Harris, either through #ChocLitSaturdays chats or privately. She is most giving of her time and I have appreciated the opportunity to know the writer behind the stories I enjoy reading! She always shares her happy spirit in the chats too, and her insights into why she enjoys writing the books that speak to her the most.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Harris through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I host #ChocLitSaturday the chat as well as privately; I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. Similarly this applies to spotlighting new books by an author I appreciate such as this one.

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

I’m sharing both the paperback cover & the ebook cover, as I’m still a bit partial to the ebook cover, even though I respectively understand it’s not as representative of the story as much as the print book cover encompasses. I’m hoping after I’ve read the novel, I can make my final assessment, as ahead of reading it – I still lean towards the first cover. Therefore, the cover featuring the ‘small towne’ is the one on the print release.

The Lost Girl
by Liz Harris
Source: Direct from Publisher

What if you were trapped between two cultures?

Life is tough in 1870s Wyoming. But it’s tougher still when you’re a girl who looks Chinese but speaks like an American.

Orphaned as a baby and taken in by an American family, Charity Walker knows this only too well. The mounting tensions between the new Chinese immigrants and the locals in the mining town of Carter see her shunned by both communities.

When Charity’s one friend, Joe, leaves town, she finds herself isolated. However, in his absence, a new friendship with the only other Chinese girl in Carter makes her feel like she finally belongs somewhere.

But, for a lost girl like Charity, finding a place to call home was never going to be that easy…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 9781781893012

Also by this author: A Bargain Struck, Guest Post (A Western Heart) by Liz Harris, Guest Post (The Road Back) by Liz Harris, The Road Back, Book Spotlight w/ Notes (The Lost Girl), Evie Undercover, Guest Post (The Lost Girl) by Liz Harris, The Art of Deception

Genres: Emigration & Immigration, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Modern British Literature, Realistic Fiction, Western Fiction


Published by ChocLitUK

on 22nd February, 2017

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

Formats Available: Paperback & Ebook

Genre(s): Historical Fiction | Western | Adoption | Chinese-American ancestry

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

Liz Harris

Liz was born in London and now lives in South Oxfordshire with her husband. After graduating from university with a Law degree, she moved to California where she led a varied life, trying her hand at everything from cocktail waitressing on Sunset Strip to working as secretary to the CEO of a large Japanese trading company, not to mention a stint as ‘resident starlet’ at MGM. On returning to England, Liz completed a degree in English and taught for a number of years before developing her writing career.

Liz’s debut novel, The Road Back, won a Book of the Year Award from Coffee Time Romance in the USA and her second novel A Bargain Struck was shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Author Connections:

 Personal Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Converse via: #TheLostGirl & #ChocLit Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 15 April, 2017 by jorielov in 19th Century, Adoption, American Old West, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, Chinese Literature, ChocLitUK, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cultural & Religious Traditions, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Herbalist, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Immigrant Stories, Indie Author, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Multicultural Marriages & Families, Old West Americana, Orphans & Guardians, Passionate Researcher, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Realistic Fiction, Siblings, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Social Change, Stories of Adoption, Taboo Relationships & Romance, Western Fiction, World Religions

+Blog Book Tour+ Sense & Sensibility: A Latter-Day Tale by Rebecca H. Jamison A twice-published after canon author of Jane Austen’s works!

Posted Monday, 18 August, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , 5 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Sense & Sensibility Blog Tour with Cedar Fort

Sense & Sensibility: A Latter-Day Tale by Rebecca H. Jamison

Published By: Bonneville Books, ( )

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFort)

Official Author Websites: Site @RebeccaHJamison
|
Facebook | Pin(terest) Boards

Available Formats: Paperback
Page Count247

Previously she wrote: Persuasion & Emma as ‘Latter-Day Tales’ too!

Converse via: #SenseandSensibility

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “Sense & Sensibility: A Latter-Day Tale” direct from the publisher Bonneville Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read: this girl is a Janeite!

I am not sure when the exact moment occurred in my childhood, but I started to feel a kinetic bond with Jane Austen, to the brink that I knew that once I started to read her beloved works by all who already knew her, … I would become a Janeite. She simply had a convincing way of expressing life as it was lived during her own era, of the minute details of ordinary life intermingled with the reflections of a keen observant eye. My first forays into Austen’s canons was a bit of a hit/miss for me, as I began originally with “Sense & Sensibility”, although I attributed this false start due to what had been on my mind and heart at the time I had first picked it up. The gift I spoke about on my participation page for ‘Austen in August‘ is the very reason I approach this particular blog tour without the benefit of reading the canon. I wanted to reaquaint myself with the gifted books and step back through a door I had not yet fully opened.

It was not until Keira Knightley’s edition of “Pride & Prejudice” that I was able to ascertain the focus I wanted to garnish for Austen, as I nestled into a pocket edition of Pride. Forestalling my visit to the local cinema and barely making it to see the new adaptation before it left the theater completely! In my further expeditions into Classical Literature, I’ll have to talk about my passion for ‘pocket’ hardback editions, as I only briefly mention them in quirkily placed positions on my blog thus far along! Knightley’s motion picture will always hold a special place in my heart, despite what others might express on her behalf. I already ruminated previously that Colin Firth’s mini-series would be my most adored adaptation, but there is always room for adaptations that draw a measure of liberty with their scope.

*At this point in time I have not yet seen Colin Firth’s mini-series, a future viewing during Austen in August is planned

I had fully intended to read “Emma” this August, as previously disclosed but due to an increase in demand for the novel to be checked out of my local library, I had to pull it from my reading list; rather unfortunate, but in doing so, I cancelled my queue to receive “Emma: A Latter-Day Tale” as I quite literally felt I ought to wait. I’m still going to be reading “Persuasion” in step with the Jane Austen Reading Challenge, which will allow me to queue “Persuasion: A Latter-Day Tale” at that point in time. Blessedly, I have a ready copy of Persuasian on hand, and Jamison’s novels are easily acquired through ILL’ing. (inter-library loan)

You could say, in the future I shall have enough of Austen’s tomes to spread about between my personal library and the backpack I’ll take with me on my travels. The editions I’m collecting are most decidedly of the ‘bookish soul’ who appreciates not only the quality of the volumes, but the unique differences of each presentation of the text.

By joining this blog tour, I am one step closer to my goals of reading through the breadth of Jane Austen and the authors who are as transfixed on her legacy as I am myself. I am hoping participants in this year’s ‘Austen in August’ and thus forthcoming years as well, will lay their comments in the threads below and give way to a hearty conversational thread! I also plan to write a cross-comparison post at such a time as to when I can read Sense & Sensibility!

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Book Synopsis Read Aloud for Sense & Sensibility: A Latter Day Tale by BonnevilleBooks

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

As if it wasn’t bad enough to be getting food from Church welfare, I had to meet one of the Ferreros–a good-looking Ferrero, at that.

Elly Goodwin, a brilliant programmer, is so desperate for a job that she takes one from her ex-boyfriend–the same man who put her family out of business. Then she meets Ethan Ferrero, who seems too good to be true–especially for her ex’s brother-in-law. At the same time, she must help her sister Maren recover from a severe case of depression. Elly is far too busy for love, especially not with Ethan Ferrero.

Meanwhile, Elly’s dramatic sister, Maren, has recovered enough to fall in love, and when she falls, she falls hard. Elly must intercede before Maren’s passion clouds her common sense. Together, Elly and Maren must learn that a mixture of sense and sensibility is the perfect recipe for love.

Fans of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility will love this modern retelling of the classic romance novel.

Author Biography:

Rebecca H. Jamison
Photo Credit: Rachael Nelson

Rebecca H. Jamison wrote novels just for fun until she made a New Year’s resolution in 2011 to submit a manuscript to publishers. Since then, she’s published three books, starting with Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale.

Rebecca grew up in Virginia. She attended Brigham Young University, where she earned a BA and MA in English. In between college and graduate school, she served a mission to Portugal and the Cape Verde islands. Her job titles have included special education teacher’s aide, technical writer, English teacher, and stay-at-home mom.

Rebecca enjoys running, dancing, reading, and watching detective shows. She lives with her husband and children in Utah.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 18 August, 2014 by jorielov in 21st Century, Adoption, After the Canon, Austen in August, Autism, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Synopsis Read Aloud, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Bout of Books, California, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Charity & Philanthropy, Classical Literature, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Contemporary Romance, Dairy-Free Foods, Dating & Humour Therein, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Fly in the Ointment, Food Panties & Community Assistance, Foreclosure | Short Sale | House Auction, Gluten-Free Foods, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Inspired By Author OR Book, Jane Austen Sequel, Library Catalogues & Databases, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Maryland, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Modern Day, Mormonism, Multicultural Marriages & Families, Psychiatric Facilities, RALs | Thons via Blogs, Re-Told Tales, Reading Challenges, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Sense & Sensibility Re-telling, Siblings, Singletons & Commitment, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Special Needs Children, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, World Religions

+Blog Book Tour+ How Much Do You Love Me? by Paul Mark Tag An achingly passionate World War romantic drama of two courageous souls entwined!

Posted Sunday, 10 August, 2014 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

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How Much Do You Love Me? by Paul Mark Tag

How Much Do You Love Me? Blog Tour with Cedar Fort

Published By: Sweetwater Books ( ),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFort)
12 August, 2014
Official Author Websites:  Site | @Thriller_Writer | Blog | Facebook
Available Formats: Paperback
Page Count: 256

Converse via: #HowMuchDoYouLoveMe

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “How Much Do You Love Me?” direct from the publisher Sweetwater Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I have always been inspired by stories from the World Wars, the lives in which were altered by circumstances no one could control and how the human spirit survived against harrowing odds. I studied the World Wars in school but we never studied the Internment camps in the United States which displaced the lives of the Japanese who were either living here or already bonefide citizens. It is one part of my country’s history as the author himself mentions in his Preface that does not put our best foot forward. I grew up learning about Japanese culture, with a strong empathise on their fine art and musical traditions as my maternal grandparents had a fondness for their heritage. I had the kind blessing of cultivating friends from Japan in my teen and twenties, of whom introduced new layers of their heritage to me and also gave me the blessing of knowing that some parts of the past are forgiven, as one of my dearest friends was from Hiroshima. Her light of kindness and acceptance of me as a friend has not left me even though her path and mine led apart when she married. A close friend of mine from Okinawa gave me the gift of understanding multicultural families up close and personal as she married an American Marine.

Whilst knowing of the darker hues of our history are difficult to process and read through, there are enlightening moments of true heroism and strength of the will of man to not only survive but overcome injustice. I felt compelled to read this story whilst I read the synopsis as a window back through time into one family’s journey through an experience that is inconceivable. I appreciated the extras include with this novel, as the Preface delve into why Tag was inspired to relay this story as much as the Appendixes in the back are warranted to become introduced to the characters ahead of their presence and a knowledge of the terminology threaded into the story.

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Book Synopsis:How Much Do You Love Me? by Paul Mark Tag

Keiko Tanaka, along with her twin sister, Misaki, and two other siblings are first generation children of parents who emigrated from Japan in the early 1900s. Born in the US, they are American citizens. Nonetheless, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan in December of 1941, politicians whip anti-Japanese rhetoric into a frenzy, claiming that anyone who looks Japanese should be suspected of being an enemy agent of the Japanese emperor, Hirohito. Although government officials (including FBI head, J. Edgar Hoover) report no evidence supporting such suspicion, public opinion turns against the Japanese. Consequently, on February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signs Executive Order No. 9066, sealing the fate of 120,000 West Coast Japanese—including the Tanaka family of Bellevue, Washington—sending them to internment camps.

 Prior to the tumult of this anti-Japanese hysteria, Keiko falls in love with a Caucasian, James Armstrong. Contrary to their families’ wishes, they decide to marry before Keiko leaves for the camps and James goes to war. At Tule Lake, the Tanaka’s internment camp in northern California, Keiko’s and James’s daughter, Kazuko, is born.

Nearly sixty years later, Keiko has a stroke and lies near death, while James suffers from Alzheimer’s. Coincidentally, a chance occurrence makes Kazuko suspect that her mother has been hiding a secret from the internment. Fighting the clock before her mother’s death, she races to unearth the mystery. What she uncovers represents nothing short of the epitome of human love and self-sacrifice. But, beyond Kazuko’s realization, only the reader knows that is only half the story. 

Author Biography:

Paul Mark Tag made a career as a research scientist before switching gears to write fiction. In the late 1990s, in preparation for a career in writing, he wrote short stories only. Author/Publisher Arline Chase was his mentor. In 2001, when he made his career change permanent, he spent a year writing short stories only. These have been published in StoryBytes, Potpourri, Greens Magazine, and The Storyteller.

 In 2002, Tag began his first novel, a thriller entitled Category 5, which took advantage of his knowledge of meteorology and weather modification. Prophecy, a sequel, followed in July of 2007. White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy, is the third in the trilogy. With How Much Do You Love Me? Tag has switched genres, trying his hand at historical fiction. He lives with his wife, Becky, in Monterey, California.

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Multicultural heritage, marriage, and blended families:

What I appreciated the most about Tag’s presentation of the romance blooming between Keiko and James, is that he did not make any part of their lives cliche or expected. Keiko grew up in the Methodist faith whereas James was a Unitarian; two separate worlds of thought on faith and at the time they were living in the 1940s neither denominations understood each other as well as they do today. The fact that they were both American citizens, one of Anglo-Saxon heritage and one of Japanese is what put them at the greatest risk on the fringes of war with Japan. James was given a strong countenance for a man of his young years but determination to be with the love of his life endeared him to me on the spot. They each saw past their own differences and how those differences were viewed by others inside their own community to forge a life together that was rooted in love and faith. Keiko might be nineteen at the opening of How Much Do You Love Me? but her spirit of self-awareness and knowledge of the current events slowing turning the tides against her make her mature beyond her years.

The manner in which their love story unfolds is a slow arc towards their union, as we know in the beginning that they were able to be wed, but it is how the story revealed their path towards their wedding and the life after the war ended that proved to be the most special. Especially considering the fact they were breaking tradition, not only for the culture of Keiko’s heritage but for James to marry an Asian at that point in time was nearly not able to be done legally. I had not realised it myself, as to when multicultural marriages had been approved but I silently cheered that four states led the way forward for all relationships to become equal. (Washington was one of the four)

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Sunday, 10 August, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Aftermath of World War II, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, California, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Christianity, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Dreams & Dreamscapes, Equality In Literature, Fathers and Daughters, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Japan, Japanese Fiction, Life Shift, Multicultural Marriages & Families, Pearl Harbour (WWII), Romance Fiction, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Story knitted out of Ancestral Data, Sweet Romance, Taboo Relationships & Romance, The World Wars, Twin Siblings, US Internment Camps (WWII), War-time Romance, Washington

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